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Type Fives and Emotional Processing

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This is a discussion on Type Fives and Emotional Processing within the Type 5 Forum - The Investigator forums, part of the Head Triad - Types 5,6,7 category; Hi @ jnr Thank you for your interesting question. If I understand correctly you want to know if the way ...

  1. #11
    Type 5w4

    Hi @jnr Thank you for your interesting question. If I understand correctly you want to know if the way of detaching is to go and listen to music or similar. Am I right?

    Because, no, I think not that this is the detaching. The detachment is enabled through thinking I suppose. And through something that helps not staying in the body, not staying attuned to (bodily) feelings. Because feelings are perceived as body sensations and then interpreted by the naming and thinking mind.

    Music and other things like dancing help me to focus more on my bodily experience and especially when dancing or moving - walking is just fine as well - it helps me to, better, it enables me to feel and not detach again through thinking. So, this would be my answer: I "process" feelings, that is it is possible for me to really welcome them and acknowledge them when I can move.

    The difficulties around allowing myself to feel I observe for example in a situation with other people. Sometimes I can feel my body tense, it's tensions in the body, stopping some energies to flow, that "helps" detaching. When I realize something like that I am sometimes able to say something like "I need to go now" or anything else what I think is the best for me.

    I have started to really take myself the time to think and talk and react especially in difficult or conflicting situations. Because I am slow when try to stay connected to my feelings. That is I learn more and more to listen to a deeper and better source of information - what am I feeling or how am I feeling - and then I try to translate this experince into what I need and what I want in a situation.

    I often feel under pressure from others to be faster in my reactions.

    And of course I can be so lost in unconscious motivations that I can be fast and argumentative and even belligerent to a certain extent. I get very opinionated and the person I am talking to looks very naive and stubid in his or her view. This is fear I suppose but I can never feel it. I want to observe that a bit better in the next days maybe.

    I'd be interested to hear if I got your question right!
    Dare and jnr thanked this post.

  2. #12
    Type 5w4

    Quote Originally Posted by jnr View Post
    I was just wondering how other Fives process their emotions. Do you use music? Poetry? Books? Do you think yourself into a feeling on your own?
    YES! All of the above.

    I'm not baffled by my feelings - on the contrary, I use all kinds of props to get the most out of them. Music, poetry, literature, definitely. Also smells can work very well if they're linked to a specific emotional memory, but with smells it requires a bit more work than just picking up a book would. For instance I have perfumes that I can only use to evoke certain feelings linked to certain memories. Using the scent for everyday purposes would dilute those emotions, and I don't want to do that.

    If an emotion is unpleasant, I have to really "process" it, usually by writing about it (talking works too) to deal with it. Ignoring an unpleasant feeling doesn't work for me at all.

  3. #13
    Type 5w4

    I am not sure I ever totally detach myself from what I'm feeling...I just think maybe as a type 5 and INTJ, I am better able to not fully detach and still be more objective and/or appear more emotionless than other people. I do think everything to death, and I do find that the more I think about something that is causing emotions the more objective and detached I am able to be. But it also depends heavily on mood. Mood can make it like a "two steps forward, three steps back" kind of thing (and I am a very, very moody person, which I think I hide better now than when I was younger...I mean, being moody is one of the few things about myself that I became aware of because other people told me).

    I feel emotions like everyone else, but the most common emotion I feel by far is anger and its relatives (irritation, frustration, etc). Because of that, I spend so much time in my head making sure I talk myself out of doing/saying something stupid/harmful to me. It's like the competing shoulders, i.e. you have one voice on one side and another voice on another. There's a voice on one side that is being logical, rational, trying to calm me down, remind me of what's what, etc. That voice doesn't always win, but it usually does. When it doesn't win, it's usually not pretty and it's usually really stunning to other people (and embarrassing to me), especially as an otherwise "emotionless" type 5/INTJ. So, yeah, I don't think I ever fully experience detachment.

    I can process emotions in most ways, i.e. music, reading, writing, thinking things to death...but one thing I'm definitely not going to do in processing them is talk about them. It drives other people crazy, and it irritates me when they try to get me to talk about them. Usually, when I feel emotions like anger, the main thing I want to do is get somewhere by myself and just think.

    Music is probably #2 on the list behind thinking, but what I find happens with music is...when I feel a certain way, my mind automatically starts thinking of songs that reflect my mood and how I feel, and I start playing those songs. It's fairly subconscious, too...there are times when I will be thinking about something that stirs emotions in me, I play a song, I listen carefully to the lyrics (as if I've never heard them before) and then, all of a sudden, consciously I'm like, "Yeeeesss! That's how I feel!" So, it's like, when I sit down and start selecting songs to listen to, I don't even realize that the songs I'm selecting go with how I feel, but my subconscious knows it. This happens a lot with emotions other than anger and its relatives--usually with sadness and its relatives, and love/romance and its relatives.

    I studied English in college and took Poetry as a requirement, so I really do enjoy it. But with reading, I'm more likely to get on Google and start looking for stories that are similar to whatever I'm feeling, i.e. I'll look at forums, articles, blogs, and see if I can find the topic that is causing the emotion to see how other people think or handle it. Sometimes I just want to be validated in how I feel. Other times I am trying to learn more about the topic/situation or more about how other people involved in the situation think/feel and why since I struggle to relate to how other people think/feel most of the time.

    Edit: Unlike maybe a lot of type 5s, I used to play sports for fun, and as an adult playing sports turned into more of an amazing time to be by myself and really think and process. It really helped me get my career on track, just playing basketball by myself and thinking. I don't do it as much now...you know, old with more physical limitations, lol. But it helped a ton.

    Hope this makes sense.
    Froody Blue Gem and Sengai thanked this post.

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  5. #14

    I am constantly trying to read the emotions of others when in a group but when people try to pry emotions out of me, it's very unpleasant. My instinct is to go off on my own, read, or draw, and try to get them out that way. Also, listening to music can help. Talking about them or trying to as they are happening ends up throwing a monkey wrench in the works. There is an underlying layer of anxiety but I often need my alone time when things get too too much. I admit, I do express myself via art but if I am putting my emotions into words. It is just part of the way I'm wired.
    ewdenore thanked this post.

  6. #15
    Type 5

    As a 5 and an INTJ, I am usually very in tune with my emotions however I don't appear emotional, except when I am irritated or angry. I definitely feel sad and upset at times but I need to be alone to feel such emotions and even then I'm not as comfortable with such feelings as I 'should' perhaps be.

    I'm quite skilled at detecting other's emotional states, and talking with them about emotional and psychological issues. Indeed, many years ago I worked as a psychological counsellor. However, I prefer to avoid that these days, not just because I'm doing what I love - writing professionally - but because I became quite burnt out after years in this role both professionally and personally - people would seem drawn to me to pour out their most intimate issues from my days in high school onwards - and I don't wish to return to being the 24/7 unpaid counsellor and 'psychic' for all and sundry. I prefer to avoid talking about my feelings with others, instead I need to process them myself. I don't trust others easily - I let very few people into my life as close friends - and I find that others don't have the necessary understanding, either the emotional or intellectual intelligence or cognisance to make it worthwhile for me to talk to them about my feelings. The exception to this is if I am justifiably angry with something someone has done or not done and need to tell them so it can be resolved.

    In regards to detaching myself from my emotions or emotions generally, I don't need anything to aid me in doing so! I am often in a very analytical and dispassionate state of mind where I am focused on analysing information, such as when researching for the work I do as a professional freelance writer in a wide variety of genres, from various fiction to non-fiction areas.
    Having stated this, I definitely do experience emotions and do so very intensely and passionately. When it comes to the creativity or creative state for certain aspects of my work as a writer, I definitely feel various emotions as I write. Sometimes I experience 'writer's block' in this regard and then I'll turn to music and maybe a film to help stimulate the mood needed for the right tone. In terms of sadness, and emotional states that I feel make me vulnerable, I definitely do my best to avoid letting these "show" to others - even those closest to me, loved ones, rarely get to see me upset.

    I am okay letting others, and my loved ones, see me experiencing and expressing anger but sadness, especially being in tears, is something I've always felt makes me vulnerable to others. This is typical of 5's (and INTJs) although my experience(s) growing up with rather emotionally abusive, narcissistic parents, who did tend to target me most when I was obviously upset definitely cemented my determined tendency, almost my default mode, to protect myself from potential criticism and 'attacks' by or from others by avoiding letting even those closest to me see me upset. I need to be by myself to process sadness.

    In regards to experiencing my emotions, I usually find myself turning to music - which I love, am very moved by, and have a background in - when feeling either upset, happy, motivated and so on, and sometimes to help my mood. For example, I find music is very helpful as an aid to my motivation, and it helps get me through difficult days (and nights) dealing with chronic pain and the concomitant lack of sleep and negative effects the pain has on my emotional state: I will deliberately turn to listening to music that I know I enjoy and which is uplifting.

    In private I express emotions such as sadness and, as stated, am very sensitive to music as well as scenes in films. For example, the music "Into The West" which is sung by Annie Lennox and at the end of the Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King film, is a song I find very moving and if I am in private at home I sometimes will listen to this, along with other songs that are moving such as the Schlinder's List theme, for example. With regards to reading, I'm a voraciously passionate bibliophile, although poetry is no longer of great interest to me (compared to years ago as a teenager), and I will sometimes search for certain books or go online to locate topics and ideas that express whatever situation I am in which is generating my feeling(s) and this can be very helpful in both explaining and validating my feelings. In particular, sometimes there'll be an "aha!' moment when reading about other people's experiences.

    As an INTJ and a 5, I definitely appear to be very 'Spock-like' (i.e. as in the Vulcan from "Star Trek") and although I have emotions I don't appear to be emotional to others. The most common emotion I display to others is anger and irritability, typically as a response/reaction to the behaviour of other people who I find to be problematic in some way that truly rubs me, as an INTJ in particular, the wrong way i.e. people who know very little but act as 'know-it-alls'/experts in an area or areas they're neophytes in/at, people who are small-minded, who have positions of authority but don't deserve them via merit, inefficiency (from a slow cashier to people wasting time).

    As a female INTJ, which accounts for only 0.5%-0.8% of the entire female population, my seeming lack of emotionality has led me to be called not just cool and aloof but cold and "unfeminine", especially by males, and it tends to intimidate others. Thankfully, my husband is also an INTJ and we understand each other extremely well but before I met him I had given up on finding someone who understood me as a 5 and an INTJ woman.

    I do tend to over-think and think things "to death", and it's very easy to get trapped in my head and to become very dispassionate. Years ago I found that when I studied, from middle high school to my University years onwards, and became so focused and caught up in studying that I didn't take breaks, I would enter a state where I was extremely dispassionate, and so detached that I would feel that if there were suddenly dead bodies strewn about I would calmly just step over them without feeling anything. It was getting into that state that would be my cue to take a break from studying for a while!

    I have a background in dance and martial arts - my husband taught a martial art and that's where we met years ago now - which is supposedly not typical for 5's (or INTJs) but I find that dance and martial arts has been helpful in staying in touch with my emotions. It's helped to express anger in a safe and effective way, which is psychologically healthy, and the physical activities always lift my mood and I lose myself in the art forms. I tend to listen to various music to workout to and this certainly helps me stay 'in tune' and in touch with my feelings. If I find myself getting too dispassionate - in a way that isn't healthy - I will deliberately select some music and, when possible, turn to dance and workouts.

    I hope this is comprehensible, and goes some way towards answering your questions.
    Last edited by Zirnitra; 01-14-2019 at 08:43 AM.
    Dare, Froody Blue Gem and Lady of Clockwork thanked this post.

  7. #16
    Type 5w4

    One of the things I've never understood is how people will use music to try to guide their emotions somehow. Feeling down? Pop in an uptempo pop track ... To me that feels like how nails on chalkboards sound, you know? When I'm on a more melancholy bent, I need a certain melancholia in my music.

    Strangely enough, most of my tastes in music are melancholic. "Party over here, I'll be over there," Aesop Rock sings. So while practically everything I hear in the wild anymore is rap/hip-hop/R&B, my interests have historically trended towards the instrumental.

    I suppose that historically I used music to evoke and cleanse emotions in me. And went to verses if that wasn't enough. But now I find myself listening to music much more rarely than I did when I was younger. I crave the sound of silence more and more.

    Anyhoo, music?

    Dare, Froody Blue Gem and jnr thanked this post.

  8. #17
    Type 5

    Thank you to everyone who has contributed and shared. I've been so interested in emotional processing since I've begun learning about the enneagram. I've recently discovered that I am a type 5 (through a lot of research, observation, and asking those closest to me about certain behaviours and trends).

    Personally, I have found myself drawn toward music when I'm trying to process an event. I find the emotion is secondary, but the thoughts are the most dominant. I also find I obsess over an event much later. For example, if I'm offended or angry, I don't often feel it until much later after I've processed and thought about an event. Sometimes I find music is expressing what I should be feeling, but don't. I'm much more lyrics-oriented. This isn't so evoke any emotions (I think that's been brought up, but not really what I meant by the question), but as more of a way to process and analyze a situation. I may have worded that poorly or vaguely, so I apologize.

    I also started a new thread about trauma. I'm wondering how type 5s process traumatic experiences? I've heard that sometimes type 5s may go deeper into their type and obsess or try to figure out why or what happened. Is this true for anyone?
    Sengai thanked this post.

  9. #18
    Type 5

    When working through an emotional issue, at this point in my life, my "processing" first involves just letting the feelings happen. I have a need to do this alone generally, although I may text someone if I'm really struggling with something.

    That initial response is VERY closely followed by a need to understand the feelings. Why am I feeling this way? What things can I control? What can't I control? How did I get here (were there choices I made or things I did that led to this situation)?

    After that, it's working to reconcile the emotions with the answers. Historically, most of my life, I was able to do that pretty easily. I've recently encountered a breakup where the logic has lined up, but the emotions are still taking some time to reconcile. There are reasons for it, but being a primary logic-based type (INTJ) this is still a very - uncomfortable - state for me to be in. Even when I understand WHY.

    If it's things I couldn't control, such as the passing of a beloved pet, I let myself feel the things I will, accept the loss, and recognize that it's going to make me sad. So be it. Again, however, I much prefer to isolate when I'm feeling these things too strongly, as being around others makes me feel like I need to include them, or be aware of their feelings on the situation, and I simply don't have the capacity for that (even if they don't think they want a response, I feel like it's required).
    jnr thanked this post.

  10. #19
    Type 5w6

    Quote Originally Posted by jnr View Post

    I was just wondering how other Fives process their emotions. Do you use music? Poetry? Books? Do you think yourself into a feeling on your own?

    Does anyone who is a Type Five (or knows a Five) observe these patterns where when a Five is upset they listen to the song they're feeling and objectively analyze their emotions via a situation or through a poem?

    Although Fives aren't emotionless, I'm wondering if this is how Fives detach themselves from what they're feeling.

    What do you think?
    If there's an ongoing occurrence of reflection where I think to myself that I feel a certain way yet again, and, "Oh, I should probably address this undercurrent until I've fleshed it out- and until I feel that it's resolved, or have resigned myself to it as something I must accept and live with, even though I don't know right now how to move through it..." is that what you mean by processing?

    Daily emotion is just felt and expressed. It's when something continually becomes present in my mind as an unpleasant sensation of being, or is somehow ominous, unsettling, or just plain stressful that I would need to process it. I wouldn't call the effort detachment. On the contrary, it's getting in touch with what's going on in multiple levels of conscious and unconscious thought, but also connecting to my body.

    My bag of bones is the vehicle for that expression, because emotions will impact a human being on a physical level (and some would say spiritual, though I think that's just the brain getting all excited when there's a lot of brain region cross-talk that doesn't usually take place). So, I can't just "analyze" it, I need to FEEL it. This could require emotionally connecting with people who I care about, if isolation just hasn't worked. It could also require doing physical things that push me out of my mind and into awareness of my body, like running. The detachment has taken me out of my physical awareness, and away from my connection to other creatures (or beings, if you like).

    What others would see as detachment to process my feelings is actually an immersion into myself, connecting back with myself. Touching base. Reaffirming foundation.

    The detachment was from me, my needs, and such- but the effect is simultaneous. By that, I mean that the longer that goes on, of course, the more others are going to feel it as detachment from THEM. It's perceived that I detached from them (other people) because I've become numb to myself or to my condition in life. If indulging emotions seemed to provide no resolution, growth, or similar in the past on a particular matter, I'm going to delay the indulgence indefinitely- until something in my life forces the issue, or until a happenstance moment brings revelation.

    The draw to initiating such processing in an intentional way, instead of postponing it, is that it could ultimately have positive results and be incredibly rewarding. Stimulate the emotional center, sometimes you get gold- and there are lots of ways to do this.

    I'm not Extraverted Sensing proficient, I tend to rely on Introverted Sensing, which is very individual to me and not really relatable for others in my life, but Se can be relied upon to wake up parts of my being that I was neglecting. So, yeah, music. Music that I haven't heard before is, at times, very good at stimulating a conscious response to an unconscious undercurrent, but it may also miss the mark entirely. Songs that I know, already, may just provoke old emotion, not conjure the more recent undercurrent- so it isn't consistently useful. Perhaps, I'm able to revisit music that didn't make me feel, before, but now I can understand it and begin to feel it because unfamiliar events that I newly undergo have changed my personal experience, perception, and judgment.

    It's like... seeking resonance. Like, looking for that frequency to match my own vibration. Like using a tuning fork and seeing if whatever note escapes my throat matches it, or not.

    A movie I'm watching might prompt a revelation, and I can begin to feel on a raw level before thinking even starts. This has happened a lot to me in the past but not so much, anymore. Not much resonates with me, right now, in my current circumstances. There was a moment in an episode of an obscure TV show, recently, that prompted a feeling of resonance, but it was brief and I didn't dive deeper into it because it felt contrived and superficial. I couldn't entirely accept it.

    So, there's the big hurdle: Can you accept what you're feeling?

    Do you need to understand it, or can you just accept it?

    There's a huge leap where thinking doesn't reveal anything, it's more saying to yourself, "I'm human. This is part of that experience. I don't have to be a certain way, or have done something as others would expect or approve of. It is what it is. How do I feel about that? Why do I feel that way?" and only ask the question to prompt very brief thinking that will launch you into the next emotion, feeling that emotion, hopefully in a holistic way throughout the entire being.

    Memories may come up. That might prompt using sensory stimulation to get back into how something felt, previously, like looking at photos, reading a passage from a book or a quote, or hearing a person's voice, or just being struck by a conscious realization of having inadvertently put emotional pieces together to form a cohesive whole. Recreational drug use can sometimes facilitate this much more fluidly, but I don't recommend abusing the gift.

    Writing is great when sympathetic ears are in short supply.

    I find it best, though, when a feeling absolutely surprises me, without anticipation, without prompting. When it's "knowing" but without any thinking, a conclusion that overcomes you as a sensation of being and seems to fill you and gently ebb outward. I don't know that I can explain this. It's not at all about processing, and entirely about accepting.

    There are plenty of song lyrics that don't, and won't, ever resonate with me... but, sometimes there's a feeling in the music itself that just, resonates, or a feeling in something as simple as a look, or a touch, or an action. It pours out something words or thoughts can't ever fully capture or explain, but it connects you. The understanding is immediate. (This is the SX aspect of being SP/SX) I prefer exploring those moments in a way of being and acceptance, rather than analyzing. Those moments are very much about presence, and not at all about detachment.

    Take away all the layers of human thought and just be in that moment. It's very freeing. Some people never attain this without substances that compel their mind to let go of constructs, but others reach that state without them- with meditation, perhaps, or maybe a near-death experience.
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