Identity crisis! Marriage crisis! Any help?

Identity crisis! Marriage crisis! Any help?

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This is a discussion on Identity crisis! Marriage crisis! Any help? within the What's my Enneagram type? forums, part of the Enneagram Personality Theory Forum category; Am I a 5? For as long as I can remember, my family and eventually other people were telling me ...

  1. #1

    Identity crisis! Marriage crisis! Any help?

    Am I a 5?

    For as long as I can remember, my family and eventually other people were telling me how smart I was. I've long considered myself a nerdy type. I just knew I'd end up with a PhD and probably go into academia. I was told how I was a truth seeker and I wouldn't stop studying anything until I knew the truth. Fox Mulder, eat your heart out!

    Except I wasn't that smart. Oh, I can think well enough about certain things, but fundamentally I've struggled because I'm too scattered to be a really good scholar. I disappointed myself by dumping out of my grad program early (ended up with just an MA in a PhD program) because I simply could not focus on the topic at hand well enough to write the stupid dissertation. I wrote a theology blog for years in which I sought to promote what I considered deep, profound thoughts, but I ended up abandoning it 5-6 years ago after realizing I'd studied and examined most of what was really interesting to me.

    I'm definitely "withdrawn" - no question there. Despite my wife's many attempts over the years, I always resisted doing things with most other families/couples, usually because I was critical of or intimidated by the husband - I used to deem most of them too "shallow", that is to say, in touch with the normal world from which I was alienated by my preoccupation with "deep" abstract musings. I felt like I never fit in with most men because I dislike sports. And in fact, it's not just sports: I'm not a huge fan of competition generally.

    I tend to enjoy a good argument and have thought of myself as a pretty decent (informal) debater. But now that my marriage is broken I realize I have more often resorted to shortcut rhetorical tactics to shut down arguments rather than actually having such good points and clear thinking that I convince anyone. I had grand, dogmatic opinions, which I attributed to my incisive and insightful love of truth, that made some relationships hard, including most especially my marriage. I have annoyed people with my predilection for playing devil's advocate, of which I've always been devilishly proud. I fancy myself a good troubleshooter because of supposed attention to detail.

    When my wife started looking at the Enneagram a couple years ago, she found herself quickly to be a seven. I jumped in, hopeful to find mine. But I couldn't. I tried a few different analyses and none of them seemed to fit me enough down the line. My wife couldn't figure me out either.

    Lately I was encouraged to try figuring it out again. Because I'm thought of as such a detail-oriented, investigative type person, it was recommended that I read the thickest, most analytical work out there. I couldn't even make myself read the "Wisdom of the Enneagram" front to back. I plowed into the types and got a little more headway, but I still needed help.

    I tried a free online test. The results: 9, 7, 4. My reaction: no way a person whose marriage has failed because of being a bad arguer could be a Peacemaker, and even less possible that I'm an Enthusiast. But 4 seemed possible: I tend to think of myself as such a unique, Individualist person - so I read about that type more in depth. Maybe. While there I read about 5 again, and I thought, "Ah, I'm an Investigator. Gotta be."

    Finally I shelled out $12 for the Enneagram Institute's test and found that my highest score was a 5. Finally, confirmation! But that wasn't the whole story: I was really bothered that I scored just as high for 9 again! In fact, 9 was the only score in common between the two tests. So I decided to look further into 9 and what "Peacemaker/Mediator" could mean.

    As I'm sure most of you have seen coming, when I went to try to figure out whether I was a 9 or a 5, I discovered that those are the most frequently confused types. What's more, intelligent male nines typically think of themselves as fives, though not nearly so much the other way around. I also read that while fives apply their investigation and analysis uniformly in life and tend to take a more deductive approach, I definitely apply that investigation to only certain temporary areas of interest. When I look at my annoyingly dogmatic stances that have caused such conflict rather than peace with my wife, I realize that those fit the nine's stereotypically unrealistic, idealistic, impractical fantasies. And a lot of my argumentation could be boiled down to trying to resolve conflict in too many cases paradoxically by denying the issue. I've always known that my "devil's advocate" penchant was about trying to get the other side to be appreciated not as ridiculous but defensible, in an attempt to build a bridge; a mantra of mine has been that it's harder to truly despite someone's opinions if they are honestly examined from that person's point of view. And the intent of my blog was always to be a voice in the middle between extremes that begged the two to come together, and it was the widening gap despite my valiant Blog Warrior attempts that ended up discouraging me enough to abandon the blog.

    So am I a 9?

    I'm increasingly inclined to think so. It seems likely that I tested so high for a 5 because I thought of myself as a deep thinker, an analyst, not because I actually am one. I am fairly certain that my idyllic childhood is something I've been trying to recreate, and it would explain why I haven't dealt with conflicts very well. This in my home has ended up shattering my carefully constructed world from which I managed to alienate my wife despite my biggest sense of identity being that I was a family man. It also gives me some odd relief to think that I am not a failed intellectual or scholar because I was never an intellectual or scholar in the first place (but maybe that's just a 9 looking for a silver lining). I apply my intellect to simplifying things like a 9, not relishing the complexity of them like a 5 might do. I do tend to retreat into my "fantasy" world to avoid conflict, though I don't see it as fantasy at the time.

    But here are my greatest doubts with this identification. Most pertain to my marriage - the most important relationship in my life and yet the one I've somehow bungled.

    - My deepest known fear seems more about being exposed as incompetent, like a 5, than it seems to be about separation. One of the biggest reasons I was so endlessly defensive to the point of fracture was that I couldn't stand for her to think of me as a failure. Of course, in the failure of my marriage I am more than willing to be seen as a colossal idiot if it would reconcile us, so maybe peace is the greater value after all.

    - My almost obsessive (but not quite) attention to detail has made me very self-conscious of how I appear to others. It also resulted in me giving my wife an endless hard time about such mindless things as biting her fingernails or being sleepy at 7pm. Long before that, as a teenager I gave my mom such a hard time about stupid ticks (e.g. the way she swallowed, pronounced certain words) that it hurt her in ways I am still regretful of but still guiltily conscious of. Maybe this has nothing to do with my Enneagram number, but it seems much more like a 5 than a 9, doesn't it?

    - Nines are stereotypically upbeat and optimistic. I tend to plan for the worst and tend to be among the first to call attention to possible unfavorable outcomes (usually with some humor). But in reality, I've tended to downplay the worst options in my mind to the point of yet another breaking point in my marriage: I too often dismissed my wife's concerns as paranoia because I was so confident that nothing bad was going to actually happen (originally this was a point of attraction because I injected stability into her anxiety). But although I think I was one as a child, in my adulthood I'd never be accused of being a ray of sunshine.

    - My perception is that nines, while withdrawn, are still fairly social. More than I used to, I do now realize a real need for social connection although it isn't really easy for me, but still, everyone who knows me thinks of me as a loner and an introvert who is socially awkward, with practically zero personal magnetism. Is that like a 9?

    - My wife insists that I brought her down and made her feel judged in so many of our conversations, dismissing the validity of what she said, making her feel like she was shallow, stupid, etc. I have never thought of my wife as shallow, stupid, or any such thing, and never would have wanted her to think that about herself or that I thought that. But how could a so-called "Peacemaker/Mediator" type do this inadvertently? Shouldn't I have been mollifying her in our arguments, being a diplomat rather than someone she could mistake as spiteful?

    - The way I'm analyzing this whole thing! It's kind of typical of how I analyze things. I look at each point, question it, throw something at it, see if it sticks. It seems much more like an Investigator. When I texted a friend and attempted to defend my being a 9 instead of a 5 (as he assumed) by laying out some of these points, he responded that he'd never received such a "five" text message before.

    Gosh, I've really let it all hang out here for the Internet to see. If you made it through, thanks for the attempt. I just really am lacking a very good sense of self-identity (another mark in favor of 9) and could use your help.
    Last edited by Dogulas; 07-03-2019 at 01:26 PM.
    AnneM thanked this post.



  2. #2

    @Dogulas Wow! I applaud your incredible self-awareness! I always judge a book by its cover, so I'm going to start out by saying you sound like a real catch, for a particular kind of woman. That being said....

    Do you know your MBTI type? That will help tremendously to get to the bottom of things. My enneagram would be practically worthless to me if I didn't also know myself to be an INFJ. Are you an INTP, perhaps? You sound like my mother, what with that devil's advocate thing going on.

    I will say this: IF you are a 5, being married to a 7 would be tremendously difficult, I think, since a 5 disintegrates to 7. So, if you were making your wife happy by going out more, etc, you would simultaneously be making yourself unhealthy. See? 5 integrates to 8 by setting boundaries and standing up for himself, which might be a challenge if your wife has a strong 8 wing.

    I'm sorry, but, based on the little you've said, I don't see you as the one at (exclusive) fault. And I'm intuitive. :)

    If you were also an INTP, as well as a 5, you would feel a lot of guilt about not being able to tap into that extraverted feeling at other people's request. And extraverted sensation would be your vulnerable point, which would make going out and having fun doubly hard. My mother really struggles with that. She almost always puts the blame on herself.

    Kudos to you for working on your marriage. But don't work on your marriage at the expense of your relationship with yourself.

    Hope that helps. Welcome to PerC!

  3. #3

    P.S. I'd like to check out that theology blog of yours!

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  5. #4

    Thank you, Anne. You're very encouraging. I agree that it's not all my fault, but I have to own my own contributions.

    Quote Originally Posted by AnneM View Post
    Do you know your MBTI type?
    Since you asked, I went to look up my old MBTI type and ended up taking two more quizzes that ended up the same way: INFP - the "Mediator". Go figure!
    AnneM thanked this post.

  6. #5

    Quote Originally Posted by Dogulas View Post
    Since you asked, I went to look up my old MBTI type and ended up taking two more quizzes that ended up the same way: INFP - the "Mediator". Go figure!
    Ah, that makes sense. INFPs have some of the same struggles as INTPs. In socionics, they are called "look-alike" types, because they both have problems with extraverted sensation, and love introverted sensation (hence, the wanting to stay home!)
    Dogulas and L P thanked this post.

  7. #6

    Quote Originally Posted by Dogulas View Post
    Am I a 5? ...I just knew I'd end up with a PhD and probably go into academia.
    ...contrary to popular belief, the world of academia and higher education is more the realm of Sixes than of Fives. https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/m...ifying-5-and-6

    I've struggled because I'm too scattered to be a really good scholar. I disappointed myself by dumping out of my grad program early (ended up with just an MA in a PhD program) because I simply could not focus on the topic at hand well enough...
    Not the pattern of a 5. Focus is a hallmark of the type:
    They are able to concentrate and focus... they focus intensely on mastering something that has captured their interest. https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/type-5

    I always resisted doing things with most other families/couples, usually because I was critical of or intimidated by the husband...
    "Intimidated" ---> anxiety/insecurity/inability to meet as equals --> these are type 6 concerns. Evasive is not the same as 'withdrawn'.
    Sixes...can also become defensive, evasive, and anxious... Key Motivations: Want to have security, to feel supported by others, to have certitude and reassurance, to test the attitudes of others toward them, to fight against anxiety and insecurity. https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/type-6

    I had grand, dogmatic opinions, which I attributed...
    Type 6 is called 'The loyalist' due to their loyalty to both people & their beliefs. Once they get a belief they really hold onto it. 5s don't do this.
    ...of all the personality types, Sixes are the most loyal to their friends and to their beliefs... Wanting to feel that there is something solid and clear-cut in their lives, they can become attached to explanations or positions that seem to explain their situation. Because “belief” (trust, faith, convictions, positions) is difficult for Sixes to achieve, and because it is so important to their sense of stability, once they establish a trustworthy belief, they do not easily question it, nor do they want others to do so. https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/type-6
    I left the "which I attributed..." there bc I am seeing a pattern of intellectualizing. You certainly come across as a 'head type'. I suspect that part of the problem with you is that you choose 5-ish rationalizations for your behavior (possibly internalized after reading about 5s -- 6s do this). You appear to be blind to your own core motivations.


    I fancy myself a good troubleshooter because of...
    "Troubleshooter" is a word typically associated with type 6.
    Excellent "troubleshooters," they foresee problems... https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/type-6

    I also read that while fives apply their investigation and analysis uniformly in life... I definitely apply that investigation to only certain temporary areas of interest.
    That's right, 5s want to understand broadly. We also tend to pick one area and attempt to achieve mastery in it.
    When Nines are highly intelligent, they can be as brilliant as Fives, although their intellectual prowess is compartmentalized. They are brilliant at work but unfocused and inattentive everywhere else, whereas Fives are focused and attentive everywhere all the time. https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/m...ifying-5-and-9

    When I look at my annoyingly dogmatic stances that have caused such conflict rather than peace with my wife, I realize that those fit the nine's stereotypically unrealistic, idealistic, impractical fantasies.
    Easygoing, agreeable 9s aren't in the business of causing conflict.
    We have called personality type Nine The Peacemaker because no type is more devoted to the quest for internal and external peace for themselves and others... Basic Desire: To have inner stability "peace of mind"... Key Motivations: Want to create harmony in their environment, to avoid conflicts and tension, to preserve things as they are, to resist whatever would upset or disturb them... Being a separate self, an individual who must assert herself against others, is terrifying to Nines. https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/type-9

    And a lot of my argumentation could be boiled down to trying to resolve conflict in too many cases paradoxically by denying the issue.
    A 9's denial is passive (withdraw to their imagination/numb out). One of the points of frustration some have with 9s is that they won't stand up & argue with their SO, even in situations where they really should.


    So am I a 9?
    Seems unlikely. Although you being on the 6 --> 9 line seems far more plausible than 5 --> 8.


    I managed to alienate my wife despite my biggest sense of identity being that I was a family man.
    Misidentifying Sixes and Nines
    These types are actually frequently mistyped. Sixes and Nines are both concerned with security and with maintaining some kind of status quo situation. They are both family-oriented, and both tend to take modest views of themselves. Their affect, however, is the easiest way to distinguish them.

     
    In short, Nines like to remain easy-going and unflappable. Nines work steadily at their tasks, but show little sign of being upset by the day's ups and downs. Sixes, on the other hand, cannot easily disguise their feelings. They get more easily worked-up and rattled by mishaps. While Nines can remain silent within their own inner peace, Sixes need to vent with others periodically to discharge their fears and doubts. Sixes are more obviously nervous and defensive when they believe there are problems. Nines remain strangely bland in the face of problems, although beneath the pleasant surface of average Nines, there is stubborn resistance and an unwillingness to be upset or troubled by conflicts or problems. Sixes tend to be suspicious of unknown people and situations–they need to test people before they let them get close. Nines may be protected by the disengagement of their attention, but they tend to be trusting of others–almost to a fault.

    Of course, under stress, when moving in their Direction of Disintegration, Nines will begin to act out some of the behaviors of average Sixes, and for this reason, some Nines will mistype themselves as Sixes. But such periods of overt anxiety generally do not last long. As soon as possible, Nines revert to their more easy going approach to things.



    I do tend to retreat into my "fantasy" world to avoid conflict, though I don't see it as fantasy at the time.
    This does seem to suggest a 9 influence (I recommend working out your 'tritype' only after settling on a core type first).


    One of the biggest reasons I was so endlessly defensive to the point of fracture was that I couldn't stand for her to think of me as a failure.
    I've known 6s who compulsively argue to defend their beliefs/cover anxiety rather than concern themselves primarily with people/relationships. It only looks like it's about competence from one angle. Competence in maintaining vital relationships is a bigger concern for some.


    - My almost obsessive (but not quite) attention to detail has made me very self-conscious of how I appear to others. It also resulted in me giving my wife an endless hard time about such mindless things as biting her fingernails or being sleepy at 7pm. Long before that, as a teenager I gave my mom such a hard time about stupid ticks (e.g. the way she swallowed, pronounced certain words) that it hurt her in ways I am still regretful of but still guiltily conscious of. Maybe this has nothing to do with my Enneagram number, but it seems much more like a 5 than a 9, doesn't it?
    It's neither 5 nor 9. This attention to detail/pro social/reactive/correcting/guilty routine is signature 6. Some will mistakenly see it as 1.
    Misidentifying Ones and Sixes
    Guilt feelings owing to strong consciences and the tendency to strike out either at themselves or at others (or both) are the main points of similarity between them... These two types are easy to distinguish, however, by noting the overall emotional tone of each type. Average Sixes are anxious, indecisive, ambivalent, and, above all, reactive. They find it difficult to relate to others with self-confidence as equals, tending either to become too dutiful and dependent or to go to the opposite extreme and become rebellious and defiant. Sometimes they get stuck in the middle and become ambivalent, indecisive, and vacillating. https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/m...ifying-1-and-6

    I tend to plan for the worst and tend to be among the first to call attention to possible unfavorable outcomes (usually with some humor). But in reality, I've tended to downplay the worst options in my mind to the point of yet another breaking point in my marriage: I too often dismissed my wife's concerns as paranoia because I was so confident that nothing bad was going to actually happen (originally this was a point of attraction because I injected stability into her anxiety).
    6, 6, more 6.


    - My perception is that nines, while withdrawn, are still fairly social. More than I used to, I do now realize a real need for social connection although it isn't really easy for me, but still, everyone who knows me thinks of me as a loner and an introvert who is socially awkward, with practically zero personal magnetism. Is that like a 9?
    My guess: an introvert who's a 6.


    - My wife insists that I brought her down and made her feel judged in so many of our conversations, dismissing the validity of what she said, making her feel...
    Telltale sign of the damage inadvertently done by a less than healthy superego type.
    When their superegos are on more severe, both types are quite capable of telling others what to do, although in different ways and for different reasons... Sixes can also give orders, not because of rigid inner standards, but because they are afraid of what they see as the erratic, irresponsible conduct of others potentially disrupting the security and stability they are trying to maintain. They are angered and threatened by others "breaking the rules" and becoming more unpredictable. https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/m...ifying-1-and-6

    - The way I'm analyzing this whole thing! It's kind of typical of how I analyze things. I look at each point, question it, throw something at it, see if it sticks. It seems much more like an Investigator. When I texted a friend and attempted to defend my being a 9 instead of a 5 (as he assumed) by laying out some of these points, he responded that he'd never received such a "five" text message before.
    it's seems more like uncertainty. Self typing is typically very easy for true 5s.
    Sixes are uncertain, and rely on reassurance, back-up, familiar procedure, or the sanction of previously tested ideas and philosophies to help them come to decisions.
    FYI it's not that helpful to take a buzzword like "investigator" and try to type yourself on that basis. For a start, the meaning is open to interpretation, especially with how to apply it. Virtually every type will do behaviors that could loosely be described as 'investigating'. It's much better to look at core motivations and work out which one is driving you. For 6 you need to ask (and watch) yourself for a core motivation of support/security (and later try to work on that if it's true).


    I just really am lacking a very good sense of self-identity (another mark in favor of 9) and could use your help.
    People routinely overlook type 6.
    Type 6 ...They typically have problems with self-doubt... Sixes are the primary type in the Thinking Center, meaning that they have the most trouble contacting their own inner guidance. As a result, they do not have confidence in their own minds and judgments... Without Essential inner guidance and the deep sense of support that it brings, Sixes are constantly struggling to find firm ground. https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/type-6
    VoicesOfSpring, AnneM and Dogulas thanked this post.

  8. #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Dogulas View Post
    Am I a 5?

    For as long as I can remember, my family and eventually other people were telling me how smart I was. I've long considered myself a nerdy type. I just knew I'd end up with a PhD and probably go into academia. I was told how I was a truth seeker and I wouldn't stop studying anything until I knew the truth. Fox Mulder, eat your heart out!

    Except I wasn't that smart. Oh, I can think well enough about certain things, but fundamentally I've struggled because I'm too scattered to be a really good scholar. I disappointed myself by dumping out of my grad program early (ended up with just an MA in a PhD program) because I simply could not focus on the topic at hand well enough to write the stupid dissertation. I wrote a theology blog for years in which I sought to promote what I considered deep, profound thoughts, but I ended up abandoning it 5-6 years ago after realizing I'd studied and examined most of what was really interesting to me.
    This relates more to your MBTI rather than your enneagram type. If you're indeed an INFP high Ne explains being scattered and failing to focus on academic work for long periods of time (I'm INTP, so I share these struggles).

    I'm definitely "withdrawn" - no question there. Despite my wife's many attempts over the years, I always resisted doing things with most other families/couples, usually because I was critical of or intimidated by the husband - I used to deem most of them too "shallow", that is to say, in touch with the normal world from which I was alienated by my preoccupation with "deep" abstract musings. I felt like I never fit in with most men because I dislike sports. And in fact, it's not just sports: I'm not a huge fan of competition generally
    Again, practically any intuitive introvert would relate to this. Not enneagram type specific.

    I tend to enjoy a good argument and have thought of myself as a pretty decent (informal) debater. But now that my marriage is broken I realize I have more often resorted to shortcut rhetorical tactics to shut down arguments rather than actually having such good points and clear thinking that I convince anyone. I had grand, dogmatic opinions, which I attributed to my incisive and insightful love of truth, that made some relationships hard, including most especially my marriage. I have annoyed people with my predilection for playing devil's advocate, of which I've always been devilishly proud. I fancy myself a good troubleshooter because of supposed attention to detail
    Sounds like 1, but could be your wing (9w1).


    As I'm sure most of you have seen coming, when I went to try to figure out whether I was a 9 or a 5, I discovered that those are the most frequently confused types. What's more, intelligent male nines typically think of themselves as fives, though not nearly so much the other way around. I also read that while fives apply their investigation and analysis uniformly in life and tend to take a more deductive approach, I definitely apply that investigation to only certain temporary areas of interest. When I look at my annoyingly dogmatic stances that have caused such conflict rather than peace with my wife, I realize that those fit the nine's stereotypically unrealistic, idealistic, impractical fantasies. And a lot of my argumentation could be boiled down to trying to resolve conflict in too many cases paradoxically by denying the issue. I've always known that my "devil's advocate" penchant was about trying to get the other side to be appreciated not as ridiculous but defensible, in an attempt to build a bridge; a mantra of mine has been that it's harder to truly despite someone's opinions if they are honestly examined from that person's point of view. And the intent of my blog was always to be a voice in the middle between extremes that begged the two to come together, and it was the widening gap despite my valiant Blog Warrior attempts that ended up discouraging me enough to abandon the blog.

    So am I a 9?
    This bit sounds very 9ish to me.

    I'm increasingly inclined to think so. It seems likely that I tested so high for a 5 because I thought of myself as a deep thinker, an analyst, not because I actually am one. I am fairly certain that my idyllic childhood is something I've been trying to recreate, and it would explain why I haven't dealt with conflicts very well. This in my home has ended up shattering my carefully constructed world from which I managed to alienate my wife despite my biggest sense of identity being that I was a family man. It also gives me some odd relief to think that I am not a failed intellectual or scholar because I was never an intellectual or scholar in the first place (but maybe that's just a 9 looking for a silver lining). I apply my intellect to simplifying things like a 9, not relishing the complexity of them like a 5 might do. I do tend to retreat into my "fantasy" world to avoid conflict, though I don't see it as fantasy at the time.
    I often test as a 5 for the same reasons, but I am confident I'm not one.


    But here are my greatest doubts with this identification. Most pertain to my marriage - the most important relationship in my life and yet the one I've somehow bungled.

    - My deepest known fear seems more about being exposed as incompetent, like a 5, than it seems to be about separation. One of the biggest reasons I was so endlessly defensive to the point of fracture was that I couldn't stand for her to think of me as a failure. Of course, in the failure of my marriage I am more than willing to be seen as a colossal idiot if it would reconcile us, so maybe peace is the greater value after all.
    Intelligence/competence is part of your persona since you have long been valued by other people for being 'intelligent'. Perhaps it doesn't have anything to do with your enneagram type, but I wouldn't rule it out.

    - My almost obsessive (but not quite) attention to detail has made me very self-conscious of how I appear to others. It also resulted in me giving my wife an endless hard time about such mindless things as biting her fingernails or being sleepy at 7pm. Long before that, as a teenager I gave my mom such a hard time about stupid ticks (e.g. the way she swallowed, pronounced certain words) that it hurt her in ways I am still regretful of but still guiltily conscious of. Maybe this has nothing to do with my Enneagram number, but it seems much more like a 5 than a 9, doesn't it?
    Not enneagram type related. Sounds like a type of OCD, I am not an expert but I would encourage you to speak to a psychologist.

    - Nines are stereotypically upbeat and optimistic.
    Nope. If anything most of the 9s I know are kinda melancholy.

    I tend to plan for the worst and tend to be among the first to call attention to possible unfavorable outcomes (usually with some humor). But in reality, I've tended to downplay the worst options in my mind to the point of yet another breaking point in my marriage: I too often dismissed my wife's concerns as paranoia because I was so confident that nothing bad was going to actually happen (originally this was a point of attraction because I injected stability into her anxiety). But although I think I was one as a child, in my adulthood I'd never be accused of being a ray of sunshine.
    This paragraph reads very 9.

    - My perception is that nines, while withdrawn, are still fairly social. More than I used to, I do now realize a real need for social connection although it isn't really easy for me, but still, everyone who knows me thinks of me as a loner and an introvert who is socially awkward, with practically zero personal magnetism. Is that like a 9?
    No. This is more a case of being an introvert vs an extrovert. Any enneagram can be social or not.

    - My wife insists that I brought her down and made her feel judged in so many of our conversations, dismissing the validity of what she said, making her feel like she was shallow, stupid, etc. I have never thought of my wife as shallow, stupid, or any such thing, and never would have wanted her to think that about herself or that I thought that. But how could a so-called "Peacemaker/Mediator" type do this inadvertently? Shouldn't I have been mollifying her in our arguments, being a diplomat rather than someone she could mistake as spiteful?
    This is a problem I also had with a 9 ex bf.
    The 9s tendency to try and keep the peace means that they will often dismiss perfectly valid fears/concerns in order to not disturb 'the peace'. Of course it is just burying your head in the sand, because the issue is still there, you just fail to acknowledge it. It is one of the most usual points of friction between other types and 9s.

    - The way I'm analyzing this whole thing! It's kind of typical of how I analyze things. I look at each point, question it, throw something at it, see if it sticks. It seems much more like an Investigator. When I texted a friend and attempted to defend my being a 9 instead of a 5 (as he assumed) by laying out some of these points, he responded that he'd never received such a "five" text message before.
    Indeed your post is rather structured for an INFP, I'll give you that. But it doesn't strike me as particularly 5ish. If I'm honest. Could see elements I could attribute to 6, like @Dare said in her post.

    Overwhelmingly though I'm getting a 9 vibe from you.
    Dogulas thanked this post.

  9. #8

    I see a lot of affinities with 6 also, so thank you, @Dare for your thorough response. When I read about contrasts between 6 and 9 specifically, I seem to come down more on the 9 side. Given that 6 and 9 are within the same triad I suppose it's not that surprising there is some overlap, and I did need the reminder that 6 lies in 9's direction of disintegration, which is where I believe most of my similarities with 6 come in.

    As long as my post was, I think it's obvious I'm not as sophisticated with these topics as you all are - here again, I dabble just enough to become dangerous! @Aridela mentioned some contrasts between MBTI vs. Enneagram that I need to get smart on. Is there a simple way to explain the difference in what those classifications attempt to say about personality? For the APS temperament test I tested as phlegmatic supine, and I have no idea how "temperament" plays into these things. To what extent are these the results of competing philosophies, as opposed to well-defined, explainable differences in perspective? (This is probably another topic that's been beat to death on a forum like this.)
    Dare thanked this post.

  10. #9

    Quote Originally Posted by Dogulas View Post

    As long as my post was, I think it's obvious I'm not as sophisticated with these topics as you all are - here again, I dabble just enough to become dangerous! @Aridela mentioned some contrasts between MBTI vs. Enneagram that I need to get smart on. Is there a simple way to explain the difference in what those classifications attempt to say about personality? For the APS temperament test I tested as phlegmatic supine, and I have no idea how "temperament" plays into these things. To what extent are these the results of competing philosophies, as opposed to well-defined, explainable differences in perspective? (This is probably another topic that's been beat to death on a forum like this.)
    MBTI is quite different to the enneagram but a lot of people find the two are complementary.

    The enneagram is to do with how people deal with trauma whereas the MBTI assesses how people judge and/or perceive the world. MBTI typing is a bit more straightforward on the outset but it can get pretty deep if you go down the rabbithole.

    There're many lines of thought re how the MBTI works but the most common are typing by dichotomy or typing by functions. I'm a typing by functions kind of girl, but it's your choice at the end of the day.

    The variables are:

    Introversion VS Extroversion
    Sensing VS Intuition
    Feeling VS Thinking
    Judging VS Perceiving

    Now, in your case, if you're indeed an INFP. Taking the MBTI test tells you where you stand on the spectrum of each of these variables. This is simple enough and it's not a bad way of going about it.

    Functions add a bit to the complexity, and, personally, I think knowing how functions work helps when trying to type another person or yourself. There are eight cognitive functions Se, SI, Ne, Ni, Fi, Fe, Te, Ti. Notice I/E and P/J do not correspond to specific functions. You can read more on the functions theory and the MBTI here. Pretty sure there are plenty of helpful articles on this forum also.

    Hope this helps :)
    Last edited by Aridela; 07-10-2019 at 12:02 PM.
    Dogulas thanked this post.

  11. #10

    Quote Originally Posted by Dogulas View Post
    Am I a 5?

    For as long as I can remember, my family and eventually other people were telling me how smart I was. I've long considered myself a nerdy type. I just knew I'd end up with a PhD and probably go into academia. I was told how I was a truth seeker and I wouldn't stop studying anything until I knew the truth. Fox Mulder, eat your heart out!

    Except I wasn't that smart. Oh, I can think well enough about certain things, but fundamentally I've struggled because I'm too scattered to be a really good scholar. I disappointed myself by dumping out of my grad program early (ended up with just an MA in a PhD program) because I simply could not focus on the topic at hand well enough to write the stupid dissertation. I wrote a theology blog for years in which I sought to promote what I considered deep, profound thoughts, but I ended up abandoning it 5-6 years ago after realizing I'd studied and examined most of what was really interesting to me.

    You said you tested as an INFP below but this looks like INTP to me, it's a little more cognitive (which has to do with abilities) than Enneagram...I don't know if a lack of focus would speak against Five though, Fives often appear fundamentally unfocused, I don't think they necessarily make the best scholars, they don't like having to relate to external demands Se PoLR can also cause a kind of lack of drive.


    I see some image type concerns in how you immediately bring up a difference between how others see you and how you really are, though I understand that's often the best way to give an indication of your personality. Wouldn't preclude 9.

    I'm definitely "withdrawn" - no question there. Despite my wife's many attempts over the years, I always resisted doing things with most other families/couples, usually because I was critical of or intimidated by the husband - I used to deem most of them too "shallow", that is to say, in touch with the normal world from which I was alienated by my preoccupation with "deep" abstract musings. I felt like I never fit in with most men because I dislike sports. And in fact, it's not just sports: I'm not a huge fan of competition generally.
    Bolded I think is normal for Se PoLR, anyways this could be Five or Nine imo

    I tend to enjoy a good argument and have thought of myself as a pretty decent (informal) debater. But now that my marriage is broken I realize I have more often resorted to shortcut rhetorical tactics to shut down arguments rather than actually having such good points and clear thinking that I convince anyone. I had grand, dogmatic opinions, which I attributed to my incisive and insightful love of truth, that made some relationships hard, including most especially my marriage. I have annoyed people with my predilection for playing devil's advocate, of which I've always been devilishly proud. I fancy myself a good troubleshooter because of supposed attention to detail.
    This is very honest, not sure how I'd categorize it type-wise but a bit Six-ish

    I tried a free online test. The results: 9, 7, 4. My reaction: no way a person whose marriage has failed because of being a bad arguer could be a Peacemaker, and even less possible that I'm an Enthusiast. But 4 seemed possible: I tend to think of myself as such a unique, Individualist person - so I read about that type more in depth. Maybe. While there I read about 5 again, and I thought, "Ah, I'm an Investigator. Gotta be."
    I'd be careful of the type titles, those are just shorthand
    I'd also be a bit careful of basing too much on a relationship that went badly, that is sooo complicated and involves a whole other person, and all the dynamics that involves.

    As I'm sure most of you have seen coming, when I went to try to figure out whether I was a 9 or a 5, I discovered that those are the most frequently confused types. What's more, intelligent male nines typically think of themselves as fives, though not nearly so much the other way around. I also read that while fives apply their investigation and analysis uniformly in life and tend to take a more deductive approach, I definitely apply that investigation to only certain temporary areas of interest. When I look at my annoyingly dogmatic stances that have caused such conflict rather than peace with my wife, I realize that those fit the nine's stereotypically unrealistic, idealistic, impractical fantasies. And a lot of my argumentation could be boiled down to trying to resolve conflict in too many cases paradoxically by denying the issue. I've always known that my "devil's advocate" penchant was about trying to get the other side to be appreciated not as ridiculous but defensible, in an attempt to build a bridge; a mantra of mine has been that it's harder to truly despite someone's opinions if they are honestly examined from that person's point of view. And the intent of my blog was always to be a voice in the middle between extremes that begged the two to come together, and it was the widening gap despite my valiant Blog Warrior attempts that ended up discouraging me enough to abandon the blog.

    So am I a 9?
    This sounds very Nine to me...and very self-aware

    I'm increasingly inclined to think so. It seems likely that I tested so high for a 5 because I thought of myself as a deep thinker, an analyst, not because I actually am one. I am fairly certain that my idyllic childhood is something I've been trying to recreate, and it would explain why I haven't dealt with conflicts very well. This in my home has ended up shattering my carefully constructed world from which I managed to alienate my wife despite my biggest sense of identity being that I was a family man. It also gives me some odd relief to think that I am not a failed intellectual or scholar because I was never an intellectual or scholar in the first place (but maybe that's just a 9 looking for a silver lining). I apply my intellect to simplifying things like a 9, not relishing the complexity of them like a 5 might do. I do tend to retreat into my "fantasy" world to avoid conflict, though I don't see it as fantasy at the time.
    Yes, Nine

    But here are my greatest doubts with this identification. Most pertain to my marriage - the most important relationship in my life and yet the one I've somehow bungled.

    - My deepest known fear seems more about being exposed as incompetent, like a 5, than it seems to be about separation. One of the biggest reasons I was so endlessly defensive to the point of fracture was that I couldn't stand for her to think of me as a failure. Of course, in the failure of my marriage I am more than willing to be seen as a colossal idiot if it would reconcile us, so maybe peace is the greater value after all.
    I see some competency-type influence, first time I read this I was thinking about 3...again I think it's too complicated a situation to draw type comments out of, 9 does have its integration line in 3 (and that's supposed to be the 'original wound')

    - My almost obsessive (but not quite) attention to detail has made me very self-conscious of how I appear to others. It also resulted in me giving my wife an endless hard time about such mindless things as biting her fingernails or being sleepy at 7pm. Long before that, as a teenager I gave my mom such a hard time about stupid ticks (e.g. the way she swallowed, pronounced certain words) that it hurt her in ways I am still regretful of but still guiltily conscious of. Maybe this has nothing to do with my Enneagram number, but it seems much more like a 5 than a 9, doesn't it?
    I think not type related

    - Nines are stereotypically upbeat and optimistic. I tend to plan for the worst and tend to be among the first to call attention to possible unfavorable outcomes (usually with some humor). But in reality, I've tended to downplay the worst options in my mind to the point of yet another breaking point in my marriage: I too often dismissed my wife's concerns as paranoia because I was so confident that nothing bad was going to actually happen (originally this was a point of attraction because I injected stability into her anxiety). But although I think I was one as a child, in my adulthood I'd never be accused of being a ray of sunshine.
    Not against Nine, which has a line to Six

    - My perception is that nines, while withdrawn, are still fairly social. More than I used to, I do now realize a real need for social connection although it isn't really easy for me, but still, everyone who knows me thinks of me as a loner and an introvert who is socially awkward, with practically zero personal magnetism. Is that like a 9?
    For introverted 9s, sure

    - My wife insists that I brought her down and made her feel judged in so many of our conversations, dismissing the validity of what she said, making her feel like she was shallow, stupid, etc. I have never thought of my wife as shallow, stupid, or any such thing, and never would have wanted her to think that about herself or that I thought that. But how could a so-called "Peacemaker/Mediator" type do this inadvertently? Shouldn't I have been mollifying her in our arguments, being a diplomat rather than someone she could mistake as spiteful?
    I don't know, it depends, some Nines can be unaware that they are letting negative feelings show...could be Sixish, but really it could be a personal thing just between the two of you, it could have all to do with her or any combination of elements.

    I'd lean Nine but I wouldn't exclude Five from what I've seen, could definitely see Six as an option as well.

    edit: disintegration in a 5 could create a lack of focus

    I'd maybe start with figuring out if you're a head type or a gut type: are you more concerned with security, expectations, or with boundaries? Fear or anger?
    Dogulas thanked this post.


     
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