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  1. #1
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Default stress & security points

    Pulled from "I Don't Buy the Enneagram Wings Theory" thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by Speed Gavroche View Post
    The idea wick explain wings is that we can integrate and disintegrate toward both directions like it is explained here: fineenn9styls1.html (read the "fine distinctions" stuff). An healthy 5, for example, can experiment healthy connection to 8 and 7.

    I’ve seen this theory stated before, at the Tom Condon site.


    Quote Originally Posted by from Condon's page
    In book after book, the stress point is portrayed as an unhealthy connection while the security point is deemed the general path to psychological health. The security point is called the direction of growth, integration, redemption, while the stress point is called the direction of decline, disintegration, breakdown, etc. The two points are presented as directions to cultivate or avoid when working on the dilemmas of your core Enneagram style.

    I respect the writers who propose this theory but reality has proven far more complicated. Sixes - and all the other styles - have connections to both the high and low sides of their stress and security points.

    For example, the stress point for a Six is Three, so the theory would say that when Sixes are unhealthy they descend to the low side of this connection and begin acting like unhealthy Threes, becoming, say, image-conscious, deceitful and competitive. Meanwhile, a healthy Six would exhibit the high side of the Nine style - the patient, faithful trusting of self and others.

    Sixes may well become faithful and trusting as they grow, but the low side of Nine is complacent denial and procrastination, and Sixes easily slip into this mentality when unhealthy - it’s an escape chute from chronic anxiety. This can even set up the next episode of panic; the Six lies around feeling safe and neglecting their world until some potential disaster begins to loom. Then when danger seems imminent, they wake up and display unhealthy Three behavior, hyper exerting to ward off danger while perhaps wearing a mask to cover their fear. The low sides of Three and Nine thus reinforce each other in a kind of unhealthy loop.

    If cultivated, your stress point is actually a resource. For a Six, the connection to Three has something of real value - the capacity to take effective action. A Six has a basic knot in her will, a conflict about her own ability to claim independent power. It doesn’t matter how faithful and trusting she feels; she still has to do something. In a general sense, she has to take responsibility for her own personal power and actions without hiding under the umbrella of some imaginary authority. Integrating the power of action (Three) gives the faith and trust (Nine) a realistic basis in the world. The high sides of the security and stress points thus tend to support one another in a kind of upward spiral.

    The same has proven true for the other styles. Ones generally recognize the pitfall in their connection to Four (self-pity) but say that they appreciate the fact that their Fourish streak helps them enter the realms of feeling and aesthetics. The high side of a One’s connection to Seven (playfulness) is offset by an unhealthy tendency towards escapism (what are called “trapdoor Ones,” people who lead double lives).

    Eights have trouble with the low side of Five (morbid withdrawal) but say that the Fiveish capacity to detach and get perspective on their actions is truly helpful. Eights learn from the healthy side of Two (compassionate identification with others) but say that the low side of Two (demanding self-entitlement) reinforces the aggressive narcissism at the core of the Eight style.

    When people are unhealthy or under stress, they manifest the neurotic behavior and defenses of both their stress and security points in a kind of cycle. These become elements of being stuck or caught in a downward spiral and they tend to reinforce one another.

    The same is true when you are healthy or relaxed within your being. The positive qualities of both your stress and security points will be evident in your behavior and will contribute to a kind of upward spiral.
    It resonates with me far more than adhering to the idea that one is strictly about integration and the other about disintegration. In fact, until I found this Tom Condon page a few months back, I had a hard time understanding how my supposed integration point (which for my e5 self is e8) was really a feasible goal for me; it seemed too daunting until incorporated with the ‘high side’ of e7 (playfulness/joyfulness) as means to support it (and to steer me away from merely moving toward the ‘low side’ of e8).


    Quote Originally Posted by from site listed in Speed G's comment
    Five's Connection to 7
    The healthy side of this connection brings enhanced imagination and some social skills to a Five. It may spur them to seek adventure, whether intellectual, physical or social. Can have a positive outlook, be less self-conscious. A curiosity that helps them explore the world. May be quite funny, and display an engaging playful enthusiasm. Cheerful interest in things, stay mentally alive in old age. Capacity to savor the moment, yea-saying. Sometimes have a streak of generosity.

    Unhealthy connection related to the way Fives can go abstract and schizoid. Social undependability and increased difficulty with commitment. May elusively jump around in their thoughts, scatter their attention into empty interests. Tendencies toward living in the future, greed and dilettantism. Use humor to disassociate or trivialize. Action taken sporadically and for strange reasons. React from different subpersonalities, lose their center. Play mind games for diversion, trying not to feel. Weird phobias and issues about appetite possible.

    Five's Connection to 8
    Healthy connection helps Fives access raw instinctual energy and aggression. They take charge of situations that would otherwise overwhelm them. Lusty, pushy core of Eightishness helpful to withdrawn people. Brings sexuality and physicality, moral and social courage. They state their needs, initiate contact, get things done. Helps Fives translate knowledge into action. They take risks, become initiators instead of observers.

    Low side of this connection reinforces antisocial hostility. Fives can get nasty, punitive and severe with others. Unhealthy Eightish tendencies toward sneering and ridicule may come into play and support a standoffish, go-to-hell attitude. Aggression in the service of maintaining distance. Protecting what little they have. Cold, disassociated behind-the-scenes control. Bursts of nastiness. Can also turn Eightness against themselves. Criticize, yell at and persecute themselves. Leads to stricken self-consciousness and paranoia.
    For whatever reason- be it enneatype related or not (Condon's page leads me to think it is enneatype related), I have a difficult time envisioning the positive qualities in myself of e8 alone- I need the positive qualities of e7 as a sort of springboard to make movement towards e8 seem doable. Otherwise the distinction between the high side and low side of e8 becomes blurry: it just all starts to look like the selfish and negative movement of aggressively imposing my will upon others.

    So just out of curiousity, does anyone else similarly see this as a much more effective way to approach stress & security points? Any other e5s out there relate to what I'm saying? Also: how does that "upward spiral" play out for other types?

    Or does anyone find the more common unidirectional approach more effective?
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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  2. #2
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post

    For whatever reason- be it enneatype related or not (Condon's page leads me to think it is enneatype related), I have a difficult time envisioning the positive qualities in myself of e8 alone- I need the positive qualities of e7 as a sort of springboard to make movement towards e8 seem doable. Otherwise the distinction between the high side and low side of e8 becomes blurry: it just all starts to look like the selfish and negative movement of aggressively imposing my will upon others.

    So just out of curiousity, does anyone else similarly see this as a much more effective way to approach stress & security points? Any other e5s out there relate to what I'm saying? Also: how does that "upward spiral" play out for other types?

    Or does anyone find the more common unidirectional approach more effective?
    Hmm... I think I'd have to mull over this a bit more to give a better answer, but initial thought after reading both blurbs of 5's connection to 7 and 8, I find myself resonating with both - in different contexts/situations of my life.

    For example, the 7 I think comes into play in a lot of my free time activities & pleasures (love of travel, experiencing things, curiosity...), and I can be quite playful and silly at times and enjoy adding humorous commentary... and when I am able to incorporate those elements, I feel overall much more satisfied with myself and my life, and honestly, much healthier. But, I think in my particular case (well yours too, as an infj), the line kinda gets blurred on whether this isn't more Se than 7. But, I suppose all of these theories blend together in one way or another, haha, and in the end it's just one of many ways to explain things, right?

    The 8 I think comes into play quite often on the job, and it's why I think I tend to be successful in that context. I very much get down to business and can be extremely confident, initiating, and much more take-charge, speaking my opinions and bringing issues to attention. Somewhat fearless about it, and definitely lose the self-consciousness that I often have in my personal life. It's sort of odd now that I think about it. But, there you have it: I'm much more initiating and go into uber-efficiency and get-things-done mode. Also, in personal life, whenever I resolve to do something or have made a decision, I become pretty proactive about making that happen.

    So: For myself, I am not certain I see the necessity of having 7 as a 'springboard' -- I see it more situationally, and don't see the e8 traits as needing the 7 to be utilized in a 'healthy'/positive way. ??
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  3. #3
    Whisky Old & Women Young Speed Gavroche's Avatar
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    Thanks for the Tom condon link. It's very interesting.

    Actually, the classic notion of the 5 who integrates in 8 and disintegrate in 7, of the 2 who disintegrate in 8 and integrate in 4, etc, still true, but we can actually integrate and disintegrate in both directions, and the wing accentuates leaning to disintegrate or integrate in one specific directions. But we have to put in in perspective with the subtypes, because a 6w7, for example, disintegrate more in 9 under stress, but if he's a Sexual 6w7, he has also a strong connection to 3, in stress or not, and the classic notion about his base type -the 6- where he disintegrate in 3 and integrate in 9, still true.

    As for the 5w4, the 4 wing bring higher fantasy eccentricity and creativity when the 5 is healthy. While he bring negative aspect of 8s. While a 5w6 disintegrate more in 7, because his base type and his wing are mental, so he use more his mental centre under stress, they feel dependent and the need to be accepted, because of the wing 6. But when healthy, the 6 wing bring courage and efficiency and practicality in the external world.

    I think that theory is true, it light us well about the functional dynamics of wings and base type.
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