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  1. #1
    brainheart
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    Default A 9 who thinks she's a 4w5

    I have a friend trying to convince me I'm a nine.

    Problem is, I don't relate to the nine description. If there is any type in the enneagram that leaves me stumped, it's the nine. But maybe that's because I'm a nine? I've heard people say that if you read a description of a type and it makes you feel a little ill, then that's probably what you are. That's definitely how I feel when I read the nine. It seems so wimpy and complacent and bland and lifeless and blah. (No offense to those who are nines- which is, crap, probably a totally nine thing to say.)

    I'm beginning to think that maybe I have this idealized vision of who I am vs the reality. In my fantasy world (9w1, anyone?), I am totally this creative, awesome, witty, emotionally vibrant, bad-ass 4w5/5w4. In my fantasy world, I am my favorite musicians, writers, directors, artists, book characters rolled into one great package. There they all are, in me, just waiting for the right moment to leap out into the world and act, really live their life.

    The reality- I've never really felt like I've finished anything that matters to me- partly because what I want is always changing, partly because it feels like life gets in the way, partly because the things that matter to me seem... hard. And I like things to be easy and just happen. When things get hard it's like my body and brain just shut down and I can't do anything. I just feel tired, like chronic fatigue syndrome tired. There's this song with the line, "I fall easy when things get harder." It could pretty much be my life anthem.

    I've been told that I'm hard to read, that I don't share.
    I've been told that I talk too much, that I'm too expressive.
    I've been told that I'm not a team player, that I'm too independent, that I just 'disappear'.
    I had a therapist ask me why I lose myself. I don't know how to answer that question- what does that question mean?
    I've been told I'm a total 4. I've been told that there is no way I'm a 4.
    I've been told that I'm calm, unemotional. Conversely, melodramatic, mean.
    A shapeshifter, a robot.
    Virginal, the opposite.
    ?
    Last edited by brainheart; 03-06-2011 at 01:55 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    If you still think you might be a 4, have you thought that maybe it's the 4 SO/SX? That's where I think I fall/seem to get test results often. If not that, I guess I could be 9 as well. I just have the same reservations about it.


    Social/Sexual

    This is overall the "lightest" type Four when it comes to social interaction. They are likely to utilize charm and humor. This type is more scattered and can be down right disorganized. They can drift through life always feeling like an outsider, yet they usually have friends. They can alternate from being the life of the party to withdrawing. Intimates will know of their insecurities and dark moody side while acquaintances will see a softer, friendlier side. This subtype’s energy is geared towards people, but they never feel as though they really fit in. They are often quite creative, talented people who have many interests, but they frequently lack the energy to actually accomplish what they would like. They can drift and withdraw very easily. When healthy and with the right support from friends (and perhaps a little push) they tap into their instinctual energy. When they do this, they begin to see how much they can accomplish. A positive connection to others helps them stay focused.

  3. #3
    brainheart
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    Just took this test. These are pretty typical results for me:


    Type 1 Perfectionism |||||||||| 35%
    Type 2 Helpfulness |||||||||||||| 51%
    Type 3 Image Focus |||||||||| 35%
    Type 4 Hypersensitivity |||||||||||||||||| 72%
    Type 5 Detachment |||||||||||||||||| 80%
    Type 6 Anxiety |||||||||||||||| 62%
    Type 7 Adventurousness |||||||||| 38%
    Type 8 Aggressiveness |||||||||| 31%
    Type 9 Calmness |||||||||||||||| 70%

    type score type behavior motivation
    5 56 I must be knowledgable and independent to be happy.
    4 51 I must be true to my emotions to be happy.
    9 49 I must maintian a peaceful and easygoing environment to be happy.
    6 44 I must be secure and safe to be happy.
    2 36 I must be helpful and caring to be happy.
    7 27 I must be high and entertained to be happy.
    1 25 I must be perfect and good to be happy.
    3 25 I must be impressive and attractive to be happy.
    8 22 I must be strong and in control to be happy.

    Your main type is Type 5
    Your variant is sp/so/sx

  4. #4
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    What do you think about the 5 SP/SO description? For some reason, I can see myself in some of it now.. But that's beside the point. Heh. Actually, that's partly why I don't pay attention to the Enneagram much. There's a lot of overlap with various types, I think. And then explanations for that are convoluted. Instinctuals, wings, tritypes, god knows what else.. It's clear that you're an introverted type though. =)

    Self-pres/Social

    In the average health range, this instinctual stacking is warm, friendly, and loyal. They need their down time and have no problem spending time alone. They actually value it very much. They feel an energy drain from people’s demands on them. This instinctual stacking is what is described in most Enneagram books. The most notable and potentially frustrating thing about people of this type is the difficulty involved in getting really close to them. While they can usually handle themselves socially, they always hold back when it comes to intensity or intimacy in a relationship which can frustrate a sexual variant type. Others are aware that there is more going on beneath the surface, but it can’t really be accessed. These Fives are masters at minimizing their needs. Even though they shy away from intense personal relationships they often have a lot of intuition about others. Their detached level of personal involvement somehow brings objectivity to their insights. They can be the most practical of the instinctual stackings.

    Their issues usually revolve around demands made on their time. This can become problematic in personal relationships. This subtype has an ideal vision of what a close or romantic relationship should be, but given their concerns for protecting their space and time and lacking the instinctual drive of a strong sexual instinct, energy just doesn’t flow in that direction. Because this subtype is good at minimizing their needs they can get along fine with few relationships or without a romantic partner. With the social instinct second in the stacking, they generally do find friends or colleagues and they may even be married, but the need to maintain their own time to pursue their interests is always a point of contention.

  5. #5
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brainheart View Post
    I have a friend trying to convince me I'm a nine. Problem is, I don't relate to the nine description. If there is any type in the enneagram that leaves me stumped, it's the nine. But maybe that's because I'm a nine? I've heard people say that if you read a description of a type and it makes you feel a little ill, then that's probably what you are.
    That's not a great way to determine one's type.

    (I mean, the description of Three, Six, and Eight can leave me ill too at times, and I'm none of those... and especially not all three at once.)

    That's definitely how I feel when I read the nine. It seems so wimpy and complacent and bland and lifeless and blah. (No offense to those who are nines- which is, crap, probably a totally nine thing to say.)
    You can be conciliatory/fair without being a Nine.

    I'm beginning to think that maybe I have this idealized vision of who I am vs the reality. In my fantasy world (9w1, anyone?), I am totally this creative, awesome, witty, emotionally vibrant, bad-ass 4w5/5w4. In my fantasy world, I am my favorite musicians, writers, directors, artists, book characters rolled into one great package. There they all are, in me, just waiting for the right moment to leap out into the world and act, really live their life.

    The reality- I've never really felt like I've finished anything that matters to me- partly because what I want is always changing, partly because it feels like life gets in the way, partly because the things that matter to me seem... hard. And I like things to be easy and just happen. When things get hard it's like my body and brain just shut down and I can't do anything. I just feel tired, like chronic fatigue syndrome tired. There's this song with the line, "I fall easy when things get harder." It could pretty much be my life anthem.

    I've been told that I'm hard to read, that I don't share.
    I've been told that I talk too much, that I'm too expressive.
    I've been told that I'm not a team player, that I'm too independent, that I just 'disappear'.
    I had a therapist ask me why I lose myself. I don't know how to answer that question- what does that question mean?
    I've been told I'm a total 4. I've been told that there is no way I'm a 4.
    I've been told that I'm calm, unemotional. Conversely, melodramatic, mean.
    A shapeshifter, a robot.
    Virginal, the opposite.
    actually, I can identify a lot with a chunk of this.

    Since I've been doing Enneagram type, starting 10+ years ago, I have always tested with three high scores, always in this order: Five, Four (within 2-3 points of the five), and then Nine (7-8 points below)... and then a huge gap before the rest start appearing.

    The 5w4 description always fit me very well... and at that time in my life, I was also very independent, isolated, driven, trying to complete projects, make something of my talents, create new things. The one things that is different with me is that, although withdrawing was my first strategy to deal with anxiety for much of my life, I eventually became far more of an engager and trying to work through things. I also have always been very diplomatic, and strongly *dislike* conflict.

    I am guess that typical 5w4 doesn't have as much motivation to fix conflict; it usually focuses on its own pursuits, then fades away when conflict occurs? But I really don't like conflict, I like balance, I want things stable and peaceful and people to still remain in connection with each other.

    it's really difficult, I think, to discern "natural type" in people who grow and stretch over the years. I stopped focusing on my artistic/intellectual pursuits so much because after years of that, I was unhappy and lonely. The art grew hollow, everything had been done before, and I felt like the relational side of my life was immensely lacking. While I like my space, I felt adrift from human community, and I wanted to have some secure relationships where I had access and could talk to people, and I wanted to be known. But once I started engaging, that is where the Nine tendencies gained much more power. The 5w4 avoidance pattern is not much good for relationships; the 9 diplomat/accommodation pattern is. I find that in relationships I'm secure in, I can handle more disagreement (although I still would rather feel closeness and 'being in sync' more often, I'm not one of those who constantly likes to debate things with an SO); in relationships and situations where things are more unstable or could become disruptive to my life, I prefer to figure out a way to broker peace / find some satisfactory arrangement for everyone.

    I hate constant friction... but then again, I grew up in a home life where, when people disagree with each other, they got really mad and often would not talk for long periods of time, cutting each other out of their lives. Conflict = "relational death." My dad stopped talking to his brothers for years on end (and I'm talking 5-10 years) over stupid matters.... and he hasn't even talked to me for two years because he's upset with me over something, despite my efforts to keep the door open. So non-peace was always a big deal, and I desired stability.

    Anyway, after seeing all of that in my life, I realize it's hard to tell what "core" is, or how much people with multiple strengths can slide between then, or how stable one particular type is throughout a lifetime, or whether the theory itself is flawed.

    I'm telling you more this, not to solve your problem (because I don't know enough to give you better advice), but just to give you some options for how to frame it... and it's okay to possess strong traits from multiple archetypes. The 4/5/9 lead triad is not uncommon, actually, because some traits are shared among them. INTP typically will test as 5, 5w4, 5w6 (those with a more Te perspective), and 9.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  6. #6
    brainheart
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    In contrast, Jennifer, I got married young, had kids young. Having a stable, pleasant, romantic relationship/ happy family is very much a priority for me.

    Things went fine, zero to few arguments until I 'lost my shit' and blamed my husband for all the ills in my life. I went after another man (ex hs boyfriend) who I over-idealized to the extreme, that fell through, felt like I was going to die after all that abandonment, worked things out with my husband, our relationship is good/ happy. But I still have the issue with doing anything 'real' for me. I worked on a novel for years then stopped when I realized I hated it. Was I just writing because everyone told me I was a good writer? (I still don't know.) Now I waste my time on the internet/ reading books about the enneagram. I've started going back to school to get a masters in art therapy, but I'm not really sure I even really want to do it. Ideally, if I could pick whatever I want to do in life, I would be a set designer/building sets/puppeteer in stop motion animation or be working with rehabilitating wildlife/converting developed areas back into wilderness.

    I am the youngest of six kids. Everyone in my family had far more assertive personalities than me. I didn't want to add to the mix. I could never understand how freaked out everyone got. I was NOT picky. Loved all food. Happily entertained myself. Loved being alone. My mom has always talked about how easy I was. The most low-maintenance child ever. I'd fall asleep with a light shining directly in my face. Everyone could be screaming and I'd just be on the couch reading a book. I am profoundly good at tuning people out.

    But I had a hard time making friends, maintaining friends. I was very much a loner. Other kids didn't like me so much. I was too smart and completely disinterested in 'cool' stuff. I had my own tastes, interests. Very much lived in my books, have always loved animals, being in nature. I feel safe by myself in the woods. At peace. In nature I feel like 'me'. Around people I feel alone. Another song lyric I really relate to- "And I miss you when you're around. I'm never lonesome when I'm by myself."

  7. #7
    brainheart
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    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    What do you think about the 5 SP/SO description? For some reason, I can see myself in some of it now.. But that's beside the point. Heh. Actually, that's partly why I don't pay attention to the Enneagram much. There's a lot of overlap with various types, I think. And then explanations for that are convoluted. Instinctuals, wings, tritypes, god knows what else.. It's clear that you're an introverted type though. =)
    I've thought of myself both as a 4w5 so/sx and the 5w4 sp/so makes sense, too. Yes, it's confusing, but I'm looking for the self-improvement here. I want to grow, heal myself, dammit.

  8. #8
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Does this friend of yours know as much about the Enneagram as you? Why did they say 9?

    I'll only mention one other 4 description. SP/SX (Just food for thought)

    Self/Sexual

    This subtype also cares very much about their surroundings and their possessions. They feel as if these things help to express who they are. There is more of a passionate sense about them as compared to the self/soc. They have more of a sensual relationship with their environment. These Fours are much more tortured by their difficulty with respect to maintaining close relationships. The self-preservational instinct tends to be in conflict with the sexual instinct, causing this subtype to habitually analyze their relationships to the point where they find it difficult to be present to them. When unhealthy, these Fours can become very disdainful of the social environment. They also start to envy the ease with which others seem to form relationships and maintain friendships. When Fours of this subtype are healthy, they find that they can form relationships without feeling as though they are sacrificing authenticity. They no longer feel that they have to automatically define themselves as "different from others," as outside the group. They are able to see the ways in which their emotionality might cloud their better judgment and to use that insight to establish equilibrium.

  9. #9
    brainheart
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    yes, she knows plenty about the enneagram. (And she knows me in real life!) I've considered sp/sx, too. I see myself in all of 'em, believe you me.

    I def have the 549 thing going on. But which is dominant? Ah, there's the question!


    5s oftentimes seem too jerky to me.
    4s oft seem too dramatic and melancholic.
    9s too indecisive and placid.

    What do I strike people as? Hmmm.

  10. #10
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brainheart View Post
    5s oftentimes seem too jerky to me.
    4s oft seem too dramatic and melancholic.
    9s too indecisive and placid..
    Hah.. when you put it that way, they're all kind of distasteful, aren't they? I don't know what it adds up to. From what I can tell, you seem more 5 or 4. I don't think 9's are wimpy, but kind of play down and simplify issues. More optimistic like 7s. We can all have this compulsion, but is it the dominant pattern? Since we're talking about growing and getting healthier, it doesn't sound like something you need to work on at least.

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