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View Poll Results: What is Jade Curtiss' Enneagram Type?

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Jade Curtiss's Avatar
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    Default 5 vs 9: What am I?

    Alright, I've known about the various enneagram theories for a couple years now and have done quite a bit of research and test-taking; I've always been confident of being a 5w4 (in fact in when I first started researching I was torn between 4w5 or 5w4 and didn't even consider 9 as a possibility) but recently I've begun having doubts about my type, especially after reading this enlightening post, which I believe was originally written by Magic Porifen. I identify strongly with the bolded while the slashed areas do not fit me at all.

    Misidentifying Fives and Nines

    A detailed comparison and contrast between Fives and Nines is warranted because so many Nines mistakenly think that they are Fives; typically, the misidentification almost never happens the other way around. Particularly if they are well educated and intelligent, average male Nines tend to think that they are Fives. (As noted in the discussion of Twos, average female Nines tend to think that they are Twos.)

    Of all the personality types, Nines have the most difficulty identifying which type they are because their sense of self is undefined. Average Nines have little sense of who they are apart from those they have identified with; hence, they are usually at a loss to know where to begin to find their type. (As we have seen, either they think they are Fives or Twos or they see a little of themselves in all the types and make no further effort at identifying themselves. If they have no guidance, Nines in this predicament usually shrug their shoulders and give up on the Enneagram and more important, on acquiring self-knowledge.)

    Even relatively healthy Nines still have a somewhat diffused sense of self because it is based on their capacity to be receptive to others—and to be unself-conscious. Moreover, average Nines have problems identifying their type because doing so arouses anxiety, something completely anathema to them. Whatever disturbs their peace of mind is ignored or met with a blind eye. They avoid introspection in favor of entertaining comforting notions about themselves, whatever they may be. Maintaining an undefined understanding of themselves, and thus, maintaining their emotional comfort, is more important to average Nines than acquiring deeper insights.

    None of this is true of Fives, and the two types are opposites in many ways. Nines are gentle, easygoing, patient, receptive, and accommodating, whereas Fives are intense, strong-minded, argumentative, contentious, and highly resistant to the influence of others. Nines like people and trust them; perhaps at times they are too trusting. By contrast, average Fives are suspicious of people and are anything but trusting, perhaps at times too cynical and resistant. Both types are among the three withdrawn types of the Enneagram, and (as we have seen with Fours and Nines), there are genuine similarities between them, although only superficial ones (PT, 433-36).

    Despite their similarities, the main point of confusion for Nines arises around the notion of "thinking." Nines think they are Fives because they think they have profound ideas: therefore, they must be Fives.

    Part of the problem stems from the fact that individuals of both types can be highly intelligent, although as a group Fives are probably the most intelligent of the nine personality types. (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.) Although intelligence can be manifested in different ways, being intelligent does not make Nines intellectuals, just as thinking does not make them thinkers. As we have seen, the pattern as a whole (and the motivations) must be taken into consideration, not one or two traits in isolation. Since all the types think in one way or another, thinking alone, with no further distinction, is not a sufficient basis for a personality diagnosis.

    The fundamental difference between the thinking of Nines and that of Fives is that Nines are impressionistic, involved with generalities, imaginative ruminations, and fanciful situations. Nines typically do not concern themselves with details, nor are they usually good at following up once they have acted. By contrast, the thinking of Fives is highly focused, penetrating, and almost microscopic in the narrowness of its frame of reference. Fives love details, losing themselves in research, scholarship, and complex intellectual pursuits. They think in depth, concentrating so much that they block out other perceptions (eventually to their detriment). By contrast, even brilliant Nines tend to have problems concentrating; they also tend to lose interest quickly and to allow their attention to drift off when they become bored or anxious.

    Nines tend to spin grand, sweeping, idealistic solutions to problems, while Fives tend to speculate on problems, then on the problems that their problems have raised, then on those problems, ad infinitum. Nines may be gifted storytellers, able to communicate simply and effectively to others, even to children. Fives usually communicate to only a few or keep their ideas entirely to themselves. (Moreover, their ideas may be so complicated that they are difficult to communicate to all but other specialists.) Nines usually do not consider the consequences of their actions; Fives are extremely interested in predicting the consequences of every action. Nines idealize the world and create imaginary worlds in which good always triumphs over evil; Fives analyze the real world and create horrifying scenarios in which evil usually triumphs over good or exists in tension with it. Nines simplify; Fives complexify. Nines look to the past; Fives to the future. Nines are fantasists; Fives are theorists. Nines are disengaged; Fives are detached. Nines are utopians; Fives are nihilists. Nines are optimists; Fives are pessimists. Nines are open; Fives are resistant. Nines are non-threatening and nonjudgmental; Fives are defensive and contentious. Nines are at peace; Fives are in tension. Nines end in dissociation; Fives in paranoia.

    Comparisons and contrasts such as these could be multiplied almost indefinitely because, while these two types are such opposites, they are also paradoxically similar. What they have in common is the tendency to ask "What if?" questions. The difference is in their response: Nines tend to ruminate on their fantasies, while Fives attempt to see if their ideas could come true. The Nine's ideas usually involve a single insight that, while true enough, is often impractical and goes nowhere. For instance, a Nine may think that the way to world peace is "for everyone to love one another." While this is doubtlessly true, the problem not addressed is how to get everyone to love one another. A Five wondering about the same problem would write a treatise on world peace after doing exhaustive historical research, eventually erecting a grand theory of peace. (The Five's ideas may also come to nothing, but at least they are pursued, and practical results may eventually come of them.) To give another example, a Nine might wonder what it is like to fly and make up a story about it. A Five might wonder how to fly and invent an airplane or do research on birds or design a rocket.

    In short, Nines have an active fantasy life and think that they have deep thoughts. Sometimes they do, of course, although the thinking of intelligent, well-educated Nines tends to be in the direction of simplifying reality and cutting through abstruse thickets to get at the kernel of truth beneath. Nines tend to see things the way they want them to be; they reinterpret reality to make it more comforting and less threatening, simpler and less daunting. By contrast, the thinking of Fives is complex. By attempting to arrive at a grand unifying theory that encompasses and explains everything, average Fives end up involved in increasing complications and abstractions. Their thought is focused on specifics, often highly technical and concerned with foresight and the consequences of acting one way rather than another. But at an extreme, Fives risk seeing reality not as it is but as a projection of their preoccupations and fears. They distort their perceptions of reality so that reality seems more negative and threatening than it actually is.

    Nines feel at ease in the world, and their style of thinking reflects their unconscious desire to merge with the world. Fives are afraid of being overwhelmed by the world, and their intellectual efforts are an unconscious defense against the world, an attempt to master it intellectually. There is a world of difference between these two types since they see the world so differently. Compare Charles Darwin (a Five) and Walt Disney (a Nine), Albert Einstein (a Five) and Jim Henson (a Nine) to understand the similarities and differences between these two types more clearly.
    As you can see, I relate to both of the types in many respects. As for my tritype, I'm confident that it is either 5w4-9w1(or 8?)-4w5 or 9w1-5w4-4w5. So I suppose another way of determining my core type would be whether I relate more strongly to the head triad or gut triad themes in general, but I'm not exactly sure whether I'm more motivated by fear and anxiety or anger. In Magic and Evan's enneagram system I would be a 5-4-9 IPS (all avoiding). My instinctual variants, or stackings, are sp/sx, or possibly sx/sp. Some insight on the differences between these two social last stackings as they are expressed in 5 and 9 in particular would also be appreciated.

    I identify very strongly with both of these types, and apparently 5 vs 9 is a common dilemmna for INTPs. I never thought it would happen to me, but alas. I think many INTPs feel that they *should* be 5s and may look upon 9s as being too common and simplistic, leading to many mistypes. I've read in several places that 4s and 5s are the rarest of all types, extremely so, and that 9s are among the most common (along with 6s) and frequently mistype as others. I relate to the 5 desire to isolate, seperate, and protect oneself from the outside world and to continually acquire knowledge, to hoard one's time and energy, and the intense resistance to the influence of others or invading external forces. The common description of 9s having trouble saying "no" is completely foreign to me, as is their general good-naturedness around people and tendency to gloss over conflicts. If their is a conflict (unless it is an interpersonal confict, in that case I would be more likely to ignore it), then I want to identify it and it's causes, then eliminate it. However, I do relate to the laid-back, disengaged "arbiter" descriptions of type 9. I am a god of procrastination, calm and highly persistent/stubborn, and identify more with the 9 basic desire of (internal) peace than the 5's desire for competency, as well as the vice of sloth rather than avarice. However the 5's basic fear of being overwhelmed by the outside world fits me much better than the 9's fear.

    There also seems to be some inaccuracies with the type descriptions seeming to correlate with certain instinctual variant preferences. For example most 5 descriptions seem to be of a self-preservational first type (which I believe I am as well, potentially causing me to identify with general 5 descriptions more strongly than I otherwise would) while most 9 descriptions seem to be of a sexual last variant (which I know I am not). Even more perplexing, based on the descriptions: how could there be, for example, a: social last 2 or 3? sx last 4? sp last 5 or 6? These would seem to be contradictory.

    I know I probably haven't posted here enough yet for people to get a sense for my type that way; I may try posting some videos later. Feel free to suggest any other of the types, but I'm 95% sure my main type is 5 or 9. 1 and 4 are the only other two types that remotely fit. So, for all the enneagram experts out there, what are the most crucial differences between 5 and 9, what simple questions could I ask myself that would point to one or the other, and what type do you think I am? Thanks to anyone who bothers to read this.
    The mind shows only what is near the heart - Elder Edda

    Ti>Fi>Ne>>>Si>Te>Se>Ni>>>Fe - LII - 5w4 sp/sx 5w4-4w5-1w9
    |R|cUeI - Phlegmatic/Melancholic - Mystic - Neutral Good

  2. #2
    Senior Member VagrantFarce's Avatar
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    Default

    I don't think what you highlighted helps to point toward a distinct type - to me it's all about the core temptations:

    Fives are tempted to hide away from the world, to minimize participation and withdraw their "footprint". This can lead them to be overly defensive and coldly arrogant if people try to goad them into something they don't want to be part of. "This is a waste of my time", "It's just not worth the effort", "no one's going to force me", "I'll hide and they'll never find me". At their worst, they become so afraid of connecting with the world (emotionally or otherwise) that they isolate themselves entierely.

    This does not stop Fives from being warm-hearted, open people when they want to be - it's that tempting need to not participate, to be dismissive and aloof, to detach from life and leave it behind, that makes them distinct.

    Nines don't hide, they numb it all out - where Fives are tempted to shut out the world, Nines are tempted to let it flow right over (and under, and through) them. They're tempted to be so "at peace" with things that they lose sight of their own needs. "I have no problem with that", "I'll do whatever you want to do", "I don't want to rock the boat". At their worst, they become completely numb to life, resigned to no longer being in the driving seat.

    This does not stop Nines from being pushy or aggressive when they want to be - it's that tempting need to "float downstream", rather than swim against the current, that makes them distinct.


    Hope that helps.
    Hello

  3. #3
    Senior Member Jade Curtiss's Avatar
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    Yes, very helpful, thanks. Going by your descriptions I am a very obvious five. In fact the nine description repulses me. I think I just needed to get back to the basic motivations that drew me to five in the first place rather than concerning myself with other's opinions and experience on mistypings, such as in this thread from PerC. http://personalitycafe.com/enneagram...ereotypes.html After reading such things I suppose I felt a need to reaffirm my type.
    The mind shows only what is near the heart - Elder Edda

    Ti>Fi>Ne>>>Si>Te>Se>Ni>>>Fe - LII - 5w4 sp/sx 5w4-4w5-1w9
    |R|cUeI - Phlegmatic/Melancholic - Mystic - Neutral Good

  4. #4
    Whisky Old & Women Young Speed Gavroche's Avatar
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    5s and 9s both believe that they can controll by withdrawing. But 5s withdraw for optimisation and are focused on their priorities, while 9s withdraw but still unable to take decision and then diffuse their awareness into the superficial and the agenda of others. 5s stores their energy, 9s waste their energy.
    EsTP 6w7 Sx/Sp

    Chaotic Neutral

    E=60% S=55% T=70% P=80%

    "I don't believe in guilt, I only believe in living on impulses"

    "Stereotypes about personality and gender turn out to be fairly accurate: ... On the binary Myers-Briggs measure, the thinking-feeling breakdown is about 30/70 for women versus 60/40 for men." ~ Bryan Caplan

  5. #5
    Glycerine
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    I highly disliked the tone and bias of that passage. . You sound more like a five though.

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