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  1. #1
    Senior Member Silveresque's Avatar
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    Default Does everyone really have a type?

    This is not intended to be another type me thread (I've already made way too many of those). The purpose of this thread is to discuss some issues I have (that others may have as well) with the enneagram--specifically, the assumption that everyone has exactly one main type.

    I keep going in circles. I've researched and researched and analyzed this to death--and I've come to the conclusion that none of the types fit me well enough to be my main type. I'm not 4 enough to be a 4, I'm not 5 enough to be a 5, I'm not 6 enough to be a 6, I'm not 9 enough to be a 9, and I'm certainly not any other type. I've tried on all these types and the feeling I get is that I'm almost, but not quite any of them.

    I know, everyone is supposed to have a type, or at least a best fit. But shouldn't there be certain criteria that you have to meet for being a certain type? I mean, for a type to be your type, shouldn't it at least fit you to a certain degree? Otherwise you could end up with people choosing a type for lack of fitting into any other type, while they don't actually relate to that type as well as others of that type, or possibly even others who are not that type.

    Here's an example that demonstrates the problem I have with this. Let's say person A (type 6) is an 80% match for type 4 and a 90% match for type 6, while person B (type 4) is a 70% match for type 4. That would mean that person A is more of a 4 than person B, yet person A is not a 4 and person B is.

    So perhaps people should be allowed to have more than one type, or no type at all if none describe them adequately. But the problem is, there are no qualifications for being a certain type, it just has to fit you better than all the others. In other words, even if a type is the best fit, it doesn't guarantee that it will describe you very well. And if there's a two-way or even a three-way tie between types, what then? I could be any of the types in my tritype, but I can't say that any of them fit me any better than the other two. Furthermore, I've tried on all those types and in each case found that I don't relate to that type as well as others of that type.

    And supposedly your type is not about the characteristics, but the underlying motivations. If that's so, there's even less of a likelihood that one of the 9 types will fit you. The probability that one of those 9 sets of motivations will fit should be less than the probability that one type will contain characteristics that a person can relate to. I just don't see 9 sets of motivations as covering all the ground. Who's to say that everyone will be able to relate to at least one of those? And if you allow a broader interpretation of these motivations so that more people can relate, then you could end up too broad. Should I type myself as a 2 because I want to be loved? Doesn't every single human being on some level want to be loved?

    Like I said before, there should be certain criteria you're required to meet for being a type (e.g. you have to relate to this, this, this, and that, at minimum, in order to be this type). There are descriptions, but like every description, not everyone is going to relate to everything--the chances of that are pretty low. But there should at least be something that everyone of a certain type should relate to. The problem is, that hasn't been defined because it's assumed that everyone has a type, therefore in order to be a type, you only have to relate to it more than any other type.

    So does everyone really have a type? Does nobody have more than one type? If not, then is the enneagram incomplete, and what can we do to deal with these issues?

  2. #2
    Senior Member VagrantFarce's Avatar
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    Here's the thing with enneagram literature: most of what you read in a personality description is going to be someone's attempt to describe an inner state of being with surface characteristics, in an effort to bridge the gap. The actual types, the fixations and assumptions that define them, are tough to pin down on their own in a way that's actually relatable.

    And when people talk about motivations & fixations, they're not talking about the conscious decisions you make - they're talking about the assumptions and decisions you make every moment of your life (about yourself, about others, about the world around you) that you simply take for granted, without even realising it. It's quite a shift in perspective to realise this about yourself. This is precisely why it can be hard to identify your own type - some people just aren't aware enough of themselves to notice what they're doing.

    Anyway, it's up to you what to think - don't kill yourself over this if it isn't doing you any good.
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  3. #3
    Let me count the ways Betty Blue's Avatar
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    Regarding enneagram...you need to talk with zang, he has 13 types..(unless there are any new types to his theory)

    Other than that i'd just say i don't fit so much myself but not many will given the quanitity of individuals squeezing themselves into 9 types.
    "We knew he was someone who had a tragic flaw, that's where his greatness came from"

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    No one has a 'type' becuase types don't exist. All typology systems are but artifical constructs that bring forth arbitrary boxes of personality, behavior, and thought processes. People only think types are objective due to a casual observation of human behavior that at times seems to embody a patter (X person acts like Y, A person acts like B), however there is no actual scientific evidence to fully support this theory. In truth, people are often far too uniqe to be perfectly categorized into neat little boxes; rather we usually identify with the type that possesses the most similar traits concerning us. Enneagram is a major culprit in this matter; it assumes that we are driven by only one fear, ego motivations, and subsequently personlity and outlook of life. But that simply isn't true; it's rather self evident that many people possess several fears and motivations in life, and any average person will be at least two or three types of the enneagram (this is why the tri-type theory is superior, yet like any tpe system is still inherently flawed). I myself feel as though I possess traits of 4, 6, and 1, and at times even 5, 2, and 9; hell that thread about the 9 types within all of us could count as evidence against the validity of enneagram as well.

    Socionics and JCF are at least somewhat more accurate from what I have learned of them, but they both tend to be too rigid in their function order, often not accounting for a preference for opposite traits of behavior; although socionics actually does alter this problem with subtypes, and at the very least strives to design an ouput system that measures how certain personalities work well with others. It also has some scientific basis I think, and thus is far more trustworthy and possesses greater potential.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Savage Idealist View Post
    No one has a 'type' becuase types don't exist. All typology systems are but artifical constructs that bring forth arbitrary boxes of personality, behavior, and thought processes.
    Oh man, thank you for saying this.


    Some of these systems fare much better at describing certain people than others, both due to general weaknesses/strengths of the systems and due to where an individual happens to fall. An individual might happen to have a bunch of traits that match up with an Enneagram type but be stuck on aligning well with a Socionics type, or vice versa. It's sort of like those 'perfect prediction scams,' (negative connotations and intentions aside); certain predictions work for some and not others.

    Recognizing this, my sig roughly lists my types in various systems in the order that I think they fit me best; SLOAN would be nearer the top, but nobody cares about it, so...


    In theory, the theory assigns everyone a type. It's comfortably circular!

  6. #6
    Whisky Old & Women Young Speed Gavroche's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Savage Idealist View Post
    however there is no actual scientific evidence to fully support this theory.
    There's evidence.

    Elewhere, you seem unable so far to bring actual scientific evidence which invalid the "theory".

    As long as you don't bring that sort of evidence, your whole post is bullshit.

    In truth, people are often far too uniqe to be perfectly categorized into neat little boxes
    The enneagram has never been supposed to categorise the whole self of people perfectly but to identify an acquired style of personality and habitual focus of attention based on an inner pattern and a set of basic propositions.

    rather we usually identify with the type that possesses the most similar traits concerning us.
    It's more or less what the enneagram says, you actually agree with but you don't realize it.


    it assumes that we are driven by only one fear, ego motivations, and subsequently personlity and outlook of life.
    It rather only said thant when people become stuck in their egotic working, they become stuck in the transe of their type and become unable to see things in a different way. It's also said that when we leave that transe we are connected to a virtue and an holy idea. Enneagram is consistent in that way with a large part of modern psychology and spiritual currents. No wonder if the origins of ennagram are ssociated with various geographical area, that just show that far to be invalidated by experience, the basic proposition of the Enneagram tend to be a global consensus.

    But that simply isn't true; it's rather self evident that many people possess several fears and motivations in life
    The enneagram never said that people could'nt have several fears and motivation, just that a bad influence of ego ca stuck un in one specific transe and point of view. It also says that when we put that aquired ersonality at distance, we can be connected to every sort of point of view and motivations.

    and any average person will be at least two or three types of the enneagram
    The enneagram says too that we can identify and have traits of every enneatype, but we can be stuck in one specific dillema.


    It also has some scientific basis I think, and thus is far more trustworthy and possesses greater potential.
    MBTI and JCF are based and categorization, wich you blamed to enneagram.

    As a whole, your "critic" of enenagram are just an alignement of common places base on an awkward understanding of the model.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bologna View Post
    Oh man, thank you for saying this.


    Some of these systems fare much better at describing certain people than others, both due to general weaknesses/strengths of the systems and due to where an individual happens to fall. An individual might happen to have a bunch of traits that match up with an Enneagram type but be stuck on aligning well with a Socionics type, or vice versa. It's sort of like those 'perfect prediction scams,' (negative connotations and intentions aside); certain predictions work for some and not others.

    Recognizing this, my sig roughly lists my types in various systems in the order that I think they fit me best; SLOAN would be nearer the top, but nobody cares about it, so...


    In theory, the theory assigns everyone a type. It's comfortably circular!
    You're welcome. Indeed it seems that certain systems prove difficult for certain people, which of course is expected of every system because no one person can be generalized perfectly by nine or 16 types. In addition, it seems a tad ironic how people seek typology to find and understand themselves, and yet, one really has to know themselves well in advance before they can accurately type themselves in the first place.

    Quote Originally Posted by Speed Gavroche View Post
    There's evidence.

    Elewhere, you seem unable so far to bring actual scientific evidence which invalid the "theory".

    As long as you don't bring that sort of evidence, your whole post is bullshit.
    It's not my duty to show evidence against typology; you're the one trying to support the existence of the system as a real truth, therefore the burden of proof is your job. People don't go around trying to bring forth arguments about why certain things don't exist, rather we establish that something doesn't exist until we can accurately test it, and subsequently replicate that process in order to gain reliable proof of it; that's how science works. I'm an empiricist and materialist; I don't beleive something to be true unless there is hard core sensory data to prove it, and it must be in relation to a physical thing-in-itself. Enneagram (and to an extent all typology systems) don't meet either criteria, often they lack any actual scientific studies and there's no known relation between different types and a physical relation in the brain (although that could be more of a criticism concerning cognitive functions).

    So why don't you provide some links? Show me some data that backs up the enneagram theory, post documents detailing real life experiments that supports enneagram research, etc. Until you do so, I have absolutely no reason for beliving anything about enneagram in the slightest and I'm perfectly justifies in doing so. Again, you have to prove that enneagram does exist, not the other way around.

    The enneagram has never been supposed to categorise the whole self of people perfectly but to identify an acquired style of personality and habitual focus of attention based on an inner pattern and a set of basic propositions.
    Fair enough. But in that case, why couldn't people then be multiple types at once?

    It's more or less what the enneagram says, you actually agree with but you don't realize it.
    Um, what? Your wording is somewhat weird here, what exactly do you mean?

    It rather only said thant when people become stuck in their egotic working, they become stuck in the transe of their type and become unable to see things in a different way.
    In which case we're only our type when we become fixated on a our own ego mechanisms? And what evidence is there that we only have one method of ego working and transe?

    It's also said that when we leave that transe we are connected to a virtue and an holy idea. Enneagram is consistent in that way with a large part of modern psychology and spiritual currents. No wonder if the origins of ennagram are ssociated with various geographical area, that just show that far to be invalidated by experience, the basic proposition of the Enneagram tend to be a global consensus.
    No, that reeks of mysticism. Connecting virtue and holy idea (Christianity nonsense) with Frued-esq psychoanalysis is nothing new; every young psychologists attempts it, but really it means nothing in the greater realm of science.

    The enneagram never said that people could'nt have several fears and motivation, just that a bad influence of ego ca stuck un in one specific transe and point of view. It also says that when we put that aquired ersonality at distance, we can be connected to every sort of point of view and motivations.
    In which case, no one really has a type per se. If everyone can be connected to every type generally, then where is the proof that they are all fixated on one mode of ego?

    The enneagram says too that we can identify and have traits of every enneatype, but we can be stuck in one specific dillema.
    Again, proof? Why couldn't we be stuck in multiple forms of specific dilemmas? Also, you've mentioned in the past how we're all born with an enneagram type that never changes in life; why? Why couldn't these ego fixations develop as we gorw older?

    MBTI and JCF are based and categorization, wich you blamed to enneagram.

    As a whole, your "critic" of enenagram are just an alignement of common places base on an awkward understanding of the model.
    My critic of enneagram is "an alignement of common places base on an awkward understanding of the model"? Excuse me? I understand the system well enough, but that's besides the point; in of itself the model is shoddy and flawed, in addition to not having reliable evidence to support it's existence. So it doen't matter if I don't understand the system, as you supposedly say, because until you can provide real strong evidence of the enneagram, then it can be assumed that it doesn't exist.

  8. #8
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    there are no such thing as real numbers, either. that 2.01 pounds of potatoes at the store could be give or take a few hundred thousand atoms from the next 2.01 pounds of potatoes.

    but we still call it 2.01 because you'd need countless monetary denominations the size of atoms to pay for it otherwise. also really wide receipt paper to fit "2.097830562209647539346045462675866488 lbs white potatoes".

    reality is messy.

    Quote Originally Posted by RevlisZero
    So does everyone really have a type? Does nobody have more than one type? If not, then is the enneagram incomplete, and what can we do to deal with these issues?
    yes and no; yes and no; yes and no; utilize theory cautiously and with a dash of salt.

    i'm not trying to be a prick, honestly, it's just that this is kind of a moot point. the enneagram is based in spirituality, not scientific measurement, and as such it's essentially illogical to assign empirical measurements to it. it's also just a tool... you use it as far as it can help you and leave it behind once it's given you all you can reasonably get out of it. i think it's best to consider it a facet of reality, but not ultimate reality... which is probably not really a satisfying solution to your questions ^_^;

    fwiw, theory says 3s, 6s, and 9s have the hardest time pinpointing their types, perhaps because we are denial types (3 denies feeling; 9 denies instinct, 6 denies intelligence). we are experts at hiding from ourselves.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Silveresque's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    yes and no; yes and no; yes and no; utilize theory cautiously and with a dash of salt.

    i'm not trying to be a prick, honestly, it's just that this is kind of a moot point. the enneagram is based in spirituality, not scientific measurement, and as such it's essentially illogical to assign empirical measurements to it. it's also just a tool... you use it as far as it can help you and leave it behind once it's given you all you can reasonably get out of it. i think it's best to consider it a facet of reality, but not ultimate reality... which is probably not really a satisfying solution to your questions ^_^;

    fwiw, theory says 3s, 6s, and 9s have the hardest time pinpointing their types, perhaps because we are denial types (3 denies feeling; 9 denies instinct, 6 denies intelligence). we are experts at hiding from ourselves.
    Thanks for your input. I could be a 9 or a 6, who knows? At this point I've decided that whatever type I am doesn't really matter, because as you say, the enneagram is no longer useful if I'm not getting anything out of it. I've done just about all the research I can do, and in the end I can't narrow it down any further than this.

    Anyways, I'm actually in the process of inventing my own enneagram type based on my motivations. So far it seems like some sort of 4-9 hybrid...and it's definitely in the image triad. Maybe it'll turn out to be an already existing type...or maybe not. Either way, I'll probably learn something from it.

  10. #10
    Ruler of the Stars Asterion's Avatar
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    There is always one type that you will be able to relate to the fixations of most of the time. I've watched myself carefully over the last week, and most of the time, I have been very anxious about my competence (type 5), it would arrive in spike of thought that drive actions. Under stress, I actually turned to 1, and of course, 5s line of disintegration, 7. The type 1 was strange. I felt a strong urge towards perfection, I was angry towards myself and angry at every imperfection that other people inflicted on my space. I stacked an entire shelf perfectly with extreme care before waking up to myself and wondering where the hell that came from. I don't think type one is in my tri-type, it was just a normal occurrence.

    Just because I fell under 1s fixation, doesn't mean that I am a 5 and a 1. I am type 5 because that is my dominant fixation, the others do not frequently interrupt like 5 does.

    Enneagram is a major culprit in this matter; it assumes that we are driven by only one fear, ego motivations, and subsequently personality and outlook of life.
    That's not what I've been taught. Most people teach that within every one of us is contained all of these drives. They are connected to each other, and because nobody is perfect, there is almost guaranteed to be one stand out fixation that you're afflicted with.

    So why don't you provide some links? Show me some data that backs up the enneagram theory, post documents detailing real life experiments that supports enneagram research, etc. Until you do so, I have absolutely no reason for beliving anything about enneagram in the slightest and I'm perfectly justifies in doing so. Again, you have to prove that enneagram does exist, not the other way around.
    Wednesday doesn't exist, so I don't believe in it. You can believe in whatever you want, you don't need scientific proof to eat, drink and sleep. The guidelines for belief is subjective probability. How likely is it that today is Wednesday? My computer tells me that it is, yesterday seemed to be tuesday, but how certain am I? I've noticed quite a lot of the traits described in the enneagram in myself and others, this is what makes me believe, you don't need proof to live, and you know this.
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