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View Poll Results: Is Enneagram and Instinctual subtype a strength or a weakness?

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  • Enneagram type is a strength; Instinctual subtype is a strength

    0 0%
  • Enneagram type is a weakness; Instinctual subtype is a weakness

    0 0%
  • Enneagram type is a strength; Instinctual subtype is a weakness

    0 0%
  • Enneagram type is a weakness; Instinctual subtype is a strength

    1 7.14%
  • Enneagram type is a strength and a weakness; Instinctual subtype is a strength

    1 7.14%
  • Enneagram type is a strength and a weakness; Instinctual subtype is a weakness

    1 7.14%
  • Enneagram type is a strength; Instinctual subtype is both a strength and a weakness

    0 0%
  • Enneagram type is a weakness; Instinctual subtype is a strength and a weakness

    2 14.29%
  • None of the above (explain)

    9 64.29%
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  1. #11
    my floof is luxury Wind Up Rex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    Do you think Enneagram type is a strength or a weakness?

    How about instinctual subtype?

    Why do you think so?
    Enneagram type reveals a fixation. Fixations are neither strengths nor weaknesses inherently. They're more organizing principles that can be aligned in a productive or counterproductive fashion. Looking at it practically, I think construing these fixations as strengths or weaknesses can hinder that process of productive realignment because it only contributes to the fixation.

    Your type is tied to a deeper pathology, and it's that level where I think a discussion of strength and weakness is more appropriate. There was a thread that I can't find right now that talked about enneagram types and the "child" inside of them that really got at this. The idea being that underneath our expressed type is a core self that relates to our integration point. If we are unaware of, deny, or actively resist the needs of this core self, then they wreak havoc for us. Getting to a place of acceptance about those needs is what transforms the urges of a wounded self into an expression of integration and wholeness. (This core is the real ballgame to me. If you focus too much on type expression in itself, you're missing a key mechanism, and addressing yourself more to symptom than cause.)

    This strength/weakness business is definitely a moot concept as it relates to instinctual variants, in my opinion. Instinctual variants are just a setting: they reveal the dominant locus of the concerns of the core self. So, for example, the challenge of an 8 is to accept and integrate their 2ish core that struggles with issues of connection and giving and receiving love. In the case of an so-first, the core will fixate on love given and received by the community in which the 8 lives. How they connect with and are valued by their society. Accordingly, when the core is less integrated, this is where the 8 is most likely to assert themselves, feel the greatest need to be self-reliant, and be most powerful. As the core becomes integrated, their community as the "other" they give themselves over to, is what they will most want to protect and serve.
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    you are only a troubled guest on the dark earth

  2. #12
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wind-Up Rex View Post
    Enneagram type reveals a fixation. Fixations are neither strengths nor weaknesses inherently. They're more organizing principles that can be aligned in a productive or counterproductive fashion. Looking at it practically, I think construing these fixations as strengths or weaknesses can hinder that process of productive realignment because it only contributes to the fixation.

    Your type is tied to a deeper pathology, and it's that level where I think a discussion of strength and weakness is more appropriate. There was a thread that I can't find right now that talked about enneagram types and the "child" inside of them that really got at this. The idea being that underneath our expressed type is a core self that relates to our integration point. If we are unaware of, deny, or actively resist the needs of this core self, then they wreak havoc for us. Getting to a place of acceptance about those needs is what transforms the urges of a wounded self into an expression of integration and wholeness. (This core is the real ballgame to me. If you focus too much on type expression in itself, you're missing a key mechanism, and addressing yourself more to symptom than cause.)

    This strength/weakness business is definitely a moot concept as it relates to instinctual variants, in my opinion. Instinctual variants are just a setting: they reveal the dominant locus of the concerns of the core self. So, for example, the challenge of an 8 is to accept and integrate their 2ish core that struggles with issues of connection and giving and receiving love. In the case of an so-first, the core will fixate on love given and received by the community in which the 8 lives. How they connect with and are valued by their society. Accordingly, when the core is less integrated, this is where the 8 is most likely to assert themselves, feel the greatest need to be self-reliant, and be most powerful. As the core becomes integrated, their community as the "other" they give themselves over to, is what they will most want to protect and serve.
    This is a very interesting post because it seems to distill a lot of different things I've seen into a cohesive answer with an example. Where are you getting this from? I have to think about what you've said because as concise as it is, there is a lot behind your response.

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  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wind-Up Rex View Post
    There was a thread that I can't find right now that talked about enneagram types and the "child" inside of them that really got at this.
    You probably mean this: http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...ief-intro.html

    Came across it a while ago. It was a nice read.

  4. #14
    my floof is luxury Wind Up Rex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    This is a very interesting post because it seems to distill a lot of different things I've seen into a cohesive answer with an example. Where are you getting this from? I have to think about what you've said because as concise as it is, there is a lot behind your response.

    I've studied enneagram a few years now. A lot of this is just conclusions I've drawn about the system and how it should be approached to have real, practical application. The first and third paragraphs are just what I understand to be true about enneagram and instinctual variant theory. The middle one is admittedly more speculative, but was the best response I could come up with to the question in your OP. I'll be interested to hear what your take is.
    And so long as you haven’t experienced this: to die and so to grow,
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  5. #15
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    I like what @Wind-Up Rex said about instinctual variant being an arena where your type plays out most strongly. For myself as a sx 6, I have a broad tendency to question everything in general, but the enneatype distortions play out most clearly and dramatically in my close relationships. I think neither is either, essentially. IMO, Enneatype is a skewed perception, which can be either a strength or a weakness, depending on setting. My 6ness comes in handy when preparing for future situations, for example, since I "fishbowl" in on potential trouble spots and tend to zap them before they occur full-blast.

    I do think that type and variant have broader implications, though, in terms of how they "flavor" your interests and actions. I seem to seek a "protector" role in many realms, which could be derived in part from Fi-Te, and in part from my values, but also may have to do with 6's paradigm of the world being a dangerous place. I also do tend to seek out intense shared experiences (you know that opening scene, the Circle of Life one, from The Lion King? That's like my Mecca) - pretty ENF in nature, but also pretty sx/so in nature.

    Quote Originally Posted by highlander
    [...] Zarathustra's comment that instinctual subtype was both a strength and a weakness. My first reaction was that wasn't right and that the dominant type is a weakness with the secondary type being a strength (or balanced anyway).
    Very interesting. I initially understood dominant type as a strength, before reading about how one is often most wounded/unhealthy in their dominant (I can see that in myself, though I do not (yet) understand why). Personally, even though my 6 weaknesses are particularly strong in that area, I am also so attentive to sx matters that I do believe it is a strength in some ways. Often sx-doms will talk about experiencing energy flow, for example, and have a very strong read on the timbre of the energy between people - almost akin to Fe. Secondary type seems almost moot to me - like a "neutral" factor, one at homeostasis balance. You're neither overly captivated by it nor neglectful of it. Neither a strength nor a weakness, really.

  6. #16
    my floof is luxury Wind Up Rex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    Often sx-doms will talk about experiencing energy flow, for example, and have a very strong read on the timbre of the energy between people - almost akin to Fe.
    Perhaps it's because sex and power are such focuses of the sx-first, and so much of what's fascinating about those interplays happens at an unspoken level.

    The phenomena resonates very strongly for me. I'm very aware of both the energy between people, as well as that put off by the individuals themselves. I've noticed that in conversation I can be so engaged with this more elemental level of communication that I can miss what the other person actually says entirely. Prior to your post, I had always ascribed it purely to having a type in the gut triad, and the strong identification with the physical that comes with that.


    Secondary type seems almost moot to me - like a "neutral" factor, one at homeostasis balance. You're neither overly captivated by it nor neglectful of it. Neither a strength nor a weakness, really.
    I wouldn't go so far as to say the secondary type is moot. I think it adds a lot to the story of why we pursue the first instinctual variant, and so influences both how we go about satisfying it as well as how we define satisfaction. Consider the difference between an Sx/So versus an Sx/Sp. As an Sx/Sp, the desire for intimacy is couched more explicitly in terms of need, it's a personal hunger to be satisfied. On the other hand, Sx/So might seek out that same intimacy and intensity with drives that are more related to substantiating their identity, or the creation of and participation in something more than themselves. Changing the secondary variant completely alters the orientation of the dominant's energy, as well as the scope of its focus.
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  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    Also, why did so many people say "other"?
    The reason most are voting "other" is because both enneagram type and instinctual subtype can be both a strength and a weakness.

    • As you move away from fixation, and towards liberation, both type and variant transform from a weakness to a strength.
    • As you move away from personality, and towards essence, both type and variant transform from a weakness to a strength.
    • As you move from lower health levels to higher health levels, both type and variant transform from a weakness to a strength.

    All of the above constructions are saying the same thing: fixation -> liberation = personality/ego -> essence = unhealth -> health.

    I suppose it's also worth noting that as you "go to the good", both your type and your instinctual variant will tend to get "balanced out".

    Within type, this is seen as integrating into your next type(s); within variant, this is seen as the three instincts becoming more "equal".

  8. #18
    Senor Membrae Eugene Watson VIII's Avatar
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    The cake, er, enneagram is an illusion. We set ourselves up to believe our main type will help us through life, but what really helps us is the whole triforce.....tritype. My enneagram, the enneagram 4, is full of feels, but occasionally jimmies without a rustle is good, i mean enneagram 9, and then whatever said head type is.

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