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  1. #11
    Junior Member Huhuu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    We know that there are three instinctual variants, self-preservation, social, and sexual, and that they have evolved out of biological survival strategies. But what, exactly, do they measure?
    The way I always saw it, the instinctual variants measure, reflect, describe etc. those undisputed and inescapable needs and reactions to the most important things in life. These needs and reactions translate into behavior which can be easily observed. What you react to and how strongly reflects the order of your instinctual variants.

    For example, someone who finds self-preservation to be of utmost importance, more crucial than the other instincts, would seemingly naturally but also absolutely react to signs of lost resources including physical threat, diseases, financial problems etc. Social subtypes would react to signs of lost company, network or place in any group considered important or threat to these. Sexual subtypes would react to signs of lost intensity.

  2. #12
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    I sort of identify with what @Southern Kross said about optimal conditions. I find that I seek that perfect, intense, peaceful merging with anything. Especially living things, but also that perfect work flow when I'm busy with something. And yes, I loathe being distracted by something else from that perfectly pure moment - unless, that distraction is part of that perfect picture. I have a compulsion to make every moment as beautiful, perfect and original as it can be and get immensely frustrated - and as a result, shy away from - with situations that are...well, let's just say none of those things, that do not live up to my standard. This often keeps me from getting shit done that really should be addressed, coz it is impossible to do it in the perfect way or coz its time for perfection hasnt come yet.

    I however am not sure if this is sx-dom, or 4 sx-dom

    I am now in the process of learning to reframe the situation wrt that perfect moment. One of the things I loathed was learning. You fumble by default coz you havent mastered something yet, making the learning curve a fucking nightmare for someone like me. I'm now starting to reframe it as a perfect snap shot on my way to mastery. I sometimes still forget and get frustrated, but if I zoom out and see that snap shot in the context of where I'm trying to get, I can see it for the perfection it is at the moment it happens within that context.

    ...if that makes sense at all
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  3. #13
    Senior Member IndyGhost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    At @decrescendo's suggestion.

    MBTI is an identifier of cognitive pattern preferences - ways in which we prefer to process information. Enneatype identifies overly utilized defense strategies - ways in which our minds overcompensate in attempting to protect our egos from harm. We know that there are three instinctual variants, self-preservation, social, and sexual, and that they have evolved out of biological survival strategies. But what, exactly, do they measure?

    Recently in reconsidering my own type from sx/so to so/sx I have realized that I made the mistake of assuming instinctual variant to be a direct prioritization of goals - self-preservation types prioritizing resources; social types prioritizing interaction; sexual types prioritizing intensity. However, with input from others, I began to see instinct more as describing not necessarily what a person values most or acts on most but rather what a person feels compelled to keep conscious track of - self-pres types keeping track of resources; social types keeping track of interactions; sexual types keeping track of intensity. A dominant strategy in determining a person's instinct seems to be in "feeling out" their energy, moreso than a drier method of precise categorization f thoughts, behaviors, or feelings, which suggests to me that instinctual variant is widely recognized but not necessarily well defined.

    Does anyone have any thoughts to add in terms of defining what instinctual variant is "measuring", or identifying?
    Honestly, that actually makes more sense for the instincts. At least to me.

    I can never really pinpoint a specific instinct variant because I have qualities of all three. But I certainly can recall in my youth, wanting and yearning for intense experiences. Somewhat of a thrill seeker due to the yearning. Now that I'm older and more self aware, I'm very conscious of how I am perceived by other and interactions between people. I'm highly attuned to the needs of others. I'm also very aware of my needs and comfort. I like to make sure there is plenty of food in the fridge and that I have my rain coat for a rainy day, etc. But I'm still really bad at my finances. I'm still really bad about keeping in touch with people. And I'm still really bad at flirting with guys I'm attracted to.
    "I don't know a perfect person.
    I only know flawed people who are still worth loving."
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  4. #14
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    At @decrescendo's suggestion.

    MBTI is an identifier of cognitive pattern preferences - ways in which we prefer to process information. Enneatype identifies overly utilized defense strategies - ways in which our minds overcompensate in attempting to protect our egos from harm. We know that there are three instinctual variants, self-preservation, social, and sexual, and that they have evolved out of biological survival strategies. But what, exactly, do they measure?

    Recently in reconsidering my own type from sx/so to so/sx I have realized that I made the mistake of assuming instinctual variant to be a direct prioritization of goals - self-preservation types prioritizing resources; social types prioritizing interaction; sexual types prioritizing intensity. However, with input from others, I began to see instinct more as describing not necessarily what a person values most or acts on most but rather what a person feels compelled to keep conscious track of - self-pres types keeping track of resources; social types keeping track of interactions; sexual types keeping track of intensity. A dominant strategy in determining a person's instinct seems to be in "feeling out" their energy, moreso than a drier method of precise categorization f thoughts, behaviors, or feelings, which suggests to me that instinctual variant is widely recognized but not necessarily well defined.

    Does anyone have any thoughts to add in terms of defining what instinctual variant is "measuring", or identifying?
    I think prioritisation is definitely part of it. I'd say it is the thing that causes you the most stress and is considered the most vital in life for that particular person, to the point of not being able to do anything else until those needs are satisfied. Whether objectively justified or not, the anxiety and uncomfortableness and utter loss of zest for life that it can cause, compels that person to first attend to those needs to the exclusion of all else, or so it seems.

    An interesting question becomes....do you give in to your inner child throwing that tantrum, and validate those 'needs'? Or do you learn to step away from yourself and objectively evaluate whether or not this is truly necessary in this situation and learn to balance it out and deny yourself at the risk of being mighty unhappy?

    Even more relevant...what about projection onto others who have your dominant instinct last? I know my sp-dom mother has incredible difficulty understanding that someone could be that careless with preparation, comfort, other peoples comfort, and general lack of interest in doing tasks she considers indispensable. I'm able to sort of convey to her that those things are...ultimately not important to me, but she still feels I neglect myself and the people who live with me when I do not do 'my duty' to attend to those obvious needs. And I cannot deny that those tasks are left undone...but then I don't particularly have a need to fulfill those tasks as they cost me more energy than they benefit my interests and I'm willing to put up with the little inconvenience they cause - something she considers utterly irresponsible. And it is a value judgement she has incredible trouble letting go of. I feel the same way about the way she relates to people - the lack of trust she is willing to put up with would cripple me
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  5. #15
    Senior Member the state i am in's Avatar
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    1st, 2nd, 3rd person perspective.
    sx, so, sp.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Sanjuro's Avatar
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    I think you've got it exactly right!

    The part I've bolded is, I think, what most people initially think about the instincts, and why they're misunderstood. I typed as sp/sx when I first began to study the instincts in depth, specifically for this *exact* reason. As an 8-fixed, 5-winged thing, I actually am MOST conscious of prioritizing my "resources" whatever they may be.

    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    Recently in reconsidering my own type from sx/so to so/sx I have realized that I made the mistake of assuming instinctual variant to be a direct prioritization of goals - self-preservation types prioritizing resources; social types prioritizing interaction; sexual types prioritizing intensity. However, with input from others, I began to see instinct more as describing not necessarily what a person values most or acts on most but rather what a person feels compelled to keep conscious track of - self-pres types keeping track of resources; social types keeping track of interactions; sexual types keeping track of intensity. A dominant strategy in determining a person's instinct seems to be in "feeling out" their energy, moreso than a drier method of precise categorization f thoughts, behaviors, or feelings, which suggests to me that instinctual variant is widely recognized but not necessarily well defined.

    Does anyone have any thoughts to add in terms of defining what instinctual variant is "measuring", or identifying?
    I'd like to add that the primary instinct isn't really a "conscious" process--if you start going by what you "prioritize", that's more likely going to be your middle instinct, the one you tend to indulge a little. You just sort of wind up neurotic about the first one.

    The first instinct will give you hangups, suffering, self-esteem issues, and bring out the worst traits of your type. You don't necessarily "put it first", it's just sort of what issues you develop. That's why they're called "instincts" I guess--they're what you inherently do. You're automatically aware of the issues, whether you'd like to be or not, and it's often such a part of you it's difficult to suss out which one is actually dominant.

    The second one is the one you "enjoy"--this can be different for different types. I'm most likely soc-second, for instance, and I don't go "socializing" and stuff. Instead, I'm just very interested in social affairs, cultural differences, social trends, global movements, the UN charter of Human Rights, stuff like that. I get excited establishing a reputation in online forums and stuff like that (wink, wink, nudge-nudge). I'm not a wild party animal who's great at socializing or anything. And often, the secondary instinct can be "grandiose" or "idealized" like that--you might mistake it for your dom-instinct before you realize that your dominant is NOT something you enjoy.

    The last instinct still exists, but it's just less important in your life patterns. You tend to neglect it, or just sort of do the bare minimum. Note that social-last is more about not being aware/interested in the larger world around you rather than "not having friends" or "not maintaining contacts" (by which definition, all withdrawn types would be inherently social last, lol).

    The instincts influence your values and the way you gear your life, more than affecting your personality, I think.

  7. #17
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanjuro View Post
    The second one is the one you "enjoy"--this can be different for different types. I'm most likely soc-second, for instance, and I don't go "socializing" and stuff. Instead, I'm just very interested in social affairs, cultural differences, social trends, global movements, the UN charter of Human Rights, stuff like that. I get excited establishing a reputation in online forums and stuff like that (wink, wink, nudge-nudge). I'm not a wild party animal who's great at socializing or anything. And often, the secondary instinct can be "grandiose" or "idealized" like that--you might mistake it for your dom-instinct before you realize that your dominant is NOT something you enjoy.
    It is so totally funny to read this, because I can really see the dom/aux instinct difference here. I actually am not as into social trends... global movements... etc. You make it sound more positive than I think of it. I don't even tend to think of trends and movements because there are so many of them and the world is so big and they come and go and fluctuate and evaporate. It's almost as if that "big picture" is still "small picture" to me. You'd think soc-dom would come along with feeling pretty "belonging" but actually that awareness of the bigness can feel sort of bewildering and disorienting sometimes. Which might also be an aspect of being a 6, so I shouldn't conflate too much.

    Whereas I get so totally fired up about sx stuff and idealize it and romanticize it and everything.

  8. #18
    Senior Member the state i am in's Avatar
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    i don't know about the conscious or not conscious. i do, however, think you start from the first one, so it's possible in a way that the second one might help you become more conscious of the first one as you explore the differences. but the first one is your deepest identity. that you can become blind to this is fair enough, because we often rely on schemes of interpretation that don't fit us very well. nevertheless, i think you can see a kind of energy that comes from your entire trajectory, and often even shows up in your body type and muscle definition, diet, exercise styles, relationships, coping habits, addictions, etc.

    i think we often mistake "content" for the underlying contexts of the instincts. i think sx is identifying with first person perspective. so is identifying with second person perspective, with other people's points of view and their experiences. third person is detached from people perspectives in the first place. first person creates object relations with the world, identifying with the objects that satisfy one's own drives as good or bad. everything is an object that satisfies or leaves wanting. second person creates an emphasis on reciprocity, norms, expectations, and agreements. you interpret your sense of self through other's eyes primarily, rather than from a select few others like an increasingly sx type, far less social type would (why, for instance, sx/sp relationships are so intense). third person experiences the infrastructures of life with less characterization, with less desire and belonging. it is more alienated, but prompts one to connect with something deeper, a deeper source of commonality than social factors/alignments.

    i also tend to think of sx, so, and sp as the sprinters, the striders, and the long-distance runnners. think 100, 400, and the mile. just different make-ups, different energy types. granted there are a lot of developmental factors that affect the way these things are expressed, but at the same time, they seem like relatively stable patterns to me.

    in another scheme, i see sx as will, so as superego, and sp as ego. i think it all follows suit. sx is obsessed with growth, so with stability, and sp with loss. i mean, freud called these "the it," "the over-i," and "the i." you can play with lacan's view to explore further possibilities (i like the "three drives." specifically active voice: to see, passive voice: to be seen, and reflexive voice: to see oneself).

    i just know that while i gravitate to sp habits to manage myself, sx wins. it's just there, calling the shots. if unchecked, if i'm not checking in to monitor it and practice being aware of what it is up to, it overrides balance, even as i've learned so much about my fundamental desires and tensions as a result of so much sx-perspective experience. i require so to further interpret and provide the balance that sp cannot hold down by itself, in my experience, just warmth and touch and the tug of attachment, the moments of affection, the 5 As of relationship, etc. and for me sx can be a lot of things. it's just the raw addictiveness of things that are the best. and a desire to not only continue but to get more of those. to accelerate all processes of getting closer to what i want. each drive, each faction, wants more. in even the broadest sense. as a 5, for instance, i'm a learning junkie, just another 5w4 building his cosmology. so i want to learn the concepts of modern mathematics. if i had a willing teacher, i'd sit for weeks until i knew it all. 8 hours, 10 hours, i could just keep going. just downloading more and more. engaging this mind unceasingly. asking more questions. i could not stop. it's too valuable to me. that part of me would win out again and again and again. it just has so much power because i know that it is too true for me to deny. even if truly learning sp practices, yoga, meditation, going inward, breathwork, etc, have been life-changing, and improved the context through which sx expresses itself, i see how much i needed to master sp for sx to not completely run amok, which was certainly not always bad either. it gave me a competitiveness that i enjoyed in sports, inspired many incredibly real moments with others, and allowed me to develop a passion for so many things and people and places and experiences that truly changed me, that truly revealed to me more and more what i had been searching for all this time. what would truly fulfill me. i feel unwavering in my belief that i know how to find fulfillment, that i feel where i must go to be true to myself and to my potential.

    i also do think there are some trends. so types are marketing/demographics geeks, real pr machines. so/sp is kind of an actuarial perspective. sx has the ram horns. so/sx is the charmer. sx/so is the most mobilizing force, the seducer and conqueror. sx/sp has the most intense, penetrating gaze. sp/sx is mysterious and earthy.

    sx i think tends to be about allowing damage to be inflicted because it's waiting for the outcome of a few competing forces to totally commit and see what wins. there's a kind of internal violence, so much intense conflict, constant escalation, pressure, slaughter, devastation. you wait to see if your desires will break your social and self-preservational bonds, the habits that allow you to exist in a relatively stable way, that allow you to let go of pieces of yourself, balance your ledgers, enjoy and appreciate and most of all accept your life and self and the world around you, that give you the contentment to just be and relax into the relationships that support you and yours, those who bleed into you and vice versa.

    so/sx is different. it wants to win, but it loses itself because it only sees the it and the over-i. there's no i. there's no grounding objectivity. it sees the realities of others and it wants to shape and transform them. it doesn't really know how to release and let go of other's expectations and rules and assumptions, so it doesn't know how to see itself outside of the ways other represent and experience it. it cannot identify with an impersonalness that allows it to see its own ancientness, to see oneself as the center of an infinity, an eternity.

  9. #19
    Senior Member Sanjuro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    It is so totally funny to read this, because I can really see the dom/aux instinct difference here. I actually am not as into social trends... global movements... etc. You make it sound more positive than I think of it. I don't even tend to think of trends and movements because there are so many of them and the world is so big and they come and go and fluctuate and evaporate. It's almost as if that "big picture" is still "small picture" to me. You'd think soc-dom would come along with feeling pretty "belonging" but actually that awareness of the bigness can feel sort of bewildering and disorienting sometimes. Which might also be an aspect of being a 6, so I shouldn't conflate too much.

    Whereas I get so totally fired up about sx stuff and idealize it and romanticize it and everything.
    Yeah, that's the difference between sx/soc and soc/sx, I guess. I was typed as soc-first by some people on another forum, and I almost bought it--the problem is I have too much fun with it rather than it being something I am negatively compelled by. Sexual on the other hand....ouch. When so many people talk about how awesomely crazy their sx-instinct makes them, I'm always like, "*cough, lol, cough* sx-second".

    There's torment around the dominant instinct, fun around the second.

  10. #20
    Senior Member pinkgraffiti's Avatar
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    @Southern Kross what you said about sx was very interesting. i went out of the house walking and thinking about what you said. i think you're right, but also not completely. to define an sx-dom as a person that wants to limit social interactions to focus on the 1-1 interaction is true but not complete. it's a definition by negation. as i walked i was thinking about other aspects of me being sx-dom that aren't dependent on that need to protect the dual interaction. for instance, things that are often mentioned in the context of the sx instinct: appreciation of food, drinking, or sports that make your adrenalin pump etc...these aren't connected with exclusion of other people but with wanting to feel pleasure. And now i enter murky grounds, because i don't know where being enneagram 7 and being sx-dom ends and begins. but i do everything in my life out of pleasure. i'm instinctual and i tend to be able to do only what i want. in my work, in relationships, alone. i'm free and i do want i want. and my life is ruled by my passions and the pleasure i get out of them.


    secondly, you were very good at defining sx on the exclusion of so, so i'd like to ask you if you could be offer your opinion on the definition of So and of Sp. i'm still not sure if I understand exactly what Sp is (beyond the general definitions available on the internet). i'm still not sure if my 2nd function is Sp or So. And I'm still wondering about the instinctual stackings of my gf. So I would appreciate
    @Lady X, since lately you are so interested in this argument, i would also love to hear your opinions on what the instincts measure/identify and also how different combinations (Sp/Sx, Sx/So, etc) work together. please?

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