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  1. #1
    Senior Member VagrantFarce's Avatar
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    Default Enneagram Defence Systems

    http://www.enneagramwork.com/defense_systems.html

    1) Ones use reaction formation to avoid anger (i.e. direct anger) and stay in control of their feelings and instincts in order to maintain a self image of being right. Reaction formation is feeling one thing and then expressing the opposite or at least something unrelated, such as feeling resentful but acting nice, feeling a need to rest but working harder. The relentless demand of the inner critic to be good and do good at all times replaces personal needs and shuts down feelings.

    2) Twos use repression of personal needs and feelings to avoid being needy and to maintain a self image of being helpful. Repression is putting one's "unacceptable" feelings and impulses out of awareness by converting them into a more acceptable kind of emotional energy. Self-esteem depends on winning the approval of others. This can take the form of being overly nice, flattering people, and a superficial friendliness. Or it can show up as an attitude of entitlement. Their genuine need for connection takes the form of "you need me."

    3) Threes use identification to avoid failure and maintain a self image of being successful. Identification is stepping into a role so completely that Threes lose contact with who they are inside. The pressure to keep up a winning image prevents access to personal feelings and needs. Attention goes to the external environment: the tasks to be done and the expectations of other people. Threes find it very difficult to drop the role, or drop the image, since they get so much positive reinforcement in a society that values achievement and success.

    4) Fours use introjection to avoid ordinariness and maintain a self image of being authentic. Positive introjection is an attempt to overcome the feeling of deficiency by seeking value from an idealized experience, work or relationship and internalizing this through the emotional center. This also leads to negative introjection: Fours tend blame themselves for whatever goes wrong in personal relationships. Their experience of loss or abandonment can take form inside as a self-rejecting voice (a negative introject) which leads to pervasive feelings of unworthiness.

    5) Fives use isolation to avoid the experience of inner emptiness and maintain a self image of being knowledgeable. Isolation can be physical withdrawal from others, but it also means withdrawing on the inside from one's emotions and staying up in the head. Acquiring knowledge becomes a way to create safety and self worth, but an over-emphasis on the intellect prevents Fives from connecting with the life force in their bodies and the support available in relationship with others.

    6) Sixes use projection to avoid rejection and to maintain a self image of being loyal. Projection is a way of attributing to others what one can't accept in oneself, both positive and negative. Positive feelings are projected onto a romantic relationship or an external authority figure in order to assure safety and justify loyalty. Negative feelings are projected onto others to justify internal feelings of fear and distrust. Sixes support their projections by finding and amplifying the information which fits their premise.

    7) Sevens use rationalization to avoid suffering and to maintain a self image of being OK. Rationalization is a way of staying in the head, explaining away or justifying things in order to distance from painful feelings and refuse to take responsibility for their behavior. Everything can be re-framed towards the positive. Their ability to think of new options and possibilities allows Sevens to leave the present moment with its limitations and live in a seemingly unlimited future.

    8) Eights use denial to avoid vulnerability and to maintain a self image of being strong. Denial means to power up in the body center and forcefully re-direct energy and attention through willfulness and control. Vulnerable feelings are automatically put away and not experienced. Emotional energy is reduced, while instinctual energy is increased. Receptivity necessarily involves some vulnerability, so Eights seek to impact the world and other people rather than be receptive to them.

    9) Nines use narcotization to avoid conflict and to maintain a self image of being comfortable or harmonious. Narcotization is using food and drink, entertainment, or simply repetitive patterns of thinking and doing to "put oneself to sleep". Even productive activities can keep Nines narcotized if they become too habitual. Avoiding conflict with others keeps Nines from being fully present in relationships. Avoiding internal conflict leads to inertia and self-forgetting.
    Hello
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  2. #2

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    First I act like 3, then when it doesn't work I act like 4, then when I get bored with that I act like 9 and then like 8

  3. #3
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    where'd you get this?

    Unfortunately I don't know what any of these words mean.

  4. #4
    Just a note... LittleV's Avatar
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  5. #5
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    wait so I tell myself I'm strong?

    does that imply that I'm actually not strong?

    Or is this more of a self fulfilling prophecy for 8's?



    I joined gymnastics so I could be respected for having the best abilities, and I joined martial arts so I could kick anyones' ass. hmm...

  6. #6
    Senior Member Sanjuro's Avatar
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    Thanks for this post. I was strongly considering posting something exactly like this.

    These are the defense mechanisms used by each type. I think we're supposed to discuss how we relate to them.

    Quote Originally Posted by VagrantFarce View Post
    1) Ones use reaction formation to avoid anger (i.e. direct anger) and stay in control of their feelings and instincts in order to maintain a self image of being right. Reaction formation is feeling one thing and then expressing the opposite or at least something unrelated, such as feeling resentful but acting nice, feeling a need to rest but working harder. The relentless demand of the inner critic to be good and do good at all times replaces personal needs and shuts down feelings.
    I'm guilty of this one, actually. It's not based on my "inner critic telling me to be good" so much as it's based on covering my ass, or sometimes just mocking the other person. Not sure where it comes from given that I'm not 1-related; but it's part of the reason I thought I had this huge, massive 1-connection. Must be a family trait (it is, actually).

    2) Twos use repression of personal needs and feelings to avoid being needy and to maintain a self image of being helpful. Repression is putting one's "unacceptable" feelings and impulses out of awareness by converting them into a more acceptable kind of emotional energy. Self-esteem depends on winning the approval of others. This can take the form of being overly nice, flattering people, and a superficial friendliness. Or it can show up as an attitude of entitlement. Their genuine need for connection takes the form of "you need me."
    I can't MAKE myself do this.

    3) Threes use identification to avoid failure and maintain a self image of being successful. Identification is stepping into a role so completely that Threes lose contact with who they are inside. The pressure to keep up a winning image prevents access to personal feelings and needs. Attention goes to the external environment: the tasks to be done and the expectations of other people. Threes find it very difficult to drop the role, or drop the image, since they get so much positive reinforcement in a society that values achievement and success.
    I once had this experience in theater class, when, during a play, someone became sick and I had to improvise her part. I was so focused on what I had to do and totally immersing myself in the role of her character that I totally lost all self-consciousness, awareness of my surroundings, or even the fact that the audience was there (except as a reflection of my performance, obviously). It doesn't happen much, though.

    4) Fours use introjection to avoid ordinariness and maintain a self image of being authentic. Positive introjection is an attempt to overcome the feeling of deficiency by seeking value from an idealized experience, work or relationship and internalizing this through the emotional center. This also leads to negative introjection: Fours tend blame themselves for whatever goes wrong in personal relationships. Their experience of loss or abandonment can take form inside as a self-rejecting voice (a negative introject) which leads to pervasive feelings of unworthiness.
    In my experience, positive introjection is like when kids watch Harry Potter and leave the theater saying things like, "I'm Hermione Granger!" You actually do feel like you're the character temporarily--you take it in and make it part of who you are. I wind up doing this with pretty much every one of my little obsessions, embarrassingly enough.

    Negative introjection is basically where you blame yourself, and this was my problem when I became depressed in college. I was told all my life that college would be better than grade school, and I pegged all my hopes on that. During college, I lived with my parents, had no car, and just bummed a ride in every day with my step-father. I woke up one day and realized I had no friends, no lovers, no experiences, and no life. And I blamed myself for this--"There's obviously something so wrong with me that no one likes me." "My personality just sucks." "I'm so inherently disgusting that no one wants me around." I just sort of hated on myself for my circumstances and (lack of) relationships with others.

    5) Fives use isolation to avoid the experience of inner emptiness and maintain a self image of being knowledgeable. Isolation can be physical withdrawal from others, but it also means withdrawing on the inside from one's emotions and staying up in the head. Acquiring knowledge becomes a way to create safety and self worth, but an over-emphasis on the intellect prevents Fives from connecting with the life force in their bodies and the support available in relationship with others.
    I am isolated and live in my head, but for other reasons, as I am discovering.

    6) Sixes use projection to avoid rejection and to maintain a self image of being loyal. Projection is a way of attributing to others what one can't accept in oneself, both positive and negative. Positive feelings are projected onto a romantic relationship or an external authority figure in order to assure safety and justify loyalty. Negative feelings are projected onto others to justify internal feelings of fear and distrust. Sixes support their projections by finding and amplifying the information which fits their premise.
    Despite this being my head-fix, I am seldom aware of doing this--I tend to know what's going on inside and what originates with me. I may have stronger tendencies to think I see how crappy others are. I'm pretty sure I projected my own fears on my stepfather as a kid, for instance, but on the whole no.

    Actually, I'd argue that every type projects its mental state on others.

    7) Sevens use rationalization to avoid suffering and to maintain a self image of being OK. Rationalization is a way of staying in the head, explaining away or justifying things in order to distance from painful feelings and refuse to take responsibility for their behavior. Everything can be re-framed towards the positive. Their ability to think of new options and possibilities allows Sevens to leave the present moment with its limitations and live in a seemingly unlimited future.
    The first time I read this, I was like, LOL how gay.

    Then I realized just how much I actually do that. I don't so much refuse to take responsibility for my actions--if anything I am overly responsible. However, for me, rationalization takes the form of endlessly making my past experiences a "story" rather than things that can actually affect me. Note that this may be enhanced by Hollywood-style emotions and imagination, but it is still making one's experience into a mental construct.

    Take a good look at my stories in this very entry--I'm doing it again.

    8) Eights use denial to avoid vulnerability and to maintain a self image of being strong. Denial means to power up in the body center and forcefully re-direct energy and attention through willfulness and control. Vulnerable feelings are automatically put away and not experienced. Emotional energy is reduced, while instinctual energy is increased. Receptivity necessarily involves some vulnerability, so Eights seek to impact the world and other people rather than be receptive to them.
    This is like when I was walking along one time and cut myself on a drainpipe. I just kept walking and staring concertedly at the sidewalk so that my mind didn't spin on it and make me pass out or something. Willing whatever-it-is away. There ARE no troops in Baghdad.

    It's not only about being "strong" or impacting the world. It can simply be a matter of being completely myopic. In my typing experience, I'd arbitrarily decide what type I was, then use everything I could to justify that to myself. Evidence to the contrary--staring me directly in the face at times--was simply dismissed as "the authors don't know what they're talking about". Then I'd throw out bullshit to justify that typing--which wasn't a lie, but was just being strategically used in favor of my own case. And I was completely short-sighted about it--I've said many things I regret, and which have permanently ruined my credibility. Any excuse not accept things.

    9) Nines use narcotization to avoid conflict and to maintain a self image of being comfortable or harmonious. Narcotization is using food and drink, entertainment, or simply repetitive patterns of thinking and doing to "put oneself to sleep". Even productive activities can keep Nines narcotized if they become too habitual. Avoiding conflict with others keeps Nines from being fully present in relationships. Avoiding internal conflict leads to inertia and self-forgetting.
    Unfortunately, as much as this sounds unlike me, I do it in some ways--for me it's more about eating at the same place or always taking the same driver to work so I don't have to think about it. Tuning out my work and living only for the weekends (which I will then waste on Typology Central and reading Enneagram literature for the 234465th time). Other times, I'll just not want to dredge something up in my mind since I'll just be thinking about it again later anyway. I don't think it's to avoid anything, though...my stupid brain just does this. Maybe a core 9 can explain it better.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Sanjuro's Avatar
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    Because everything I say these days must be double posted.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by VagrantFarce View Post
    Thank you for posting this great stuff!

    I relate to... 4, 7, 8. Maybe a tiny little bit of 2 or 5.

    I only weakly relate to 4 but I once had a strong experience in life about that mechanism.

    I relate to 7 as far as "Sevens use rationalization to avoid suffering and to maintain a self image of being OK. Rationalization is a way of staying in the head, explaining away or justifying things in order to distance from painful feelings and refuse to take responsibility for their behavior". Lol at the last part especially about responsibilities... I don't relate to the part "leave the present moment with its limitations and live in a seemingly unlimited future".

    I relate to 8 about denial and willfullness. This I relate to very much as well: "Vulnerable feelings are automatically put away and not experienced. Emotional energy is reduced, while instinctual energy is increased. Receptivity necessarily involves some vulnerability, so Eights seek to impact the world and other people rather than be receptive to them".

    It's interesting what it says about 5's using isolation to avoid inner emptiness. Surely that works the exact opposite way than with me I will feel inner emptiness if I'm isolated from the world. Though, if I play enough with some concepts stuff I can avoid feeling it.

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