User Tag List

Results 1 to 6 of 6

  1. #1
    Member sleepless's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    MBTI
    INFJ
    Posts
    81

    Default mbti, enneagram and self-change

    hi everyone,

    after having followed this forum för some time, i feel i would like to introduce myself and hear your thoughts on some things. i am myself an infj aswell as an enneagram type four – the identity-seeking type – which probably has something to do with this interest in types and self-discovery.

    now, i realize this is an mbti-forum, but hey, enneagram is great too i think it’s fascinating how they relate to each other, at least in my own case, and also how people develop and switch from one type to another, which seems quite possible in the mbti (at least it’s supposed to be impossible in the enneagram).

    ok, first, my background and some thoughts on type-switching. when i was 15 i took the mbti for the first time – the only time i’ve taken the *real* test – and scored as an intp, that’s two letters from now! i’m also sure it was the right result, thinking about how i was at that time – skeptical, argumentative, very philosophical in the classical-socrates-sense of the word, wanting to find ”the truth”, etc... (looking back i even find some small traces of a destructive intj) somehow, though, a part of me knew i didn’t *want* to be intp, or rather i didn't want to be thinking – i wanted, for various reasons, feeling. what happened the following years was that i slowly did switch functions, and when i took the test came out as a infp. it's clear to me how i went from primary Ti to primary Fi – should this be possible though? as an intp, shouldn't Fi be my eighth function, and by that impossible to become my first? i doubt it was, though... but of course, needless to say this change brought a very unstable and partly self-destructive personality; it was a bit of a life crisis, my sense of myself was very vulnerable, and still i held on to it because ”i don't want to compromise the way i feel about myself”, the pure Fi-ish way of holding on to something, which in the end made me go against my own nature to the point where i had several nervous breakdowns. this change in function was a slow process ranging from about when i was 17 to 19. after that, one more change of letters to... infj! it was my Ni which, after some time as this unstable infp-wannabe, emerged and made me see through it, see how fake it was, that i was in fact fooling myself (although better than the old intp). however, my ”infj-ness” also took on some destructive, childish aspects in the beginning, but today, one year later, it is much more settled and ”grown up”, and i know for sure that this is ”my real type”.

    not so simple, though. first i'd like to compare this to the enneagram: i have ”always” been a four; well, for as long as i've been anything, it's four. (for those of you unfamiliar with the enneagram, Enneagram of Personality - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, the types are listed half down this article.) i recognize both my ”fourishness”, as well as both my wings, 3 - ”The Achiever” and primarily 5 - ”The Investigator” in myself. so, i have always been 4 with a 5-wing, what i did though, as i started developing as an infj, was i tried to take on my 3-wing instead; i felt i had really found something, and (for once) wanted to go out in the world and impress people, i became ambitious, driven and started to neglect my inner need for solitude and reflection. i was trying to act as an extravert and... well... more exactly, what function is this? extraverted feeling, isn't it? infj is Ni and Fe, in that order, and even though the mbti/enneagram might be hard to compare overall, i have found that in my case, my 3-wing consists primarily of my Fe and, yes, my 5-wing represents much of my Ni.

    today i suppose i live a very introverted life, having returned again to my 5-wing, as being introverted, and as my Fe, for various reasons, doesn't work very well. now, people are supposed to have one dominant wing, but that only means the other wing needs developing. my interest in personality systems such as mbti and enneagram comes from wanting to understand myself and others, but also to take this and project it into the future – self-change. it's a bit sad when you use these tools only as a means of strengthening your ego: ”this is the way i am, this is how i work, these are my strengths and weaknesses and it's just how it is.” in the mbti, some people would really benefit from seeing what ways they could/should change, whether it's change within one's type or actual switching. one's type doesn't at all has to be one's ideal type – but that is of course something the person must realize for themselves. however, in the enneagram, it gets even more important – your personality is in fact built on a certain ”basic fear” and ”basic desire”, and to develop one must actually move beyond this. i realize i will always, basically, be a four, but through understanding the ego and it's basic fears and longings i can ”expand” and, in personality terms, develop my Fe and my 3-wing.

    here is an article on the subject which you might find interesting... the word used is ”essence”, what you ”truly are”, and i very much agree. The Enneagram and Spirituality
    and no, you don't have to read everything, the first part about covers it.

  2. #2
    Senor Membrane
    Join Date
    May 2008
    MBTI
    INFP
    Posts
    3,190

    Default

    Hi. This process you are describing sounds familiar to me. I did a similar kind of "type-switching" when I was at that age, but it took much more longer for me to learn how to deal with it. I remember taking the personality test when I wasn't really into this stuff. I was highly skeptical of it and didn't really care about the outcome, but if I remember right I had at least I and T in it. So it means I changed at least my T to F.

    Quote Originally Posted by sleepless View Post
    i’m also sure it was the right result, thinking about how i was at that time – skeptical, argumentative, very philosophical in the classical-socrates-sense of the word, wanting to find ”the truth”, etc... (looking back i even find some small traces of a destructive intj) somehow, though, a part of me knew i didn’t *want* to be intp, or rather i didn't want to be thinking – i wanted, for various reasons, feeling.
    I am also quite sure that at the time I was "living" in an INTP-way, but when compared to the long run it is obvious to me now that my INTPness was not my natural type (as a child I was hypersensitive, not an INTP-thing). I see my INTP-period resulting from the want to belong to the world and not having any stereotype to relate to. You know, the most kids have their fireman, policeman, executive role model (SJ) and then there are the artists and magicians (SP) and even the nerds and scientists (TP), but to a male NF kid there is what? Nurse? The female role model wasn't an option... so I think that in order to fit in, I unconsciously changed to fit the stereotype that was closest to myself, the nerd. Your description of yourself sounds very much the way I was. I even remember myself throwing out some totally heartless comments that can only come out from T. I had very factual perception of world.

    Quote Originally Posted by sleepless View Post
    but of course, needless to say this change brought a very unstable and partly self-destructive personality; it was a bit of a life crisis, my sense of myself was very vulnerable, and still i held on to it because ”i don't want to compromise the way i feel about myself”, the pure Fi-ish way of holding on to something, which in the end made me go against my own nature to the point where i had several nervous breakdowns.
    To me the transition period was a bit like using the T to justify the switch to the F. I didn't remember anything about me taking the test, so I didn't do with so clear structure as you. My logic at the time was based around my need to belong and the impossibility to achieve it by being what I was. This is obvious. I was not being my true self, which makes me unable to find a group because I seem like someone I'm not. Well, I was devastated by this realization, even if I didn't know what I truly was. I spent couple of years writing the stuff down and kept analyzing it. I also developed insomnia, but I don't think I had an actual breakdown. After I got to the point that I was sure what to do, I challenged myself to do stuff that would be impossible for my INTP-self. I tried to meet new people "freshly", to not have expectations, hopes or fears. I discovered that I like people and that many of them like me. The explanation is that before that my self-esteem had been so low that I didn't think I would be worth anyone liking me. This change of attitude lead into an extroverted period, but I eventually realized that extroversion isn't for me and kinda balanced it out. Very much the same as you:

    Quote Originally Posted by sleepless View Post
    it was my Ni which, after some time as this unstable infp-wannabe, emerged and made me see through it, see how fake it was, that i was in fact fooling myself (although better than the old intp). however, my ”infj-ness” also took on some destructive, childish aspects in the beginning, but today, one year later, it is much more settled and ”grown up”, and i know for sure that this is ”my real type”.
    I had some self-destructive thoughts too, and I developed some nearly masochistic habits while in the transition. I wanted to prove many things to myself so I did some painful stuff just to prove myself right. Holding breath for several minutes and such. Nothing that would do damage, but stuff that hurts...

    Quote Originally Posted by sleepless View Post
    it's a bit sad when you use these tools only as a means of strengthening your ego: ”this is the way i am, this is how i work, these are my strengths and weaknesses and it's just how it is.” in the mbti, some people would really benefit from seeing what ways they could/should change, whether it's change within one's type or actual switching.
    I partly agree. I'm sure there are people who are strengthening a type that they don't belong to. In that case it is wrong attitude. But for someone who definitely is what he's supposed to be, it's a different case. Sure, you can't trust the type blindly, but I am sure that when people develop themselves, they rarely need to switch type as we have done. And from a different perspective, I never switched at all, I just found the type I already was. And, people should keep in mind that this change doesn't come without a cost. For me it was insomnia and several years off my life, for you nervous breakdowns. I'm sure we agree it is worth it, but there might be people who rather go business-as-usual and don't break the habit, just because the problem doesn't seem worth all the trouble.

  3. #3
    Member sleepless's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    MBTI
    INFJ
    Posts
    81

    Default

    I am also quite sure that at the time I was "living" in an INTP-way, but when compared to the long run it is obvious to me now that my INTPness was not my natural type (as a child I was hypersensitive, not an INTP-thing).
    Very true... to me too, I mean. As I remember myself from early childhood (my earliest memories goes back to around 3 years of age) I was also very sensitive, very afraid of things and had terrible nightmares... I think my thinking side started taking over maybe around 6 years and later...

    To me the transition period was a bit like using the T to justify the switch to the F. [...]My logic at the time was based around my need to belong and the impossibility to achieve it by being what I was. This is obvious. I was not being my true self, which makes me unable to find a group because I seem like someone I'm not.
    Hm, yes, this sounds like me too. I think when I took the test the first time was also the first time I could define, because of the T/F-scale, what i felt (thought) was missing. Almost all the people I looked up to at that time (and still) were feelers, and myself I didn't even know how to cry anymore.

    I partly agree. I'm sure there are people who are strengthening a type that they don't belong to. In that case it is wrong attitude. But for someone who definitely is what he's supposed to be, it's a different case. Sure, you can't trust the type blindly, but I am sure that when people develop themselves, they rarely need to switch type as we have done. And from a different perspective, I never switched at all, I just found the type I already was. And, people should keep in mind that this change doesn't come without a cost. For me it was insomnia and several years off my life, for you nervous breakdowns. I'm sure we agree it is worth it, but there might be people who rather go business-as-usual and don't break the habit, just because the problem doesn't seem worth all the trouble.
    Even if you're stengthening a type you do belong to, I would say it's destructive... for example to neglect your sensing completely if you're N, and say "Look, I'm 100% intuiting", that sort of stuff. To be "pure" N or "pure" F, that's just childish, any well-developed personality will have some sort of balance between the extremes. This is also shown in the MBTI Step II, where you can come out as a "Practical Intuitionist", "Critical Feeler" and the like.

    Anyone who experiences this inner urge to change, this "I'm not true to myself"-thing, can of course try to repress it and go on as usual, but is that even possible in the long run (and isn't it quite horrible?)? I can't think of it as a situation where you try to weigh the pros and cons against each other, and then make up your mind: either you change, or you try to repress it and then for sure suffer from nervous breakdowns or insomnia for that reason instead...


    What's your enneagram type, if you know or care to find out?

  4. #4
    Senor Membrane
    Join Date
    May 2008
    MBTI
    INFP
    Posts
    3,190

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sleepless View Post
    Even if you're stengthening a type you do belong to, I would say it's destructive... for example to neglect your sensing completely if you're N, and say "Look, I'm 100% intuiting", that sort of stuff. To be "pure" N or "pure" F, that's just childish, any well-developed personality will have some sort of balance between the extremes.

    Anyone who experiences this inner urge to change, this "I'm not true to myself"-thing, can of course try to repress it and go on as usual, but is that even possible in the long run (and isn't it quite horrible?)? I can't think of it as a situation where you try to weigh the pros and cons against each other, and then make up your mind: either you change, or you try to repress it and then for sure suffer from nervous breakdowns or insomnia for that reason instead...


    What's your enneagram type, if you know or care to find out?
    The thing I meant with "strengthening your type" meant more like using the full potential of the type, which means to also use the auxiliary function. Kind of "being yourself". Trying to make the type pure N is of course as bad as denying the N altogether.

    In the long run the type will manifest itself, sure, but maybe someone needs to wait until that point. Maybe they wouldn't believe it is as important as it is if the didn't experience the problems of having the wrong type. I agree, it is very bad to repress, but that's the way it works for the most people. Routines are hard to break.

    I think my enneagram was nine. Don't remember about the wing. I've never really found out what enneagram is all about...

  5. #5
    Member sleepless's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    MBTI
    INFJ
    Posts
    81

    Default

    Ok, sorry, I misunderstood... well, I think I made my point though :P

    Well, I don't know, I'm of course being a bit Ni-ish about all this, like I can't see why people don't break out from their mental prisons etc... (and this is where I think enneagram offers a little more than mbti) and do find out what it's about, there really are things you can learn from it about yourself and others

    I suppose I was hoping to get a little more response on this thread...:rolli:

  6. #6
    Senor Membrane
    Join Date
    May 2008
    MBTI
    INFP
    Posts
    3,190

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sleepless View Post
    I'm of course being a bit Ni-ish about all this, like I can't see why people don't break out from their mental prisons etc... (and this is where I think enneagram offers a little more than mbti) and do find out what it's about, there really are things you can learn from it about yourself and others
    Keirsey wrote that NFs are the identity seeking personality. The other's don't necessarily notice that it is their personality creating the problems. At least it is much more likely for NFs to see it that way.

    Quote Originally Posted by sleepless View Post
    I suppose I was hoping to get a little more response on this thread...:rolli:
    I think these guys have seen this kind of threads in different forms many times before. I'm a newbie here... so I don't feel like repeating myself just yet.

Similar Threads

  1. Enneagram and MBTI distribution statistics
    By NewEra in forum Enneagram
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 04-29-2017, 07:04 PM
  2. MBTI/Enneagram and sleeping position
    By Abendrot in forum Myers-Briggs and Jungian Cognitive Functions
    Replies: 31
    Last Post: 02-25-2017, 06:40 AM
  3. Replies: 125
    Last Post: 01-23-2013, 09:13 PM
  4. MBTI, Enneagram and Gangs
    By Elfboy in forum Myers-Briggs and Jungian Cognitive Functions
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 03-01-2011, 09:30 PM
  5. MBTI, enneagram and self improvement
    By Ilah in forum Enneagram
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 08-12-2008, 10:45 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO