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  1. #1
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    Default Is the Enneagram inside out?

    There seem to be two contradicting ideas about what e-types are about:
    - A literal description of what consciously motives the person and the resulting character.
    - An underlining description of the principles which the person's character is built to deny & avoid.
    Hypothetically those can coexist, and can even seem as two sides of the same coin, but in practice the personality descriptions seem to outright contradict:

    (Disclaimer: I have so far encountered these notions about 2, 4, 7 & 9. The rest - 1, 3, 5, 6 & 8 - are extrapolation on the same difference on my part, and might not be accurate depictions of how that difference is usually applied to those types).

    1 Literal: Actively seek perfection and self improvement:
    Attempting to grow and better themselves and everything around them in accordance to an internal notion of how things should be.
    1 Underlined: In denial about the need for self improvement:
    Attempting to withhold imperfections from their consciousness, either by prosecuting it in others and by denying it about themselves.

    2 Literal: Actively seek to be truly helpful to others:
    Truly caring about the well being of other's more then themselves, wishing to do their best to "heal the bird so they'll be able to set it free".
    2 Underlined: Never feels truly loved, mentally built to maintain denial about it:
    Seeks to tie people down to themselves through favors & aid in order to create co dependent relationships, fearing that they themselves are not enough.

    3 Literal: Actively seek to attain an admirable public image:
    Always seeking ways to impress others, demonstrate and prove how successful they are and show the world how great they are.
    3 Underlined: Maintain a sense of denial about not feeling good enough:
    Seeking to prove aspects of themselves which would be recognized as positive in order to counter and cover anything that would affirm a negative sense of identity.

    4 Literal: Actively seeks to learn more about who they really are:
    Artistic and expressionistic, on a never ending journey of self discovery for the purpose of learning more and more about who they are and what they can be.
    4 Underlined: Never able to accept anything about who they are:
    Incapable of truly engaging categorical self learning and accepting the findings of self-discovery, transfixed on an unattainable idealistic notion of meaningful identity.

    5 Literal: Active learners always seeking to know more about the world:
    True skeptics - love the unknown and engage it heads on in a continues thirst for knowledge, information and ways to better understand it.
    5 Underlined: Want to be able to tell themselves how much they already know:
    Maintain an illusion of expertise and competence in order to quell their minds and arm themselves against the sense of the impending unknown.

    6 Literal: Actively seek a sense of security:
    Never feeling secure, always paranoid about the next fear that might becoming true in their lives, always worried about what's around the corner.
    6 Underlined: Maintain a denial about their sense of insecurity:
    Telling themselves that loyalty an authority can keep them safe. telling themselves that there's nothing to fear, working to maintain the illusion that they won't be hurt.

    7 Literal: Actively seeks excitement and builds a life to avoid it:
    The party animal - always seeks the next high over the corner and how to drown themselves in the next opportunity for drugs sex and rock 'n roll.
    7 Underlined: Always fully engaged. Is mentally "built" to never experience boredom:
    Doesn't need to party, there's a party in their heads all the time, their frame of mind is always creating stimuli and an interesting way to look at things.

    8 Literal: Actively seeks to grow and accumulate in power:
    The politician - seeking to grow their leverage and power over those around them, building a fortress in which nobody can hurt them.
    8 Underlined: Seek to maintain denial about feeling powerless:
    Challenges others prove to themselves that they already are powerful in order to maintain a sense of denial about their own basic vulnerability.

    9 Literal: Actively avoids going into conflicts:
    The diplomat, highly conscious of the conflicting points they have with people and is always attempting to resolve them and work them through.
    9 Underlined: Denies that the conflicts exist:
    Avoids engaging in personal conflicts and persistently sweeps any conflicts under the rug or simply runs away in order to maintain an illusion of peace....

    What gives? Are those two different types that both exist as sub types? Perhaps some sort of descriptions of a an E-types internal conflict? Or is there one correct Enneagram? Which of the descriptions of your type do you identify more? Which version is more reasonable and applicable to us as human beings? Which should I go by?

  2. #2
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    I think the valuable part of the enneagram lies in its description of habitual unhealthy defense mechanisms, which correspond to your "underlined" statements above. (Although the fact that the non-underlined statements are formatted as underlined triggers a certain amount of cognitive dissonance.)

    I have, at least so far, found the "positive" side of the enneagram to be not particularly useful, although perhaps that says more about my level of development than anything inherent about the enneagram itself. Often the positive descriptions strike me as a way to reinforce and make one feel better about those unhealthy defense mechanisms, rather than coming to gripes with their negative influence. So in that sense I find them counterproductive.

  3. #3

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    @Jarlaxle
    you basically blow off all the enneagram types being selfish, living in self denial with low self confidence, except on 7s... you pictured them as the creatures who don't need the external world because their mind is vivid and imaginative enough.. come on man, this is not how it's done... be objective

  4. #4
    The Dark Lord The Wailing Specter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inis Mona View Post
    @Jarlaxle
    you basically blow off all the enneagram types being selfish, living in self denial with low self confidence, except on 7s... you pictured them as the creatures who don't need the external world because their mind is vivid and imaginative enough.. come on man, this is not how it's done... be objective
    Lol
    Enneagram: 6w7 (phobic) > 2w1 > 9w1
    Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
    Holland Code: AIS
    Date of Birth: March 15, 1996
    Gender: Male
    Political Stance: Libertarian Liberal (Arizona School/Strong BHL)
    ATHEIST UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST HUMANIST
    and
    SCIENCE ENTHUSIAST


    I say this as a reminder to myself, but this goes for everyone:

    You can achieve anything you set your mind to, and you are limited only by how dedicated you are to succeed!

    -Magic Qwan

  5. #5
    Senior Member pinkgraffiti's Avatar
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    I think you're on to something. I think the underlined version of type 7 (my type) is correct, and in fact I really don't see myself in the literal version.

    PS: but your type 4 descriptions seems rather vague and I have the impression you don't really understand this type.

  6. #6
    untitled Chanaynay's Avatar
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    I agree with @Inis Mona about how you framed 7s. 7s want to avoid pain and deprivation, and one tactic is by putting a positive spin on what's happening. However...

    Quote Originally Posted by Enneagram Institute
    Frustration relates to our feeling that our comfort and needs are not being sufficiently attended to. The self is experienced as "hungry"—uncomfortable, restless, dissatisfied, impatient, or needy. These feelings arise from deeply conditioned patterns from our childhood. A person may actually be getting their needs met in ways they may not recognize, but still feel frustrated due to this background patterning. In fact, even if the person’s needs are consciously met, he will often find something else to become frustrated about. This is because the person’s identity is partially based on being frustrated. Sometimes we also reverse the pattern and become the one who frustrates others as a way of defending against our own feelings of frustration.

    The Frustration-based Group includes types One, Four, and Seven. None of these types ever seems to be able to find what it is looking for; they all can quickly become disenchanted with whatever previously has seemed to be the solution to their desires.

    Sevens are frustrated because they pin their hopes for happiness on specific experiences that ultimately fail to satisfy them, moving on to something new with equal ardor and high hopes for fulfillment, usually only to be disappointed again. They feel, "I can’t find what will satisfy me—I’ve got to keep looking and going after it."
    The path to an E7's growth, then, would be recognizing this and coming in touch with their E5 "soul child" (according to Sandra Maitri):

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandra Maitri: The Spiritual Dimensions of the Enneagram
    The Soul-Child Of Enneatype Seven (Point 5)
    Wthin every seemingly magnanimous and happy-go-lucky seven is a very miserly, witholding, and withdrawing soul child -a little Five. She holds on to what she has tenaciously, storing all of her candy and her toys away so that the other kids cannot get at them and take them from her. Driven by fear of loss and an inner sense of scarcity, she feels empty inside and afraid that no more sustenance will come her way. For all of a Seven's apparent gregariousness, optimism, and interest in life, this young place inside wants to hide from life and connect with it from a distance. This soul child can also be a nerdy little know-it-all who relies primarily on her intellect. It is likely that in a Seven's childhood, her reclusive, self-enclosing, and solitary tendencies were not allowed, and that she got the message that she needed to be more externally oriented and buoyant. It is also likely that her mental skills got supported and developed at the expense of a more innate and intuitive understanding, turning her into a little egghead who felt disconnected from the other kids. A Seven's sunniness became a way of masking and defending against her inner sense of scarcity and of not belonging, not feeling part of the group or family and not fitting in.

    It is very difficult for a Seven, with her need to be cheery, optimistic, and enthusiastic about things, to acknowledge this withdrawn, frightened, and reclusive young part of herself. What feels the most difficult is the sense of scarcity that drives her soul child - the parched inner emptiness and dryness - which initially feels life threatening for a Seven to make contact with. The more she does not judge and reject this part of herself, the more the avaricious and isolating tendencies will transform, especially as her sense of being an ultimately seperate entity - and thus one who is cut off from the rest of existence - is challenged. Her geeky, nebbishy, and bookish qualities will transmute into true embodied knowing, that of the Diamond Consciousness. As her sense of ultimate separation from being and from others comes into question, and her inner desert blooms with all of the flowers of Essence, her soul will truly know directly. She will feel part of the Whole, understanding experientially that separation is impossible, and her okayness will be real rather than reactive.
    sorry to make this all about 7s haha
    7w6 - 2w3 - 8w7 sx/so


  7. #7
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    I relate to both 6 and 5 about equally well
    In no likes experiment.

    that is all

    i dunno what else to say so

  8. #8
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    I disagree with a lot of the details of the OP, but re: the overall point, "Literal" and "Underlined" aren't contradictory at all. "Literal" is a coping mechanism used to deal with "Underlined". One results from the other.

    Any contradiction you see is probably from misunderstandings of the type, to be honest.

    For example, type 1:

    1 Literal: Actively seek perfection and self improvement:
    Attempting to grow and better themselves and everything around them in accordance to an internal notion of how things should be.
    They don't always try to improve themselves. A lot of the time they only try to improve others. I would argue that only at a healthy level will a type 1 try to improve themselves with the same enthusiasm with which they try to improve everything else.
    1 Underlined: In denial about the need for self improvement:
    Attempting to withhold imperfections from their consciousness, either by prosecuting it in others and by denying it about themselves.
    Only at an unhealthy level. At a medium and healthy level, a 1 will be able to recognize their flaws and work on them.

    I would say, personally, that type 1 literal is to seek out perfection in the internal and external realm, while type 1 underlined is to avoid being flawed. If an unhealthy type 1 is blocking out their imperfections (per your description), it's because deep down they are 100% aware of them, and block them out to avoid the intense guilt that would come from recognizing their hypocrisy. (Look only to the character arc of Inspector Javert for a perfect example of this.)
    ~ g e t f e s t i v e ! ~


    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
    Coriolis: "Is that the ESTJ Serenity Prayer?"



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  9. #9
    The Dark Lord The Wailing Specter's Avatar
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    Wthin every seemingly magnanimous and happy-go-lucky seven is a very miserly, witholding, and withdrawing soul child -a little Five. She holds on to what she has tenaciously, storing all of her candy and her toys away so that the other kids cannot get at them and take them from her. Driven by fear of loss and an inner sense of scarcity, she feels empty inside and afraid that no more sustenance will come her way. For all of a Seven's apparent gregariousness, optimism, and interest in life, this young place inside wants to hide from life and connect with it from a distance. This soul child can also be a nerdy little know-it-all who relies primarily on her intellect. It is likely that in a Seven's childhood, her reclusive, self-enclosing, and solitary tendencies were not allowed, and that she got the message that she needed to be more externally oriented and buoyant. It is also likely that her mental skills got supported and developed at the expense of a more innate and intuitive understanding, turning her into a little egghead who felt disconnected from the other kids. A Seven's sunniness became a way of masking and defending against her inner sense of scarcity and of not belonging, not feeling part of the group or family and not fitting in.

    I relate heavily to this.
    Enneagram: 6w7 (phobic) > 2w1 > 9w1
    Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
    Holland Code: AIS
    Date of Birth: March 15, 1996
    Gender: Male
    Political Stance: Libertarian Liberal (Arizona School/Strong BHL)
    ATHEIST UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST HUMANIST
    and
    SCIENCE ENTHUSIAST


    I say this as a reminder to myself, but this goes for everyone:

    You can achieve anything you set your mind to, and you are limited only by how dedicated you are to succeed!

    -Magic Qwan

  10. #10
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    I say the Literal descriptions would create a pack of bullshit caricatured personalities. I vote the Underlined descriptions make more sense.



    Enneagram is about unconscious fears. Once your fears are realized, you can kill them.

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