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?