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Thread: A few questions

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    Xena's boyfriend Bardsandwarriors's Avatar
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    Question A few questions

    Hi, I am only a newbie at Enneagrams, and trying to clarify my understanding. A few questions for you -

    - What is the source of Shame? I read somewhere that Shame is caused by being so, because the so person is attuned to the wider social sphere and their position in it. But I also read ( Here ) that Shame is caused by being a feeling type (2-3-4).

    - I read (in the above article) that Shame, Fear and Anger are the most basic issues which cause people to find a coping strategy, which comes to dominate their personality; and that there are 3 ways of coping with each one. I wonder if this is a theoretical model, and perhaps in the real world people have a random mix of issues, with a mix of coping mechanisms? For instance, you might cope with Shame by a combination of 4 and 3, and simultaneously with Fear by 5 and 7, making you a 4w3/57.

    - Are Shame, Fear and Anger really the three basic issues, or are there more? Perhaps Reality is more nuanced than that?

    I am at the stage of learning about my type, and being aware of the others, but not in any depth yet. Please excuse my idiocy if there are simple answers to these!
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    More related questions (see this graphic ) -

    - When a wing is in the same centre, why are only certain combinations possible? Eg. -

    -- In the thinkg centre, 5 and 7 (withdrawn-assertive) is not permitted.
    -- In the heart centre, 4 and 3 (withdrawn-assertive) are ok, but 4 and 2 (withdrawn-compliant) are not.

    - When a wing overlaps from one centre to another, why does the with/com/assert aspect have to remain the same, eg. in 4w5 (withdrawn-withdrawn) or 7w8 (assertive-assertive)?
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    Senior Member Entropic's Avatar
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    - What is the source of Shame? I read somewhere that Shame is caused by being so, because the so person is attuned to the wider social sphere and their position in it. But I also read ( Here ) that Shame is caused by being a feeling type (2-3-4).
    The source of shame is the superego, and shame could be summarized as a feeling of wrongness that occurs with one's sense of self and how one is perceived as opposed to guilt, which is more to do with what one does or acts. The feeling of shame has nothing to do with the social instinct. The social instinct is more a sense of belonging, to be a part of a larger social context and to understand the connection one has to it e.g. be a part of it and where you are a part or be outside of it etc.

    - I read (in the above article) that Shame, Fear and Anger are the most basic issues which cause people to find a coping strategy, which comes to dominate their personality; and that there are 3 ways of coping with each one. I wonder if this is a theoretical model, and perhaps in the real world people have a random mix of issues, with a mix of coping mechanisms? For instance, you might cope with Shame by a combination of 4 and 3, and simultaneously with Fear by 5 and 7, making you a 4w3/57.
    No, these are the three primary emotions and are at the heart of each center of intelligence (gut, head, heart). People will fundamentally struggle with one primary emotion as being of more relevance over the other two e.g. I'm an 8, so I struggle a lot with anger. Anger precedes any other emotional experience I have and anger is the first emotion I feel. It's extremely visceral and underlies the core of my being and is a result of a direct reaction to the state of the world as I see it.

    As for a mix, you may be interested in wing and tritype theory. With wing theory, you can have influence from a wing outside of your primary center of intelligence if your type is not a part of the central triangle i.e. 3, 6 or 9. Tritype posits that we got one type from each center of intelligence that is of the greatest concern to us, and they can also have a wing e.g. I'm an 8w9 4w3 5w4. You cannot however, mix types. You are a specific core type. This is the most important thing to remember. Everything else outside of the core is pretty secondary and more of a flavor kind of thing.

    - Are Shame, Fear and Anger really the three basic issues, or are there more? Perhaps Reality is more nuanced than that?
    According to the enneagram, no, reality is not more nuanced than that. These are the three most basic emotions and belie the core of our emotional centers of intelligence. Some more traditional and older interpretations posit that grief is the central emotion for the heart triad though, as opposed to shame. I have yet to, however, hear exactly how this works and how it's different from shame, though I think it has to do with a sense of loss of self in some way (hence the heart center's focus on image).

    - When a wing is in the same centre, why are only certain combinations possible? Eg. -

    -- In the thinkg centre, 5 and 7 (withdrawn-assertive) is not permitted.
    -- In the heart centre, 4 and 3 (withdrawn-assertive) are ok, but 4 and 2 (withdrawn-compliant) are not.
    Because this goes against the logic of the wing. The wing can only be a type directly adjacent to your core type. It cannot be a type outside of being directly adjacent to your core. I cannot be an 8w1 for example, but only 8w7 or 8w9 because 7 and 9 are adjacent to 8, but 1 is not. It would be easier to imagine wings as wings of say, an angel or a bird. The head would be the core type and from it there are two wings on the sides of the head. Each wing would be the type adjacent to the core.

    - When a wing overlaps from one centre to another, why does the with/com/assert aspect have to remain the same, eg. in 4w5 (withdrawn-withdrawn) or 7w8 (assertive-assertive)?
    It remains the same. I wouldn't focus too much on withdrawn/assertive/compliant until you understand what they mean (chances are that you don't, at this point).

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    Thanks for the detailed reply!

    I understand that a wing can only be next to your type.

    But I am trying to uncover the deeper meaning behind it. For instance, why would a 4 have aspects of a 3 or a 5, but never a 2? In psychological terms, that means a misunderstood, artistic soul can be driven to succeed and to fit in, or can be a more reclusive type who steps back and analyses themselves. But when they are a helper to other people (type 2), it is seen as a disintegration of the personality.

    And for instance, where you say "People will fundamentally struggle with one primary emotion as being of more relevance over the other two". I am really asking WHY this should be the case, because I need to understand the reasons, before I can have total faith in the Enneagram system.

    So, why is it that you would not get a person who struggles with 2 centres equally?

    Or, for instance, a person who deals with one centre through 2 different mechanisms, perhaps for different situations?
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