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  1. #1
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    Default Type 9 vs type 5 - differences?

    So I am trying to figure out my Enneagram type. Previously I have only superficially looked into this system, and I typed myself as a 9. It never seemed that accurate though, so I didn't bother delving into the system much more.

    However I am now giving it another go, and after a few tests and reading through the type descriptions, and also getting a bit more familiar with wings and instinctual variants, I am understanding a bit more. BUT I still can't figure out my type.

    I have narrowed myself down to either 5 or 9, of that I am pretty sure. I feel like 5 describes me pretty well at work, but i don't think I am nearly that focused in day to day life. In addition I have been working a lot and socialising little the last couple weeks so maybe I am feeling more like a focused Five than I would otherwise.

    But then again, I asked my boyfriend, and based on what was I'm sure was a very superficial read of the first type descriptions he came across, said "Five i think".

    Yet this misidentification description however says that Nines more often type as Fives, very rarely is the other way around. Yet I am female though so the "Female Nines tend to type as Twos and Male Nines tend to type as Fives" is obviously not happening in my case.

    I think maybe part of the confusion is that I think on the surface I am quite Nine-like. From OceanMoonshine:

    People of enneatype Nine are essentially looking to maintain a sense of peace, harmony and balance and to avoid conflict and disruption. Nines tend to see the best in people, to be fundamentally optimistic about the future, and, when reasonably healthy, to have a calming and grounding effect on those around them. As a general rule, Nines are fairly “easy going;” they adopt a strategy of “going with the flow.” They intuitively know how to wait for the openings so that they can slip effortlessly into the stream. Nines don’t tend to “sweat the small stuff.” On the whole, they are self-effacing, tolerant, even-tempered and likable individuals. Nines aspire to be supportive, loving and gentle and more than any other enneatype, are likely to embody these valuable qualities.
    That all sounds pretty much like me. However I don't really recognise the underlying, oh, I dunno, essence of the personality. The disassociation, 'tuning out', extreme avoidance of conflict and dislike of interaction with reality just doesn't sound quite right. Not to mention both 8 and 1 wings seem impossible, there is almost nothing that speaks to me about those types.

    Also:

    This deeply rooted tendency to avoid discord plays itself out both internally and in the realm of external action, but generally manifests most centrally in close personal relationships, as intimate relationships more than anything else tend to trigger core defenses.
    I struggle to be honest and open up sometimes, but in terms of discord in my relationship, 9/10 times we argue, I start it - because I'm upset for some reason (or no reason) and am bad at hiding it. I will sometimes attempt to avoid the topic, esp when I know I'm being unreasonable, but if it's an actual problem I usually need a bit of time to process, rein my emotions in to the point where I can express myself rationally, and then I bring up the issue to my partner.

    From 'The Wisdom of the Enneagram" on Type 5:
    Another Five might spend most of her vacation mentally taking notes on the place for a novel she is working on rather than relaxing and enjoying the trip
    Average Fives get locked into what we call preparation mode. They gather more and more information, or endlessly practice, never feeling that they are prepared enough to move into action... They never feel quite ready to put themselves on the line.
    I have definitely done the first, on one trip at least, and the second is something I battle with at work, that I am slowly learning to overcome. Actually, I am a bit afraid to let anything out until I have it definitely sorted out, for fear of it being judged and I won't be sure enough to defend it. I like to feel competent, and again in a work sense, I also like to poke at areas that I know I'm not good at, so that I will get better.

    Yet statements like this, also from "The Wisdom of the Enneagram", I dunno, just doesn't really ring that true:

    Knowledge, understanding and insight are thus highly valued by Fives, because their identity is built around having ideas and being someone who has something unusual and insightful to say. For this reason, Fives are not interested in exploring what is already familiar and well established; rather, their attention is drawn to the unusual, the overlooked, the secret, the occult, the bizarre, the fantastic, the unthinkable. Investigating unknown territory - knowing something that others do not know, or creating something that no one has ever experienced - allows Fives to have a niche for themselves that no one else occupies. They believe that developing this niche is the best way that they can attain independence and confidence."
    I learn things and understand things because I find them interesting, not necessarily because I need them to validate my own expertise. Okay, sometimes I like to research and buy a mobile phone that nobody else has, for example, or buy a more unusual product, but I think that might be a result of being a designer - I don't want the same things as everybody else. My interests, on the other hand, are a little nerdy maybe but I don't believe particularly "unthinkable".

    Also, I don't really relate to the apparently prickliness of the Five, or things like "Fives trust their own minds and feel little need to adjust their beliefs to accommodate the opinions of the majority, opinions that Fives often feel are shallow or “stupid.”". I think I am relatively tolerant, I might raise an eyebrow and debate them on the topic, but I certainly won't refuse to spend time with them because they're stupid. But maybe there's not many people around me at the moment with noticeably different opinions, so I've forgotten what it's like to clash with them. In things like political issues, I do actually like reading the other side's arguments, just to see if there's any merit & I can learn more about the situation from it.

    Part of my confusion with reading the Five profile is I cannot help but think of an old friend of mine, an INTP, who embodied all things prickly and defensive and intellectual and passive that Five seems to describe. We were quite different, though, so it seems impossible that we could be the same type.

    So I apologise for the wall of text, but anyone getting any clues from that as to which way I might lean? If I am a 5, I am most likely a 5w4, which may soften some of the 5s sharper aspects. Are there instinctual variants or wings of the Nine that might aid in where my points of contention lie?

  2. #2
    Senior Member VagrantFarce's Avatar
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    They can actually be pretty easy to tell apart, albeit externally.

    I'm a 5 and my boss is a 9 - when throw under stress he has a tendency to be deferential, passive-aggressive, indecisive, and at his worst patronising and disingenuous - he resists strongly held opinions in favour of what someone else might want to say. You can feel the tug between wanting to put his boot down, but wanting to maintain a friendly and "harmonious" demeanour at the same time. He isn't as a strong thinker as I am, he's more instinctual and frankly much friendlier, but he isn't anywhere near as opinionated or discerning as I am. He doesn't display much intellectual curiosity, but he can get along with pretty much anyone.

    You can really feel the difference between us - for him it's body-based, instinctual, about presence and gut feelings and avoiding anger or rising tempers and making sure everyone is "getting along". For me it's all in my head, it's about understanding problems, being precise and specific and wanting to know or figure out what's going on.

    I suggest you read more about the triads, they really help in discerning between lookalike types.
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  3. #3
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    Perhaps that's part of the problem, when typing oneself its quite hard to look objectively and externally at the matter.

    Secondly, I think I really need to be careful looking at my behavior outside of work only, as one of the sources said that Nines can behave quite analytic and Five-like in that sort of environment. So saying 'well I'm obviously a Five at work' therefore, always Five, could be misleading. Unfortunately, work is where I handle conflict most often, as my personal life is for the most part generally smooth sailing, so that makes it tricky.

    I quite like debating issues, when everyone's being mature and logical about it, but when people get angry and shouty or nasty then I can't handle it and just want to avoid the situation. When having to explain things that might not be favourable to people, I try to present them as sympathetically as possible to avoid people getting upset. I don't think I have a gut aversion to conflict, really, as Nines are supposed to, I just am not very good at navigating it and things tend to get out of hand so I prefer to avoid it. I also am an emotional sponge and thus get upset when others are, and I really hate that.

    Under stress I think I am more likely to get stubborn, and unwilling to assist others. Maybe a little passive aggressive at times. Usually I feel I need to block everything else out until I can sort things out in my head so I can then proceed.

    But anyway, the triads, do you have a good source that explains the differences well? I am reading a couple descriptions and it's not becoming much clearer.

    For example, instinctive has rage issues, thinking has fear issues, right? Yet in varying situations I can relate to both - I'm afraid to reveal what I know or what I am doing until it's fully worked out, for fear of rejection, and that motivates me to learn as much as I can. Yet I can also get frustrated and a little rageful when I was expecting to do things one way and now I'm going to have to do something stupid and menial, or someone else insists on doing things their way (and it's not my efficient way).

    Thinking triad is about finding a sense of inner guidance and support. Instinctive Triad is about maintaining a sense of self.
    That's not explained clearly enough for me to differentiate. Are they seeking those because they don't feel they have them? Or is that their core value/strength that they hold on to?

    Thinking types are more concerned about the future, as if to ask, “What’s going to happen to me? How am I going to survive? How can I prepare myself to keep bad things from happening? How do I more forward in life? How do I cope?” Instinctive types are concerned with the resulting aspects of the present.
    I am future oriented, generally, but I assumed that was an Intuition thing? But I am sure there are plenty of Intuitive 8/9/1s out there. If it means they have anxiety about the future, then, no, I don't think that's me, but that's surely more to do with my life being in order than my personality?

    Personally at the moment I am finding this system much less transparent and generally harder to grasp than the MBTI. At least when you've got four variables, you can usually immediately grasp one or two of them - with this all I can grasp immediately is that i'm a "withdrawn" type... and you need to figure out your main type before you can figure out your wing, and same with your instinctual variant (I know they are supposed to be independent, but conceivably a withdrawn type with a social variant could present similarly to a compliant type with a self-preservation variant?)... so I'm stuck on the first part.

    So part of me just wants to give up and go, sod it, I don't get it so I don't think it's very valid.. and the other part of me goes, but once you've figured it out it will be satifying and you'll be pleased with yourself, so keep at it.

    Ragh.

  4. #4
    Senior Member VagrantFarce's Avatar
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    These Tom Condon videos sum it up better than anything else, I think:





    I remember listening to him describe 5s, 6s and 7s and having every lightbulb in my head flash all at once.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Entropic's Avatar
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    I don't mind helping but I feel like perhaps we are approach it from the wrong direction. I do however perform type interviews if you are interested. They tend to focus on all the type systems. The thing about the enneagram is that it's not just about behavior but its about the motivations and why we do things. I would start with those than trying to identify which description sounds more like you.

    As for the head vs the gut center I'm an 8 and an intuitive type and while I'm future oriented, it's more about what I am going to do or want to do. Head types deal with the perception of reality. 5s want to know it, what is reality? How can I best understand it? 6s want to know how stable it is, how is it going to last? What is real vs not real? 7s deal with things to come, how can I be the best attuned to reality? Where is it going? Gut types in comparison deal with being in itself, our sense of physical boundaries and space that we take up in the world. Integrity is important to gut types. 8s want to assert against and to reclaim, this is my space now, what you took away from me I'm going to take back from you. 9s mediate space , this is mine and this is yours and how do we avoid trespassing? 1s try to preserve their own space, this is where I draw the lines and don't trespass over this line.

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  6. #6
    Senior Member riva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VagrantFarce View Post
    They can actually be pretty easy to tell apart, albeit externally.

    I'm a 5 and my boss is a 9 - when throw under stress he has a tendency to be deferential, passive-aggressive, indecisive, and at his worst patronising and disingenuous - he resists strongly held opinions in favour of what someone else might want to say. You can feel the tug between wanting to put his boot down, but wanting to maintain a friendly and "harmonious" demeanour at the same time. He isn't as a strong thinker as I am, he's more instinctual and frankly much friendlier, but he isn't anywhere near as opinionated or discerning as I am. He doesn't display much intellectual curiosity, but he can get along with pretty much anyone.

    You can really feel the difference between us - for him it's body-based, instinctual, about presence and gut feelings and avoiding anger or rising tempers and making sure everyone is "getting along". For me it's all in my head, it's about understanding problems, being precise and specific and wanting to know or figure out what's going on.

    I suggest you read more about the triads, they really help in discerning between lookalike types.
    Is he a 9w1? Wouldn't you say that a 9w8 would be less harmony concerned?

    It's about maintaining their inner peace isn't it? If so a little aggression would help here and there.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by VagrantFarce View Post
    These Tom Condon videos sum it up better than anything else
    Thanks for this, I will take a look when I'm not at work.

    Quote Originally Posted by Entropic View Post
    I don't mind helping but I feel like perhaps we are approach it from the wrong direction. I do however perform type interviews if you are interested.
    Yes I'd be very interested, as you are right, I am not getting anywhere, so another direction might be informative! How do you normally go about those?

    The thing about the enneagram is that it's not just about behavior but its about the motivations and why we do things. I would start with those than trying to identify which description sounds more like you.
    I guess that's why 9 has not sat right with me - although I believe I appear quite 9-like in behaviour, the motivations of 9 just don't seem quite right - at least not as the sources I've read so far. Wheras 5 I recognise more of the motivations (at least some of the time), but the behaviour less so...

    Head types deal with the perception of reality. 5s want to know it, what is reality? How can I best understand it?
    Gut types in comparison deal with being in itself, our sense of physical boundaries and space that we take up in the world. Integrity is important to gut types. [...] 9s mediate space , this is mine and this is yours and how do we avoid trespassing?
    Maybe I'm not introspecting enough to discern my true motivations, but neither of those descriptions particularly ring bells. I am an intensely private person, and find it hard to break out of my boundaries, but in terms of my space and others space, do I regulate that? I don't know, I don't think so. Certainly not consciously. I don't push to breach others' private selves (although I sometimes wish I could pry more, which might equal greater intimacy and understanding, but do unto others, etc, I couldn't stand if someone did it to me) unless they're willing to share it with me, in which case I generally feel honoured and privileged to be trustworthy enough.

    And similarly, I don't think I am necessarily seeking to understand reality... what does that even mean? First thing comes to mind is like a 'totally one with the universe, man' type of thing. I assume that's not what you're after.

    I like to know as much as I can so as to better comport myself in this world we live in, as I don't feel like one of those people that can navigate it entirely unselfconsciously. And sure, I like to understand people and their motivations and studies like those raised in Dan Ariely's Predictably Irrational fascinate me, as it's cool to get a few little more pieces in how the puzzle goes together, but is that 'reality' or is that just wanting to learn more about things around me that I happen to be interested in? I have very little patience or understanding of quantum physics (or even general physics, lets be honest) and astronomy, and that's certainly 'reality' in a scientific sense?

  8. #8
    Senior Member KitchenFly's Avatar
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    Default Type 9 vs type 5 - differences?

    Type 9 vs type 5 - differences.

    I think the simplest analogy for determining the primary difference between these two types is by the way they utilise Id. Types 4 - 5 and type 9 exercise there difference via both Id and the three centre's hart, head and gut.

    The analogy in mind is a wheel on a car, the type that likes to most control over direction is type five so I think of the rime of the wheel ,bolted to the axial as likened to the fives utilising control of Id with the head centre as preferred orientation.
    The sensitivity to the feel of the ride the inner tube reminds me of type 4 utilising Control of Id to organise an understanding of the ride type 4 is partaking within type 4 utilises control of Id with the hart centre as preferred orientation.
    The durability to steadfastly relate to the external terrain of the ride it's going along on,the tier reminds me of type 9. Type 9 utilises control of Id with the gut centre as preferred orientation.

    I as a type 9, I rely on a visceral contact...and for me this is my Id nature my gut centre lead nature.
    @seradane, witch part of the wheel do you most identity with?

    The Hub?
    The Tube?
    The Tier?

  9. #9
    Injustice Needs To stoP RandomINTP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seradane View Post
    So I am trying to figure out my Enneagram type. Previously I have only superficially looked into this system, and I typed myself as a 9. It never seemed that accurate though, so I didn't bother delving into the system much more.

    However I am now giving it another go, and after a few tests and reading through the type descriptions, and also getting a bit more familiar with wings and instinctual variants, I am understanding a bit more. BUT I still can't figure out my type.

    I have narrowed myself down to either 5 or 9, of that I am pretty sure. I feel like 5 describes me pretty well at work, but i don't think I am nearly that focused in day to day life. In addition I have been working a lot and socialising little the last couple weeks so maybe I am feeling more like a focused Five than I would otherwise.

    But then again, I asked my boyfriend, and based on what was I'm sure was a very superficial read of the first type descriptions he came across, said "Five i think".

    Yet this misidentification description however says that Nines more often type as Fives, very rarely is the other way around. Yet I am female though so the "Female Nines tend to type as Twos and Male Nines tend to type as Fives" is obviously not happening in my case.

    I think maybe part of the confusion is that I think on the surface I am quite Nine-like. From OceanMoonshine:



    That all sounds pretty much like me. However I don't really recognise the underlying, oh, I dunno, essence of the personality. The disassociation, 'tuning out', extreme avoidance of conflict and dislike of interaction with reality just doesn't sound quite right. Not to mention both 8 and 1 wings seem impossible, there is almost nothing that speaks to me about those types.

    Also:



    I struggle to be honest and open up sometimes, but in terms of discord in my relationship, 9/10 times we argue, I start it - because I'm upset for some reason (or no reason) and am bad at hiding it. I will sometimes attempt to avoid the topic, esp when I know I'm being unreasonable, but if it's an actual problem I usually need a bit of time to process, rein my emotions in to the point where I can express myself rationally, and then I bring up the issue to my partner.

    From 'The Wisdom of the Enneagram" on Type 5:



    I have definitely done the first, on one trip at least, and the second is something I battle with at work, that I am slowly learning to overcome. Actually, I am a bit afraid to let anything out until I have it definitely sorted out, for fear of it being judged and I won't be sure enough to defend it. I like to feel competent, and again in a work sense, I also like to poke at areas that I know I'm not good at, so that I will get better.

    Yet statements like this, also from "The Wisdom of the Enneagram", I dunno, just doesn't really ring that true:



    I learn things and understand things because I find them interesting, not necessarily because I need them to validate my own expertise. Okay, sometimes I like to research and buy a mobile phone that nobody else has, for example, or buy a more unusual product, but I think that might be a result of being a designer - I don't want the same things as everybody else. My interests, on the other hand, are a little nerdy maybe but I don't believe particularly "unthinkable".

    Also, I don't really relate to the apparently prickliness of the Five, or things like "Fives trust their own minds and feel little need to adjust their beliefs to accommodate the opinions of the majority, opinions that Fives often feel are shallow or “stupid.”". I think I am relatively tolerant, I might raise an eyebrow and debate them on the topic, but I certainly won't refuse to spend time with them because they're stupid. But maybe there's not many people around me at the moment with noticeably different opinions, so I've forgotten what it's like to clash with them. In things like political issues, I do actually like reading the other side's arguments, just to see if there's any merit & I can learn more about the situation from it.

    Part of my confusion with reading the Five profile is I cannot help but think of an old friend of mine, an INTP, who embodied all things prickly and defensive and intellectual and passive that Five seems to describe. We were quite different, though, so it seems impossible that we could be the same type.

    So I apologise for the wall of text, but anyone getting any clues from that as to which way I might lean? If I am a 5, I am most likely a 5w4, which may soften some of the 5s sharper aspects. Are there instinctual variants or wings of the Nine that might aid in where my points of contention lie?
    Look at how well the Ennegram Type 4 fits to you.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member VagrantFarce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by riva View Post
    Is he a 9w1? Wouldn't you say that a 9w8 would be less harmony concerned?

    It's about maintaining their inner peace isn't it? If so a little aggression would help here and there.
    Wing is tough to tell - I tend to avoid wings tbh, they muddy the water.

    And I agree, he could stand to be more aggressive sometimes - he just bloody won't be.
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