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  1. #1
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Default Self-help for 5's

    In reading one of the other threads here, I ran across the following link with information about 5's:

    The Distinctions of Type 5

    This paragraph especially stood out:

    Unhealthy Fives also stay distant from their own emotions by living in a world of information and ideas. The more they cut themselves off, however, the more they struggle with feelings of emptiness, loneliness and compulsive need. It's like trying to talk yourself out of being hungry. At this stage, a Five may be slow to know how she feels because she can only reach her feelings through a lengthy sequence of thinking. Unhealthy Fives worship gods of reason and try to look distantly down on their own emotions. This can also translate into a superior/arrogant attitude towards other people.
    I was taken aback by how familiar this sounds. Yes, I can see how this falls under the heading of unhealthy behavior, which suggests that it should be addressed somehow, but how? My knowledge of enneagram is limited. While I am fairly confident in my type designation (5w6 sp), I am at a loss when it comes to using the enneagram system for actual self-improvement. I've read about wings, tritypes, directions of integration, etc. but always end up wondering: now what do I actually DO?

    Have any other 5's been able to use enneagram to effect meaningful change in yourself? How did you do it? Comments from other types are welcome, too.
    Last edited by Patches; 07-06-2012 at 11:38 PM.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  2. #2
    Senior Member VagrantFarce's Avatar
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    Get comfortable with spontaneity - recognise that when you choose to conceal yourself, or when you choose to withdraw participation, you're only doing yourself a disservice. And stop over thinking the problem, because too much thinking is the problem. Get in touch with your body and your chest and your intuition, rather than relying on the models that you've built in your head.

    And that's not a scary as it sounds, so don't let fear drive you further down the rabbit hole. Fear is the problem for Fives, since it drives them to detach from the world - just try to recognise that there is nothing worth being afraid of.
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  3. #3
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    If you figure this out please let the rest of us know!

    I've just come to accept that fear is something I have to live with. Really, when you get down to it, fear is something we all have to live with, it's just that in 5s this fact takes the psychological center stage. You just learn to hold your breath and submerge yourself in the outer world for gradually greater lengths of time.

    That's been my experience, at least.
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

  4. #4
    Certified Sausage Smoker Elfboy's Avatar
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    @Coriolis
    - don't forget that the main purpose of learning is so that you can actually do something with it
    - learn to quite your mind. if you thinking about things, you're just going to freak yourself out, retreat back into your cave, rinse and repeat. the best way to handle a problem is to make an effort to fix it as fast as possible.
    - research and intellectual pursuits are well and good, but keep them in perspective. the purpose of learning is a) to put it to practical use or b) as a leisure activity to engage in after your day to day activities have been taken care of.
    - keep the principle of the point of diminishing returns and the 80/20 principle in mind. you don't need to be familiar with 100% of the knowledge on a subject in order to begin, and if you try to do this, you will never get around to starting. building a foundation is great to a point, but eventually you have to move on and start building the rest of the house

    in summary, knowledge is the servant of action and not the other way around

    PS: good luck from a fellow head center type also trying to integrate
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  5. #5
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfboy View Post
    in summary, knowledge is the servant of action and not the other way around
    Some people may think so, others would argue the opposite. This is a matter of preference and not very practical advice.
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

  6. #6
    Senior Member VagrantFarce's Avatar
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    Try to recognise how you're subconsciously framing your own existence - this silly assumption that you don't have the time and energy needed to face the world, and that it's too scary to put your first foot forward without thinking it over or otherwise "looking inward". Don't take anything for granted about yourself - absolutely everything is up for debate. The sooner you get back in touch with all that energy in your gut & the love in your heart, the sooner you'll find the strength and passion you need to embrace life.

    This isn't something you have to learn, either - it's something you need to reconnect with. I bet it will feel intensely familiar, and you'll wonder what all the fuss was about.

    It's a lot easier and a lot less scary than you think, just breathe deep and go for it.
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  7. #7
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Have any other 5's been able to use enneagram to effect meaningful change in yourself? How did you do it? Comments from other types are welcome, too.
    I hear you, a lot of times I’ll read a 5 description and think it’s dead on, but that does little in helping me figure out how to change it. I mean, when the overwhelming urge to withdraw and think a little harder about things has been pointed out to you- so withdrawing to think more about it is probably a bad idea- where do you go from there?

    One thing I have found very helpful is to just notice and be more aware of when I’m doing it. And what helps me do that, more than anything else, is reading the ‘affirmation’ type things every day. I personally find “don’t withdraw to think about stuff- just act on it” advice to be unhelpful because essentially it’s like saying: “stop being e5, problem solved.” All it does is make me withdraw and think “okay, how can I stop withdrawing so that I can act on things immediately” (and of course, if that’s something I could figure out by withdrawing to think about it….). But reading the affirmation things helps me to stop withdrawing by helping to pinpoint the reason I’m doing it in the first place. It’s kept in bite size manageable chunks- but in reading a couple every day, they build up and I really do feel more mindful of how being e5 influences my default mode of thinking all day long. I really do have a better grasp on how much I *feel* like I need to withdraw to think about things. In the moment “I *could* act now, and I realize I’m reluctant because of my own fears, but I’m *choosing* to think about it/plan it out further instead” occurs to me instead of just blindly feeling the NEED to withdraw and take some time. I didn’t even realize how often I do it.

    Enneagram institute emails daily ‘enneathoughts’ (for free, link here) when you sign up for them, and I’ve found most of them quite insightful. Most of them say something like “notice this urge in you to ________ today.” Also- The Wisdom Of The Enneagram has some helpful practical advice (unlike most books which, as stated in the op, mostly contain descriptions...while the descriptions may be fantastic, they don't really help change anything).
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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  8. #8
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfboy View Post
    in summary, knowledge is the servant of action and not the other way around
    This is already very much how I approach life, though I won't claim it as an absolute truth. As an INTJ 5, I usually have no trouble acting on my thoughts and research. In other words, I readily engage with the world all the time to accomplish things I consider worthwhile, and have generally been successful in this regard.

    What I identify with most in the excerpt I posted is the preference for information and ideas over anything emotion-related. I engage with the world, but almost exclusively on an intellectual and conceptual basis, and often with some specific practical end in mind. As the quote describes, I seem to reach feelings mainly through thinking processes.

    Quote Originally Posted by VagrantFarce View Post
    Try to recognise how you're subconsciously framing your own existence - this silly assumption that you don't have the time and energy needed to face the world, and that it's too scary to put your first foot forward without thinking it over or otherwise "looking inward". Don't take anything for granted about yourself - absolutely everything is up for debate. The sooner you get back in touch with all that energy in your gut & the love in your heart, the sooner you'll find the strength and passion you need to embrace life.
    There is something important here, though I am not grasping it completely on first read. Yes, for me it is definitely a matter of time and energy, moreso than fear. Certain activities and pursuits just don't make it far enough up my priority list for me to be willing to allocate time and energy to them. Also, I can much more readily tap into gut energy; much of my motivation to put plans into action feeds on this, as well as my focus/intensity in seeing them through. Heart energy is another matter, though.

    As for fear, I understood that every etype was motivated by fear, but the nature of that fear differed for each type.

    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    I hear you, a lot of times I’ll read a 5 description and think it’s dead on, but that does little in helping me figure out how to change it. I mean, when the overwhelming urge to withdraw and think a little harder about things has been pointed out to you- so withdrawing to think more about it is probably a bad idea- where do you go from there?
    Exactly. It is precisely because I am trying to act on this knowledge and not just sit in a corner and ruminate over it that it is so frustrating.

    Finally, thanks everyone for the comments. They are all useful.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  9. #9
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    In reading one of the other threads here, I ran across the following link with information about 5's:

    The Distinctions of Type 5

    This paragraph especially stood out:



    I was taken aback by how familiar this sounds. Yes, I can see how this falls under the heading of unhealthy behavior, which suggests that it should be addressed somehow, but how? My knowledge of enneagram is limited. While I am fairly confident in my type designation (5w6 sp), I am at a loss when it comes to using the enneagram system for actual self-improvement. I've read about wings, tritypes, directions of integration, etc. but always end up wondering: now what do I actually DO?

    Have any other 5's been able to use enneagram to effect meaningful change in yourself? How did you do it? Comments from other types are welcome, too.
    First, spell out the things that are bothering you. The quoted material mentioned some generalities about unhealthy 5s being out of touch with their emotions. How is this a problem for you?

    Get a tough job like mine, something that will blast you out of your comfort zone time and time again. That, and challenging relationships, will create emotional issues that you can't ignore.

    In my case, I was determined to take responsibility and not pass the blame for my feelings onto others. Bringing this back around to the self requires constant effort, as the ego is not a self-blamer.

    It was also very important for me to hit bottom emotionally when I was 29, as a wake-up call. This is not something that can be planned. It can also be very dangerous because hitting bottom is such a critical moment that can go either way, like being on the edge of a precipice in a very literal sense.
    "If you try to build something that is idiot-proof, the universe will build a better idiot."
    I'm an extrovert trapped within an introverted soul.

  10. #10
    Senior Member VagrantFarce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    As for fear, I understood that every etype was motivated by fear, but the nature of that fear differed for each type.
    It's 5s, 6s and 7s (the head types) that are very specifically driven by fear. This fear is driven by a restless mind that makes the world out to be a much scarier place than it really is.

    [youtube=XOuuk9ms0So]fear[/youtube]

    Exactly. It is precisely because I am trying to act on this knowledge and not just sit in a corner and ruminate over it that it is so frustrating.
    You're doing it the wrong way round - get out into life and find out through experience what life is all about. Then you'll have something to ruminate on later.
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