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  1. #1
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    Default How do I tell if I'm a 6 or an 8?

    Greetings.

    I've recently stumbled across the Enneagram, and most of the tests I've taken have agreed that I'm an 8. (A few have claimed I'm a 5 or a 1, but I'm pretty sure I'm neither.) However, having looked more closely at all nine types, I'm starting to think I might be a 6.

    Reasons I might not be an 8:
    I'm aggressive, but I don't go out of my way to hurt people, and I'm far from vengeful. (If anything, I'm too forgiving, which is very six-ish. That being said, I don't have much trouble removing myself from relationships, either. If a relationship becomes toxic, I usually cleanly cut it off without much fanfare.)
    I cry fairly easily (but always, always in private, and I never tell anyone). (This also might be just because my life sucks at the moment.)
    I'm not particularly protective of people I'm close to. (This might just be because I'm not really that close to anyone, though... But the fact that this bothers me might be a hint that I'm a 6.)
    I want people I respect to like me, and get worried/self-conscious when it seems like they don't.
    When I was a really young child, before everything got screwed up, I apparently was very gentle and sweet.


    Reasons I might be an 8:
    Again, I'm aggressive. I don't "fight" with people, but I do love to debate, and I love a challenge.
    I've heard that children who are 8s can sometimes become the caretaker for abusive/neglecting/unhealthy parents. That was definitely true for me. From a very young age, it somehow became my responsibility to carry my family through, and I did it without complaint.
    I've typically reacted to oppression with anger. For example, when I began to think I might be bisexual, I wasn't afraid of what my religious fanatic parents might do, I was just kind of ticked off at them. Similarly, I often find people who insult me to be amusing.
    I resist telling people about my problems.
    I hate dealing with other people's crap - being a counselor would be my job in hell. I get annoyed when people expect me to fix their life for them, or even when they just want to waste my time by telling me shit. This may just be a reaction to the fact that I had to sacrifice my childhood to do this for my parents, though. (On another note: I'm not completely heartless. I donate a lot of time and money to charity, I'm a vegetarian, etc. I just hate listening to other people's problems when the whole world has issues. It seems selfish.)
    I enjoy challenging the rules and authority figures.
    When I become stressed, I typically become intense, focused, and strategic. I don't really know what I'm like when I'm not stressed, because I've basically been some variation of stressed most of my life.
    I resist all forms of control. I've gotten into huge arguments with my older sister before when she has refused to let me leave her apartment (this was before I was able to drive).



    I'm thinking that I might be a 6 that was shoved into the role of an 8, but it's hard to be sure. Also, if this changes anything, I'm only 18 and I'm still living with my crazy and controlling parents, which may be pushing me farther into this role.


    Sorry for the wall of text. Not knowing has been making me crazy. If you need any other clarifying details, please just say so in the comments.

  2. #2
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    I think you may have some misconceptions about 8s there

    I'm a very good 8 somehow, but I am generally not all that aggressive unless somebody harms one of my people... and I don't go out of my way to hurt people either. I also don't mind dealing with other people's shit... especially if they are one of my people... I know that I am more capable in dealing with difficult or harmful things than they are and am willing to put myself in between them and whatever could harm them. Think Mama Bear for an 8, not Terminator. I might be more honest than anyone would like for me to be in many circumstances and I'm not afraid of telling anyone anything really because other people just aren't scary

    just to set you straight there so that you can make your assessments based on more accurate information!
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett
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  3. #3
    Senior Member ceecee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zaluel View Post
    Reasons I might not be an 8:
    I'm aggressive, but I don't go out of my way to hurt people,
    Do you really think 8's will go out of their way to hurt people or that they hurt people on a regular basis just because they're 8's?
    I like to rock n' roll all night and *part* of every day. I usually have errands... I can only rock from like 1-3.

  4. #4
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    Yeah, that was poorly phrased. I meant that I don't seek vengeance and I actively try /not/ to hurt people, except in debates or in situations where someone has pushed my patience too far for me to want to waste time with tact. For example, if someone asks me if they look fat in a pair of jeans, and they do, I'll be tactful about it. Even with people I don't like, I won't bother hurting them, whereas in most of the descriptions of 8s that I've read (either on official websites or by 8s themselves on these types of forums) 8s are painted as being painfully blunt, vengeful towards those who hurt them or their loved ones, and at times, manipulative or even cruel.

  5. #5
    Rainy Day Woman MDP2525's Avatar
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    @zaluel

    Look into CP6. It certainly sounds as if you could be. Enneagram isn't great at sussing out 6's from 8's. They have overlapping qualities but different motivations. (Fear/Anger).

    Counterphobic 6's, often don't report ever feeling fear or anxiety. It is because they react *quickly* to decrease it the moment they feel it. They never hold onto it. They would rather push it outwardly/fix it than keep it inside. Which is unbearable for a CP6.

    Do you have issues with patience? 8's are more patient, generally, in how they choose to express anger and when expressed it has laser beam focus to its recipient.

    6's anger to outsiders may look over-reactive in nature because CP6's have a pre-emptive reaction to "solve" a problem that hasn't gotten off the ground yet. Once fear-anxiety decreases 6's are more likely to forgive. Less so with 8's. Their anger is harder to diminish once lit.

    If you are a 6 and a T, you will likely type 8 and 5, usually. Sometimes throwing a 7 in there. You will be over the map and depending upon mood all of those can "make sense" but won't feel like they "fit".
    ~luck favors the ready~


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  6. #6
    Senior Member Santosha's Avatar
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    6's become 'boss' from a reactionary, fear-driven motive. They don't really like to or want to lead others, control others, but they will do so if they feel insecure, they see no other valid/healthy authority to take that role (so again they are fearful).

    8's just are 'boss'. Its not reactive, its just the way and role they naturally fall into when they do what they do. Organizing people, making difficult decisions, being solid in these decisions and not tripping out with paralysis analysis like a 6 might.

    Also, 6's consciousness is centered in the head, in thoughts, trouble-shooting, etc.
    Where as 8's have a heightened awareness of body presence. They don't usually not realize that their leg fell asleep from a weird position while compulsively googling for 3 hours.

    6's are anxiety.
    8's are anger.

    I wouldn't look at the behaviors themselves to indicate a type. Any type can behave in any way, with different motivations.

    2 of my closest, most long-standing friends are 8's. ETJ's. We are like magnets with fi/te.
    It could just be a fluke, but both of these 8's had some pretty serious issues with their mothers growing up. 2 queen bees in the hive.
    6's will much more easily accept a (seemingly lower, but not really) 'role' within the group.

    Also, I will add that as a 6, when I integrate to 9, I feel like the universe is supporting me. My doubts and fears are allayed. I feel calm (which is very unusual) tranquil, harmonious, peaceful. Everything is as it should be, will be wonderful, the universe supports me.

    When my 8 friends integrate, they love people, display great acts of generosity, kindness and selflessness.

    Two very different vibrations, from anxiety/doubt to peace and harmony.
    From anger and control to love and compassion.
    Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun - Watts
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huxley3112 View Post
    It could just be a fluke, but both of these 8's had some pretty serious issues with their mothers growing up. 2 queen bees in the hive.
    6's will much more easily accept a (seemingly lower, but not really) 'role' within the group.
    I've seen a similar pattern with 6's. They tend to have issues with their fathers. Although I don't necessarily think it's the case of parental orientation being type related, rather, it's how they interact and relate to others in general that's more revealing. The type + parental orientation correlation can be a convenient phenomenon because of what the caregivers represent to the child. So an 8 can have a nice relationship with their mother, but still project 8-ish patterns regarding object relations style.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Santosha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duffy View Post
    I've seen a similar pattern with 6's. They tend to have issues with their fathers.

    Interesting. In my experience of parental orientation theory, e6's usually connect with the patriarchal model in early years. Which aligns with my own experience. However, I am a member of a few e6 specific groups (outside of typeC) and I did pose the question a few years back. My goal at that time was to actually stomp out the myth that e6 always arises from difficult/traumatic roots. More notably, child-abuse, care-givers with substance-abuse issues, bi-polar and BPD mothers, abandonment, etc. This was something that someone very knowledgeable of 'all thing e-gram' had indicated to me. I simply couldn't accept that ALL e6 had traumatic childhoods, and set out to prove said person wrong.
    I posed a few questions and polls, small samples, btw. The pattern that I picked up was across the board. In years 1-5 a stronger connection to father. Some experiencing a connection to both in early years, but strong conflict with both by adolescence. A very small subset indicating difficulties with 'father' in early years. I never made heads or tails with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Duffy View Post
    The type + parental orientation correlation can be a convenient phenomenon because of what the caregivers represent to the child. So an 8 can have a nice relationship with their mother, but still project 8-ish patterns regarding object relations style
    Absolutely agree, unless I misunderstand you. This explains why a mother and father can have multiple children with varying e-grams, and mbti. There is something present prior to the interaction itself, that sets a person up to perceive the interaction the way they do. A biological basis, or perhaps some would all it destiny.
    Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun - Watts

  9. #9
    corona Hawthorne's Avatar
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    To be associated with an enneatype, you will need to assess the motivation behind your aggression.

    If the aggression does not primarily stem from the need to compensate for perceived internal weakness, from the desire to protect oneself from being overwhelmed and taken advantage of, or by the compulsion to exercise control over situations that could turn threatening, then you do not posess the core motivational influence of Eight.

    If the aggression is not primarily a reaction to perceived deceit by an external construct which promises to be more than it actually is or can prove...and if the aggression doesn't manifests particularly as a means to test the reliability of the aforementioned construct, or more plainly put, to uncover the bullshit lurking beneath the roses, then you do not posess the core motivational influence of the counterphobic six.

    Externalized aggression is also sometimes associated with types 1, 3, 4, and 7 though the flavors differ.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huxley3112 View Post
    Interesting. In my experience of parental orientation theory, e6's usually connect with the patriarchal model in early years. Which aligns with my own experience. However, I am a member of a few e6 specific groups (outside of typeC) and I did pose the question a few years back. My goal at that time was to actually stomp out the myth that e6 always arises from difficult/traumatic roots. More notably, child-abuse, care-givers with substance-abuse issues, bi-polar and BPD mothers, abandonment, etc. This was something that someone very knowledgeable of 'all thing e-gram' had indicated to me. I simply couldn't accept that ALL e6 had traumatic childhoods, and set out to prove said person wrong.

    I posed a few questions and polls, small samples, btw. The pattern that I picked up was across the board. In years 1-5 a stronger connection to father. Some experiencing a connection to both in early years, but strong conflict with both by adolescence.A very small subset indicating difficulties with 'father' in early years. I never made heads or tails with it.
    It's the same pattern I've noticed. My phrasing was a bit off because it wasn't my intention to imply 6s had abusive backgrounds.

    As an aside, I think object relations theory can bring some interesting insights into one's type. I remember reading some stuff on the frustration and rejection styles and having an 'aha' moment.

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