# Thread: The new and improved Enneagram! From the sponge and evan.

1. Originally Posted by Lexan
but this is merely what makes up The Enneagram figure, it's a nine sided figure composed of three triangles, however two of these triangles don't intersect at one side, nor should they, as each point should only connect to two other points by means of the lines connecting them. The triangle that does have all lines connecting has to be the one with the point facing the very top, otherwise the figure wouldn't have nine points.
I honestly have no idea how to follow what you're saying.

There are tons of possible consistent ways the arrows could work. For example, 1>2>3>4>5>6>7>8>9>1...1>3>5>7>9>2>4>6>8>1...1>5>9> 4>8>3>7>2>6>1... or you could have three triangles: 1>4>7, 2>5>8, 3>6>9, etc. etc. These all just make way more geometrical sense than what you're talking about.

I find the original system to be uncannily accurate, and this system you've created is not The Enneagram as the title would imply. 'Enneagram' contains 'ennea', which means nine, and 'gram', which means graph. Though you've used knowledge from the original system, it is not The Enneagram and further comparison would be detrimental to our perception of both systems. Aside from the fact that you've used information from the original, they are different systems which follow different logic.
Well, it is 9, and we drew a graph, so it can be called an enneagram. But you're right, it's not the same system, and I am not trying to claim that it is.

2. Originally Posted by Evan
I honestly have no idea how to follow what you're saying.

There are tons of possible consistent ways the arrows could work. For example, 1>2>3>4>5>6>7>8>9>1...1>3>5>7>9>2>4>6>8>1...1>5>9> 4>8>3>7>2>6>1... or you could have three triangles: 1>4>7, 2>5>8, 3>6>9, etc. etc. These all just make way more geometrical sense than what you're talking about..
Just explaining how the shape works geometrically - I definitely agree it could have been clearer. I'm new here and don't know how to post an image. If I did I would post a picture, perhaps a few to try to explain it more succinctly. How The Enneagram is presented is simply the best possible way that it can be, with the number 'Nine' being represented at the very top. This way, if one adds each pair of types horizontally from the bottom (5+4, 6+3, 7+2, 8+1, 9) you get nine in each instance. Thus, the ubiqitous nature of this number is shown. TBH, I'm not entirely sure what you're getting at with the different was the arrows could work. So I assume you're saying that instead of being 1-9, they could be scrambled in any kind of order because the way the system is presented is so arbitrary. I disagree. You could be saying something else entirely, I apologize if I misunderstand.

Originally Posted by Evan
Well, it is 9, and we drew a graph, so it can be called an enneagram. But you're right, it's not the same system, and I am not trying to claim that it is.
So that's settled then.

I really don't think that I'm the best person to explain these things, there are people who are far more knowledgable and who understand The Enneagram far more than I do who would probably do a better job. Still, I feel that a lot of hostility and dismissal that is aimed at The Enneagram is due in large to misunderstanding - and, as the types seem to be shallow caricatures, I can see how it's an easy system to dismiss. Also, the shape that constitutes The Enneagram personality system could easily be dismissed as merely arbitrary and baseless, just from the fact that we're trying to decipher people's personalities from a nine pointed figure. But there are various patterns and intricacies which occur within The Enneagram, and most people who dismiss it haven't looked into these... well...at all. It seems as though you have done some research, which I salute you for. I'm glad you've taken the effort to read my posts and I hope you've got something from them, even if you don't believe what I'm saying. Perhaps this new system may gets some folks here more interested in The Enneagram, and lead them to discovering their true type, which I think is fantastic.

3. Originally Posted by magifporiferan
The reason you are not controlling, is that "controlling" in this case does not simply mean any kind of intervention with your emotions, like suppression would be. At one time, I also called this value the "projecting" value. You see, it is not merely that a controller/projector is trying to subdue their feelings, rather, they intentionally try to project some of them outward, even to extremes beyond what is really being felt. While the suppressing type is putting all emotions down, and the turbulent type is letting them all go, the controlling type is picking and choosing which ones to dampen and which ones to enhance. Often, controllers pick positive emotions to inflate and negative emotions to dampen, hence the characterization of 2s, 7s, and 9s as all being types that have a hard time facing ugly situations. What you refered to as your controlling tendency sounds more like another example of suppression.
I'm not sure how I missed this entire thread, I'll have to read more of it.

Most of my perspective here comes as a Five, since it's the type I understand best and the most relevant to me personally.

I identify strongly with the Suppression thing, that WAS my original instinctive mode of dealing with emotions. As I got older, I learned to do marginally some of the Controlling stuff, but that was learned behavior; also, there are other influences such as religion, where I was taught that a "good person" shows positive emotions and smothers bad ones.

My questions here are more a matter of what "health" looks like. I've had to learn to be a Controlling type because realistically my Five rationale tells me that (1) emotions actually aren't evil, they help us to feel alive, (2) some emotions are good and some are destructive, so (3) some emotions should be shown and some should be set aside or not expressed.

I actually think you are talking instinctive styles, not growth styles here, so maybe what I've just described has little bearing on your theory... but to people who look at surface detail, the two can seem very much alike. I guess there has to be a distinction made between these three unnuanced instinctive styles and a healthy "controlling" style which probably could better be labeled "mature"? Since the Controlling being done here is not being used as a coping mechanism to avoid anxiety and/or appease others (as I think Controlling is instinctively an attempt to do) but as a realistic and balanced approach to honoring oneself as well as others around one.

But anyway, it makes me wonder about Five -> Eight, the direction of integration. This part of your theory seems to conflict with that... unless I (as stated) assume those three styles to be instinctive styles (the initial coping mechs) rather than ones that persevere. Otherwise I should be moving from "Suppression" to "Turbulent," which sounds unstable... but I think technically they should all move to "Mature," the state where all three know how to express or set aside emotions appropriately.

4. Originally Posted by Jennifer
I'm not sure how I missed this entire thread, I'll have to read more of it.
Heh. And it's a little over a year old at this point.

Originally Posted by Jennifer
Most of my perspective here comes as a Five, since it's the type I understand best and the most relevant to me personally.

I identify strongly with the Suppression thing, that WAS my original instinctive mode of dealing with emotions. As I got older, I learned to do marginally some of the Controlling stuff, but that was learned behavior; also, there are other influences such as religion, where I was taught that a "good person" shows positive emotions and smothers bad ones.

My questions here are more a matter of what "health" looks like. I've had to learn to be a Controlling type because realistically my Five rationale tells me that (1) emotions actually aren't evil, they help us to feel alive, (2) some emotions are good and some are destructive, so (3) some emotions should be shown and some should be set aside or not expressed.

I actually think you are talking instinctive styles, not growth styles here, so maybe what I've just described has little bearing on your theory... but to people who look at surface detail, the two can seem very much alike. I guess there has to be a distinction made between these three unnuanced instinctive styles and a healthy "controlling" style which probably could better be labeled "mature"? Since the Controlling being done here is not being used as a coping mechanism to avoid anxiety and/or appease others (as I think Controlling is instinctively an attempt to do) but as a realistic and balanced approach to honoring oneself as well as others around one.
Basically, an attempt has been made to avoid labeling what is healthy and unhealthy. If by instinct styles you simply mean a predisposition, then yes, that is essentially what this system describes. I find the concept of psychological healthy to be too subjective to involve in the system at this time. I haven't checked with Evan on this specifically, I suspect he thinks similarly.

After all, this isn't any agreement on what is the healthy path. Is it building up your weaknesses and thus becoming balanced? Is it actualizing yourself by maximizing your exceptional strengths? The Enenagram as it would be presented by Riso and Hudson has always struck me as odd. All of the maximally healthy types seem virtually indistinguishable to me. It seems they define one perfect health, and we all move towards that. On the other hand, aside from suicidal tendencies, the minimally healthy types are very different, and are painted like extreme caricatures of their types. Riso and Hudson clearly believe in the theory that balance health. I myself have always disliked this. The point is, "healthy" is too hard to define.

Of course the other issues with this as well as the MBTIs healthy theories (like that shadow stuff), is that it can be very blurry and confusing. How do I know of someone is an ESFJ or an unhealthy INTP? And when does the time come that someone is officially unhappy enough to inverse? There are strange questions like that which I'd rather avoid.

Originally Posted by Jennifer
But anyway, it makes me wonder about Five -> Eight, the direction of integration. This part of your theory seems to conflict with that... unless I (as stated) assume those three styles to be instinctive styles (the initial coping mechs) rather than ones that persevere. Otherwise I should be moving from "Suppression" to "Turbulent," which sounds unstable... but I think technically they should all move to "Mature," the state where all three know how to express or set aside emotions appropriately.
Well, our system does not say a Five cannot become an Eight, but is says they do not have to. Evan and me agreed that the lines of integration and disintegration were riddled with problems, and we removed them. For one thing, they seemed arbitrary without justification. Almost capricious. There seemed to be no explanation as to why one type would always become more like one in health, and more like another in unhealth (and again, what is health?). This was supported by the fact that the lines were based almost purely in symbolism. They conveniently followed the symbol, just like the original wing system did. In both cases, the idea is based more on the symbol than the psychology, which means it's as good as numerology.

Having removed the lines, however, we did not replace them. So there is currently nothing in the sytem that says what you can or cannot turn into under a particular condition. It is stated that Fives and Eights cannot be wings, but that's a different matter. Essentially, I feel that health paths are too perscriptive, making predictions about what you will become and what you need. This system should essentially be descriptive, and not extrapolate so much, because it does not have the basis to do so.

It may very well be the case that all types can become mature, not being rigid to one of those particular systems. However, I feel that maturity is defined by the goals of the individual and the culture they are in, so maturity is not a very specific concept. At the moment, the closest thing to maturity as you describe it would simply be a tie between all three affective modes. However, since there is no current reference to good or bad forms of these modes, two different people who tied all three could be dramatically different. One could look to you to have the worst of all worlds and the other could have the best of all words.

Even in the past few days I've been working on this sytem, over a year after it was started. There are a lot of loose ends to be tied, and I feel I have made progress on some of them, but the issue of health and transition is one I temporarilly touched and then abondoned. I don't know when I'd get around to it again, but you could say it's low on my list.

5. Personally, I think this is a bit too much trait based. For example, As a nine I can seriously identify with your "wings" of 5,7,4 and 2. In fact, these are the types that I am most likely to be mistyped as. However, while I can identify with these type's traits; I cannot identify with their motivations. For example; I may like to be helpful, but I do not have 2s neediness. Despite not having 1's conscientiousness or , I can easily relate to my one wing. I am idealistic and want to "change the world." More importantly, I relate to the basic fear: of being corrupt and evil.

While I commend you for being able to formulate a logical system to categorise personality, I believe you made a mistake. Humans are not logical, and nor do their personality follow logic. The theory of wings and intergration/disintergration lines come from the study of human behaviour and while it is not logical, it doesn't mean it is useless.

Oabout the health thing: R+H used their ideas on fixations and ego to determine health. While this is not related to the enneagram, I believe this is a good intro to these ideas:
The Ego and the Unconscious

6. Originally Posted by panda
Personally, I think this is a bit too much trait based.
What do you define as a trait and not a trait?

Originally Posted by panda
For example, As a nine I can seriously identify with your "wings" of 5,7,4 and 2. In fact, these are the types that I am most likely to be mistyped as. However, while I can identify with these type's traits; I cannot identify with their motivations. For example; I may like to be helpful, but I do not have 2s neediness. Despite not having 1's conscientiousness or , I can easily relate to my one wing. I am idealistic and want to "change the world." More importantly, I relate to the basic fear: of being corrupt and evil.
It's true that this sytem does not have motives as specifically defined as the Enneagram did. However, it was my impression that the notable narrowness and precision of the profiles results from unwarranted assertion and extrapolation. They were narrow enough that I felt it was easily possible for many human beings to not be any type at all. Sort of the opposite problem the MBTI has, which tends to define profiles so loosely that not only is everyone one of the types, they are frequently two or three types.

Originally Posted by panda
While I commend you for being able to formulate a logical system to categorise personality, I believe you made a mistake. Humans are not logical, and nor do their personality follow logic. The theory of wings and intergration/disintergration lines come from the study of human behaviour and while it is not logical, it doesn't mean it is useless.
Here we have an intraversible disagreement.
1: Anything that can't be analyzed through logic is of no use to me.
2: That's fine, because I believe there is nothing in this cosmos that can't be analyzed through logic.

I have never seen the evidence that the wings and the lines are somehow routed in an emperical reality. Since it's already been made clear that these things don't seem to work from a strictly rational standpoint, empericism is the only thing that could come in to prove the rationalization to be faulty. So I'll be waiting.

Originally Posted by panda
Oabout the health thing: R+H used their ideas on fixations and ego to determine health. While this is not related to the enneagram, I believe this is a good intro to these ideas:
The Ego and the Unconscious
I am familar with much of this material. Applicable though it sometimes is, I think it gets taken too far. Secondly, Also, Riso and Hudson take a big jump from those theories to the particulars of their system, espeically in terms of their attempt to work it into the lines.

7. Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan
What do you define as a trait and not a trait?
Not the best definition, but traits are habitual behaviour or thoughts, while desires and motivations are not traits.

Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan
It's true that this sytem does not have motives as specifically defined as the Enneagram did. However, it was my impression that the notable narrowness and precision of the profiles results from unwarranted assertion and extrapolation. They were narrow enough that I felt it was easily possible for many human beings to not be any type at all. Sort of the opposite problem the MBTI has, which tends to define profiles so loosely that not only is everyone one of the types, they are frequently two or three types.
I do feel the same about this problem and your solution does seem logical. However, I believe motivation and internal world of the types happen to be one of the most important part of the Enneagram. If you are simply wanting to make a typology of traits; then this is the way to go. However, I don't believe this is the way to go.

Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan
I have never seen the evidence that the wings and the lines are somehow routed in an emperical reality. Since it's already been made clear that these things don't seem to work from a strictly rational standpoint, empericism is the only thing that could come in to prove the rationalization to be faulty. So I'll be waiting.
There is no evidence, really. There are some theories floating around, but these seem to be BS made up by people trying to prove the enneagram. I know it sounds really bad, but that's the truth. Regardless, it works. Then again, is there any proof of the eight MBTI functions?

I don't see the use of logic to try and find the truth. Using logic, the idea that you are in a matrix-like world means absolutely nothing is certainly true.

Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan
I am familar with much of this material. Applicable though it sometimes is, I think it gets taken too far. Secondly, Also, Riso and Hudson take a big jump from those theories to the particulars of their system, espeically in terms of their attempt to work it into the lines.
I don't understand the "taken too far" part, so I won't comment on the levels of health yet. And I'm not sure how the lines work either...

Bleh, my argument sure was weak >.<

8. This is a different system of enneagram, since they are not sticking to the traditional system. There isn't integration, no levels of health, no wings that are next to type. Without that, in my opinion, this isn't enneagram. You are just blocking together on the surface traits of the various enneagram types to describe people.

9. This theory is pure genius! I think you should call it Enneagram Stacks and keep the original descriptions of the types and just use the type with the two wings to combine into a certain type of person like the lover, the boss...etc...
Here is my data:
Behavior Emotion Motive
Avoiding Turbulent Intimate
Pursuing Controlled Social
Anticpating Suppressed Preservation

1. Avoiding Turbulent=4
2. Avoiding Control=9
3. Turbulent Pursuing=8
4. Avoiding Suppressed=5
5. Turbulent Anticipating=6
6. Pursuing Controlled=7
7. Pursuing Suppressed=3
8. Controlled Anticipating=2
9. Anticipating Suppressed=1

So, my final result is:
4>9>8 I-S-P.

And that amazes me because when I read all of the types, I realized that those three fit me best. I had a hard time believing that I was a 5w but I knew that I wasn't a 3w with the old system and this shows that a 3w is almost at the bottom of the list! WOW! Great work! Now maybe I can help you make it more readable to F personalities because the T jargon was hard to interpret even for me as an INFP.

10. Originally Posted by Eric B
Pretty good.
I still think different types should be stacked according to I, P and S, so that you could be one type in one area, another in another area, and yet another in the last area (or the same in all areas). That would basically match Temperament + Interaction Style + an additional distinction of "intimate" (just like FIRO).

And in the table, shoudn't "Anticipating" be in the middle as the "moderate" renge, with "pursuing" on the right as the opposite extreme of "avoiding"?
Like think of the "object" of the "moving" as being to the right:
<--Avoiding | Anticipating | Pursuing-->

Here's the diagram of how I use this concept for expressing/wanting behavior
Hometown Has Been Shutdown - People Connection Blog: AIM Community Network
<--Avoiding | Anticipating | Pursuing-->
If you change the table to have the above pattern, it would not change the first two because the pattern :
<--Suppress| Control | Turbulent-->
remains the same.

For example, my pattern is 4>9>8.
Switching anticipate and pursue would make my new pattern 4>9>6. You have a good point there...I bet it would change the order of the rest of the numbers as well. But it does not affect the first two numbers so it would be hard to study.

I accept your revision and here is mine:
4>9>6>5>8>2>1>7>3
Intimate, Social, Preservation.
4>9>6. I-S-P.
And look! 3 is in the last position this time! No wonder I chose the 5w with the original test instead of the 3w!

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