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Thread: Power Hunger

  1. #11
    Fair and Square Flatlander's Avatar
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    Thanks to all of you for responding so far, and feeding my thoughts. I think the distinction between power and control might prove very important for me in discerning the difference between the 3 and 8 soul children and how they relate to 9 and 5 respectively.

    In my interpretation of the words, power means the capacity or potential to act in a certain way, which will secondarily make for a given result; control is the act itself, of making something happen as you desire. Does that distinction resonate with any of you? If so, which one have you found yourself seeking? For instance, I found @Kasper 's and @mcgooglian 's responses evocative of this definition of control (vs. power), but wasn't sure if it was being understood in this way.

    What I think I'm understanding is that the 5 seeks power in the form of capability, an internalization of the 8 soul child, because they want to feel like they have the potential to act, while the 9 seeks control (over self or others), an internalization of the 3 soul child, because they want acknowledgement which gives a sense of being.

    Thoughts? Feel free to ask for clarification if necessary.
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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flatlander View Post
    What I think I'm understanding is that the 5 seeks power in the form of capability, an internalization of the 8 soul child, because they want to feel like they have the potential to act, while the 9 seeks control (over self or others), an internalization of the 3 soul child, because they want acknowledgement which gives a sense of being.
    As an 8, this makes sense to me: I'd be apt to practice piano a lot, thinking then I'd have the potential to function as a vessel through which songs write themselves while I'm not even thinking. I'd be apt to work out a lot, so I'd have the potential to defend myself in a physical confrontation. Right now I'm studying enneagram because I'm writing a very difficult fantasy/sci-fi novel, and I want to have the potential to understand people on a deeper level or understand their basic differences in a more systematic way.

    I don't know if other gut types relate to this, or if it's a matter of my 5-fix? But I do see the act of building up my potential as a necessary means to gaining or retaining control. That being said, I've been thrust into situations that I'm unprepared for and this does not scare me in the least; I have no problem improvising and ironically, an adrenaline rush usually leads to an optimal performance.
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  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flatlander View Post
    What I think I'm understanding is that the 5 seeks power in the form of capability, an internalization of the 8 soul child, because they want to feel like they have the potential to act, while the 9 seeks control (over self or others), an internalization of the 3 soul child, because they want acknowledgement which gives a sense of being.

    Thoughts? Feel free to ask for clarification if necessary.
    I'm not sure how you went from control to acknowledgement. And how would 9s differ from 3s, then?

    I wouldn't say that 9s can only maintain a sense of being if they receive regular acknowledgement. I agree that it's a huge factor: getting feedback on how I'm perceived trims off the more nebulous edges of my self-image --> making myself more fathomable [to myself] and less prone to depersonalization. (9s' second-lowest health level.) In other words, knowing my place keeps me grounded as it averts my attention from often disorienting introspection. But I feel most alive when I feel passionately about something; it's like the less I focus on my ego, the more strongly I feel it. This could be more of a 9 so-first thing.

    I relate to what Maybe said, too. I'm not your classic "achiever" by any means, but I do invest time in building up capabilities slowly. I love learning new skills, even if I often like the thought more than the actual process.

    Don't know if I've contributed anything helpful re: the post I quoted, haha. In regards to the thread's original question...not really. If I ever volunteer to lead it's because I don't have enough faith in anyone else to get the job done right. I usually don't like it, though. I prefer more behind-the-scenes positions. Which can still be very powerful, but don't have the aura of power. So while control isn't a part of my self-image, it's certainly there under the surface.

    To wrap this up: I use control (3) in order to maintain a sense of harmony (9). I want issues resolved and dissonance relieved. Usually these things don't fix themselves, and I want to make sure that they're fixed properly. I'm a perfectionist, so I don't often trust others to handle that.

    Examples of how this has manifested in my life:
    - When I was depressed and went through therapy, I kept most of my deeper issues to myself. It wasn't just that I felt uncomfortable with the disclosure -- I felt like, since I know myself better than anyone, I'm most qualified to handle my problems. Though in retrospect I probably would have benefited from outside opinions, it's worked out fine.
    - I've thought about being a copy-editor. It really bothers me when pieces of writing (esp. professional/editorial) are lacking in focus or unity. I'm never more nit-picky than when it comes to others' writing. I'm self-critical, too, of course...but it's hard for me to judge my own words, so I just hand it off to people I trust for proofreading.
    - Once when I was little I tried to organize the contents of my brain. It almost always feels immensely cluttered; I'm always trying to maintain order.
    - In general, I'm enterprising in a way that contradicts certain descriptions of 9s. Am I a huge sloth? Yes. A perfectionistic sloth who views control as a necessity in keeping the p(e)ace. Reminds me of the quote "Bees have to move very fast in order to stay still." I believe that harmony has to be maintained via action.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by decrescendo View Post
    But I feel most alive when I feel passionately about something; it's like the less I focus on my ego, the more strongly I feel it. This could be more of a 9 so-first thing.
    I relate to this ^
    This is why people kept insisting I was SX first when I thought I could be SP first. I find myself feeling most alive through passion & purpose. Although, I'm curious about one thing - what do you mean, "the less you focus on your ego?"

    Also how is this an SO thing? I actually don't know nearly as much about instincts as I would like, so I'm very interested how this relates to SO. =)

    I relate to what Maybe said, too. I'm not your classic "achiever" by any means, but I do invest time in building up capabilities slowly. I love learning new skills, even if I often like the thought more than the actual process.
    Do you like to learn skills just for the sake of learning them, or for a bigger goal? Do you prefer if they're new, or do you find yourself refining the same one for bigger/ broader goals?

    I have a lot of focus on the things I loved as a kid that never changed. Singing, piano, writing books.. I started all of these things young; wrote my first songs at 8 and my first 400-page fantasy book was done when I was 13 maybe? ... It sucked ... but nevertheless those same interests stayed with me. Almost everything I do is geared around these life-long passions, and I even go so far as to cut out pursuits that interest me but would take time away from my bigger goals. I don't need to be good at everything, but I want to maximize the things I do love and which I consider my true chosen passion & purpose.

    Curious to what extent you relate?

    Reminds me of the quote "Bees have to move very fast in order to stay still." I believe that harmony has to be maintained via action.
    Interesting. This reminds me of something I said a few weeks ago when I was asked to be patient:
    "My mind is like a river that's always flowing. It takes more effort for me to sit still and do nothing, than it takes for me to ride the tide and move forward constantly."

    The difference is, I'm not sure if I would do this to maintain harmony, per se; as much as, because I feel an ever-present "driving force" inside me, so to speak. Naranjo's description of type 8 as "Phallic-Narcissistic personality" really hits home for me. I picture my mind as this giant phallus aiming for what it wants, propelled by lust... and Lust, of course, is more than just a sex drive or passion; it's a need for triumph over adversity, a thirst for intensity, a need to chase and conquer. I am happiest when I'm being challenged, but I don't take well to being controlled or forced into things by others, so I should specify; I'm happiest when I am challenging *myself* - playing by my own rules, but constantly motivated to get to the next level, push my limits, expand.

    So in essence, while I find it harder to stay still than to move forward, I also enjoy moving forward, and thirst to do so. I don't *want* to stay still. If I wanted to stay still, I'd fight against that tide with all my might, and I'd love every minute because it's a challenge. However, it is not only harder to stay still, but also, it is not what I want. So instead, I move with the tide but build my own raft and paddle forward as fast as I can.

    Also curious how you relate to that?
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  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maybe View Post
    I relate to this ^
    This is why people kept insisting I was SX first when I thought I could be SP first. I find myself feeling most alive through passion & purpose. Although, I'm curious about one thing - what do you mean, "the less you focus on your ego?"
    The less attention I give to myself -- i.e. introspection, general selfishness -- the more grounded I feel in who I am. (Of course introspection can be good, but mine can get out of control.) There's some New Testament verse about "dying" every day in order to stay alive, and I've found that to be true for me.

    and to clarify just in case, when I said "ego" I meant the conscious division of the psyche, not self-importance/self-esteem

    Also how is this an SO thing? I actually don't know nearly as much about instincts as I would like, so I'm very interested how this relates to SO. =)
    Oh, I don't know much about instincts either. I've just read that 9 SOs can lose themselves in "big picture" endeavors, but now that I think about it, that contradicts what I said. Those descriptions don't imply that in losing themselves, 9 SOs find themselves...it's implied that they just get lost, their identity replaced by a cause. Or that there never was an identity to replace, that ideological fervor is a substitute for real, substantial passion.

    Do you like to learn skills just for the sake of learning them, or for a bigger goal? Do you prefer if they're new, or do you find yourself refining the same one for bigger/ broader goals?

    I have a lot of focus on the things I loved as a kid that never changed. Singing, piano, writing books.. I started all of these things young; wrote my first songs at 8 and my first 400-page fantasy book was done when I was 13 maybe? ... It sucked ... but nevertheless those same interests stayed with me. Almost everything I do is geared around these life-long passions, and I even go so far as to cut out pursuits that interest me but would take time away from my bigger goals. I don't need to be good at everything, but I want to maximize the things I do love and which I consider my true chosen passion & purpose.

    Curious to what extent you relate?
    first question: both, since any type of learning is beneficial in the long run, even if the skill isn't applicable to larger goals. I learn to keep my mind active, to see if the process will spark any new interests, to learn more about my abilities; there are honestly few things I study that apply directly to "larger goals." Kind of a stupid strategy. I'm thinking about majoring in political science, and I still don't know how a bill becomes a law. (The theory -- i.e. why this process works / why it doesn't -- is interesting to me, but the thought of having to memorize it step-by-step is nauseating.)

    I definitely relate. As a kid I had a ton of interests all over the board. I've found that as I learn more about myself and what matters to me, like you, my scope of interests has become more focused. I've realized that there's really no reason for me to be learning Native American sign language or making Borrower's houses. I'm still very interested in other cultures and languages, though, and I'll always like interior design. Just not where my gifts lie, not quite where my passion is.

    I tried writing a few novels when I was younger, but I hated the sound of my written voice so much that I could never finish. Encountered the problem of taste > ability pretty young. It's really impressive that you wrote a 400 page book at 13! You seem like you could be a very good novelist, with that kind of drive and with what little I've observed of your writing in general.

    Interesting. This reminds me of something I said a few weeks ago when I was asked to be patient:
    "My mind is like a river that's always flowing. It takes more work for me to sit still and do nothing, than it takes for me to ride the tide and move forward constantly."

    The difference is, I'm not sure if I would do this to maintain harmony, per se; as much as, because I feel an ever-present "driving force" inside me, so to speak. Naranjo's description of type 8 as "Phallic-Narcissistic personality" really hits home for me. I picture my mind as this giant phallus aiming for what it wants, propelled by lust... and Lust, of course, is more than just a sex drive or passion; it's a need for triumph over adversity, a thirst for intensity, a need to chase and conquer. I am happiest when I'm being challenged, but I don't take well to being controlled or forced into things by others, so I should specify; I'm happiest when I am challenging *myself* - playing by my own rules, but constantly motivated to get to the next level, push my limits, expand.

    Also curious how you relate to that?
    I wouldn't say that my mind resembles a phallus. but my mind never shuts off either. and even though I usually mask it, I can be very impatient. the other day I was so frustrated by the fact that everyone around me seems to be so caught up in routine and trivialities, skirting around the heart of everything. I was incredibly irritated and pent-up the whole day, just waiting for someone to say something of significance, for something to come into fruition. I realized I could have taken charge and done something exciting on my own, but I wanted someone to be in the same mindset as me. I wanted to spend time with someone who wouldn't think I was being overly intense. I'm usually much more mellow, but yes, I'm constantly motivated to get somewhere new as well. It could just be where I am in life.

    when I'm unable to sit still, it often means that I'm avoiding my own thoughts/responsibilities, seeking catharsis through intense activities instead of through reflection & real resolution. this drive can also be healthy...like you said, "a need to triumph over adversity, push my limits, expand." And I love new experiences because they make me see the world and myself in a different context, enriching my overall outlook. Do you relate to that at all, a need to get to the next level of perception?

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flatlander View Post
    Did any of you experience it in childhood? Do any of you experience it, in the current day? If so, can you describe what it was/is like?

    I know that the soul child of 9 is 3, and I'm wondering if it manifests in this trait in any way.
    Not power hungry, except for desiring power over my own life. I do not like people telling me what to do. I like to be a free agent, and I desired this just as much as a child as I do now.

    I think I had a stronger line to three as a kid, honestly. I think it had to do with being in school. I liked to show off my smarts and creativity. As I've gotten older, my nihilism/apathy has become more overpowering and it's a lot harder to motivate myself to care. I did take an art class recently, though, and it really connected me with my three side. My sexual instinct also likes to be competitive and I really felt this push to show how capable and talented I am. In situations like that I truly do feel like I have something to bring to the world.

    What also helps me is to feel my physical power. Exercise gets me in touch with my instinctive core which gets me in touch with my true desires which gets me excited and inspired and gets my brain working. I always feel more authentically 'me' when I'm in touch with body and the physical world. It made me think I was an ISFP for a bit, but it's just because I'm a nine. When I thought I was a four, I thought the whole soul child idea was a load of crap, but now that I know I'm a nine it really makes sense to me.

  7. #17
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    Power in the form of personal dominion, yes.

    I believe the variables you've isolated between fives and nines are applicable between 9w8's and 9w1's. 9w8's seek out internal strength to be used externally, assembling the capabilities to operate independently, universally. They feel more responsible for their immediate environment, while 9w1's have a grander scope of responsibility, perhaps. I'm actually kind of clueless about 9w1's, but instinct tells me they are more on the iNtuitive/Feeling side of things.

    I am personally terrible at control, instead preferring to shift the blame of group dynamics on personal power. It shines in my management style - I'm a hands-off, 'do your thing and I'll tell you if there's a better way later' type of person. I learn immensely from my errors, and by extension, others' as well. I think of it as dropping a culture sample into a petri dish; the more cultures I and my team can study the better. Of course, this is utilized only when I see fit. There are always times when this style doesn't work, and I have to resort to more traditional forms of control... but it is far from my preferred method of operation.

    It is because of this I believe I'm an unskilled manager. I'd prefer to work on a small team of specialized individuals, where everyone knows their job and has the power to perform it efficiently... unfortunately I always get promoted out of positions such as this, and who am I to turn down more money/power? Someday I'll find a sweet spot, methinks.

  8. #18
    Senior Member mcgooglian's Avatar
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    I've never had to worry much about control. In group settings, I tend to establish myself early on as the one who knows what they're doing (to the point where I've had former co-workers text me asking how to do stuff), so people naturally tend to do what I say without me having to be forceful.

  9. #19
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    Only the power of not being in subjection to others, what others perceive means little over what I know.

  10. #20
    Senior Member Tabula's Avatar
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    Power hungry? Hm, I don't think I can really relate to that.

    I wanted acknowledgement as a child--that's about it. Not constant attention (which felt oppressive and subtly controlling) but something like checking in on me every once in a while, taking an interest in what I working on, how I felt, what I thought, and listening to what I had to say. Even as a kid, I could feel the difference between a patronizing, this'll-shut-her-up "good job!" pat on the head, and a genuine one. That recognition and genuine encouragement was (and still is, to a degree) very important to me.

    It's sort of the same the other way around, too, in that, where other people are concerned, I'm allergic to control (and the/any attendant power games, emotional politics, hierarchies, blah blah). There are few things I hate as much as having to be in charge of other people. I can do it well enough when I have to, but it's draining and uncomfortable.

    All that said, I think I definitely relate to this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Flatlander View Post
    the 9 seeks control (over self or others), an internalization of the 3 soul child, because they want acknowledgement which gives a sense of being.

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