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  1. #11
    Just a note... LittleV's Avatar
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    Hi! Well... I'm very sleepy at the moment. That video was actually recorded yesterday night, lol. To answer your question: I, as an INFJ 4w3, usually feel unknown, but it doesn't bother me as much (only in close interpersonal relationships, but I'd try to find ways for them to know me). Reading your post, it sounds like you're hidden due to fear of being seen... I'm not sure if that's necessarily the individualist coming out. I think you might have some emotional blocks that you'd need to resolve before searching for true identity. When you suppress negative emotions, the good often goes along with it. You'd want to feel like you could emote freely, and in doing so, you will eventually find comfort in your identity. Easier said than done, but emotional regulation is key here. Allowing negative emotions to overpower, yet not dealing with the repercussions well indicates that you aren't doing what's positive for *you*.

    By the way, nobody is truly known. This only bothers some more than others. It depends on what's important to you, your personal preferences.

  2. #12
    Junior Member IluvHSJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alight owl View Post
    Thanks for sharing! I'm Ni dom, but Fe is my secondary - for me, it works to make sure that other people are feeling comfortable and content. I especially don't want anybody to be upset on my account. I think that's part of the reason why I repress my emotions. Does it work that way for you too? That and also that I'm extremely private about expressing them- I can tell people how I'm feeling with the weirdest stoicism too! (but inside I feel like a literal volcano)...for me though, that's actually lessening with age. I have been working very hard at bringing myself to the table, my real self, in the past year. I don't think that I can be known, but I do want to try and be as authentic as possible - sometimes to the point of trying to gross people out about their bodies so that they remember that they too are "just human." Do you do that as an sp/sx 4? I have heard that they have a sort of grotesque body thing going on...

    I have read that you can be either positively or negatively attuned to your instinctual variants. Do you know anything about that? Would you mind posting the sp description that you liked, or directing me to it somehow? I'd love to see it - for some reason honing in on my type makes me feel safe, and I still think that I lean very heavily to sp.
    I can only post what I typed earlier from the book I bought, it's called "Positive Enneagram". It was written also by a 4w5 sp-first author, so I find her perspective on the enneagram very tailored to how I would see it. I highly recommend it. Here is some of the things she wrote:

    "SP fours have typically been dubbed dauntless or reckless. And there is some truth in the idea that they have an unusual ethos regarding safety and security. All SP subtypes tend to endure their safety by certain predictable means (saving money, seeking shelter, protecting the family, etc), and so do SP Fours. At the same time, SP fours often see security in a different light. While they value (and can even over-value) personal comfort, they have in them the same yearning as other fours to find out who they really are--to get to the bottom of themselves, because they sense that this is the only really lasting way to achieve a sense of security. So when an opportunity to do so presents itself, the SP four will often seize upon it, even if it means engaging in behavior that looks (and sometimes is) perilous in some way. It's a high-risk strategy that may or may not work. But the intent is not to self-destruct, but to effect some kind of radical shift in their situation."

    She also says this about SP-fours:
    -keep their emotions tightly under wraps
    -"never let them see you sweat" motto is for the SP four
    -Like all fours, sp fours are sensitive to their physical environment and find it difficult to tolerate any environment that seems fake, ugly, or "soul destroying".
    -Sp four is a strange combination of great sensitivity combined with great determination and fierce independence.
    -SP Four-The Artisan. Independent, persevering, sensitive, vulnerable, outspoken, artistic.


    So the part about keeping my "emotions tightly under wraps" is now I think a SP-four thing. It is true that my Fe doesn't want to upset others further when I become upset. I will usually cry in the private of my own room. There are times where I have felt really bad and the tears would start coming and I just had a strong urge to hide in a more private place. The author says that Sp-fours might sometimes even come across as a type 8 because they don't want anyone to know about their vulnerability. To me, that is a big thing. I don't like people knowing that I am so vulnerable. Vulnerable and sensitive. But it often shows anyway because my emotions are powerful. I also feel like a "volcano". I can repress a lot of anger and sadness on the outside, but inside it eats me up. The author mentions how SP-fours might be even more prone to depression because of how heavy their emotions weigh on them and I can agree to that heavy feeling. Sometimes with my family, it is harder to repress my emotions. I let a lot show. But as a result, I see the damage that I inflict on their emotions. I pick it up very well with my Fe. I cry and so then my mom cries, my dad get's unsettled and irritated, my sister cries and in turn, I feel much worse than before. I just don't like doing that to them. So now, I am even working to be more calmer and more stoic for them.

    I agree about "honing in on my type makes me feel safe". I never thought I was SP-first, I thought I was Sp last based on all the online descriptions, but it wasn't till I bought that book and took that quiz that I found out differently. And it does make me feel secure knowing what I finally am.

    I'm sorry I don't know much about the grotesque body thing or being positively/negatively attuned to your instinctual variants either.

    Here is the author's website where she has some articles about her version of subtypes:
    http://www.enneagramdimensions.net/subtypes.htm
    I especially like the tables that she creates where she say's SP fours are the "Artisans" -independent creators who often work alone to manifest their creative vision. Also called "bohemian, individualist, independent learner, depth seeker, wounded healer, etc." She has different descriptions for the other sub-types as well.

    Her newest book "Archetypes of the Enneagram" has even more insight on the subtypes (as well as movie examples), so I recommend that as well where she states that SP-fours:
    "is somewhat invisible from an enneagrammatic point of view. While enneagram books often describe Fours as emotional, volatile, and melodramatic, SP Fours tend to be emotionally constrained, especially in public. They're first and foremost survivors, and in order to survive, they tend to hide their emotional sensitivity as much as possible (sometimes even from themselves.) They like to work independently, so they're often attracted to work they can do at home or at least on their own...Although they're more emotionally grounded and patient than other Fours, they're also more prone to depression, because their emotions tend to weigh heavily upon them..."
    "..being human is being always directed, and pointing to something or someone other than oneself: to a meaning to fulfill or another human being to encounter, a cause to serve or a person to love."
    -Viktor Frankl

    ISFP 4w5 sp/sx (was mistyped as ENFJ for a long time )

  3. #13
    Junior Member Alight owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IluvHSJ View Post
    So the part about keeping my "emotions tightly under wraps" is now I think a SP-four thing. It is true that my Fe doesn't want to upset others further when I become upset. I will usually cry in the private of my own room. There are times where I have felt really bad and the tears would start coming and I just had a strong urge to hide in a more private place. The author says that Sp-fours might sometimes even come across as a type 8 because they don't want anyone to know about their vulnerability. To me, that is a big thing. I don't like people knowing that I am so vulnerable. Vulnerable and sensitive. But it often shows anyway because my emotions are powerful. I also feel like a "volcano". I can repress a lot of anger and sadness on the outside, but inside it eats me up. The author mentions how SP-fours might be even more prone to depression because of how heavy their emotions weigh on them and I can agree to that heavy feeling. Sometimes with my family, it is harder to repress my emotions. I let a lot show. But as a result, I see the damage that I inflict on their emotions. I pick it up very well with my Fe. I cry and so then my mom cries, my dad get's unsettled and irritated, my sister cries and in turn, I feel much worse than before. I just don't like doing that to them. So now, I am even working to be more calmer and more stoic for them.
    This. Is exactly how I feel - thanks for clarifying it. I think it's exactly the description of the hiddenness that I was talking about before. I feel as if I can't actually share what I feel (or think, at times), I hide it even from myself at times, because it's too painful to think of sharing it with someone else. And just because it's painful.

    I also want to hide my vulnerability - I don't know how to be vulnerable to another person when I'm in pain- it makes me question too much whether they actually understand what I'm going through enough to empathize. I have found though, that when I just trust people with that pain it helps me feel safer. Usually people do care, even though they can't understand completely what I'm going through.

    Thanks so much for posting all of this - I'm going to buy this book! I think you're right, that having an author with the same type as we have will help us understand the enneagram from the perspective of someone who processes the same way that we do.

  4. #14
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    I traditionally type as four (though others here would probably disagree, its no big deal really) and much of my world of emotion is hidden from the external. I can't say how much of my inner emotion manages to escape (via body language etc.) but there have been many occasions through my life that the pain became so much that I could barely function in day to day activities, I was just a neurotic waste. My only existence and my only focus was wallowing in the multi-coloured quagmire which had flooded my mind. However all these incidents seem to have gone completely unnoticed - my mother (a few days ago) insinuated (when referring to my manic depressive grandmother) that I had never been depressed so I wouldn't understand. This came as a surprise (that emotoon wasn't expressed): Surely after more than twenty years of my "Marvin the robot and the egocentric neurotic hybrid" routine that depression had been self-evident? I shall take it as an indicator that many of its nuances do not make it out of the back rooms. I suspect that includes a) my desire to be an individual b) any desires for power or ambition I may hold c) avarice d) that I see myself as seperate from others and e) that I envy those who have a definition that I cannot truthfully claim as my own. I say that because I don't receive any feedback or criticism about any of these (save for avarice in the respect that I'm criticised for being stingy or not offering to do what someone else wants to me to do.

    I think I've completely gone off topic so excuse me! In any case I think it would have to be hidden: emotion (for me anyway) is a dynamic, four dimensional behemoth which would operate best in a meta-space where it can both remain under my control and serve me as I see fit or which I can examine and reflect upon at any angle. To express it would make it two-dimensional and dare I say primitive compared to what it is now and what it could be if it were to stay hidden.

  5. #15
    Level 8 Propaganda Bot SpankyMcFly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alight owl View Post
    In the past, I have asked friends to type me (many of them didn't know the enneagram). Some typed me as 9, some as 2, but nobody believed that I could be a 4. I'm absolutely positive that I'm a 4 of some sort, though I am still up in the air about my wing.

    I'm just wondering, has this happened to anybody else? I feel as though I deceived them by keeping my feelings a secret and that I had hidden myself from them so well that they literally couldn't see me. It's very discouraging, especially because I want to be known (feeling like I actually can be known is different. there are very few people who I think listen well enough and want to know enough for me to exert the effort to say what I really think and feel. fewer still are those who i think actually understand when i do tell them).

    Also, that was at a time in my life when I drank and used drugs heavily, so maybe that had something to do with it? I hid behind that persona for several years. Now that I'm more sober, I am able to open up to people more. I wonder if I asked those same friends again what they'd think?

    I'm afraid of my friends knowing that I obsess over these personality systems though, because I don't want them to feel as if Im putting them or myself into a box. I hardly talk to anyone about it. Partly Im also afraid that they won't put any stock in it, and since I use it so heavily (as INFJs are wont to do) to help me make sense of the world, I don't want to be rejected.

    Anyway, the question. Do you other 4s have the same problem of feeling not known by people, even those close to you?
    I totally relate to this. Everyone I know describes me as something other than a 4. Then again most people I know aren't very interested in personality theory, life keeps them "too" busy.
    "The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents... Some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new Dark Age. " - H.P. Lovecraft

  6. #16
    Level 8 Propaganda Bot SpankyMcFly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alight owl View Post
    This. Is exactly how I feel - thanks for clarifying it. I think it's exactly the description of the hiddenness that I was talking about before. I feel as if I can't actually share what I feel (or think, at times), I hide it even from myself at times, because it's too painful to think of sharing it with someone else. And just because it's painful.

    I also want to hide my vulnerability - I don't know how to be vulnerable to another person when I'm in pain- it makes me question too much whether they actually understand what I'm going through enough to empathize. I have found though, that when I just trust people with that pain it helps me feel safer. Usually people do care, even though they can't understand completely what I'm going through.

    Thanks so much for posting all of this - I'm going to buy this book! I think you're right, that having an author with the same type as we have will help us understand the enneagram from the perspective of someone who processes the same way that we do.
    I think my hidden 4'ness is due to going along to get along. My "ideal" is too foreign to most people and I'd just alienate myself, which would make me less "effective". Is that my So speaking? I consider my world views to be outside mainstream for sure.
    "The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents... Some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new Dark Age. " - H.P. Lovecraft

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alight owl View Post
    9s that I know are avoidant of negative emotion altogether- one that I know has even blocked out parts of her life that are painful. That is not at all the case with me. I love indulging in my emotions, and pain for me is a unique kind of experience that I consider to be beautiful and honest. I don't want to hide from it at all - sometimes I want to feel it and think that I deserve to feel it so I remember painful past memories just to feel the kind of pain that was experienced at that time.
    Not typing you here, however I'm a core 9 with a 4 fix, and as much as I loath having external pressures on me and can shut down like a pro, I relate to your view above, it may seem to conflict with the 9 style of numb because on one hand I just want to block things out while on the other I want to wallow, put them together though and it's an inactive kind of melancholy that looks calm on the surface. The things I block out are real life stresses that tend to cover Sp type priorities. I crave intensity, the intensity I can get from a bad feeling is still a form of intense, and often easier to go deeper than when getting an intense high feeling, being able to self direct it to pick at a scab so to speak and have my inner voice tell me I deserve all things horrid is soothing in a way because it reinforces the idea that no one can know me, which then ties into a 9 thing of: if they did manage to see me they would find me worthless and they wouldn't love me. It makes the image correct and justifies shutting everything out.

    You may be a 4, however it is a mistake to take the few 9s you know irl as an indication of what 9 is and therefore see how you are different.

    You highlighted several "wanting to be known" comments- I think that 9s feel connection with the world, and feel like they can be known. The 9s that I know seem to exude some sort of "what you see is the real me" vibe.
    Connected to the universe is the 9 thing, not the same as connected to the people around them, it's more a holistic everything in the universe is interconnected and we're part of that, nature, it is part of the 9 ability to see everyone as valuable and the same. I don't think people know me, and what you see is the facade you see, it's not fake but it is surface. Add an 8 wing and avoiding vulnerability becomes a relevant thing to a 9w8.

    Moreso the point is that 9s that I know would never see life as meaningless.
    Not a 9 thing. 9 is a positive type, that doesn't imply one can't be jaded.

    Also, I got angry that you thought I was a 9. I wonder if a 9 would feel that way?
    Heh, probably not, at least not in a recognisable way.

    Not saying you're a 9, just that how you see 9s is specific to the people you know, maybe at their core, maybe only on a level they allow you to see. It suggests you would find some value in reading some books by respectable authors on Enneagram like Maitri or Palmer as it would help you to see the motivating force behind each type rather than behavioural aspects.

  8. #18
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    I keep my melodramatic emotions under wraps, yes. But most feedback from other people about me sounds 4ish. I don't know anyone in person who is into enneagram, so no one references any type directly. But all of the adjectives they assign to me reek of 4, especially with a 5 wing. Much of the criticism I've received in life sounds like issues these two types tend to have also.
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

    INFP | 4w5 sp/sx | RLUEI - Primary Inquisitive | Tritype is tripe

  9. #19
    Junior Member Alight owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Standuble View Post
    I traditionally type as four (though others here would probably disagree, its no big deal really) and much of my world of emotion is hidden from the external. I can't say how much of my inner emotion manages to escape (via body language etc.) but there have been many occasions through my life that the pain became so much that I could barely function in day to day activities, I was just a neurotic waste. My only existence and my only focus was wallowing in the multi-coloured quagmire which had flooded my mind. However all these incidents seem to have gone completely unnoticed - my mother (a few days ago) insinuated (when referring to my manic depressive grandmother) that I had never been depressed so I wouldn't understand. This came as a surprise (that emotoon wasn't expressed): Surely after more than twenty years of my "Marvin the robot and the egocentric neurotic hybrid" routine that depression had been self-evident? I shall take it as an indicator that many of its nuances do not make it out of the back rooms. I suspect that includes a) my desire to be an individual b) any desires for power or ambition I may hold c) avarice d) that I see myself as seperate from others and e) that I envy those who have a definition that I cannot truthfully claim as my own. I say that because I don't receive any feedback or criticism about any of these (save for avarice in the respect that I'm criticised for being stingy or not offering to do what someone else wants to me to do.

    I think I've completely gone off topic so excuse me! In any case I think it would have to be hidden: emotion (for me anyway) is a dynamic, four dimensional behemoth which would operate best in a meta-space where it can both remain under my control and serve me as I see fit or which I can examine and reflect upon at any angle. To express it would make it two-dimensional and dare I say primitive compared to what it is now and what it could be if it were to stay hidden.
    Are you a writer? There is some beautiful imagery in there. I think I agree that my depression may look different than what people expect. I recently had a friend say something similar to me as what your mother said. I literally had no idea what to say, partly because I read into it that she was insinuating that I don't, and i wanted her to recognize that i do too! Also because I usually dismiss other people's (especially histrionic people's) depression as not as real as my own and therefore not as valid. Ouch - it kinds of hurts to say that out loud.

    My husband does know about the depths of my moods, and I'm trying to learn how to show it to my friends and colleagues. I'm making an effort lately to be vulnerable. So that's terrifying. But ultimately more rewarding than suffering in silence and then feeling spiteful toward anyone or thing that wounds me. and really, i still don't allow 'regular' people to get close enough to me to actually hurt me. that still seems impossible. just closer. i'm letting them closer.

  10. #20
    Junior Member Alight owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpankyMcFly View Post
    I think my hidden 4'ness is due to going along to get along. My "ideal" is too foreign to most people and I'd just alienate myself, which would make me less "effective". Is that my So speaking? I consider my world views to be outside mainstream for sure.
    going along to get along? will you say more? i interpret that to mean that i'm not as openly rebellious as i feel, because it would take too much energy. i'm much more interested in being left alone to quietly pursue whatever it is that i quietly pursue. i consider my worldviews to be outside the mainstream too, but i'm inclined to show them to people. in small doses. and only in the way that i choose to show them (usually with cryptic one-liners. i'm in a master's program in literature right now, which has helped me with actually saying what i mean, instead of saying something that points to what i mean that is intended only for those worthy enough to understand me). i like to shake things up, but i don't have any follow through and i don't want power. ugh- taking responsibility for myself and my belief system? no way.

    it seems to me like part of it may be your so speaking. what do you think?

    Edit: I just realized that "cryptic one-liners'' may be interpreted as a response to "going along to get along" - not my intention at all. sorry if it seemed like an attack.
    Last edited by Alight owl; 12-08-2013 at 11:44 AM. Reason: paranoia.

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