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  1. #1
    Junior Member Alight owl's Avatar
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    Default Type 4 and Hiddenness

    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?

  2. #2
    libtard SJW chickpea's Avatar
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    Definitely. I'm really surprised by people's opinions and descriptions of me sometimes, even people who know me well. I think I can either come across as tough and insensitive, or as a pushover who will go with the flow no matter what. Which I can act like sometimes but neither are how I really feel.

    The only person who knows me well that looked into enneagram was my mother who thinks I'm a 5.

  3. #3
    Junior Member Alight owl's Avatar
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    I seriously love your avatar!

    Those are pretty much my go-to's as well. People seem to think that I'm much more opinionated, angry, tough than I really am, and they also think that I don't really have emotions. I have gotten feedback that I seem very calm, natural, in front of a class (I'm starting to teach this fall)., when inside i'm a literal volcano. very strange...

  4. #4
    Senior Member Sanjuro's Avatar
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    My sister's the same way...I thought for years that she was a 2 or 9, but she self types as 4. I don't see it, but I do understand that she's had emotional difficulties pertaining to tormentingly powerful, fluxing emotions, and she's acted out recently in ways reminiscent of 4. So, I buy her self-analysis. And it seems likely that you @Alight owl could be in the same boat.

    As to my own 4ness...as soon as my family read about the enneagram, they were like, "You've got lots of 4 and 5." And for me, that's true--I am in fact prone to bouts of loud melodrama; I tend to create emotional problems for people, make them feel what they don't want to; struggle with alienation and feelings of low self-esteem, etc. My family does think I'm a likely 4.

    However, I doubt anyone else would see this. Outsiders would likely put me on the left side of the enneagram, somewhere. Anywhere. IRL, I'm very quiet and detached around many people. Very knowledgeable. I know everything. I could be seen as a 5. When I'm in charge of something, I'm apparently very commanding and passionate--could be seen as an 8. On online forums, the feedback runs along the 6w7/7w6 corner of the enneagram. No one seems to see me as a 4.

    So, yeah, OP, I think it's more than possible it's a "hidden" type for you, especially if the people who type you aren't very experienced or don't know the enneagram in any great depth. Sometimes, individuals break the expectations of what it means to be that type.

  5. #5
    Junior Member IluvHSJ's Avatar
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    I learned that being an sp-first also can make 4's hide their powerful emotions from others.

    Most of my friends think I am positive and cheerful. They would be surprised to know about my "dark side". My incredibly insecure, pessimistic, strong emotional side. If I cry, I want to cry in private. I don't wish to be so emotionally open. I might even look stoic to others. But I repress a lot. I repress more now that I am older. Even if I am a Fe-dom, I tend to hide lots of my real feelings as if I was a Fi-dom. I didn't understand this part of me, when most 4 descriptions paint 4's as being highly expressive and almost as if they wear their hearts on their sleeves.

    But I found the SP description in "Positive Enneagram" for fours and it really fit me. It mentioned how they tend to have a hidden side.
    "..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 )

  6. #6
    Blind Guardian Haven'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?
    What makes you think 4 and not 9? I've always thought 4s are stark individualists, and 9s are more compromising like you seem to be.

    4 - Basic Desire: To find themselves and their significance (to create an identity)

    http://www.enneagraminstitute.com/Ty...p#.UmDeb1DneSo
    9 - Basic Desire: To have inner stability "peace of mind"

    http://www.enneagraminstitute.com/Ty...p#.UmDecVDneSo
    it just seems like compromising your identity like that is at odds with the basic desire of 4s and in line with that of 9s.

    Nines frequently mistype themselves as they have a rather diffuse sense of their own identities. This is exacerbated by the fact that Nines often merge with their loved ones and through a process of identification take on the characteristics of those closest to them. Female Nines frequently mistype as Twos, especially if they are the mothers are small children. Nines, however, are self-effacing whereas Twos are quite aware of their own self worth. Nines also mistake themselves for Fours, but Nines tend to avoid negative emotions whereas Fours often exacerbate them. Intellectual Nines, especially males, frequently mistype as Fives, but Fives are intellectually contentious whereas Nines are conciliatory and conflict avoidant.
    http://www.eclecticenergies.com/enneagram/type9.php
    {The Diplomat}
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  7. #7
    Just a note... LittleV's Avatar
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    It depends on the situation.

  8. #8
    Junior Member Alight owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haven View Post
    What makes you think 4 and not 9? I've always thought 4s are stark individualists, and 9s are more compromising like you seem to be. it just seems like compromising your identity like that is at odds with the basic desire of 4s and in line with that of 9s.


    http://www.eclecticenergies.com/enneagram/type9.php
    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.

    How do you see me as compromising, I wonder?

    The way that I seem to myself is absolutely uncompromising. I try my best to understand people and mirror them so that they feel comfortable, however, underneath that I am aware of myself using that kind of power to know them deeply and write them off as not as special as I am. I have extremely high standards, probably I only think that 2-3 people could ever understand me, and I know right away if you don't meet them. I feel shame about my exclusiveness and my desire to be only with my special people, and so try to hide it from people lest they think that I am arrogant (I am) or aloof (I am). Despite being elitist, I do want to be liked. Sometimes I do genuinely love, adore, people who aren't my "special" people. But at other times I despise them (I also frequently despise my special people) and live for weeks in a misanthropic funk. My 9 friends don't seem to have misanthropic funks in the same way that I do. They direct their rage at 'the world' or 'people in general', but would never tell me that they were pissed at me (I dated a 9w8 for four years who was never angry at me...)

    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. The female 9 that I know was appalled that I said I can lie to myself. She absolutely did not understand the idea that we construct our reality based on some sort of ideal - that we neurotically see things that we want to or expect to see.

    I think that it's probably more common for 9s to mistype as 4s when they are unhealthy and disintegrate to 6. The female 9 was suicidal when she disintegrated, extremely emotionally unstable, and I think that until she found a life partner, she was incapable of dealing with the world. When she met him though, she started denying ever having been suicidal and said that he was perfect and could fix all of her problems. Since then she has been "fine".

    I am married, and I am not "fine" (nor do I want to be- I see it as shallow (I am ashamed of that)). I think that Camus' "Myth of Sisyphus" is the most important book in my life right now- seeing the absolute meaninglessness of life and trying to figure out how not to kill yourself. It is a struggle for me everyday. I'm not suicidal, and I am not looking for pity. Moreso the point is that 9s that I know would never see life as meaningless. They see their work as meaningful and their lives as full.

    Maybe I'm totally wrong about 9s - this is only my perception of the handful that I have come across in my life. I'd really like to know why you think I'm a 9 - it's interesting to me that people keep saying that! As I have gotten older, I have been able to share more of myself with others. I don't know if they'd type me as 9 anymore. Maybe I should ask them.

    Interestingly, I read through this 10 minutes after I posted it and didn't feel like I did myself justice. I just don't feel like I can tell people who I am, and if I try, I am so changeable that I'll feel like I was lying when I first tried to explain myself.

    Also, I got angry that you thought I was a 9. I wonder if a 9 would feel that way?

  9. #9
    Junior Member Alight owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IluvHSJ View Post
    I learned that being an sp-first also can make 4's hide their powerful emotions from others.

    Most of my friends think I am positive and cheerful. They would be surprised to know about my "dark side". My incredibly insecure, pessimistic, strong emotional side. If I cry, I want to cry in private. I don't wish to be so emotionally open. I might even look stoic to others. But I repress a lot. I repress more now that I am older. Even if I am a Fe-dom, I tend to hide lots of my real feelings as if I was a Fi-dom. I didn't understand this part of me, when most 4 descriptions paint 4's as being highly expressive and almost as if they wear their hearts on their sleeves.

    But I found the SP description in "Positive Enneagram" for fours and it really fit me. It mentioned how they tend to have a hidden side.
    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.

  10. #10
    Junior Member Alight owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleV View Post


    It depends on the situation.
    say more!

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