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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by thatpants View Post
    I'm pretty new to the enneagram concepts, but I'm also a 4w3, and I think the 4w3 traits taken to an unhealthy extreme can mirror some elements of borderline personality disorder (need for intensity, black & white thinking, relational cut-offs, and the traits you mentioned - numbness & hedonism). I'm not at ALL saying that any 4w3 has BPD, but I've found that some methods that work with BPD treatment also work especially well with my personality quirks, namely mindfulness strategies and DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy - look it up if you're inclined).

    For me, I need a lot of grounding and practice being in the moment. So, creating stuff, yoga, cooking...those types of activities help a lot. But also, trying to be in the moment throughout the day (doing ONE thing at a time and concentrating on that thing, engaging all 5 senses while on a walk, body scans to be aware of where tension/stress is in my body) has helped me manage my moods and feel more connected when I have phases of disconnection. For me personally, spending time with a pet is one of the best ways for me to ground myself.

    However, I do agree that the intense feelings we have are also the key to feeling purposeful...doing SOMETHING with those feelings (yes, making capital A Art can be awesome, but so can spending some really focused time doing a simple craft, or engaging in a [healthy] physical experience, or volunteering somewhere).
    I also noticed, that being aware of here and now and doing things that help me feel connected with the moment are the best for me to feel healthy and stable. But once you loose the connection it's extremly hard to find the path back. I can get lost in thoughts so easily to the point I can completly ignore my enviroment, usualy it costs me to use a lot of strenghts to feel really aware of the current moment.

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by small.wonder View Post
    Totally agree with this, and don't feel like you have to do something amazing right away! My first step 4 years ago toward health was moving back to be near people who love and are supportive of me (and emotional health). My second step was revisiting and beginning to create again, even if it felt forced at first. Along with that, doing something to get me out of my house was very important! For me that was nannying for two small children about 6 hours a week. It was super small commitment, but allowed me to do and succeed at something while interacting with people. That nanny position (though not my dream job) became the first stepping stone of many to build my confidence and health to a point of actually vocationally pursuing what I love.

    Being unhealthy sucks and requires action to get out of, but growth and health is so worth it!
    I think nanny position is great for 4s, because they have to think and take care about others and can't be so drown in their own self. But for me personally a caring positions are the worst....I really dislike to feel responsible for others, it's just more than I can take. Maybe it's just about the level of maturity, but I didn't find this caring side of mine yet.

  3. #13
    So she did. small.wonder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SophiaDeep View Post
    I think nanny position is great for 4s, because they have to think and take care about others and can't be so drown in their own self. But for me personally a caring positions are the worst....I really dislike to feel responsible for others, it's just more than I can take. Maybe it's just about the level of maturity, but I didn't find this caring side of mine yet.
    Haha, that is quite true! I am really good with kids (it's like they think I'm Mary Poppins or Miss Frizzle or something) but I actually didn't know that about myself before that experience (I used to be super annoyed with children). It doesn't need to be working with children though! There are so many other kinds of positions that can benefit and spur growth for 4's in the same way, anything that is a small step and gives you the opportunity to succeed at something and get around other people! That could be helping out at your local library, working at a thrift store, or even doing some sort of volunteer work. Whatever floats your boat, but try not to write things off (we 4's do like to be particular, but it inhibits our growth).
    Find my Enneagram writing here. Also, I'd love for you to take my six question Enneagram surveyEnneagram survey!✨

  4. #14
    Junior Member thatpants's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SophiaDeep View Post
    I also noticed, that being aware of here and now and doing things that help me feel connected with the moment are the best for me to feel healthy and stable. But once you loose the connection it's extremly hard to find the path back. I can get lost in thoughts so easily to the point I can completly ignore my enviroment, usualy it costs me to use a lot of strenghts to feel really aware of the current moment.
    SophiaDeep, if being aware of the current moment saps your strength, what gives you strength? That may be helpful info in determining how to get back on track when you feel lost..

  5. #15
    Theta Male Julius_Van_Der_Beak's Avatar
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    I think 4s need to actually be creating stuff to feel satisfied. I guess that might just be a side-effect of a healthy 4, but to me, it seems like unhealthy 4s are never doing any of that creative things that they say are important to them. I think that's a good way to tell if a 4 is in a funk or not, if they are doing creative stuff. It need not necessarily be something thought of as traditionally artistic, just something that involves them making pure aesthetic judgments without too many compromises to other people's.
    [Trump's] rhetoric is not an abuse of power. In the same way that it's also not against the law to do a backflip off of the roof of your house onto your concrete driveway. It's just mind-numbingly stupid and, to say the least, counterproductive. - Bush did 9-11


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  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by msg_v2 View Post
    I think 4s need to actually be creating stuff to feel satisfied. I guess that might just be a side-effect of a healthy 4, but to me, it seems like unhealthy 4s are never doing any of that creative things that they say are important to them. I think that's a good way to tell if a 4 is in a funk or not, if they are doing creative stuff. It need not necessarily be something thought of as traditionally artistic, just something that involves them making pure aesthetic judgments without too many compromises to other people's.
    YES. THIS IS IT, 100%.

  7. #17
    Member atlascatcher's Avatar
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    I didn't read all of the replies in detail so if I'm repeating information my bad. This is the other half of the Riso/Hudson recommendations from the book Understanding the Enneagram: The Practical Guide to Personality Types -

    6. Talk open with someone you trust. This need not be a therapist, although it might be. You need both to express your feelings spontaneously and to have someone react honestly. You may well discover that you are not as different or as much of an outsider as you sometimes feel you are. Paradoxically, one of the surest ways of "finding yourself" is by being in a relationship with someone else.

    7. Community service of some kind will make you less self-conscious and give you a better perspective on yourself. There are good things in you that you have kept hidden, possibly even from yourself. Find out what they are by getting involved in practical service.

    8. Do not succumb to self-pity or to complaining about your parents, thoughts of you unhappy childhood, your unfulfilled past, your failed relationships, and how no one understands you. Someone would likely understand you if you made a real effort to communicate. (One of your unhealthy claims is that you have been damaged by your upbringing and are therefore exempt from having realistic expectations of any sort placed on you). Use your self-knowledge to be aware of the true effects of your negative attitudes.

    9. Do not take everything so personally, thinking that every remark is aimed at you. And even if one occasionally is, do not go over it in your mind. After all, a critical or hostile remark does not reflect the whole truth about you. Usually, people are too busy worrying about themselves to scrutinize your thoughts or behavior in such detail. If in doubt, get reality checks from others -- ask them what they meant.

    10. Beware of the harshness of your own self-talk. You tend to say and do things to yourself that you would never dream of saying or doing to anyone else. Learn to notice the inner voices of contempt and self-rejection that you entertain. Cliche though it is, become a friend to yourself. Stand up for yourself and give yourself a chance.

    I checked out the Enneagram Riso books from my university's libraries and ironically the only dog eared pages are regarding Type 4s. Go figure. Personally I really like the community service idea listed because it allows you to get outside yourself while feeling good about doing something for someone else. It also creates opportunities to build meaningful relationships in the sense of finding others to relate to. Seeing that you're a university student as well, are there any types of community outreach programs or community service projects that are creative in nature near you?

    Both of the books have sections where they seem to tell 4s to get out and experience the world rather than living in their heads and I feel this has been true for myself as well. I feel most normal when I'm engaging with others or at least experiencing sensory activities that can ground me. You mentioned that it's hard to find your way back once you've lost the connection (I can totally relate) but perhaps finding some sort of regular activity you can take part in that has some sort of creative meaning interacting with others might be a place to start? I'm not sure what kind of opportunities you have in your area of the world though.
    Last edited by atlascatcher; 01-08-2014 at 11:36 PM. Reason: spelling
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  8. #18
    Senior Member NK258's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brainheart View Post
    The Riso-Hudson advice always makes me laugh. They make it sound so easy, like an unhealthy four should be able to read it and go, "Oh, okay! I'll not pay so much attention to my feelings and become more self disciplined! Yay!"

    I also disagree with them. I think a four becomes healthy by using those feelings to do something meaningful. The unhealthiness continues when the feelings create a state of despair/paralysis. But if the feelings are expressed in art or used to understand the pain of others, the four is using their talents/insights to bring something beautiful/transcendent to the world. Creating beauty and meaning through emotional expression gives a four self confidence (because they're doing what they're good at). Not paying attention to feelings I think negates the whole point of the four, and makes a four feel worthless/wrong.
    agreed. my closest friend is a 4 infp. In addition to what you said, I think by expressing it in a healthy way creates a platform for her to reflect and THINK about her emotions. While she taught me to feel mine more. I think it's been wonderful to see her think of them more objectively.

    This and believing in herself. That's huge.

    Also. 4's (and many types) see things in a dichotomy fashion so her biggest hurdle to overcome was to not focus on the negative parts but rather to see the whole picture. interestingly enough, it was as if she would look to someone else and see the positives and then give them way more value than they were worth. while simultaneously only seeing the negatives of herself. thinking of her feelings and asking "why" more often I think helped her realize or notice how she would devalue her own self (ignoring the positive traits in herself and believing in herself etc.) whereas she would do the envy thing and attribute more worth to positive traits of others.

    in other words. I have a positive trait she gave 10 extra points than it was actually worth. which would boomerang back around and make her notice her deficit of this trait and she would deduct points from herself. Luckily, over the years, and me pushing her to notice my negatives, and constantly pointing at her positives. she is the most amazing person I know. she became my rock whereas once upon a time I was hers. equally weird. I'm the one all crying all the time now I suck. wtf! hahaha! ... so weird.


    honestly. I think people need people to grow. maybe the OP needs to open herself up and let someone in to really see the truth of reality as it is. not as the ego would prefer to see it. just my rambling take on the matter.
    6w7 Sx/Sp (621 or 612. Same diff :p).

  9. #19

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    Thank you for this post. I'm a 4w5 and keep reading how I should stray away from the inner fantasy and imagination but it's helped me to create wonderful things throughout my life and it's hard to pull back from that.
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