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  1. #1

    Default How to grow to be a healthy?

    Okay...just theoretically. Imagine there's a 4 and that 4 just becames really unhealthy. She became absorbed with her own self, her own identity, her individuality to the point she fails to care about other people and duties in her life...acts like other people don't have emotions. She goes to the point, when everything that matters is how originally she expresses herself. And that 4 happens to have a 3 wing...that goes to its unhealthy narcistic and also 9nish state, so everyone around just seems as stereotypical, unoriginal and emotionally superficial looser. And that 9nish tendencies of a 3 wing birngs her to the state, when the intense emotions as we know it for 4, does no exist anymore, but there is rather numbness, laziness, hedonism and desperate attempts to bring back the intense emotions, that just won't come...What should a 4 like that do?

  2. #2
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    Hmm, the thing with being a better person is that a person has to truly realize that they aren't happy as they are. I'd say this is the first thing to do.

    Here's a quote from The Enneagram Institute:

    Personal Growth Recommendations
    for Enneagram Type Fours


    Do not pay so much attention to your feelings; they are not a true source of support for you, as you probably already know. Remember this advice: "From our present perspective, we can also see that one of the most important mistakes Fours make is to equate themselves with their feelings. The fallacy is that to understand themselves they must understand their feelings, particularly their negative ones, before acting. Fours do not see that the self is not the same as its feelings or that the presence of negative feelings does not preclude the presence of good in themselves" (Personality Types, p. 172). Always remember that your feelings are telling you something about yourself as you are at this particular moment, not necessarily more than that.

    Avoid putting off things until you are "in the right mood." Commit yourself to productive, meaningful work that will contribute to your good and that of others, no matter how small the contribution may be. Working consistently in the real world will create a context in which you can discover yourself and your talents. (Actually, you are happiest when you are working—that is, activating your potentials and realizing yourself. You will not "find yourself" in a vacuum or while waiting for inspiration to strike, so connect—and stay connected—with the real world.

    Self-esteem and self-confidence will develop only from having positive experiences, whether or not you believe that you are ready to have them. Therefore, put yourself in the way of good. You may never feel that you are ready to take on a challenge of some sort, that you always need more time. (Fours typically never feel that they are sufficiently "together," but they must nevertheless have the courage to stop putting off their lives.) Even if you start small, commit yourself to doing something that will bring out the best in you.

    A wholesome self-discipline takes many forms, from sleeping regular hours to working regularly to exercising regularly, and has a cumulative, strengthening effect. Since it comes from yourself, a healthy self-discipline is not contrary to your freedom or individuality. On the other hand, sensuality, excessive sexual experiences, alcohol, drugs, sleep, or fantasizing have a debilitating effect on you, as you already know. Therefore, practice healthy self-discipline and stay with it.

    Avoid lengthy conversations in your imagination, particularly if they are negative, resentful, or even excessively romantic. These conversations are essentially unreal and at best only rehearsals for action—although, as you know, you almost never say or do what you imagine you will. Instead of spending time imagining your life and relationships, begin to live them.

  3. #3
    brainheart
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    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.

  4. #4

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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.
    I totally agree! Ignoring emotions would lead a 4 to an emotional breakdown sooner, or later.

  5. #5
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    You realise that you're chasing a high. Then you decide that you'd rather go for something sustainable. Compare it to going from chips and cookies to a balanced diet. It's not that you have to stop eating ( or feeling, in this case), it's that you have to balance out what you eat, both quality and quantity (aka, stop going for the easy high and work at something with those emotions, instead of just sniffing them like glue).

    It won't be fixed in one night. And it will require grieving those chips and cookies. Then you start looking into what those healthy alternatives look like and which ones you'd like to try.

    Then you get to work and take charge of *your* life, and channel those feelings properly for once, instead of letting them run amok. Each day, every day. You will fail, and you will stumble. And you will try again. And each day you'll learn something new. Each day you'll learn that while navel gazing is fun - and you will relapse - it isn't as satisfying as the next lesson to be found if you put in the work. You'll discover the journey that is life, you'll learn to cope with disappointment, to come back stronger than before and to retreat to your cocoon with some junk food just on occasion when life calls for it, then go balls out again the next day to find out what life has to offer today, or pour your passion into the thing you love when you've found it.

    Iow, you'll finally live, instead of being lived.
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  6. #6
    Post Human Post Qlip'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.
    Actually, I find that advice pretty straight on. We just tend not to take advice well. It's best that you ignore it, then discover it on your own, then pass it off as original knowledge.

  7. #7
    Twerking & Lurking ayoitsStepho's Avatar
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    As a 4w3, I have experienced this unhealthy level a time or too. The key is to get your eyes off of yourself and get involved with other people. This is really hard when experiencing this level of low. Having the 3 wing makes me want to become the best I can be for myself. To do that I will create little goals like: when I walk into a room, I will get to know one person I don't already know. This allows me to be on the look out for others and not to navel gaze. Being a 4 makes me want to understand, so now I get to dig and learn about someone else too. But I think that person has to recognize they're unhealthy before they are ever motivated to change. It has to be me who see's my mess and me who fixes it.
    If someone tells me I need help then I ignore them because I'm at an unhealthy level at that point. They don't know me- understand me. How could they ever know what I need? It has to come from themselves, the recognition and desire to be healthy.
    Quote Originally Posted by MacGuffin View Post
    ayoitsStepho is becoming someone else. Actually her true self, a rite of passage.

  8. #8
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brainheart View Post

    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.
    hmm, i'm not sure what you say and what Riso was emphasizing is all that different. I don't think they were saying to ignore feelings, I think they were instead stressing not to place ones' whole sense of identity in them; also noting that falling into the trap of becoming more and more focused on internal world, thinking the more one focuses on it, the more truth one will find, is in fact quite counterproductive at a certain point, ie ultimately can't 'find' oneself fully, and in healthy balanced way, by spiraling in. Riso and you stress externalizing, looking outwards, whether via creation or simply letting go of the tight reins on the internal and experiencing or building outwardly. Not clutching to it and being deceived by it, but knowing when to drop it and look outwards as well.
    "...On and on and on and on he strode, far out over the sands, singing wildly to the sea, crying to greet the advent of the life that had cried to him." - James Joyce

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  9. #9
    So she did. small.wonder'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.
    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!
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  10. #10
    Junior Member thatpants's Avatar
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    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).

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