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Thread: 9w8s and 8w9s

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    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Default 9w8s and 8w9s

    I have always thought of our individual placement on the Enneagram as being at some point on the circle - rarely on an exact number but somewhere in-between two numbers, which gives rise to the wings. Two questions.

    First - Do you agree with this?

    Second - If you do, has it ever seemed strange to you that 8 and 9 are next to each other? They seem so different to me. 8 seems to be the most aggressive of the types and 9 seems to be the most diplomatic or "nice". When I think of a 9w8 or 8w9, it seems like an odd pairing.

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    First, yes, exactly. Like a color spectrum.

    Second... I think I can see the overlap in terms of control. 8 and 9 both do control. 8 does so by seizing the situation outwardly... 9 does so by manipulating how much of the situation they allow to affect their internal person. Both are very ego-protective in that way...

    So like, my little brother, ISTP, is a 9w8, and I'm pretty sure a sp/sx with a fairly close distance between the two instincts. He much prefers to just remain calm and collected, and to let things happen peacefully. He generally steps back if there's conflict, having essentially zero interest in drama. But, when the conflict threatens his wellbeing or the wellbeing of something or someone he cares about, he very quickly assumes an assertive, physical, and dominant orientation to the situation and its players and acts quickly to eliminate the problem, typically by removing the object being threatened but by addressing the threat if necessary. I have seen him use his physical prowess as leverage - he's slender but very muscular and strong - but have never seen him actually go through with enforcing it. I'm sure he would if he had to but I'm also sure it would make him extremely unhappy to have done so and I believe he would be very inclined to remove himself from the larger situation so as not to risk it happening again. (This is something I have noticed in the 9s I know... they seem more willing than others to just remove themself from situations that have become uncomfortable, even if they have invested in them... a double-edged sword of course...)

    I don't know any 8w9s very well, but the one I know best is a manager at my workplace who's pretty laid back but is on top of everything - it's clear that he's in charge, everyone knows it, and he intends to keep it that way - but he's protective of everyone under him and takes good care of them. He's got a magnanimous streak. When he talks about life, it's clear that he knows what he wants and knows how he's going to go about getting it. He's also obviously not averse to having to wait or work harder for a while if it means getting what he wants, which is where I think some of the 9 comes in. He's living well now but he speaks to living below his means and saving.

    So the similarity I see between them really boils down to being able to control the parameters of their own lives, but 9 modulates far more internally while 8 modulates far more externally. 9w8 is empowered with 8's understanding of how to control externally so they can use that vision to quickly remove external threat if it is infringing upon their ability to modulate internally, and 8w9 is empowered with 9's understanding of how to control internally so they have better patience and calm while waiting for the execution of external control.

    Those are just my thoughts... they are open to criticism and commentary.
    Last edited by skylights; 04-04-2014 at 11:44 PM. Reason: clarification

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    Senior Member Sanjuro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    First - Do you agree with this?
    Yes, I do. Observing myself, I am a clear interplay between my wings. And at times, I feel both my wings happening more than my core type.

    Second - If you do, has it ever seemed strange to you that 8 and 9 are next to each other? They seem so different to me. 8 seems to be the most aggressive of the types and 9 seems to be the most diplomatic or "nice". When I think of a 9w8 or 8w9, it seems like an odd pairing.
    If you go by outward behaviors of conflict versus peace, then yes it is strange.

    You have to go below the surface here. It's about resistance to the environment, inertia, denial of circumstances, and numbing out or forgetting whatever doesn't agree (for 9s, this is whatever ruins their inner sense of peace; for 8s, this is information that might set them against themselves).

    The 8 is caught between the high-energy, enthusiasm, and big ideas of the 7, as well as the inertia and routine of the 9. Consequently, you get someone who has lots of grand ideas, but is often settled enough to actually accomplish them. The "gluttony" is held in place by inertia, hence you get excess--instead of doing everything, 8 do one thing over and over again, then move on to conquer something else. Given that both 7 and 9 tend to put their minds elsewhere, you have someone who is very unable to be affected by the present moment (hence, callousness)

    The 9 is caught between the "goodness" of 1, and the "badness" of 8. They don't know whether to agree or disagree, to obey or disobey, indulge physical desires or deny physical desires, etc. On one side there's the impulse to be self-interested, on the other there's the impulse to make the world more perfect. How do you deal with all that push-pull other than become numb and stubborn? Outwardly comply, but inwardly follow your own way. 9s can be both callous to others, like 8s, and concerned with maintaining the "right" way of doing things, like 1s.

    It all makes sense to me.

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    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    It makes more sense if you think of 8s as being more about control and 9s being about calm - then the two can go together quite naturally. 8w9 focus on controlled aggression, whereas 9w8s have a more self-composed directivity about them.

    My Dad is a ISTP 8w9 (like your brother @skylights!) and if I knew less about the enneagram I would never have said he had any 8-ness in him. There's no aggression or anger at all. It's only after reading a bit more that I began to see 8 traits in him. I think for 9w8s it's so more more about self-control and conquering one's own 'weaknesses' (as they see them), than it is about unleashing anger on others.
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    Diabolical Kasper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    I have always thought of our individual placement on the Enneagram as being at some point on the circle - rarely on an exact number but somewhere in-between two numbers, which gives rise to the wings. Two questions.

    First - Do you agree with this?
    Not totally, my core is exactly 9, putting me at a point between 9 and 8 that correlates with the strength of my wing reduces my 9 which isn't accurate. 9 accounts for my motivations, fears, childhood message etc, I do relate to fears of 8s, rather strongly too however they don't impact on my 9 in a diminishing way, they're secondary or incorporated with them, or when conflicting, disregarded. I do agree with the image painted in terms of strength of wing though.

    Second - If you do, has it ever seemed strange to you that 8 and 9 are next to each other? They seem so different to me. 8 seems to be the most aggressive of the types and 9 seems to be the most diplomatic or "nice". When I think of a 9w8 or 8w9, it seems like an odd pairing.
    I'll post more later, for now though I am most curious as to what type you would put 9 next to instead of 8 if you could shuffle them in a way that looked less odd to you? The point of the question is to see how you view 9s.

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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    I have always thought of our individual placement on the Enneagram as being at some point on the circle - rarely on an exact number but somewhere in-between two numbers, which gives rise to the wings. Two questions.
    First - Do you agree with this?
    yes, I think it also explains why some people have more prominent wings while others have a bit of influence from both

    Second - If you do, has it ever seemed strange to you that 8 and 9 are next to each other? They seem so different to me. 8 seems to be the most aggressive of the types and 9 seems to be the most diplomatic or "nice". When I think of a 9w8 or 8w9, it seems like an odd pairing.
    I do. within every center, I think there are two types next to each other which are absolutely nothing alike
    - 8 and 9
    - 3 and 4
    - 6 and 7
    in fact, I don't think most types have much in common with the other two types of their respective centers at all (for example, 7 is much more similar to 8 than it is to either 5 or 6)
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    Senior Member Ene's Avatar
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    Oh, my goodness, this thread, along with an NF Geeks video, has sent me to seeing ennegram in a new light. I just discovered that nines often mistype as fives....I think I'm a 9! @superunknown was right!

    EDITED so that the mentions show up.

    @RaptorWizard also said it.
    A student said to his master: "You teach me fighting, but you talk about peace. How do you reconcile the two?" The master replied: "It is better to be a warrior in a garden than to be a gardener in a war." - unknown/Chinese

    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...=61024&page=14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ene View Post
    Oh, my goodness, this thread, along with an NF Geeks video, has sent me to seeing ennegram in a new light. I just discovered that nines often mistype as fives....I think I'm a 9! @ was right!
    Should there be a superunknown after that @

  9. #9
    Senior Member Ene's Avatar
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    Hahaha....YES! There should be. I'm gonna fix that right now.
    A student said to his master: "You teach me fighting, but you talk about peace. How do you reconcile the two?" The master replied: "It is better to be a warrior in a garden than to be a gardener in a war." - unknown/Chinese

    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...=61024&page=14

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    Super busy, but will contribute when I can.

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