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  1. #1
    Senor Membrae Eugene Watson VIII's Avatar
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    Default What is the essence of Type 6's character?

    So I was wondering. This is one of the most vaguest types out there that mainly has an issue with fear and cowardice. To what degree is the fear and where is the fear localized? This seems to me like the fear of being a blade higher than the rest (of the grass) [or things that could go wrong] is just too generalized. I've read a lot on type 6 and I still don't quite get it. I've had to really brush up my knowledge on type 4 and 9 otherwise, but this is even trickier.

    What is the essence of type 6's character? What do they all share?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Sanjuro's Avatar
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    This is just my personal take.

    I think of the 6 as having two sides. One side is loyal, compliant, fearful, engaging, etc all the words you associate with stereotypical 6s. The other side is revolutionary, rebellious, cranky, mean-spirited, etc. things you might associate with cp 6s.

    Most people have their ego ideals of being a certain way, and have certain repressed qualities that counter their ideals. For instance, 8s see themselves as strong and powerful, and are out of touch with their weakness and helplessness. People are often not even aware of their "shadow" side.

    Sixes have both of these sides working together, however--no matter what they do, both sides are likely to play a role. Hence, they've got enormous self-doubts because their two halves are always at odds with themselves. To spare themselves much of this pain, they often direct some of that doubt outward, toward the environment and other people. The inner doubt still exists as well.

    So, they are often taken with a sense of weakness or vulnerability to attack, simply because they see problems in the outer world while being a house divided against themselves, and that cannot stand. The world can't be trusted, they can't trust themselves. Even in heavily counterphobic 6s, there is still a tendency toward fear and submission, and at some level the 6 knows this and doubts that he won't crumble when push comes to shove.

    So, they've got to be on guard against the world and prepare themselves to avoid crumbling. So, they tend to assume worst case scenarios in order to be the best prepared. Naturally, living in this mode 24/7 can be very stressful and tends to generate a sense of constant pressure.

    This pressure is sometimes called existential anxiety--anything could go wrong at any time. Anyone could do anything! Better watch out and find a sure thing that won't go wonky on you. This sense is generalized, but it can vary 6-to-6. Some are more trusting of others to protect them from the things that go wrong, but have strong suspicions toward themselves and their own minds (particularly phobic 6w7s). Some are more trusting of themselves, but see threat in other people or in the environment (particularly cp 6w5s). For some, it's both, or not really one or the other.

    Some 6s manifest this by literally feeling anxious, but for others it's more of a mental phenomenon--covering all bases, trying to logically cover areas where something bad might happen, staying prepared, warning others of potential dangers. They tend to hash and re-hash to this end. Some are even unaware of the anxiety because it's such a natural part of their lives and/or they've come to rely upon their own strength so much.

    But, the core is that the 6 is his/her own worst enemy, and that's what makes them feel vulnerable to attack and generates their desire to eradicate all threats. Sixes have to learn to stop thinking and basically accept both halves of themselves (and others), in the manner of healthy 9s.

    It's a complex type, and I hope I didn't just make that more confusing.

  3. #3
    Senor Membrae Eugene Watson VIII's Avatar
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    I think you have done a good job clarifying it. It seems like the self-defence 6s have against bad outcomes are present in other types, I've never attributed that to type 6. My own confusion came from that and the fact that their negative side is fear, really, and all types fear control, attachment or mediocrity etc. But I never saw it as attaching to fear itself or acting against it. I'm still learning about type 6 (and especially).

    I don't know if it was worded like this but I've read 6s are so diverse they are one of the few types that commonly mistype.
    Myers-Briggs: xsFP

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    ~ People don't think it be like it is, but it do. ~

  4. #4
    Senior Member Sanjuro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Planetary Walker View Post
    I think you have done a good job clarifying it. It seems like the self-defence 6s have against bad outcomes are present in other types, I've never attributed that to type 6. My own confusion came from that and the fact that their negative side is fear, really, and all types fear control, attachment or mediocrity etc. But I never saw it as attaching to fear itself or acting against it. I'm still learning about type 6 (and especially).
    The key is that 6s entire fixation is geared toward expecting bad outcomes in order to prevent that. It's doubt-based rather than pragmatic-consideration-based. Not that it's not also pragmatic, but a 6 will automatically question the safety/integrity/whatever of things where others might proceed without a second thought. The mind doubts all.

    Yeah, all types have core fears; the 6 faces the issues of "what's solid, reliable, and certain" as their core fixation, and they will go to great lengths to actually resolve these questions. It's a head type, meaning they navigate life primarily through their mental powers--reason is highly valued, and often intuition is neglected.

    I don't know if it was worded like this but I've read 6s are so diverse they are one of the few types that commonly mistype.
    Blech, I hate that line. Sixes have many ways of reacting to their fears (phobic, counterphobic, and anything in between, because they do have access to both sides of themselves), but that doesn't make them more "diverse" as individuals. I've come to believe that every type is as diverse as 6s--we're not all cardboard cutouts!

    Their mistypes tend to be for the reasons you've made this thread--they can't understand the type and think it's someone with an anxiety disorder or whatever, or else because they're skeptical of the enneagram, or they question their own judgement and powers of self-observation and can't draw a conclusion, or they simply see themselves more in another type (8 being a common mistype when descriptions are phobic-biased).

    Real 6s free to correct any of my thoughts on this subject, of course.

  5. #5
    Senor Membrae Eugene Watson VIII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanjuro View Post
    Blech, I hate that line. Sixes have many ways of reacting to their fears (phobic, counterphobic, and anything in between, because they do have access to both sides of themselves), but that doesn't make them more "diverse" as individuals. I've come to believe that every type is as diverse as 6s--we're not all cardboard cutouts!
    Lol I'm not even an expert at this subject at all, but I'm guessing on that note that the phobic and counterphobic differences would make people think they are diverse. I would suppose if you had a group of maybe 9 functioning individuals, all different types, you would probably see more variety with the 6. A 4 who is counter-envy (lol) would not deserve the same label as a counterphobic 6 because that and the phobic 6 are at extreme ends on a slider scale for catastrophicizing along with the defenses for that. So when talking enneagram I suppose you are looking at the type and not the behaviours, making type 6 diverse.

    Their mistypes tend to be for the reasons you've made this thread--they can't understand the type and think it's someone with an anxiety disorder or whatever, or else because they're skeptical of the enneagram, or they question their own judgement and powers of self-observation and can't draw a conclusion, or they simply see themselves more in another type (8 being a common mistype when descriptions are phobic-biased).
    I get what you're saying mang, but for the record I'm not a mistyped 6, I'm a potential 6. I do not know a sufficient lot to say "yes I am now a 6". I am one of few types.
    Myers-Briggs: xsFP

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    ~ People don't think it be like it is, but it do. ~

  6. #6
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanjuro
    But, the core is that the 6 is his/her own worst enemy, and that's what makes them feel vulnerable to attack and generates their desire to eradicate all threats. Sixes have to learn to stop thinking and basically accept both halves of themselves (and others), in the manner of healthy 9s.


    To emphasize something Sanj has already touched on, as far as I understand, I think the 6 keyword could be "reactivity". The key to a 6 is that they actively respond to perceived threats to their safety/security/wellbeing. That reaction may take place more in their head or it may be very outwardly visible, but a 6 feels compelled to constantly readjust themselves to feel comfortable - and as a result, 6s rarely feel comfortable, especially not when we're thinking about our own circumstances. Sometimes we react to fear preemptively... we learn skills, join groups, gather supplies, question our own conclusions. The sooner we recognize the dangers that exist, the more time we have to protect ourselves from them, so 6s are always scanning the horizon for dangers. One can also address threats in-the-moment by facing the fear head-on, by asserting oneself and testing one's competence against the fear. But the underlying static element is that it's always a perception of threat that comes first, and then the 6 responds. If a 6 doesn't become aware of this pattern (thanks, Enneagram!), we can easily spend much of our time shifting ourselves again and again to meet whatever external demand we currently feel is the strongest, sacrificing our own self-agency and power to become slave to those perceived demands. With awareness can come settling into oneself and choosing if and when to react. At least on a good day, lol.

    I think this reactive aspect is actually one of the reasons it can be hard to identify oneself as a 6 - perception of self changes as self changes as it reacts to perceptions. So it's often hard for 6s to pin themselves down.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Noon's Avatar
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    It's a very common human theme: focusing on the unknown out of discomfort with it being unknown.

    Essence 1 is holding compelling inquiries about the nature of existence as well as about the [emphatically metaphorical] hand that animates it. The 6 can't trust in them at face value and also can't be at peace with his lack of trust.

    Essence 2, as a direct consequence, is a perpetual state of synthesizing the disparate into the cohesive - to varying levels of success.

    These because the 6 is ultimately aiming to achieve a 9: perception of the biggest picture and total reconciliation therein. That means "needing to see the unseen," which can replicate itself as lesser little anxieties.

    If they resemble a flux of opposites it's because they embody that aspiration with their very selves: they exist as the process of seeking all-pervasive cognizance; a constant seeking for "mini 9s" in terms of personality (phobic/cp), of ideology ("true"/"false"), of psychology (doubt/conviction), of personal ties (allies/threats), and beyond.

    That unconscious preoccupation with opposing principles comes from wanting to see both sides of the coin simultaneously. It differs from the 5's seeking of omniscience by being more about perception than intellect.



    If you're trying to remove this blindfold, you are a 6.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Sanjuro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Planetary Walker View Post
    Lol I'm not even an expert at this subject at all, but I'm guessing on that note that the phobic and counterphobic differences would make people think they are diverse. I would suppose if you had a group of maybe 9 functioning individuals, all different types, you would probably see more variety with the 6. A 4 who is counter-envy (lol) would not deserve the same label as a counterphobic 6 because that and the phobic 6 are at extreme ends on a slider scale for catastrophicizing along with the defenses for that. So when talking enneagram I suppose you are looking at the type and not the behaviours, making type 6 diverse.
    Sure, it's the only type to have manifestations of the core fears like that, for sure. Nonetheless, I feel that epithet was made for folks who felt bad they couldn't be a "special" type. It has been used to explain away why mistypes can't see themselves.

    PEOPLE are diverse, not types per se.

    I get what you're saying mang, but for the record I'm not a mistyped 6, I'm a potential 6. I do not know a sufficient lot to say "yes I am now a 6". I am one of few types.
    I didn't say you were. I thought 4 or 9 so far.

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