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  1. #11
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    I might be biased by my type, but I appreciate the OP thoughts for sure.

    I tend to think that every 6 contains both phobia and counterphobia, and I assume how much of each we think in and behave with is a complex mixture of genetics, environment, and development. I assume that each 6 has a baseline tendency of where we tend to lie on the P-CP spectrum, but I would be willing to bet that most 6s go through fluctuations on that scale during their lives as they grow and change.

    I think that one of the hardest parts of being a 6 is weighing the appropriateness of reaction - sometimes I find it very difficult to figure out what a middle ground between phobic response and counterphobic response would be - the key, I believe, is that it lies on a different axis, one of action versus non-action. I think one of the most difficult but healthiest things we learn as 6s is how to not respond (perhaps the reason 6 integrates to 9), which opens the door to understanding that response itself is a choice, and that we can modulate how much we choose to respond, rather than just whether we choose to fight or flee in proportion to the perceived threat.

    To me, seeing a phobic or counterphobic response out of someone seems basically the same in terms of level of health, as in the level of (un)health corresponds with the intensity of response. So, as for your friend who shifted from phobic to counterphobic, I do wonder what may have caused that shift (I assume some major environmental trigger), but it doesn't strike me that her level of health probably changed - in other words, just a different manifestation of the same unhealth, much like a different symptom of the same disease.

    At the same time, I would be very genuinely surprised if your friend had never shown any hints of CP response prior to her shift - especially from an ENTP! Do you think it's possible that you just didn't get to see it much? I know that personally, I rarely show my bursts of CP in public - rather, they're generally reserved for the few people closest to me during argument of issues I care deeply about. Yet they are there, and they also tend to fuel some longterm behavior on my part that would perhaps be surprising otherwise - but I tend to keep it more under wraps than phobic response, perhaps in part because I grew up in a very supportive and Fe-valuing household.

  2. #12
    Senior Member iHeartCats's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starry View Post
    Umm sorry...I didn't mean to put you out (???) [note to self - whatever you do, do not respond to OPs that end with a solicitation of 'thoughts.' It may no longer mean what you think it means.]

    I was merely trying to account for the fact that an e6 doesn't just suddenly *become counterphobic* like you describe in the OP. <-And that's not merely 'my own understanding.' Any enneagram book with a chapter on e6 will express that same sentiment. People with 6 wings though... wings are believed to emerge in the late teens so I thought that explanation made more sense and suggested it. For example, my sister is the more explosive, 'classic' kind of e6 counterphobe being INFJ 6w5 sx/so. And while this nature didn't take its final form until her senior year in high school...(same as you say)...there were many, many, many, many, many displays of counterphobia in her youth.

    Like I can remember being on an elementary school field trip with her to an aquarium where we had been asked to vote for our favorite fish by putting our name tag on the tank. And from across the room I saw that this one small, out-of-the-way tank containing the butt-ugliest fish you've ever seen had a name tag vote on it and in spite of not being able to read it... I knew exactly who that vote was from and why. And yes, she violently defended her underdog fish against the other kid's mocking causing a scene.

    So, I guess if you still can't see that counterphobics are counterphobic their entire lives here, I give up.
    Lol...I didn't think you were trying to put me out, I was only starting to feel uncomfortable with analyzing that high school friend so much on here (I didn't mean for this thread to turn into such deep analysis of her, but it seems to have naturally taken that direction) so I was like this is my final analysis of her and if you still disagree, I'm not taking the analysis further

    Actually, it's good that you disagreed with me and explained it because now that you explained it I do notice that I have probably overlooked something.....sometimes when you disagree with me about something that I have a very strongly formed opinion of, you need to be a little pushy to make me notice and understand your point, or else I will probably just overlook it

    Why do you think that phobic 6s can't go from phobic to counterphobic? I did read that in type 6 phobia/CP is like 2 sides of the same coin, but is it not possible that a person who is placed in a new environment (high school) only shows their phobic side and then, after 2-3 years when they have established friendships, starts showing CP a lot but still remains phobic on the inside?

    She might have been counterphobic before I met her, who knows....I met her when she was 15, so it's possible that she was always both phobic and CP, but didn't show CP behavior in front of me and other high school friends at first, and then slowly started to show it more and more to the point when she showed it so much that CP was very obvious....when I think about it, she didn't go from phobic to CP behavior in one day, it was a process and it may have actually lasted for months, but for me it was still sudden, because I've sort of formed an opinion about her and when her behavior started changing (ultimately ending in the highs of CP spectrum), I was like wtf is this, I don't like this annoying person, I want my cute shy friend back

    So it's possible that she was always CP but didn't show it in front of high school friends when she just got into high school, she was showing only the phobic side for about 2-3 years.....I'm judging on what I've seen and what I saw was her behavior changing from predominantly phobic to predominantly counterphobic, so that was why I said that she herself changed from phobic to CP because I just sort of assumed that her behavior was an image of what was actually going on inside her, but the truth is that I can't really know if she was actually always both phobic and CP, so the case becomes even more complicated now.....There she is, confusing me even now ;-;

    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    It doesn't strike me that her level of health probably changed - in other words, just a different manifestation of the same unhealth, much like a different symptom of the same disease.

    At the same time, I would be very genuinely surprised if your friend had never shown any hints of CP response prior to her shift - especially from an ENTP! Do you think it's possible that you just didn't get to see it much? I know that personally, I rarely show my bursts of CP in public - rather, they're generally reserved for the few people closest to me during argument of issues I care deeply about. Yet they are there, and they also tend to fuel some longterm behavior on my part that would perhaps be surprising otherwise - but I tend to keep it more under wraps than phobic response, perhaps in part because I grew up in a very supportive and Fe-valuing household.
    The more I think about it, the more I conclude that she was probably always CP, but didn't show it when she started going to high school and was surrounded by a bunch of strangers.
    When she had already established friendships, she probably started to show the CP side more and more (she was intelligent and was probably aware that her CP moments were unpleasant and if she showed them early on, she probably wouldn't have made many friends)

    I guess that I'm guilty of assuming that she wasn't CP before she actually started showing it in front of me (I usually assume that other people are what they seem to be, which is not always the case), what she showed in high school environment was a strong phobic and then after some time, when CP started to show more and more, I was kind of shocked (back then I wasn't aware that this was phobia and CP, I just thought that she went from shy to crazy)

    I met her when she was 15, so it's very possible that she was actually always both phobic and CP.

    Also, I agree that her level of health didn't change, and that it was just a different manifestation of the same unhealth.

  3. #13
    Undisciplined Starry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iHeartCats View Post
    Lol...I didn't think you were trying to put me out, I was only starting to feel uncomfortable with analyzing that high school friend so much on here (I didn't mean for this thread to turn into such deep analysis of her, but it seems to have naturally taken that direction) so I was like this is my final analysis of her and if you still disagree, I'm not taking the analysis further

    Actually, it's good that you disagreed with me and explained it because now that you explained it I do notice that I have probably overlooked something.....sometimes when you disagree with me about something that I have a very strongly formed opinion of, you need to be a little pushy to make me notice and understand your point, or else I will probably just overlook it

    Why do you think that phobic 6s can't go from phobic to counterphobic? I did read that in type 6 phobia/CP is like 2 sides of the same coin, but is it not possible that a person who is placed in a new environment (high school) only shows their phobic side and then, after 2-3 years when they have established friendships, starts showing CP a lot but still remains phobic on the inside?

    She might have been counterphobic before I met her, who knows....I met her when she was 15, so it's possible that she was always both phobic and CP, but didn't show CP behavior in front of me and other high school friends at first, and then slowly started to show it more and more to the point when she showed it so much that CP was very obvious....when I think about it, she didn't go from phobic to CP behavior in one day, it was a process and it may have actually lasted for months, but for me it was still sudden, because I've sort of formed an opinion about her and when her behavior started changing (ultimately ending in the highs of CP spectrum), I was like wtf is this, I don't like this annoying person, I want my cute shy friend back

    So it's possible that she was always CP but didn't show it in front of high school friends when she just got into high school, she was showing only the phobic side for about 2-3 years.....I'm judging on what I've seen and what I saw was her behavior changing from predominantly phobic to predominantly counterphobic, so that was why I said that she herself changed from phobic to CP because I just sort of assumed that her behavior was an image of what was actually going on inside her, but the truth is that I can't really know if she was actually always both phobic and CP, so the case becomes even more complicated now.....There she is, confusing me even now ;-;

    I definitely understand the (negative) experience of feeling you have said too much with regards to someone that isn't here to defend themselves...or fearing you will give away too many identifying characteristics, etc. When I first arrived here I was trying so hard to figure out what the hell happened to my ex...and yet kept coming up against those same feelings...and so I would try to tweak some of the details around in an effort to try and keep him private...but on occasion ended-up compromising my ability to get meaningful feedback in the process. I always imagine people thinking "dude did Starry's ex have multiple personality disorder?" (<-which may have been...) Fortunately, I found a member I trusted that talked to me off-board.

    Like I alluded to...what you described in the OP actually makes perfect sense if this was an IXTP 5w6 or an ENTP 7w6 like I assumed she must have been. I am an ENFP 7 with a counterphobic 6 wing...and might have appeared to have made the same dramatic transition your friend made...had I not been so damn busy rushing myself to the emergency room every other day thinking I was having a heart attack (which were really panic attacks that went undiagnosed due to the fact *7* kept me and everyone else from recognizing my issue might be fear-based.) I've talked to so many 7w6s that report this same experience though...of having the experience of perpetual happiness stripped from them around age 18 and replaced with anxiety and paranoia that they have no explanation for that they can determine (6 wing.)

    If you are convinced your friend is e6...then yah...you were probably just over-summarizing the experience from your perspective. Here though I should say that I hope what may be (although idk for sure) our differing understandings of counterphobia won't become too confusing. It does often appear to me that most people on these kind of forums attribute the more challenging form of counterphobia to both the 6w5 and 6w7 and I do not. If your friend is truly a 6 and became more challenging around age 17 then I would attribute that to an emerging 5 wing. It's not that a 6w7 won't be emotionally volatile...but this will be more "behind the scenes" <-something that the 6w7 will strive to conceal because it works against their particular brand of counterphobia. The 6w7 wants to appear to be some desirable quality generally along male and female gender lines. Hot, smoldering, cute, innocent, sexy, strong/unflappable male, sweet/in need of care female. Most young, fearful 6s become more charming when the 7 wing emerges not less. They're gaining a semblance of positive outlook from the 7 which will appear to improve their confidence and attitude.

    ^^I don't need you to accept the above definition of cp. Like I indicated I think more people may believe as you seem to...but wanted to acknowledge that if your friend went from shy to "less charming" then I, myself, am imagining her to be eNTP 6w5cp or ENTP 7w6cp.

    I think a lot of people...even individuals that identify as 6...completely misunderstand the "defender of the underdog" brand of cp. It's not just "now that I'm pissed I'm no longer fearful" <-total news flash: everyone has that mechanism and it's called adrenaline. No, this is a state of being...and you are in this state regardless of your current emotional experience/mood. It's not on some continuum...you aren't counterphobic when your mad and then return to being phobic once you're no longer mad.

    Honestly, I don't fully know how to explain it in a way that would make sense to a general audience going off my experience of it...and detailed descriptions of it by theorists are extremely confusing I feel. The defender cp... it's being so sensitive to threats...especially threats that have the potential to exploit others... that you can almost create this instant framework in your mind and quickly locate the actual source of the threat, why it has occurred, and subsequently follow each consequence of that threat to its possible end point. The problem is...is most others don't have this sensitivity. They don't believe you and don't trust that you even know what you're talking about. The cp individual is often made into the "crazy person"...so the cp individual becomes (learns to become) more forceful to be heard. And it's frustrating really. And so yes, many cps become angry and bitter all the time.

  4. #14
    Senior Member iHeartCats's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starry View Post
    I definitely understand the (negative) experience of feeling you have said too much with regards to someone that isn't here to defend themselves...or fearing you will give away too many identifying characteristics, etc. When I first arrived here I was trying so hard to figure out what the hell happened to my ex...and yet kept coming up against those same feelings...and so I would try to tweak some of the details around in an effort to try and keep him private...but on occasion ended-up compromising my ability to get meaningful feedback in the process. I always imagine king "dude did Starry's ex have multiple personality disorder?" (<-which may have been...) Fortunately, I found a member I trusted that talked to me off-board.

    Like I alluded to...what you described in the OP actually makes perfect sense if this was an IXTP 5w6 or an ENTP 7w6 like I assumed she must have been. I am an ENFP 7 with a counterphobic 6 wing...and might have appeared to have made the same dramatic transition your friend made...had I not been so damn busy rushing myself to the emergency room every other day thinking I was having a heart attack (which were really panic attacks that went undiagnosed due to the fact *7* kept me and everyone else from recognizing my issue might be fear-based.) I've talked to so many 7w6s that report this same experience though...of having the experience of perpetual happiness stripped from them around age 18 and replaced with anxiety and paranoia that they have no explanation for that they can determine (6 wing.)

    If you are convinced your friend is e6...then yah...you were probably just over-summarizing the experience from your perspective. Here though I should say that I hope what may be (although idk for sure) our differing understandings of counterphobia won't become too confusing. It does often appear to me that most people on these kind of forums attribute the more challenging form of counterphobia to both the 6w5 and 6w7 and I do not. If your friend is truly a 6 and became more challenging around age 17 then I would attribute that to an emerging 5 wing. It's not that a 6w7 won't be emotionally volatile...but this will be more "behind the scenes" <-something that the 6w7 will strive to conceal because it works against their particular brand of counterphobia. The 6w7 wants to appear to be some desirable quality generally along male and female gender lines. Hot, smoldering, cute, innocent, sexy, strong/unflappable male, sweet/in need of care female. Most young, fearful 6s become more charming when the 7 wing emerges not less. They're gaining a semblance of positive outlook from the 7 which will appear to improve their confidence and attitude.

    ^^I don't need you to accept the above definition of cp. Like I indicated I think more people may believe as you seem to...but wanted to acknowledge that if your friend went from shy to "less charming" then I, myself, am imagining her to be eNTP 6w5cp or ENTP 7w6cp.

    I think a lot of people...even individuals that identify as 6...completely misunderstand the "defender of the underdog" brand of cp. It's not just "now that I'm pissed I'm no longer fearful" <-total news flash: everyone has that mechanism and it's called adrenaline. No, this is a state of being...and you are in this state regardless of your current emotional experience/mood. It's not on some continuum...you aren't counterphobic when your mad and then return to being phobic once you're no longer mad.

    Honestly, I don't fully know how to explain it in a way that would make sense to a general audience going off my experience of it...and detailed descriptions of it by theorists are extremely confusing I feel. The defender cp... it's being so sensitive to threats...especially threats that have the potential to exploit others... that you can almost create this instant framework in your mind and quickly locate the actual source of the threat, why it has occurred, and subsequently follow each consequence of that threat to its possible end point. The problem is...is most others don't have this sensitivity. They don't believe you and don't trust that you even know what you're talking about. The cp individual is often made into the "crazy person"...so the cp individual becomes (learns to become) more forceful to be heard. And it's frustrating really. And so yes, many cps become angry and bitter all the time.
    I was basically over-summarizing the experience.
    I'm like 100% sure that she wasn't happy before she started showing CP - in those 2-3 years of close friendship before she "went CP", I've never seen her truly happy. She was equally anxious as a "phobic" and as a CP - l never knew her as a healthy, happy person - what I saw during the years of our friendship was either a strong phobic or strong CP, or both (while her behavior was going through the transition from predominantly phobic to predominantly CP, both phobic and CP behavior was present).

    She was sensitive to threats, yes, but never sensitive to threats that would have an impact on others, only to threats that she imagined would impact her, and those "threats", from my perspective, were mostly must perceived and not real.
    In fact, she would often try to exploit others herself, in ways that I don't feel comfortable sharing the details about on here. Essentially, she was pretty selfish and manipulative, and very Machiavellian - when she started to show CP she would often state things like "life is unfair, so you need to manipulate if you want to succeed", "all men are cheaters", etc. - I really can't see type 7 thinking and doing that sort of things.

    The very essence of type 7 is the need to always be and appear optimistic, and she was never an optimistic person - in fact, she was quite pessimistic. She didn't have that inner need for optimism that 7s have. A type 7 tries to appear cheerful even when things don't look good and avoids acknowledging their painful emotions. She was again very different from that mind framework, always thinking about everything that could possibly go wrong and overthinking it, always assuming and expecting the worst, both as a "phobic" and as a "CP" and she was aware of her negative emotions and negative consequences of her behavior (she would even analyze and verbalize her negativities quite well) but didn't want to change it. She was extremely stubborn and when she "became" a strong CP, she would actually force her friends to either frequently suffer her unpleasant counterphobic side or leave - that was a counterphobic manifestation of that type 6 "fight or flee" mind pattern, I think - she was forcing her friends to make a choice between two unpleasant extremes, obviously completely oblivious of the fact that there was a multitude of other possible, more positive solutions. She would prepare and fuel herself in advance to respond to a future negative and possibly threatening outcome of a situation, to the point of overlooking the possibility that the outcome maybe won't be negative at all.

    I really can't see any type 7 characteristics in her (with the exception of sexual adventurousness) and I see a lot of type 6, so I still think she is type 6. Maybe actually 6w5.
    So I'm not really sure about the wing but I'm very sure that she's type 6. I've also read that type 6 is one of the most common types for ENTPs (I'm very sure that she's ENTP too).


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