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  1. #1
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    Default Malleable personality

    As a young INTx, I knew I was much too stuck up with my routines and my view of life. One point, I was afraid of life. I thought almost everything people did in the world was not serious enough, not worthy of attention, and people were nuts and dumb. Then again I found myself much lacking in know-how of living life, being a full person, so in the end I came up to the logical conclusion of having to experience different mindsets from a first-person view, that is, personally. I think my life was a miserable shadow of my current life back then, although I did produce some wonderous intellectual and technical stuff.

    It was an extremely crucial point in my life to understand that my personality back then just wasn't the way to go. Not for me.

    Growing up in a religious home, I was introduced to a concept in Christian God. God's name, translated as "I am whom I am" in some translations, or, more closely to the original in hebrew, "I become what I become" inspired more curiosity in me.

    I had always wondered about the persons who became engaged with some event in their life that seemed ultimately trivial. That would be a thing like giving birth to a child, getting your face on TV, earning a million bucks etc. These would be anything but nothing like finding a new theorem in physics, mathematics or computer science.

    Later on I was introduced to analytical psychology. I was intriqued by the idea that there are other personalities who are just as much captivated by their processes, insights and values as I am, but their way of life have been born of different internal psychology.

    As I began to see good in persons with other kinds of internal psychology, I started to understand the need to master it all, as opposed to letting my personality control me.

    I was incredibly shy, and not long time since I came up with these ideas, I wanted to experience the life as someone I hadn't experienced it, I wanted to see the same stuff other people had done and enjoyed. Fortunately I experienced a life-changing event (I was about to be killed), which removed me of unnecessary fear of life, and I was able to overcome my shyness.

    Enter the experimenting era. So, first I dared to be something resembling an ENTP. I was afraid to make contact, but I was more afraid of my life ending prematurely before I had got the chance to experience good interaction with people.

    In my years to come, I became to see personality as a consistent way of habits, or an inclination of thinking and action one can control.

    The key personality to this was the "reporter" MBTI type. I thought the "reporter" could write articles about his experiences first-hand, because they had entered the right mindset. I became to think of it as an ability to put myself in different mindsets, making me able to accomplish different things.

    So, having found freedom in my thoughts, I experimented with the world a lot.

    In some time, I found the use in controlling what I experiment, instead of just going with the flow. I found it was useful to adapt (to) the kind of mindset needed for some grand thing happening in my life. If I had to save on my expenditures for a while, it helped not to follow my first instinct (and desire for fun) that much.

    I also learned the strategic value (and meaning) of being equipped with a certain kind of personality for a long time. One's personality - inclination of habits and thinking - creates some new kind of things in one's life one couldn't have been expecting. It can be a boon or bane, but it's interesting.

    In the end, I thought that there's some underlieing concept of "success" that I'm trying to grasp, no matter what mindset I had entered. I wanted to be well-suited for the task, whatever it was. What personality was in control of what personality I had? That would be ENTJ, or something VERY close to that. So that ended my search of personality type.

    I'm many experiences richer, and I think many people have the capability to enter new mindsets that are particularly well-suited for different tasks. It is not a story of losing one's mind, but a story of development, a consistent grand plan, greater view of things - with a chance to experience the world, and one's mind. There's a king of kings within one's brain, something above the instance of one's personality, patterns or thinking at any one time - or at least, that is my experience. There's continuity, there's sense within it all. Perhaps something close to Ni with those who lift MBTI as the greatest thing for their personalities. I think person's greatest powers rise above their personality at any one time, and more importantly, above their personality type, or their dominant functions per MBTI.

    Where does one want to drift with their personalities? It's the driver who's in control. People are equipped with powerful brains that are capable of unforeseen changes. New powers can be found within one's mind. One can make what they are. Where do you want to go?
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  2. #2
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Are you an enneagram 3, by chance?
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  3. #3
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    I give 10% credit to the enneagram theory, it's given wildly changing scores. 8w7 is the nearest for me, per long term analysis. Might be wrong.

    Edit: oh, the achiever? That's possible, perhaps even probable. But, I'd find little insight from findinging my enneatype by now.
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  4. #4
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    Or would I?

    Enneagram Type 3 - The Achiever

    Threes can sometimes mistype themselves when they mistake the more superficial features of their personalities as indicators of their type. So, for instance, an intellectual Three might mistype as a Five; a Three who is devoted to her role as mother might think she is a Two; a Three in a leadership position might mistype as an Eight and so on. Regardless of the manifestation however, the core of the type Three fixation is the deep need for external validation.
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  5. #5
    Junior Member Lexan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Santtu View Post

    I think you would. But then, I'm biased, being the Enneagram enthusiast that I am.

    I think it's a good idea to look at the descriptions and key features of each type - the tests are not always accurate, and certainly not a means of typing people. They can be a starting point though.

    As a Four, I found reading all the descriptions I could get my hands on quite the experience. For the majority of them, it was like 'But how did you know that about me?'. So, perhaps looking into the descriptions of Three and see if the typing is accurate. Remember that all the types in the image triad (Two, Three, Four) mistake the image and 'what appears to be' for what actually is.

    And yes, the Three is a very malleable personality.
    'We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give' - Winston Churchill

  6. #6
    Senior Member SciVo's Avatar
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    Heh, I was thinking a 3 through the whole OP too. The two typologies seem to operate orthogonally, so that insights from MBTI are separate from the enneagram and vice-versa.
    INFP ~ Fi/Ne/Ni/Te ~ 9-2-4 sp/so

  7. #7
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    I took the enneagram test at Eclectic Energies Enneagram Tests (free), and I think I got 3 perhaps the first time. I guess I've been success driven for some time, even though I haven't thought of it with that name.

    Type 3 - 9.3
    Type 7 - 8
    Type 1 - 7.3
    Type 5 - 6
    Type 8 - 6
    Type 4 - 5
    Type 2 - 5

    Wing 3w4 - 11.8
    Wing 3w2 - 11.8
    Wing 7w8 - 11
    Wing 8w7 - 10
    Wing 1w2 - 9.8
    Wing 4w3 - 9.7
    Wing 2w3 - 9.7
    Wing 7w6 - 9.5
    Wing 2w1 - 8.7
    Wing 5w4 - 8.5
    Wing 1w9 - 8.2
    Wing 4w5 - 8
    Wing 5w6 - 7.5
    Wing 8w9 - 6.9

    I can agree to it that much, that I don't raise the importance of power over success, which a primary 8 might do. Same goes for 7, it's not above 3 in my book.

    I didn't even remember - or think of - there being a success orientated Enneagram type in the first place. Or, achievement. Ok.

    For long I have motivated my loved ones and those I care about to become successful, which has mostly meant universal, widely recognized forms of success, not usually something that most people would scorn at. Success like being control of oneself, healthy, free, having at least an acceptable income, recognition and capability to act, if not anything too fancy.

    I didn't even notice what wings 3 had before. Achievement-orientated 3 seems to have individualistic 4 near them, giving the 3 a chance to be balanced in external and internal motivators and influence. 2 wing gives 3 a chance to be balanced in selfish and selfless pursuits.

    But, I haven't yet been shown how recognizing my enneagram type might do me any good. Some site explained positive and negative cycles associated with different enneagram types. I'd guess I'd be better to especially avoid the negative cycles that comes with my type.
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  8. #8
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    Were you asking aobut ennegram type or about malleable personalities? And were you asking about malleable personalities in regard to people or ideas/objects? These are important distinctions.

  9. #9
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    I was exploring how malleable personalities fit within the framework of static personality types in systems like MBTI. I mean, I'm in for more of a best-of-all-worlds, you make yourself what you want to be -kind of thing. As usual, I sidetracked (re-learning that Ne).

    Although I'm no expert at it, enneagram system seem to define one's behavior less, giving more leeway for the expression of one's inner motives. I'm not sure if that's good or bad, and what is the explanatory power of such system.

    I'm not sure how to answer your question, though I put less value in adapting to people, and more value in adapting to ideas and objects. The former seems like a loss of individuality and one's personal control of their own fate, while the latter seems like a win.

    Which of the two you think of more motivation-based system, MBTI or enneagram? Which of the two gives more possibilities for a type to adapt to changing circumstances?
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  10. #10
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    Thanks to the OP!

    I'm also a type three, and while I don't seem to put as much trust in the enneagram as I do in MBTI, I think it supplements MBTI well. It allows for a lot more variation within the types (which there certainly is!), and which can't always be explained through function strengths, hierarchies etc. I can't say I know as much about the enneagram as I do MBTI, but it seems to me that enneagram types are more rigid and less likely to change, at least not without some great personal upheaval that results in a total rethinking of motivations and direction. Yes, I do think that the enneagram is the more motivation-based system and MBTI, to me, is more to do with temperament.

    In regards to malleable personality, do you think there is such thing as default type? I find that under certain circumstances, I can suppress particular aspects of my type, using other, slightly more foreign functions if it will get me where I need to be. I also think it's my enneagram type that fosters this. It's not so much a loss of self, just a lending out of less of it. Regardless of how familiarised I become with a pattern of thinking/reacting, and no matter how effortless it becomes to use those new functions, I still feel like there's another order of "habits" to fall back on.

    Also, I've always thought that enneagram type was learnt/assumed through growing up whereas genetics come more into play in the determination of MBTI type (though of course, upbringing and circumstance would affect the 'health' and development of a type). What do you make of this?
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