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  1. #1
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Default MBTI <> Enneagram

    Okay I've asked similar questions before but this seems more clear now.

    There are a few people whom I've met where their enneagram type seems more prominent than their MBTI. This leads to such things as an F being poor with people (often too direct and T like) or a T being a warm and fuzzy person. Now I've got to wonder if there's a way of telling other than direct exposure. Is there a pattern? Can it be tested for? Does your enneagram in fact skew your MBTI test answers and vice versa for the enneagram?

    I do realise that they are two separate systems but they are still both centred on the person who's answering the questions and that's where the two systems interact. What I cannot figure is how the two systems interact in a more conceptual and theoretical way.

    For example what would you expect from an INTP 9 as opposed to an INTP 5?
    Is the 9/5 style most obvious or does the INTP shine through and the enneagram is merely the stained glass window which colours the light?
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Xander, I would take the general motivations of the Enneagram archetype in question (which are not function-based, they are very broad in scope) and apply them to the MBTI type you're thinking of.

    What are the needs of the Five? To develop detached understanding
    What are the needs of the Nine? To preserve the peace/tranquility

    So filter a basic INTP who focuses on each of these and that might answer your question.

    Wings can also impact the traits you transfer over. A 5w4 has the need to understand impersonally, yet the need to express that understanding in a more personal way. A 9w1 has the desire to maintain the peace, and their behavior is driven by certain philosophical/moral ideals.

    (and, in reverse, the 5w4 is less concerned about peace than about expression of truth about reality; the 9w1 is more concerned about balance and peace, along with promoting their internal ideals in ways that do not destabilize the peace)

    Again, how would INTP look in light of each of these? Which facets get brighter? Which are dimmed or transmogrified?
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    This is interesting stuff.

    I just took a few Enneagram tests online and I came out as Type One with a Two wing. I've read that it's most common for INFJs to be Type Fours, but that's definitely not me. When I read some Type One descriptions, I got that "someone's inside my head" feeling. I need to be good. I always need improvement. For me, there is no such thing as "good enough."

    I'd like to find a good book on the Enneagram. I've often seen books by Helen Palmer, Riso and Hudson, and others in bookstores, but of course each will have its own slant, just like the Myers-Briggs books.

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bethy View Post
    I just took a few Enneagram tests online and I came out as Type One with a Two wing. I've read that it's most common for INFJs to be Type Fours, but that's definitely not me.
    What I've actually seen in practice is that Type Fours more often end up feeling like INFPs, and INFJs (especially female INFJs) easily identify with 1w2. So you are not strange at all.

    (Basically, it is the Ni idealistic nature -- the One -- with an Fe or Two-style secondary.)

    When I read some Type One descriptions, I got that "someone's inside my head" feeling. I need to be good. I always need improvement. For me, there is no such thing as "good enough."
    That trait seems common to Ni. (INFJs might focus more on the "personal" aspect of it, INTJs might focus a little more on the "competence" angle, but the One is a very harsh judge of self and then of others, although others don't see it as often -- because the Self receives the brunt of it.)

    I'd like to find a good book on the Enneagram. I've often seen books by Helen Palmer, Riso and Hudson, and others in bookstores, but of course each will have its own slant, just like the Myers-Briggs books.
    Riso and Hudson actually have done the most work in systemizing and "authenticating" the Enneagram. Most of the other people I've seen (like Palmer) seemed a little more based on folklore rather than systematic thinking. R&H also did a lot with the direction of (dis)integration, turning the Enneagram into a spiritual tool showing how each type would develop to reach its potential.

    So I would definitely recommend any of their books.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    Once again, Jennifer comes through!

    Thank you!

  6. #6
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Xander, I would take the general motivations of the Enneagram archetype in question (which are not function-based, they are very broad in scope) and apply them to the MBTI type you're thinking of.

    What are the needs of the Five? To develop detached understanding
    What are the needs of the Nine? To preserve the peace/tranquility

    So filter a basic INTP who focuses on each of these and that might answer your question.

    Wings can also impact the traits you transfer over. A 5w4 has the need to understand impersonally, yet the need to express that understanding in a more personal way. A 9w1 has the desire to maintain the peace, and their behavior is driven by certain philosophical/moral ideals.

    (and, in reverse, the 5w4 is less concerned about peace than about expression of truth about reality; the 9w1 is more concerned about balance and peace, along with promoting their internal ideals in ways that do not destabilize the peace)

    Again, how would INTP look in light of each of these? Which facets get brighter? Which are dimmed or transmogrified?
    Exactly. Always wondered why people argued against the integration of MBTI and enneagram theories. They so obviously overlap and interact it's blinding.

    Right well personally I think that type 5 tends to magnify the INTP detached side and tends to suppress the open mind (well it does from an exterior viewpoint as trying to give 5s information is like pulling teeth but they seem to go and pick it up quite merrily).

    I've never considered the 9 to do much to the profile other than make it more people focused, though those people can still be selective and not include everyone ..... but I guess that's more because it's what I'm used to.

    One thing that this whole investigation did turn up is that INTP 5s tend to be more passionate and less concerned with balance and objectivity than INTP 9s are (unless it's the limited group skewing the results, which is always possible in these kinds of investigations/ observations).

    I have to wonder what an ISTJ 9 would be like. The ISTJ I know never considers people really unless he's feeling all ENFPish.

    See now I'm wondering if there would be a pattern that would be more useful than simply dividing each type into 9 and presenting people with 144 types.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bethy View Post
    Once again, Jennifer comes through!
    Thank you!
    Well, please keep looking around -- I am sure that there are things out there I haven't found yet that could be good as well. I will check when I get home tonight and look through my current Enneagram books for other useful titles.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    Exactly. Always wondered why people argued against the integration of MBTI and enneagram theories. They so obviously overlap and interact it's blinding.
    It only makes sense that you could merge at least SOME aspects. Each personality theory has to exclude certain types of perspectives /approaches, just like a painting actually involves the purposeful limitation of certain shapes and colors, or a book involves the purposeful exclusion of certain words. [My sentence here only makes sense because I excluded every word not shown in it.]

    So if you can somehow use two in conjunction, you would think you could find more clarity in the points of intersection, as well as additional "pieces" of parts not covered in both.

    Right well personally I think that type 5 tends to magnify the INTP detached side and tends to suppress the open mind (well it does from an exterior viewpoint as trying to give 5s information is like pulling teeth but they seem to go and pick it up quite merrily).
    Ha, that last sentence was funny. But it's because the Five has to verify the information had no "spin" on it, so they can trust it. Otherwise their entire thought process (and any conclusion drawn) is potentially untrustworthy. So they go pick their own cherries so to speak.

    I've never considered the 9 to do much to the profile other than make it more people focused, though those people can still be selective and not include everyone ..... but I guess that's more because it's what I'm used to.
    Oh. I consider the Nine to make the INTP more people-friendly, simply because being a peacemaker demands the development of observable friendliness and people skills. Fives merely detach to "find peace," they do not actively engage others if necessary to make peace happen; so they are less "peoplefriendly" in some ways.

    One thing that this whole investigation did turn up is that INTP 5s tend to be more passionate and less concerned with balance and objectivity than INTP 9s are (unless it's the limited group skewing the results, which is always possible in these kinds of investigations/ observations).
    I am not sure I agree on the "objectivity" part since I tend to associate that with detachment. I think the Nines create more balance if it is being used to minimize conflict/friction. The Fives create more balance in their thoughts, not externally in relationships.

    I have to wonder what an ISTJ 9 would be like. The ISTJ I know never considers people really unless he's feeling all ENFPish.
    Well, the caveat is that I don't think all MBTI types can be any enneagram type. Some combinations/overlaps would be rare or non-existent. ISTJ is much more prone to be at Six, if anything. I would have to think more about ISTJ and Nine, to figure out where any overlap COULD be... and whether I can imagine some potential environment influences/situations that could permit such an overlap.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  8. #8
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Well, it seems common for me (INFJ) to be typed as 4w5. Does that seem plausible given my typical motivations?

    I really doubt a 9 would be an INTP that often... a sense of/need for detachment and study is one of the key characteristics of the INTP personality type that I've observed, and 9's just don't have that. I suppose a 9 could be an INTP, but it doesn't seem all that likely. Just as I wouldn't think an ISTJ is likely to be a 7. I really think most INTP's are some variant of type 5. Does that make sense?

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    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    Well, it seems common for me (INFJ) to be typed as 4w5. Does that seem plausible given my typical motivations?

    I really doubt a 9 would be an INTP that often... a sense of/need for detachment and study is one of the key characteristics of the INTP personality type that I've observed, and 9's just don't have that. I suppose a 9 could be an INTP, but it doesn't seem all that likely. Just as I wouldn't think an ISTJ is likely to be a 7. I really think most INTP's are some variant of type 5. Does that make sense?
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    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    It only makes sense that you could merge at least SOME aspects. Each personality theory has to exclude certain types of perspectives /approaches, just like a painting actually involves the purposeful limitation of certain shapes and colors, or a book involves the purposeful exclusion of certain words. [My sentence here only makes sense because I excluded every word not shown in it.]
    Your sentence is intended to convey limited meaning. A person is not intended to convey meaning, it is. Yes you could use every word ever known to describe every person ever known in some way or other and yes this would be pointless. However to say this man is a man is just plain unsatisfactory and recently I've found the MBTI the same. Yes there are common behaviours and yes people have extrapolated some other behaviours but it seems the further you extrapolate the weaker the definition gets and I think that this is because the MBTI is based on limited information and was never intended to give such detail.

    The process itself is based on cognitive processes and seems inherently linked to thought patterns and resulting behaviours. I don't think that the MBTI really covers temperament in any great deal and that's what leads to the great variation in the types.

    A good example of this is the typical write up of an ENTJ. Usually this type gets slated as bossy and overbearing but I know of at least one ENTJ who exemplifies the more positive features of encompassing people's desires and needs into his plans and tends to produce schemes which work out best for the largest group of people without ignoring those more fringe elements. This I can directly attribute not to his type nor his enneagram (though that probably does encompass some of this) but his FIRO B scores. His positive feedback need is so high that when asked to write the score on the board he froze in case upon seeing his result the others did not give the positive feedback which he needed. That goes contrary to the normal ENTJ write up like chalk and cheese. Positive feedback ENTJ versus negative feedback ENTJ. At this point you have thirty two types (not including those on the cusp).
    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    So if you can somehow use two in conjunction, you would think you could find more clarity in the points of intersection, as well as additional "pieces" of parts not covered in both.
    That would be the aim yes. The problem I foresee is at what point do you start to remove clarity from the system itself to add detail to the individuals write up?

    Perhaps it would be best if the systems are left separate but the manner in which they intertwine is studied so that people can better interpret the results from the various tests?
    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Ha, that last sentence was funny. But it's because the Five has to verify the information had no "spin" on it, so they can trust it. Otherwise their entire thought process (and any conclusion drawn) is potentially untrustworthy. So they go pick their own cherries so to speak.
    Yeah with the additional problem of paranoia so that even if you attempt to bait your hook and get them to go and find out for themselves you either hit the "yes but that means leaving my cave dumbass" or the whole raised eyebrow and the "and why would you want me to do that?". Talk about awkward!!
    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Oh. I consider the Nine to make the INTP more people-friendly, simply because being a peacemaker demands the development of observable friendliness and people skills. Fives merely detach to "find peace," they do not actively engage others if necessary to make peace happen; so they are less "peoplefriendly" in some ways.
    I'm not sure about people skills. As a T I tend to think of them as tricks. More a kin to an illusionists role than one of a people person. I'm not sure though.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I am not sure I agree on the "objectivity" part since I tend to associate that with detachment. I think the Nines create more balance if it is being used to minimize conflict/friction. The Fives create more balance in their thoughts, not externally in relationships.
    The whole 9vs5 on the objectivity scale, I've found that compared to the 5s I talk to I'll spend a lot longer trying to balance out my idea against all the axis it depends upon than they will. Mind you I think that's mostly externally I'll do this and I spend less time worrying about the minutia within myself than perhaps the average 5 does. With so little frickin information though I could be well off

    One thing though, this idea that 9s are only really concerned with balance to minimise conflict applies equally well to the principles of an idea as it does to disparate factions of people. Ergo a 9 can spend a lot of time trying to reach the best conclusion about a cerebral subject from all of it's perspectives. That is an attempt toward objectivity and something I've seen more effort made towards by 9s than 5s (regardless of type if I remember correctly).
    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Well, the caveat is that I don't think all MBTI types can be any enneagram type. Some combinations/overlaps would be rare or non-existent. ISTJ is much more prone to be at Six, if anything. I would have to think more about ISTJ and Nine, to figure out where any overlap COULD be... and whether I can imagine some potential environment influences/situations that could permit such an overlap.
    I think that all types and enneagrams can overlap, just not in the obvious ways. For example wouldn't an ISTJ 9 show more of their ENFP qualities? Would they not be the font of all knowledge regarding behaviour and the ins and outs of the local politics so that they can best navigate the tricky undercurrents that people tend to nurture?

    I'll admit the combination would be odd and probably a very small percentage but I don't see it as entirely impossible. It is however just these cases which I think shows the need to study the MBTI in context to other systems and measurements and shows it's flaws as a stand alone system.

    Basically the MBTI is too simple and limited to be an authority. Without the other information you would be doing the equivalent of looking only at one pane of a persons Johari window and claiming to know them.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

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