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  1. #1
    Magical BlackCat's Avatar
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    Arrow Instinctual variants and relationships

    So I think that the enneagram's instinctual variants affect relationships a lot. This is because the way that you think about life in the most basic way is completely opposing; in a nutshell. Having complementary instincts is a top priority for relationship success I'd say. If people's instincts don't line up, they usually aren't attracted to each other I've noticed. Like, an sp/sx would probably be naturally unattracted to so/sx types, etc.

    How do you think that the instincts affect relationships? Experiences? Thoughts?

    This was brought up because I talked to someone that I'm 90% sure was an so/sp today. This was just on a random chat, but we talked for a good half hour. I noticed her sx last, it was very apparent. When I'd ask questions about her, she would awkwardly answer in a very brief way. When I talked about my interests, instead of talking about her own or how my interests applied to me, she talked about how they applied to the social hierarchy at her college; or how popular that thing was etc. She just basically never really seemed to talk about how things related to her, or me. I honestly felt like I was being ignored, yet she was totally focused on the conversation. When we joked around about how most people there just wanted to hit on people, she basically said that she didn't really care about sex that much. It was a really strange conversation. The sp was apparent too, she was pretty practical and seemed to emphasize safety and saving money when those things were brought up. She also seemed to have a clear understanding of her own ideas and opinions, she had a lot of thoughts on a lot of subjects (this usually has to do with the sp variant, being concerned with your own ideas and thoughts). She seemed like a cool gal, really smart, but I just couldn't deal with that in a relationship.
    Last edited by Bellflower; 03-14-2010 at 04:37 PM. Reason: fixed title typo
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Gerbah's Avatar
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    Yes, I know what you mean. I'm sx first and I sometimes don't mesh very well with people with low sx instinct. I can come along ok with them but I do get a feeling of being ignored and dissatisfied, and it's nothing personal from the other one. They just maybe don't naturally get into getting to know specific unique details about other people very quickly or like to keep it very light and easy, at least for a while, etc. Like when I met up with a childhood friend after not seeing each other for about 10 years with only a little contact in that time, and I was expecting to talk more but she wanted to play cards and I didn't understand that. Maybe enneagram type also plays a part though. I am 5w4 with a strong 4 wing, and 5s like to get into details and know a lot about what they're interested in, which can include people, and 4s like emotional intensity and closeness.
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  3. #3
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    I tend to like sp-sx and sx-sp's most, I've noticed, though the click with other sx-so's makes me smirk...raw intensity that, but it's too similar.
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  4. #4
    Magical BlackCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerbah View Post
    Yes, I know what you mean. I'm sx first and I sometimes don't mesh very well with people with low sx instinct. I can come along ok with them but I do get a feeling of being ignored and dissatisfied, and it's nothing personal from the other one. They just maybe don't naturally get into getting to know specific unique details about other people very quickly or like to keep it very light and easy, at least for a while, etc.
    Yeah that's the thing that gets me, they aren't do it on purpose, they just can't help it. It's weird. My best friend is an sp/so, and I moved out of state recently. When I went to stay with him, stuff was just the way it was. Nothing personal about him was really talked about except for a few relationship things. We played video games and just talked about the things going on in our lives. Over the 6 years I've known him we haven't really talked too much about himself personally, I've only had a few belief oriented conversations because he just doesn't really say much about them. We usually just talk about things going on in our life, and it sometimes gets personal but not always. He doesn't really bother me though as much as some sx lasts I know. I think he opened up in that way to me because he trusts me.

    Like when I met up with a childhood friend after not seeing each other for about 10 years with only a little contact in that time, and I was expecting to talk more but she wanted to play cards and I didn't understand that. Maybe enneagram type also plays a part though. I am 5w4 with a strong 4 wing, and 5s like to get into details and know a lot about what they're interested in, which can include people, and 4s like emotional intensity and closeness.
    Yeah, my interactions with him after not talking for a while are just the same. Nothing really changes, there's no sudden excitement from not having talked for a while. I'm fine with that. But it's similar to what you said here. You've just gotta accept it.

    My friend is an INFJ 6w5 sp/so just fyi.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amargith View Post
    I tend to like sp-sx and sx-sp's most, I've noticed, though the click with other sx-so's makes me smirk...raw intensity that, but it's too similar.
    Ha, I actually think that having really similar instincts is a really great thing. Would probably make the relationship more satisfying and long lasting. I really, really enjoy the sx/sps I've met.
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  5. #5
    AKA Nunki Polaris's Avatar
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    We can only feel attracted to things we lack, but at the same time there has to be a certain amount of similarity or the other person will seem alien. I think that this point of similarity could lie in having similar instincts, and I think it could lie in things like having the same goals in life. It just depends on what you're looking for. That said, I think your instinctual variant is such a fundamental aspect of your personality, something so all-encompassing, that if another person has your least favored variant as their dominant, you stand a good change of feeling distanced from them: it's just too much difference.

    For my part, I find that I'm most attracted to people with sx in their top spot and sp in their second. I'm left as cold as a fish by someone as self-preservational as I am--there's just no charge, although we can make good friends--and I find social types pleasant to interact with but even less attractive than sp types.

    Really, this extends not just to romance but friendships in general. I'm a very self-preservational person, but when it comes to my interactions, I need to feel that rare, almost unattainable charge or I'll either withdraw or drown the person in lifeless monologue and shallow courtesy. For obvious reasons, achieving that tends to be easier with people who have a sexual charge; these are the ones who radiate a certain energy that awakens mine from its slumber. This is, once again, only a tendency, though. The person I fell for, time before last, was a self-confirmed sp-soc, which in theory would be one of the less attractive types to me. Instead I found him to be a remarkably warm and wise person, with a touch of playful friendliness that may have been linked to his social subtype.
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  6. #6
    man-made neptunesnet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCat View Post
    So I think that the enneagram's instinctual variants affect relationships a lot. This is because the way that you think about life in the most basic way is completely opposing; in a nutshell. Having complementary instincts is a top priority for relationship success I'd say. If people's instincts don't line up, they usually aren't attracted to each other I've noticed. Like, an sp/sx would probably be naturally unattracted to so/sx types, etc.

    How do you think that the instincts affect relationships? Experiences? Thoughts?

    This was brought up because I talked to someone that I'm 90% sure was an so/sp today. This was just on a random chat, but we talked for a good half hour. I noticed her sx last, it was very apparent. When I'd ask questions about her, she would awkwardly answer in a very brief way. When I talked about my interests, instead of talking about her own or how my interests applied to me, she talked about how they applied to the social hierarchy at her college; or how popular that thing was etc. She just basically never really seemed to talk about how things related to her, or me. I honestly felt like I was being ignored, yet she was totally focused on the conversation. When we joked around about how most people there just wanted to hit on people, she basically said that she didn't really care about sex that much. It was a really strange conversation. The sp was apparent too, she was pretty practical and seemed to emphasize safety and saving money when those things were brought up. She also seemed to have a clear understanding of her own ideas and opinions, she had a lot of thoughts on a lot of subjects (this usually has to do with the sp variant, being concerned with your own ideas and thoughts). She seemed like a cool gal, really smart, but I just couldn't deal with that in a relationship.
    I've been having a hard time with this.

    I believe I project to others more of a 4w5 so/sp persona although I'm rather sure that I'm 5w4 sx/sp. It's strange that I do that or feel that I have to, but I can't seem to separate myself from one or the other.

    I'm certain that people perceive me in a certain light because I reveal that facet of my personality more so because [I think] it's more relatable although that doesn't represent quite who I am.

    For example, I have an INFJ friend whose sx is last, it's quite obvious. She's cool and charismatic and we get along very well. We agree with most things and have a lot in common and we're often on the same side of a debate. However, I don't feel like I can identify with her on a completely personal level because so/sp, which I suspect she is, and sp/so, although I don't exactly know how this stacking looks, has a tendency of lacking intensity. They don't offend anyone, they aren't very aggressive, and they shy away from certain things that I wouldn't because I feel they're important to address or call attention to. Plus, whenever I'm around them, I feel like the "bad one" in the group, if that makes any sense. I don't know. I may be pulling all of this our of my ears, but I haven't really in the past been able to pinpoint why I've felt this way around her, and people like her [sx variant last people], but I suppose this is why [???] even in spite of the fact that I can agree with many aspects of the 4w5 so/sp description. Also, I don't know if a change in priorities as I've matured has been the reason why I'm flirting with two different enneagram typings and their stackings. I may be wrong about this, but I've been under the impression that I can switch, and that I have been switching, from sx and so and so and sx while sp remains secondary to better suit whatever situation I'm in. Am I even able to do that? Could one switch the last and the first variant according to situation? That doesn't seem right somehow.

    I appreciate these stackings because they flesh the enneagram typings out more, but I don't relate more to one of the two types that I've listed than the other. I relate to them equally.


    EDIT: Great thread, btw, BlackCat. I think you're onto something about people with similar instincts being better suited for each other.

  7. #7
    Magical BlackCat's Avatar
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    Yeah that seems really unlikely neptune. I'm not sure what to think about that. Except that maybe you act like an so/sp to protect yourself? I can temporarily do that, but the sx first never changes.

    The instinctual stackings are the true core of who you are, they go even deeper than the enneagram type in how you act. It just seems unlikely that you could switch so easily and act like the two so freely.

    But what do you actually do when you are "switching?" How is the behavior different?
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  8. #8
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCat View Post
    How do you think that the instincts affect relationships? Experiences? Thoughts?
    I'd just walk through each of the variants, examine its needs, then see what other types can possibly meet those needs. It all seems pretty basic.

    As sx/sp, I need someone in a primary relationship who (1) will go as deep as possible with me, so we can be emotionally and intellectually intimate, and (2) give me some space if I'm momentarily feeling overwhelmed. #1 is the primary need, #2 can be worked with a bit.

    "So" people tend to be happy with broader, less deep ties (which wouldn't satisfy #1) and "sp" people tend to withdraw/block things off (which wouldn't satisfy #1).
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  9. #9
    man-made neptunesnet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nunki View Post
    For my part, I find that I'm most attracted to people with sx in their top spot and sp in their second. I'm left as cold as a fish by someone as self-preservational as I am--there's just no charge, although we can make good friends--and I find social types pleasant to interact with but even less attractive than sp types.
    I find that really strange because my ex and I had wonderful chemistry, but he was sp first and I was sx first then sp. I definitely felt the impact of his sp being first. I sensed the distance sometimes, which would cause me to withdraw and cause me not to want to trust him with my thoughts and feelings.


    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCat View Post
    Yeah that seems really unlikely neptune. I'm not sure what to think about that. Except that maybe you act like an so/sp to protect yourself? I can temporarily do that, but the sx first never changes.
    Yeah, I think that's exactly what I'm doing.

    It helped that you explain what the instinctual variants are meant to represent [essence instead of behavior]:
    The instinctual stackings are the true core of who you are, they go even deeper than the enneagram type in how you act. It just seems unlikely that you could switch so easily and act like the two so freely.

    But what do you actually do when you are "switching?" How is the behavior different?
    Hmm, I don't know how exactly to describe it. I'll be vague and tell you one is more outwardly focused and light. My concerns are centered on everyone else but myself. I use it so that I'm no longer the focal point. That's one of the things I admire in my INFJ so/sp friend, but I never feel like I've accomplished very well myself. Everyone likes her and enjoys her company, but most people don't really know anything about her, honestly. The other one, however, is more, for lack of a better word, dark. I feel more at home there, but when I'm around others I immediately try to direct all attention away from myself onto something else.

    ...Did that even help?

  10. #10
    Magical BlackCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neptunesnet View Post
    I find that really strange because my ex and I had wonderful chemistry, but he was sp first and I was sx first then sp. I definitely felt the impact of his sp being first. I sensed the distance sometimes, which would cause me to withdraw and cause me not to want to trust him with my thoughts and feelings.
    Yeah I do this with sp firsts as well. The distance would be a big issue for me in a relationship. Social firsts are also extremely difficult for me to deal with in almost every area of life besides casual friendship. So/sx I could handle in a relationship, but I'd still feel that feeling of distrust because of their being social first. So/sx is really varying. When I talk to them one to one I like them, but when I see them interacting with life in any other way it just really, really irks me for some reason. It vibes me horribly. They usually have a ton of friends and connections, and I sometimes feel that my interactions with them have just been shallow and don't matter because they probably have done that with a lot of other people. Then I feel unusually vulnerable when that happens. It sucks.

    It helped that you explain what the instinctual variants are meant to represent [essence instead of behavior]:
    Well... I think that they're both. They're observable things, so in a way it is behavior. But they just have a really deep impact on who a person is, it's how someone interacts with life on the most basic levels. Just trying to clarify!

    Like, the instincts and enneagram type are like layers. Let's look at it like a lolli pop with gum in the middle. A 8w7 sx/sp and a 4w5 sx/sp will have a different flavor on the outside, but the gum will taste the same on the inside.

    ...Did that even help?
    It still sounds like you're using this as a defense to prevent people from actually getting to know you. Like as a filter. I sort of do this too, I act in a certain way to everyone to filter people out to see who is trustworthy and who is attractive to me. I'm nonrevealing and aloof. Then when someone seems trustworthy enough and makes me comfortable, I'll open up. What you're doing just sounds like a much more extreme version of this?

    It still doesn't make much sense that you relate a lot to so/sp. Maybe I should read it and see how it feels to me...

    I read so/sp type 9 and I don't really relate to it. It mentioned wanted to feel accepted and fit in with everyone, and I just simply don't care about a lot of people. I want to feel accepted by my loved ones and those who I have made bonds with. I have no desire to be "accepted" by the world at large, I don't even think about that. My social instinct is last, and it really shows in my life.

    What you said earlier really sums up the sx lasts. Everyone likes them, but no one knows much about them. My INFJ 6w5 sp/so best friend has a ton of girls that like him and are interested in him, but he just doesn't really care and just likes talking to people for the sake of it. He has a lot of people that talk to him and he doesn't really know why.
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