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View Poll Results: Sx-firsts, what are the dominant instincts of your parent(s)?

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  • Sx-first (both parents)

    1 2.44%
  • So-first (both parents)

    2 4.88%
  • Sp-first (both parents)

    14 34.15%
  • Sx-first + So-first

    4 9.76%
  • Sx-first + Sp-first

    5 12.20%
  • So-first + Sp-first

    15 36.59%
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  1. #1
    So she did. small.wonder's Avatar
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    Default How did we become Sx-first?

    I've recently had some really interesting and revealing conversations with friends and family around instincts. Specifically, I think I've hit on what made me prioritize Sx above So and Sp in my emotional hierarchy of needs (if you will). My own circumstances involve two Sp/Sx parents, both of which negated and invalidated me from a pretty young age out of a their needs to prioritize self preservation-- because they wouldn't hear me, I began to overcompensate and demand to be heard, especially when trying to form intimacy. This continued (and still does in my family) but developed me to be overly intense, direct and hungry for intimacy. Perhaps what's withheld from us growing up, or what we need most is what we place the most value and urgency on.

    Anyone relate to my experience? If so, chime in! If not, what do you think caused your preference of Sx?

    I'm also curious about the parental types of Sx-first people-- check out the poll to participate. Thanks!
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  2. #2
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    I'm not sure what my mom is. But your story struck a chord with me. I grew up without a dad in a very conservative Christian environment. I felt like no one cared who I was or what I thought. And while my mom tried, she didn't really "get it". Even if she had, she was usually very busy trying to work enough to support us (could be sp or so, as she's a nurse), so I was frequently at a babysitter's after school. At one poiny when I was older, I started understanding that she didn't really need to work quite so much just to survive, and I did anything and everything in my power to get her to spend more time with me after school.

    Also, I think this might be true for other types as well. My roommate is sp, becuase their parents didn't always prioritize their physical needs, and at one point they had a broken leg and the parents didn't even know until two weeks had passed.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Perhaps I have toxoplasmosis.
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  4. #4
    Member star tripper's Avatar
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    My mom is an sp/so and my dad is an sx/so.

    My mom was very insecure about sp matters for as long as she could remember. She even had a couple bouts of anorexia. She says sp-stuff is basically the only stuff she's ever felt she had the potential of controlling, so she's paranoid about being in control of her survival.

    My dad kept hearing about sp problems when he was growing up in Bangladesh, got sick of it, and hopped on a plane to America at age 15, not realizing he'd have to face more sp problems by living on his own with no help as a teenager in a new country. His whole life has been him trying to run from sp and then getting bitten in the ass.

    Growing up, I've always been very confused by my parents. My mom instilled these very anti-sx values in me ("Safety and comfort first!" "No sex before marriage!" "Go to college so you won't need a man to take care of you." "Do everything in moderation." "Take care of yourself before anyone else." to name a few of her mantras). I'd agree with her verbally, but they never sat right with me. They're not bad values at all; I just didn't like them lol. My dad, to whom I was a bit closer, would swoop in and say, "Don't say that to her! Don't bring that cynicism down on her!" Whenever we went out without my mom, my dad would tell me, "The most important thing in the world is to pursue everything that fills you with passion at all costs." "What is life without intensity?" He would run this anti-sp campaign telling me survival does not necessarily mean living.

    My parents were both heavily into sx-ish music, and they would literally play music for hours every single day. My dad was an aspiring metal guitarist, and my mom was a huge fan of hard rock and heavy metal as well. This for me almost negated all the good advice my mom gave me. She did tell me to ignore the words in the songs, but that doesn't mean I did. I fell in love with the music because it was intelligent music that sent you skyward. It made me buzzy.

    I think the straw that broke the camel's back for me was when my dad moved out when I was 14. I was his favorite growing up, so I lost all that extra attention he was giving me. I also lost a special bond and became very paranoid about losing other ridiculously tight bonds I'd formed.

    This is just speculation, though. I'm sure these were contributing factors, but I think sx has always been in me.

  5. #5
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    From Fauvre's site:

    In theory, we are governed by all three instinctual drives, for they represent our most fundamental way of being, but one is generally more dominant and influential in our lives and defines the way in which we act out the passion of our Enneagram point.. If all three instinctual drives were in balance, we could function "perfectly" or "appropriately" to the needs of each situation. Nevertheless, such balance is rare, and usually one of these drives is "damaged" and commands an undue amount of our attention; and it is a person's most "damaged" instinctual drive that is overused and becomes dominant. The resulting imbalance distorts our perception of our essential needs, and we may find ourselves living large portions of our lives "in service" to this damaged drive.

    Helen Palmer says something very similar in her Enneagram book.

    [Previous related thread.]
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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  6. #6
    So she did. small.wonder's Avatar
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    Thanks @star tripper and @Gawain for sharing both of your scenarios, I do think they follow that same theme of depravation=first instinct. Or as @Z Buck McFate shared, damage=first instinct. Very interesting, and true.

    It's interesting in light of other type specific patterns that I've wondered about, in regards to children growing towards, or in opposition to their parents-- clearly, instincts tend to form from opposition (damage), but what about for compliant types? I've noticed 1's specifically, often have (or believe they have) a 1 or 6 parent (because it confirms their worldview? Or because they really did become like their parent).

    I used to think it highly improbable that parent and child could ever be the same Enneagram type-- I still believe that for instincts, but perhaps not core type in certain cases (like the aforementioned example).

    Okay, now I'm rambling...
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  7. #7
    Member star tripper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by small.wonder View Post
    Thanks @star tripper and @Gawain for sharing both of your scenarios, I do think they follow that same theme of depravation=first instinct. Or as @Z Buck McFate shared, damage=first instinct. Very interesting, and true.

    It's interesting in light of other type specific patterns that I've wondered about, in regards to children growing towards, or in opposition to their parents-- clearly, instincts tend to form from opposition (damage), but what about for compliant types? I've noticed 1's specifically, often have (or believe they have) a 1 or 6 parent (because it confirms their worldview? Or because they really did become like their parent).

    I used to think it highly improbable that parent and child could ever be the same Enneagram type-- I still believe that for instincts, but perhaps not core type in certain cases (like the aforementioned example).

    Okay, now I'm rambling...
    I don't think it's improbable at all. I can think of plenty of so-doms, for instance, who have at least one parent who is also an so-dom, and actually, usually it's both parents. I don't think parent types have as much influence so much as how healthily an instinct is presented to the child -- which, sure, yeah, the parent's type could influence how healthily an instinct is presented, but in many different ways.

    Take my story. I grew up obsessed with the fear I would never satisfy my sx instinct even though one of my parents shared my stacking. There's a possibility that because my dad never satisfied his (he was forever trapped in an sp world) that it scared me into action.

    Or let's look at a fictional character (you don't have to accept this as evidence or anything, just food for thought). Dick Grayson (Robin/Nightwing) was an so/sx who was raised in the circus. The circus was full of so-doms. Then his parents were killed and young Richard (age 8) was ripped from the circus and transplanted into the house of a sp/sx billionaire by day, vigilante by night. Even though Dick's parents were so-doms, he continued neurotically seeking groups, eventually forming the Teen Titans and leading the Outsiders and the Justice League. The argument could be made that because he was raised by an so-last parent from age 8 on that he became an so-dom, but he seemed pretty obviously so-dom before his parents were killed.

    I think solely the child's perspective growing up can account for instincts. In Dick's case, the whole circus being his family was a huge deal to him (and the feeling was mutual). Hell, maybe even the circus making a huge deal of it made Dick see it that way. In my case, seeing my dad's sx instinct literally never satisfied kinda fucked me up.

    I'd also like to see arguments for whether or not stacking could be inborn simply because my sister and I could probably have been typed enneagram + stacking by age 5 and 3 respectively.
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  8. #8
    Undisciplined Starry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    From Fauvre's site:

    In theory, we are governed by all three instinctual drives, for they represent our most fundamental way of being, but one is generally more dominant and influential in our lives and defines the way in which we act out the passion of our Enneagram point.. If all three instinctual drives were in balance, we could function "perfectly" or "appropriately" to the needs of each situation. Nevertheless, such balance is rare, and usually one of these drives is "damaged" and commands an undue amount of our attention; and it is a person's most "damaged" instinctual drive that is overused and becomes dominant. The resulting imbalance distorts our perception of our essential needs, and we may find ourselves living large portions of our lives "in service" to this damaged drive.

    Helen Palmer says something very similar in her Enneagram book.

    [Previous related thread.]

    I searched for this information yesterday but since I'm "not good at the internet" eventually gave-up prior to finding anything on it (but also prior to needing therapy to process my frustration so that's a real silver lining right there.)




    I remember you discussing your mother once as you pondered these theories...and I very much remember thinking at the time that what you had speculated quite likely could have been the primary cause or a significant contributing factor in both our developments (so last sx/sps)

    In other words, we both have fairly extroverted, "In Charge" ENFJ mothers. Now, my mother is so/so haha no, she's 2w1 so-------------->/sp and while I don't know or can't recall what you believe your mother's variants to be I'm not sure if it matters for what you were imagining. Fe dominance alone could surely have had the same impact on our instincts (I suspect) without the addition of social dominance for your mom as well.

    You had speculated that because your mom had taken everything *social* that had or would happen to you and your family during your youth and said "I've got this"... that there was never a substantial enough reason for you to even consider... let alone develop the social instinct. And that was exactly what my experience was. All that social shit just got done as if Santa's elves did it all by moonlight while I was snug in my bed with the reoccurring sugarplum dream.

    And to this day I still try to deal with "social variant stuff" using Christmas magic and I'll just be honest and say that it's not working out as well as I would like...so I'm now calling on the power of Leprechauns as well and we'll see how things go.


    As for sx dom... I actually don't believe sexual dominance is any more rare than the other two possible firsts. I mean, this is a statement I've read a thousand times or more from members but if there's an explanation for why this would be I've never encountered one in all this time (if someone reading this knows...) So, as it stands...I can't think of why this would be and how this could/would be scientifically measured in order to support such a hypothesis if someone provided me one.

    Still, there's something fundamentally different about sx doms that I'm not sure I could describe. Due to the "searching" and "wandering" nature of the sx dom I would very much expect a higher than average population on a forum such as this...but it remains one of the most mistyped traits I've seen here (followed closely by ENFP of course haha no). It's the King of "if you insist you are...you probably aren't and if you insist you aren't ...you probably are" land. And the mistypes of course compound the misunderstanding as it pertains to this already poorly described, confusing placement.

    I want to say that these theories all describe reinforcing experiences which will influence how weighted or balanced our instincts are as opposed to explaining the actual cause...but I don't know. It's just that *if* a sx dom is made instead of "born"...then I have always suspected it's the combination of a sensitive, idealistic child and having suffered some subsequent trauma or profound disappointment (as determined by the child) that rattled their faith/idealism in childhood. <-not even remotely saying that's accurate...but it's the only thing I could ever come up with that could possibly explain so many of the features I see.
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  9. #9
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starry View Post
    I remember you discussing your mother once as you pondered these theories...and I very much remember thinking at the time that what you had speculated quite likely could have been the primary cause or a significant contributing factor in both our developments.
    I remember posting that. I'm pretty sure it was in an exchange with @Southern Kross, but it wasn't in the thread I posted above. It's in another one. One which we'll never find, since I'm not very good at the internet either. But I do remember it.

    In other words, we both have fairly extroverted, "In Charge" ENFJ mothers. Now, my mother is so/so haha no, she's 2w1 so-------------->/sp and while I don't know or can't recall what you believe your mother's variants to be I'm not sure if it matters for what you were imagining. Fe dominance alone could surely have had the same impact on our instincts (I suspect) without the addition of social dominance for your mom as well.

    You had speculated that because your mom had taken everything *social* that had or would happen to you and your family during your youth and said "I've got this"... that there was never a substantial enough reason for you to even consider... let alone develop the social instinct. And that was exactly what my experience was. All that social shit just got done as if Santa's elves did it all by moonlight while I was snug in my bed with the reoccurring sugarplum dream.

    And to this day fellow sx/sp I still try to deal with "social variant stuff" using Christmas magic and I'll just be honest and say that it's not working out as well as I would like...so I'm now calling on the power of Leprechauns as well and we'll see how things go.
    Yes, I think is a darn good recap of what I said (some of it probably better than the way I said it- Santa's elves, moonlight, snug in bed, it's all true).


    ***


    I feel compelled to point out use of the term "damaged" to describe what happens was Fauvre's, not mine. I actually like Helen Palmer's description more, but I'm not sure it's okay to post here (since it's from her book, ownership rights and all).
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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  10. #10
    Member star tripper's Avatar
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    I know this wasn't directed at me, but a lot of it echoes my thoughts on the matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starry View Post
    I remember you discussing your mother once as you pondered these theories...and I very much remember thinking at the time that what you had speculated quite likely could have been the primary cause or a significant contributing factor in both our developments (so last sx/sps)

    In other words, we both have fairly extroverted, "In Charge" ENFJ mothers. Now, my mother is so/so haha no, she's 2w1 so-------------->/sp and while I don't know or can't recall what you believe your mother's variants to be I'm not sure if it matters for what you were imagining. Fe dominance alone could surely have had the same impact on our instincts (I suspect) without the addition of social dominance for your mom as well.

    You had speculated that because your mom had taken everything *social* that had or would happen to you and your family during your youth and said "I've got this"... that there was never a substantial enough reason for you to even consider... let alone develop the social instinct. And that was exactly what my experience was. All that social shit just got done as if Santa's elves did it all by moonlight while I was snug in my bed with the reoccurring sugarplum dream.
    I have speculated this about both my being ENTP and my being sp-last on a different website (I think PerC). My mom is an ISFJ and sp-dom + my dad didn't like the idea of my having to deal with sp matters since he was an sp-last dealing with them and was miserable. Consequently, I never felt Si, Fe, or spness were any sort of pressing matter and left 'em on the backburner. I even distinctly recall frequently thinking to myself, "Oh, my mom's got this. I'll do something else."

    Quote Originally Posted by Starry View Post
    As for sx dom... I actually don't believe sexual dominance is any more rare than the other two possible firsts. I mean, this is a statement I've read a thousand times or more from members but if there's an explanation for why this would be I've never encountered one in all this time (if someone reading this knows...) So, as it stands...I can't think of why this would be and how this could/would be scientifically measured in order to support such a hypothesis if someone provided me one.
    I can think of some reasons though I don't necessarily believe sx is more rare either honestly.
    - sx more frequently than sp and so leads to self-destructive behavior. Think Darwinian.
    - sx has to be less frequent than sp and so because the world needs more sp and so and has less of a need of sx.
    - sx has to be less frequent than sp and so because too much sx could have a worse result (the likes of which I haven't envisioned yet).

    Again, I haven't seriously considered any of these arguments (just thought of them as I read your question), but I think they might explain why people think sx is rare by comparison.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starry View Post
    Still, there's something fundamentally different about sx doms that I'm not sure I could describe. Due to the "searching" and "wandering" nature of the sx dom I would very much expect a higher than average population on a forum such as this...but it remains one of the most mistyped traits I've seen here (followed closely by ENFP of course haha no). It's the King of "if you insist you are...you probably aren't and if you insist you aren't ...you probably are" land. And the mistypes of course compound the misunderstanding as it pertains to this already poorly described, confusing placement.
    I think there's a huge misunderstanding of what the sx instinct is because people often equate it with "one-on-one" and "intimacy" and "searching for a mate" which literally anyone, sx or not, could relate to. I remember some people describing sx as having obsessions and people were like, "Well, I have obsessions! Does that make me sx-dom?" Those buzz words, imo, don't get to the heart of sx.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starry View Post
    I want to say that these theories all describe reinforcing experiences which will influence how weighted or balanced our instincts are as opposed to explaining the actual cause...but I don't know. It's just that *if* a sx dom is made instead of "born"...then I have always suspected it's the combination of a sensitive, idealistic child and having suffered some subsequent trauma or profound disappointment (as determined by the child) that rattled their faith/idealism in childhood. <-not even remotely saying that's accurate...but it's the only thing I could ever come up with that could possibly explain so many of the features I see.
    I agree with this 100%. Puts what I was trying to say more succinctly.
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