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  1. #1
    Senior Member Ruthie's Avatar
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    Default Question on enneagram confusion

    I appear as one enneagram type when I'm around people I'm comfortable with, and a completely different type when I'm around those I'm less comfortable with. The two types don't have any obvious connection - one can't be the wing or the point of integration/disintegration...

    Without getting too specific, I'm just wondering if the core type is likely to be the one expressed when a person is around "the trusted few" or when a person is in a less familiar environment. Neither one has to do with stress levels - the stress could be the same in either situation.

  2. #2
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    MBTI in general is flawed like that. I know myself to be an INTP, but around people I know and trust, or for example the anonimity of the internet. I am far more extraverted.

    I don't put any stock in Enneagrams myself, specifically since I keep reaching an enneagram type that apparantly is extremely unhealthy. I'm pretty sure I am by common standards a very healthy type. (Although I admit I have had an unhealthy period in my life. But 'matured' out of it.)
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

  3. #3
    Shaman BlackCat's Avatar
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    Enneagram types take on traits of another type when someone is comfortable, relaxed in the situation, etc. You should also take on these traits for "personal growth" as well. They call this "personal growth" in the theory, when one type goes toward another one. For example as an 8 I will take on type 2 traits when I'm comfortable with a situation, or when I change for the better I notice that I take on type 2 traits. Stuff like that, I'm sure you're getting what I'm saying. Basically any positive feelings or positive mood will make you go toward this other enneagram type's behavior.

    Tell me your enneagram type and what type you go toward and I can help you from there.

    Types also take on another type's behavior when in stress or when uncomfortable. As an example I'll use myself again, as an 8 I take on traits of the 5 when I get stressed or uncomfortable. Basically any negative mood.

    This isn't a consistent pattern, it's seemingly random within types what type you will go toward when comfortable or uncomfortable.
    () 9w8-3w4-7w6 tritype.

    sCueI (primary Inquisition)

  4. #4
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    I'm a 5w7 when positive. Just 5 when negative.
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

  5. #5
    Senior Member Ruthie's Avatar
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    BlackCat - you might be the perfect person to help with this, because Type 8 is one of the types in question. First time I took the test, I scored as an 8. I read the description and discarded it pretty quickly. For one thing, I'm female, and didn't really want to identify with such a "masculine" type. For another, type 8 descriptions are so clear cut - almost any deviation calls the type into question. For a little while I thought I might be a 1, but I have a tendency to cut corners, so I tossed that out pretty quickly.

    I finally decided I was a 6, and in many ways, that's a very good fit. It's pretty easy to write-off 8-ish behavior as a CP 6. But no matter how hard I look, I just don't see my 8-ish side being counterphobic: 8 feels like the "healthy" side and not a reaction to anything. When I'm comfortable, I get more controlling, take on more of a Leader role, express opinions more freely, take charge of situations, argue for fun, find things to compete over... it seriously isn't a response to fear - it's me at my happiest and it all comes very naturally. Since I was a child, I've been told that I always had to have things my way. I rarely show weakness and have a hard time expressing softer emotions. Also, I'm rarely ever confused about what I think or how I feel.

    But 6 still fits too. I don't like approaching people, and use humor and banter (rather than blunt directives) to connect. When I'm in a new or unfamiliar situation, I have a lot of the self-doubt of a 6 and I try to build alliances rather than simply impose my will. I genuinely want to be liked, which isn't really a concern for many 8s. My mental energy is high, and I enjoy verbal sparring and playing around with ideas (seems like a Head Triad thing). Also, I don't really over-identify with lust - I'm actually pretty good at controlling my appetites most of the time. I value stability over adventure, and despite the fact that I'm very talkative, I'm also quite introverted.

    One more important distinction: it really is a matter of the people I'm around and not the stress involved in a situation. I'm pretty 8ish in any situation with people who know me well - whether the situation is stressful or not; similarly, I'm pretty 6ish in any situation with people I don't know as well, regardless of the stress level of the situation. I can even see it with a lot of my posts on this forum. My first few posts were very deferential - toe in the water type posts, and some of my more recent posts have a slight confrontational edge to them.

    So, if you eliminate the CP 6 argument (which to me is just an easy excuse for any legitimate 6 vs. 8 confusion), is it more likely to be a 6 who becomes an 8 as familiarity increases, or an 8 who becomes a 6 in less familiar surroundings?

  6. #6
    Shaman BlackCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruthie View Post
    BlackCat - you might be the perfect person to help with this, because Type 8 is one of the types in question. First time I took the test, I scored as an 8. I read the description and discarded it pretty quickly. For one thing, I'm female, and didn't really want to identify with such a "masculine" type. For another, type 8 descriptions are so clear cut - almost any deviation calls the type into question. For a little while I thought I might be a 1, but I have a tendency to cut corners, so I tossed that out pretty quickly.

    I finally decided I was a 6, and in many ways, that's a very good fit. It's pretty easy to write-off 8-ish behavior as a CP 6. But no matter how hard I look, I just don't see my 8-ish side being counterphobic: 8 feels like the "healthy" side and not a reaction to anything. When I'm comfortable, I get more controlling, take on more of a Leader role, express opinions more freely, take charge of situations, argue for fun, find things to compete over... it seriously isn't a response to fear - it's me at my happiest and it all comes very naturally. Since I was a child, I've been told that I always had to have things my way. I rarely show weakness and have a hard time expressing softer emotions. Also, I'm rarely ever confused about what I think or how I feel.

    But 6 still fits too. I don't like approaching people, and use humor and banter (rather than blunt directives) to connect. When I'm in a new or unfamiliar situation, I have a lot of the self-doubt of a 6 and I try to build alliances rather than simply impose my will. I genuinely want to be liked, which isn't really a concern for many 8s. My mental energy is high, and I enjoy verbal sparring and playing around with ideas (seems like a Head Triad thing). Also, I don't really over-identify with lust - I'm actually pretty good at controlling my appetites most of the time. I value stability over adventure, and despite the fact that I'm very talkative, I'm also quite introverted.

    One more important distinction: it really is a matter of the people I'm around and not the stress involved in a situation. I'm pretty 8ish in any situation with people who know me well - whether the situation is stressful or not; similarly, I'm pretty 6ish in any situation with people I don't know as well, regardless of the stress level of the situation. I can even see it with a lot of my posts on this forum. My first few posts were very deferential - toe in the water type posts, and some of my more recent posts have a slight confrontational edge to them.

    So, if you eliminate the CP 6 argument (which to me is just an easy excuse for any legitimate 6 vs. 8 confusion), is it more likely to be a 6 who becomes an 8 as familiarity increases, or an 8 who becomes a 6 in less familiar surroundings?
    Keep in mind enneagram is a behavioral system. MBTI is the tool, enneagram is how the tool is used. If you scored in 8 I'd say it's safe to say you're an INTJ. Here is something to keep in mind about enneagram... keep in mind how you BEHAVE, not how your personality is. Behavior tends to reflect the personality, but enneagram is mostly about behavior. My confusion was between 4, 5, and 8. I'd say that some of the type 4 traits are just "typical" of an INFP, but I by no means really act that way or do those traits dictate how I act (being pretty emotional, avoiding bad feelings etc. Seems to go with being an INFP). As for type 5, well when I took that test I was stressed out because of school and things going on in my life. This all pieced together for me when I discovered that the 8 turns to 5 traits in stress. I act like an 8, I really do, I don't really act like a 5. I just scored that because I was stressed and such. That's how I reasoned it.

    So keeping in mind behavior, do you act like an 8? This website has the most simple and compact yet accurate type descriptions I've ever read, it's a short read but very informative. Here are the links to the 1, 6, and 8 for you-

    http://www.9types.com/descr/8/
    http://www.9types.com/descr/6/
    http://www.9types.com/descr/1/

    You will see at the top that you can also look at the other types. Directly below where you go to look at the other types you'll see a section that says "diagrams" that will also help you in determining your type (you need to read these).

    Here are the type stress/growth things I was referring to-







    The type descriptions from that website are too specific... I use the ones from the 9types website.

    Another thing that might explain your behavior is your instinctual variants. How the Enneagram Personality System Works

    Things to note are that INTJs tend to have a lot of the 8 traits just built into them, but that doesn't mean that they all are type 8s (it just means they will probably score up there with 8). J types tend to score in type 1, depending on how high their preference scores are. You might want to keep these things in mind.

    A lot of the things you're describing seems to be typical of INTJs... and also sounds like that of a type 6.

    Something else I thought of, what you might be confusing as type 8 behavior could be INTJ behavior and the type 7 wing kicking in.

    My 2cents, ask me anything you want.
    () 9w8-3w4-7w6 tritype.

    sCueI (primary Inquisition)

  7. #7
    Senior Member Ruthie's Avatar
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    Thanks BlackCat! I read through the 3 descriptions and diagrams, and was able to (I think) eliminate Type 1. Your comment about disintegration makes me add a notch in the "8" category: when I get stressed, I turn more into a 5 then I do into a 3. I hide out, I research something, I ignore friends... then again, I could be a 6 with a 5 wing.

    Let me say up front that I realize what I am about to write will make me sound like the most obnoxious, least likable person ever. I promise I'm not all that bad. I just want to be honest so I can get my Type right.

    As an 8, can you relate to this:

    I was joking with my niece the other day that one of my least favorite expressions is “live and let live.” I secretly wish everyone would live according to my rules. I say it with a wink and a smile, because I realize the absurdity of that belief. I'm actually very sociable, and the conscious me doesn't take that inner-dictator too seriously. But it's there. And it comes out when I'm with people I trust. Usually, it's jovial – I'll insist that my favorite food is objectively “better” than theirs or I'll offer my opinion on something as Fact. It's all tongue-in-cheek, so it's hard to know sometimes where the inner-dictator ends and the self-aware character begins. But I do get irritable when things don't go my way, and I let people know it. And I get a flash of temper when I feel like someone is talking down to me or trying to tell me what to do. It's a flash: I'll react quickly, and then get over it quickly. But that's all with the trusted. People who don't know me as well would probably never describe me as "bossy."

    So many of the 6 and 8 traits overlap. I'm huge on loyalty, but am I big on it because I fear abandonment (6) or because I fear betrayal (8)? Both seem true. I have a big Justice streak in me: do I identify with the underdog (6) or envision myself protecting the underdog (8)?

    Few questions:
    You said you "act like an 8." Do you always come across as an 8 or is it only with certain people?
    Do you know a lot of female 8s? Do they seem different than the male 8s?
    Do 8w9s have excess mental energy (enjoy verbal sparring, display nervous habits, etc...)?
    Can an 8w7 be introverted?

    Don't want to overwhelm you with questions. Just really playing around with this in my mind.

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