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Thread: Enneagram Types -- Am I a 4 or a 9?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array mwv6r's Avatar
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    Default Enneagram Types -- Am I a 4 or a 9?

    I've become very interested in Enneagram Typing lately. I'm an INFJ and I know 4w5 is very common for INFJs so a while back I briefly read a 4 and 5 description, thought they sounded like me, and just assumed that's what I was too.

    But as I'm reading more about it, the 9w1 sounds a lot like me too.

    Any advice on figuring out for certain which one I am? Is it possible to be both? Just how unusual is a 9w1 INFJ? I know that a person's Myers-Briggs personality type stays static throughout their life (i.e., I was an INFJ as a child, am now an INFJ, and will remain an INFJ through old age); but can one's Enneagram type change over time?

    I would say that in the majority of my interactions I'm a 9 -- I'm easygoing, dreamy, a people pleaser, accommodating, like and get along well with 99.9% of the people I meet (and that 0.1% really has to be an asshole to earn my ire), and constantly strive for harmony, becoming anxious if people around me are arguing. If two of my friends are in an argument with each other, I work quietly behind the scenes to try to ease them back onto better terms. And one of the most uncomfortable, anxiety-provoking feelings for me is when I worry that I've done or said the wrong thing in a social situation and unintentionally offended someone.

    However, in matters of the heart, parts of enneagram four really do strike a chord with me, although I would say my partner is the only one who sees that side of me. In his and my relationship, most of the time I am laidback and eager to please like I imagine a 9 would be, but sometimes I can be quite sensitive and emotionally needy, and I would say probably twice a month or so I'll have a bad mood swing that I'm not able to control and that I end up feeling embarrassed about after the fact. I also do enjoy "feeling special and unique" as I've read that 4s do, although I'm not sure that I like to feel particularly more special/unique than the average person (doesn't everyone like feeling special to an extent?). I associate over-sensitivity and mood swings with negative aspects of Enneagram 4s (there being other more positive characteristics of 4s as well, of course).

    So, which one am I? All input is appreciated :o)

  2. #2
    Magical Array BlackCat's Avatar
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    Enneagram can't change over time, regardless of what others say. If they pull the whole "BUT I SCORE THIS WHEN IM IN X MOOD!" thing then, yeah, the test will be influenced by that.

    Enneagram deals with MOTIVATIONS. Keep this in mind. It's not really personality intensive, it's based on your MOTIVATIONS.

    It's hard to make a decision based on what you've put there, those sound like typical NF traits, or just typical traits of people in general. I'd say that the quoted here are INFJ traits or things an INFJ would probably do-

    I'm easygoing, dreamy, a people pleaser, accommodating, like and get along well with 99.9% of the people I meet (and that 0.1% really has to be an asshole to earn my ire), and constantly strive for harmony, becoming anxious if people around me are arguing. If two of my friends are in an argument with each other, I work quietly behind the scenes to try to ease them back onto better terms. And one of the most uncomfortable, anxiety-provoking feelings for me is when I worry that I've done or said the wrong thing in a social situation and unintentionally offended someone.

    However, in matters of the heart, parts of enneagram four really do strike a chord with me, although I would say my partner is the only one who sees that side of me. In his and my relationship, most of the time I am laidback and eager to please like I imagine a 9 would be, but sometimes I can be quite sensitive and emotionally needy, and I would say probably twice a month or so I'll have a bad mood swing that I'm not able to control and that I end up feeling embarrassed about after the fact. I also do enjoy "feeling special and unique" as I've read that 4s do, although I'm not sure that I like to feel particularly more special/unique than the average person (doesn't everyone like feeling special to an extent?). I associate over-sensitivity and mood swings with negative aspects of Enneagram 4s (there being other more positive characteristics of 4s as well, of course).
    I think that NFs will naturally relate to some of the 4's qualities, but are you motivated like the 4 is? I'll give you some profiles to read through-

    First off, these profiles are very short and sweet. They are some of the better ones I've seen. They are short and to the point. I'll link the 4 and 9 profiles. Also look over the diagrams, at the top above the different types to choose from you'll see in light blue a tab that says "diagrams", click these for the 4 and 9 and see which one you relate to.

    Type 4 Enneagram Type Description |9types.com
    Type 9 Enneagram Type Description |9types.com

    After resonating with one of those, try and read one of these more complicated ones. Take things with a grain of salt like you do MBTI profiles. AND REMEMBER!!! MOTIVATIONS!!!

    Fours - the enneagram ...info from the underground
    Nines - the enneagram ...info from the underground

    Here are some other things to consider- The points of integration and disintegration.

    Enneagram types tend to take on traits of the other types when they are either, simply, positive or negative. To expand on this (my understanding of it), what I mean by positive is basically when you're content, relaxed, just basically a positive mind set that's open for personal growth (it's essentially personal growth). The "disintegration" is basically a negative mindset, when you're stressed, etc. The four's and nine's are different, much different.




    The points of integration for the 9 go 3->6, and disintegration is 6->3. So if you're a 9 you can have some traits of the 6 and the 3 if you're "positive", and also if you're "negative". I'm sort of unclear on this part, but when in "positive" mode the traits of the 3 will come through first, then those of the 6. For the 4 it goes 1->2 for integration and 2->1 for disintegration. You start with 1 then go on to the traits of the 2 when you're "positive", and you start with the traits of the 2 and then go onto the ones of the 1 when you're "negative".

    Use the descriptions on the 9types website, it will be a lot easier to relate to them. Here are the descriptions-

    Four integration (Type One)- Type 1 Enneagram Type Description |9types.com
    Four disintegration (Type Two)- Type 2 Enneagram Type Description |9types.com
    Nine integration (Type Three)- Type 3 Enneagram Type Description |9types.com
    Nine disintegration (Type Six)- Type 6 Enneagram Type Description |9types.com

    Ask me any question you want, in this thread, in PM, whatever. I'm a 9w8, I can help with any 9 related issues that you need help with.
    () 9w8-3w2-5w6 tritype.

    RCueI (primary Inquisition)

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array mwv6r's Avatar
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    Wow, thank you so much for the thoughtful response and links to resources. I've only had time to skim so far but plan to delve deeper soon. The first (shorter) link about 4s fit me to a T, it was uncanny. Yet the more detailed 4 description did not fit me very well; for that the 9 seemed more applicable. So I'm still uncertain.

    If I'm understanding the growth/stress stuff right, that could be a clue to which enneagram I am? I would definitely say that I have far more characteristics of 1 & 2 than of 3 & 6, which would seem to suggest that I'm an enneagram 4.

    Still, it seems like something is not quite adding up. With Myers-Briggs, almost every time I read an INFJ description I'm like "Holy crap that's totally me!!!" but Enneagram seems far less clear-cut.

    I will say that I'm very far on the extraverted feeling scale (Fe) and very much attune to others' needs (which I've read is common of 2s, though I don't think I'm a 2). Maybe I'm interpreting the 4 enneagram incorrectly, but the descriptions seem to correlate more to Fi than Fe in my mind... Of course if so many INFJs are 4w5 perhaps I'm just misinterpreting...

    Could I be a 4 with unusually strong 9 influences? Or just a weird 4? lol

    Thanks again for your help

  4. #4
    Magical Array BlackCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mwv6r View Post
    Wow, thank you so much for the thoughtful response and links to resources. I've only had time to skim so far but plan to delve deeper soon. The first (shorter) link about 4s fit me to a T, it was uncanny. Yet the more detailed 4 description did not fit me very well; for that the 9 seemed more applicable. So I'm still uncertain.
    One of the issues that I have with the long ish enneagram descriptions is they seem to be written based on the most common MBTI types of that enneagram type. For example, when I was determining my wing I couldn't relate to ANY type 8 descriptions because they were all about EXTJs, essentially Te users and how it's employed with them (which isn't what being an 8 is about). The 9 descriptions don't quite fit, but they're better than most of the other ones.

    Another thing to consider about those descriptions is they delve into the type's supposed personalities, while they should be delving more into what their motivations are (which is what enneagram is used for and how it's applied). And when they delve into the personality side, they get into the common MBTI types that that enneagram type are. It's a mess.

    I'd just stick with the 9types descriptions, since they're very short and sweet and easy to use, and more clearly give you an idea of the type's motivations. It's also easier to find your wing and see if the points of integration/disintegration fit. The points of integration and disintegration are important when finding your type.

    Enneagram books do better with describing the types in depth I've found. You might want to flip through a few of them at your local bookstore to make sure they're any good before getting them... there are some TERRIBLE ones out there. I've heard that this is a good one- "The Everything Enneagram Book" by Susan Reynolds, but I've yet to find it in a book store. I want to find it though.

    Still, it seems like something is not quite adding up. With Myers-Briggs, almost every time I read an INFJ description I'm like "Holy crap that's totally me!!!" but Enneagram seems far less clear-cut.
    Yeah I know what you mean. Like I said, do it with the books and the 9types website.

    Another thing with the 9types site- did you use the diagrams I told you about?

    I will say that I'm very far on the extraverted feeling scale (Fe) and very much attune to others' needs (which I've read is common of 2s, though I don't think I'm a 2). Maybe I'm interpreting the 4 enneagram incorrectly, but the descriptions seem to correlate more to Fi than Fe in my mind... Of course if so many INFJs are 4w5 perhaps I'm just misinterpreting...
    That's because a lot, A LOT of IXFPs, namely INFPs are 4, and I'm guessing the people that wrote these profiles were taking these traits from the INFPs that were 4s and the MBTI personality stuff spilled over into their profiles.

    And let me tell you, this was DIFFICULT for me. You have my sympathy. The only way I really figured that I was an 8 wing was that I scored high on 8 on the test, the 8 profiles are EXTJ, and I'm an INFP. Lol. I can relate to almost everything on the 9types' type 8 profile though, since it's not biased toward any MBTI type. 9types is probably the better place to use IME.

    I'll tell you what I'm like under stress- taking on the negative 6 traits. I would get paranoid about the smallest things, worry about them incessantly, and that would stress me even more. I would foresee the worst things that could happen, stressing me even more. Then the type 3 traits kick in and I'm worried that no one likes me, I'm very malleable when it comes to people and their opinions of me (they change me for some reason), and my fear of rejection kicks in majorly.

    When I'm "positive"- I like to be admired by the people close to me, to get recognition for my actions. This makes me happier. When the 6 traits kick in I get more concerned with loyalty then usual, more concerned with security (I make sure things are secure), and I forsee the worst possibilities without letting them bother me, I just make sure that they don't happen.

    ^Those weren't too in depth, just things I thought of off the top of my head.
    () 9w8-3w2-5w6 tritype.

    RCueI (primary Inquisition)

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by mwv6r View Post
    I've become very interested in Enneagram Typing lately. I'm an INFJ and I know 4w5 is very common for INFJs so a while back I briefly read a 4 and 5 description, thought they sounded like me, and just assumed that's what I was too.

    But as I'm reading more about it, the 9w1 sounds a lot like me too.

    Any advice on figuring out for certain which one I am? Is it possible to be both? Just how unusual is a 9w1 INFJ? I know that a person's Myers-Briggs personality type stays static throughout their life (i.e., I was an INFJ as a child, am now an INFJ, and will remain an INFJ through old age); but can one's Enneagram type change over time?

    I would say that in the majority of my interactions I'm a 9 -- I'm easygoing, dreamy, a people pleaser, accommodating, like and get along well with 99.9% of the people I meet (and that 0.1% really has to be an asshole to earn my ire), and constantly strive for harmony, becoming anxious if people around me are arguing. If two of my friends are in an argument with each other, I work quietly behind the scenes to try to ease them back onto better terms. And one of the most uncomfortable, anxiety-provoking feelings for me is when I worry that I've done or said the wrong thing in a social situation and unintentionally offended someone.

    However, in matters of the heart, parts of enneagram four really do strike a chord with me, although I would say my partner is the only one who sees that side of me. In his and my relationship, most of the time I am laidback and eager to please like I imagine a 9 would be, but sometimes I can be quite sensitive and emotionally needy, and I would say probably twice a month or so I'll have a bad mood swing that I'm not able to control and that I end up feeling embarrassed about after the fact. I also do enjoy "feeling special and unique" as I've read that 4s do, although I'm not sure that I like to feel particularly more special/unique than the average person (doesn't everyone like feeling special to an extent?). I associate over-sensitivity and mood swings with negative aspects of Enneagram 4s (there being other more positive characteristics of 4s as well, of course).

    So, which one am I? All input is appreciated :o)
    You seem a 9w1. 4s are elitists who think they have special insight into people that others don't have and look down on the clueless commoners. While 4s are said to fear abandonment that is in the context of relationships where the other is presumed to have a chance to understand the 4 on a deeper level. 4s consider it an honor for other clueless people to single them out for being abnormal...it reaffirms how the "commoners" don't understand them...in effect feeding their fixation in that they are fundamentally different from the normal everyday people.

  6. #6

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    I'm a strong 4, and a 4 alone.

    Fours draw from melancholy, and sad things, and being unique, like a sad non conformist. Somehow sounds like being emo, but it's not. If you're more opptimistic, cheery, dreamy, and a people lover and pleaser, I'd say you're a 9. If you're more artistic and depressive like a poet, and take pride in being an individual and relying on your heart for mostly everything than you're more of a 4.
    Are we to paint what's on the face, what's inside the face, or what's behind it?

  7. #7
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    Yeah I'm having a hard time figuring out whether I'm a 4 or a 5. One Enneagram quiz showed my 5 at 81% and 4 at 79%. So either way I guess, they're closely matched. I can easily relate to elements of both.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Yeah I'm having a hard time figuring out whether I'm a 4 or a 5. One Enneagram quiz showed my 5 at 81% and 4 at 79%. So either way I guess, they're closely matched. I can easily relate to elements of both.
    Tortured Soul seems to point towards 4.
    Are we to paint what's on the face, what's inside the face, or what's behind it?

  9. #9
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneWithSoul View Post
    Tortured Soul seems to point towards 4.
    Yeah but 5w4s go through plenty of shit too.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Yeah I'm having a hard time figuring out whether I'm a 4 or a 5. One Enneagram quiz showed my 5 at 81% and 4 at 79%. So either way I guess, they're closely matched. I can easily relate to elements of both.
    Do you think emotions are your home base or not? 5s can be emotional...but their defense strategies like detachment are designed to protect them from their emotions. If you fear your emotions overwhelming you then you are a 5. 4s in contrast eat and breathe their emotions...they amplify their emotional states without inhibition.

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