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  1. #1
    Senior Member TenebrousReflection's Avatar
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    Default Self doubt and uncertainty (mostly enneagram doubt) - time for a re-evaluation...

    I've been away from the boards for quite a while and for the most part things have been going well, and I've had lots of stuff to keep me occupied and busy, but recently I've been digging into the Enneagram again and find that I'm still uncertain about my Enneagram type and I've always had the tendeceny to second guess my MBTI decision from time to time as well, so this time I decided to come up with a list of self description traits and see what others might make of it...

    For whatever its worth, my previous conclusions were INfp 4w5, but 5w4, 9w1 and 1w9 as well as INTP, and INFJ are all types I see aspects my myself in.

    So, here is the big list of traits - thanks in advance for oppinions and insights.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Desire to understand myself
    Desire for others to understand me
    Desire to understand others (motivations and values)
    Desire to help others understand themselves
    Desire to help others understand their friends and family
    Desire to help others reach their potential (once they better understand themselves)

    I enjoy conversations that require some thought.
    I strongly dislike meaningless chit chat, but I still try to view it as an opportunity to learn more about others.

    I have a horrible memory with most numbers and random facts, but I have an above average memory when it comes to things others have told me about their history and interests. If I can apply meaning/significance to a fact, I can usually remember it, but things like phone numbers and seldom used rules/procedures are extremely difficult to remember - even with my favorite movies and TV shows, I'm horrible with trivia.

    Desire to understand why (either motivation, or the chain of events leading to something)
    Desire to understand the significance of things (search for symbolism and patterns)
    Desire to understand how things work

    When my mind is not yet decided and I don't have an emotional attachment to something, I tend to do a lot of research and seek the opinions from multiple view points and even once I have an initial evaluation, I tend to keep an open mind to most things. Assuming I don't have an emotional investment in an idea, I enjoy playing devils advocate and seeing how far I can get someone to argue the other side of something (Stephen Colbert is a good example there).

    Once I have made a decision about something, it is very hard to change my mind - most opinions I have are on subjective things (politics, ethics, morals, the value of social norms, opperatign system superiority/inferiority etc) that can not be proven or disproven. Most of those are the result of contemplation and weighed against my internal sense of right and wrong, but some are just an intuitive evaluations (first impressions). I do not ignore facts, but on most things that really matter to me, facts are like weights to add to one side of the scales rather than something to base a decision entirely on.

    I seldom display emotions, but I am usually aware of what I am feeling and often have strong emotional reactions to things. Sentimental, nostalgic and melancholic are words I feel often describe me.

    I can be very absent minded and a bit flakey at times.

    I have an appreciation for dark and/or sad music, cinema and art.

    Sorrow and regret have fueled my creativity in the past, and I see those as a natural parts of life and something that can give strength and motivation once they are accepted into ones self. I have heard of this process compared to choosing to embrace the dragon rather than trying to slay the dragon and that seems like how I view it.

    I sometimes see myself as a detached catalyst.
    - I like to throw out an idea and watch others discuss it, but once I've put the idea out there, I prefer to stand back and observe - I will interact ocasionaly, and answer questions directed at me, but watching how others interact with each other and hearing different points of view is usually what interests me.

    Need for accuracy at a subconscious level - especially with words.
    - I often will write soemthing and then agonize over my word choice if It does not feel right. Oddly (or perhaps not), spelling is not much of an issue to me.

    I like to analyze things and see what changing variables does.
    I ask "what if" questions frequently.
    I enjoy finding non traditional uses for things.

    I enjoy strategic and role playing games.
    I enjoy science fiction and fantasy books, movies and television.
    I enjoy a wide variety of music (metal, folk, gothic, darkwave, nerdcore, and neo-classical)
    I find myself naturally drawn toward historyand social sciences.

    There are aspects of self that are so subconscious that we forget they exist until others point them out for us, so I'm probably forgetting a lot of things about myself that are important parts of who I am, but I think the content in the above list is the majority of the things that make me question my type from time to time.
    (keys2cognition) Fi (47.6), Ne (36.8), Fe (36.8), Si (31.6), Ti (29.7), Ni (27.4), Te (17.2) Se (12.5) - subject to change - last updated 11JAN2012
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Silveresque's Avatar
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    Hi, TenebrousReflection! I think based on your function order we can rule out INFJ, since you seem to have consistently low Fe. Based on your description, I'd say 4w5 is most likely, mostly because of your desire to find your identity and the way you described your emotional reactions, especially being drawn to sad things. I find the levels of development chart on this site particularly helpful, and it was what made me realize I was a 4.

    So that leaves us with INFP/INTP 4w5, which, having been typed as both at different points myself, I can certainly help you with. The fundamental difference that made me realize I was an INTP was that I prefer to detach to perform impersonal objective analysis. An INFP would likely not be able to relate to this detached form of analysis, preferring instead subjective personal analysis. Which do you relate to? If you're not sure, you're probably INFP, since that would be the much more common MBTI-enneagram combination.

  3. #3
    Senior Member TenebrousReflection's Avatar
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    Thanks for your reply,

    I think part of what makes me question my MBTI type is that when things are going well, its a lot easier for me to be detached and logical as a natural state of being, but when things are not going so well and I'm under a lot of stress, I revert to trusting my feelings and instincts much more often. When things are going well, I also feel a lot stronger pull toward studying things like math, physics, or engineering, but when things start going back to being more stressfull, I feel more drawn to studying psychology and sociology (in both good and bad times, all of those subjects still interest me, its just a sense of which of those I'd be most content with if I persue it as a career someday). The more I look into the Ti/Te differences, I also think I use Ti a lot more and Ti is only part of the shadow functionns of INFPs.

    It may also be worth noting that when I first discovered MBTI, I was in a low average to possibly unhealthy state of mind and had been for a number of years at that point (had a strong feeling of a void in my life at that time that I was seeking to fill - I do not consider myself to tbe the person I'd like to be yet, but I've come a long way on that road since then).

    The 4/5/9 uncertainty is based on relating to the motives of the 4, but feeling that I act more like a 5. 9 is an option because I am good at seeing multiple sides of an issue and working with different groups or individuals to resolve disagreements through translating the desires and motivations of one side into a language theother side understands (not actual language, but for example, engineers and accountants think very differently but I can communicate with both and articulate their desires to the other group in a more effective way than most). That could come from being a (9), but its probably an aptitude most xNxPs have due to being open minded and some have more opportunity to develop that talent than others through circumstance. (1) is a bit of a stretch to me, yet I consitantly score high in the (1) group when I take on-line enneagram tests - I do have a few minor of OCPD traits tho, so thats probably why.

    I have read the descriptions of most enneagram types (7 and 8 I've skimmed but not actually read) in two of the Riso/Hudson books and its still hard to make a decision, I'll look at your link and see if it clarifies anything more than the books.
    (keys2cognition) Fi (47.6), Ne (36.8), Fe (36.8), Si (31.6), Ti (29.7), Ni (27.4), Te (17.2) Se (12.5) - subject to change - last updated 11JAN2012
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  4. #4
    my floof is luxury Wind Up Rex's Avatar
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    I get 4w5 from you, OP. There's too much emoting happening here for you to be a 9 or a 1.
    And so long as you haven’t experienced this: to die and so to grow,
    you are only a troubled guest on the dark earth

  5. #5
    Senior Member Silveresque's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wind-up Rex View Post
    I get 4w5 from you, OP. There's too much emoting happening here for you to be a 9 or a 1.
    Agreed. 9's don't want to feel any kind of negative emotion so they keep their minds occupied with other tasks. 4 is a much better fit.

    May I ask why you think you act more like a 5? Just so you know, 4's don't have to be dramatic and expressive. I don't fit that stereotype at all.

    In the average/unhealthy levels, I become more emotional and less logical as well. I think this would be true for any enneatype. If you normally prefer detached logic and mostly only get emotional when less healthy, that would probably indicate INTP. I made a thread a while back that may help you decide on that: http://www.typologycentral.com/forums/mbti-tm-other-personality-matrices/49916-fi-ti.htmli

  6. #6
    Senior Member TenebrousReflection's Avatar
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    Knowing that about 9s does clearly eliminate that possibility.

    The very first paragraph describing 5s from the pages you provided a link to sum it up quite well.

    Type Five exemplifies the human desire to understand, to look beneath the surface of things, and to arrive at deeper insights about reality. Fives prefer the life of the mind, both as a way of understanding the world and—given the unlimited power of imagination—as a way of escaping from aspects of reality. It would not be farfetched to say that for many Fives, the inner world of the mind and the imagination is more real and vivid than the external world. Fives tend to have an experience and then spend many hours, days—even years—understanding it and its broader context. Fives are also highly innovative and inventive. They love "tinkering around," playing with concepts and overturning the accepted ways of doing things. This can produce extremely valuable, practical, and original works and discoveries or simply entertain them for many hours with no practical results.

    The so/sx variant of 5s also seems like a very good description of me - better than any of the instinctual variants of 4s (of the 4's instinctual types, only sp seems to fit because I am very much affected by the ambiance of a room and temperature)

    However; I can't deny that the motivations of the 4 do seem to be a better match than 5 and 9 (I do also strongly relate to the motivations (but not so much the fears) of lvl 2-5 ones, but since 4s intigrate toward 1, I guess that would not be inconsitant). I don't strongly relate to any of the fears, but I suppose the 4's fear of being insignificant would be the best description of the options.

    I suspect that I have not been at stage 1 or 2 since my youth, but I was probablly at 3 or 4 until I became negativly impacted by the economy (stress of unemployment).

    I would describe my long term goal as wanting to be involved in somethign that either makes a contribution to science or improves the understanding of history or particiapte in a field that helps people reach their potential and/or inspires them.

    Thanks again for your insights into variants of 4w5 because its the expressive/moody aspect of 4s that I really don't see in myself. Off-line, I only share my internal state with those very close to me - to the external world, I express only basic emotions (joy and irritation - usually in a cheerfull sarcastic way). When I want to try to express myself, I do tend to try to find an creative or artistic way to do so (I usually want others to discover the real me, but I don't want to do it through direct conversation - I want to give them clues they can use to discover my hidden side if they have curiosity - since I also tend to overestimate peoples knowledge and curiosity this seldom works ).

    Thansk also for the additional link to explore (posted in that thread), finding an actual example of a self typed INTP 4w5 is very helpful in trying to reconcile the artistic, humanties and science/logic sides of myself and how they fit together.
    (keys2cognition) Fi (47.6), Ne (36.8), Fe (36.8), Si (31.6), Ti (29.7), Ni (27.4), Te (17.2) Se (12.5) - subject to change - last updated 11JAN2012
    * Making consicious effort to improve my Fe...
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  7. #7
    Senior Member TenebrousReflection's Avatar
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    @RevlisZero
    Quote Originally Posted by RevlisZero
    I'm curious...Have you ever considered type 6? I thought this post seemed rather 6-ish, so I looked back at your type thread and realized there's a lot in there that fits with 6. I could be wrong though.
    When I'm uncertain about how someone who matters to me feels about me, it can lead to me obsessing over it (and I generaly don't like to directly ask) and I start to overanalyze the situation until they take do or say something that gives me a good idea where I stand with them. It can be a very unpleasant feeling for me when I think I may have unintentionaly upset someone, so yes, I would like to be better at judging how others feel about me (fortunatly I do usually have a good sense of where I stand with my friends and relatives, but that uncertainty has happened enough to be a concern of mine).
    I have considered 6 as a possibility, but the core values/motivations really don't feel quite like a good match. While I do feel a present need for security, I think that can easily be explained by being in a state of uncertainty. I think most people want to regain some economic stability when they are unemployed and 6 or not, its going to be an immediate and very important priority for anyone that has no additional financial support beyond the safety net of unemployment insurance). I do have some fear of being abandoned in relationships tho which has manifested when close friends have decided to move away to other towns and I have felt very hurt by their actions as a result of it, and that may be one legitimate point toward type 6, and it certainly is worthy of consideration as a possibility even if I'm inclined to think several other choice seem more accurate.

    The more I look at myself under stress the last couple months, the more I feel like a 2 as far as both actions, motivations and thinking, but 2 is the stereotypical outgoing Fe type. I may be more Fe oriented that I have given myself credit for in the past, but I don't know anyone that would call me outgoing.

    key motivations of Type 6: Want to have security, to feel supported, to have the approval of others, to test the attitude of others toward them, to defend their beliefs
    Security is really only something that comes to mind for me when I don't have it, and even then, its usually a sub consideration that comes about because that lack of security is preventing other needs from being met.

    I am very concerned about what others think of me, part of it has to do with a genuine desire to not hurt their feelings of others, and part of it is concern over self image of how others perceive me.

    There are times where I would like to be better at defending my beliefs, but I often times those beliefs are divisive (politics and religion), so I more often than not keep them to myself or only share them with very trusted friends. I don't let others sway my beliefs very easily, but I also don't often stick up for them directly, but if someone is criticizing my political or religious beliefs, I may get upset and use the reductio ad absurdum approach to make them see the flaws in their own beliefs or something like that.

    key motivations of Type 2: Want to be loved, to express their feelings for others, to be needed and appreciated, to get others to respond to them, to get others to respond to them, to vindicate their claims about themselves.
    Out of all the core values in the Enneagram system, the desire to be loved is the one that I feel is my core value that influences everything else I do.

    I do have a desire to express my feelings for others, but I'm just not very good at it - the desire to do so is natural, but the comfort level o do so is not present so its something that is a very conscious act I put a lot of thought and effort into when I do it.

    Most of the time, I hate being the center of attention and try not to do things that will draw attention to myself, but when I actually want someone to respond to me, it does feel frustrating and painful if they ignore me.

    I'm not very comfortable making claims about myself to begin with, but I do have a very internal view of myself - what I am and what I want to be, and I do care about others seeing me as I want to see myself (I just don't usually talk about what those qualities are)

    As with most Enneagram types, there are things I agree and disagree with in the description, but this bit from t he description of the 2w1 stood out to me as quite intriguing and seems like a description that could still fit with introverted types.

    The Two's traits and thos of the One tend to conflict with each other: Twos are emotional, interpersonal and histrionic, while Ones are rational, impersonal and self-controlled. The empathy and interpersonalization of the Two are counterbalanced by the restraint, objectivity and idealism of the One. Thus the Two with a One-wing strives for love through goodness and selfless service. The One-wing contributes a degree fo circumspection and severity which is less pronounced in the Two's other subtype. The interpersonal qualities are typically more muted. In this respect, this subtype can be misidentified as Type Six, or vice versa.
    key motivation of type 4: Want to be themselves, to express themselves in something beautiful, to find the ideal partner, to withdraw to protect their feelings, to take care of emotional needs before attending to anything else
    I think all of the above to apply to me in some degree, but the only one of those I would consider part of my core motivations is the desire for the ideal partner.

    While the description of the core motivations of the Type Fours seem relatively weak compared compared to my core desire for love, the rest of the descriptions of Type Fours are various levels of healthy, average and unhealthy do have a lot of accuracy about me.

    Writing this out and re-reading parts of my Enneagram books, I see a lot of both 4 and 2 in me, but the health level specific decription of 2s really does not seem like a good fit, wheras 4 still has a lot I relate to at most levels of development, so I'm still inclined to think 4w5 is my best fit in the enneagram system (4s do disintigrate to 2, and 2s intigrate to 4 so there is actually a good reason to compare 2 and 4).

    As always, the insights of others are welcomed as are additional questions that might give greater clarity.
    (keys2cognition) Fi (47.6), Ne (36.8), Fe (36.8), Si (31.6), Ti (29.7), Ni (27.4), Te (17.2) Se (12.5) - subject to change - last updated 11JAN2012
    * Making consicious effort to improve my Fe...
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Silveresque's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TenebrousReflection View Post
    While I do feel a present need for security, I think that can easily be explained by being in a state of uncertainty.
    That is exactly where the 6's need for security comes from, in my understanding. 6's experience doubt and uncertainty, and this makes them anxious, which leads to them seeking security (or answers) from external sources.

    (from http://sites.google.com/site/upatel8/personalitytype6)
    Their Hidden Side

    Sixes seem like highly organized and responsible people and can often resemble Ones. But the hidden problem is that Sixes are trying to calm their inner anxieties by trying to make their external world trouble-free and predictable. Of course, this is ultimately an impossible task, but Sixes still usually persevere in the effort to make their world safe from danger and mishaps.

    The real source of anxiety in Sixes is internal and is perpetuated by their constantly turning thoughts. In short, Sixes cannot stop second-guessing themselves, doubting what they know and consulting what amounts to an "inner committee" of contrary voices. ("Did I get the electric bill out this morning? Yes. I think so. Good. But what did I forget. Oh yes! I was supposed to call Maggie about lunch tomorrow. She is going to be so angry with me. Should I call her now or is it too late?") With their minds revved up in a hypervigilant state, it is almost impossible for Sixes to relax so that they can perceive clearly how to attend to the actual challenges they need to address at any given time. What Sixes really need is more inner quiet. They need to cultivate a sense of peace and inner quiet that would allow them to see and deal with reality more clearly.
    Quote Originally Posted by TenebrousReflection View Post
    Security is really only something that comes to mind for me when I don't have it, and even then, its usually a sub consideration that comes about because that lack of security is preventing other needs from being met.
    Yeah, it's not like I think much about security either, to be honest. For me it's almost entirely subconscious, I think. (Though it's quite possible I may be a 9 and not a 6, so I shouldn't use myself as an example.)

    I have a question for you: What makes you feel secure?

    Quote Originally Posted by TenebrousReflection View Post
    Out of all the core values in the Enneagram system, the desire to be loved is the one that I feel is my core value that influences everything else I do.

    I do have a desire to express my feelings for others, but I'm just not very good at it - the desire to do so is natural, but the comfort level o do so is not present so its something that is a very conscious act I put a lot of thought and effort into when I do it.

    Most of the time, I hate being the center of attention and try not to do things that will draw attention to myself, but when I actually want someone to respond to me, it does feel frustrating and painful if they ignore me.

    I'm not very comfortable making claims about myself to begin with, but I do have a very internal view of myself - what I am and what I want to be, and I do care about others seeing me as I want to see myself (I just don't usually talk about what those qualities are).
    I can relate to everything you just wrote here, but I'm definitely not a 2. I think the 2's core motivations can be a bit deceiving because everyone wants to be loved. The difference is that 2's try to get love by being nurturing and helpful. They put others' needs before their own in order to please everyone. If you can relate to this, then you might be 2.

    Quote Originally Posted by TenebrousReflection View Post
    I think all of the above to apply to me in some degree, but the only one of those I would consider part of my core motivations is the desire for the ideal partner.

    While the description of the core motivations of the Type Fours seem relatively weak compared compared to my core desire for love, the rest of the descriptions of Type Fours are various levels of healthy, average and unhealthy do have a lot of accuracy about me.

    Writing this out and re-reading parts of my Enneagram books, I see a lot of both 4 and 2 in me, but the health level specific decription of 2s really does not seem like a good fit, wheras 4 still has a lot I relate to at most levels of development, so I'm still inclined to think 4w5 is my best fit in the enneagram system (4s do disintigrate to 2, and 2s intigrate to 4 so there is actually a good reason to compare 2 and 4).
    I would say be careful here, because a lot of people (myself included) mistype as 4's. I can relate to some degree to 4's motivations as well (especially finding an ideal partner, which I'm guessing most people could relate to), yet I'm not a 4. I can also relate very well to 4 at all levels of development, but that's because those descriptions contain things that most people can relate to. I would say if you don't strongly relate to the 4's desire to be unique, to creating an identity based on your emotions, and to intensifying your emotions, then you're probably not a 4. Though if you've started acting more like a 2 in a stressed state, that does sound like reasonable evidence for type 4.

  9. #9
    Senior Member TenebrousReflection's Avatar
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    I think the confusing thing to me about ennegram typing based on the key motivations seems to be what level of intensity represents a key value since nearly all of the types have something that most peopel will identiy with.

    Getting back to 6s and the notion of security, its the feeling that security is needed to reach other goals and that without it those other goals becoem unatainable, so persuit of another value is creating the need for security. I think I need to do more reading on 6s before making any more conclusions, but my gut feeling is that a core value is something you should feel more often than "when in need".
    (keys2cognition) Fi (47.6), Ne (36.8), Fe (36.8), Si (31.6), Ti (29.7), Ni (27.4), Te (17.2) Se (12.5) - subject to change - last updated 11JAN2012
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