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  1. #1
    Senior Member Evil Otter's Avatar
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    Default 3w4 mistaken for 9

    I'm starting to think I may actually be a 3w4 (a 3 at any rate). I typed as a 9 some time ago when I first heard of and took an enneagram test, and I continued to type as such up to last month (results posted below). Then I started really trying to understand what enneagram was all about and I did not like the descriptions of 9's at all (and still don't if that is indeed what I am).

    Problems with me being a 9 though are that I don't back down from a fight unless I'm wrong and definitely don't place harmony above all. In fact, I've been called abrasive, adversarial, stubborn, challenging, or some other similar term many times but usually by people on whose opinions I place exceptionally little value.

    After reading various 3 descriptions, and figuring out that it isn't so much about fame and money but rather what the particular three in question holds as his ideal of success, I believe 3 to be a more fitting description and I'm now thinking that I was going to my stress 9 and expressing it as anger followed by apathy towards the system that was (and still is) extremely inefficient and often idiotic. Being that I dealt with this system for 6 years, or since I graduated high school until now, it makes sense that I might mistake these characteristics as my true self. This is something that from my understanding 3's do anyways.
    Also the following quote is something I have most definitely done in my weakest moments: "When they've hit rock bottom on the pathological scale, Threes feel threatened by anyone or anything that reminds them of their failures. And when they feel angry or threatened, they often lash out at the person rejecting them." When I was in high school I did this with my dad after he got on to me about my performance during a game. And then again during college when he wouldn't stop telling me what a huge mistake I was making for switching my major from something I hated to something I actually enjoy learning about.

    I hesitate to jump straight to saying I'm a 3 though since 9's are also apparently notorious for mistaking themselves for a whole slew of different types. So I'm curious what the thoughts of the forum are considering there is likely a better understanding among the members here of what all enneagram entails than what I have garnered from my bit of research. At any rate here are my most recent test results that showed 3 followed by most recent results that showed 9 (taken today, 19 Sept, and a month ago, 19 Aug, respectively):
    Type 3 - 12----------------------Type 9 - 8.3
    Type 1 - 8.3---------------------Type 5 - 8
    Type 8 - 8.3---------------------Type 3 - 7
    Type 5 - 8-----------------------Type 1 - 6.7
    Type 7 - 7-----------------------Type 8 - 6.3
    Type 4 - 6.7---------------------Type 7 - 4.7
    Type 2 - 4

    Wing 3w4 - 15.4-----------------Wing 9w1 - 11.7
    Wing 3w2 - 14-------------------Wing 9w8 - 11.5
    Wing 4w3 - 12.7-----------------Wing 1w9 - 10.9
    Wing 8w7 - 11.8-----------------Wing 8w9 - 10.5
    Wing 5w4 - 11.4-----------------Wing 8w7 - 8.7
    Wing 7w8 - 11.2-----------------Wing 5w6 - 8.7
    Wing 4w5 - 10.7-----------------Wing 5w4 - 8.5
    Wing 1w2 - 10.3-----------------Wing 7w8 - 7.9
    Wing 2w3 - 10-------------------Wing 3w2 - 7.7
    Wing 8w9 - 9.8------------------Wing 3w4 - 7.5
    Wing 1w9 - 9.8------------------Wing 1w2 - 7.4
    Wing 5w6 - 8.7------------------Wing 7w6 - 5.4
    Wing 2w1 - 8.2
    Wing 7w6 - 7.7

    Considering the results on the left are post reading a bunch of enneagram stuff it could be a form of self-reporting, confirmation bias.

  2. #2
    Stansmith
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    What's your ideal of success, and how have you worked towards it?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Evil Otter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stansmith View Post
    What's your ideal of success, and how have you worked at it?
    In short, a modern-version of a nobleman. To get there I've graduated from a prestigious military school into the officer ranks, been captain of a sports team, been the leading point scorer on that team, learned another language, learned an instrument, and I am currently learning how to dance a variety of ballroom dances.

    edit: that is my modern-version of a nobleman, considering I'm American and no such title exists for us

  4. #4
    011235813
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    This is difficult to grapple with. As a 9 with a 3 fix myself, it's important for me to feel competent and successful. I hate being reminded of my failures as well, and don't even really like looking at old assignments and achievements because they seem so clumsy and pedestrian to me. It's actually uncomfortable to look at.

    I will say though that I've never actually put a label like "modern nobleman" on my idealized self, which is quite diffuse for me.

    Also, I've always viewed the peace and harmony aspect of 9 as more to do with internal tranquility. I tend to get scrappy myself when I'm irritated and actively disrupt the external peace to the extent that it makes other people uncomfortable ... but I'm actually working to restore that internal peace and balance by trying to speak out against something I find wrong and disharmonious.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Evil Otter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by senza tema View Post
    This is difficult to grapple with. As a 9 with a 3 fix myself, it's important for me to feel competent and successful. I hate being reminded of my failures as well, and don't even really like looking at old assignments and achievements because they seem so clumsy and pedestrian to me. It's actually uncomfortable to look at.

    I will say though that I've never actually put a label like "modern nobleman" on my idealized self, which is quite diffuse for me.

    Also, I've always viewed the peace and harmony aspect of 9 as more to do with internal tranquility. I tend to get scrappy myself when I'm irritated and actively disrupt the external peace to the extent that it makes other people uncomfortable ... but I'm actually working to restore that internal peace and balance by trying to speak out against something I find wrong and disharmonious.
    Then when you read 9 descriptions how do they generally come across to you. I tend to hate them, because I read those descriptions and see a very weak person and as a male it strikes me as effeminate. The following is an example of one I didn't feel I related to and I would be ashamed of myself if it did describe me: http://www.netplaces.com/enneagram/e...peaceful-lamb/ . However, the three descriptions on the same site had me saying "Oh yeah, that's definitely me."

  6. #6
    011235813
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    Quote Originally Posted by lucky13 View Post
    Then when you read 9 descriptions how do they generally come across to you. I tend to hate them, because I read those descriptions and see a very weak person and as a male it strikes me as effeminate. The following is an example of one I didn't feel I related to and I would be ashamed of myself if it did describe me: http://www.netplaces.com/enneagram/e...peaceful-lamb/ . However, the three descriptions on the same site had me saying "Oh yeah, that's definitely me."
    I don't like the 9 description but that's largely because I recognize my own flaws in it, and it's hard to see them externalized that baldly. I don't like titles like Peaceful Lamb but I don't think they're important either so it doesn't bug me too much.
    This type is actually all about sloth, inertia, and internal deadness to desires and feelings and I recognize those keenly in myself, even though I don't want to and I wish it weren't the case.
    Enneagram descriptions should make you uncomfortable because you know deep down that they're actually true for you. If they don't, you probably haven't picked the right one yet. They're not supposed to make you feel good about yourself.

    On the other hand, I don't like the 4 description either because it seems pathologically self-absorbed and delusional to me, but it doesn't make me uncomfortable. It's more a description of the things I dislike in other people. (I don't necessarily dislike 4s, but I do dislike their particular flaws, perhaps more than I do some of the other types' flaws.)

  7. #7
    Senior Member Evil Otter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by senza tema View Post
    I don't like the 9 description but that's largely because I recognize my own flaws in it, and it's hard to see them externalized that baldly. I don't like titles like Peaceful Lamb but I don't think they're important either so it doesn't bug me too much.
    This type is actually all about sloth, inertia, and internal deadness to desires and feelings and I recognize those keenly in myself, even though I don't want to and I wish it weren't the case.
    Enneagram descriptions should make you uncomfortable because you know deep down that they're actually true for you. If they don't, you probably haven't picked the right one yet. They're not supposed to make you feel good about yourself.

    On the other hand, I don't like the 4 description either because it seems pathologically self-absorbed and delusional to me, but it doesn't make me uncomfortable. It's more a description of the things I dislike in other people. (I don't necessarily dislike 4s, but I do dislike their particular flaws, perhaps more than I do some of the other types' flaws.)
    That's part of the problem though, it's not so much that I feel uncomfortable, and I usually don't even if someone is pointing out my flaws face to face, I just don't relate to a lot of the 9 descriptions. I'm not indecisive and I don't lose focus of what I want. In fact, I decided that I wanted to go to the military school I attended when I was ten, and I didn't even apply to any other schools. I'm also not afraid of major shifts in my life or rocking the boat so to speak. I've moved a lot, I went to a college half way across the country, I went and lived in another country by myself, and I left my religion because it is wrong (this despite my family maintaining membership). The last example also goes to show that I didn't put myself aside for the sake of maintaining relationships, leaving my religion actually burnt a lot of bridges.

    With 3's and looking back to my high school experience I do relate a lot more. Like the validation thing; I had a teammate who I didn't like at all for two reasons, I thought he was vain and not even all that good, and everyone on the team thought he was the best player. This legitimately upset me considering I consistently out-preformed him (I had more goals, more assists and more face-offs than he did, and we had equal play time). I do fear failure and rejection, and have opted out of doing certain things just because I didn't think I was likely to succeed even though it was something I wanted to do. Also this; "When under duress, Threes gravitate toward pathological Nine behaviors — hiding in the background and slowing their workaholic pace. Feeling burned out, they disengage and disassociate their feelings." That was my last six years for the most part.

    I doubt that because I hate the description it is automatically me, I would also hate the descriptions for 1, 2, 6, and 8 (especially 8) if I tested as any of those.

  8. #8
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    If you don't identify with core 9 issues and do with 3 then go with that. Tests are unreliable. I rarely tested as 9 when I was first learning about enneagram but I didn't really identify with the types I did test as (4, 5) whereas I DO identify with descriptions of 9.

  9. #9
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    I've noticed 3s can be quite 9ish in their demeanour. Their competency and self-possession can give off a zen-like quality. Besides the fact that of course 3 disintegrates to 9.

    What it comes down to is image, which is what all 2s, 3s and 4s are focused on; what impression they are giving off. Really it's about sending the sorts of signals that you want to send, about what sort of person you are and/or want to be, and for 3s this is about skill, competency and achievement. People tend to think that with 3s that this is simply a vanity thing, which puts them off, but it's not as simple as that (in fact in can be just the opposite).

    I remember reading about a 3w4 actress (probably not someone you would know, so I won't bother with details), and when she did press and publicity for her films as a teenager (like in magazines etc), she was adamant that she would only have her picture taken without makeup on and in her own clothes, as opposed to the expensive and glamorous clothing provided by a stylist on a photo shoot. She basically said that the reason for this was she didn't want to add to idealised images of beauty that put pressure on teenage girls to look a certain way and implied that she felt it would misrepresented her as something she's not. She doesn't do that any more, now that she is an adult, but I found the whole thing very interesting and telling. It shows how conscious 3s are about controlling how people see themselves, and it was fascinating to see that so overtly done and in a way that has such good intentions behind it. It was also interesting that she was embracing, if not emphasising her flaws, albeit in the way she determined. I think you would see this sort of thing is more common with young 3s (teenage rebellion may have been part of it ). I think with more developed 3s, they seem to know how to get the same point across but in more subtle ways. Perhaps they learn to relax a little more and don't feel like everything is riding on each representation of themselves, which this actress seems to be more like now.
    INFP 4w5 so/sp

    I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas;
    they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.

    - Emily Bronte

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