- Feb 9, 2010
- MBTI Type
- Instinctual Variant
[MENTION=9310]uumlau[/MENTION], I think that's a decent way of comparing the two, especially in terms of dichotomies. I also second and no offense to 9s but, in contrast to 5, their thinking is quite simple. It's not simple in the way the 8 is simple, but simple because 9s tend to take a lot of logical shortcuts to arrive at their solution. The example about world peace is a good one and I can definitely see a 9 say such a thing. While I know that the term to describe the 9 mentality is psychospiritual, I tend to refer to this kind of thinking as intellectual laziness. 9s have this haziness to their thinking that makes it hard if not impossible for them to penetrate something to a deeper level. It's like they only look at the surface and think that's all there is to thinking but they do not concern themselves with truly and fully understanding how something genuinely operates. This is something I contrast as a head type find incredibly frustrating when it comes to discussions with 9s because while I keep pointing out to them how to delve deeper, they fail to see this and tend to often a bit too easily fall back on their blase perception.
For example, I find that many 9s in typology tend to too easily look at superficial traits and behaviors instead of understanding what drives and motivates said behaviors. Yeah, sorry, I just got a big axe to pick with 9s lately... I don't inherently dislike or hate all 9s, but they tend to frustrate me a lot when it comes to theory.
And I do want to stress that the above does not make a 9 stupid or unintellectual... It's just so frustrating for me as a 5 to engage a 9 in debate for this reason, probably even more so because I'm a sexual 5 and I love my ideas and to discuss them in depth and 9s just tend to be unable to offer me the satisfaction I seek in terms of sexual energy because they can't go deep enough and even if this occurs with a sexual 9, I think there's a lot of repelling going on because the sexual 9 wants to merge with me as a person (if I actually understand the sxual 9 subtype correctly, almost kind of in an Fe-way) but I'm more married to my ideas. The sexual focus is just so very, very different.
For someone so intent upon finding deeper levels of understanding, your understanding of 9s appears to be simplistic. There's really one overriding feature of a 9: a desire to avoid conflict (avoid problems). The key thing you appear to be running into is that your complexification of a topic, while interesting to you, appears to be totally pointless to them. It feels like a creation of problems, because if you're doing what 5s do well, that's exactly what you're doing: solving any problem leads to finding more problems to solve.
To put things in perspective, I'm a 9 and I happen to have a Ph.D. in plasma astrophysics (not terribly useful in real life, but it was fun to pursue at the time). Most 5s would have a hard time demonstrating that I don't understand what I'm talking about in that area of mastery, including all of the complexities. The difference that I have from 5 physicists, though, is that I know how to explain all of this stuff to people who would never have the time to understand the math, at a level that conveys fundamental understanding. Being able to take a complex topic and simplify it is essential to communication, and it's a skill that most 5s (and most INTPs, who are very frequently 5s) tend to lack. The 5s will try to explain every excruciating detail, because each detail is so essential and important to understanding the whole, and without which one's understanding would be incomplete.
Note that most people will have incomplete understandings, and that detailed approach is often insufficient to convey anything resembling expertise with the idea. As an example, when I taught, I ran into plenty of students who could manipulate trigonometric calculus expressions with ease ... but all I had to do was label the TOP angle of the inclined plane problem instead of the typical way at the bottom of the ramp to demonstrate that they didn't have a clue what sin(theta) or cos(theta) meant - they understood complex recipes without understanding the underlying principles of trigonometry. (Not that I'd purposefully humiliate them ... this evidence was gathered from answers to homework problems.) It made me doubt their understanding of why Newton invented calculus in the first place, what calculus is for.
Just as 9s shouldn't equate an understanding of a simplified explanation with full understanding, 5s shouldn't equate an understanding of complexity with a true understanding of the topic as a whole.