Enneagram type confusion | INFJ Forum

Enneagram type confusion

Discussion in 'Enneagram' started by Miswired7, Jun 14, 2018.

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  1. Miswired7

    Miswired7 Regular Poster

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    I became fascinated with the enneagram when I was in my mid 20's, but set it aside for many years because nothing seemed to fit. I seemed to be a weird mix of several types, yet none of them fit in any meaningful way.

    I have a fear of being clueless. Of having no self awareness. Of being the kind of person whom everyone feels sorry for and merely tolerates. I know that this is largely related to being raised by a mentally ill parent, and seeing his repeatedly dysfunctional behavior over and over, with absolutely no insight into why he was so "rejected" by others. I have thus been determined never to hide from things about myself that might be ugly or difficult. I recently started studying the enneagram again, and I fear that figuring out my type has become my latest obsession :openmouth:.
    I paid to take the full RHETI, and scores were exactly tied for 3, 4, 6, and 9, with 5 not far behind.
    I have previously never related to the type 6 descriptions. My husband is clearly a classic type 6, and I am nothing like him (he is ENTJ), but I read that 6 is a likely possibility if nothing seems to fit. So I started exploring the idea a little further.
    And that is why, after years of thinking that I was an odd mix of types 3, 4, 5, and 9, I have realized that I am too paradoxical to be any of those. I now think I may be a 6w5. But still searching to be sure. And sixishly asking others for input. :weary:


    Type 3 traits that I identify with: Being a bit of a chameleon. Sometimes thinking that the end justifies the means. Prioritizing success and what other people would think, over my own feelings, which I have tried hard to keep under control.
    Type 3 traits that I do NOT identify with: Being energetic. Enjoying the limelight (which I try to avoid). Being willing to take advantage of others to gain personal success.
    Type 4 traits that I identify with: Being sensitive, moody, and self absorbed. Seeing only what is missing. Feeling like I AM weird and different (I had an extremely weird childhood. It would be impossible not to be weird, but it has dissipated over time, and I do not enjoy it or try to emphasize it).
    Type 4 traits that I do NOT identify with: WANTING to be weird or different. And I am not very artistic.
    Type 5 traits that I identify with: Being reserved and withdrawn. Very much need alone time. Intellectualize EVERYTHING as way of preparing for / dealing with stress. Can be detached, although that came after years of trying not to care so much.
    Type 5 traits that I do NOT identify with: Being a minimalist. Also, most of the fivish traits came in my 20's and 30's, after I had a few hard knocks... I didn't want to be hurt again, and I developed a defense mechanism of "not caring" about most things anyway. I could then detach to look at everything from a more cerebral perspective. A crisis with someone that I would die for made me realize that this was not a healthy coping mechanism.
    Type 9 traits that I identify with: Being able to detach. Sometimes I can be very chill and laid back. Ok, lazy, although I hate admitting it.
    Type 9 traits that I do NOT identify with: Even if I appear laid back on the surface, I am seldom truly relaxed. I have bouts of insomnia, nervous habits, and a brain that obsesses endlessly with whatever project is foremost in my mind.

    So this is a brief comparison of type 6 with the other types that I found somewhere: My comments are in italics.
    Comparisons with other types
    6 vs 1: Ones have a life-long mission to self-improve themselves and tend to be very certain in their convictions. Ones equate repressing themselves with being more worthy. Sixes find it much easier lying to protect loved ones as they don't have a transcendant view of morality like ones. Identify with 6 here, but I never thought I was a one anyway.

    6 vs 2: Twos are more confident and self-righteous. Twos being enablers are naturally parental while sixes are natural team players. Twos repress what is at odds with their gentle self-image whereas sixes repress themselves to fit in. Oh yeah. Definitely identify with 6 here. But I never thought I was a two either.

    6 vs 3: Threes think it is their destiny to become someone outstanding, whereas sixes aren't as naturally confident in their abilities. Threes keep their eye on the ball while sixes are prone to getting stuck in contingency planning. Oh yeah. Definitely more 6 than this description of 3.

    6 vs 4: Fours are naturally elitist and sixes aren't. Sixes don't romanticize being different like fours do. Oh yeah. Definitely 6 vs 4. But wait, isn’t this a Fi vs Fe thing????

    6 vs 5: Sixes focus much more on motives and intentions. Fives look before they leap emotionally. Sixes don't romanticize isolation and don't have delusions of grandeur like fives do. In contrast to fives, sixes orient themselves towards practical application of knowledge.
    Hmmm. I’m a little fivish here. I actually do sometimes sort of romanticize isolation. And I want to know all of the things – just BECAUSE.

    6 vs 7: Sixes don't have the blind faith in the future and themselves that sevens have. Sixes are much more self-conscious than sevens. Sixes are much more naturally responsible. Sixes are compliant types with a strong superego influence. I identify with 6 vs 7, but I never thought I was a seven either.

    6 vs 8: Eights like to feel grand and sixes don't. When the desire for clarity and the desire to avoid weakness conflict, the six will choose for former and the eight the latter. I would choose clarity, but I also
    never thought I was an eight,

    6 vs 9: Sixes see nines as not alert enough while nines see that sixes need to chill out. Sixes have a heightened desire for things to be clear and communicated effectively while nines will be fine with explanations that "sort of" make sense due to their more elastic cognition. Nines find it easier to gloss over discrepancies. What is okay to a nine has a very wide latitude. This varies a lot, depending on what the situation is. I can be both very, very intense, and very, very chill.

    So, I do relate to a few general things about type 6, but I am still not sure that it fits well enough for it to be of benefit for me to dig deep and explore growth patterns, instincts etc.
    I have had considerable anxiety, starting in childhood, and getting better as an adult. It was a relief to me to NOT have to be at the mercy of parental whims any longer.
    I don't think I have a basic fear of not having support or of not having an authority figure. I might be a little counter-phobic about being controlled... I am still exploring that idea. I know that I am far more independent and individualistic than the type 6 ENTJ husband. On the other hand, here I am asking other people to help me figure myself out... :laughing:.

    I don't think I am generally paranoid, suspicious, or projecting. I might be a little guarded in general, but I really am pretty trusting of individuals unless I have reason to be suspicious. And if I do, I am usually right.
    When I am reading type descriptions, I tend to see the negative characteristics in myself far more readily than positive ones, but I do see myself as loyal and reliable to the people and obligations that I am committed to.

    Any thoughts? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for being such a supportive community!
     
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  2. Pin

    Pin "Magnificent Bastard" / Ren's Counterpart

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    Oh! Tell me more.

    How are you different? Aside from you being more individualistic.
     
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  3. Reverist

    Reverist Community Member

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    Based on what you wrote here, it seems like either 6 or 9 to me.

    What Type 6 traits do you identify with?
     
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  4. JennyDaniella

    JennyDaniella Stargazer

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    Heya!

    I would just take the enneagram with a bit of a grain of salt. It is not a complete blueprint of who you are, but rather just an deeper idea. Nobody is really the same; not even us quiet and amazing *wink* INFJs here at INFJ-Forum are carbon-copies to each other. The most beautiful thing about us human beings is that each and one of us are vastly unique.

    When I first took the enneagram type test, Type 9 and Type 2 were my most frequent results, and some were Type 5. I was stuck with which one I was supposed to pick because both Type 2 & 9 resonated with me very well, but so did Type 5 because I am very logical and tend to be on the observing side.

    Mind you, your mood and mental state will also affect the results of the test. I noticed when I had Type 5 results, I was in a bit of a depressive mood lol. Which made sense since 5s are typically emotionless at times, and it is completely the opposite of who I am typically.

    Also remember that if you take the test again say two-three years from now, results may differ. You mention that you see more of the negative traits rather than the positive ones--- I would embrace both sides because the good and bad are important aspects to figuring out which type you deeply categorize with.

    Which Type 6 do you identify with the most? And think deeply. Think of the bad and good in yourself.

    But like I've said, don't stress yourself too much over the enneagram. It is just a broad idea. Just be loving and kind to yourself, work on some more inner development, and try to be the best you can be. Then possibly, you can retake the test again when you have a clearer idea of who you are as a person. Each and one of us are always changing yearly, whether we notice it or not.

    Hope this helps somewhat!
     
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    #4 JennyDaniella, Jun 14, 2018
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  5. OP
    Miswired7

    Miswired7 Regular Poster

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    He is far more concerned about objective productivity and financial security than I am. He often has issues with others because of inability to understand emotional concerns. He then can be explosively angry (never violent, just yelling /emotional and VERY unreasonable) and projects all of his issues onto others, blaming, paranoid, assigning malicious motives etc). He only does this with people that he is close to, and only when something pushes his inferior Fi button. Since I know this, I usually know how to head these things off.
    He is a lot more concerned about how specific groups perceive him. For him, it would be the end of the world to be disrespected in our social community, while I couldn't care less as long as I still have my family and know that we did the right thing for them.
    If we disagree about something, he will bluster and yell and patronize, but when that fails, he can be withdrawn and passive aggressive. He is predictably phobic about anything related to finances and social status. Counter phobic with health, safety, emotional issues etc.
    I know much of this is a clash between Te dom and Fe aux.
     
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  6. OP
    Miswired7

    Miswired7 Regular Poster

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    I identify with being anxious, reactive, and intense, but quietly so. Superficially I am pretty much of a conformist. I identify with being loyal and committed. I identify with NOT identifying with any of the other types in some big, fundamental way ;-) . For example, I relate to being moody, intense, self absorbed, and feeling different from other people like type fours. Yet I do not relate to the core fear of type 4. I am more of a chameleon than an artist..
    Thanks for responding!
     
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  7. Pin

    Pin "Magnificent Bastard" / Ren's Counterpart

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    This was a cool read.
     
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  8. Wyote

    Wyote ○●○
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    I would say you can probably in all likelihood get rid of 3, as that seems fairly rare for an INFJ. Assuming you are in fact INFJ and that is an accurate assessment in itself.

    I am a 9. I can say, though I do have a strong undercurrent of emotions which is typical of INFJs, I am in general much more relaxed than most people, and I do find myself capable of relaxing frequently. So, you can also probably remove 9 from the pool.

    That leaves 4,5,6. I would say generally people score high on 5 for a lot of different reasons but it is one of the more rare ones anyway and so I'd almost just tell you it's a safe bet to remove that if you even have any shred of doubt, which you seem to have.

    So, 4 or 6. Well, a lot of INFJs are 4s so I can see the struggle here. It's a matter of difference within the heart. I think you can take it from here, and from your outline I think you already have but just want some self confirmation. If you're feelin' it, it is probably so. And don't lose sleep over it, it's not worth it! You are you and only you, above all the silly labels.
     
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  9. charlatan

    charlatan Permanent Fixture

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    @Miswired7: I don't tend to buy the descriptions that say 4s necessarily WANT to be weird or different. I do think that there's something sort of like that, which is that the 4, being a heart type concerned with issues of rejection/acceptance, tends to have a core fear related to its neighbor 5, which is that whatever one is winning approval for is not really oneself.
    Hence the focus on authenticity -- so that whether you're accepted or rejected, it is for who you really are. The uniqueness stuff is mostly about having something you can call your own so you're really accepted for you. But to be honest, the idea of just loving the idea of uniqueness for hte sake of its exotic nature is just as consistent with a narcissistic 7 or something.

    Reading between the lines, the stuff you said about wanting to show the ugly in you so that you never end up in a situation where you aren't sure if people are just being polite, and where it's very clear what you're rejected for, well that sounds kind of 4-ish to me.


    One general thing to do is try to read widely on the enneagram. That includes authors like Naranjo, which go deeper into the theory than tests do.
     
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  10. Ren

    Ren Pin's android

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    I tend to agree with @Wyote that 4 and 6 are the two strongest candidates.

    Now I am a Type 4 (or at least it's my conviction) so maybe I can help you determine whether you're of that type as well. I have a question for you: how do you tend to cope with an instance of feeling rejected? And more broadly I guess, how do you tend to make sense of your feelings of "inadequacy"?

    I think that for a 4, the first reaction won't always be "I need to ask myself why and try to mend matters, even making sacrifices to my pride if necessary." (Not saying this is what the 6 would think, by the way). The 4 will often experience the temptation to see in these feelings a kind of validation that they are different. They won't get resentful necessarily, but sort of further embrace their feeling of alienation as a marker of their identity. So it's not really "Wanting to be different" but rather "Embracing the idea of being different as a way to cope with their basic fear of being defective." And the sense in which they are self-absorbed (they truly are in a sense) is that they will always tend to consult their own selves first and foremost about these matters. And it's easy to see how this may lead to some copious Ni-Ti looping.

    So a 4 won't always be ready to make "sacrifices" in order to belong in the group. An INFJ 4 will still naturally want to promote harmony within groups through Fe, without necessarily feeling in themselves a strong sense of "belongingness" in the group. In fact, a 4 might even secretly fantasize about being a very good moderator in groups despite their fundamental, hidden feeling of difference.
     
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    #10 Ren, Jun 14, 2018
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  11. Ginny

    Ginny Idiot Savante

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    I wish to echo @charlatan's suggestion of looking deeper into the theory. There is a lot of dynamic within the system, with directions of integration and disintegration (the arrows in the figure) and perhaps even the tritype. Also, IMO the instinctual variants limit or change the way each enneagram type is expressed. I had a look on a site once which has a rather interesting perspective on them (and their stacking). I think the others got you covered with all the information on your possible core types already, so I don't think I have anything to add here :)

    If you want a short definition for the tritype, it was explained to me like this:
    The types are divided into three sections - gut, heart and head. There is some way in which you are connected to one type of each section, which seem to be like a mixture inside of you. The order in which they are listed manifest themselves as such: who you are, how you see yourself, and how you perceive the world. Each of them is a potential type plus wing.

    For example, I am a core type 1 (I am pretty sure now that I am a wing 2), I see myself as a 4w5, and I perceive the world as a 7w6. My instinctual variants stack up as sx/sp/so.
    Depending on your type-instinct combination you will probably find some description that will appeal to you more than the general type description does. Some aspects of the 4, like that unwelcome "wanting to be different", may be more related to the social instinct. Not exactly sure on that, but I think there is some relative probability that it is so.
     
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  12. OP
    Miswired7

    Miswired7 Regular Poster

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    I think I am probably also sx/sp. I read somewhere that this stacking is countertype to the typical 6, but there are so many variations of theory that I am sifting through.
    I know that 3, 6, and 9 are all connected on the lines of integration / disintegration, and I am pretty sure that I have had some characteristics of all 3 types.
    I have had distinct phases in my life where I can see myself as being more one type or the other for extended periods of time. For example, I buried myself in research for 5+ years, and was distinctly 5-ish during that time. But I haven't always been that way. Rather, I have mostly adapted to circumstances / situational priorities. Which has lead me to ask whether there is any validity to the enneagram at all? Or do people change their "core fears" based on where they are at in their lives? For some people it seems to stay consistent, and I can see it clearly. But I do not see that for myself, which leads me to question whether I am just not self aware enough to get it :fearscream:.
    During my most withdrawn phase (which lasted 5-10 years), I would definitely say that I was tritype 549.
    During the early years of establishing my career and starting a family, I see a lot of type 3 and type 4 attitudes.
    I mostly see threads of what could be type 6 interwoven throughout if I look back to what I was like as a child and adolescent. A trusted older family member recently mentioned to me that she remembers what a dreamy, intense child that I was.
    I remember having intense anxiety, and making a lot of long term plans. But that also had a lot to do with situation. (I am still a long term planner, but far less anxious).
    I love being a part of something larger than myself, but I am pretty adaptable.
    Thanks so much for the input! :<3:
     
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  13. Sandie33

    Sandie33 Love Often & Absolutely ♡
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    From my post in another thread. Results in feeling like I have to explain myself to others that have differing experience.

    "Twos need to be needed, they want to be important in the lives of others, and they want people to come to them for approval, guidance, and advice."

    Not necessarily putting our own sense of self-worth into the success or failure of assisting others to find their happy, but instead, when others are happy we are happy. Life becomes much calmer for a successful 2.

    I am 2w1:3, fluctuates with 8.

    THE HELPER
    Enneagram Type Two
    The Caring, Interpersonal Type:
    Generous, Demonstrative, People-Pleasing, and Possessive
    https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/type-2/
    coupled with 8 when life gets stressful
    When Twos are healthy and in balance, they really are loving, helpful, generous, and considerate. People are drawn to them like bees to honey. Healthy Twos warm others in the glow of their hearts. They enliven others with their appreciation and attention, helping people to see positive qualities in themselves that they had not previously recognized. In short, healthy Twos are the embodiment of “the good parent” that everyone wishes they had: someone who sees them as they are, understands them with immense compassion, helps and encourages with infinite patience, and is always willing to lend a hand—while knowing precisely how and when to let go. Healthy Twos open our hearts because theirs are already so open and they show us the way to be more deeply and richly human.

    THE CHALLENGER
    Enneagram Type Eight
    The Powerful, Dominating Type:
    Self-Confident, Decisive, Willful, and Confrontational

    It is true. Sort of like the quiet, unassuming INFJ and their darker side. :)
     
  14. Ren

    Ren Pin's android

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    That's a legitimate question to ask. I think the Enneagram can be quite useful as a complement to MBTI. It can certainly provide cues to differentiating between a variety of different "kinds" of INFJ. For instance, I feel in a sense very connected to many INFJs here, yet also quite different (of course, I'm a 4! lulz). And different Enneagrams (say E9 or E1 versus E4) can illustrate part of the difference pretty vividly.

    The reason why I can't take the Enneagram as anything more than a complement is that I find the theory too convoluted and lacking in parsimony. I find there are too many temptations to tweak stuff in merely ad hoc fashion. Once I've applied Occam's Razor to Enneagram I can only accept the fact of it as a complement, though it is still useful.
     
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    #14 Ren, Jun 14, 2018
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  15. Icedream

    Icedream Again

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    I wouldn't call it convoluted. Maybe too metaphysical
     
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  16. Ren

    Ren Pin's android

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    Too metaphysical?! Then let me change my mind: I absolutely adore it :hearteyes: :wink:

    Okay, let's just say that I personally find that it lacks clarity.
     
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  17. Icedream

    Icedream Again

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    I absolutely agree with that. I've got geniuses who can't figure out what I am, lol. Though I suppose that goes for MBTI, as well.
     
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  18. Ginny

    Ginny Idiot Savante

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    I also needed some help before I was confident enough in the results to settle. When there is something that rattles me, I get insecure about my self-image and start doubting again.
    There might not be any validity to the enneagram, but for the time being I don't see how it wouldn't apply to me, in the way that I think it works. However, it might not be the same with you. In the end, it's all just labels that we give to certain facets of our personalities at a given moment, so the only importance really is only the one that we ascribe to it. If it's something that is important to you, you pursue it all you like, but if it isn't, you probably wouldn't care about the result anyway.
    The enneagram can only describe a single manifestation of the self, but the self is always developing, so of course you may still change, just like you have changed before.
    (A little unrelated to the issue, it may be interesting to see how you have changed over time, perhaps there the change has involved the arrows?)
    Another theory states that the core type doesn't change, but everything else can. I am rather skeptical towards that assumption, but that is something where everyone has to decide for themselves what they believe in.
     
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    Miswired7

    Miswired7 Regular Poster

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    I have taken many tests, and completely agree with this :smiley:.
    I put very little faith in tests alone. They are worthless other than as a tool to evaluate patterns and trends. That said, it had been a number of years since I took the RHETI. I do not remember my exact scores, but I do know that I have scored fairly high in 3, 4, and 5. 6 and 9 are more variable, but the trend over time is that I am a lot more "nine-ish" than I used to be. Does that mean I am integrating? Or just getting lazy? ;-)
    I also wouldn't say that I am stressed over enneagram type. It is more of a fascinating intellectual escapism, along with genuinely wanting to be sure that I am not missing something big by not seeing a consistent pattern. I am all about patterns lol.
    Thank you for the input!
     
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    Miswired7

    Miswired7 Regular Poster

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    How sure I am on being INFJ depends entirely upon whether you define "INFJ" by dichotomies, or by cognitive functions. I am 100% sure that I fit Ni-Fe-Ti-Se cognitive function pattern. But if you define it by dichotomies... I am strongly introverted and intuitive, but borderline on T/F and J/P. So depending on my mood, the way that the questions are worded, or how I perceive the questions, I could be INFJ, INFP, INTJ, or INTP. :smile:

    You make it sound so easy. Nice, linear, process of elimination. My problem is that I can see myself definitely being more one or the other of the types at different times in my life.
    Thank you for the input. Very helpful! :hearteyes:
     
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