Ennegram & MBTI roots | INFJ Forum

Ennegram & MBTI roots

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by AUM, Aug 4, 2010.

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  1. AUM

    AUM The Romantic Scientist

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    I was thinking that perhaps these two systems come from different dispositions. MBTI is more based on innate qualities that you were born with, and ennegram with what kind of environment you were brought to.

    I'm saying this because I cannot think of anything of what made me be an INFJ. I simply am one, my cognitive functions are something I was born with, I didn't have to do anything to have a preference over them.

    However, when I think what made me a 9, I can think of many reasons for that. For one, my parents used to argue all the time when I was a kid, and I always felt terrible that I couldn't do anything to stop them, so I just numbed out when this happened and tried to stay away from conflict because of it. I found comfort in solitude because it gave me peace, and that felt good since I was more in control over my emotions. What gave rise to my wing 1 in the ennegram was that my mom was always very strict with me, and always wanted me to have perfect grades in school and I was always trying to prove my worth to her. I know she loves me, it's just that she's such a perfectionist that she sees showing appreciation as a weakness. I became sort of her in that respect, so I also relate with the type 1 as a result.

    So what do you think? Do you believe MBTI is innate, while ennegram is environmental? Or not?
     
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  2. KazeCraven

    KazeCraven Graduated from Typology : May 2011
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    After hearing accounts from many people, I'd say that MBTI is more or less innate, considering that Dr. Benziger has shown that developed brains actually have areas of low electrical resistance (i.e. more efficient) where their dominant function is, however I wouldn't be surprised if that develops over time. I'm convinced, however, that the directionality of our functions (i.e. Ni vs Ne) are determined prenatally (or at a very young age). Thus, we'd only choose (mostly at random) a dominant function, and everything else would automatically fall into place.

    I actually am of the opinion that enneagram also develops at or soon after birth, but won't emerge until we become aware of what scares us or what we desire. Obviously I don't know you well enough to be certain of this, but I think that you were predisposed to feel comfort in retreating from conflict. In other words, if your parents got along fine, you'd discover this about yourself in another way (and situations that would exacerbate, say a type 3's needs wouldn't bother you as much). All the rest of the stuff (except, perhaps, the instinctual variants) I think are flexible and are due to environmental changes (or are due to other individual differences, such as MBTI).
     
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  3. Trifoilum

    Trifoilum find wisdom, build hope.

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    ...sort...of. I think it's kinda chicken and egg question; I mean, surely our way of doing things, our way of 'how we became' is more or less connected with how we were brought up. I would say our innate qualities also changed how we get our needs, as much as how environment prevented / elevated our abilities' growth.

    I kinda think by...the fact that enneagram focuses on needs and desire, enneagram is more dependent on how we were grown than MBTI, tho.
     
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  4. arbygil

    arbygil Passing through

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  5. Tulip

    Tulip Community Member

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    You responded to your parents' arguing in the 9ish way. Different children of different Enneagram types would probably react differently under the same situation. Some children would be more rebellious when living under conflict, and some children would be more anxious or avoidant.

    Brain development is the most rapid in the first 3 years of human's life. Human's brain is still flexible and plastic during those early years. I would say a person's Enneagram type has been determined early in life even if not by genes alone, but the defensive mechanism of individual types have not been fully developed and become apparent until later in life.

    You will not be able to change your core Enneagram type but you can change your MBTI preference by developing your weaker functions...to a certain extent.

    :ranger:
     
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  6. VH

    VH Variable Hybrid

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    The human mind is far too adaptive to presume that anyone can't change personality types in any system, no matter where those personalities are rooted.

    Cognitive Processes are rooted in specific regions of the mind, and their development seems to be just as much nature as nurture. Enneagram appears to be the same, genetic predisposition combined with life experiences, especially in formative years. However, it is possible (even if highly unlikely) that given enough stressors that someone can change types in either system.

    That said, it appears that MBTI is based on how the mind functions and Enneagram is based on why it functions.

    Also, Last Dawn, your childhood description sounds a lot like mine.
     
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    #6 VH, Aug 7, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2010
  7. KazeCraven

    KazeCraven Graduated from Typology : May 2011
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    @VH: well, it is adaptive, but that doesn't mean that when we adapt we are changing our type. Someone who is an INFP and gets stuck with a whole lot of routine detail work can probably adapt and do it well, but I'm pretty sure that individual is going to get pretty stressed out from having to work with that. This is where concepts such as the Falsification of Type come from.

    Also, with the Enneagram there is definitely room for becoming more like a type that isn't your own, but it seems to me that when people change in what motivates them it's usually due to the interaction between the activity and the need changes rather than the need itself. Hmmm, though I'm less sure about this one so I suppose I'll just stand by my statement on the MBTI instead.
     
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  8. VH

    VH Variable Hybrid

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    This example doesn't provide the INFP with enough motivation to adapt by changing function preferences. It only provides motivation to create a subset of functions for a specific activity.

    If the INFP was under life or death stress to change their preferences, and these stresses involved long term tapping of Enneagram type motivations, then it is highly possible that the mind would adapt by modifying cognitive process preferences.

    Again, I'm not saying that changing type is likely, just possible. But, the mind will always take the path of least resistance to adaptation, so it will require a lot of resistance to force the mind to rewire itself rather than simply make temporary modifications - which is what happens in the vast majority of cases.
     
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  9. KazeCraven

    KazeCraven Graduated from Typology : May 2011
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    Well, considering I've not dealt with any extremely stressful situations, I suppose I might have to agree here. I suppose I was under the impression that you were suggesting that type change was likely, so that clears up a few things. I know a professor who studies emotion and he frequently comments how resilient people really are in the long term, even the apparently sensitive ones.

    I suppose the question then is how changeable type is. Perhaps other instances other than extreme stress would cause a type change, but if not it seems that we'd be able to track type changes by tracking extreme stress situations. I don't think I've ever had any such thing, so I'd be comfortable saying that my type(s) have never changed.
     
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