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Re: am I a 4 or 5?
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Re: am I a 4 or 5?

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Posted by Val ( on July 17, 2003 at 07:02:21:

In Reply to: am I a 4 or 5? posted by schrips ( on July 13, 2003 at 16:43:25:

> So I've been pretty interested in the enneagram for a couple years and have taken just about every (free) test out there....sometimes it comes back 5 sometimes 4. I can't decide! Ack... I tend to answer personality tests in general as I want to be, not as I am.

v: Join the club. ;)

>The other problem I think might be my home situation growing up. My dad is an 8, my mom a 9--both in the average range. My dad was (and still is) constantly demeaning her for expressing her emotions, so I may have picked up on that idea that emotionality is a weakness... Unfortunately it was only reinforced by my mom's 9ish "treat me like a doormat" actions, which really angered me.

v: The childhood picture is interesting, and depending on what you read it may help you out in distinguishing between 5 and 4. Kiddie 5's usually felt very invaded by parents, which causes them to withdraw more than just physically. Kiddie 4's usually feel rejected by or just totally different from their parents, which causes them to be more self-despising than the norm, and focus on their differences from others.

>So I guess I'm not sure if I'm not comfortable expressing my emotions because I've subconciously adopted my dad's 8 attitude (a typical 4 self-hatred aspect may be at work here too) or if I'm just a 5. It's almost like I really just don't want to be a 4 because I pride myself in my intelligence and somehow see 5s being more intelligent (I know this is total BS).

v: Wrt 5 intelligence: been there, thought that, and got the t-shirt. ;) You'd probably be surprised, as I was, to see how intelligent 4s actually are, though it seems all the literature likes to focus on the artsy/creative stuff. It's sort of like INFP vs. INTP in the MBTI. Ppl don't tend to connect INFP with intelligence, when stats show INFPs do just as well on IQ tests (however much weight you want to place on that). INFPs *can* do many things ability and intelligence-wise, but their heart/interest tends to (tho not always) lie in nontech fields. Plus once you decide 5 or 4, wing and subtype may better explain why your pride's in intelligence.

Wrt emotions... 4's theoretically under-express emotions, or more specifically, select out a certain subset as "them", and don't express the rest. 4's have problems with hostility, so they can do the stereotypical 4 outburst thing frequently or be more prone to the hostility-turned-inward depression stuff. 5's over-express thinking, iirc. Their minds chug so much and swallow a lot of data to suppress fear. Their fear is mostly of being invaded, remember. 5's are actually more lively and expressive than ppl think. They're just less emotionally accessible a lot of times (hard to connect to, make an impact on).

Wrt not wanting to be a particular type, that may point away from 5. One theory goes that whichever type you like least is probably the one you are. ;)

>Yet I also majored in biology in college and as a kid used to read medical encyclopedias for fun...not so 4ish. However, my actions under stress or comfort seem to coincide better with the 4 directions or integration/disintegration. Does anyone out there have any ideas? or is anyone struggled with the same question? Thanks

v: Majors are not so relevant, nor reading material. Focus on "why" not "what", motivation over behavior, inside vs. appearance, else you'll easily get lost. (as I've been told many times by an E5 )

I'd have to see more of what you know about integration/disintegration to accept what you say. Are you new to the Enneagram?

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