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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 schrips ( on July 17, 2003 at 22:16:55:

In Reply to: Re: am I a 4 or 5? posted by Val ( on July 17, 2003 at 07:02:21:

> > 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?

I guess I'm fairly new to the enneagram...i tend to obsess on one thing or another for a few weeks or months then drop it only to come back later. Which is what I've done with the enneagram...now i've swung back to obsessing. ;)

I don't know much about integration/disintegration and I was actually planning to ask about it on the boards. A couple replies to messages I've posted mention offhand how going to your security point is a difficult/troublesome thing. I don't know if this is a general thing...or if it was mentioned becuase if we presume that I'm a five, I go to 8 which is my dad's type. Maybe you could clarify?

I asked my mom to read through the 4 and 5 description in my book, and she said she thought I was a five...but I never know how much stock to put in her opinions because I think most of the time she'll just say whatever won't rock the boat regardless of her true thoughts (she's a 9).

Thinking about motivations rather than behavior is what has me hung up, however. I have been depressed most of my life...I ended up dropping out of college for a year to have a mental breakdown on my parents' couch. ;) It makes me pause because in my enneagram book they describe an unhealthy four doing this exact thing. I understand all types can have depression issues...but mine seemed more 4ish in nature. ie, i'm completely flawed and unloveable, if I ever let anyone get close to me they won't like me bc of it, etc. However, I also thought that life was generally just meaningless and a waste of time, that everyone else was just too stupid to realize how empty it was. I dunno. I'm not sure how much I trust the 4 description in my book bc it says they MUST express themselves in an emotional way and expect the same in return...very good at reading other people... But reading what other fours have been saying on this board makes me think this isn't the best description.

Also, I was feeling kind of down earlier this week b/c I'm having trouble finding a job. THen I realized that as my sadness/frustration started to fade, I was trying to hang on to it, trying to listen to sad music, etc to keep those feelings up. Well, i'm rambling...let me know what you think.

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