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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 18, 2003 at 22:12:22:

In Reply to: Re: am I a 4 or 5? posted by schrips ( on July 17, 2003 at 22:16:55:

> 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. ;)

v: Looked at type 7? I know an xNTP who tried on 5 and 4 for size as well as 8 before settling on 7w8. Her interests seem to run like that. :) I think both 4s and 5s can obsess on Enneagram stuff, 4s because they're self-focused and love learning more about themselves and 5s because it has the potential to explain a lot about human behavior. JME.

> 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?

v: Each type has a range of behaviors. When relaxed and doing ok they tend to go into the good side of their "security" (integration) point, and when stressed they start acting out some of the bad traits of their "stress" (disintegration) point. A Five is usually fairly invisible and retreated into his/her head, but when feeling comfortable they may be more active and assertive like the Eight. When pressured, they start to be frazzled and ADHD-ish like the Seven. They don't *turn into* these types, though. http://www.thechangeworks.com/ennprimer/fineenn9styls1.html#anchor1998933

> 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).

v: I've been down that frustrating road as well. I have yet to get anybody irl to ID me as a 4. My sister and my roommate chose 5, and my best friend chose 9. Btw, which book do you have? Some seem to focus on behavior more than motivation, which can lead to some amusing myths about Fours all being these great artists who dress weird and flashy and run around doing dramatic monologues for no one in particular.

IMHO the only person who can tell you your type is you... but it helps to have someone blatantly honest about your bad traits to point you in the right direction. I'm a pessimist. Irl I'm silent as the tomb most of the time, but online all I do is talk about myself and complain. ;) I have a strong aversion to reality as-is. I'm identity challenged. I have a brutal internal critic. I have both inferiority and superiority complexes. :) I'm also a masochist, and pretty sadistic to people who just want to be nice to me (i.e. the famed push-pull habit in relationships). Not pretty at all, but true 4.

> 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.

v: All 9 types can experience depression. Ones, surprisingly, seem to experience the same kind of depression as Fours. Fives also get down pretty bad. What I've read suggests that Four and Five depressions differ in that the former is "wet" and the latter "dry". Fours allegedly feel a lot of sadness (crying and stuff), whereas Fives feel a fat lot of nothingness. I can't say since I've never been a big cryer. Fours seem more content to hang out in the depressed state. They *like* sad, poignant stuff, even seek it out for that sort of familiar feeling. Really your thoughts could be 4w5 or 5w4 or anything else. I don't know.

>...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.

"Emotional" has different meanings. You're looking at my expression here. I got to writing emails on personality type lists a lot a couple years ago and other than that I don't really do any art or drama or interpretive dance or whatever. But what you read isn't dry, even though I like to speak informatively. It's colored with my reactions, how I feel about stuff. Very subjective. And I don't have a problem talking about my internal states, whereas it's not too likely that you'll see a Five posting his/her deepest feelings and personal experiences all over the Internet. I do expect a personal response in return. I love to think of myself as intellectual but dry information with no people content just bores me to death.

I also am very good at reading other people, though I've always doubted my abilities. I think it may seem inaccurate because Fours can be profoundly self-absorbed, so you might add "... when they're paying attention." Emotions also tend to cloud the average Four's judgement a lot, so that they may not correctly interpret what their intuition says.

> 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.

v: I'd say that's pretty Four-ish. I *love* angsty music. Think Linkin Park kind of stuff. Also any shows/movies about misunderstood people. And as a teen I read the whole shelf of identity crisis books by Judy Blume and Robert Cormier. It's a way of life. ;)

I'd say give it some time. If you don't have a problem with that, and start to really love analyzing your feelings, thoughts, and actions.... you're definitely a Four. ;)

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