Myers/Briggs, Enneagram

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Bill F., modified 6 Years ago.

Myers/Briggs, Enneagram

Posts: 558 Join Date: 11/17/13 Recent Posts
Just curious how people identify on the forum who have taken the Myers Briggs test/know about enneagram:

I am guessing mostly I's, and T's.
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Bill F., modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Myers/Briggs, Enneagram

Posts: 558 Join Date: 11/17/13 Recent Posts
1THE REFORMER
Overview of Type One
Voicing the common theme of evangelical consciousness of the self before regeneration, John Greene, a New England Puritan of the mid-seventeenth century, acknowledged that God had let him 'see much of the wretchedness' of his heart, and he 'thought none so vile as I none so evil an heart so proud so stubborn so rebellious and I thought God would never show mercy to so vile a miserable wretch as I was.' This vision of the inward self, a vision experienced in greater and lesser degree by most evangelicals, was the source of the despair and hopelessness that so often preceded conversions....Not until individuals could bring themselves, or be brought by God, to reject their very selves as worthless, sinful, and justly damned creatures, could they ever hope to be born again. (Philip Greven, The Protestant Temperament, p. 75)
The Puritans' desire for self-regeneration by striving after ideals is an expression of the personality type One. Not content to be as they are, Ones and Puritans alike feel the obligation to be better. They must somehow rise higher, beyond human nature into the realm of the Absolute.To this personality type, the advice of "Desiderata" sounds foolish and dangerous: "Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should." As far as average to unhealthy Ones can tell, the universe is emphatically not unfolding as it should. People are not trying hard enough to improve either the universe or themselves.What Ones typically do not see is that, given their fundamental premises, they are locked in conflicts between opposing forces that cannot be reconciled either in themselves or in the universe. They keenly feel the struggle between good and evil, the flesh and the spirit, the ideal and the real. For Ones, the battle lines are sharply drawn between the chaotic, irrational side of their natures and the clarity of their convictions, between their dark libidinous impulses and their self-control, between their metaphysical aspirations and their human needs—between their ideals and their hearts.In the Instinctive CenterOnes are the type in the Instinctive Center who "underexpress" instincts and drives. Ones, like Eights, are people of action, who respond at a gut level to the situations they encounter, but while Eights give free reign to their instincts, and Nines are "out of touch" with them, Ones try to pull them in, to limit and direct them toward the goals which their superegos deem worthy. Ones are full of passions, mostly expressed as a strong sense of conviction in their beliefs and actions, but they feel compelled to keep their instincts in check lest they be overwhelmed by them.Anger, in particular, is a powerful motivation for Ones. When they are confronted with circumstances which disappoint or displease them, anger becomes a form of fuel which launches them into action. Indeed, anger, rightly understood is an instinctual response to a situation we are not satisfied with. It is the energy that allows us to say "no." Some Ones become conscious of this, and use their anger constructively. 
I have learnt through bitter experience the one supreme lesson: to conserve my anger, and as heat conserved is transmuted into energy, even so our anger controlled can be transmuted into a power which can move the world.       (Mohandas K. Gandhi, The Words of Gandhi, 13)
It is striking, however, that Ones are often unaware of their anger, and almost always underestimating the degree of it. When their anger is brought to their attention, Ones often respond with a disclaimer ("I’m notangry! I’m just trying to get this right.") Whatever Ones may wish to call their intense feelings, and under whatever guise they may appear, they are the force which truly directs a One’s actions. Ones often portray themselves as rational, but they are rational in the way that "common sense" is rational, not in the exploratory, intellectual sense. Ones do like ideas, but they like practical ideas, and unlike Fives, will not be long interested in ideas or concepts that so not lead them directly into constructive action.Instinctive energy has much to do with a person’s ability to assert themselves, and accordingly, Ones appear to be very sure of themselves, although their self-confidence lies less in themselves than in the rightness of their ideals. Despite appearances, Ones relate to the world by seeing themselves as "less than" an ideal toward which they strive. They subordinate themselves and their powerful instinctive drives to an abstraction—usually an intangible, universal value such as truth or justice—striving to be as perfect as it is. Unlike Nines, who are also idealistic but are often detached from the inner drive to attain their vision, Ones are determined to make their ideals a reality. Ironically, by definition, the ideal is something they must work toward but can never fully attain. Nevertheless, as we shall see, average to unhealthy Ones certainly feel uplifted from the run of ordinary mortals by the attempt to do so.This is where Ones begin to have problems. As they deteriorate toward neurosis, average Ones begin to identify with the ideal so completely that unhealthy Ones think they have attained it—and that everyone who has not should be condemned. On one level of awareness, even unhealthy Ones know they are not perfect, yet on another level they think and act as if they were already perfect to avoid being condemned either by their consciences or by anyone else. Average to unhealthy Ones are convinced that the more zealously they strive for perfection, the more they are made righteous by the attempt. They think that by aligning themselves with the ideal, they will always be in the right, no matter how badly they fail. The mere act of identifying themselves with the ideal makes them feel that they are better than the rest of the world. They are among the saved because they know the right way, the way everything ought to be.Problems with Repression and AggressionLike the other two personality types in the Instinctive Center, Ones have a problem with the repression of some part of their psyches. Ones repress the more irrational side of their natures, their instinctual impulses and personal desires, attempting to sublimate them in a quest for perfection. Their normal human desires gradually become more and more repressed as Ones are caught in conflicts between striving after ideals and implementing them in the real world. The picture is further complicated, however, because Ones relate to the world dualistically: they see themselves as less than the ideal, while giving the impression that they are also greater than the environment, which they are obligated to improve. They constantly measure not only the distance between themselves and the ideal, but also the distance between their present perfection and their past imperfection.  Simply put, Ones feel that they and their world must be "making progress." Anything that is perceived as blocking or frustrating progress toward the ideal is met with anger and aggression.Actually, there is a double dichotomy in Ones. The first is the external dichotomy we have just seen: the pressure of living up to an ideal versus the conviction of that one is perfectly right, that one knows better than others what is needed in any situation. The second is an internal dichotomy, which is less obvious: a split between the tightly controlled, rational side of themselves which they present to the world versus their repressed drives and feelings. Ironically, Ones are often emotional and passionate about their convictions, but they  are not always aware of this. They like to see themselves as rational and balanced, but they are nevertheless keenly aware of their emotions, particularly their aggressive and sexual impulses. Although they attempt to keep their impulses in check as much as possible, they are never as successful in this as they would like.Because of these dichotomies, average to unhealthy Ones always feel caught in conflicts: between the perfection of their ideal and their own imperfections; between feeling virtuous and feeling sinful; between their actions and their consciences; between their desire for order and the disorder they see everywhere; between good and evil; between God and the Devil.The personality type One corresponds to the extroverted thinking type in the Jungian typology; it is one of Jung's clearest descriptions.
This type of man elevates objective reality, or an objectively oriented intellectual formula, into the ruling principle not only for himself but for his whole environment. By this formula good and evil are measured, and beauty and ugliness determined. Everything that agrees with this formula is right, everything that contradicts it is wrong.... Because this formula seems to embody the entire meaning of life, it is made into a universal law which must be put into effect everywhere all the time, both individually and collectively. Just as the extroverted thinking type subordinates himself to his formula, so, for their own good, everybody round him must obey it too, for whoever refuses to obey it is wrong—he is resisting the universal law, and is therefore unreasonable, immoral, and without a conscience. His moral code forbids him to tolerate exceptions; his ideal must under all circumstances be realized.... This is not from any great love of his neighbor, but from the higher standpoint of justice and truth.... 'Oughts' and 'musts' bulk large in this programme. If the formula is broad enough, this type may play a very useful role in social life as a reformer or public prosecutor or purifier of conscience.... But the more rigid the formula, the more he develops into a martinet, a quibbler, and a prig, who would like to force himself and others into one mould. Here we have the two extremes between which the majority of these types move. (C. G. Jung, Psychological Types, 347.)
From our point of view, we can see that Jung is describing various points along the continuum of the One's traits: average Ones are reformers and public prosecutors, whereas unhealthy Ones intolerantly try to force others into their mold, and so forth. As we will see, the full spectrum of the One's traits encompasses some of the most noble and least admirable aspects of human nature. When they are healthy, Ones can be the most objective, principled, and wise of all the personality types. As much as humanly possible, they try not to let their personal feelings get in the way of dealing fairly with others. They are deeply concerned with justice, not merely for themselves but for everyone.But to contrast this, when they are unhealthy their lives are a relentless application of their ideals to every conceivable situation. Unhealthy Ones become extremely intolerant of anyone who disagrees with them, and since they are convinced that they alone know the TRUTH (writ large, in capital letters), everything follows from that. What does not is to be condemned and severely punished. The problem is, however, that human nature keeps cropping up: unhealthy Ones find that they cannot control themselves as perfectly as they feel they must. Their impulses can be repressed for only so long. The flesh will have its day.Parental OrientationsOnes develop as they do because as children they were disconnected with their "protective figure," that adult in their early childhood who was responsible for setting limits, giving guidelines, and disciplining the child when necessary. This is the person who occupies the traditional patriarchal role in the family. Often, the protective figure is the father, but not always. In many families, the mother is the protective figure, while in other families, a grandparent or sibling may play this role in the child’s development. The disconnection with the protective figure, and what that person symbolized, was of central importance to the development of their superegos: these children felt that they could not rely on the structure and guidelines provided by their family of origin. They may have experienced them as arbitrary and unfair, or too strict, or too unstable. Whatever the particulars, Ones were dissatisfied and frustrated with the structure and limits that they received from the protective figure and so felt that they had to develop their own guidelines. Ones try to transcend the rules of their family of origin, by creating a code of ethics that is even more rigorous than what is expected of them. In this way, Ones come to believe that they can avoid condemnation by always attempting to be blameless.This creates in Ones a relentless superego mechanism whose constant message is "You are not acceptable as you are; you must be better, always better." In more authoritarian or chaotic family systems, these superego messages can become severe and inflexible. In such situations, Ones’ own wishes and feelings were rarely if ever countenanced; instead, these children felt that they always had to toe the line to avoid being criticized or condemned. As a result, their emotions and other impulses were repressed by forces symbolized by an internalized punishing father. (Freudians see toilet training as the arena in which the anal traits of the obsessive-compulsive type which correspond to the One were learned. While the Freudian anal traits of orderliness, parsimony, and obstinacy are seen in Ones, especially those with a Nine-wing, we do not have to restrict ourselves to toilet issues alone to understand the origins of this personality type.)These children may have become disconnected from the protective figure for any number of reasons. The protective figure may have been absent from the family, or been abusive, or have treated the child unfairly. Or as a result of a stern moral and religious upbringing and the threat of eternal punishment, the child may have feared offending God the Father and being condemned. The child may have feared being sent to hell for being impulsive, pleasure seeking, or selfish, or for other actions which were, after all, merely the natural behavior of a child. In other cases, the One may have experienced a fairly peaceful and normal childhood, but still felt that there was something more to strive for—some higher ideal than was part of the values of the child’s family or peers. Often, Ones felt uncomfortable being children, or were not allowed to behave as children, and thus struggled to become little adults before their time. Basically, because of the disconnect, Ones decided that they had to rely on themselves for guidance, structure, and discipline. They would have to parent themselves, and they would have to do a better job of it than their protective figure.It is also worth noting that they did not rebel against strictures on themselves; rather, they internalized control in their consciences by feeling guilty for their transgressions. Nevertheless, they felt angry that the burden of perfection was placed on them, and more angry still when they saw others who were not subject to the same control of their feelings and impulses. The freedom of others (to Ones, the license which others grant themselves) antagonizes them and makes them chafe under the weight of their own prohibitions.Problems with Anger and PerfectionIronically, Ones vent their anger most unfairly at others when they are angry primarily with themselves for not being perfect. Instead of resolving their own disordered feelings, average to unhealthy Ones find fault everywhere else. Their self-righteous anger makes Ones aggressive; however, the One is not an aggressive personality type as such. Actually, Ones are compliant to their ideals, to their superego, since the ideal is the yardstick by which they measure everything, including themselves. The aggression in their personalities is an expression of anger at themselves and others for not complying perfectly to the ideal.Moreover, their anger signals the fact that they put too great a load upon themselves and others: perfection is a burden that human nature cannot bear. What is difficult for Ones to accept is the interdependence of flesh and spirit which is the natural state of man. Of its nature, the irrational part of themselves cannot be perfected or controlled in the same way that the rational part of themselves can be. Nevertheless, they try to do so, denying all that is base, that is, human in themselves, so that they will be more like the ideal. Ultimately, Ones feel guilty for being human. They fear being condemned because they are not angels.When Ones are healthy, however, their objective orientation to life allows them to remain firmly in touch with human realities, including their own. They are the most discerning, moral, and reasonable of all the personality types, tolerant of others and of themselves. They recognize that their ideals may not apply equally to everyone in all circumstances. But when they are unhealthy, their behavior is a twisted caricature of their virtues because their humanity has become perverted. Unhealthy Ones punish others for their least faults while absolving themselves of their greater sins. They are completely without mercy because they have lost contact with humanity. If ideals do not serve human beings, what purpose do they serve?(from Personality Types, p. 377-384)
Rodrigo C, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Myers/Briggs, Enneagram

Posts: 19 Join Date: 3/20/14 Recent Posts
Myer-Briggs: INTP
Enneagram: possibly 5/4
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Bill F., modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Myers/Briggs, Enneagram

Posts: 558 Join Date: 11/17/13 Recent Posts
Thanks, Rodrigo.
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Bill F., modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Myers/Briggs, Enneagram

Posts: 558 Join Date: 11/17/13 Recent Posts
2THE HELPER
Overview of Type Two
Because it has so many facets, love is difficult to define. It means different things to different people in different kinds of relationships. The word can be used to cover a multitude of virtues as well as vices. Of all the personality types, Twos think of love in terms of having positive feelings for others, of taking care of others, and of self-sacrifice. These aspects of love are undoubtedly important parts of the picture. But what Twos do not always remember is that, at its highest, love is more closely aligned with realism than with feelings. Genuine love wants what is best for the other, even if it means risking the relationship. Love wants the beloved to become strong and independent, even if it means that the Two must withdraw from the other's life. Real love is never used to obtain from others what they would not freely give. Love outlives a lack of response, selfishness, and mistakes, no matter who is at fault. And it cannot be taken back. If it can be, it is not love.Twos believe deeply in the power of love as the prime source of everything good in life, and in many ways, they are right. But what some Twos call "love" and what is worthy of the name are very different things. In this personality type, we will see the widest possible uses of love, from disinterested, genuine love, to the flattering effusions of "pleasers," to the outright manipulation and the dangerous obsessions of a "stalker." There is tremendous variety among those who march under the banner of love, from the most selfless angels to the most hate-filled devils. Understanding the personality type Two will help us understand how they got that way.In the Feeling Center
Although Twos have strong feelings for others, they have potential problems with their feelings. They tend to overexpress how positively they feel about others, while ignoring their negative feelings altogether. They see themselves as loving, caring people, yet all too often they love others only to have others love them in return. Their "love" is not free: expectations of repayment are attached. Twos are often hampered in their ability to truly love others because their self-image is highly invested in having only certain positive feelings for people, and not having other, "unpleasant" feelings.Healthy Twos, however, are the most considerate and genuinely loving of all the personality types. Because they have strong feelings and sincerely care about others, they go out of their way to help people, doing real good and serving real needs. But if they become unhealthy, Twos deceive themselves about the presence and extent of their own emotional needs as well as their aggressive feelings, not recognizing how manipulative and domineering they can be. As we shall see, unhealthy Twos are among the most difficult of the personality types because they are extremely selfish in the name of utter selflessness. They can do terrible harm to others while believing that they are completely good.The essence of the problem is that even average Twos cannot see themselves as they really are, as persons of mixed motives, conflicting feelings, and personal needs which they want to fulfill. Instead, they see themselves only in the most glowing terms, ignoring their negative qualities as they gradually become self-deceptive. What is difficult to understand about Twos is how they can deceive themselves so thoroughly; what is difficult to deal with in them is the manipulative way in which they go about getting what they want. The worse they get, the more difficult it is for others to square their perceptions of them with their totally virtuous perception of themselves. They constantly exonerate themselves and demand that others do the same—indeed, they demand that people accept their interpretation of their actions against their own judgment, and sometimes even contrary to the plain facts.Twos correspond to the extroverted feeling type in Jung's typology. Unfortunately, it is not one of his most insightful descriptions; nevertheless, the following traits are worth noting.
Depending on the degree of dissociation between the ego and the momentary state of feeling, signs of self-disunity will become clearly apparent, because the originally compensatory attitude of the unconscious has turned into open opposition. This shows itself first of all in extravagant displays of feeling, gushing talk, loud expostulations, etc., which ring hollow: 'The lady doth protest too much.' It is at once apparent that some kind of resistance is being over-compensated, and one begins to wonder whether these demonstrations might not turn out quite different. And a little later they do. Only a very slight alteration in the situation is needed to call forth at once just the opposite pronouncement on the selfsame object. (C. G. Jung, Psychological Types, 357-358.)
What Jung describes is the ambivalence of the Two's feelings—the ability to shift from apparently totally positive feelings for others to highly negative ones. As we trace the deterioration of the Two along its Continuum of its traits, we can see that healthy Twos really do love others genuinely. But average Twos have mixed feelings: their love is nowhere near as pure or selfless as they want it to be. And in unhealthy Twos, the opposite of love is operative: hatred finds nourishment in burning resentments against others. Jung is not correct in saying that "only a very slight alteration in the situation is needed to call forth at once just the opposite pronouncement on the selfsame object," since hatred is at the other end of the spectrum from genuine love. But what is true is that step by step, as Twos deteriorate along the Continuum toward neurosis, this is precisely what happens.
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Droll Dedekind, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Myers/Briggs, Enneagram

Posts: 634 Join Date: 11/15/13 Recent Posts
INTP. 5w4. Fits fairly well.

I think there's an old MBTI thread here
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Bill F., modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Myers/Briggs, Enneagram

Posts: 558 Join Date: 11/17/13 Recent Posts
Interesting. ISFP, 4w3 here.

Thanks.
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Bill F., modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Myers/Briggs, Enneagram

Posts: 558 Join Date: 11/17/13 Recent Posts
Type Three in BriefThrees are self-assured, attractive, and charming. Ambitious, competent, and energetic, they can also be status-conscious and highly driven for advancement. They are diplomatic and poised, but can also be overly concerned with their image and what others think of them. They typically have problems with workaholism and competitiveness. At their Best: self-accepting, authentic, everything they seem to be—role models who inspire others.

  • Basic Fear: Of being worthless
  • Basic Desire: To feel valuable and worthwhile
  • Enneagram Three with a Two-Wing: "The Charmer"
  • Enneagram Three with a Four-Wing: "The Professional"
Key Motivations: Want to be affirmed, to distinguish themselves from others, to have attention, to be admired, and to impress others.Type Three in BriefThrees are self-assured, attractive, and charming. Ambitious, competent, and energetic, they can also be status-conscious and highly driven for advancement. They are diplomatic and poised, but can also be overly concerned with their image and what others think of them. They typically have problems with workaholism and competitiveness. At their Best: self-accepting, authentic, everything they seem to be—role models who inspire others.

  • Basic Fear: Of being worthless
  • Basic Desire: To feel valuable and worthwhile
  • Enneagram Three with a Two-Wing: "The Charmer"
  • Enneagram Three with a Four-Wing: "The Professional"
Key Motivations: Want to be affirmed, to distinguish themselves from others, to have attention, to be admired, and to impress others.Type Three in BriefThrees are self-assured, attractive, and charming. Ambitious, competent, and energetic, they can also be status-conscious and highly driven for advancement. They are diplomatic and poised, but can also be overly concerned with their image and what others think of them. They typically have problems with workaholism and competitiveness. At their Best: self-accepting, authentic, everything they seem to be—role models who inspire others.

  • Basic Fear: Of being worthless
  • Basic Desire: To feel valuable and worthwhile
  • Enneagram Three with a Two-Wing: "The Charmer"
  • Enneagram Three with a Four-Wing: "The Professional"
Key Motivations: Want to be affirmed, to distinguish themselves from others, to have attention, to be admired, and to impress others.Type Three in BriefThrees are self-assured, attractive, and charming. Ambitious, competent, and energetic, they can also be status-conscious and highly driven for advancement. They are diplomatic and poised, but can also be overly concerned with their image and what others think of them. They typically have problems with workaholism and competitiveness. At their Best: self-accepting, authentic, everything they seem to be—role models who inspire others.

  • Basic Fear: Of being worthless
  • Basic Desire: To feel valuable and worthwhile
  • Enneagram Three with a Two-Wing: "The Charmer"
  • Enneagram Three with a Four-Wing: "The Professional"
Key Motivations: Want to be affirmed, to distinguish themselves from others, to have attention, to be admired, and to impress others.Type Three in BriefThrees are self-assured, attractive, and charming. Ambitious, competent, and energetic, they can also be status-conscious and highly driven for advancement. They are diplomatic and poised, but can also be overly concerned with their image and what others think of them. They typically have problems with workaholism and competitiveness. At their Best: self-accepting, authentic, everything they seem to be—role models who inspire others.

  • Basic Fear: Of being worthless
  • Basic Desire: To feel valuable and worthwhile
  • Enneagram Three with a Two-Wing: "The Charmer"
  • Enneagram Three with a Four-Wing: "The Professional"
Key Motivations: Want to be affirmed, to distinguish themselves from others, to have attention, to be admired, and to impress others.3THE ACHIEVER
Overview of Type Three
The United States is fast becoming a dysfunctional "Three" culture: driven, narcissistic, image-oriented, emphasizing style over substance, symbols over reality. The pursuit of excellence found (as exemplified by the healthy Three) is being replaced by the celebration of the artificial as everything is treated like a commodity—packaged, advertised, and marketed. Politics is becoming less concerned with principles or the use of power for the common good than with the display of personalities. Politics serves public relations, selling candidates with their calculated positions to a public which can no longer tell a fabricated image from a real person.The communications media, particularly television, are primarily concerned with attracting attention so that the public can be sold something. The shallow values and the beguiling glitter of show biz have become the norms by which everything is measured. The only guideline is the ability to gain attention: what is noticed and in demand has value. People are so seduced by the slick package that they often do not realize that there is nothing in it. To paraphrase McLuhan, the package is the message. Calculated images successfully masquerade as reality, from the programmed friendliness of television personalities to the rehearsed sincerity of beauty contestants to the hard fluff of "evening magazine" shows. Exhibitionism and self-promotion are becoming acceptable as people do whatever it takes to be noticed in an increasingly competitive marketplace. The ideal is to be a winner—to be successful, famous, and celebrated. The quest for success and prestige is everywhere. Every day, a new book tells us how to dress for success, eat for success, or network for success. We are being sold a narcissistic fantasy: that we will be "somebody" if we are like everybody else, only better. If you manage your image properly, you too can become a star—or a god.The personality type Three exemplifies the search for the validation of the self, and so Threes look to esteemed others to determine who they must be, what they must do, in order to feel valuable and worthwhile as human beings. With this particular focus, Threes frequently become successful in the eyes of their society because they make it their business to achieve those things which their peers find valuable. This is no less true in a Buddhist monastery in Thailand than in a fast-track corporate culture. Threes will strive to exemplify whatever qualities are honored in their given milieu. Thus, in an unhealthy society which manipulates such fears and motivations, Threes stand to gain the most attention and success from the society, but also end up among its greatest victims—estranged from their own heart’s desire, empty, and emotionally isolated, while never knowing what it is they are doing wrong.In the Feeling CenterThrees, the primary personality type in the Feeling Center, are the most out of touch with their emotional lives. This is because Threes have learned to put their own feelings, their own true desires aside in order to function more effectively. Threes believe that they will only be valued for what they do, so they put their energies into performing well, "getting the job done." Further, Threes want positive responses from others, so they learn to behave in ways that they believe will create a good impression. Whereas this can be a useful orientation in certain situations, it can become a habitual way of being—even in circumstances where such behavior would be inappropriate, or at least limiting. Over time, as Threes continually postpone dealing with their own real feelings, they begin to have trouble accessing them. A profound split develops between who they seem to be and who they are, between the image they project to others and the reality behind it. Eventually, their image becomes their only reality. They become so distanced from their own feelings and needs that they no longer know who they are. They believe that the image is all they have.  At this point, since whatever affirmation they are receiving is in response to an image, and not themselves, no amount of praise or achievement will make them feel better. The great challenge for people of this personality type is to become inner-directed, to develop themselves as persons according to their genuine feelings and their own true values. Most Threes are unaware of the extent to which they have abandoned themselves, and it can be a very difficult experience when they discover that the dreams they have been so relentlessly pursuing are not their own.When they are healthy, Threes are loved and admired, even idolized by others because they have taken pains to acquire the qualities and skills they embody virtually to an ideal degree. Ironically, though, healthy Threes feel worthwhile and valuable not because of others’ validation but because they are in touch with their own heart and are guided by it. Of course, the attention and praise of others is wonderful, but healthy Threes are not swayed by it. They would pursue their goals even without the admiration. The overwhelmingly positive self-esteem of healthy Threes is real, and therefore cannot be affected by the opinions of others. The freedom and purposefulness of this way of living is very attractive to others who hold them in high regard. Also, because healthy Threes have more fully integrated their feelings, they come across as warm and genuine both in their personal lives and in their careers. Healthy Threes are outstanding, human nature's stars.However, average Threes do not feel real self-esteem: they believe that they will only feel good about themselves if they achieve, if they become big successes and stars—number one in the class. This leads them to become intensely competitive with others for all forms of success and prestige, since they are convinced that this will give them a sense of value. To the degree that they are repressing feelings of worthlessness, Threes will be driven to become "winners." Unfortunately, they also look outside themselves to determine what qualities a winner should have. Instead of developing themselves, they resort to projecting images, which are meant to make a favorable impression on others. Pragmatic and calculating, they are able to change their image to get what they want. As they become more desperate and empty, they begin showing off and hyping themselves to attract more admiration, but since they are not expressing who they really are, all of the attention in the world cannot touch them.If they become unhealthy, Threes deceive themselves and others so they can maintain the illusion that they’re still on top—still superior people. They are extremely devious if they are in danger of being exposed and humiliated. Unhealthy Threes are like any other type with deep psychological problems, they have difficulty functioning. Yet, for Threes functioning, or at this stage, even the appearance of functioning, is everything. They are terrified that anyone will discover the degree of their disorder. They can become extremely dangerous as they strike out at anyone who they perceive threatens the crumbling image which they now identify with entirely.Problems with Hostility and NarcissismLike the other personality types of this Center, Threes have a problem with hostility which manifests itself as vindictive malice toward anyone who they believe threatens their self image. While Twos and Fours are indirectly hostile, average to unhealthy Threes are more openly hostile in a wide variety of ways, from arrogantly distancing themselves, to snide humor at others’ expense, to sarcastic putdowns, to sabotaging and betraying people. Hostility serves Threes in two ways: first it compensates for their own feelings of inadequacy, and second, it keeps away people who, for one reason or another, undermine their fragile self-esteem. In this latter regard, less healthy Threes may even be hostile to people who they admire or to whom they are attracted.Average Threes are the most narcissistic of the personality types. While healthy Threes justly possess high self-esteem, average Threes build their identities around an increasingly inflated self-regard: they appear to be utterly in love with themselves. But, more precisely, they are in love with their inflated image rather than their actual selves. Instead of loving themselves as they really are, including a realistic acceptance of their limitations, they love a false facade which bears little resemblance to the undeveloped person beneath.Because Threes adapt themselves to the desires and expectations of others to validate themselves, they can lose a clear sense of who they actually are and what they want from their lives. In average to unhealthy Threes, the drive to "get value" for themselves becomes so great that it drowns out other legitimate needs they may have. Further, because the sense of self becomes increasingly amorphous, average Threes begin to engage in internal "pep-talks" to convince themselves that they actually are the outstanding person they are trying to become.Narcissists care principally about themselves—and about others only to the degree that they reflect well upon themselves. They remain intensely self-centered, with a limited ability to empathize with anyone else's feelings or needs. This is why they have little capacity for love and why—once they have become narcissistic—average Threes have little capacity to form lasting, mutually satisfying relationships. Relationships are one-sided because both parties are in love with the same person: the Three.Of course, their narcissism puts them in constant conflict with people. Because they believe so much in their superiority, average Threes are competitive with the very people from whom they want admiration. They show off as if others were no more than an adoring audience endlessly ready to applaud their every move; if others do not applaud, Threes tell them off or humiliate them. Worse, narcissistic Threes add insult to injury by demanding that people admire them even when they are contemptuous of the people whose admiration they want.The problem is that narcissism is not the same thing as genuine self-esteem. Although average Threes seem to be coolly self-contained, they are not really secure with themselves because their self-esteem is based not on the development of their real capacities but on the ability to capture the attention of others. Threes are finely attuned to people's reaction to them, and can respond by projecting whatever image they need at the moment. But since their repertoire of images does not have a corresponding measure of reality behind it, everything they do is done for show, not because they are personally committed to, or deeply involved with, anything outside themselves.The irony is that behind the facade is a deeply hidden dependency on others, a dependency they cannot acknowledge because of the demands of their narcissism. Once narcissism takes over, Threes cannot live with people and they cannot live without them, because they are hostile toward the people on whom they depend, and because they are "nobody" without the attention of others.Parental OrientationAs young children, Threes were connected to the nurturing-figure, the person in their early development who mirrored them, cared for them, and provided affection and a sense of value. Young Threes are highly adaptable and responsive to the emotional states of others, and so learn to adjust themselves to the reactions and subconscious expectations of their nurturing-figure. This person is usually the Three’s mother or a mother-substitute, but not always. In some cases, the mother was largely absent, physically or emotionally, and it fell upon the father or a sibling to nurture the baby. In other cases, a nanny or grandparent may have fulfilled this role. In any case, it is important to understand who cared for the child and who provided mirroring.In their formative years, Threes learn to tune into the desires and hopes of their nurturing-figure. The expectations of the nurturing-figure need not be expressed explicitly. With the remarkable intuitive gifts of children, young Threes know what will please their nurturers,  and which behaviors produce approving looks and smiles. All of this is quite natural, and if the nurturing-figure is reasonably healthy, the Three will mature into a well-balanced person with good self-esteem. But to the degree that the nurturing-figure has unresolved narcissistic needs of his or her own, the Three will have to make much greater adaptations. To please the troubled nurturer, young Threes will have to abandon themselves to become the person who will be approved. In cases where the nurturer was more pathological and needy, Threes will have to disconnect from their own feelings and needs almost entirely. Little that the child can do will get the nurturing-figure to approve of them, or validate their existence. The result is a desperate individual with deep narcissistic wounds and an intense underlying hostility for being forced to abandon his or her own heart.As adults, Threes continue to play out this pattern from early childhood. They seek out people whom they admire and esteem to give them validation and admiration. Threes are not interested in indiscriminately getting everyone to like them: rather, they focus on specific individuals who they themselves view as valuable, successful people. Although this motivates Threes to do those things which will make them seem worthwhile to others, this also leaves them highly vulnerable to fears of rejection. They will work tirelessly to avoid ever being  rejected, ever being seen as a "loser." The admiring gaze  which they sought from their nurturing-figures made them feel that they were loved and valued, and in one form or another, they are always seeking that look in the eyes of others. Admiration makes them feel alive and worthwhile—at least for a while; without it, they feel empty and hostile because their underlying feelings of not being valued for who they are begin to surface.Average Threes perceived that, as children, they were generally valued for what they accomplished, for the quality of their performance, not for themselves. In adult Threes, this can lead to highly effective work habits, but it can also lead to powerful fears of intimacy. They may initiate relationships, but then end them before the other person gets to know them well, or have relationships with people other than the person they most want to be near. This protects their fragile self-image, but at a great cost to their happiness and connection with others. Threes believe that others will only love them for their image and for their success, but if people were to really get to know them, they would see that the person beneath the image and they would be rejected. Because of difficult childhood experiences with their nurturing-figure, average Threes cannot accept the idea that others could love them just as they are. It seldom occurs to them that the most important person who has rejected them is themselves.To give up their performance and risk exposing the vulnerable self within feels like an enormous risk to Threes. They feel that they have been rejected in the past: why risk it again? They also become convinced that their real self is relatively undesirable and that only their performance is worthwhile. They have put so much effort into it, to give it up seems unthinkable. Yet, if Threes never take that risk, never dare to explore the real person they left behind in childhood, they may become successful in the eyes of others, but they will never know what it really is to be themselves, nor will they be able to relate to, much less feel love, from anyone else. Sadly, newspapers and magazines are full of stories of highly successful people who seemed to "have everything going for them," but who, suddenly contradict their popular image in startling and tragic ways. One can only imagine the desperation and despair of a person who has tirelessly worked to accomplish what they believed would make them feel good about themselves, only to discover that their feelings of emptiness did not go away.(from Personality Types, p. 96-103)Return to Top
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Bill F., modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Myers/Briggs, Enneagram

Posts: 558 Join Date: 11/17/13 Recent Posts
The Need To Be Special
FOURs put their gifts to work to awaken a sense of beauty and harmony in their surroundings They are highly sensitive and almost always artistically gifted; they can express their feelings in dance, music, painting, the theater, or literature. Everything with vital energy attracts them; they grasp the moods and feelings of other people and the atmosphere of places and events with seismographic precision.
FOURs are by nature ecumenically oriented. They reject the division of the world into “sacred” and “profane.” They are more at home in the realm of the unconscious, of symbols and dreams, than in the real world. Symbols help them to be with themselves and to express them selves. They also have the gift of helping others to develop an eye for the beautiful and for the world of dreams and symbols. The ritual, well done, is reality for the FOUR.
FOURs too draw their vital energy from others. Their life question is: “What do you think of me? Do you notice me? Do I catch your eye?”
FOURs strive to be aesthetically attractive, to be exceptional, to be creative, or, in some cases, to appear esoteric, eccentric, extravagant, or exotic.
But the style and “spontaneity” of an unredeemed FOUR have something artificial about them. FOURs come out of their room and say: “I just threw a few things on in a hurry.” But in fact the effects have been very carefully chosen. They deliberately put together the combination (or non-combination) of clothes and colors to stand out from the others.
The life of FOURs is primarily shaped by longing: the longing for beauty and the wish that the world and life fit together into a harmonic whole. Dostoyevsky once said: “The world will be saved by beauty.” FOURs believe in this principle.
In their childhood FOURs have often had the experience of the present being unbearable and meaningless. Quite often this was connected with a very painful experience of loss. This loss can be real (death of a parent, illegitimate birth, divorce, moving and being uprooted, an undependable parent, the parents’ preference for a sibling, etc.) or it can have been felt “only” emotionally. Positive role models have been missing, to some extent. Thus the child in the search for identity turns toward the inner world. Because the original source of love was missing or was too weak, new sources of love had to be created in the imagination. The longing of FOURs is directed to that lost love; it is at once a yearning to go home and to go far away. They look forward to the day when the great love will come (back), and they are convinced that this great love will redeem them.
At times the anger over a loss that has been suffered is so deep that it cannot be tolerated. Instead unredeemed FOURs direct it against them selves. They believe that for some reason they are themselves guilty for experiencing rejection and privation, and so they consider them selves “bad.” Many FOURs report that they are ruled by a hidden shame. FOURs trapped in then will repeatedly cultivate their “badness” and thereby keep producing situations in which they are rejected or abandoned. Scandalous behavior exercises a certain charm on them; what is dark and forbidden has a peculiar power of attraction.
Most FOURS are of the opinion that society’s norms don’t hold for them. On the strength of their extraordinary suffering they usually feel themselves to be strangers and outsiders by nature. As such they assume the right to lay down their own norms. Many FOURs have an elitist consciousness. They try to meet special standards and feel a deficiency when that continually proves unsuccessful.
FOURs are easy to recognize. First, they have a tendency to wear odd clothes. Almost all FOURs demonstrate their melancholy side with a preference for colors such as black and violet. Some are also inclined to dress in as motley and crazy a manner as possible. Many are vegetarians, animal rights activists, feminists, and adherents to eccentric ideas about health. They often wear scarfs or berets.
Possession brings FOURs little joy. Longing is more important than having. As soon as they possess the object of their desires, they are generally disappointed. For that reason they can be very complicated love partners. A FOUR once told me her story. As a young girl she longed with every fiber of her being for her future husband. She moved heaven and earth to get him. But on the day of her wedding her romantic feelings melted into thin air. It wasn’t long before she left him. At that moment she fell in love with him again. When her husband came back, the following took place: “As soon as he stood in front of the door, my love died. I reproached him for everything he had done to me. As soon as he was fed up with my wailing and turned away again to leave, my love awoke once more.” To outsiders this sounds grotesque or almost funny. But it’s part of the terrible dilemma in which unredeemed FOURs are caught. They can’t live in the present, which is always full of ordinariness. But when their longing is realized, it is never as special as the fantasy itself was.
FOURs revere great authorities: important poets, musicians, gurus, counselors, who have something “deep” about them or are something “larger than life.” Only this sort of “inner authority” counts. Formal authorities that aren’t backed up by their personality make no impression on a FOUR. Their nose for the “authentic” is infallible.
All types of this group have a natural eye for beauty. That is why many of them become artists, musicians, poets, and playwrights. In the Church they are advocates and designers of creative services. They have a sense of liturgy, ritual, and shaping space. Their sensitivity to style leaves the rest of pale with envy. Most FOURs have exquisite taste. They don’t buy their paintings in Woolworth’s, and they prefer to buy their clothes in a second-hand shop or a boutique rather than off the rack. They would be mortified to have to settle for cheap mass produced stuff that thousands of others wear. But like all of us, they too are inclined to exaggerate their gifts and with a certain arrogance they make other people feel their “aesthetic superiority.” FOURs hate everything that is stale, old-fashioned, plain, average, styleless, and “normal.”
At the same time they steal a glance of secret envy at us normal consumers who can’t shine with so much class and style. FOURs have a tendency to idealize the “unwashed masses” and can write great romantic novels about the noble poor (Victor Hugo). But they do this from an ivory tower and in reality they can hardly endure living in real dirt and hard-core poverty.
The life program of FOURs could be described as an eternal quest for the Holy Grail. The Grail emerged around the end of twelfth century in Old French and Provençal literature. According to tradition it was the vessel used at the Last Supper, which Joseph of Arimathea is also supposed to have used to catch the blood of Christ.
The Grail confers heavenly and earthly happiness upon its possessor, but only the “pure” knight who is destined to do so can find it. In Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parzifal (ca. 1200) the Grail is a stone with marvelous powers that is guarded by angels and later preserved at the fortress of Munsalvaesche, a mixture of a Grimm brothers “table-set-yourself” and a magic holy fetish (the Grail gets its power from a host that was brought to it on Good Friday by a dove). Richard Wagner used the Parsifal legend, arbitrarily transformed in his operas Parsifal and Lohengrin.
A similar motif is the search for a specific flower, which first comes up in the Roman de la Rose, France’s contribution to the allegory of love. The core of the poem was composed by Guillaume de Lorris (early thirteenth century). This novel in verse was probably (like Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and Dante’s Divine Comedy) influenced by the Sufis; Fariddun Attar’s Birds and Flowers and The Conversation of the Birds seem to have “stood at the font.” It describes the wanderings of the hero through an ideal landscape with a garden of love, whose walls are painted with the allegories of hatred, betrayal, greed, envy, melancholy, etc. In the garden itself the god of love dances with women named Generosity, Bravery, and Candor. Through Danger, Slander, Shame, and Fear the hand about to grasp the bud is once again held back. Even when the hero, with the help of Venus, finally gets the kiss, the opposing voices of Jealousy, Shame, Fear, and Anger re sound once more. But Lady Pity and Lady Beauty come to the poet’s aid.
The same motif returns in the romantic longing for the mysterious Blue Flower (Novalis), which symbolizes the striving of the human soul for fulfillment and wholeness:
He dreamed that he was sitting on the soft turf by the margin of a fountain, whose waters flowed into the air, and seemed to vanish in it. Dark blue rocks with various colored veins rose in the distance. The daylight around him was milder and clearer than usual; the sky was of a sombre hue, filling the air with the richest perfume. But what most attracted his notice, was a tall, light-blue flower, which stood nearest the fountain, and touched it with its broad, glossy leaves. . . . But he saw the blue flower alone, and gazed long upon it with inexpressible tenderness.
 
Dilemma
FOURs face the temptation to strive frantically for authenticity. Children, nature, and everything that radiates originality awakens in them the longing for the simplicity and naturalness that they lost at some point. The more unredeemed FOURs struggle to be authentic, the more they strike the people around them as mannered.
The specific defense mechanism of FOURs is artificial sublimation. Feelings are not expressed directly, but indirectly through symbols, rituals, and dramatic styling. This is supposed to alleviate the pain of real grief and the fear of rejection. The unredeemed FOUR is convinced that “anyone who would see me directly the way I am couldn’t bear the sight.”
This leads many FOURs to be more at home in their art than with other people. That is why they have to learn, really learn, the authentic capacity to love. Enthusiasm for other people can come and go. There is danger here that others will be used only as emotional releases for certain longings, memories, or dreams.
FOURs sometimes shape their lives like a Gesamtkunstwerk, a total work of art. Clothing, interior decoration, hobbies, circle of friends, and habits are adjusted to each other in a way that often seems accidental but in reality is carefully staged. Aesthetic points of view, which often can be appreciated only with difficulty, play the lead role here. One classic expression of the attitude is what is called “Bohemia,” or an artists’ milieu: melancholy music, half-wilted flowers, for example, roses or lilacs (there will be more to say about the affinity FOURs have for death and transience), incense sticks, dripping candles, the diary next to the bed. Many FOURs like to have long conversations at night over tea or red wine (since everyone else prefers white!).
The root sin is envy. They see immediately who has more style, more class, more taste, more talent, more unusual ideas, more genius than they do. They see who is simpler, more natural, more normal, and “healthier” than they are. There is nothing that a FOUR couldn’t be envious about. Helen Palmer quotes a FOUR “How is it that other people seem to hold hands and smile a lot? What do they have with each other that I don’t have? You get on a Holy Grail search to find the something more; grasping for something that satisfied my friends, but which misses me entirely.”
Envy can also be expressed as jealousy, as soon as relationships come into play. FOURs often live in fear that somebody else could be more attractive, original, and interesting as a partner. This is how self-conscious FOURs sometimes appear; inside them a child is struggling with feelings of inferiority: “I don’t deserve to be loved. I have to make an impression so that I’m not overlooked and abandoned again.” That is why many FOURs experience the domain of close personal relations as an arena for combat and competition.
FOURs avoid ordinariness: everything that is current, conventional, and normal. The requirement of being like everyone else can unleash downright panic among them. That is why they refuse to change even more stubbornly than the other types. FOURs say: “But I like to be different. I don’t want to fit in the way all the others do.” FOURs have acquired their status, their circle of friends, their role, their flair, and the admiration of many people through their striking behavior. Unredeemed FOURs don’t want to have anyone spoil this game for them. That is, until one day they taste its dark side. Then they notice that all this prevents them from loving. They see how eccentric they are. But it usually takes a long time before they are ready to give up their self-image. In this respect FOURs can be pig-headed. They can, of course, joke ironically or sarcastically about their moodiness and peculiarities, about their elitist affectation, and their snobishness. But the step to real self-criticism is substantially harder to take.
In the past FOURs were often thrown out of religious communities because they didn’t conform. Until recently monasteries and convents used to place a high value on uniformity. Everybody wore the same brown cowl. When I gave a seminar on the Enneagram to the Franciscans in California, one person immediately struck me as a “flaming FOUR.” At the end of the retreat we all met wearing our Franciscan habit, to conclude our time together with a Mass. I thought to myself at once that this man would do something conspicuous. And, sure enough, he had pinned a big red rose to his plain brown habit. FOURs have to catch your eye. It’s as if they thought, “I don’t know who I am if I’m like all the others. I have to stand out and in any case be different.”
The pitfall of FOURs is their melancholy, a “sweet sadness” that lies over their whole lives like a fog. FOURs have to be depressed and suffer from time to time in order to be happy. Helen Palmer calls them the “tragic romantics.” Quotations from the romantic period illustrate this:
“Melancholy lays hold of you because there is no world in which you can act” (Bettina von Arnim). “Melancholy is the happiness of being sad” (Victor Hugo). The greater the pains and the depression, the more creative FOURs tan become. Their pleasure in suffering has been invoked and described in countless poetic self-reflections by literary romantics from all periods and cultures:
. . and add to this, that I taste a false sweetness in everything I suffer from. This sad state of soul is for me an abundance of pains, misery, and terror, an open path to despair.. . . And the crowning point of all woes is that I feed with a certain silent lustfulness on my tears and pains and only against my will do I tear myself away from them. (Petrarch, 1304—1374)
Goethe’s Sorrows of Young Werther (1774) was the expression of his tragic-romantic Sturm-und-D rang period. So many young people identified with Werther that there was a wave of suicides.
FOURs often have an affinity with death, perhaps because it means the ultimate lament, the definitive longing, or also because only death can make beauty eternal. For dramaturgical reasons great love stories must almost necessarily end in death. The idea of Romeo and Juliet getting married, having children, and leading a wholly “normal” married life would be too banal; it would impair the universality and greatness of their love.
Another Franciscan whom I am friends with and who is likewise a FOUR told me the following: As a young man he used to sketch out detailed fantasies of his death. The day he died would have to be aesthetically perfect. He wanted to wait until some people whom he loved had deeply hurt him. This way he could give them the definitive punishment. It absolutely had to be springtime; then he would stand under a cherry tree in blossom and drink a poisoned cup. He would collapse, and the cherry blossoms would gently flutter down onto his body. My friend would scarcely have thought of realizing this fantasy: but such morbid reveries are not unusual among FOURs.
Romantic poems can be recognized by the way they revolve around love, beauty, and death. All other subjects are not great enough:
 
TRISTAN
Whoever has looked upon beauty with his eyes
Has already gone home to death,
He will be useless for service on this earth,
And yet he will tremble before death,
Whoever has looked upon beauty with his eyes.
For him the pain of love lasts forever,
For only a fool can hope on this earth
To satisfy such a drive:
Whoever has been struck by the arrow of beauty
For him the pain of love lasts forever.
Ah, he would wish to dry up like a spring,
To suck a poison from every breath of air,
And smell death in every flower:
Whoever has seen death with his eyes,
Ah, he would wish to dry up like a spring.
—    August Graf von Platen, 1796—1835
—     
Since FOURs as a rule direct their aggressions against themselves, it often happens that they are disgusted by themselves and their bodies. Although they are generally very slender and attractive, they tend to find themselves too fat and too ugly. They keep trying new diet plans; the inclination to anorexia appears fairly frequently among FOUR women.
FOURs need friends and partners who will bear with them without letting themselves be drawn into the mood shifts that FOURs have. They need to experience a loyalty that stands firm. Partnership with an unredeemed FOUR is, to be sure, irritating, and requires tolerance. Since FOURs find the present — including their current partner — deficient to begin with, that partner can be exposed to a steady stream of biting criticism. Since they are on hand and easily had, those partners seem less attractive. This can even lead to FOURs’ being impotent or refusing the other person sexually. Partners of an unredeemed FOUR are subjected to the hot-and-cold treatment, now seduction, now rejection. If they withdraw, they will be lured back by every means. In extreme situations this can be bound up with dramatic scenes, going as far as suicide threats. If the partner is available, then his or her faults and defects once again come into a harsh light. It’s like a rehearsed dance: “If you take a step forward, I take a step back. If you take a step back, I take a step toward you.”
The love affair of the Dahish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard (1813— 55) with Regine Olsen’ mirrors the tragic nature of this “disposition.” Kierkegaard broke the engagement after a year, because he thought he shouldn’t burden Regine with his melancholy. The conversion of this inner situation into literature led to his first aesthetic works.
“Normal” quiet happiness, of the sort others — apparently — enjoy, seems to a FOUR at once attractive and repellent. For that could mean the end of the sweet wistfulness that FOURs need to feel “themselves.” The inner richness of melancholy seems to be more attractive than what others carelessly call “happiness.” Rainer Maria Rilke, for example, who was a FOUR, refused to begin therapy despite grave psychic disturbances. He was afraid that his true self might be destroyed by treatment and that when the devils left him, the angels might leave him too.
Many FOURs vacillate between phases of exaggerated activity and others in which they are withdrawn and quasi-paralyzed. This manic-depressive structure can in some people who are highly introverted (stronger influence of the FIVE wing) turn into an altogether depressive structure. FOURs whose more success-oriented, extroverted THREE wing is dominant are by contrast often hyperactive. These two “subtypes” of FOUR do not look very similar at first glance.
The depression of unredeemed FOURs is different from normal grief, which all people experience. It is bound up with the feeling of the unique ness and vastness of their own suffering and with the unwillingness to accept help. Behind the excuse that nobody would understand them lies the refusal to mourn. This is how they desperately cling to what has been lost.
Many FOURs take their feelings very seriously and are deeply of fended when they are “hurt.” Criticism of their artistic expressions can wound them in their innermost selves and drive them into retreat. On the other hand they tend to run themselves down. A painter who is a FOUR is the only one allowed to criticize his pictures.
Hollywood is an El Dorado of FOURs. Theater and film are their domain, because FOURs view their whole life as a great stage. The Oscars are shared with a handful of successful THREEs. Marilyn Monroe, Marion Brando, and James Dean are famous FOURs among movie stars.
The biography of James Dean (1931—55), who portrayed young rebels, is almost paradigmatic. At eight years of age “Jimmy” lost his mother, who had given him dance and violin lessons. As a young man he had a precipitous theater and film career: He developed into an enfant terrible.
He could sit down on a chair in the middle of the street and enjoy the chorus of honking from the drivers. There are photos showing him sitting in a coffin in a funeral parlor. He always had his bongos with him; their noise drew the attention of people around him.
He used his confusion, his enigmatic nature, and his impenetrability to create his own myth: “We’re fish and we drown. We stay in our world and wonder. The lucky ones are taught to ask why. Nobody knows the answer.” Thoughtlessness and love of risk-taking — traits that many FOURs share — could be seen in his predilection for motorcycles and fast cars. F-J took part in auto races: “That’s the only time I feel whole.” At the age of twenty-four he died in a car crash, which he caused by speeding. Although he made only three films, a cult sprang up after his death that persists today.
Dazzling figures like James Dean invite others to project their own dreams onto them. Their lack of clarity magnetically draws other people’s unsettled needs and wishes. The capacity to embody many characters and still remain nebulous makes many FOURs attractive and dangerous. If you reach out to them and try to touch them personally, you may find you are grasping the void.
Marilyn Monroe (1926—62) grew up as an orphan and was raped at the age of nine. As a sales girl, aged sixteen, she first tried to take her life. The poet-priest Ernesto Cardenal, who is likewise a FOUR and psychologically similar, writes in a moving “Prayer for Marilyn Monroe” how the girl dreamed as a child, “that she stood naked in church. . . before a kneeling crowd, their heads bowed down to earth, and she had to walk on tiptoe so as not to crush their heads.” Cardenal prays: “Lord, in this world, contaminated with sin and radioactivity, you don’t con demn a little salesgirl who dreams of being a filmstar. . . . She hungered for love, and we offered Tier tranquilizers. For the sorrow of not being holy they recommended psychoanalysis.. . . Her love affairs were a kiss with eyes dosed — and when you open your eyes, you see it was only a film kiss.”
The gift or fruit of the spirit of redeemed FOURs is harmony or “even-souledness.” At twenty-five FOURs have already lived through all emotional spaces and experiences from agony to ecstasy. They know all the nuances of feeling and understand the human soul better than anyone else. If they muster the discipline to bring their emotional life into balance, they can become impressive personalities. It’s discipline that makes the difference between a second-class “misunderstood genius” and a real artist. Great FOURs concentrate and discipline their emotions; they can distance themselves from them and clarify them in this way. Harmony refers to this deep, balanced, and nuanced emotional condition. A purified FOUR can deal sensitively with real life — and not just with imaginary dramas. Such people must stop bathing in their feelings and draining them to the dregs. They must stop playing with their moods and foisting them on everyone else.
Healthy FOURs are capable of a depth of feeling that most of us have no access to. If they can make this genuine emotionality fruitful, if they can express in concentrated fashion their sense of the beautiful and the really painful, then real works of art will be created. They no longer serve mere self-representation, but express something universally valid. William Shakespeare and T. S. Eliot are examples of poets in whom the great emotions have been so purified and shaped by discipline that they remain valid for all time. Redeemed FOURS are better than most others at understanding and guiding people in psychic distress. They are not intimidated by the difficult, complicated, or dark feelings of others, since they themselves have lived through it all.
Symbols and Examples
One of FOUR’s symbolic animals is the mourning dove, with its cooing and complaining. If there is a style of speech by which FOURs can be recognized, it is the longing complaint or lament. Another animal is the basset hound, the short-legged French hunting dog with its pendant ears and sad, bleary eyes. The eyes of most FOURs reflect an undefined sadness, which they themselves are usually not even aware of. Even when they smile, it’s often “smiling through tears.” The noble black racing horse symbolizes the cool aesthetics of FOURs.
Redeemed FOURs are often compared with the oyster, which is an old symbol of melancholy. Oysters transform dirt into pearls, in the same way a purified FOUR is capable of transforming the negative and experi encès of loss into something beautiful and universally valid. The writer Robert Musil puts it this way: “Writing is like the pearl of a sickness.”
FOURs are often Francophiles. France is their symbolic country. From time immemorial France has refused to be a country like all the others. The French are always special. The French mentality impresses non- French as refined, cultivated, and somewhat elitist. The French devel oped a haute cuisine and a haute couture. Everything has to be “high” and unusual. There are said to be FOURs who speak with an affected French (or sometimes a British) accent.
The color of FOURs is bright violet or mauve. Their shading is not precisely determined, shimmering and extraordinary, melancholic and mystical-conflicting. Violet is the liturgical color of Passiontide, the time of fasting and penance, of transformation through pain and death. In his theory of color Goethe even connected with it the terror of the end of the world: “Violet is both a symbol of the highest rapture of the soul. . . as well as of its darkest and most painful moments.. . . In its oscillations passion comes into contact with intoxication, liberation with decay, death with resurrection, pain with redemption, disease with purification, mystical vision with madness.” Violet is the androgynous color; it mediates between red (masculine) and blue (feminine). The redeemed FOUR embodies synthesis, mediation, and balance.
I now omit a couple more pages on Symbols and skip to…
Conversion and Redemption
The invitation to redemption issued to FOURs is the call to originality. FOURs find their naturalness on the way to union with God. Their striving for authenticity, their love for children and nature are early hints of this goal in life. If they can admit that they live “in God” and God “in them,” their soul will come to the rest and harmony they have long yearned for. [obviously the author is very religious, but the emphasis he places on fours finding god is unique to this type]
Among the life tasks of FOURs is to develop a healthy realism and direct their longing toward reachable goals. FOURs have to work at seeing that their attention remains in the pr and doesn’t continually digress into the past or future. FOURs must find their energy without constantly slipping from one extreme into the other, without being up one minute and down the next. It must not always be euphoria or depression. Their “objective observer” has the job of asking: “Isn’t a little joy and a little sadness enough — at least now and then?”
Unredeemed FOURs love ritual more than reality. They glorify their memories, which are more beautiful than the actual event was. That’s why it’s necessary for them to confront reality. Incarnation is called for, that is, accepting reality, even when it’s ugly and dirty. There the FOURs will truly find themselves. For this reason social commitment and working for peace and justice do FOURs good. In this they have to deal with the dirt of the world, which cannot be aesthetically transfigured.
For redemption FOURs need to confront the real experiences of loss in their lives, they have to admit the rage they feel against the person in question, and they have to stop adulating him or her in the wake of that loss. The “inability to mourn” (Alexander Mitscherlich) hampers real liberation. Paul drives the point home to FOURs when he writes: “Godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation, and brings no regret, but worldly grief produces death” (2 Cor. 7:10).
FOURs who wish to convert can’t avoid taking a critical look at their snobbishness and their (hidden) elitist consciousness. Instead of com paring themselves with others, they should gratefully become aware of their own inner treasures and share them with others. To practice doing all this, FOURs need a network of people who won’t let themselves be manipulated by them, but remain objective and demand authentic communication. For this reason, in my experience, they are often attracted to ONEs.
Without the FOURs the world would be deprived of the greater part of its art and poetry. When they learn to serve others with their gifts, they will make an important contribution toward “redeeming this world through beauty.”
Daniel Berrigan and Thomas Merton are our saints, the patrons of the redeemed FOURs:
The Jesuit priest Daniel Berrigan inspired the Christian peace move ment in America as no one else did. His actions were designed to get attention. They were always symbolic, illegal, and nonviolent. During the Vietnam War Berrigan staged the public burning of induction orders. Another time his group penetrated the Pentagon.
Berrigan used his FOUR energy to serve humanity. Nobody else had the idea of articulating protest in this drastic and creative way. Berrigan put his longing and his pleasure in dramatization at the service of peace and justice, instead of simply putting his own creative self on display.
The poet and writer Thomas Merton (1915—68), who ultimately be came a Trappist monk, was born in Prades (France) into a family of artists. At the age of six he lost his mother and began to live a restless, wandering life with his father: Bermuda, the U.S., France, England. At sixteen he lost his father: “Thus I became a complete twentieth-century man.”
After finishing high school began his studies in Cambridge and soon was known for his bar-hopping, his impudent cartoons, and his womanizing (an illegitimate child from this period later died in a German bombing attack on London).
At the same time he was overcome by a growing disgust with himself. He went to the U.S. in 1934, moved nearHarlem, joined the Communist party, and at the same time began to look into religious subjects. A Hindu fellow student recommended Augustine and Kempis to him.
In 1938 Merton was baptized a Catholic; at first his friends thought it was just another one of his crazy ideas. But he was serious about it and wanted to become a Franciscan. When he told the unvarnished truth about his life to the Franciscans, he was turned down, which deeply hurt him. But he didn’t give up. He lived like a monk, gave up smoking, went on a retreat in the strictest monastery in the country, the Trappist abbey of Gethsemani, Kentucky, where along with all the other vows the strictest silence was observed.
Here he was accepted in 1941 as a postulant. Five years later his biography, The Seven Storey Mountain, was published, and became a sensational bestseller. It reflected the radical contempt for the world of a young (and initially very fanatical) monk and was compared with Augustine’s Confessions. In the next thirty years some sixty more books would follow.
Monastic life became increasingly difficult for Merton. His abbot thought he was taking his subjective feelings too seriously. Finally the order even forbade him to write. Still he became a novice master. His books had drawn hundreds of young men to try out this radical life of work and prayer. They loved and revered him, although he re fused to pass on blind obedience to the rule, but encouraged individual personalities with warmth and love. Ernesto Cardenal was one of his students.
Merton understood monks as people who are searching for God and want to overcome the “false self” by renouncing lies about life and artificial security. “We should let ourselves be led naked and unarmed into the center of that anxiety where we stand alone in our nothingness before God.”
At the same time he was becoming increasingly political he wrote essays against the Church’s doctrine of the “just war” and against American militarism.
After a long struggle with the abbot he succeeded in getting permission to build himself a plain but comfortable hermitage in the woods. He began to read, to write, to receive visitors. On the occasion of a stay in the hospital he had a deeply felt love affair with a student nurse. But he was still not satisfied; he dreamed of a still more lonely hermitage in Alaska. Finally he was drawn to the Far East, since his vision of a synthesis of Christianity and Buddhism would not let go.
In 1968 he was allowed to travel to a religious conference in Bangkok; on this journey he met Sufi mystics, Zen Buddhists, and the Dalai Lama. Both men were deeply impressed by one another. Merton died electrocuted by a defective fan in his hotel room. As the irony of fate would have it, an American military plane returned his mortal remains to the United States.
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Richard Zen, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Myers/Briggs, Enneagram

Posts: 1641 Join Date: 5/18/10 Recent Posts
INFP, Type 4w5


http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/5566441

Though I lean towards the development model so I work towards improving the weaker cognitive functions in MBTI and develop towards Type 1 on the Enneagram:

http://understandmyersbriggs.blogspot.ca/2012/12/the-8-cognitive-functions.html
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Bill F., modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Myers/Briggs, Enneagram

Posts: 558 Join Date: 11/17/13 Recent Posts
Thanks, Richard. If you want to share more about how you develop the cognitive funtions I'd be happy to hear.
Oochdd, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Myers/Briggs, Enneagram

Posts: 102 Join Date: 12/16/14 Recent Posts
This is actually interesting: when I took the enneagram a couple of years ago I was a type seven, and pretty much agreed with that description. Now I re-took the test and turned out a nine, which does seem to fit my current personality make-up much better.

Funnily enough, supposedly spiritual growth for a nine entails developing a stronger sense of self...so much for anatta emoticon 

I am definitely much less inclined to seek out new projects, adventures, and am much more focused on achieving internal peace rather than external pleasure. Not sure if it's due to the practice or just a natural shift. 
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Richard Zen, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Myers/Briggs, Enneagram

Posts: 1641 Join Date: 5/18/10 Recent Posts
You develop the weaker functions to support your strong ones. There's a couple of books that go into much more depth:


http://www.amazon.com/The-Shadows-Type-Angelina-Bennet/dp/1445741679
The Shadows of Type - Angelina Bennet


http://www.amazon.com/You-Being-more-effective-your/dp/0974589284/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1428968643&sr=1-1&keywords=you+being+more+effective+in+your+mbti+type
You being more effective in your MBTI type -  Lombardo, Eichinger, Pearman

There's also the zig-zag method of making sure you are using all the faculties for your problem-solving.


https://intelligentleaders.wordpress.com/2012/01/03/decision-making-made-better/

http://personalityplaybook.com/2014/02/16/myers-briggs-and-decision-making-the-zig-zag-method/

http://www.cppblogcentral.com/wp-content/uploads/myers-briggs-slii_12_11.pdf

All cognitive functions and their hierarchy are simply preferences/habits/addictions/dispositions/character/conditioning etc. I have a habit for the Feeling function but I need other functions to truely make the thinking more robust. I can't be using Fi for all situations in my life.
Gareth, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Myers/Briggs, Enneagram

Posts: 17 Join Date: 3/2/15 Recent Posts
what are your favoured tools for working out your places?
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. Jake ., modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Myers/Briggs, Enneagram

Posts: 698 Join Date: 5/22/10 Recent Posts
There is a version of the Myers-Briggs that gives you a value for each function and has a more nuanced testing format which I really like; I think it's called the Slip (SLIP?) test. It's especially useful if you plan on developing all the functions.

I generally tested as an INFP. In my early thirties I became serious about individuating and have been working to become more balanced (I am 38). Now I test as an E/I N F/T P. So judging and sensing are still mostly in my unconscious, undeveloped, undifferentiated but the other functions work pretty well depending on the situation. My ratios of intuition-sensation and perceiving-judging have also improved but they started out as very extreme. I will probably always have difficulties with details, certain kinds of timing and organization skills. It's not as simple as that though because some of my sub-personalities (anima, shadow, etc) have some pretty developed versions which can utilize those functions in interesting ways but anyhow I digress.

Enneagram: not so sure about that. I have not been able to pin it down. I think if I had taken the test in my twenties I definitely would have been a four, but what do I know. I generally test as a 7 or a 3 or a 5. Never been able to pin it down. Not sure about this system.
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Bill F., modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Myers/Briggs, Enneagram

Posts: 558 Join Date: 11/17/13 Recent Posts
@OOCHD: Thanks for the response. Ha.

@Jake: Interesteing. I tend to shift between E and I but test as I mostly. Enneagram just looks at what might be called the core wound. It has its roots in sufism I believe, but has been validated in the same way Myers Briggs has by whatever organization validates such things ha.
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Droll Dedekind, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Myers/Briggs, Enneagram

Posts: 634 Join Date: 11/15/13 Recent Posts
Dug up a couple threads with some more MBTI data
http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/4599995
http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/4427952

I like the idea of correlating meditation survey info with MBTI/Enneagram type. Won't be perfect but might save some people some time
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Bill F., modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Myers/Briggs, Enneagram

Posts: 558 Join Date: 11/17/13 Recent Posts
Thanks, Droll!

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