Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Social Instinct

Intro to the concept of instinctual stacking here.

What sets apart those who are social-first?

On the most basic level, they have a desire to be accepted into and approved of by a group.  Being smiled at, welcomed, hugged, and/or even admired and respected by everyone within a circle of friends makes them feel happy and comfortable.  They may seek this end result through various kinds of friendly, meek, cooperative, nice, sweet, considerate behavior, or through whatever type of behavior is approved of or considered "cool" by the group they desire to be accepted by.  The average social-first person is, in other words, highly vulnerable to peer pressure; but whether or not they've donned tough exteriors, on the inside (and usually it does show on the outside as well) they are soft, sweet, tender, vulnerable, earnest, childlike, and eager to please.

Due to caring what everyone in the group thinks about them, the attention pattern of the social-first is diffused, taking in the vibes and the vocal, facial and body-language cues of everyone around them simultaneously.  And just as diffused light is softer and gentler than a single point of light focused through a lens, similarly the energy of the social-first is easier for many to get along with or feel comfortable around than the intense energy of the sexual-first.  Of course, if the social-first in question happens to be hyperactive or full of super bouncy energy, have strong opinions, or be very attached to certain habits or traits that are perceived as flaws by others, that may be difficult to handle for others who don't share that aspect of their nature or have any attraction to it; I don't mean to imply that social-first people don't have their own ways of being intense or difficult from time to time!  Everyone has his or her own personality, and can adjust it to suit others only so far before snapping back into authentic individuality.  But at least, with social-first people, there's more of an awareness and concern about the feelings of others, so they will often endeavor to be considerate as best they can given their nature, whereas sexual-first people tend to focus most on their own interests and desires (and those of the particular other people they care about most), and may sometimes be a bit inconsiderate toward those whom they've mentally ranked as less important to them.

The heightened awareness of others that social-first people have is related to such traits as sympathy and compassion; if you're very in-tune with the feelings of others, it's natural to feel that you can't be happy if someone else isn't.  As a result, social-first people are the likeliest people to engage in altruistic work.  Even if they don't engage in it themselves, they'll often find some way of supporting it, whether that be through giving in charity, voting for candidates who promise to help the downtrodden, purchasing from companies that try to do good or make a difference in the world, or some other means.

Some social-first people are content to lead simple lives with no greater ambition than to be accepted by a certain limited group of people who are important to them.  Whether that be their family, friends, neighbors, schoolmates, and/or co-workers, these people have a smaller, narrower circle of concern.  Others who are a bit more broad-minded may still be affected by a strong sense of pride and "clannishness" (or patriotism) that leads them to care a bit more about their fellow countrymen and their own nation than those from elsewhere in the world (or maybe those who share some other important trait with them, such as belonging to the same race, religion, gender, etc.).  Still others, more broad-minded yet, see no differences that matter between human beings of any description, and long to see all humankind getting along joyfully together and treating each other well; and the most broad-minded of all bestow their boundless compassion upon every species of living being in existence.  However limited or expanded the social-first person's circle of concern may be, there is a strong sense in them of yearning for everybody to be "one big happy family." 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Sexual Instinct

Please refer to my last post for an introduction to the concept of instinctual stacking. 

What sets apart those who are sexual-first? 

Energy signature:

Sx-first people have dynamism, drive, and charisma.  They tend to be louder, bolder and more outspoken and dramatic than those of other variants and to magnetically attract attention.  Obnoxious people are usually sx-first, but leaders and heroes often are as well.  Others tend to either love them or hate them.  They're frequently considered attractive by the opposite sex, but whether they feel attraction in return or not will quickly become clear to any interested parties; if they do, they'll pursue the object of their attraction with attention and flirting or other means; if not, their lack of interest will be clear.  They're rather accustomed to receiving attention, and when they walk into a room, they may announce their presence by immediately initiating some kind of interaction with someone who's already there, taking it for granted that the other person would like or be interested in such interaction... which may not always be the case.  Sx-first people aren't the most sensitive to subtle vibes given off by others, though those who are social-second are better at this than those who are social-last. 


Excitement, stimulation -- whatever thrills or enthuses them -- whatever they can get passionate about, whether that be a person/relationship, a cause, a game or sport or activity, an interesting conversation -- you name it, if it fires them up it will keep their attention; otherwise they'll be inclined to drop it and move on.  (That doesn't mean they'll necessarily end a relationship the minute it cools.  Although of course the most extreme sx-first people are indeed like that, there are unlimited others who stay married to one spouse for life.  But their natural tendency will be to seek out whatever is the most interesting to them at the time, so either their spouses have to be able to keep their interest, or else the sx-first has to have a strong enough sense of duty to tough it out.)

The sexual instinct is sometimes also called the one-on-one instinct because sx-first people's attention is focused, intense and one-pointed, like light concentrated through a lens, and can be directed toward only one person (or thing) at a time.  Sx-first people can rapidly switch their attention from one person to another and back, so they can at times appear to be paying attention to a whole roomful of people at once, but in fact in those situations they're focusing on various people in turn rather than everyone simultaneously.  In relationships, they seek the powerful thrill of deep, intimate connection (on the physical, mental, and/or emotional level) with whoever has captured their interest.  In many cases, finding a significant other or someone with whom they can be in a fulfilling one-on-one relationship will be the dominating need of the sx-first's entire life -- the prerequisite to their happiness and contentment.  Whenever they're in a special relationship with someone they treasure, their own desire is to spend much of their free time interacting with that person, just relishing togetherness with them and savoring the spark of mutual attraction and enjoyment.  If the other person in the relationship is not also sx-first, he or she may wish to spend free time sometimes doing other things either alone or with other people, and since this would clash with the sx-first's expectations and desires, a certain amount of unhappiness could ensue.  Though sx-firsts may indeed be jealous and possessive, they aren't necessarily so.  But even if not, they will sometimes realize to their chagrin that they and their beloved one simply want different things -- they want intense one-on-one togetherness and a deep, fantastic, amazing connection with a single other special person, while their loved one of a different instinctual variant wants to be left alone a lot, or doesn't want to be shackled/obliged or pressured (however openly or subtly) to pay paramount attention and concern to a single other person (however special to them), but rather prefers to pay a more evenly distributed amount of attention/care and concern to everyone in his or her life.

This isn't intended to imply that sx-first people make bad parents due to being too wrapped up in their significant other to pay attention to the kids.  Although that surely happens with some sx-first people, others can be great parents.  (After my relationship with my sx-first ex-husband became somewhat strained, I experienced many times that he would pay preferential attention to our son, leaving me feeling neglected -- so the same issue can happen the other way as well.)  As long as their need for one all-important successful close relationship has been met, they'll be at ease and able to face the rest of their life with energy, happiness and enthusiasm -- including maintaining plenty of other close, affectionate relationships in addition to the first one, if they so wish and their karma allows it.  :)

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Self-Preservation Instinct

OK, now that I've finished saying something about each of the 9 Enneatypes, I can begin to explain in more detail what I'm referring to when I speak about the instinctual variants or a person's instinctual stacking.  I've heard it stated that one's instinctual stacking is an even more deeply-rooted, influential part of one's personality than one's Enneatype.  In any case, this is certainly a very important aspect of the Enneagram system to understand.

The basic concept, as far as I've gathered, is that there are three categories of very fundamental instinctive urges that human beings share with lower animals: the self-preservation instinct, the sexual instinct and the social instinct.  We're all pulled into certain attitudes and behaviors by each of these powerful drives to one degree or another, but which of them exerts the strongest, second-strongest and least strong influence on our personality and actions?  That is the question that, when answered, lets us know what our so-called "instinctual stacking" is.

I've read -- as well as seen in real life -- that the first two instinctual variants in one's stacking often exert what seems like an almost equally strong influence on a person, while the third and weakest instinct constitutes a sort of "blind spot" for that individual that he or she needs to work on in order to have a more healthy, whole and balanced approach to life.  However, it's not always like that; I don't even mean to imply that that's most commonly the case.  Many people have one instinct that's unquestionably the strongest in their nature, another that's definitely second and a third that's definitely in last place (with or without constituting a "blind spot" for them), while for some other people, the three instincts are much more closely balanced in their influence on the person (I am under the impression that this last possibility is quite a bit more rare, though).  But anyway, the scenario in which two or more instinctual variants are almost equally strong at the top of someone's stacking is good to keep in mind when trying to figure out what a person's stacking is, because it explains why it may be very difficult sometimes to figure out which instinct is strongest in a person's nature based on their values alone, and why, therefore, the energy patterns they exude are a crucial distinguishing criterion.

OK, intro over.  Time to get into what sets each instinct apart!

This post (as should be pretty obvious from the title ;D) will focus on the self-preservation, or "self-pres," instinct.

As far as their values are concerned:

Self-pres first people are described as preoccupied with their physical bodies' health, welfare, aches, pains, and sensations, as well as those of everyone else they care about.  They're more fussy, particular, or sensitive about the details of their physical surroundings: the light level, temperature, noise level and other things that affect physical comfort tend to be a lot more important to self-pres types than to others.  Issues of physical health and safety concerning themselves and everyone they care about will be treated by them as vitally important.  They may feel uncomfortable not addressing or treating any illness or discomfort, however mild and nonthreatening it may actually be.  Their efforts to eat right, exercise, visit the doctor regularly and take all medications they ought to be taking -- and to make sure everyone else who matters to them does the same (which, with self-pres types, may be limited to a small "inner circle" of family and friends; they tend to prefer a cozier, quieter, more pragmatic and unambitious lifestyle, without excessive social contacts) -- might appear obsessive or annoying to those with differing values.

While self-pres types can certainly enjoy humor, there's a particular brand of crass, juvenile humor that I've read (and observed) that they do not tend to find amusing.  Whether that means they are more serious, adult, or refined in their tastes... you be the judge.

Their energy signature (what sets apart those who are authentically self-pres first from those who happen to have a lot of self-pres values in their nature due to a strong self-pres second in their stacking):

People who are self-pres first are said to be quieter, having more of a tendency to keep to themselves than those with other instincts dominant.  There are, of course, completely unrelated personality traits that lead to such behavior also, such as introversion, self-doubt / shyness, and/or having withdrawn (4, 5, 9) Enneatypes in one's personality, so being somewhat quiet and loner-ish does not by any means guarantee that one is a self-pres first.  But regardless of how many of these other traits are or are not present in a person, being self-pres first tends to make them more quiet and self-contained than they would be otherwise (i.e. if they had the exact same personality type except for a different instinctual stacking).

Due to SP-first types' greater tendency to keep their thoughts to themselves, when their opinions are shared, these are often discovered by others to be thoughtful and valuable contributions to the matter at hand.  This is not at all to imply that sexual- or social-first people can't make thoughtful or valuable contributions!  But I have the impression from what I've read that being self-pres first does frequently happen to correlate with introversion in people's personalities (though again, those are two separate traits that certainly don't have to coexist in the same person), while the other instinctual variants (or maybe it was just social-first?) have a similar loose correlation to extroversion.  And it's well-established that introverts think before they speak, while extroverts generally think while speaking.  So although any of these personality types has the potential to be highly intelligent and thoughtful, with self-pres types, there's just a bit more of a likelihood that whatever comes out of their mouths will have already been mulled over and thoroughly thought through, whereas the hastier, more uninhibited personality types might speak half-formed ideas as they occur and might need to polish them up a bit in order to make them fully presentable.  ;)  Sometimes self-pres-last types, especially (those with sexual / social or social / sexual as the first and second instincts in their stacking), can be downright goofy in their wild lack of inhibition, whereas I sense a lot more restraint and fear of embarrassment in those who have self-preservation high in their stacking.  Maybe this, too, has some connection to the idea that self-pres types often speak only that which has been well-considered and is at least somewhat sensible.

All-in-all... quietness, seriousness, sensitivity, and a certain "wallflowerishness" or tendency to fade into the background are energy patterns that may set apart those who are self-pres first from those of other instinctual stackings.  (Not to say that all these traits will be present in every SP-first person -- especially not all the time; there are definitely times when SP-first people can be lighthearted and fun, or can exhibit a vividness that will make them the center of attention, for example -- but just as generalities to roughly distinguish these people from others, at least some of these traits may be looked for in SP-first types.)

Monday, September 30, 2013

Enneagram Type Nine

The quest for peace is the defining characteristic of Type Nine.  As one of the three types that inherently contain the social instinct (3, 6 and 9), awareness of discontent or suffering in anyone or anything tends to disturb the Nine until the problems have been resolved and peace restored.  This concern and sensitivity toward others leads to the Nine's classification amongst the relationship-oriented types (2, 6 and 9).  As the core members of the "gut" or "instinctual" center (8, 9 and 1), Nines are possessed of an innate, effortless awareness of certain things such as the moods and nonverbal cues of people around them, and may instinctively know what to say and do in order to achieve the effects they're looking for, especially on people they know well.  Specifically, when they operate in this role, their goal is normally to maintain a balancing act, delicately sustaining the good mood of everyone present.  Nines find it so easy to understand and sympathize with everyone else's points of view that they can often (not always!) find it difficult to figure out what they themselves feel about any particular issue.  Listening to one side may convince them that that side is right, but after listening to the other side for a while, their opinion may sway over in that direction again.  Being one of the positive-outlook types (2, 7 and 9), plus being easygoing, sympathetic toward others and relationship-oriented, Nines are drawn to appreciating the good qualities of others, choosing to overlook the bad, and giving everyone the benefit of the doubt.  Seeing all sides of the argument and seeing others' positive qualities as they do, they tend to be very good-hearted, fair and impartial.  It's no surprise that with this natural empathy that they possess toward one and all, Nines hate conflict, and their personality type is often referred to as "the peacemaker" because of the lengths many of them would go to to establish harmony.  I've seen it stated in completely simple, straightforward, matter-of-fact terms that "Nines are likable", whereas I haven't seen this statement made so unequivocally about any of the other types on the Enneagram.  But this really is no surprise either, since Nines usually make it their business to adjust themselves to the needs and desires of others, to be the unassuming and undemanding supportive friend and fill whatever role is required of them in order for peace to be maintained.  Unlike Twos, who crave the loving attention of others for themselves but try to earn it by first focusing on those others and showering them with every kind of service (and who thus develop the attitude that they are highly deserving of reciprocation), Nines are naturally humble and simple; if they don't get much in the way of recognition or reward for their efforts, they're genuinely fine with that.  They might bask happily in the appreciation of others if it is freely offered, but they're quite comfortable outside the spotlight, and the services they perform are done for the sake of their intrinsic value, with no strings attached.  Unlike Sixes, instead of complaining about every small grievance they must endure in life, Nines can easily tolerate most inconveniences with a mild, pleasant disposition.  They don't ordinarily pollute the ears of others with grating tirades or unkind gossip, but rather tend to go (by and large) by the motto "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."  Most people do indeed find such traits appealing and attractive, or at least non-disturbing, so Nines don't tend to earn themselves many enemies. 

However, aside from mediating differences and solving problems outside of themselves, there is another strategy often employed by Nines for maintaining their own peace of mind: a strategy which may be good in moderation but can definitely be taken too far and become an unhealthy thing.  It is the choice to take shelter behind a "wall" or within a "shell" -- a resolution to ignore disturbing elements either outside the Nine or within his or her own mind or body.  Fully aware that the displeasing element exists and yet disinclined to deal with it, the Nine will deliberately look the other way in a bid to maintain his or her internal calm.  If carried too far, this descent into deliberate ignorance can lead to a sort of heaviness or immovability; a habitual inertia.  I myself have experienced the debilitating results of letting this tendency take over my life; it became difficult for me to accomplish anything very significant or useful due to employing my skills at ignoring and tolerating in the wrong way.  Temporary inaction and stillness in order to peacefully contemplate, meditate, or commune with nature may be healthy things for other personality types to practice (notably Type Six, which is the "stress point" for Type Nine, or the type that Nine "goes to" when disintegrating), but for Nines, undisciplined forms of these practices come so naturally that Nines should be encouraged in the opposite direction in order to achieve balance -- towards the healthy aspects of Type Three, namely self-motivation, goal-setting, and the active making and executing of plans. 

Retreating within their wall of ignorance is the method of withdrawal that Nines use (they are one of the three withdrawn types -- 4, 5 and 9), and since it enables them to numb themselves so that they can endure any mental or emotional pain, it also enables them to be very stubborn and immovable in case someone wants something from them that they are unwilling to give.  Thus, even though Nines are generally accommodating of others and appear very gentle, pliable and soft-natured (they tend to have a hard time telling people "no"; a noncommittal "maybe" or even an insincere "yes" with a lack of follow-through are more to be expected from them), they are actually very tough and strong inside; if they don't want to do something, they know very well that no one can make them.  This "checked-out" uninvolvement and recalcitrant stubbornness can, indeed, be distasteful to others, especially when carried to an extreme (it may be more likely in Nines whose instinctual stacking is self-preservation-first, although any Nines can let themselves be overtaken by it -- I'm a social-first, self-pres-LAST Nine who is very much guilty of that crime), so Nines aren't necessarily always likable to everybody. 

By the way, speaking of instinctual stacking, I wish to emphasize that not all Nines are involved in or even concerned about social issues like world peace; "live and let live" is a motto that tends to apply to Nines of any instinctual stacking, so surely if asked for their opinion, any Nine would be in favor of peaceful conditions in the nation or the world, but there are plenty of them who don't bother to lift a finger to try and make it happen.  That would be the case when numbness/inertia/ignorance are more prominent in the Nine's chosen nature.  "Eh, I can't change it, so why should I care?  Let me just hang out on the couch watching TV or whatever else I like to do for fun, and let other people work it out for themselves."  Self-pres-first Nines might be more likely to think like that. 

Another thing that certain people may find annoying about Nines is that they tend toward Perceiving in Myers-Briggs, with all the traits that entails: spaced-out, daydreamy, noncommittal, chronically late, and not too particular about the appearance of their own bodies or homes, i.e. a bit frumpy and messy may be OK with them.  This doesn't apply to all Nines, but it is a tendency that may be seen in them to one degree or another. 

As gut-center members (8, 9, 1), their innermost issues are with rage, which is deeply suppressed by them most of the time.  Many Nines may not think of themselves as having a temper at all; but when something finally causes them to lose it, they can be explosive.  When Nines have been accustomed to numbing or suppressing their feelings for a long time and are just beginning to let themselves come out of that state, in many cases the first thing they're able to feel is anger, sometimes surprisingly powerful anger.  If vented in a healthy manner, it will soon simmer down to manageable levels and eventually be replaced by the forgiveness and calm that Nines are more accustomed to from themselves; but in that case the forgiveness and calm will be more healthy and genuine than ever before, shining out from their very souls. 

The wing types:

Nines with an 8-wing are called "The Referee" by Riso and Hudson.  They are the kind of people who can stand up, raise their voices and say "Hey, everybody!  Here's what we've got to do!  You do this, and you do that.  I know just how to keep everyone happy, chilled-out and having fun, and I'm not afraid to assert myself to make sure that's exactly what happens!" 

Nines with a 1-wing are idealistic, moralistic, nit-picky about small details, often model children, usually very accepting of and loyal to authority.  They may be more dreamy and less practical than the other wing type.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Enneagram Type Eight

A fierce, stubborn determination to be in control (of others and of situations), never to be controlled by them, is what comes to my mind first when I think of Type Eight.  To them, weakness and vulnerability are not cool and are to be avoided at all costs.  They want to be tough, strong, gritty, undefeatable.  The problem, of course, is that this determination -- while it undoubtedly helps them plow through any tasks they choose to take on -- unfortunately compromises their lovableness in the eyes of many, if not most, other people.  Although Eights are soft on the inside and secretly want to be loved, understood, and accepted just as much as the rest of us, the heavy armor they have donned causes them to have a bit more difficulty understanding and relating to others, which naturally in turn makes it harder for others to understand and relate to them.  Even when the Eight tries hard to be there for others and serve them in every possible way, he or she may be baffled by the others' lack of love and appreciation for these contributions.  Eventually the Eight may develop a sort of knee-jerk expectation of rejection or lack of love from others, which is why the Eight is considered a member of the "rejection triad" (2, 5 and 8).  A fighting spirit pervades those of this personality type, a conviction that the world and the people in it are often against the Eight, seeing him or her as either simply unlovable, or misguided and/or dangerous in worse-case scenarios.  A sort of rebel/outcast/outlaw spirit is present -- a rugged individualism, a sense of outraged innocence, and/or the idea that the Eight is on the "mistreated underdog" side of a conflict, the side of right and justice that must prevail at all costs.  The Eight is willing to splinter off from others whenever necessary to protect his or her own freedom, and to defend that freedom to the death in case it is challenged.  Often spoiling for a fight (finding exhilaration in it!), Eights definitely don't tend to be lukewarm fence-sitters.  As a gut-center type (8, 9, 1), Eights feel no need to overthink their decisions; for them, decision-making is a quick, instinctive process.  As soon as all necessary information has been assembled, the answers are just there for them -- which makes them great leaders and strategists, and they generally find positions like this exhilarating and fulfilling, too.  Although it would depend on their instinctual stacking (some more loner-ish Eights could say truly that they don't care what others do as long as it doesn't affect them), I'd at least expect any Eights who aren't social-instinct-last to be driven to pick a side in any conflict they come across, then champion their chosen side relentlessly and gleefully against any opponent they can find.  Eights tend to be either loved or hated by those who know them; it's difficult to have no opinion about them.  They're such intense people that when they do play a social role, it's unlikely to be an insignificant one.  Even if they're homebodies, they'll feel the need to be "king (or queen) of their own castle."  Depending on their mental/emotional health and/or spiritual development, they can be anything from dangerous villains to great heroes, but seldom, if ever, will they be a "nobody." 

Eights are often described as having an "earthy" or "materialistic" quality to them; they're fully in touch with their bodies and the desires thereof, and their so-called "passion" or "deadly sin" is that of lust. 

One way that Eights sometimes repel people (although certainly not all people) is by being crude in their speech and behavior.  They often seem to enjoy shocking others.  As a gut-center type their deepest issues are with rage, and as a reactive type (4, 6, 8), that rage is generally never held inside but always expressed freely and explosively.  Add that trait to their reputation for crudeness and you have a group of people pretty infamous for cursing.  ;)  Although their blow-ups can be traumatic for those who live with them, there are two positive sides of their never holding feelings in.  One is that there's a certain inherent honesty in the reactive types, so you're more likely to truly know where they stand (though if they've got a Three fix, that's certainly not a guarantee).  And two is greater psychological health for them.  If they have an issue with something, they'll deal with it; if they're not bringing it up any more that's because it's genuinely been aired out, solved, and healed.  There's no such thing as emotional repression poisoning an Eight slowly from the inside out.  Their being reactive/explosive allows issues to blow over more quickly and truly be gone, leaving the Eight free to feel cheerful and unburdened the majority of the time.  (Not that they never hold ancient grudges, because they can in fact be really bad about that, but they're not the only ones, and in general they travel with less emotional baggage than many other people).  This frees their energy to be engaged and expressed in multiple ways; their abundant energy is a part of their classification as one of the aggressive/assertive types (3, 7, 8). 

When especially upset, however, Eights will "go to Five" and feel the need to retreat into solitude in order to process and deal with whatever just happened.  They will snap at anyone who tries to disturb or help them during this time.  They just need to be left alone until they are ready to come out and initiate conversation on their own. 

When at their best and happiest, on the other hand, Eights "go to Two" and become extremely loving and caring.  Healthy and happy Eights endear themselves to those they cherish due to offering them an abundance of enthusiastic love and support. 

When Eights have learned all the lessons life has to teach them, they realize that actually the world is not against them, and they don't have to be in control.  They become happy to simply, with childlike joy, play their own part in life and let others play theirs; they're able to just enjoy the ride instead of feeling like they have to steer.  They become very refreshing, exciting, enlivening people to be around -- leaders, heroes, and sometimes even saints filled with zest for life, who can inspire others, achieve vast amounts of good, and be viewed with boundless love and respect by those whose lives they've touched.

The wing types:

Eight with a 7-wing is more talkative, dynamic, and actively fun-loving/thrill-seeking.  This type likes excitement and stimulation (often through things like physical activity, competitive sports, and debate/arguments) and its energy is high, bold, loud, and impossible to ignore.  Eight with a 9-wing is quiet, firm, stoic, and immovable.  This type is inclined to use his or her talents as "the boss" to maintain peace and order.  Of course, as always, a large or small amount of each wing can be present within the same individual, so I don't mean to imply that a 9-winger could never be wild or fun-loving.  ;) 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Enneagram Type Seven

Positivity/optimism, inspirational vision, energy, enthusiasm, passion/excitement, creativity, a taste for fun/ insatiable appetite for variegated enjoyable experiences, and sometimes outrageous silliness are the hallmarks of Type Seven.  The basis of their programming, as alluded to in my posts about Enneatypes Five and Six, is the avoidance of pain: the idea that if they just choose to look at the bright side of things, they can cheerfully shrug off suffering, and if they can just keep busy enough they won't have to dwell on anything that may be bothering them.  (The avoidance of pain is also, of course, the motive of addicts; Type Seven is the most addiction-prone type on the Enneagram.  Whether through alcohol, drugs, eating, shopping, or another addictive behavior, Sevens on the run from pain can destroy themselves if they don't find the courage to stop, turn, face their problems head-on and truly deal with them.) 

Average-to-unhealthy Sevens' optimism strikes me as the most denial-based, and therefore the most blinding/handicapping, of any of the positive-outlook Enneagram types (2, 7, 9).  They are true natives of the Idealism/Frustration Triad (1, 4, 7) -- they want so much to believe in and strive after the best possible outcome that they ignore or fail to sufficiently prepare for alternative outcomes, and the inevitable result is some shock, outrage and frustration.  (When healthy, Sevens remain optimistic and happy people, but may focus on seeing how whatever happens is for the best in some way, rather than being frustrated that whatever they wanted didn't happen.) 

When especially stressed, Sevens may "go to One," freezing up, becoming excessively self-controlled and filled with internal resentment and judgmentalism.  The combination of this line of connection to One -- the most rigid and nit-picky of all Enneatypes -- with the average Seven's habit of spontaneously rushing from one thing to the next as and when the mood strikes them (with their "experience junkie" nature, they have a strong tendency toward a Perceiving preference in Myers-Briggs, and "scattered" is one of the words most often applied to Sevens) may give them a funny mix of perfectionism in some areas and total acceptance of their own sloppiness in others -- though I'm sure there's a wide spectrum of very hasty and careless to very perfectionistic Sevens. 

The tendency to take their minds off something bothering them by engaging in something diverting/enjoyable may be so deeply ingrained in them that they may not even recognize themselves as being on the run from anxiety, fear or pain.  They may think of themselves as just hating boredom -- being on an incessant search for fun because it's worth having, and not seeking it means being doomed to an intolerably dull existence.  Whether they see themselves as fleeing anxiety or merely boredom, however, the typical Seven's behavior is the same: they throw themselves with the wholehearted and unceasing energy they have as an "aggressive" Enneatype (3, 7, 8) into tasks, projects, or recreational activities, getting so much done in such a short time that other people may be flabbergasted by the Seven's amazing number of accomplishments.  Some Sevens may even be called hyperactive.  As soon as a task, project, activity or line of thought loses interest for them, though, most Sevens will drop it at least for the time being and jump to something else they feel more like doing.  Their minds are active too -- moving rapidly from one idea to the next, and sometimes may be lacking in methodical/careful thoroughness, as if too distracted by the next upcoming thought to think the first one through completely. 

Sevens are generous with themselves and others.  They love spending money and tend to maintain the cheerful attitude that they deserve to be spoiled.  They're generally not egotistical in an insufferable way, but know themselves to be innately worthy and special human beings, just as all human beings are, and expect to be treated with a certain amount of respect.  If a relationship they're in isn't cutting it for them, Sevens will usually not have too much difficulty moving on.  Although they may be wonderfully good people, they're not burdened with any excess of conscience or morality that would hamper them from making changes in their life to make it more enjoyable or healthy.  They treat themselves well, have fun, and generally don't suffer from an excess of attachment to any particular person or situation.  There are Sevens who would never consider being in anything other than a serious and committed monogamous relationship, but there are also Sevens who feel that way of life is foreign to their nature and they want to be completely free to pursue any type of romantic relationship anytime they feel like it.  Abundance, fun, ease and good times for all are the general spirit of the Seven. 

Sevens are the most extroverted type on the Enneagram due to their distaste for examining all their own messy emotions and their fixation on a supposed need for outside stimulation/distraction -- and extroverts (especially Perceiving extroverts, which again is what Sevens tend to be) don't think things through ahead of time as much as introverts but rather tend to think on their feet, sometimes failing to look before they leap.  Add this tendency toward haste with the Seven's optimism, sense of abundance, and excitement-junkie qualities and you have the makings of a confident personality that might rely heavily on luck and relish taking risks.  This is not to say that all Sevens fit this description; there definitely are introverted Sevens, and I'd expect that with a generous 6-wing, a Seven might end up being a much more careful, steady, dependable person.  But the potential is there for at least a little reckless wildness in Sevens, since the Sevenish nature is to seek excitement, euphoria and newness rather than the comfort and calm of the familiar and predictable. 

One relatively harmless way Sevens may exhibit their recklessness is through radical attention-getting behaviors like getting up in public to clown around.  Sevens aren't too afraid of looking stupid; having a good time is way more important to them, and acting silly/crazy/goofy and laughing hard about it with everyone else is a great way to have a good time.  Another thing Sevens may do is nonchalantly share amazingly personal information about themselves with others.  Not all Sevens, but some, seem to see no problem in doing this.  Since public image isn't such an obsession for them as for some other types (although with a strong image fix in their tritype they can still care a lot about their public image, don't get me wrong!) and they tend to live (to some degree or other) as if there's no such thing as danger, it may be easier for them to "live in public" and feel that they genuinely don't care who knows their personal life inside and out. 

The path to health and wholeness for Sevens is for them to recognize that pain and pleasure are both part of life, and by failing to accept that and striving to deny all pain (along with the self-awareness that brings it to the surface), they deny proper balance to themselves and their lives.  Accepting both, learning to live with and affirm both, deconstructs the specter of pain and suffering and teaches the Seven that it's actually nothing to be afraid of after all.  Like Type Five, the balanced Seven can look fear and pain in the eye and make friends with it.  Then the Seven can become more quiet, introspective, patient and diligent -- can stop being so scattered and can begin applying a greater discipline and longer attention span born of genuine interest and dedication to any task of his or her choosing.  When health and wholeness are thus achieved by the Seven, his or her well-being and generosity overflow outward and flood the world in a rising swell of joy and goodness.  Sevens are joy-bringers and when they've truly discovered happiness, their enthusiasm and drive to share it with everyone by teaching others how to find it for themselves will know no bounds. 

The wing types:

Seven with a 6-wing has more of the 6ish qualities: a wonderful sense of humor, caring, considerate treatment of others and social concern.  Seven with an 8-wing tends to be more outrageous in speech and dress, sometimes crossing the line into crass or crude words or behavior, but also has more overflowing energy, determination and dynamism. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Enneagram Type Six

Fear and its lesser synonyms such as anxiety, nervousness, worry, etc. are the keywords with Type Six.  As the central of the three types in the Thinking Center (5, 6 and 7 -- all of whom have their core issues around fear and anxiety), Type Six's challenges in this domain are amplified to the maximum.  Whereas Fives "make friends with" their fears by becoming sickeningly fascinated by them and Sevens distract themselves from their fears by quickly moving their attention to something else every time their anxieties begin to catch up with them, Sixes have no such coping mechanism (except insofar as they have well-developed Five and/or Seven wings).  On the contrary, their membership in the Reactive Triad (4, 6 and 8) -- which I've said before is the "squeaky wheel" triad, i.e., the types that help call the attention of the rest of us to issues that may need fixing -- means they're sensitive to negativities or problems and tend to be dissatisfied or unhappy about them.  So they are left to suffer from the full strength of their fears -- at least at first.

These fears and worries, and the desire to achieve safety and security for themselves (and their loved ones), shape every aspect of the Type Six nature.  Because they so much crave the security of dependable loving relationships -- friends and family members who will be there for them when needed, no matter what -- they are one of the relationship-oriented Enneagram types (with 2 and 9) and one of the compliant types (with 1 and 2): i.e., they try to please others, to do what others would want them to do, to earn love and protection by endearing themselves to others.  Since they very much appreciate the emotional and physical security that is generated when others are dependable, responsible, and trustworthy, they endeavor to treat others the way they'd like to be treated by being hard-working, dependable, responsible and trustworthy themselves.  They're sensitive to others' feelings because they themselves know what it's like to feel incredibly vulnerable and sensitive, and because they generally view making friends and keeping them as important.  Although the degree to which they care about this will vary with their instinctual stacking, Sixes are naturally endowed with the social instinct, like 3 and 9.  This instinct involves the desire to be accepted by a group and to look out for the group's interests/welfare; in the case of Sixes, the unconscious motivation behind this is the idea of "safety in numbers" -- the herd mentality.  So no matter what their instinctual stacking is, you will usually see Sixes seek out some sort of herd to be a part of -- no matter how small -- even if it's just their own family.  Sixes tend to be very clannish.  "Blood is thicker than water" sounds to me like something a Type Six would say.  Pride in their own family heritage (or to some extent in their own school, city, state or country) gives them a sense of belonging: yet another layer of security for them.  It's not just the cozy feeling of "aww, I belong!  Yay!" that they love.  Though that's part of it too, it's deeper and more serious for them than that.  Since Sixes perceive the world as a place filled with danger, they have a strong sense that those who are willing to bond together as comrades need to watch each other's backs against threats from the natural world and unscrupulous humans.  So their main idea is that as long as they build and maintain close relationships with everyone in their connection by being there for those others whenever they're needed, they'll be able to expect everyone else to rush to their aid in case they themselves are someday in difficulty.  "All for one, and one for all" is THE MOST Sixish motto I've come across.  Type Six is often referred to as "the Loyalist" because, in spite of their fear, they will risk death for those they care about -- and they hope for the same selfless dedication in return.  They are team players.  If someone on the team (be it a marriage, extended family, business enterprise, or sports team) was down, suffering or struggling in any way, a healthy Type Six would feel strongly that that person deserved patience, sympathy and support, not judgment or exclusion!  Once they got back on their feet, the team would be so much stronger and more bonded for having helped that person through.  (Besides, the next time it could be the Six who was in trouble!  So if a culture of supporting those in difficulty was not in place, then what would happen???) 

In keeping with this deep value that they place on loyal behavior and with their compliant, responsible nature, Sixes will try with everything they've got to make a family or marital relationship work out before they'll give up.  Being naturally humble, they will forgive much.  If they ever do give up, it's because they've come to the conclusion that there is zero hope of the relationship ever being reciprocal.  If they get to that point, where they're burned out and their capacity to repose any trust in the other person has been utterly extinguished, there's no getting them back.  They'll shut that person out of their heart forever and want nothing more to do with them. 

I've alluded to the concept of trust a few times already because it is a key issue for Sixes.  In the beginning of their lives, Sixes tend to be extremely trusting of others.  We all expect others to be like ourselves until we discover otherwise, and Sixes are no different.  Since they're so innocent, sincere, well-meaning, good-hearted and trustworthy, they naturally expect that others are also good, caring and trustworthy and have their best interests at heart.  Some Sixes are fortunate enough to make it through life with this innocent, sweet nature relatively intact.  However, unfortunately, many -- probably most -- Sixes don't make it very far without realizing, in some kind of terrible and shocking (to them) episode, that not everyone is honest or trustworthy after all. After that experience, many of them begin to doubt everyone, to be cynical or skeptical, to need proof before they will again be able to believe in anyone or anything.  One of the primary themes of the Type Six's life is trying to figure out what to believe, and whom to trust and follow and support with their loyalty.  This mental endeavor to sort out their ideas and values and figure out what's what, what is believable and dependable and is not going to shift under their feet without warning and throw everything out of kilter for them, is why they're said to belong to the "Head" or "Thinking" center -- even though they also have huge caring hearts and a sentimental nature that becomes too easily attached (to things that may be lost). 

In their efforts to protect themselves and those they care about from danger and difficulty or to solve other problems in their lives, they often fall back on very practical and logical thinking methods (troubleshooting)... a very mechanistic type of thinking.  They may be very good at this.  But when a question arises which they feel unable to solve in this manner, their mental uncertainty and tendency to place their trust in others leads them oftentimes to ask their family members, friends, and other trusted authorities for advice when they're trying to decide what to do.  When they finally figure out what it is that they believe and then become able to begin making up their own mind more often, it's a great triumph for them. 

There's another way Sixes can change over time.  As I stated at the end of the first paragraph, they feel vulnerable and exposed to the full strength of their fears during the first part of their lives.  To a greater or lesser extent, they will always feel like that as long as they remain in the grip of their Sixish programming.  However, since those who are brave and courageous are idolized in society and those who are cowardly are despised, many Sixes who fail to realize what courage really is while they're young will dislike their own fearfulness and wish to disown that quality of theirs.  In an effort to cut out that part of their nature and be the opposite -- strong and brave -- they may throw their accustomed caution to the winds and become wild and reckless daredevils.  This is called going from phobic to counterphobic.  Counterphobic Sixes can also be quite rebellious, rejecting the tame/quiet/meek/compliant/cooperative/obedient qualities of the phobic Six, if they happen to have a disapproving attitude about those traits too.  Some Sixes remain phobic all their lives; some, after a certain point, exhibit their counterphobic personality exclusively; some may go back and forth between phobic and counterphobic as their mood dictates. 

The path of growth for Sixes is to develop the good qualities of Type Nine: to become relaxed, accepting, cheerful/positive, unaffected, unattached, peaceful and happy, and to be able to maintain this attitude through all the storms of life.  In order to do this, Sixes need to transfer their attachments from those things that are perishable and subject to being destroyed to those that are indestructible, eternal, and spiritual.  The only way for Sixes to escape from their programming and its curse of constant fear is to seek knowledge about the self and God. 

The wing types:

Sixes with a 5-wing are more interested in science, more introverted and studious, and sometimes become obsessed with questioning, critiquing, and exposing the faults of the system by which society is run.  Finding out and exposing all kinds of cheating or falseness (loathed by all Sixes) wherever it's been institutionalized or enshrined in a position of power may be what some 6w5s see as their calling.  This can sometimes lead them to become conspiracy theorists; conspiracy, or the idea that "things are not as they seem because of some scoundrels' ill intent," is an intensely touchy / intolerable subject for Sixes, and therefore a fascinating one for some of them. 

Sixes with a 7-wing tend to be more extroverted and fun-loving, often enjoying physical activity and parties.  This is the most common of all Enneagram types, so 6w7s may seem like very average, normal people.  Still, the reason they're so common is because societies built of these people are healthy and successful -- they make wonderful parents, family members and friends, hard workers, and selflessly sincere servants of the common good.  Sometimes they may fall prey to the Sevenish weaknesses for addictive substances and/or overspending. 

All in all, Sixes are some of the best and sweetest people in society.  They make our world function safely and smoothly.  They value truth and good behavior, rejecting falsity and corruption.  They know the meaning of honor, duty and sacrifice.  Since they know the most fear, they also know the most courage, as we know that courage means feeling fear but doing your duty anyway.  In every line of work, there they are, working their hearts out and/or putting their lives on the line for the rest of us, every single day.  We can all be grateful we have them. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Enneagram Type Five

CURIOSITY.  That's the word I think of first in connection with Type Five.  Fives have a strong need to understand their world.  Ferreting out answers to all their questions about the hows and whys of life is the activity that consumes them.  They are excellent and keen observers.  Being one of the withdrawn types (along with Four and Nine), they have some tendency towards introversion and solitary habits, primarily to support their need to study things all the time.  Depending on their instinctual stacking as well as how cool and fun they are perceived as being by others, they might be loners locked perpetually in their own rooms with their books or computers, or successful and well-received in their social circle, but the "nerd with glasses," "geek" or "techie person" is their stereotypical image.  It's no surprise that they are in the "Head" or "Thinking" center (along with Types Six and Seven). 

The core issues of the Thinking Center are with fear and anxiety, and each Thinking Center type deals with their fears and anxieties in a different way.  Type Sevens run away from their anxieties and try to pretend they don't exist.  Type Sixes for the most part acknowledge their fears and try to take steps to protect themselves and their loved ones from the perceived dangers.  Type Fives (one of the rarest types on the Enneagram) face their fears head-on, and in fact feel the need to extensively study and examine them -- to understand how scary things make them feel and why, and/or to "shine light into dark spaces" by understanding the scary thing itself inside and out so that it will become well-known and consequently perhaps no longer quite as scary -- and they can actually become gruesomely fascinated with genres like horror because of this drive of theirs.  (Not that they necessarily will, but they can.)

As one of the "level-headed" Enneagram types (along with One and Three), they have a definite tendency toward the (objective, logical) Thinking preference in Myers-Briggs.  They certainly experience emotion -- in fact, are said to be quite sensitive -- but most Fives don't allow emotion to take over their decision-making the majority of the time.  Nor are they in the habit of seeking others' advice very often, as many Sixes often do.  Fives trust their own ability to come up with the right answers to any questions they may have, through study and experimentation of their own and/or through looking up the results of others' scientific study and experimentation.  Fives make expert scientists and researchers, are often loners and try their best to be self-reliant. 

Fives' experience of life involves the sense of never having enough time, energy, money, etc. to do what they strongly feel they need to do, so as a result, they zealously hoard whatever they have.  Their time alone for study and thought is immeasurably precious to them, and trying to barge in on them or insist they break out of their shell and join the group will only result in their feeling desperate to escape from you.  A task that would seem easy and quick to others might to Fives seem liable to sap far more valuable time and energy from them than they can afford to expend, so they'll likely decline to accept the responsibility if they can possibly get out of it.  Since money represents hours of work and Fives are so reluctant to do any work not of their own choosing (and plus they have a tendency to live in their heads amid their interesting thoughts and neglect other bodily needs somewhat), you can see how they'd develop the desire to minimize spending, even on what others would consider bodily necessities, what to speak of anything more frivolous.  In spite of the reckless neglect they may sometimes inflict on their own health when absorbed in a long stint of research or working on some project, Fives belong to the "Self-Preservation" triad (2, 5 and 8).  Although there are several ways these "self-pres" instincts could manifest in their nature, one possibility is that the Five might be innately conscious of and concerned about the necessities of physical survival, wishing to know the practicalities of how these will be provided.  These innate self-pres concerns plus reluctance to have their treasured freedom to explore, learn and think cut into by too many undesired obligations (either at an ordinary job, or in a scenario where they're financially supported by/indebted to others and feeling an internal or external pressure to reciprocate in some way because of that) can result in a tension/anxiety that causes them to minimize their physical needs down to the bare minimum and hoard every penny they possibly can against future need. 

Fives are one of the most independent types on the Enneagram.  First of all they want to figure out for themselves exactly how their cherished projects ought to be accomplished, and then they tend to feel strongly about the conclusions that their years of research have led them to.  Compromising with others wouldn't be very appealing to them.  If they were going to work with anyone else, the Five would do best in positions like expert adviser or leader.  Fives aren't pawns, they're masterminds.  Another aspect of the 2-5-8 triad is that all these types, whether they know it or not, have some desire for power.  However, although I wouldn't say it could never happen, on the whole I would not expect Fives to be excessively overbearing leaders.  They really shine when others flock to them of their own accord due to being inspired by the Five's clear vision, and support the Five willingly.  If that's not the case, the Five is happy to splinter off and work alone.  Their motto in relationships is "I won't expect much of you, so you shouldn't expect much of me."

If a Five has tried to tackle a problem in the characteristically 5ish way -- i.e. analyzing, dissecting, trying to understand it and arrive at the best plan of action -- and this has failed to eliminate the problem, the Five will then "go to Seven", i.e. conclude "OK, if I can't get rid of this problem yet, then let me take my mind off it and just have fun!  Yeah!  Party time!"  Stressed Fives exhibiting the qualities of unhealthy Sevens may be unusually social, not feeling as much need for alone time as they normally do; be more scatter-brained, distractible, impulsive, undisciplined and frenetic / lose their accustomed clarity, patience, concentration, discipline and diligence; and possibly suffer from an unhealthy optimism that is out of touch with reality (very unusual for them because normally they're objective, scientific realists -- due to their tendency to focus on fears/anxieties/negativities rather than gloss them over or shy away, they can even become skeptical cynics in some cases).  When exceptionally healthy, on the other hand, Fives will begin to exhibit the qualities of healthy Eights -- i.e., they will finally get out of the stage where they're always studying, planning and preparing for life, and actually step into the life they've always wanted to live, wherein they feel empowered, confident, energized, sure of themselves, and ready to take the helm in a worthy project or cause and help lead the way to a better future for all. 

The wing types: 

Fives with 4 as their stronger wing are more integrated with their emotions (and thus more spontaneous and natural in expressing them) than Fives with a more prominent 6-wing.  The latter tend to separate themselves more from their emotions, being aware of them but studying them as something different and separate from themselves, and the result can be a highly poker-faced, maybe almost robotic-seeming person in extreme cases.  5w4s can be quite passionate in their emotions and behaviors at times.  Another big distinction is that, Type Four being the classic introvert as well as proud to be "different/unusual", 5w4s tend to direct their 5ish drive to study and understand towards themselves, their inner worlds, and the more unseen, impenetrable, vague and unfathomable realms of reality.  Willingness to accept highly theoretical/speculative systems of understanding -- a leaning towards more intuitive, esoteric, occult or "alternative" sciences -- and attraction to things like philosophy and very deep questions of why things are the way they are, which you can think about with your mind but not so much observe with your physical senses, tend to be attributes of the 5w4.  In comparison, 5w6s are more focused on the natural, observable world that surrounds them and technical questions about how it all works.  Empiricism, skepticism, and the stereotypically strict "just the facts" scientist personality would fit more with 5w6 than 5w4.  This is not at all to say that a 5w4 can't be interested in natural science nor a 5w6 in philosophy; any Type 5 can become interested in any system of knowledge.  But those general tendencies have been seen.  Also, due to the 5w6's attraction to our natural world, this type often feels happier with realism in art and literature.  In fantasy or science fiction, the 5w6 may prefer to see the imaginary worlds follow laws of nature that are more or less similar to this world's.  The 5w4, on the other hand, often gets a kick out of completely bizarre, surreal, and mind-boggling ideas, scenarios, situations or landscapes.  The 5w4 is also the one more likely to become obsessed with horror. 

Since Type Six is very social, 5w6s may tend to be friendlier towards others than 5w4, more anxious to fit in with and use their talents for the benefit of society somehow if possible -- although again, this is not at all to say that a 5w4 couldn't want to do that too, nor that a 5w6 would never be a misanthropic loner.  And one last point (though, yet again, none of this is set in stone) is that since Type Four is usually more spontaneous and impulsive whereas Type Six is considered a "compliant" (i.e., hardworking and responsible) type, 5w4s might lean somewhat toward a Perceiving preference in Myers-Briggs (spontaneity) whereas 5w6s might lean more towards Judging (order and organization).

Friday, April 26, 2013

Enneagram Type Four

"I'm like this, and you're like that."  Studying the similarities and differences between self and others, and discerning a (preferably desirable) identity to cling to, is a primary preoccupation of Type Four.  Types Two and Three, the other Image Center types, do a lot of this as well, but since Two and Three are compliant and assertive types respectively (and also generally extroverted), they tend to be a lot more wrapped up in doing than withdrawn, introspective Type Four.  Type Two is busy trying to win the love of others through kind actions and be a responsible and involved member of society, Type Three is busy trying to excel in some chosen field, and neither of them usually takes as much time to ponder these things at length as Type Four does.

The Type Two's positivity might lead him or her to focus mostly on seeing good qualities in self and others (except when hurt, spurned, or disappointed, which as stated before would make the Type Two "go to Eight"), while Type Three's rationality is capable of seeing both good and bad qualities in others but is not inclined to dwell on those facts -- "just make an executive decision accordingly and move on already" would be the Three's approach.  Type Four, however, belongs to the Reactive Triad: 4, 6 and 8.  One potential slogan of the Reactive Triad is "the squeaky wheel gets the grease."  When a problem is noticed or experienced, these types don't smooth it over.  They dwell on it and call others' attention to it until it has been healed.  Although the annoying side of this trait is that these types complain about things that to others might seem small enough to ignore or bear cheerfully (I've read that Type Four has a strong tendency toward pessimism, and pessimism is obviously a lot less attractive to and appreciated by others than optimism), the fact that they're fully aware and conscious of problems rather than ignoring them often serves a very important purpose for themselves as well as society, allowing things to be fixed much more quickly.  So, Type Four is sensitive and perceptive (capable of noticing details -- in some cases, in emotionally charged issues, they may be seen by others as blowing them out of proportion), and dwells internally and speaks aloud honestly at length on whatever he or she happens to have noticed or felt (be it good, bad, or hideous), and because of these strengths, though Fours do have a basic tendency to jump to conclusions in a quick, irrational, emotional, subjective way rather than being objective, an ability to classify or characterize self and others in interesting ways might also be perceived in them; sometimes highly intuitive, right-brained methods may be used by them to detect similarities between seemingly unrelated things in a creative and novel fashion.

These strengths in the Type Four, plus the wealth of turbulent, powerful, undiluted emotions they discover in themselves in the course of all their introspecting (as stated several times in previous posts, Fours are in the highly passionate and intense Idealism or Frustration Triad along with 1 and 7), lead to Fours generally being extremely creative people, who will often feel they cannot live without expressing themselves through writing, art, music, or some other medium.  Like magma in an active volcano, their creativity can't be held in.  Sometimes Fours endure a tortured existence -- producing works of exquisite, enduring beauty out of their great pain.  Others are able to cope somewhat better with life.  But highs and lows characterize the emotional life of Fours no matter what -- at least as long as they don't seek a way off the roller-coaster of their programming.

Twos and Threes find identities for themselves that fit more easily into society.  Fours, however (the rarest type on the Enneagram) see a vast gulf of difference between themselves and most others around them.  In order to counteract the demon of self-doubt, they must pride themselves on being different.  A certain amount of this independent spirit is a good thing; the ability to "think outside the box" is required for many new and valuable ideas to be generated for the benefit of human society.  Awareness that great people ahead of their time have often been perceived as eccentric bolsters Fours' egos, allowing them to feel like part of a special, elite, superior segment of society, and cements their determination that they must follow their own muse; nothing is more loathsome to them than the idea of conforming to whatever is commonly done just because everyone else is doing it.  If, however, they remain too deeply under the spell of this compulsion to be original and nonconformist, it is possible for them to completely lose touch with good sense (after all, many rules and traditions came about for good reason) and, with the desperation of a dog backed into a corner by enemies, defend to the death their right to "do their own thing" no matter what -- even if it happens to be dangerous for themselves or others.  Self-doubt may plague them; they may be able to see (or have it brought to their attention by friends, family or counselors) that their unreasoning attachment to being different from others might NOT lead them to spark beneficial revolutions in human awareness, but rather to a lonely, unappreciated and forsaken spiral into defiant and ever-more-unhinged behaviors.  Since Fours (like any other Image Center type) really long for the favorable and admiring attention of others -- for others to love, appreciate and value them as wonderful and brilliant -- the realization that they might just become crazy and rejected would be a very grim one.

Much of the time when the Type Four withdraws from others, he or she is hoping to be pursued and drawn back out by someone.  The Type Four loves it when others are interested in him or her; loves when others ask how he or she feels about something, and thanks to frequent introspection, is often full of answers all ready to be shared.  If others fail to pursue the Type Four when he or she withdraws, the Four will feel sad and unloved, maybe morose and self-pitying.

Since Fours are perfectionists (members of the Idealism Triad, and somewhat snobby and elitist -- determined to be a cut above the commoners), doing their creative (or other) work the way they wish to (and feel they must) necessarily makes them take more time and energy to accomplish it than a less-perfectionist person would.  Also, they have a strong tendency toward Perceiving in Myers-Briggs: whatever comes along, they want to experience it fully, to thoroughly feel and extensively study the feelings it generates in them.  If the mood strikes, they may wish to immerse themselves in some sort of artistic creation for extended periods of time, but if misfortune befalls them or their muse has flown, they may nurse their misery with unhealthy self-indulgent behavior, letting responsibilities slip by with stubborn heedlessness.  For these reasons, it can sometimes be quite difficult for a Type Four to realize his or her dreams without practical and moral support from a loving admirer.  Due to Type Four being in the Frustration Triad, he or she may have many desires and ambitions, but may feel rather helpless to accomplish them.  Also, the yearnings to be sought after, to receive others' attention and appreciation, and to be rescued from difficulty in a romantic, exciting fashion by a dashing admirer can all add to the Type Four's neediness.  Considering all these factors, it is no surprise that the prospect of losing relationships that the Type Four perceives him- or herself as needing to hold on to would cause him or her to freak out and "go to Two" -- i.e. to try to cling to the affection and regard of the "needed" person(s) by pointing out everything the Type Four has done and is doing for them.  If Fours are even more unhealthy or insecure, they may actually hide their own needs and pretend to be all about satisfying the needs of the other person, in classic Twoish fashion -- vastly different from the "it's all about me" image that Fours can unfortunately project at times when they're being their normal, relatively-healthy selves!

Type Fours are well-known lovers of romance, beauty and fantasy.  Oftentimes they may have a strong conviction that they don't belong in the present day and age, but ought to be living in some bygone era -- or that this world isn't their own, that they belong in some fantasy realm.  Their penchant for feeling every emotion to the fullest, including tragic ones, combines with their nostalgia for their "rightful home" or days gone by to immerse them frequently in a painful, yet powerfully sweet melancholy.  If they choose to give too much power to this, they may waste a lot of time relishing the imaginary, and even temporarily letting it steal away their strength or will to do things in real life.  This sort of thing is common with Fours.  But pressuring them to change this behavior against their will, while they are too attached to it, does nothing good.  They can be shown a different way to live, but the will to choose it must come from inside them.

The path of progress for Fours involves "going to One": deciding, through their own healthy and happy inner inspiration, to put aside some aspects of their fanciful, flighty and undisciplined nature; discovering the inner wisdom to make rational, intelligent, prudent, sensible, careful, and well-considered choices; and finding their way to a life of stability, hard work for a good cause and the great satisfaction, fulfillment and pleasure that come from that.

The wing types:

Four with a 3-wing is of course more attention-hungry than Four with a 5-wing.  Consequently, although exploring their internal worlds and figuring out how they feel about everything AND then telling others about it through various means of self-expression are both classic activities of Fours of any wing prominence, comparatively speaking, 3-wingers will tend to engage in more self-expression while 5-wingers do more internal investigation.  3-wingers are flashier; I've read that the most outrageous outfits worn in public will usually be on either 4w3s or 7s, whereas 4w5s are described as sometimes liking to wear grim, black, torn, tattered, old or frumpy clothing.  A 4w3 would be more likely to love being in the spotlight and unhesitatingly seize any opportunity to show off his or her flair for fashion, acting, singing or other artistic/creative skill, whereas a 4w5 might not mind doing those things on occasion (if somewhat of a 3-wing is present too) but would prefer to spend more time alone, reading, endlessly exploring his or her thoughts and feelings about deeply-beloved interesting subjects, and engaging in more solitary, possibly quieter creative projects.  Due to the social instinct (desire to fit in) of the 3-wing, a 4w3 might find it easier to relate with others and fit comfortably into the social scene; when the 4ish snobbery/superiority shows up, it might exhibit itself via a competitive attempt to be recognized as having the best taste or skill, or the most superior-quality possessions that can be admired and appreciated by others -- the 4w3 might think of him- or herself as more "high-class" or "cultured" than common folk (though not necessarily to an obnoxious degree).  4w5s, on the other hand, are more careless of what others think, more genuine outsiders in society.  They answer to nothing but their own tastes and convictions; they would scorn any attempt to be fashionable.  One last point is that the 3ish drive, energy and ambition might make it easier for 4w3s to make it in the world, to accomplish their dreams and goals on their own steam, whereas the doubly withdrawn 4w5 would be more likely to spend a lot of time thinking about what they'd like to do, maybe even making extensive plans and preparations, but seldom feeling ready to actually dive in to doing it.  However, since Type 3 is the diametric opposite of Type 4 in many ways (false where 4 is authentic, shallow where 4 is deep, willing to do anything just to earn accolades whereas 4 believes in being yourself at any cost), the 4w3 might become disgusted and appalled with him- or herself more readily than the more undivided and uncompromised 4w5 would, and that self-loathing might become a handicap for the 4w3. 

4s add much loveliness and insight to the world; their special vision, when shared, can enliven, invigorate, thrill, or inspire others.  They give voice and validation to beauty, magic, and deep truths that we'd all like to believe in.  A world without 4s would be missing out on a lot of romance, drama, intensity, pathos, highly-acclaimed artistic/creative works and rich literature. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Enneagram Type Three

As the central member of the Image Center, Type Threes are consumed with determination to excel and be admired by others.  Whereas types 1, 4 and 7 are innately possessed of the so-called sexual instinct which means they often feel passionately frustrated and experience intense yearning for something they don't have, something that they feel they need -- and types 2, 5 and 8 are innately possessed of the self-preservation instinct that leads them to have practical concerns about physical necessities -- Types 3, 6 and 9 are all innately possessed of the social instinct, which among other things means that they're anxious to be accepted and appreciated by people in general, or at least by their own group of associates.  A high degree of sensitivity to "what people will think" is thus present in Types 3, 6 and 9.  However, the core motive of Type 6 is to feel safe and secure; Type 9's is to feel peaceful and undisturbed.  Although these core motives tend to lead these types to adjust themselves to others most of the time (for Type 6 it would be a matter of being accepted by the group so that the group would watch his or her back, for Type 9 it would be a matter of keeping others satisfied so as to avoid conflict or argument and maintain peace in his or her relationships), if they find themselves in a situation in which their core motives can only be fulfilled by going against public or family opinion (e.g. the Type 6 has become convinced that he or she is in danger of sickness by going along with the crazy, unhealthy habits that are accepted as normal in society, or the Type 9 has a strong and unbearable inner need for something which relentlessly torments him or her until it's given in to, but which is at odds with the family's ideas about what the Type 9 ought to do), they will steel themselves against their sensitivity to others' opinion of them, and grit their teeth and act according to their true values no matter what.  For Type 3, though, located in the Image Center as it is, the core motive is that very respect and appreciation from society, so unless the Type 3 person is convinced that he or she is going to be a leader in a cutting-edge field and WILL earn that craved admiration, bucking trends is not the Three's forte.

The Type Three (or 3-fixer) will tend to dress in a fashionable, or at least neat and socially acceptable way.  Behavior that makes him or her stand out as weird would tend to be shunned with a shudder of embarrassment.  If manicured lawns are the social standard, by golly the Three (or 3-fixer) had better have one, or he or she will cringe with shame every time they look at the yard.  The Type Three only tries to stand out from the crowd by way of being or having the "best of show" in whatever category is at hand.  "Keeping up with the Joneses" is the sort of concern that one could only have if one had either a Three fix or a sizable 3-wing on one's image fix. 

Whenever there is an opportunity for the Type Three to show off something that he or she can do well, it will be taken advantage of.  Being in the spotlight, wowing the crowd, is what the Type Three is programmed to relish.  In search of that appreciation, Type Threes really enjoy competition.  Type Three is a member of the aggressive/assertive triad (3, 7 and 8), which means energy and drive are abundant in this type.  In fact -- in spite of the social instinct, and thus concern for others' opinions, that is innate in Type Three -- this type can be so goal-oriented that they feel there is no time to consider even their own feelings, what to speak of other people's, and they may brush others aside impatiently as if they don't matter at all.  Type Three is a workaholic type: so bent on achieving success and distinction that they may fail to take proper care of their own physical, emotional or relationship health (if any of these is not seen as crucial to the achievement of their goals).  This squelching or ignoring of feelings is what leads to the Type Three's categorization amongst the level-headed/rational, unsentimental/unemotional types on the Enneagram along with Types One and Five.

Another thing that Type Threes generally don't hesitate to do (if they're confident of getting away with it) is to misrepresent the facts, in order to present their best face to the world or to accomplish their ends.  Deceit is the "deadly sin" of Type Three.  "The ends justify the means" strikes me as a Threeish idea.  I've seen 3-fixers with the desire to achieve a perfectly good thing choose to go about it in a less-than-honest way in order to be as sure as possible that it would happen, whereas this behavior wouldn't be instinctive, natural or normal at all for most 2- or 4-fixers, who would be more likely to deal honestly and sincerely with others and let the chips fall where they may.  Also in many situations which strike me as quite trivial, 3-fixers will prefer to tell lies or fibs in order to smooth their own path, although to me it would seem like they could totally afford to tell the truth.  Threes and 3-fixers seem perfectly COMFORTABLE with lying when they deem it appropriate.  They do it easily and unhesitatingly.  As a 4-fixer, I just can't relate with this.

So are you getting the picture of what Type Three is like?  A salesman who'll flash you a phony grin and with great self-assurance will lay out for you all the reasons why his product is exactly what you need and want, although it may or may not in fact be, probably has at least a 3-fix if he's not indeed a core Three.  Threes and 3-fixers are motivated to achieve a particular end, are determined to make it happen no matter what.  Fours and 4-fixers on the other hand, for whom honesty and authenticity are important, would be focused on "telling it like it is" according to their genuine knowledge of and experience with the product -- the good, the bad and the ugly.  Twos and 2-fixers in sales would be filled with a genuine desire to help others that would lead them to admit it if their product was not actually right for the particular clients they were working with.

Threes may be spoken of as "shallow" because, being so absorbed in their external image, they don't tend to be in touch with their inner selves.  They're so busy trying to become that which will be admired by everyone else that they may have no idea what it is that they themselves like and want -- what it is that will enable them to feel genuinely fulfilled.  The path of growth for them is to become more introspective, to get in touch with their own feelings and express them honestly, and to care about the feelings of others -- as Type Six does.  When the Type Three does this while retaining his or her innate good qualities of energy, determination, discipline, motivation, proactivity, belief that there's no limit to what can be achieved/confidence that "where there's a will, there's a way," and good work ethic, he or she can become an unstoppable force for good in the world.

The wing types:

Threes with a 2-wing are skilled at being charming and likable, and will try to employ their words and mannerisms in getting their way by making people adore them.  This is the kind with the flashy, "I know you're gonna love me" smile.  Threes with a 4-wing are more purely workaholic and won't waste time being charming.  They may exhibit a tough "take me or leave me" exterior.  I've also gotten the impression (based on my limited life experience, not based on anything I've read) that 2-wingers' tastes in architecture and home decorating show more of a leaning towards 2ishness -- the cute, charming, domestic, warm, cozy, homey, old-fashioned, traditional look -- whereas 4-wingers have more of a taste for the sleek, innovative, ultra-modern, up-to-date, clever and cool.  

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Enneagram Type Two

Relationships are the first thing that come to my mind when considering Type Two.  It's one of three Enneatypes (2, 6 and 9) that are called the "relationship-oriented" types, because these types tend to care a lot about others and understand more readily than any other Enneagram type that the greatest sweetness and most important thing in life lies in serving others with selfless dedication.

Since Type Two is located in the Image Center (comprised of Types 2, 3 and 4), however, there is a key difference between Type Two vs. Types Six and Nine.  Image Center types (when entrenched in, rather than liberated from, their programming) are all deeply self-conscious and fixated on ego issues/how they are viewed by others.  Have you heard the statement that "humility is not seeing yourself as more than you are, nor as less than you are, but just as you are"?  That's a very profound statement, because indeed, characterizing yourself as inordinately low, wretched or worthless is just the flip side of the coin from seeing yourself as special, above-average, and better than most others; and Image Center types are the ones who have issues with this sort of thing.  Types Six and Nine have no issues in this department, so for people with those core types, questions about their self-worth don't normally arise.  Although growing up with abuse and shame or excessive praise and attention will certainly affect core Sixes and Nines too (since we all do have an image fix somewhere in our programming), their natural tendency is toward the humility of self-acceptance; neither making too much of themselves, nor excoriating themselves endlessly for making a mistake.  Their biggest issues are in other areas.  But Image Center types mask a deep-seated sense of shame and worthlessness with various types of pride.  Type Fours pride themselves on being different, original, creative, unique and authentic individuals; competitive Type Threes on simply being the best at whatever they do; and Type Twos on their selflessness and loving, caring, other-oriented nature.  Thus, the selflessness of Type Twos, whether they realize it or not (they usually don't until it's pointed out to them), is self-conscious and at least a little bit vainglorious.  Ordinarily, Twos tend to have a very good image of themselves.  Their natural inclination is to think of themselves as wonderful and great (though usually not to the degree that would make them odious or annoying to others!) because they're so nice to and do so much for everybody.  But their hope and expectation is that others will take notice of this and respond with lots of love and appreciation for them, and will reciprocate with their serving and giving by doing loving things for them in return.  If they are dissatisfied with the amount of appreciation and reciprocation they're getting from others, they may try to tolerate and push on with their program of selfless service for some time, but eventually, Type Two will "go to Eight," which means explode and start yelling and chastising others for not doing their part.  And on the other hand if it's the Two who makes a mistake, they'll tend to beat themselves up about it rather excessively, because they have a deeply ingrained belief that they aren't enough just in themselves, but have to earn the love of others through good behavior.  The direction of growth for Type Twos involves "going to Four" -- i.e., learning to be in touch with themselves and their own needs and learning to express those openly and honestly as and when they are felt, rather than suppressing them and trying to maintain an artificial facade of total selflessness in order to earn the love of others, which leads to frustration (and possible self-worth crises) when the Type Two is not satisfied.

Another basic characteristic of Twos is that they belong to the positive-outlook triad (2, 7 and 9), so they tend to look on the bright side, hope for the best, praise and encourage good qualities in others, be very cheery, etc.  (Twos dearly love to give and receive compliments.  They themselves are very sensitive to how they're viewed by others -- criticism and rejection hurt them badly.  Whether they've had the opportunity to realize it or not, they're somewhat dependent on external validation to maintain their good self-image, and since they're caring, they want to share that which they need and enjoy with others.)

Also, as mentioned in my last post, Two is in the compliant triad (Types 1, 2 and 6), which means it's one of the Enneatypes that have a Superego inside their heads telling them constantly what they ought to do, and they feel obliged to comply whether they feel like it or not, and whether they have energy or not.  These types generally try to be very responsible, dutiful and diligent, cooperate with the needs and requests of others as far as they possibly can, and feel bad if unable to fulfill others' expectations.  They're fully involved participators in life and relationships -- not checked-out, uncooperative, stubborn or lazy like the withdrawn types (4, 5 and 9) can be perceived as being at times -- but they don't have as much driven, dynamic, fiery, raw energy as the aggressive types (3, 7 and 8).  Compliant types' efforts can be plodding (though they have more energy than slow, easygoing Type 9 usually exhibits), but whatever is on their list, they'll keep at it dutifully until it's done.  (With a generous 3-wing, by the way, Type Two can be highly energetic, active and goal-oriented, so keep in mind I'm not saying their efforts WILL be "plodding," just that they can be.)

The combination of caring about people plus having the sense that they know what needs to be done produces in Type Two the frequent tendency to give others well-meaning advice and/or to try and organize people to get the job at hand done.  Indeed, Twos are part of a triad (2, 5 and 8) whose types all have a certain level of desire for power and control, which in Two and Five can even be hidden from themselves.  In Type Two this usually manifests in a sort of "power behind the throne" mentality -- the desire to encourage, enable, and advise others (and of course take part themselves in whatever way may be necessary) so that the needful can be achieved.  When frustrated or unhealthy, they may become annoyingly bossy (some Twos tend to assume the role of "parent" toward others, who may not welcome being parented), but when happy and healthy, Twos are usually very sweet and kind in the way they express themselves, and try their best to be sensitive and careful not to get on anyone's bad side.  Twos generally never want to let go of any relationships; they usually try to hang onto and keep in touch with all their family and friends forever, so they have to be more careful than, for example, free-wheeling and unattached Type Seven, not to offend anyone.  

The natural parenting ability of Twos finds its best expression, of course, in dealings with children, whom Twos tend to adore.  I've never met a Two who didn't love kids, and kids love them in return.  Twos' love of babies and adoration of motherhood may play a part in a phenomenon I seem to have noticed, although I've never read about it anywhere -- namely: I'm under the impression that Type Twos often have passionate love and appreciation for and deep interest in pregnancy and the process of birth.

One last tidbit is that Type Twos are said to often have the habit of feeding their emotional needs with sweets and carbohydrates, especially when they feel like they're not getting satisfaction in other ways. 

Now then -- the wing types:

Type Two can of course have a prominent 1-wing and/or 3-wing.  When the 1-wing is prominent, the Type Two person will tend to be less energetic and more dutiful, since One and Two are both compliant types.  They'll be more concerned with what is ideal, moral, proper and righteous.  Dedicated to their loved ones, and perhaps to a cause they believe in, they'll give of themselves by doing the needful endlessly with somewhat less expectation of recognition (since One isn't in the attention-hungry Image Center like Two and Three are, the 1-winger may be happy to work behind the scenes and not come out into the spotlight at all).  3-wingers, on the other hand, have more energy and sparkle.  Often they love to organize and take part in creative performances, and they adore being cheered and congratulated.  Due to Type Three's ambition and goal-orientation, a 3-winger may be overflowing with ideas about what he or she would like to accomplish in life.  Since both Two and Three tend to be extroverted more often than not, a Two with a 3-wing usually loves socializing and entertaining people in his or her home, although an introverted 2w3 is not at all unheard of (my own mother is one -- though of course, not deeply introverted!). 

Twos are capable of being some of the sweetest, most lovable and adorable people in the entire world if they can just be in touch with and expressive of their own needs, rest assured that they're worthy in themselves no matter what, and give others the space to reciprocate and cooperate with them or not, as those others see fit.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Enneagram Type One

Perfectionism.  Idealism.  Morality.  Those are some of the words that roll off people's tongues soonest when they're describing Enneagram Type Ones.  Ones are sticklers for doing it right -- whatever it is.  They are one of the three Enneagram types (One, Two and Six) that must endure the sometimes-oppressive voice of a Superego inside their heads that hounds them with shoulds:  "You must do this.  Now you must do that.  Be responsible.  Fulfill your obligations."  And Type One's Superego additionally objects: "Not good enough!  Just look, you missed this detail!"  You know, that rhyme --

Good, better, best:
Never let it rest
Until your good is better,
And your better best. 

That might be Enneatype One in a nutshell right there.  They have a strong feeling / conviction that things are supposed to be perfect, and they're usually pretty convinced that they, themselves, know what constitutes said perfection.  So they make it their life mission, more or less, to try and get the world to match up with the ideals they carry in their minds and hearts.  Personally, I love them.  But they can be hard to live with.  I ought to know -- I married one.  :p  We aren't together anymore because I was too much of a slob for him to tolerate.  But since I myself have a 1-wing, I too have treated others a bit inconsiderately in the past, in the interest of making sure the project at hand was done perfectly.  Type Ones are the ones who get called "anal" -- who generally can't stand spelling and grammar mistakes -- who, at their unhealthiest, are obsessive-compulsive.  And I most certainly have to raise my hand too as a member of this group, at least to some degree.  When I was first getting to know my husband-to-be, the thing that stood out to me first and convinced me that I'd like him was when I saw him reach out, while sitting on the floor, and flip the corner of a rug that was folded up on itself so that it straightened out and laid flat.  As soon as I saw that, I thought, "Yes!  He cares about detail, and wants everything to be the way it's supposed to be!!!  He and I will get along great!"  :D  Little did I know what I would be getting into, with his being a core One -- a type I had never had extensive dealings with previously.

Like I said, though, I love this type.  They are noble.  Refined.  They love beauty and goodness.  They're my kind of folks.  Just a little hard to live with sometimes -- that's all.  ;)

Other characteristics of Type Ones: They're in the gut center (Enneatypes 8, 9 and 1), which means that their deepest emotional issues are with rage.  Because of their strictness with themselves and their effort to be good, perfect and well-behaved, however, they keep it tightly repressed, and it leaks out mainly as resentment toward others -- for not doing things perfectly according to the Type One's standards and/or for leaving too much work for the Type One to do.  They are one of the three Enneatypes (1, 3 and 5) that generally keep subjective feeling or emotion from affecting their decisions or actions; they're level-headed, rational and even-tempered, with a good, practical head for getting things done.  However, when deeply upset, Type One "goes to Four," which means they begin to exhibit the qualities of Type Four: emotional reactivity and extensive self-expression.  If they're even more upset, the unhealthy side of Type Four will manifest in them, making them temporarily give up on facing life's challenges, withdraw into solitude, and nurse their misery with whatever activity feels the most self-indulgent to them.  On the other hand, anytime Type Ones are feeling especially healthy and happy, they begin to exhibit the positive qualities of Type Seven: cheerfulness, optimism, and a willingness to let their hair down a bit more and enthusiastically enjoy life.

These three types -- 1, 4 and 7 -- constitute the Idealism Triad, also called the Frustration Triad because reality seldom matches up to their ideals, leading to a lot of dissatisfaction for these three Enneatypes.  Consequently, there's quite a bit of passionate intensity within these types, and a drive to keep looking and trying to attain what they feel they need, but don't have.  Call it the "grass is greener on the other side" syndrome.  These three types have the "sexual instinct" (which represents that intensity and yearning) innately built into their Enneatypes, regardless of what their instinctual stacking is. 

In addition to the variety you'll find in Type Ones based on differences in their respective instinctual stackings and their second and third fixes, there are two different "flavors" they can come in based on which is their more prominent wing: Type Nine or Type Two.  Type Ones with a 9-wing tend to be quieter, more introspective, and purely idealistic dreamers rather than down-to-earth activists on behalf of their cause.  They tend to be lower in energy, and more willing to just live by their ideals themselves and share their opinions with others if asked rather than beating anyone over the head with their convictions.  If dissatisfied with another person, which they easily can be due to their high standards, they are more likely to express themselves in an indirect, scathingly sarcastic fashion.  Type Ones with a 2-wing, on the other hand, are nothing if not straightforward, honest, direct, and to-the-point in expressing themselves.  For many, this is refreshing in comparison with the 9-winger's withdrawal and sarcasm.  However, of course, the flip side of the coin is that the One with a 2-wing is the person most likely to be vocally critical, nagging or nit-picking of others on a regular basis.  Ones with a 2-wing are said to enjoy politics (which is less likely to hold appeal for a 9-winger), and 2-wingers are also more likely than 9-wingers to get actively involved with a cause they believe in, to get right in there and do whatever is necessary to make it happen.  Since Mahatma Gandhi has been analyzed as a One with a 9-wing, this is not at all to imply that 9-winger Ones can't do that too, if they're determined enough.  But the 9ish qualities of quietness, gentleness, meditativeness and immovable stubbornness might very well affect the style of the person's activism, if they do engage in it.  2-wingers just tend to have more active energy and more of a practical ability to hash out with others a mutually agreeable solution (although they sure can be stubborn too if something is important enough to them), whereas 9-wingers tend to have quieter, slower energy and might hang on more tenaciously to the pure and uncompromised form of their ideals (although I'm sure they're capable of coming to a compromise with others as well if they can see that that's the best course of action).

Ones are capable of leading the way to a better world, if we just have respect for their insights and cooperate with them to make their great visions a reality.