Typology - Enneagram and MBTI

Most of these are from old reddit posts of the author on r/Enneagram8. Posts are sorted chronologically, newest posts first.

Note that all these posts are written from the perspective of an introspective 8 with sx/so-instinct. References made to sp-instinct are likely poor, due to sp-blindness and are only included for explaining the bigger picture.

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On Judges

Jul 14, 2021

Humans are animals. We start out as greedy little gremlins that just want as much pleasure as possible and as little pain as possible. We do not consider the effect our actions have on others at all. But then there is "the judge" who tells us how to escape this primitive behavior and become more enlightened. At the beginning this judge is external: parents, big siblings, teachers and peers. We use the time of our childhood to train our own, internal judge. So that at some point we can transition into judging our action by ourselves. Even as adults we continuously refine this judge, to make better decisions in the future.

However, this judge can come at different intensities. It can be too strong. The standards of our internal judge can be so absurdly high that even if you burn yourself out on a task you still feel dissatisfied. Unhealthy perfectionism.

The damaging effect of this often leads people to reject the judge altogether. Which then results in sloth, in hedonism and in hypocrisy, as these people become unable to judge their own actions and ultimately hurt everyone around them.

A third category of people never really grow up and keep being dependent on external judgement forever, becoming overwhelmed and confused if multiple external judges have conflicting notions.

Of course neither of these is good, what you really need to do is to find a healthy middle ground. A judge that is just as strong as it is needed to guide your actions, but not too strong as to sabotage yourself.

I think 8s naturally err on the "too strong" side of judges, and this conflict is between you, who has the strong judge and them, who have a weak or non-existent judge. You feel attacked by their accusations and doubt yourself because of your strong judge, and they are unable to see the hypocrisy of their actions because of their weak judge. Maybe they are even resenting your judge, because they reject any judge, including external ones.

Enneagram-Instincts and Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Jul 10, 2021

Of course everyone has every instinct, but I think your instinct stacking influences where your priorities lie. If you are blind in an area you will not be very interested in fulfilling your needs in that area beyond the bare minimum. For example, if you are Sp-blind you don't need that much safety, you will be much more likely to put yourself into dangerous situations than someone who is Sp primary. Of course you still need some safety, some food, some warmth, but just enough so that you can thrive towards the other instincts instead.

Turn it around, and the primary instinct is the one you put extraordinary amounts of energy towards, the instinct you never really feel satisfied about:

Someone with Sx primary instinct will always feel like they need to be more than they currently are. More ideals they could embody. More things they could create. More ideas and advancements they could contribute.

Someone with So primary instinct will feel like their social reach is never far enough, that they always need more friends, more connections, more status, more people to be loved by, more relationships.

Someone with Sp primary instinct will never feel like they have enough "stuff", there is always more riches to be had, more enjoyment to be gained, more reality to experience, more safety to have.

Stoicism and sx/so 8

Jul 5, 2021

An 8 with sx/so is basically a stoic. Do I need pleasure? Do I need food? Do I need money? I mean all of those are good of course, but they aren't urgent. I will gladly sacrifice them if it can make me a stronger, more resilient person. Hunger and pain are both simply sources of information. Information that yes, should be evaluated, but once you have evaluated it you could and maybe even should just ignore. My ambitions (sx) and my role in society (so) are both more important.

Since writing this, I've been exposed to the idea that sp-instinct 8s seek independence through minimal dependence on material riches and thus also have a tendency to live a rather spartanic lifestyle. I've no way to confirm or deny this.

sx = Self-transformation

Apr 15, 2021

I expect constant improvement from myself and my romantic partners. I think that's the biggest aspect of the sx instinct: "self-transformation". Wanting to be more than just a sack of flesh and bones. I don't think I put people at ease like others have mentioned, but I am extremely open about everything towards romantic interests and that usually has the effect that over time that they develop a similar level of trust towards me. I love very deeply and any relationship usually ends up being very intense very quickly, sharing even the deepest feelings and thoughts.

8s and anger

Apr 4, 2021

The way I would describe an 8s relation to their negative feelings is one of acceptance. Why is anger associated with 8s for example? Because 8s see that there are good reasons for being angry, that sometimes it is a very effective way of communication, that sometimes you need to angry in order to get through to somebody how serious something truly is, that sometimes some intimidation is necessary to prevent a conflict or that sometimes anger is righteous. The same goes for other emotions too, we expect some rationality or reasoning behind every emotion. We think that our emotions might try to tell us something that we aren't consciously aware of. When we can't make sense of it it can be very unsettling. But no matter how much a emotion fucks us up we still want to understand it, like negotiating with a terrorist.

Adaptive Openness - Why ENFPs are true ambiverts - Schrödingers Extrovert

Nov 24, 2020

You can be fully open, that means you perceive everything around you and interact with everything around you, or you can be fully closed, meaning you are in a state where you are only in your head and no longer perceive the world around you. Most of the time you will be somewhere in-between, only perceiving certain things that are relevant to you and only interacting with things you want to interact with. However this degree of openness is not fixed, it can change very quickly. Say you meet an old acquaintance you really missed, your will suddenly be much more open than before, on the other hand you meet the grumpy old lady who will judge your every action, you will close up until you passed her.

You can kind of visualize openness as an eye with eyelids, the eyes can either be completely open, taking in all the light, completely closed, not taking in anything at all, or you can squint, only taking in the thing you are focused on.

ENFPs in particular have something I would call Adaptive Openness, which means that that level of openness can change _very_ quickly. Sharing your most intimate secrets with a person you have just met or being super stiff and awkward in a situation that is a really mundane every day moment for others.

The reason for this is the combination of Ne as dominant function and Fi as auxiliary functions. Ne is a information gathering function, it constantly needs a certain level of openness in order to fulfill it's purpose. However unlike Se, Ne does not need to interact with the world, only perceive it, as such the level of openness it needs isn't quite as high as for a Se-dom. Fi needs the complete opposite, it needs closedness, it doesn't want to be bothered by all the things outside of the mind. So this combination creates a instantaneous loop, the ENFP constantly checks it's surroundings for new information, instantly closing when something enters the field of view that could hurt the Fi and continuously opening again when those things exit the field of view again.

Where this gets interesting is in social situations. This loop becomes a constant evaluation of "How open can I be?", which depends on reading all kind of cues of the people around you. So the ENFP is neither a true extrovert nor a true introvert, but rather an ambivert that can adjust their level of openness if the situation demands it.

How this question, "How open can I be?" evaluates of course depends completely on your environment, what prior experiences you have made and what the social expectations of you are.

This means, unfortunately, that it can happen that the answer to the question "How open can I be?" is always "Not very". That you are always in the same situation, with the same people, with the same environment, and openness seems impossible. The ENFP gets trapped in a state of constant introvertedness. But unlike true introverts ENFPs are not equipped for this. They fall into a state I would call "emotional starvation", where they want to open up, but are completely unable to.

Note the connection to interactivity, low openness means interacting less with your environment. This constant state of closedness is basically a state of depression.