type 6 with 5 wing

In average 6/5, the need to feel safe among friends is colored by a fiveish desire to pick things apart into their components. As a result, 6/5 is more likely than 6/7 to join groups whose memberships are highly homogeneous, and thus easier to understand. Unlike the more analytic 5/6, 6/5 is more interested in being liked than in understanding the situation, although both are important. 6/5 is typically a traditional, conservative person who wants to fit into a safe, trustworthy group.

As balanced 6/5 becomes free of anxiety and reductionistic analysis, an endearing kind of gentility and good humor begins to emerge. Here is someone who laughs easily, with almost a sense of relief. Can it really be so simple to live and enjoy life? There is a feeling of relaxed good nature and certainty. This is a person you can trust, someone to rely on for true friendship.

With still further depth of understanding, 6/5 turns into a warm and deeply loving brother or sister, someone who is in touch with a real universal authority, internally and eternally available. 6/5 acts with quiet confidence, coming from a place of peaceful faith. Essential sixness brings deep interpersonal bonding, essential fiveness builds penetrating perception, and nineish tranquility combines with eightish personal power.

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Unbalanced 6/5 begins to feel anxious and wants to run away to some protected place. Unable to trust inner or outer authority, a search begins for some explanation for the constant tension. Others are easy to blame, and by projecting the causes of anxiety outward, 6/5 can find a temporary kind of release.

But with increased stress, 6/5 loses faith in the blaming. No explanation for the anxiety satisfies, and the world begins to seem like a horrible, frightening game. Paranoia escalates. Very unbalanced 6/5 bounces rapidly from fearful withdrawal to tense, overconfident pretense. (Everyone is out to get me, and there is no place to run. I’m frightened out of my wits, and I know I am headed for a complete breakdown, but maybe if I can get myself into enough trouble someone will come and rescue me.)

6/5 has the sixish desire to be attractive and likable, but the five wing’s withdrawing, analytical nature sometimes makes it hard to know what it takes to be appealing. 6/5 can be extremely attractive, or somewhat scruffy, depending on level of health and the strength of the wing. Sometimes 6/5 puts on a show of false toughness, dressing in utilitarian, unattractive clothes and assuming defensive, accusatory postures. Others prefer nonthreatening but stylish attire. It is rare to see a 6/5 who stands out because of exceptionally colorful clothing.

Some 6/5s find work that combines belonging to a group with being alone. Janitors, forest rangers, taxi drivers, bus drivers. They might like to be involved in serious, dangerous protection activities, as police officers, fire fighters, spies, private investigators, paramedics, or ambulance drivers. Others pursue risky hobbies like hang-gliding, rock climbing, skydiving, or scuba while working as architects, train conductors, or electrical engineers. Some find ways to protect underprivileged people, becoming defense attorneys, politicians, or other sorts of advocates. There are 6/5 construction engineers, sanitary engineers, and evangelical ministers. Of course, 6/5s can also be found doing many other kinds of work.

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type 6

Being a six often involves movement between trust and suspicion, duty and rebellion, anxiety and courage, charm and accusation. If I am a six then it is quite likely that I am a loyal and reliable friend for those who are close to me. For me it is fulfilling to belong to a group of close companions in whom I can place my faith, and who can rely on me as well. This is both a powerful talent and possibly the most dangerous trap I may face in my personal journey.

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At my best, I can align myself with a worthy cause and courageously pull together with my compatriots, feeling (and helping to generate) within myself and my fellows a powerful sense of community and belonging. The feeling of working together with others who are dedicated to achieving a worthwhile goal is deeply fulfilling. When I am operating from my real Essence, my inner state is peaceful, serene, and quiet, and I can feel that I am part of something much larger than myself. Then I can find my place in the human race, a place where my own contribution is valued and highly effective.

At my worst, I might alternate between depending on others and feeling that others cannot be trusted, possibly causing me to fall into ambivalence when faced with important decisions. I may find that I cannot act without first asking others for their opinions, because I am anxious about doing what I am “supposed” to do. When my real Essence is clouded by attachment to rules and the expectations of others, I bounce between anxiety and rebellion, trying unsuccessfully to find a compromise between my fear of making the wrong decision and my fear that other people are not trustworthy. I might wonder then what happened to the faith and friendship that I used to feel.

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anxiety and courage
If I am a six, then the tension between anxiety and courage is a fundamental part of my personality. Even when I am in balance, my natural serenity comes from paying attention to sources of anxiety and dealing with them courageously, rather than shrinking into myself or running away.

Anxiety is a kind of fear. It is a fear that has no definite source, because it seems to come from deep within. The flip side of anxiety is true courage, a monumentally powerful talent that carries with it firm resolve, forceful action, and calm acceptance.

If I can break through into the realm of courage, I will have found an inner wealth beyond measure. But before genuine courage arrives, I must conquer my anxiety, and the uncertainty and despair that come in its wake. I must discover how to use anxiety as a force for personal growth.

Have I found the secret for turning anxiety into courage?

When I am anxious, what is my response?

Do I move away from whatever seems to be creating the anxiety?

Do I push my way through the situation, hoping to get it over with?

Am I able to turn the tension into a force for positive change within myself?

Courage comes from acceptance of the world the way it is, combined with ever-growing freedom from preconceived notions of “how things should be.” People who are courageous are not necessarily free of anxiety. But they have learned how to use the anxious feelings as a clue that they need to look deeper into themselves. They become more aware of themselves, of their goals and the obstacles that may stand in the way.

Where do truly bold people find their inner resolve? Turning anxiety into courage involves a kind of inner shift. If I can step outside of my immediate feelings, in order to look at the world from a less personal perspective, then I may notice ways that my anxiety colors my view.

When I am anxious, I tend to pay much more attention to parts of my experience that seem to make me uncomfortable. I might focus on people who seem threatening in some way, or maybe on environmental threats. When I feel anxious, it’s perfectly natural to start examining the world to figure out where the unease is coming from.

These external threats may be very real, but there might be a problem with the way I pay attention to them. Because whatever I look at naturally tends to seem larger, the selective attention to what seems threatening reinforces my anxiety, starting me in on a loop that might lead eventually to a real panic attack. If I can learn to look at the world more objectively, I might be able to help myself escape the loop of anxiety, so that my real inner courage can manifest.

Do people look different from a point of view that is detached from personal concerns?

When I am anxious, do I remind myself to stand outside of the immediate situation, so that I can look at it as if I were someone else?

Can I balance my perspective so that I deliberately look not only at what is threatening but also at what is reassuring and safe about my life?

ambivalence and overcompensation
If I cannot see honesty in others, then I cannot see it in myself. I may find myself unable to trust even myself. I might lose faith in even my own motivations. Faced with decisions, I may bounce back and forth from one option to another, unable to decide. I could mistrust my own judgment. I might begin to doubt my own worth.

If the self-doubt continues, I might try to deal with it by switching tactics. Where I was full of doubt before, I could become defiant and rebellious. But it is a strange sort of defiance, because it is founded on a deep fear that I am wrong. If I am awake enough to examine my feelings, the fear that is behind my boldness might jump out clearly.

Am I trying to cover my anxiety by putting on a brave face?

Do I feel better when I do this, or does it increase the anxiety?

How do other people respond to my defiant appearance?

Is there another way of being that might produce a more useful response?

being persecuted and being liked
One of the results of deep anxiety can be a feeling that other people are “after” me. I might not be consciously aware of these feelings of persecution, but if they are there they will come out in an inability to trust others. There are several ways to respond to persecution anxiety.

If I can be sure that the others like me and find me pleasing, then the persecution anxiety becomes less. The ability to be likable, appealing, and endearing is a natural talent of type six. But if I become addicted to the anxiety reduction that comes as a result of being liked, my friendly nature can become a trap.

Overcompensating in the direction of friendliness is not usually the most effective way of restoring a friendship. I could ask myself what it would feel like if someone were to behave that way with me. Wouldn’t I wonder what this other person wants from me?

If I feel that something has cooled in my friendship with someone, how do I react?

Do I choose the response of becoming increasingly friendly?

Do I become more ingratiating, trying to make it right?

Do I go out of my way to be cute, handsome, innocent, funny or otherwise harmlessly attractive?

Is there another way to allay persecution anxiety that empowers me rather than making me into a harmless, likeable shell of a real person?

activism and authorities
As a six, I am probably very interested in helping to ensure that people are not oppressed or treated unjustly. It matters to me, probably a great deal, whether my brothers and sisters are receiving fair treatment from those who are in power.

People probably think of me as someone who sticks up for the underdogs of society. I may be an activist of some kind, or if not, then it’s still quite likely that my opinions about such matters as human rights, discrimination, and justice are strong and carefully considered. I may be willing to engage in heated discussions about such matters with relatively little provocation.

This whole attitude reflects my innate talent for identifying myself with groups, especially groups who are subject to control by authority figures. In the process of identifying with the group, I become very sensitive to those who might act against the interest of the group. I watch carefully for signs that the authorities have some kind of hidden agenda.

If I think about my feelings and opinions and watch how I interact with others, perhaps I can understand why it is so important for society to contain people with my talents. By being especially sensitive to hypocrisy and hidden agendas in others, people like me offer a valuable balance for those who are focused on using their power in broad, visible ways. My talents can help to keep power-oriented people (who are not necessarily bad people) from falling prey to the great temptations of their positions. But there is a dangerous trap associated with this talent for spotting hidden messages.

Because I naturally tend to identify with my group, it might be easy for me to get carried away in my endless quest to uncover the hypocrisy in others. If I lose myself in the quest, I might become convinced that no one can ever be trusted. I might start to see hidden motivations in even the most innocent activities. I may fall into a pattern of doubt, unable to know how to spot real honesty in others. Then I might become cynical, negative, and possibly severely depressed. Nothing seems worthwhile because everyone seems to be acting out of pure self-interest.

Am I quick to assign unstated motives to others?

Do I start out suspicious of new acquaintances, only trusting them after they have proved themselves trustworthy?

Do I look for signs that even my closest friends might be hiding something?

Is there someone in my life whom I completely trust? Should there be?

self-defeating behavior and real self-interest
When things go wrong in my life, who is at fault? If I am a healthy six, then I probably watch myself very closely to be sure that I am not acting against my own best interest. It’s possible that I have a masochistic streak that can bite me when I am not completely awake.

I should think carefully before I accuse someone else of anything, because suspicion of others is one of my chief ways of hiding my self-defeating behavior patterns from myself.

If I can be honest enough to see, accept, and forgive self-damaging behavior, then I will gain access to deep, intuitive insight into what is really good for me. Real self-interest helps not only me but also everyone around me. I become a well-integrated, useful member of whatever group I choose to join (or form around myself).

Can I find examples of self-sabotage in my past?

Do I blame other people for problems that I caused myself?

outrage and acceptance of differing views
There is much suffering in the world, certainly. It is not easy being made out of flesh, and we are prey to a great many traps. My brothers and sisters vary widely in their virtues. Many of them have been treated unjustly, and many have been outright oppressed. Of course, it is valuable to feel compassion for those who are suffering because of someone else’s persecution. My sensitivity to the plight of the oppressed is a powerful tool I can use to help the world.
By speaking out on behalf of those who are in pain, I can help them and I can make the world aware of the injustice.

But as a six my nature is such that delivering a “message of outrage” tends to temporarily reduce my own feelings of anxiety. I sometimes might amplify my outrage, thinking I can reduce my anxiety still further. I might become more of an activist for the cause than is really useful. Unfortunately, once I begin to overdo the message, my anxiety begins to increase again. I can become addicted to outrage, so that I need repeated “fixes” just to stave off panic.

If I become so rabid that I push my message on people who are not ready to listen, then I am defeating my purpose by wasting my message on deaf ears. I might be better off waiting until I have a really interested audience before I begin foaming at the mouth.

When I talk about my favorite injustices, do people look away?

Do they fidget or try to change the subject?

Is my message being heard?

Am I being too forceful?

enemies and allies
If I become even a little bit carried away while supporting some cause, I may begin to view people with an “us versus them” mentality. You are either on my side, or you are one of Those People. Of course, They can’t be trusted. Their agendas are alien to ours.

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One of the biggest problems with this dualistic view is that I must automatically involve everyone in the dualism. If you are One Of Us, then you must be against Them just the same as I am. Otherwise, maybe you’re one of Them. My own lack of trust can make it difficult for me to be friends with people who are not on either side of my self-imposed duality.

Maybe there are some people in my life who can be more useful to me as good friends than as motivated allies in my quests for justice. Maybe some of them are on The Other Side.

Do I turn people away from me as friends when it becomes clear that they disagree with my views?

Is it possible to have a friendship with someone who has no interest in the causes that matter so much to me?

Could I be friends with someone who actively disagrees with my most cherished views?

Would there be any value in such a friendship?

finding faith
As a baby, I was completely innocent and trusting. But it’s very likely that somewhere along the way something happened, and I began to feel anxiety and mistrust. The world that seemed so safe and nurturing took on a different appearance. Other people, the environment, perhaps even my own inner self began to seem threatening.

How can I escape from the cycle of mistrust and cynicism?

How can I begin to place more importance in trust than in doubt?

How can I restore the faith I used to have in basic human nature?

Before I can begin to trust others, I must learn to trust myself. If I continue to doubt myself, then I am acting in such a way that I hide myself from myself. By doubting myself, I create an inner tension that prevents me from knowing what I really want. Every time I look to someone else to tell me what to do, every time I act the way I am “supposed to” act, every time I defer a decision to someone else, I add another brick to the wall separating me from myself.

peace and security
When I have made full contact with the solidly reliable inner authority, then I will no longer be enslaved by anxiety and ambivalence. I will feel a deep inner peace that comes from certainty about my own decisions. No longer in doubt about other people’s motivations, I will also lose all doubt about my own. I will know my path surely and clearly, and walk among my trusted, beloved brothers and sisters with a quiet mind and a calm heart.

at their best
Healthy sixes are courageous and incorruptible. Because they do not compulsively search for unspoken messages, they are able to trust people fully and completely when it is appropriate to do so. Their deep faith in the process of reality enables them to live fluidly and gracefully, with a kind of inner tranquility that erases anxiety. They are impeccably honorable and loyal to their friends, utterly genuine in their brotherly love.

Balanced sixes are truly delightful. Their desire to be your friend comes from a deep faith in human nature. They are easy-going, soft-spoken, and genuine. Their eyes smile. Their good humor is innocent and utterly charming. Sexy in distinctly masculine or feminine ways, natural and unposed. Totally reliable, completely calm, and endlessly faithful, healthy sixes are the essence of brotherhood and courage.

average sixes
When healthy sixes misuse or misunderstand their innate talent of sensing the honesty of others, they can begin to fear that their trust is misplaced. They may begin to use their talent compulsively, at times when it is inappropriate. They might manufacture reasons to mistrust others. Their failure to recognize their real talents makes it increasingly difficult to trust themselves, leading to anxiety and ambivalence when they need to make important decisions. They may look out into the world, hoping to find some authority who can offer security by answering their questions, only to find that they do not trust the answers when they get them.

They want to be part of the family, so they dress in ways that appeal without seeming threatening, unless they are in uniform, in which case the implied threat is to those who don’t follow the rules. Most sixes dress to fit in. Sixes like clothes and behavior that help them feel like they belong. They often like sports teams, and might wear their names. They like to work in jobs where they get to put on a uniform, especially if the uniform shows that they do dangerous, scary work. Most sixes like to dress up, especially the 6/7s. Some of them really know how to turn on the charm. What sweet, coy darlings. What affable, friendly buddies.

unhealthy sixes
The more compulsively they look for hidden motivations, the harder it becomes for sixes to believe anything they hear. Even their own thoughts and feelings become suspect. Their fear that others are “out to get them” is reflected within and without, until the whole world becomes an endless hall of mirrors where everyone must constantly lie and cheat just to stay alive. Eventually, the horrifying anxiety and insecurity might become intolerable, with several possible results, ranging from masochistic attempts to secure protection in prison or a mental hospital, to violent acts, like those of an unhealthy three, designed to deal with imagined (or real) persecutors.

When trust becomes work, sixes get anxious. Neck muscles might tighten up. Maybe the stance becomes more tense, and little tics and movements accumulate. Obsessive hair-pulling, scab-picking, pencil-tapping. Eyes dart back and forth, or stare right at you with a direct, penetrating gaze. (Can you be trusted? Can you look me in the face? Do you like me?) Paranoia can lead to wide eyes and prematurely gray hair. Alternately tough and shy, never sure whether to withdraw or stand bravely, terminally ambivalent. Eventually frantic with indecision and overwhelming fear, ready to self-injure if necessary just to gain the protection of official custody, unbalanced sixes are the essence of terror and panic.

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more questions for sixes

Do I value faithful companionship, the peaceful wisdom of inner authority, courageous action and the serenity of innocence?

Do I see the world as rules and enforcement, criminals and cops?

Do scofflaws distract me?

Do big decisions distract me?

How do I measure the value of loyalty?

Are there times when fear is courage?

Are there times when decision is effortless?

Am I a dutiful robot?

Do I trust other people?

Do other people trust me?

Do I make other people into victims and criminals?

Is it possible to love someone who wants to injure me?

Do my role models have role models?

Do I find serenity through decisive action?

Do I find courage through natural faith?

Does anxiety make me more aggressive?

Do competitive urges heighten my insecurity?

Do I deserve to be punished?

Am I ready to make my own rules?

Do I fold fear into a paper prison?

Do I insist on finding a guilty party even if it means losing a friend?

Do I pretend to be brave even when I am quaking in terror?

Am I here to obey someone else’s laws?

Am I here to be taken care of?

Am I here to teach faithful courage?

Can I tell whether or not someone can be trusted?

Can I trust myself?

Is it tempting to lie to my friends so that they will like me or be impressed?

Is it important to have a set of clear rules for living?

Do I talk about the ways that other people break the rules?

Do I secretly break the rules myself?

Do I do dangerous things as a way of convincing myself that I am brave?

Is God the ultimate authority?

Does God know all of my deepest secrets?

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type 5 with 6 wing

Suspicion combines with analytical detachment in average 5/6. The fiveish desire to know the reasons for everything combines with sixish skepticism to create a dry, sometimes intolerant personality. Because the six-wing wants to be liked, they want to be sociable and have friends. But the interaction of the sixish mistrust and the fiveish analysis makes it difficult for them to get close to very many people. They usually have more trouble approaching others than the more sociable 6/5. Unlike 5/4, 5/6 is often more interested in politics than nature, more interested in conspiracy theories than physics theories.

Balanced 5/6 gains social ease. Deep perception and serene faith combine for a kind of knowing that focuses on the truth of human interactions. Healthy 5/6 overcomes the fear of intimacy and finds satisfaction in genuine relationships. A balance is struck between the urge to withdraw to sort things out and the desire to feel safe among trusted friends. The need diminishes to protect against deceit by constantly analyzing people, leading to greater comfort and depth in friendships.

The best of 5/6 brings together the powerful insight of five, the stamina and leadership of eight, the deep faith and genuineness of six, and the inner peace of nine. Extremely advanced 5/6 is a leader, using a magical level of perception to help others see themselves more clearly. Inspiring trust and respect, they see the wholeness in the parts, demonstrating through their actions that society and the universe is one body.

Unbalanced 5/6 becomes afraid of people. Mistrust interacts with reductionistic analysis, and the world begins to seem more and more threatening. Threeish competitive urges emerge, combining with sevenish mania to create a kind of intense, argumentative combativeness that hides a deep sense of inadequacy. This unbalanced state turns people away, leading to a greater sense of isolation. Unhealthy 5/6 tends to rationalize that most people are not honest anyway, and since other people fail to recognize the value of their brilliant ideas, they are not worth knowing at all.

In the worst cases, paranoia and anxiety lead 5/6 into a terrifying spiral in which increasingly bizarre fabrications are used to explain hallucinated meanings into even the most mundane events. Numbers, names, and shapes can take on enormous significance. Vast, intricate, imaginary conspiracies are clearly seen as Truth. The whole world is warped into a shape that supports an increasingly baroque inner model. There is a time during which violent acts are possible, just before the inner system collapses. In the end, the house of cards can fall suddenly, leaving 5/6 in a trembling fugue of total withdrawal.

5/6 is interested in fitting in, but not standing out, unless there is extreme identification with ideas, in which case there can be a tortured kind of threeish social aggression. Clothing is usually conservative and often quite understated. Sometimes there is a coarse, gritty sort of appearance. Hair might be a bit messy, glasses askew. The six wing (and its threeish stress) sometimes brings in a desire to look sharp and professional, but it is not usually carried off anywhere near as smoothly as a real three would do it. Healthy 5/6 often likes to dress well, although there usually must be a conscious effort.

Some 5/6es find work that combines non-threatening social interaction with rigorous intellectual exercise. Technical test engineers, chess players, historians, museum curators. Others use their social perceptions more directly, becoming psychologists, social commentators, novelists, social theoreticians, science popularizers. Many become scientists of different kinds, from embryologists to materials specialists. There are 5/6 magicians, psychic debunkers, computer engineers, interpreters, and math teachers. Of course, 5/6es can also be found doing many other kinds of work.

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type 5 with 4 wing

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Average 5/4 is the prototype personality for research scientists. Analytical and detached from their emotions, but passionate about beauty and truth, they want to find the ultimate, simple explanation for everything. Their intellectual fiveness makes them likely to engage in long, professorial monologues, while their four-wing gives them a shy self-consciousness. Unlike the more depressive 4/5, they are likely to have a generally optimistic view, although they can get depressed if they become overwhelmed by the world’s demands. 5/4s are usually less interested in social interactions than the more other-dependent 5/6.

Balanced 5/4 is able to participate in life. When the fiveish desire to withdraw and sort things out is no longer compulsive, then the consciously chosen time alone becomes a tool for understanding the world, rather than an entrapping habit. The fourish passion for beauty emerges as the conscious result of harnessing the emotions rather than being their slave. Healthy 5/4s begin to deeply understand the simple, elegant way that the awesome complexity of the world emerges from fundamental principles. They find great joy in watching and learning.

When the perception of five and the passion of four are augmented by eight’s power and leadership, plus one’s intuitive wisdom, clear comprehensions can be transmitted to others. Very balanced 5/4s can be tremendously creative teachers of How The World Works, who explain things with clean, elegant sentences. Yet for all its simple clarity, their teaching carries with it a profound appreciation for the subtle beauty of Creation. (Come with me on a journey of discovery. Let’s look together at the awsome profundity of Nature and Consciousness.)

Unbalanced 5/4 gets lost in the details. The compulsive analysis of five can lead to elaborate pseudo-logical constructions designed to explain everything. The four-wing’s emotionality adds a flavor of dramatic hopelessness. Others Simply Do Not Understand. No one could understand. So 5/4 retreats to a place of safety, hoping to escape from view, continuing to uncover the truth. There is little to no social involvement.

In the extreme, the panic and scattered mania of seven combine with twoish self-congratulatory hysteria. In a seeming reversal, 5/4 can come back into the world, awkward and excitable, ready to bolt but equally ready to passionately defend a bizarre, baroque fantasy world. As inner tension builds, schizoid withdrawal becomes more and more likely. The end result is a kind of terrified fugue, completely cut off from reality. The only escape from the constant overwhelming chaos is inward.

5/4 is generally not much into appearance. Reasonable, ordinary clothing, not too bold. Comfort is quite important. Thick glasses are common — maybe a result of a great deal of careful examination of tiny objects during childhood? There is often a rumpled, dissheveled quality. The exceptions are those well-dressed 5/4’s whose four-wings impel them towards an aesthetically appealing appearance. Also, note that sometimes unhealthy 5/4s can dress and act in sevenishly colorful ways.

Some 5/4s find work that combines intellect and aesthetics. Cosmologists, futurists, science fiction authors. Others dive deeply into some highly specialized discipline, becoming computer programmers, nuclear physicists, theoretical scientists, molecular biologists, surface scientists, or any of a thousand other highly technical jobs. There are 5/4 science reporters, poets, painters, and photographers. Of course, 5/4s can also be found doing many other kinds of work.

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type 5

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Being a five is a profoundly intellectual experience. If I am a five then it is quite likely that I attach great importance to deeply understanding the world (and myself). I probably spend much of my time alone, thinking deep thoughts and improving my internal model of reality. This is both a powerful talent and possibly the most dangerous trap I may face in my personal journey.

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At my best, I can be a gifted perceiver of the truth, able to deeply penetrate reality by picking up amazingly subtle clues from my observations of the world. My inner talent for intuitive understanding combines with powerful outer perceptions, producing a kind of effortless near-omniscience. When I am operating from my real Essence, the universe seems to open up like a beautifully illuminated text, becoming the glorious self-fulfilling answer to the question of its own existence.

At my worst, I become overly attached to my private ideas about the world, possibly causing me to mistrust (and eventually ignore) the constant flow of sensory impressions that led to those ideas in the first place. When I lose sight of the real world, I might create elaborate systems that bear little relationship to actual truth, unconsciously ignoring evidence that does not support my carefully constructed fantasies. When my real Essence is clouded by attachment to imaginary systems, I might sometimes block out the world in favor of my own internal models, perhaps eventually retreating into a kind of fearful, pathologically detached, semi-autistic fugue.

paralysis and courageous action
If I am a five, then it is likely that I am a very careful, thoughtful person. I take the time to consider my actions before I begin, so that I can be sure to make the right decisions and avoid complicating mistakes. I want to live lightly, minimizing my impact on other people’s lives so that I can keep my own life simple and comfortable, and I am willing to wait before acting if it means that my actions can be more well-considered. This careful, gentle way of being can be a great talent, if it is used correctly. But it can also be a trap.

I may find that I often feel paralyzed when there is some action that I know I should take. It could feel as if I am afraid to start for some reason, or as if I want to do anything other than what I know I should do. I might start some new project, only to put it down as soon as it begins to seem like it’s well under way. I might pace back and forth nervously, or possibly get lost in television or use drugs. In every case, what I am doing is avoiding the task — which doesn’t get it done.

Do I avoid tasks that I know I should do?

Am I afraid of being noticed?

Am I afraid that other obligations will be incurred?

Do I start finding dozens of reasons why projects can’t be completed?

Do I give up on projects when I encounter minor difficulties?

Is it simple psychological inertia?

Whatever my reasons for delaying action, it is vitally important that I develop the ability to act when action is called for. I must become able to courageously take charge of my life, so that I can confidently pursue worthwhile goals.
It might help me if I can list all the things I would like to accomplish. I can take a systematic approach and do first the things that I feel most confident about. Once I have broken the inertia, I might be able to move to some of the more difficult challenges on the list.

Another approach is to take the most difficult task of all and break it down into smaller sub-tasks. By doing this, I give myself a little breathing room, so that I don’t feel like I have to do everything without pausing. Then I can feel the satisfaction of crossing off items from the list, one by one.

Yet another useful approach is to simplify my life as much as I can. Do I have too many projects? Perhaps it is time to clear the decks and focus only on one or two of them. Maybe I can help myself by physically getting rid of some percentage of my “stuff.” I could go through my library and give away half of the books. Do I have huge boxes or drawers of papers and files? Maybe it’s time to clear out some of that mass. Strangely enough, if I lighten my personal load of possessions, my ability to act may be enhanced dramatically.

But I must be honest with myself about what I can and cannot do. Sometimes, especially when life may have been a little more difficult than usual, I might find myself making “grand plans” for future projects. I must ask myself if these plans are allowing me to escape the needs of the moment. I may find that my life is generally more pleasant if I frequently ask myself what the highest immediate priority is, and address that before anything else.

Are there any projects at this moment in my life that are languishing untouched because I have not been able to get past my own inertia?

Have I ever found myself stuck and blocked from acting by some kind of inner hesitation that prevents me from moving forward?

Once I overcome the inertia and get moving, how does it feel?

detachment and emotional depth
If I am a five, then I probably have a strong tendency to separate myself from my feelings. When others are experiencing great stress, I can be a stable point of reference for them, because I have the ability to remain calm in the midst of emotional turmoil. I can step outside of myself, looking at myself as if I were someone else, which enables me to view the situation objectively. If I have developed genuine compassion, this detached attitude can help me to help others deal with painful feelings in a useful, growth-oriented way.

But habitual emotional detachment can also be a tremendously dangerous trap. If my natural ability to detach from my feelings becomes compulsive, then I might spend long periods, perhaps even my entire life, without any conscious feelings stronger than an occasional chuckle or sigh. My life can become a dry imitation of a real life, where intellectual pursuits provide a kind of pseudo-passion that substitutes for real feelings.

Do I substitute intellectual stimulus for real emotions?

Why does this happen?

Am I so afraid of real emotions that I must shove them down into some hidden box deep inside myself?

Do I fear that too much emotionality might be overwhelming, perhaps preventing me from seeing myself and other people clearly?

If I am a five I might find that the times when I have the most trouble feeling real emotions are the times when I am involved in social interactions, especially with groups. Being on display in front of a group can be a terrifying experience. So I might pull into my shell of detached intellectualism, saving all of those troubling emotions for later.

Are social situations (parties, family dinners, etc) difficult for me?

Am I afraid of the attention from others that might result if I were to show obvious emotion in a social situation?

What happens when I find myself alone after a lot of social interaction?

Do I suddenly begin to feel some of the repressed emotions?

I can help myself by remembering to stop and breathe deeply, to let my feelings through so that I can sense them clearly. If I practice at it, I can develop the ability to feel my emotions without being overwhelmed by them. Then I become a more complete person.

Sometimes I will have feelings that are unpleasant. It is especially important to let the unpleasant feelings come through clearly, because otherwise they can become all bottled up inside of me. When that happens, my entire emotional mechanism can clamp down because of the effort to avoid the bad feelings. I might become a dry, argumentative person, because all that I can feel are the “safe” emotions (and unfortunately, even love might not be “safe” because it opens me up to potential pain).

Once I have become able to feel my emotions with depth and clarity, they will no longer be so overwhelming, even though they have become much more powerful. That is because I have become emotionally stronger myself.

By learning how to be truly and completely in my feelings, I become able to know them much better. And because of my innate talent of intuitive knowing, once I understand something I no longer fear it. Then I will be able to step into my emotions when that is useful, or move out of them (without denying them) when being detached and analytic is more useful. Of course, I must always remind myself not to become so detached that my feelings begin to get bottled up again.

When things get difficult, do I react by “clamming up?”

When I feel annoyed, am I more likely to go away or to confront the person who is causing me to make myself feel annoyed?

Are there emotions that I have great difficulty letting myself feel?

Can I feel anger? Hatred? Fear? Sexual lust? Raw unadulterated joy?

Can I feel genuine love?

being the expert
As a five I probably have a highly developed ability to explain things to people. Sometimes this can be a great advantage, especially if the audience really wants to know what I have to say. But it’s possible that, far more often than I might realize, I am not addressing people who are listening well.

I must remember to be connected with my audience, watching them carefully to see how they are responding. If they seem the least bit uninterested, I should stop for a while until they ask for more. They may not be as interested as I am in what I have to say.

It is difficult to be someone who knows a great deal about many things, because of the continuing temptation to step in with a more complete explanation of something. Recognizing this, I should probably make a conscious effort not to engage in long monologues about anything (unless I am being paid to do so…!)

Do I stop frequently during conversations to discover whether people are still interested?

Do I interrupt other people?

Do people have a tendency to get into arguments with me?

Am I able to listen closely to someone else’s point of view without commenting in any way even if I know that they are wrong?

I might find it helpful to remind myself that the best way to show knowledge to others is by demonstrating it directly, not by explaining it. Perhaps by setting an example for others, by directly living in my knowledge and using it to improve my own life, I can show others how it could be useful to them.

reductionism
As I five I am probably inclined to want to put everything into neat categories. I want to understand the world, and I may think that the best way to do that is to take it apart and file all the bits in separate drawers of my mind.

Certainly, there is a place for that kind of analysis. If we didn’t dissect things we might never figure out what was inside them, to say nothing of knowing how they work. We’ve got to make distinctions in order to understand relationships between parts of things.

But if I examine the world (and myself) more and more closely, I may begin to see how everything is all bundled up together. There is, after all, only one reality, and everything that exists is part of it. Perhaps I can begin to see how everything depends on everything else for its very existence.

If I can stay centered while experiencing myself as if I were the whole universe (which I am) then what new insights will come?

Where is the edge of me, where I end and the rest of the universe begins?

What is the difference between me and someone else?

compassion
As my emotions begin to deepen and take on new colors, I may begin to notice that other people seem deeper too. If I can let this compassion grow, I may come closer to finding my true calling in life.

Before we can reach our full potential, all of us must come to the point where we use what we have learned to help make the world a better place. Perhaps if I examine my changing feelings about other people I may get some new clues to my own best place in life.

In what way am I able to lovingly return value to the world?

thinking too much
I probably have a very active mind. There is so much going on that sometimes it might become difficult to keep track of it all. It may get kind of noisy sometimes, which can interfere with the clarity of my thoughts.

Have there been times when my mind has gone into “overdrive?”

Do thoughts and ideas ever fly about chaotically, maybe with snatches of songs and sentences repeating themselves over and over?

Have there been times when I just wished I could turn myself off for a while and take a rest from the internal junk mail?

If I take the time to clear my mind several times a day, if I can stop what I am doing and be utterly still for even a few seconds, I may notice an immediate difference in the depth and creativity of my next thoughts. The “calm forest pool” is not always easy to attain, but it can be immensely valuable and pleasant.

How long can I let my mind be still?

Do the thoughts start up again all by themselves, or does the mind remain calm until I deliberately start thinking again?

mind
Having cleared my mind, what do I find? Then my greatest talents can begin to emerge. Because I have lifted myself out of the “small” mind in my body, the larger mind can begin to express itself through me. The larger mind knows infinitely more than my small biological brain ever can.

This is the beginning of the omniscience of the enlightened five. Gradually or suddenly, as I let go of the need to know everything right now, I will find that I know things I didn’t know I knew. Answers will come when I need them, helping me to become ever more confident, ever more in charge of my own life. I will begin to trust the infinite knowledge that is ever more accessible to me, ever more joyfully fulfilling, and reveals ever more clearly the awesome miracle of reality.

at their best
Healthy fives are perceptive and insightful. Because they do not compulsively try to understand everything, the understanding they do have is deeply penetrating and may seem almost magical to others. Their ability to intuitively comprehend things and processes is a result of an ability to see reality with tremendous clarity and sharpness. Their precise vision and ability to see the truth without excess analysis enables them to live confidently, completely present in the experience of the moment.

Healthy fives know how to relax the analysis-engine, which gives it greater power for use when it is really needed. They see with penetrating clarity, and their gaze takes on a deep solidity. They move with sure deftness. Can I walk across the meadow without leaving a trace? They develop powerful confidence, acting immediately and intuitively without needing time to think. Yet their actions always reveal deep insight and comprehension of reality. Healthy fives are the essence of intelligence and perception.

average fives
When healthy fives misuse or misunderstand their innate talent of understanding, they may begin to fear that they do not know enough. They may begin to use their talent compulsively, at times when it is inappropriate. If they do not immediately see how something works, they may feel that they must take it apart, reducing it to its essential components. It can become extremely frustrating not to know. In order to understand the world, they might detach from it, standing apart from emotions, and from their immediate experience, in order to see more clearly. The more they try to reduce things to smaller components, the more they need to detach so that they can keep it all straight. Analysis continues, and complexity increases still further.

They usually don’t put a lot of effort into appearance, mainly because it is just not that important to them. They are probably more interested in having as friends people who are intelligent and well-educated, not necessarily the most physically attractive ones. Average fives are usually clean but often plain. Some have a rough, scruggy feel. Others are thin and rangy. They might have a distant, distracted, somewhat absent flavor. They seem absent because their thoughts easily take them into strange, complicated spaces.

unhealthy fives
The more compulsively fives analyze, the harder it becomes to understand the increasingly complex world-model they have constructed. Their theories may become incredibly bizarre, as they shore up the ever-more unstable house of cards they have built. In their desperate attempts to deal with the unpredictable world, they may act impulsively, like an unhealthy seven, further damaging their ability to make sense of it all. Eventually, the whole system may fall into ruins, resulting in a paralyzing, schizoid fugue, the only escape from an incomprehensibly complex, threatening world.

The mind’s grip tightens as unbalanced five falls. Ideas become illusions, then illusions become gods, and they make extreme demands. Unhealthy five is imprisoned behind misperceptions, trapped by imaginary walls. Everything is horribly complicated and difficult to convey, but there may be some who will listen. Wild-eyed and manic, insistently spouting complex claims and proofs, building and elaborating the model, until in the end the world collapses and the mind is disrupted, mirrors shattering all around. Unbalanced fives are the essence of chaos and isolation.

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more questions for fives

Do I value deep contemplation of reality, clear and detailed perception, elegant understanding and confident mastery of truth?

Do I see the world as simplicity and chaos, form and formlessness?

Do interesting ideas distract me?

Do unanswered questions distract me?

How do I measure the value of my knowledge?

Are there times when analysis increases my confusion?

Are there times when not knowing is wisdom?

Am I an intellectual robot?

Do I analyze other people?

Do other people analyze me?

Do I make other people into geniuses and morons?

Is it possible to love someone who insistently demands something from me?

Do my role models know the limits of their understanding?

Do I find confidence through clear vision?

Do I find gnosis through self-mastery?

Does feeling overwhelmed make me act impulsively?

Does frantic mania confuse me?

Do I deserve to be omniscient?

Am I ready to admit that I know nothing at all?

Do I build precarious castles out of half-baked ideas?

Do I explain every detail even if it means losing my audience?

Do I pretend to know what I am talking about even when I am out of my depth?

Am I here to understand everything?

Am I here to take the universe apart?

Am I here to teach true perception?

Can I ask a question without immediately trying to figure out an answer?

Does the world seem overwhelmingly complicated?

Do I find convenient excuses to avoid confronting people?

Do my feelings seem more accessible when I am alone?

Can I act on intuition, trusting the process of living?

Is it possible to understand something as a whole, without trying to take it apart?

Is God the ultimate knowledge?

Is there a God?

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type 4 with 5 wing

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Average 4/5 is emotionally heavy. Powerful, passionate feelings and aesthetic appreciations swell within and then get bottled up inside. 4/5s generally avoid expressing their feelings because they feel that no one could possibly understand them. Like 4/3, they feel special and different, but 4/5 is more likely to withdraw into sullen silence than to make a big public scene. 4/5 and 5/4 both have strong feelings which they repress, but because their feelings are stronger than their repression, 4/5s are more aware than 5/4 of their inner emotional state. Consequently, they are more likely to become depressed. There is a kind of delicacy to 4/5 that is not usually present in 4/3.

Balanced 4/5 lightens up. The five-wing’s integration to eight adds a kind of solidity and strength to the healthy 4/5, while the integration of four to one provides clear judgment and rationality. Healthy 4/5s begin to escape from the obsessive, dark, inner view, looking more outward into the world. There they find new connections with other people, perhaps to their great surprise. They discover that they have been loving people all along, although they may not have known it.

With spiritual growth, the realization that love has been present all along strengthens into an unquenchable thirst for deeper inner connections with an inner source of meaning. These connections are strengthened by loving compassion for other humans. Extremely advanced 4/5 is a gentle, strong, deeply passionate human. Keen observations of the subtle states of others provide a miraculous ability to elicit powerful, transforming feelings. They may express themselves in person, through their writings, or in more subtle ways.

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Unbalanced 4/5 can move into the extreme withdrawal of depression, then, with still further disintegration, into a sort of dark impulsiveness. Deeply troubled by feelings of utter worthlessness and extreme isolation, unhealthy 4/5 may look for opportunities to perform degrading, menial tasks, rationalizing that such a fate is deserved. Servility and self-abasement provide a kind of barely-adequate, very temporary relief from the constant torment of self-hatred.

As life becomes less and less tolerable, suicide becomes increasingly likely, and if it happens it may be done in some unusually gruesome way. Extremely dark, horrifying inner imaginings are welcomed and encouraged. The whole world, both inner and outer, is seen as grotesquely diseased and utterly without redeeming qualities. 4/5 Hell is a place of unimaginable ugliness, populated by those deformed, psychotic monsters, the human race. Psychotic 4/5 revels in hopelessness and despair.

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Some 4/5s place little attention on appearance, beyond a kind of casual style. Black clothing is common, loosely worn and maybe not very well-fitted. By contrast, there are other 4/5s who are careful to dress well whenever possible. Well-dressed 4/5s seem to have a way of looking elegant but understated. Whether or not they dress and groom themselves carefully, average to unbalanced 4/5s often feel they are unattractive in some way.

Some 4/5s find work that lets them express their deep feelings while withdrawing from direct contact. Writers, painters, sculptors, philosophers, fabric designers. Others like to make deep contact with a few, carefully selected people. Psychologists, butlers, personal aides. They might overcome the desire to withdraw, coming out as popular musicians or character actors. Often they settle for relatively unglamorous work, living a rich fantasy life instead. There are 4/5 accountants, technical writers, and night clerks. Of course, 4/5s can also be found doing many other kinds of work.

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type 4 with 3 wing

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Average 4/3 is emotionally spicy. Because of the conflict between the three-wing’s desire to be in the spotlight and the four’s self-conscious fear of exposure, they often alternate between extremes of extroversion and introversion. Unlike the cooler 3/4s, 4/3s may find it difficult (if not impossible) to stay calm when emotions come up. They are more likely to talk about their overwhelming feelings than the more rational, analytical, withdrawn 4/5s.

Balanced 4/3 finds the peace of equanimity. When four integrates to one and three integrates to six, deep compassionate wisdom is augmented by a feeling of brotherhood and belonging. Finally, the 4/3 reaches a point where comfort is possible without being tormented by a desire that others recognize that special uniqueness. Others who are feeling emotional difficulty can find sensitive, unselfish understanding in a balanced 4/3.

When 4/3 becomes deeply self-aware, there is a feeling of tremendous emotional integrity. Others feel that they are genuinely being heard, but not judged in any way. Somehow the advanced 4/3 manages to be both an equal and a teacher, both a sympathetic listener and a disciplined advisor. Real transformations happen in the lives of those who tell their stories to such people. People become powerfully motivated to find the real meaning in their lives.

Unbalanced 4/3 swings through wild emotional cycles. As fourish emotionality gets more out of control, bringing in the selfish expectations of special treatment of the unhealthy two, the three-wing’s nineish tendencies cause a kind of split within the psyche. The more intensely the dramatized pseudo-emotions are felt, the less in touch the 4/3 becomes with the real, honest feelings that lie underneath. The dramatic emotions become more and more staged and false.

In the unhealthy extreme, there is little actual contact with real feelings, despite the possibly awe-inspiring intensity of the outward expression. All the theatrical emotionality is a fearful cover for an inner emptiness that will not go away. Extremely unbalanced 4/3 has become so attached to the outward expression of the false emotions that the real feelings are overwhelmed and drowned out. The conviction of being hopelessly flawed may lead to desperate attempts to end it all with suicide, almost always in some dramatic, attention-grabbing way. (I’m a hopeless romantic, unable to live a normal life. I might as well end it all right now, because no one will ever understand my torment. At least then, others might see the depth of my pain.)

4/3 is the type most interested in a really artful, tastefully unique presentation. They often like to combine black and bright colors. 4/3s are usually thin to medium in build, although there are some exceptions. The females often wear their hair in some way that gives it a lot of body, such as shoulder-length (or longer) curls. Both sexes like to dress up. Some of the most outrageous costumes ever seen in ordinary public places are on 4/3s (the rest are mostly on sevens).

Some 4/3s find work that brings out their interest in aesthetics and artistic expression. Novelists, musicians, painters, poets, actors, dancers. Graphic designers, fashion consultants, interior designers, restaurant managers. Others express themselves more privately, outside of work, becoming secretaries, middle-managers, retail salespeople. There are 4/3 career advisors, guidance counselors and psychologists. Of course, 4/3s can also be found doing many other kinds of work.

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type 4

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Being a four is an experience of powerful contrasts. If I am a four I am probably intuitive and sensitive to emotional nuances. My inner experience is a rich, complex tapestry of feelings and flavors. This is both a powerful talent and possibly the most dangerous trap I may face in my personal journey.

At my best, I can be profoundly creative, able to draw on universal levels of deep meaning to bring into being new expressions of universal truth. I can become a truly inspired source of unique beauty, adding value to the world in my own special way. When I am operating from my real Essence, it is as if I am a channel through which a brilliant light shines into the universe, expressing through me its boundless love for all of creation.

At my worst, I become overly attached to the inner experience of my powerful emotions, possibly causing me to become overly dramatic, self-indulgent, or depressive. I may mistake emotional intensity for real depth of experience, pursuing any passionate feeling, regardless of the consequences. When my real Essence is clouded by attachment to intense emotions, I might sometimes fall into deep spirals of depressive excess, desperately seeking ever-more-intense emotional catharsis, isolating myself from the world and possibly even becoming suicidal.

emotional sensitivity and empathic healing
If I am a four, then I am more emotionally sensitive than most other people. This talent is potentially one of my greatest gifts, because when it is properly used it might bring a deep and fulfilling empathic connection to the emotions of others — their sufferings, their joys, their fears, and all of the myriad shadings of everyday emotion. Such a deep connection, if it is properly allowed to grow, can lead to genuine healing, in both of us.

If I wish, I may begin to explore the talent of empathic healing. When it is fully developed, this talent can provide enormous benefit to the world because through it my friends can help themselves find inner peace and acceptance. The trick is to use my empathy and emotional strength to deeply and fully experience the other person’s pain and help them through it to the joy which is on the other side. By helping my friend to share both the pain and the joy, we are both healed. In the process, I find my own peace and fulfillment.

But before I can find and experience the feelings of others, I need to understand and transcend the grip of my own feelings. Otherwise, I cannot see anyone else clearly enough to sense their emotions.

It could well be the greatest challenge facing me as a four: how do I overcome the tyranny of my own emotions? How do I make sense of the confusing swirl of feelings that assail me from all sides? How do I keep my head above the tide?
How do I respond when my emotions threaten to engulf me?

When someone else is feeling deep, powerful emotions is there a resonance within my own being or do I block off the outside input?

Am I able to listen to the pain of someone else and help them by sharing some of their emotional burden?

doing what is right
Overcoming emotionality involves an increasing ability to do what is right rather than what I might feel like doing. It means that the emotions are not always the primary factor in my actions. It means developing a kind of inner discipline that reminds me, over and over again, that I must watch my motivations. Am I doing this to satisfy my ego’s “needs” or is it because it’s the right thing to do?

Emotional discipline does not mean that I will not feel my own emotions. In fact, it turns out that just the opposite happens. My emotions deepen and become richer, but also more manageable. My growing understanding of who I am brings me to new levels of feeling that may astound me. Yet, the deeper my feelings become, the less they seem to overpower me. It is a matter of not being afraid of what I might find out about myself.

Deep within, I know that I am a much better person than I might think.

Am I able to step outside of my feelings, in order to do what is right instead of what I feel like doing?

Do other people say that I am overly emotional? Are they right?

Do I respond to powerful emotions by diving into them, abandoning myself in the swirling tides of feeling?

Am I able to recognize the simple goodness of my real essence, once all the emotional baggage has been stripped away?

aloneness and social time
I probably need to spend a good deal of time by myself. I may find that when I am alone I can sort out my feelings better. They are not so overwhelming when I can take the time to let them be felt and understood. It is important that I allow myself sufficient alone time to take care of my inner state.

If I am growing and learning, I know that I must also move out, into the world of people, where the interactions with others will stimulate me and provide new experiences for my soul’s education.

How can I come to know myself if I do not learn to know others?

Do I seek out people who are different from myself, in order to learn about myself through their differentness?

Do I see other people as mirrors for my own soul?

I might find it useful to become a regular participant in some kind of low-key social activity. Although I may find myself shuddering at the thought of becoming a “member” of any group, it is probably a good idea to have some kind of circle of friends. Perhaps if I use my talent for creative insight, I might see a way to create a group around myself.

Do I like to dance?

Do I enjoy games like chess or bridge?

Is there a social circle at work that I can become a part of?

Do I have any special talents or skills that I can share with others by offering workshops or classes?

Am I striking the right balance in my life between the time I spend alone and the time I spend with friends?

When was the last time I went to a party?

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creativity
If I am a four, I am a member of the most deeply creative type in the enneagram. But my creativity is probably a fickle beast. It is likely that although I would like to be producing wonderful works of art, performance, literature, or other self-expressions, I have experienced times when I felt that I was unable to tap into the flow of it. I may have been blocked and stuck, frustrated because I wanted to say something but for some reason unable to say it.

Maybe I felt that the creative effort was not worthwhile if others did not “get it.” Maybe someone criticized some of my former efforts, triggering self-doubt within me. I may have felt that my own efforts could never be good enough. My own sense of how much talent I possessed may have been rather fragile. Perhaps I felt that other responsibilities in my life were draining my creative juices. For whatever reason, it just would not come and my experience of life probably became impoverished as a result.

Have I experienced times when I wanted to do something creative, but somehow the source was blocked?

Are there any factors in common among all the times when I felt blocked?

When my creativity was finally released, what was the trigger? Did it come from inside, or was it something from out in the world?

Help! Being a four is not easy. The urge to create, to make new forms of beauty, is so easily blocked. How can I release my inner voice?

How can I find the message so that it can express itself?

Do I have expectations about the volume or type of creative effort that I should be producing?

Do I judge my work based on the overall quantity of creative effort, or on its aesthetic effect on me?

Where is the muse within?

Part of the answer is to remember who my real audience is. If I can find the courage and sincerity to create for myself and for God, then perhaps I will discover renewed inspiration. But to do this, I must let go of my concerns about what all those other humans will think of my work. Creativity never likes to be constrained by the expectations of others.

Can I be brave enough to show the depths of my inner being without caring whether others will really understand what I am saying?

Do other people get a chance to see the results of my creative efforts?

Is there some form of creative effort that I would like to do but feel embarrassed about because it is not “sophisticated” or because my parents or other authorities disapproved of it when I was young?

When I am involved in creative work, who is doing the work?

If someone I greatly respect were to harshly criticize my creative work, how would I respond?

Am I creating for myself, for others, or for God?

Another partial answer to this fourish dilemma could have to do with the way I feel about myself. It is possible that part of the reason I get blocked is because there are things I know about myself that I would rather not admit. Strangely enough, if I am a four the chances are that those things are actually good things.

Can I find the courage to recognize my best qualities?

Do I hide my best features from myself and others? If so, why?

Can I pay attention to what is right about me, so that I can feel good about myself?

Can I realize once and for all that I really do deserve to be happy?

Am I happy with who I am right now?

If I can be honest, courageous, and sincere enough, perhaps I will discover that the real value of creative effort is in what it reveals to me about myself. Any value that others find in it is merely incidental.

envy and jealousy
If I am a four, then envy is a potentially devastating trap. I might ruin every hour of the day comparing myself to others, wishing I had what they have. This one has a better body, that one has a better house, that one’s girlfriend is prettier than mine, his job is more desirable, her vacation was nicer. On and on the comparisons go, each one making me feel worse about my own condition.

How can I escape from this trap of better and worse?

Must I always feel the pain of knowing that someone else has it better than me?

Is there a way to feel good about myself as I am today, at this very moment, regardless of how I compare to others?

As I examine my own envy of others, perhaps I may notice that it is in the comparing that the trouble starts, not the difference itself. The pain comes from a comparison in which I seem to come up short.

The facts are the same, whether the other is here or not. It is the existence of the comparison that changes things. But how can I avoid comparing myself with other people? Isn’t it necessary to do so in order to know where I stand? Isn’t it a natural function of the human mind?

Which is nicer, an orange or a plum? Whatever answer is right for me, there will be many people for whom the opposite answer is right. Who is happier, a rich man or a poor man? I can ask a happy poor man and an unhappy rich man. Then I can ask a happy rich man and an unhappy poor man. Who is luckier, a gorgeous movie star with a string of passionate, exciting lovers or a plain, mousy little woman who is married to an honest, reliable, salt-of-the-earth man?

My own view of what-is-better-than-what is guaranteed to be radically different from those of many other people. Does that mean that any of us are wrong in our views? Maybe there is some way that I can view myself and all of life from a higher perspective, where comparisons cease to be so important and the wholeness of all-that-is becomes more obvious.

Does God ever feel jealousy?

being special
Coming out into the world may be a real challenge for me. I may have great difficulty being among others, perhaps because they are insensitive, insulting, judgmental, unrefined, and generally not fit company for the likes of me.

Do I deliberately avoid certain people because they are not up to my standards?

Why should I associate with people who have so little emotional depth?

Why try to relate to people who could never really understand me?

Do I judge people based on externals like age, sex, race, occupation, mode of verbal expression, or style of clothing?

Am I able to see beyond the external factors, into the heart of the other person?

Have I ever felt an honest heart-to-heart connection with anyone else?

Have I ever really loved anyone?

Have I ever loved myself?

I might need to remind myself that these are all God’s people. Like me, they have their own problems and talents, and I am no better or worse than they are. Some of them are blinded by their own egos, and others can see more clearly than I can. To set myself apart from them could be a mistake. I am a human being just like the rest of the race, as difficult as it may sometimes be for me to admit that.

Maybe by looking for the goodness in the ordinary inhabitants of the world, I might begin to see new kinds of goodness in myself.

respect for the “ordinary”
If I am a four, I might have difficulty with the mundane. Everyday life might sometimes seem too ordinary for me because I feel that surely I must be destined for something more special, more sophisticated, more refined than the humdrum everyday routines of an average life.

Of course, I have every right to make my life as extraordinary as I like! Of course I can be different, special, in every way a totally unique expression of my real essence. But if I forget the importance of the ordinary, then my own specialness might become a trap, preventing me from finding the joy in everyday pleasures. If I am unwilling to accept anything less than the exceptional in my life, then I will definitely deprive myself of a large amount of simple joy.

Here again, the habit of comparing can be a trap. If I am always looking away from what I have, comparing it with what I might have, then I will not be able to enjoy the moment. But if I can turn my attention to the goodness that is present in my experience right now, I’ll be able to enjoy it to the fullest degree possible. I might find that there is enough, after all.

Do I respond to daily routines with disdain and boredom?

Do people who work in unglamorous jobs seem less than human to me?

Do I go out of my way to seem different and especially sophisticated?

What would it mean to be an “ordinary person?”

Is it possible for an “ordinary person” to be happy?

I may need to pay more attention to the miraculous nature of everyday life — and the miraculous fact of my own glorious existence. What a privilege it is to take part in this incredible drama! What an amazing chance we all have to create deeply meaningful roles in this unfolding story. It is entirely up to me to decide whether my own role will be tragic, comic, pathetic, or filled with deep joy and meaning.

Am I ready to take the lead role in my life?

Can I let go of who I might have been in the past, in order to continuously re-create myself in this moment?

Can I use my profound creative talents to craft a deeply meaningful story using the simple elements of my day-to-day existence?

Am I brave enough to joyfully explore the full depth of my experience — including especially the best aspects of life?

at their best
Healthy fours are creative and compassionate. Because they do not compulsively dramatize their emotions, the emotions they do feel are appropriate and deeply meaningful. Their ability to intuitively discriminate between ever-so-subtle feeling states makes them talented artists, writers, and composers, as well as powerful counselors. They find profound satisfaction in creating beauty and sharing it with the world.

Balanced fours let their natural grace show. The elegance and refinement are real, combined with playful innocence. Healthy fours shine with compassion and equanimity, knowing they are valuable and complete. Their eyes radiate deep wisdom. They express the hidden purpose of life, by embodying it directly. Healthy fours are the essence of meaning and compassion.

average fours
When healthy fours misuse or misunderstand their innate talent of emotional sensitivity, they might fear that there is something wrong with them. They may begin to use their talent of passionate feeling compulsively, at times when it is inappropriate. They begin to feel that there is some inner flaw in them that makes it impossible for them to be emotionally stable like everyone else. This flawed feeling interacts with their emotional sensitivity, possibly sending them into spirals of depression and self-criticism.

Average fours taste tasteful, usually. There is great difference between the two wings. 4/3s are typically much more conscious of their unique appearance, while 4/5s usually want to be unique in other ways. But most fours like to dress up, whatever their wing. Many average fours, especially the 4/3s, take on airs and attitudes, posturing in different ways and making gestures thought to be graceful and elegant. Sometimes it works. Other times, there might be a forced quality to the whole show.

unhealthy fours
The more compulsively they dive into their emotions, the harder it becomes for fours to escape from the feeling of being hopelessly flawed. Self-hatred may lead them to protect themselves by projecting it out at others, in the form of intense jealousy towards those who seem more fortunate. They might use their own sickness as an excuse to garner whatever sympathy they can get from those around them, maybe staging dramatic temper tantrums. They might try to support their eroding self-image by filling imaginary needs in others, like an unhealthy two. Eventually, the emotional self-torment may grow so severe that suicide is possible.

Off-balance fours get caught in emotional spirals. Thoughts of worthlessness and self-hatred become sticky, hard to shake off. Envy and anger might turn bitter, reflecting outward in hostility or obsequious groveling. As the need for uniqueness becomes a compulsion, appearance elements might be taken to extremes. What happened to the good taste? What a bleak, ugly mood. Unbalanced fours are the essence of misery and despair.

more questions for fours

Do I value emotional and aesthetic sensitivity, the search for genuine meaning, passionate depth of experience and self-understanding?

Do I see the world as beauty and ugliness, splendor and deformity?

Do my own flaws distract me?

Does deep beauty distract me?

How do I measure the value of my feelings?

Are there times when wholeness is undeniable?

Are there times when grief is joy?

Am I a self-pity robot?

Do I envy other people?

Do other people envy me?

Do I make other people into royalty and peasants?

Is it possible to love myself?

Do my role models enjoy life?

Do I find wisdom through appropriate self-expression?

Do I find meaning through ethical rationality?

Does despair make me manipulative?

Does feeling special lead me into depression?

Do I deserve my own self-image?

Am I ready to recognize the beauty and completeness of who I really am?

Do I turn diamonds into coal?

Do I insist on special treatment even if it means annoying ordinary people?

Do I pretend to hurt even when I’m having a reasonably good day?

Am I here to live a flawed, tortured life?

Am I here to suffer proudly?

Am I here to teach deep compassion?

Do I try to enhance my emotions?

Do I feel more real when I am experiencing strong emotions?

Do I ever feel guilty for feeling good?

Do I feel good about feeling guilty?

Do I feel guilty about feeling good about feeling guilty?

How would it feel to have no emotions at all?

Are there other people in the world who feel as deeply as I do?

Are their emotions any easier to express than mine?

Does it matter whether other people understand my feelings?

Does it matter whether I understand other people’s feelings?

Does it matter whether I understand my own feelings?

Is God the ultimate meaning?

Does God love me?

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