I wanted to just give an anecdotal example of what it might feel like to be Social.
One of my major social 4 quirks has been that I don't dance in front of people. I do love to dance as much as anyone does. In fact I really love it as a musician. It's a natural response to loving music. But the extreme shame of wondering what I'd look like to others or the separation I feel when others are enjoying some kind of positive group solidarity to music that I think is crap also prevents me from letting loose in public.
Last night I was listening to one of my favourite old disco songs and I ended up dancing my heart out (after closing all my curtains) alone. Even though no one was watching, I felt that everyone was watching. I was crippled from even being able to enjoy my natural response to music because of the onslaught of questions I had to answer for in order to even do this alone: Is disco cool? Who's watching me dance like this? Where are we? What genre would I be if I like this song? Should I tell people I like this song? Maybe I'll post about how I like this song and change my look to be disco-flavoured. Now I need to readjust my entire sense of how other people see me to fit the fact that I like this song and dance this way. Okay I can make this work, I just need to integrate it into my image. Is disco gay? Are people going to see me as a stereotype if I like this? How can I make it seem like it's uniquely me? Which group of people should I present this too?
Then the realization that actually I'm alone and no one is watching at all sets in. SO/SX wants to be some exotic bird; and combined with withdrawn 4 it's like being a beautiful bird that just sits in the corner and is admired but disinterested hoping that its feathers are enough to make people approach it.
Throughout all of this, I had a precise picture in my head of exactly which people were watching me dance and where and how they were reacting. And with social adaptability, I had to readjust my entire sense of what my role was in the eyes of others before I could even just simply follow my gut enjoyment (being SP blind and gut last plays a role in this too).
I'm sure many people can relate to this brand of self-consciousness. However having high Social in your stacking can bring this consistent "mentalizing" or processing/adapting to your role as others perceive it. It took me years to be conscious of these thoughts.
Among other things, Nine-ness is a **selfishness** about maintaining my own inner sanctum of stillness and calm, and since I can "smell needs from a 100 miles away", I continually avoid being around people... in numerous ways.
Me, personally, I MUST have MANY hours of alone time. I'm 53 years old, live alone, never been married, made sure to never produce children, cannot imagine why anyone would ever have children or a spouse. Why would you ruin your life like that? [Note to future self: Next time, insert a smiley-face emoji at this point in the conversation so that the people know you're not a sociopath; you're actually a very kind and compassionate man, aren't you???]
On some level, I see 9-ness as hypersensitivity disorder -- I'm absorbing people at the level of my body, I'm sensing *too much* about them, I'm in some danger of being 'possessed,' so I'm also, especially as self-pres dom, making sure to say 'No' to all of that, because of the degree to which I can be 'taken.'
As a Gut type, very deep down, 9 is highly invested in maintaining autonomy/independence. The 9s who are more clearly 'giving themselves away' are somewhat engaging a 'management system' that (unconsciously) appears to them, at the onset of each connection or interaction, as 'serviceable enough' for the protection and soothing of the 9's own inner sanctum. This is the 9 motif of "If everyone around me is ok, then I'm ok."
I'm purposely, for the sake of some brevity, leaving out the 'human heart' element in the above (my heart, other 9's hearts), but of course all the above is complicated by the fact that I'm (me personally) also being affected by others often at the level of Feeling, compassion, empathy. Nonverbal emotional intelligence and insight is often an area of mastery for 9s, and the people in a given 9's life may have no idea about the depth to which the 9 is getting saturated by the emotional weight of the other person/people, an absorption which might often have its start in the heart and emotions, or some combination of heart and body-sensing of emotional content.
Again though, it can't be overstated ... a main concern with self-pres 9... the self-pres instinct's sensitivity and capacity for alarm and watchfulness about "what's happening to ME, RIGHT NOW", which can often amplify the Gut center's concern around boundary encroachment and sustained autonomy.
A given situation with another person has the potential to register, resonate, and reverberate loudly, though nonverbally, throughout the body, and can be experienced as something like a mortal threat, instinctually. Of course, ultimately (I mean, like, ultimately-ultimately), this concern, in most cases, is all an illusion -- there's no real mortal threat and there never was -- but try telling that to an animal instinct that has no verbal capacity.
Self-pres is also looking into the future, toward 'possible future time & energy expenditure' as it relates to this or that person or group situation. And since, as a 9, I so inadvertently tend to saturate with other people's stuff ('smell them 100 miles away' <--- By the way, imagine what that means in terms of what happens *up close* with you and other people), I *must* do 'No' or develop a capacity for 'No'.... otherwise the sacrosanct inner sanctum might imagine or sense that it's in danger of merging with the mess and perpetual agitation that is this other person or these other several human beings, a foundational shock that would never stop reverberating, making waves in the silent ripple-less pool of the sanctum.
In Character and Neurosis, Claudio Naranjo talks about the relationship between the types on the Hexad of the Enneagram as being "antipodes."
The types that border the same centre are related by a specific connection. For example 4 and 8 are both bordering the Head centre (4 has a 5 wing and 8 has a 7 wing). These types are called Antipodes. There are three sets of antipodes: One and Five sharing the secondary centre of Heart (they have a heart wing); Four and Eight sharing the secondary centre of Head (head wing); and Two and Seven sharing the secondary centre of Gut (gut wing).
The antipodes issue for Ones and Fives is focus of control. The One, with a strong instinctual centre, seeks to control themselves by controlling their environment. The Five, with a weak instinctual centre, seeks to control their environment by controlling themselves. They both use their proximity to the heart centre to relate to people.
The antipodes issue for Fours and Eights is focus of intensity. The Four seeks intensity of feelings and the Eight seeks the intensity of living by instinct. They both use their proximity to the head centre as a flexible backup to increase the intensity of their primary centre.
The antipodes issue for Twos and Sevens is focus of connection. They both focus their primary centre outwards, neglecting their inner selves and trying to make up for this in connecting with others. They both use their proximity to the gut centre to focus them outwards.
Threes, Sixes, and Nines are not antipodes. They are connected tightly by their lines of movement in the Triangle.
Zak was willing to allow us to type him in the Enneagram Universe Facebook group. After much discussion and discovery, we have put him at:
SP/SO 5w6 582 (full tritype 5w6 8w7 2w1)
Some notes from the typing thread:
5: over-intellectualizing, cognitive orientation, processing emotions in the head centre, laser focus thinking, detachment
8: brat, argumentative, asshole, arrogant, strong debater, pushing boundaries, forcing your way in, politically incorrect, libertarian freedom, "I’ll do whatever I want"
2: camp counsellor, loves kids, feminine emotional side, softness, focus on “connection” via banter, some positivity about creating a friend group, self-help author
Thank you Zak!
The following excerpt was written by Erica Robinson. I believe it is a great example of the inner world of a type 3. I believe it also exemplifies how that type interacts with the SP/SO stacking (Erica is likely SP/SO 3w4). I thank her for her candid vulnerability and for letting me share this example on my blog.
"To no fault of generations past, I had a breakthrough in this past year about the 'mother wound' I was carrying all my life.
I realized that at some young age, I drew a sweeping, likely inaccurate conclusion that my mom paid the most attention to me or really, what I deemed, 'loved me' the most when I performed well.
The most motherly engagement was when I was DOING something right in life, as a whole. Getting the good grades, doing the good programs, getting into the good schools, being a good person, all by her standards, which is cool and common and nothing against her.
But what it did is it created a few issues.
It created me becoming masculine. In order to receive love, much like her with her mom, I had to *perform*. In order to receive the MOST love, I had to be as close to perfect as possible. Grade A was not enough, I needed A+.
Can you see how this worked out? I had a 4.0 in undergrad; I went to med school. There are benefits to this.
But there are also drawbacks.
I lived a life for her - I lived an inauthentic life, not true to my own desires. My own desires were often clouded with the guilt of not being what she would want, the shame of not being perfect.
I carried this in a subconscious way into every interaction I ever had to the point that constructive criticism literally felt like an attack on my self worth. I became highly anxious, hyper triggerable. Will I have to defend myself again today? Will I have to defend my right to live? Will I have to defend my worthiness?
At the core of criticism I felt it was like my mom asking, "Where did the other 5% go?" when I brought home a 95% on a test. The sting of, "I like you, but I would have liked you even MORE if you got that 100%." That's just how my brain processed it, that's how it occurred for me. And so defending myself, defending the loss of that 5%, became defending my right to receive love, and it showed up EVERY where in my life.
And that's how I defined myself: I was only WORTHY (of love, of being alive) if I was actively DOING something, actively contributing to society in some grand sweeping way. I STILL live this way, to some degree: It's my strong suit. Now I get to take it off and breathe every once in a while.
I look at my daughter and I think, She doesn't have to do ANY thing to be worthy. She's worthy, by virtue of being here. By virtue of who she is BEING.
Certainly my mother never *said* any of this to me, it was all a misconstrued mess from the mind of a 4-year-old, that just kept telling these stories for 30 years. Gathering more evidence for the validity of the stories, making it more true, becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy of course.
So it created issues like I said. The issue of being inauthentic to my desires and the issue of not even KNOWING my desires, lest I disappoint her. It created the issue of not feeling worthy - of love, of living - unless I was performing. It created the endless cycle of performance, leading to exhaustion. it created the issue of becoming A performer, becoming masculine, losing touch with my emotions. Emotions became things I didn't understand, that built up under the surface till they exploded.
Most of all, the core of the Mother wound for many of us - I lacked a healthy emotional attachment to my mother, and I lacked an emotional relationship with her (and still do, in many ways, much like she still does with her mother, and her mother before her). The Damage of Patriarchy runs deep, generationally.
I don't confide in her, we don't know that language. There isn't a space to speak, to be. There are things to measure up to, sure. There is performance - we can talk about that. That's what we know. When I share emotions with my mom, I'm given solutions instead of heard, much like her mom told her to 'Soldier On' or 'Be Tough,' - things maybe FATHERS typically used to say to SONS. And so as a result I don't go to my mother with my emotions, because neither of us really know how to be with them in the space between us. It's awkward and foreign.
None of it's right or wrong, it simply has an impact. It's a passing down of a generational wound.
So when I see Alice confide in me, it's the beginning of something BIG.
It's the beginning of an Emotional Relationship in WORDS. We are already clearly physically attached - that is what Attachment Parenting (AP) does. I chose to use AP with her, a style of parenting my mom and her mom had taken away from them. I chose to co-sleep for 6 years, and breastfeed for 4 years, and baby wear and involve Alice in my day-to-day life, even coming to med school with me.
All of that created a very strong attachment. I, on the other hand, was PEER attached as a child, I looked up to my peers more than my parents, particularly post-adolescence, which got me into a LOT of trouble in high school. Alice so far is parentally attached. I see it going much different for her.
And so in these small moments, I see us undoing the damages of patriarchy. The generational traumas and motherwounds. The relationships that mothers and daughters before us LONGED to have, or needed to have but never knew how to articulate such a longing. They just felt it, as a missing in their hearts. An awkwardness in the space between them. I see how I've overcome so much to be able to give her the space to just BE, not need to perform.
To teach her she is worthy by virtue of her BEING. To teach her the power of Authentic choices, that are in Alignment with who she is and what she values - not choices fuelled by fear, shame, and guilt, and the hope of pleasing me.
It took a lot. Like Snoop I'm gonna say Thank ME for doing that. "I Wanna thank Me for doing all this hard work." Thank you Erica for doing that. Because I had to become my own Mother to heal that. I had to grow a love and a worthiness and a self-acceptance INSIDE of me to heal that, not one that I demanded come from someone or something outside of me. And it took a lot of money and coaching and therapy and mistakes and failures and experimenting.
And it's been messy and disgusting and awful and chaotic and yet -
Here - crystallizing, in this very moment -
Are the fruits of the effort. The Beginning of the Harvest.
My Daughter, night after night, morning after morning, colouring beside me, confiding her growing emotions, in my confidence.
What a Soul.
We are undoing the harms of the World. Love really does Prevail. The process does not look or feel pretty, and it takes years if not decades. And that's what I'm beginning to understand:
The Beauty of Love is so fucking magical, because of what it had to grow through to become itself."
Random typing of the day:
One member of fashion duo "Matières Fecales" SO/SP 9
I love this example because it shows that the SX instinct isn't the only one that can do "weird" or "creative. This is a great example of how SO/SP can sometimes use its SP 2nd playground to modify the body for social display. Rather than attempting to look "wet" à la SX, the look here is powdery plastic dry like a sexless mannequin. This is exemplified in another SO/SP example Marilyn Manson most specifically in his Mechanical Animals look.
Random typing of the day:
Troye Sivan SO/SX 3w2
Troye is a great example of both the glossy and positive 3w2 energy with the sparkly SO/SX stacking. You can see the SX play area and the SO image and status display.
The following is an excerpt written by David Gray of Enneasite. This was originally posted in Enneagram Openings facebook group. It is describing one of the core differences between 4's and 9's. Enjoy!
" One way to do this (4 vs 9), imo, is to crank up (in abstract space) some of the pure fixated qualities and their specific 'problems'.
E.g.: 4s can hate/despise better than any other type. 'Better', meaning in a focused/lasering articulated way. 9s who mistype as 4s will usually recoil, to some degree, at that idea -- the idea that 4s, as a type, are the masters of targeted personal hate aimed at specific individuals, although 4-hate can (and often does) include general hatred for humanity or other groups, etc.
In roughly the same zone as hate (the general topic of Anger), 9s, in interior space, are much more 'nonverbal' in their anger. Anger, when it (finally) arises in a significant way, is flush through the body and calls out for physical manifestation in a way that's fairly foreign to 4.
iow, 9 anger is 'dumb' and brutish in the sense that it (unconsciously) fantasizes some form of physical annhilation of the other, per the Gut Center.
4 anger/hate is generally 'smart' and has a higher vibration, higher center of gravity, up in head/heart space.
4s are 'granulating' their emotions, to some degree, meaning there's a Head/Heart ping pong that has a sharpening quality to it; it fine-tunes the wording/vocabulary of feelings, it 'anunciates' clearly, compared to the Gut grunts.
4 chooses specific poisons, particular venoms. And the 4 inner dynamic amplifies feelings, because negative discriminating thinking (the nextdoor magnetic neighbor 5) naturally stokes the flames of negative feeling.
And, per the above, 4s really have no (or minimal) superego messages dictating that hate is 'bad/wrong.' In fact, again, the tendency is to amplify hate (internally) in plenty of instances.
That's a big difference -- 9s have much more superego messaging saying that certain feelings are bad/wrong and ought to not even be felt internally. " - David Gray
In my Instinct Stackings section of the Enneagram Universe website, I describe how the 1st instinct in our stacking is the most reactive, most important, our unseen oxygen so to speak. I then organized the stackings by blind spot––the blind spot being the area that is ignored or more accurately eclipsed by the two stronger instinctual foci. But what about the 2nd instinct? What role does it play in the stacking?
It's becoming increasingly apparent that the area of the 2nd instinct acts as a "playground" of sorts in support of the first instinct. We are reactive to the issues of the 2nd instinct, but much less is "at stake" than with the dominant instinct. I'm calling it a playground or play area because we can be more flippant and exhibitionistic in this area since is neither an ignored blind spot nor an extremely important dominating focus in our lives as is the dominant.
Below are some initial findings on how each stacking handles their playground:
SP playground in SO/SP and SX/SP
SO playground in SP/SO and SX/SO
SX playground in SP/SX and SO/SX
These are initial thoughts on a subject that will likely gain more footing with more observation. What are your thoughts?