This is the fourth part (of five) of my recorded discussion with my friend Debbie, a 6w7 who originally had it the other way around and thought she was a 7w6. In this post, she also talks a little about the influence of her 7 wing.
(The previous three posts can be found here: one, two, three.)
J: 6s have a tendency to feel like they never have enough information. Have you ever experienced that?
D: That was a big problem for me when I was working on my master’s thesis. I needed to do a literature review, and no matter how much literature I read, I wasn’t sure I had enough. I felt like I had to keep going and digging deeper. Yet sometimes the more you dig, the further away from your real points you get. So it got to be kind of confusing to figure out what I really wanted to say and how to support it.
I notice it in terms of other projects. I wonder if I have enough information to begin. It’s even been an issue with my quilting. I think that if I don’t know how to do all the pieces, maybe I shouldn’t start. Maybe I need more information. Maybe I need to collect a few more patterns before making a final decision.
But when I worked on the quilt for my grandson, I began with a pattern but then adapted it as I went along. It was very satisfying because I stopped looking outside and trusted myself to play with it. Continue reading
In the last post of my discussion with my friend Debbie, a 6w7, she said that taking on someone else’s agenda wasn’t all bad because if she got positive feedback from what she did that was enough to make her feel like she was getting something out of it, too. Here’s more on that:
D: It’s usually only when there’s some level of uncertainty in the feedback that there’s an issue. Maybe someone says, “Oh, this isn’t really what I had in mind.” Then I wonder why the heck I’m doing it. If it isn’t going to give me what I want in terms of feedback, I don’t need to be doing it. Which is an entirely weird way to spend my time: based on what kind of feedback I’m going to get.
It seems as I start thinking more and more about what I want to do, it becomes more about feedback I can give myself in terms of is this accomplishing what I want to be accomplishing as far as overall goals and things that are important to me. A lot of things I’ve done in the past weren’t that important to me.
J: So then if what you accomplish and feel good about because it has meaning for you also happens to resonate with the person you’re doing the work with or for, that’s a bonus. But that person’s approval isn’t the reason for doing it.
D: Yes. That’s why those things feel much more satisfying. When what I want connects with what someone else wants. That’s great. But for a long time I just looked at what does somebody else want? And then thought I can do that. It all hinged on whether or not it was what that person or organization wanted.
J: Sounds kind of stressful.
D: It is, but I never understood the stress. I thought the anxiety I felt meant there was something wrong with me. Now I realize that’s not the case. Continue reading
After coming to terms with being a 6w7, rather than a 7w6, my friend Debbie has been looking at how type plays out in her life. The enthusiasm of her 7 wing really comes through when she talks about getting hooked on things that interest and excite her. She was also quite candid about some of the challenges of being a 6, for which I’m very grateful.
This is part of a continuing conversation. Click here for Part 1.
D: If something sounds interesting to me, I don’t care how busy I am, I figure I can do this. And I do.
J: And being able to accomplish things and get the feedback from doing that is important.
D: True, because for the most part, when you accomplish something, it’s really highly positive feedback. But what I’ve come to realize is that even though I was getting positive feedback, it was based on what other people wanted from me and not really what I saw as personally meaningful. It was always what someone else thought was important.
J: What’s different now?
D: Now I’m trying to explore the things that would be more meaningful for me so I can be more selective about what I say yes to. Is this particular project something I would like to do? Sure, some of the importance of the project comes from outside, but maybe it’s also something I want to do. I also want to find things to do that are important to me—regardless of anyone else—and find the time to do them. I don’t want to just fill my time with other people’s projects and to-do lists.
J: You don’t want to only do things for other people’s approval or acknowledgement.
D: Right. Sometimes my own approval and acknowledgement are enough. Continue reading
My friend Debbie, whom I’ve known for close to 40 years, spent a few weeks with me this summer, and I took the opportunity to tape record a discussion with her about her experience with the Enneagram. When she first tried to determine her type, she settled on 7w6, and since that seemed a reasonably good fit, neither of us questioned it. That is, until last summer. Towards the end of her visit last year, several things about what she was doing and saying jumped out at me as being at odds with type 7.
Being mistyped is not at all uncommon. There are lots of reasons for it. But it happens to some types more frequently than to others.
I’ve broken my conversation with Debbie into five parts. Here is part one.
J: What was interesting to you about the Enneagram?
D: It seemed like if there was a way to understand better what was going on with me, what was driving things—the way I was looking at things—that would be a good thing to do. I hadn’t yet done the Myers-Briggs or anything like that, but I was interested in psychological kinds of things and what made people tick. I was interested in finding out what made me tick.
J: So it was primarily to get some personal insight. What did you find out?
D: Well, I thought I found out that I’m a 7 and that explained quite a bit about me. I was always interested in a lot of things and willing to kind of go down whatever path struck my fancy at the moment. I’m interested in this, and I’m interested in this, and I’m interested in this. It really fit. I’m a 7. It’s pretty cool. That gave me a sense of it being OK to have a lot of interests and to not know which one I wanted to nail down.
J: It validated some of your own experience.
D: Yes, and it gave me an explanation for it, so that if I looked at someone who seemed to have an idea of exactly what they wanted to be doing and didn’t have all of this other stuff going on, I thought, well, they must not be a 7. So, yes, it made me understand myself better. Continue reading