Boxed in a Box: Enneagram 5w4 Sx/So Instinctual Stackings

I am a 5w4 sx/so in the enneagram, which is an assessment system that categorizes personalities into 9 boxes & 2 sub-boxes w/in the 9 boxes.

Self-Portrait on Adobe Illustrator This is a self-portrait of myself on Adobe Illustrator with hundreds of interconnected anchor points; it was drawn with a lack of understanding for the concept of vectors. The enneagram is like a disorganized (yet linear) series of anchor points on Adobe Illustrator. I have gotten a certificate in the enneagram, which is a type of assessment system that categorizes personalities into nine boxes and two sub-boxes within the nine boxes and three sub-sub-boxes within the two sub-boxes with a hope that all boxes, all personalities, are self-contained. I try to figure out boxes, too.

samsung flip phone surrealism
This is a blurry and slow shutter speed surrealism of boxes within boxes and next to boxes. The lit box is the desktop screen of a field on my Samsung flip phone from 2004.

Instinctual Stacking

I am mostly interested in the instinctual stacking, the sub-sub-boxes within the sub-boxes. I am an Enneagram 5w4 sx/so with sexual primary tendencies (meaning, I am intense) and social secondary tendencies (meaning, I am socially aware but not fixated) and self-preservation last (meaning, I don’t know how to be ‘comfortable’.) Five stands for the thinker. It’s the type that is in their head all of the time. The quintessential Enneagram 5 is Albert Einstein. I am a 4 wing though, like the dreamer, so am less scientific (not scientific at all, actually) and more artistic. I am an IXTP in the Myers-Briggs, which is common for the 5 Enneagram but being an INTP is more common.

Sx Primary & So Secondary

My sexual primary with the social secondary instinct makes me seem more extroverted, although my ‘fire eyes’ are a mask and I may be attracted to the concept of ‘person’ – ideas, rather than the person. I get instantly attracted to people or am instantly unattracted. While ideas also really stimulate me, I have the 4 wing which comes into play with how I’m trying to ‘capture’ an idea, whether conceptually or literally with a camera. Outwardly, I am ‘intensely casual’. But I am hyperaware while being in a seemingly easy-going state. When someone is mad at me, I’m accused of being a ‘flaneur’.

My 5w4 makes me very close to the bohemian 4w5. I am a lot more grounded and can finish projects when out of tune with my F side. It seems to be that there are a lot of 4s that only finish projects when it ‘feels’. And, as evidenced by one of my closest friends who is a 4w3, there is always a disconnect at some point of finishing a project. It gets tedious to the extent where the euphoric 4 stage, where you’re feeling as you’re watching your creation grow. The problem with this is that I sometimes cannot reach the emotional depth that a true 4 can, so the artwork seems too intellectual. It’s definitely a problem because the things I create lack in the expression of a 4s process towards a project they complete.

Can your personality change as time passes?

In my experience, NO. (Not really.) I’ve been an Enneagram 5w4 since I first had taken the test in 2004. That description is rock solid for me. I’ve also stayed as an IXTP since I first had taken the test in 2004. I was more of an ISTP artist/builder in 2004 but now am more of an INTP conceptual thinker and wannabe artist.

In other words, I more or less didn’t change from my early 20s to late 30s. I’ve written plenty about my enneagram in the past but am going to write based on memory on my actions to what makes me a bona-fide enneagram 5w4. I haven’t experienced a personality that has changed since I first discovered the Enneagram and Myers-Briggs.

Why I Am Turned off by Casual Friendships (So/Sx)

The difference between being social primary and secondary with sexual is my social awareness and their social fixation. I avoid being cast in a wide net, and the social sexual’s lack of desire of being the particular friend makes us incompatible. My lack of social interaction is exacerbated by being a 5, which is especially introverted, with the 4 wing. I have no current friends who are the instinctual stacking of social first. I read somewhere that so/sx and sx/so instinct don’t get along at all. Our intensities are like a difference of being broadly and directly pointed lasers.

My only social sexual friend was Nils Bue. We were friends off and on for almost two decades. He messaged me on what was once an online journal called Melodramatic in 2003. We spent time together in Orange County, California throughout the 2000s. And ten years later in 2014, I got him a job at The Echo. Nobody knew who he was, my manager called him Nails. Then he befriended a group of people who were able to give him free alcohol. He began coming into The Echo for every shift I had, talking to different people but me. In retrospect it was a mixed blessing in a way because he would pull out a cigarette and smoke all over whoever he was talking with. What upset me was how I brought this guy in who felt friendlier and more connected to all of these other people. I told him his behavior was disgusting. We didn’t talk for two years.

In retrospect, I realized I didn’t give him what he wanted, some type of broadly focused friendship, which is not what I wanted. I felt bad for how I acted. So two years later, I apologized and we made up. Although he’s straight-leaning in the sexuality spectrum, he’s a 4w5 so/sx INFP, he’s a homoromantic-leaning heterosexual, and wrote him a prose poem about my gripe over Social/Sexual:

‪Anytime I see you, you’re always looking at someone. I feel like this is inviting me to be a target against the rolling ball of a pinball machine. A ball that eventually falls into a pit. Futile, but something that is always going to be worth falling after.‬

For the two years we stopped talking, we made up for two months. I bought him a cider at The Semi-Tropic. I wanted to hang out with him before I left to Europe. It was too much pressure on him. He preferred to hang out with this guy who gave him free drinks. He said he doesn’t have to explain why he doesn’t want to hang out with me, and -he- wasn’t the one moving to Europe. Basically, he blew me off. I called him an “elegant dirtbag” and we stopped talking.

My Self-Preservation Parents: Us Versus the World & You

I have more self-preservation first friends than any other type. I’m unsure if it’s because my parents were self-preservation primary or because self-preservation is my weakest instinct. I grew up with conservative meat and potatoes parents – very simple people. Both of them are SJ guardians on the Myers Briggs. My dad is an ESTJ 8w9 sp/so and my mom is an ESFJ 2w1 sp/sx. But my self-preservation friends are way cooler.

They were always present, but lacked presence too. The combination of them being SJ guardians on the Myers-Briggs and self-preservation primary makes them two very static unchanging people, like a cow and bull, stubbornly grazing in a peaceful field. Growing up, we were isolated inside of a large three story colonial house in northern New Jersey in the middle of nowhere – with the woods and lakes and colorful leaves. I describe my relationship to that house like living in the hotel from ‘The Shining’. Nobody ever came over.

There was a lack of conversation, except when it came to both of them bullying me because I stood up to my mom, who would then have my dad defend her. My parents’ bullying of me oddly brought them together as a couple because their relationship was otherwise uncommunicative. My mom (ESFJ 2w1 sp/sx) was a very melancholy and lonely extrovert, who never made friends, and was fixated over my sister and me, but oddly not my dad (ESTJ 8w9 sp/so). And her fear of the outside world was reflected by her antagonism of social connections.

Her overbearing personality as an unhealthy Enneagram 2 made me really withdraw growing up. I wonder whether I became a 5w4 because of her because those two personalities (extroverted feeling and introverted thinking) are on the opposite spectrum. More or less, we had a very antagonistic relationship. Since she never went out and had no friends, she told me what I should be doing with my life based on what she watched on television.

Ever since her childhood, she has had a victim complex, has taken the role of being the victim of people treating her poorly. I decided to stop talking to her because she would bring an enabler, who was always my dad, into the situation for reinforcement of her attitude as punishment over her feeling victimized. They met when she was 17 and he was 26. She was Melania Trump to Donald Trump, or Columba Bush to Jeb Bush. So he was daddy to her, too.

When he retired, they both decided to move to a large one-story McMansion in the desert to die. Their house was part of a long row of grotesquely long houses on Frogs Leap Street in Temecula. Almost all of them foreclosures after the great recession of 2008. They chose the house with the least amount of graffiti and least amount of damage and wires stolen. Apparently many of the former homeowners salvaged what they could from their houses before being evicted.

They didn’t get that self-preservationist’s wet dream of ‘getting away from it all’ that they were so desperate for. The rednecks in the gas station town of Temecula would stop their cars and gawk at their grotesquely long house on Frogs Leap Street. They moved to an old persons’ gated community on top of a hill in San Juan Capistrano, a reason why the swallows don’t fly to Mission San Juan Capistrano anymore, into a grotesquely large one story cottage for 1.5 million dollars.