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by Mary (empty_party)
at January 29th, 2009 (07:16 pm)

current mood: gloomy
current song: Stretch Out and Wait - The Smiths

Well, I have been noticing all of today that it's been one of my more shameful days, and I know that our type is well known for this difficult feeling and so I thought I would reach out to my fellow Fours... Do you experience it, and to what degree and what about?

I am hard on myself about quite a few things...Did I perform this or that action right, do I come across okay... The biggest thing tends to be relationships with other people. Sometimes out of the blue I'll remember something I did to hurt somebody and I'll say, "I hate myself" out loud without even thinking about it, and I'm also so inside myself that I wouldn't say I was the best at intuiting what other people need and so I sometimes unintentionally hurt other people and other times don't even know if I did or not, and what to do about it... Sigh. And the fact that my social subtype comes first in the stacking and my self preservation last doesn't help my dwelling, you know? And my 5 wing with being so inside myself.

I usually just try to take these feelings in stride, I don't really know what else to do...


Posted by: Lucretia Heart (lucretiasheart)
Posted at: January 30th, 2009 08:47 pm (UTC)
very familiar
Lucretia artsy

I know just how you feel. Check out my journal if you like. You can hit the tags "enneagram" "moods" or "drama" and find plenty of evidence of that!

I'm nearly 40 now (turning 39 in April--YIKES!) and yet I still have this problem: "I'm also so inside myself that I wouldn't say I was the best at intuiting what other people need and so I sometimes unintentionally hurt other people and other times don't even know if I did or not, and what to do about it..."

One thing about 4s that we really have going FOR us is self-honesty. The way other types lie to themselves about who and what they are always throws us because we don't make up excuses very well and think others are as self-aware as we are-- so their self-delusions can really throw us off.

That self-honesty become a real strength though, because if you can identify a problem, you can take steps to alleviate it and make yourself feel a little better.

Just start practicing paying attention some of the time. Don't expect yourself to be cued in to other people all the time, but get in the habit of sitting back and just quietly watching other people and imagining what is going through their minds. 4s are good empaths, too, so this should be pretty easy.

Also just try ASKING people. It's true they often aren't totally up front about it, but sometimes they are-- especially if they know you and that you're kinda "spacey" much the time, and genuinely curious to know, not judgmental.

Keep a calendar that you can refer to once a week and check for social obligations. Record when you talk to friends and family on it, and make a phone call once a week to someone you haven't spoken to in a while and then ask them about their life. Most people LOVE LOVE LOVE talking about themselves, and will really respond to your attention and interest.

Finally, don't be afraid to sincerely apologize and ask, "What can I do to make this up to you?" when you do screw up or neglect someone. You'd be surprised how healing that can be.

We 4s need a lot of alone time to process emotions, and de-stress from the world with deep fantasy. That's not so bad as long as it doesn't consume your entire world and bring you grief. A little time and attention set aside to give others the gift of yourself will make you feel better as you see how much it makes others feel better. Shame issues will lessen, I promise.

If this by itself doesn't help you overcome your shame issues, then I would suggest deeply emotional volunteer work. 4s can often handle things like death, disfigurement, and extreme poverty with grace and genuine concern, as opposed to the "ew! ick!" automatic reaction others have. We're drawn to drama and even a bit to the dark. So use that and make it work for you. Put in time on a suicide hotline, or work in a hospice, visit an elderly care center, or join Big Brothers/Big Sisters and find another, younger 4, who could use an older friend who understands them. Whatever appeals to you.

It really helped me to get out of myself to become a camp counselor for Girl Scouts a couple of summers in a row. It was challenging, make no mistake!-- but I learned a LOT of social skills fast working with all those girls. I had to! And I found out I was really good at working with the older girls and younger teenagers that gave the other camp counselors FITS! It was weird, because I was the freak in school, but the older girls loved that when I was an authority figure, because I didn't B.S. them, and I used my wacky sense of humor I don't normally show.

It can be very rewarding to kill a rut and start a new thing. Trust me.

Posted by: Mary (empty_party)
Posted at: February 1st, 2009 06:36 am (UTC)
Re: very familiar
audrey kawasaki

Oh, thank you for your understanding and suggestions! It's interesting you should mention volunteer work, because I have been thinking about that quite a bit... I always feel most fulfilled, I think, when my family and friends talk to me about their problems and I can help them somehow. You're right, I'm drawn to the dark, and so darker feelings in others I can understand and empathize with easily.

Posted by: Lucretia Heart (lucretiasheart)
Posted at: February 1st, 2009 05:27 pm (UTC)
Re: very familiar

There you go!

And I see you "friended" me! Cool! I shall Friend you back, of course.

Posted by: Mary (empty_party)
Posted at: February 3rd, 2009 02:30 am (UTC)
Re: very familiar
anywhere i lay my head


Thanks for adding me back!

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: Mary (empty_party)
Posted at: February 1st, 2009 06:42 am (UTC)
anywhere i lay my head

Thank you so much, that is so cool we have identical enneatypes! Having social first can be quite draining sometimes, being so others centered and inevitably experiencing a degree of shame when we feel we have messed up somehow. I will remember your suggestion to remind myself of my positive qualities, and how I can live up to my potential in those areas... By the way I have been wanting to tell you, since adding you to my friends list I have been so inspired and become so much more creative, I really cannot thank you enough.

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