Seelie & Adaptive vs. Unseelie & Directive: Is it Related to Conflict Avoidance?

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  • Animal
    Participant
    • Type: SeFi
    • Development: lll-
    • Attitude: Unseelie

    In enneagram, there is a lot of talk about how someone handles conflict and takes up space. This is about the body/anger triad.

    8: Communicates by challenging, takes up space, takes what they want, comfortable with conflict. Id-driven. Lust, I want it, I take it – direct, you know where you stand with them. On the down side, they can trample over others without realizing.

    1: Takes up space “correctly,” gets into conflict when they feel justified, uses conflict in the way they believe is right to ‘set things right,’ but carries resentment toward those who take up space or use conflict “wrongly” (too much, not enough), while they themselves are trying so hard to do it “right.”

    9: The tough spot between 1 and 8. Some 9s are more ok with conflict than others, and it’s not determined by wing, per se; but most 9s struggle with the fundamental sentiment of ‘inhabiting a [boundaried] body.’  By inhabiting a body, you implicitly have boundaries, and the 9 is fundamentally angry about this, as they want to ‘merge with All.’ On the down side, 9s can seem like they were ‘never really born’ because they haven’t asserted themselves, owned their ‘form’ and become fundamentally ok with how to take up space. Anger can seem to arise from nowhere out of control, or can be avoided altogether.

    There’s no 1:1 correlation with “likes conflict/doesn’t ”  — as in, there are 9s who enjoy conflict and get a rush from it, 8s who prefer being more chill, etc. But this is the fundamental setup. Discussions around conflict and how it is handled, are what lead to uncovering the patterns that place someone’s gut fix as 8, 9 or 1.

     

    So, what I’m wondering is:

     

    Is this also related to the distinction between Seelie & Unseelie, or between Adaptive & Directive?

    I’ve heard it said that Seelie Fi people are uncomfortable with conflict. Some people defended my typing as Unseelie because I’m comfortable with conflict and have strong boundaries.  I accepted this at first.  I’m heavily 8w7 fixed, and all my life I’ve been confrontational, forward energy.

     

    The problem is, there’s some confusion around “Unseelie” because I’m also very open-hearted, wounded and emotion-spilling. In enneagram I’m 4w3 Sx/So core — with 8w7 second.  And although some fours are snarky, bitchy, cold, cool etc;  Sx/So gives a lack of Sp “boundary” so I am essentially “emotionally wide open.” People tell me they can feel my emotions spilling from my eyes. Sometimes I’m so emotional in my eyes that people can’t even bear to look at pictures of me, I’m told. It’s like my emotions spill out into the room, beyond my control.

    When I’m hurt, I can’t hide it. When I’m angry or upset, I can’t hide it. I can be kind and thoughtful and not say mean words, but the sentiment in my heart is splat on my face, no filter, whether I like it or not.

    I’m also highly empathic, to a fault. Due to Se-ness this is much more prominent irl than it is online. When I’m around someone I feel all their feelings as my own. I cry my eyes out at every movie, even adventure or comedies. Even if I don’t relate to the main characters’ personality or archetype, I resonate with them as if I “am” them in the moment I’m watching.

    This is the same in real life. I lock into people and feel their being taken me over. I feel their emotions as my own.

    And let’s not even get into MY emotions. A mere “sensed rejection” by a friend (online or off) will give me a fever. A sense that there’s tension on a forum I’m on will give me a fever. I am not kidding or exaggerating – my body takes my emotions for me. Imagine how it is when I have a breakup?  With my chronic illness I sometimes wonder if I can even survive such things, physically.  My emotions completely consume me, full stop. Achieving more equanimity in the face of emotional moments is a life long journey.

    This is the essence of the Seelie description and for me it’s extreme. But the problem is I’m fully comfortable with conflict. I embody what is sometimes described in Sx 8 descriptions – big vulnerability, “right thereness” – big loud emotions, feels, desires, jokes, energy – on a platter. I’m still 4 core so theres more sensitivity, but the “big impact” of 8w7 is right behind 4, challenging everyone around me to swallow the intense ball of fury that is me.

    Part of the benefit of this is that I handle conflicts quite directly before they fester. Conflicts, for the most part, do not take root in my heart. When I feel something, it’s obvious to everyone, and I just say what I think and then the issue is resolved. No harm done.  When it’s a situation that causes shame, like having obsessive romantic feelings or feeling a a kinship with someone and then feeling rejected by them, that’s when I can start feeling shame that my feelings are “too big” and  “out of proportion with the situation”  – so I start trying to hide them, which causes unnecessary resentments to fester. But for the most part, my relationships are completely clean of any underhanded festering, because I’m fully present, straight forward, honest and aware.  And when a confrontation does occur, even in the most shameful situation, I get right to the bottom of it and leave no stone unturned. I’m very aware of the contents of my heart and so it’s easy to resolve things quickly, and then move on, completely renewed, without carrying any lingering anger.

    So is this Seelie or Unseelie?

    The problem lies in distinguishing if being Unseelie/Directive is about being good with conflict – or if it’s about being more closed off and unaffected.  I’m both good with conflict, and also super affected.   I apologize to anyone who has had to deal with me or might need to in the future, for I am TOO MUCH. 😀 But that’s how it is. So I raise the question…  is this Unseelie?

    • This topic was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by Animal.
    • This topic was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by Animal.
    • This topic was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by Animal.
    Animal
    Participant
    • Type: SeFi
    • Development: lll-
    • Attitude: Unseelie

    To add to this, I wrote a song about a guy who was either a Sociopath or was acting like one – and how I wanted to be like him. 😐 Because the burden of my feelings is too great. I just wished I could fuck, fight and consume…. without guilt or shame, without conscience, without regret.  I don’t really want that, as I cherish deeper emotional experience, but sometimes I get sick of having a fever every time there’s an emotional nuance between me and someone else that’s off. So.. alas.

    Elisa Day
    Participant
    • Type: TiSe
    • Development: ll--
    • Attitude: Adaptive

    It’s funny. Everyone thinks I’m a 4. Then I read stuff like this and I think, “how the hell do people think I’m a 4?”

    Right now I’m feeling pretty calm and chill, but there are times when I feel the way you are describing here. I’ve been told all my life that I’m incredibly expressive and emotional. I can’t hide my feelings to save my life. There are days when I’m a ray of sunshine and days when I’m a thunderous cloud of deadly doom.

    As for conflict? Well, conflict is like a drug to me. I both love and hate it. First of all, it’s important for me to know that the other person is up for it. If I perceive it to be welcome then I will gladly engage with brutal force. In forums like this one, however, I feel it would be disrespectful to Auburn to do so.

    It’s exciting! I get a rush and crave more and more until I’m addicted. I go through withdrawals and crash hard. Lately I’ve been detoxing.

    After being told I’m a different type in CT than I thought I would be, I no longer know what type I am in any other system either lol! That being said, I always related to 8 > 1 > 9. I may be totally wrong tho 😛

    Being told I’m seelie was somewhat of a shock but not really. I’ve been told I’m like a Disney Princess before (one who has done a lot of drugs). In my mind I think of myself as someone quite intense… too intense for people. I seek company from people with whom I feel I don’t need to walk on eggshells; those who I perceive as tough and willing to battle it out every now and then. They are difficult to find.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by Elisa Day.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by Elisa Day.
    Thana
    Participant
    • Type: NiTe
    • Development: lll-
    • Attitude: Unseelie

    I’ve always interpreted seelie/unseelie as a sort of emotional permeability vs impermeability/impenetrability. I’m heavily 9 fixed and somewhat conflict avoidant (but not passive-aggressively so) but I’m unseelie. There’s a “I’m in control of my internal emotional environment no matter what.” To be fair though, conflict can at times knock me off balance but there’s still an affective distance me and everyone else. Compare to @Animal who’s heavily 8 fixed but is a lot more emotionally porous and permeable than I am. Even my facial expressions can be seen as cold and distancing. In enneagram circles, this could also be attributed to sp/sx vs sx first, but the qualia in that instance is different even if they have some overlaps with seelie/unseelie.

     

     

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 5 months ago by Thana.
    Auburn
    Keymaster
    • Type: TiNe
    • Development: l--l
    • Attitude: Adaptive

    Finally coming around to this thread.

    I’ve heard it said that Seelie Fi people are uncomfortable with conflict. Some people defended my typing as Unseelie because I’m comfortable with conflict and have strong boundaries. I accepted this at first. I’m heavily 8w7 fixed, and all my life I’ve been confrontational, forward energy.

    Yes, I think this is the appropriate definition. But I’ll address your alternative points below.

    The problem is, there’s some confusion around “Unseelie” because I’m also very open-hearted, wounded and emotion-spilling. (…)
    When I’m hurt, I can’t hide it. When I’m angry or upset, I can’t hide it. I can be kind and thoughtful and not say mean words, but the sentiment in my heart is splat on my face, no filter, whether I like it or not.

    I want to explore the note of classifying Seelie vs Unseelie based on:

    • Being unable to hide emotions
    • Being open/explicit about experiences
    • Being empathic
    • Having no filter

    Examining this perspective from the point of view of the database, we see that all the unseelie NeFi’s and SeFi’s are also prone to over-sharing, being explicitly emotional and without a filter. I think this is more related to being Fi — as Fi has emotional radiation in all cases — and especially PeFi’s, as @bera recently made note. But to source a very relevant note from this thread: https://cognitivetype.boards.net/post/20920/thread (a rough statistical analysis of our unseelie Delta NFs)

    Unseelie Fi Reviser Females

    “Just as with the unseelie female conductors, there’s a forthrightness to them, an almost disarming lack of secrecy and willingness to broadcast one’s life to the world. Topics touched generally have no bounds, and can include sex, periods, girlfriend/boyfriend issues, work, making money, drinking, life dreams, emotional problems, life disappointments and anything else. When Fi is highly individual it cares little for modesty which is a type of concealment of the authentic self. Being rather filter-less, this humanness is no doubt part of what attracts attention and an audience. But it’s also the sort of revelation that off-beat Fi’s seem to be more disposed to.”


    From what I’ve seen this also applies to Te-leads, who are equally filter-less, and this can be in an emotional sense too. Given this trend, I’m inclined to say I think being filter-less is not exclusive to seelie.

    Now as for “empathy”, this is a bit harder to define. Many unseelie people “care” a whole lot, and are even lifetime Fi advocates. But from what I’ve seen, being unseelie is not mutually exclusive with empathy — any more than being Directive (like Oprah/MLK Jr/Peterson) makes one uncaring. I think directive/unseelie people care a great deal, but morso take the offensive.

    The opposite of caring (i.e. uncaring) is the abiotic orientation, not directive/unseelie. The dark side of “F” is still very much invested in the ethical question, very much involved in the subject of the heart, and how we do or don’t relate to one another, or to the human experience.

    At first unseelie was conflated with high-Te, and therefore also an abiotic tendency. The TeSi CEO tycoons and businessmen seemed calloused and uncaring. But having decoupled seelie/unseelie from Te in the process of building the development levels series, it turns out this is not the case.

    So if directive/unseelie can care a whole deal, and PeFi’s can pour their hearts out without a filter too, what does that leave?

    I think the fundamental difference between directive/unseelie and seelie/unseelie is the question of how the ethical function is handled. It’s an ethical question. In Fe, directivity means being willing and capable to assert and be aggressive for the sake of doing what is right. Directive Fe is actually noble, in that it can defend against wrongdoings, protect the weak, and also fortify them. Unseelie Fi is also the same; it speaks out against injustices, gets worked out (haughty) about ethical violations — and is willing to be assertive in order to be just.

    Seelie/Adaptive — as ethical strategies — have their own version of nobility. For example the “turn the other cheek” ethic, Good-Samaritanism, prioritizing getting along, giving benefit of doubt, being gentle and harmonious. These are all precious attributes too.

    Identifying Seelie/Adaptive vs Unseelie/Directive via Struggles

    I’ve thought for a while that a good way to psychologically identify the difference may be to ask a person what they struggle with the most.

    Seelie/Adaptive

    • Do you struggle to speak up?
    • Are you prone to be brushed under-foot?
    • Do you martyr yourself?
    • Is your first reaction to injustice to be patient and forgiving?

    Unseelie/Directive

    • Do you come off too strong sometimes?
    • Do people think you’re abrasive when you’re just being honest/frank?
    • Is your first reaction to injustice to call it out?
    • Do you hold people accountable?

    I think this is the right way to frame the dichotomy, because we’re dealing with two approaches to handling ethics. Neither is more right than it’s counterpart, and in a healthy person, both ought to be present in a fair balance. But if I had to parse out the two approaches –and epitomize them– I would describe them as:

    • Adaptive/Seelie (Mercy)
    • Directive/Unseelie (Justice)
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 5 months ago by Auburn.
    Auburn
    Keymaster
    • Type: TiNe
    • Development: l--l
    • Attitude: Adaptive

    We can see this duality played out between God the Father and God the Son

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 5 months ago by Auburn.
    Animal
    Participant
    • Type: SeFi
    • Development: lll-
    • Attitude: Unseelie

    @auburn

    Do you come off too strong sometimes?
    Do people think you’re abrasive when you’re just being honest/frank?
    Is your first reaction to injustice to call it out?
    Do you hold people accountable?

    I’m Unseelie 100%.

    Animal
    Participant
    • Type: SeFi
    • Development: lll-
    • Attitude: Unseelie

    “Just as with the unseelie female conductors, there’s a forthrightness to them, an almost disarming lack of secrecy and willingness to broadcast one’s life to the world. Topics touched generally have no bounds, and can include sex, periods, girlfriend/boyfriend issues, work, making money, drinking, life dreams, emotional problems, life disappointments and anything else. When Fi is highly individual it cares little for modesty which is a type of concealment of the authentic self.

    To comment on this – people perceive me that way, but people who know me  well realize how true this isn’t.

    Periods – No.

    Specific medical symptoms – I’ll barely tell my husband about this.

    Money – Fuck. No.

    What I did today – No.

    I’ll talk about my inner beliefs, God, family, lovers… but ask me ‘what are you doing/ where are you going/ where were you?’ and that’s a fast way to piss me off. I also cringe when the rest of my family makes fart jokes and talks about symptoms and inner body workings at dinner.

    I like talking about inspiring interesting topics, ideas, personal topics etc. But these ‘nitty gritties’ – fuck. no. It makes me feel suffocated and clausterphobic when people try to get up in my ‘itty bitty little’ business regarding my comings and goings, medical particulars or financial happenings.

    Not sure if that’s related to unseelie & seelie, or if it’s about Sx/So in enneagram.

    Animal
    Participant
    • Type: SeFi
    • Development: lll-
    • Attitude: Unseelie

    Hm,


    @auburn

    This may be an impossible question to answer but I wonder if you have any observations, theories or thoughts on this:

    What’s with the sassy thing? Why are some Gammas “sassy” ?  I mean, if it’s not related to unseelie, then what is it?

    Is it more of a… “shade?”

    Like @faerie pointed out, most people see me as candid, frank, annoyingly honest, “naked” ;P etc, but not pretentious, sassy, caustic and so forth.

    My old friend told me that my eyes are “truth” and that it sometimes hurts to look at them. Like I’m “right there.”

    The sassy stuff feels really fake and cover-up to me. Like what are they trying to prove with that act? Why not just say what they mean?

    It rubs me very much the wrong way.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 5 months ago by Animal.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 5 months ago by Animal.
    Rua
    Moderator
    • Type: NeTi
    • Development: ll-l
    • Attitude: Adaptive

    This helps me clarify some things regarding my own psychology and for the system in general.

    In Fe, directivity means being willing and capable to assert and be aggressive for the sake of doing what is right. Directive Fe is actually noble, in that it can defend against wrongdoings, protect the weak, and also fortify them.

    It was initially a little strange for me to be typed with unconscious Fe as my “on the field” career in psychology began as an MHT working 7p-7a in a notorious psychiatric emergency department in inner city Dallas, where I often found myself using my physical body to protect the patients in need of protecting and restrain those who had become aggressive/ dangerously psychotic. Humorously, due to my large beard and curly hair the schizophrenics in particular were especially more trusting with me than others because for the most part they automatically assumed I was Jesus or one of his disciples, and I was not going to tell them otherwise. I was also capable of some wonderful improvisation, once convincing a psychotic patient with a history of aggression who would not move away from the females of the ward [many of whom were sexual assault survivors] that I was a rabbi, and I began an impromptu blessing that convinced him to move to the male bed. I think you really need a strong working knowledge of human relationships and an easily accessible Theory of Mind to manage a room full of individuals with low thresholds for escalation and aggressive reactions.

    Upon seeing some further clarification here on what Directive Fe consists of I can understand that even without Fe as a conscious function I am still very much aware of my Fe and can use it very capably, and I have a strong sense of justice and the courage to wield it. I suspect one of my best friends of being an NeTi, and the two of us could not be more different from each other in a crisis situation. One facet of that is certainly experience; humans can get used to anything. But the Directive/ Adaptive dichotomy could also have some explanatory power there I think. I never want to be the person yelling out orders, but if that’s what needs to be done I will do it without hesitation. In that room things could get chaotic and dangerous, and if you couldn’t assert yourself through the chaos you were a liability, plain and simple.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 5 months ago by Rua.
    Auburn
    Keymaster
    • Type: TiNe
    • Development: l--l
    • Attitude: Adaptive

    @animal – By the way, thank you so much for pressing me to address this matter! This has really needed clarity, and you help get me off my ass about it. Although the general distinction was made in the book (how it relates to ethical strategies), but in far less detail. I’ve been sitting on this, trying to put better words to it. I think this really is the essential difference and is what we’re seeing across samples.

    General Note:

    I think part of what’s made this difficult to parse is seelie/adaptive tends to more often get a free pass as being “good” and unseelie/directive is cast as “bad” in our current political climate. This is done without really evaluating the moral character of the person. I spoke to @jelle about this not long ago, and she said someone can be a disagreeable but a pure/golden person, or someone can be an agreeable piece of shit. I found it fitting. The question of who is morally in the right is a separate matter.

    I don’t think either is superior to the other or inherently more right; it’s a necessary duality. We wouldn’t have both extremes if they weren’t both equally essential and valid. But depending on where one is standing, the opposite side will look worse. For example, Peterson considers ‘mercy’ to be debilitating, crippling and altogether unethical. Doing something for someone that they can do themselves is unethical, in his view. The point is to enable people to face the world head on.

    Oppositely, the adaptive/seelie side will see it as unethical not to help someone out if one has the ability to. It doesn’t consider the problem of enabling dependency, or if it does it may see it as a positive and constructive interconnectedness, rather than as crippling people. It also tends to be more pacifist.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 5 months ago by Auburn.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 5 months ago by Auburn.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 5 months ago by Auburn.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 5 months ago by Auburn.
    Faex
    Participant
    • Type: NeFi
    • Development: ll--
    • Attitude: Seelie

    @auburn, that’s a good way to distinguish them. Kudoz! At least we can now get past the “light/dark” way of speaking about them which make us go straight to “good/bad”. Auburn, I think I’m both! I have aaaalllll those problems you pointed out; eek!

    Seelie/Adaptive

    Do you struggle to speak up?

    Not if it’s a general topic. If it’s about me, I usually endure tens of slights until one day I’ll snap and either totally avoid the person, or confront them in a take-no-prisoners way.

    Are you prone to be brushed under-foot?

    Oy! You don’t know the half of it!

    Do you martyr yourself?

    I do and I’ve realized now it can’t be stopped.

    Is your first reaction to injustice to be patient and forgiving?

    Depends on who the target is. Passive aggressive hits are endured too long before I’ve had it and just don’t want the person around me anymore. I also doorslam ‘friends’ once I realize they are hypocrites and secretly judgmental while pretending to be nice so people can say they are nice.

    Unseelie/Directive

    Do you come off too strong sometimes?

    In debates, yes.

    Do people think you’re abrasive when you’re just being honest/frank?

    No, I don’t think so. When I’m not debating, people see me as the most gentle or “sweetest” person in the building, lol. Poor things, it’s cause I don’t debate people around me much.

    Is your first reaction to injustice to call it out?

    Usually if it’s me, I’ll be more likely to go “silent/avoidant” than confrontational. Its crazy since if its other people, like, for example, an entire group, I’ll readily say, “Excuse me! That’s not true,” no matter who it is.

    Do you hold people accountable?

    Hardly. I figure I’m only responsible for me. So I’ll make my decisions about “What do I want to do about this?” Which translates to, “How much time do I want to spend around this person?”

    I can’t stand statements insinuating awful things about groups of people, especially those I consider disadvantaged. I feel a moral compulsion to totally say “No. I disagree!” I do it very easily on behalf of what I consider “truth”. But it’s not to “call it out” so much as to defend my truth and the group I feel is being maligned. I’ve done it since I was 11 at least. I’ve always been able to say, “That’s not fair!” and “I disagree.” But I also forgive personal slights readily and my adulthood is marked by trying to learn how to define, protect, and assert my boundaries. How can a person be too merciful (aka door mat) at the same time as they’re too opinionated? It’s truly bizarre, no?

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 5 months ago by Faex.
    Rua
    Moderator
    • Type: NeTi
    • Development: ll-l
    • Attitude: Adaptive

    Forgive me if this has been said elsewhere but are the F attitudes represented clearly and visually like the functions themselves or are these more strictly psychological observations?

    Animal
    Participant
    • Type: SeFi
    • Development: lll-
    • Attitude: Unseelie

    @auburn

    Yes!! It was more my “nakedness” and “candor” that was bothering me, and also how I absorb other people’s emotions.

    I never personally associated it with “good vs bad” – my father was always my “hero” and he’s very directive. He and I both agree with Peterson, that it’s amoral to do something for someone that they can do themselves. On this point though, I have to admit, my father is more successful at carrying it out than I am. When @ivory makes that cute face I just have to do things for him. 😀 I’m such a softie. (For him, anyway.)

    Speaking of which, the seelie and adaptives can be “bad guys” in the sense that they manipulate others with their cuteness. I am onto them 🙂 even if they are cute enough that I knowingly allow them to make a slave out of me. 😀

    Animal
    Participant
    • Type: SeFi
    • Development: lll-
    • Attitude: Unseelie

    I personally feel that when I’m pushing someone to fix something or confront an issue, I’m being a good person. There is a huge difference for sure- between “flipping out at” people vs being straight forward and applying pressure in order to get the job done. Indeed, people do assume I’m “bad” just because I’m inclined to apply pressure and confront things. I could argue they are bad for sitting on their hands and waiting for someone else to give the heat that is needed. Sheesh.

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