The Enneagram Through Popular Songs, Part Two

When I was originally making the list of songs from yesterday, I was torn between “Cheap Thrills” and “Chandelier” by Sia. Both were great, but “Chandelier” really cut into the core of a Seven. Almost too much. It felt unfair to give all the others some basic introduction level songs, and then give Sevens one that dove uncomfortably deep.

So of course I made a second list of songs that ripped uncomfortably deeply into the hearts of all the other types. See why this system is so much fun for character writing?

When I was stumped for any of these, I asked myself, “what is the last thing that a [blank] is willing to reveal about themselves.”
I think for Ones, that’s how much they enjoy a bit of righteous smashing. They want to always have a good reason for it, as exemplified by the line, “this used to be a funhouse, but now it’s full of evil clowns.” But there’s a glee there, and it’s scary to admit, because if you admit that you enjoy destroying your enemies, that raises the question of whether they deserved it. Sometimes the answer is yes. Sometimes no. But it’s a hard question for Ones to remember they have to ask.
This was an easy pick. “I love you desperately, but you aren’t willing to take it to the same intensity level as me, and I don’t know how to handle that.” That’s the ultimate Two problem.
I mean, I think the title gives it away. The deep, dark, badly kept secret of a Three is their struggle to find themselves behind their own masks. I especially like this song because of the lines about having nothing left to lose and nothing left to prove. I think that’s the scariest time for Threes; when they have already proven, achieved and won over everyone, and suddenly they just have to live with whatever mask they’ve constructed. It’s a scary time to ask how well that mask fits.
Man, I wouldn’t have expected Slim Shady to be the one to perfectly encapsulate the essence of a Four. Twice.
But I love this story he’s telling of being lost in the vicious cycle of his own celebrity. I think the trap of a Four’s fourishness is that our self-reflections, without external contact, become self-devouring. We run out of things to write so we write about our art. Then our writer’s block. Then our depression over our writer’s block. The most terrifying realization is that we sometimes need to look outside to find ourselves.
5. Both Sides Now, by Joni Mitchell (the song which I only recently learned wasn’t actually called “Clouds”)
What is the ultimate result of wisdom? The realization that our puny human brains are too small to fully encompass the shifting intricacies of reality. It’s a pretty vicious Catch-22 for any intellectual, and particularly cutting for a 5.
If the deep dark secret of a Two is their clinginess, the secret of a Six is their willingness to turn on you. Their commitment comes from a desire for security. They understand that security is something that they, in part, create for themselves through their commitments. And if the math turns out to not be worth it, and they’ve checked and double checked their figures, they will turn. They would love to be the person who would go off a cliff with you. But only if you actually prove you’re smart enough to not drive them off a cliff. Sixes are willing to veer at the last minute and leave you shooting over the edge. And if you shout “why????” as you go plummeting to your death, their answer will probably be a shrug of half-hearted guilt, and a “you kind of forced my hand, bro.”
Now, I don’t think that’s at all what was going on with Taylor Swift and Kanye/the Kardashians, and I’m mad that I even know enough to have an opinion. I just think a lot of the lines about betrayal and suspicion and finding a hidden dark side do a good job describing the backstabby side of Sixes; the one they don’t want you to find out they have.
Again, this is the one that inspired the whole series. It lays out the twisted inner workings and dark anxieties of a Seven too perfectly to not inspire a playlist. Just… just listen to it, if you haven’t already. It’s the guidebook to a Seven.
Eights were surprisingly hard, largely because they are so intense, it’s hard to think of the side they wouldn’t want you to see, on the level of Chandelier or Funhouse. But I think the thing that scares Eights about Eights is that the ultimate person they have to control is themselves.
The deep dark secret of a Nine is how stressed out they actually are. How much they wish someone else would take over that work of making things okay for everyone else.
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