Saturday, August 9, 2008

A Pair of 3s?

Way back when, Mary Beth typed politician John Edwards as a 3. Today's New York Times seems to corroborate. It contains an opinion piece by Gail Collins titled "Ken Doll in Lust" and is basically saying that after hearing about other politicians' sex scandals, Edwards should have used that knowledge to handle his own better. Despite the word "lust" in the title, the article is actually about deception, and contains plenty of evidence supporting the 3 theory.
Here it is, if you want to read it in its entirety:

Here's the first statement in the article that makes me think 3:

"As to why he did it, Edwards blamed 'an egotism, a narcissism that leads you to believe that you can do whatever you want.' ” This is apt, as type 3 is the type most associated with narcissism. Quoth Riso and Hudson's Personality Types: "Average Threes are the most narcissistic of the personality tpes.... Narcissists care principally about themselves -- and about other only to the degree that they reflect well upon themselves. They remain intensely self-centered, with a limited ability to empathize with anyone else's feelings or needs. That is why they have little capacity for love and why -- once they have become narcissistic -- average Threes have little capacity to form lasting, mutually satisfying relationships. Relationships are one-sided because both parties are in love with the same person -- the Three."

And then this, from the NYT piece:

"His 2 a.m. visit with the woman, Rielle Hunter, at a Beverly Hills hotel last month was a secret mission to keep her from going public about their liaison, the briefness and meaninglessness of which cannot be stressed too often. " (emphasis mine) I find this statement interesting because it indicates that the affair itself was a lie, since I suspect Edwards gave Hunter the impression that their relationship was, in fact, meaningful. Edwards seems to be defending himself by saying "I wasn't really lying to you -- public wife, etc. -- all that much; I was actually lying to her -- big time!"
Continuing with the article, "Edwards met Hunter in a bar in New York in 2006, and paid her $114,000 to follow him around, documenting his every move for campaign videos." How could a 3 reasonably be expected not to fall in love with a person employed to take pictures of him? And then, in the same paragraph:

"Said videos were posted, then mysteriously disappeared from the Edwards Web site, with officials muttering something about campaign finance rules." This might be a little dishonest.
As for the videos, "They exist today on YouTube, where you can see the candidate sitting on his plane, grinning like a hound dog in heat, while he tells Hunter that he doesn’t want to be 'some plastic Ken doll that you put in front of the audience,' and pokes himself in the chest while announcing, 'I actually want the country to see who I am — who I truly am.' " This just about speaks for itself, doesn't it?

From Personality Types:

"Because Threes adapt themselves to the desires and expectations of others to validate themselves, they can lose a clear sense of who they actually are... because their sense of their authentic self becomes increasingly blocked, average Threes begin to engage in internal 'pep talks' to convince themselves that they actually are the outstanding person they are trying to become."

Back to the NYT article:

"If Edwards’s political career is toast, it will be because he has always seemed to be less than a sum of his parts: the position papers, the 'Two Americas,' the photogenic grin, the supersmart wife. The only piece of the package that consistently disappointed was the man himself. He wasn’t a very good running mate for John Kerry, and as a presidential candidate, he always struck me as being about 2 inches deep."

Personality Types on how Threes can appear to others:

"Fear of rejection causes average Threes to abandon themselves as they search for the 'right combination' of factors which they believe will enhance them and make them more acceptable... there is an element of slickness, an emotional hollowness about average Threes because much of what they say and do is not a true reflection of who they actually are. 'Who they are' is becoming ever more difficult to identify, both for others and for themselves."

And a final word from Collins:

"how much less damage would have been done if the offender had taken the inventive tactic of not lying."

And now, lest you think we don't know our audience and realize that what you really want is to know Barrack Obama's Enneagram type, I am ready to do some public speculating. Obama is something of an enigma. Mary Beth and I wonder whether he is a 3 or a 9. We also occasionally wonder whether he is a 1 or a 5. We feel that types 2, 4, 6, and 8 are right out.
Continuing with the tactic of using op-ed pieces from The New York Times, here's one by David Brooks about Obama:

While you can find plenty here that will support the 9 theory or the 5 theory, here's the stuff that seems like 3 to me:

"He became a state legislator, but he was in the Legislature, not of it. He had some accomplishments, but as Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker wrote, he was famously bored by the institution and used it as a stepping stone to higher things." (emphasis mine)

And this:

"He has not had the time nor the inclination to throw himself into Senate mores, or really get to know more than a handful of his colleagues. His Democratic supporters there speak of him fondly, but vaguely."
3s are famous for not having long-lasting relationships, despite their apparent popularity.

And, finally, this:
"Obama’s 'Dreams From My Father' is a journey forward, about a man who took the disparate parts of his past and constructed an identity of his own."
Identity formation is an issue of the heart triad.

Here's my question:

If 3s are shape-shifters who lose their identities trying to give people what they want; 9s are ghosts who merge with others' agendas trying to avoid conflict; and 5s are blanks screens reflecting others' desires, trying to not be seen, what is Obama? Anyone have a theory?

I will go on the record now as saying I think John McCain is a 6 -- counterphobic, 5 wing.


Mary Beth said...

I love this division of labor. I send you the articles, you write about them, saying what I would have said, only better.

Cindi said...

You set 'em up; I spike 'em down! :-)
Of course, we who are fans of the blog would like to hear your thoughts directly at some point.

melo said...

I'm with Cindi on the desire to read what Mary Beth thinks.

Oh, and Obama strikes me (admittedly not an Obama supporter) as calculating, opportunistic, and charismatic. So what kind of type does that go with (since I am largely uninformed on the enneagram types)?

Cindi said...

I'd say all three adjectives correspond to e-type 3. See, Mary Beth, your public cries out for you!