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SITE: “Emotional Sobriety” (AA & the Enneagram)
567s – THE HEAD / Thinking Triad: Fearful & Unsafe
PHYSIOLOGY: triad associated with the neo-cortex, which is most highly developed in humans
FOCUS: this ‘Center of Intelligence” uses logical, left-brain intellect primarily, tending to ignore heart & gut input
ROOT Emotions: FEAR, Anxiety, Dread
RESPONSE: from their head first, then act or not act, in response
POWER: comes from the ability to think
TIME: mainly to the future – what they look forward to, good or bad
UNDERSTAND Life: best when translated into logic or thought processes, sometimes taking the form of rules & instructions
This group thinks AND creates fear – a lot, via negative anticipation:
5s think too much & therefore act too little, too much time & effort is needed to complete their thoughts before expressing them
6s deny the value of their thoughts & actions, ping-ponging between extremes of too much or too little certainty about thoughts, most out of touch with direct knowing
7s act too much, and think too little – which is often incomplete. They doesn’t stay with an idea long enough to see it through in reality, so the optimal function of the Head Center – to completely understand – is aborted
● 5s & 7s (& some 6s) aren’t very focused on the outside world or on what others think – often appearing distrustful, superficial or uninterested. In reality, these surface reactions are defense mechanisms against their fear of being destroyed by a frightening world in some way. 567s look for reassurance in B & W facts by using logic, not always appreciated by other Types. Even though being well-reasoned can be a positive in many circumstance, it becomes a negative when ignoring intuition, emotions or actions in dealing with problems – causing misunderstanding & conflict.
● Their FEAR (even if not always experienced directly) creates a deep insecurity, which may be expressed as fear of failure, of not doing the right thing, of missing good opportunities, & especially – of not understanding what’s going on – depending on the Type. Since living in one’s head includes imagining, it can also include obsessive worry about what might happen. And when severely stressed, especially over a long time, the fear can become panic, making them come to a dead stop until they can get enough new info to proceed. (This is not the anxiety of the 234s, who react with impulsive activity).
FIVES – Investigators
5s expect to run out of resources – so they frequently hoard energy, info, money, time…. They assume they can successfully deal with their fear by being in constant strategy mode – as if honing their skills enough will prepare them for anything scary ‘out there’. Relying on their first-rate thinking process to decipher what they consider an illogical world, ego-driven Fives can appear very cool, calm & collected – or secretive loners who focus their minds on the nature of the universe. They hope that understanding reality in their own way will eventually allow them to rejoin the world, but they never believe they know enough to participate with total confidence. Instead, they can get caught up with increasingly complex inner worlds.
Root: 5s original sense of violation & abandonment leads to experiencing the world as a scary place. They’re overwhelmed by emotions & life’s demands, afraid of not knowing how to cope & of not having enough facts to explain things
Express fear by: internalizing it & live in their head, rather than connecting with individuals or the larger society. They may take the time to consider their emotions, but later & in private – so there’s a time lag.
Deal with fear by: ignoring emotions & quietly observing what’s going on around them. They retreat to the safety of their private space, accumulating as much knowledge as they possibly can, & mull everything over to make (mental) order of it all. They’re often disconnected from day-to-day life, assuming that figuring the ins & outs of the world will free them of dread, without actually facing it.
Respond to their fear: by collecting &/or hoarding money, possessions & energy tightly. Resentful of having their ‘space’ intruded on, they retreat from anything that make them anxious, into a private universe where they need only rely on themselves
Alleviate fear: by using their intellect to feel omniscience, looking for answers to life’s riddles in isolation
SIXES – Loyalists
6s, unlike 5s, have trouble trusting their own minds, which are reeling with negative, fearful possibilities, while not thinking things through for themselves. They expect the worst to happen so they spend a lot of time making sure they are protected against every eventuality.
Wanting so much to be liked & feel safe, they constantly look outside for guidance – to authorities, beliefs, jobs, philosophies, relationships, saving…. But no matter how many security structures they create, 6s are still filled with doubt & fear – as long as they’re not listening to their own inner voice. Phobic 6s can end up mistrusting the very people & beliefs they’ve turned to for reassurance, while counter-phobics will often react impulsively, confronting & defying the fear in an effort to be free of it – without considering the underlying causes, or possible negative consequences of their rashness.
Root: 6s are deeply afraid of being abandoned, which comes from people’s unpredictability. This makes them the most anxious of the 3 Types, & the most out of touch with their own sense of inner knowing & confidence
Express fear by: waffling between inner & outer expressions. At the center of the triad, they’re plagued by doubt, not quite sure what they think about anything. They can neither trust themselves nor the outside world, but can’t actually experience it as ‘fear’, therefore their Janus-like quality
Respond to their fear: BY projecting several negative outcomes scenarios and/or acting fearless as a way to cope with their ever-present insecurity
Deal with it by either rebelling against authority or surrendering to it:|
— being overly anxious & always on guard, suspicious of anything unfamiliar (phobic). 6s don’t believe in their own abilities, so they look to the world to handle their anxiety & dread for them
— OR repressing fear, pretending there is absolutely no reason to ever feel scared (counter-phobic). They do this by surrounding themselves with safety/security systems & lots of ‘helpful’ people
Alleviate fear: BY organizing their tribe into strong groups, & presenting a unified front against “them”. They ask anyone & everyone else for answers they could solve themselves
SEVENS – Enthusiasts
7s don’t expect things to work out very well, so they make sure to have multiple options, along with the habit of deliberately staying clear of any form of unpleasantness, as much as possible. To distract from their hidden fears, they keep their minds occupied with exciting possibilities & options. When they want help, they look to others indirectly, getting info from conversation & by activities. They rarely look inward for guidance or at their patterns, so they tend not to learn from their mistakes – being too busy to stop & consider.
● Their main focus is on pleasure & getting what they want – with less concern for the needs or desires of others. They’re afraid of missing out on anything, of not being connected to life. Being a thinking type AND wanting to have pleasant feelings gives then a strong visual mind, so they can live in their daydreams. But they also make every effort to act on as many of their ideas as they can – staying on the go, pursuing one experience after another, keeping themselves amused.
Root: 7s are deeply afraid of feeling the pain of their inner world – wanting to avoid more abandonment, deprivation & loss
Express the fear by: externalizing the fear, avoiding it entirely by distracting themselves – always being up, always having options (to run) & always planning new feel-good escapes
Deal with fear: they’re always fighting negativity, failure & boredom, so even their ‘commitments’ have backup plans – just in case. A need for constant stimulation can turn into an addiction to excitement.
Respond to their fear: with positive thinking & taking on new challenges,
losing themselves in exciting adventures, trying to satisfy every need
Alleviate fear: BY consuming everything they can, & becoming so great that they’re bigger & stronger than those around them. They accumulate
people, experiences & possessions to insulate them from anything unpleasant or painful.
(MORE…. from Lynette Sheppard)
QUESTIONS to ask yourself (for Types 567)
CONTEMPLATIVE PRACTICES (Christian focus)
NEXT: Triad Emotions (Body)