I’M SO CONFUSED! there’s too much to know
OUTLINE of the Enneagram – The information & internal connections between the numbers of the Enneagram are complex & subtle. In addition to the meaning of each Type, there are many other things to look for.
TRIADS There are several kinds, & this is not a complete list: SubTypes, based on how they function best in the world. Each group has its own intensity, emotional focus & physical center: 2, 3, 4 = Heart & Love-Shame / 5, 6, 7 Head & Fear-Anxiety / 8, 9, 1 Gut & Anger-Rage
Instinctual Types are Social, Self-preservation & Sexual/Intimate, each Type expressing all three in their own way
Social ‘Movement’ (interaction), instinctive style: 2s, 6s & 7s go Toward others / 4s, 5s, 9s move away from others / 1s, 3s & 8s go against others
Harmonics: 4s, 6s, & 8s are Reactive / 2s, 7s & 9s Have a Positive Outlook / 1s, 3s & 5s focus on Competency
Object Relations connections: 3s, 6s & 9s Attach (join) / 1s, 4s & 7s Frustrate (are ambivalent) / 2s, 5s & 8s Reject (push against)
Importance: 1s, 4s & 7s feel Smaller than the world / 3s, 6s & 9s adjust themselves to the world / 2s, 5s & 8s feel Bigger than the world
ARROWS – Each Type relates to 2 other numbers, at the opposite end of their connecting lines, usually at the far side of the circle. – When we’re relaxed, one of these numbers enhances us, as we add some of those positive qualities to our — When we’re stressed the other weakens us, as we add some of those negative qualities to our native style
WINGS – These are the numbers on each side of every Type & we tend to choose one or the other to modify our own. EXP: We can be a 1 with a 9 wing (1w9) or a 1 with a 2 wing (1w2)…. Each has a ‘title’ & allows for easier connections to people of that adjacent Type, whom they may not otherwise understand or get along with. EXP: Type 8 (intense, easily angered, dominant) is extremely different from a #7 (lighthearted, rarely serious, irresponsible) but a 8w7 can get along with a 7w8 reasonably well since many traits overlap.
LEVELS – each Type will also be expressed in 9 psychological levels, from most damaged to healthiest. While the goal is to improve oneself, the levels do not automatically imply moving upward, and not everyone starts out from the lower 3. Most people live in the middle 3 – the ‘Average’ range – & some are able to function in the top 3.
DESIRES & FEARS – Each type is drive to gain their Heart’s desire & to avoid – at all costs – their greatest fear. People living at the lower Psychological Levels are run by their fear & sadly their dysfunction coping mechanisms often increase it. As one moves up to higher levels, the Desire begins to be the stronger motivator for our actions & interactions with others.
STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES – Each Type is most easily defined by their “Passion” or negative defense, & their whole life is built around it. So a 3’s Flaw/ Vice is Deceit, a 9’s is Sloth…. The goal is to grow into our Type’s highest potential, the positive version of your number.
REASONS to study The Enneagram (& other personality systems) a. For US: Accurately identifying & studying our Type, including all its complexities, can help explain how we function in relationships, what kind of career suits us best & how we are at work, what our gift are, what defenses we use to ‘protect’ ourselves & therefore what needs to be corrected….. so we can stop saying “I don’t know who I am”
b. Re. OTHERS: All ACoAs start out desperately wanting/ needing to be be understood & connected with, to the point of symbiosis. This makes it hard to see others as individuals with a core identity of their own, especially if they’re very different from us. As we become emotionally healthier & want to function well in the world, we greatly benefit from learning about the basic nature of all the other Types, so we can relate to others based on who they are.
ALSO – it’s imperative to identify extremes of damaging behavior (cruelty, mental illness….) in our family, friends, loves & bosses, as ACoAs have : – very little realistic frame of reference for ‘sanity’ — built-in blinders to the repeated abuse we’re subjected to, even when part of us is aware of it — a compulsion to white-wash our perpetrators, so we don’t have to distance ourself or leave them
IMP: Most people come to the wrong conclusion as to their Type because the correct one is based on our defensive style rather than our better qualities. It’s hard to see our automatic way of functioning, so in spite of S-H, most of us are in denial about how we habitually protect ourselves. To find the truth we need to start with each Type’s ‘Basic Flaws & Fears’. If we’ve done extensive self-inventories we’ll be able to pick out the one that consistently fits our behavior & attitudes.
Using the BEST qualities of the 9 Types to form a successful ‘Product’ business, one would need:
# 8 The Leader / Maverick, with vision and confidence
# 4 The Individualist, for a well-designed product, and a sensitivity to its emotional impact on the public
# 5 The Investigator, for technical expertise and innovative ideas
# 1 The Perfectionist, for ethical standards and quality control
# 3 The Achiever, with promotional and communication skills
# 9 The Peacemaker, to bring people together and to listen to them
# 6 The Loyalist, for teamwork and self-regulating feedback
# 2 The Helper, to serve people and anticipate their needs
# 7 The Enthusiast, with energy and optimism
NEXT: Enneagram WEAKNESS & Healing