Enneagram – Type ‘DEFECTS’ (Part 2)

448355-p011_3 AM I WEAK? AM I BAD?
I just want to forget it all!

PREVIOUS: Type Defects, #1

SITEs: Enneagram for spiritual transformation – we love & hate it
Karen Horney & the Enneagram

SELF-AWARENESS:  Deep & honest introspection will provide the AHA! moment, admitting the truth about our unhealthy side. We can think back to what we were like in our teens & 20s, when our reactive style was in full bloom. What was our overall behavior & attitude toward people-places-things? AND – is it how we still deal with life now?  Richard Rohr says a rule of thumb is: “Whoever is not humiliated has not yet found his or her ‘number’!”

Fatal Flaw: It’s important to make a distinction between each Type’s perceived Fatal Flaw & the very real acting-out of damage, via ones Passion/Vice.  Everyone wants to see themselves & be seen by others in a certain light. To hold onto our idealized self-image & keep it up in public, we have to completely deny acknowledging the thing we’re most afraid we are or might be. It’s the specific weakness that would bring us the greatest S-H if revealed – the real OR imagined flaw we take great pains to conceal, sometimes even from ourselves. 

● This ‘flaw’ generates a painful emotion specific to the Enneagram’s 3 sub-divisions: 2,3,4s feel Shame / 5,6,7s feel Fear / 8,9,1s feel Anger (expanded in other posts).  In addition, each Type also gives us our ‘Core Emotion’ (based on the 7 Deadly Sins + 2):
Type #1 = Anger // #2 = Pride // #4 = Envy // #5 = Greed // #7 = Gluttony,
#8 = Lust // #9 = Sloth — + Type #6 = Fear & #3 = Deceit

To avoid feeling these emotions, we often gravitate toward things that aren’t in our best interest or are outright dangerous.  Each type tries hard to avoid experiencing its sense of :   2 Insignificance // 3 Failure //4 Ordinariness
5 Ignorance // 6 Irresponsibility // 
7 Emptiness
8 Weakness // 9 Hostility // 1 Unworthiness

IRONICALLY, none are real defects! They only seem so to the person, while other types will not consider it such a bad thing, & may even find it laughable. All are various expression of being human – realistic limitation common to all. Only the grandiose IDEAL of each type sees it as a personal weakness!

Projecting our Passion/Vice : Because the Gift-turned-Vice makes us see the world in terms of partial & distorted information, each protective style also creates a projection – causing the person to use their own defense against others.  The saying: “If the only tool you have is a hammer, then everything is a nail” implies that we must not use just one way of responding to all situations, & that some things are harmed by being pounded on, such as delicate emotions.

EXPs: It’s not healthy to: talk away someone’s emotions (5), try to make others perfect (1), control everything around us (8), tell a sad or angry person to lighten up (7)….
• A healthy #2 is naturally loving & helpful but not intrusive, but
— a wounded #2 is co-dependent, clingy, manipulative, overly-solicitous, 2-faced…. all in the name of being ‘nice’ & not wanting to hurt others.





Enneagram’s MAYA ILLUSIONS (Ginger Lapid-Bogda, PhD)

2s That being so focused & intent on others means that they themselves actually can do no wrong
3s That doing what they think they want is more often doing what they think they should want, not understanding the difference between the two
4s That being so ‘in touch with their feelings’ & pondering them with such  continual intensity makes them real, when the emotions they explore & express are neither their deepest nor their most real ones

5s That they don’t either know or experience their feeling states, when in  fact their emotions are extremely pure
6s That by focusing on serious issues, & bearing down on a problem with great intensity, confronting it will somehow get it solved or resolved
7s That they are propelled in perpetuity to live a life with a deep hole inside, when all they need do is GO inside to find themselves

8s That they don’t dare let their guard down, because if they do, something terrible will happen to them (or their loved ones)
9s That they are so consistently kind & nice, without recognizing that their under-experienced & unexpressed anger has painful consequences for them and others
1s That being so completely self-controlled will give them the joys and pleasures they want as a reward for being so good

NOTE – We must not be ashamed of our inherent protective style – it’s a necessary part of our psychological makeup. The problem comes from it’s overuse & then rigid adherence. If we can own it, then we can work on healing the original wounds, so the distorted defense is progressively less needed – & turned back into the GIFT it was meant to be!

So DO NOT use this info against yourself (S-H)!  Your Type also provides parallel discoveries of hidden & rejected positive qualities.

NEXT: Enneagram ‘Defects’ Part 3


3 thoughts on “Enneagram – Type ‘DEFECTS’ (Part 2)

  1. I love this! Thanks for posting this. “4s That being so ‘in touch with their feelings’ & pondering them with such continual intensity makes them real, when the emotions they explore & express are neither their deepest nor their most real ones.” LOL! This is me to a tee. If I touch the real and deepest emotions, I shut down.


  2. Excellent article. I have sent it along to others. I am a 2 and an ACOAC. So a very interesting mix. 🙂


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