Ennea: TRIAD EMOTIONS (Part 1)

I don’t know what to do with them!

PREVIOUS: Triad Emotions – Intro

SITE: Enneagram: Ancient knowledge, modern psychology


234s – HEART / Feeling Triad: Low
Self-Esteem & Longing

PHYSIOLOGY: triad associated with the mammalian part of our brain
FOCUS: this ‘Center of Intelligence” uses emotions, intuition & imagery – rather than bodily senses
ROOT Emotions: SHAME, & GRIEF/Sadness, hidden HOSTILITY

RESPONSE: from their heart first, then the head, & gut last
POWER: from their ability to instinctively feel emotions
TIME: mainly to the Past, needing to feel connected to long-term relationships & events
UNDERSTAND Life: best when info is translated into symbols of desire, through people & stories about themselves or their old experiences

● 234s long for a sense of identity, of figuring out “Who am I?”. Instead of going inward for this information, their main attention is on getting Affirmation From Others, especially those they feel close to, to the point of side-lining their own deepest needs. Total reliance on validation from others can lead to only being able to see themselves thru others’ eyes, unreliable at best, or to low self-esteem & possibly despair. It’s also called the “image” triad, because of a concern with how they are ‘seen’triad :grief

GRIEF / Sadness comes from negating oneself by having substituted a ‘persona’ as a partial or full replacement for the True Self. As children they didn’t have accurate or adequate mirroring. Not being able to handle their pain, they chase after attention & validation. When they feel a real or imagined threat to a connection with an important ‘other’, they can get very distressed, even panicked. This motivates them to stay attached, or do whatever is necessary to re-connect.

IMMATURE: While they may seem very emotional to others, these Types are the least in touch with their primitive senses (the way 8s are). Their natural instinct is to pick up emotional energy from the environment, the same way an audience takes on the enthusiasm of a charismatic motivational speaker, & then acts it out as if it was their own, (like audiences do with Tony Robbins)
EXP: 4s can be pseudo-authentic (dramatic), who assume they must be unique to receive love…. Actually – for them true authenticity would be to include emotions they may think are too ‘ordinary’ (caring, comfortable, annoyed, disappointed….)
MATURE: When healthy, their sensitivity makes these Types admirable, being highly valued for their genuine thoughtfulness & interpersonal skills.

Hidden AGGRESSION: 234s don’t openly acknowledge their wish/need to be aggressive. Instead tStriad shamehey use manipulation, guilt & self-pity – more passive ways of asserting themselves, which they consider safer

SHAME : In this context, it is the feeling of being “in the spotlight,” under scrutiny, rather than feeling ashamed of themselves as human beings. It grows out of the deep-seated preoccupation with the need to “See me the way I want to be seen” (rather than for who they truly are), which motivates their characteristic styles.

TWOS (2s) Helpers / Caretakers
Dealing with emotions: 2s are the most emotionally externalized, focusing outward their grief & shame. They over-express the positive aspects of their heart – at the expense of being real, so it’s an incomplete or false contact. However, they get a lot out of giving of themselves & conforming to the needs of others around them.
Need to be seen: Shows up as the need to be recognized for their affection & care of others, a form of ‘possessive affectivity’*
*Affectivity: Something influenced by, sensitive to or results from emotions

Shame: 2s compensate for shame by denying hostility, trying always to act in an idealized way (good girl/good boy). They feel shame when they meet with any form of disapproval, because they want so badly to be loved. The try to control their shame by working very hard to convince type 2 heartthemselves & others of being totally virtuous. They only allow themselves pleasant emotions & thoughts toward others, while repressing ‘ugly’ ones (such as anger & resentment for not being appreciated enough) – denying the possibility they may not be unconditionally loving.
— As long as 2s can get positive emotional responses from others, they feel acceptable, which helps to control the shame.

THREES (3s) Achievers / Performers
Dealing with Emotions: at the core of the triad, 3s are most out of touch with their heart-feelings, which are suspended so they can make a good impression, get the job done, & behave as or become the type of person they believe will make the greatest impression or win the greatest accolades. So they need to repress shame & grief, making it hard for them to know directly what they want or could hold as theirs alone (needs, gifts, dreams, wants….)
Need to be seen: their own success is most important, especially career-wise. This kind of recognition-need can be called ‘functional affectivity’

Shame: they deny their shame by disconnecting from their hearts, hiding from their underlying feelings of inadequacy, & then try to fill the gap by ‘being’ what they achieve. They do feetype 3 heartl shame (but don’t recognize it as such) if they experience any form of rejection, because they so want to be desirable. 3s focus on accomplishing tasks & ‘managing’ their shame by trying to become what they imagine a valuable, successful person is like. They learn to perform well, to be acceptable, even outstanding, often driven to relentlessly pursue success as a way of staving off feelings of shame & fear of failure

NOTE: Healthy 3s – from bonding with a loving mother – are the most authentic souls on the planet. Self-actualized 3s attract others with their magnetic personalities
Unhealthy – from bonding with a narcissistic mother – become sham artists, to hide an undeveloped soul. Hard-driving achievers, they claw their way to the top & crow when they get there, but their own narcissism drives others away.

FOURS – Loyalists
Dealing with Emotions: 4s are emotionally internalized, under-expressing their connecting-heart, & focusing their grief & shame inward. They have an artistic temperament, a love for aesthetics & are intense about everything – absorbed in their inner life, but away from their true feelings.
Need to be seen: they deeply want recognition for their originality, the need to be considered unique & special, often with ‘negative affectivity’

Shame: they try to control their shame by shoving hostility down deep, never finding it, experience it when they feel they don’t belong or are criticized, because they’re so afraid of being defective, & are the most likely to feel inadequate. To compensate, they focus on how unique & special their type 4 heartparticular characteristics, emotions & talents are – highlight their individuality & creativity.
4s also cover up their shame by cultivating a rich, romantic fantasy life to escape having to deal with ‘reality’ – whatever seems drab or uninteresting to them – using dramatic feelings & imagination to soothe themselves, & fill in the sense of self they’re think is missing.
(MORE…. from Lynette Sheppard)

QUESTIONS to ask yourself – for 2, 3, 4s

CHART: The Christian Enneagram of Sanctification
BOOK: The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective  – R. Rohr & A. Ebert

NEXT: Triad Emotions (Head)


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