PREVIOUS: Triad Emotions – HEAD types
BOOK: “Emotions and the Enneagram, Working Through Your Shadow Life Script” ~ Margaret Frings Keyes
891s – THE BODY / Instinctual Triad: Aggression and Repression
PHYSIOLOGY: this triad is associated with the brain stem (earliest developed part, also called “reptilian”), which controls motor movement, & connected with creative, sexual, bio-electric energy in the spinal column
FOCUS: this ‘Center of Intelligence” uses visceral responses to understand the world, typically responding first from the gut, a place of intuitive ‘feeling’-knowing*.
ROOT Emotions: ANGER, Aggression, Resentment
RESPONSE : tend to act without having to stop & think, are oriented towards action, using body-based intuition to deal with relationship issues
POWER: is in the ability to instinctively take action
TIME: mainly in the present, since actions can only be in the now
UNDERSTAND Life: best when translated into physical activity or movement.
*NOTE: In this context, it’s important to not confuse Feeling / Sensing (891s) with Sentiment (234s).
Feeling – is ‘background awareness’, rising spontaneously from deep within & so more primitive, using bodily sensations, intuition, instinct… vs
Sentiment – the copy-cat show of the ‘Feeling’ triad, which is more surface, ‘skin deep’ based on energy picked up from the environment.
● This triad has to do with muscular movement, & therefore ‘knowing through doing’, intuition helps them make correct concrete decisions quickly & easily. They love to face reality head on & rebel against injustice.
But when resisting reality, believing that there’s nothing wrong with them, the resistance is held in various physical tensions (neck, lower back….. When stressed, processing verbal or written information can be slow, & they can have trouble expressing themselves verbally:
— angry 8s will think in caricatures or temporarily blank out
— compulsive 1s tends to think only in black & white
— repressed 9s tend to get mentally fuzzy, or go into long ramblings
EIGHTS – Challengers
Root: use anger to hide a tender vulnerability & childlike innocence, from growing up abused, controlled & exploited, & with one weak parent bullied by others
Expressing anger & aggression: externalize – acting automatically. They process anger consciously – when responding to a felt need, or to present themselves as the ‘strongest’ person around. They tend to bulldoze through life – letting hostility out, leaving others to “deal with it”. It’s their main way of getting what they want, & for coping with stresses or challenges.
Acting out anger: their feeling is obvious to everyone because they feel free to express it overtly. When their anger starts building, they show it physically – raised voice, clenched fists, moving more forcefully…. When overcome with strong ‘animal instinct’, they react blindingly fast
In relationships: 8s are comfortable with anger & are known to ‘stir the pot’ to get a reaction from others as a way of engaging, but will gladly overpower anyone who will let them. They tend to be confident, confrontational, decisive, willful. When boundary invaded, they react directly & forcefully to push away
As reaction to underlying fear: being are afraid of being vulnerable to others, they’re driven to be self-reliant & strong, so they can often be thoughtless, even heartless.
Re. not being held/ supported: try to “hold” everything & everyone by forcefully taking charge (See Enn. Emotions, Part 1)
With a HEALTHY childhood – 8s become hard-working volunteers, protectors of underdogs, inspiring class presidents…. & eventually competent, moral, strong leaders in corporate, government or religious arenas.
With an UNHEALTHY childhood – 8s can become bullies, delinquents or gang leaders… & eventually their adult counterparts.
NINES – Peacemakers
Root: reacting to a chaotic early life, denying anger in favor of a peaceful existence – mainly driven by a need to pacify their environment and relationships
Expressing anger & aggression: they repress anger, processing it unconsciously. They don’t like showing or even acknowledging their anger,
but tend to ‘smolder’ underneath. Since they deny aggression & resentment in order to not rock the boat, they don’t let on to the self or others that they’re stewing. This results in losing contact with the Gut Center, so they act or doesn’t act from a place disconnected from reality
Acting out anger: they deny their instinctual energies as if to say, “What anger? That’s not me.” In this triad, they’re most out of touch with anger & intuition, which they feel threatened by. While 9s get angry like everyone else, they try to ignore it by idealizing everything in their world
In relationships: finding their own anger so threatening, they bury it inside & form a completely pleasing or passive exterior. When boundary invaded, they don’t admit how angry it makes them, but it shows in a stubborn attachment to keeping the peace, whatever the cost. However, 9s do periodically erupt, betraying the reservoir of rage simmering deep below the surface.
As reaction to underlying fear: they need comfort & peacefulness in their connection with others because of a great fear of being separated. So they try to stifle the source of power in self & others by repressing their own assertive / aggressive nature, & actively calming/ suppressing aggressiveness in others.
Re. not being held/ supported: they “hold” by engaging in repetitive mental or physical actions that soothe them, as a narcotic (See Enn. Emotions, Intro)
ONES – Reformers
Root: being humiliated, forced to follow a strict moral code, feeling unacceptable, unable to rely on a safe stable authority figure
Expressing anger: internalize anger, focused inward, from wanting to be perfect, but the impossibility of achieving this goal sets up a vicious cycle – triggering more anger, which they deny. They process anger by following a rigid set of religious or philosophical ideals
Acting out anger: trying to make aggression noble, glorious – they use the superego to represses normal instinctual energy – shoving it down & having it come back up as righteousness / doing the right thing
In relationships: they feel anger but do everything they can to hide it. They have a burning desire to be perfect, & in their mind perfect people don’t get angry. Since they give themselves no mercy, they tend to be highly judgmental of others as well. Their response to boundary invasion is to repress the raw energy of anger, redirecting it into efficient action, while holding on to a simmering resentment, which is their Passion
As reaction to underlying fear of being condemned for normal human limitations, they need to always be right & to see themselves as reasonable, using strict self-discipline
Re. not being held/ supported: they “hold” by being self-controlled and trying to control or structure every aspect of their direct environment
QUESTIONS to ask yourself for 891s
NEXT: What ACoAs know & don’t know