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Enneagram Shifting Theory

Discussion in 'Enneagram' started by VH, Jul 12, 2011.

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  1. VH

    VH Variable Hybrid

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    I've been thinking about this a while, and something occurred to me. Enneagram has levels of healthy and unhealthy. Meanwhile, there is a fair amount of debate over wings, triads, etc. because each person seems has all of the Enneagram motivations to varying degrees, with one being dominant. This seems a lot like the MBTI theory on how our functions amplify themselves in order of stress and demand.

    For example, the more charged and motivated they are, INFJs become more like ENFJs (Fe raises), then ISTPs (Ti raises), then ESTPs (Se raises), etc. When INFJs get unhealthy, they start to seem like ENFPs (Ne raises), then INFPs (Fi raises), and finally ESTJs (Te raises) and ISTJs (Si raises)

    I'm starting to think that Enneagram operates in a similar manner.

    Let's take an Enneagram 9 (since it's in the middle of the diagram). As 9 gets unhealthy, it starts to move toward 8 with sudden moments of assertion and stubbornness puffing up from all the repression. This causes confusion and rejection, which causes the 9 to start to let go and submit more, suddenly being fun like a 7 because they want to be included as a way of avoiding rejection and may even initiate fun - because they've been repressing their own needs for fun. When 9 gets fully stressed, it starts to worry and get concerned with loyalty bonds like a 6 because all the repression and focus on not being rejected gets activated. When a 9 finally gets so stressed that they give up on rejection, they become very deeply disconnected and intellectual like a 5 - hoping to be useful and attract anyone that rejected them while creating harmony.

    Meanwhile, when a 9 gets more healthy, they begin to take a stand for what is good and right in themselves, moving more toward 1 - the beginings of seeking true harmony in the dynamic environment. Eventually, this goodness begins to pour outward to express love - as a way to avoid rejection and lack of harmony, and becomes more like a 2. Once this is achieved, the 9 becomes more like a 3 - charged with the ability to be successful for themselves because they have found the harmony and lack of rejection they seek. At their most healthy, 9s become like 4s, able to embrace the creative parts of themselves without fear of rejection.

    To make a chart, 9 would look like this:

    5 < 6 < 7 < 8 < 9 > 1 > 2 > 3 > 4
    Unhealthy < Average > Healthy
    -4 < -3 < -2 < -1 < 0 > +1 > +2 > +3 > +4

    The core motivations cause each Enneagram type to shift into the other types with each degree of health or unhealth. If someone spends more time in a healthy mode than not, they're going to wing forward on the diagram. If they spend more time in an unhealthy mode than not, they're going to wing backward on the diagram. A 9 who is healthy more often than not will be a 9w1. Meanwhile, a 9 who is unhealthy more than not will be a 9w8.

    Using this methodology, Enneagram 1s will move forward or backward based on their need to be a good person, or feeling resentment. Ennegram 2s will move forward or backward based on their need to give love, or feeling that they are unworthy of love. Enneagram 3s will move forward or backward based on their need to achieve and be successful, or their sense of shame for not being or doing enough. Enneagram 4s will move forward or backward based on their need to be unique. Enneagram 5s will move forward or backward based on their need to be competent and useful or feeling that they are of no use. Enneagram 6s move forward or backward based on their sense of security or insecurity. Enneagram 7s move forward or backward based on how much joy or unhappiness they are experiencing. Enneagram 8s move forward or backward based on how vulnerable they feel.
     
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    #1 VH, Jul 12, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2011
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  2. Kmal

    Kmal Well-known member

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    I dont think developing other personality traits should be called unhealthy. A type 9 needs self worth enough to stand up for himself when the time comes; as well as being able to let off some steam and indulge in some hedonistic pleasures. A type 7 should develop some healthy skepticism toward things and events else he might get caught in a bad situation. Balance is needed in all aspects. I dont think its inherently unhealthy to move counter clockwise on the enneagram scale, as long as you don't stay there. The experience of it is needed.

    The end result, if most has been learned/experienced from, shouldn't really matter as it will be preference.
     
    #2 Kmal, Jul 12, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2011
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    VH

    VH Variable Hybrid

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    Agreed. I'm not saying it's unhealthy to develop them. I'm saying that they are developed when we are 'unhealthy'. The same is true for shadow functions. We have to be 'forced' to develop them, but we definitely should develop them. Fortunately, life has an amazing ability to put us in positions where we have to. :)
     
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  4. Kmal

    Kmal Well-known member

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    [MENTION=708]VH[/MENTION] I'm thinking your theory needs to account for the wing, as in a 9w8 -> 6 would be different than a 9w1 -> 6.
     
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