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Enneagram Theory

Discussion in 'Enneagram' started by Love, Apr 18, 2013.

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  1. Love

    Love Regular Poster

    Sep 29, 2012
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    In enneagram theory, you have one type for how you relate to the world, (either 8, 9, or 1) one type for how you think, (5, 6, 7) and one type for how you see yourself (2, 3, 4.) Your tri-fix contains one number from each of these triads.

    Your Basic Personality Type

    From one point of view, the Enneagram can be seen as a set of nine distinct personality types, with each number on the Enneagram denoting one type. It is common to find a little of yourself in all nine of the types, although one of them should stand out as being closest to yourself. This is your basic personality type.

    Type One is principled, purposeful, self-controlled, and perfectionistic.
    Type Two is generous, demonstrative, people-pleasing, and possessive.
    Type Three is adaptable, excelling, driven, and image-conscious.
    Type Four is expressive, dramatic, self-absorbed, and temperamental.
    Type Five is perceptive, innovative, secretive, and isolated.
    Type Six is engaging, responsible, anxious, and suspicious.
    Type Seven is spontaneous, versatile, acquisitive, and scattered.
    Type Eight is self-confident, decisive, willful, and confrontational.
    Type Nine is receptive, reassuring, complacent, and resigned.



    Each type has a particular way of coping with the dominant emotion of its Center.

    In the Instinctive Center...

    act out their anger and instinctual energies. In other words, when Eights feel anger building in them, they immediately respond to it in some physical way, raising their voices, moving more forcefully. Others can clearly see that Eights are angry because they give themselves permission to express their anger physically.

    deny their anger and instinctual energies as if to say, "What anger? I am not a person who gets angry." Nines are the type most out of touch with their anger and instinctual energies, often feeling threatened by them. Of course, Nines get angry like everyone else, but try to stay out of their darker feelings by focusing on idealizations of their relationships and their world.

    attempt to control or repress their anger and instinctual energy. They feel that they must stay in control of themselves, especially of their instinctual impulses and angry feelings at all times. They would like to direct these energies according to the dictates of their highly developed inner critic (superego), the source of their strictures on themselves and others.

    In the Feeling Center...

    attempt to control their shame by getting other people to like them and to think of them as good people. They also want to convince themselves that they are good, loving people by focusing on their positive feelings for others while repressing their negative feelings (such as anger and resentment at not being appreciated enough). As long as Twos can get positive emotional responses from others, they feel wanted and are able to control feelings of shame.

    try to deny their shame, and are potentially the most out of touch with underlying feelings of inadequacy. Threes learn to cope with shame by trying to become what they believe a valuable, successful person is like. Thus, Threes learn to perform well, to be acceptable, even outstanding and are often driven relentlessly in their pursuit of success as a way of staving off feelings of shame and fears of failure.

    attempt to control their shame by focusing on how unique and special their particular talents, feelings, and personal characteristics are. Fours highlight their individuality and creativity as a way of dealing with their shameful feelings, although Fours are the type most likely to succumb to feelings of inadequacy. Fours also manage their shame by cultivating a rich, romantic fantasy life in which they do not have to deal with whatever in their life seems drab or uninteresting to them.

    In the Thinking Center...

    have anxiety about the outer world and about their capacity to cope with it. Thus, they cope with their fear by withdrawing from the world. Fives become secretive, isolated loners who use their minds to penetrate into the nature of the world. Fives hope that eventually, as they understand reality on their own terms, they will be able to rejoin the world and participate in it, but they never feel they know enough to participate with total confidence. Instead, they involve themselves with increasingly complex inner worlds.

    are the most anxious type, and the most out of touch with their own sense of inner knowing and confidence. Unlike Fives, Sixes have trouble trusting their own minds, so they are constantly looking outside themselves for something to make them feel sure of themselves. They might turn to philosophies, beliefs, relationships, jobs, savings, authorities, or any combination of the above. But no matter how many security structures they create, Sixes still feel doubtful and anxious. They may even begin to doubt the very people and beliefs that they have turned to for reassurance. Sixes may also respond to their anxiety by impulsively confronting it— defying their fear in the effort to be free of it.

    have anxiety about their inner world. There are feelings of pain, loss, deprivation, and general anxiety that Sevens would like to stay clear of as much as possible. To cope with these feelings, Sevens keep their minds occupied with exciting possibilities and options— as long as they have something stimulating to anticipate, Sevens feel that they can distract themselves from their fears. Sevens, in most cases, do not stop merely at thinking about these options, however. As much as possible they attempt to actually do as many of their options as they can. Thus, Sevens can be found staying on the go, pursuing one experience after another, and keeping themselves entertained and engaged with their many ideas and activities.

    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    #1 Love, Apr 18, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2013
  2. Ronin

    Ronin Newbie

    Jun 10, 2017
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    Does this mean that everyone is a center oriented and switches to one when stressed and one when at their best? Thanks.

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