The Enneagram is never static. The health of your personality is never static. Each day you go up and down depending on how much stress you are experiencing.
There is movement on the Enneagram as you move to ether your integration point or your stress point.
The integration points you toward the functional aspects of another type when you are dealing with life well. When you are integrating, you are living beyond the trappings of your personality.
There is nothing wrong moving towards the stress type. The stress point is a safety valve. It prevents you from moving down to a lower level of health than you have ever been before.
Just to learn the types can be a fun thing to do. It can be a great party conversation. But it is only of use if you commit to learning through this tool through workshops, reading, reflection, counseling, and coaching.
The only person who can tell you who you are is yourself. For many people, it takes time to discern what type you are. It is easy to misidentify when you are not self-aware.
The Enneagram is no excuse to behave in a particular way. The gift of the Enneagram is that it points out to you the personality box in which you find yourself. A healthy person will develop strengths in all nine types. This is how the Enneagram personality system works.
Learning the Enneagram together with someone that knows you well such as your spouse can be a lot of fun. Your partner can help you to see who you are. When we are so close to ourselves, we can easily deceive ourselves into believing our desired image of our self when in reality people around us experience us differently.
The Enneagram teaching is an excellent tool for any group such as spouses, a whole family, congregation or business to learn how to get along better with each other. You begin to understand your differences because of how you see the world through your different lenses.
I expect at some time in your life you assumed that everyone thought the same as you did—until you got a rude awakening. We all have different ways of seeing and experiencing the world.
You will discover that most people don’t want to annoy you. They just see the world in different ways and have different priorities.
The nine Enneagram types divide into a triad of gut, heart, and head. These are our three energy centers. Your type suggests which one of these energy centers you either avoid or overuse. It just means this is where you are most comfortable but to be healthy, we need to keep all three of these wisdom centers open.
You can also use another triad of assertive, withdrawn and dutiful.
The assertive types of people move out into the world with force and conviction. They are a force to be taken seriously.
The withdrawn types when under stress like to withdraw into themselves to recharge. They are usually great observers of what is going on around them. They are easy to get along with.
The dutiful types when under stress feel responsible for taking care of everyone around them and making sure everyone stays safe. The dutiful types can often feel overly responsible.
The Enneagram is all about finding ways to live with as much presence as possible. Presence is the ability to stay open to the wisdom of your three energy centers: the gut, heart, and head.
The Enneagram is meant to help you move out of the fog of life. When you are stuck in your personality, it is easy to go to sleep to your true self. You live out your image of yourself without any self-awareness. Your life becomes more and more limited unless you find the courage to discover who you indeed are.
Using the Enneagram takes time and intentionality. It is a tool that will give you new things to learn each day no matter how old you are. It is no quick fix.
If someone claims you need fixing with the Enneagram, run away as quickly as you can. These teachers are dangerous!
I love the Enneagram! I hope it can help you as much as it has and continues to help me. I learned that being a type six explained why I had had lots of anxiety issues through my life. I have a lot more compassion for myself. I have learned how important meditation is for me to quiet my mind.
The Enneagram can change the world!
Learning that I am a type six has helped me to acknowledge my strengths such as my ability to look for problems before they become serious.
It has been a blessing in my relationship with my wife, Jen. She is a type five (the investigator). She thinks everything through before she says anything. She finds it difficult to express herself especially when she doesn’t feel that she has enough information.
I am the opposite. I think out loud. I learn through my conversations with others. We have had to learn much. I have learned to give Jen lots of time to think. She has learned that she needs to tell me what she is thinking, especially when it is a decision that affects both of us. We now laugh together instead of cursing each other.