Enneagram Talk Styles, Essence, Passions and Fixations
Enneagram Talk Styles
One way to type those around you is to examine their Enneagram talk style. Each type has a unique approach to speaking and writing, which can be picked up on in a matter of minutes. The following is a list of each type and their general mode of communication:
TYPE 1: SERMONS/PREACH & TEACH
Teaching, preaching, finding fault, admonishing, correcting, reminding of obligations
Self-talk: ‘That’s not right’
TYPE 2: SYMPATHIES/HELP & ADVICE/PRAISE & COMPLIMENTS
Befriending, supporting, comforting, offering friendly advice, pitching in, meeting needs, getting personal
Self-talk: ‘You need me’
TYPE 3: SALES PITCHES/PROPAGANDA/SELF-PROMOTION
Promoting, advertising, performing, exclaiming, motivational speeches, success stories
Self-talk: ‘Watch me shine’
TYPE 4: LAMENTS/SAD STORIES
Longing, lamenting, extolling, yearning, regretful sighs, poetic turns of phrase, self-expression
Self-talk: ‘I’m feeling …’
TYPE 5: LECTURES/THESES/TREATISES
Detailed explanations, informative displays of knowledge, definitions, facts, precise instructions, logical, rational arguments
Self-talk: ‘I’m thinking …’
TYPE 6: CAUTIONS/CAVEATS/SETTING LIMITS
Questions, warnings, second-guessing, trouble-shooting, worst-case scenarios, defending / testing
Self-talk: ‘But what if …’
TYPE 7: ANECDOTES/BRAINSTORMING/STORYTELLING
Joking, laughing, story-telling, entertaining, shifting gears, changing venues, sampling, imagining, checking out, moving on
Self-talk: ‘On a lighter note’
TYPE 8: COMMANDS/DIATRIBES/LAYING TRIPS
Arguing, debating, opposing, taking aim, scoring points, parting shots, military metaphors
Self-talk: ‘Do this my way’
TYPE 9: CHRONICLES/SAGAS/EPICS
Recounting sagas, epics, generalizing, day-dreaming aloud, voicing vague notions, wondering, meandering
Self-talk: ‘Nice ’n easy’
Each type brings its particular art to a conversation and can add to it by natural talent. Each type also has a conversation stopper; this is how we end up blocking a healthy conversation. We can do this unconsciously when experiencing discomfort or anxiety due to our fixations.
- Art - Grace; Stopper - Judgment (Grace is healing, forgiveness and compassion)
- Art - Comfort; Stopper - Arrogance (Comfort is physical, emotional and intellectual)
- Art - Appreciation; Stopper - Untruth (Appreciation is maximizing strengths and minimizing weaknesses
- Art - Originality; Stopper - Imagination (Originality is vitality, creativity and eccentricities)
- Art - Education; Stopper - Cynicism (Education is teaching, listening and learning)
- Art - Awareness; Stopper - Rejection (Awareness is noticing thoughts, choices, and emotions in ourselves and in others)
- Art - Joy; Stopper - Distractions (Joy is growing into the extraordinary possibilities of being alive)
- Art - Trust; Stopper - Intimidation (Trust is built with equality and leadership)
- Art - Acceptance; Stopper - Withdrawal (Acceptance is being available, welcoming and engaging)
However, we also need conversation stoppers to help set reasonable limits, establish personal boundaries, and protect us from unhealthy conversations (which are boundary violating). When stoppers they are used to relate to others, they are poisonous, and lend to poor quality conversations.
Types Myths and Facts
Type 1 Myth:
- We need judgment to determine what is and isn't helpful.
- We need arrogance to speak up for ourselves.
- We need untruth to avoid truth paralysis so that we can move forward.
- We need imagination to give us a broader perspective.
- We need cynicism/skepticism to test what is said.
- We need to reject putdowns and excuses.
- We need distractions to open us to new possibilities.
- We need intimidation to forcefully end a conversation on the spot.
- We need to withdraw physically, emotionally or mentally when we face discouragement.
Ones are “neat freaks” and are inflexible.
Fact: What Ones rigidly adhere to and judge as right or wrong depends on the content of each one's internal standards, which can vary greatly. Thus, for example, if a One holds the standard that being flexible is the right way to be and maintaining neatness and order is a waste of time, then that person will not be particularly neat and will be judgmental about the inflexibility of others.
Type 2 Myth:
Twos just give to get and underneath are very needy.
Fact: Twos often give generously and only appear extra-needy because they repress so much need and desire, making them appear extra “thirsty” or needy.
Type 3 Myth:
Threes care only about their own goals, efficiency, and image.
Fact: Threes can be extremely caring people who bring a positive, can-do attitude to doing for others. In addition, the deceptiveness attributed to Threes is not about deceit, but about being out of touch with their own true feelings, which often are not far from awareness.
Type 4 Myth:
Fours are dominated by their feelings and can't be counted upon.
Fact: Fours often stay steady despite their strong feelings and accomplish a great deal with dedication as long as they are moved by the activity. They even have a knack for making the ordinary extraordinary.
Type 5 Myth:
Fives are not giving, truly stingy, and overly reserved.
Fact: Fives are not stingy so much as unwilling to be sharing of self when they experience too many emotional claims or intrusions. Indeed, Fives can be very giving and engaged. They just want to know the extent of the claims on their time and energy, to know the parameters, so to speak.
Type 6 Myth:
Sixes are cowards, "shrinking violets", pessimistic, and non-trusting.
Fact: Sixes will face up to problems and difficulties fearlessly to prove themselves capable. They try to find positive solutions to the hazards they experience in life. They can be very trusting and trustworthy as they gain confidence in another person.
Type 7 Myth:
Sevens are irresponsible, can't keep commitments and try to get out of difficult or trying situations.
Fact: Sevens can sometimes end up staying in relationships that are not good for either person because they can always see the positive possibilities. And when something means a lot to Sevens, they can be counted on to stick with a situation or job and to make personal sacrifices and commitments to do so.
Type 8 Myth:
Eights are just “out there” – they are the toughest, most aggressive, domineering, and excessive types.
Fact: Eights can be quite reserved and quiet as well as very giving, generous, and kindhearted, in part because of Eights' all-or-nothing style of relating, but also in women because of the cultural mandate to tame their assertiveness.
Type 9 Myth:
Nines are lazy, slow, unproductive, and lacking in leadership and effectiveness.
Fact: Nines' inertia is simply toward themselves as they put their attention and energy into others' opinions and agendas. They are often highly productive and effective consensus leaders, as well as thoughtful and giving.
How to Help Other Enneagram Types
-Encourage me to go easy on myself and to take time for myself.
-Provide me with a nonjudgmental viewpoint.
-Remind me that the goal in life is to be human, not to be without fault.
-Appreciate my independent self instead of being seduced by or dependent on the help I give.
-Pay attention to my real needs and ask about them.
-Reinforce me for saying no when appropriate.
-Express appreciation for my giving.
-Encourage me to pay attention to feelings and relationships.
-Show me you care for me for who I am, not for what I have accomplished.
-Be supportive when I tell you what is really true for me.
-Let me know what is really important to you.
-Remind me to slow down and smell the roses.
-Encourage me to keep my attention on what is positive in the present.
-Honor my feelings and my idealism.
-Reveal your real feelings and true reactions.
-Let me see that you really understand me instead of trying to change me.
-Respect my need for privacy and space.
-Make clear distinctions between your requests and your demands.
-Provide moderate feedback about your own feelings and concerns.
-Encourage me to be self-disclosing and to express my feelings in the here and now.
-Appreciate my sensitivity.
-Appreciate my ability to life and let live.
-Be consistent and trustworthy with me.
-Be self-disclosing and encourage me to be self-disclosing.
-Counter my doubts and fears with positive and reassuring alternatives that are realistic.
-Support me when I slow down and stick with my commitments.
-Let me know what and how important your own needs and wants are.
-Encourage me to deal with pain, fear, and restlessness rather than escaping from these feelings.
-Help me keep things simple and in the present.
-Stand your ground.
-Speak your own truth.
-Provide feedback about my impact on you.
-Support me when I reveal softer feelings and vulnerabilities.
-Encourage me to express my own position.
Ask me what I want and what is good for me, and give me time to figure out the answer.
-Support me when I act responsibly toward myself.
-Allow me to acknowledge my anger.
-Encourage me to set and keep my own boundaries, limits, priorities.
source: Source: Daniels, David N., and Virginia Ann. Price. The Essential Enneagram: The Definitive Personality Test and Self-discovery Guide. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2000. Print.
What Each Type Avoids "At All Costs"
The phrase "avoid at all costs" is actually quite illuminating, because it illustrates that the extreme lengths to which a type will go to avoid experiencing that which they disdain or feel discomfort around. We can develop all sorts of coping mechanisms and strategies to deal with these issues. For example, as a Four, I have had to unlearn some relatively complex procrastination *skills* to get to the more "mundane" aspects of my life. I also know a Nine who literally gets sleepy (many Enneagram books say that Nines "go to sleep") when faced with difficult issues or perceived conflict.
1 = anger
2 = needing others
3 = failure
4 = the ordinary and mundane
5 = greed
6 = feeling vulnerable or unsafe
7 = pain
8 = weakness
9 = conflict
What Each Type Seeks
The other side of the coin, of course, is what each type is striving for, or seeking. In some cases, it is a very direct and clear opposite, in others, it is not often so clear.
1 = perfection
2 = being needed
3 = prestige
4 = uniqueness, originality
5 = intellectual knowledge and understanding.
6 = security
7 = ease, play, fun
8 = strength, power
9 = tranquility, peace, harmony
How Each Type Creates Conflict:
Type 1: Corrects others.
Type 2: Creates dependencies.
Type 3: Charms others and takes on whatever image will work.
Type 4: Becomes temperamental and 'hard to get'.
Type 5: Detaches emotionally, stays preoccupied.
Type 6: Tests other's commitment, complains, becomes evasive.
Type 7: Distracts and entertains to get his/her own needs met.
Type 8: Throws weight around, bluffs, makes big gestures.
Type 9: Resists others, checks out and becomes passive aggressive.
How Each Type Manipulates:
Type 1: By correcting others - by insisting that others share their standards.
Type 2: By finding out others' needs and desires - thus creating dependencies.
Type 3: By charming others - and adapting whatever image will "work"
Type 4: By being temperamental - and making others "walk on eggshells".
Type 5: By staying preoccupied - and by detaching emotionally from others.
Type 6: By complaining - and by testing others' commitment to them.
Type 7: By distracting others - and by insisting that others meet their demands.
Type 8: by dominating others - and by demanding that others do as they say.
Type 9: By "checking out" - and by passively-aggressively resisting others.
Essence, Passions and Fixations
Point nine: the core anger point
Holy idea: Divine love
Holy path: Right action
Chief feature: Indolence
Idealization: ‘I am comfortable’
Talking style: Saga
Defense mechanism: Self-narcotization
Point eight: the externalized anger point
Essence: Shakti/cosmic power
Holy idea: Truth
Holy path: Innocence
Chief feature: Vengeance
Idealization: ‘I am competent’
Talking style: Laying trips
Defense mechanism: Denial
Point one: the interiorized anger point
Holy idea: Perfection
Holy path: Serenity
Chief feature: Resentment
Idealization: ‘I am righteous’
Talking style: Preaching
Defense mechanism: Reaction formation
Point three: the core image point
Holy idea: Compassion
Holy path: Veracity
Chief feature: Efficiency
Idealization: ‘I am successful’
Talking style: Propaganda
Defense mechanism: Identification
Point two: the exteriorized image point
Holy idea: Freedom
Holy path: Humility
Chief feature: Flattery
Idealization: ‘I am helpful’
Talking style: Giving advice
Defense mechanism: Repression
Point four: the interiorized image point
Holy idea: Origin
Holy path: Equanimity
Chief feature: Melancholy
Idealization: ‘I am elite’
Talking style: Lamentation
Defense mechanism: Introjection
Avoidance: Feeling Lost
Point six: the core fear point
Essence: Emptiness, pure intelligence
Holy idea: Trust
Holy path: Courage
Chief feature: Paranoia
Idealization: ‘I am loyal’
Talking style: Setting limits
Defense mechanism: Projection
Point seven: the exteriorized fear point
Holy idea: Holy work
Holy path: Sobriety
Chief feature: Planning
Idealization: ‘I am okay’
Talking style: Stories
Defense mechanism: Rationalization
Point five: the interiorized fear point
Holy idea: Omniscience
Holy path: Nonattachment
Chief feature: Withdrawal
Idealization: ‘I know’
Talking style: Treatise
Defense mechanism: Isolation
The above descriptions are based on extract from Eli Jaxon-Bear’s book "The Enneagram of Liberation – From Fixation to Freedom".
Short Descriptions of Each Type
Riso & Hudson: Reformer: rational, idealistic type
Daniels & Price: Perfectionist
Keyes, Margaret Frings: Life-program of Perfection; Shadow of Rage.
Naranjo, pp. 26, 29, 31, and throughout: Ruling passion of Anger; tendency to fixate cognitively in Resentment; chief feature Perfectionism.
Riso & Hudson: Helper: caring, nurturing type
Daniels & Price: Giver
Margaret Frings Keyes: Life-program of Readiness to help; Shadow of Manipulation
Naranjo, pp. 26, 29, 31, and throughout: Ruling passion of Pride; tendency to fixate cognitively in Flattery; chief feature False Love.
Riso & Hudson: Motivator: adaptable, success-oriented type
Daniels & Price: Performer
Margaret Frings Keyes: Life-program of Achievement; Shadow of Rage for recognition (image)
Naranjo, pp. 26, 29, 31, and throughout: Ruling passion of Vanity; tendency to fixate cognitively in Vanity; chief feature Deception.
Riso & Hudson: Artist: intuitive, reserved type
Daniels & Price: Romantic
Vollmar: Afflicted Person
Margaret Frings Keyes: Life-program of Extraordinariness; Shadow of Sentimentality (moods)
Naranjo, pp. 26, 29, 31, and throughout: Ruling passion of Envy; tendency to fixate cognitively in Melancholy; chief feature Dissatisfaction.
Riso & Hudson: Thinker: perceptive, cerebral type
Daniels & Price: Observer
Margaret Frings Keyes: Life-program of Knowledge; Shadow of Retreat
Naranjo, pp. 26, 29, 31, and throughout: Ruling passion of Avarice; tendency to fixate cognitively in Stinginess; chief feature Detachment.
Riso & Hudson: Skeptic: committed, security-oriented type
Daniels & Price: Loyal Skeptic
Margaret Frings Keyes: Life-program of Security and safety; Shadow of Fear and doubt
Naranjo, pp. 26, 29, 31, and throughout: Ruling passion of Fear; tendency to fixate cognitively in Cowardice; chief feature Accusation.
Riso & Hudson: Generalist: enthusiastic, productive type
Daniels & Price: Epicure
Margaret Frings Keyes: Life-program of Optimism; Shadow of Nervous activity
Naranjo, pp. 26, 29, 31, and throughout: Ruling passion of Gluttony; tendency to fixate cognitively in Planning; chief feature Fraudulence.
Riso & Hudson: Leader: powerful, aggressive type
Daniels & Price: Protector
Margaret Frings Keyes: Life-program of Fairness; Shadow of Arrogance
Naranjo, pp. 26, 29, 31, and throughout: Ruling passion of Lust; tendency to fixate cognitively in Vengeance; chief feature Punitiveness.
Riso & Hudson: Peacemaker: easygoing, accommodating type
Daniels & Price: Mediator
Margaret Frings Keyes: Life-program of Peaceableness; Shadow of Laziness (terminology of psychologist Margaret Frings Keyes from Vollmar (p.18)).
Naranjo, pp. 26, 29, 31, and throughout: Ruling passion of Indolence; tendency to fixate cognitively in Indolence; chief feature Self-forgetting.
Naranjo's headline descriptions for each type
Type 1: Anger and Perfectionism
Type 2: Pride and Histrionic Personality
Type 3: Vanity, Inauthenticity, and "the Marketing Orientation"
Type 4: Envy and Depressive Masochistic Character
Type 5: Avarice and Pathological Detachment
Type 6: Cowardice, Paranoid Character, and Accusation
Type 7: Gluttony, Fraudulence, and "Narcissistic Personality"
Type 8: Sadistic Character and Lust
Type 9: Psychospiritual Inertia and the Over-adjusted Disposition
Maitri's headline descriptions for each type
Type 1: Ego-Resentment
Type 2: Ego-Flattery
Type 3: Ego-Vanity
Type 4: Ego-Melancholy
Type 5: Ego-Stinginess
Type 6: Ego-Cowardice
Type 7: Ego-Planning
Type 8: Ego-Revenge
Type 9: Ego-Indolence
Releases and Affirmations
For each of 9 types Riso describes that there are thoughts and behaviors that serve poorly for that type. These can be iterated as a transformation of "Release". There are also thoughts and behaviors that serve well. These can be iterated as a transformation of "Affirmation".
1 "I now release holding myself and others to impossible standards."
2 "I now release the fear that I am unwanted and unloved."
3 "I now release my fear of feeling and being humiliated."
4 "I now release all feelings of hopelessness and despair."
5 "I now release all feelings of powerlessness and hopelessness."
6 "I now release my fear of being abandoned and alone."
7 "I now release all reckless and destructive impulses."
8 "I now release my fear of ever being vulnerable or weak."
9 "I now release turning away from whatever is unpleasant or difficult."
1 "I now affirm that I can make mistakes without condemning myself."
2 "I now affirm that I am honest and clear about my motives."
3 "I now affirm that I have value regardless of my achievements."
4 "I now affirm that I open myself up to people and the world."
5 "I now affirm that my life and struggles are meaningful and have purpose."
6 "I now affirm that I am independent and capable."
7 "I now affirm that I can say 'no' to myself without feeling deprived."
8 "I now affirm that I believe in others and care about their welfare."
9 "I now affirm that I am confident, strong, and independent."
Riso (Riso & Hudson, chapter 4) states that he has discovered nine "Levels of Development" for each Enneagram type. He observes that each type appears to have:
three healthy traits (his Levels 1, 2, 3)
three average traits (his Levels 4, 5, 6) and
three unhealthy traits (his Levels 7, 8, 9).
Each person moves within the levels of the type while also moving between types.
Riso & Hudson's Understanding and their Wisdom show these healthy Level 1 values, showing liberation and self-transcendence:
For Type 1
Healthy Levels - Acceptance: Wisdom. Able to lead through integrity and reason.
Unhealthy levels - Condemnation: Retributive behavior. Hindered by perfectionism and resentment.
For Type 2
Healthy Levels - Self-nurturance: Unconditional love. Able to shine with generosity and healing power.
Unhealthy levels - Conversion reactions: Psychosomatic problems. Hindered by people-pleasing and possessiveness.
For Type 3
Healthy Levels - Self-Acceptance: Authenticity. Able to inspire as an example of excellence and authenticity.
Unhealthy levels - Psychopathy: Monomaniacal behavior. Blindly pursues success and status.
For Type 4
Healthy Levels - Self-Renewal: Inspiration. Able to model creativity and intuitive power.
Unhealthy levels - Clinical depression: Suicidal behavior. Held back by moodiness and self-consciousness.
For Type 5
Healthy Levels - Clarity: Gnosis. Able to demonstrate visionary intellect and inventiveness.
Unhealthy levels - Psychotic states: Annihilating behavior. Becomes increasingly eccentric and isolated.
For Type 6
Healthy Levels - Inner guidance: Courage. Able to exemplify courage and commitment.
Unhealthy levels - Self-abasement: Self-destructive behavior. Struggles with anxiety and rebelliousness.
For Type 7
Healthy Levels - Assimilation: Gratitude. Able to become highly accomplished and spirited.
Unhealthy levels - Hysteria: Panicked behavior. Misled by impulsiveness and impatience.
For Type 8
Healthy Levels - Self-surrender: Magnanimity. Able to be a powerful magnanimous leader.
Unhealthy levels - Antisocial behavior. Tries to control and intimidate others.
For Type 9
Healthy Levels - Self-remembering: Indomitable. Able to bring people together and heal conflicts.
Unhealthy levels - Self-abandonment: De-personalized behavior. Help back by passivity and stubbornness.
Motivations of Types
Underlying motive: Justice, Correctness; Strives for: Fairness, Improvement
When healthy: Spontaneous, Joyful; When stressed: Moody, Impatient
Underlying motive: Sincerity, Helpfulness; Strives for: Friendliness, Generosity
When healthy: Self-Nurturing, Emotionally-Aware; When stressed: Aggressive, Dominating
Underlying motive: Advancement, Ambition; Strives for: High Status, Good Image
When healthy: Cooperative, Caring; When stressed: Disengaged, Apathetic
Underlying motive: Expression, Individuality; Strives for: Creativity, Uniqueness
When healthy: Objective, Principled; When stressed: Clingy, Envious
Underlying motive: Curiosity, Development; Strives for: Knowledge, Innovation
When healthy: Confident, Decisive; When stressed: Hyperactive, Scattered
Underlying motive: Security, Trust; Strives for: Reliability, Commitment
When healthy: Relaxed, Optimistic; When stressed: Arrogant, Pessimistic
Underlying motive: Freedom, Happiness; Strives for: Versatility, Satisfaction
When healthy: Focused, Fascinated; When stressed: Perfectionist, Critical
Underlying motive: Control, Strength; Strives for: Decisiveness, Resourcefulness
When healthy: Warm, Caring; When stressed: Secretive, Fearful
Underlying motive: Peace, Stability; Strives for: Acceptance, Harmony
When healthy: Productive, Energetic; When stressed: Anxious, Worried
Points of Stress and Relief
Associated with each Enneagram Point is a direction of stress and a direction of relief.
When a person is under stress, one tends to react according to one's Stress Type. Also one tries to get consolation from any person whose main Enneagram type is that Stress Type, and this can turn out to be false consolations.
Vollmar suggests that the stress type expresses the Shadow of the type. He also suggests that one is especially baffled by the Stress Point of one's own Stress Point:
For Type 1
Stress direction is Type 4. The stressed Reformer or Entrepreneur might become the self-destructive critic.
Relief direction is Type 7. The relaxed Reformer or Entrepreneur might loosen rigidity and become more cheerful and relaxed.
Baffled by Type 2 (Helper or Planner).
For Type 2
Stress direction is Type 8. The stressed Helper or Planner might become destructive and aggressive.
Relief direction is Type 4. The relaxed Helper or Planner might live without dependence and with a positive self image.
Baffled by Type 5 (Thinker or Observer).
For Type 3
Stress direction is Type 9. The stressed Motivator or Magician might become deceitful and fraudulent, then bitterly passive.
Relief direction is Type 6. The relaxed Motivator or Magician might develop integrity and loyalty to doing a job well.
Baffled by Type 6 (Skeptic or Hero).
For Type 4
Stress direction is Type 2. The stressed Artist or Afflicted Person might become moody and unpredictable; might try to get affection through service and love through manipulation; might become passive-aggressive.
Relief direction is Type 1. The relaxed Artist or Afflicted Person might a structure, a security, and a base of reality.
Baffled by Type 8 (Leader or Boss).
For Type 5
Stress direction is Type 7. The stressed Thinker or Observer might retreat, become aimlessly active, superficial, eccentric, and nervous.
Relief direction is Type 8. The relaxed Thinker or Observer might go out into the world and do something with the accumulated knowledge.
Baffled by Type 1 (Reformer or Entrepreneur).
For Type 6
Stress direction is Type 3. The stressed Skeptic or Hero might become presumptuous, suspicious, buried in work, authoritarian, and even sadistic.
Relief direction is Type 9. The relaxed Skeptic or Hero might realize that "things can also work out even if there doesn't seem to be any security - indeed, that you can live ... more merrily and well without it." (Vollmar.)
Baffled by Type 9 (Peacemaker or Lover).
For Type 7
Stress direction is Type 1. The stressed Generalist or Optimist might engage in lots of activities with an emphasis on lust and a striving for perfection; might lose lightness; might criticize and ridicule whoever appears to oppose the Optimist.
Relief direction is Type 5. The relaxed Generalist or Optimist might first think and observe instead of dissipating energies; and then act in harmonious balance.
Baffled by Type 4 (Artist or Afflicted Person ).
For Type 8
Stress direction is Type 5. The stressed Leader or Boss might become violent and aggressive, then brood and withdraw.
Relief direction is Type 2. The relaxed Leader or Boss might soften will and power to recognize other people; might want to help others and do so.
Baffled by Type 7 (Generalist or Optimist).
For Type 9
Stress direction is Type 6. The stressed Peacemaker or Lover might become passive, idle, and lazy, and then search for security.
Relief direction is Type 3. The relaxed Peacemaker or Lover might develop effectiveness and delight in work.
Baffled by Type 3 (Motivator or Magician).
For 3, 6, and 9, this is odd, because their type of bafflement is also their type of relief!
In addition to the above motion of stress and relief, Vollmar emphasizes the dynamic nature of the Enneagram in solving life's problems by moving between types ordinally (1, 2, ... 8, 9, 1, ...)
"Enneagram Points 1 and 2 describe the material basics of the process. ... the basic pre-conditions the consequences that result from these pre-conditions. On the economic level, these would be the means of production."
"Enneagram Point 3 introduces ... the idea of where the process is to be steered to."
"Enneagram Points 4 and 5 occupy themselves with the material that is to be altered. At point 4, laborious work is usually required. At point 5, what is achieved has to be organized toward the goal."
"Enneagram Point 6, where the outside world as market and consumer comes into play"
"Enneagram Points 7 and 8 show the result of the work. The goal of the process that you present to the outside world is evident at point 7. At point 8, the end-product of the work is sold to the consumer."
"At point 9, ... start from the existing experiences and maybe begin a new, improved production series."
No matter what is your Enneagram type, Vollmar (p.21) says that you can work through an issue by remembering yourself and being aware, and then moving through the point of the Enneagram:
Enneagram Point 1:
"You are conscious of the fact that you have to change something."
"You notice your dissatisfaction and that you will become unhappy if you live against your true 'I.'"
Enneagram Point 2:
"You inform yourself about how you can change yourself."
"You gather all kinds of information about what you can do in order to change. Through this process, the goal becomes clearer (since point 2 connects with point 8) and, as at point 1, you fear the impending emotional changes (point 4)."
Enneagram Point 3:
"You come to the exercise of self-remembering." This is essentially Zen meditation.
"A new quality comes into play, which affects us from the outside and helps us take on the path of change toward our true self."
Enneagram Point 4:
"The exercise of self-remembering [Zen meditation] causes more difficulties than expected. You realize that you are almost never conscious of yourself, which annoys you."
"You move into the field of the emotions, where Enneagram Point 5 also belongs. Here you suffer from the rigidity of your emotions "
The Emotional Hostage can help you make progress here.
Enneagram Point 5:
"The difficulties of doing this exercise remain, but it becomes clear ... what this consciousness exercise boils down to. The frustration in this exercise is used to build up greater motivation for doing consciousness work in your daily life."
"You begin to understand you emotions at least once in a while [especially if you are reading The Emotional Hostage]. You begin to perceive them, but you do not identify with them. Through this, you see your goal (points 7 and 8) very clearly and seizably [sic] close."
Enneagram Point 6:
"You meet a person [or book or other teacher] who shows you how to progress with this exercise."
"Again a strong impulse must affect us from the outside otherwise our goal would seem to be unattainable. Here again a teacher, who can be a person, an external situation, or a friend, helps us to continue with patience and willpower."
Enneagram Point 7:
"You succeed in moving consciously and attentively through life."
"We have finally reached at least the lower step of our goal."
Enneagram Point 8:
"You have reached your goal - to dedicate yourself fully to conscious work."
"We are capable of dedicating ourselves completely to our goal and of realizing ourselves."
Enneagram Point 9:
"We start the whole process over again on a higher level."
Enneagram Types and Personality Disorders
Each Enneagram type is said by Riso & Hudson to have nine levels of development. Usually Levels 1-5 do not show DSM categories.
For Type 1
Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (DSM 669) may begin at Level 6.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (DSM 417) may begin at Level 8.
For Type 2
Histrionic Personality Disorder (DSM 655) may begin at Levels 4-5.
Somatization Disorder (DSM 446) may begin at Level 6.
Hypochondriasis (DSM 462) may begin at Level 7.
For Type 3
Narcissistic Personality Disorder (DSM 658) may begin at Level 6.
For Type 4
Avoidant Personality Disorder (DSM 662) may begin at Level 5.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder (DSM 658) may begin at Level 6.
Borderline Personality Disorder (DSM 650) may begin at Level 7.
For Type 5
Schizotypal Personality Disorder (DSM 641) may begin at Level 7, as may Schizoid Personality Disorder (DSM 638).
For Type 6
Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder (DSM 733) may begin at Level 5.
Dependent Personality Disorder (DSM 665) may begin at Level 7.
Paranoid Personality Disorder (DSM 337) may begin at Level 8.
Borderline Personality Disorder (DSM 650) may begin at Level 9.
For Type 7
Histrionic Personality Disorder (DSM 655) may begin at Level 5.
Hypomanic Episode (DSM 335) may begin at Level 7.
Manic Episode (DSM 328) may begin at Level 8.
Bipolar Disorders (DSM 350) may begin at Level 9.
For Type 8
Antisocial Personality Disorder (DSM 645) may begin at Level 7.
For Type 9
Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder (DSM 733) may begin at Level 5.
Dependent Personality Disorder (DSM 665) may begin at Level 6.
Schizoid Personality Disorder (DSM 638) may begin at Level 7.
Dissociative Disorders (DSM 477) may begin at Level 8.
Under negative psychological circumstances, types may display the following addictive tendencies:
■Type 1 The Reformer
Excessive use of diets, vitamins, and cleansing techniques (fasts, diet pills, enemas). Under-eating for self-control: in extreme cases anorexia and bulimia. Alcohol to relieve tension.
■Type 2 The Helper
Abusing food and over-the-counter medications. Bingeing, especially on sweets and carbohydrates. Over-eating from feeling "love-starved." Hypochondria to look for sympathy.
■Type 3 The Achiever
Over-stressing the body for recognition. Working out to exhaustion. Starvation diets. Workaholism. Excessive intake of coffee, stimulants, amphetamines, cocaine, steroids or excessive surgery for cosmetic improvement.
■Type 4 The Individualist
Over-indulgence in rich foods, sweets, alcohol to alter mood, to socialize, and for emotional consolation. Lack of physical activity. Bulimia. Depressants. Tobacco, prescription drugs, or heroin for social anxiety. Cosmetic surgery to erase rejected features.
■Type 5 The Investigator
Poor eating and sleeping habits due to minimizing needs. Neglecting hygiene and nutrition. Lack of physical activity. Psychotropic drugs for mental stimulation and escape, narcotics for anxiety.
■Type 6 The Loyalist
Rigidity in diet causes nutritional imbalances ("I don't like vegetables.") Working excessively. Caffeine and amphetamines for stamina, but also alcohol and depressants to deaden anxiety. Higher susceptibility to alcoholism than many types.
■Type 7 The Enthusiast
The type most prone to addictions: stimulants (caffeine, cocaine, and amphetamines), Ecstasy, psychotropics, narcotics, and alcohol but tend to avoid other depressants. Wear body out with effort to stay "up." Excessive cosmetic surgery, pain killers.
■Type 8 The Challenger
Ignore physical needs and problems: avoid medical visits and check-ups. Indulging in rich foods, alcohol, tobacco while pushing self too hard leads to high stress, strokes, and heart conditions. Control issues central, although alcoholism and narcotic addictions are possible.
■Type 9 The Peacemaker
Over-eating or under-eating due to lack of self-awareness and repressed anger. Lack of physical activity. Depressants and psychotropics, alcohol, marijuana, narcotics to deaden loneliness and anxiety.
Enneagram Defense Systems
It's the defenses which lock us into our fixations and habits. They separate us from others, they separate us from our true selves. The defense mechanism appropriates the strength of our type and diverts this capacity to keep us safe, or at least to keep our ego intact. We need some defenses in this world, but if they are evoked inappropriately, they can disconnect us from others and diminish our chances at achieving the full potential. Here is a brief description of the nine defense systems.
1) Ones use reaction formation to avoid anger (i.e. direct anger) and stay in control of their feelings and instincts in order to maintain a self image of being right. Reaction formation is feeling one thing and then expressing the opposite or at least something unrelated, such as feeling resentful but acting nice, feeling a need to rest but working harder. The relentless demand of the inner critic to be good and do good at all times replaces personal needs and shuts down feelings.
2) Twos use repression of personal needs and feelings to avoid being needy and to maintain a self image of being helpful. Repression is putting one's "unacceptable" feelings and impulses out of awareness by converting them into a more acceptable kind of emotional energy. Self-esteem depends on winning the approval of others. This can take the form of being overly nice, flattering people, and a superficial friendliness. Or it can show up as an attitude of entitlement. Their genuine need for connection takes the form of "you need me."
3) Threes use identification to avoid failure and maintain a self image of being successful. Identification is stepping into a role so completely that Threes lose contact with who they are inside. The pressure to keep up a winning image prevents access to personal feelings and needs. Attention goes to the external environment: the tasks to be done and the expectations of other people. Threes find it very difficult to drop the role, or drop the image, since they get so much positive reinforcement in a society that values achievement and success.
4) Fours use introjection to avoid ordinariness and maintain a self image of being authentic. Positive introjection is an attempt to overcome the feeling of deficiency by seeking value from an idealized experience, work or relationship and internalizing this through the emotional center. This also leads to negative introjection: Fours tend blame themselves for whatever goes wrong in personal relationships. Their experience of loss or abandonment can take form inside as a self-rejecting voice (a negative introject) which leads to pervasive feelings of unworthiness.
5) Fives use isolation to avoid the experience of inner emptiness and maintain a self image of being knowledgeable. Isolation can be physical withdrawal from others, but it also means withdrawing on the inside from one's emotions and staying up in the head. Acquiring knowledge becomes a way to create safety and self worth, but an over-emphasis on the intellect prevents Fives from connecting with the life force in their bodies and the support available in relationship with others.
6) Sixes use projection to avoid rejection and to maintain a self image of being loyal. Projection is a way of attributing to others what one can't accept in oneself, both positive and negative. Positive feelings are projected onto a romantic relationship or an external authority figure in order to assure safety and justify loyalty. Negative feelings are projected onto others to justify internal feelings of fear and distrust. Sixes support their projections by finding and amplifying the information which fits their premise.
7) Sevens use rationalization to avoid suffering and to maintain a self image of being OK. Rationalization is a way of staying in the head, explaining away or justifying things in order to distance from painful feelings and refuse to take responsibility for their behavior. Everything can be re-framed towards the positive. Their ability to think of new options and possibilities allows Sevens to leave the present moment with its limitations and live in a seemingly unlimited future.
8) Eights use denial to avoid vulnerability and to maintain a self image of being strong. Denial means to power up in the body center and forcefully re-direct energy and attention through willfulness and control. Vulnerable feelings are automatically put away and not experienced. Emotional energy is reduced, while instinctual energy is increased. Receptivity necessarily involves some vulnerability, so Eights seek to impact the world and other people rather than be receptive to them.
9) Nines use narcotization to avoid conflict and to maintain a self image of being comfortable or harmonious. Narcotization is using food and drink, entertainment, or simply repetitive patterns of thinking and doing to "put oneself to sleep". Even productive activities can keep Nines narcotized if they become too habitual. Avoiding conflict with others keeps Nines from being fully present in relationships. Avoiding internal conflict leads to inertia and self-forgetting.
It's useful to see how the defense mechanisms are all based in the lead center of the personality type, either mental, emotional, or body. For example, both repression (Two) and denial (Eight) can lead to similar results in that both types become out of touch with deeper feelings and needs. But there is an important difference in how they get there. When Twos repress their unacceptable feelings and instincts, they convert them into other forms of emotional energy. They may over-empathize with other people's feelings or they discharge their emotions through "hysterical" (distancing) tone and affect. Emotional energy is conserved and re-directed while contact with the body is diminished. Eights, in contrast, bear down on their feelings of vulnerability or sadness with their angry forcefulness and "obsessive" control. Denial uses the energy of the body center to override and close down unacceptable emotions. Emotional energy is diminished.
Our defenses are organized into a cohesive system by three specific functions: the idealization pattern, the avoidance pattern and the defense mechanism. They work together in a three-way arrangement to keep the structure of the personality in place. They are also the cornerstones of each person's fixation and it's hard to think clearly or feel our true feelings when these parts are active. If we want to work on our personality we have to confront them time and time again. Although their purpose is to keep us safe and hold us together, they can also stand in the way of our personal growth.
Body-based character structure - Types 8, 9, & 1
Instinctual needs and rhythms in daily life; issues of fairness or rightness; getting practical results.
Grounded, common sense approach, taking care of basic needs. Good at "just doing" things and being active in the physical world, being connected to nature. Not much thought required for the simple tasks of life.
Obsessive process - using repeating patterns of thinking and doing to capture and stabilize attention in daily life.
A concentration of energy in the belly center enables repeating patterns to form layers of "insulation" in the mind and body. This insulation is used to "screen out" unwanted feelings or information from the inside or outside. Personal wants and needs are controlled by super-ego “shoulds.”
Variations of style:
comfortable (9), righteous (1), or dominating (8).
Screening and buffering (principled inattention).
Primary emotional layer:
Anger (being against the way things are).
"Waking up" through self awareness instead of falling asleep in habits, excessive materialism, or low-level comfort.
Emotion-based character structure - Types 2, 3, & 4
Relational needs for contact and approval, establishing personal identity through connecting and being seen.
Flexibility and skill in relationship, achieving success by attuning to and meeting social expectations, access to empathy and the vast potential of the human heart.
Hysterical process - building up emotional energy and then discharging it unconsciously into the environment.
Emotional intelligence enables the creation of an "image self" in order to gain recognition and approval from others. This helps to overcome internal feelings of deficiency or emptiness. Personal wants and needs are replaced by meeting the expectations of others.
Variations of style:
helpful (2), successful (3), or authentic (4).
Substitution of value. (Value is not in me, but I can find value in the approval and eyes of others).
Primary emotional layer:
Sadness (related to the loss of self).
Balancing self and other, autonomy and dependence.
Mental-based character structure - Types 5, 6, & 7
Ideas and concepts, rational thinking, creating security by understanding the world and other people.
Heightened individual consciousness, mental discrimination and analysis, effective plans and strategies, intellectual work contributes to the community.
paranoid/schizoid process - distrust leads to withdrawing from contact in order to figure things out and establish safety.
A concentration of energy in the mental center makes it possible to detach from feelings and the body while living in the mind. Fear of life (and death) is countered by thinking, explaining, and rationalizing. Personal wants and needs are intellectualized or simply not felt.
Variations of style:
hoarding (5), agreement seeking (6), or re-framing (7).
Primary emotional layer:
fearfulness (even when not experienced directly).
Integrating mind and body.
The Missing Piece
There is a paradoxical and exciting element to the structure of the Enneagram that is best considered after the types are well understood—but which is a key to rapid growth with this system.
We have discovered that the healthy Levels, especially Level 1, of the type in the Direction of Disintegration indicate what our type most needs for our personal development. Under normal circumstances, we tend to act out in the Direction of Disintegration because we unconsciously know that what we need for our healing and wholeness is symbolized by that type—even though we cannot yet fully integrate that quality into our personality structure. When we become more healthy, however, we also begin to be in the position to access and claim our most needed qualities—to seize the capstone of our psyche, as it were.
However, for a person in his or her average Levels, the qualities of the Missing Piece are too “ego alien” and thus cannot be owned without disrupting the person’s self-image in fundamental ways. None of the types can therefore claim its Missing Piece immediately or in a balanced way because they have not sufficiently laid the psychological groundwork for such a development. For example, a Seven most needs to learn the lessons of acceptance and self-discipline, but "cannot get there from here” if they move directly to One. A direct move to One results not in learning these higher lessons, but acting out in average to unhealthy behavior, which is why we consider this a move in the Seven’s “Direction of Disintegration.” Only after doing a considerable amount of transformational work, will the Seven be in a position to assimilate the healthy lessons of type One consistently.
For all the types it is highly instructive to take note of the Level 1 qualities of the type in the Direction of Disintegration for our type since it will reveal what we most need for our completion. We can then see our personality try to imitate and compensate for this quality—as well as observe ourselves in those authentic moments when we actually attain it. The following chart will make some of these qualities clearer.
The Characteristics of Each Type’s “Missing Piece”
Type One needs most to learn from Four to listen to and trust their Unconscious impulses & inspirations.
Type Two needs most to learn from Eight to recognize their own strength and to fully claim their presence in the world.
Type Three needs most to learn from Nine how to be instead of constantly doing, achieving, or performing.
Type Four needs most to learn from Two to love themselves and others unconditionally.
Type Five needs most to learn from Seven that life is a joy and that the universe is benevolent.
Type Six needs most to learn from Three to be inner directed and to have real self-esteem.
Type Seven needs most to learn from One to accept life as it is, and to live for a higher purpose.
Type Eight needs most to learn from Five humility and their true place in the larger scheme of things.
Type Nine needs most to learn from Six to rely on themselves and to grow in adversity.