Core Fears of the Four:
The core fears are of being inadequate, emotionally cut off, commonplace, and abandoned.
The preceding core fears have been identified by many Enneagram researchers through the years and were explored more deeply by Katherine and David Fauvre during their groundbreaking research on the Enneagram in 1995 and 1996.
The Fours primary fears all center around the need to be seen as unique and special, thus feeling inadequate is the primary way in which the Four will be triggered into feelings of sadness and despair. To be inadequate would mean that they are indeed not special and that others see them just as they see everyone else. Being seen as commonplace is part and parcel to feelings of inadequacy because fours spend a great deal of time (whether consciously or unconsciously) seeking to be seen as unique. Feedback that they are commonplace would undermine the Fours psychic efforts to stand apart. Read More
The Enneagram type Six is motivated by a desire to avoid danger and gain certainty. Sixes are loyal, engaging, vigilant, and can be endearing and brave, or provocative and fearful. This is the Enneagram system’s "Loyal Skeptic" or "Cautious Defender". Sixes often receive a bad rap because of their attention to what might go wrong. However, it’s important to remember that without the Sixes attention to danger we might be less likely to notice problems in the future. This habit of attention is misunderstood by non-sixes as being negative, however it is really an expression of the Sixes caring. By paying attention to what could go wrong the Six hopes to prevent possible catastrophe, by essentially heading it off at the pass. Read More
The richness of the Enneagram is never lacking. The system is so dynamic and complex that once we understand the basic aspects of the system we are a step closer to understanding the complex human personality. The instinctual subtypes (or instinctual variants) are such a major aspect of The Enneagram they deserve a solid understanding as it strongly influences the type in a way that can drastically change the presentation of a particular style.
The instinctual subtypes can be understood as the dominant arena of life in which we focus our personality styles. They are the primal hard-wiring that can be seen as a sort of tribal, anthropological energy supporting the human ego. It seems that before we developed a complex personality structure we developed our instinctual styles. These are underlying coping strategies that allowed for tribal cultures to survive in which each individual was striving to maintain the equilibrium of the tribal society in a particular way so that overall human survival was ensured. Read More
"Don't Put Me in a Box": One of the main questions that I tend to get about the Enneagram, is in regards to the value in "personality typing" systems like the Enneagram. There is a conception amongst some people that personality typing is limiting, as they perceive that it creates a schema that "puts people into boxes".
Indeed the Enneagram is categorical and tends to put people in categories, however in my opinion, this is an inherently human tendency and has a practical usefulness in understanding the world.
This should serve as a basic crash course in the Enneagram types and provide newcomers and long time students with a refresher on the basic type and wing combinations of the Enneagram. The Enneagram system is separated into three triads which characterize the central concerns of the three types within each triad, each type underexpresses, overexpresses, and controls the energy of the center in a particular way. The types are influenced by the types on either side of them on the Enneagram. The influence of these types is referred to as a "wing". Most people have a dominant wing that influences their type but some find they are affected equally by the types on either side of their dominant type. For example some Twos are primarily influenced by Three on one side and thus are referred to as a Two with a Three wing, (written in this blog as 2w3) while others are influenced more by the One on the other side of the Two and are referred to as a Two with a One wing, or 2w1. Read More
Some may not be familiar with the notion of tritype. The term "tritype" was coined by enneagram research team Katherine and David Fauvre who took the original idea of Oscar Ichazo, who previously postulated that individuals used 3 fixations (two in conjunction with the dominant type) but didn't really expand much past that original hypothesis. However as the Fauvre's differentiated their research from that of Ichazo they renamed it as "tritype" to distinguish their findings from that of the original Arican concept. Tritype states that we posses one type in each center. One of those types is our dominant type, while the other two are employed as necessary when the strategies or defenses of our dominant type are no longer effective. What the Fauvre's say about tritype: http://enneagram.net/tritype.html Read More
“Today, charting your own course isn't just more necessary than ever before, ... it's also much easier -- and much more fun.”-Pink Pink is one of my favorite artists and thought a blog dedicated to her 8ness would be enjoyable and particularly illustrative of the 8w7.
Of the 8w7 Thomas Condon says: "Awakened Eights with a 7 wing are often expansive and powerful. Gregarious and generous. They may display a cheerful bravado. Can be forceful but with a light touch. Funny. Often have a good sense of humor about themselves. Generally more extroverted, ambitious and materialistic. May talk loud and be sociable party goers...Sometimes driven to bring the new into being. Can be visionary, idealistic, enterprising. Willing to take risks...When entranced aggression combines with gluttony to form an almost virulent tendency to addiction. Many entranced 8w7 have problems with drug and alcohol problems or tensions around addictions...can be moody, egocentric and quick to anger."-Thomas Condon, The Enneagram Movie and Video Guide Read More
The Enneagram and how it relates to communication is one of the most useful applications of the personality system. Finding effective ways to communicate with fellow human beings is a skill that will help us to reach our interpersonal and professional goals more effectively. Through observing people over the years and studying the Enneagram personality system and communication theories of some integral teachers such as Katherine Fauvre, Tom Condon, Don Riso and Russ Hudson and Elizabeth Waegle we have compiled a succinct overview of the types communication styles that can be incredibly useful in both typing others at work or in your personal life as well as understanding your own personal communication style and how you may be presenting to those around you. Read More
We realized that some people may not be familiar with the Enneagram so many of these blog posts will be a little like reading a foreign language so we thought writing a brief intro to the system and the Nine types would be beneficial for those not acquainted with the system.
The Enneagram has unclear beginnings that can be traced back as far as ancient Babylon and ancient Egypt which makes theoretical attribution difficult due to its inherently oral nature. The word Enneagram is translated into “nine diagram” which points to the geometric figure that represents the system as a whole (see figure “a”). With nine equidistant points drawn inside of a circle, the symbols use as a theoretical model are likely mathematical and were discovered by mathematician Pythagoras (Riso and Hudson, p.12 1996). The symbol was thought of as a pictorial/geometric representation of the “process of renewal” and was likely passed down generationally from the Greeks to the Arabs and Moslems in the early 14th and 15th centuries (Riso and Hudson, p.12 1996). Read More