Friday, September 26, 2014
September 26, 2014
This will be the last entry from me about The Enneagram, at least for now. I may come back to it later, not sure, but I need to close the series now with just a few more important notes. Once you've figured out what your number is, you need to understand how all these personalities interact.
FORWARD/BACKWARD: As you can see from the Enneagram itself, this is no mere list of different types. In fact, each number moves to the negative attributes of another number when they're at their weakest, and they move to a different number when they're at their strongest.
WINGS: Besides our main personality type, and our forward and backward numbers, we all exhibit some attributes of the number to our left and right side too (sometimes both!), which we call our wings. The wing isn't who you are, but you may share many of its traits.
CENTER: The 2, 3, and 4 are in the Heart Center because they tend to operate from their emotions before anything else when a given situation presents itself. The 5, 6, and 7 are in the Head Center, because they tend to operate from their thoughts first and foremost. And the 8, 9, and 1 operate from a gut-instinct tendency before thoughts or emotions. Alternatively, these three centers are often called the feelers, the thinkers, and the doers.
Use these notes below to get a better idea what I've been talking about lately, reference any of the individual types detailed in the past week, and consult the Enneagram Overview as well. All are linked here.
1 - The perfectionist/reformer, forward 7, backward 4 (wings: 9 and/or 2)
I appreciate order and cleanliness, and I'm known for being a perfectionist in all things. At my strongest (7), I can get a job done well and have fun doing it, keeping everyone else involved in the process, but at my weakest (4), I sometimes get annoyed and moody, judging others too much for not reaching my high standards.
2 - The helper/giver, forward 4, backward 8 (wings: 1 and/or 3)
I like to be liked, so I'm often seeking attention and love through service to others. At my strongest (4), I am helpful, kind, and peaceful, happy to do things for others without thinking twice, but at my weakest (8), I sometimes become manipulative and greedy, seeking attention and love in an often aggressive way.
3 - The actor/motivator, forward 6, backward 9 (wings: 2 and/or 4)
Life is a competition, and I like being center stage, and always on top of my game. At my strongest (6), I can perform at the highest levels, managing a large company or running a huge event that benefits my community, but at my weakest (9), I sometimes get lazy and quiet, choosing to be too relaxed when there's much more I should be doing.
4 - The artist/romantic, forward 1, backward 2 (wings: 3 and/or 5)
I appreciate the beauty in things. Fine wine, amazing art, even visceral sadness. At my strongest (1), I see things clearly and sympathetically, knowing right from wrong and doing what I can to use my intelligence and art to change the world, but at my weakest (2), I sometimes grow moody and annoyed, spending too much time focusing on all the negatives.
5 - The silent observer/thinker, forward 8, backward 7 (wings: 4 and/or 6)
At a party, I always enjoy quietly watching others, and learning everything I can! At my strongest (8), I am a strong leader, using my wisdom and perspective to bring control and order to a situation, but at my weakest (7), I sometimes give into silliness and pleasure, seeking personal enjoyment and my own superiority over calm thinking and an ordered mind.
6 - The loyalist/questioner, forward 9, backward 3 (wings: 5 and/or 7)
What did they say we were doing next? I'm a team player, and I'm happy to serve. At my strongest (9), I'm your best worker or best volunteer, championing the cause and getting things done, but at my weakest (3), I sometimes question authority and grandstand for attention. I know I should remember there's no i in team, but I can't help but see four of them in individuality.
7 - The enthusiast/stimulation seeker, forward 5, backward 1 (wings: 6 and/or 8)
Let's have a party, and make it big! I enjoy life, and resist over-thinking things too much. At my strongest (5), I'm able to mellow down and observe what's happening, really understand the situation as a whole, but at my weakest (1), I sometimes run around too much and too quickly, doing everything possible to avoid looking seriously at what I'm feeling inside.
8 - The leader/controller, forward 2, backward 5 (wings: 7 and/or 9)
Hear ye, hear ye, this meeting is now in session. I'm the leader, and don't you forget it! At my strongest (2), I'm able to lead, control, and bring about change in many wonderful ways, fully tapped into my emotional side, but at my weakest (5), I sometimes march forward with so much gusto that I step on others in the process, and get stuck in my own brooding thoughts.
9 - The peacemaker/mediator, forward 3, backward 6 (wings: 8 and/or 1)
Let's just relax. Why do you worry so much? Hey, did someone say it's bedtime? Yay! At my strongest (3), I'm able to transform my easy-going nature into becoming a healthy leader or popular personality at a conference or party, but at my weakest (6), I sometimes grow fearful and feel threatened, allowing others to run roughshod while I stay too quiet and weak.
So what number are you? And what number do you think I am? How about your parents, friends, and family? Do they strike you as being one of these types? We shouldn't tell a person what number they are if they haven't already decided/chosen, but we can help them figure it out with some of these methods and descriptions.
There's a wealth of material online about this, so look around. What I've typed here the past 11 days now are just my thoughts and my own understanding of The Enneagram. If you feel I've written something incorrect about who you are, or any of the other numbers, please let me know! I may have misspoken, misinterpreted, or been flat out mistaken in some ways, so I welcome your edits!