I often tell couples that half of what I do in the office is to help them become more conscious – more aware, and while much of what we do is couple’s stuff, some of it is individual stuff. We are all bent out of shape to some degree or other and part of my responsibility in my relationship, is to become as healthy a partner as I can be.
In light of that, and as a great tool to develop self-awareness, I’d like to introduce the Enneagram to those of you who might not be familiar with it. I will be quoting extensively from the book, The Enneagram Made Easy by Renee Baron and Elizabeth Wagele. “The Enneagram is a study of the nine basic types of people. It explains why we behave the way we do, and it points to specific directions for individual growth. It is an important tool for improving relationships with family, friends and co-workers.
The roots of the Enneagram go back many centuries. It’s exact origin is unknown, but it is believed to have been taught orally in secret Sufi brotherhoods in the Middle East.” (P.1)
I first came into contact with the Enneagram 30 or 40 years ago and found it a very useful tool to help me better understand myself, but also my wife and our children. More recently, my wife, Crystal has been teaching a 10 week course on the Enneagram which I have had the privilege of being a part of. Check out her website Journey to Inner Wisdom. The course consists of an introductory session and then one session on each of the nine Ennea types.
Let me just quickly go over the nine types of people as outlined in The Enneagram Made Easy. See if you recognize yourself in one of the types! In the following weeks I will enlarge on each type.
No.1 The Perfectionist
The perfectionist is motivated by the need to live life the right way, improve yourself and others, and avoid anger.
No. 2 The Helper
The helper is motivated by the need to be loved and appreciated, to express your positive feelings toward others, and to avoid being seen as needy.
No. 3 The Achiever
The Achiever is motivated by the need to be productive, to achieve success, and to avoid failure.
No. 4 The Romantic
The Romantic is motivated by the need to understand your feelings and to be understood, to search for the meaning of life, and to avoid being ordinary.
No. 5 The Observer
The Observer is motivated by the need to know everything and understand the universe, to be self-sufficient and left alone, and to avoid not having the answer or looking foolish.
No. 6 The Questioner
The Questioner is motivated by the need to receive approval, to feel taken care of, and to avoid being seen as rebellious.
No. 7 The Adventurer
The Adventurer is motivated by the need to be happy and plan fun things, to contribute to the world, and to avoid suffering and pain.
No. 8 The Asserter
The Asserter is motivated by the need to be self-reliant and strong, to make an impact on the world, and to avoid being weak.
No. 9 The Peacemaker
The Peacemaker is motivated by the need to keep the peace, merge with others, and avoid conflict.
See you next week to explore No. 1 – The Perfectionist a bit more.