Misidentification: 3 + 7

misid_37Enneagram 3’s and 7’s can have a similar energy about them– external, positive, fast paced and people oriented. I know a 3 who has called herself a “false 7” because it’s what many identified her as at first. At the core though, Achievers and Enthusiasts reasons for doing things could not be more different. 3’s seek love and approval, 7’s seek stimulation and distraction. If there were two Olympians that were these types, they would compete with different motivation– the 7 to see the world, and have varied experiences, and the 3 to prove their worth by winning.  One is driven, the other more happy-go-lucky.

Enneagram 3 is a heart type, and struggles with issues of identity– because they have always tried to live up to the expectations of others (donning masks to do so) they often feel that they don’t really know their true selves. It’s said that they sacrifice their heart’s desires at a young age to live up to the ideals of their culture.

Enneagram 7 is a head type, and struggles with issues of fear– specifically of their own deep or negative feelings, or those of others. Enthusiasts are the true optimists, and choose to distract themselves away from negativity by seeking constant positive stimulation. They are continually looking for things to distract them from their own thoughts and feelings. This, of course, is hard to sustain, so 7’s bounce from thing to thing, not staying focused very long on any one.

I actually often use the term bouncy to describe the physicality of Enthusiasts. There is an energizer bunny type of vibe, distracted, bright and effervescent. Conversely, 3’s lack the childlike, open nature of 7’s– coming across in a more polished, charming and salesman-like manner. Because Enthusiasts value experiences over appearance, their physical presentation is usually an afterthought– or if distinctive, adopted for the sake of novelty, or variety.  3’s on the other hand find physical presentation of the utmost importance. Achievers generally put a lot of thought into their appearance, modeling it after popular culture, or people they believe are winners— another product and manifestation of not really knowing who they are.

The sins (or passions) of 3 and 7 are also quite different from each other. The former struggling with Deceit (of self and others) and the latter with Gluttony– the overdoing of, and overindulging in all things: food, social activities, hobbies, you name it.

Clearly there are some surface level similarities between these types, but a lot of core differences.  For more information on this topic, check out the Enneagram Institute’s overview of the differences between any two types and misidentification in general (which can be very helpful when determining type).

Tune in next time for my next Misidentification pair: 4 and 9!

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Misidentification: 3 + 7

Enneagram Photo Project {Part. II}

If you are just chiming in, check out Part. I of this project. 🙂

A note on seeing the images closer (to read all the quotes): click the image once, which should open a new page, and then click to see the full sized image.

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Today I’d like to present head types, the over-thinkers of the Enneagram. Coming alongside that analytical nature, though, are the themes of Fear and Anxiety– each head type struggles with their own, unique brand.

5

Investigators seek to know, and understand all things– they exist largely in their inner worlds to cultivate that knowledge, and fear sharing or releasing it to the world. It’s why 5’s are said to struggle with avarice, or greed, which applies much more to their space, thoughts and selves than to anything else. There are often themes of social anxiety with Enneagram 5, because the physical world is not their playground. Inner message: you are only safe once you learn everything.

You can check out my overview of 5 basics here.

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6

Loyalists are the classic Fear type– which I’ve often read is why they are the central head type. For a 6, this theme is much broader, and rooted in a quest to find security outside of themselves– loyalty, whether with friends, their workplace, church, family, sports team, etc. Because they are overly vigilant about their security (physically, emotionally, relationally etc.), 6’s often entertain worst case scenario thinking that can lead to anxiety, and indecision. Inner message: you are only safe if you have the consistent protection of others.

You can check out my overview of 6 basics here.

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7

Enthusiasts are most carefree when emerging themselves in the experiences and variety of the outside world. Fear for them, centers around addressing their inner world, and the pain or dark feelings that exist there. 7’s are natural optimists that use their busy schedules and event filled lives to distract from any inner turmoil– their tendency to be experiential junkies is mostly to push down a fear of pain, and to evade the quiet that might force them to hear their own thoughts. Inner message: you are only safe if you keep moving.

You can check out my overview of 7 basics here.

As always, feel free to reach out with questions or comments, and be sure to tune in for gut types (8, 9 and 1) tomorrow! 🙂 I’d love for you to share this project, but please do not use the images without my express consent. Thanks!

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So much thanks to all of my awesome participants, and friends who helped with interviewing! Photo credit for 1, 2, 4 and 7 goes to the lovely Jamie Gray, while 6 and 9 are the work of Tony Au. All quotes are the words of my participants, and the writing/artwork is my own. Thanks everyone, I couldn’t have pulled it off without you!

Enneagram Photo Project {Part. II}

Instincts: 7

Now that we’ve discussed the basics of Enneagram 7, let’s talk about Instinctual differences among Enthusiasts. If you need a refresher on what Instincts are, check out my first post on the topic.

instincts-general

When talking about instincts, it’s important to realize how the same instinct can look different from core type to core type. The general descriptions of the instincts (above) are much less specific than when those instincts are applied to a specific Enneagram type.

The pain-avoiding tendencies, variety seeking and bouncy nature of type 7 manifest with each instinct in a unique way.

instincts7

Though different, it’s easy to see how the first (general descriptions) factor into the type specific ones.  As aforementioned, all 7’s will probably relate somewhat to all three above descriptions, but more strongly with one or two.  This brings us to the concept of Instinctual Stack, which denotes the order of an individual’s instinctual need.  For instance, Sp/So tells us that Self Preservation is preferred/needed most, So is auxiliary and Sx is the “blind spot”. I do also think looking into the instincts of your wing (especially if it is heavy) is important to behold the whole picture.

Other great sources for more detailed reading on the instincts, are The Complete Enneagram by Beatrice Chestnut, these descriptions originally from (the now inactive) Ocean Moonshine, and the work of early Enneagram scholar, Claudio Naranjo (notes on his work on the instincts).

Have any questions about instincts, Enneagram or typing? Leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you!  Be on the lookout for my next post on the basics of type 8.

Instincts: 7

Instincts: 6

Alright, so we’ve overviewed type 6, the Loyalist.  Now let’s talk about Instinctual differences among Loyalists. If you need a refresher on what Instincts are, check out my first post on the topic.

instincts-general

When talking about instincts, it’s important to realize how the same instinct can look different from core type to core type. The general descriptions of the instincts (above) are much less specific than when those instincts are applied to a specific Enneagram type.

The planning tendencies, security seeking and anxious nature of type 6 manifest with each instinct in a unique way.

instincts6

Though different, it’s easy to see how the first (general descriptions) factor into the type specific ones.  As aforementioned, all 6’s will probably relate somewhat to all three above descriptions, but more strongly with one or two.  This brings us to the concept of Instinctual Stack, which denotes the order of an individual’s instinctual need.  For instance, Sp/So tells us that Self Preservation is preferred/needed most, So is auxiliary and Sx is the “blind spot”. I do also think looking into the instincts of your wing (especially if it is heavy) is important to behold the whole picture.

Other great sources for more detailed reading on the instincts, are The Complete Enneagram by Beatrice Chestnut, these descriptions originally from (the now inactive) Ocean Moonshine, and the work of early Enneagram scholar, Claudio Naranjo (notes on his work on the instincts).

Have any questions about instincts, Enneagram or typing? Leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you!  Be on the lookout for my next post on the basics of type 7.

Instincts: 6

Enneagram 6

Up next is an overview of Enneagram 6, usually called the Loyalist.  Feel free to click for a closer view!

Basicsof6

The Loyalist is dubbed as such because of a strong tendency to seek security and remain “loyal” to it, whatever form it’s found in.  6’s look outside of themselves for this sense of safety, and thus tend to be somewhat uncertain and insecure within themselves.  Be it friends with strong personalities, a corporation, job title or heritage, Loyalists tend to see these outside sources as insuring of their security, and they can be poster children for them.

6’s are the ultimate planners of the Enneagram. The individuals of this type that I’ve interviewed speak of “always being prepared”, having back up plans for even the most mundane circumstances, and fearing the unknown.  This planning tendency is rooted in exactly that, fear of being without security, which can manifest in both internally and externally expressed anxiety.

The terms phobic and counter-phobic are often used when talking about the Loyalist, to distinguish between two very different fear reactions– best known as flight and fight, both of which 6’s experience. This dichotomy is one of the trademarks of Enneagram 6, the existence of both loyalism and skepticism, fear and bravado, etc. Both of these, though polar opposite, are motivated by fear and a quest for security.  In most 6’s I know, this is often noticeable in a back-and-forth, indecisive, “this, no, that” double minded way.

Because of the void of a true sense of inner security, two problems may emerge for people of this type: Loyalists will often “test” people or entities that they trust, in order to really see if they are safe.  On the flip side, 6’s often desire security so much that they subconsciously turn a blind eye to the flaws of their confidants, institutions, etc., becoming zealous, overly-devoted and naive.

If you’d like to know more about Enneagram 6, or have questions, let me know in the comments! Also, be on the lookout for Instincts of 6, which will be my next post. 🙂

Enneagram 6

Instincts: 5

Now that we’ve covered the basics of core type 5, lets talk about instinctual differences! If you need a refresher on instinctual variants and what that means, check out my first post on the topic.

instincts-general

When talking about instincts, it’s important to realize how the same instinct can look different from core type to core type. The general descriptions of the instincts (above) are much less specific than when those instincts are applied to a specific Enneagram type.

The nihilism, knowledge seeking and withdrawn nature of type 5 manifest with each instinct in a unique way.

instincts5

Though different, it’s easy to see how the first (general descriptions) factor into the type specific ones.  As aforementioned, all 5’s will probably relate somewhat to all three above descriptions, but more strongly with one or two.  This brings us to the concept of Instinctual Stack, which denotes the order of an individual’s instinctual need.  For instance, Sp/So tells us that Self Preservation is preferred/needed most, So is auxiliary and Sx is the “blind spot”.  I do also think looking into the instincts of your wing (especially if it is heavy) is important to behold the whole picture.

Other great sources for more detailed reading on the instincts, are The Complete Enneagram by Beatrice Chestnut, these descriptions originally from (the now inactive) Ocean Moonshine, and the work of early Enneagram scholar, Claudio Naranjo (notes on his work on the instincts).

Have any questions about instincts, Enneagram or typing? Leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you!

Instincts: 5

Enneagram 5

Today, let’s check out an overview of Enneagram 5, commonly called The Investigator.  Click for a closer look!

Basicsof5

5’s have a great need to figure out the puzzles of life, both to make sense of things, but also to be sure of themselves. The Investigator is located in the “head” section of the Enneagram, which brings a focus on thinking and analysis, but also on fear. Each “head” type (5, 6 and 7) has a distinct fear focus, which for a 5 is centered on the outside world. 5’s are most comfortable in their own minds, where they can sift information, analyze facts and come to conclusions– the outside world however, does not offer such solace.  5’s I have interviewed described this fear in terms of needing to be absolutely sure of their ideas, thoughts or skills before sharing them with others.  Whether it’s decades of learning an instrument behind closed doors, before they feel able to step onto a stage, or withholding an idea at a staff meeting because they believe it’s “not ready yet”. Observation is another word that is often used to describe a 5’s stance on learning, and attitude towards social constructs.

5’s can be true trail blazing visionaries when they are health-focused, because of the analytical capabilities of their minds, and their lack of concern for cultural expectations. Their true downfall is in the self sabotage of holding themselves, and their minds at bay– out of the reach of the world. When very unhealthy, 5’s tend to have less and less of a grasp on reality, and the potential for their ideas to apply to it. Usually bouncing erratically from thought to thought, and unable to make progress in any one area, unhealthy 5’s end up frustrated and misunderstood.

Investigators are often misunderstood for their puzzle solving and strong desire to understand the way things work, because they can go on when fascinated.  This can vary between a feeling of musing to one of digging, but 5’s do seem to be always thinking and present in their inner dialogue about the world around them (as a way of battling their fear of it).

If you have questions about Enneagram 5, feel free to leave them below! Otherwise, be on the lookout for Instincts of 5 in the next few days!

Enneagram 5