The Enneagram: A Map To Better Relationships With Yourself and Others
The Enneagram (pronounced ANY-a-gram) is a profound and comprehensive personality typing system that helps you to understand yourself and other people with new depth and accuracy. It is like having X-ray glasses that enable you to see yourself and others with startling new clarity. Because understanding yourself and others are so important, this knowledge has the potential to change your life and all your relationships.
The word Enneagram comes from the Greek words ennea (“nine”) and gramma (“something written down”) and refers to the nine-pointed Enneagram symbol that represents the nine basic personality types in people and their paths of personal development.
Most personality typologies explain “what” you do. The Enneagram, on the other hand, goes much deeper. It explains “why you do what you do.” It shows your heart’s intent and motivation on why you think, feel and behave the way you do. Most of us live unaware or asleep to the real reasons behind what makes us tick. In order for real transformational growth to happen, we must become awake and aware to who we really are and the driving force behind everything we do. The beauty of the Enneagram is that it gives us profound information on our inner world so that we can begin walking on the path toward personal transformation.
The goal of the Enneagram is that as we grow, we will embody more of our type’s positive qualities and less of the negative qualities. We will be able to move around the circle and be our best selves. Through this system, we also gain immensely practical wisdom on communication and relationships that is not clouded by generalized assumptions.
Wings and Lines
You are not purely one personality type, but a unique mixture of your main type, the two types next to your personality type (called Wings) and the two types that are connected to your personality through the lines (called Line or Arrows).
Wings are the two personality types on either side of your personality type. For instance, wings for Type Nine are Type Eight and Type One. One wing is usually (but not always) used more than the other and brings a new dimension and depth to your main type. Think of them like salt and pepper. They add flavor and more complexity to the main type. Your main type dominates how you perceive and experience life, but your wings influence your main type. We can take on the strengths of our wings to be healthy and balanced, but we can also access the areas of weakness from our wings when we are struggling. To understand yourself to a great degree, you will want to also learn about your wings, the two types directly next to yours and see how they are impacting your main type.
LINES or ARROWS –
The Enneagram symbol is a dynamic map for self-discovery and growth. The lines in the symbol represent important paths for self-awareness and development. When we are under stress our personality will take on the average characteristics of the type moving in the direction of the red arrow. When we are relaxed and doing well, we will move to the higher qualities of the type in the direction of the yellow arrow.
Type 9 is connected to Type 6 and Type 3. This means that when Type 9 is under stress, they can take on some average to negative attributes of Type 6 (worry, anxiety, thinking of worst-case scenarios). When type 9 is feeling secure and healthy, they tend take on some of the higher and healthier qualities of Type 3 (self-assertive, confident, achieving). During this movement along the lines, they are still a Type 9, but these other two types greatly effect and influence how they interact with their circumstances.