How The Enneagram Works

March 1, 2020

I should preface this with the fact that we all have all the Enneagram numbers within us but we’ll often find ourselves most dominant in one of them. The dominance is based on how we are lost and found, at least that’s how it’s defined in the Sacred Enneagram.

The Enneagram exposes the truth to ourselves. The things we didn’t know about ourselves along with the things that we don’t want to admit to ourselves are revealed and provide the chance to grow. These truths will help us not only personally but within our relationships and give insights into our partners too.

Personality tests rarely work for me, but the Enneagram has opened my eyes to my strengths and weaknesses and helped me to grow in ways that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. Broken down into it’s simplest form these are the basic needs for each type:

  1. To be perfect
  2. To be needed
  3. To succeed
  4. To be unique
  5. To understand
  6. To be secure/certain
  7. To avoid pain
  8. To be against
  9. To avoid

These numbers will also be separated into other groupings such as the Thoughts, Feelings and Instinct triads (because 3 of the types fit into each triad).

2,3,4 are known as the feelings triad and are associated with the heart. These three personalities are rooted in their emotions and can fall into fear or shame as a shadow side of the triad. This triad is emotionally intelligent just not always with themselves. They often need to seek others that mirror their feelings so that they can understand what is going on. At the root of it all, they externalize their fears of not being loved, valued and seen.

5,6,7 are known as the thought triad and are associated with the mind. They overthink and pay attention to their environment in order to keep themselves safe. They forecast in order to keep a sense of safety. They are distant from their emotions and use analytics and freedom as a way to keep control over their lives.

8,9,1 are known as the intuition triad and are linked to the gut or body. They project their energy onto others and are the solutions to the drama that they create in their lives. You’ll find that these types will either improve the world around them or be annoyed by it. In being linked to their bodies they are often the most disconnected from their bodies.

Along with your triad group you also have wings. Each number sits next to another on the enneagram and pulls traits from one side. For example, I am an Enneagram type 3 with a wing 4. I pull many attributes from the 4 like their need to stand out in a crowd, a deep form of empathy from personal trauma and a creative spirit. Together with my type 3 personality, this makes me a much more driven artist wanting to create something that will help others and be bigger than I am.

As you explore the Enneagram, don’t get stuck on the details and start with your number as a whole. Focus on the root fear that you hold, the desire you hold and where you tend to go on the enneagram when you are healthy versus when you aren’t. (we all slide to a different number based on when we are healthy and unhealthy) And remember that the negative sides of your number are not to create shame for you, but help you see areas in your life where you can grow both personally and in your relationship.

My tip for you, as you explore your Enneagram, do it with your boyfriend/fiance/husband. This way the two of you can not only get more aquatinted with yourselves but with each other too. It will make all the difference in your relationship.

Want date night ideas based on your Enneagram??? Download them here!