Are you tired of being stuck in old personality habits? Want to grow your self and your relationship towards a deeper, heart-felt experience for both of you? Learn how the enneagram of personality can be one of your deepest maps for integration in your own life, and in your partnership. Your higher self, beyond the old habits, can be a satisfying heart-space, while in relationship, through this deep tool.
I have found many names for the various habits, and here will use the names given to each type by Riso and Hudson. We don’t have to always begin with number one, so let’s begin with the “2”, below. (There is an excellent, $10 online test to find out your personality habits at www.wepss.com, if you haven’t discovered yours yet.)
- 2 – The Helper – These people are caring and helpful to others, but can also become codependent and lose sight of their own needs.
- 3 – The Motivator – These people strive for achievement and recognition, but can also become inauthentic and overly image-conscious.
- 4 – The Individualist – These people strive to be unique and are deeply emotionally sensitive, but can become depressed and isolated.
- 5 – The Investigator – These people strive for intellectual mastery and knowledge, but can become very eccentric and lose themselves in irrelevant thinking.
- 6 – The Loyalist – These people strive for security, but can become suspicious.
- 7 – The Enthusiast – These people strive for excitement and stimulation, but can become impulsive and reckless.
- 8 – The Challenger – These people strive to assert themselves and their authority, but can become hostile and pugnacious.
- 9 – The Peacemaker – These people strive for calmness and peace, but can become aloof and disengaged.
- 1 – The Reformer – These people strive for integrity, but can become overly perfectionistic.
We all, of course, have aspects of ALL of the above types in us. However, as a result of the relationship between our genetics and wounds accumulated in development, each of us will primarily reflect the characteristics of 1 of the 9 types more than any of the others. Most of us also have a secondary “wing” type next door to our primary habitual personality.
After you’ve taken the test, or otherwise know your primary point and your wing point, consider how one can grow when moving to other points. Some are on the inner triangle (connecting points 3, 6, and 9) or on the other set of lines (connecting points 1, 4, 2, 8, 5, and 7). Notice there are lines connecting our primary and wing personality types to two other points. Each line has “heart space” or “integration” qualities to it.
In one direction (I generally say “Moving to the heart space.”) lies our “relaxation point” or “heart point.” When one travels in this direction, we move to inhabit a personality type that is considered to be very relaxing, a growth step, in a transformative way. It’s the part of ourselves we yearned for (and possibly didn’t know of consciously), a way to relax one’s soul by just being the deep, or quality, aspects of that point. It’s as though this heart space allows one to let down one’s usual defenses, letting go of the normal way of seeing the world, in order to open up and become more flexible, real, vulnerable, and authentic. When we go to this “heart space”, we relax deeply inside, uncovering more about who we really are and becoming more available to intimates and loved ones.
1-4-2-8-5-7 (Why not memorize this sequence?) 3-6-9
Heart Spaces, Direction of Integration, for the Nine Points
The heart space for Ones is the high side of point Seven. Rather than believing there has to be the one right way, Ones who involve themselves with therapeutic growth can now open up to many options and choices. It’s easier to tolerate multiple possibilities and plans. In this space they are less controlling and judgmental of themselves and others. When Ones relax into Seven, they often lighten up physically, so it’s easier to have fun and go with the flow. Sometimes it’s possible that Ones can “act out” when their usual self-control is gone. They might drink to excess and over consume. Yet when they succeed in integrating one and seven, they can be upbeat and positive at Seven infusing the equanimity and hard work of the One. Flexibility and spontaneity are joined with integrity and divine order.
Twos move to the high side of Point Four as their relaxation point. In contrast to their usual style of paying attention to other people as a way to create success and security, here their attention is drawn more to their own inside. Through individual or relationship therapy, Two’s are able to feel their own feelings, make contact with their inner needs, formerly a blind spot. The drawback is that like the Fours themselves, Twos may become stuck in a state of sadness or melancholy, which is sustained by seeing only what is missing in work or in relationship. However, the ability to center inside oneself with one’s own good heartedness, to know what one really wants or longs for, to develop the capacity for emotional depth, all help balance and empower the Two’s capacity for external connection and teamwork in a more authentic way. Being at Four can help a Two find a home inside themselves, becoming SPECIAL AND UNIQUE INSIDE WHETHER OTHERS LIKE THEM OR NOT.
The heart space or relaxation point for Threes is Point Six. When Threes feel secure enough to take a break from constant “striving for success”, they open up space for thinking about their lives, their relationships, and where they want to go. Three’s start TRUSTING their INNER WISDOM. For all Threes, but especially those in positions of leadership, the ability to pose questions, tolerate opposing views, and develop LOYALTY that comes with the Six territory is crucial for long term success and effectiveness. Rather than simply taking on workaholic goals without thinking, some time spent at Point Six encourages discernment, informed decision-making, becoming more of a steady force with themselves and in their relationships. Being at Six may bring up unfamiliar experiences of anxiousness, fear and doubt, which therapy can assist in guiding people through. It’s good for three’s to remember that these disturbing feelings or insecurities are a necessary part of personal and professional development.
The relaxation point or heart space for Fours is Point One. When Fours feel secure and well appreciated inside through individual or relationship counseling, they relax. They can shift from overly thinking about and feeling their feelings, and shift to their belly/body/grounded inner center. They become more physically grounded, breathe well, and enjoy being emotionally calm in their own serenity. Instead of overly attached to their feelings, Fours become less up and down emotionally, and become less moody. The melancholy of the past, and longing for love, transforms into a kind of CLARITY, and a sense of PRACTICAL ACTION. Energy for making things right more than longing for what is missing. Fours at One are better able to have more integrity and stand up for themselves in a consistent way. Instead of dramatic outbursts of feeling, they are steadier with their instinctual body/belly energies. Can it be possible that the criticality of a Four could be seen as a “backhanded compliment” as the Four is safe enough to go to their clear, discerning heart space! Important for Fours at One to remember that clarity, action, and improving can also involve being friendly!
Point Eight is the relaxation point or heart space for Fives. This shift may be quite dramatic. All of sudden, after years of information gathering (in a marriage for example), a quiet and somewhat withdrawn Five can become more body-based, more assertive, and even excessive in the way they express themselves. What to do when Fives get BIG? For the friend or partner it can be quite a challenge. How about being happy for them without getting intimidated? When 5’s go to 8 it’s not easy for them to hear or include another person’s feelings or point of view. Five’s need to remember that MANAGING THEIR BIG ENERGY is important. Wonderfully enjoy how VITAL, energetic, instinctual, and grounded one can be at 8, plus remember others. Fives can go beyond withdrawing/overthinking with activities, such as sports, or a projects where they’re the thoughtful boss.
Point Nine is the heart space or relaxation point for Sixes. This shift can be noticed when Sixes drop their loyal yet skeptical thinking, and drop down it to the belly. They become more accepting of whatever happens instead of mentally figuring things out. Less of a need to scan for danger, accepting people more instead of questioning motives. Through individual and relationship therapy, they relax into their bodies and into the more diffuse, yet present consciousness of high Point Nine. Some Sixes may over-relax, and lose inertia. The potential at high Nine in the combination of aware intellect and instinctual groundedness can be calming inside. Many Sixes, through inner work, learn that it’s ok to “go with the flow”, something healthy Nine’s do with awareness and intelligence.
The relaxation point or heart space for Seven is Point Five. Interestingly, when Sevens (who tend to not feel fear, and rather go “up and out” with mental and other activities) feel safe and secure, they drop “down and in” to their OWN WISDOM inside. They become quiet and reflective. Sevens will usually encounter both fear and frustration along the way. It may also seem boring and lonely. But most Sevens understand that by going TO THE DEPTHS OF THINGS, they can center inside them self to quiet the mind in order to think clearly and perceptively. It’s not bad to withdraw temporarily from the rapid flow of activity and stimulation, yet it’s what part of everyone’s “monkey mind” loves to do. Through therapy, when 7’s stop, go in, reflect, they can uncover a stronger sense of being centered inside themselves. There can be a love affair with DEEPER WISDOM in their life, plus a greater ability to SET LIMITS from within, and without rules! Wise choices can follow.
The heart space or relaxation point for Eight is Two. Here they can gain access to what their soul may have wanted for years: connection to their emotional center. Though Eights can have big energy and strategic thinking, it’s not easy for them to feel weak or vulnerable. Eight’s had to survive a tough approach somewhere, and they learned to marshal their defenses/assertiveness to face conflict head on, to CHALLENGE OTHERS to find out the truth. Through therapy or growth work, eights can open up to their own heart, their tender or vulnerable feelings. Eight’s BECOME MORE GENEROUS AND GIVING as they open up! Spending time in their heart space makes them more accessible for caring contact, which can help heal intimate relations with a partner! How to be EMPATHETIC can also be uncovered. Eight’s learn that involving their heart opens up all kinds of positive interactions with people they love. There can be loving, positive motivation and generosity that replaces the hyper-vigilance of challenging others to see what they’re made of.
The relaxation point for Nine is Three. At Three, Nines move into a much more ACTIVE FEELING center, through therapy accessing their own truths. NINES CAN UNCOVER A PLAN FOR SUCCESS! While this can be overwhelming at times, leading Nines to question: “Who am I?” or “What is my true identity?” it can also support a quicker, more involved style of relating to others. From a former place of sloth, falling asleep, and low inertia, Nines through therapy can uncover more HEART, more SUCCESSFUL ACTION, a feelings-included TRUE PLAN for their life and their intimate relationship. What’s YOUR plan for balanced success on many levels?
Enjoy looking over your own heart space descriptions, and those of your partner’s! Why not bring questions in to therapy about how YOU can best live more in your heart spaces? How can your personality habits learned at such an early age transform in to a deeper experience of your self AND in to a deeper, more heartfelt experience in your intimate relationship?
First, remember your don’t have to idealize your mind and forget about your heart! Yes we need to be, and are, intelligent. Yet why not allow your self to educate your heart(s) through a growth process called individual and couples therapy, while not over-revering the mind, (which our Western culture tends to do)?
The enneagram, and therapy, reminds us that we don’t all have to SPEED UP, with more electronic connections! It’s through UNDERSTANDING your self and others through this tool that one can feel a deeper connection to our TRUE selves, to our HEART SPACES, and to the people we love. One can RELAX in to heart spaces when you’ve learned where to look for the habitual self-defeating emotions that TRIGGER us in to quick and intense dramas, with your self or your partner. This knowledge of your type and wing can be a guide for your inner work to lead you towards less ego, more energy for life, and more connection with your loved ones.