How To Support The Enneagram Types in Your Life (2/3)

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How To Support The Enneagram Types in Your Life (2/3)

So in the last post, we gave suggested ways to help the Type 7s, 8s and 9s in your lives.


In this week’s article, we will be turning our attention to how we can support the Type 4s, 5s and 6s in your lives. Let’s get going shall we?


Type 4s – How do I support them?

The ever romantic and emotionally deep Type 4s in your lives are your pillars of support when you are down and need someone to be there for you emotionally. However, their biggest struggle is in overcoming their own hurts and moving on from them. You see them always speaking of the same hurts and they don’t ever seem to want to get out of that vicious ‘processing’ cycle and you are at a loss as to how to help them.


Here are some ways you can support them:

  • Do not invalidate their feelings in the process. The worst thing you can say to a Type 4 who is opening up to you about their hurts and pains is, “Come on, snap out of it! Stop being an emotional wreck. Life is short, get over it!” That is a sure fire way of getting them to not only clam up and withdraw from you but also, they would not ever open up to you about anything ever again;


  • Check in with them periodically. Okay, so your Type 4 is not ready to move on and you still have your own life to live. How then do you find the balance between being there for them and living your own life? Check in with them from time to time, assure them of your listening ear when they are ready to talk;


  • Encourage them to look outside of themselves. Ask them to volunteer their gifts in helping others and to keep a gratitude journal to remind them of what is going right in their lives, instead of what is wrong and ultimately, to remind them of what they have instead of what they don’t have.


Type 5s – How do I support them?

Type 5s are the most logical and observant people, and the best ones to go to when you need a dose of objectivity.


However, Type 5s tend to be so private that they rarely show their feelings. This does not mean that they do not have feelings, they do. They just don’t reveal them to you.


How then should we support a Type 5 if they do let you into their private world and especially when they share their problems with you? Here are some ways:


  • Do not abuse the trust they have in you when they have let you into their private world. If a Type 5 has decided to allow you into their private world, do not push boundaries to force them to share with you their thoughts every day and at any time you want them to share. Know that being allowed to be part of their private world is a big deal for them, so respect that.


  • Be available. It takes a lot of effort for a Type 5 to reach out to anyone to talk about a problem they have been processing for awhile. When that happens, be sure that you drop everything and meet them or talk to them because they are now ready to have you to be their sounding board to help them move on from their problems;


  • Let them withdraw to process, especially in the heat of a disagreement. Usually, because they have such low energy levels, being in a fight is a very draining thing for them. So, if they ask you for the time to let them process through what had been said so far, let them go. It would be beneficial for both parties to take that time to cool off, process and then come back to tackle the issue together. Just be sure to agree with them on the length of time they need to process.


Type 6s – How do I support them?

Type 6s are the most dependable, committed and trustworthy friend you would have in your life.


However, their natural instinct to always doubt themselves and dwell in the worst case scenarios would often paralyze them into inaction. When that happens, how do you support them?


Here is how:

  • Ask them to give you two positive outcomes in every negative situation they can think of. This helps them to be more objective whilst looking at an issue or a problem they have and also help them not slide into the pool of paranoia and fear that is often waiting for them to fall into;


  • Help them own the compliments they receive by giving them small compliments (with no strings attached) periodically. This helps them see that you give compliments out of love and not that there is a hidden agenda. This would also help them see that they do have strengths that others can see and that are worth being complimented for;


  • Encourage them to move out of the ‘thinking’ cycle and into the ‘doing’ cycle. Here is something you can ask a Type 6 who is always thinking about the contingencies, “Do you notice that after some time, you think about the same problem again?” If they say they do, ask them to take a constructive action and notice how the story unfolds. This is to help them notice how taking action can help them get out of the mental fear


So, these are some of the ways we can support the Type 4s, 5s and 6s in our lives.


Again, respect that certain people need some time to process their thoughts and feelings. Do not be so quick to jump in with read solutions. Sometimes, just being there for them in the way they need you to be for them is the best gift you can give them.



Thinking about how the Enneagram can enrich your life? Contact us today to find out more. SkillsFuture credits can be used to offset the cost, so come and ask us how today!

Cindy Leong
Cindy Leong
Cindy Leong is a sought after bilingual (English and Mandarin) Enneagram Personality Coach and Corporate Trainer in Asia, who can help you make sense of your professional and personal relationships. She is a member of International Coach Federation (ICF) and Singapore Psychological Society (SPS). Besides a Bachelor Degree in Psychology (majoring in Communications), she also has a Diploma in Business and has done in-depth research and studies in the areas of Organisational Behaviour and Gender Communications, both in Singapore and Taiwan. Through her expertise in corporate executive coaching, personal development, and relationship coaching, she has helped many professionals in their walk through challenging times, particularly in the areas of identity searching, relationship building and career breakthrough. Aside from being a published author of 2 books, she has also been invited by several radio stations and magazines as an expert guest speaker to provide insights into Enneagram, workplace conflicts and relationships.
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