“Losing” Your Enneagram Type (Part 2 of 3)
If the Enneagram is a tool for personal growth, is there a “right” or ethical way of using it?
A lot of times we hear people say, “I’m a Type X, therefore I’m behaving this way.” The first rule for the ethical use of the Enneagram: Your Enneagram Type is not an excuse to justify your bad behaviour. In fact, what my co-coach rightly said: The aim of knowing your Type is to “loose” and “lose” it.
Previously, we’ve listed the ways you can use the Enneagram as a tool for your personal growth and how to tap into the energy of your non-dominant wing (for Types 1, 2 and 3). If somehow missed you that, click here to read it.
- If you have a 3 Wing
A Type 4 with a 3 wing combines the creativity of the 4 plus the extroverted energy, charisma and goal to succeed of a Type 3. At their best, they’re able to create things and capture the hearts of a particular audience in mind. In times of stress, they can be extremely moody and consumed by how others think of them and envy will come into play. The less dominant wing 5 reminds them to stick to the facts and not focus heavily on how they feel. And that it’s hugely beneficial to practice looking at things in a whole context and objectively than in a subjective way.
- If you have a 5 Wing
A Type 4 with a 5 wing are more introverted and intellectually withdrawn compared to the Type 4 with a 3 wing. Don Richard Riso said that 4w5’s “create more for themselves”. They want to be authentic with what they want to create. In times of stress, they can be extremely withdrawn by disconnecting from their work and relationships and be consumed in their fantasies. If they tap into their non-dominant 3 wing, it encourages them to be out there, make meaningful connections with people and showcase their talents, findings and learnings.
- If you have a 4 Wing
A Type 5 with a 4 wing are independent, more introverted, introspective and are more in touch with their feelings compared to the 5w6. At their best, they’re able to participate in life and go on innovative exploration while having an objective insight. During stress, they would retreat into a place of safety while trying to uncover the “truth”. The less dominant wing 6 reminds them to seek wisdom from others with more experience and not just rely on the data they’ve researched on. From there, they can organise the information then create a strategy (or even a few back up ones) from it.
- If you have a 6 Wing
A Type 5 with a 6 wing uses their observation and organisation skills to figure things out. At their best, they’re able to overcome the fear of intrusion of personal space and finds satisfaction in genuine relationships. In times of stress, they may experience “analysis paralysis” – unable to make a decision and take action. The non-dominant 4 wing inspires this type to look at what matters to them- to get in touch with themselves and their emotions and that there’s place to consider feelings and be subjective when making decisions.
- If you have a 5 Wing
A Type 6 with a 5 wing is reserved, perceptive, logical and are great trouble-shooters. At their best, they have quiet confidence within themselves, feels relaxed and certain and turns into a warm and deeply loving person. In times of stress, paranoia gets the best of them and will be tempted to retreat in a safe place. They may also start to blame others for a temporary release of anxiety. The non-dominant 7 wing reminds them to lighten up and think about the best possible outcome and the good that could come out of the situation. Sometimes, one needs to trust that life has great things to offer, learn to “roll with it” and have fun in going through this journey called life.
- If you have a 7 Wing
A Type 6 with a 7 wing is engaging, supportive, friendly and are always looking for people for guidance and support. Unlike 6w5, 6w7 people are less serious and prefer talking about light-hearted topics. At their best, they’re warm and thoughtful in their relationships – the desperate longing for security is converted to inner strength. When struggling, they would be driven by anxiety and insecurity – they will look for someone to help them and will try anything to escape the situation. The non-dominant 5 wing inspires them to have more trust in themselves, rather than to look for solutions in people. They also need to divert their attention to look at the facts and data, not focus on the “what if’s” of the situation.
Next week, we’ll discuss the remaining types (7, 8, and 9) on how they could use their non-dominant wing and improve on their self-mastery level.
Curious about your Enneagram type? Here’s a quick overview of the 9 Types. I know reading through these descriptions can be confusing. So save yourself from second-guessing and figure out your type with the help of our online test.