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Totally Technical Enneagram Blah Blah

This is a totally technical post about different categories within the Enneagram. All my quotes are from Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson's book The Wisdom of the Enneagram: the Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types.

The Intelligence Centers: where each number is least able to function normally

The Instinct Center: 8, 9, 1

- These numbers are concerned with maintaining resistance and control of the environment.
- They have problems with aggression or repression.
  • 8's: "Nothing's going to get the upper hand on me. No one is going to get through my defenses and hurt me. I'm going to keep my guard up." (Hudson & Riso, 53)
  • 9's don't want certain feelings or states to disturb their equilibriums so they create inner and outer walls.
  • 1's: "I don't want that feeling! I don't want to have that reaction or that impulse!" (Hudson & Riso, 53)

The Feeling Center: 2, 3, 4

- These numbers are concerned with their self-image and the false self.
- They have identity and hostility issues.
- "This is who I am—isn't it? You like it—don't you?" (Hudson & Riso, 56)
  • 2's Looks for the value in the good regard of others.
  • 3's are concerned with how they broadcast themselves to the world. They are also at risk of believing their own press releases about themselves. (Hudson & Riso, 56)
  • 4's maintain their self-image based on their inner "feelings, fantasies and stories from their past." (Hudson & Riso, 56)

The Thinking Center: 5, 6, 7

- They are concerned with "finding a sense of inner guidance and support." (Hudson & Riso, 57)
- They have insecurity and anxiety issues. They have lost touch with the quiet mind.
- "What's going to happen to me? How am I going to survive? How can I prepare myself to keep bad things from happening? How do I move forward in life? How do I cope?" (Hudson & Riso, 57)
  • 5's believe the "only safe place is in their minds, so they stockpile whatever they believe will help them survive until they are ready to rejoin the world." (Hudson & Riso, 58)
  • 6's launch outside themselves to protect themselves from the inner world and then launch inside themselves to protect from the outside world.
  • 7's charge into life for fear of being trapped in the inner life of pain, grief, and feelings of anxiety.

The Hornevian Groups: reveals how we primarily try to get our needs met

The Assertives: 7, 8, 3

- Insist or demand what they think they need 
- Have difficulty processing their feelings
  • 8's demand autonomy to have control
  • 7's demands to do what they wish to feel secure
  • 3's demand attention to gain recognition

The Compliants 1, 2, 6

- Try to earn what they need
- "How can I meet the demands of what others expect of me? How can I be a responsible person?"
  • 1's attempt to earn autonomy by being perfect so others don't interfere
  • 2's try to earn attention by serving and doing thoughtful things
  • 6's try to earn security by doing what is expected of them

The Withdrawns 4, 5, 9

- Withdraw to get what they think they need 
- Have trouble staying in the physicality of life and getting out of their imaginations
  • 9's withdraw to gain autonomy to have control
  • 4's withdraw to gain attention in the hope that someone will come and discover them
  • 5's withdraw to gain security in understanding

Harmonic Groups: Reveal how each number copes when they don't get what they want

The Positive Outlook Group: 9, 2, 7

- Deny that they have any problems
  • 9: "What problem? I don't think there is a problem."
  • 2: "You have a problem. I am here to help you."
  • 7: "There may be a problem, but I'm fine."

The Competency Group: 3, 1, 5

- Cut off feelings and solve problems logically
  • 3: "There's an efficient solution to this—we just need to get to work."
  • 1: "I'm sure we can solve this like sensible, mature adults."
  • 5: "There are a number of hidden issues here: let me think about this."

The Reactive Group: 6, 4, 8

- React strongly and need response from others
  • 6: "I feel really pressured, and I've got to let off some steam!"
  • 4: "I feel really hurt, and I need to express myself."
  • 8: "I'm angry about this and you're going to hear about it!"

Hudson, Russ and Riso, Don Richard. The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types. New York: Bantam, 1999.


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