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Feeling Into the Types

One of the great benefits of studying the Enneagram is that as we deepen our understanding of the nine basic ways of viewing the world, we naturally begin to extend more compassion to ourselves and others.  Our minds open and our hearts soften.

And while we all have one dominant type, remember that we all have each of the types within us - for better and for worse.  And you likely have family members, friends and colleagues representing each of the types.

In this section we will dive into the types a bit more deeply, exploring what it feels like - from the inside out - to be each of the types.  Poetry is a doorway into the world of feelings.  What can you learn about the types from these offerings?  (You can check out my Poetry and the Enneagram Blog to find more poems for each of the types.)


Please note that some of the types in this section are still under construction.

Since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things...
          - e.e. cummings

Good Girl

by Molly Peacock

Hold up the universe, good girl. Hold up

the tent that is the sky of your world at which

you are the narrow center pole, good girl. Rupture

is the enemy. Keep all whole. The itch

to be yourself, plump and bending, below a sky

unending, held up by God forever

is denied by you as Central Control. Sever

yourself, poor false Atlas, poor "Atlesse," lie

recumbent below the sky. Nothing falls down,

except you, luscious and limited on the ground.

Holding everything up, always on your own,

creates a loneliness so profound

you are nothing but a column, good girl,

a temple ruin against a sky held up

by forces beyond you. Let yourself curl

up: a fleshy fetal figure cupped

about its own vibrant soul. You are

the universe about its pole. God's not far.

change ahead.jpg

Enneagram Connections Exercise:

We all share some attitudes, perspectives and even responses and habits with each of the types.  If you'd like to explore how intimately connected we are with each of the other points, have some fun with this exercise!  If you can't remember your "stress point", for example, simply click on the item to go back to the section in Part One.  You can print out a copy of an Enneagram symbol here.

  1. Print out a copy of the Enneagram symbol with the nine type numbers shown.  

  2. Begin by circling your type.  (In the example I am a Type 3.)

  3. Next circle your two wings - the points to either side of your type - and highlight the perimeter of the circle that connects them.  (In the example my wings are 2 and 4 and the perimeter highlighting is orange.)

  4. Next circle the points in your center (head, heart, or body), and highlight the perimeter that connects them. (Note: If you are a 3, 6 or 9 – in other words on the inner triangle - your ‘type and two wings’ and your ‘center’ will be the same three points, so in the example types 2-3-4 are already highlighted in orange.)

  5. Next highlight the lines between your type and your ‘stress point’, and between your type and your ‘growth point’.  (In the example my stress point is 9 and my growth point is 6, which I have highlighted in pink.)

  6. Now let’s go to your triads

    1. Find and highlight your Hornevian Group: 3-7-8 (Assertives), 1-2-6 (Compliants) or 4-5-9 (Withdrawns).  (In the example I have highlighted my Assertive triad in yellow.)

    2. Find and highlight your Harmonic Group: 2-7-9 (Positive Outlook, 1-3-5 (Competency) or 4-6-8 (Reactive).  (In the example I have highlighted my Competency triad in blue.

    3. Find and highlight your Harmony Group: 3-6-9 (Pragmatists), 2-5-8 (Relationists) or 1-4-7 (Idealists).  (In the example I have highlighted my Pragmatist triad in orange.)

  7. And voila!  You can see the connections between your point and every other point on the symbol.  And these are not even exhaustive descriptions of how the types are connected!    

Here is an example for Type Three:

Enneagram Connections.jpg
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