What is the Enneagram and How Can You Use it to Improve Your Relationships

Posted by Mike Miryala on


Hey everybody, it is Becky from Mom Meets Enneagram, and I am super thrilled to give you an overview of the Enneagram and tell you why it is such a valuable tool to use in your relationships. Humans, we're inherently social creatures. Our lives are intertwined. We're close with those deeply who are around us and who we come in contact with every day. We have established relationships in our families, our communities, and our workplaces, and even though things are a lot more virtual now with social media and things like that, it's still very important to understand how to interact with those around you and how to understand those who are close to you.

So when people ask me about the Enneagram, a lot of times they want to know what their number is, they want to know what their husband's number or their wife's number is, they wanna know their loved ones, their kids, and it's basically because they want to understand how to interact with each other, how to have better relationships. Some people who are single have even asked me what is their number and what would be the best number for them to be compatible with so that they can find a life partner.

So the great news is that the Enneagram, actually it's gonna shine light on all of these things. So it's a very useful tool. Although I couldn't possibly cover everything that there is to know about the Enneagram and relationships, I want to give you like this thousand foot aerial view of what the Enneagram is for all of the nine different types. And I do want you to understand that just because somebody is a certain number does not mean that every single person that is that number is gonna be identical.

Okay, so you're gonna have, the thing about the Enneagram is that it talks about someone's viewpoint or someone's stance.  Someone's… what's the right word for it? Their motive for doing things so it's not necessarily just characteristics, like a lot of the other personality tests are going to talk about your strengths and your weaknesses and the Enneagram does speak of that as well. But, it's more about the drive behind what you do. And so, people are going to be different ages. They're going to be different experience levels. They're going to be different levels of health.

So you have unhealthy, you have average, and then you have healthy versions. So please understand whenever I talk about these different numbers, it doesn't mean that if you are one particular number, that all of these things are going to be applicable for you because we're all different. We're all created differently. So, just take this with a grain of salt and use this and apply it in the way that seems fit for you. One thing I want to talk about too is that I'm personally a Type 3 and I want to give you an example whenever I am working on a goal or whenever I am looking towards trying to accomplish something, a lot of times I will run over people in my life simply to hit my goal.

And it's not an intentional thing to where I want to step on people to be able to establish whatever it is that I want. It's just that I'm so focused on whatever it is that I'm working on that I am not aware of the other people that are around me that are not going the same way. And so that is very common for a Type 3 because we're very goal driven. Whereas for my husband, he was a Type 6. Type 6 is more of a loyal guardian. And so, he's going to do things a lot more slowly, a lot more cautiously. His idea is about keeping everybody safe. Keeping everything, what's the best way to put it? He wants to make sure that everyone is protected and he's thinking of worst case scenarios so that he can help to avoid pitfalls.

Whereas I, on the other hand, I am like move it and groove it. If something goes wrong, I'll figure it out as I go, but don't slow me down. So do you see how those two different things can clash? So understanding the Enneagram about yourself, understanding the Enneagram for those that you love, it's very, very important because if he's taking a long time to do something it's because he is looking at it in a cautious way. He's looking at all the different things that could occur so that he can figure it out before he starts. 

And on the other hand, I'm like, hey, why aren’t we starting this project yet? I'm ready to go. I've got things to do. So, in understanding the viewpoints of both after 10 years of marriage, we've really learned that whenever something is frustrating us about the other person, it's just because it's not how we see it or it's not how we do it.  And so understanding the Enneagram has helped us to compromise on a lot of those things. And for the good things that we give to each other in this relationship, we've helped to either slow each other down or speed each other up based on our different strengths. So, let's get straight into all the different numbers.

So these are gonna be just one or two lines about each of the 9 NUMBERS, and it is going to help you to bring out the best in that person, or if you see this person starting to decline or go to a less healthy type of their number or less healthy part of their number, these are gonna be ways for you to help them. Okay.

So for a Type 1, you're going to give Type 1 permission to let loose and plan activities that you both enjoy so they can relax. So a Type 1 is wanting to be very focused. They're wanting to be doing everything right. And so giving them permission to let loose and plan activities is perfect because then it is the right thing to do because you're spending time together. 

All right, a Type 2 is going to, Type 2s are the helpers. And so a lot of times they're gonna help excessively and it's usually for other people and not themselves. So, whenever a Type 2 in your life is helping excessively, almost to the point of being annoying, then encourage them to start seeking out their own needs, work on their own ideas and frustrations and sadness, angers, all those types of emotions, instead of simply helping everybody else.  Because if they're doing it to an excessive amount, this is usually whenever they are, you know, not paying attention to their own needs and they're just wanting to help everybody else to avoid having to deal with their own emotions that they have. 

For a Type 3, encourage them to unplug from time to time. So as a Type 3, I can assess we are workaholics. We're going to want to work on something all the time, some type of project, whether it's actual work like that you get paid for or a hobby or whatever it is. There's going to be things that we need to unplug from time to time and understand that if a Type 3 is demanding attention from you, we're really just seeking validation and approval from you on whatever it is that we're doing. And so the best way to help us is to appreciate us for exactly who we are and not for what we're gonna do or for what we've accomplished. Because in doing that, then we just seek more accomplishments so that we can, because that translates to love for us. And so helping the Type 3 in your life know that you love them just because they're them is very helpful to help them to get to a healthier version of themselves. 

For our Type 4s, type 4s often become frustrated with each other or frustrated with other people that are around them. They can be very critical. Ultimately, they just want to be seen and validated as well. And so a Type 4 is going to express their emotions the best through creative projects, through creative outlets. So encourage them to be supportive, encourage them and support them to use that type of outlet for their own feelings.

So, joining with them and making a project or doing like those fun painting type things where you can go with all your friends and like do, they help you to draw it out and you can do paintings. That's perfect for a 4. So join in and do something like that with your Type 4 to help them to escape the pent up emotions that they have. 

For a Type 5, a Type 5 will often become emotionally unavailable. Usually, it's because they are on overload. They're just to the top with emotions and with their feelings. And so oftentimes they're gonna hurt our feelings. I have some Type 5s in my life and they don't mean to be hurtful. That’s just how they are. And so one way to get them to open up is to get them to talk about their favorite interest. And so not necessarily saying, hey, what's wrong? How can I help you? That kind of thing, but get them to talk about their interest and it will help them to feel looser and more relaxed.

For a Type 6, anxiety for a Type 6 is something that's very commonplace for them. And so, whenever there's conflict in a relationship, a lot of times it's from their own inner thoughts, their own racing thoughts of what could happen, feeling uneasy, not feeling anchored, not feeling supported. And so a lot of times they'll project that onto their partner or their friend or their children.

So encourage them to use that nervous energy to get active, like working out, or to get focused and accomplish some type of task that they've been putting off. Because remember, a Type 6 will often take a little bit longer than some of the other numbers to get started on stuff because they're analyzing all of the different areas and all the different components of whatever it is they're working on. 

A Type 7 - Type 7s are so fun, but it can be really hard for a Type 7 to be satisfied. They can appear bored, they can appear frustrated, and even flaky sometimes in relationships. But don't try to stop them from doing all of their things at once. So they may be having three different things going on at once, but don't try to stop them to do that. Instead, encourage them to cultivate a regular gratitude practice because that helps them to understand that they can appreciate the here and now, what they have is enough, and not always looking to that greener grass on the other side.

For your Type 8, often becomes confrontational and intimidating in relationships, but they don't know that. They don't understand why, they don't see themselves as that. And 8 is going to respect people who are confident in themselves and who don't back down with conflict. So, be gentle and be reassuring with your Type 8. Let them know that you support them and help them to develop a routine in their life that helps them to regulate their anger and become more even keel. 

For a Type 9, type 9s are often overlooked and often unseen. This is because they're the peacemakers. And they often will engage in passive aggressive behaviors simply because they want harmony in their lives, but that doesn't mean that their own needs and their own emotions go away. Instead, a lot of times they will stuff that down and it becomes anger that just sits until one day it just boils over. And so encourage your 9 to spend time in some type of slow-paced, intentional movement, something like yoga, that would be perfect.

And it helps them to be in touch with their own bodies, but also spending time in nature is awesome for Type 9s. It's good for all the numbers, okay, but for a Type 9, it's really, really good, helping them to be grounded, helping them to feel more secure and feel more present with the here and now. 

So hopefully this has given you a big overview of the Enneagram, but hopefully you found little different pieces of yourself and of your loved ones and your friends and your co-workers in this. I hope that you are well and have an awesome day. Bye-bye.