The problem with the Enneagram…

Well, actually there are several problems as I see it. The most important one is: You can’t undo knowledge once you have it. Now, when we talk about the Enneagram this means that

  • Once you know at least some of your behavioural and motivational patterns, there’s nothing you can do. You know that the responsibility for your behaviour lies with you. You know that what you do is a response to your own emotional needs – and not something that others “make you do”. Your reactions are your own. You may choose a certain reaction to certain situations, but at the end of the day it IS your choice.

  • Once you know how and which of your patterns impact others, guess who’s responsible for either turning them down or up a bit? Yes – you again.

  • Once you realise that “Well, that’s just the way I am” is truly and honestly NO excuse for any of your behaviour, you have some work to do. It’s up to YOU to become somebody that others want to spend time with. And that “Well, that’s just the way I am” is an immature response when you’ve hurt somebody.

  • Once you catch yourself doing exactly that which is a deep-rooted behaviour and not at all appropriate, it’s up to you to forgive yourself. For me identifying with type 8 this means that yes, I will explode from time to time. But the point is I do it less often than I used to and that I now realise that it’s not necessarily my way or the high-way. So, when I do explode, I not only have to apologize to others but I also have to forgive myself.

  • Once you know that there are certain learned behaviours that are actually good for you – depending on your type – it’s up to you to do something about it and introduce them more into your life. You can’t turn the clock backwards and pretend not to know. You can choose to ignore that knowledge, but then you also know the price. Once you know the Enneagram, you simply know better.

  • Once you know the Enneagram, you can no longer just assume stuff about others. What is great and wonderful to one, could be scary and unpleasant to another. An example: If you plan a surprise party for a 5, don’t expect them to be thrilled. They don’t like that sort of both attention and unexpected action. If you’re a 7, you might find it wonderful.  

And the very worst about the Enneagram? It just sticks with you. And the longer time passes, the deeper ingrained it becomes until eventually it’s part of your DNA and you realise that there’s just no way you can get rid of that thing.

Okay – there are a couple of good things: Once you know yourself really well, the quality of your life improves because you now have the tools and you know how to use them. And also – you don’t meet as many idiots as you used to because you understand their patterns as well and you can see that they’re basically slaves of their own patterns.