Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Finding Enneagram Type Via Hallmark Characteristics Part III

In this post, we continue our look at the hallmark characteristics of Enneagram types Seven, Eight, and Nine.

Type Seven - The Optimist


º Sustaining high levels of excitement, many activities, many interesting things to do
º Endless possibilities - can lead to dilettantism
º Feel trapped without multiple options or way out
º Life is about fun and adventure - sampling all of it
º Avoidance of pain or difficulty
º Reframe any negative into a positive
º Replacement of deep contact with pleasant mental alternatives. Talking, planning, intellectualizing.
º Charm as first line of defense. Fear type who moves toward people.
º Equalizing authority
º Make unusual connections between unrelated ideas

Hallmark Characteristic
The hallmark or defining characteristic of an Optimist Seven is that of reframing any negative into a positive. Sevens see the good in everything, often to their own detriment. They focus on the silver lining and miss the fact that the dark cloud exists. Even trauma and tragedy are reframed into good learning experiences or humorous stories. “Yes, my dad beat me, but what was good about it was......”

Type Eight -The Straight Shooter


º Control of personal space, possessions, and people likely to influence Eight’s life.
º Aggression and open expression of anger
º Action before thinking, impulsive.
º Concern with justice and protection of others
º Sparring as way of making contact - trust those who can hold their own in a fight.
º Excess as antidote to boredom. Too much exercise, work, partying, etc.
º Difficulty in recognizing dependent aspects of self
º All or nothing way of seeing world. Weak or strong, fair or unfair,etc.
º Impatience with indecision, inaction.

Hallmark Characteristic
The hallmark or defining characteristic of Eight is bigger-than-life energy. Regardless of physical stature, Straight Shooters just seem to take up a lot of space. This larger-than-life quality manifests as abundant, even excessive energy. Eights seem able to do more, for longer periods than the rest of us. Oddly enough, the Straight Shooter himself often doesn’t recognize that he takes up more space than others, or even that he has more energy. Yet, everyone else around him is all too aware. If the characteristics and worldview sound familiar to you, but you are unsure about the hallmark, elicit the perception of family, coworkers, and friends to find out if they see you as “larger-than-life”.

Type Nine - the Mediator


º Go with the flow. Merging with others, universe
º Self- forgetting: laziness toward own needs, priorities, agenda
º Trouble with decisions: do I agree or disagree? Do I want to
be here or not?
º Containment of physical energy and anger
º Replace essential needs with non-essential substitutes - the most important things are left until the end of the day
º Act through habit and repeating familiar solutions
º Control through stubbornness and passive-aggressive behavior
º Numbing out. Inertia. Go on automatic pilot

Hallmark Characteristic
The Nine Mediator often overlooks or “forgets” her own agenda, desires, and priorities. The underlying drive of sloth leads the Nine to go with the flow rather than work to determine what s/he really wants or needs. Nine’s adopt or merge with the preferences and desires of other people. It’s easier than trying to discover his/her own agenda and priorities, which seem to be hidden or unclear. Although, this can seem similar to the stance of the Two Giver, it differs in that Nine Mediators merge indiscriminately with others. It just “happens.” Two Givers are very selective and choose the people whose priorities they may make their own. The Two stance is very active and moves toward others, while the Nine is more passive, allowing them to “go along with” others. As with all the characteristics for all Nine types, self-forgetting can get to be a habit.

When trying to determine Enneagram type, it can be helpful to focus on Hallmark Characteristics rather than getting lost in the whole enchilada of characteristics and traits. With attention and self-observation, the discovery of type is a profound journey -that takes as long as it takes.

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