I Know Who I Am, Now What Do I Do?
And in this video, I talk about what to do with this information. Okay, you’re a Two, now what does that mean? If you’re giving and giving, and aren’t taking care of yourself, what can you do about it?
This information has been some of the most important of my life for understanding myself and others, and for having compassion for myself and others.
Watch the video to see how this information can change your life.
This is the second video on the Enneagram and in this one I’m going to talk to you about how to become the best you can be, meaning if you’re a Six, how can you be the best Six you can be?
I hope you watched my last video on the Enneagram and I hope you’ve taken the test to find out which Number or Style you are, because if you haven’t, this video isn’t going to make a lot of sense. So if you haven’t taken the test, stop now and take it here. It will take about 10 minutes.
Okay, so now that you know your number, or what I prefer to call Style, what do you do with that?
I’m an 8, we’re the fighters. The lie I’m wired to tell myself is “Life is hard, I have to do everything on my own. There’s no one to help. I have to fight for everything I have.”
Could that be any more depressing or any more rooted in the energy of Everything Is Wrong?
Eights are the fighters. They’re the ones that automatically get angry. They also always think they’re right. Now they’re also into justice and into fighting the good fight, but we are mainly just wired to fight.
My ex-husband, who I was married to for 20 years, is a 9. The peacemaker… peace at any price. So can you imagine, here’s me, an 8, fighting about everything, married to a 9, whose whole thing is peace at any price. It was sort of crazy-making because what always seemed to happen, is that all of our fights were never about the issue at hand, they were always about how it wasn’t okay for me to be angry. Nines don’t like anger.
The problem was, I actually bought into the idea that something was wrong with my anger. At this time in my life, I had decided I wanted to be a “spiritual person.” Somehow I had bought into the idea that being a “spiritual person” meant being sweet and compliant, and never getting angry. That I should be trying to act like a Goddess all of the time and speaking in a breathy voice, saying things like, “That’s so beautiful.” I never did any of that because I knew it would be completely phony – but I aspired to it.
I didn’t want to get angry.
I didn’t want to lose my temper.
Ironically, this was at the same time that I was becoming well-known as a divorce attorney. People would call me on the phone and say, “I hear you’re a real bitch. I want you to be my lawyer.” They actually meant it as a total compliment.
So hear I am on the phone, thinking “something is really off.”
When I finally found out about the Enneagram and realized that I am wired for this, I felt a kind of liberation. I realized that there was nothing wrong with my anger. That it was an important part of my life force. It had enabled me to survive a rough childhood, to build inner strength, and to take care of myself. I began to view my anger as an asset, not a weakness or something to be ashamed of.
Now with this knowledge, I also started working on ways to modulate my anger so that I wasn’t spewing it out all over everyone all of the time, but I also stopped trying to shove it down. I stopped being ashamed of it, and I stopped hating myself when I got angry.
And guess what happened? As soon as I stopped thinking there was something wrong with my anger, I stopped getting angry with everyone.
If we had been more consciously aware, the 8 and 9 combination could have been really great for both of us. Nines need to learn how to set boundaries and eights need to learn how to soften up their boundaries and just stop fighting.
The good news is that 6 years after my divorce, I met a 7 and we were married last year. He is so much fun, because he’s a 7. He also doesn’t ever want to be told what to do and there’s other stuff, because there’s always stuff going on in a relationship, but knowing all of this, we both step back all the time and go, “wait a minute – oh, that’s just your 8 stuff or that’s just your 7 stuff” and it makes such a huge difference in how we interact with each other and treat each other.
So how about you? What can help you best move into healing? Let’s go through each style
And remember, there are no good and bad styles.
The biggest thing is to focus on the parts you like. No one is completely healed or unhealed, we’re all a composite.
Style 1 – The Perfectionist
- Stop demanding that everything must be perfect.
- Relax more.
- Feel more compassion for people.
- Stop using the word “should.”
- As I used to say to one of my coaching clients who is a One, “Finished is better than perfect.”
- Appreciate that you are one of those people who wants things done in the best way possible.
Style 2 – The Helper
- Stop doing the things that you don’t want to do.
- Take care of yourself.
- Appreciate that you are full of love and genuinely want to help other people.
- Stop doing the things that you don’t want to do. If you truly want to do something for someone, do it without any expectation that they will return the favor. If that’s okay with you, then proceed.
- Take care of yourself. Do things that really feel like splurges and take care of yourself (get massages and manicures, buy yourself flowers, take time out alone).
- Appreciate that you are full of love and genuinely want to help other people.
Style 3 – The Achiever
- Decide what do I truly want?
- Don’t be so concerned about what other people think of you.
- Stop buying things that you think will impress other people.
- Stop working to the point of exhaustion.
- Allow yourself to feel vulnerable.
- Appreciate that you are hardworking and dependable.
Style 4 – The Romantic Adventurer
- When you start thinking that you are better than everyone else, stop it!
- Focus less on the idea that other people don’t understand you and instead make an effort to understand them.
- Create a morning exercise routine and then stick to it.
- Appreciate the fact that you are a very creative person and that you have a deep capability to connect with other people.
Style 5 – The investigator
- Remember that it’s impossible to know everything about everything.
- Stop trying to prove that you know everything.
- Stop correcting people when you are in small groups.
- Take up some kind of creative activity that will get you out of your head.
- Appreciate the fact that Albert Einstein was a Five.
Style 6 – The Loyalist
- Do things to counteract your pessimism and anxiety (physical exercise, meditation, reading inspirational books, music that makes you feel good, finding upbeat friends).
- Take yourself off the hook for the anxiety that you feel.
- Learn to cultivate trust in other people by first cultivating trust in yourself.
- Appreciate the fact that you are responsible and hardworking and loyal.
Style 7 – The Enthusiast
- Finish what you start.
- Each day make a list of two things to accomplish so that you always feel that you are getting things done.
- Realize that you don’t have to do everything or have everything right now.
- Don’t be afraid to face reality.
- Appreciate the fact that your basic disposition is one of happiness, optimism and generosity.
Style 8 – The Aggressor
- Rush to give in even when you “know” you’re right.
- Stop fighting with everyone.
- Understand that not everyone is against you.
- Forgive slights by reminding yourself that most people are just doing the best they can.
- Be vulnerable.
- Appreciate the fact that you are strong and self-reliant.
Style Nine – The Peacemaker
- Set boundaries.
- Understand that conflicts need to be dealt with.
- Exercise or do other things to help you come more fully into your body.
- Do things that will help you to really feel and express your emotions.
- Stop spending so much time in front of television screens or computer screens.
- Appreciate the fact that you are open-minded, diplomatic, and receptive.
The key here is to start taking yourself and everyone else off the hook. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have boundaries or that you don’t take responsibility for what you do. Quite the contrary, what I’m advocating is that you see how you’re wired and embrace all of it.
In our retreats here in Sedona, we use the Enneagram all the time because it gives people such insight, especially with couples. I can’t tell you the number of times that people get this information and they’re like “oh my gosh, this explains everything”.
Just a few weeks ago we had two people come who had been fighting non-stop during their whole marriage. He felt like nothing he ever did was good enough, she felt like nothing he ever did was good enough, he was constantly angry with her and of course, she hated all that anger. It turns out she is a One (the perfectionist) and he’s and 8 (the Aggressor, the fighter).
When we discussed the two Styles with them, they both said, “Isn’t that how everyone is?” because we make this assumption that everyone reacts the way we do. She said “Doesn’t everyone want to have everything be perfect?” and he said, “Doesn’t everyone lash out in anger when they get upset?”
She really got it how her perfectionism was driving him away and he really got it how his anger was keeping them apart. With their other sessions, she was able to let go of some of her perfectionism (and also saw how it came from things that had happened during her childhood from her mother who was also a perfectionist).
We dug deep and found some of the core wounding that led to a lot of his anger and released it. Underneath the perfectionism and the anger, they discovered they really did love each other and when that happens, it really helps those things melt away. They took themselves off the hook and they took each other off the hook, and when you do that, everyone feels happier.
So that’s a lot! I hope you got some insights into who you are and how you can get happy and stay happy. And if you got value from this video, please like it, share the video with your friends and subscribe to our channel.