I FEEL SO MUCH ‘SAFER’
when I stay angry
PREVIOUS: Triad Emotions – 2b
BOOK: “Emotions and the Enneagram, Working Through Your Shadow Life Script” ~ Margaret Frings Keyes
891s – THE BODY / Instinctual Triad: Aggression and Repression
PHYSIOLOGY: this triad is associated with the brain stem (earliest developed part, also called “reptilian”), which controls motor movement, & connected with creative, sexual & bio-electric energy in the spinal column
FOCUS: this ‘Center of Intelligence” uses visceral responses to understand the world, typically responding first from the gut, a place of intuitive ‘feeling’-knowing**
ROOT Emotions: ANGER, Aggression, Resentment
RESPONSE : tend to act without having to stop to think, are oriented to action, using body-based intuition to deal with relationship issues
POWER: is in the ability to instinctively take action
TIME: mainly in the present, since actions can only be in the now
UNDERSTAND Life: best when translated into physical activity or movement
**NOTE: In this context, it’s important to not confuse Feeling / Sensing (891s) with Sentiment (234s).
Feeling – is ‘background awareness’, spontaneously coming from deep within & so is more primitive, using bodily sensations, intuition, instinct… vs
Sentiment – the copy-cat show of the ‘Feeling’ triad, which is more surface, ‘skin deep’, based on energy picked up from the environment
◆ This triad has to do with muscle movement, & therefore ‘knowing through doing’. intuition helps them make correct, concrete decisions quickly & easily. They love to face reality head on AND rebel against injustice
But when resisting reality, but assuming there’s nothing wrong with them, then the resistance is held in various physical tensions (neck, lower back…..)
When stressed, processing verbal or written information can be slow, with trouble expressing themselves verbally:
— angry 8s will think in caricatures or temporarily blank out
— compulsive 1s tends to think only in black & white
— repressed 9s tend to get mentally fuzzy, or go into long ramblings
► EIGHTS – Challengers
Root: use anger to hide a tender vulnerability & childlike innocence, from growing up abused, controlled & exploited, & with one weak parent bullied by other,
Re. not being held/ supported: try to “hold” everything & everyone by forcefully taking charge (See Enn. Emotions, Part 1)
Expressing anger & aggression: externalize – acting automatically. They’re aware of anger consciously to an unmet need, or to present themselves as the ‘strongest’ one around.
They tend to bulldoze through life – letting their hostility out, then leaving others to “deal with it”. It’s their main way of getting what they want, & for coping with stresses or challenges.
Acting out anger: their emotion is obvious to everyone because they feel free to express it. When their anger starts building, they show it physically – raised voice, clenched fists, moving more forcefully…. When overcome with strong ‘animal instinct’, they react blindingly fast
In relationships: 8s are comfortable with anger & are known to ‘stir the pot’ to get a reaction from others as a way of engaging, but will gladly overpower anyone who will let them. They tend to be confident, confrontational, decisive, willful.
When boundary invaded, they react directly & forcefully to push away.
Reacting to underlying fear: afraid of being vulnerable to others, they’re driven to be self-reliant & strong, so they can often be thoughtless, even heartless
With an UNHEALTHY childhood – 8s can become bullies, delinquents or gang leaders… & eventually their adult counterparts.
With a HEALTHY childhood – 8s become hard-working volunteers, protectors of the underdog, inspiring class presidents…. & eventually competent, moral, strong leaders in corporate, government or religious arenas.
• The inherent positive emotion of 8s is an enthusiasm for life, moving into action & experience with their big energy.
• Their “virtue” or higher emotional state is innocence, approaching life without cynicism or blame – the 8’s version of open heartedness – willing to be receptive to whatever comes, & therefore be vulnerable, without being weak.
QUESTIONS to ask yourself for 891s
NEXT: Ennea GUT Emotions (3b)