Ennea: TRIAD EMOTIONS (Part 3a)

ANGER triad
when I stay angry


 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
891 triad Es
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)

type 8 EsExpressing 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)

Ennea TRIAD Basics (Part 1)

triad proportions<—- DIAGRAM – Each Type’s proportion
of the triune brain, combining: (scroll down)
Intellect (green)
Emotions (blue)
Instinct (red)

PREVIOUS: Type Strengths (#4c)

SITEs: Ennea Triads – Centers of Intelligence


 As mentioned in ‘Enneagram Basics – Part 3’, there are many different ways to sub-divide the Enneagram, usually in groups of 3. Others will be addressed as well, but we start with the fundamentals, always enn triadsbeginning with TYPE 2.
The Triad that our Type falls into dictates the general way we approach life’s challenges. This gets combined with our specific VICE (character weakness) to form our Driving Need. These create all our traits & desires, fueling an automatic way of responding in the world, often cleverly disguised as defense mechanisms (Enn. Defects, Part 3a…..).

NOTE: Main approaches to categorizing the triosEnn TRIAD components
a. From Helen Palmer – the most popular approach :
234= Heart-based Emotion
567= Head-based, Reason
891=Gut-based, Instinct

b. From Don Riso:
Feel / Do / Relate to environment

c. From Dick Wright, PhD, who believes his approach is truer to Gurdjieff’s original teachings:  234 = Doers,
567 = Perceivers
891 = Feelers/ Sensers**.

◆ Each grouping is named by the function they do best, & what’s most important to each type in the sub group: (see below).
The Primary style is what is most Instinctual, the 2nd is an Auxiliary & the 3rd is Buried —->
EXP: Quality that’s buried for Type 7 is ‘Doing’ = to motivate

**In the Enneagram, Feeling or SENSING refers to basic, primitive instincts which come from deep inside & can’t be faked (891s). It does not mean Emotion or Sentiment – like the ‘show’ of 234s, which is more surface – a reaction to external ideas & events – picked up from others.

DOERS Triad (HEART #s 234) – They Motivate
Unconscious Types that deal with life experiences. Focus: emotive center
POSITIVE purpose : To achieve healthy, perfect union with others, the universe & with Spirit, to understand the stages of human development that create maturity and wholeness.
NEGATIVE use : To manipulate one’s own & others’ way of feeling, including the emotional climate within relationships

PERCEIVERS Triad (HEAD #s 567) – They Communicate
Conscious Types that define & justify emotions. Focus: theoretical center
POSITIVE Purpose: To develop creative vision & open people up to the real meaning of life, to be fully conscious of the true nature of self and others.
NEGATIVE Use: To think, plot & make intellectual decisions limited by a narrowly defined universe.

SENSERS Triad (GUT / Body #s 891) – They Translate
Subconscious Types that deal with sensations. Focus: effective center
POSITIVE Purpose: To energize & motivate people to actively live as we were intended, according to our true purpose & vision, to actively create & complete the work we are meant to do.
NEGATIVE Use: To protect & preserve our physical body & fulfill our basic needs, no matter the cost to others.

NEXT: Triads (Part 2a)

enn TRIAD expressions