Ennea TRIAD Basics (Part 4a)


to understand my environment

PREVIOUS: Ennea Triads, Part 2b

SITE: Discover your Enneagram TRI-Type


3rd Triad (891) : INSTINCT (Gut), Body-based character structure

#8 = Leader — Energy: Larger than life, Dominating.
#9 = Mediator Energy: Diffuse extension, Comfortable
#1= Reformer Energy: Rigid containment, Righteous

At a party: If you go right in, engaging in hearty, jovial, back-slapping greetings that may put some people off, you’re likely in the Gut triad. Or, you might offer the host a ‘helpful’ criticism about how to improve some aspect of the party.

Flow: Gut-centered people act first – think & feel later. They’re very connected to concrete reality, with a very “nuts & bolts” approach to life. Their driving ‘sin’ is anger, as their first reaction to unsafe people & physical circumstances

POSITIVE 891s : At their best, they’re grounded, with a common-sense approach to taking care of basic needs, so not much thought is required for the simple tasks of life. Their motto could be: “Just do it”, being active in the physical world, & connected to nature
When healthy, they relate to their environment & to others exceptionally well, with a deep wisdom from within. Struggling to stay in the moment, they can always call on their gut reactions to bring them back to the present.

Purpose: “We all use personal position & personal power to make life be the way we believe it “should be.” We devise strategies to assure our place in the world & to minimize discomfort.~ David Daniels, M.D

Physical Center: The Gut / Instinct is the physical link to the conscious ego & the unconscious soul. 891s value action, living life at full volume & maximum speed, doing whatever it takes to best handle physical needs.

All types depend upon the Body Center of Intelligence to be in touch with their higher qualities, including: • the right amount of energy needed for action
• how much power to use (or not use) in each situation
• the capacity to be being grounded in themselves & the world.

Priority: Instinctual needs & rhythms in daily life; issues of fairness or rightness, getting practical results.
Direction: 891 Types move in & against, are direct & straight forward, & can easily be confrontational
Key Mode: Screening & buffering (principled inattention)
Key Words: Belonging, Comfort, Congruence, Harmony, Personal power, Protection, Respect, Worth

gut reactions.pngBasic defense: A concentration of energy in the belly center enables repeated patterns to form layers of “insulation” in the mind & body.
This insulation is used to “screen out” unwanted feelings or information from the inside or outside. Personal wants and needs are controlled by super-ego “shoulds

Neurotic style
: Obsessive process – using repeating patterns of thinking and doing to capture and stabilize attention in daily life.

NEGATIVEFearing neglect or being overlooked, they seek acceptance & be respected for who they are. Acting impulsively, they resist being influenced by current reality, & try to impose their will on the environment without being affected by it – to prevent being controlled by anyone or anything. When they don’t have the experience of their positive Key Words, they react with anger / rage – the more controlled version showing up as irritation, resentment, impatience….
Main emotion :
externalize & act out their anger
9s feel conflicted & disconnect with their anger
1s internalize & repress their anger

Life challenge: Struggle with being asleep to their True Self. They need to “Wake up” through self-awareness instead of falling into excessive materialism (8), low-level comfort (9) or habits (1).
Their childhood experience is of not being allowed their space, so there’s a deep hunger to carve this out for themselves in the world, with a push to distinguish between who they are vs everyone else.

INEXT: Triad EMOTIONS (Part 1)

Ennea TRIAD Basics (Part 3a)

triad flowers 

so I can control my environment

PREVIOUS: Basic Triads, Part 2b



SECOND Triad (567) : HEAD, Mental-based character structure
#5 = Observer – – Energy: ‘Invisible’ Detachment, Hoarding
#6 = Questioner Energy: Fight 6 – Jabbing Confrontation
Agreement seeking – – – –  Flight 6 – Poised-for-flight Scanning
#7 = Adventurer Energy: Airy Excitement, Re-framing

At a party: If you stand at the door, looking around to see who’s there & what’s happening, you’re likely in the Head triad. You want to have a good idea of what to expect before going in to a new situation, approaching others cautiously.

Flow: Head-centered people think first – act and feel later. They tend to view life as outsiders looking in. Their driving ‘sin’** is fear, feeling separate from people and their environment

**”SIN” – the Enneagram comes out of a spiritual-direction tradition, so it teaches that each type has a definite sin disrupting their journey toward psychological & spiritual wholeness. In Greek it means “to miss the mark,” so it’s what makes us miss the ‘target’ in our life, which must be confronted & integrated

POSITIVE 567s notice more than other people, but don’t realize that most can’t see the same things they do, or don’t see things the same way! At their best they’re knowledgeable, intellectual & brilliant & visionary. (Bill Gates…). But caught up in the world of ideas, they can forget about the rest of the body (Shertriad 567lock Homes).

Purpose: “The goals of this center are to help us all minimize anxiety, manage potentially painful situations They want to gain a sense of certainty through the mental processes of analyzing, figuring out, envisioning, imagining & planning.

In addition, all of us depend on the HEAD Center of Intelligence to develop the higher qualities of wisdom, inner knowing & thoughtfulness.” ~ David Daniels, M.D

Physical center: Their main activity takes place in the Head, where they make decisions based either on logic on & mental processes (thinking things thru).
Also – they’re acutely aware of the environment, living very much in the present, & instinctively take everything in by physical senses (touch, taste, smell is the way to their “holy idea”) – because it gets them out of being stuck in mental loops

Priority: They want to create security by making sense of the world & other people – using ideas, concepts & rational thinking. Their most important quest is for Truth – for what’s real & what’s not.

Their implied Q is: “What does it all mean?” as they constantly try to figure out how each piece of information they’ve gathered fits in with everything else they’ve picked up. Controlling all the pieces by ‘understanding’ things makes them feel safer

Direction: 567 Types initially move away or withdraw from relationship
Key Mode: Detachment & upward displacement (away from gut)
Key Words: Assurance, Certainty, Opportunity, Predictability, Safety, Security

Basic defense: A concentration of mental energy makes it possible to detach from emotions & the body, to live in the mind. Fear of life (& death) is countered by thinking, explaining, rationalizing. Personal wants & needs are explained away or simply not felt.
Neurotic Style: Paranoid/schizoid process – distrust leads to withdrawing from contact with the world, to figure things out & feel protected.  Re. Emotion:
5s externalize their fear
repress their fear, as a primary strategy
7s in
ternalize their fear inwardly

Life challenge: To integrate mind & body. They have trouble combining their inner world with the outer environment. For them – being ‘seen’ is a two-sided dilemma:
— if they get noticed, they lose their valued privacy
— if they don’t get seen they get too isolated, & feel unappreciated for all their knowledge

Much of the time they have lots of ideas & plans that never go anywhere, which tend be forgotten or go unnoticed. In business, being rigid & dogmatic in their thinking (they’re always right!) can create resentment & conflict, but they don’t know why, since they’re just being ‘reasonable’.
📌 The primary attraction / avoidance dance is trust vs. non-trust.

NEXT: Triad basics – Part 2c

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