Ennea: TRIAD EMOTIONS (Part 1a)

I don’t know what to do with them!

PREVIOUS: Triad Emotions – Intro

SITE: Enneagram: Ancient knowledge, modern psychology



234s – HEART / Feeling Triad: Low Self-Esteem & Longing
PHYSIOLOGY: triad associated with the mammalian part of our brain
FOCUS: this ‘Center of Intelligence” uses emotions, intuition & imagery – rather than bodily senses

ROOT Emotions
: SHAME, & GRIEF/Sadness, hidden HOSTILITY
RESPONSE: from their heart first, then the head, & gut last
POWER: from their ability to instinctively feel emotions

TIME: mainly to the Past, needing to feel connected to long-term relationships & events
UNDERSTAND Life: best when info is translated into symbols of desire, through people & stories about themselves or their old experiences

❖  234s long for a sense of identity, of figuring out “Who am I?”. Instead of going inward for this information, their main attention is on getting Affirmation From Others, especially those they feel close to, to the point of side-lining their own deepest needs. Total reliance on validation from others can lead to only being able to see themselves thru others’ eyes, unreliable at best, or to low self-esteem & possibly despair. It’s also called the “image” triad, because of a concern with how they are ‘seen’triad :grief

GRIEF / Sadness comes from negating oneself by having substituted a ‘persona’ as a partial or full replacement for the True Self. As children they didn’t have accurate or adequate mirroring. Not being able to handle their pain, they chase after attention & validation. When they feel a real or imagined threat to a connection with an important ‘other’, they can get very distressed, even panicked. This motivates them to stay attached, or do whatever is necessary to re-connect.

IMMATURE: While they may seem very emotional to others, these Types are the least in touch with their primitive senses (the way 8s are). Their natural instinct is to pick up emotional energy from the environment, the same way an audience takes on the enthusiasm of a charismatic motivational speaker, & then acts it out as if it was their own, (like audiences do with Tony Robbins)

EXP: 4s can be pseudo-authentic (dramatic), who assume they must be unique to receive love…. Actually – for them true authenticity would be to include emotions they may think are too ‘ordinary’ (caring, comfortable, annoyed, disappointed….)
MATURE: When healthy, their sensitivity makes these Types admirable, being highly valued for their genuine thoughtfulness & interpersonal skills.

Hidden AGGRESSION: 234s don’t openly acknowledge their wish/need to be aggressive. Instead tStriad shamehey use manipulation, guilt & self-pity – more passive ways of asserting themselves, which they consider safer

SHAME : In this context, it is the feeling of being “in the spotlight,” under scrutiny, rather than feeling ashamed of themselves as human beings. It grows out of the deep-seated preoccupation with the need to “See me the way I want to be seen” (rather than for who they truly are), which motivates their characteristic styles.

2sit shows up as wanting to be recognized for their affection & care of others, a form of “possessive affectivity” **
** Affectivity – something influenced by, sensitive to or results from emotions
3s – their own success is most important, especially in career. This kind of recognition-need can be called ‘functional affectivity’
4s – they deeply want recognition for their originality, with a need to be considered unique & special, often with ‘negative affectivity’

QUESTIONS to ask yourself – for 2, 3, 4s

NEXT: Triad Emotions (1b)

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