UNDERSTANDING MY EMOTIONS
helps me deal with life better
PREVIOUS: Ennea Triad Basics – #2c
SITE: “Personality tool: Understanding the Enneagram”. Scroll down for info on each type’s way of expressing emotions
CORE EMOTIONAL responses of the 3 Basic Centers
An important way of using the Enneagram is to identify & properly deal with the emotional essences of each triad – developed out of biological responses to survival threats. They can be seen across ALL mammalian behavior, via modern Affective Neuroscience. The same distress-emotions are triggered when the organism’s 3 BASIC NEEDS are not met.
CENTERS: Feeling = Heart (234), Thinking = Head (567) and Gut (891) which includes = Instinctive (digestion, breathing, heartbeat) & Sensory aspects (running…).
Interesting: Gut acts 30,000 times faster than Heart, itself 30,000 times faster than Head. (“The Fourth Way”)
◆ EVERY type is capable of experiencing ALL emotions, but each Center is driven by a main one. When things get tough, frustrating, won’t go our way…. there’s an inner ‘default’ setting that gets triggered
234s = Grief, Shame
567s = Fear, Anxiety
891s = Anger, Rage
Each Type handles it’s primary emotion differently:
❖ The first # is overt “externalizes” :
2 its shame, 5 its fear, 8 its anger
◆ The second # “represses /covert” :
3 its shame, 6 its fear, 9 its anger
✦ The third # “internalizes /neutral” :
4 its shame, 7 its fear, 1 its anger
Basic FEARS – Triad emotion are our automatic ‘natural’ way of responding to the world, but most people don’t realize it’s what fuels their daily reactions.
When these emotions are cut off from our Core Self, they generate the Type’s defense mechanism, which underpin all dysfunction. While each Center has it’s preferred emotion, Riso & Hudson explained that each TYPE also has an underlying fear – OF being:
1s – corrupt, defective, unbalanced
2s – unwanted, unworthy of love
3s – worthless
4s – without identity or personal significance
5s – helpless, incapable, useless
6s – unable to survive on their own
7s – in pain and deprivation
8s – harmed or controlled by others
9s – lost or separated from self & others
◆ Beatrice Chestnut, psychologist & teacher, condensed a human child’s early needs into 3 challenges – emotional ‘disturbances’ when not properly fulfilled:
A. Need to feel mirrored – when their caregiver makes direct, loving, face-to-face, eye-to-eye contact, so the young child feels ‘seen’ for who they are.
MISSING: Distress/Panic, from the loss of connection & bonding.
Heart types innately pursue this need, but do it incorrectly by creating a False Persona. This makes it hard to be curious about oneself, others & life.
They’re too busy watching what they do, so it will fit their created IMAGE of being:
2s – thoughtful & considerate – so others will respond favorably to ‘such a selfless person’ who only thinks of others
3s – a confident, successful person (so others will respond with respect to such a competent, achieving individual)
4s – a unique person, different from everyone else (so others will at least think they are special rather than lost or deficient).
B. Need to not feel fear – being protected from real danger, or whatever is imagined to be dangerous
MISSING: Fear/Anxiety, when experiencing ta threat, challenge, or danger to our very security
Head types figure out what makes life certain for themselves. Some fear is necessary & useful if it’s not all-pervasive & overwhelming. When fear overwhelms, it’s very hard to be open to & curious about all the good things available to us.
It’s also imperative to separate fear that’s real from what’s self-created (S-H)
5s – move away from anything that scares them, retreating into a solitary, private world where they only rely on themselves
6s obsessively imagine future danger, &/OR act fearless, as a way of coping with their ever-present fear of life
7s try to avoid fear entirely with constant distractions, sticking to a positive attitude, always considering new possibilities, & planning escapes
C. Need to feel held & supported – seen in very young children who want to be securely wrapped & held, to not feel the threat of being dropped (injured or dead)
MISSING: Anger/Rage, when we experience not being able to depend on our caretakers to ‘back us up’ – neglected, violated & repeatedly deprived
Body Types can sense what’s wrong in their world, know what actions are needed to correct it & how to provide their needs. They want to control their experience & environment to deal with anxiety :
8s try to ‘hold’ everything & everyone by taking charge
9s ‘hold’ by repetitive activities that soothe them (narcotizing)
1s ‘hold’ by being self-controlled, trying to control or structure every aspect of life
LAYERS of the SELF
Outer = COMPULSIVE : Behavior is automatic
Next = OBSERVING : Beginning of awareness, ability to notice & detach from compulsions
Semi-Inner = HIGHER : Increasing awareness & autonomy, the ability to access higher functions of the Centers
Inner/Center = ESSENTIAL :
Unified consciousness, not trapped in or identified with any one triad
(Chart: ‘Nine Paths’ 12/26/12)
Moving from the outer circle of Stress & Security points – towards our center – requires consistent self-observation.
NEXT: Triad Emotions (Heart)