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 EMOTIONS (Part 2a)

FEAR triad

that I’m deeply afraid inside

PREVIOUS: Triad Emotions (1b)



567s – THE HEAD / Thinking Triad: Fearful & Unsafe

PHYSIOLOGY: associated with the neo-cortex, most highly developed in humans
FOCUS: primarily use logical, left-brain intellect, tending to ignore heart & gut input
ROOT Emotions: FEAR, Anxiety, Dread

RESPONSE: from their head first, then act or not act
POWER: comes from the ability to think
TIME: mainly to the future – what they look forward to, good or bad
UNDERSTAND Life: best when translated into logic, sometimes in the form of rules & instructions

This group thinks AND creates much fear – via negative anticipation:567 triad -- fear
5s act too little, since too much time & effort is used to complete their thoughts before expressing them
6s deny the value of their thoughts & actions, flipping between extremes of too much – or – too little certainty, most out of touch with direct knowing
7s act too much and think too little or incompletely. Doesn’t stay with an idea long enough to see it through, so the Head Center’s optimal function – to completely understand – is aborted

◆ 5s & 7s (& some 6s) aren’t very focused on the outside world or on what others think – often seen to be distrustful, superficial or uninterested.  However, these surface reactions are defense mechanisms against their fear of being destroyed in some way by a frightening world.

567s look for reassurance in B & W facts. Even though this can often be a positive, it becomes a negative when ignoring intuition, emotions or actions – when dealing with problems – causing misunderstanding & conflict

◆ Their FEAR (not always experienced directly) creates a deep insecurity. Depending on the Type it’s expressed as  = ‘fear of failure’, = not doing the right thing, = missing good opportunities, & especially = not understanding what’s going on .
Since living in one’s head includes imagining, it can also include obsessive worry about what might happen.
When severely stressed, especially over a long time, fear can become panic, causing them come to a dead stop until they can get enough new info to proceed. (This is not the anxiety of the 234s, who react with impulsive activity).

► FIVES – Investigators
5s expect to run out of resources – so will hoard energy, info, money, time…. They assume they can deal with fear by constantly strategizing – as if honing skills enough will prepare them for anything scary ‘outside’

Relying on their first-rate thinking process to decipher what they consider an illogical world, ego-driven 5s can appear very cool, calm & collected – or secretive loners who focus their minds on the ‘nature of the universe’.
They hope that understanding reality in their own way will eventually allow them to rejoin the world, but they never believe they know enough to participate with total confidence. type 5 esInstead, they get caught up with increasingly complex inner worlds.

Root: 5s early violations & abandonments leads to considering the world as a scary place. Overwhelmed by emotions & life’s demands, they’re afraid of not knowing how to cope or not having enough facts to explain things

Express fear by
: live in their head, rather than connecting with others. They may take time to consider their emotions, but later & in private – so there’s a time lag between an event & their response

Deal with fear by: retreating to the safety of their private space, accumulating as much knowledge as they possibly can, & mulling everything over to make (mental) order of it all. They’re often disconnected from daily life & their emotions, assuming that figuring everything out will free them of dread, without actually facing it.\

Respond to their fear: by collecting &/or hoarding money, possessions & energy tightly. Resentful of having their ‘space’ intruded on, they retreat from anything that make them anxious, into a private universe & only rely on themselves
Alleviate fear: by using their intellect to feel omniscience, looking for answers to life’s riddles in isolation

QUESTIONS to ask yourself (for Types 567)

NEXT: Triad Emotions (#2b) Types 6 & 7