Stereotypes and Figuring out your Enneagram Type

Uncategorized Oct 01, 2020


(If you would prefer to consume this episode in audio format, click here)

Ok friends, we need to talk. 

Enneagram is NOT about behavior it is about motivation. 

I know, you've probably heard that one MILLION times (as have I) and yet....our silly little brains keep wanting to pull our conversation and the way we think about Enneagram to BEHAVIORS. 

Today we are going to talk about how stereotypes (which are always revolving around BEHAVIORS) keep us from finding our type. 

Enneagram work is not about behavior modification, it is not about behavior classification, it is about understanding our core motivations and using that information to aid us (provide a map for us) in our quest for SPIRITUAL growth and transformation. 

So, anytime we reduce it down to or get stuck in behaviors it will create confusion. 

Now, don't get me wrong, our core motivations can certainly MANIFEST in certain patterns of behaviors - absolutely. However, I have found that because the Enneagram in the United States (where I live and teach), up to this point, has existed primarily in a certain socio-economic, ethnic and national environment. Because of this, the people who are being "studied" by Enneagram teachers, authors and thought leaders SEEM to be manifesting certain behavior that is consistent....and that can cause those behaviors to be seen as the "standard" for each type. 

I'm sure we can all see how this perspective, while valid, is also limited and can exclude MANY behavioral patterns that would manifest if a different slice of humanity were being included. This is the irony of the Enneagram, it teaches us that we all see the world from a unique and LIMITED perspective, and it is teaching us that through the lense of a teacher who is also seeing the world through a unique and limited perspective. 

We must take this into account when we are looking at the content that has been put out into the world around Enneagram and the different characteristics of each type - if you do not subscribe to the mainstream, mainline, majority culture - there may not be "stereotypes" that fit you - but that does NOT mean you don't fit in the Enneagram. It means, we need to start expanding, using more inclusive language and pulling back to the MOTIVATIONS and away from the behaviors. 

Behaviors are the starting point from WHICH we can get CURIOUS. Behaviors are where we start but NEVER where we end.

Doing Enneagram work requires us to WORK, ask the second questions, try and discover what is underneath the behavior, rather than stopping at the behavior. 

In the video above I give a few examples of what that looks like for several types. 

I'd love to hear from you. What "stereotypes" don't fit you? Why or why not? What is beneath those behaviors? What are the behaviors a reaction to? 

We have GOT to go deeper friends, if we want to enjoy and experience all the Enneagram has for us. 


For more information on typing or coaching sessions with Vanessa, CLICK HERE.



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