Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Enneagram Point Six Patterns

"Even though one type will dominate as we begin studying ourselves using the tool of the Enneagram, all the fixations are present in every ego. . . if we are genuinely interested in spiritual learning and liberation though the Enneagram, we need to study all the fixations--their cores and their shells--as they manifest in our lives." A.H. Almaas, Keys to the Enneagram: How to Unlock the Highest Potential of Every Personality Type

When boxed in at point Six, the driving force of fear can manifest in accusing others (particularly those in authority), looking for hidden agendas, and self-doubt. We may procrastinate and/or blurt out feelings with a kind of reckless courage (driven by anxiety), and then worry we've shot ourselves in the foot ̶ as may be the case. 

When still at point Six but more self-observing, we're highly family-oriented in personal life and team-oriented at work, energetic, attending to interdependent needs, using group-oriented language, challenging in ways that hold others accountable, bringing out the best in everyone.

Typical Comments:

"I've been loyal to this group for 25 years." "I don't think we have very competent senior management." "I wish we could work better as a team." "All my life, I've questioned my own ability." 

Engaging the Observing Self and Releasing the Six Fixation:

It's important that we learn to see our patterns as they emerge, without judgment, to notice and accept as they come and go without shame or denial or trying to shut them down, to see how the fixed personality reactions show up and choose different behaviors. From this Observing Self we'll begin to see the patterns loosening and dropping away.

Within that context, some actions that my clients and I have found helpful at point Six include:
  • observing our fears and getting a reality check, 
  • noticing when blaming others and finding ways to empower ourselves, 
  • shifting to possibilities when aware of feeling worried, 
  • noticing scattered thoughts and centering to clarify a central idea and key points, 
  • admitting how we contribute to situations instead of looking for blame elsewhere, 
  • celebrating evidence of courage to act on our own convictions even when we're hesitant or afraid.