by Amanda & Dylan, Relationship Coaches, Enneagram Teachers
It’s Fall! The weather is getting beautifully cold, the trees have their best outfits on, and Dr. K has organized the closet displaying her fall colors in a way that puts Pinterest to shame.
SO, time for you to grab yourself a pumpkin-spiced-vanilla-smoky-apple-leaf-frappe-latte, pick up an Enneagram book or use those Googling skills, and get lost in it. Trust us when we say there is no point in resisting. The Enneagram has made it into your area, and it spreads faster than fake celebrity news. The world of the Enneagram will change the way you see life and everyone in it.
It’s worth the time!
…(even though sometimes it can look complicated) – there are endless resources out there! Go on any social media platform and type in “Enneagram” and you will be kept busy for days. If flipping pages and putting the first crease in the spine of a new book is your thing then go that route. Maybe podcasts are your jam, there’s lots of those out there too. Perhaps you’re not a reader and want to witness the Types come to life, which means panels might be right up your alley – you can purchase all nine panels that we facilitated this Summer here! And if you’re looking for some one-on-one or two-on-two Enneagram focused work, we’re your people! We promise you will not be disappointed. If you want to learn more about how to get started with the Enneagram check out the blog Dr. K wrote!
Over the next couple of weeks, we are going to be sharing about our favorite way to use the Enneagram – in relationship! We will be covering the do’s and don’ts when using the Enneagram in your relationships (number one is below!), harnessing its power in conflict, breaking through the resistance to change with somatic work, and why it’s so beneficial for couples work (even when you aren’t struggling as a couple).
Using the Enneagram in your relationship is a powerful way to enhance your bond. It helps us see our partner, know our partner, and love our partner – even in and ESPECIALLY in the hard stuff. That being said, there are some helpful (aka not harmful) ways to use it together. Since the Enneagram is truly a sacred tool, when used as such it is a powerful map to healing and growth within yourself and with others that we need to be mindful with. It can be extremely vulnerable to feel and be so seen by others, and it is in this place that we encourage you to remember and embody a few key points.
Learning the Enneagram means that you are learning the innermost workings of what it means to be human, this of course includes the pain, struggle, and reactivity, which is the kind of information that needs to be held with so much care. Using it in an accusatory way will immediately cause the other person to feel defensive.
Here’s a simple and a little silly example, let’s say you are married to a Type One. You clean up dinner, put the dishes in the dishwasher, and pat yourself on the back for a job well done – but before you know it, your partner is reorganizing the entire thing. Now you feel unappreciated and say something like “Nothing I do is ever right or good enough because you’re a One!”. This type of attack can often trigger the other person, putting them on the defense, which starts conflict.
Not only can this negatively impact your relationship, it can affect their desire for growth. Making cruel comments about Type is one of the quickest ways to get others to put up their walls. By using it against someone you are engaging in behavior that establishes separation, which is the opposite of what we want in relationship.
So, what can we do instead?
Have a sense of humor.
A playful spirit while doing the deep work is something that we instill in all the clients that we work with.
How is this different than weaponizing?
Weaponizing is meant to hurt, humor helps us heal.
Having a sense of humor with couples work and the Enneagram means removing the blame and shame that erodes relationships and inserting laughter and lightness.
That is what brings you together and creates closeness.
To begin this practice: Try calling yourself out with some lightheartedness. “Well here I am reorganizing the dishwasher you loaded because my One brain says it isn’t perfect!”
This instance may be with something small and trivial, but these patterns and behaviors play out in ALL areas of life.
How we do one thing, is how we do everything.
When you learn to call yourself out with humor, it lets your partner know that you see your own pattern and invites them to laugh with you. This builds a safer, and more loving, place to begin to explore new ways a being together.
Have you experienced the power of being lighthearted?
Have you witnessed how it moves the heaviness?
Amanda & Dylan
Up Next: Do/Don’t Number Two!