Magic in relationships
by Veronica Croft
As we begin to embrace the Enneagram other people magically begin to make sense.
Most relationship problems come about because of the differences between people. When someone is being ‘difficult’, most of us blame or criticise the other party for being like that and then we can end up feeling frustrated or angry. So that we can feel better about the situation we want them to be different to the way they are - and then perhaps we say (or only think) things like: “If you weren’t like that, we wouldn’t have a problem.” “Why don’t you…?” “You should…” “If only you didn’t…” What we really mean is that we want them to be more like us!
However, if this person is not the same personality type as you they can never be like you - and if they were, you would almost certainly not be involved in this conflict.
Are you fluent in Three-ness?
People of the same type ‘talk the same language’. They tend to have the same sort of attitudes, interact in similar ways and experience similar challenges in life, with the same sort of emotional and behavioural responses. If you have someone in your life who is your own type, you will have noticed this. I have a niece who is a Two (as I am) and it has often been said within the family that she ‘takes after’ her Auntie Veronica. Of course, the traits we share are not inherited; it is because we are the same type. I also have a close friend who is a Two and when she is telling me about something that’s happened to her I always know how she felt because I would have felt like that too!
Different type, different experience.
Each of the nine types actually experiences the world differently.
Have you ever been with someone - watching a film, or attending some event - and realised that they have reacted very differently from you? And wondered why? Why don’t they see things your way? The truth is, if the person you were with is not the same number as you, they actually DID experienced the event differently.
For example, a Six and a Seven were watching a motor rally together. The Seven, one who likes excitement and activity and wants to try everything, pointed out how thrilling it was and said he would like to have a go at it as soon as possible. But the Six, being the sort of person who is careful and acutely aware of possible problems, pointed out what might go wrong and what terrible injuries happen to people who engage in sports like this.
So what happened? Well, the Seven viewed the Six as a stick in the mud and boring whereas the Six considered the Seven’s attitude as reckless and irresponsible! Both believed the other was wrong. With the help of the Enneagram they would both have perceived the other party’s attitude in a wholly different way. While not necessarily agreeing with the other’s point of view, at least they could have been accepting and understanding of the differences between them.
The Enneagram enables us to embrace the differences between people instead of fighting against them.
It helps us allow others to be who they are and to bring kindness and compassion to their attitudes, frailties and foibles instead of judging or complaining.
“There are as many different worlds as there are perceivers or beings or individuals. You are not here to create one world where everyone is the same, wanting and getting the same. You are here to be that which you are, while you allow all others to be that which they are.”