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The 3 triangles | 9-3-6 | 1-4-7 | 2-5-8

When I was at the 2017 IEA (International Enneagram Association) conference in Helsinki this September, both as a presenter and an attendee, a session that got my attention was led by Viviana Trucco, a psychologist from Argentina. Viviana works with her clients in intricate ways, including elaborate assessment and mapping on multiple Enneagram dimensions.

The part of her presentation that truly ignited some new thinking on my part was an exercise she led by placing us in groups based on the 3 triangles: | 9-3-6 | 1-4-7 | 2-5-8. Although there are many ways to understand these triangle formations, and I am pursuing these in many forms, Viviana had a very interesting take on them and so I share them here, followed by some comments directly from Viviana. She labels these 3 triangles the “unconscious emotional backgrounds” that align with the 3 enneatype groupings.

9-3-6 | unconscious emotional background | attachment challenges | the robotic or habitual ego
Summary | These 3 types rely on their habitual ways of functioning, ways that block them from full access to their body, heart and/or mind. For the body (most obvious in type 9): an awakened body stability. For the heart (most obvious in type 3): a truly open heart. For the mind (most obvious in type 6): a self-confident, still mind.
Type 9 | Needing familiar environments, relationships and comfort, as well as routines and a sense of wellness to return them a profound “sense of self”.
Type 3 | Needing to impact people through promoting a positive impression of themselves to provide a profound “sense of identity”.
Type 6 | Searching for something to rely on in a permanent way to feel safe – for example, constantly downloading information, looking to others for guidance, and/or creating continuous anticipatory scenarios – to provide a profound “sense of direction, guidance and support”.

1-4-7 | unconscious emotional background | frustration challenges | the hungry ego
Summary | These 3 types are constantly searching for fulfillment, are continuously disenchanted, and feel that nothing is ever enough to fully satisfy them.
Type 1 | Experiencing continuous disappointment from expecting situations and people to meet specific standards, but then nothing works as it should and they always have to be the person to fix it.
Type 4 | Longing for something that might have been perfect once, but then missing it and longing for it once again.
Type 7 | Continuously believing something will be great, but then needing to quit or stop due to lack of stimulation and full satisfaction.

2-5-8 | unconscious emotional background | rejection challenges | the overcompensated/defended ego
Summary | Protecting by not showing all of oneself, not trusting others, and engaging in overcompensating behavior, believing others may reject them if they do reveal themselves more fully and without the overcompensating behavior.
Type 2 | Protecting by focusing on others and acting as if they have no needs and overcompensating by showing care and offering assistance and resources to others.
Type 5 | Protecting by minimizing own needs, limiting others’ dependence on them, and keeping distance from others and overcompensating by demonstrating their intellectuality and maintaining their autonomy.
Type 8 | Protecting by acting powerful enough to protect others while simultaneously hiding their own vulnerabilities and overcompensating by being strong, dominant and invulnerable.

From Viviana herself: “What was remarkable about this was the insights from the conversations we had in these mixed type groups, organized by our triangles. Although I imagine a type group discussion would have been productive, these triangle dialogues were an incredible way to understand the 3 versions of the same fundamental challenges.”

Viviana Trucco is an Enneagram teacher and psychologist from Argentina who has also created the TEGMI 9D Model, an online Enneagram assessment that includes 9 personalized colored maps of the 9 dimensions of your personality. viviana.trucco@gmail.com | www.vivianatrucco.com.ar