Often, what we dislike most in others reflects the inner-work we most need to explore for our own development. Here are the top three dislikes for each Enneagram type, followed by an important development suggestion.
Mistakes of all kinds, including grammar, spelling, and punctuation
Development suggestion | Examine the pressure you put on yourself to meet your exceedingly high standards. Do you need them all? Can you relax them to some degree? Doing so will soften your reactivity to your top three dislikes and enhance your development.
Being taken for granted
Others being treated abusively
Development suggestion | All these items relate to others, paying attention to other people, but not to yourself. Can you start paying more attention to yourself instead of focusing so much of your time and energy on others? Doing so will soften your reactivity to your top three dislikes and enhance your development.
Being treated as if you’re a nobody
Development suggestion | Can you read between the lines that you need to always be on the go, be doing something, or creating a positive impression? Can you be more in being instead of constantly needing to be doing something? Pick one thing you love and totally engage in that from the inside out, from a place of being. Doing so will soften your reactivity to your top three dislikes and enhance your development.
Not knowing what you are seeking or missing
Being ignored or slighted
Someone breaking off a connection before you are ready
Development suggestion | All these dislikes connect to feelings of deficiency or not feeling deeply connected to yourself and others. What if these feelings are only feelings and not objectively true? What if you are good enough as you are or not any more deficient than anyone else? What if the connectivity is already there, but exists at a deeper level than everyday interactions? Reflecting on this will soften your reactivity to your top three dislikes and enhance your development.
Development suggestion | Notice how all three dislikes are the opposite of how you think of yourself – for example, you think of yourself as non-intrusive, knowledgeable and non-emotional. But non-intrusive may mean you are not as assertive as you could be and this can limit your ability to manifest in the world; being knowledgeable is a positive trait, but what might you be ignoring by focusing so much on information; and being non-emotional can be detrimental to close relationships. Reflecting on this will soften your reactivity to your top three dislikes and enhance your development.
Unpredictable or unjust authority figures
Having others say, “You are imagining things”
Untrustworthy behavior in others
Development suggestion | These dislikes are all about trust: trusting or not trusting authority figures, others saying you can’t trust your own mind, and your not trusting other people. Trust, for Sixes as for everyone, begins with trusting oneself. Count the ways you do trust yourself; make a list. Keeping adding to the list. Doing so will soften your reactivity to your top three dislikes and enhance your development.
Not being listened to
Development suggestion | The song “Don’t fence me in” is a classic representation of type Seven, and all the above dislikes relate to that. Even not being listened to causes Sevens to feel limited in terms of their engagement with others. What would happen if you decided to create some boundaries – not too many – that would support your inner work, your relationships, and your ability to take more action in the world? Reflecting on this will soften your reactivity to your top three dislikes and enhance your development.
People who act like victims
Being blind-sided, especially by someone you trust
People not taking responsibility for their own behavior
Development suggestion | Never a victim; continuously straightforward; and always taking responsibility for everything you do. Is that always true of you? Be very honest, and you will recognize that you do feel the victim at times, do blind-side others, and don’t always take full responsibility for everything you do. Recognizing this will soften your reactivity to your top three dislikes and enhance your development.
People who don’t listen to others
Development suggestion | You probably think others do the things listed above – and you never or rarely do – and you might be right about this. But consider this. Do you listen to others at the expense of listening to yourself? Do chronic complainers bother you, partly because you rarely complain about anything, but give up your voice in the process? Do you perceive people as pushy when some of them may simply be asserting themselves and showing leadership qualities? Reflecting on these questions will soften your reactivity to your top three dislikes and enhance your development.
Ginger Lapid-Bogda PhD, the author of seven Enneagram-business books, is a speaker, consultant, trainer, and coach. She provides certification programs and training tools for business professionals around the world who want to bring the Enneagram into organizations with high-impact business applications, and is past-president of the International Enneagram Association. Visit: TheEnneagramInBusiness.com | firstname.lastname@example.org