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Development | frustration

You throw the sand against the wind; and the wind blows it back again. ~ William Blake

The Enneagram can help each of us, based on our enneatype, deal far better with frustration.

Enneagram Ones
Ones get easily frustrated when quality slips, people are not on time, standards are not being adhered to, mistakes are made, and more. All of this is understandable, yet does frustration really help the situation? Instead try this: Breathe deeply so you become calm; laugh at the situation so you become playful; and be thankful that these human frustrations are simply part of daily life and you are part of it.

Enneagram Twos
Twos get really frustrated when people get themselves in difficulty especially after the two has offered very wise and practical advice. Twos also get frustrated when other people “shoot themselves in the foot” – in other words, make decisions with obvious negative consequences and, thus, self-sabotage. And Twos get frustrated when they speak up, yet do not get taken seriously. Instead, try this: Let others make what you consider to be “stupid” mistakes and allow them to bear the consequences. In addition, when you want to be heard, find your personal power deep inside your gut as well as your heart and speak from there!

Enneagram Threes
Threes get especially frustrated when obstacles occur in their pathway; when others don’t do what they said they would do – this applies personally as well as professionally; and when they are trying to express what they feel and want, yet the words don’t come easily. Instead, try this: Get into your body through breathing, exercise or whatever works for you, and ask your heart and your gut what you feel and what you want. Then sit back and “go with the flow” rather than try to control or change the movement of things and events.

Enneagram Fours
Fours get frustrated over many things and then become frustrated over their frustration. This double frustration, of course, makes them more frustrated. Many things frustrate Fours: people not understanding, superficiality, not manifesting exactly as they want, and more. Instead, try this: Find your sense of balance in your body, through breathing, exercising, centering, meditation, or whatever works best for you. Suddenly, you’ll find a different relationship to your frustration.

Enneagram Fives
Although they may not show it, Fives get frustrated by other people, by work projects, and by their own behavior. There is so much that’s frustrating, and not feeling comfortable expressing it outwardly is also frustrating. Instead, try this: Create a mantra for yourself that feels and sounds good. For example, when you get frustrated, say this: The world, including me, is full of so much nonsense. Let me scream once, get it out, and be done with it! Or, you could try this: I am enough; there is enough; let me laugh!

Enneagram Sixes
Sixes live in a world of frustration. Overthinking everything, as they do so often, breeds mental frustration. When things go awry, frustration. And Sixes also get frustrated with themselves for over-ruminating, over-planning and over-worrying. Instead, try this: Take a walk, breathe, and really let the oxygen in without, of course, hyperventilating. This is a great way to simply stop or slow the mental machinations.

Enneagram Sevens
Sevens have low frustration tolerance, which is a problem because they get frustrated easily – for example, something or someone that takes too long, in their estimation. The word “no” also frustrates them. Sitting still frustrates them. Not getting what they want quickly also frustrates them. Instead, try this: Sit down, be still, and breathe. Practice this over and over many times a day. It’s not the same as taking 3 deep breathes so you don’t explode; it’s actually intended to help you get more centered and more receptive.

Enneagram Eights
Eights, of course, do get frustrated. For example, they get frustrated when people don’t do what they are supposed to or don’t take responsibility for their own behavior. But Eights tend to get angry more than frustrated, and when they get angry, Eights take action, usually big action. Frustration, a milder form of anger, typically occurs only when Eights try repeatedly to get the something to happen and it does not. Instead, try this: Say what you want directly and respectively, and problem solve the situation with the other person or persons. Think of this as enlisting capable others rather than commanding them.

Enneagram Nines
Nines get frustrated, yet it takes them a long time to even be aware of it. Given this lag time, the frustration actually builds inside until they either somatize it – that is, become physically ill in some way due to the stress of holding in their reactions – or they eventually explode outwardly. There are, however, are other options available. Instead, try this: When you don’t like something, you’ll feel it – even if it is slight – somewhere in your body. Notice this and ask yourself: What is this? Allow the answer to appear, then express it.

Ginger Lapid-Bogda PhD, the author of six best-selling Enneagram-business books, is a speaker, consultant, trainer, and coach. She provides certification programs for 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 her website: TheEnneagramInBusiness.com. ginger@theenneagraminbusiness.com

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