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Learn to lessen your primary defense mechanism | Type 9

Learn to lessen your primary defense mechanism | Type 9

After our most recent 9-part blog series on the topic of how our defense mechanisms serve as guardians of our type-based ego structures, many people asked for ideas about how to work with and lessen our defense mechanisms. This new 9-part series responds to that request. Please note that we all use many defense mechanisms, each type has a particular defense that arises when we are the most throttled, anxious, sad or angry. In addition, defense mechanisms serve a protective function, so it is neither realistic nor even desirable to try to remove them completely, lessening them and relaxing them, however, can be beneficial in reducing our ego-structure’s hold on our development and transformation, both psychologically and spiritually.

The Nine’s primary defense mechanism | narcotization
Narcotization is a psychological defense mechanism in which Nines unconsciously numb themselves to avoid something that feels too large, complex, difficult, or uncomfortable to handle. Nines narcotize and distract themselves by engaging in prolonged rhythmic activities that are familiar, require very little attention, and provide comfort – for example, washing the dishes; working in the garden; continuous pleasure reading of books by the same author or within the same genre; going for a walk or a bike ride; engaging in frequent or extended casual conversations; or continuously changing channels on the TV. Nines also use daily routines such as morning or evening rituals to immunize themselves from being fully aware, and they feel agitated, irritated, or disoriented when these repetitive activities become disrupted. Most Nines engage in narcotizing activities on a regular basis, but they do this most often when they feel pressured, uncertain, angry, anxious about their capabilities to do something, discounted or overlooked, and more.

How to lessen narcotization
Engage in a full body scan
You don’t need an X-ray or an MRI, just yourself. Once a day, or more if you like, start any place in your body and ask yourself, What do I experience in my body here? Then move to another area of your body, close to where you began and ask the same question. Continue this process throughout your entire body. If there is no answer to your question, just notice that and move to another area, repeating the same question. Some people find it easier to start at their head and move down. Others prefer to start at their feet and move upward. Choose whatever works best for you. Doing this daily supports your body awareness and somatic intelligence. In addition, it helps you get in touch with physical sensations and emotional feelings. In other words, it can help “wake you up.”

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 | ginger@theenneagraminbusiness.com

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