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Enneagram type-based obstacles to relationships

Enneagram type-based obstacles to relationships | overview

People are always curious about what type gets along best with other types in terms of friendships, families, and the ever-important romantic relationships. While the Enneagram can illuminate why two types – or even the people of the same type – get along well and why they may not, it doesn’t mean the two types get along better. In the end, it’s not type, it’s self-mastery level that counts.

I always speak to the importance of self-mastery in enhancing relationships of any kind: the higher the self-mastery, the better the relationships with others. Individuals at higher self-mastery levels are less reactive and more self-regulating. In addition, what also matters is that both people in the relationship are at a similar self-mastery level. In other words, two people with low-self-mastery will have a volatile relationship, but the relationship dynamics may be exactly what they want. Two individuals, both at moderate self-mastery, will get along most of the time, but when one or both get reactive, the relationship will struggle. Two high-self-mastery individuals, no matter what their types, more typically navigate the world of relationship more adroitly, taking responsibility for their part of an issue and communicating effectively with the other person about what be that person’s issues. And because both people are less reactive in general, they tend to have fewer issues arise between them.

Although many Enneagram teachers and authors fall into the trap of saying that certain types go better together, one author – actually co-authors – did not: the late David Daniels MD and his co-author Suzanne Dion, who beautifully completed the book once David could no longer do so. Their focus is on each of us according to type and what we need to do to have better and more loving relationships. I do recommend it: The Enneagram, Relationships, and Intimacy: Understanding One Another Leads to Loving Better and Living More Fully. Published in 2018, it is available on amazon.com.

In this 10-part blog series, each blog will cover a different Enneagram type, focusing on one essential way – of course, there are many ways per type – they get in their own way of having real relationships with others. These can be seen on the graphic above. Diving deeper, the blogs will connect the particular way the types creates specific obstacles in genuine relating to the issues and dynamics of that type. In addition, there is one activity, process or idea that can relax or relieve this ego-based way we constrain ourselves from having what we deeply want in relationships.

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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