Home | Blog | Enneagram Theory: Fixations (Habits of Mind) – Flattery

Enneagram Theory: Fixations (Habits of Mind) – Flattery

 

This 3rd blog in a series on how all of us exhibit the Fixations (Habits of Mind) normally associated with only one of the Enneagram styles begins with Flattery: the gaining of acceptance through giving compliments or other forms of attention to others. We typically associate Flattery with Twos, but read on:

Enneagram One
Here are just some ways in which Ones engage in thinking that leads to flattery:
* Thinking about how to be polite and well-mannered toward others in cases where they actually prefer not to do this
* Making logical excuses for the poor character or behavior of another because this person exhibits some quality of excellence
* Deleting negative thoughts about someone they despise as a way to not experience their anger toward this person (aka reaction formation)

Enneagram Two
Here are just some ways in which Twos engage in thinking that leads to flattery:
* Thinking about what a person might need from you
* Thinking that you should do something you really don’t want to do and then doing it, all so you won’t feel like a selfish person
* Thinking through how to engage another in conversation about him or her and not at all about you

Enneagram Three
Here are just some ways in which Threes engage in thinking that leads to flattery:
* Thinking about how to create a positive impression in another’s eyes by pretending to be more interested in the other person than you actually are
* Thinking through how to engage famous or important people so that some of their celebrity rubs off on you
* Not sharing all of your thoughts (particularly the negative ones) about another person out of concern of disrupting your image or your relationship

Enneagram Four
Here are just some ways in which Fours engage in thinking that leads to flattery:
* After comparing themselves to others and coming up deficient in their own minds, thinking overly positive thoughts about the other person
* Acting interested, making conversation, and paying attention to another when what they are really thinking is that they want to disengage
* Assuming (introjecting) something another says about you as if it is truer than your own true self-knowledge (Isn’t it a form of flattery to honor someone else’s opinion over your own, when you know more about yourself and your intentions than this person?)

Enneagram Five
Here are just some ways in which Fives engage in thinking that leads to flattery:
* Thinking there is something wrong with them for not liking “small talk” when others seem to like it just fine (flattering by thinking there is something “right” with the other)
* Continuing a conversation with someone about a topic they have little interest in
* Deciding to not share information they actually do have because they don’t think they know enough about the topic, yet still being present to a conversation with others who may know less than they do

Enneagram Six
Here are just some ways in which Sixes engage in thinking that leads to flattery:
* Mentally idealizing people who they want to think are all “good”
* Thinking and making “nice” comments that may not be entirely accurate in order to placate others or keep the peace
* Thinking it’s not OK to say what they really think to someone when anticipating a possible negative reaction

Enneagram Seven
Here are just some ways in which Sevens engage in thinking that leads to flattery:
* Thinking about a possibility suggested by another merely because it engages them and the other, not because it was a very good idea at all
* Reframing a comment made by another that was actually disparaging, but making it seem to themselves and others that it was a kind and generous statement
* Thinking (often unconsciously) about how to befriend authority figures through forms of flattering attention as a way to neutralize (in the Seven’s mind) the authority’s potential ability to limit the Seven’s freedom in any way

Enneagram Eight
Here are just some ways in which Eights engage in thinking that leads to flattery:
* Thinking strategically about how to “win over” a potential opponent through flattering him or her and appealing to that person’s ego or self-interest
* Thinking that it is better to not say something that could be construed as negative, thus using deletion as a form of flattery
* Acting completely interested in someone and then abruptly disappearing or “dropping” from engagement (which raises the question of the degree of sincerity of the interest in the first place)

Enneagram Nine
Here are just some ways in which Nines engage in thinking that leads to flattery:
* Staying in conversations and even engaging in them far longer than the discussion or person is interesting, thinking how to continue it so as not to be rude
* Thinking about how to draw out the opinions of others, even when the other person is not a particularly effective or insightful thinker
* Thinking about how to offer time, energy, and resources to someone about whom you don’t have a high opinion or even care about, just to be a “nice” person and avoid conflict

These are simply examples of how all of us engage in the Mental Habits normally associated with a specific Enneagram style. Why are these Habits (Fixations) associated more with one style than another? That particular Enneagram style just does it more often and in more situations so that it becomes part of their mental wiring! And further, the particular mental Habit functions to keep the personality in place!

Stay tuned for the next blogs about how each of us engage in Vanity, Melancholy, and more.

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of
X