Enneagram type-based obstacles to relationships | type 1
In this 10-part blog series, each blog covers a different Enneagram type, focusing on one essential way – of course, there are many 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 type creates specific obstacles in genuine relating to the issues and dynamics of that type. In addition, there will be 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.
Biggest obstacle | Criticizing self and others
Ones are known for being self-critical as well as for criticizing others. In the One’s best view of themselves, their self-criticism is a method for self-improvement and their criticism of others is a way of helping others be better. “I’m not criticizing you,” a One might say, “I simply trying to help you be better.” From the One perspective, “It can always be better; I can always be better; you can always be better!”
From a different perspective, great relationships – real, genuine, and intimate if they are – require acceptance of the other. Most people do not like feeling criticized by friends, family, co-workers, bosses and intimate others, and when they do feel criticized, people tend to become defensive, protective and often pull away from the person doing the criticizing. If closeness, trust, and a degree of ease are wanted in a real relationship, criticality is not an asset. In addition, Ones want to be accepted unconditionally, yet they are so self-critical, it is difficult for them to accept that someone would believe in them and accept them as they are. So what can Ones do about this?
Ones may confuse being honest – which Ones would see as an important value, part of the constellation related to integrity – with being real or genuine in a relationship with another person. Being honest is important, but being critical of someone, even if you feel critical, may be an expression of the One’s critical mind, not really a truthful or accurate statement about the other person. Someone who is chronically critical may be being honest in one sense, but just because we feel or think something doesn’t mean it is true or should be communicated to another person. Why? Because what we think may say so much more about us than the other person. It is our reaction, yet we think it is a true statement about them!
So, Ones can ask themselves this question: Is what I am thinking that is critical actually true about the other person or is it a thought that reflects more about me, what my concerns are, how my critical mind functions and what is underneath that way of thinking?
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