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Monday, 18 September 2017

The Enneagram Stress Arrow.

And Why It Makes Relationships Challenging.....or, Why Brendan Is Too Picky. :P

I've previously touched on the Enneagram here and there, but this post is going to go a bit more into it. And why one part of it - the Stress Arrow - makes finding the right person a damn nightmare.

Below is a picture of the Enneagram, with the Nine Types, as described by Riso-Hudson.


For those who haven't seen it mentioned previously, I'm a Four. The one called "The Individualist" here. Because we want to be the most special....

Now, you may notice a sort of pathway between the different numbers. This is quite intentional. The pathway is formed by two different shapes; firstly, an equilateral triangle that joins 9-6-3. I often refer to this as just 'the triangle' to myself, and talk about someone being 'on the triangle'. You find most guys will sit there quite happily. The other shape is a sort of hexagram that bounces between the other numbers; 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, and 8, though not in that order. If you start at 1, it then goes to 4, then 2, then 8, then 5, then 7, and back to 1. And this is where the Stress Arrow comes in.

The tricky part to remember is which way the arrow goes. So, to help, I've got it going both ways below. First the wrong way, and then the right way.
Path of Disintegration (bad)
Path of Integration (good!)
It can get a little bit confusing sometimes, so you don't have to get it straight away. If you can just remember one of the movements, then you can figure out how the rest go. Well, the rest on that cycle, anyway - either the six or the triangle.

So the idea is that with each Type, they have a direction along the path that they move when they are stressed, or not doing well (Path of Disintegration), and then a direction that they move when they are doing well, and growing (Path of Integration). A Four (that is, me), for example, will usually move to Two under stress, and One when they are growing. This does not mean that they become the One or the Two; but they start to exhibit either the better or the worse qualities of them, respectively. For instance, when moving towards the One, becoming more organised and objective.

How does this apply to relationships? Well.

Because my direction of Growth/Integration is towards the One, I find that also tends to represent what I'm looking for in a partner; because they are a good example of what I want to become more like, work more towards, etc. However, the opposite will be true for them. I will represent exactly what they don't want to become - unless they are already at an unhealthy place, and just don't know it yet. But then I probably wouldn't be drawn towards them as much. (Well, maybe. But then I have a thing for broken people. But that's a whole 'nother topic. [Which I probably won't do a post on. If I did a post on all the 'things' I have, it would get rather repetitive - more so than usual.])

On the other hand, a Two may be drawn towards me, because a Four looks like what is more healthy for them. But I would not return it in kind, because they represent what is unhealthy for me.

In short: what you like doesn't like you, and what likes you you don't like.

What he chases after will not let him draw close; neither will he let draw close that which chases him.

It's rather a quandary. But there you go. Relationships still seem to be working out for other people, so I must only assume it's no nail in the coffin. Just takes a bit of time. *sighs* Time....

NB: Diagrams are not my own. They, along with the information about the Stress Arrow, come from this website, which I heartily recommend if you want to learn more about the Enneagram.

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