Using the Enneagram to Create More Meaningful Relationships

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The enneagram can help us experience more meaningful and secure relationships in our lives. 

When you learn not just your enneagram type, but also all the layers of it (from wings, to triads, to stances, to parental orientations and so much more) you become more self-aware. That journey of self-discovery leads to important changes in your communication style with the person you love. Once you implement those changes in yourself, you will see and feel long-lasting benefits in your relationship. Those benefits come back to you in the forms of your partner loving you the way you crave most because you have been given the knowledge to understand yourself better.

We all know relationships are hard work. Unfortunately, there is this belief that the “other person” should have to do the work when the relationship becomes challenging. This limiting belief has destroyed what may have been a potentially rewarding relationship or marriage. The challenge really is to understand that EVERY one of us is flawed and that we should focus on our own self-growth before demanding it of others. 

However, this does not mean that everything is our fault. People in relationships get hung up on who should take the blame when we get in a challenging season. Focusing on making yourself a better person by understanding yourself better does not mean you are at fault. It means that we are capable of taking responsibility for our natural weaknesses, and then dedicating the time and energy it requires in to learning how to grow and avoid those weaknesses from becoming the downfall in the relationship.

Because we all have a different reality or perspective in our relationship, it’s so important to get to the root of what affects your perspective. Keep in mind, we are not just talking about romantic relationships here. We are talking about friendships, parental relationships and more. 

You have motivations, needs and fears that are different from the other person in the relationship. Because of this, your perspective on the challenges that come up within the relationship are different. When you get two different people coming from a different point of view, it can lead to walls being put up and blame being placed. But learning your enneagram type AND your partner’s enneagram type can be transformative and help you avoid these walls and the laying of blame. Instead, you can actually come from a place of understanding WHY and HOW they see things differently. Then, you can focus on your contribution to the challenge at hand.  

Sometimes, we are self-defeating without even realizing it. We don’t truly understand what’s really upsetting us because we haven’t taken the time to learn ourselves better and our partner better.

One example of this is that I used to argue with my husband of 20+ years to take out the trash. Can you relate?

Did he take out the trash when I ASKED? Yes. Did he remember to do it if I didn’t ask? No. 

So if I get angry about having to ask him to take out the trash, isn’t that more about my expectations of his memory skills than it is about his trash-taking-out skills? Yes. 

What was really behind my frustration or disappointment? The real answer is not even related to the trash itself. It was that I wanted to feel like he WANTS to take care of me by doing that Act of Service. However, after learning about the enneagram types and finding out that my amazing husband is a Nine, I was able to understand that sloth is one of his weaknesses. If you think about it… who really wants to take out the trash anyway? No one. So, learning about his ‘Nineness’ helped me stop being frustrated with the fact that he is not going to take the initiative to take out the trash until it needs to go out or until it affects him. That is not a reflection of how he feels about me. And it does not mean that he is irresponsible. It was a self-defeating pattern I was engaging in because it was one of those things that was not going to change, no matter how much I believed he should just want to take out the trash without asking to prove his love to me. Learning that him not taking out the trash had nothing to do with me was a big relief and one less challenge in our relationship. 

If you are in a relationship, one of the greatest gifts you can give your partner is to learn more about yourself by learning all the layers of your enneagram type. Learning their enneagram type is a great bonus. You can do this by reading Enneagram books, doing your research or booking an Enneagram Discovery Session with me. Just finding out your number and reading a few fun and interesting behaviors associated with your number is not enough to make the change. You need to dive deep and commit to truly unwrapping the many layers of your type. 

My available dates to book a session are listed here.

Once you learn about the deeper internal motivations and fears for both of you, you can come from a better place of understanding and contribute to the awesome growth of the relationship. 

Cheering you on my friend!

Much love,

Alicia

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Alicia Larkey, Enneagram Life Coach | Site design by Jessica Gingrich