By Renee Siegel, MA, LISAC, NCGC-II, BACC, LMT, HHP
The Enneagram is a useful map in helping you to identify your patterns of thought, feelings, behaviors, and sensate experiences. Although we are much more than these components alone, we show up in the world as a compilation of our thoughts, feelings, behaviors and sensate experiences. We call this personality and this is what we commonly reference when we think of how we either do or do not get along with others in our lives.
Once you have identified your own patterns or your type, there are many benefits to be seen in your relationships. First and foremost, your ability to recognize yourself and the part you play in any interaction is the beginning. This identification sets the stage for having a meaningful relationship with self, and with others.
In recognizing and growing awareness of what is going on inside ourselves, each of us can take responsibility for our individual and separate perceptions and reactions. Once owned as our own, we can perhaps see that others do not share those same perceptions. As we grow our understanding that there are varied perceptions, we are less likely to personalize any differences in perceptions or disagreements we have with others. Through this process, an opening occurs allowing for another possibility to be. This eases reactivity we encounter.
Other benefits to knowing your patterns and perhaps the patterns of others in your life are that you grow tolerance and acceptance of others. It is much easier to manage conflict when you know that each type is operating from their movement toward or away from conflict. Building strong teams and families are aided by knowing patterns. Once we know strengths of type, we can approach others that may have skills or talents that we do not to assist us in our projects or other endeavors.