Learning Your Patterns Can Enhance Your Relationships
The Enneagram is a powerful map to help us identify our 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 all of them. We call this our “personality,” and it is what we commonly reference when we think of how we either do or don’t get along with others.
Once we have identified our patterns and Enneagram type, we have a clearer window into the quality of our relationships — first and foremost, our ability to recognize the part we play in any interaction with others. Knowing this sets the stage for a more meaningful relationship with ourselves and others.
As we recognize and grow in our awareness of what is going on inside ourselves, we can take more responsibility for our individual and separate perceptions and reactions. Once we own them, we’re better able to see that others may not share those same perceptions and reactions. As we grow in our understanding that there are varied points of view among others, we are less likely to personalize differences and misunderstandings we have with them. Through this process, an opening can occur that shows us another, more expansive and inclusive way to be, and eases our reactivity.
In addition, knowing our patterns and seeing more clearly the patterns of others increases our tolerance and acceptance. It is much easier to manage conflict when we know that everyone, of every type, is operating from their unique movement toward or away from conflict. This knowledge can help build stronger teams and families, and once we know the strengths of each type, we can learn from others who may have skills or talents we don’t possess.
Renee Siegel, MA, LISAC, NCGC-II, BACC, LMT, HHP