Good News and Bad News

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We have reviewed the names of the Enneagram types and the basic survival decision each made. Each type can also be described with a brief list of four adjectives. These descriptions recognize that each type has both positive and negative qualities.

For example:

The One: The Reformer or Perfectionist is Principled and Orderly but Perfectionist and Self-righteous .

You probably notice that there are two positive traits and two negative traits. This is the "good news" and the "bad news" of personality. Usually we see the good news of our type, but have a difficult time recognizing the bad news even when others desperately try to point it out to us.

If you are a Perfectionist then you already know that you are principled and orderly. This is what you like and value about yourself. For a long time everyone around you has been desperately telling you that you are also perfectionist and self-righteous. They tell you that you always think your viewpoint is the best and the only possible way things can be. They also say that you never change your mind and seem to think that you are "better" than others.

Whenever you hear these comments you have no idea what people are talking about. These comments pass you by and make no sense. This could not possibly be you. You don’t know who they are talking about, but it definitely is not you.

The truth is that it is you, but you are unaware of it. These aspects of yourself live in the unconscious. They most likely create many problems for you as you unknowingly alienate others. This alienation will continue to happen until you accept these traits as your own and work to change them.

All nine types have the good news and the bad news of personality. Can you find yourself in the this list?

The Two: The Helper is Caring and Generous but Possessive and Manipulative.

The Three: The Motivator is Self-assured and Ambitious but Narcissistic and Hostile

The Four: The Individualist is Intuitive and Creative but Self-absorbed, and Depressive

The Five: The Thinker is Perceptive and Original but Provocative and Eccentric

The Six: The Loyalist is Likable and Dutiful but Dependent and Masochistic.

The Seven: The Enthusiast is Spontaneous and Accomplished but Excessive and Manic.

The Eight: The Leader is Self-confident and Decisive but Aggressive, and Combative.

The Nine: The Peacemaker is Peaceful and Reassuring but Passive and Neglectful.

Do these descriptions help you identify yourself or perhaps someone you know? Someone with whom you live or with whom you work? Remember that we all have our positive and negative traits. We must acknowledge and integrate both sets of characteristics if we are to grow towards wholeness.

Features of Personality

Beyond the names and adjectives of the types we can look at the basic common structures of each personality type. Each type has a:

Self-Image - The way they see themselves and want to be seen by others.
Compulsion - Something they must do in order to maintain the self-image.
Avoidance - Something they do not want to acknowledge about themselves.
Sin - Something that gets them off track in life’s journey.

Your neighboring numbers on the Enneagram also influence your personality style.


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