The Enneagram is a personality map that I use as a tool to help others transcend their egos. Most of us believe that what we experience is what others experience as well. The Enneagram teaches us that we all interpret and perceive the world in completely different ways. This is why we have conflict with others and why their actions seem so perplexing. I invite you to stop projecting yourself onto others and discover what others really need when in conflict.
If you do not know your Enneagram type, I encourage you to take a typing test. However, all you need to ask yourself in this moment is: Do you make decisions with your head, heart or gut? The other whom you are in conflict with; do they make decisions with their head, heart or gut? Once you have your answers, read below!
Enneagram types 5, 6 and 7 process conflict by gathering information and asking inquisitive questions. They want to know the entire thought process that others had that led to this conflict. They want to understand the logical process of others. Often, this questioning can feel like an interrogation. My advice is to breathe and answer the questions honestly. Validation of their fears and thoughts are very powerful, as well. Also, letting head types retreat and giving them time to process the information allows them to release emotion, forgive and forget. Once given this time, 5, 6 and 7’s often drop all resentment. It is important for others in conflict with a head type to bring the conflict back out into the open if they feel like there is something left unresolved. The head type may have already moved on!
Heart types are usually external processors. They need to express and work through their emotions by speaking them out loud. Often, until heart types do this, they may not even realize how they feel! For 2, 3 and 4’s, conflict resolution must be approached in a soft and tender way. Relationships are the most important aspect of life to heart types. So to be in conflict with others is really hurtful for them. That is why creating a safe and non-judgmental space will encourage true open communication. Heart types are scared to show you the dark aspects of themselves as they fear being unlovable. Make sure they know that you love them unconditionally.
If you are an 8, 9 or 1, you most likely have never asked yourself what you need in a moment of conflict. That is because gut types are the most self-forgetting Enneagram types. Their antennae is almost larger than themselves and they tend to forget about what they need because they are so attuned to others. 8, 9 and 1’s often find themselves perplexed that others cannot pick up on what they need because they are so good at it! When in conflict, ask gut types what they need to feel supported. They may not know but they will be appreciated being asked! As well, gut types often feel nourished by physical touch. A hug can be really healing, however make sure to ask beforehand. Don’t offer solutions but accept and acknowledge their anger and allow space for expression.
The Enneagram is a powerful map that teaches us the totality of the human experience. It shows us how we can weave with another soul to create the world we want to live in. It creates space for the appreciation of the blessings you and I have to transmit. The three intelligence centers (the head, the heart and the gut) are different modes of perception. And once you stop projecting yourself on others and truly see them, you will truly see yourself.