It seems like lots of folks these days are asking “What’s your enneagram number?” or saying things like “She must be a 2.” The enneagram has experienced a renewed interest over the last few years. And if you don’t know what it is, the enneagram has actually been around for a very long time and is a way of understanding how people experience the world. Like many, I’ve been trying to understand myself and others better through the lens of the enneagram. Awhile ago, I read The Road Back to You and found the teaching and insight really helpful. That book helped me understand myself better.
But I don’t live in a vacuum. I live in relationship with the people around me. My husband. My children. My friends. The people at church. Colleagues. My kids’ teachers and coaches and friends. Even the people in the checkout at the grocery. We all live in relationship with the people around us. So as I continue to better understand myself as a 3 with a 2 wing, I also want to better understand how my unique way of being in the world interacts with others’ unique way of being in the world. As I understand how my “3-ness” bumps up against other personalities, I can better live into my calling as wife/mother/pastor.
The Path Between Us has helped me better understand. As I read through the book, I got better insight into myself and the strengths/weaknesses in my relationships. For example, as a 3 who is married to a 7, we need to remember how crucial boundaries and communication are for us. We both tend to over do it (although in very different areas and in very different ways) and need to communicate plans and limits and honor our physical/mental/emotional capacities. We also have a tendency to be dismissive of how the other feels, so being vulnerable is listening and sharing is important.
But with two of my colleagues who are a 9, our unique interactions are different. While I’m prone to action, my colleagues who are a 9 are prone to waiting. Neither is wrong, yet it is an important dynamic to be aware of when we are working collaboratively and making decisions. I need to be careful to give them the time they need to process and they can use my energy in making decisions.
Suzanne Stabile does all this teaching through stories, concrete examples, and easy to understand language. If you are familiar with the enneagram and want to explore deeper, particularly in how people interact with one another, I highly recommend The Path Between Us!