Traveling with the Enneagram

A Type Five and a couple of Type Twos took a trip, and the some of the differences were text book.

On the plane, when a baby was crying the Type 5 picked up a magazine and gave them privacy, the Type Twos were twisting around in their seats trying to offer help and solutions…  the Type Five had researched the itinerary and had maps and suggestions in a folder, the Type Twos were so appreciative and the Type Twos offered help with luggage and shared their resources readily which the Type Five needed having packed minimally…  and when invited to a large gathering, the Type Twos arrived early and were trying to help set up and talk to the leader, and see what was needed, the Type Five was in the car, getting some quiet time before the (somewhat draining) main event…

What they enjoyed that the weekend, was the adventure, weather and outings with each other and the chance to debrief with someone who shared the wonderful experience.  What joy to have good friends that help us in our weak areas and appreciate our strengths!

 

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True Braveheart

The personality Dot is fascinating, as it seems to be the effort of our True Self to have a safe identity out in the world.  Born into families and cultures with values, and certain behaviors and feelings that are affirmed, we as clever little tykes quickly figure how to get our needs met by developing certain identities. Below is a list of common identities we can use:

Common Compensatory Identities

Why is understanding your Acting Identity important?  Because even though you bring the gift of yourself somewhere in the role, there are automatic reactions from the chosen identity that keep you from really connecting to others and feeling the kind of joy we usually reserve for celebrations and special occasions.

For instance, if you are the Angry One you tend to attack and push your energy/opinions forward or if you’re the Easy Going One you may withhold/withdraw and even though these actions keep you safe in the short run, they don’t make for respectful connections that bring the sense of being understood and loved – because your heart is not open.

So a braveheart for the Angry One: take a deep breath (Holy Spirit time) and truly listen, or for the Easy Going One: take a deep breath (equally Holy Spirit time) and put some words out there. True actions open opportunities for true interactions, and love is found in that space between.

Jane Austen, PhD in personalities

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Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often
used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to
our opinion of ourselves; vanity, to what we would have others think of us.
  -Jane Austen

Before modern personality assessments, there was Jane Austin. Her observations on the different behaviors and motivation are really perceptive.  The people that she creates, complete with history, preferences and values, make for some well rounded, unforgettable characters. She seems especially fond of exploring the difference between the task oriented and the heart oriented, between the practical and the romantic (idealist, adventure – not necessarily flowers and chocolate).

From Pride and Prejudice, I feel most akin to some Elizabeth and some Mary characteristics, I do love to read and discuss, and it must be for love and deeper values that everything is done, but I can be a party pooper and melancholic about issues/events that others enjoy.

What is your favorite Jane Austen book/movie?  To which character do you most relate?

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Yes, but…

There are people who listen and people who don’t, and then there are the folks who listen and say, “Yes, but…”.  I vote to kick them out of the listeners’ group. It feels like tires spinning on an icy road, there is no traction. You say something, and they don’t disagree, instead they slant the conversation by comparing what you said with something bigger, better or often, someone worse off.  An observant friend commented that even “No, but…” is a more engaging comment, at least they are tracking with you and have something to add.

In any case, you don’t feel listened to and it’s hard to return to the original point. Sometimes the slant is spoken casually, and sometimes with passion because there is hot spot in the topic for the listener.

Wouldn’t it be helpful if the listener would wave a flag?


BEWARE:

This topic = Fireworks!!


I’d like to suggest universal speaking and listening etiquette:

1. Speaker: states topic, opinion or idea without interruption, for up to 3 minutes. (I’ve read where most people can’t listen for more than 17 seconds without interrupting; well my family has broken that record, easily).
2. Listener: summarizes what is said before changing the topic or even asking a follow-up question.
3. Speaker: ‘thanks for listening’ – acknowledge the time/energy spent caring about your thoughts or feelings, this is a gift.

Truth or kindness?

Ever notice how rare it is to find someone who speaks truth in a kind way? Many of us have to be worked up to spout off the truth, and then in ways that are not helpful.

Truth alone can be brutal                                           Kindness alone can be people pleasing

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TRUTH baked in the oven of KINDNESS can be digested and used to nourish.

Getting through – the 3 Minute Check In

The ASAP access of social media and instant messaging makes old fashion phone calls seem outdated.  Dialing up someone and waiting for it to ring, then having a conversation where you give attention to one person and what they have to say…  what a quaint notion.

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Are there any teenagers or young adults in your life? Try the 3 Minute Check In. My kids will pick up now that I have instituted this format.  There is often a reason for the call, but I have thought about it and have three minutes to check in with them as well, how are they – what’s up recently, and then my idea, request or question.

If you have older friends or relatives that still use the phone to stay in touch, it might be good to think of your own adaptation of the 3 Minute Check In.  If Aunt Martha reports on every physical ailment and condition of her and her neighbors, you might try the 10 Minute Check In.   Just the structure of the time frame might help to eliminate organize topics.

Whether it’s a land line, a hand held or the latest cell phone there is a place for the voice to voice conversations, especially when travelling, to help you feel connected.  Skype was a challenge for this tech resistant caller, until our daughter was studying abroad – then it was a magic portal into her international experience.  How do you best connect with your friends and loved ones?