The Enneagram is an ancient and inspiringly accurate model of nine interconnected personality types with straight lines connecting each one to two other types and two curved “wings” connecting them to two types along the circle (see Figure 1).
I see the Enneagram as a tool for understanding ourselves and our partners in an entirely new light. At the core of it, I see the Enneagram as a ways of saying, Here’s how to deal with me; A roadmap to understanding the real me. This is of course a valuable tool in a long-term relationship and in Quantum Love. I think we can use the insight we gain through understanding our partner’s Enneagram types to effectively communicate our love in a way that lands for our partner (and to understand better what and how they are communicating to us). More than that, I see the Enneagram as a vehicle for depersonalization, allowing for loving detachment if communication with our mate becomes difficult. We can realize that the concerning communication style or behavior may not be because of us, but because of their personal style. You know the old saying “It’s not you, it’s me”? Well, I like to say, it’s not you…it’s your enneagram!
If you know that your partner is an Eight, then you will know that an overly blunt comment or aggressive response to conflict is actually a sign that they are afraid or sad. Or, if they are a 2, they might struggle with a sense of being unloved and yet they might also have difficulty expressing their core need for love. Or, if your mate is a 9, they might have a hard time telling you when they are angry with you. Learning about the enneagram allows us to lovingly detach from what we might otherwise take personally and instead use it as a cue to show our partner a little extra love and compassion.
If you’d like to get a little more specific, you can take an Enneagram assessment HERE .Your Enneagram type is a reflection of your personality on a full spectrum. In the next blog, I will discuss common go-to emotional patterns of different enneagram types, and how they best experience love.
To determine your number, read through the Enneagram types below to see if any jump out as a particularly good fit for your (or your partner’s) personality. If you’d like to get a little more specific, you can take an Enneagram assessment HERE
Your Enneagram type is a reflection of your personality on a full spectrum. These numbers show what your go-to emotional patterns are when you’re in home frequency and in ego (link to ego/home frequency blog). See below to learn more about your type and how you (and your partner) best experience love.
1 — The Reformer: Ones are idealistic, conscientious, and principled, with a strong sense of right and wrong. When a One is in home frequency, she brings a sense of responsibility and dedication to whatever she is doing. Her high standards are met with the discipline to make it happen, and her problem solving skills can jump hurdles as she brings out the best in herself and others. When a One is in ego frequency, her high standards manifest as an almost-impossible perfectionism that leads to disappointment when she or others miss the mark. She might feel like nothing she does is ever good enough, or that she isn’t being appreciated or noticed for her efforts, and that can lead to anxiety or emotional constriction.
How to love a Reformer: Be aware of the burden that Ones are quick to put on their shoulders. They will gladly take on the lion’s share of the work, but they don’t want to feel like they are being taken advantage of. Acknowledging the work they put in and sharing in the responsibility will go a long way toward making them feel appreciated. A One in ego frequency might need a little extra compassion, too, to make up for what they are likely withholding from themselves. Ones are expressing their love through giving of themselves to the relationship, so recognizing that effort and showing them that they are valued, seen, and heard will go a long way.
2—The Helper: Twos are very caring, nurturing, and empathetic. When in home frequency, they are highly perceptive of the feelings of others and often give out good advice to friends on how they can make their lives better. They relate to others very easily and are open to new friendships with those who gravitate toward their easygoing personality. When a Two is in ego frequency, they may have low self-esteem and a hard time setting boundaries for themselves. In fact, they may struggle just to say No to someone; and if they do turn someone down, they will likely move into guilt over that decision. Twos can spend a lot of time in the To Me frequency if they aren’t mindful.
How to love a Helper: Twos may need a lot of reassurance, particularly when it comes to their relationship. If low self-esteem strikes, you may need to take extra steps to show them that they are loved and important. Show an interest in them and their lives in the same way they engage in yours, and don’t let them get away with letting you do all the talking. A Two speaks in details so if you really want to communicate your appreciation and love, get specific!
3—The Motivator: Threes are ambitious, energetic, and success-oriented. When they are in home frequency, they are great at keeping their eyes on the prize and moving forward despite any setbacks or obstacles that may come their way. Their optimistic and upbeat personality can be hugely motivating for themselves and others. When a Three is in ego frequency, they will probably go to great lengths to keep you from realizing that they are struggling. They can become very fearful that they are not impressing people and are being seen as incompetent, and they will try to push that back by saying or doing whatever they think will make them look good.
How to love a Motivator: Because Threes can be such high energy go-get-em personalities, they really respond to a peaceful and harmonious environment. They don’t respond well to what might feel like unnecessary or overly critical feedback and might want to just be left to work in peace sometimes. Don’t take it personally if a Three wants their space. It doesn’t mean that they don’t value your feelings or opinion—in fact, it’s just the opposite. It’s important for a Three to know that you like them and that you are proud of them.
4—The Individualist: Fours are introspective, creative, and highly intuitive. When they’re in home frequency, Fours use their great intuitions and aesthetic sensibilities to really see the beauty in life or the wisdom of a situation. But when they are in ego, they may be very prone to darker moods, longing for what they don’t have, and may feel attacked if they are misunderstood. They can be very self-indulgent and have a tendency to get stuck in To Me frequencies.
How to love an Individualist: Fours respond really well to compassion and patient support. Keep in mind that they can be very sensitive, especially when they are in a low frequency place, and be careful to let them know that you are trying to understand them. Love and value them and their intuitions by listening to what they have to say even if it is a little “out there”.
5—The Thinker: Fives are highly cerebral, curious, and capable of understanding very complex ideas. When in home frequency, a Five is able to view life through a very objective lens without getting swept up in whatever craziness is going on around them. They are very good to have around in a crisis, as their problem-solving skills and ability to keep calm can really come in handy. When a Five is in ego, they are prone to keeping their knowledge and insights to themselves. They will often retreat away from others and can be detached or awkward in social situations.
How to love a Thinker: Fives do not want to feel like they have to be responsible for someone else. They need someone who is independent enough to go do their own thing while the Five goes and works on whatever they’ve got going on. Respect the Five’s need for privacy and alone time, and don’t throw them into big social scenes without getting their buy-in first. That kind of surprise will likely feel like disregard or disrespect to a Five.
6—The Loyalist: Sixes are reliable, trustworthy, and tend to form very strong bonds with others. Sixes are loyal above all and highly committed to their partner, family, friends, work, and even causes. When a Six is in home frequency, they are very responsible and hard-working, using their wit to accomplish whatever it is they’re dedicating themselves. When a Six is in ego, their energy often manifests in fear of failure, of abandonment, or of whatever may be lurking up ahead. They will procrastinate or fuss over something, too critical to make up their mind. And may seem like magnets for stress.
How to love a Loyalist: Sixes need to know that they’re not in this game alone. If a Six is stuck in ego frequency, what they need most is a partner; someone who can help them work things through in their mind without making them feel judged. Be patient with a Six who is overreacting and try to keep your own energy from entraining to theirs as the situation could escalate quickly.
7—The Enthusiast: Sevens are highly optimistic types that are very playful and up for just about anything. A Seven in home frequency is a lot of fun as they are always up for new experiences. They are highly generous, and seem to have boundless enthusiasm and energy that can be very infectious. When a Seven is in ego, however, they have a hard time being grounded and can be flaky, non-committal, or even resistant to the “confines” of a relationship. They can be insensitive and self-centered, always looking for the next exciting thing.
How to love an enthusiast: A Seven responds to appreciation and engagement as much as they respond to freedom. Share in the fantasies and conversations a Seven wants to have and don’t be too quick to shoot them down with a “be realistic” bullet. Don’t let them do all the talking either. A Seven wants to hear what you’ve got to say, but will probably be more receptive to your jokes than to your advice.
8—The Leader: Eights are strong and assertive personalities. In home frequency, they are take-charge go-getter types who are able to meet the challenges that come their way head-on, often while lifting those around them up as well. In ego frequency, they can be a little blunt with what they say and how they say it. They can also be highly impatient and dismissive of others they don’t feel are keeping pace, and are not afraid of confronting someone over it.
How to love a leader: An Eight has a highly sensitive BS radar and they aren’t afraid to use it! Be confident and direct with an Eight and do not let them walk all over you. That said, don’t be afraid to show an Eight your vulnerable side or to acknowledge theirs. Share your feelings and listen to theirs and, above all else, honor the trust they put in you. An Eight will not forget a breach.
9—The Peacemaker: Nines are easy-going, accepting, and supportive. When a Nine is in home frequency they are really nice to be around, as they are relaxed, non-judgmental, and fully able to go with the flow. When a Nine is in ego frequency, they will be hyper-sensitive to any perceived criticism as looking for reinforcement of the criticism they are already heaping on themselves. External validation and appearances become very important as the Nine stubbornly denies themselves the acceptance they so readily give to others.
How to love a peacemaker: Nines are very receptive to affection, whether it comes through spoken words, actions or physicality. Hug a Nine! Be aware that a Nine can be highly sensitive, so how you deliver information matters, especially if it is advice or expectations. If a Nine feels pressured, you probably aren’t going to get the reaction you wanted.