Integration & Disintegration (Arrow Movements)
The movements from number to number within the Enneagram are also peculiar and attention must be paid to these forward and backward arrows and what they mean. The exploration of how these behaviours manifest in our lives will be explored later but for now, let’s just quickly understand how these movements function within the system.
Stress happens when demands and pressure are put on us either based on our own sense of duty or by duress from others like colleagues and bosses, family & friends. Our freedom is threatened and tension ensues. Let’s start with the Stress Points between Types 9,6 & 3. Since we haven’t gone into understanding what each Type number means, perhaps at this point, you should just take note of the movements. These Stress points are sometimes called Points of Disintegration. It must be mentioned though, that stress can also bring out the best in us so it may not mean that these Stress points are always bad since some people function best under stress.
When 9s are stressed, they may demonstrate some of the qualities (thoughts, feelings and behaviors) of the type 6. When the 6s are stressed, they will demonstrate those of the 3 and when the 3s are stressed, they may demonstrate thoughts and behaviors similar to those of the 9s Likewise, in the Hexad which include all the other numbers in the Enneagram, 1s who are stressed move to 4 ( as indisplay 4s qualities), the 4s move to 2, the 2 to 8, 8 to 5, 5 to 7 and the 7 to 1.
Security or Integration happens when one is relaxed or is mentally & Emotionally balanced. The points move anti-clockwise when the Types are in balance or relaxed. Again, I will just mention the movements here and then we will talk about how it looks like in reality a little later. For the Inner Triangle, it is now reversed and 9s move to 3, 3s to 6s and 6s to nine. For the Inner Hexad, the 1s move to 7 when relaxed, 7s move to 5, 5s move to 8, 8s to 2, 2s to 4 and 4s to 1.
The 3 Triads
The nine Enneagram types are split into groups of threes, which are called centers of intelligence. Each Enneagram style is rooted in one of the 3 Centres.
These three Centres manifest in the form of:
– The Head center (or Thinking type)
– The Gut center (or belly type)
– The Feelings center (or heart type)
The notion of a primary Centre, refers to the ways in which we typically react, often internally, to events in our lives. While we all have heads, hearts and bodies, each of us tends to favour one of these 3 modalities in the manner we perceive & process information, communicate, behave and where we will start operating from most of the time. Each Centre (also called Triad) represent 3 of the nine Enneagram styles, hence culminating in all 9 types.
The Head Centre
The Head Centre represents Enneagram styles, Five, Six and Seven. The head center’s dominant negative fixation is on fear and anxiety.
Fives respond to fear by withdrawing, retreating into their minds in order to understand the complex world we live in. Staying inside feels safe and they get used to this exploration. They do this through observation. Sixes react to their worry and fear by anticipating negative scenarios and planning alternatives to circumvent what could go wrong. Sevens take a different route in dealing with fear, moving from worry very quickly into planning for pleasurable possibilities. Although Sevens do not appear fearful on the surface, they are actually running from fear and pain – an avoidance reaction.
The Heart centre
Your Enneagram style may be in the Heart Centre – which involve styles Two, Three and Four. Individuals with these Heart Centre styles work hard to show a certain front or project a certain image, and they use their emotions as feelers to gather peoples’ perceptions about them and what might be the best way to respond. The heart center’s dominant negative fixation is on shame and fear of humiliation. Twos try to create an image of being likeable and you frequently can notice 2s smile a lot and give good eye-contact so as to connect fast and be comfortable with others. They look to others for affirmation of their self-worth. Threes do their best to project an image of success, and they hope to have the admiration of others for what they accomplish or are perceived to have accomplished. This is frequently done through the top brands they deck from top to toe, the cars they drive and pens they use, etc. As the most inwardly focused of the Heart Centre styles, Fours try to create an image of being different or special, and they choose to stand out from the rest by using their emotional sensitivity to defend against rejection. This defense mechanism will be discussed in a separate video.
The Gut Centre
Your Enneagram style may be in the Gut, Body or Instinctual Centre – styles Eight, Nine and One. The gut center typically struggles with anger (whether they are repressed, expressed or suppressed). The One’s anger, often manifests as frequent irritations followed by flares of resentment. One’s also tend toward being self-critical, picky about their own thoughts and actions, hence feelings of anger, which they repress. Eights tend to express their anger outwardly and directly. Their anger which begins in the gut and moves up and outward, is stimulated by various events, such as injustice, weakness in others, or even someone taking ineffective control of a situation and if they sense someone is hiding the truth or keeping something away from them. The Nine’s anger, sometimes called “anger that went to sleep”, lies deep below the surface. The 9’s anger gets activated when they feel either ignored or forced to do something against their will, in which case, their anger may turn into passive-aggressive behaviour. Nines tend to avoid direct anger and conflict, preferring a feeling of rapport and comfort with others.
Wings are the Enneagram styles on each side of your Core style. They can be considered as a strong shade of your core personality or a secondary style which means that you may also display some of the strong characteristics of these Enneagram styles. For e.g., if your core is a type 3, then your wing could be a 2 or a 4.
When combined, your core style and wing can manifest itself quite distinctly. A core with a strong wing can be quite different than a core Type who does not have a strong wing. They add additional qualities to your core personality. You can have a wing, 2 wings or no wing. Likewise, you could be high on other core types which are not next to your type though these are not called wings. A good starting point is to observe which personality types you function most from. This can come from your own observation and certainly other peoples’ feedback too. Your own awareness of self at this stage and doing Enneagram profiles will give you strong clues as to your type and wing.