Enneagram in Relationships

Introduction ~ An article series on all Nine Personality Types

Type
Trpe Name
The Enneagram Type System
1 The Perfectionist
Enneagram Types
2 The Giver
3 The Performer
4 The Romantic
5 The Observer
6 The Loyal Skeptic
7 The Epicure
8 The Protector
9 The Mediator

In the world of the Enneagram, people are always asking me what type do you think I am, and then the very, next question is usually what type would I get along with? It’s not usually that simple. Since a person is a multi-faceted human being, their personality type like their sun sign, isn’t going to include all their many qualities. In the Enneagram system, along with the nine personality types, there are also the wings, and the subtypes that add even more dimensions to the types. Knowing your own personality type is the first step on the journey.

If you are just beginning to explore the Enneagram, I would suggest that you first gain a broad understanding of all nine types, and then as you determine your own personality type, then you can begin to imagine what types your family and friends may be. The best way to discover your type is to take one of the on-line tests at the following websites: www.enneagramworldwide.com, www.enneagraminstitute.com and www.enneagram.net

You can also schedule a private session with a counselor who has been trained to work with the Enneagram Personality Type System to help you discover your type. On my website at www.DonnaFisherJackson.com  I have also written basic descriptions of all nine personality types to get you started.

In this article series, I am going to cover all nine types, and how they may express themselves in relationship with the other types. Helen Palmer, one of the well-known Enneagram experts has written a great book, The Enneagram in Love & Work where she explores the nine types in intimate and business relationships. As I explore the nine types in relationship, I will include some of Palmer’s insights along with my own from my counseling work with clients.

The gift from understanding the types of the different people in your life is that you can then begin to see what point of view they express in their lives. This also allows you to more effectively communicate with them when you understand where they are coming from. It sounds simple, but most people spend a lot of time trying to convince others of their point of view when the communication would flow so much easier if you tried to understand the other person’s point of view.

Hopefully, in this article series, I can give you some insight into your own personality type, and how you would interact with the other types. Since I began my last series of articles on the Enneagram with the Type One, I am going to reverse it, and begin with Type Nine known as the Mediator, the Peacemaker, and the Peaceful Mediator in the March issue of Iris Insights.

If you don’t know which type you may be, you now have a whole month to explore that, and discover which one you are, and then you’ll be ready to read all about the nine types in relationships. One of the greatest gifts of the Enneagram is that in knowing your type, you can then begin to lead a more conscious life as an individual, and in relationship with others.

By Donna Fisher-Jackson, M.A. © 2013


Type One:  The Perfectionist & The Reformer

Ones may not be the most romantic type, but they will certainly work the hardest on a relationship because it’s hard for them to settle for anything less than the best. They value the simple gestures and the common courtesies like being on time, remembering names and being introduced. They value respect, and once they commit to a relationship, can be very loyal and appreciative of having a family. They work hard to provide for a family, and need a partner who likes having some time on their own with their own interests.

Being a perfectionist, a One lives with a strong inner critic. If you live with a One, you have to relate to his or her critic. It can feel like living with two people. Ones often criticize in self-defense, to relieve some of the anger that they feel at themselves. They usually need some kind of reassurance, but feel guilty about having to ask. They need to learn to communicate what they need from a partner instead of expecting them to read their mind.
Ones have to learn that a partner can have positive and negative traits, and still be a good person. If the relationship is going to work, they have to learn how to accept all parts of the person.

Double Ones: A Double Perfectionist Couple
This couple can strive for a perfect lifestyle with successful careers, good health, and perfect parenting. They can build a family which prides itself on taking care of responsibilities and succeeding in the world. Projects keep this couple strong, but working well together can become more important than feelings. Love is expressed through hard work rather than through tender sentiments.

Together, they understand criticism, and believe that it’s meant to improve the person or the relationship. Ones want people who matter to them to be as close to perfection as possible. It’s a sign of trust when Ones feel safe enough to express their critical comments and a sign of distrust when they allow their resentments to build. If they can express anger about safe topics such as political or work matters, then, it can lead to more personal discussions. A safe fight enlivens this couple. Deeper intimacy can develop when strong emotions are aired between these two Ones, allowing this couple to see that expressing anger can lead to a deeper trust.

Type One with a Type Two: A Giver
In the article on the Type Two, I wrote about this combination, and now I will continue with some of the challenges of the relationship. As their relationship moves forward, the Ones’ normal work habits can leave the Twos feeling neglected. Twos need a lot of attention. From the view of the Two, Ones can be all work and no play which sounds dull to them. The trick for this couple is to blend a well-ordered life with enough social and emotional outlets to keep both partners happy.

Over time, shoulds can rule the life of a One. Shoulds produce a stable life, but they also deaden spontaneity. If the romance disappears, the Giver can wonder: “Why am I in this relationship?” “Don’t I come first?” Needing positive reinforcement, a Two can fight for attention. A Two feels supported when they get a response from their partner. At an all-time low, the Giver looks unstable while the One looks rigid. Then Ones impose structure to keep chaos at bay while Twos bend the rules as a way of getting back. This couple can reach a stalemate where each has to take time to understand the other’s position. Twos could take the time to see why work matters so much to the One; and Ones could consider showing some more affection to their partner. With some compromise and communication, this couple could learn to thrive together.

Type One with Type Three: The Performer
In the article on the Type Three, I wrote about this combination, and now I will continue with some of the conflicts in this relationship. Threes want to look good to people while Ones want to look right. Putting on a façade doesn’t feel right to the One, and they can then become suspicious of their Three mate, wondering what others areas in the relationship are they being dishonest about. Ones want absolute honesty while Threes can be quite comfortable wearing a deceptive public persona. Meanwhile, the Performer, convinced that image is everything, may continue to look for the right way to impress their Perfectionist partner.

Threes can retreat when their image is attacked, and Ones pursue when their anger has been aroused. Conflicts are best resolved when Ones can stay focused on a single topic. An argument doesn’t need to lead to all the other resentments. Threes dislike “negative” emotions, and would rather not spend time on self-reflection unless they can see the point of it all. Couples counseling could help both partners to appreciate each other’s viewpoint, and to find healthier ways of dealing with their differences.

Type One with Type Four: The Romantic
These two types can learn a lot from each other about emotions – the control, and the expression of them. Fours can be overly expressive which can help the One to loosen up some of their shoulds. Fours can be true companions to Ones during times of emotional pain. The Romantic can become riveted when any issue becomes alive with emotional energy. The Four can also be attracted to the emotional steadiness and practicality of the One. They can depend on a partner like a One who can deal with the day-to-day challenges of job and family regardless of their own emotional state.

The disadvantage of the One-Four connection can be a shared dissatisfaction with life. Romantics can suffer because something is missing while Perfectionists tend to see all the flaws in life. The relationship can be re-animated by focusing on the positives in the present moment, and by taking pleasure in the here and now.

Type One with Type Five: The Observer
Some of the challenges of this relationship revolve around the expression of anger. Neither type wants to get angry so important topics can often be neglected. The tension can ease when Fives can speak instead of retreating into silence, and even better, if they are willing to express anger. To Ones, the anger shows that the Five is invested in the relationship. Fives see an intensity of emotion in Ones that is attractive. Ones can find a steady presence in the Five with the lack of judgment that detachment often brings. Long-term couples with these types explain that moving into their anger and sexuality has really helped them to have a deeper intimacy instead of following their natural tendencies to suppress feelings or detach from negativity.

Type One with Type Six: The Loyal Skeptic
Both types can be perceived as negative thinkers. Ones are preoccupied with error, and Sixes are focused on doubt. But because they anticipate difficulties, they can also see the beauty of the human dilemma and the gifts that spring from pain. They know the importance of asking hard questions and have the courage to dare to try. Both partners can stick it out through challenging times. Their commitment to stay together through thick and thin can build their trust in a relationship that can weather many storms.

Type One with Type Seven: The Epicure
In the article on the Type Seven, I wrote about this combination, and now I will continue with some of the challenges of the relationship. As the relationship progresses, Ones push for results, and Sevens want fun. A successful relationship has to unite both of those agendas. If Ones try to pin Sevens down to dealing with the practical, they will fight back. The Seven doesn’t want to follow limits and rules. Unfortunately, Ones value boundaries and self-control, and in their black or white thinking, Sevens can look selfish, and flakey. In a fight, Ones can get rigid, and Sevens evade. Sevens diminish the problem while Ones move in to control the problem. It helps if both partners can meet in the middle, and face the anger, and try to deal with the problem. Ones just naturally focus on precision and follow-through while Sevens express joy and spontaneity in life. Ones on vacation can look like Sevens. The trick is for the One to bring some vacation back home to their family life.

Type One with Type Eight: The Protector
As the relationship matures, anger will surface. Eights insist on direct expression of anger while Ones, once goaded into a fight, will retaliate in force. Direct expression can be positive for a One. At last, they’re with a partner who won’t judge anger as wrong. The challenge is if the One begins to look supervisory, then the Eight can become lawless and out of control. The clash of wills can be healing for both types. Ones teach Eights about limits and boundaries while Eights teach Ones to go for what they want. Anger can bond this couple. Sometimes, they just need to express their deeper emotions, and this relationship can successfully do that. In the long run, it depends if they are able to focus this power in a positive way, or if they get stuck in a cycle of conflict that drives them apart.

Type One with Type Nine: The Mediator
The differences between these types are evident when it’s time for action. Ones go into fast forward when they’re committed to a project while Nines can sit on the fence even when they agree. Ones can jump-start the couple into action, but if the Nine feels that it’s all the One’s idea, then they can pull back and retreat. The Nine in retreat can look scattered and stubborn. The Perfectionist can push hard for the should while the Mediator is still waiting for a priority to become clear. Any show of anger at this point is healthy for the couple; with anger a center point comes forth. People tend to know exactly what they don’t want when they become angry. This can help them make a final decision. It helps when Mediators can see the good intentions in their partner’s anger while anger isn’t always the best course of action when it comes to a Mediator. You can’t push them into making a commitment, but they can choose to merge and join with a loved one’s needs.

If you are just beginning to explore the Enneagram, I would suggest that you first gain a broad understanding of all nine types, and then as you determine your own personality type, then you can begin to imagine what types your family and friends may be. You may also want to encourage them to explore the Enneagram for themselves. The best way to discover your type is to take one of the on-line tests at the following websites: www.enneagramworldwide.com, www.enneagraminstitute.com and www.enneagram.net.

You can also schedule a private session with a counselor who has been trained to work with the Enneagram Personality Type System to help you discover your type. On my website at www.DonnaFisherJackson.com. I have also written basic descriptions for all the nine personality types to get you started.

Thanks to Helen Palmer for the many insights from her book, The Enneagram in Love & Work.

By Donna Fisher-Jackson, M.A. © 2013

Please feel free to copy this news article, and to share it with others for Free. I just ask that you keep my name at the bottom of the article, and include this line of text: Donna Fisher-Jackson, M.A., CHT is a Certified Hypnotherapist, Western Astrologer and Author who counsels clients through her business of Iris Holistic Counseling Services at www.DonnaFisherJackson.com.  She has published the self-help book, The Healing Path of the Romantic: Type Four of the Enneagram Personality Type System and a novel, Clara & Irving: A Love Story of Past Lives, based on the true story of a Romantic. Both books are available in a print and Kindle edition on Amazon.com.


Type Two ~ The Giver & The Helper

Being in love with a Two is getting to bask in the center of attention. Twos love to give, and take care of others almost to a fault. They are usually energetic, outgoing people who make others feel special. They are affectionate which can look seductive, but is usually just a social style. Their prime directive is to get attention from significant people. Appreciation from the chosen person is like oxygen for the Two. They are often attracted to physical beauty, potentially successful people, and to helping those who have been the underdog in life.

With the Giver, there can be a small shift from helping to manipulating. If you live with a Two, you can sense what they really want when you begin to feel guilty. They are often very subtle at first with asking for what they need, but if it goes on too long, then the emotions can get really big if the Two doesn’t get what they want. Their anger has the flavor of a hysterical outburst where they can express feeling a lack of appreciation, or feeling controlled by another’s needs. A conscious partner can help the Two to get to the bottom of what they really need in the moment, and then the anger can dissipate quite quickly.

When a relationship with a Two deepens, their vulnerable side begins to emerge even more. It’s terrifying for Givers, who take pride in being needed, to realize the extent of their own dependency. They feel that nobody can meet their needs. They need to be inspired, and need to be wanted. They need to be with people so they don’t have to be alone. Their main need is to get their needs met without realizing that they are needy.
Twos can be the most generous, fun-loving partners to be with, and the more conscious they are about their own needs, they can give wholeheartedly without any hidden agendas to their generosity.

Let’s look at the Type Two with the nine personality types of the Enneagram.

Type Two with a Type One: The Perfectionist
This is a relationship based on differences. Ones deal with the practical world, and Twos are all about feelings and style. Perfectionists are often flattered by the attention of the dramatic, expressive Givers. Twos move towards who they like. They initiate which relieves some of the social anxiety of the One. Givers tune into the needs of their partners. Ones feel guilty about having needs while Twos don’t feel guilty about meeting them. Twos are often attracted to Ones who can be steady and dependable partners who express love by taking care of responsibilities.  This fits well with the One’s strong need to do what’s right in any given situation. In the coming article on the One, I’ll go more into the challenges of this couple.

Double Two: Double Givers
Double Givers are rare in the Enneagram couples. After all, if you’re into helping others, then you’re looking for someone who needs your help. With two Givers, there is no one to receive, and neither one wants to be the center of attention. Having their dependency on others exposed also makes the Twos angry. A stalemate can happen where each wants the other to make something happen. Each Giver prefers to be the helpmate in the relationship. Tempers can heat up when repressed needs finally surface. This couple can unify around a common venture such as a family business, or raising a family as long as they can focus their attention on something else than one another.  Actually, they need to bring the attention back to themselves, and redefine their idea of relating in order for this relationship to survive. Double Twos are often friends rather than lovers. As friends, they can learn to encourage each other to receive.

Type Two with a Type Three: The Performer
In the article on the Type Three, I wrote about this combination, and now I will continue with some of the challenges of the relationship. The most common complaint by the Two in this relationship is the Three’s work status. Even a Two with a satisfying profession in their own right often feels like they are waiting for the Three to show up.  At times, the Two feels like they are not really needed in the relationship. It helps if the Performer can make time for some romance while it helps if the Giver can express their needs. If Givers need time and attention, then the Performer can step up to the plate. The Three isn’t deliberately neglectful. They can just get wrapped up in their work. Givers bring feelings to the relationship while Performers are often focused on the task at hand.  If Twos can be reassured of their importance, then they can be less demanding of time spent together. With good communication, this relationship can thrive.

Type Two with a Type Four: The Romantic
I am very familiar with this dynamic in friendship, having a girlfriend who is a Two. We have a lot of emotional sharing, and a feeling of support from one another.  In the beginning, I felt at times embarrassed by all the gifts my Two friend gave me, but as I began to give her gifts, then I observed how unfamiliar she was with receiving. Over time, she has learned to receive, and appreciate even more.  I would imagine in a couple relationship between a Two and a Four that this would be a very, close and supportive relationship with the one drawback being that there might be too much drama at times since both types have a dramatic flair. In my article on the Type Four, I share more of the insights of this couple that can act like a mirror for one another.

Type Two with a Type Five: The Observer
Twos and Fives can look like they are from different species. The Two likes to socialize, and to experience new activities. The Twos seem to enjoy small talk, and utilizing their feelings as a guide to understanding others. This couple operates from very, different perspectives. While the Two goes toward people to interact, the Five will often move away from others to analyze and think. This dynamic can either create a balanced couple relationship, or create a struggle in which the Two reaches out for emotional contact while the Five withdraws and disappears. If the couple can meet in the middle making room for space and emotional expression, then they can learn to work together. It can be a big stretch for both types, but it can also be worthwhile since they can learn a lot from each another.

Type Two with a Type Six: The Loyalist
In the article on the Type Six, I wrote about this combination, and now I will continue with some of the challenges of the relationship. Sixes can often see the Twos’ need for over-giving as self-serving. The skeptical Six may wonder if the Two stands to benefit in some way. The Six can even feel set up by the Two to be the vehicle for their personal ambition. Already stressed by exposure and success, the Six may then sabotage the effort by letting the Two down. When the Giver shows care and concern, then the Loyalist can feel like they’re expected to produce the goods, and will rebel even more. It’s important for Twos to really look at their giving to see if it is self-serving. It does help if the Two can have their own profession and activities separate from the Six. Sixes enjoy being loyal supporters for the family.

Type Two with a Type Seven: The Epicure
In the article on the Type Seven, I wrote about this combination, and now I will continue with some of the challenges of the relationship. The two types are naturally seductive people who like to consider the potential availability of other partners. It helps if they can commit to one another, and determine how much outside attention each person needs. Both types have challenges with prolonged contact. The Seven can feel limited by it, and the Two can feel like they may be exposed. At times, the Two may want more attention than the Seven can easily give. An attention crisis can then develop where the Two sees a superficial lightweight, and the Seven sees an emotional drag. Both partners can thrive when they focus on real feelings, and move from infatuation to emotional depth in their relationship.

Type Two with a Type Eight: The Protector
This couple can align around the seduction of the Two and the power of the Eight. The Giver moves towards others by trying to please while the Protector moves against them to uncover the truth. The more secure the Eight feels in the relationship, then they can be extremely generous. They can show affection by trying to make things happen for their partner. This puts the Giver in the position as the receiver which is often an unfamiliar place for them. This can lead to emotional outbursts, but it can also bring the couple closer together.

Eights feel more secure when all the cards are on the table, and Twos are finally pressured into knowing what their needs are. This can be the outcome when both partners are conscious, but if they are acting unconsciously, the outbursts can escalate into a full-scale conflict. That is when the couple is best served by having an objective third party like a counselor mediate their conflict. There are strengths to this relationship, but there are also challenges that may be too much for one or both of the partners.

Type Two with Type Nine: The Mediator
In the article on the Type Nine, I wrote about this combination, and now I will continue with some of the challenges of the relationship. A crisis can emerge in this couple dynamic if the Two becomes indispensable and the Nine feels controlled. The Nine will begin to suspect that they are satisfying the Two’s unrealized needs and can refuse to cooperate anymore. Nines can hold back their own potential, and spread their attention to other matters. The Twos may then get bored with the Nines’ failure to achieve their potential, and angry that the attention has been withdrawn. Feeling abandoned by the Nine’s lack of initiative, the Two can become complaining. A painful cycle of withdrawal by the Nine, and pursuing by the Two can begin. The cycle can only be broken when both partners take responsibility for their actions. This can also be another couple that could benefit from some counseling when the two become polarized in their struggle.

If you are just beginning to explore the Enneagram, I would suggest that you first gain a broad understanding of all nine types, and then as you determine your own personality type, then you can begin to imagine what types your family and friends may be. You may also want to encourage them to explore the Enneagram for themselves. The best way to discover your type is to take one of the on-line tests at the following websites: www.enneagramworldwide.com, www.enneagraminstitute.com and www.enneagram.net.

You can also schedule a private session with a counselor who has been trained to work with the Enneagram Personality Type System to help you discover your type. On my website at www.DonnaFisherJackson.com. I have also written basic descriptions for all the nine personality types to get you started.

Thanks to Helen Palmer for the many insights from her book, The Enneagram in Love & Work.

By Donna Fisher-Jackson, M.A. © 2013

Please feel free to copy this news article, and to share it with others for Free. I just ask that you keep my name at the bottom of the article, and include this line of text: Donna Fisher-Jackson, M.A., CHT is a Certified Hypnotherapist, Western Astrologer and Author who counsels clients through her business of Iris Holistic Counseling Services at www.DonnaFisherJackson.com.  She has published the self-help book, The Healing Path of the Romantic: Type Four of the Enneagram Personality Type System and a novel, Clara & Irving: A Love Story of Past Lives, based on the true story of a Romantic. Both books are available in a print and Kindle edition on Amazon.com.


Type Three ~ The Performer & The Achiever

Threes do put their hearts into their work so a romantic partner is going to have to learn to play second fiddle quite often in their relationship with a Performer. Threes are often the powerful men and women that people so admire like Henry Kissinger or even Hilary Clinton, but being married to them can include sacrifices such as not having a partner who’s home for dinner every night. Some people are willing to live with that arrangement because they also believe in their Type Three’s dream and need for achievement in their lives.

The Three enjoys being admired and appreciated for their winning image, and their success in the exterior world. They do have a tendency to “do” feelings which means expressing what they assume are appropriate feelings in the moment like playing the part of the perfect lover. Threes enjoy having an upbeat, active love relationship, and when painful feelings arise, they often want to “do” something about them which can mean getting busy with yet another project.

Performers are willing to do a lot for their relationship. They want to provide for their family, and they want status in the eyes of the world for the family. Threes come home late and tired, and wonder why no one appreciates all that they have done. From their perspective, it can be a real dilemma: afraid of being rejected when they don’t produce, and rejected when they do. Threes can fall into relating as just another one of their many activities. Their partners really need to take the time to reassure them that they are loved for themselves, and not for all that they provide for others.

Let’s look at the Type Three with the nine personality types of the Enneagram.

Type Three with Type One: The Perfectionist

This couple is well-matched. The like to both be active, and focus on status and social image, and both find their identity through work. Valuing being productive, they can each take pride in the other’s accomplishments in the world. This couple needs romantic times together because relating through achievements only distances them from intimacy and true feelings. Both types are concerned with what other people think, but can act it out differently. Ones compare themselves with others, but are not fooled by a carefully-crafted image, preferring real achievement instead. Ones are usually humble about their worldly accomplishments while Threes like to project an exciting and successful public façade. Threes want to look good to people while Ones want to look right. I’ll write more on the conflicts of this couple in the article on the Perfectionist.

Type Three with Type Two: The Giver

Twos love to give attention, and Threes expect it, so this couple often unites to support the Performer’s needs. Even Twos with their own worldly accomplishments will adapt to the needs of their Three partners. Twos like to receive the approval of loved ones, while Threes are driven to their own personal success. At times, these types can appear similar, but their motives are quite different. Givers work to be loved, and Performers love to work. Each supports the other professionally while the Giver becomes the emotional center for the family. Reassured of their importance, Twos are less demanding of the Three’s time. This couple does have a lot in common: a high-profile image and a desire for success. The relationship can work well for both if the Three can focus on feelings, and the Two doesn’t have to compete all the time with a job for their partner’s attention.

Double Three: A Double Performer Couple

This couple combination is a rare, but when they do get together they can have a sense that everything and anything seems achievable. They usually have several projects going on at the same time. They do tend to compete with one another when they’re involved in domestic projects. The couple’s social life often revolves around people who share similar work interests, or those who are raising children, and like to share in family activities. This is a couple who does activities together as a family rather than just hanging out and “being” with family and friends. The trick is to be able to support one another in their professional lives without ending up leading separate, busy lives. At some point, there can be a need for them to turn inward, and to deepen emotionally especially after they grow weary of the exterior life. If this couple is able to mature and deepen their relationship especially at mid-life, they can continue to be together for the long-term.

Type Three with Type Four: The Romantic

In the article on the Type Four, I wrote about this combination, and now I will continue with some of the challenges of the relationship. The couple’s major difficulty will center on the Four’s moods, and the Three’s suppressed feelings. It’s a recurrent theme in the relationship. Three’s unavailability can be attractive at first because the couple never has enough time together for the relationship to become ordinary. Over time as the Four is deprived of intimacy, then they can become overly dramatic, and even depressed, which is the kind of emotional demand that the Three can’t handle. Fours overvalue the emotional life while the Threes undervalue it. Unless, they can take the time to understand and appreciate each other’s worldview, this couple may not thrive in the long-term.

Type Three with Type Five: The Observer

As I wrote in the article on the Type Five, this attraction of opposites seems to work well for these two types. The most typical arrangement is of the Three becoming the social organizer for the couple. The Performer sifts through the messages and invitations, and then consults with the Observer in private, before conveying their decisions to others. Home life can develop into a place where they follow their separate interests, but then come together for meals and family time.

This couple can get into a cyclical pattern where the Five finally speaks up when the Three has become over-involved in work and interests outside the home, leaving the Five alone too much. Then the Three reduces their workload to keep the peace for a time, and then begins to slip back into working overtime again. The Five can then sulk and withhold comfort, presence and even sex to get the attention of the Three. The Three can then respond by working more to numb their feelings, hoping that the problem will resolve on its own. This couple can benefit the most by sitting down, and negotiating mutual commitments so that they can feel more understood by the other. In time, the Five can learn to enjoy the pleasures of a social life, and Threes can welcome the chance to spend quiet times together.

Type Three with the Type Six: The Loyal Skeptic

As I wrote under the Type Six, these two types are not found together very often in a romantic relationship. Their success seems to depend on resolving the issue of performance and performance anxiety. The Threes are overly focused on success in the world, and the Six doesn’t trust image, and often doubts success even their own. Sixes are stressed by the Three’s desire to be in the public eye. For them, public image feels like a set-up where you can be ridiculed and attacked for being too visible. Again, it’s a trust issue for the Six, and they often don’t see their own worldly success, and need a partner to point it out to them. If they can appreciate the Three’s success in the world, then maybe, they can learn how to acknowledge their own, and their self-esteem can grow in the process. They could certainly learn a lot from each other if they are both willing to acknowledge their different views.

Type Three with the Type Seven: The Epicure

Under the Type Seven, I wrote about this couple combination who often describe their relationship as “productive fun.” One of their challenges is that they can often collude in keeping busy without addressing on-going problems. Threes can often deceive themselves that everything’s fine, and work harder to avoid failure. Sevens can avoid pain and rationalize any failures by visualizing the future. One day, they both have to wake up, and face the external problems which can be quite serious by then including financial crises, or a child who’s acting out for attention.

Both types also tend to disappear when their public image is questioned: Threes by changing their image, and telling partial truths while Sevens switch options, and rationalize the change. They can conspire to let each other do what they want rather than working with each other as allies in personal growth. A mature couple can learn to face their anxieties rather than burying them in activities, and when they do, Threes can step up to the plate, and take on the challenge of improving the relationship. From their side, Sevens can bring pleasure to the relationship which can be liberating for a Three who can be overly focused on work and achievement in the world.

Type Three with Type Eight: The Protector

The biggest challenge for this couple is when they are faced with a failure, but this can also lead to their biggest breakthrough. Three-Eight couples mention that adversity helped them to lean on one another. Performers find that the Protectors are loyal to them as people even when scandal occurs, and their public image is shattered. The Eight is often surprised by the Three who can save the day in an out-of-control emergency. In a healthy relationship, they can both be confidants for one another. This couple easily joins in activity and action, but the areas of feeling and being are new territory for them, and worth exploring. An Eight’s feelings can be expressed when control of the relationship is safely surrendered; and Three’s emotions flourish when they feel loved for who they are, and not for what they achieve and produce in the world.

Type Three with Type Nine: The Mediator

Under the Type Nine, I wrote about the positive attributes of this couple, and now I will address some of the challenges. In this love relationship, the Nine can often go along with the wishes of the Three even for years until one day, they wake up, and begin to wonder - “Did I choose this lifestyle?” and “Do I belong here or not?” The questioning can become obsessive especially if the Three’s priorities do indeed dominate the couple’s life. The Nine can then feel stuck, trying to come up with different solutions to their situation. Threes are often eager to support “constructive change,” but they also need to realize that the Nine’s search for personal direction really applies to both partners. An interesting outcome of this search for identity is that Nines often discover that they really did choose this life without having to change careers or partners. They then can often re-commit to the relationship with a deeper love and understanding of the other.

If you are just beginning to explore the Enneagram, I would suggest that you first gain a broad understanding of all nine types, and then as you determine your own personality type, then you can begin to imagine what types your family and friends may be. You may also want to encourage them to explore the Enneagram for themselves. The best way to discover your type is to take one of the on-line tests at the following websites: www.enneagramworldwide.com, www.enneagraminstitute.com and www.enneagram.net.

You can also schedule a private session with a counselor who has been trained to work with the Enneagram Personality Type System to help you discover your type. On my website at www.DonnaFisherJackson.com. I have also written basic descriptions for all the nine personality types to get you started.

Thanks to Helen Palmer for the many insights from her book, The Enneagram in Love & Work.

By Donna Fisher-Jackson, M.A. © 2013

Please feel free to copy this news article, and to share it with others for Free. I just ask that you keep my name at the bottom of the article, and include this line of text: Donna Fisher-Jackson, M.A., CHT is a Certified Hypnotherapist, Western Astrologer and Author who counsels clients through her business of Iris Holistic Counseling Services at www.DonnaFisherJackson.com.  She has published the self-help book, The Healing Path of the Romantic: Type Four of the Enneagram Personality Type System and a novel, Clara & Irving: A Love Story of Past Lives, based on the true story of a Romantic. Both books are available in a print and Kindle edition on Amazon.com.


Type Four: The Romantic & The Individualist

Being a Type Four, I could write more about this type than any other, but of course, I might be a little biased in my view so I invite the reader to let me know if I miss anything important about the Romantic in relationships. Having written a book on the Type Four, I covered many of the gifts and the challenges of the Romantic in relationships.

The Romantics long for relationships with a soulmate, but at the same time, they can distance and pull away from the relationship. Fours have a push-pull habit in relationships, and can go through this cycle of relating with one person for a long time. For the Four, the relationship that they are currently in can seem pale in comparison with the promise of an absent lover. They feel that their happiness lies elsewhere with this distant lover, but when they meet up with this idealized partner, then they often begin to push and pull away from them as well, and so the cycle continues.

The Four grows in awareness when they can stay with a partner past the infatuation stage, and really see them for who they are, and accept them without pushing them away. The Four needs a partner who can stay strong and stable when they begin their relationship dance. They are helped by a partner who sees the good in the here and now; and who can be an anchor during their intense emotional tides.

In my latest book, Clara & Irving: A Love Story of Past Lives, one of the leading characters, Danielle is a classic Romantic, swept up in a romance with a distant and often unavailable partner, Roberto, who seems to be a Type Five, The Observer. I’ll write more about their love relationship below.

Let’s see how the Romantic is in relationship with all of the personality types.

Type Four with Type One: The Perfectionist

These two types can be a mirror for one another. Romantics often act out “improper” emotions that frighten Perfectionists because Fours dramatize the emotional needs that Ones have suppressed.  This relationship can introduce the Ones to a life of feelings rather than their usual black and white thinking. On the other hand, the Four’s dramatic moods can be repellant to a serious and practical One. It can look like self-indulgence to the One. An unhealthy cycle could develop where the One’s criticism reinforces the Four’s lack of self-worth. In retaliation, the Four can point out to the One what is missing in them. The cycle can shift if the Four can see why the One wants to control those “bad” emotions; and if the One is able to see that rules can’t govern matters of the heart.

On the high side, the Four’s connection with emotions can loosen up the shoulds that keep the One from pursuing their own happiness and creativity. The Ones can also begin to see that Romantics can be true companions during times of emotional pain. Romantics can also be drawn to the emotional steadiness and practicality of the Perfectionists. Afraid of abandonment, the Four can test their partner by sabotaging the relationship, but a One can hold their ground when they feel they’ve been treated unfairly, and they don’t give up easily on a person. This can be exactly what the Four needs – someone they can depend on in stormy times.

Type Four with Type Two: The Giver

This relationship really captures the dance of intimacy. Both partners can have a push-pull pattern. Each can pull back when the other isn’t available, and vice versa, each pursues when the other disappears. It makes for quite a romantic tango. Each does appreciate the other for their depth of feeling. At last, they feel that someone can meet them emotionally. They are only partnered in a dance of emotional distancing because they are each afraid of commitment. The dance is complete when the partners agree to commit to each other. With commitment, the push-pull pattern can end.

Fours can get stressed when they have to reach out to people, and they can feel deprived by having to meet the other’s needs. They appreciate the Twos’ natural gifts in winning others over, but they also see the Twos’ casual flirtations and flattery as lacking in emotional depth. This relationship also has a feeling of a mirror because they both can express the qualities of the other in their own lives.

Type Four with Type Three: The Performer

This couple can be overly focused on image, and the attention that they receive from other people. Performers want respect for achievement, and Romantics need to be seen as special and unique. This couple usually presents well in public, often adopting a lifestyle that emanates a successful elegance. I am reminded of Catherine Zeta-Jones, and her successful husband, Michael Douglas. I don’t know if they are a Four and a Three couple, but they certainly show up that way at Hollywood events.

Early on in the relationship, the Performer can be drawn to the inner drama of the Romantic as a counterpart to their own desire for public recognition. From the Four’s point of view, the Three can be a little too caught up with worldly events where they don’t know how to set aside work during private moments. Fours can feel that they never get enough attention from the Three, leaving them to focus on what is missing in the relationship; and so the dance continues. For this high profile couple, keeping up the image could be what keeps them together.

Double Fours: A Double Romantic Couple

This pair may be one of the Enneagram’s most endangered species. They are a rare couple even though Romantics love to hang out together and become best friends. The best friend status is usually supported by a common interest such as a love of opera, a favorite cause, or a shared belief system. Best friends affirm each other’s value as people who have a unique vision of the world. Best friends can also be more open with each other than their romantic partners, since Fours often believe that revealing a flaw to a significant other could result in abandonment.

Double Fours share their attraction to intensity that can be evoked by the beauty of the world, by tenderness, and by experiencing the depths of emotion. A good relationship encompasses all these aspects for this couple. They may also elevate the search for a fulfilling relationship to incredibly high standards. A real relationship can become like an artistic achievement for this couple. Their romantic needs can be highly idealized while an intimate relationship cannot be forever in bliss.

The blame factor can multiply in their double Four relationship where they end up criticizing each other for what they feel is missing in the relationship; or how the other isn’t living up to their expectations. On the high side, this couple can keep the spark alive for a lifetime. It’s sad that there aren’t more of these Double Fours in relationship, giving all of us the opportunity to see how romance can live on in a long-term relationship.

Type Four with Type Five: The Observer

Under the article on Type Fives, I wrote about this relationship, and now, I will share more insights about these two types together. Despite their obvious differences, these two share a worldview that is filled with meaning, and symbolism. Both would agree that there are principles and keys of hidden meaning that operate beneath the surface of ordinary events. It is this agreement that could draw them to one another. The sense that real life is more than just superficial appearances connects these two in how they see the world very differently from mainstream society.

Boundary issues are common with this couple. Fives want to conserve energy, and will protect themselves by controlling time spent with others. Romantics want to be with their beloved, and need the attention of a lover. Observers can find excuses to limit communication, and refuse to be touched. The more the Four reaches out, the more the Five can withdraw, having a different idea of what relationship is about. It helps when both partners work out the right degree of contact with one another. Each will have to adjust his or her style of relating to accommodate the other, but in my new novel, it seems that Danielle is usually adapting to Roberto’s style more than he is finding a way to spend more time with her. Commonly, the couple can fall into a half-distant relationship which can serve the needs of both partners when they take the time to meet one another in the middle.

Type Four with the Type Six: The Loyal Skeptic

In the article on the Type Six, I wrote about this combination, and now I will continue with some of the challenges of the relationship. At times these two types can support each other’s vulnerabilities, but on the low side, that same vulnerability can be a sticking point in their relationship. In a down moment, they can each blame the other for feeling low self-esteem. The Romantic may wonder if this is right partner for them, and the Loyal Skeptic can be filled with doubt about the future of the relationship.

This couple often reports frequent breakups and reunions because a mutual blaming causes mutual mistrust. Fours squirm when their flaws are exposed, and Sixes want steadfast support even when they fail. Romantics can become difficult in a crisis, refusing to see their own flaws, and making the other wrong for their views. The Loyal Skeptic will then react by arguing against whatever position the partner thinks is important, and pushing them away in the process. It helps when each partner can back down to reaffirm their commitment to one another, and to see through their own ambivalence about intimacy.

Type Four with the Type Seven: The Epicure

In the article on the Type Seven, I wrote about this couple, and now I will focus more on the challenges of the relationship. The pitfall that this couple faces involved the Seven’s intolerance of negative emotions. Epicures have a hard time being present when things get difficult because they would rather be pursuing a more pleasant activity. Sevens crave experience, and a Four who wants the relationship will have to participate in some of their activities. Romantics rarely complain about the Epicure’s need for a variety of interests as long as the Epicure doesn’t go too far away. Participating in activities helps stabilize the Four’s changeable moods, but the Four can still find it challenging when the Seven won’t look at their own personal pain.

The partners can argue about how to deal with loaded issues. Fours think it’s important to sit down and discuss the negative feelings while the Sevens can see negativity as a waste of time. Fours can become unhappy when they hold their feelings back, and Sevens are afraid to go deep into their emotions. With time and maturity, the Four’s depth can engage the Seven while the Seven can lift the Four out of a depression. With some counseling support, this couple could learn a lot from each other. It just depends if they are able to look past the differences, and to see what they do have in common.

Type Four with Type Eight: The Protector

Under the Type Eight, I wrote about this intense couple, and now, I will share more of the insights of these two types together. In their relationship, they can actually help each other by just being themselves. An Eight usually prefers the company of a Four when they are upbeat, but if they become depressed, the Eight may disappear to go find a good time elsewhere, leaving the Four feeling ignored. This can then trigger the Four to get angry which could break their depression. If depression is anger turned inward, then an Eight could be the best remedy to help the Four express their anger. Eights can’t stand self-absorbed emotional drama, and will often provoke a fight to bring up the real feelings, which in the end can bring the couple closer.

Both are attracted to a lightning-storm life, and if one partner develops a passion, then it usually ignites the other’s support. If the Four can shift their need for attention from the Eight to a project that they both share together, then both partners can feel needed, and supported. With the Four’s emotional range, and the Eight’s practical stability, this couple can be interested in each other for years to come.

Type Four with Type Nine: The Mediator

In the article on the Type Nine, I wrote about this couple combination, and now, I will address more of their challenges in relationship. Romantics crave intensity, and with the Mediator, they could feel like they are going to sleep rather than experiencing a deep authentic love. Craving an awakening through love, the Fours want to experience the depths of love from the acute attraction to the smoldering passion. The Nine can sense the feelings of the Four, and in good times, can step up to the plate, but in other situations, they can disappear energetically, keeping busy with mundane activities. When that happens, the Romantic can feel neglected and abandoned while the Mediator feels like they’ve been there for their partner the whole time.

Four’s provocative behavior can wake up a sleepy Nine. Something must be done when strong emotions come to the surface, and you can’t go back to sleep when your partner is expressing them. This couple can also benefit from having their own interests. When they each have their own personal purpose, then they can often come back together with renewed interest in their shared time as a couple.

If you are just beginning to explore the Enneagram, I would suggest that you first gain a broad understanding of all nine types, and then as you determine your own personality type, then you can begin to imagine what types your family and friends may be. You may also want to encourage them to explore the Enneagram for themselves. The best way to discover your type is to take one of the on-line tests at the following websites: www.enneagramworldwide.com, www.enneagraminstitute.com and www.enneagram.net.

You can also schedule a private session with a counselor who has been trained to work with the Enneagram Personality Type System to help you discover your type. On my website at www.DonnaFisherJackson.com. I have also written basic descriptions for all the nine personality types to get you started.

Thanks to Helen Palmer for the many insights from her book, The Enneagram in Love & Work.

By Donna Fisher-Jackson, M.A. © 2013

Please feel free to copy this news article, and to share it with others for Free. I just ask that you keep my name at the bottom of the article, and include this line of text: Donna Fisher-Jackson, M.A., CHT is a Certified Hypnotherapist, Western Astrologer and Author who counsels clients through her business of Iris Holistic Counseling Services at www.DonnaFisherJackson.com.  She has published the self-help book, The Healing Path of the Romantic: Type Four of the Enneagram Personality Type System and a novel, Clara & Irving: A Love Story of Past Lives, based on the true story of a Romantic. Both books are available in a print and Kindle edition on Amazon.com.


Type Five: The Observer & The Investigator

Writing about the Five in relationships is a slippery subject. With their strong need for privacy, solitude, and amazing skill at detachment, it’s hard to imagine a Five in a love relationship. It reminds me of a line from the movie, The Thomas Crown Affair - “How do two porcupines make love? Very carefully.” The Five has a highly evolved defense system, and it can take a lot of patience, and perseverance by a partner to be invited inside their private world.

With their major defense being detachment, falling in love and joining in another person’s life can seem like a very, dangerous game to the Five. Disengaging thought from feeling is how they protect themselves. If you don’t feel something for the other person, then they can’t control you. Making a commitment to another person infringes on their independence. It’s a lot easier to do without someone, than to feel how much they matter to you. Fives sometimes feel “had” when a lover becomes emotionally important to them. Suddenly, they can be touched, seen and loved by another. And it can be a very scary place for them to be.

In a relationship with a Five, you need to be the active partner. You need to be the one to initiate, and reach out to them. After a great evening out, you may experience a lengthy silence from them. Without consciously being aware that they pull away, the Five needs time to withdraw and think.

If any of you have read my recent novel, Clara & Irving: A Love Story of Past Lives, one of the main characters, Roberto, exhibits some of these characteristics – the distancing, the lack of emotion at times, and the challenge to commit to another. I don’t know if he is a Five, but he does act like one at times in his romance with Danielle who is definitely a Type Four, the Romantic. I’ll write more about the relationship of the Type Four and the Five below.

Now, let’s see how the different types interact with a Five in relationship.

Type Five with Type One: The Perfectionist
These two types can look a lot alike. Both are very independent, like to work alone and both value emotional control. The Five and One can have a very practical relationship where work, projects and a well-organized family life are most important. The challenge is that neither partner wants to express anger, so at times, important subjects are not addressed. They can both dance around intimacy; and yet when they do open up to one another, they could find a soulmate who understands them like no other.

Type Five with Type Two: The Giver
This couple is certainly an attraction of the opposites. Five is the most withdrawn of the Enneagram types, and a Two spends most of their time reaching out to others. Twos are attracted to the self-possession and quiet nature of the Five. The Five can feel restful and steady to the engaging Two. The Observer can find the Giver’s open-hearted generosity attractive and refreshing. Their willingness to engage with life and activity can be compelling to the Five. The Two can take on the social role for the couple, and often speaks for the Five until a more intellectual topic comes up which then draws the Five into the conversation. In a healthy long-term relationship, Observers can learn how to meet their partner, how to stay in the room when it feels emotionally uncomfortable and how to deal with feelings rather than always withdrawing to think about them.

Type Five with Type Three: The Performer
Threes usually see themselves as extroverted, and most Fives fit the profile of the classic introvert. The introvert’s need for privacy can pose a challenge to the extrovert. The couple’s natural differences invite the Three to move towards the Five, and take charge of organizing the couple’s life. Performers show their affection by giving time and energy to a relationship which fits the needs of a reclusive partner. Threes may have to hold back at time, and respect the Five’s boundaries instead of overwhelming them, and causing them to withdraw. Nonverbal understandings seem to work well for this couple. Given a mutual attraction, the Performer will move ahead unless opposed, and the Observer commits them self by their presence. Three’s need for social contact has to be balanced with Five’s desire for privacy and predictability. They can learn to work well together with some negotiation and compromise.

Type Five with Type Four: The Romantic
This is a connection that I can understand. Being a Four with a Five wing, I can spend a lot of time alone, and be quite content. I can understand the Five’s need for privacy and solitude. I have also had quite a few Romantic friends with partners who are Observers, and in most cases, the relationship appears to be very satisfying for both.

 The differences between the two are in the ways that they can spend their time alone. The Five can live in their own intellectual world which can be quite devoid of emotions, whereas the Four is very attuned to the fluctuations of mood. The heart and mind are very different organs of perception, and sometimes, the two can feel misunderstood by the other. In Helen Palmer’s example, she wrote: “The Romantic partner may think, ‘My lover has no heart,’ and the Observer may feel, ‘My mind is filled with my beloved.’” Over time, they can attune to each other’s tastes, and there can be a beautiful blending of the Four’s aesthetic self-presentation with the Five’s observational skills to create a kind of aesthetic distance – a relationship that works for both of them.

Double Fives: The Double Observers
Two Fives can create some fascinating relationship stories. When I worked in the San FranciscoBay area, I knew a couple that had met recently – the man was from Brazil, and his new companion was from France. They had met overseas, and she came to America to be with him. They each barely spoke the other’s language, but yet, they expressed a deep connection with one another that didn’t involve words. It appeared that the silence of their courtship had allowed a profound nonverbal connection to develop. It allowed the two partners who were more introverted to not have to explain themselves, or be drained by expectations from the other. It gave their relationship a certain freedom without having to speak all their thoughts and feelings to one another. I always found their relationship intriguing, and wonder if they are still together today.

Double Fives often live well together because they do respect each other’s boundaries and need for privacy. In some Five relationships, they even create a home with separate areas for each of them, and a place where they can meet in the middle for family activities. They can enjoy the family time more when they know they can also have time alone to recover. Double Fives do admit that the most challenging part of the relationship is the feeling of being ignored at times. They express that they never knew how painful the lack of communication could be until they wanted something from their partner, and their partner just silently withdrew. Perhaps with this awareness, they may also interact with other important people in their lives differently. Their relationship may appear very subdued to others, but there can be a lot going on beneath the surface.

Type Five with the Type Six: The Loyalist
In my previous article on the Type Six, I wrote about the strengths of this relationship, and now, I’ll address some of the challenges. This relationship can flourish as long as the Six feels accepted, but if the Five withholds sex or information, the Six’s paranoia can escalate. Fives are naturally secretive which may trigger the Six to make accusations. Under attack, the Five will withdraw further to protect their privacy. Their silent treatment can be seen by the Six as aloof and uncaring, and even an admission of guilt to the Six.

Fives respect people who can contain their feelings and it helps a lot if the Six can back off, and agree to a later time to discuss the situation. Fives do need time to allow their real feelings to emerge. It also helps the Five if the Six can pinpoint a certain issue that they want to talk about rather than expressing a general need “to talk about us.” This couple can have a staying power if the lines of communication are kept open. Both types are known for long-term relationships because commitment to one another can alleviate some of the Five’s detachment, and the Six’s doubt.

Type Five with Type Seven: The Epicure
In the article on the Type Seven, I wrote about the positive attributes of this couple combination, and now I will share more of their challenges in relationship with one another. Both types are not comfortable with feelings. Fives don’t often realize that analyzing everything is not the same as expressing feelings; and the Sevens don’t see that their need to be busy is an avenue of escape. In essence, Fives simply detach from their emotions, and Sevens distract themselves from feeling. In sometimes leading separate lives, they can begin to live in separate worlds. The Observer can retreat behind a wall of privacy at home, and the Epicure can be out in the world, and hardly ever home. It helps when each of them can reach out and experience a part of the other’s world. Fives need to invest time and energy in the relationship, and Sevens need to develop a more single-minded concentration that is called for in a full commitment to the relationship.

Type Five with Type Eight: The Protector
In the article on the Type Eight, I highlighted the strengths of this relationship, and now, I will address some of the challenges. Their styles of interacting and dealing with conflict are quite different. A common interaction involves the Five becoming overwhelmed by the energy of the Eight, and the Eight complaining that they have to hold back at times. Fives can drain the energy out of an interaction as quickly as their Eight partners can pump it in. The couple’s emotional interaction can resemble the cresting and ebbing of tides: Eights press for contact with the power of a crashing wave where the Fives withdraw like the undertow pulling back into the ocean. Five’s emotions well up when they are safely alone, and Eight’s feelings contract when under stress. The two can learn a lot from each other. The Five can learn how to express their feelings more in the moment, and the Eight is often disarmed by emotional self-control which gives them the opportunity to look within rather than picking a fight. The long-term couples with these types offer become energetically alike, and can also exchange behaviors. In a successful combination of these qualities, the Observer can appear to spring into action while the Protector can learn patience over time.

Type Five with Type Nine: The Mediator
In the article on the Type Nine, I revealed some of the benefits of their relationship, and now, I’ll share some of the challenges. Both types have delayed emotional reactions. A Mediator’s point of view emerges slowly over time while an Observer can suspend their feelings during an interaction. Both can dislike having to take action. Nines can get stubborn when they’re expected to make a decision, and Fives can withdraw from another’s expectations. In the relationship, an unconscious agreement to avoid conflict can develop, allowing each partner to escape into their private world. A Mediator’s activities probably won’t disturb an Observer unless it interferes with his routine at home. An out of touch Nine won’t question the Five’s compartmentalized life.

This no-conflict agreement can deaden the relationship. With the Five detaching from their feelings, and the Nine numbing out with their favorite activities. The two can begin to lead separate lives, drifting apart. A real union requires participation, but the pair may choose peace and harmony over a real relationship. Even though it sounds like a paradox, this relationship can really benefit from a small explosion that breaks the holding pattern. A good fight or a good cry can enliven and bring the couple back together before it’s too late. The challenges of a relationship are what really bring people together, and wake them up to the fact that they do need each other. An honest relationship can allow the Five to become more comfortable with feelings, and give the Nine a chance to develop a permanent commitment with their partner.

If you are just beginning to explore the Enneagram, I would suggest that you first gain a broad understanding of all nine types, and then as you determine your own personality type, then you can begin to imagine what types your family and friends may be. You may also want to encourage them to explore the Enneagram for themselves. The best way to discover your type is to take one of the on-line tests at the following websites: www.enneagramworldwide.com, www.enneagraminstitute.com and www.enneagram.net.

You can also schedule a private session with a counselor who has been trained to work with the Enneagram Personality Type System to help you discover your type. On my website at www.DonnaFisherJackson.com. I have also written basic descriptions for all the nine personality types to get you started.

Thanks to Helen Palmer for her insights from her book, The Enneagram in Love & Work.

By Donna Fisher-Jackson, M.A. © 2013

Please feel free to copy this news article, and to share it with others for Free. I just ask that you keep my name at the bottom of the article, and include this line of text: Donna Fisher-Jackson, M.A., CHT is a Certified Hypnotherapist, Western Astrologer and Author who counsels clients through her business of Iris Holistic Counseling Services at www.DonnaFisherJackson.com. She has also published the book, The Healing Path of the Romantic: Type Four of the Enneagram Personality Type System which is available in a print and Kindle edition on Amazon.com.


Type Six: The Loyal Skeptic & The Loyalist

The Six’s biggest fear in relationship is probably - Can I trust this person? Their experience of childhood didn’t provide them with the safety and security that they needed so as adults, they do their best to create a safe and secure place for themselves in the world. When it comes to relationships, they are usually very cautious, and not willing to take a risk and share their true feelings right away. In time, when they feel that they can trust a partner, they are the most loyal and steadfast in relationships. They need partners who can offer them reassurance, and who will be a pillar of strength when the future looks unstable, and who are faithful to their word.

In relationships, the Six is looking for the position of power. They cultivate this power through physical strength or beauty; or through developing their mind. Strength, beauty and intelligence are all a show of power which can cover any of their deeper insecurities. Even a paranoid person can feel powerful if people perceive them as strong, beautiful, sexy and smart. Their fear evaporates when a partner looks up to them, and respects them. When they feel secure in a relationship, they can carry more than their share of responsibility. They are usually low-maintenance mates. They don’t demand a lot of attention, and are extremely loyal to the people that they trust. Sixes put those that they love first.

The descriptions below reveal how the Six can express themselves in relationship with the other types:

Type Six with Type One: The Perfectionist
The initial attraction between this couple often centers on a shared vision that requires hard work to become a reality. Sixes often identify with a cause which goes well with the One’s desire for perfection. If they share a similar worldview, the One-Six couple is often dedicated to a dream that they can create together.

One-Six couples often share a deep affinity and both can also feel guilt if they don’t perform up to their standards. Both can also procrastinate with the One being afraid to make a mistake, and the Six doubting their own success at a task. They can both feel challenged to express anger at one another. Without checking in with one another, they could become paralyzed by inner worry and doubt. Clear communication in their relationship could certainly ease a lot of their worries.

Type Six with Type Two: The Giver
In the early stages of relationship, the Two can move towards the Six to disarm their fear of intimacy while the Six learns to feel safe with this kind of support. It helps a lot when the Two can support some of the causes of the Six which can inspire the Six to trust the Two in the relationship since they are supporting such worthwhile causes.

The trust can continue to grow in the relationship when the Six has their own personal goals separate from those that their partner favors. It also helps if the Six can be more physically demonstrative and open to receiving the affection from a Two without feeling that they’re being patronized or just flattered. The relationship is a bit of stretch for both partners, but a lot can be learned when they do join together.

Type Six with Type Three: The Performer
This couple is a rarity in the couples of the Enneagram. The success of the relationship is so dependent on resolving the tension between performance and performance anxiety. Threes are go-getters and don’t always make time to stop and talk about their relationship with a partner. The “talking” can activate a Three’s anxiety about self-worth, and they will more likely speed up just when the Six wants to stop and talk about their doubts. A wise Six will notice that the talking about emotional issues with a Three goes better when they are sharing an activity together.

The pair can actually help each other in an essential way. Threes often feel frightened by relating to someone whose worldview hinges on doubt while Sixes challenge image and doubt success - the very attributes that a Three counts on to feel good about themselves. It helps a great deal when the Three can drop success as a measure of personal worth and focus on the feelings that underlie the Six’s self-doubt. The couple definitely views success differently, and this could be one of their biggest challenges in relationship.

Type Six with Type Four: The Romantic
This couple can bond over sharing similar qualities. Romantics can often be as fearful as any Six while Loyalists are tuned into the universal suffering that is so familiar to a Romantic. Their shared perceptions of the world can actually strengthen their relationship. Both are privy to the depth of purpose and meaning found in voluntary suffering.

This couple reveals two different motivations that can inspire a similar worldview. Both types identify with fear and sadness, but for different reasons. Loyalists see themselves as outcasts and underdogs who can fear judgment while Romantics fear being misunderstood and abandoned. They are bonded by this shared destiny as well as by sharing a creative energy that can inspire them to take on a creative project of significance in their life. They both expect a great deal from themselves.

Type Six with Type Five: The Observer
The Six-Five couple can embody the inward experience of being in a close relationship. They may not be publicly demonstrative because they relate through a quiet connection. They can show this by reading in the same room without interrupting one another, or having meals together without feeling pressured to talk.

The Observer’s detachment can make a Loyalist feel like the active agent in the relationship giving them the chance to affect and direct. An active role satisfies the Six’s desire for strength and beauty while at the same time relieving the Five of the burden of having to be the leader. The couple’s bond is usually more of a mental connection even when they are sexually matched and emotionally close. Both understand that there’s more to love than feelings. The challenges come when the Observer withdraws too much which activates the Loyalist’s paranoia that there is something wrong. In the coming article on the Five, I will write more about the challenges of this relationship.

Double Sixes: The Double Loyalists
Sixes have a habit of intense internal questioning. This habit often makes the Six appear to be oppositional. A Double Six couple though would welcome the fact that a partner is willing to raise hard questions. The cross-examination eliminates doubt and frees up the couple to move forward. When both partners feel anxious about the same external event, then they can unite in an us-against-the-world alliance. This mutual doubt sometimes does create a shared false belief that can prolong the difficulties. On the high side, the Double Six couples are a source of strength to each other. They pull together under pressure and often join groups that are fighting together for a cause.

Double Sixes need activities where they can coast on familiar routines without thinking like knowing that no matter what happens that lunch is always served at Noon. They need small pleasures to look forward to to alleviate some of their worries about the future. Envisioning the future together can also be a source of pleasure since having a shared dream can generate faith and trust within them and with others.

Type Six with Type Seven: The Epicure
Seven’s attraction to pleasure can provide an antidote to Six’s doubt. Likewise a Six who is loyal in times of trouble can be healing to a Seven who is terrified of pain. Though this couple could have commitment issues. Sixes want guarantees before they commit to anyone or anything, and Sevens can’t stand to be pinned down. Seven’s flights of fancy can look like betrayal to an insecure Six. Reassurance is important on both sides. Sevens get the couple out of the house where a fun time can erase paranoia and doubt away. A shared activity can do more toward reassuring a Six about commitment than a lengthy talk. Long term Six-Seven couples say that they’ve learned to meet in the middle. For more on this couple dynamic, refer to the article below on the Type Seven.

Type Six with the Type Eight: The Protector
The Six-Eight couple expresses more of a meeting of the body and mind rather than romantic sentiment. The partners can share a dislike of overly sentimental feelings. Devotion is expressed through physical activities and the sharing of ideas. The typical dynamic shows an Eight in control with a Six in the supportive role. Eights want action and Sixes are happier in the more protected role. For all their bravado, Eights find it easier to challenge life or to support someone else’s agenda rather than to search within for a personal motivation. Without a clear call to action, the Eight can coast, stir up trouble or decide to support the Six’s agenda. Eights are very helpful when they are willing to be supportive, but can be very challenging when they take charge of another’s life instead of improving their own. For more on this couple dynamic, refer to the article below on the Type Eight.

Type Six with the Type Nine: The Mediator
A Six-Nine couple can often avoid anger. Although Sixes find the passive anger of a Nine less threatening than the critical anger of a One or the periodic rage of an Eight. An angry Mediator looks stubborn rather than dangerous which can alleviate the Loyalist’s fear of attack. A no-conflict agreement can emerge that either reduces tension between the two or allows the energy to move into a safe routine. It’s important that the couple learn to risk being angry rather than suppressing their strong emotions.

Another challenge for this couple is to become stuck in a place of inactivity where the Nine’s indecision is in collusion with the Six’s doubt. If one of the partners can initiate action, then it can break the stalemate over who should go first. Activity is immensely healing to both types especially when each person pursues their own agenda without insisting that the other join in. For more on this couple dynamic, refer to the article below on the Type Nine.

If you are just beginning to explore the Enneagram, I would suggest that you first gain a broad understanding of all nine types, and then as you determine your own personality type, then you can begin to imagine what types your family and friends may be. You may also want to encourage them to explore the Enneagram for themselves. The best way to discover your type is to take one of the on-line tests at the following websites: www.enneagramworldwide.com, www.enneagraminstitute.com and www.enneagram.net

You can also schedule a private session with a counselor who has been trained to work with the Enneagram Personality Type System to help you discover your type. On my website at www.DonnaFisherJackson.com I have also written basic descriptions of all nine personality types to get you started.

Thanks to Helen Palmer for her great descriptions of the nine types in relationship from her book, The Enneagram in Love & Work.

By Donna Fisher-Jackson, M.A. © 2012


Type Seven: The Epicure & The Enthusiast

Everyone probably knows a Type Seven. They certainly meet a lot of people with the variety of interests and activities that they enjoy experiencing. They may be challenging to pin down because they love to keep their options open. In one night, they may attend a book signing, a gallery opening and a musical performance at a local bar - all because they can’t bear to miss out on an event.

The Seven’s energy reminds me of the zodiac Sun sign of Gemini, and how they are so adept at having about 10 balls in the air at any given time. Gemini’s are also social like the Type Seven, and love to flit from one interest to another. They may not explore the interest deeply, but they love to just have a little taste of the experience. The Sevens also seem to have that same desire to step up to the smorgasbord of life, and sample a little of each offering.

How does the Seven experience relationships? They are the upbeat and fun partner. They are independent and self-motivated to pursue their own interests. Their priorities can change at a moment’s notice. If they get bored with an activity, they just move on. In relationships, if it gets too difficult and “messy”, they may just move onto the next more pleasurable partner.

One of the biggest challenges in being in relationship with a Seven is that they have trouble dealing with “negative” emotions such as anger and sadness. When a partner insists on talking about a challenging problem, the Seven can feel like they are being forced to deal with something unpleasant. Instantly, their mind moves forward onto something more pleasant. If they can’t get away from the problem, they can feel like they’re fighting for their life. They can feel like they’re being limited. Of course, the “evolved” Seven learns how to sit with those more challenging emotions and problems, but that does take a certain amount of maturity to reach that point in life.

Sevens become very aware of the limitations of relationship when they are asked for a commitment. They may choose to live in a committed relationship for years, but they may not feel entirely comfortable with the concept. They can still see the long-term relationship as a “process” and a continuing adventure.

The descriptions below reveal how the Seven can express themselves in relationship with the other types:


Type Seven with Type One: The Perfectionist

Sevens admire the One for being so disciplined, dedicated to their principles and their ability to follow through on what they believe. Ones are more practical and work towards their goals with a lot of concentration which can help the Seven ground their scattered thinking.

Ones are also attracted to the Seven for their spontaneity and freshness that they can bring to a relationship. Sevens can be a lot of fun to live with, and enliven a household. The One may also see a Seven as flakey in the way they move from one interest to another.

A successful relationship with the Seven and One can include a combination of their positive skills. Because Ones want precision and Sevens want options, the two together can create adventures that are functional, and not just pies in the sky. The couple can also follow their own paths in relationship as far as interests and activity, and only come together on some issues and events revolving around the family.

Type Seven with Type Two: The Giver

This couple can be a classic “fun” couple. Givers love to help their partners manifest their dreams, and will share in the enthusiasm that Epicures bring to a relationship. The Seven’s vision is often the focus of the couple’s emotional life. Both can envision a future filled with hope and promise. The Two can focus on the Seven’s potential talents, but the Two will also sense the hidden pain of the Seven. They are doubly fascinated by the Seven’s sunny personality and the dissatisfaction that they hide so well from others. Givers may feel inspired to help Epicures become productive people as well as help them heal underlying fears. In return, the Twos receive adventure and attention because the Seven can be so charming as playmates.

The charm of the Seven and the seduction of the Two can make for an attractive pair. Both can enjoy a wide variety of activities. Given enough freedom, the Seven can handle the “C” word, and make a commitment where they don’t feel limited.

Type Seven with Type Three: The Performer

This is a great energy match that can produce a life of successful adventures especially when the couple shares the same interests. Three’s desire for goals can be well-matched with the Seven’s ability to keep the options open. This couple may not spend a lot of time together with all their goals and activities unless they can find some mutual interests.

Both people can overrate the fun parts of the relationship and gloss over the missing pieces. For both types, it’s not that interesting to focus on money matters and disciplining children when you’d rather dream about tomorrow and other future plans. Both people can also hide behind their public images; and when those images are questioned, the Three can disappear by changing their image and telling partial truths while the Seven disappears by switching options and rationalizing changes. It’s almost like there is an unconscious conspiracy to allow each other to do their own thing rather than coming together as allies in their personal growth. If a Seven/Three couple can move towards more honest communication with one another, they are known to describe their long-term relationship as “productive fun.”

Type Seven with Type Four: The Romantic

This couple is one of the Enneagram’s attraction of the opposites in a relationship. Fours experience the world through feelings while Sevens are primarily mental. Each has gifts to share of the heart and the mind that can create a true union of the opposites or a feeling of alienation.

Fours feel special, and Sevens feel entitled so they can therefore support each other’s unique talents or they can have unrealistic expectations for what their union can create. Oddly an Epicure’s emotional unavailability can fit well with the Romantic’s longing for missing pieces. There’s energy in the challenge of pursuing what is missing. Both types like intensity while the Seven focuses on the event, and the Four focuses on the Seven.

The natural optimism that Epicures bring to a relationship can be a deterrent to the Four’s propensity for melancholy. Sevens are not easily influenced by the Four’s push-pull Romantic pattern, and Fours actually respect a partner who can stand their ground in the midst of their drama. The biggest challenge can be the Seven’s intolerance of “negative” emotions while the Four can go deep in this area.

Type Seven with Type Five: The Observer

Epicures “eat” experience, and love to travel, take classes, and work on several projects at once. On the other hand, Fives spend their time and energy carefully. Some Seven/Five couples find themselves “doing their own thing” because Fives love to have time by themselves to pursue their quest for knowledge and inner exploration while the Sevens need to be out and about experiencing life in its many forms. Sevens find things to do that the Fives can enjoy vicariously without having to leave their home.

Fives can admire the social ease of the Seven, and Sevens can feel a sense of peace being around the Five’s more introverted presence. As long as they can stay in touch from time to time, they are not likely to interfere with the other’s activities. Their intimacy as a couple can be expressed through a common vision or in their commitment to their children. These two types can learn a great deal from one another if they are able to appreciate the gifts of the other.

Type Seven with Type Six: The Loyal Skeptic

The Six and Seven both experience anxiety and fear, but in different ways. The Six can be overly tentative and cautious in comparison with the Seven’s breezy approach to connecting with people. Sevens diffuse their fears through having a lot of back-up plans; and may unconsciously depend on the Six to express their underlying paranoia.

An Epicure can dismiss the Loyal Skeptic’s concerns as figments of their imagination, but when the Loyal Skeptic is told to lighten up, they can become more deeply afraid. The two types can hold opposite impressions of relationship: Sevens see unlimited possibilities while Sixes can feel bound by duty and hard work. A certain amount of reality testing is needed in this relationship. When one partner sees the best, and the other sees the worst, they can often meet in the middle and find a more realistic view.

The Double Seven: The Double Epicures

When Epicures list what they would like in a partner, they often pick the same features that they see in themselves - “energetic, independent, optimistic, playful, and successful.” It would seem that they want a mirror image companion. It’s probably why Sevens often join up as playmates and confidants, but they rarely commit to a lasting relationship. It would seem that relating to an idealized view of yourself may not produce the depth or substance or worthy opposition that leads to an enduring commitment.

The Double Sevens can appear to be on an everlasting high of fun and adventure, but underneath, there can be a lot of hidden challenges that are not addressed. For the Seven, “boredom” can be one of the most terrifying places to be. They can have a fear of losing the whole world for just this one person. Commitment to one another is their biggest challenge, but if they can agree to stay together through those “boring” times, then they can entertain the full cycle of life from pleasure to sorrow, and from joy to pain.

Type Seven with the Type Eight: The Protector

Some of the relationship challenges of this match are around the Seven’s issues with commitment. When the “C” word comes up, the Seven can become greatly stressed by the idea and resort to critical behavior. The Eight may then stir up a fight to enliven the relationship, and Sevens see anger as another step towards increasing commitment. The Seven is used to leaving a relationship when it gets challenging. On the other hand, Eights, under stress can withdraw to think and heal their wounds. The Seven and Eight can appreciate the other’s need for alone time, but then they may miss out on the important emotional insights that come from sitting down and talking about the problem. This shared tendency of the Seven and Eight can mean they detach rather than deal with the difficulty. This cycle of denial that there’s a problem can continue until it arises once again. They can learn to resolve their differences when they are able to sit down and work them out, and perhaps counseling is their best option for this to happen. For more of the higher expressions of this couple, refer to the article below on the Type Eight.

Type Seven with the Type Nine: The Mediator

Some of the relationship challenges of this match center around how Epicures can avoid choosing by moving so fast. The Buddhists would call their mindset, “monkey mind” because attention shifts rapidly from one thing to another in order to satisfy their desire to experience all aspects of life. Sevens need to learn to limit themselves and to focus on what is possible in the relationship. Nines on the other hand can get obsessively attached to a single course of action. They can avoid choice by going over and over this one plan without actually choosing it, and moving forward. Nines need to learn to work toward what is essential in their relationships without getting distracted.

Sevens also tend to be more focused on what interests them while Nines typically merge with a partner often losing their own agenda in the process. The result is obvious: Mediators focus on Epicures, and Epicures focus on themselves. It is for this reason that Sevens introduce new perspectives to the relationship providing a Nine with more choices than that one single course of action. For more of the higher expressions of this couple, refer to the article below on the Type Nine.

If you are just beginning to explore the Enneagram, I would suggest that you first gain a broad understanding of all nine types, and then as you determine your own personality type, then you can begin to imagine what types your family and friends may be. You may also want to encourage them to explore the Enneagram for themselves. The best way to discover your type is to take one of the on-line tests at the following websites: www.enneagramworldwide.com www.enneagraminstitute.com and www.enneagram.net.

You can also schedule a private session with a counselor who has been trained to work with the Enneagram Personality Type System to help you discover your type. On my website at www.DonnaFisherJackson.com. I have also written basic descriptions of all nine personality types to get you started.

Thanks to Helen Palmer for her insights from her book, The Enneagram in Love & Work.
By Donna Fisher-Jackson, M.A. © 2012

Please feel free to copy this news article, and to share it with others for Free. I just ask that you keep my name at the bottom of the article, and include this line of text: Donna Fisher-Jackson, M.A., CHT is a Holistic Counselor, Certified Hypnotherapist, and Western Astrologer who counsels clients through her business of Iris Holistic Counseling Services at www.DonnaFisherJackson.com. She has also published the book, The Healing Path of the Romantic: Type Four of the Enneagram Personality Type System which is available in a print and Kindle edition on Amazon.com.


Type Eight: The Protector & The Challenger

In this month of April with the Sun in the zodiac sign of Aries, it feels like the perfect time to write about the Type Eight who is a lot like an Aries. Aries are known trail blazers and risk takers with a huge appetite for life, and you could also say the same about the Type Eight known as the Boss, Challenger, and Protector.

Relationships can be a challenging area for an Eight who likes to be in control as well as enjoys their personal freedom. They can find intimate relationships to be a little too confining for their tastes. Being a gut-based type, they feel and act for their own interests often without considering the consequences. They just believe that it’s best to look out for your own needs. Isn’t that what everyone else does?

Eights can feel invigorated by a relationship that includes conflict, adventure and sex, but they are often inexperienced in the softer feelings. When they do feel safe in a relationship, then they can let their guard down, and reveal a more vulnerable side, but it can also quickly disappear if they feel threatened in any way. They often view compromise, and revealing a softer side as a sign of weakness.

Relating to an Eight is usually going to include some confrontation. They like to test people’s limits, and see conflict as a test of power. They are overly concerned with justice and the fair use of power in general. Eights feel supported by those who stick to their own version of the truth, who hold their ground under fire, who deal fairly, and who model the right use of power when necessary in service to others.

Eights are fierce protectors of those they love, and can be very generous with their time and conversation with their family and friends. They are also high energy, and wonder why others can’t keep up with their huge appetite for life.

The descriptions below reveal how the Eight can express themselves in relationship with the other types:

Type Eight with Type One: The Perfectionist
This combination could be considered one of the Enneagram opposites. Both are anger types who are known for their black or white thinking, and a need to be right. At first, Ones may be strongly attracted to the force and sexuality of the Eight along with their love of freedom; and the Eights drawn to the discipline and strong sense of ethics of the One who looks so truthful in the eyes of the lawless Eight; but eventually strong feelings of anger can begin to simmer below the surface. The One isn’t comfortable expressing their anger directly, and the Eight enjoys the excitement of confrontation. They can quickly become polarized in a disagreement. If they can move past their challenges, the combination of the Ones’ discipline with the Eights’ high energy has the potential of focused power.

Type Eight with Type Two: The Giver
The desire to be central in a partner’s life is familiar to both of these types. Both want attention, but their way of getting attention is quite different. Givers move towards others wanting to please them while Protectors insist that their own needs be met first. Physical love is important to both because Eights are sexually expressive while Twos often equate sex with love. The focus of the couple will be on the Eight’s agenda, but the Two can take satisfaction in making the Eight’s wishes come true. The challenge for the long-term relationship will be that the Protectors’ needs are always being met while the Givers’ needs go underground, and may never fully surface in the relationship. In return for the help of the Two, the Eight offers protection and strong leadership.

Type Eight with Type Three: The Performer
Both types like to be the active partner in a relationship. Eights want to protect others, and Threes want to provide for those they love. Eights like to be in control and deny their softer feelings while Threes work hard to numb what they feel. In times of adversity, the couple can finally learn to lean on one another for support. They can be the confidants of each other. Confident and secure, they are likely to be successful together. Threes do need to show appreciation for all that the Eights do instead of taking all the credit. This couple can definitely join in taking action, but they need to learn more about the areas of feelings and just being together.

Type Eight with Type Four: The Romantic
This can be a partnership of intensity acted out by fight, flight, fascination and flair. Each can be in awe of the other. Protectors can see themselves as coarse and blunt in comparison to the more refined and socially adept Romantic. On the other hand, the Four can be magnetized by the Eight’s direct emotional stance as being in touch with their “authentic” feelings. Eights don’t waste a lot of time worrying about what others think, and that can be very refreshing to a Four who can hide behind a glamorous image at times. Fours can demand a wide range of feelings from a partner, and Eights enjoy matching strong energies. They appreciate each other’s desire to push the limits. The couple can also help each other in projects that they share together. A Protector is good at making other people’s projects happen, and in return can benefit greatly from witnessing the Romantic’s complex inner life. Between Four’s emotional range and Eight’s practical stability, the couple can stay interested in each other for a long time.

Type Eight with Type Five: The Observer
The Protector is the Enneagram’s most assertive type, and the Observer is definitely the most withdrawn type. The Eights always want more out of life, and the Fives enjoy having simple needs. Eights look to the world for adventure, and Fives retreat to have privacy and much-needed alone time. In spite of these differences, these two types are often found together in a couple, and balance each other. Over time, they begin to even resemble one another with the Eight becoming tamer, and the Five more assertive. Both types value their personal autonomy, and know what they like and don’t like. They are not likely to get enmeshed in a partner’s agenda. With this shared feeling of independence, they also feel free to speak honestly and openly with one another.  In a positive relationship between these two types, the Observer can learn how to spring into action, and the Protector can learn patience in waiting for the right moment.

Type Eight with Type Six: The Loyal Skeptic
In the dating phase, Eights can be very direct in their pursuit of another which can alleviate some of the fear and doubts of a Six. Eights feel secure in taking charge and offering protection which matches the insecurities of the Six quite well. Eights are confident and comfortable with their sexuality which can be liberating to Sixes who can contract and often feel guilty about seeking out pleasure. Both types expect adversity in life, and can stand together through difficult times. A perfect example would be the larger than life Eight relying on the advice of the more mental and strategic Six.  Equipped with helpful counsel, Eights can move mountains for those they love. Eights value loyalty and Sixes are without question the most loyal of all the types. The couple does have its set of challenges which usually surface when the Six feels pushed by the Eight’s need for action. The Eight can grow impatient with the Six’s reluctance to make a move, and the Six can feel bullied by the Eight’s actions. Learning how to work out their differences can certainly make or break this couple.

Type Eight with Type Seven: The Epicure
This couple has a promising match for creative entertainment, good sex and adventure. Both types like to play hard and live their lives guilt-free. They are accountable only to themselves, and can’t stand the word “should.” Independence can be a mutually shared goal. A Protector likes to make and break the rules while an Epicure sees dogma as the end of living. An unspoken agreement can come about allowing each other the time and space to follow their personal interests without offending one another. A power struggle can develop when the Eight tries to limit some of the Seven’s ever-growing list of activities. The pattern can reveal itself with the Protector trying to control the schedule, and the Epicure making excuses. Eights like to take control when they feel threatened and Sevens can be very hard to pin down, always leaving their options open. The couple can withdraw from each other to heal, but they can also miss out on the emotional insight that can come from talking about an on-going issue.

The Double Eight: The Double Protectors
Together, Eights enjoy an active lifestyle. They like to be able to fully express themselves, and who better to do that with than another Eight. There’s no need to hold anything back. They like to argue because it’s high-intensity contact, and discharging all that energy feels pleasurable to them. Eights can engage their energy in argument, but may not be that invested in the outcome. It can have less to do with winning than to stir up some energy to feel vibrant and alive. Double Eights understand that fights can be a way to get close to one another. For them, anger doesn’t always mean that your feelings are hurt, or that you’re breaking up because you’re not speaking to one another. The Double Eight romance includes a good measure of anger and sexuality. The couple can also agree to allow one of the partners to be the Protector while the other plays a more supportive role in the household.  Eights in love can look very different from the aggressive yang type that shows up in the office.

Type Eight with Type Nine: The Mediator
This couple can have an attraction to creature comforts. The couple can settle into a domestic routine where they match one another’s energy levels. On the high side, they can make a good home together, and are generous with one another, and with friends. On the low side, their shared passions for comfort can drain time and energy. Eights like to control resources, and Nines have a strong appetite for ease. If they get too much in the comfort zone, then either type can be prone to not-giving and not-doing. Decisions can then be made by default with the energy shifting into a holding pattern where little is accomplished. For more of the higher expressions of this couple, refer to the article below on the Type Nine.

If you are just beginning to explore the Enneagram, I would suggest that you first gain a broad understanding of all nine types, and then as you determine your own personality type, then you can begin to imagine what types your family and friends may be. The best way to discover your type is to take one of the on-line tests at the following websites: www.enneagramworldwide.com, www.enneagraminstitute.com and www.enneagram.net
You can also schedule a private session with a counselor who has been trained to work with the Enneagram Personality Type System to help you discover your type. On my website at www.DonnaFisherJackson.com I have also written basic descriptions of all nine personality types to get you started.

Thanks to Helen Palmer for her insights from her book, The Enneagram in Love & Work.

By Donna Fisher-Jackson, M.A. © 2012

Please feel free to copy this news article, and to share it with others for Free. I just ask that you keep my name at the bottom of the article, and include this line of text: Donna Fisher-Jackson, M.A., CHT is a Holistic Counselor, Certified Hypnotherapist, and Western Astrologer who counsels clients through her business of Iris Holistic Counseling Services at www.DonnaFisherJackson.com She has also published the book, The Healing Path of the Romantic: Type Four of the Enneagram Personality Type System which is available in a print and Kindle edition on Amazon.com.


Type Nine: The Mediator & The Peacemaker

The Type Nine of the Enneagram personality type system is a good place to begin when you’re talking about relationships. Because a Nine can feel like they are in relationship with everyone they meet. They can so easily merge and feel what the other person is experiencing. In a personal relationship, they can often see the value in the other person’s position more easily than their own. For them, it can also feel more comfortable to go along with what others want than to confront them. In this way, they can avoid conflict, and won’t have to express anger.

Once a Nine merges with another in an intimate relationship, it is very challenging for them to separate. Their relationships can continue for years beyond a natural ending point. Nines can find it hard to give up memories of old relationships which can keep them from seeking out new ones.

Nines can retreat into daily habits and trivial tasks rather than fully engaging in the relationship. Their energy can focus on the practical concerns of relationship such as paying the bills, fixing the bathroom, etc. As the partner of a Nine, you can be the one that takes on the active role for change. The Nine will tell you what you want to hear, but that doesn’t mean that they agree with you. They’re just often avoiding a disagreement.

Nines can spend time dreaming about an ideal partner who will create a new life for them while on the flip side, if things don’t work out in that “new” life then they can blame the person for what went wrong.

One of their relationship goals could be to set better boundaries with others. When they are able to do this, then their relationships can deepen without the loss of their own personal identity.

In relationships, Nines grow by staying present, setting their own individual goals and following through on them. They are helped by partners who encourage them to have their own goals, and who value what they believe in, and remind them to pay attention to themselves.
The descriptions below reveal how the Nine can express themselves in relationship with the other types:

Type Nine with Type One: The Perfectionist & The Reformer
Nines and Ones have many traits in common so they can look alike. They are both anger types that repress their feelings of anger, and they can also become obsessive such as taking a long time to make a decision. Nines see a decision from many different angles while the Ones worry about making the wrong choice. Unless the couple can keep in mind their individual and couple goals, then it can take a long time for them to make important decisions. Ones can become so focused on the details while Nines wait for someone else to initiate a change. This couple wants life to be peaceful and comfortable. Both like the security of creating a home, and having a stable routine. Nines are often agreeable, and this can reduce the anxiety of the Ones in having to always be right. In return, Nines find a sense of order in the world of the One.

Type Nine with Type Two: The Giver &The Helper
This partnership is a common one in marriage. Both types can merge with others, take on the feelings of others, and can be focused on fulfilling the needs of others. Nines need a reason for living which can be found through having a mate while Twos want to find their identity through helping others. Givers want to help Nines find purpose in their lives. They can also communicate with one another at a non-verbal level. Twos may be attracted to the gentle and caring sides of a Nine. Nines enjoy affection which allows the Two to be as affectionate as they wish. Both types can use sex to have a deeper connection; and often for the Two, sexual attention can equal love.

Type Nine with Type Three: The Performer &The Achiever
Threes like to impress their partners while Nines tend to merge with other people’s ideas. This pattern of attraction encourages the Three to create an image that captures a Nine’s heart. Pleased by the attention, a Nine will then feel drawn to support the Three’s plan of action for the relationship. Seeking their own personal life goal, the Nine can often become animated by a more active partner’s agenda. Nines can often get caught up in the other person’s interests, sometimes for years. Nines can gain security by merging with the image and identity that a partner provides. If they feel that the Three’s goals are a reflection of their own inner needs, then a productive partnership can be created, driven by the Three, and shared by the Nine.

Type Nine with Type Four: The Romantic & The Individualist
Fours can envision a time of being “awakened through love” while Nines seek vitality and an agenda from a partner. During the best of times, they can love one another without expectations or blame. But at a low point in the relationship, they could expect the impossible: The Romantic seeking permanent emotional satisfaction, and the Mediator seeking to be handed a life to live. In the early stages of love, the Four can feel accepted with all their flaws while the Nine’s constant presence helps them live without a fear of abandonment. Nines can be very tolerant of others, but they also want unconditional acceptance. When the Fours start to see what is “missing” in the relationship, the Nines will feel like they are being blamed for what’s wrong. It is in the best interest of this couple to also have their own interests, and personal goals in life.

Type Nine with Type Five: The Observer & The Investigator
This couple can have an appreciation for nonverbal communication because both value being understood without having to verbally discuss everything. Shared activities help this couple come together. Since both express their love in nonverbal ways, they can experience their emotional well-being when they are doing something together like going for a walk, or household shopping. Nines can take on the feeling of those close to them so the Five’s non-verbal expressions can become an object of scrutiny for the Nine. The Five’s needs can become the centerpiece of the Nine. Fives have trouble with emotional dependency, and can be aloof if a mate has too many expectations of them. Both partners are more comfortable when attention is deflected from themselves and towards others. Fives like to counsel their partners, and Nines can take on another’s life as their own. This is a couple that can give each other plenty of space.

Type Nine with Type Six: The Loyal Skeptic & The Loyalist
Nines usually have a calm reassuring presence. It can be like coming home after a hard day at work to a place where you can unwind, and be accepted. The Nine can be a comforter to the Six who can carry more of the fear in the relationship. The Sixes’ challenge between commitment and doubt can be familiar to the Nine who also has trouble choosing a course of action. Both partners can have trouble taking action, and can find it easier to act in the name of another. With this dynamic, this can be either a partnership of mutual support or a continuing battle for who goes first. It’s going to be most important for each person to define their own personal goals rather than expect the other to lead. Nines can merge with a partner’s point of view, and Sixes can be loyal supporters, but then who is the one that takes the initiative? That is where having your own individual goals can be helpful.

Type Nine with a Type Seven: The Epicure & The Enthusiast
Sevens are highly experimental, and like to keep up with events, and new ideas. They can enliven a family with all their interests and activities. They can also draw a Nine out of their familiar habits. The partners can share a grand worldview. Sevens organize their life to include all kinds of options, and a lot of their optimism comes from looking forward to tomorrow’s plans. Nines are also big picture thinkers including different points of view. The couple’s vision often produces wide-ranging activities, different groups of friends and a willingness to let the children express their unique selves. The challenge with this couple is that there can be too many options, and it can take a long time to make a final decision while they check out all the options. They also tend to avoid conflict, and may simply ignore the harder questions of life.

Type Nine with a Type Eight: The Protector & The Challenger
These two types can open each other’s eyes to a different style of relating. Eights can push through obstacles while Nines try to forget them. It can be enlightening when an Eight learns how to defer to another, and it can be equally educational when a Nine witnesses the positive effects of expressing anger. This relationship unites the energies of impulse and inertia which will either cancel each other out, or produce their own unique blend. Eights bring an excitement to a relationship that sparks a partner’s own energy. In return, Nines learn how to weather emotional storms by living with an Eight.

Type Nine with their own kind, another Nine
A double Nine couple gives the appearance of being merged together. They can have a similar way of communicating, and look like a settled couple with few conflicts. It’s a live-and-let-live way of being. There is a willingness to accept each other unconditionally without forcing change along with a mutual desire to stay comfortable. Problems with initiating priorities are magnified with a Double Nine couple. The options all begin to seem similar, and there’s a crosscurrent of conflicting needs. Merged in their mutual desire to avoid conflict, the partners can collude in not-doing as they build a peaceful lifestyle that will keep distress away, but this also requires a lot of energy. The low side of this relationship is an enmeshment in routine interests and tasks that keep the status quo. The high side of the Double Nines shows a couple in unified, nonverbal accord. They are supportive of each other, but also respect the other for having their own life purpose, and be willing to stand up for that purpose.

If you are just beginning to explore the Enneagram, I would suggest that you first gain a broad understanding of all nine types, and then as you determine your own personality type, then you can begin to imagine what types your family and friends may be. The best way to discover your type is to take one of the on-line tests at the following websites: www.enneagramworldwide.com www.enneagraminstitute.com and www.enneagram.net
You can also schedule a private session with a counselor who has been trained to work with the Enneagram Personality Type System to help you discover your type. On my website at www.DonnaFisherJackson.com I have also written basic descriptions of all nine personality types to get you started.

Thanks to Helen Palmer for her insights from her book, The Enneagram in Love & Work.

By Donna Fisher-Jackson, M.A. © 2012

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Donna Fisher-Jackson, M.A., CHT is a Holistic Counselor, Certified Hypnotherapist, and Western Astrologer who counsels clients through her business of Iris Holistic Counseling Services at www.DonnaFisherJackson.com She has also published the book, The Healing Path of the Romantic:  Type Four of the Enneagram Personality Type System which is available in a print and Kindle edition on Amazon.com.