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MOTM Feb 2012
ISTJ 9w1
7,167 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The Enneagram is composed of 9 main types, each with their own core needs and expectations. With that much variety, we sometimes forget what exactly other types need and want from us in our day-to-day lives. Here’s a quick article that can give you pointers on what you can do to get along better with those important to you.

Type 1
  • Take your share of the responsibility so I don't end up with all the work.
  • Acknowledge my achievements.
  • I'm hard on myself. Reassure me that I'm fine the way I am.
  • Tell me that you value my advice.
  • Be fair and considerate, as I am.
  • Apologize if you have been unthoughtful. It will help me to forgive.
  • Gently encourage me to lighten up and to laugh at myself when I get uptight, but hear my worries first.
Type 2
  • Tell me that you appreciate me. Be specific.
  • Share fun times with me.
  • Take an interest in my problems, though I will probably try to focus on yours.
  • Let me know that I am important and special to you.
  • Be gentle if you decide to criticize me.
Type 3
  • Leave me alone when I am doing my work.
  • Give me honest, but not unduly critical or judgmental, feedback.
  • Help me keep my environment harmonious and peaceful.
  • Don't burden me with negative emotions.
  • Tell me you like being around me.
  • Tell me when you're proud of me or my accomplishments.
Type 4
  • Give me plenty of compliments. They mean a lot to me.
  • Be a supportive friend or partner. Help me to learn to love and value myself.
  • Respect me for my special gifts of intuition and vision.
  • Though I don't always want to be cheered up when I'm feeling melancholy, I sometimes like to have someone lighten me up a little.
  • Don't tell me I'm too sensitive or that I'm overreacting!
Type 5
  • Be independent, not clingy.
  • Speak in a straightforward and brief manner.
  • I need time alone to process my feelings and thoughts.
  • Remember that If I seem aloof, distant, or arrogant, it may be that I am feeling uncomfortable.
  • Make me feel welcome, but not too intensely, or I might doubt your sincerity.
  • If I become irritated when I have to repeat things, it may be because it was such an effort to get my thoughts out in the first place.
  • Don't come on like a bulldozer.
  • Help me to avoid my pet peeves: big parties, other people's loud music, overdone emotions, and intrusions on my privacy.
Type 6
  • Be direct and clear.
  • Listen to me carefully.
  • Don't judge me for my anxiety.
  • Work things through with me.
  • Reassure me that everything is OK between us.
  • Laugh and make jokes with me.
  • Gently push me toward new experiences.
  • Try not to overreact to my overreacting.
Type 7
  • Give me companionship, affection, and freedom.
  • Engage with me in stimulating conversation and laughter.
  • Appreciate my grand visions and listen to my stories.
  • Don't try to change my style. Accept me the way I am.
  • Be responsible for yourself. I dislike clingy or needy people.
  • Don't tell me what to do.
Type 8
  • Stand up for yourself... and me.
  • Be confident, strong, and direct.
  • Don't gossip about me or betray my trust.
  • Be vulnerable and share your feelings. See and acknowledge my tender, vulnerable side.
  • Give me space to be alone.
  • Acknowledge the contributions I make, but don't flatter me.
  • I often speak in an assertive way. Don't automatically assume it's a personal attack.
  • When I scream, curse, and stomp around, try to remember that's just the way I am.
Type 9
  • If you want me to do something, how you ask is important. I especially don't like expectations or pressure.
  • I like to listen and to be of service, but don't take advantage of this.
  • Listen until I finish speaking, even though I meander a bit.
  • Give me time to finish things and make decisions. It's OK to nudge me gently and nonjudgmentally.
  • Ask me questions to help me get clear.
  • Tell me when you like how I look. I'm not averse to flattery.
  • Hug me, show physical affection. It opens me up to my feelings.
  • I like a good discussion but not a confrontation.
  • Let me know you like what I've done or said.
  • Laugh with me and share in my enjoyment of life.
(Source: Baron and Wagele - Enneagram Made Easy)

859 Posts

  • Stand up for yourself... and me.
  • Be confident, strong, and direct.
  • Don't gossip about me or betray my trust.
  • Be vulnerable and share your feelings. See and acknowledge my tender, vulnerable side.
  • Give me space to be alone.
  • Acknowledge the contributions I make, but don't flatter me.
  • I often speak in an assertive way. Don't automatically assume it's a personal attack.

Too true...too true...

179 Posts
I like this list, but there are some aspects of it that I believe would benefit from an alternate perspective. Some of these suggestions seem more likely to indulge the unacceptable behaviours exhibited by certain types instead of truly helping them to grow.

For example, what does it mean to burden a Three with negative emotions? Could it be that the "negative" sentiments or thoughts expressed are valid, but that the Three would rather ignore these because they disturb his desire for a perfect image? Threes need to be willing to face the facts, even if the resulting adjustment in self-image may be discomforting.

And, to be honest, Fours sometimes are overly-sensitive and overreacting. Trust me, I I am a Four. It's important for a Four to learn not to take offense so easily and to focus on the content of someone's words instead of the delivery. This does not mean that callous or inconsiderate words are condoned, but that one can save himself a lot of emotional pain if he overlooks the things he cannot control. Also, try using that brilliant imagination by being positive and proactive instead of paralyzing yourself by brainstorming worst-case scenarios.

Type 5s fear the unknown of the external world, which explains why they become so detached. They want to observe and analyze their surroundings, be it physical, social, or ideational, in order to understand how to navigate through it. They do not like unexpected intrusions, and can become very irritable for unintentional violations of their personal bubble. Sometimes, however, their reactions and general disposition are not appropriate ways to handle such violations. It would benefit the 5, and those close to them, to extend his field of study to the extenuating circumstances that may surround an intrusion, and seek to respectfully and considerately explain his position. Biting sarcasm and angry outbursts are more likely to exacerbate a problem, especially if family is involved, so such speech should be avoided.

For type 7s, I agree that it's important not to try and change their style, and I doubt most people would want to; you guys are so much fun! However, it should be noted that relationships of all kinds require give and take. Life isn't all club beats and flashing lights. Sometimes you may feel that your friend or partner is pressuring you to change your entire personality, or trying to boss you around, when really all they're asking is for you to do what you signed up for: be at home for dinner, try not to be so distracted when I'm expressing myself, sacrifice a little fun-time for us-time. Sometimes no one's trying to lock a ball and chain to your free spirit, they would just like you to be a bit more attentive to their needs. After all, that's a huge part of what friendship is about.

Type 8s... I don't know where to start with these jk In social terminology, there is a huge difference between being assertive and being aggressive. Assertiveness involves clearly and confidently stating one's position, but with consideration and respect for whomever one is speaking to. Think of Tyra Banks when she does a photo shoot with the models: she's clear and direct about what she wants, but is never harsh or impatient when things aren't going her way. Aggression involves the same, but aggressive behavior does not concern itself with the latter. Sometimes it is actively seeking to cause pain. Perhaps you think you are being assertive, but if a variety of people are constantly offended by your speech or, even worst, they scatter and cower behind furniture when you enter a room, a self-examination is likely in order. And to be frank, when you stomp around, scream, and curse, it is not our responsibility to 'remember that's just who you are'. Such behaviour is immature, disrespectful, and pathetic, and if you have a habit of doing this, you need to learn self-control.

People of all types have flaws, and none of us will ever be perfect in this system of things. It is often in order to pass over the mistakes others make, as we wish others to do for us. But we should never indulge or condone foolish and destructive behavior. People who do this are doing neither themselves nor those with whom they deal a favor, but are in fact making things worse.

17,819 Posts
I related pretty much equally in this order:

4, 3, 5, 8, 1, 9, 6, 2, 7 :p

There seems to be over-lap -- so I'm guessing they all have to be related to in some way that's actually not been explained clearly enough.

316 Posts
excellent post THANK YOU!

548 Posts
I remember reading these suggestions before. Looking back I realize that I identify with type five the most. I could relate to some of the points for type 9, but I hate being nudged to do something, as I don't appreciate any type of coercion whatever.
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