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MOTM Nov 2009
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The Dominant Affect Groups are important for transformational work because they reveal the unconscious emotional background we bring to all areas of our lives. In technical language, these have to do with 'object-relations' theory. Modern psychological theory has identified three fundamental 'affects' – universal emotional states that are major building blocks of personality. They are attachment, frustration, and rejection.

All human beings are constantly operating in all three of the affective states, regardless of their specific personality type. Further, they are mutually dependent: to have one is to have them all. Nevertheless, each Enneagram type operates primarily out of one of these particular affects; some types are more typically 'attachment-based', some are more 'frustration-based', and some are more 'rejection-based'.
 

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MOTM Nov 2009
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Attachment represents the desire of the ego to maintain a comfortable and stable relationships with people or things that are identified with. Simply put, we want to hold on to whatever works well for us, be it a person, a job, a self-image, a feeling state, or a comfortable chair.

The Attachment-Based Group includes types Three, Six, and Nine. These types have problems with deeply held attachment to people, situations, or states that are 'working' for them. Threes have learned to adjust their self-image and feelings to become more acceptable to and be valued by others. In this way, they hope to hold on to whatever attention and affection is available to them. They become attached both to the positive regard of whomever in their life they turn to for validation, and to whatever means they believe are necessary to keep the other's approval.

Sixes have learned to associate certain relationships, social situations, groups, and beliefs with their security and safety. They invest themselves in these attachments and defend them, even when they may actually be harmed by them. (For example, a Six may stay in a bad marriage or a job out of a belief that it is necessary for security).

Nines became attached to an inner sense of well-being, a comfort zone, that they associate with autonomy and freedom. Nines may see their relationship with an idealized other or a comforting routine or a favorite food or a television show as a source of their stability and inner peace. Whatever the source, Nines do not want their comfort zone to be tampered with or changed.
 

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MOTM Nov 2009
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Frustration relates to our feeling that our comfort and needs are not being sufficiently attended to. The self is experienced as 'hungry' – uncomfortable, restless, dissatisfied, impatient, or needy. These feelings arise from deeply conditioned patterns from our childhood. A person may actually be getting his needs met in ways he may not recognize, but still feel frustrated due to this background patterning. In fact, even if the person's needs are consciously met, he will often find something else to become frustrated about. This is because the person's identity is partially based on being frustrated. Sometimes we also reverse the pattern and become the one who frustrates others as a way of defending against our own feelings of frustration.

Ones are frustrated that the world is not more sensible and orderly than it actually is, and that others do not have the integrity that Ones believes they themselves have. They feel that others are constantly thwarting their efforts to improve things. Ones feel 'Nothing is done quiet well enough – everything fails to measure up to my standards.'

Fours are frustrated that they have not been adequately parented, and unconsciously expect valued others to protect and nurture them. When others fail to live up to the unrealistic expectations, Fours become frustrated and disappointed. Fours think 'I never get what I need – everyone disappoints me.'

Sevens are frustrated because they pin their hopes for happiness on specific experiences that ultimately fail to satisfy them, moving on to something new with equal ardor and high hopes for fulfillment, usually only to be disappointed again. They feel 'I can't find what will satisfy with – I've got to keep looking and going after it.'
 

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MOTM Nov 2009
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The Rejected-Based group includes types Two, Five, and Eight. In this pattern, the self is unconsciously seen as small, weak, and potentially victimized, and others are seen as powerful, abusive, and rejecting. All three of these types go through life expectations only to be rejected and so they defend themselves against this feeling in various ways. They repress their own genuine needs and vulnerabilities, attempting to offer some service, ability, or resource as a hedge against further rejection.

Twos feel that they must be so good that others will not reject them. They cover over a feeling of underlying worthlessness and the fear that they are not really wanted by trying to please others so much that others will not dare rejected or abandon them.

Unlike Twos who feel that they are good, Eights feel that they are innately bad, and will likely be rejected unless they are so powerful and in control of life's necessities that others will dare not reject them. Further, Eights adopt a 'tough' stance toward life – in effect, bracing themselves for rejection and trying not to care in the event that they actually are rejected.

Fives feel negligible, on the sidelines of life, and they therefore must compensate by knowing something or have some special skill so useful to others that they will not be rejected. Like Eights, Fives also reduce the pain of rejection by cutting off from their feelings about it.
 

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MOTM Nov 2009
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All three of these types offer some service or skill as a way of staving off rejection. Twos offer their caring and affection; Eights offer their strength; and Fives offer their knowledge and expertise.

Types 1, 4, 7: Need to reflect on the qualities of acceptance, forgiveness, and gratitude as a way of transforming their difficulties with their underlying feelings of frustration

Types 2, 5, 8: Need to reflect on the qualities of unconditional positive regard for themselves and others, compassion, and self-surrender as a way of transforming their difficulties with their underlying feelings of rejection

Types 3, 6, 9: Need to reflect on the qualities of authenticity, courage, and self-possession as a way of transforming their difficulties for their underlying feelings of attachment

[Source: Understanding the Enneagram: The Practical Guide to Personality Types]
 

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Ones are frustrated that the world is not more sensible and orderly than it actually is, and that others do not have the integrity that Ones believes they themselves have. They feel that others are constantly thwarting their efforts to improve things. Ones feel 'Nothing is done quiet well enough – everything fails to measure up to my standards.'
So very true.
 

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Sixes have learned to associate certain relationships, social situations, groups, and beliefs with their security and safety. They invest themselves in these attachments and defend them, even when they may actually be harmed by them. (For example, a Six may stay in a bad marriage or a job out of a belief that it is necessary for security).

Nines became attached to an inner sense of well-being, a comfort zone, that they associate with autonomy and freedom. Nines may see their relationship with an idealized other or a comforting routine or a favorite food or a television show as a source of their stability and inner peace. Whatever the source, Nines do not want their comfort zone to be tampered with or changed.
Fours are frustrated that they have not been adequately parented, and unconsciously expect valued others to protect and nurture them. When others fail to live up to the unrealistic expectations, Fours become frustrated and disappointed. Fours think 'I never get what I need – everyone disappoints me.'

Sevens are frustrated because they pin their hopes for happiness on specific experiences that ultimately fail to satisfy them, moving on to something new with equal ardor and high hopes for fulfillment, usually only to be disappointed again. They feel 'I can't find what will satisfy with – I've got to keep looking and going after it.'
Unlike Twos who feel that they are good, Eights feel that they are innately bad, and will likely be rejected unless they are so powerful and in control of life's necessities that others will dare not reject them. Further, Eights adopt a 'tough' stance toward life – in effect, bracing themselves for rejection and trying not to care in the event that they actually are rejected.

Fives feel negligible, on the sidelines of life, and they therefore must compensate by knowing something or have some special skill so useful to others that they will not be rejected. Like Eights, Fives also reduce the pain of rejection by cutting off from their feelings about it.

I can relate to all of these. More so with seven, though.
 
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I don't relate to the type 4 description at all, but I do relate a good amount with the 9 description (9w1 has been my second closest type). Should I be reconsidering my dominant type?
 

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I don't relate to the type 4 description at all, but I do relate a good amount with the 9 description (9w1 has been my second closest type). Should I be reconsidering my dominant type?
You very well may want to. You can make a thread about it if you wish.
 

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MOTM Jan 2010
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Thanks, Grey. I hadn't heard about dominant affect groups before. The whole attachment thing is so true for me.
 
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