Thank you for joining in this journey with us as we continue talking about The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile. I’ve enjoyed your insights and our discussion in the comments.
This week we are moving into the section on the heart triad. The three types in this triad are more focused on and driven by feelings as they make decisions and relate to others. Like last week, I’ll start with a quick description of these three types: 2, 3 & 4.
Type 2 The Helper: Healthy 2s can often name their own needs and feelings without fear of losing relationships. They are generous in their efforts to love well and care for others. Average 2s are convinced that the expression of their needs and feelings will automatically threaten the stability of their relationships. They are generous people, but they often consciously or subconsciously expect something in return for their efforts. Unhealthy 2s can be insecure, manipulative and often play the role of the martyr.
Type 3 The Performer: Healthy 3s have transcended the goal of merely looking good and are moving toward being known and loved for who they are, not for what they accomplish. They still love to set goals, rise to challenges and solve problems, but their self-worth is not tied to these things. Average 3s push achieving to overachieving. They see love as something to be earned, so they quiet their convictions, valuing what others define as success and striving to do more and do it better. Unhealthy 3s find failure unacceptable, which renders them unable to admit mistakes and causes them to behave as though they are superior to others.
Type 4 The Romantic: Healthy 4s have a considerable emotional range, and they manage it by not speaking or acting on every feeling they have. They are deeply creative, emotionally honest and connected, and attuned to beauty. Average 4s struggle daily with learning to accept themselves as they are. Such efforts are complicated as they seek their identity by exaggerating their uniqueness. Unhealthy 4s tend to be manipulative, playing the role of victim to create or maintain relationships. These 4s feel so much shame they are unable to connect to the very part of themselves that believes they can change and be better.
As we talk about each type, I’ve included the range of health described in The Road Back to You not to add on shame or attack different types. We are each in need of transformation, and this growth can only come with the help of the Holy Spirit. These warning signs can also wake us up to when we might be headed down an unhealthy road. As I’ve learned more about how God created me and the myriad layers of my personality, the Enneagram has been one tool that has helped me see when I am getting stuck.
According to Cron and Stabile, “All the numbers in the Feeling or Heart Triad (2, 3, 4) reject the idea that they can be seen for who they are and unconditionally loved, so they abandon their true selves to inhabit roles. Twos throw up a chirpy, likable image they can change in a heartbeat to please who they’re with; Fours project an image of uniqueness, and Threes cast an image of success and achievement to win admiration” (page 133 in the print book).
Spoiler: I am not a 2, 3 or 4 (my type is coming next week). If you are, what is it like to not feel seen for who you really are? How can we (your friends, spouses, teammates, this community) seek to better understand you, support you, and acknowledge your feelings?
If you are not in the Heart triad, what would you like to better understand about those who are? What do you most appreciate about this type?
There are more great resources out there to understand the Enneagram!
The Enneagram Institute– you can sign up to receive a daily email about your type. It is short but so often I look around and wonder if someone is watching my day play out before they send the email! It has been a helpful reminder to keep paying attention.
Beth McCord’s interview on the That Sounds Fun podcast- Beth does a great job explaining the different types. I’ve come back to her descriptions often!
Story Brand videos– Ian Cron shares about what each type is like as a leader with some dos and don’ts.
Next week we’ll finish up the book!
January 29: Chapters 9-12
Sneak peak: In February we will be reading A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. You’ll find a summary and the schedule in next week’s post! Come join Rachel for the discussion of this fun book!