How did you get introduced to the Enneagram?
I got introduced to the Enneagram through my husband, Phil. He went to the “Know Your Number” training and realized (pretty easily) he is a 9. For me, it was lot harder to figure out my number. Phil and I listened to some podcasts and then I read “The Road Back To You” by Suzanne Stabile and Ian Cron and “The Path Between Us” by Suzanne Stabile. Through that, I realized I am a 6 – The Loyalist.
What is it like being a 6?
As a 6, I am very anxious and mostly I worry about what is going to happen. However, I feel like I am a set of constant contradictions. People are often surprised when they find out how anxious I am, or how introverted I am. Instead, they see me as very relaxed and easy to talk to. People usually think I am a pretty relaxed friend and parent. However, I am usually “in my head” and those thoughts lend me to a lot of “what if” thinking. Also, as the number suggests, I am extremely loyal. I am loyal to my friends and family. I am also loyal to my job and organizations I belong to. I am even loyal the products I buy.
Can you share a personal story of your number in action?
Sixes want to feel security, so I often go to worst case scenario thinking. I constantly have to remember that my thoughts are not always true or realistic. In times when Phil and I have been fighting, my automatic thought is “is Phil leaving me?” which is completely absurd. I need a lot of reassurance that I am physically safe but also emotionally safe, especially in my relationships.
How has the Enneagram helped you in the process of personal or spiritual growth?
The Enneagram has helped with my personal growth of remembering that I am not my thoughts. I do not have to stay in my head. Now that I know more about myself, I have tried doing things differently. For instance, I have stopped watching the news so that I am not consumed by the fear of what is happening. I practice cognitive behavioral strategies of stopping my unproductive thinking and changing the way I think. I do a lot of cognitive shifting and a lot of deep breathing when I need to. I also try to distract myself by doing something productive when I am really in my head.
How has the Enneagram impacted your relationships (e.g., spouse, kids, etc.)?
Learning the Enneagram has helped me the most with my relationships, whether it be with Phil, my kids, my friends, or my coworkers. It has helped me learn how to see others differently and talk to others differently, and even be more compassionate towards others. It has helped me realize that other people do not think the way I do. It has probably been the most helpful for me and Phil. I feel like I know so much more about him now so I can love him the way he wants to be loved. I think he understands me a lot more now. Plus, it has given us the verbiage to explain how we feel to each other.