No Girls allowed!
Updated: Jan 28
(The Enneagram is a model of the human psyche which is principally understood and taught as a typology of 9 interconnected personality types. Combining traditional wisdom with modern psychology, it is a powerful tool for understanding ourselves and the people in our lives. The system offers in-depth insight to individuals, groups and collectives. Each of the 9 types of the Enneagram has a distinct set of underlying beliefs and motivations that result in 9 different sets of habits of mind and emotion. Understanding these patterns results in deeper self- awareness as well as greater understanding and compassion for others. The Enneagram is taught and used around the globe both for personal development and in professional organizations. Hundreds of companies around the U.S. and more around the globe are finding that this tool leads to higher workplace satisfaction, productivity, conflict resolution and collaboration. The International Enneagram Association has been pivotal in helping establish credibility and community throughout the US and to countries such as Brazil, Argentina, Finland, Egypt, France, Sweden to name a few.) No Girls Allowed! That’s what I interpreted it to mean when I read the sign...”Boys Diving Platform.” I’ll get to that story in a minute but first, let’s talk about Stances. It’s one of my favorite aspects of the Enneagram.
Before I ever knew what the Enneagram was or, as I would learn much later in life, that I’m a type 7, it was easy to see that, as a child, I had a certain type of energy. It was evident from the “get-go”, as my mom can attest. All parents observe a certain nature in their child before they even become toddlers. Children learn early how to navigate having their needs and demands met. Often we give language to these energies, not always in a way that encourages the child’s innate being or with understanding of what’s behind the actions. This is precisely why I am so grateful for the language of the Enneagram that helps us have insight and understanding of the fears and motivations we each carry beneath our personalities.
As parents, grandparents, teachers and others with influence, we are often encouraged to not try and assign a particular enneagram type to children and while I agree with that advice, recognizing Stances can be such a gift of compassion to the child. Simply stated, Stances are the ways we interact with others to meet our needs. However, learning to observe how we take in the information of the world, how we process that information, and where we are lacking in our processing isn’t simple. How could it be? We are complex beings and no two humans experience life the same. Information begins flooding our brains before we even emerge from the womb and in fact, science shows that around 40 days in utero, the first electrical brain activity begins to occur. We come into existence pre-wired with encoded bits of information including our instinctual desire for survival. These bits of data help us develop our sense of identity, form our ideas of what ensure love and safety, and create signals to alert our brains of danger.