Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Enneagram Number One Marries Two

The Enneagram, as you may already know, suggests that we humans generally 'fit' into one of 9 personality types. A description of each type is given at the Enneagram Institute plus a free test to see which is your type. The website has this information:

The Enneagram Institute is dedicated to the Work of human liberation and transformation. For thousands of years, spiritual teachers from many different traditions have reminded us of the richness of the human soul and its spiritual gifts. But without real self-knowledge, it is not possible to awaken to the deeper truths of the soul or to sustain whatever degree of realization we have attained.

One of the most powerful tools for understanding ourselves is the Enneagram, an ancient symbol of unity and diversity, change and transformation.

It is a helpful study that can give you insight into your 'being' as well as some of the strengths and weaknesses which are associated with your type. Knowledge of the weaknesses is especially helpful in moving ones self to a more fully-functioning adult. Each type has a 'wing' located in the number before it and after it, meaning that you also have characteristics associated with those numbers.

Not surprisingly to those who know me, I am a 'One' while my wife is a 'Two.' It's enriching to know thatmy wife and I dip our 'wings' into each other's personality type. The title of a One is 'Reformer' and the Two is a 'Helper.' My wife fits that perfectly as she dedicates countless hours in the work of helping people move their lives forward. I dabble in that too but not to the extent as she. My other wing is in the Nine, 'Peacemaker,' and have done that most of my life.

Characteristics of the One are: The Rational, Idealistic Type: Principled, Purposeful, Self-Controlled, and Perfectionistic. Surely, these are many of my characteristics and associated faults.

Some 'famous' people who also share the One category are: Mahatma Gandhi, Hilary Clinton, Al Gore, John Paul II, Elliot Spitzer , Sandra Day O'Connor, John Bradshaw, Bill Moyers, Martha Stewart, Ralph Nader, Katherine Hepburn, Harrison Ford, Vanessa Redgrave, Jane Fonda, Meryl Streep, George Harrison, Celene Dion, Joan Baez, George Bernard Shaw, Noam Chomsky, Michael Dukakis, Margaret Thatcher, Rudolph Guliani, Jerry Brown, Jane Curtin, Gene Siskel, William F. Buckley, Kenneth Starr, The "Church Lady" (Saturday Night Live), and "Mr. Spock" (Star Trek).

Interesting clutch of people who span the political spectrum from far right to far left, William F. Buckley to Jane Fonda. A pope, a devout Hindu, a Supreme Court Justice, actors, playwrights, lawyers, singers, governors, correspondents, heads of state, senators...

Type One in Brief

Ones are conscientious and ethical, with a strong sense of right and wrong. They are teachers, crusaders, and advocates for change: always striving to improve things, but afraid of making a mistake. Well-organized, orderly, and fastidious, they try to maintain high standards, but can slip into being critical and perfectionistic. They typically have problems with resentment and impatience. At their Best: wise, discerning, realistic, and noble. Can be morally heroic.

I especially like that 'morally heroic!' characteristic. In fact, at my retirement, I received a note from a fellow employee who told me that I was the one who championed the causes for which she was too timid to engage and called me 'hero.' I never knew that in the 20 years we worked together.

'Afraid of making a mistake.' Now there's something that haunted me for years and years. Lately, I've been able to kick that down, often with the phrase, 'Who the hell cares!'

There is a section of the website wherein couples can 'match' their spouse's number with theirs. Here is how a One and Two match up:

What Each Type Brings to the Relationship

Enneagram Ones and Twos are a complementary couple since both offer the other the example of their own qualities. Both types are highly dutiful and are attracted to service roles and occupations: both may be teachers, ministers, or health care workers who have long hours and many responsibilities. One and Two couples are often professionals whose work takes them out of the house and requires the focus of their attention to be on the needs of others, not on the relationship itself or even on themselves personally. People in this kind of relationship are often unusually mature and independent and able to obtain their emotional needs from a variety of people and connections, including their professional ones. They bring high ideals, strong ethical standards, and the desire to serve others to the relationship itself, keeping the relationship strong and in touch with solid values and practical perspectives.

The relationship is built around shared values: both are on a path of some kind together. Twos bring the nurturing and feelings that Ones do not easily allow themselves: they help Ones soften and relax. On the other hand, Ones bring integrity, conscientiousness, responsibility, and consistency. They are steady, reliable, and truthful. Ones commit strongly which makes the Two feel secure and that they won't be abandoned. Further, Twos bring warmth, a concern with people and a willingness to make exceptions to the rule for individuals in need. They are aware of suffering and work hard and generously to alleviate it wherever they can. Twos are more convivial and welcoming than Ones and can warm up the One's more typically reserved exterior—which most Ones are glad to have happen.

Exactly! This is amazing- as if the authors has lived with my wife and me for the last 42 years. I suppose that's what brought us together in the first place lo those 42 years ago. And our mutuality has kept us together.

Happy 42nd Anniversary to my wife!
6/10/67 - 6/10/09

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