As alien as one Enneagram type may seem to another, the fact is that each type has something in common with every other type. Each type is, in a way, a fragment of a whole. The “whole” is represented by the circle of the Enneagram, which garners nowhere near as much attention as the points on the triangle and the hexad do. It’s our differences that tend to get played up. There’s obviously a lot of value in exploring those differences, but there’s at least equal value in exploring our similarities.
Searching for Common Ground
Figuring out what we have in common with another person, Enneagram-wise, is an interesting exercise that can yield surprising results. Sometimes it’s the very thing we have in common with someone of another type that is the source of friction in the relationship. We all have aspects of our personalities we prefer not to acknowledge or that we outright deny. Besides, seeing what we have in common with others makes it more difficult to write them off completely.
There’s a simple way to check out what you have in common with the other types. This Contact Points chart includes centers, triads, stances, and coping styles (Harmonic Groups). Identifying your contact point with another type and trying to understand how the issues of that particular center (or triad or stance or coping style) play out for someone else as compared to how they play out for you can be illuminating.
You can also print the Ennea-Journaling: Relationships with Other Types worksheets and use them to jot down your thoughts and feelings about each type. You can either stop there or you can use your notes as jumping off points (prompts) for some flow-writing exercises.
The patterns of connection within the Enneagram are very much like the threads that connect everything within the great web of life. We aren’t really as separate from each other as we may imagine ourselves to be.
*Thank you, Lennon and McCartney.