This is the fifth in the series of responses to the questions and situations posed to last year’s panel of all nine Enneagram types. (Read the four previous posts for more of their responses.)
SITUATION: You and a group of friends are in a car on your way to attend a concert you’ve all been looking forward to for several weeks. About halfway there, one of your friends, who’s been unusually quiet all evening, says she’s decided she doesn’t want to go after all and asks to be taken home. How do you feel? What do you think? And what do you do and say?
Type 2: I interpreted this to mean now we’re going to miss part of the concert. At first I would feel annoyed, but then I would almost immediately think, “What’s wrong?” Something is dramatically wrong for this to happen. At which point I would try to figure that out, try to work with that person, what is wrong, see if there’s anything we can do to help. And, PS, I would also try to convince her to go to the concert. If she said, “I think my husband’s dying because he got a fatal diagnosis yesterday,” that would pretty much tear it for the concert for me. You know, never mind. If it was, “My dog threw up this morning,” I’d be a little bit pissed about the concert.
Type 5: First of all, I can’t believe I would be going to a concert. This is not likely to happen. Although some 5s might be passionate just about music and they would be an expert on it. That’s not the case with me. If she wants to go home, so do I. So I would probably try to find someone to take her there.
Type 8: I think I’d probably fly off the handle internally if not externally. Presumably we’ve made these plans. It’s something we’re all looking forward to, and I guess I hadn’t really thought about well, maybe she’s sick. It was more I just don’t want to go. I think I’d ask if there was a bus station or a train or something. It would just really be annoying.
Type 1: I probably wouldn’t be in the car going to the concert, and if I were that might be me deciding that I didn’t want to go. I would happily offer to go home with her. We could have a nice quiet evening, listen to some music, drink some tea. Getting to know each other better one-to-one would be great rather than a big arena with loud music and lots of stimulation.
Type 4: It would depend on who the person is and what the reason is for her wanting to go home. Is she sick? Has she had bad news today? Also if we take her home, will we still have time to go to the concert? Is halfway there five miles or 20 miles? I would be sympathetic if she has a good reason, like sickness. If she doesn’t have a good reason, I would feel annoyed. I would think it was thoughtless of her to want to go home at the last minute and spoil the evening for the rest of us. I would consider the opinions of the rest of the people in the car when deciding whether to take home. I hadn’t thought about sending her on a bus. I would try to convince her that she might feel better as the evening goes on. If it wasn’t a major inconvenience to take her home, I would take her home. And if she’s about to throw up in my car, I would definitely take her home.
Type 7: OK, well my friends wouldn’t do this. So this is kind of a strange thing. I would really be furious. If they were sick, they shouldn’t have come in the first place, but chances are if she’s been acting weird all day long she doesn’t feel good and she probably should have called and said, “I’m not going to go.” It would depend really about taking her home. Chances are, in reality, I probably would do it. But I really wouldn’t want to take her home. I’d probably call a cab. If I could turn around, get her home, and get back and not miss the concert, I would probably consider doing that. Otherwise I would call a cab. And I would never invite her again. Now there’s a caveat to that. I do have a very good close friend who sometimes develops a migraine at the drop of a hat, and I’ve occasionally have had to stop at the side of the road while she throws up, and then I turn around and take her home. There are some exceptions to this rule, OK?
Type 3: This time it’s finally going to be “it depends.” Depends on the concert and how close I am to this friend in the group. If I’m close to her, I might turn around, but really I’d be thinking about how I could talk her into possibly changing her mind. Or what I can do to make it happen. But overall, I’m still annoyed. I’d be wondering why the friend didn’t speak up earlier. Why is she waiting till now? I don’t know what the situation is. And again I’d probably try to talk her into some other options. And then I’d probably talk to the others: let’s pitch in and get her a cab. We can keep going and get her back home.
Type 6: I would feel angry. I’d wonder, “What is her problem? Why is she being so inconsiderate?” And I’d ask her why she changed her mind and what’s going on. And then act based on her answer.
Type 9: Being a 9 I probably would already have been aware that there’s something up because of our focus on other people. I’m a life coach by profession, so really what I would do is drop into coach mode. “What’s going on? What do you need?” And if what they need is to go home or be taken care of, I would work that out so that they get taken care of. And if there was a way for me to still get where I originally wanted, if I still wanted that, I would work for that, too. But that pattern, there’s something not OK.
How do you think YOU would respond to this situation? Would you feel more annoyed or more concerned? What considerations would you have about turning around and taking your friend home?