What I have for you here, is an extensive description of my new version of the Enneagram. This version hopes to make the workings of the Enneagram both more clear and more consistent. It seeks to take away the fuzzy, esoteric aesthetic of the Enneagram and replace it with a series of easy to follow formulae and definitions. I hope you find it insightful.
*While I'm the one that's talking, this material is owed in part to Dissonance, so remember that for everything you see below, some credit is due to him thanks to his contributions.
Now, let's start.
A new way of defining the types.
You might have noticed that the Enneagram types seemed more pure, simple, or archetypical than the MB types. You might have observed that they are each individually defined, int stead of being comprised of variables. They were 9 allegedly "unique" types. Well that's hogwash. They are related or unrelated to each other in traceable variable based patterns, and the attempts to say otherwise have lead to many aspects of the Enneagram types that seem either vague or inexplicable.
Well, we'll be having no more of that.
By my analysis of the Enneagram types, there are two variables, each with three values. 3 x 3 = 9, so that's the number of types right there.
The first variable is sort of the behavioral variable. This is the one that really decides how a person approaches challenges is life. to put it vaguely. The best single words I've found for these types so far is pursuing, avoiding, and anticipating.
So, pursuing types have targets that they very pro-actively pursue. It could be that they seek pleasure, or they aim to pre-emptively tackle problems, the actual target of their pursuits is determined by other variable. They are impatient, impetuous people. They also tend to over-estimate the benefit end of cost-benefit analyses, which is one of the things that make them aggressive. They expect to profit from adventures. These types are 3, 7, and 8.
So then we have avoidant types. They generally over-estimate the cost end of cost-benefit analyses. These people tend to spend more time on avoiding what they don't like than they do on seeking what they do like. When they can't avoid stress, they often fall into an almost fatalistic state of passivity. Throwing weight around is something these types seem to have particular distaste for. These types are 4, 5, and 9.
So, the anticipating types do not pursue nor avoid these highlights of life. They stand and deal with them whenever they come. They handle life like a tetris player. These people have a more balanced view of cost-benefit analysis, but perhaps too balanced sometimes. These people don't like making dramatic decisions the same way the other two can, which can make for missed opportunities. These types are 1, 2, and 6.
The second variable is one that regards emotional states and responses. They can be turbulent, suppressive, or controlling, for lack of better words.
The turbulent ones are the people that do not hinder their emotions at all. They let their moods tempestuously flare with every feeling as it is set off. Their emotions run wild. They often seem to tilt toward being more negative than positive, but I think this is largely just because there are more negative emotions than positive ones, not because these types particularly want to dwell on negativity. These types are 4, 6, and 8.
The suppressive types try to keep their emotions from speaking up. They tend to believe that they can work best when they are not hearing their emotions much or at all. By default they are well composed people. But when they fail to successfully suppress their emotions, it often results in awkward displays. These types are 1, 3, and 5.
The controlling types are the ones that try to manipulate the flow of their own feelings to their advantage. These are the people that try to think positive. They make an effort to both display desirable emotions to others, and to also frequently reassure themselves of such good feelings. Most usually pick feelings like confidence, happiness, or love to project, but they may develop whatever feeling is appealing to them. They are also prone to suffering from denial, and usually take it very hard if their self-assurances can be completely disproven. These types are 2, 7, and 9.
So, to summarize the types:
Pursuing/Turbulent = 8. Avoiding/Turbulent = 4. Anticipating/Turbulent = 6. Pursuing/Suppressive = 3. Avoiding/Suppressive = 5. Anticipating/Suppressive = 1. Pursuing/Controlling = 7. Avoiding/Controlling = 9. Anticipating/Controlling = 2.
Here's a chart of the types, centering on the 8, to help give you an idea of where they stand.
This additional picture, centered on the 1, shows you the pattern if the chart was continuously tiled.
Every type shares one value with four of the other types, and shares no value with the remaining types. As you can see in the charts, a type shares a value with every other type that is on the same row or column. Naturally, a type shares both values only with itself. So as an example, the 1 is anticipating and suppressed, it relates to the 2 and 6 because they are both anticipating, and it relates to the 3 and 5, because they are both suppressed.