I’ve written a lot about The Enneagram.
Mostly about it in relation to my favorite TV shows (Gilmore Girls, The Office, One Tree Hill and Parks & Rec)
Although it’s become ubiquitous and at times abused, I still find it a helpful tool of gaining awareness of the places we come from and the tendencies in our perspectives and projections. And I’ve always said the reason why I love and study this personality analysis the most is because I think it is the one to most honestly, and even a bit brutally, expose our sin.
I was reminded yesterday (listening to this Midtown Fellowship Podcast episode on The Gospel & Justice) how much our self-righteousness permeates everything — even the seemingly selfless aspects of our lives. I was also reminded all last week how differently we grapple with issues and our approaches to those issues.
As a white person, I’m in no way asking for sympathy for struggling to find the best ways to respond and assist our current (and long historical) predicament. That’s my job.
I just started writing down either what I know or what I assume each Enneatype that is seeking to be an ally struggled with this week in relation to social media. And then I wrote some responses to those questions and doubts that I hope are helpful:
Type 1 — The Reformer
“Is this the right thing to do? Is posting really going to bring about constructive change? Is it wrong because it kinda seems like I’m bragging?”
Maybe this post isn’t exactly “right” or 100% selfless but I’m giving myself room to grow and learn and that is most important.
Type 2 — The Helper
“Is what I’m posting helping POC? Is this statement going to please all of my change-seeking friends?”
I don’t have to please everybody.
Type 3 — The Achiever/Performer
“Is my allyship too performative?”
The tendency for self evaluation and self-righteousness is unavoidable, sinful, and embedded in the human condition. Recognizing that it’s there, even when we’re attempting to be selfless, is half the battle. The other half is checking yourself. (This article was very helpful).
Type 4 — The Individualist
“Does this statement truly embody how I feel? Is it authentic? Does it matter what I feel right now?”
Your feelings always matter, but this moment is not about you. Your statement will be authentic because you are.
Type 5 — The Investigator
“Am I allowing my emotions in enough right now? Is this post too factual?”
My “lane” is sometimes more cerebral and logical. That’s ok.
Type 6 — The Loyalist
“Is this expressing my desire to be a part of something greater well enough? Am I helping hold the world together with this thought?”
It is not my sole responsibility to hold everyone together. I will contribute to unity because that’s who I am.
Type 7 — The Enthusiast
“Does this statement hold the weight of our current situation heavily enough? Am I being too positive?”
I can simultaneously hope for peace, unity and positive change and feel anger and grief.
Type 8 — The Challenger
“Is this statement too aggressive? Am I posting too much?”
Being bold and outspoken is who I am. I won’t feel shame about that.
Type 9 — The Peacemaker
“Am I being proactive enough? Am I trying to unify people too much right now?”
I embody all types and can lean more into my proactive facets right now. I can also accept how others are responding to this moment with grace.
I’m sure a lot of you saw this this week but it was one of my favorites.