Enneagram Insights for Relationship Communication

Sun Mar 26 2023

two Greeks statues having an intimate conversation

People don't talk like you.

People don’t think and feel like you, too, and yet you have likely found a way to get along with and talk to the many different people in your life. If every relationship in your life is thriving, skip this blog. But if some relationships are a struggle maybe its time to investigate different people’s preferred communication styles.

We are going to look at the communication styles of each Enneagram type. It may be hard to pick up on the nuances of communication, but once you are familiar with the Enneagram types, you can start to understand where each type is coming from and attempt to speak their language. But the first step is to learn your Enneagram type.

Steps for Using the Enneagram in Relationships

After you have learned your Enneagram Type its time to start thinking about the other possible Enneagram types of the people around you.

Ground Rules:

  • Be patient and compassionate with yourself and others. Understanding and reflecting on who you are and who other people are takes time. And it takes time to get it right. Many people mistype themselves and others and the learning process is just that, a process. No need trying to rush it. There are many conversations that can be had so approach personality topics with patience.
  • Use conversations to discuss vulnerability so that you can uncover each other’s preferred communication style.

Steps

  1. Identify your type and the think through the likely types of those around you. This will help you identify your own communication style and start to be attuned to the communication styles of those around you.
  2. Open up the conversation by asking your partner about their motivations and fears. Start the conversation by being vulnerable and sharing with your partner your own thoughts and feelings. Ask them if they can see these motivations and fears within you. Then ask your partner if they identify with one of the other enneagram types fears and motivations.
  3. Focus on learning about the strengths and weaknesses of each type. This will help you and your partner get to a deeper layer of vulnerability where you can begin to understand how different people perceive the world. Ultimately this will lead to a conversation about you and your partner need in relationships.

Relationship Communication Playbook for Each Enneagram Type

By understanding your type and the types of those around you, you can make deeper connections and build stronger relationships. Here, we will explore each type by looking at what they need from their partner, how they may affect their partner, what they like to talk about, and what they don’t want to discuss. We’ll also include an Imaginary scenario for typical conversations each type may have regularly.

Type 1: The Perfectionist

What they need from their partner: Ones need their partner to be reliable, honest, and responsible. They appreciate partners who are straightforward, direct, and who share their values.

How they may affect their partner: Ones may come across as critical or perfectionistic, which can be challenging for some partners. They may also struggle with expressing their emotions, leading to a lack of emotional intimacy in the relationship.

What they like to talk about: Ones enjoy discussing ethical issues, current events, and ways to improve themselves and the world around them. They appreciate partners who share their values and are passionate about similar causes.

What they don’t like to talk about: Ones may be uncomfortable discussing their emotions or personal flaws. They may also avoid conflict or difficult conversations, preferring to focus on finding solutions.

Imaginary scenario: A One and their partner are discussing the current political climate. The One is passionate about a particular issue and becomes frustrated when their partner doesn’t seem as engaged. The One struggles to express their emotions and may be critical of their partner’s lack of interest.

More on type 1

Type 2: The Helper

What they need from their partner: Twos need emotional connection, support, and nurturing. They appreciate attentive and caring partners and show their love through actions.

How they may affect their partner: Twos may struggle with boundaries and come across as overly needy or intrusive. They may also become resentful if they feel their efforts are not appreciated or reciprocated.

What they like to talk about: Twos enjoy discussing relationships, personal growth, and ways to help others. They appreciate partners who are supportive and encourage their nurturing tendencies.

What they don’t like to talk about: Twos may be uncomfortable discussing their own needs or emotions. They may also avoid conflict or difficult conversations, preferring to focus on making others happy.

Imaginary scenario: A Two and their partner discuss a recent conflict with a friend. The Two may struggle to express their needs or feelings and become overly involved in trying to fix the situation.

More on type 2

Type 3: The Achiever

What they need from their partner: Threes need recognition, success, and achievement. They appreciate partners who are supportive of their goals and who are driven and ambitious themselves.

How they may affect their partner: Threes may need help prioritizing their relationship over their work or goals. They may also struggle with vulnerability or expressing emotions, leading to a lack of intimacy.

What they like to talk about: Threes enjoy discussing their achievements, career goals, and ways to improve their skills. They appreciate partners who are ambitious and share their drive for success.

What they don’t like to talk about: Threes may be uncomfortable discussing their personal feelings or struggles. They may also refrain from conversations that challenge their success or accomplishments.

Imaginary scenario: Three and their partner are discussing their career goals. The Three may struggle with expressing their emotions or discussing their fears or insecurities, instead focusing on ways to improve their skills and succeed.

More on type 3

Type 4: The Individualist

What they need from their partner: Fours need emotional depth, authenticity, and uniqueness. They appreciate sensitive and creative partners who share their values and passions.

How they may affect their partner: Fours may struggle with feeling misunderstood or isolated, leading to emotional intensity or drama in the relationship. They may also struggle with jealousy or envy, feeling that others have more than they do.

What they like to talk about: Fours enjoy discussing their emotions, personal experiences, and artistic or creative endeavors. They appreciate partners who are empathetic and understanding and share their passion for individuality and uniqueness.

What they don’t like to talk about: Fours may be uncomfortable discussing mundane or superficial topics. They may also avoid conversations that challenge their sense of identity or authenticity.

Imaginary scenario: A Four and their partner are discussing their favorite books. The Four may become emotional or intense when discussing a book that resonated with them, struggling to express their emotions clearly or concisely.

More on type 4

Type 5: The Investigator

What they need from their partner: Fives need knowledge, independence, and privacy. They appreciate partners who respect their need for alone time and intellectual pursuits.

How they may affect their partner: Fives may struggle with emotional intimacy or expressing their needs and emotions, leading to a lack of connection or understanding. They may also withdraw or become distant if they feel overwhelmed or overstimulated.

What they like to talk about: Fives enjoy discussing ideas, theories, and intellectual pursuits. They appreciate partners who are curious about learning new things.

What they don’t like to talk about: Fives may be uncomfortable discussing their personal feelings or experiences. They may also avoid conversations that require emotional vulnerability or intimacy.

Imaginary scenario: A Five and their partner are discussing a new scientific discovery. The Five may become animated and engaged in the conversation, sharing their ideas and theories while respecting their partner’s perspectives.

More on type 5

Type 6: The Loyalist

What they need from their partner: Sixes need security, loyalty, and responsibility. They appreciate partners who are reliable, trustworthy, and who provide a sense of stability and safety.

How they may affect their partner: Sixes may struggle with anxiety or fear, leading to a need for reassurance or validation from their partner. They may also struggle with trust or vulnerability, leading to a lack of intimacy.

What they like to talk about: Sixes enjoy discussing practical matters, plans for the future, and ways to ensure their safety and security. They appreciate partners who are responsible and dependable.

What they don’t like to talk about: Sixes may be uncomfortable discussing their fears or insecurities. They may also avoid conversations that challenge their sense of safety or stability.

Imaginary scenario: A Six and their partner are discussing plans for a future vacation. The Six may become anxious or stressed about the potential risks or challenges, seeking reassurance from their partner while considering practical solutions.

More on type 6

Type 7: The Enthusiast

What they need from their partner: Sevens need adventure, spontaneity, and variety. They appreciate partners who are fun-loving, open-minded, and who share their sense of excitement and curiosity.

How they may affect their partner: Sevens may need help with commitment or focus, leading to a lack of follow-through or a sense of restlessness in the relationship. They may also avoid difficult emotions or conversations, preferring to focus on positive experiences.

What they like to talk about: Sevens enjoy discussing ideas, experiences, and plans for the future. They appreciate partners who are adventurous and open to new experiences.

What they don’t like to talk about: Sevens may be uncomfortable discussing difficult emotions or situations. They may also avoid conversations that challenge their sense of optimism or positivity.

Imaginary scenario: A Seven and their partner are discussing potential travel plans. The Seven may become excited about new possibilities and experiences but may need help to commit to a specific plan or itinerary.

More on type 7

Type 8: The Challenger

What they need from their partner: Eights need control, power, and strength. They appreciate independent and confident partners who can stand up to them when necessary.

How they may affect their partner: Eights may come across as domineering or aggressive, which can be challenging for some partners. They may also struggle with vulnerability or emotional intimacy, leading to a lack of connection in the relationship.

What they like to talk about: Eights enjoy discussing ideas, plans, and ways to achieve their goals. They appreciate partners who are strong-willed and assertive.

What they don’t like to talk about: Eights may be uncomfortable discussing their vulnerabilities or weaknesses. They may also avoid conversations that challenge their sense of control or power.

Imaginary scenario: An Eight and their partner are discussing a business opportunity. The Eight may become assertive and forceful in their opinions but also appreciate a partner who can challenge them and offer a different perspective.

More on type 8

Type 9: The Peacemaker

What they need from their partner: Nines need harmony, peace, and balance. They appreciate partners who are calm and patient and who can help them find a sense of tranquility in their lives.

How they may affect their partner: Nines may struggle with assertiveness or making decisions, leading to a lack of direction or purpose in the relationship. They may also avoid conflict or difficult conversations, preferring to maintain a sense of peace and harmony.

What they like to talk about: Nines enjoy discussing peaceful or relaxing topics, such as nature, art, or music. They appreciate partners who are easygoing and patient.

What they don’t like to talk about: Nines may be uncomfortable discussing conflict or difficult emotions. They may also avoid conversations that challenge their sense of peace or balance.

Imaginary scenario: A Nine and their partner are discussing their favorite relaxing activities. The Nine may become calm and centered while discussing the topic, appreciating the peace and harmony it brings to their life.

More on type 9

The Enneagram is not a one-size-fits-all solution for every relationship. Everyone is unique, and many factors influence how we communicate and connect. However, by using the Enneagram to understand yourself and those around you, you can create a foundation for deeper, more fulfilling relationships.

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