If you know who you are, you’ll be a more compassionate partner.
By Roland Legge — Updated on Apr 22, 2023
Photo: G-Stock Studio / Shutterstock
Couples who know how to use the Enneagram personality types can build stronger relationships that last for the long haul.
You want the best relationship possible with the person you love.
You want to be heard, respected, and loved unconditionally.
Being heard, respected, and loved is all possible if you are both committed to making it happen.
What is the Enneagram and how does it help you have a healthy relationship?
According to the Enneagram Institute, “the Enneagram helps us to see ourselves at a deeper, more objective level and can be of invaluable assistance on our path to self-knowledge.”
First, it helps you to be more self-aware. It helps you to accept and love yourself. It helps you to take 100 percent responsibility for your own behavior.
Taking responsibility for your own behavior invites you to focus on what you are capable of changing. Remember: the only person you can change is yourself.
It helps you to be more understanding of the person you love by giving you language free from judgment to communicate with each other.
The troubles begin when you become an adult, and you are not aware of how your personality is limiting your choices in life. If you don’t become conscious of how your personality is limiting your options, you are never going to find true satisfaction and happiness.
The Enneagram types will help you notice how your personality is impacting you. It will help you to become more conscious of your automatic behaviors.
Once you learn to observe your behaviors in action, you then have a choice if you want to continue them.
With new insights from your growing life toolkit, you will have more options and choices than you ever thought possible.
Here are the three reasons the Enneagram helps couples build stronger relationships
1. They are more self-aware
The greatest gift of the Enneagram is that it helps you to see yourself as others experience you, as well as see your strengths and growing edges (weaknesses) without self-judgment.
With the Enneagram, you discover all the protective walls you have put up around yourself over the years to keep you safe. While they once may have been needed, the Enneagram will help you to let go of them.
The good news is that you have a depth of inner wisdom that is available to you at every moment. The Enneagram can help you to access your inner wisdom through your three brain centers the body, mind, and heart.
You access the wisdom of your body through the sensations you experience. You access the heart through your emotions. Finally, you access your spiritual center through your quiet mind.
With practice, you can move into presence. When you are present you are neither living in the past nor the future. You are open to what is going on, at the moment. You will simply know what you need to do.
2. They understand each other’s motivations
In a relationship, your partner will always remain a mystery and you will be to him. But, with the help of the Enneagram, you can get a glimpse of what it is like to be in his shoes.
You will begin to understand how your partner sees and experiences the world in different ways. Things that may seem obvious to you will not necessarily be for your mate.
Your partner is not trying to drive you crazy. He is being himself. He sees the world differently than you do. No one is better or worse than the other. You are often both right.
Over time you will grow in compassion for your partner. Each of us has our own struggles. Just because we find something easy doesn’t mean our partner will.
For example, you might be extroverted and love to meet new people while your partner is introverted and quiet. You will both need to find ways to honor each other. You both need to get your needs met.
Each of the types has its strengths and growing edges. As you learn about each other’s types you gain insight into both your worlds. As you gain insights into your partner, you are invited into more profound compassion for the one you love.
3. They speak a common language
The Enneagram gives you a common language to work through your challenges as a couple in a compassionate way.
Working on your relationship through the Enneagram can help you to bring out your best as individuals and as a couple.
It is a great tool to help you to stay accountable to yourself and your partner. Discovering your type can help your partner to support you in your individual and growth as a couple.
First, you need to give each other permission to give each other feedback. After giving each other permission, let each other know what kind of language and actions will support you in your personal growth.
You both need to find compassionate and clear language to let each other know when either of you gets caught in old stories. Your Enneagram types will help you and your partner to know what to look out for and what to encourage.
A word to the wise about Enneagram use in your relationship
Be careful: the Enneagram is never to be used as a weapon. It is intended to be used with gentleness, kindness, and compassion.
Most importantly, your Enneagram type can help you to remain curious about what is going on in yourself and your partner.
When you use open language you can invite your partner to go more in-depth into themselves and continue the process of letting go of fear, anger, and pain that is blocking them.
When you can remain grounded and open, you will be able to resolve any conflict with your partner because you are acting out of what is real rather than fear, irrational thought, and control issues.
The Enneagram can enhance your relationship because it calls upon both of you to build healthy relationships with yourself and the one you love.
It helps you to take 100 percent responsibility for yourself in the relationship. You also build compassion for the one you love and learn to celebrate each others’ strengths and support each other in enhancing the parts of us that need strengthening.
The greatest gift of the Enneagram is that it helps you to do your personal work without judgment. It helps us to grow as a couple without getting into fights about who is right or wrong.
Most of all, the Enneagram will help you to bring out the best in each other. It will give you the tools you and your love need to make your relationship so secure you will be able to overcome any issue that comes your way.
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Roland Legge is an author, Certified Spiritual Life Coach, and teacher of the Enneagram. He helps people connect to their inner selves and find alignment with their highest purpose and values.
This article was originally published at REL Consultants. Reprinted with permission from the author.