Kinkajou: So what are the Enneagram Types?
Erasmus: They are numbered one to nine. I’ll briefly summarize what I believe to be some of the characteristics of the enneagram nine in the Ennegenes (enneagram gene) model. Now remember, other authors may have a slightly different point of view, because my view is based on what I believe the underlying genetics of the people involved are. If you have a particular gene, you will act in a way that a particular gene will program for you.
Erasmus: Enneagram Nines have fast thinking genes, but their genetic mix carries low volition. The key high volition genes within the enneagram are the low histamine genes and the high noradrenaline genes. Enneagram nines in the genes model have fast histamine genes and slow noradrenaline genes.
Even low volition people like Activities.
Enneagram nines in the traditional enneagram model are regarded as considering both sides of a situation but are not driven to perform. They can argue with /be in conflict with someone and then begin to support this same person if someone else wades into an argument. This situation is represented as the enneagram nine believing the new entrant to the social situation to be too powerful. So to move to a social equity situation the enneagram nine, automatically puts themselves to where the balance needs to be, even though perhaps that is not in their own best self-interest.
No wonder so many native peoples throughout the world often had a complex social culture- far different and with many more strands than the culture of the western world.
Many native peoples through the world are Nines.
A situation which could be summarised as rapidly assessing both sides of an argument and then attempting to move the direction of the conflict to a “social” goal that they (the nine) have defined themselves.
Erasmus: Yes. Normally if you support one side of an argument, you stay on that side of an argument. I think almost all the other enneagram types would have difficulty understanding any other type of behaviour.
Typical NINE worker
Kinkajou: It seems an unusual genetic mix.
Erasmus: I think that naturally many of the native populations throughout the world have a predominantly enneagram nine base. It is a good gene mix for keeping a careful eye on the environment – with a view to making sure that one can survive within the environment by being aware of the dangers around you. It is important for complex social cohesiveness for small human groups. However, it is not one of the genes that push you towards changing the environment.
And this is probably a good thing. As a non-technological species, you need to stay focused on those things directly affecting your survival, and not get side-tracked on issues that may seem important but are not immediately ensconced in the here and the now.
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And Ennaegram nine genetics would perhaps define the social “group” as being one of the important survival resources.
Nine "Anger" : like a layer of ice over everything. Cool and persistent.
Kinkajou: Perhaps. Can you give us any examples of enneagram nines in your experience?
Erasmus: A friend married a woman who was a “sexual nine” on the enneagram. Someone who could see both sides of an argument, someone with a one to one orientation for socialization in a relationship, someone who I thought may have a bit more tolerance for a headstrong husband who didn’t want to be too interrupted while working. Someone who didn’t want to interfere with or be too responsible for too many decisions.
And to top it off: someone like the friend’s dear old mum.
Friendly Quiet Face
The friend’s mum was a “self-pres” “nine”. The friend’s wife was a “sexual” “nine”. In deciding who to build a relationship with, it’s not surprising that you often chose a partner who can do the dance you know. It’s not that you think they may be the best long term partner for you. It’s that you know, if they do action A, you should respond with action B, having seen that work over the course of your life so many times before. If they stress with behaviour C, you know that behaviour D will resolve the situation. In short, describing the situation: as the dance you know”.
Even more surprisingly, the co-workers my friend related to best at work and with whom he had related to the longest, were all “sevens” like dear old dad. Looking at this chain of relationships through the eyes of the enneagram, it becomes obvious: it’s the dance you know that often seems to work best.
We can all learn new behaviours and can mature with time, but often we feel most comfortable and work best with behaviours that we know we have the most experience with. In short, we are most comfortable and work best with people whose enneagram behaviour patterns reflect enneagram patterns of significant people in our lives: people we have known over an extended period of time and with whom we have the most experience with.
Again, thinking back, many of the people who my friend associated with in his group at school were either “sevens” or “nines”.
Goo: The enneagram has a powerful influence on our behaviour, our choice of partners, and our choice of people with whom we are most comfortable .We can probably relate to partners with any of a number of personality types. However, our life will change in predictable ways: depending on the behaviour pattern of the person we are partnered with. And the most comfortable "fit" would be with a personality you are familiar with.
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Kinkajou: There are lots of Personality Models besides the Enneagram. Aren’t they just as good?
Kinkajou: Alternate Personality Theories vs. the Enneagram.
Erasmus: I like the enneagram as a personality model because it works. I don’t think that there is any other personality model that can so describe a person, how they react to stress and how they react to relaxation.
The enneagram model suggests that people of any enneagram type, behave differently in circumstances of stress and differently again in circumstances of relaxation. This sort of makes sense. In stress or relaxation, our levels of brain chemicals change and it would be expected that the behaviour perceived would change also.
How a person reacts in these situations is unique, but quite predictable if the enneagram model is followed.
Also, the enneagram types are distinctive enough and recognizable in every person. The distinctiveness of the behaviour patterns led me to suspect that the enneagram actually describes in some fashion the contribution of DNA genes to a person’s behaviour. I.e. Each behaviour described by the enneagram describes a specific behavioural phenotype.
My friend’s wife, who is a sexual nine, starts to look like a self-pres six, if stressed. There is not much optimism. Just a massive list of rapidly shot out questions with a thick layer of encrusted paranoia. It happens every time she becomes substantially stressed.
- What did you do?
- Where did you do it?
- Why did you do it?
- Who knows?
- Who did you tell?
- Why did you tell them?
- Where did you go?
In behavioural personality models based on looking at people’s behaviour, how could you know this was coming? Only the enneagram model predicts how this behaviour will arise in enneagram nine under stress. Other behavioural models may capture the essence of the nine, but will not predict the changes of behaviour, in different situations.
In the genetic theory of enneagrams ,“nines” are people who possess multiple fast histamine genes. (These genes can affect either the brain receptors or brain pathways). This leads to a very distinctive behaviour pattern. Fast histamine genes are able to do a fast assessment of the situation. However, there is no volition or drive inherent to take action in a situation, unless that situation is critical. Fast histamine genes probably represent the most common wild population gene. This gene is energy conserving and enables a multilevel assessment of the situation in contrast to the 0/1 digital assessment inherent in the slow histamine genes of an enneagram eight. Nines are often described as mediators, an assessment obviously well related to the activity of their enneagram genes.
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Many traditional theorists describe nines as children who are overlooked when they were young. The traditional enneagram proposes that these children felt that they were seldom heard and that other people’s needs were regarded in preference to their own. Nines are described as becoming numb or asleep in that their attention turned away from their real wants and desires. Nines are described as becoming focused on small things in their life, realising that their own priorities were likely to be discounted.
Calm Girl looking pretty
Again what bullshit. Are we to believe that everyone who sees others getting preferential treatment will become a nine? To become numb or asleep implies that one was not numb or asleep in the first place. Many enneagram personalities are becoming obvious by the time a child is one or two years old. People can look back, remember what the child did, and say “yes, that is the time that I realised this child had that enneagram type”.
Parents of enneagram nine children can look back on their children and say: yes there really was something special about that child. When you pick him up and held him, he would just let you hold him. He was quite content just to go with the flow – unlike other kids. It becomes obvious that nines are born not trained.
Village life of Nine
The development of a nine personality may well be influenced by many things, but many of these traditional causative factors are actually common experience for many children. It is the genes that make the behaviour. Nines are human beings with simple basic drives based on the genes they have inherited.
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