The Enneagram in Love: A Roadmap for Building and Strengthening Romantic Relationships by Stephanie Barron Hall
These are my favorite quotes from this book about Love and being more aware of the different types of personalities out there.
“Notice things that you appreciate about each other and give voice to them. This will support your growth.”
“Like many good things in life, the second nudge was the one I needed.”
“As I learned more, this joy faded to a deep sadness and disorientation about my identity. I soon learned that Enneagram wisdom has a way of illuminating our darkest shadows, and only when we see ourselves clearly can we begin the process of growth. Self-acceptance, of course, is the first step. We can’t change what we can’t see, and we can’t see when we get defensive, even toward ourselves.”
“Through the Enneagram, I’ve learned to tune into what I’m feeling, rather than avoid it with activity.”
“Brandon and I don’t share an Enneagram type, but we do share the tendency to avoid our feelings. We didn’t know this before; we thought everyone was like us, leaping from project to project, filling a calendar with exciting endeavors. We didn’t realize that these were coping mechanisms used to outrun that creeping shame, sadness, anger, or fear that was always at our heels.”
“Uncovering our core motivation draws attention to our shadow side, or those parts of the self that we subconsciously know exist but would rather not see. The shadows are the darkest parts of ourselves. We typically hide from or numb them, but this severely hinders our growth.”
“Fives learn all they can because they believe knowledge and competence will keep them from being overwhelmed by the world outside their minds. Sixes plan for the worst-case scenario because they believe that planning and preparation will keep them safe and secure. Sevens run headlong into the future because they believe they can avoid feeling anxious by holding tightly to freedom and opportunity.”
“BEGIN WITH CURIOSITY. Withholding self-judgment is one of the most important elements of self- observation. While slipping into self-criticism is tempting—especially when reading about the negative traits of each Enneagram type—it is neither helpful nor productive. I recommend cultivating curiosity instead. Rather than thinking, “I hate that I do that,” try “Huh, that’s an interesting response. I wonder why I do that.”
“They are on a lifelong quest to find meaning and significance in their life, yet in their longing, they often miss the beauty that exists all around them.”
“Sevens see everything in life as an opportunity, yet they are often so busy planning the next adventure that they don’t allow themselves to enjoy the moment. While they want others to share in their happiness, their independent streak sometimes causes them to leave others behind. Sevens are versatile, optimistic, and idealistic.”
“It’s harder to tell a person’s type when they are very healthy. In this state, the ego self is no longer the main actor in their life, and the individual is living from the essence of who they are with true freedom, full self-awareness, and self-acceptance. In the average range, individuals begin to identify strongly with the stereotypical personality patterns of their type.”
“In the unhealthy range, a person begins to believe that their strengths are actually the reason things are falling apart for them.”
LEVEL OF DEVELOPMENT LOOKS LIKE HEALTHY True freedom Self-awareness Self-actualization
“Ones tend to prioritize remaining rational and calm in conflict. They may express frustration, but Ones tend to emphasize figuring things out, rather than getting caught in emotional entanglements. Partners who share this conflict style may both get quiet, pull back, or take space to think and problem solve.”
“This approach to conflict can feel challenging for the One’s partner, because the One’s lack of emotionality can cause the partner to feel that the One is not present in the conflict. The tendency toward calm problem-solving that is meant to resolve conflict more efficiently can actually cause greater misunderstanding. Ones can spend so much time remaining composed that they neglect to truly process emotions, so expect that Ones may need a little time to process feelings.”
“Key Points FOR ONES As a One, you likely see the possibility of an ideal world, and you feel it is your responsibility to create it. You may exhaust yourself attempting to fix everything around you and miss what is already good. Try making a list of things you are grateful for each day. Think about what you love about your partner and share that with them.”
“FOR THOSE IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH A ONE If you’re in a relationship with a One, let them know how much you appreciate them for all they do—be specific!”
“Levels of Development Less healthy Twos become demanding about getting their needs met. They can be manipulative and use their emotional attunement to get what they want rather than to help others. In a romantic relationship, unhealthy Twos place such a high value on reciprocity that any little action on their part will require even greater repayment from their partner.”
“Unhealthy Twos tend to lose themselves in relationships, as they find ways to conform completely to be whomever they believe their partner wants.”
“Their love leads them to seek a high level of intimacy, especially emotional intimacy and togetherness. A Two at this level of development, might absorb all negativity or stress from their partner and create a world where their partner can thrive, without realizing that they are neglecting their own well-being.”
“At their healthiest, Twos are truly altruistic. They give of themselves freely without any expectation of return, and they are inspiring, nurturing, and deeply loving. They know that their partner isn’t theirs to fix, so they have a keen understanding of what emotional weight is theirs to carry and what belongs to their partner. Healthy Twos know that their relationship with self is as important as their relationship with their partner and that they cannot give when depleted.”
“Twos are not fragile; they have great emotional strength, but they still need gentleness in conflict. When offering feedback to a Two in a relationship, it may be helpful to cushion the feedback with what you love and appreciate about them on either side of the challenging message.”
“Because Twos work hard to build a good relationship, it can be challenging for them when it is tumultuous. Twos will often try to stay positive, uplifting, and optimistic in conflict. This can cause their partner to feel at times like the Two is unwilling to be present in the conflict, and things may go unaddressed for longer than is helpful due to the Two’s unwillingness to approach the topic.”
“Understanding the Enneagram can help Twos realize that it’s not a sign they aren’t loved when their partner doesn’t ask questions or isn’t as present and attentive as they would like.”
“Everyone should have a partner who shows up for them and is engaged in the relationship, but Twos sometimes want so much engagement that no amount of love feels like enough. Once Twos notice this tendency in themselves, they can be more aware of it and more forgiving when others don’t meet their needs exactly as they had hoped.”
“Long heart-to-hearts and deep conversation are critical to cultivate the loving intimacy they desire. Many Twos find that being fully open and honest with each other without judgment is a powerfully grounding experience in a partnership. Having an attentive partner in both conversation and the bedroom helps a Two feel connected.”
“I heard from many Twos that their partner’s sexual satisfaction often takes precedence over their own experience. Many Twos mentioned that they have a difficult time explaining to their partner what they like in the bedroom because their life has been so focused on pleasing others. If you’re in a relationship with a Two, consider asking what they like. Take time to communicate and give them loving, judgment-free space to grow your connection.”
“When you are feeling stretched too thin after extending yourself to help others, take a step back and consider what help you would offer to a friend in your position. How would you care for them? What might that feel like? Try offering yourself the same care you offer to others.”
“In love, keeping score rarely leads to happiness; practice an openhanded approach to reciprocity rather than insisting on even give-and-take.”
“Let them know how much you appreciate them for who they are and not just for what they do for you.”
“Threes are highly adaptable, which means they can shape-shift their personality to be the best possible fit for what they believe is expected.”
“Tenderness, attentive care, and deep loyalty often lie beneath a Three’s impressive exterior. Threes are quite thoughtful and intentional in their romantic partnerships, and they appreciate when their partner is supportive and encouraging to them.”
“Average Threes tend to have trouble balancing commitments. Because they want to be as impressive as possible, Threes may seek to impress those outside the relationship while neglecting their partner. This behavior can cause deep division.”
“Healthy Threes value the humanity in themselves and their partner; rather than seeing people as projects, healthy Threes value humans simply for being.”
Effective communication is incredibly important for Threes in relationships, but it can sometimes take time to cultivate safe space to communicate well.
Enneagram study calls Threes to slow down, take a breath, observe themselves and their feelings, and better articulate their emotions in the moment.
“Threes shared that having sex actually helped them to be more emotionally present in their relationship. Threes shared that sexual experiences help them feel grounded in the present, allowing them to be emotionally connected with their partner. While Threes seem highly self-assured, they need validation from their partner, especially when it comes to sex. Threes long to feel desired by their partner, and being verbally told how loved they are is helpful.”
“Threes let down their guard and no longer feel the need to act like a chameleon. Full comfort often means allowing their partner to see them when they aren’t “on”—with no makeup, no pretenses, simply existing.”
“Your tunnel vision surrounding your goals and your constant forward motion can sometimes cause your partner to feel unimportant. Take time to focus on them without distraction. Your pace of life can leave you feeling exhausted, and as you learn to rest, you’ll be more present and in touch with who you truly are and how you really feel. When you feel frustrated with yourself, your partner, or life in general, pause and consider what feelings lie beneath that surface emotion.”
“Plan intentional quality time with a Three, and be patient if they can’t explain exactly how they feel.”
“Fours are deep feelers and thinkers, so allowing them to process when they need to will help build a good relationship.”
“Fours enjoy discussing their hopes and dreams for the future, their buried thoughts and feelings, their past, their relationships, and more. Fours tend to invest themselves fully in their interests, so they always have much to talk about.”
“Fours feel both positive and negative emotions strongly, like an electric current. Their emotions can be all- encompassing at times, and emotional intimacy and attachment is based on how comfortable they feel sharing deep feelings with others. Fours sometimes build emotional intimacy by sharing vulnerability first. If this attempt at connection is dismissed or unreciprocated, Fours can feel hurt and isolated. They need to feel safe to continue to share.”
“The right combination of emotional and physical intimacy has an electric result. Fours tend to get emotionally attached fairly quickly, and sex that includes emotional intimacy amplifies that attachment. Fours want to be intimately connected with their partner in every sense.”
“you’re a Four, you probably long for deep connection within yourself and with others. Your depth brings beauty and meaning in the world. One of the most remarkable aspects of your personality is the ability to show up fully in each moment. It is an act of courage to be as present as you often are, and your wide range of experience has made you strong.”
“Fives enjoy thoughtful conversation, so they feel connected when they share ideas with their partner. Fives generally highly value solitude, yet quality time with their significant other is just as important for their well- being.”
“They are comfortable with a partner who is independent and doesn’t need them, but sometimes what Fives need is someone who can draw them out of their heads and into reality.”
“Fives don’t always vocalize their feelings. Instead, they prefer to separate themselves from their emotional life so that their thoughts aren’t muddied by feelings. Fives are good at observing the world around them and are often attentive listeners. Fives are empathetic and deeply caring people, but just as they don’t always share their own feelings, they sometimes don’t express their empathy toward their partner.”
“Partners of Fives might find it difficult to have healthy conflict because so much of it actually happens inside for Fives.”
“Sixes are committed and loyal in relationships. They seek a trustworthy and consistent partner who helps quiet their constant self-questioning. Sixes are often suspicious of others at first and may be highly skeptical of a potential partner’s motives. Once they have built a foundation of trust, Sixes are in it for the long haul. They are fun, witty, and kind, and they deeply value good relationships. Sixes often find a partner who is calm where they are anxious, and bold where they are fearful.”
“Sixes often share their fears and worries with their partner. When their partner expresses frustration with their anxiety or attempts to refute their worries, this can make things much worse. It’s most helpful to validate their worries, while also giving them space to process the ideas they are concerned about. When a Six feels they have space to process in this way, they feel the safety they are searching for, and often find that their concerns may not be realistic.”
“Sixes are often defensive and reactive in conflict. Conflict threatens their sense of security, and they will do almost anything to avoid this. Some Sixes can feel flustered in conflict and may need some space to think through things, while others are ready and willing to engage in argument.”
“Intimacy Sixes need quality time together to feel safe and loved, and they want to create a sense of “home” with their partner. Quality time, complete honesty, and open communication help a Six feel comfortable and safe in the relationship; that safety is a prerequisite for both emotional and physical intimacy.”
“Intentional, caring touches throughout the day—such as a back rub or holding hands—can help build the foundation for a Six to be sexually intimate later. Physical engagement can actually help calm a Six’s tendency to overthink. Sixes are often passionate people, so the connection can be powerful when cultivated with intention and care.”
“FOR THOSE IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH A SIX It’s important to listen when a Six opens up and shares their anxieties and fears. Sixes feel deeply misunderstood and rejected when others show frustration with their anxious thoughts.”
“Try asking them questions about it and giving them space to process rather than diminishing their fear. Asking “What would we do if that happened?” can calm their fears better than “That will never happen.” If you’re in a relationship with a Six, always be truthful with them, as even white lies can undermine their trust. Show a Six you care by planning a thoughtful date, making time to intentionally connect with them, and reassuring them when they feel unsteady. SEVEN:”
“When unhealthy, Sevens feel stifled by the care and nurturing of others. They tend to have an addictive personality and are always looking for more from life—more fun, drink, food, sex, adrenaline. Impulsive, anxious, and fiercely independent, they may run from emotional connection because they believe that a relationship can only result in pain and misery.”
Sevens in average levels of health are fun and bright. They might feel occasionally stifled by relationships, but they also commit to their loved ones.”
“Once average Sevens are committed to a relationship, they try to make their partner feel loved, happy, and satisfied. They are upfront about who they are, and look for the same authenticity in others. Sevens often struggle to be vulnerable, so it takes time for them to open up emotionally and fully commit.”
“Sevens generally have a hard time with conflict because it requires wading into the negativity that they work so hard to avoid.”
“When they get comfortable, they may get complacent, and stop doing the little things that make their partner feel valued. If their partner can share how this makes them feel, it can help a Nine resume doing things that make their partner feel loved.”
“Healthy Nines have found their voice. They bring the same calming presence, along with true peace. They understand that a little conflict actually supports their goals of peace rather than detracts from them. They know that it’s often worth it to stand up for themselves, and they’ve found a way to do so gracefully. Healthy Nines are stable, quietly self-assured, and able to look at things objectively.”
“Both types are often good at remembering what the other likes and dislikes, so they can help each other feel loved and accepted. The Two’s compassion and empathy make the Six feel safe, and the Six’s commitment makes the Two feel cherished.”
Twos can be highly empathetic, but they also often want to fix what is wrong. It’s important for the Six to have space to verbally process anxieties without feeling shut down by their partner. Unfortunately, when the Two tries to fix a problem, the Six can receive the message that it’s not okay to speak their mind.
What I’ve learned from this book is that we all have different stages where we might relate to a different type but there are default ways of being it’s helpful to know how to get yourself out a funk for instance. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is into different personality tests. My favorite so far has been the Myers Briggs (MBTI) and the Enneagram is my favorite one so far.
Purpose: I create an empowering context for curious and hungry people looking for fulfillment, experiences, and creativity. We do this by developing their growth mindset, introducing self-love, and powerful group experiences. It results in people with strong boundaries, resilient mental health, and practical life skills
People leave with the ability to land their dream job, have autonomy and flexibility with their lifestyle, travel the world, and create from their heart and soul.
Davidson was once broke, insecure, low-confidence, and frustrated by doing all the wrong activities. Addicted to drugs, validation, and wallowing in self-pity. No relationship to family, and at the mercy of other people’s suggestions and opinions.
It was hell.
After spending $100k hiring different coaches, traveling the world doing workshops around the world, reading>1000 books, and through curiosity, have created the most effective system to remove people from that situation. My life’s work is to bring joy and abundance to people who as on a similar path as I was and bring back the joy and abundance of their life.
Through shared experiences and storytelling, I inspire and model behaviors that lead to a richer, more fulfilled life full of joy, experiences, passion, and ecstasy from the richness of relationships and being able to experience the depths of the human experience.