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The Low Side of Type and My Personality: An Observation by Ron Esposito

Aug 31, 2021

I am an Enneagram Type One with Nine and Two wings with dynamic movements to Four and Seven. Over the sixteen years that I have been using the Enneagram as a self-observation tool, I have learned a lot about my thinking, feeling and behaving through observing the lower end of my type.


Being in the body center, Type One has underlying anger. My anger generally manifests as resistance to what is in the present moment because I think the situation should be different than it is. This applies to a wide range of experiences from politics to traffic while driving in my car. The wide range of “shoulds” is where I metaphorically drive off the road and reflects a perfectionistic attitude to how I think reality should be. This is a sure-fire set up for suffering and I have gone down that road many times.


Anger is part of my wiring, and I am best served by noticing it and taking an inquiring attitude towards it, leading to conscious choice rather than reactivity. Beating myself up about it serves no purpose other than being down on myself, which can lead to feelings of brokenness and self-loathing because I judge myself as not being perfect. It can be a vicious cycle.


Along with a perfectionistic orientation and a yapping internal critic, I have high self-expectations and internal standards. When constricted and I project these onto others it is a sure source of suffering. At my best, I am more concerned with my own internal perfection than yours.


My Nine wing can cause me to be conflict-avoidant and not rock the boat, which ultimately does not serve. Uncomfortable situations must be dealt with head on and not be avoided or wished away. Procrastination due to perfectionism can also play on the low side. Luckily, I honor deadlines and am glad to have them. And truth be told, I can be a bit lazy.


The low side of the Two wing can cause boundary problems in regard to helping others, particularly if codependent behavior is exhibited. I need to clearly state my boundaries and ask that they be respected. Disrespecting my boundaries can lead to resentment.  The desire for approval and people pleasing behavior does not serve.


The low side of the dynamic movement to Seven is related to past addictive behavior and not dealing very well with limitations as well as ongoing unfinished projects. I can be a glutton for conceptual understanding and knowledge thinking that it is experience.


The move to the low side of Four evokes brokenness and shame due to not accepting my humanness. The shame is anchored in the perfectionism around not living up to my internal standards. The striving to be special and unique is a trap as well.


Thankfully, I don’t live all the time in the states described in this article. At the end of the day, good enough is good enough! Sending much Love.


Ron Esposito, M.A., is a certified Life Coach, Enneagram Teacher and Spiritual Mentor at the Conscious Living Center in Mount Auburn. [email protected].