Who is the Real Me?


Family

My sister, mother, me, my father, c. 1952.

Have you ever wondered about the difference between who you are and who you’re pretending to be? I’m searching my earliest memories, when my environment had the least impact on me, to help me find out.

 

• My love of music goes back forever. I had to have been born with it. This points to preferring the feeling side of life—the arts, beauty, people, psychology, etc. There’s not much argument against the MBTITM preferences (introversion and extraversion, feeling and thinking, for example) being inborn; I believe I’ve also been individualistic, focused on possibilities, and empathic from the beginning.

 

• When my older sister and my mother screamed at each other, did I freak out and cringe behind the closed door because I naturally disliked conflict? Or did I dislike conflict because their screaming traumatized me? I think I have the anti-conflict gene, if there is such a thing, which Enneagram 9-Peace Seekers and 5-Observers (my type) share. I thrive on peace and dislike drama in my life.

 

• Football players and wrestlers like rough contact, even getting hurt, and don’t usually mind trading insults. This is not the real me for sure! I’m as far as one can get from typical players of contact sports, often 8-Asserters in the Enneagram.

 

• Are you too lazy to spend 55 minutes beautifying yourself every day, as the average woman does? My mother, a 2-Helper, wasn’t. She put on lipstick, powder, rouge, and eye makeup every day, finishing by brushing mascara on her two or three white hairs as a quick cover up. She never allowed me to touch her shiny auburn hair. When I see apes bond by running their fingers through each other’s hair, looking for dirt and parasites, the feeling of disappointment comes back. My mother’s interest in her appearance influenced my attitude. I’m not totally lacking in vanity, but I don’t spend much time on it.

 

• Whenever my mother and I passed through the huge main doors of ZCMI, the big department store in Salt Lake City, she would beeline it to the nearest set of mirrors. We could not talk until she was satisfied with her lipstick, powder, and the angle of her hat. Every so often she’d spot another mirror and recheck herself. Would my mother be as interested in mirrors if she happened to be ugly instead of pretty? Wondering this led me to thinking it would be fairer if humans didn’t have bodies. I wished we could be spirits and relate to one another purely from our inner selves, a wish I almost forgot about when puberty set in.

 

• My father, a 5-Observer and a scientist, was a role model to me for thinking logically—and he did not suffer fools gladly. I’m thankful I picked up his respect for the intellect, but maybe I tricked myself into thinking I could also be strong and smart like him if I were more critical of others. Being like him would compensate for feeling weak. Now, however, I am more interested in being kind than in one-upping anyone. Being true to my real self by being empathic beats having a false sense of strength.

 

Visit http://wagele.com to check out my books, CD, cartoons, essays, music, and Famous Enneagram Types.

 

 

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The Enneagram and Lord of the Rings, Part III: Types 6 and 2. By guest blogger, Kelly Gomez.


Sam

Sam

You may recall the Frodo has characteristics of the type 6 Enneagram personality, the Questioner. Frodo makes his way to Mordor, where he can destroy the One Ring, which Sauron would like to reclaim. His friend, Sam, travels with him and is a type 2. They make a great team and Sam supports Frodo through his encouraging words.

 

Sometimes a type 6 can also be pessimistic, but also concerned about the safety of others. The discussion that Frodo has with his friend, Sam, a 2-Helper, demonstrates a type 6’s need for security and support.

 

Frodo: Mordor… I hope the others find a safer road.

 

Sam: Strider’ll look after them.

 

Frodo: I don’t suppose we’ll ever see them again.

 

Sam: We may yet, Mr. Frodo. We may.

 

Frodo: Sam… I’m glad you’re with me.” 

 

I couldn’t help thinking about how happy Frodo must feel to have his friend Sam to be there when he enters the gates of Mordor. Mordor is the place Frodo needs to go before he reaches the top of Mount Doom (in order to have the ring destroyed in fiery lava). Sam is the perfect person to accompany Frodo on his journey because he is on his side every step of the way.

 

Type 2’s bring the sunshine to type 6’s. Their motivation comes from a personal desire to feel loved and valued by the people around them. A type 2 may believe that if he takes care of others, everyone will be okay, and that is what makes him feel happy. Type 2’s tend to be optimistic and try to see the good in all things. In this quote Sam has recognized why venturing out into the world is important:

 

Sam: It’s like in the great stories Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end it’s only a passing thing this shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines it’ll shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something even if you were too small to understand why. But I think Mr. Frodo, I do understand, I know now folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going because they were holding on to something.

 

Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?

 

Sam: That there’s some good in the world, Mr. Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.

 

Ultimately, 6’s doubt or question their decisions so they need encouragement and reminders of why what they are doing is important.

 

I thought the song “May It Be” (originally written by Enya) was a perfect compilation of both type 2 and 6. I liked the version by Celtic Woman, although the film, Lord of the Rings, uses Enya’s version. “May it Be” can be found here. It displays movie clips from Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (4th book), as well as Celtic Woman’s version of the song.  [[The movie clips from this link portray a love story intertwined with one of the travelers on Frodo’s journey, but is different from my interpretation of the song in the next paragraph.]]

 

The lyrics to this song remind me of Frodo as he begins his journey: “You walk a lonely road, oh how far you are from home.” And the lyrics in the second verse and refrain remind me of Sam’s comforting words to Frodo: “When the night is overcome, you may rise to find the sun; Mornie Utulie (darkness has come); Believe and you will find your way.”

 

The lyrics, “May it be your journey on, to light a new day” bring life to the character Sam as a type 2. Type 2’s bring light to every new day with their warm personality and eagerness to make things seem brighter. Sam’s purpose on this journey with Frodo is to bring light to every darkness they encounter.

 

The soothing sound of the strings begin to quiet themselves at 2:26 and gradually rise in intensity until 2:36. Beginning slowly and cautiously, as a type 6 is concerned for safety, they gain courage as the intensity builds and become daring like a counter-phobic 6. The music rises and falls from there, like the similar anxiety a 6 may have with making up his mind. However the lyrics repeat again, “a promise lives within you now” and the music calms again, as if Frodo’s personal journey now has a purpose and direction.  

 

If you would like more information on the Lord of the Rings, you can check out the link below. This is a very entertaining plot synopsis of the triology:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzti9LP7gN8

Quotes brought to you by http://www.imbd.com/title/tt0120737/quotes and http://blog.gaiam.com/quotes/authors/samwise-gamgee/52080

Kelly Gomez is a student at the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in English. She was an extern for Elizabeth for two weeks during winter break, 2014.

 

Frodo (Elijah Wood)

Frodo (Elijah Wood)

 

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The Enneagram and “Lord of the Rings,” Part II: Types 6, 5, and 8. By guest blogger, Kelly Gomez.


3-GaladIf Frodo’s personality type in Lord of the Rings (Enneagram 6, the Questioner) interests you, you might also be interested in checking out these quotes from the book series. Often dialogue helps us to understand a character’s motives, as they express their opinion to another character.

 

In the following passage, Frodo is speaking with Galadriel, the Elven co-ruler of Lothlorien. Originally rings were made and given to the Elves. Galadriel was the keeper of a ring called Nenya, and she used it to keep her kingdom safe. Sauron is the keeper of a ring, too, but he uses it for very evil purposes. The ring Sauron wears ends up getting lost in a battle and comes into the hands of Frodo. Galadriel tells Frodo to look into a magic mirror, where he can see glimpses of the future. Galadriel is aware of what might happen if she uses Frodo’s ring. She believes the ring might corrupt her, as it will corrupt anyone else who wears it. The ring is a source of great power, which is why Sauron wants it so badly.

 

Frodo: If you ask it of me, I will give you the One Ring.

 

Galadriel: You offer it to me freely? I do not deny that my heart has greatly desired this.

 

[Galadriel is now tempted by the ring’s power and starts to describe her possible future.]

 

Galadriel: In the place of a Dark Lord you would have a Queen! Not dark but beautiful and terrible as the Morn! Treacherous as the Seas! Stronger than the foundations of the Earth! All shall love me and despair!

 

Galadriel: I have passed the test. I will diminish, and go into the West, and remain Galadriel.

 

Frodo: I cannot do this alone.

 

Galadriel: You are a Ring-bearer, Frodo. To bear a Ring of Power is to be alone.

 

Galadriel: This is Nenya, the Ring of Adament. And I am its keeper. This task was appointed to you, and if you do not find a way, no one will.

 

Frodo: I know what I must do, it’s just that… I’m afraid to do it.

 

Galadriel: Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.  

 

                    The power of the ring is so great that it has become the object of Frodo’s obsession. He would like nothing more to give the ring up for good, where he would not have to fight against the evil temptations it puts on him. Knowing that Galadriel would readily take the ring eases his burden, however, and he offers it up. But Galadriel decides not to take the ring, reminding Frodo that he alone must carry it. Galadriel’s response is typical of a type 5, the Observer, to suggest that a burden must be carried alone.

 

                  When type 6’s are afraid, they may either respond recklessly or look to those who might be able to eliminate their anxieties for them. Remember, they are team players? Even though 6’s are dutiful with their responsibilities, they often rely on their team to help them out when they feel anxious. Frodo believes if he gives the ring to someone else, he will have escaped the anxiety caused by his responsibility, which is to destroy it in the fires of Mount Doom.

 

   Gandolf2               

 

 

 

                   It is perfectly normal for anybody to be afraid of the ring’s power at this point. However, different personality types react differently when they are afraid. A Type 8 person would be more likely to charge ahead because to be afraid shows weakness. Being afraid is something a type 8 must conquer, because fear is manipulative, and manipulation is something 8’s despise. Sauron is an example of a type 8 at its worst. When Galadriel first knew Sauron, his name was Annatar. She knew him well, and mistrusted his thoughts and motives, yet never took action against him. Later his name was changed to Sauron, when he became evil with the forces of the One Ring and his personality changed to combative, possessive, and arrogant.

 

Because she is “Conscious of Sauron’s power, and wish[es] to thwart it, she [does] not openly use the powers of her ring as long as the One Ring [is] in Sauron’s hands. However, during the Third Age, when the One Ring [is] lost, she [puts her ring, Nenya,] to good use protecting the borders of her realm. For the powers of her ring [are] protection, preservation, and concealment from evil.”( www.lotr.wikia.com)

 

Galadriel is similar to a type 5 because she takes precautionary measures to secure her kingdom in a non-confronting manner. She does not make accusations against Sauron until he uses his ring to control the nations and keepers of their rings. Galadriel simply waits until he loses the one ring (now in Frodo’s possession) and does what she can to keep herself safe. She believes that whatever battle over the one ring is to take place will be between Sauron and Frodo.

 

The introduction to the movie, which explains the origin of the rings, can be found here:

 

While listening, notice the pattern in the background music that was created to represent Sauron’s character. Its intensity closely resembles type 8, the Asserter, in the Enneagram.

 

 Kelly Gomez is a student at the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in English. She was an extern for Elizabeth for two weeks during winter break, 2014.

 

Join the FaceBook page The Enneagram in the Movies.

 

Visit http://wagele.com to check out Elizabeth’s books, CD, cartoons, essays, music, and Famous Enneagram Types.

 

See Elizabeth’s appearance on TV talking about “The Enneagram of Death.”

 

4-Gandolf

 

The Enneagram and Lord of the Rings, Part I: Frodo, Type 6. By guest blogger, Kelly Gomez


Frodo (Elijah Wood)

Frodo (Elijah Wood)

How do authors create dynamic characters for their novels? Many people believe authors know people who are characters in themselves, and choose to write a book based on the characters in their own lives. Sometimes, although less common, authors create characters that were inspired by a well-known personality type. There are plenty of personality types out there, derived from many different systems, such as the Myers-Briggs system, The Temperament God Gave You temperament system, and the Enneagram. The Enneagram is an interesting personality system because it teaches us how different people are motivated; whether it is a drive for success, emotional security, or the need to feel loved.  

 

                  In the series, The Lord of The Rings, and in the first book (The Fellowship of the Rings) a hobbit, Frodo, is called by a great wizard to go on a long and perilous journey. Frodo agrees to venture on this journey because he believes it is his duty after he is entrusted with a magic ring. The ring holds an insurmountable power, and must be destroyed before powers of the Dark Forces discover it. The only way for the ring to be destroyed is if it is taken to Mount Doom by Frodo. One thing clearly explained in the first book of the series is that most hobbits never leave their homes or communities under any circumstance. What is surprising is that Frodo joins Gandalf and agrees to leave his home behind. He is accompanied by his gardener and friend, Sam Gamgee. (Pictured, Frodo Baggins)

 

                 What kind of hobbit would choose to leave all the comforts of food, warmth, and shelter in order to venture on a dangerous journey?

 

                  Frodo’s personality is similar to the type 6 personality of the Enneagram, the Questioner. A type 6 makes decisions based on their need for personal safety. Frodo may feel that not returning the ring could put his life in danger if the Dark Forces were to find it in the Shire (where the hobbits live). Sometimes a type 6 may choose to take risks (even dangerous ones) in order to conquer their fear of risk taking. Frodo is like a counter-phobic type 6 and prefers to boldly confront danger instead of run away from it. Type 6’s are also very loyal and dutiful and seek the guidance of those in authority. It wouldn’t be unusual for Frodo to accept the ring that was given to him by his uncle, and to accompany the great wizard on a journey (as his duty) to prevent the Dark Forces from destroying the world.

 

A few bloggers have also commented on who they believe Frodo to be:

 

“Frodo definitely is possessed of a noble and admirable character. We can look at the various words used in this criterion by definition: Noble – lofty and exalted character – showing greatness and magnanimity; Magnanimous – noble of mind and heart; generous in forgiving, above revenge or resentment; unselfish; gracious; Admirable – to have a high opinion of; to esteem or respect.” (lotrscrapbook.bookloaf.net)

 

 “INFP…Frodo Baggins.” (http://mbtitruths.blogspot.com)

 

“Frodo, the ring-bearer, carrying a burden that ripped him apart from the inside and almost destroyed everything he was…had the vision, bravery and resolve of character to get the ring all the way to Mordor… [To] not recognize him as one of the noblest of heroes shows a great lack of understanding of the power of evil and forgets that though Frodo makes it look easy, it wasn’t.”

 

 

Merry and Pippin

Merry and Pippin

 

According to The Enneagram Made Easy, written by Elizabeth Wagele, type 6’s like to work in teams. At the edge of the Shire (the town where Frodo lives), he meets Merry and Pippin, two other hobbit brothers that decide to join him. Frodo (a type 6) welcomes them on his journey because he knows that it would be more fun with others to accompany him.

 

Kelly Gomez is a student at the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in English. She was an extern for Elizabeth for two weeks during winter break, 2014.

 

See Are You My Type, Am I Yours on Amazon.com

 

Visit http://wagele.com to check out Elizabeth’s books, CD, cartoons, essays, music, and Famous Enneagram Types.

 

Projecting Self-doubts on Others


"I must have deserved this."He “blamed” a restaurant after he lost his house.

Seth’s house washed away in a storm. He lost everything, including valuable paintings, antiques, and computers containing all his writings.

In the nineteen years since he designed and built his dream house, several floods have come close and terrified him. Recently he woke up to the sound of rushing water and began filling sandbags. All his neighbors evacuated but he stayed to fight. The neighbors, who had collected together in a safe place, thought he had died. Some scolded him for taking a dangerous chance.

After listening to the details of his experience, his friend Linette did Seth a favor, she thought, by telling him about the new take-out restaurant that delivers a hot meal in less than ten minutes for $6.00, thinking he could use such a convenience as he rebuilds his life. To Linette’s surprise, however, Seth became angry and attacked the restaurant: “This place is delivering food to 3 year olds who can’t cook it themselves!” he ranted. “Restaurants have to make sure they never run out of food, so they waste a lot of it. People these days don’t even know how to cook their own meals!” And he boasted that he only shops for food every two weeks. Linette felt his anger was directed partly to her, as if he was telling her, “I-have-all-the-answers-so-why-are-you-wasting-my-time?”

Perhaps Seth’s sudden burst of moral superiority was an unconscious attempt to feel better about himself after his loss. Suffering a natural disaster can result in feelings of self-doubt and shame. “I got picked on because I’m a loser.” Without quite realizing it, we try to feel okay by comparing ourselves to others, tearing someone or something down to inflate ourselves and prove our worth.

Linette felt Seth was browbeating her and calling HER one of those 3 year olds. She wanted to keep the peace, however, because Seth had just undergone a trauma. So she struggled to keep her mouth shut.

Seth seemed to be making sure Linette, and more to the point, HE (Seth), knew he was capable and could handle everything. In Enneagram terms, Seth, an independent 5-Observer, has a strong 4-Romantic wing and a need to feel special. He needed more attention than he was getting concerning his loss and his survival.

Linette eventually realized Seth had lashed out in response to  stress, fear, and shame. Scolding her and “her restaurant” was a projection—a way of scolding himself for putting himself in harm’s way. She realized his need to boost himself up had little or nothing to do with her. When she next saw him he was more in touch with his grief. Instead of lashing out he expressed his real feelings, that he was depressed and overwhelmed.

Visit http://wagele.com to check out my books (including The Enneagram of Grief), CD, cartoons, essays, music, and Famous Enneagram Types.

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Do You Prefer Having Fun at Work or Working at Work? Part II


This is Part II of a blog based on New York Times’ Op-Ed Contributor Oliver Burkeman’s article, “Who Goes to Work to Have Fun?” 12-11-2013. How Enneagram types fit into fun at work – or not—are my own additions. Burkeman wrote, “Psychologists have shown that positive-thinking affirmations make people with low self-esteem feel worse; that patients with panic disorders can become more anxious when they try to relax; and that an ability to experience negative emotions, rather than struggling to exclude them, is crucial for mental health.”

            One reader commented: “Last year, in a conversation with the young adult son of a friend, I asked him if he would like it if his generation just stopped with the ‘awesome!’ for a little while and was             able to express real feelings. He looked at me like he wanted to cry and nodded his head yes. As I see that generation with its forced cheerfulness I wonder if they know how inauthentic they’re             

            being with themselves.” – Lute, Broooklyn

The Burkeman article continues, “And these are just the hazards of trying to enforce happiness on oneself: Matters are surely more fraught when the person doing the enforcing is a manager with possible ulterior motives, such as discouraging too much focus on low wages or inherently unfulfilling work.”

These companies force you to go to happy hours and then use your “friendship” against you when “asking” you for things later on. When I was an employee, I knew very well what made me happy. Doing a good job, producing a quality product, receiving a fair day’s wages for a fair day’s work, going home each night believing I’d done something of value during the day and that both the customers for my efforts and my peers and supervisors recognized the value I added; earning my living and the respect of people whose own work I valued. What did not make me happy included pizza parties,      Employee of the Month and similar contests… – ACW New Jersey

The Eneagram types most likely to be managers are the 3-Achiever and the 8-Asserter. Of course, these types may or may not be ethical.

“Instead of striving to make work fun,” Burkeman said, managers should concentrate on creating the conditions in which a variety of personality types, from the excitable to the naturally downbeat, can flourish. That means giving employees as much autonomy as possible, and ensuring that people are treated evenhandedly.” The Enneagram 4-Romantic, a sensitive type, would especially appreciate this. “According to a recent Danish study, lack of fairness at work is a strong predictor of depression, and even heavy workloads don’t bring people down, provided their bosses are fair. 

       

            Another comment from a reader: “If a fungineer shows up at the water cooler at my job it will be very difficult to treat them with respect… If corporate thinks they can ramrod happiness down our             gullets with trite mantras they ignore at their peril our basic intelligence in favor of another device aimed at boosting quarterly productivity. A poorly dressed Trojan horse indeed; invading our emotional privacy under the guise of caring about employees feelings.” – Morgan S, Atlanta, GA

            And: “I suspect a lot of this “Fungineering” movement is aimed at Millennials who are extending adolescence to hitherto unrealized horizons. Work should be engaging, rewarding, fulfilling and             pay the rent. If it’s not that, a foosball tournament with microbrews won’t keep employees.” – NYC

Article: “Not that you’d necessarily want an office full of optimists” (3-Achievers, 7-Adventurers, and 9-Peace Seekers), “even if that were achievable. People who are oriented toward ‘defensive pessimism’ play a valuable role, preparing organizations for worst-case scenarios.” These would mainly be 6-Questioners in the Enneagram, who look out for safety.

“And if your business card describes you as Head of Fungineering, or Chief Cheerfulness Ninja, or Vice President of Wow, please skip the next company paintballing weekend, and use the time to ask yourself a few tough questions instead.”

Visit http://wagele.com to check out my books, CD, cartoons, essays, music, and Famous Enneagram Types.

See “The Career Within You – How to Find the Perfect Job for Your Personality” using the Enneagram.

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WorkorFun01

 

Do You Prefer Having Fun at Work or Working at Work? Part I


WorkorFun01“Despite the sobering economic shocks of recent years,” Oliver Burkeman wrote, ”the Fun at Work movement seems irrepressible. Major companies boast of employing Chief Fun Officers or Happiness Engineers; corporations call upon a burgeoning industry of happiness consultants, who’ll construct a Gross Happiness Index for your workplace, then advise you on ways to boost it… Self-help bloggers offer tips for generating cheer among the cubicles (‘Buy donuts for everyone’; ‘Hang movie posters on your walls, with employees’ faces replacing those of the real movie stars’)… Enjoyable jobs are surely preferable to boring or unpleasant ones; moreover, studies suggest that happy employees are more productive ones. But it doesn’t follow that the path to this desirable state of affairs is through deliberate efforts, on the part of managers, to try to generate fun. Indeed, there’s evidence that this approach—which has been labeled, suitably appallingly, ‘fungineering’—might have precisely the opposite effect, making people miserable and thus reaffirming one of the oldest observations about happiness: When you try too hard to obtain it, you’re almost guaranteed to fail.”

A comment on the Burkeman article: “The management at our facility a few years back established a ‘No Frown Zone’ for our data entry department. I guess they thought we were too serious trying to type and retain our jobs by not falling into the bottom 20 percent of performers and subject to removal. So smiley faced posters went up. Casual dress days are viewed as a perk too. But not sure if that helps make up for the atmosphere of 400 people in cubicles on the floor overseen by an unblinking computer measuring everything.” – Pragmatic, USA.

 

This blog is based on New York Times’ Op-Ed Contributor Oliver Burkeman’s article, “Who Goes to Work to Have Fun?” 12-11-2013. How Enneagram personality types fit into fun at work – or not—are my own additions. 7-Adventurers are typically the most fun-loving of the 9 personality types. Bosses who are 7s, 2-Helpers, who want everyone to get along, or 9-Peace Seekers might be most attracted to adding fun activities. 

The Times article continues: “A study by management experts at Penn State and other universities, published last month, found that while ‘fun’ activities imposed by bosses might slow employee turnover, they can damage overall productivity. Another concluded that the fashionable tactic of “gamification”—turning work tasks into games, with scores and prizes—reduced the productivity and job satisfaction of those workers who didn’t approve the notion.” As a 5-Observer, I’d be one of these employees. I like to get into my work. Party atmospheres make me feel uncomfortable. 1-Perfectionists could also be annoyed when their work is interrupted by fun and games.

 

“Worse still, the pressure to maintain a cheery facade in such workplaces can be stressful and exhausting in itself, a form of what the sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild called ‘emotional labor.’ In a 2011 study of workers at an Australian call center, where bosses championed the focus, fun and fulfillment, researchers found many experienced the party atmosphere as a burden, not a boon…” I would for sure.

 

 To be continued 12-31-13.

Visit http://wagele.com to check out my books, CD, cartoons, essays, music, and Famous Enneagram Types.

See “The Career Within You – How to Find the Perfect Job for Your Personality” using the Enneagram. 

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