Most of us have no idea how others see or process their experiences. And that can make relationships hard, whether with intimate partners, with friends, or in our professional lives. Understanding the motivations and dynamics of these different personality types can be the key that unlocks sometimes mystifying behavior in others―and in ourselves. This book from Suzanne Stabile on the nine Enneagram types and how they behave and experience relationships will guide readers into deeper insights about themselves, their types, and others’ personalities so that they can have healthier, more life-giving relationships. No one is better equipped than the coauthor of The Road Back to You to share the Enneagram’s wisdom on how relationships work―or don’t.
- Why do Sixes seem so intimidated and put off by Eights, who only wish the Sixes would stop mulling things over and take action?
- Why do Fives seem so unavailable, even to their closest family and friends, while Twos seem to feel everybody else’s feelings but their own and end up irritating people who don’t want their help?
- How in the world can Fours be so open and loving to you one day and restrained and distant other times?
The Enneagram not only answers these questions but gives us a way out of our usual finger pointing and judging of other people―and finding them wanting, perplexing, or impossible. Suzanne’s generous, sometimes humorous, and always insightful approach reveals why all the types behave as they do. This book offers help in fostering more loving, mature, and compassionate relationships with everyone in our lives.
- An enneagram book focused on relationships
The Path Between us is my third book on the enneagram this year. I have been skeptical about the enneagram, but the more I read the more I can see the value of the enneagram as a framework for understanding both yourself and others.
In the end personality tests and psychological models are not really for navel gazing, but for assisting us to become a better people and to related to others better. The Path Between Us has roughly the same summary of the enneagram as The Sacred Enneagram and Mirror for the Soul, but the focus of the three is quite different and I think while not the most introductory, The Path Between us has the right focus of helping the reader related to others well.
Each of the chapters has the same basic format, a description of each of the numbers of the enneagram and several illustrations and quotes about that number. Then a description of how that number relates to other people of different numbers and the same number. There are notes about what numbers work together well and how to overcome common problems between numbers.
The real advantage of the enneagram as a model is that it is focused on health and inherent weakness and strengths. Being a particular number is not determinative of future behavior or an excuse for why someone does not need to change. Built into the conceptual model is the concept of change and growth, while acknowledging that we have been created in a particular way. As the enneagram has gained in popularity there has been push back. Some of the push back is valid as much because of misuse or misunderstanding as much as a weakness of the system.
Like a lot of mental models, the benefit is the structure of the system and that it gives a language to describe the world around us. That model is not reality, but a system to help us understand the reality. If the enneagram does not work for you as a mental model, do not use it. I can see how it can be helpful personally. And I think that like all other personality profiles and relationship models, there are weaknesses.
Of the three books I have read so far, I think this was the most personally beneficial, but like I said on the review of the last one, I am not sure whether this is more because it is more helpful or because I understand the system more. However, the framing of this book as helping the reader to understand how to relate to others well moves the enneagram from personal growth to corporate growth and I think that is helpful.