Let Me Introduce You To The Inner Triangle

The Enneagram is a great self-awareness tool highlighting what is important to us and how we interact in the world. It’s also a great problem-solving tool for when things aren’t going so well helping us find better ways to interact. It contrasts behaviors that come from our strengths (I call these our Gifts) and behaviors that come from our weaknesses (I call these our Defensive Strategies.) Today I want to introduce you to the Enneagram’s Inner Triangle which lays out for us how our Gifts and Defensive Strategies are related to each other. Over the next several Insights you will see how the Inner Triangle points to both the self-awareness and the problem-solving wisdom of the Enneagram.
Let me explain a bit. We live our life; we don’t watch ourselves live it. Similarly, we might run a race but don’t watch ourselves run it. Someone else does the watching. From their third-party perspective they can give us feedback on how the race is going. The Inner Triangle takes this same third-party perspective and gives us feedback on what is happening as we live our life. We find the Inner Triangle in the middle of the Enneagram symbol using the lines connecting 9, 6, and 3. Even though it uses these numbers, the Inner Triangle is giving every type feedback on what is happening in us and around us. Using this feedback will increase our self-awareness and make possible new problem-solving possibilities.
The Inner Triangle gives us feedback on our universal (shared) human story, that is, where we stated and how we got to where we are. It is the Enneagram’s attempt to helps us have a context in which to understand how we have both Gifts and Defensive Strategies and how they relate to each other. There are two halves to this universal human story, the first half begins at point 9, moving to point 6, and then onto point 3, the second half starts again at point 9, but now moves us to point 3, and on to point 6.
This may make little sense right now but stay with me as together we follow the Inner Triangle’s observations step-by-step. We will watch from this third-party perspective how our human story starts off with us vulnerable and needy, having little awareness, and trying to figure out how the world works, and then where we go from there. I hope you will see your story reflected in the observations of the Inner Triangle and will be able to use it to increase your own self-awareness and problem-solving skills because that’s what the Enneagram is all about.  Stay tuned!    – Sali