The Inner Triangle, Point 3, Double Down to Deal With Fear    

Welcome back to our journey around the Enneagram’s Inner Triangle. After starting at Point 9 and hitting Point 6 we arrive at Point 3 where our task is to deal with our fear that has been mounting. We are capable of holding a lot of fear, but too much over a long period of time is a problem that must be fixed. We need to create a way out.

At Point 3, rather than re-think both the original problem (we feel unseen and unwelcomed by our people) and our created solutions (we interact in a different way we hope will better appeal to them), we will double down and further invest in our solution. We whole heartedly believe what we have told ourselves about how to be seen, how to get a secure place within the group so we invest all the more. This moves us further from Gift driven behaviors and toward Defensive Strategy driven behaviors.

You can think of the Defensive Strategy as a protective layer between us and what threatens us, like a house to shelter in from pain and fear. Here at Point 3 our move away from Gift and toward Defensive Strategy is crystalized. We have changed our mailing address and taken up residence inside our strategy. We have put curtains on the windows and pictures on the wall, creating what feels to be a stable living space. As time goes on, we will make tweaks here and there, but the hard framework of our early constructing (based solely on our efforts to be noticed by and belong to our primary group) will hold tight. It will drive how we operate, the rules we live by, the way we understand and place limits on ourselves and others. It will hold tight even while it robs us of the many possibilities that exist outside of its walls.

There will be many years of living inside our Defensive Strategy house before it occurs to us to re-think both the original problem and our created solutions and notice the substantial cracks throughout our house. For those interested in this re-think, the second part of the journey is available. It’s a return journey which starts again at Point 9 with self-awareness. Until next time.    -Sali