“Poetry is the natural ally of the Enneagram in the
cultivation of compassion. It convinces us on a deep
emotional level, with power and vividness, flying beneath
our own radar and enabling us to experience the worldview of
another as our own.”
Clarence Thomson, Enneagram Central
Ones can be perfectionists and may preach at others who fall short of perfection.
driving force is anger, which usually erupts when someone has
failed to live up to their expectations. They can also have a "running amok"
side that allows temporary escape from their own high standards.
Twos typically maintain
a "helpful" self-image, giving help and advice whether others
want it or not. They may use manipulation to influence people. If feeling betrayed, they
even become vindictive ("after all I've done for you!"). Their driving
force is pride (it's difficult to admit they have needs, too).
Threes are self-promoting and can showcase themselves,
sometimes at the expense of others. They tend to look
outward for their reflection in the eyes of others, and their inner life may
be lacking. Their
driving force is vanity, which requires always trying to look good; consequently they tend to be self-deceiving, reframing failure as success.
easily focus on their own flaws and sink into moodiness; their conversation is
typically ripe with
sad stories. Their driving force is envy, which shows up in
dissatisfaction with the ordinary, the mundane: the grass always seems greener somewhere
to think long and hard, and sometimes sound as if they're giving a dissertation. They may
have deep and passionate feelings, but they tend to disdain the role of emotions in human
interaction. Their driving force is hoarding, which shows up particularly as a detachment
from feelings, a stinginess of affection.
characterized by self-doubt, indecision, and procrastination. In interaction with others
they may look for hidden agendas and can be accusing, especially of those they worry have
power over them. To counter their driving force of fear, they may exhibit reckless
courage, then worry they've shot themselves in the foot.
love to tell anecdotes and may forget to invite others to talk, sometimes
perceived as oversimplifying or skating over the surface because they're so interested in
a variety of attractions. Driven by gluttony in search of pleasure and
variety, they're over-focused on
enthusiasm and uneasy activity: life MUST be fun!
"bull-in-the-china-shop" quality and the reputation of being controlling,
because it's difficult to acknowledge vulnerability. Driven by 'lust'
(in the sense of excess), they feel responsible to direct situations and
may pursue power aggressively. They greatly value justice -- as self-defined!
"nice" people who tend to merge with others' preferences. Taking a strong position
is difficult because they see all sides of an issue and are essentially non-aggressive.
Their driving force is indolence
- they're often out of touch with their own wishes, a
kind of self-forgetting. They tend toward epic tales (it's hard for them to focus).
Mary's Enneagram Poems: "Winding
I Meet My Shadow in
the Deepening Shade
Poetry as Healer
A Feast for
Alphabetical List of Published
Poets (click on poem title)