So, I went into a brief enneagram deep-dive.
The enneagram tradition tends to have this overtone of spiritual self-improvement; identifying vices, ‘sins’, and temptations at their root, ‘facing your shadow’, and committing to ‘the hard work’ of reforming. Guilt and shame are of course not enforceable or obligatory, but just as happens in religion, they tend to sort of slip inside with the rest of the message. There are appropriate times for that, but I think it’s best to be aware of it if that’s what you intend to do.
At the same time, this system may be unparalleled with regard to its depth of insight into the development of the personality and the biases and agendas that make up our personalities.
So, my type is The Contemplative. No big surprise. It’s made up of contributions from enneagram points 9, 5, and 4. All of the withdrawing types.
Okay. Got it.
The enneagram 9 is described as having the tendencies of sloth, inaction, and procrastination.
This was bothering me a little too much. Sometimes, in trying to ‘bite the bullet’ and to face an uncomfortable reality or aspect of yourself, you may become a little too zealous and strident, and inadvertently over-emphasize that aspect. Or over-emphasize the negative manifestations of it.
Then that critical voice may go on a tear, and just rampage for a bit.
Then it’s not helping anymore.
The balanced truth is that any so-called negative trait is the dysfunctional expression of an underlying neutral trait. Your goal is to reach that place, understand it, and then learn to channel and harness it in a healthy, functional direction.