The Instinctual Triad
The Instinctual, or Anger, Triad is made up of Enneagram personality types 8, 9, and 1.
Enneagram Type 9 is the center type of the triad and considered to be the most out of touch with their own anger of the three types in this triad. Enneatype 8, has the most read-access to their anger, and is considered to be the “over-expressed” type in this triad. Enneagram Type 1 is the most “under-expressed” type in the Anger triad.
Type 9 (the center of the Anger triad):
The type 9 is the most “out of touch” with their anger. Most type 9 people, if they haven’t done much self development work, will deny that they even experience anger. The problem is that they actually do…they just don’t acknowledge it until it has built up to the point of explosion. Then, it’s much like a volcano blowing…and it can be scary for them and those around when it happens. The work of the type 9 person is to be present for themselves, in the moment, as much as possible, and become aware of their own point of view. Nines definitely have a point of view, it’s just common for them to “go along to get along,” and when they don’t monitor that tendency, they can become passive-aggressive in how they get their own needs met. Their anger really is hidden to the world (except in the passive aggressive instances, but even then the Type 9 may not admit it to themselves), until it becomes atomic…then there is no denying it (although its specific cause may still be a mystery to the 9).
Type 8 people have ready access to their anger, and can be quick to express it. They can have an aggressive style, but in many instances, society has given them the message that their natural style is unacceptable, and so the Type 8 person has learned to control their style. Because of this, they can tend to have very big energy, which will be felt as a large energetic presence when they enter a room. 8’s have a direct style which can be intimidating. Often it looks like they create a lot of conflict with others, and can come across as bullies. Most 8’s would probably tell you that they really don’t like conflict…and don’t like “getting mad.” What they do crave, though, is intensity, and when their own intense energy isn’t matched by the other person in a way they want it to be, 8’s can escalate a situation to get the response they are looking for. That can lead to an angry response from an 8, which then makes them look like the angriest type, hands down.
People who identify as Type 1’s will often times say they don’t get angry, they are just “frustrated.” Usually it’s frustration about other people not doing things the way that the Type 1 would do it. Whether it’s how (or if) the dishwasher is loaded, or the way a document is formatted, or how something is said to them, the Type 1 will typically prefer it be done differently. They really believe that they are right…and that can apply to moral values as well, an their personal integrity. Type 1 is considered the “under-expressed” type of the Anger triad, typically considered “repressed” in psychological terms. Although the Type 1 may not be fully aware of how their anger comes across, it is readily apparent to others. They can appear to be very uptight, tight-lipped (in appearance), have a very determined, clipped/choppy gait, etc., when they are sub-consciously expressing their anger/frustration.
This is just an overview of the Anger Triad types, and the differences between the way their anger expresses itself. In future posts, we’ll look at each type more in depth. Please do not use the overview to type others. If it resonates with you, personally, you may want to investigate the type further for your own benefit in self growth.
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