Endings, transitions, and change - whether they're our choice or not, good or bad - can bring grief and difficulty while we work through them to the other side. This episode offers some insight into how your Enneagram type might react to endings, and some invitations to help you process them with health and intentionality.
Helpful timestamps to help you navigate this episode:
Type 1- 4:14
Type 2- 6:26
Type 3- 8:52
Type 4- 10:34
Type 5- 12:37
Type 6- 14:37
Type 7- 16:55
Type 8- 19:42
Type 9- 22:16
Wrap Up- 25:44No Need to Explain with the Mental Health Mamas
00:00:44 Hello, my friend. Welcome to this episode. Today, we're going to dive into Enneagram and endings, what it can look like for your type when you're going through a change or, or a transition, or when something has ended.
00:00:59 Now, this can be kind of a difficult or uncomfortable topic, so if this isn't something you're ready to listen to right now, because you're going through or processing a difficult ending, I want to give you permission to skip this one. We're going to be talking about what it looks like when your type has to deal with that transition and change that comes from something ending.
00:01:24 And really whenever you are dealing with an ending, whether it's one that you perceive as good, something good has happened to lead onto the next thing or something that you wanted to end; or whether it's a bad ending, something that you didn't want to end, or it was sad or tragic or difficult. For some reason, both of those bring about change and change can be difficult, you know, for each type.
00:01:48 I'm going to kind of come at this from the perspective that this is something that you didn't want to end, but be thinking in the back of your mind, some of the other things like when you have a baby, your pregnancy has ended, and there is difficult change that comes with that, even though it was a change that you would see as progress, or you decide to make a move to further your career, or to move towards, to be closer to people that you love. These are things that are good, that we perceive as good, and we often make those choices ourselves, but it brings about change and change can be uncomfortable. So that's the perspective that I'm coming from is when your type is dealing with change that is difficult, specifically change that comes from an ending. Now I'm going to go through these pretty quickly because I'd like to get through all nine types in this episode, but I'd love to know, let me know in Instagram, if you want me to do a full class on this inside Christian Enneagram University.
00:02:51 I was able to be a speaker in the wholehearted Enneagram Summit, and we had a wonderful conversation about this with Amy Wicks of the Wholehearted Enneagram, who was hosting. And I love this topic. I think that it's so important to know how we approach endings and how we move through them and process them from our Enneagram type's unique perspective. And this can give us insight into how to move through that in a healthy way and pick up on the things that we need to be aware of so that we can be our most intentional self, even when changes are happening in life is hard. So I do want to just point out too, before I hop into Type One, that endings can really bring grief, even if we were the ones who chose it, right? So that's where I'm going to be coming from. And the feelings that come from endings aren't, they aren't gonna last forever, but they are real and they are valid. And your experience is to be believed, you know, by you and other people. So I hope that you have people in your corner who won't just minimize or delegitimize what you are going through and how you're experiencing this transition or change. And I hope that I can be one of those people. So I hope what I bring when it gets to your Enneagram type is encouraging to you and offers you some ways to move forward intentionally.
00:04:15 So let's dive into Type One. So Type 1, when you are going through a change that is difficult, when you have moved through an ending and you're processing it, you might find that you are trying to find where to place the blame. What is the post-mortem, who gets the percentage of the blame and how can you really quantify what every person's responsibility is in bringing this about, or in making it a bad situation in whatever way that you perceive it to be. It's important to recognize this tendency, because so often this is not helpful; this is not helpful to you or to the people around you or to the relationships involved. And this keeps you stuck. This keeps you from moving through the emotions that are actually happening and processing the things that did happen to you.
00:05:03 When we try and quantify and put blame on things, we can actually separate ourselves from the experience and invalidate even our own emotions in it. So I want to invite you to watch how often you use "should have," you know, "this was right, this was wrong." "We should have done this." "This is where it went bad." You know, there's more than one way to grieve an ending and there's most likely nuance to how it came about. So if you can coach yourself on how to allow the gray, instead of just the right wrong or the black and white, and what is the nuance in the situation and how do you feel about it? What is your experience as you're walking through it? Not just what are the labels you can put on the things that happened. So allowing the emotions that seem random or inappropriate feelings, (even though they aren't inappropriate, as a Type One, they can feel inappropriate) instead of kind of triggering straight into anger or judgment or critical evaluation of the situation, really explore what's going on with you right now and see if you can process the root of what has happened inside of you so that you can move through it with intentionality and not like I said, resort to label, label-making.
00:06:27 Type Two, when you are moving through an ending that can be difficult or challenging, you might focus more on other people, maybe even more than you do on a good day. And you can let down any healthy boundaries that you have set up, any ways that you kind of gauge whether you should be saying yes or no. You might let go of all of that and turn back into a "yes" person who really craves that connection almost at all costs. And this can lead to, like I said, loss of boundaries, but also when other people hold to their boundaries or don't do the same thing as you do, don't lean into you as much as you're leaning into them, in that moment, it can cause you to feel greater feelings of rejection because you are craving that connection more. It's absence, or the perception that it's absent, can feel like a deeper wound when you're going through an ending.
00:07:26 So my invitation to you is to really pause before giving, pause before giving in a generous way, when you are working through something, when you're processing through something that has changed drastically or just straight up ending ended. So some questions to ask is this for me to do? Am I avoiding something by saying yes, or doing this thing? Am I looking for connection to avoid being with myself and processing what I've gone through? And then I want to invite you to really revisit your boundaries. Sometimes they do need to shift and change; sometimes they do need to be made more pliable and moveable in, in a time of flux and that's valid. And that's, that can be very healthy, but make sure that you were, are evaluating them with wisdom and discernment and intentionality and not throwing everything to the wind in that pursuit of emotional and relational connection. Do you need to rethink them? And how do you need to do that in order to be most healthy and intentional in this current situation? Even if because often changes a transition to something that's, that's new; these boundaries right now, they might change soon. But I do want to invite you to revisit them now and figure out what it looks like for you right now.
00:08:52 Type Three, you might kind of resort, in times of change, really defaulting to this "I've got this" attitude, this "I don't need to sit and process; I can move through and be as productive as I was before, or more." And this can come from that default mechanism of wanting to do, wanting to be busy because being, it can be difficult and there's a lot to process there's a lot going on inside of you. So it can be easier to push that away in times of high stress or difficult emotions, or like I said, like we're talking about with endings. And so you might feel the need to grieve that ending, but you might be pushing it away and putting it on this facade to yourself and to other people that everything's okay, and that you can continue doing everything that you are are used to doing.
00:09:48 So I want to invite you to notice that compulsion to kind of overdo and be busy and instead find a safe place to slow down and just be for a while. The goal of being a Type Three, a healthy Type Three, excuse me, is to notice the times where you need to slow down, and often in endings, this is a time to slow down and let yourself be instead of pushing yourself to do, and then find a person that you can really connect with and open up to about what's really going on inside. And this will be an uncomfortable thing to do likely. So I want to invite you to find a safe person to do that with.
00:10:31 Type Four, you might find yourself kind of getting lost in the feeling of this missed ideal. When there's an ending that happens, you might find yourself being nostalgic for what could have been, and that can cause you to be kind of stuck there and lacking motivation to create a new ideal or a new normal that is joyful and fulfilling.
00:10:56 And so I want to invite you when you are grieving an ending as a Type Four, to let yourself feel those moments of joy and levity that com. You might find yourself wanting to stay down in the feelings of grief and sadness and despair because, because of that nostalgia, and because it can feel like the right thing to do even, but when you allow yourself to have those natural uplifts of emotion, you'll see that, "oh, no, life is fluctuating emotions." And equanimity is a beautiful thing. And moving back and forth on the waves of emotion with intentionality and knowing when you are too high for too long or too low for too long, can be really, really helpful as a Type Four. So, so recognizing that those moments of joy and levity don't diminish what you went through or your experience; it's a sign that you are a whole person who experiences all of life, and that's a beautiful thing. And then I want to invite you also to find ways to connect and interact with other people, you know, be spending time inside other people's experience, especially their emotional experience or their perspective, maybe on what happened. Again, doesn't diminish your experience or your perspective, but it just gives you more access to the fullness of what happened or the fullness of the availability of the emotional experience that's available to you. So that co-regulation of emotion and that added perspective on maybe what happened can be really, really helpful as a Type Four.
00:12:36 Okay. Type Five, when you are going through an ending, you might find that you take a while to process, maybe much longer than other people would expect you to. And this can create some added discomfort in relationships, or you are processing very on, on this long and slow fuse that other people might not notice. So you might find one of those two are happening, depending on what's going on with that, what happened with that ending.
00:13:06 So I want to invite you to be willing to ask yourself what you need. You might start to rely really heavily on that self-reliance and not needing anything from anybody else and just relying on yourself. This is, this can hamper you from fully processing what happened and kind of like with Type Four, losing that perspective that other people can bring into the situation and into your life as you're moving through this transition. So be willing to ask yourself what you need and then be willing to maybe reach out and ask for help from other people. And then, Type Five, I want to ask you to look inside and think about what entering into life could look like right now. Are there healthy ways for you to lean into relationships or experiences or events or something that doesn't really drain you more, but actually fills up your cup a little bit? Are there safe ways to do that, to lean into life instead of leaning back from it because you are processing this thing? Taking that time to process is so important, but there are ways for you to take breaks from it or continue to live that full life that you have, even though you are processing something very deep and maybe more deeply than other people realize. There's a way for you to lean into life while you do that.
00:14:36 Type Six, when you have reached this point where something has ended, especially if you didn't choose it, or it was a surprise, you might start to question the loyalties of people around you, even if they haven't really given you any reason to do so. This, this is kind of a defense mechanism to try and bring back that certainty that you're looking for after an ending that probably rocked your world a little bit. And then you might also stop trusting yourself and your ability to make wise decisions. Because if you didn't see this coming, then how can you trust that you'll see the next thing coming? Or if this didn't pan out the way you wanted it to, how can you trust that you can move through the next ending or keep the next thing from ending? And that can really just kind of break down your trust of other people or yourself.
00:15:31 So here's a few invitations for you as a type six, when you are experiencing this moving through an ending and, and this loss of trust. And I want to invite you to really think about what's going well right now, what's going well in this present moment, what is not broken? What is not falling apart, what has not ended and is continuing to be something that you can look at and say, "I trust that that is going well"? And I mean, like get really specific, like get granular; label the things that are going well, because this reminds you that you are a person who can make wise decisions, and you are a person who has people in your corner. And we want to be aware of the feelings that come up that: "oh, I'm, I'm afraid because I feel insecure." That's totally valid. But gaining that full perspective allows you to really notice the areas where you need to focus your attention and look for certainty if it's available and really put your decision-making energy into. And if we're looking about 360 all around, that can be really difficult to know where to put your energy. So put a label on the things that are already good and going well. And then you know where to put your decision-making super power, energy towards.
00:16:56 Okay, Type Seven, when you are going through a difficult transition or ending, you can maybe go looking for the next thing, like looking at what you can do next, right? And this can keep you from fully processing what, what has happened. Some Enneagram types, like we talked about Enneagram Fours might get stuck in the processing; some Enneagram Fives might put off going back into their lives until they've processed; you as a Type Seven probably have maybe the opposite problem where you jump back into life without processing. And this makes sense with your type Seven motivations, but we want to be able to have that safe processing and know, know what has happened and how we feel about it and move through that.
00:17:48 So my invitation to you, Type Seven, is to really find a safe person that you can talk through everything with, and, and it helps if this person has a sense of humor like you do so that they get maybe some of the ways that you might laugh at difficult situations. And I don't want to belittle that because it's a totally valid way to like, move through that for you as a Type Seven, but find somebody where you can process how you need to process and, and share what's going on in whatever way helps you get it out. So, so really finding someone that you can process with and then setting healthy boundaries for yourself. This is not limiting yourself, but this is really empowering yourself to focus on what's important. You know, you aren't limiting the fun aspects of your life, but you're opening yourself up to maybe some of the more uncomfortable parts of your life. Like "I'm gonna sit down with this person and I'm going to talk through something that's hard for me to talk about, and I'm going to do it for this amount of time." And then I, you know, "I can put that down until I'm ready to pick it back up again." And you won't feel, you won't be avoiding it. You will be giving it its proper time and attention and then putting it down inappropriate and intentional way. So I want to invite you to set some healthy boundaries with yourself in that way and free yourself to process without having to stay stuck or feel like you're stuck in that, in that ending. Like it can feel like as a Type Seven, it's just this perpetual thing that you have to keep going back to and re-evaluating, and, and talking about, and that's not true, but giving yourself some time to pick it up and then put it down and move on, can be really, really healthy.
00:19:42 Type Eight, what you might do when you are faced with an ending or, or a transition, especially one that brings up some difficult emotions or is uncomfortable to move through, you might kind of double down on the tendency to avoid looking weak or avoid looking vulnerable. And this comes from the defense mechanism called denial that a Type Eight has. You might even be denying that there is a problem that you need to deal with and it can become a really, really dicey because you might believe the denial; you might believe that this isn't a problem that you need to deal with.
00:20:18 So my invitation for you, Type Eight, is to think about what compassion would look like for someone going through the situation that you're going through and then apply that to yourself. Like what would it, how, how can you give that same compassion to yourself that you would want to give to somebody that you love who's going through the same thing, and this can help you get past, bypass that defense mechanism of denial and keep the reality of what has happened in front of you. Because as a Type Eight, you have this deep protective instinct of your people, and you know that if the same difficult thing that happened to you happened to them, objectively you would know how to show them compassion and some of the things that they may need. And so you can mirror that back on yourself and say, "oh, maybe I need some of those things, even though I'm convincing myself that I don't." So what does compassion for yourself look like right now? And then I'm really trying to avoid denying that you need that help, that you need that time or that space or that rest or that processing space with, with another person. And then I want to invite you to follow where the joy is taking you and be intentional not to just follow that need for intensity that you might have. As a Type Eight, when you're going through something difficult and you're trying to avoid looking weak or vulnerable, you might become a little more impulsive in the intense parts of your life, whatever that is for you. And so I invite you to really look at where you can find levity and joy or rest like rejuvenation and not necessarily leaning into that tendency to go after intensity.
00:22:16 And Type Nine, when you are going through a difficult transition or an ending or change that is hard, you maybe fall into one of two camps and it could be different depending on the circumstance. So, so you can go back and forth. You might find yourself releasing anger that kind of surprises you, having like this volcanic eruption, because there's either this big issue or there's a last straw, right? And so you might have a big eruption or you might shrink away, become smaller, sort of withdrawing from the situation. Both of these can lead to this feeling of feeling better, you know, either by getting it all out of your system in one go or by kind of avoiding it a little bit and maybe going to your inner happy place.
00:23:08 Now my invitation to you, Type Nine, to help you process with intentionality whatever has happened that has been difficult, is to give yourself permission to be affected by it. Even the eruptive anger that you might experience as a Type Nine occasionally doesn't necessarily help you process what has happened. And often we, a Type Nine might shift the blame to an outside circumstance that caused the eruption. Allow yourself to be affected by what happened and allow yourself to and label how you feel, why and what your responsibilities for processing how you feel are. And this can allow kind of a deeper, emotional experience and help you move through in a healthy way, instead of avoiding the situation, either by getting angry or getting quiet, but stubborn. And I want to also invite you to connect with other people on your terms, beyond accommodating them. This doesn't mean becoming suddenly selfish or whatever, but this, if you're going through a difficult ending, you might have to take up some space that is yours, that you've allowed other people to occupy. And this is not bad. This is not bad. This is not unfeeling. This is simply saying "I need my bubble back or a portion of my bubble, because I am going through something." One thing that I share, shared inside Christian Enneagram club recently was that when we are injured (and change, transition, endings are an injury) when we're injured, we take up more space and we have less ability to accommodate. So you, Type Nine, that's my invitation, give yourself permission to be affected by what's happened and recognize that being affected by what's happened means that you're going to take up some of your own space that you've allowed other people to occupy. And that's a good thing, and that can be done in a respectful way that honors relationships and, and respecting the relationship enough, not to try to accommodate when you lack the capacity or are processing something that is equivalent to an emotional injury, which is very real and very valid. So it's important to validate your own experience as a Type Nine. So that's what I'm giving you permission to do with this invitation.
00:25:44 Okay. We made it through all nine types. I hope that you enjoyed this episode. This is a topic that is very important to me. I think it's so important to know how we tend to process endings. And I was only able to spend maybe two minutes on each type and I, I'm sorry, these episodes would be so long if I continued having the kind of conversation that I want to have, but do let me know if you'd love to see this as a, as a fleshed-out full course inside Christian Enneagram University. It would be, I think, a really important thing for us to look at using the lens of the Enneagram, because we are all dealing with stuff and we all process in different ways. And when, you know, difficult things happen and endings occur, we are more likely to constrict back into our types. So being aware of what might happen and some practical ways to move through that in, in intentional, health-oriented ways are going to be really important. So let me know if you want to hear more about this topic sometime in the future, and I'm going to go. So I hope that you liked this episode. Let me know what you think you can find me on Instagram at Christian.enneagramcoach. You can email me email@example.com. I'm available to answer any, any of the questions that you might have. And that's it for me. We'll talk soon friends. Bye.