If you are like I was when I first got into the Enneagram, you might want it to be your plus 1 for all of your holiday gatherings this year! But that can make for some awkward conversations if you're pointing out someone's deep-seated unhealthy patterns, am I right?
I share 4 tips to help you navigate wanting to share about your newest passion without typing your people out loud (which would be a bad idea).
Follow on Instagram || @christianenneagram.coach
Get the Book || Enneagram For Beginners
Learn On-Demand + Get Coaching || Enneagram 101 Course
Visit the Shop || Christian Enneagram Shop
00:00:09 Hi, you're listening to the Christian Enneagram podcast. I'm Kim Eddy, your host, and self-proclaimed Enneagram BFF. Every week I stop by with some Enneagram encouragement, motivation, and inspiration, and sometimes a special guest. Here we ask the big questions about the Enneagram when it comes to your faith, we get to know ourselves a little better, and we grow in empathy for others. I hope you enjoy today's episode and I'm just so excited you're here. So let's get into it.
00:00:42 Hello. Welcome to this episode. I'm really excited that you're here with me today. We're going to be talking about the holidays because that is what's happening right now. I hope that you enjoyed last week's episode from a year ago.
00:00:57 That was me a year ago, sharing with you some thoughts I had around boundaries and how we can approach the holidays in a healthy way. That theme continues, because today we are talking about, what if this is your first time being at the holidays and around your people for this amount of time with this newfound awareness that you have from learning about the Enneagram?
00:01:22 I know from firsthand experience the tendency that we might have to type our family and friends, or bring up wounds and things that need a lot of unpacking over like potatoes. And what I wanted to try to do is save you from some of the heartache that I've experienced, not because of my family, but because I just brought all of my Enneagram self-awareness to a holiday gathering and around the table, and maybe that's not the best place for it. We'll unpack it all. I have a few things to share about it. Let's get into it.
00:02:02 So if this is your first holiday season, after learning your type and getting to know yourself on a deeper level, some of your coping mechanisms and your tendencies and your behavior patterns that might not be so healthy, and you are really diving in, you're doing the work, you're figuring it out, you're experiencing growth...It's totally normal to want to share that, and want to help other people do the same. But I wanted to share, I have four things that are very important to remember that might give you a little bit of those healthy self-boundaries as you're going into these gatherings.
00:02:45 And the first one is, please remember that other people aren't in the same place as you, and they may not even be on the same journey as you. And what I mean by this is you are learning about a lot things and you are sitting in the discomfort of growth and experiencing like the joy and, and grace that is to be had when you kind of shine a light on your unique strengths and your unique behaviors that might need some looking at.
00:03:19 Some people are not there yet, or they do not want to go there, ever. And while that can be a hurt for you to know that they may not experience the growth that you've experienced, or they aren't ready for that, or they just don't want to hear about it right now, that's their place to decide. And maybe over, like, turkey and gravy is not the place to try to convince them.
00:03:48 I don't know what goes on at your family gatherings. I have quite a large family and we're all in different places where we're all--and I'm not saying I'm a further along than anybody, although I may know a little bit more about the Enneagram than many of them do--I'm not further along on my growth journey as a whole, you know, which the Enneagram is only a part of,
00:04:09 but if I go and I'm so excited about the growth I'm experiencing, and I want to share that with others, that might not just, it might not be the right place to do that. It might not be the appropriate place to do that. They, your family, might want to talk about the things that you all share instead of the things that might make them feel put on the spot.
00:04:30 And some of your growth might be connected to them. You know, a lot of what, how our coping mechanisms show up from a young age is often because of our circumstances and your family is yours, part of your circumstances. So being gentle and aware of how things will impact, how they'll bounce off or plow into the people around you can be helpful.
00:04:56 We don't want to avoid talking about some of the things, but I just want us to be thinking before we enter into a mixed space of maybe many people who haven't seen each other or different beliefs or politics or whatever, maybe introducing, oh, I am this way because I didn't feel loved in this way. You know, maybe we don't want to hear that over pecan pie, right? There may be a different place or avenue to bring those things up and talk them through.
00:05:32 Number two, if this is your first year kind of being around your family, to this extent, after learning about the Enneagram and all of that, don't type your people; do not type your close friends or family. This is going to be really, really hard because if you have done the work in your learning about the Enneagram, it might be top of mind for you.
00:06:01 I know it was for me. So I'm saying this from experience, avoid putting labels on your people, which is harder said than done, like, let's be honest, but if you are typing people, what you are saying underneath all of that is I think I know your motivations. I think I know your particular wounding that you are chasing after fulfilling in life.
00:06:29 I think I know what you are running away from and fearing; and so I'm going to label you as a certain type. We often don't think this way, when we are typing people; we're looking at their behaviors or their vibe and, or, what causes like a visceral reaction in them. And we're saying, oh, that looks like a type three. Or that looks like a type five.
00:06:53 I think that's what you are. But we want to be very, very careful with that because as that person starts to understand, if they do, if they get into it, what the Enneagram actually is, they're going to know that you have kind of declared something about their darker side, their shadow side, and that can be hard to stomach.
00:07:16 You know, it would be hard for me to stomach. I can empathize with someone who's like, no, I don't think that's me. It may be, it may not be. We don't know. We can't see the heart of a person. So try to avoid, at all costs, typing your people. You can definitely avoid saying it out loud, but try to avoid it in your brain as well, because it will just help you be with that person instead of trying to diagnose that person's Enneagram type. If you are in a great conversation about the Enneagram and you find that somebody that you love is interested, I would focus on you: What you've learned about yourself, what you've learned about the Enneagram itself as a framework and what you enjoy about it.
00:08:00 You don't have to put anything on them. You don't have to help them find their type unless they want you to, and you feel confident with that. Be careful though, but you can share a lot about the Enneagram without turning the mirror on them. So that's number two, don't type your people. Definitely don't do that.
00:08:19 Number three is a little bit complicated, so I don't have a cool name for it or a short name for it. I want to invite you to be curious about your reactions, your, like, what activates you and kind of brings out some of the tendencies that you've started to notice, be curious about them without necessarily needing to process them in the moment, especially processing them with the people that you are with.
00:08:46 There are definitely some healthy ways to invite people who don't know about the Enneagram kind of into your inner thoughts. Like, "Oh, well this concerned me because I tend to focus on fill in the blank" right? Or, "Oh, this, this got that reaction out of me because I have this fear of fill-in-the-blank" though, that, that can be totally appropriate and helpful in the moment.
00:09:12 But if you want to get really, really deep with what's going on with you and other people are like, "What, what are they talking about? Like what, why are we here and talking about this deep thing right now?" That can turn something into an unhelpful situation. So I want to encourage you to be curious about what's going on. Often when we get into situations with a lot of people,
00:09:36 especially a lot of people that know us well, and we know well, and maybe there's baggage around that. You can find that your Enneagram tendencies just, they pop out, they show up there's, whack-a-mole going on all over the place internally with you. And that's something to notice. We don't want to be judgmental about ourselves. You've heard me say it before,
00:09:56 but we can be curious about what's going on with us in a situation like that without needing to invite everybody else into it in the moment. If that's not going to help you or the people around you in the moment, we don't want to go so far and just become completely closed off and private about our motivations. Especially as we start to understand them on a deeper level using the Enneagram.
00:10:27 My only concern here is if you go too far and start to bring everybody into this tidal wave of, "I need to get to the bottom of this, or I need to explain this in the most deep way possible so that you understand why I did what I did or why I said what I said or why I felt what I felt" find ways to share parts of yourself that you now know better because of the Enneagram,
00:10:55 without needing to explain the whole of you for people who may not be ready to hear it or ready to make space for it or ready to accept it. So that is number three. If I could sum it up in a short sentence, be curious about how your type's tendencies are activated in a situation like this, but don't feel like you have to process it right then.
00:11:20 And then number four, if I can encourage you to do anything, use your boundaries. We talked about boundaries in last week's episode, which was me talking about it a full year ago. You know, I have a lot more to say around boundaries. It's one of my passions, but boundaries can be so helpful. You can give yourself permission to end conversations that are harmful or to decline holiday invitations,
00:11:48 or to make decisions using a framework that is best for you. Boundaries can be great for that, without judging somebody's intentions or motivations on the other side. Boundaries help you decide what is harmful for you without need, there needing to be any harmful motivations and intentions coming from somebody else. Boundaries help you say the impact that this-- saying yes, or going to the, to this event, or being a part of this conversation--the impact will hurt me. And I'm not saying your intention is to hurt me, but I'm setting a boundary because I will not be hurt in this way. So boundaries really give you permission to do what is best for you or your nuclear family or your time or your mental health without judging somebody else. So use your boundaries. If there is a conversation that's happening that is impacting you in a harmful way,
00:12:55 you can use your boundaries and excuse yourself based on the impact it's having on you and not on anything else that's happening, like somebody else's intentions or motivations there in that moment, or whatever that is. So if I can empower you to do anything, it is to use your boundaries, know what they are for yourself, know what they are for your family and know what they are if something is bringing this harmful impact to you and what your game plan is. Okay?
00:13:26 So to quickly sum up those four things, remember that other people aren't in the same place as you and don't expect them to be; it's okay that they aren't. Number two, don't type your people. Oh, I will say this all the time and you're, you will get tired of me saying it,
00:13:44 but that's okay because we all need to hear it. Don't type your people. Number three, be curious about your reactions and tendencies in your type without needing to process it fully right in the moment. And number four, use your boundaries. That's what they're there for. Holidays can be a great opportunity because there's going to be a lot of demands or expectations or invitations into other people's world, and that will have impact that maybe isn't intended. So make sure that you use your boundaries and give yourself permission to use those boundaries.
00:14:23 I hope that this has been helpful for you. I know a lot of this stuff I need to remind myself on, you know, I'm going to be reminding myself as I go into my holiday gatherings. So please take this with you and re-listen to it if you have to. If you enjoy this episode, if you've got an aha moment, if you had something that you read that really impacted you in a, in a good way, then please reach out to me on email@example.com. I'd love to hear about it.
00:14:52 If you have any suggestions for what you'd like to hear on the podcast. Oh my goodness. Please come and tell me. I'm always wanting to know how you would like me to help you, because I want to make sure that this podcast is actionable, applicable and helps you where you're at. And I only know if it's doing that. If I know where you're at and how I can help, that will do it for me. And I'm excited to talk more with you next week and we'll talk soon.