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By Justine Buckley
Try this.... imagine stepping back and observing yourself as you would an interesting stranger who captures your attention. Would you be harsh, analytical and judgmental of that interesting stranger? Or would your attitude be more curious, open and non-judgmental?
When we stand back, relax and become more curious about our present experience we actually start to see more of ourselves. We start to see our personality patterns - how we relate to the world, our own emotions and other people. This can be a shock! Often we're not how we think we should be....or who we want to be. But hey - what a relief to just accept that we all have personality patterns and styles of relating! A system that maps personality styles can be extremely useful - not to put people in a box, but to understand the box (filter) we're each looking out of!
Personally, I use a system for understanding personality called the Enneagram as it is a powerful tool for transformation. The more I study it the more it keeps revealing levels of sophistication for transcending our neurotic personality obsessions. It is a 9 pointed symbol representing 9 personality styles of relating to the self, others and the world. Each type has a different pattern of thinking, feeling and acting that arises from 9 different motivations or strategies for coping with the world.
Below is a brief summary of Claudio Naranjo's take on the Enneagram (Claudio is the father of the Enneagram). The 'Driving Force' is the passion that most deeply motivates our personality. The 'Behaviour Set' is looking at where we put our attention and keep building a sense of 'our story'. The 'Developmental Need' you can think of as the 'antidote' - the quality we cultivate to loosen the grip of our habitual ways of being in the world.
Have some fun with the Enneagram in the meantime. Use it intelligently and hold it lightly! As a tool it helps develop self awareness and awareness is always a good thing.
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