Saturday, December 22, 2007

What is the best Enneagram type for me to date?

I try to introduce the enneagram to new people often, and one of the most commonly asked questions is whether the enneagram tells us which other type we should date or marry. Riso and Hudson's answer is "a healthy type." The conventional wisdom is that while there are predictable patterns to relationships between two types, only you can decide which constellation of joys and problems you'd rather take on. However, today at the Hickory Public Library, I came across an enneagram author who has gone out on a limb and given a list of best and worst matches. The book is The Ultimate Personality Guide by Jennifer Freed, M.A.. M.F.T. and Debra Birnbaum. The chapter headings are: 1. Western Astrology 2. Birth Order 3. Myers-Briggs-Inspired Typology 4. The Enneagram 5. Ayurveda 6. Chinese Astrology 7. Numerology and 8. All the Rest, so you can see that Freed is not an enneagram writer, per se. She is founder of Astrological Counseling Seminars, an institute for astrological psychology.

Here is Freed's list of Best and Worst matches:

One:
Best Match: Seven
Worst Match: Four, Eight

Two:
Best Match: Four
Worst Match: Eight

Three:
Best Match: Six
Worst Match: Nine

Four:
Best Match: One
Worst Match: Two, Five

Five:
Best Match: Eight
Worst Match: Seven

Six:
Best Match: Nine
Worst Match: Three

Seven:
Best Match: Five
Worst Match: One

Eight:
Best Match: Two
Worst Match: Five

Nine:
Best Match: Three
Worst Match: Six

I am a 6, and when I first looked at this chart in the library I only looked at what she said about 6 -- Best Match 9, Worst Match 3. I have trouble with 3s, and who doesn't like 9s? So I thought maybe there was something to this.The discerning enneagram student, though, will have already caught on to the pattern that the best match for each type is that type's security point and the worst is the stress type. (With two exceptions, the addition of type 8 as a bad match for the 1 and type 5 as a bad match for the 4.)

I am reminded of a cartoon I once saw with a gay girl chasing a straight girl who was chasing a gay man who was chasing a straight man who was chasing the original gay girl, thus forming a circle. I picture the 1 chasing the 7 chasing the 5 chasing the 8 chasing the 2... well, you get the picture. Seriously, though, a world in which you are always the worst type for the best type for you is the world she is positing.

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This was originally posted on The Half-Assed Game (my other blog.) I've moved it here, as it is all about the Enneagram.

1 comment:

rusnash said...

As a 5 I get along with 7s (my worst match) much better than 8s (supposedly my best match), so I'm not very impressed with this kind of theoretically based match up.

I think I read somewhere that Wagele had done some epirical research into which types get chosen most often by other types. That approach has its drawbacks too since people might not always instinctively choose their "best" match. Still, my personal theory is that couples are most stable when they match on the competence, reactivity, positive outlook breakdown and when they are complementary on the assertiveness, withdrawn, compliant breakdown. OR as was pointed out to me by an astute enneagram scholar: if one member of the couple is type 9.