Enneagram Fixations


My goal right now is to organise and show the enneagram fixations and emotional fixations driving each archetype. Excluded is the Hero, the hero has no fixation, the hero has found balance and has learnt to express themselves in harmony with their inner nature and their true needs.

The enneagram type is a fixation, because experts have an attachment to being the expert, and mentors have an attachment to being guides, and fours have an attachment to feeling like outcasts or victims. As you are freed from the attachment, you are also freed from the fixation. The goal of the enneagram is to get out of it, and to encompass all types in balance, to be able to freely borrow from the power of each archetype when you need it, without repressing other parts of yourself in doing so. So let me tell you about the nature of the enneagram fixations.

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Enneagram Fixations

First, the enneagram stipulates that the 5, 4, 9 and the Self-preserving archetypes are the most withdrawn and regressive in their nature: these enneagrams are driven by refusing to act on the motivations and opinions of other people, of society, and of their higher nature. They move away from emotions. So who are the Ids?

The Id Types

The Id Types move away from the emotions they feel and choose to avoid facing them. In this way, they fulfil the priority of the Id, which argues for us to run away, to follow our impulses and whims, and to choose not to submit to society or to what our family or friends expect from us. In the neojungian system, I saw that a type had functions within them that urged them to pull away. Functions to develop principles or standards to control their emotional responses and actions. This fits well with the principled one, the ethical four, and the logical fives. As well as the self-preserving types that have an attachment to a “home” or a “nation” or a principle that represents security and feeling secure, but at the same time, is not the feeling of security in itself.

The Ego Types

Second, the ego archetypes, the 9, 3, 6 and So, have the strongest attachment to ego. That means, who am I, what am I supposed to do, who am I supposed to be? The 9, 3, and 6 are often interlinked in the enneagram. All of them are interesting because they represent “blocks”. The 9, 3, and 6 are blocked from the feeling of their own heart, head, or gut, and that is why they are seeking to find it out. Basically, they are searching to learn about how they feel, what they think, or what they are. Similarly, the social instinct is driven by the same need to learn “who you are” in relation to a group or to your family. Because they feel lost, they are seeking out to learn about what it is they have lost. To learn about themselves and their ego.

The ego types are to some degree lost to their own nature. The three is a head type lost in the heart, a head trying to learn what love is and what it means to be a person, but without letting themselves feel. The six is just a heart type, lost in the head. They are trying to use the heart to understand their own mind and what they are capable of. And the nine is just a dreamer lost in the gut. Lost in the question of how you translate your dream to reality. When a dream does not actually need to be translated to be real, and a heart does not need to be explained. And a head can not master love unless they actually let themselves feel. A feeling of the heart, or the head, or the gut, has a value in itself, and does not need to be approved by the other centers.

The Superego Types

The interesting thing about the superego types is how high regard they tend to be held in by society. The 8s, 7s, and 2s tend to be adored by the collective whole. People are drawn to their high energy, their big hearts, and their high abilities and overall prowess. At the same time, these types are more negatively associated as being enabling helpers, powerful dominators, or by overworking. I call them superego types as they tend to move against an emotion. They are vowing not to feel ashamed, not to feel anxious, not to feel anger. By becoming so strong, so good, by being so nice, and so accommodating that they have no reason to feel bad to begin with.

I find that a good description of the superego fixations are how innocent and positive they sound. They tell a story of ourselves as champions, but the problem with these types are how they see the rest of the world. A world needing help, a world needing to be protected. There is a world needing to be told what to do, not doing things the right way. This can produce internal frustration, anger, and repressed shame that needs to be dealt with.

Archetypes in the enneagram

By learning about each archetype’s enneagram fixation, I am getting a deeper understanding of each archetypes inner nature or drive. I am learning about how the innocent type may be more correctly named an outcast at times, or a victim at times, or an artist at times. Often, this archetype lends us the ability to see society and the things that are wrong with it. And it gives us the ability to depict the world authentically and to expose it’s flaws. Where other enneagram fixations would be more likely to sweep the problem under the rug.

You could say the id types are all seen as “flawed” or in need of correction or saving. By the rest of the enneagram types, in particular the superego types. The innocent need to be helped, according to the mentors. The dropouts, the weak, the ones in need of help. They need a champion to fight for them, according to the sevens. The workers need an expert or a boss that can tell them what to do, according to the enneagram eights. This is not good: this is how superego types “enable” others, or perhaps more accurately, disable others.

Instincts

The warrior has an attachment to the nation or the home that needs to be defended. The prodigy has an attachment to using their intuition to provide new possibilities to the world. Showing the world how gifted they are. And the managers have an attachment to fitting in and having a place in the world. Being approved of, and seen as upstanding, good people.

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About Erik Thor

I am an INFJ and I want to combat the stereotypes and help promote personality psychology that doesn't limit or mistype you.