Why do I do that? – Nature vs Nurture

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And why do I do that? Nature vs nurture – how much are we born with our personality and to what extent are we influenced by our upbringing?

Angelina Jolie often plays ‘1’ – type characters in films: her strength is very ‘1’- like, engendering respect through purpose and principle, without fuss or frills.

…..Journalists back in May 2014 wrote the following:
“Angelina Jolie believes a child’s personality is already defined at birth-remaining unaltered by the circumstances of their upbringing-and says she has more in common with her adopted son Maddox than with her own genetic children.
The actress and mother of six said motherhood had taught her that children are “…who they are when they are born… “and in the absence of a serious trauma will grow up to be their own person.
Three of Jolie’s children are adopted and she said she was surprised she had more in common with adopted son Maddox than with her own genetic children.
“You think you’d be more similar to the children that you have a genetic link with, but I’m not. Maybe one of them, but then I’m very similar to Maddox.”

This observation by Angelina is completely understandable in the context of the Enneagram personality types. The premise of the Enneagram is that we are born with a particular type, it is not genetically predisposed, it stays our core driver throughout our lives. Understanding the personality types described has been absolutely transformational for families who have always known that there were stronger connections and easier interactions between some family members and not others.

Whilst this may previously have brought a great deal of heartache and pain for the families involved, the Enneagram dissolves all of this in the understanding that the differences are not personal, but personality related. Giving children access to this information releases their feeling of being less loved if they are simply operating from a different personality type to others within the family.

Stress management

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A story told to me recently…

A trainer confidently walked around the room whilst explaining stress management to an audience with a raised glass of water. Everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question, ‘Half empty or half full?’… She fooled them all …. “How heavy is this glass of water?” she inquired with a smile. Answers ranged from 200g to 500g.

She then went on to say, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter once I have picked it up. What matters now is how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you’ll have to call an ambulance. In each case it’s the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes,” she continued, “and that’s the way it is with stress. If we carry our burdens constantly, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won’t be able to carry on.”

“As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we’re refreshed, we can carry on with the burden – holding stress longer and better each time practised. So, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night… Pick them up tomorrow.”

So how do you manage your stress?

Some Enneagram personality types will let go of their burdens with greater ease than others, and all for different reasons: 1s and 6s tend to be the main worriers, but 3s may find themselves over working and 2s will carry burdens for others. 4s may struggle more with the concept of letting go of their load, even for a short while, as they feel that the burdens give them a sense of worth; and rest may seem irrelevant to a safety seeking 5. Of all the types, the 7s and 9s are probably the ones to guide us here – the 7s remind us that life is supposed to be light and enjoyable; the 9s tell us to relax – somehow, all will be well!

Colours for the Heart

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What colours might represent the Heart types of the Enneagram?
The Helper – Enneagram type 2 – Pink
The colour associated with love and nurturing, this colour represents the 2’s desire to love and be loved in return.
The Achiever – Enneagram type 3 – Gold
Gold speaks of the best, the first, the greatest – all desired hugely by competitive 3s who crave the respect and status that these bring.
The Individualist – Enneagram type 4 – Deep Purple
Deep purple represents drama, pathos, depth of emotion-all very close to the heart of the 4, whose world revolves around the extremes of human experience.