Re-starting the Enneagram in the time of Covid
Remember the good ‘ol days back in March? Ah, we were young and innocent then. No masks. No social distancing. We were in a sermon series about personalities: The Enneagram. We had just wrapped up with our installment on the 5 Type – the Analyst, and we were about to move onto the 6…the type that more than any other is driven by anxiety…
…and then a global pandemic hit.
“My brain has too many tabs open.”
I just seems cruel doesn’t it? The 6 is driven by anxiety, but we’re forced to delay (make them WAIT) 7 months before we un-pack their type. Not only that, we make them wait during a worldwide crisis! I feel your pain, sixes.
But the truth is – maybe I don’t. I mean, sure I get anxious like anybody else. Sometimes really anxious. But not like a 6. I’ve been married to a 6 for 30 years, and I don’t do anxiety like she does. I’m a rookie. A pretender. A wannabe.
Anxiety drives the bus
You see, for the non-six, focusing on what’s coming next is a mental step we step into and out of. For the six, the future is sometimes all there is. When that future is uncertain: it’s anxiety. But here’s where sixes really also earn their keep and become Loyal Super heroes. They plan ahead.
Healthy sixes (like my wife) have learned that worry is simply negative mediation or prayer. “If I can spend my time wondering what will go wrong, I can just as easily spend that time preparing, asking God’s help and diligently looking out for those I love.
Of course, she’d be the first to tell you that she still worries. Sometimes a lot. But it rarely dominates her.
Sixes are paradoxical
There is another 2 sided coin to the 6 and that’s about loyalty. If you’re one of their people – by golly “You’ve got a friend in them!” Many Enneagram experts refer to the 6 as “The Loyalist”. They really do stick with you like glue. The other side of that coin?
It can be very hard to gain the trust of a six. They are excellent judges of character…maybe too excellent. Because they’re wired to detect threats, sixes report being able to discern the more shadowed parts of other people. When finding themselves in a world filled with sinners, sometimes the six gets overwhelmed and just decides to shut everybody out.
But what friend you’ve got when they choose to let you in!