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How Does Knowing Your Enneagram Type Actually Help You in Your Day-to-Day Life?

How does knowing your Enneagram type actually help you in your day-to-day life? You might have heard of the Enneagram, and might even know your type, but then what? Read on for an answer. 


How Does Knowing your Enneagram Type Actually Help You in Your Day to Day Life?

While you can use the Enneagram for myriad purposes, it isn’t just for party fun at one end of the spectrum or for healing trauma, at the other (but it does do those things, too!). The Enneagram helps you in your day-to-day life by shining a light on what motivation lies underneath your thinking, believing, and behavior. It shows you that, while you believe that what you think is the obvious and only way, there is likely a more intelligent response to the challenge you are facing.

You might not be able to see this on your own, but in your day-to-day activity, you are motivated by three things. We all are. But your Enneagram type lets you know the one you prefer; in fact you will sacrifice the other two while fighting to get the one you prioritize.

The chicken (your Enneagram type) and the egg (your core motivation) both help you in your day-to-day life.

Knowing which you prioritize helps you find your Enneagram type, and knowing your Enneagram type, helps you identify what you prioritize in your day-to-day life.


Everyone wants:

  • autonomy and respect;

  • to be seen a certain way; and

  • safety and security.


What you may not be aware of is that you prioritize among the three and have designed your life around that priority, consciously, or not.


Your Enneagram type also tells you how you get this need met in your day-to-day life.

Beyond knowing what you really want, your Enneagram type shows you how you go about getting that need met. This is, more often than not, where the “aha” takes place. 


Your family is discussing how to spend the tax refund you plan to receive.


The three ways humans get their needs met include:


  • demanding them

  • earning them

  • withdrawing


If you know your Enneagram type, you also know which of these is your preference:


  • Enneagram types 7, 8, and 3 demand their needs get met;

  • Enneagram types 1, 2, and 6 earn (they do something) their needs;

  • Enneagram types 4, 5, and 9 withdraw to get their needs met.


How does your Enneagram type help you with real life relationships and interactions?

If you are identify with Enneagram type 9, you believe that autonomy and respect (ie: “you’re not the boss of me.”) comes from being laid back, easygoing, and conflict free.  Your personality tells you that you’ll get that if you refrain from participating in this decision-making. To someone identifying as an Enneagram type 9 this is so clear, but to others, it isn’t so clear. Conflict arises when someone wants you to be different from the way you (your personality) think you should be.


If you identify with Enneagram type 7, your safety and security comes by asserting yourself.  You don’t hold back because you tell yourself that your security comes when you get what you want (which might be the actual way the money is spent or that a decision is made or that everyone participates, or anything else). Your personality has convinced you that everything will be great as long as you make sure what you want happens. But is it? To you, this is clear, but what happens when others don’t see it that way?


We could go all the way around the Enneagram and each type would respond from a different (unconscious) motivation. Here’s the kicker: does it really get you what you want? Is it actually necessary? The answer is that it works until it doesn’t. And that’s when you become aware that you are not happy. Life isn’t as you imagined it to be. You want something different.


So what? How does knowing my Enneagram type actually help me in my day-to-day life?  

When you learn your Enneagram type, you learn where you get yourself into trouble. You learn that you are fighting for something you didn’t even know you were fighting for. With stress, you act more from your Enneagram type and less from your true, authentic self, and with that, you become less aware of the bigger picture, have less compassion for yourself and others, and can’t understand why everyone is being such an ass.


The Enneagram gives you the space you need to see that you haven’t been choosing your behavior. It has been choosing you. And it doesn’t have to be that way.



Christina Granahan

Christina Granahan

Enneagram-informed coach + therapist

I teach you how to use your Enneagram type to realize the relationships and success that you’ve been chasing at work, home, or school. Let's connect and see how I can help you.

You have one life. Let’s get you living it.

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