Entries by Jerry Wagner

Enneagram Styles: Resilience, Eustress, And Distress

The right amount of stress, excitement, and arousal (eustress) leads to optimal functioning. Too much or too little energy (distress) leads to sub-optimal functioning. Eustress gets us up for the game; distress takes us out of the game. What gets each Enneagram Type motivated, functioning optimally, and what is their natural resilience?

Where Does Your Authority Come From? Part 2

Where does each Enneagram style get their authority?  I made up some answers and, uncharacteristically, actually asked some representatives of each enneatype where does their authority come from.   Here are the results.

Where Does Your Authority Come From?

Where does each Enneagram style get their authority?  I made up some answers and, uncharacteristically, actually asked some representatives of each enneatype where does their authority come from.   Here are the results.

Virtues, Vices, and Relationships

In the Enneagram system, virtues are said to be nine manifestations of love cleanly expressed while vices are appearances of love distorted or corrupted.  Since love can be directed both at ourself and towards others, the virtues are good for our relationship with ourself and with others.

Find out in this article which is a better attitude and disposition for your relationship with yourself and with others:


Wonder is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a cause of astonishment or admiration; the quality of exciting amazed admiration; rapt attention or astonishment at something awesomely mysterious or new to one’s experience; to be curious or in doubt.”

When I read this definition, I thought of a child’s first encounter with something new in the world. Actually, everything is new to a child.

Then I thought about the Enneagram styles and wondered if wonder flows from and fosters the high side or essence of each style. Wonder seems to accompany the adaptive or divine idea which elicits the virtue or adaptive emotional response. Wonder acts as an antidote to the maladaptive or wrong ideas which stir up the vices of the styles.

The Real Self and The False Self – Psychological And Spiritual Perspectives

By Jerome Wagner, Ph.D.

The Enneagram distinguishes between our essence and our personality. Other traditions speak of our real self vs our false self. In this article I will present some psychological perspectives on the real self – false self dichotomy and then some spiritual perspectives on this division.

From Idolatry to Reality: From Worshiping the Idealizations of Our Personality to Following the Ideals of Our Real Self

By Jerome Wagner, Ph.D.

From the Enneagram perspective, the idols of our personality, manifested in our idealized self image, beckon us to security and happiness. But to reach their promised land, we must pledge our unwavering devotion and fealty to them. And if we disobey them and take another path, they warn us that what we are most afraid of will surely come about.

On the other hand, our essence or genuine self invites us to a deeper security and well-being. It is a gentle calling, doesn’t use threats, is always there, but may not be as easily recognized. We are guided along this path by our values and ideals.

An Enneagram Overview

By Jerome Wagner, Ph.D.

In this overview of the Enneagram system, Jerry shares his thoughts and some questions people have asked about the Enneagram. Included are reflection questions to get you to ask more questions about the Enneagram.

Integrating Our Polarities using the 4 R’s: Recognize, Re-frame, Re-own, Re-Cycle

By Jerome Wagner, Ph.D.

When we over-identify or over-idealize certain aspects of our personality, we tend to disavow any opposite attributes. To avoid these unacceptable parts of ourselves, we put them in the basement (our unconscious) where we can forget about them. Instead of being a whole me, we become the good me and the bad me, like Jeckle and Hyde. If we can re-cognize, re-frame, and re-own our unseemly parts, we might find some valuable assets tossed out with our garbage, and re-cycle them. We will gain an inner integration and wholesome connections with other people, both of which lead to an increase of energy since we are no longer divided against ourselves and others.

Enneagram Styles and Cyclical Psychodynamics: Irony of Ironies

By Jerome Wagner, Ph.D.

Each Enneagram style has its spots – sweet spots, blind spots, hot spots, and desired spots.

  • The sweet spot is what each style sees clearly, the intuitive edge, the values and visions that we move towards.
  • The blind spot is what we avoid.  Our shadow.    This is what we move away from.
  • The hot spot represents those sensitivities and vulnerabilities that we experienced early on in our life that hurt us, embarrassed us, terrorized us, made us angry, etc.  These are the early wounding’s that we move against when they make us angry or move away from when they make us afraid, or sometimes move towards to make friends with our enemy.
  • The desired spot is what we really want and value, our genuine needs and aspirations.  This is our actualizing self.