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.

Enneagram Styles and Distress and Eustress

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?
silhouette of man and woman on hill

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.