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Personality Types: Using the Enneagram for Self-Discovery Paperback – October 29, 1996
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"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
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What was most interesting to me is that he then explores each wing type. This is my first Enneagram book, so I can't really say how other authors have treated wings, but I know that it can be difficult to find information online. This was very helpful because the wing can dramatically affect the core type. For example, type Threes are typically quite extroverted. Threes with a Four wing, however, are often much more introverted. Threes are extremely competitive. Threes with a Four wing are just as competitive, but they often compete with themselves.
What this did for me was give some distinctions that helped clarify my type in areas where the core description didn't quite fit. I do wish Riso would have maybe given the the wing overviews immediately after the top level overview and then sprinkled additional information about the wings into the later subsections. I understand why he did it the way he did it, but that would be my preference.
One complaint I have doesn't have anything to do with the book. I share it only in the hopes it might be helpful for someone. Much of the information in this book can be found online. Where that's a problem, is that it is "much" of the information but not nearly "all." What that means is that my tendency the first time through the book was to skim and skip because much of it was familiar. It took me a little bit to figure out that I ended up skipping stuff that wasn't in the online descriptions.
With all that said, the reason I gave four stars instead of five has to do with the author's theories about "why." He theorizes about why the types exist, and tries to give insight into the mechanics for certain motivations.
First - the motivation of why the types exist or form. In each case, he identifies some sort of parental relationship that involves connection, disconnection, or ambivalence to either the nurturing figure (mother), protective figure (father), or both. The issue I have with this is that there is no information to back this up. Where does this idea come from? Is it observational or theoretical? As far as I can tell, there is nothing about how or why this part of the theory exists.
Second - Riso tries to give insight about the mechanics for certain motivations, and they seem too general for me. For example, he says that type 3s suppress their emotions to gain efficiency. Basically, they get in the way, so we shut them off. Okay, I imagine that is true for some people. I really don't know that it is true for me. Yes, I shut them off and it has been one heck of a battle to turn them back on, but I don't know that I shut them off because of efficiency.
I guess my point is that it bugs me when people present something as truth when it is either not necessarily truth, or it is not verifiable.
With that said, that really is just a nit and it doesn't take a ton away from the material. That's why I'm still giving it four stars. I do think it is a very helpful resource, and I would definitely recommend it.
How did I hear about this book? My father is a retired therapist of 30+ years. He recommended this book to me as a starting point for understand how others operate (I was interviewing for a new job at the time).