I've decided that all of you need to discover your enneagram type so we can have a big nerdy conversation about how awesome and/or super messed up we are. Right? Wouldn't that be FUN? It seems like everyone who commented was a SIX! Which is so funny because I think I know maybe one or two sixes in real life. (Yes - once you "learn" the enneagram perhaps you start typing everyone who hasn't already typed themselves. BAD FORM! But you cannot help it! It's so! Interesting!)
I am a Three and I remember Elsha calling me out on my Threeness way back when, I think before I even decided it myself. I actually thought I might be a One! (The Perfectionist.) Then I thought I might be a Two, because even though I suck at bringing dinners I can be a bit of a Two in other areas. I just wasn't sure about Three because Three... Threes are intense and obsessed with image and their core "sin" is DECEIT and OMGGGGG IS THAT ME? And even my good into-the-enneagram friends were all, "ARE YOU SURE?" Threes are winners and achievers and charmers and seriously, I am their SAHM friend who's never finished a writing project and has no interest in a career and, as evidenced by this evening, feeds her baby McDonald's french fries for dinner.
But yeah, I am totally a Three. I will skip the whole History Of My Character (SNORE) and just say: in high school, for example, I had no idea what *I* wanted to do or be, I just wanted to make sure my parents and my teachers were proud of/impressed with me. Which is where the deceit stuff comes into play - so way back when I was 1000% percent driven to go be a missionary in China with Phillip and we were accepted into the program and ready to go and TOLD EVERYONE, I literally had to have an anxiety attack before I realized THAT I DID NOT WANT TO LIVE IN CHINA FOR A YEAR WAS I INSANE?!
I had honestly (HONESTLY) not considered the possibility of staying home until my dad (MY DAD!) said, "Uh, if you're so anxious, you think maybe you shouldn't go?"
I had just gone around saying for a year or two that that's what we were going to do and BY GOD we were going to DO IT - to quit or change my mind would be a failure.
Another thing: I remember sitting on Pancakes's bed in her dorm room trying not to vomit because I HAAAAAATED working on the college paper and I wanted to quit, but I couldn't let myself QUIT! I was not a QUITTER! I had told everyone at home that I was going to be a world famous journalist! And here I was not even able to hack THE COLLEGE PAPER! AAAAUUUUGGGHHH!!!
People who are not Threes think this is the height of wacko. (This was Pancakes's reaction. "Um, just quit! Who cares!") People who are Threes are all, "But! But! What would you do THEN?!"
Threes are focused on the job at hand. They push feelings down so they don't get in the way of the Goal. Threes feel worthless if they aren't DOING something or PRODUCING something or ACHIEVING something. Here's a truly flattering and affirming thing to read about Threes:
Everyone needs attention, encouragement, and the affirmation of their value in order to thrive, and Threes are the type which most exemplifies this universal human need. Threes want success not so much for the things that success will buy (like Sevens), or for the power and feeling of independence that it will bring (like Eights). They want success because they are afraid of disappearing into a chasm of emptiness and worthlessness: without the increased attention and feeling of accomplishment which success usually brings, Threes fear that they are nobody and have no value.
So of COURSE a Three would have a BLAWG. Gah. You can see, now, why I warned you that learning about the enneagram makes you feel really great about yourself.
I think all this personality assessment stuff... it's only as helpful as it is helpful, you know? The Myers Briggs (INFJ, holla!) and the strengths finder thing and even the gifts assessment we did at my church - I LOVE this stuff, but I know a lot of people think its hooey (or various levels of hooey, anyway) and I'm not trying to, you know, CONVERT anyone to the enneagram. I just think it's interesting and it HAS helped me. Actually, it wasn't reading about my type as much as reading about my HUSBAND'S type that was helpful. (That's a whole other post.) (And he's a Nine.) (Nines' core failing is Sloth.) (HAAAAAA.)
Anyway, I think that my experience with anxiety has stomped a lot of the Three out of me, at least a lot of the outward appearance of a Three. I used to care a ton about achieving in work and school, and now? Uhhhh, I'm very much aware that what *I* really want to is to have a bunch of kids and stay home with them and maybe do some writing and some work that maybe doesn't pay anything and while I'm aware that this is not the picture of success in America, I'm only SLIGHTLY uncomfortable with it. Instead of, you know, SO uncomfortable that I'm BLIND to it. I think, for me, struggling with anxiety has opened my eyes to things that are Worth It and things that Aren't. I mean, I'm still a Three and I will beat myself up about no one drinking the hot chocolate at my Christmas party and therefore it was the worst party on record, but I'm not out there trying to live up to what my AP English teacher thought I should be or do. (At least, not anymore.) (I still think about it.) (Would he be disappointed in me?) (I AM THIRTY-THREE YEARS OLD, TIME TO LET IT GO EH?)
You guys, seriously, I meant to make a quick note about the enneagram and then complain about how Emma is now the most demanding, attention-hogging, ME ME ME baby on EARTH right now and how it's KILLLLLLING ME. But then I started talking about Threes (ie: myself) as I am wont to do and SIGH. Good thing there's always TOMORROW'S enlightening blog post for whatever I missed today!