Enneagram Keys to Self-Care

Feb 08, 2020


Hello everybody. My name is Linda Frazee and today I want to talk to you about taking good care of yourself from the Enneagram perspective. 

There are nine 'types' on the Enneagram, and each one has strengths and weaknesses when it comes to taking care of oneself. In my 40 years of working with people, I've been teaching people for those 40 years to take care of themselves:, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. And in those 40 years, I've had some years where I did all four of those briefly, but most of the time, I was focused on one more than another. Now because I'm a four on the Enneagram, which is a big feeling type, my feelings could get in the way. So I've had to work on that myself and I've helped many of others as well. So I want to tell you a little bit about it.

1. First of all, the first type is the 'one' and they're called sometimes the perfectionist or the reformer. They're very good about following orders. When they start a plan, they're right on purpose. That's the good news. Now, what doesn't work? And what can get in their way, is the fact that if they don't do it 'just right' to their whole standards, there are high standards - they could be moving right along and suddenly they don't walk the last mile or they they eat sugar when they said they wouldn't. And then they get this upon themselves - and they can do one of two things. Either get very rigid with themselves, too hard on themselves, which never works or just say, 'I'm just not going to even do this at all until I can do it perfect.' So that's the one.

2. The 'two' is called the helper. Now the two has a different perspective altogether because they're so busy helping other people, hence forth the word, the name helper, that they can forget themselves all together. So what works best for them when it comes to self care is being with somebody in a support group or an accountability partner. Somebody who has their heart and they respect and they stay on purpose. And that's a good way for them to stay into self care. When I talk self care, remember I'm talking emotionally, mentally, spiritually, physically. Most people just think of self care as far as diet and exercise, but it's much more than that.

3. Now we have the 'three'. The three is called the performer and they're very, very big on achieving and getting things done. If they don't schedule their own self care, it will get lost in all the achievements and all the busy-ness and all the hard work they have to do. So a three has to put it on their calendar. They literally have to put it on a calendar. Of course, I'm going to say accountability works. Accountability works with every type, but the three's accountability is to get it in their schedule and then keep it in their schedule and maintain it.

4. Now the 'four' is the romantic or the sometimes called the artist - that is the type that I am. They're so emotional, their emotions take up so much space that there's two real factors about self care. The emotions can take all of the energy and the other aspects don't get any air. It's like they take up all the air in the room so to speak. And then the second thing is waiting until you feel like it. If you're a four, you don't want to do it until you 'feel' like it. Well. That doesn't really work for a regular practice of self care in all of those areas. So there has to come some discipline. And one of my favorite sayings is 'freedom comes with discipline.' So a four has to learn how to discipline themselves from that pull of all their emotions.

5. The 'five' can be very disciplined themselves, more so than than the four sometimes. But because they're more of a mental or what's called a head type, they're called the observer. And what they do about self care is that they think about it a lot. They research it, they plan it because they're thinking about it. And often if there was a caricature for a five, it would be that they'd have this big head and this small body. So one of the best things for self care for a five is is exercise of some kind movement. The, the most balanced fives I know have some kind of regular physical exercise. And that's the first key of all the others because it brings them down into their body. Oftentimes it will be solitary, like riding a bike by themselves or hiking by themselves or with just one person. But it still counts because it reminds them - and gets them back into their intuition and other things that live in their body, just not their head.

6. Now the 'six', the loyal skeptic, It can be challenged with their own self care because they too are a mental type and they're thinking about it. They're thinking about it!! They're also researching it and they're planning. They're big planners! They plan when they're going to go, they plan what they're going to do, where they're going to plan! Who they're going to meet, they're going to look at all the diet plans if that's what it's about. They're going to plan if they're going to go to a new church, they're going to do one every week, whatever, because they're planning it all. But sometimes they get lost in the planning and don't actually take action. So if there was a motto for a six it would be 'just do it' old Nike's standpoint, 'just do it', just do something and it's sort of like jumping in the water. Once you're in the water, then you will swim. So just do, would be a one of the best things that a six could do about starting their self care. After that. It's a matter about that loyalty. That great loyalty a six can have - being loyal to themselves, being loyal to their own practices and that will stay the course for them for whatever it is they're choosing.

7. The 'seven' is called the adventurer. And sometimes I call them the Tigger of the Tiger, of the Enneagram because they're so vivacious and bouncy and happy and eager to see the next shiny object. And that can get in the way of a regular routine - because that could be boring - because if seven does not want to be boring at all - at all costs! What we don't want is usually the very thing we need - so for the seven, creating a good morning routine or any routine and sticking to it until it becomes fun. And now then you can beat the boredom and you'll see more self care for the seven. 

8. The 'eight' and the 'nine' are interesting because they're right next to each other and they have both have a similar sort of way of minimizing their needs, but at opposite ends of the self care spectrum. So what the eight does is because they are very forceful and have big energy, they approach things 100% 'if you're going to do it, do it all out.' So let's say for instance, they decided to be sort of like weekend warriors. They'll take up a sport and just do it and maybe be terribly sore afterwards, but just blow it off like, 'well that's just kind of the way it is because that's what you need to do if you're going to learn how to ski or or skate' or whatever it is. However that's hard to sustain on a long basis. So they will get into something 100% and then after a while they just drop it, go back to old habits and then frequently they'll go back. So the key for the eight is realizing that they are vulnerable and starting slow and staying slow with whatever it is. Instead of doing the diet that's so extreme, they can start with just eliminating a few of the things that don't work for them and then working their way up. Very hard for an eight to do because patience is not their strongest virtue, but a good way to practice.

9. Now the 'nine' is just the opposite. It has all this big energy, the nine, it has low energy for themselves. And so the difficulty is getting themselves to even start the practice because they just, you know, they, they're busy doing other things, kind of like the seven except for the fact that they just don't have that big energy to get things done. So using a time clock, accountability is good for them. Sometimes doing things with other people will be helpful too. And just making sure that that unconscious belief that a nine can carry, which is that they don't matter, can be can be adjusted and say, I do matter and I'm going to do this.

I don't know which one you may have identified with. Accountability is important to everybody when it comes to self care, but some types need it more than others. So if you know your type, you might've found this useful. If you don't know your type or if you'd like to take a deeper look at this, please come to my website LindaFrazee.com and check out my five free videos and take a look at all the information that will help you take better care of yourself starting today.


Linda Frazee


Free 5-Video Series: What is the Enneagram Anyway? 



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