“In Enneagram wisdom, the best part of you is also the worst part of you.” – Suzanne Stabile
If you read my previous review, you know that it was The Road Back to You that kick-started my Enneagram journey. Whereas that book was all about discovering my Enneagram type and what that meant about how I see the world, The Path Between Us by Suzanne Stabile takes it a step further and discusses how each type relates to the others.
The Enneagram is an ancient tool that recently became popular and the more I learn about it the more I feel like it is moving me towards people, no matter how different they are from me. Things that would normally be off-putting now make me curious to learn more about them and understand their personality better.
For example, my boss is an Enneagram Eight, so as a Nine, it is easy for me to be intimidated by him. One day last year, I had just returned from a 10 day vacation in Greece and he walked over to my desk and said, “30 seconds. What was your favorite part of your trip?”. Before the Enneagram, I would have been overwhelmed and confused by this approach. However, now understanding a bit about how Eights operate, I was just really glad he asked me about my trip at all!
Throughout the book, Stabile provides tidbits of information on how each type relates to the other 8 in relationship. Here are a few examples:
Fives and Nines
Nines will have to ask for what they want and need in a relationship with a Five. If Nines can commit to that, it will be good for both. Nines are a challenge when they don’t just go along with what Fives think. But that’s good for Fives. Nines may ramble a bit, but in important matters they are independent thinkers and it is a gift that they don’t pressure Fives to do things they don’t want to do.
Eights and Sixes
Sixes and Eights are significantly different in that Eights move “too fast” for Sixes and Sixes are “too slow” for Eights. A value they both share is loyalty. However, Sixes need to be careful because sometimes they are loyal to a fault.
Threes, Sevens and Eights
Threes, Sevens and Eights are all very strong – none of them want to be vulnerable. Threes provide, Eights protect and Sevens avoid and all three numbers are dismissive of feelings. These numbers all get along, but they will have to commit to some reality checks.
Ones and Twos
Ones and Twos respond to life differently. Ones are practical while Twos are relational. Ones tend to think that Twos cannot stay focused while twos think Ones are too rigid, but both need to cultivate the art of compromise.
Ones and Fours
The emotional needs of Ones are often repressed, so Ones can learn from Fours how to focus on feelings rather than falling into the pattern of dualistic thinking. Fours can benefit from the ability of Ones to stay focused and see things through to the end. This relationship can be extremely advantageous for both.
My big takeaway from this book was that any number can have a healthy relationship with any other number whether that is in dating/marriage, friendship, family or professional. The key is that each person commits to learning how the other thinks and communicates and what they need to feel loved and appreciated.
If you are ready for the next step in the Enneagram journey, check out Suzanne Stabile’s book, The Path Between Us.