The Aggressive Stance

When I was young, I liked the movies in which the hero narrowly escaped from exploding buildings. These heroes were so aggressive that destruction was always found in their wake. The aggressive stance of the Enneagram, comprised of Threes, Sevens and Eights, shares the spirit of those action movie heroes. These Enneagram types move through life at a breakneck speed while—unbeknownst to them—life is exploding behind them; they are moving so quickly that they do not realize it. In all of their pursuit, they are hurting the people they care about as they race to meet their future goals.

I will spend the coming weeks talking about the nature of each of the three aggressive stance types. These Enneagram numbers hold several characteristics in common. First, their orientation to time is the future. Second, aggressive numbers repress feelingsand spend most of their days thinkingand doing. Both of these characteristics explain why they are able to blow past the explosions in life without awareness of how they are hurting the people they love. These numbers move against people, and you can hear them speaking up for themselves and their friends.

Unfortunately, Threes, Sevens, and Eights are deceived by the illusion of control. They reframe reality and construct meaning congruent with their desire to be esteemed, safe, and in control. They tell the rest of us about times when they were influential in a meeting at work, or how they were successful in business. Sometimes we know they are not as influential, successful, or happy as they say they are, but don’t dare to tell them otherwise because of their aggressiveness. 

This series of posts will rely on the teaching of Suzanne Stabile as it seeks to name the unique compulsions of each aggressive Enneagram type, since we cannot intentionally cooperate with God’s transforming work in our lives if we do not name our compulsions. I look forward to walking alongside you in this journey.