We can’t have authentic relationships with others until they fall off the pedestals we constructed and are allowed to be human. Enneagram 6s tend to look for external authorities to follow or rebel against because we don’t trust ourselves. The natural consequence is that we sometimes need more from others than what they can or should give us. It often ends in deep disappointment when we discover that they aren’t the idealized authority we had hoped they would be. When they fall off the pedestal and we discover their flaws in the harsh light of reality, we may feel betrayed or disoriented.
Once we go through this disillusionment process, we may project our disappointment with our own wrong judgment onto the other person. If we can learn to let go of the bitterness and resentment that sometimes follow and take ownership of our part in creating this dynamic, then we can begin to have mutually fulfilling, authentic relationships. As we learn to trust ourselves, we can allow others the space to be themselves instead of some idealized version.
Sometimes we have given other people unwarranted authority over us when they never asked for or wanted to fill that role. Other times, we may have unintentionally allowed people to exploit and manipulate our insecurity. Either way, learning to trust ourselves (and practicing self-compassion when we realize that we haven’t) will improve our relationships and lead to healthier boundaries.
Please note that this is not true for all numbers! Some numbers need to check their excessive confidence or self-reliance by listening or reaching out to others more. This is one of many examples of why good advice for growth for one person does not mean it’s good advice for all people. Knowing ourselves better through Enneagram work can help us discern which pieces of advice will be fruitful for us and which will lead us deeper into personality.
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