What are Stances?

Do you know your Enneagram number?  If so, do you know your stance?

Enneagram Stances are determined by the extent to which each of us struggles most with our capacity for either thinking, feeling, or doing.  Each personality has weaknesses rooted in our Enneagram type tied to thinking, feeling, and doing, three centers that are always out of balance. Stancework is a unique approach to the Enneagram that helps you become aware of how your personality prioritizes these three centers and which of the three is the most difficult, or least comfortable, for your personality. The work is a spiritual journey, being open to the ways God is creating space in our lives to balance these things.

“Non-judgmental self-observation” is what 19th century mystic, George Gurdjieff described as a tool for reflection that the Enneagram helps us to consider.  How are you able to observe in a non-judging manner the extent to which you struggle most with either thinking, feeling, or doing?

From another perspective on personality, in the early 20th century, psychologist Karen Horney wrote about three broad categories of needs we have as we each respond to the world around us and the people in our lives.  A need to be compliant, expansive, or detaching in our personality.

Kathy Hurley and Ted Donson wrote most extensively about Horney’s three different approaches to life’s problems in light of the Enneagram.  In summary, they describe how some of us seek:

  • Expansive solutions in an aggressive way when we struggle to connect with feelings,
  • Compliant solutions in a dependent way when we struggle with independent thinking; and,
  • Detached solutions in a withdrawing way when we struggle to engage our doing center.

These are the three Enneagram Stances.  Contact me to learn more.

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