Yesterday we talked about vulnerability in love relationships, whether that be friendships or family connections. Vulnerability is about being open to others, knowing there's a chance you can get hurt. It's about being willing to ask questions and not always have the answers. Vulnerability is being "susceptible to physical or emotional injury," says an online dictionary. It's about letting people in, opening your heart and risking whatever comes with that.
I'm an Enneagram 8 (variously called "The Challenger," "The Leader," "The Protector" or "The Rock," among other things). An 8's basic fear is of being controlled by others and the 8's basic desire is to determine their own course in life. The Challenger feels that she or he is good if she or he is strong. So I have long struggled with being really vulnerable, even though I'm a completely relational person and easily enter into deep friendships. I keep working on it, though, knowing that the more I share of my weaknesses, the more others will relate to me. I know it'll bring more balance for me, too.
What do you know about yourself? About your friendship or love style? I have found that knowing my Enneagram type (and my Myers-Briggs) helps me understand my behavior and make course corrections that take me to the healthy side of my type. It's a work-in-process, of course. And I get lots of other help along the way: coaching, sometimes counseling, and inspiration and support from family and friends—in addition to guidance from books and workshops.
If you are interested in learning more about the Enneagram and determining your type, here are a couple website resources to help you: Eclectic Energies and Enneagram Test. I'd love to hear about your discoveries and what difference it makes for you. Please do contact me if you'd like to work on moving toward the healthy side of your type.