We All Wanna Be Loved, Yeah, Yeah. We All Want Just A Little Respect…

This is probably the appropriate time to bring up the fact that since my little “shakabuku” (“swift, spiritual kick to the head that alters your reality”) experience nearly three years ago, one of the most effective tools I’ve found for personal growth has been the enneagram personality typing system. For those unfamiliar with it, the enneagram describes nine different basic personality types that have an interconnected relationship with each other. The types are based on the primary motivator for each one, and how that primary motivator tends to play out in your behavior.

It is alarmingly, freakishly accurate in a lot of cases. In my case, I’m a type Four. Fours tend to be artistic, creative, out of the box thinkers. They have a heightened awareness and appreciation for beauty and sensory images. They also tend to be depressive, loners, and/or generally nuts or suicidal. There’s obviously a lot more to it than that, but that gives you some idea of what I’m talking about here. Prince, Michael Jackson, and Anne Rice are Fours. So are Johnny Depp, Sarah McLaughlin, and D.H. Lawrence. I was going to list Fours who were famous leaders and politicians, but apparently–there aren’t any. LOL. We were all too busy creating art, music and pining away in existential angst to apply for world leadership, evidently…

Anyway. I had one of those lightbulb moments this morning studying on my favorite enneagram website (Clarence Thomas’ www.enneagramcentral.com). My most recent spasm of post-adolescent family of origin angst has much to do with my enneagram type/trance/strategy.

Fours primary motivator is to be different and unique. My issue is being the “outsider” in my family. Hmmmm. Do you think there could be a correlation there? Could be…

Now, is this to say that my problem is “all in my head” and that my family is NOT really treating me in a rude and disrespectful way? Nopers. What it does mean is that there is an existing dynamic in my family where I try to stand out to earn their love/attention, and they respond by trying equally hard to ignore and downplay me. It’s a tug of war that can’t be won as long as both sides hang on to their end of the rope.

Now I just gotta figure out what’s the best way to put down my end…

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