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Eckstein / COUPLE’S ENNEAGRAM QUESTIONNAIRE THE FAMILY JOURNAL: COUNSELING AND THERAPY FOR COUPLES AND FAMILIES / January 2002

❖ For Couples and Families

The Couple’s Enneagram Questionnaire (CEQ)
Daniel Eckstein Encouraging Leadership, Inc.

T

he enneagram is an ancient system designed to help a person better understand her or his primary needs and motivators. In this article, the author has created a questionnaire to assist couples and families in understanding of both one’s own plus one’s partner’s and/or other family members’ primary motivators. Part 1 consists of a 45-item questionnaire. That is followed by an overview to the basic theory on which the enneagram in general and the current Couple’s Enneagram Questionnaire (CEQ) in particular are based. Each partner (or family member) will then predict their primary motivator from nine different typologies. They will then score and profile the questionnaire and compare the results with their initial self-assessment. The ramification and the impact on one’s partnership and/or family membership are then explored as a summary application of the enneagram to one’s partnership and/or family relationships. Directions: Answer each of the following 45 statements about you with respect to you in relationship to your partner using the following 5-point scale:
5 = Almost always true of me. 4 = Frequently true of me. 3 = Sometimes true of me. 2 = Seldom true of me. 1 = Almost never true of me.

___10. ___11. ___12.

___13. ___14. ___15. ___16. ___17. ___18. ___19. ___20. ___21.

___22. ___23. ___24. ___25. ___26. ___27. ___28. ___29. ___30.

___ 1. ___ 2. ___ 3. ___ 4. ___ 5. ___ 6. ___ 7. ___ 8. ___ 9.

I constantly think about ways I can improve myself or my position in life. I am so sensitive to the needs of my partner that (s)he has called me a “psychic” or a “mind reader.” I frequently am intuitively able to know when my partner is lying or being manipulative. My fears of loss or of abandonment often result in feelings of jealousy or possessiveness with my mate. I need long periods of time alone to consider the important issues of my life. I prefer eating and entertaining at home even though it means more work for me. I am stimulated by new and different experiences in our relationship. I find it irritating when my mate is vague or indirect in our discussions. I am outwardly easygoing with my partner, even if I feel differently inside.

___31.

___32. ___33.

I have a strong “inner critic” in my mind that frequently criticizes me and/or my partner. I frequently overextend myself on behalf of the wants and needs of my partner. I am positive and encouraging around my partner although I may feel negative and discouraged when I am alone. I tend to avoid or to procrastinate when doing tasks requiring paperwork or attention to fine details. I often feel frustrated and even emotionally withdrawn from my mate because he or she misunderstands me. Home, family, marriage, and/or community are core values of mine. I prefer that our plans be flexible rather than firm and unchangeable. I am comfortable being in a leadership role in our relationship. There is a special place in our home where I feel comfortable and relaxed. I make “to do” lists for me and my partner. I often feel resentment toward my partner because I feel I am being unappreciated. I guard against being too emotionally vulnerable or dependent upon my partner for fear of being manipulative. When presented with a new idea or plan in my relationship, I am good at recognizing the “downside” or flaws. I am driven to seek new experiences, adventures, and new knowledge. I consult the opinions of my consort prior to making decisions affecting our relationship. I see myself as a good communicator. I would describe myself as a practical person who knows how to successfully accomplish tasks in our relationship. The best way to resolve our conflicts is for me to keep my opinions to myself by letting my mate be more dominant. I frequently experience a lot of stress in my life. My partner and lots of other people, including strangers, tell me their problems or life stories. I hide my feelings of disappointment, anger, or frustration toward my partner until I can deal with them when I am alone. I spend a lot of time trying to understand the purpose of my own life and the role of my family of origin relative to the meaning of my life. I frequently use humor to point out the absurdity of life. When I arise in the morning, I am excited at the prospects of having a full day of varied activities.

THE FAMILY JOURNAL: COUNSELING AND THERAPY FOR COUPLES AND FAMILIES, Vol. 10 No. 1, January 2002 © 2002 Sage Publications

101-108

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THE FAMILY JOURNAL: COUNSELING AND THERAPY FOR COUPLES AND FAMILIES / January 2002

___34. ___35. ___36. ___37. ___38. ___39. ___40.

___41. ___42.

___43. ___44. ___45.

I am able to see the use of things my mate would discard as being antiquated, old, or useless. I express my views intensely even in a discussion of issues on which we disagree. I enjoy finding practical solutions to our challenges. I frequently have to redo tasks around the home because my partner fails to do them right the first time. I take a great deal of joy in helping my partner reach his or her personal goals. I say too little rather than risk saying too much in our relationship. I often have so many concurrent emotions that I am confused and unsure of which ones to express to my companion. I place a high premium on such concepts as individualism and personal freedom. When planning such things as a vacation or relaxing time together, I would describe my style as being organized by making a “tight” schedule. When my partner expresses problems, I automatically begin proposing solutions. I have definite ideas about what is right and wrong in our relationship. Arguments are so uncomfortable for me I usually walk away when they begin.

The enneagram theory is purported to be over 4,000 years old and intertwined in the bases of many of the world’s major religions. It has been said of the enneagram that is not only holds solutions to the questions being raised but that it also answers the even more significant questions within the depths of the unconscious mind. In What’s My Type? (1991), Hurley and Dobson stressed that the enneagram pierces through to the level of motivation: involving why we do the things we do (p. 2). Pythagoras was a proponent. The most extensive documentation for the enneagram in the West lies in the work of George I. Gurdjieff. The nine prime addictions of the enneagram can be addressed by using the Christian list of the seven deadly sins: pride, greed, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth plus fear and deceit. Hurley and Dobson noted that
the word capital comes from the Latin and means “head.” Capital sins are the head sins, or the prime spiritual and psychological additions, the sources from which grow dysfunctional motivation and behavior . . . sin is defined as alienation from self and from the Self (the God image within). This alienation inevitably leads to personal fragmentations and to separation from others through unconscious dysfunctional and destructive behavior. In the Enneagram these behaviors are seen as additions to a particular way of perceiving life. This addiction is so psychologically blinding that it causes a distortion in perspective—reality appears as illusion and so we are not compelled to deal with it; illusion masquerades as reality and entices us into collusion with it. Thus do the nine prime addictions described by the Enneagram work upon the human spirit. These drives within the human personality cause distortion that prevents us from seeing or acknowledging the truth about our lives. Each of these nine fixations of attention is so addictive that every person can have only one prime addiction at the root of his or her personality. Thus, although people can identify with several or many of the faults and gifts that the enneagram describes, only one personality pattern is deeply rooted in any human soul. (Hurley & Dobson, 1991, pp. 5-6)

Source: Adapted from Kathleen Hurley & Theodore Dobson, 1991, What’s My Type? New York: HarperCollins

THEORY INPUT: THE IMPORTANCE OF THE NUMBER NINE IN THE ENNEAGRAM The number 9 has always had special significance in the Turkish regions and Islamic culture from which Sufism derives. Their world was divided into nine spheres; it has been said that there is nothing beyond the nine. According to the cosmology of Islam, the universe is composed of nine spheres, whose outermost ninth sphere is beyond even the stars. Nine as the embodiment of fulfillment is also ultimately connected with the 9 months of pregnancy leading to human birth. In antiquity, the 9 was regarded as the number of perfection. In Islam, there are 99 names and attributes of God, which in turn give rise to the Islamic prayer string of 99 beads (Bennett-Goleman, 2001, p. 32). Nine is seen as the archetypal symbol of a completed cycle. In most languages, the root of the word for nine is connected with the concept “new.” The enneagram probably was developed when Arabic and Indian mathematicians introduced the number 9 in Europe in the latter part of the 9th century. Nine completes a cycle, which can then begin again on a new level with the number 10. Nine also plays a special role in Buddhism: 108 qualities are attributed to the Buddha, which is why the Buddhist mala(or prayer string) contains 108 beads. The sum of 108 contains the 9 (1 + 0 + 8 = 9). Nine is therefore also a symbol of perfection and cyclical culmination in the east Asian culture of Buddhism (Bennett-Goleman, 2001, p. 34).

The paradox is that knowing one’s primary Achilles’ heel, as it were, can allow for one’s greater spiritual awakening. It can also lead in relationships to a greater understanding of one’s self and one’s partner’s primary needs and motivations. The ultimate goal of the enneagram is to reveal each partner’s motivation. A person’s essence is first revealed by examining personality tendencies and characteristics. The enneagram describes how we perceive ourselves, others, and life itself, something Adlerian counselors called “private logic.” It is also similar to Piaget’s concept of “emotional schemas.” The encouraging philosophy with the enneagram is to discover that these compulsive attributes are but distorted gifts or, as Richard Bach in his timeless book Illusions exclaimed, “There is no such thing as a problem for you without a gift. You seek problems because you seek their gifts” (Bach, 1977, p. 57).
(text continues on p. 106)

Eckstein / COUPLE’S ENNEAGRAM QUESTIONNAIRE

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TABLE 1: Representative Phrases Characterizing the Nine Enneagram Typologies
Type 1. The achiever Personal Perspective Focus on themselves and on their own concerns Controlled, watchful, and sterile Avoid imperfection Basic life issue is order Prime psychological addiction is anger Orientation to the World Spontaneous Impulsive Short-lived inner power Difficulty maintaining a consistent energy flow Projects at various stages of completion Feel anger and a drive to be good Express anger leads to being disliked Judging themselves Inadequate Often depressed Living With Family/Friends Highly controlled Secretive Repress their anger In love, dedicated, vulnerable, and loyal Self-starter, productive, and resourceful Selfishness can develop Radiate social charm Positive Qualities Ambitious Resourceful Stimulating Full of energy Animated in conversation Natural leader Inspire others with kindness and a belief in themselves Fairness, honesty, and directness are high values Creators, pioneers of a new way

Look neat

2. The helper

Focus outward on the needs of others Overinvolvement in the lives of others

Exact, precise, and meticulous Oversensitive to any criticism Search how-to books Prefer short-term projects Top priority is neatness and order Right way and a wrong way to do everything Strong “inner critic” Apologize often Perpetual teachers Engage in meticulous research Self-reliant, dependable, hard working Serve others Greatest difficulty in activating analytical abilities Do not want to be in leadership positions

Place great value on the respect others have for them Tend to quick judgments Inclination toward pessimism Biting and satirical humor

Other’s needs are the person’s own needs Called “living saints”

Avoid their own personal neediness

Reveal little about themselves

Deep understanding of human nature Especially effective in arbitration, mediation, and diplomacy Visionaries who expertly guide others along their own inner journeys

Avoid meetings Poor decision makers Excel at mediating

3.The succeeder

Personal desire for relationships Poker face

Fear failure Seeks others’ admiration and respect

One-way intimacy Create dependency in others Need appreciation, thanks, and gratitude from those they serve Complicated people in relationships Private emotional life

Strong leaders Insist on clear goals (continued)

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THE FAMILY JOURNAL: COUNSELING AND THERAPY FOR COUPLES AND FAMILIES / January 2002

TABLE 1:
Type Personal Perspective Striving to feel successful

Continued
Living With Family/Friends Personal criticism is difficult Appreciate friendships that are free and undemanding Positive Qualities Enthusiastic, entertaining personality Affinity for art, beauty, and romance

Orientation to the World Read the hidden motives of others Look to the future and set new goals Criticism of their performance equals rejection of their personhood Too many interests Effective in advertising and promotions Difficulty doing routine work Do their most creative work alone Decisions are often impulsive Perpetual salespeople Masters of sarcasm and double messages Appreciate the new and unusual Endlessly reflect on their tragic past Self-absorbed Drift between tragedy and fantasy Pessimistic

4. The individualist

Sensitive to personal emotions Basic life issue is attaining insight Envy is the prime psychological addiction

Adult peer relationships are sacred Excessively high standards for friends Importance of tradition Desires undivided attention of another person

Value the beautiful and elegant Loyal in friendships Deep compassion for others Inspires others

5. The observer

Factually oriented

Basic life issue is knowing Prime psychological addiction is greed

Difficulty being accepted in groups Artistic temperament Lack of spontaneity Do not make decisions easily or quickly Quick to delegate responsibility Want to be recognized and respected for their abilities Interpret facts through feelings Inclined to observe reality without becoming involved in it Need for privacy Loners Need for clarity Desire for knowledge Reach logical conclusions Spend too much time planning

Organized thinking, stability, and self-discipline Needs to spend time in solitude

Maintain an inner distance

Great curiosity

Frequent travel and/or the outdoors Difficult to express feelings Disregard for feelings Do not make their needs known or desires felt Cryptic communication Discomfort in social situations

Perceptive listener Promote growth and change Stimulated with new possibilities Deep respect for the past

Eckstein / COUPLE’S ENNEAGRAM QUESTIONNAIRE

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TABLE 1:
Type Personal Perspective

Continued
Living With Family/Friends Self-reliant and self-sufficient Positive Qualities

Orientation to the World Headstrong Undeveloped interpersonal skills Seldom initiate communication with others Need schedules

6. The guardian

Maintain a harmonious relationship with themselves and others

Marriage, family are important Preference for written affirmations Trust difficult Importance of commitment Love inside information

Loyal and intimate friends Expend energy for the betterment of others Hard workers Infectious laughter

7. The dreamer

Highly intuitive Dreams, possibilities, and fantasies

Overinvolvement and Overcommitment Take only calculated risks Lack of inner authority Preference for teamwork Thrive on regularly scheduled communication Cognitive approaches preferred Compulsive optimists, not realists Unrealistic attitudes Appreciation for challenge Self-indulgent Attraction to new ideas Persistence Leave the leadership to others Need to be liked by everyone Search for ways to improve the organization Entrepreneurs Explore every side of an issue Value negotiation and compromise Disdain weakness

Value their relationships with family Naivete, innocence

Prevent pain Personal generosity Consistently cheerful approach Difficulty with emotions Happy attitude Preference for indirect communication

Visionaries and idealists Potential for discovering solutions to global problems Find the good in every person and situation Can be a loyal and trusted friend Lighthearted entertainers Eternally youthful Unpretentious

8. The confronter

Fighter against injustice

Tender with children

Live in the tension of medieval knighthood, “good triumphs evil”

Deal with life’s issues as power struggles Innate tactical sense Perseverance to overcome all obstacles Manipulative use of sickness Ambitious competitiveness Prefer psychological power Can bully others Often characterize “black-or-white” polarities

Love of nature

Strong family ties Fiercely protective of those in their care Loyal to friends Constantly on the go Work hard for the community Take care of disadvantaged Freely give of themselves

Advocate for the oppressed, “Robin Hood” People feel secure and protected around them Potentially spiritual powerhouses Fair-mindedness, good judgment, and organizational skills Grounded in spiritual values Rise to the top of any organization Thrive in political or military arenas Truthful and direct realists

(continued)

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THE FAMILY JOURNAL: COUNSELING AND THERAPY FOR COUPLES AND FAMILIES / January 2002

TABLE 1:
Type Personal Perspective

Continued
Living With Family/Friends Clear standards of justice Find introspection difficult Expect fame and fortune Positive Qualities

Orientation to the World Bold in dress Prefer having the final word Compromise is difficult Override and ignore others who are hesitant and/or unsure “In charge” Direct, blunt communicators “Hands on” management style Know the persuasive power of words Unaware of their overbearing behavior Arrogance is their greatest obstacle Perceive the world in terms of conflict Often feel weak and Defenseless Detached view of life Preserve the status quo Passive/aggressive tendencies Practical, common sense Disregard for important issues Lack of high self-esteem Value of reputation

9. The preservationist

Repress their energy to maintain harmonious relationships Avoid tension and conflict Basic life issue is energy output Laziness is a psychological addiction

Little enthusiasm in individual relationships Can be friendly in a group Gentle giants Deny serious issues Constant and unexacting approach Forgetful, miss appointments Indirect communications

Tolerate the ideas of others Universal love and service Even-tempered Nonthreatening Modest and kind Natural arbitrators Work well with difficult people Innate gifts for healing Calming effect on others because of their own inner peace Accomplish much by doing little Harmony in a group Peace is always achievable

Enjoy being problem solvers Enjoy routine Do not tend to be decision makers Content to cooperate with decisions made by others Gravitate toward middle management Usually well liked

Source: Adapted from Kathleen Hurley & Theodore Dobson, 1991, What’s My Type? New York: HarperCollins. Note: All the perceived negative qualities of any typology are merely distortions of the patterns of manifested strength and positive qualities.

The enneagram shows underlying reasons for a person’s unhappiness uniquely disguised in a basic motivation, which is patterned in one of nine different ways. This motivational pattern—often unconscious to the person who bears it—can cause couples to limit their perspective to a predetermined set of issues and responses. The enneagram reveals that every person carries within himself or herself both ecstasy and

struggle. Remembering that a person has only one enneagram number helps open up what Hurley and Dobson described as
a dazzling prism through which God can be reflected through our lives into the world. With self-observation comes the needed vision and motivation to choose transformation, thus revealing the hidden Divine Image. By catching glimpses of our own inner truth reflected in the waters of self-awareness,

Eckstein / COUPLE’S ENNEAGRAM QUESTIONNAIRE

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Enneagram Enneagram 1 2
The Achiever The Helper

Enneagram 3
The Succeeder

Enneagram 4
The Individualist

Enneagram 5
The Observer

Enneagram 6
The Guardian

Enneagram 7
The Dreamer

Enneagram 8
The Comforter

Enneagram 9
The Preservationist

1 10 19 28 37 Total ____ Figure 1

2 11 20 29 38 Total ____

3 12 21 30 39 Total ____

4 13 22 31 40 Total ____

5 14 23 32 41 Total ____

6 15 24 33 42 Total ____

7 16 25 34 43 Total ____

8 17 26 35 44 Total ____

9 18 27 36 45 Total ____

we begin to perceive the brilliance of a new identity—our true self, our best self (Hurley & Dobson, 1991, p. 14).

• In what ways do you feel you could be “vulnerable” (i.e., what is your Achilles’ heel) in your relationship?

How Ro Recognize Your Pattern One does not choose one’s enneagram number. Rather, it is revealed through a recognition of one’s personal response to the descriptions. The CEQ is meant to assist in that important process of self-discovery. Here are some guidelines to assist in that process.
1. Think of your life both now and in your childhood. 2. Become aware of how you react under stress. 3. Seek the observations/feedback of your partner or of a best friend.

Partner Discussion
1. Discuss your enneagram, your perception of your partner’s highest score, plus his or her prediction of your score. 2. Were there any surprises? 3. Cite behavioral examples of how each of you exhibits the motivations based on your Number 1 enneagram. 4. Identify areas where your primary needs and motivations can or might be in harmony. 5. Focus on a recent conflict and see if your respective enneagram typologies can help shed insight on the wants and motivators influencing the conflict.

For the purposes of briefly describing representative characteristics of the nine enneagram motivations, the author has created Table 1 based on the work of Hurley and Dobson. Look over the descriptions and identify which one best describes your basic motivations. Table 1 is a summary of key characteristics of each typology. First, circle the words which you feel are most characteristic of you. Then, go back and put a square around the phrases you feel most characterize your partner. Prediction of Your Scores Given the descriptions provided above, make the following three predictions:
1. Your one enneagram score ______. 2. Your partner’s one enneagram score ______. 3. Your prediction of what your mate will perceive to be your one enneagram. _______.

SUMMARY Someone said there are two types of people, “those that think there are two types of people in the world and those that do not.” Someone else also noted, “There are three types of people in the world—Those that can add and those that cannot.” Although a potential risk of using the enneagram is that it can typecast and overgeneralize a person, a potential gain is that it can provide the couple with an awareness of basic styles of personality. Addictions are possible when being unconsciously driven by unidentified motivators. Such insight into oneself and one’s partner is a critical part of understanding and, it is hoped, valuing each other’s personality differences (Vollmar, 1997). In this article, the author has introduced the CEQ to assist in the identification of each partner’s primary enneagram. The optimistic nature of the enneagram is that all of the seemingly negative qualities of any typology are merely distortions of the patterns of strength and manifested as positive qualities.

Scoring Because every nine questions correspond respectively to the nine enneagrams, transfer your scores to Figure 1.
• Identify what you feel most represents your enneagram. • Cite behavioral examples of how you “do it” in your home. • How does your self-assessment compare to your CEQ scores?

NOTE
1. A more developed instrument, called the Tallon Enneagram Checklist, is available from the Enneagram Life Skills Institute, 101 E. Brookhaven Rd., Wallingford, PA 19086; (610) 892-7310.

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THE FAMILY JOURNAL: COUNSELING AND THERAPY FOR COUPLES AND FAMILIES / January 2002

REFERENCES
Bach, R. (1977). Illusions. New York: Dell. Bennett-Goleman, T. (2001). Emotional alchemy: How the mind can heal the heart. New York: Harmony Books. Hurley, K. V., & Dobson, T. E. (1991). What’s My Type? New York: HarperCollins. Vollmar, K. (1997). The secret of enneagrams: Mapping the personality. Rockport, MA: Element Books.

Daniel Eckstein, Ph.D., American Board of Professional Psychology, is president of Encouraging Leadership, Inc., in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is also an adjunct professor for the Adler School of Professional Psychology, Toronto, Canada and Capella University, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Dr. Eckstein is author or coauthor of 12 books, including Raising Respectful Kids in a Rude World and Life Style Intervention: Psychological Fingerprints. This article is part of a forthcoming book by the author entitled Relationship Repair: “Fix-it” Strategies for Couples and Families. Dr. Eckstein can be contacted at [email protected] His Web site is www. encouragingleadership.com

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