Managing Stress Effectively: Know Your Emotional Expression or Repression And How It Effects You
Stress is a killer, this is widely known, as is the fact that stress leads to many diseases and disorders in the body. It affects our ability to find joy in life, to be motivated, and strips away our energy to do the things that bring us fulfillment and health.
One of the major contributors I see in people I work with in regards to their stress and pathologies in mind, body and soul is their strategy for emotional expression. They tend to either over or under express their current emotional state, which is really a summation of their life's emotional experiences compounding and projecting in the moment.
Perhaps the fastest way to source what a healthy level of expression is for you, and how to express effectively, is by knowing your personality type and your default strategy for expressing your true emotions. I have seen remarkable changes in health, mood, energy and motivation just in developing an understanding of this causal relationship.
In the Enneagram personality typing system, which is what I use with my clients, each type has it's own core motives psychologically, and therefore, their willingness to express or repress is largely based on that. The good news is that knowing that about yourself will allow you to predict your emotional triggers better, and enable you to make time to express, or have the self confidence to avoid repressing.
In this blog post, we will explore how each type of the Enneagram expresses or represses their emotions and the impact this has on their lives and relationships. Please keep in mind, that these are general templates for each Enneagram personality type, and does not 100% accurately describe your individual strategy for emotional expression.
This is not medical advice, if you feel you have a clinically diagnosable mental condition, please seek professional help from a licensed therapist.
Type 1: The Perfectionist
The Perfectionist is known for being self-disciplined, organized, and responsible. They have high standards for themselves and others and strive to live a life of integrity. However, when it comes to emotions, Perfectionists tend to suppress their feelings. They fear that if they express their emotions, they will lose control or appear weak. This can lead to pent-up anger and frustration, which can cause physical symptoms such as tension headaches or digestive problems.
Type 2: The Helper
The Helper is warm, caring, and empathetic. They are always willing to lend a helping hand and prioritize the needs of others over their own. However, when it comes to their own emotions, Helpers tend to minimize or ignore them. They fear that if they express their own needs, they will be seen as selfish or ungrateful. This can lead to feelings of resentment and burnout as Helpers often neglect their own self-care.
Type 3: The Achiever
The Achiever is ambitious, competitive, and goal-oriented. They strive for success and recognition in their careers and personal lives. When it comes to emotions, Achievers tend to suppress them in order to maintain their image of success. They fear that expressing vulnerability or weakness will harm their reputation. This can lead to feelings of emptiness or disconnection as Achievers may feel disconnected from their true selves.
Type 4: The Individualist
The Individualist is creative, sensitive, and introspective. They have a deep need to express their unique identity and emotions. However, when it comes to expressing their emotions, Individualists may struggle to find the right words or fear being misunderstood. They may also struggle with feelings of envy or melancholy, which can be difficult to articulate. This can lead to a sense of isolation as Individualists may feel that others don't understand them.
Type 5: The Investigator
The Investigator is analytical, curious, and independent. They value knowledge and understanding above all else. When it comes to emotions, Investigators tend to intellectualize them, analyzing them from a distance rather than experiencing them fully. They may fear being overwhelmed by their emotions or losing their objectivity. This can lead to a sense of detachment from their emotions and others.
Type 6: The Loyalist
The Loyalist is loyal, responsible, and prepared. They value safety and security and may struggle with anxiety or fear. When it comes to emotions, Loyalists may struggle to express their feelings or seek reassurance from others. They may fear being abandoned or rejected if they express their emotions. This can lead to a sense of distrust in others and a reluctance to form close relationships.
Type 7: The Enthusiast
The Enthusiast is adventurous, spontaneous, and optimistic. They value freedom and fun and may struggle with boredom or pain. When it comes to emotions, Enthusiasts tend to avoid negative emotions such as sadness or anxiety. They may distract themselves with activities or seek out new experiences to avoid feeling uncomfortable. This can lead to a sense of restlessness or dissatisfaction as Enthusiasts may struggle to find lasting happiness.
Type 8:The Challenger, is confident, assertive, and protective. They value strength and independence and may struggle with vulnerability or weakness. When it comes to emotions, Challengers tend to express them openly and directly. They do not fear confrontation and may even enjoy a good argument. However, they may struggle with more vulnerable emotions such as sadness or fear, as they see these emotions as a sign of weakness.
Challengers may also have a tendency to suppress their emotions when they feel that they are being threatened or vulnerable. They may adopt a "tough" persona in order to protect themselves and avoid appearing weak. This can lead to a sense of disconnection from their emotions and may make it difficult for others to connect with them on an emotional level. In order to fully express their emotions, Challengers may need to learn to embrace vulnerability and see it as a sign of strength.
Type 9: The Peacemaker, is easy-going, adaptable, and patient. They value harmony and may struggle with conflict or confrontation. When it comes to emotions, Peacemakers tend to repress them in order to maintain peace and avoid conflict. They may have a tendency to put others' needs before their own and may ignore their own emotions in order to keep the peace.
Peacemakers may also struggle with identifying and expressing their emotions. They may have a vague sense of discomfort or unease but may not be able to articulate what they are feeling. This can lead to a sense of disconnection from their own emotions and may make it difficult for others to connect with them on an emotional level. In order to fully express their emotions, Peacemakers may need to learn to identify and articulate their feelings, even if it may lead to conflict or discomfort.
Understanding how each Enneagram type expresses or represses their emotions can be a powerful tool for personal growth and development. Each type has unique ways of dealing with their emotions, and learning to embrace vulnerability and express their emotions can lead to more fulfilling and authentic relationships. By understanding our own emotional patterns and those of others, we can deepen our connections and lead more fulfilling lives.
Wishing You A Happy And Healthy Life!
P.S.- If you'd like to book a reading and interpretation of your Enneagram chart and tendencies, click the link below