The Enneagram Types
in Relationship

An Interactive Matrix™


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The 45 Combinations of Relationships


Featured below is a clickable table linking to 45 possible combinations of Enneagram types in relationship with each other. These combinations allow us to see deeply within our own character structure and assist us in developing healthy relationships with our partner, family members, friends, clients and co-workers. These combinations can help us gain insight and a deeper sense of ourselves and others, which leads to compassion. By getting grounded, receptive, and non-judging, we enhance our ability to see through others’ eyes and experience others’ emotional life and world view.


The Interactive Relationships Matrix™


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1 1–1
2 1–2 2–2
3 1–3 2–3 3–3
4 1–4 2–4 3–4 4–4
5 1–5 2–5 3–5 4–5 5–5
6 1–6 2–6 3–6 4–6 5–6 6–6
7 1–7 2–7 3–7 4–7 5–7 6–7 7–7
8 1–8 2–8 3–8 4–8 5–8 6–8 7–8 8–8
9 1–9 2–9 3–9 4–9 5–9 6–9 7–9 8–9 9–9

 


Explore the table above, featuring the 45 combinations of Enneagram type relationships. Before visiting the various Matrix pairings, review the instructions and background information below. Then, simply click on the combination of Enneagram types you want to explore, and you’ll be taken to that pairing’s write-up.

Within each of the combinations, I explore the relationship dynamics of each type with every other type, placing an emphasis on the circle of conflict that naturally occurs between the types and how this circle can lead to relationship distress and disruption. I present how each type can support each other to create a relationship that flourishes rather than flounders. This includes: (1) what we each need to acknowledge or own about ourselves; (2) what we need to appreciate about the other; and (3) the key awarenesses and tasks for building and sustaining the relationship. When these three facets are adopted, it virtually guarantees that the relationship will thrive.

A PDF BOOKLET of the Relationships Matrix

A 51-page PDF of the Relationships Matrix is now available for download; Click Here to visit the Enneagram Worldwide website products page.

Guidelines

To begin with, each of us is unique. No one of us expresses the range of concerns and aptitudes characterized by our type in exactly the same way. Influences of connected types provide different flavorings to each type. For example a Type 8, the Protector, with a strong influence from its neighbor Type 7, the Epicure, will look different than a Type 8 with a strong link to its neighbor Type 9, the Mediator. More self-mastered individuals will behave differently than those with less self-mastery. But when the pressures accompanying stress build, our type bias really comes into play and tends to dominate our perceptions and behavior. It’s important to consider, especially in our close relationships, that the significant persons who raise us, love us, or dislike us can heavily influence our feelings about a personality type. For example, we may generalize our feelings about a particular person we’ve encountered, a particular type, to include everyone who shares the same worldview. We need to acknowledge our biases concerning the different types, especially the strongly positive and negative biases.

Definitions for Each of the Type Pairings

In what follows, I present the definitions regarding the relationship dynamics for each of the 45 possible combinations of Enneagram types. These categories and their definitions form the basis of the relationship dynamics; do familiarize yourself with these.

Synergies and Challenges/Key Conflicts

In this section, I provide the complementary or synergistic elements typically present in each of the two types that help the relationship to flourish, followed by the conflicting attributes that classically lead to the main sources of conflict, points of disagreement, and challenges. Conflicts often arise because each type has a different perception of what is needed for a satisfactory life and for the fulfillment of the three basic needs for security, connection, and autonomy. Sometimes, these conflicting attributes represent “too much” of otherwise positive qualities. And conflicts usually arise from each individual’s attempt to get the other to realize what needs to change. These efforts often take the form of allegation or blame, even if subtle, and frequently have a repetitive quality. They can result in a circle of conflict characterized by increasing intensity and distress. Understanding and becoming aware of this cycle is a virtual key to resolving conflict constructively and compassionately.

Relationship Development

There are three fundamental aspects to relationship development, all of great importance.

1. What to acknowledge
2. What to appreciate
3. Key tasks for development

In working with these key aspects of relationship development, do keep applying the steps of the Universal Growth Process [link goes here] as these underlie each of these practices. Daily practice is the key. Take time each day to preview the aspects you are working on and at the end of the day, review how you are doing.

1. What to Acknowledge About Self
This is about what each individual needs to take responsibility for that contributes to difficulty and distress in the relationship.

2. What to Appreciate About the Other
This section elucidates the positive attributes and qualities each individual needs to acknowledge, appreciate, and support in the other.

3. Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship
Here I provide the key specific recommendations concerning what each individual in the relationship needs to start doing, stop doing, work on, or accept to improve the relationship, enhance satisfaction, and ultimately create a relationship that truly flourishes.

 

Words of Gentle Caution

Keep in mind that much variation exists within a “typical” pattern based upon the level of personal development, cultural background, gender, the influence of other types, and life experience in general. Thus the characteristics and attributes presented for each combination are typical or “classic” for these two types.

 



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Type 1, the Perfectionist, with Another Type 1

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

Perfectionists join together in making the world a better place and in creating synergy in support of each other’s ideals and efforts. However, they can have conflicting views of “the right way” of experiencing the world and differing standards of “correctness.” These divergent ideals and standards can be the source of conflict and controversy in the relationship. A cycle of increasing conflict can arise with each correcting one another’s perceived mistakes, resulting in increased tension, resentment, and anger. Criticism, counter-criticism, and grievances can build over these differences. Since they often suppress needs and desires, perfectionists may find it difficult to initiate activities designed to enhance pleasure. Because of the focus on error and mistakes, they can also fail to acknowledge successes and offer praise. This can all culminate in angry battles, rigid holding onto positions, cold disengagement, and ultimately, even alienation and separation.

Relationship Development for Perfectionists with Perfectionists:

  • What to Acknowledge about Self: Perfectionism, a judging mind, one’s own mistakes, one’s tendency to take a stance of moral superiority, the difficulty in expressing positives and desires.
  • What to Appreciate in Other Perfectionists: High standards, devotion to practical virtues and fairness, courage of convictions, industry, support for improvement.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship: Practice accepting and appreciating standards with different content. Realize that correcting mistakes in others easily gets misconstrued as criticism. Allocate time for pleasure, desires, and relaxation. Assist each other to release from the dominance of the judging mind.

>> Return to the Relationships Matrix >>



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Type 1, the Perfectionist, and Type 2, the Giver

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

Perfectionists offer steadfastness, dependability, and industry, while Givers offer emotion, optimism, attention to the relationship, and pizzazz – a good combination. The Perfectionist, however, can experience the Giver as being too tied to the relationship and even dependent and unnecessarily helpful. The Perfectionist can receive the Giver’s abundance of good advice as criticism. The Giver, in turn, can feel unappreciated, judged as being hedonistic and giving too much, and therefore not acknowledged by the emotionally restrained Perfectionist. A cycle of heightening conflict can manifest with criticism and counter-criticism about what is wrong, who needs help, and what constitutes care. This can lead to estrangement, especially since neither type is good at expressing desires and needs (even though Givers can be on the hedonistic side in the service of others). As a result, estrangement and deadening can lead to disruption of the relationship.

Relationship Development for Perfectionists with Givers:

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Disowned judgmental tendencies, under-acknowledgement of positives, suppression of pleasure and desire, inflexibility.
  • What to Appreciate in Givers. Helpfulness, attention to the relationship, caring, exuberance, adaptability.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Show appreciation for the Giver’s generosity. Devote time to pleasure and relationship building. Express positive feelings. Practice flexibility.

Relationship Development for Givers with Perfectionists:

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Difficulty in receiving and attending to one’s own needs, over-connectedness (wanting attention and not seeing the healthy need for a separate or a more independent self), propensity to give too much advice and help, getting emotional.
  • What to Appreciate in Perfectionists. Commitment to improvement, restraint and self-reliance, high inner standards, consistence, devotion to practical virtues.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Practice steadiness and consistency. Respect the Perfectionist’s independence and separateness. Welcome suggestions for improvement. Pay attention both to your own and the Perfectionist’s difficulty in expressing needs and desires.

>> Return to the Relationships Matrix >>


1-3_77pxwType 1, the Perfectionist, and Type 3, the Performer

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

Perfectionists will support Performers’ work efforts, projects, goal focus, and efficiency. Performers appreciate Perfectionists’ conscientiousness and devotion to excellence and improvement. The Perfectionist, however, sometimes may become critical of the way the Performer discounts important details, cuts corners, speeds through things with their fast pace, and making changes to suit circumstances. The Performer, on the other hand, can become impatient with the Perfectionist’s pickiness, judgmentalness, tendency to get bogged down in details, and interferences with productivity. This can all dissolve into a cycle of increasing conflict resulting in an interactive pattern of angry exchanges, accusations, stalemates, and/or disengagement. This pattern can become compounded since both types tend to avoid feelings, which eventually leads to alienation and separation.

Relationship Development for Perfectionists with Performers

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Criticality, a tendency for absorption in details, espousing a “one right way”, resentment of the Performer’s focus on efficiency rather than correctness.
  • What to Appreciate in Performers. A can-do attitude, positivity, shared value in work and competence, goal focus, efficiency.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. To increase flexibility. To reduce the emphasis on minutiae and correctness. To moderate the intensity embedded in judgmentalness. To make time for the relationship, pleasure, and relaxation.

Relationship Development for Performers with Perfectionists

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. A disowned preoccupation with image and approval, one’s own mistakes, a tendency to take shortcuts and even soften the “truth” based upon “good” reasons for changing approach.
  • What to Appreciate in Perfectionists. Conscientiousness, attention to correcting what’s wrong, integrity and high standards, commitment to excellence and improvement.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Take time to slow the pace and encourage the Perfectionist to do likewise. Allow in more receptive force. Pay more attention to details and underlying principle. Make time for the relationship, pleasure, and relaxation.

>> Return to the Relationships Matrix >>


1-4_77pxwType 1, the Perfectionist, and Type 4, the Romantic

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

Perfectionists and Romantics support and admire each other’s intensity, idealism, sensitivity, and high (although differing) standards. Perfectionists, however, can get critical and resentful of the Romantics’ tendency towards self-centeredness (their preoccupation with what is missing), moodiness, fluctuating feelings, and their retreat to inaction and disappointment. The Romantic may feel shameful and deficient or, in turn, make the Perfectionist the one who is lacking by challenging the Perfectionist’s “pickiness,” restrictedness, control, and perceived dearth of empathy. A cycle of escalating conflict and blame can materialize, characterized by complaint and counter-complaint and even withdrawal. Neither then feels supported or worthy and both feel estranged and alienated, which ultimately endangers the relationship.

Relationship Development for Perfectionists with Romantics

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. A sensitivity to feeling judged, perfectionism, attempts to mold the Romantic to fit “my” standards, the tendency to be critical especially about the Romantic’s falling into self-absorption.
  • What to Appreciate in Romantics. Depth of feeling, uniqueness, creative flair, idealism, empathy for others and especially those who may be suffering.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Express one’s own interests and desires. Allow yourself to become more accepting of the Romantic’s mood changes, sensitivity, and dramatic flair. Appreciate more of what is good and positive rather than what is wrong and negative.

Relationship Development for Romantics with Perfectionists

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Disowned emotional fluctuations, difficulty accepting constraints and ordinary aspects of life, disproportionate idealism, a tendency to focus upon what is missing or lacking in the relationship, sensitivity to criticism.
  • What to Appreciate in Perfectionists. Practicality, conscientiousness, commitment, holding to convictions, striving for improvement, attention to detail.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Cultivate practicality, restraint, and steadiness even in the presence of strong feelings. Accept criticism as positive and not a reflection on self-worth. Stay present and in a state of gratitude for what is. Encourage Perfectionists to express desires and acceptance.

>> Return to the Relationships Matrix >>


1-5_77pxwType 1, the Perfectionist, and Type 5, the Observer

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

While both types share the qualities of restraint, control of feelings, rationality, self-sufficiency, and respect of boundaries, these same qualities represent challenges in communicating feelings and desires and for connection. A cycle of escalating conflict can arise with the Perfectionist becoming worried about silences and becoming intrusive around how life “should” be. The Observer tends to retract and withdraw as a protection against the perceived intrusion. This, in turn, can invite further judgment and resentment or anger from the Perfectionist about what is wrong with the relationship and further angry retraction on the part of the Observer. Both can turn silent and withholding, endangering the relationship.

Relationship Development for Perfectionists with Observers

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Sensitivity, interpreting silence as criticism, a strong tendency to judge, difficulty expressing desires and feelings, experiencing the Observer’s “live and let live” stance as indifference and a lack of responsiveness.
  • What to Appreciate in Observers. Good boundaries, intellect, independence, respect for privacy, steadiness, dependability, a “live and let live” quality.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Express one’s own feelings and desires. Let go of trying to change the Observer’s natural need for time alone that gets viewed as indifference, withholding, and withdrawal. Work at sustaining non-judgmental and moderate engagement. Reduce your tendency to intrude and be judgmental and become aware of the Observer’s sensitivity to these behaviors.

Relationship Development for Observers with Perfectionists

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Your sensitivity to intrusion and criticism, an avoidance of feelings and charged issues, a tendency to withdraw or take superior position by judging in an intellectual manner.
  • What to Appreciate in Perfectionists. Restraint, practicality, self-reliance, dependability, high standards, striving to improve things and relationships as a form of care, attention to detail.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Move forward and embrace feelings and charged issues. Find ways to enliven the relationship, including the physical relationship. Encourage Perfectionists to live and let live and in the process, to become more accepting of differences in others.

>> Return to the Relationships Matrix >>


1-6_77pxwType 1, the Perfectionist, and Type 6, the Loyal Skeptic

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

Perfectionists and Loyal Skeptics often work synergistically in the pursuit of making a better world and correcting injustice. They are sensitive to each other and dedicated. But Perfectionists can feel criticized and dig in with their “one right way” stance when Loyal Skeptics question or doubt or seem inconsistent. A cycle of escalating conflict and blame can result when the Perfectionist becomes more critical and angry, feeling that nothing can make the Loyal Skeptic secure and certain. In turn, the Loyal Skeptic can question the Perfectionist to the point of becoming accusatory and mistrusting, feeling nothing can satisfy the Perfectionist’s “one right way” of being. All of this can lead to pain and even disruption or an end to the relationship.

Relationship Development for Perfectionists with Loyal Skeptics

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. A tendency to get anxious and worry about being wrong, the habit of getting critical especially of the Loyal Skeptic’s questioning and doubting, a struggle releasing from the rigidity of the critical mind, a difficulty recognizing desires and enjoying the pleasures life offers.
  • What to Appreciate in Loyal Skeptics. Loyalty, endurance, warmth, intellect, healthy questioning, sensitivity to real issues.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Attune more to positives and encourage the Loyal Skeptic to do the same. Provide reassurance, not correction. Allow for more playfulness and lighten up. Work at appreciating the differences between you.

Relationship Development for Loyal Skeptics with Perfectionists

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. A disowned magnification of negatives and worst case scenarios, sensitivity to criticism, contrary thinking, a doubting mind, a tendency to mistrust, difficulty staying with pleasures.
  • What to Appreciate in Perfectionists. Restraint, conscientiousness, high ethical standards, their striving for improvement, dependability, desire for the best, attention to detail.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Pay attention to all the questioning and doubts in order to become more trusting. Attend to and savor positives and pleasures and encourage the Perfectionist to do the same. Accept criticism without magnifying it.

>> Return to the Relationships Matrix >>


1-7_77pxwType 1, the Perfectionist, and Type 7, the Epicure

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

Perfectionists and Epicures are opposite types in many ways. While these contrasting qualities can complement each other, they can also lead to a cycle of escalating conflict. The Perfectionist, when experiencing the Epicure as irresponsible, undisciplined, self-serving, and inconsiderate, can become judgmental and try to limit the Epicure’s “indulgence” and lack of restraint. In turn, the Epicure can rebel against the criticism, trivialize the Perfectionist’s “legitimate concerns,” and give “good advice” to the Perfectionist about lightening up, something they will hear as criticism. This can devolve into explosive outbursts by the Epicure and righteous fixed-position anger on the part of the Perfectionist. Ultimately, this polarity can become intolerable to both types and end the relationship.

Relationship Development for Perfectionists with Epicures

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Difficulty with desires and pleasures, a tendency to get judgmental especially about pleasure, inflexibility, a righteous “one right way” attitude.
  • What to Appreciate in Epicures. Spontaneity, enthusiasm, optimism, flexibility, future orientation, a fun-loving quality.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Practice lightening up and letting go of judgments. Grasp the polarity in styles. Become more flexible. Make pleasure a priority. Become more self-serving.

Relationship Development for Epicures with Perfectionists

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Resistance to limits, avoidance of details and ordinary life tasks, tendency to rationalize and reframe, an inclination to be self-serving.
  • What to Appreciate in Perfectionists. Self-control, conscientiousness, high ethical standards, their striving for improvement, practicality, industry, attention to detail and ordinary life tasks.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Become more grounded in the present. Exercise more self-discipline. Hear and even welcome negative feedback. Become more attentive to Perfectionists’ needs. Maintain a healthy pleasure orientation and encourage the Perfectionist to embrace more pleasure.

>> Return to the Relationships Matrix >>


1-8_77pxwType 1, the Perfectionist, and Type 8, the Protector

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

Perfectionists and Protectors often join together in pursuing causes related to fairness, justice and shared interests. However, conflict arises over their considerable opposite tendencies. Perfectionists may experience Protectors as overly aggressive, impulsive, reckless, insensitive, and even liking to be “bad.” Protectors may experience Perfectionists as rigid, critical, overly constrained, inhibited, and disconnected from desires and pleasure. A cycle of intensifying conflict can occur with the Protector often disregarding limits, enjoying being “bad,” and getting confrontational. The Perfectionist may counter this with scathing criticism of the Protector’s stance and with his or her righteousness. When this interaction becomes polarized, it can lead to entrenchment, angry outbursts, withdrawal, and eventual destruction of the relationship.

Relationship Development for Perfectionists with Protectors

  • What To Acknowledge About Self. 1’s own oppositional tendency especially around good and bad, rigidity in adhering to internalized standards, an excess of propriety (depending upon the content of the internal standards), sensitivity to criticism, difficulty in allowing desires.
  • What To Appreciate In Protectors. Strength, leadership, decisiveness, directness, exuberance for life, pursuit of truth, generosity.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Become more spontaneous and appreciate this in the Protector. Develop genuine flexibility, not just flexibility based on an internal standard. Stand firm regarding core values. Express your own desires and needs. Develop comfort in expressing anger. Recognize and work with the polarity in the two types.

Relationship Development for Protectors with Perfectionists

  • What To Acknowledge About Self. A tendency toward excess, going from impulse to action, an all-or-nothing style of attending (my way or the highway stance), insensitivity regarding impact on others.
  • What To Appreciate In Perfectionists. Restraint, conscientiousness, high ethical standards, striving for improvement, industry, fairness, attention to detail.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Practice moderating impulsivity and impact. Recognize a tendency to polarize around “my way is the” Develop patience with the Perfectionist’s inhibitions and worry, while encouraging more orientation towards pleasure. Recognize and work with the polarity in the two types.

>> Return to the Relationships Matrix >>


1-9_77pxwType 1, the Perfectionist, and Type 9, the Mediator

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

Perfectionists and Mediators often join together in attending to detail and leading an orderly, steady life. Perfectionists support Mediators’ development and Mediators encourage Perfectionists to become more accepting. Mediators, however, can feel criticized and prodded instead of encouraged by Perfectionists. As a result, Mediators may end up feeling inferior. In attempting to please, they over-accommodate and build up stubborn resistance that annoys and frustrates Perfectionists. A cycle of escalating conflict can follow, leading to further prodding of the Mediator, which creates a power struggle: the two types can become stuck, internally seething, punctuated with angry outbursts. This pattern is compounded since both types have difficulty knowing their real needs and desires. Over time the relationship can deteriorate to extinction.

Relationship Development for Perfectionists with Mediators

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Obsessive quality, preoccupation with detail, impatience, difficulty knowing your own wants and desires, criticism, “need” to get everything right.
  • What to Appreciate in Mediators. Flexibility, patience, acceptance, adaptability, steadiness, genuine care, empathy.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. To build acceptance and appreciation of your differences. Develop flexibility and patience. Encourage the Mediator’s expression of priorities and needs. Notice and express one’s own priorities, needs, and desires.

Relationship Development for Mediators with Perfectionists

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Diversion to comforts, indecisiveness, stubbornness, inaction, appearing to go along with others’ priorities while internally resisting, not attending to one’s own priorities.
  • What to Appreciate in Perfectionists. Supportive structure, clarity, industry and effort, conscientiousness, improvement and fairness in orientation.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Pick up your own pace. Take positions and make initiatives. Face anger and conflict. Encourage Perfectionists’ expression of desires and needs. Notice and express one’s own priorities, needs, and desires.

>> Return to the Relationships Matrix >>



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Type 2, the Giver, with Another Type 2

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

Givers join together in valuing a focus on relationships and in appreciating the nurturing quality and sensitivity to feelings in each other. Having little awareness of their own needs, however, they may become overly solicitous with each other, compete for approval, and feel unappreciated, unfulfilled, and (ironically) unconnected. Since neither partner is oriented toward receiving or asking, there is no natural counterbalance to the two partners’ mutual tendency to focus on the other. Failure to get into the natural flow of giving and receiving, can lead to emotional upset and to who is dependent on whom. Ultimately hurt feelings may then ensue leading to angry, emotional outbursts and ultimately to withdrawal or rejection. There just may not be enough flow of giving and receiving to sustain the relationship.

Relationship Development for Givers with Givers:

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Pride connected to giving (leading to tendency to be overly helpful), difficulty receiving, inattention to own needs, anger when needs go unmet or when feeling unappreciated, over-connection in relationships, and unhealthy focus on gaining approval.
  • What to Appreciate in Other Givers. Helpfulness, relationship orientation, genuine care and support, positivity, flexibility, and sensitivity to feelings.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Develop own independent self and support other Giver’s autonomy and separateness. Express own needs and desires directly and encourage other Giver to do the same. Practice getting into the natural flow of giving and receiving.

>> Return to the Relationships Matrix >>



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Type 2, the Giver, and Type 3, the Performer

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

Givers and Performers join together in accomplishing shared goals and in keeping life up and positive, usually with Givers supporting Performers’ goals and accomplishments, hoping to be appreciated in return. Conflict occurs when Givers experience Performers as discounting feelings and relationship issues, while Performers experience Givers as getting off task and wanting too much time and attention. A cycle of increasing conflict can result with the two types polarizing – the Giver feeling rejected, getting emotional, and emoting anger and with the Performer feeling unrecognized and impatient and then disappearing into work. This pattern can result in withdrawal and eventually in alienation end to the relationship.

Relationship Development for Givers with Performers

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Emotionality, focus on relationships, difficulty knowing own needs, pridefulness in meeting others desires and needs, and tendency to share Performer’s focus on wanting approval and constructing a good image.
  • What to Appreciate in Performers. Positive accomplishment orientation, enthusiasm, hopefulness, efficiency, and material support.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Balance relationship and goal orientations. Moderate shared characteristics of intensity, positivity, fast pace, and active force. Steady emotions. Directly express own needs and desires. Work on developing receptive force of simply being present in the moment.

Relationship Development for Performers with Givers

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Inattention to feelings, excessive focus on work and accomplishments, desire for recognition, and shared focus of wanting approval and constructing a good image.
  • What to Appreciate in Givers. Support and care, relationship orientation, generosity, positivity, flexibility, and sensitivity to the needs and feelings of others.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Balance goal and relationship orientations. Moderate shared characteristics of intensity, positivity, fast pace, and active force. Allow in emotions. Pay attention to own deeper needs and desires. Work on developing receptive force of simply being present in the moment.

>> Return to the Relationships Matrix >>



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Type 2, the Giver, and Type 4, the Romantic

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

Givers try to satisfy the apparently needy Romantics, attempting to fulfill their needs. They can get caught up in the emotions and intensity of Romantics and lose their own sense of separateness. A cycle of escalating conflict can result with the Giver becoming impatient with the seeming resistance, inaction, and self-centeredness of the Romantic, who in turn, can be put off by the Giver’s seeming “superficialness,” pride, inability to stand alone, and/or apparent smothering. Then the Romantic may become scornful and/or feels rejected and pull away and the Giver feeling unappreciated and rejected may erupt in emotion. This cycle could lead to an unraveling of the relationship.

Relationship Development for Givers with Romantics

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Tendency to overdo helpfulness, desire to keep life up, difficulty with deep and darker feelings, and need for appreciation, approval, and attention.
  • What to Appreciate in Romantics. Intensity, relationship orientation, idealization of what could be, depth of feelings, empathy, and authenticity.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Practice steadiness since both types fluctuate emotionally. Work on becoming more self-directed and holding ground, especially in the presence of strong emotions and dissatisfaction. Express own desires and needs. Remind the Romantic of what is positive and present.

Relationship Development for Romantics with Givers

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Need to feel special, not feeling satisfied or complete resulting in fluctuating emotions, tendency toward self-absorption and amplification of feelings, and difficulty appreciating what is present and positive.
  • What to Appreciate in Givers. Giving and caring quality, positive image, enthusiasm, desire to bring happiness, active forward moving energy, and flexibility.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Practice steadiness since both types fluctuate emotionally. Work on assisting Givers in referencing to their own needs. Show appreciation and gratitude for the positives in life and for what Givers provide.

>> Return to the Relationships Matrix >>



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Type 2, the Giver, and Type 5, the Observer

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

Givers appreciate Observers’ intellect, calmness, and restraint. Observers appreciate Givers’ support and engagement. This relationship is truly an attraction of opposites. However, in wanting more connection and acknowledgement, Givers try to bring Observers forward into feelings and more sustained contact. Then Givers active energy can feel intrusive, overly emotional, and demanding to Observers, who then contracts and disengages. This can result in an escalating cycle of intrusion by the “rejected” Giver and withdrawal by the “smothered” Observer. Angry outbursts, alienation, and even disruption of the relationship can ensue.

Relationship Development for Givers with Observers

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Tendency to overdo helpfulness and become intrusive and over emotional, need for appreciation, approval and attention, and difficulty sustaining a separate or independent self.
  • What to Appreciate in Observers. Autonomy and self-reliance, the “low maintenance” aspect, objectivity, dispassion, thoughtfulness, and caring behavior when they know how much is expected.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship.Develop own autonomy or independence and inner life. Respect the Observer’s need for time and space. Practice steadying emotions. Work on moderating claims for time, energy, and connection. Encourage the Observer to move forward into life and feelings.

Relationship Development for Observers with Givers

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Excessive “need” for privacy, parsimony with feelings and tendency to disconnect, getting intellectual, and trivializing feelings.
  • What to Appreciate in Givers. Positivity and support, open-heartedness, engagement in life, social skills, generosity, and relationship focus.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Move into feelings and stay engaged in life. Allow for dependency and nurturance. Show appreciation. Encourage Givers’ development of autonomy and personal boundaries.

>> Return to the Relationships Matrix >>


2-6_77pxwType 2, the Giver, and Type 6, the Loyal Skeptic

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

Givers want to help doubting, questioning Loyal Skeptics who seem to need support and reassurance. Moving forward to help out, they may find that Loyal Skeptics mistrust and resist intrusion and test Givers’ motives. Thus, while appreciating Givers support and care, Loyal Skeptics may back off from or confront what they experience as too much attention. Givers, while appreciating the Loyal Skeptic’s usual warmth and loyalty, may then feel unappreciated, turned off, or rejected by the Loyal Skeptic’s seeming negativity. A cycle of escalating conflict can result polarizing the situation with the Loyal Skeptic getting accusatory and the Giver getting emotional. Withdrawal can ensue as one or the other or both types attempt to reduce distress. Eventually, this pattern can cause a lasting disruption of the relationship.

Relationship Development for Givers with Loyal Skeptics

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Tendency to overdo helpfulness, intrusive behavior, need for approval and attention, hidden dependence, and tendency to over influence with emotions.
  • What to Appreciate in Loyal Skeptics. Questioning mind, healthy skepticism, loyalty, concern for underdogs, analytic skills, warmth, and endurance.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Realize that doubting and “negativity” are not equal to neediness. Notice and moderate intrusiveness (the big forward-moving energy), emotional claims, and helpfulness. Practice directness in expressing own needs and desires.

Relationship Development for Loyal Skeptics with Givers

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Ambivalence around own needs and Givers’ seeming to know best what you need, tendency to doubt or question the intent when receiving from others, habit of both assuming and magnifying what can go wrong, getting controlling in the pursuit of certainty.
  • What to Appreciate in Givers. Positivity and support, open-heartedness, responsiveness, genuine caring, generosity, and sensitivity to others.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Work at appreciating the Giver’s helpfulness and reassurance. Claim own authority and boundaries. State what actually is needed and desired. Encourage Giver to express own autonomy, needs, and desires. Reduce the tendency to magnify what can go wrong.

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Type 2, the Giver, and Type 7, the Epicure

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

Both types enjoy the strengths they share in common – especially flexibility, friendliness and the love of freedom and the good life. However, Givers can find Epicures overly self-referencing and self-serving, hence not paying enough attention to the relationship or sufficiently reciprocating in give and take. Givers can then feel neglected and unappreciated and become emotional, demanding, and guilt provoking. Epicures, on the other hand, can find Givers overly focused on others, intrusive, and too needy of attention. A cycle of ever-increasing conflict can occur as the Epicure, feeling smothered and limited, can respond with escapism and rationalization and the Giver with angry outbursts and emotionality, possibly resulting in alienation and deterioration and even destruction of the relationship.

Relationship Development for Givers with Epicures

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Disowned needs and desires, preoccupation with relationship and connection, and tendency to become inadvertently emotionally controlling.
  • What to Appreciate in Epicures. The many interests and ideas, healthy self-interest, idealism, flexibility, and the shared optimism and quest for happiness
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Develop autonomy (the separate or independent self). Work on providing the Epicure with space while maintaining connection. Express own deeper feelings, needs, and desires. Allow for slowing pace and increasing receptive force.

Relationship Development for Epicures with Givers

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Avoidance of painful feelings, difficulty accepting naturally occurring limits, tendency to avoid emotional commitment, and self-referencing to own interests and ideas.
  • What to Appreciate in Givers. Giving and caring nature, strong relationship focus, generosity, and the shared optimism and quest for happiness
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Commit to the relationship while asserting boundaries. Allow in feelings and concerns. Pay equal attention to the Giver’s needs and desires as to own. Allow for slowing pace and increasing receptive force.

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Type 2, the Giver, and Type 8, the Protector

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

Givers are attracted to Protectors’ strength, power, zest for life, and support. Protectors are naturally attracted to Givers’ attentiveness, active energy, helpfulness, and big-heartedness. However, Protectors can find Givers to be too intrusive, dependent on approval and appreciation, and controlling through feelings, while Givers can experience Protectors as overly confrontive, easily angered, insensitive to their impact, and dominating with their “truth.” A cycle of escalating conflict can result when the Giver tries to soften and contain the Protector and assert control. In turn, the Protector often resists the influence and may react to feeling contained or manipulated with more confrontation and anger. Feeling rejected and devalued, the Giver may withdraw or burst out in anger and emotion. This all can result in a deep rift in the relationship and repeated cycles of uncontained reactivity leading to destruction of the relationship.

Relationship Development for Givers with Protectors

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Failure to focus on and express own needs, habit of altering to please, desire for attention and approval, intrusiveness, and potentially inadvertent emotionally manipulative behavior designed to soften and modify Protectors.
  • What to Appreciate in Protectors. Power and strength, assertiveness, encouragement and support of desires, zest for life, directness, and protectiveness.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Practice holding ground, expressing self directly, and claiming own needs. Work at accepting, not changing, the Protector. Develop the separate or independent self. Become aware of and moderate intrusiveness and emotionality that the Protector experiences as controlling. Allow for slowing pace and increasing receptive force.

Relationship Development for Protectors with Givers

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Insensitivity to feelings, avoidance of own vulnerabilities and softer side (viewed as weaknesses, not strengths), quickness to anger, and tendency to challenge the Giver’s intrusiveness and indirectness.
  • What to Appreciate in Givers. Genuine care, helpfulness and willingness to give, sensitivity regarding feelings and relationships, and positive active energy.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Develop sensitivity to feelings and allow in own vulnerabilities. Manage energy expression and boundaries. Encourage the Giver’s autonomy or separateness. Show appreciation. Allow for slowing pace and increasing receptive force.

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Type 2, the Giver, and Type 9, the Mediator

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

Givers and Mediators get along well together because they both are sensitive, pleasing, helpful, and accommodating. But conflict arises when Givers become overly helpful and intrusive in an effort to get Mediators to set priorities, take initiatives, and say what they need even though Givers have great difficulty themselves with experiencing what they need. Mediators try to keep things steady, comfortable, pleasant, and focused on what the Givers need, all of which can frustrate Givers’ efforts. Then Mediators may become stubborn and resistant in response to what feels like pressure and directives, and can eventually get overtly angry, distance themselves, or just “space out.” A cycle of escalating conflict can result with the Giver, feeling frustrated, trying harder and eventually emoting anger to avoid feeling useless and unfulfilled while the Mediator just digs in further with a stubborn anger to avoid being overwhelmed by the Giver’s active and intrusive energy. When this pattern persists, the relationship can deteriorate and even dissolve.

Relationship Development for Givers with Mediators

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Impatience with the Mediator’s slower pace and sometimes lack of initiatives, tendency to be intrusive, and shared difficulties sustaining a separate independent self knowing own needs.
  • What to Appreciate in Mediators. Steadiness, patience, genuine care, acceptance of life, empathy, and the tendency to counter active energy with a slower pace and relaxed attitude.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Notice and moderate emotions, pace, amount of advice. Develop and express own separate and independent self. Work at personal priorities and needs and encourage the Mediator to do likewise.

Relationship Development for Mediators with Givers

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Stubbornness in the face of intrusion and expectations, getting sidetracked into inessentials, inertia toward own needs and priorities, and tendency to merge into others’ lives.
  • What to Appreciate in Givers. Genuine care, helpfulness, empathy, sensitivity regarding feelings, liveliness, and positive active energy.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Work on own priorities, personal boundaries, and needs and encourage the Giver to do likewise. Remember own importance. Take responsibility for own part in conflict. Be willing to confront intrusion and over giving.

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Type 3, the Performer, with Another Type 3

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

Performers enjoy working together toward common goals and augmenting each other’s efforts. They can live parallel yet supportive lives with each taking on the tasks necessary to function and attain goals. However, they also can neglect each other’s and their own feelings and the relationship in general (results from the task oriented fast pace keeping feelings away). They may even become competitive, experience one another as obstacles in the path of attainment and success, and feel insufficiently recognized. A cycle of ever-increasing conflict can result when this occurs. Then each can get frustrated, impatient, angry, and distance himself or herself from each other, leading to alienation and distant co-existence or dissolution of the relationship.

Relationship Development for Performers with Performers

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Inattention to feelings and relationship issues, excessive focus on work and accomplishments, desire for too much recognition, and difficulty slowing pace.
  • What to Appreciate in Other Performers. Positive accomplishment orientation, enthusiasm, hopefulness, and support in obtaining each other’s goals.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Notice pace and moderate pace and allow in the receptive force. Encourage expression of feelings in each other associated with the development of the receptive force. Create time for non-work related activities and simply the relationship. Recognize that love comes from being, not doing.

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3-4_77pxwType 3, the Performer, and Type 4, the Romantic

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

Performers benefit from Romantics’ authenticity and creative disposition while Romantics benefit from Performers support for sustained accomplishment. However, Performers can get impatient with Romantics’ tendency to get off track and “sink” into feelings. And Romantics may express disdain over Performers’ tendency to avoid feelings, seem shallow, and be inattentive to the relationship. Performers wanting approval try harder, yet often still disappoint the Romantic who pursues the ideal relationship. A cycle of escalating conflict and blame can result with the Performer getting impatient and angry and the Romantic’s falling into inaction. Simultaneously, the Romantic, while envious of the Performer’s accomplishments, can feel debased by, critical of, and disappointed in the Performer. This pattern can result in a sustained gulf between them and even lead to dissolution of the relationship.

Relationship Development for Performers with Romantics

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Inattention to feelings and relationship issues, excessive focus on competition and recognition for accomplishments, fast go-ahead pace, wanting to resolve conflict through action, and disdain for Romantics’ inaction and absorption in feelings.
  • What to Appreciate in Romantics. Idealism, deep feelings, sensitivity to others, creative disposition, and quest for authenticity and depth.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Moderate pace, taking time to “smell the flowers.” Work on non-judgmentally understanding the Romantic. Allow self to experience depth of true feelings and more receptive force. Pay attention to and support the relationship.

Relationship Development for Romantics with Performers

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Attention going to what is missing rather than what is present, imbalance regarding feeling versus doing (preoccupation with feelings and sometimes inattention to doing), desire for more attention and special treatment, and tendency to become self-centered.
  • What to Appreciate in Performers. Support for action, sustained effort, optimism, practicality, goal focus, and competence.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Stick with goals. Stay active and present even when feeling deficient. Balance the human feeling side of endeavors with action. Acknowledge own sense of wanting more attention and depth.

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3-5_77pxwType 3, the Performer, and Type 5, the Observer

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

Performers and Observers support each other in work projects and shared activities. Over time, conflict can occur when Observers retract, needing private time to recharge, while Performers want to “keep on trucking.” A cycle of escalating conflict occurs when the Performer become frustrated and impatient with the Observer’s over-analysis and seeming procrastination resulting in further disconnection by the Observer who may experience the Performer as cutting corners, making demands for action, and jeopardizing the relationship. As neither type habitually attends to feelings, they are unlikely to resolve the situation through dialogue and expression of personal feelings. They may become alienated and lonely leading eventually to termination the relationship.

Relationship Development for Performers with Observers

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Pressure to move ahead, focus mainly on tasks and goals, impatience with analysis, shared difficulty in expressing personal feelings, and tendency to cut corners.
  • What to Appreciate in Observers. Thoughtful analysis, thinking before doing, dispassion and relative calm under pressure, and undemanding quality.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Allow for periods of inactivity and reflection while encouraging the Observer to stay engaged. Work on shared difficulty in paying attention to feelings. Respect boundaries and different work styles. Notice and moderate the fast go ahead energy and pace.

Relationship Development for Observers with Performers

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Tendency to retract in response to the Performer’s go-ahead energy and pace, own difficulty staying engaged and sharing feelings, over-analysis, and detachment or withdrawal.
  • What to Appreciate in Performers. Can-do attitude, accomplishment orientation, competence, engagement in life tasks, showing care through doing and facilitating goals, and enthusiasm.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Practice staying engaged and connected. Encourage Performer to moderate pace and activity level. Work on shared difficulty paying attention to feelings. Declare when alone time is needed.

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3-6_77pxwType 3, the Performer, and Type 6, the Loyal Skeptic

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

When sharing a common purpose or goal, Performers and Loyal Skeptics can complement each other well with an action orientation balanced by thoughtful downside analysis. When Performers push ahead, somewhat blind to potential hazards and what can go wrong, Loyal Skeptics can react with caution and contrary thinking about pitfalls and worst case scenarios. A cycle of escalating conflict can take place with the Performer seeing this as putting up obstacles to progress and success, which evokes impatience and a push forward into action. The Loyal Skeptic then can feel unheard and discounted, which increases his or her doubt and mistrust. This can spiral into a web of angry allegations and eventually estrangement.

Relationship Development for Performers with Loyal Skeptics

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Tendency to cut corners and move into action, propensity to be overly optimistic, habit of dismissing “negative” thinking, and impatience.
  • What to Appreciate in Loyal Skeptics. Loyalty, warmth, healthy skepticism and questioning, ability to see the bigger picture, and sensitivity.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Develop respect for pitfalls and downside of endeavors. Really listen to the Loyal Skeptic’s feelings and concerns, which doesn’t mean agreeing. Practice expressing own true feelings. Notice and moderate fast pace and allow in receptive force.

Relationship Development for Loyal Skeptics with Performers

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Tendency to get concerned and magnify hazards and pitfalls, wariness and doubt, over analysis leading to procrastination, and difficulty with the Performer’s “unquestioning” go-ahead energy.
  • What to Appreciate in Performers. Optimism, caring through doing, sustained focus on goals, positive go-ahead energy, and support for achievements.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Practice trusting in plausible positive actions. Be clear about own position and feelings. Pay attention to and express positives. Reduce tendency to either defer or challenge.

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Type 3, the Performer, and Type 7, the Epicure

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

Performers and Epicures often support and encourage each other’s projects and activities. Since both types avoid painful feelings and negatives, difficulties can reach crisis proportions before they are faced. A cycle of increasing conflict can arise when the fun-loving Epicure diverts from “drudge work” that the Performer feels must be done. When the Performer confronts the Epicure’s “escapism” and the Epicure counter-confronts the Performer for taking the fun out of life, the conflict can further escalate. Neither wants to be the “bad guy” or a failure. This cycle of blame creates pain and anger in both. If the difficulties are not faced, alienation can take place and the relationship can dissolve.

Relationship Development for Performers with Epicures

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Shared difficulty with the Epicure in dealing with painful feelings and negatives, dependence on recognition for successes, need to maintain a good image, “workaholic” tendency, and the preoccupation on goals.
  • What to Appreciate in Epicures. Shared optimism and go-getter energy, mental quickness and inventiveness, positive possibility orientation, flexibility, and the playful adventuresome spirit.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Allow in painful feelings and seeming negatives and encouraging the Epicure to do likewise. Practice slowing the fast pace and allow in receptive force. Develop patience by noticing the tendency toward impatience and releasing from it.

Relationship Development for Epicures with Performers

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Shared difficulty with Performers in dealing with painful feelings and negatives, desire for life to be fun and unlimited, avoidance of “drudge work”, changeability, knack of making excuses that seem like good reasons at the time.
  • What to Appreciate in Performers. Positive active energy, accomplishment and solution orientation, disciplined goal focus, practicality, and caring through doing.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Allow in painful feelings and seeming negatives, encourage the Performer to do likewise. Accept limitation and “drudge work.” Practice slowing the fast pace and allow in receptive force. Come more into the present moment and away from future planning.

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3-8_77pxwType 3, the Performer, and Type 8, the Protector

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

Performers and Protectors can join together in pursuit of shared goals with vigor and determination. However, control and competition struggles can emerge unbuffered by softer feelings. The Performer may then alter and shift directions to avoid the Protector’s demands, attempts at confrontation, and expressions of anger, which may further anger the truth-seeking Protector. A cycle of escalating conflict can ensue with the Protector picking up on the changes of position on the part of the shape-shifting Performer, leading to more provocation of the all-or-nothing style of confrontation. Hurtful fights, withdrawal, and disruption of the relationship may ensue leading to termination the relationship.

Relationship Development for Performers with Protectors

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Need to compete and win, altering to “look good,” difficulty expressing anger and a range of feelings, and impatience in response to obstacles to goals.
  • What to Appreciate in Protectors. Strait-forwardness, big life energy, support for goals, action orientation, courage of convictions, and strength of purpose.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Welcome negative feedback and challenge. Work on directness. Pay attention to own true feelings. Encourage the Protector to express his or her softer more vulnerable side. Practice slowing the fast pace and allow in receptive force.

Relationship Development for Protectors with Performers

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Disdain for image and for altering to “look good,” all-or-nothing approach to life, habit of confronting, over impactfulness, and going from impulse to action.
  • What to Appreciate in Performers. Go-ahead energy, goal-directedness, achievement orientation, flexibility, enthusiasm, and caring through doing.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Soften confrontive actions. Moderate all-or-nothing style. Recognize Performer for positive contributions and encourage the expression of true feelings. Allow in own softer feelings and receptive force.

 


3-9_77pxwType 3, the Performer, and Type 9, the Mediator

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

Mediators naturally support Performers’ goals and accomplishment agenda. In turn, Performers help to mobilize Mediators into action. This can proceed harmoniously when the Performers pay attention to Mediators’ needs and neglected priorities and when Mediators encourage Performers to slow down and “smell the flowers.” A cycle of escalating conflict,, however, can arise when the Performer experiences the Mediator as indecisive, unfocused, and off-track. Getting frustrated and impatient, the Performer may pressure the Mediator to make decisions. Feeling discounted and controlled, the Mediator can become anxious, stubborn and resistive. This then may escalate into angry exchanges and debilitating, prolonged stand-offs that threaten or may even dissolve the relationship.

Relationship Development for Performers with Mediators

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Preoccupation with success and recognition, fast pace, inattention to feelings, self-focus, and desire to maintain a good image.
  • What to Appreciate in Mediators. Steadiness, ability to defer, adaptability, empathy, genuine support and caring, and ability to set slower pace and provide a counterbalance to active energy.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Moderate pace. Attend to Mediator’s needs and priorities. Notice and express own true feelings. Practice receptivity – really listening.

Relationship Development for Mediators with Performers

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Tendency to become stubborn and even oppositional, the diversion of attention into inessential activities, slower pace, difficulty making decisions and saying “no,” and the self-forgetting habit.
  • What to Appreciate in Performers. Ability to focus on goals and solutions both for self and other, joy in doing, can-do attitude, sense of hope, and competence.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Claim “own voice” and direction. Insist on being heard. Encourage Performer to moderate pace and listen. Concentrate on what is wanted and important, not on what is not wanted and inessential.

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Type 4, the Romantic, with Another Type 4

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

In experiencing each other’s passion for the possible, depth of feeling, uniqueness, and aesthetic qualities, Romantics definitely can over-idealize one another. Then, they may feel disappointed in each other (or themselves) and feel that something important is lacking. A push-pull can take place between them when what is absent and longed for seems better or more ideal than what is present and fulfilling. A cycle of escalating conflict can arise in, which they compete for understanding, acknowledgement, support, and attention. Moodiness, anger over disappointments, and loss of steadiness may ensue. When this push-pull cycle repeats often enough the relationship can destabilizes and dissolve.

Relationship Development for Romantics with Romantics

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Tendency toward self-preoccupation, desire to be special and unique, focusing on what is missing rather than what is present, and push-pull swings of emotion.
  • What to Appreciate in Other Romantics. Intensity, depth of feeling and reflection, idealism, the romantic and aesthetic flair, empathy for suffering, and authenticity.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Seek to understand rather than be understood. Practice staying steady and present, especially in the midst of strong emotion. Appreciate the ordinary as well as the extraordinary. Focus on what is present rather than what is missing.

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4-5_88pxwType 4, the Romantic, and Type 5, the Observer

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

Romantics’ depth of feeling and relationship focus and Observers’ thoughtful analysis and objectivity definitely can complement and balance each other. In general, however, Romantics want more and Observers want less in relationship. Romantics can experience Observers as emotionally unavailable, overly intellectual, withholding, and controlling of time and energy, while Observers can experience Romantics as too emotional, demanding, intrusive, and difficult to satisfy. A cycle of escalating conflict can occur with the Romantic becoming more demanding and self-focused and the Observer more retracted and detached from feeling. At worst, this can devolve into paralysis of action, disengagement, and ultimately alienation.

Relationship Development for Romantics with Observers

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Desire for more feeling and attention, difficulty feeling satisfied with what is present, strong emotional expression, and tendency to become self-oriented.
  • What to Appreciate in Observers. Thoughtful analysis, dispassion, steadiness, non-demandingness, good personal boundaries, and self-sufficiency.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Soften claims for depth of connection and feelings. Welcome less rather than more as desirable. Show gratitude for what is present in the relationship. Stay present in order to respect personal boundaries. Encourage Observer to stay connected and move into life.

Relationship Development for Observers with Romantics

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Tendency to detach from feelings and go into the mind, habit of over-intellectualizing, tendency to get overly protective of time and energy, and pulling away rather than engaging in interaction and fully in life.
  • What to Appreciate in Romantics. Depth of feeling, idealism, desire for authenticity and connection, deep caring, and heartfelt empathy.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Work at staying present and connected. Value and express feelings. Clarify that time for self does not mean rejection. Realize that relationships will nurture rather than drain you. Encourage the Romantic to appreciate what is present.

>> Return to the Relationships Matrix >>


4-6_88pxwType 4, the Romantic, and Type 6, the Loyal Skeptic

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

Romantics are attracted to Loyal Skeptics’ loyalty, warmth, tenacity, intellectual curiosity, and ability to deeply experience life. Loyal Skeptics appreciate the creative flair, authenticity or genuineness, and depth of heartfelt feeling of Romantics. But conflict arises when the Romantic seem insatiable in wanting what is lacking and when their feelings change dramatically. Then, the Loyal Skeptic may feel unsupported and doubt the Romantic’s intentions. Attempting both to help the Romantic out of suffering and to gain certainty, proof, and reassurance, the Loyal Skeptic either tries to “fix” the Romantic or gets controlling and accusatory. This, in turn, can generate a cycle of escalating conflict, which leads to further disappointment, hurt, and demands for attention by the Romantic accompanied by the push-pull pattern of alternatingly spurning and embracing the Loyal Skeptic, which tends to magnify or heighten his or her doubts and mistrust of the relationship. Angry outbursts, accusations, and withdrawal may be the result disrupting the relationship.

Relationship Development for Romantics with Loyal Skeptics

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Tendency toward self-centeredness, emotional changeability, contrariness, focusing on what is missing or lacking, and desire for more.
  • What to Appreciate in Loyal Skeptics. Loyalty, sensitivity, thoughtfulness, vivid imagination, sense of humor, and questioning mind.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Practice steadiness, especially regarding swings in feelings. Maintain empathy for Loyal Skeptic’s doubts and mistrust, but not agreement. Reduce own tendency to be contrary and oppositional. Affirm commitment to relationship. Pay more attention to the positives in life and encourage the Loyal Skeptic to do the same.

Relationship Development for Loyal Skeptics with Romantics

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Mistrust of big and fluctuating feelings, tendency to limit others to gain certainty, doubting love can endure hence testing the other, habit of focusing on the worst case, and desire for reassurance.
  • What to Appreciate in Romantics. Depth of feeling, idealism, commitment to authenticity, depth of understanding, curiosity, and creative disposition.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Accept shifts of feelings being aware of the tendency to magnify what could go wrong. Keep trust in relationship going. Seek to understand rather than doubt the relationship. Pay more attention to positives in life and encourage the Romantic to do the same.

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4-7_88pxwType 4, the Romantic, and Type 7, the Epicure

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts
Romantics’ depth of feeling, welcoming of sadness, and interest in the inner world definitely complements Epicures’ orientation to pleasure, optimism, and desire to keep life up. But a cycle of escalating conflict can occur when the Epicure’s upbeat stance polarizes with the Romantic’s focus on deeper feelings and what is missing. This can lead to the Romantic openly disdaining the Epicure’s avoidance of deep and distressing feelings and boundless connection and the Epicure disdaining the Romantic’s excess of feelings and tendency to become stuck. The Romantic then can push for more attention and authenticity and expresses further disappointment. The Epicure gets impatient and wants to escape seeming limitations and create a positive future, which can further polarize the relationship. The gulf between them can become larger and larger culminating in a vast sea of hurt, anger, withdrawal, and even dissolution of the relationship.

Relationship Development for Romantics with Epicures

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Tendency toward self-centeredness, preoccupation with emotional intensity and deep connection, desire for more, avoidance of the ordinary and mundane, and a focus on what is missing rather than what is present.
  • What to Appreciate in Epicures. Optimism, light-heartedness, adventurous spirit, idealism, a positive future orientation, and ability to see the positives in life.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Practice appreciating positives and the “lightness of Being.” Value the complementary position of Epicures. Work at staying present with what is experienced, both the positives and negative of life, and encouraging the Epicure to do the same. Not let strong feelings run you and rule you by centering and coming back to groundedness in the present moment.

Relationship Development for Epicures with Romantics

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Difficulty sticking with “negative” feelings and deep emotions, fear of being restricted, wanting life to just be on the upside, avoidance of the ordinary and mundane, too much in the future and not in the present moment.
  • What to Appreciate in Romantics. Depth of feeling, interest in the unique and extraordinary, passion for ultimate possibilities, the creative disposition, and empathy including pain and suffering.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Learn to explore the depth of emotion and the “dark side.” Value the complementary position of the Romantic. Work at staying present with what is experienced, both the positives and negative of life, and encouraging the Romantic to do the same. Notice going off into the future and come back to grounding in the present.

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4-8_88pxwType 4, the Romantic, and Type 8, the Protector

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

Romantics’ and Protectors’ shared strengths of intensity, expressiveness, immoderation, and conviction also can lead to conflict. Romantics may experience Protectors as overpowering, insensitive to their impact and to tender feelings, dominating with all-or-nothing declaratives, and even crude. Protectors may experience Romantics as overly dramatic and emotional, falling into inaction, self-focused, and demanding. A cycle of escalating conflict can ensue with the Romantic resisting what feels like the Protector’s domination with the Protector in turn reacting to the Romantic’s absorption in emotion, delay of action, and willfulness. Both compound this by insisting on their own points view. Polarization with entrenched fighting, intense anger, and withdrawal may follow endangering the relationship and even leading to dissolution of the relationship.

Relationship Development for Romantics with Protectors

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Emotional swings and extremes, desire to be seen as special, tendency to resist influence, focus on what is missing especially in relationship, and an easily evoked sense of deficiency, especially with powerful others.
  • What to Appreciate in Protectors. Strength, directness, forthrightness, exuberance for life, intensity, practicality, and desire to protect those they care about
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Practice sustaining action, steadying and moderating emotions. Accept and appreciate the differences in style. Focus more on what is present and positive. Recognize and encourage Protector’s vulnerability as strength, not weakness.

Relationship Development for Protectors with Romantics

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Insensitivity to and avoidance of deep feelings, impulsivity, readiness to anger, tendency to go to extremes, the “my way or the highway stance,” proneness to misperceive own impact, and getting controlling in the effort to not be controlled.
  • What to Appreciate in Romantics. Emotional sensitivity and intensity, idealism, flair and elegance, empathy (especially with suffering), interest in the inner life, and genuineness.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Allow in vulnerabilities and tender feelings. Notice and moderate big energy and impact. Accept and appreciate the differences in style. Encourage the Romantic’s steadiness of action. Develop receptivity by coming more into the present moment.

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4-9_88pxwType 4, the Romantic, and Type 9, the Mediator

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

Romantics appreciate Mediators’ attention going out to them, ability to defer to others, and desire to please. And Mediators appreciate Romantics’ creative flair, intensity, relationship orientation, and depth of feelings. But Mediators can get swept up in Romantics’ “drama.” Then when the Romantic expresses a desire for more intensity, spark, and initiative, the Mediator can feel discounted by the Romantic’s demands for more and swings in mood. From the standpoint of the more openly emotional and self-focused Romantic, the Mediator gets diverted into inessentials and doesn’t show enough pizzazz. A cycle of escalating conflict can ensue if the Mediator responds by feeling deficient and digs in, becoming stubborn and resistive. Both types can resist influence, become angry, and blame the other for their difficulties. Both can then withdraw and fall into inaction and manifest feelings of deficiency and sometimes depression. In time, this cycle can threaten or even result in termination of the relationship.

Relationship Development for Romantics with Mediators

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Tendency toward self-centeredness, desire for more, habit of devaluing the Mediator’s contribution, tendency to spurn the ordinary, and focusing on what is missing and deemed important.
  • What to Appreciate in Mediators. Steadiness, acceptance, empathy and care, willingness to do the ordinary, ability to accommodate to many claims, and unfailing support.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Work at making the Mediator special and of equal importance. Practice valuing the ordinary and appreciating what is present. Moderate intensity of feeling. Encourage the Mediator’s self-expression.

Relationship Development for Mediators with Romantics:

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Difficulty in knowing and representing own priorities, conflict avoidance, excessive desire for comfort, habit of diverting attention to inessentials and the ordinary, and tendency to become stubborn.
  • What to Appreciate in Romantics. Creative and romantic flair, depth, authenticity, value given to relationships and connection, empathy, and self-interest.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Make own priorities and self-expression of equal importance to Romantic’s. Actively speak up for what is wanted rather than what is not wanted. Accept conflict, discomfort and unevenness as inherent in life. Encourage Romantic to appreciate the ordinary and live life in the now.

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5-5_88pxwType 5, the Observer, with another Type 5

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

Observers bond through shared intellectual interests and participation in meaningful projects and activities. Their respect for boundaries, non-intrusiveness, and “live and let live” stance supports each other’s need for privacy and regeneration. Observers can relax with each other in this non-demanding climate. The same stance and qualities, however, can lead to loss of contact, emotional distance, and disconnection. Both can feel ignored and even deprived, experience each other as miserly and unavailable, and ultimately feel lonely and impoverished. A cycle of increasing conflict may result characterized by frustration, cryptic sharp comments, short angry outbursts, and finally retraction and withdrawal. In the end there may not be enough contact and nurturance to sustain the relationship.

Relationship Development for Observers with Observers

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Similarity in retracting and being emotionally disconnected, overprotection of time and energy, intellectualizing, and difficulty staying present and available in the flow of life energy.
  • What to Appreciate in Other Observers. Self-reliance, dispassion and objectivity, thoughtful analysis, “live and let live” stance, respect for boundaries, and availability for projects and contact on a time-managed basis.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Move forward into contact and feelings. Practice self-disclosure and sharing. Take initiatives and reach out while continuing to respect each other’s boundaries. Realize that you will be nurtured by each other, not drained of energy.

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5-6_88pxwType 5, the Observer, and Type 6, the Loyal Skeptic

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

Observers and Loyal Skeptics appreciate their shared characteristics of thoughtful intellectual analysis, respect for boundaries, sensitivity, and non-demandingness. Still when the Observer doesn’t share feelings and guards his or her need for privacy by retracing or disengaging, the Loyal Skeptic can project doubts and concerns about care and trust and become intrusive and questioning out of a need for more reassurance and involvement. A cycle of escalating conflict can result with the Observer experiencing the Loyal Skeptic as making too many demands. So in response, the Observer most likely will retract and detach, further eroding the Loyal Skeptic’s trust. This cycle can spiral downward disrupting the relationship as the Loyal Skeptic expresses intensified fears and allegations and the Observer responds with bursts of anger and further retreat, eventually ending the relationship.

Relationship Development for Observers with Loyal Skeptics

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Retraction and detachment under stress, difficulty providing reassurances, withdrawing from emotion, shared underlying mistrust of others’ intentions and nurturance.
  • What to Appreciate in Loyal Skeptics. Warmth, loyalty, general respect for boundaries, willingness to initiate, and shared intellectual approach.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Work at openness and disclosure. Reassure the Loyal Skeptic that you care and are affected. Notice the tendency to withdraw and work at staying engaged. Work on grounded presence in order to open the heart realizing you will be nurtured not drained of energy.

Relationship Development for Loyal Skeptics with Observers

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Doubting mind, difficulty trusting, tendency to magnify negatives, desire for reassurance, and wanting too much proof.
  • What to Appreciate in Observers. Objectivity, thoughtful analysis, calmness in a crisis, respect for boundaries, steadiness over time, and “live and let live” stance.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Welcome uncertainty and not knowing. Develop own inner authority. Work at openness and disclosure. Respect and trust in Observer’s need for private time and space. Focus more on the positives and encourage the Observer to do likewise. Work on grounded presence in order to open the heart.

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Type 5, the Observer, and Type 7, the Epicure

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

Observers appreciate Epicures’ positive outgoing quality, many ideas, and engagement in common or separate interests. Epicures enjoy Observer’ thoughtfulness, unobtrusiveness, and independence. A cycle of escalating conflict can take place, however, when the Observer experiences the Epicure as violating personal boundaries and as wanting too much contact, sociability, variety, and energy. The Epicure then can experience the Observer as dampening his or her enthusiasm, retracting, and becoming unavailable. Although both types get angry in bursts, they tend to back off to avoid “negative” or painful feelings and limitations. As a result, over time there may not be enough contact or commitment to sustain the relationship.

Relationship Development for Observers with Epicures:

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Difficulty sustaining contact, tendency to criticize what is viewed as excessive claims upon their time, becoming retracted and withdrawn, desire for less rather than more, and sense of scarcity.
  • What to Appreciate in Epicures. Optimism, many ideas, idealism, sense of abundance, pleasure-loving quality, engagement in life, and independence.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Take initiatives and become more outgoing. Practice staying grounded, engaged, and present. Reduce tendency to over-analyze, detach from feelings, and just leading a parallel life. Practice expanding and encourage the Epicure to practice restraint.

Relationship Development for Epicures with Observers

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Impatience, tendency to become wrapped up in own interests, wanting more stimulation to keep life up, getting overbooked and resisting limits, difficulty staying steady in the present, and fleeing from painful feelings by going into future plans.
  • What to Appreciate in Observers. Thoughtful analysis, predictability and reliability, non-demandingness, respect for boundaries, ability to concentrate on one thing at a time, and keeper of confidences.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Become more grounded in the present. Settle the mind and develop more focused concentration. Practice restraint and encourage the Observer to expand. Reduce tendency to lead a parallel life. Focus more attention on the Observer’s life especially since the Observer doesn’t intrude on others.

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Type 5, the Observer, and Type 8, the Protector

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

Observers’ restraint, reserve, and respect for boundaries and Protectors’ expansiveness, expressiveness, and engagement complement each other. In addition, both types value autonomy and independence. For the Observer, however, the Protector’s big energy can get invasive, intimidating, even overwhelming, causing the Observer to draw back and detach in order to resist the Protector’s influence and seeming domination. A cycle of escalating conflict can ensue with the Observer’s withdrawal, disappearing into unavailability, and refusing to be overwhelmed while the Protector gets more confrontational, aggressive, and angry. Both may end up angry, hurt and detached from each other. This cycle can ultimately threaten the viability of the relationship.

Relationship Development for Observers with Protectors

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Tendency to retract and go inward, minimization of needs, withholding and guarding energy, and over concern with violation of boundaries.
  • What to Appreciate in Protectors. The complementary big and supportive wellspring of energy, expressiveness, directness, love of life, spontaneity, and assertiveness.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Work at coming forward and holding ground. Express reactions and feelings directly. Set limits without withdrawing. Encourage Protector to allow in more receptive force in order to express softer, receptive side.

Relationship Development for Protectors with Observers

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Unrestrained exuberant energy, insensitivity to boundaries, intrusiveness, avoidance of tender feelings, underestimation of own impact.
  • What to Appreciate in Observers. Ability to engage in thoughtful analysis before taking action, non-demandingness, dispassion, and complementary tendency of moderation and restraint.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Notice impact and moderate expression of energy. Give Observer space and private time. Practice thinking before acting. Encourage the Observer to express feelings an stay engaged. Practice receptivity – really listening.

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Type 5, the Observer, and Type 9, the Mediator

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

The Observers-Mediators relationship can be a comfortable, supportive one because both types can be steady and non-demanding, and both types want to get along and avoid conflict. Yet the Observer can get impatient with the Mediator’s lack of clarity, indirectness, merging quality, and seeming dependency. In turn, the Observer’s dispassion, aloofness, and seeming indifference and superiority can upset the Mediator. A cycle of increasing conflict can unfold with the Mediator, wanting more connection and involvement, complaining, and getting stubborn or dug in and the Observer retracting further and withholding. Both can escalate the conflict by trying to avoid conflict. And both can fall into angry withdrawal and inaction. Ultimately, this may result in not enough contact to sustain the relationship.

Relationship Development for Observers with Mediators

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Tendency to go into the mind and avoid feelings, habit of falling into silence, tendency to intellectualize and distance self from others, and desire to avoid merging with partner.
  • What to Appreciate in Mediators. Kindness and support, non-demanding presence, adaptability, steadiness, empathy, and “go along to get along” stance.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Practice sustaining contact and commitment. Take the initiative and encourage Mediator to do likewise. Work at staying present to the Mediator’s priorities and needs. Allow softening of personal boundaries and encourage the Mediator to develop firmer personal boundaries.

Relationship Development for Mediators with Observers

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Difficulty expressing self, tendency to merge into others’ agendas, anger underneath a calm exterior, avoiding conflict, and reliance on others for initiating action.
  • What to Appreciate in Observers. Clarity, intellect, non-demanding “live and let live” stance, steadiness, good boundaries, and support for independence.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Develop one’s own priorities and independent self. Speak up for what you want, not complain about what you don’t want. Take initiative and encourage Observer to do likewise. Urge the Observer to stay connected. Firm up personal boundaries and encourage the Observer to soften personal boundaries.

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Type 6, the Loyal Skeptic, with Another Type 6

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

Loyal Skeptics often have doubts and concerns about what they see as a hazardous, unpredictable world they can’t quite trust. Hence, they often are uniquely suited to support and protect each other because they share this worldview. Conflict arises, however, around differing doubts, fears, and concerns. When it occurs each Loyal Skeptic can become contrary, oppositional, and mistrusting of the other. If this escalates into a cycle of increasing conflict, difficulties can get magnified, resulting in angry allegations. The relationship can polarize around these differences with neither feeling supported or understood and both magnifying the other’s power or authority. While the more counterphobic Loyal Skeptic becomes more challenging and confrontive, the more phobic Loyal Skeptic becomes more withdrawing. This ultimately can disrupt and even end the relationship if neither takes responsibility for what they are projecting onto the other.

Relationship Development for Loyal Skeptics with Loyal Skeptics

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Tendency to magnify hazards and negatives into worst case scenarios, habit of projecting fears, tendency to doubt, mistrust and then blame others for difficulties, and excessive desire for proof and certainty
  • What to Appreciate in Other Loyal Skeptics. Loyalty, perseverance, warmth, sensitivity, vivid imagination, inquiring mind, coping skills, and commitment to social causes (especially under-dog causes)
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Become a good reality check for each other. Work on experiencing and acknowledging positives and pleasures. Watch for both collusion and polarization with each other. Practice trusting more in self and others. Work at becoming more centered and grounded in the body center and developing receptive force.

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6-7_88pxwType 6, the Loyal Skeptic, and Type 7, the Epicure

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

When Loyal Skeptics’ “negative” read and Epicures’ “positive” read on events balance each other out, Loyal Skeptics enjoy Epicures’ optimism and pleasure orientation, and Epicures enjoy the wit and restraint offered by Loyal Skeptics. A cycle of increasing conflict can ensue, however, when the Loyal Skeptic attempts to counteract the Epicure’s seeming excessive optimism and think that his or her “legitimate” concerns are being dismissed. The Epicure may become impatient with what seems like the Loyal Skeptic’s “irrational” negativity, mistrust, and limit setting. Then the Loyal Skeptic often believes that the Epicure just can’t be counted upon. This leads to the Loyal Skeptic’s mistrust escalating, which results in further attempts to set limits. The Epicure, who deplores limits, then tries to escape, providing rationalizations for his or her point of view. Finally, polarization and episodes of angry allegations can disrupt and even dissolve the relationship.

Relationship Development for Loyal Skeptics with Epicures

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Tendency to doubt others and magnify hazards, procrastination (in the more Phobic Loyal Skeptics), desire for too much certainty or security, and tendency to want firm limits.
  • What to Appreciate in Epicures. Optimism, playfulness, inventiveness, good ideas, enthusiasm, future orientation, and ability to focus on pleasureful possibilities.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Become more assertive regarding own needs and being heard. Bring more positive thinking and pleasures into the relationship. Build more trust in self and the relationship. Encourage the Epicure to come into the present moment, listen, and exercise self-restraint. Develop more receptive force and encourage the Epicure to do likewise.

Relationship Development for Epicures with loyal Skeptics

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Excessive optimism, avoiding painful emotions, changeability, tendency to feel superior, resistance to control and limit setting, asserting mainly own point of view.
  • What to Appreciate in Loyal Skeptics. Healthy skepticism, the inquiring mind, loyalty, warmth, sensitivity, ability to see what can go wrong, and caution (in the more phobic Loyal Skeptics).
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Notice and moderate excessive optimism and the avoidance of painful emotions that goes with this. Take Loyal Skeptics concerns seriously. Work on accepting limits and facing “negative” situations. Stick with agreements. Practice really listening to concerns. Develop more receptive force and encourage the Loyal Skeptic to do likewise.

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6-8_88pxwType 6, the Loyal Skeptic, and Type 8, the Protector

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

Loyal Skeptics and Protectors often join together in supporting each other’s causes and actions with Protectors encouraging Loyal Skeptics to take action. A cycle of increasing conflict occurs when the Protector gets impatient with the Skeptic’s fears, doubts, and contrariness and tests for the “bottom line.” Then the Loyal Skeptic may feel pushed and intimidated by the Protector’s aggression, which they often unwittingly magnify. Furthermore, the Protector’s “all or nothing” position can disturb the Loyal Skeptic. Angry confrontations may occur, causing either one to withdraw. Confrontation can also result in hurt acquiescence on the more phobic Loyal Skeptic’s part. Ultimately, the cycle of confrontation and counter-confrontation or withdrawal can lead to alienation and a lasting disruption of the relationship.

Relationship Development for Loyal Skeptics with Protectors

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Questioning mind, tendency to either defy or defer to authority, difficulty in trusting self and others, and for the more phobic Loyal Skeptic fearfulness and difficulty holding ground when confronted.
  • What to Appreciate in Protectors. Strength, indomitable energy, directness, protectiveness, commitment to the truth, generosity, commanding presence, and intensity.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Develop assertiveness and the ability to express yourself directly (especially more phobic Loyal Skeptics). Ground self and move ahead with positive action despite fears and concerns. Be and act as own authority. Build trust in self and the relationship. Encourage the Protector to slow done and really listen.

Relationship Development for Protectors with loyal Skeptics

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Tendency to challenge the Loyal Skeptic’s fears and doubts, becoming overprotective, habit of inadvertently intimidating with big energy and all-or-nothing style, not really listening to others’ views and truths, and minimization of dangers and vulnerabilities.
  • What to Appreciate in Loyal Skeptics. Healthy caution, analytical skills, skepticism, ability to set limits, loyalty, sensitivity, courage, and especially in the more counter-phobic Loyal Skeptic their risk taking and adventuresome quality.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Moderate confrontive and overly impactful behaviors that may produce a fear response in others. Allow and express own concerns and vulnerabilities realizing that vulnerability is a strength. Encourage the Loyal Skeptic’s assertiveness and trust. Practice receptivity – really listening.

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6-9_88pxwType 6, the Loyal Skeptic, and Type 9, the Mediator

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

Loyal Skeptics and Mediators often harmonize through their efforts to create a predictable, supportive, and secure relationship. Both tend to go along to get along, but the Loyal Skeptic can experience the Mediator’s distractibility and passiveness as a lack of caring or an inability to see potential hazards. A cycle of increasing conflict may ensue with the Mediator, experiencing the Loyal Skeptic’s anxiety and worry as excessive and reproachful and then may try to convince the Loyal Skeptic that the concerns are irrational. The Mediator may dig in, getting stubborn and oppositional, and not do what he or she seemingly agreed upon especially when the Loyal Skeptic becomes provocative and even questioning to the point of becoming bitingly critical. This can end in stalemates, angry blaming, and withdrawal that threaten the viability of the relationship.

Relationship Development for Loyal Skeptics with Mediators

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Disbelieve and doubt love, response pattern of getting provocative and question other’s motives, tendency to go into avoidance (phobic style) or confront (counter-phobic style) fears and concerns, and excessive or inappropriate desire for certainty.
  • What to Appreciate in Mediators. Acceptance, genuine support, kindness and caring, steadiness and stability, comfortableness, reliability, and adaptability.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Become more accepting of the Mediator’s slower pace and indecision. Notice mistrust; then work on trust in self and others. Express appreciation. Encourage Mediator to set priorities and face discomforts. Release from controlling based upon the concern with gaining certainty.

Relationship Development for Mediators with Loyal Skeptics

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Focus on others as cause of difficulties, complaining as substitute for standing up for what is important, the stubbornness of submerged anger, tendency to be overly compliant, and habit of getting diverted into inessentials.
  • What to Appreciate in Loyal Skeptics. Loyalty, courage, warmth, thoughtful analysis, alertness to hazards, concern for safety, sensitivity, and wit.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Take personal responsibility for difficulties. Speak up about priorities, what you want rather than what you don’t want, and what is going on inside. Take the initiative and follow through. Provide the Loyal Skeptic with reassurances and your own truth.

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Type 7, the Epicure with Another Type 7

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

Epicures enjoy each other, matching one another well as free spirited companions and visionaries. They also may avoid or rationalize away difficulties. Eventually they both may feel that their claims are unheeded, their connection missing, and their pain unacknowledged. A cycle of increasing conflict may take place with claims and criticism being expressed about unfulfilled ideals and plans, self-centeredness, and a lack of time for feelings and serious matters. Blame may result characterized by angry outburst and withdrawal that can lead to one or the other escaping the distress by leaving the relationship.

Relationship Development for Epicures with Epicures

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Avoidance of the “dark side” of pain and suffering, tendency to go into mainly positives, the self-centered tendency, difficulty accepting limitation, and not really listening to others.
  • What to Appreciate in Other Epicures. Vision of an idealized world, inventiveness, optimism, resilience, flexibility, free-spirit stance, active energy, ability to see positive possibilities even during difficult times, and love of life.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Practice self-discipline. Help each other stay with painful emotions and situations. Work on keeping assurances and accepting limitations. Pay equal attention to others’ needs and desires as to own. Practice grounding self in the present moment – really listening to each other.

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Type 7, the Epicure, and Type 8, the Protector

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

Epicures and Protectors join together in pleasureful pursuits and activities as well as in social causes and innovative ideas. They readily express their opinions and ideas and not wanting to be controlled generally want to be their own authority. A cycle of increasing conflict may ensue with the Protector, getting upset and confrontive when experiencing that the Epicure is avoiding painful and difficult situations and making “excuses.” Then the Epicure, feeling limited by the Protector’s imposition of his or her “truth” and present time orientation resists “domination” and control and tries to get the Protector to see the “light,” which the Protector sees as resorting to increasing levels of rationalization, unreliability, and even self-serving negligence on the part of the Epicure. This pattern can devolve further into angry fighting, flight on the part of the Epicure, and disdain on the part of the Protector, which may disrupt and even end the relationship.

Relationship Development for Epicures with Protectors

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Tendency to rationalize and try to avoid painful situations, aversion of limitations and confrontation, sensitivity about being controlled, and tendency to be excessive in pursuing what is wanted and pleasureful.
  • What to Appreciate in Protectors. Sense of justice, self-assertion and sense of purpose, persistence, intensity, directness, genuine friendliness, love of life, and generosity.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Work at keeping all agreements. Acknowledge and reduce preoccupation with pleasures and future planning. Stay present when the Protector gets confrontational. Moderate excess (especially in light of the Protector’s similar tendency to seek excess). Develop receptivity by coming more into the present moment.

Relationship Development for Protectors with Epicures

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Aggressiveness and tendency to confront others, desire for control and dislike of control, impatience with whatever seems like excuses, the “my way or the highway” approach to life, and tendency to be excessive.
  • What to Appreciate in Epicures. Inventiveness, optimism, love of life, playfulness, independence, resilience, and ability to see alternatives and possibilities.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Moderate excess (especially in light of Epicures’ similar tendency). Put limits on self. Work on accepting differences. Allow in vulnerability and softer feelings. Practice receptivity – really listening and encourage Epicure to do likewise.

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Type 7, the Epicure, and Type 9, the Mediator

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

Epicures and Mediators complement each other in their relationship. Epicures provide the agenda, take the initiative, and pursue multiple interests, and Mediators go along with the Epicures’ agenda, amiably supporting the Epicure’s diverse activities. In addition, both types like keeping life pleasant and free of conflict. Nevertheless, a cycle of increasing conflict may arise when the slower-paced Mediator feels run over by the Epicure’s plans or overlooked as a person. The Epicure, in turn, experiences the Mediator as indecisive and distracted by little things. If the Epicure pushes for more action, attention, and interest, the Mediator can get stubborn and oppositional. Since both types are conflict-avoidant, gradual disengagement and withdrawal can take place interrupted periodically by angry outbursts associated with unaddressed conflict. Ultimately, there may not be enough connection to sustain the relationship.

Relationship Development for Epicures with Mediators

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Insatiability of interests and ideas, tendency to overrun others with their plans and desires, excessive future orientation, fast pace, conflict and feeling avoidance, and self-centeredness.
  • What to Appreciate in Mediators. Patience, adaptability, amiability, open mind, understanding of others’ points of view, steadiness, support, caring, and receptivity.

 

  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Work at staying more grounded and present. Make the Mediator equally important as self. Make choices. Face conflict and discomfort (especially in light of Mediator’s similar tendency). Moderate fast pace to better match the Mediator’s pace.

Relationship Development for Mediators with Epicures

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Difficulty making self important, tendency to go along and then resist the other (related to difficulty saying no), passivity, desire for comfort, avoidance of conflict, and difficulty taking the initiative and difficulty saying no.
  • What to Appreciate in Epicures. Mental quickness, good ideas, positive attitude, love of pleasure and adventure, healthy self-interest, and idealism.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Work on representing self and own importance. Take the initiative and set boundaries. Encourage the Epicure to take you into account. Face conflict and discomfort (especially in light of Epicure’s similar tendency). Work as better matching the Epicure’s fast pace.

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Type 8, the Protector, with another Type 8

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

In their relationship, Protectors join together in friendship, open expressions of energy and desire, direct and honest communication, and mutual support of each other’s goals. A cycle of increasing conflict can occur when each Protector’s all-or-nothing style of expression creates a competitive and combative situation. A power struggle over whose “truth” will prevail can then ensue. Since Protectors have little internal counterforce to their tendency to engage in direct expression, this battle of wills can escalate and polarize into control struggles, angry hurtful encounters, alienation (cutting each other off), and eventually withdrawal, all of which can damage and even destroy the relationship.

Relationship Development for Protectors with Protectors

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Issues around power and control, denial of vulnerabilities often mistaken as weaknesses, tendency toward excess, tendency to misperceive and minimize own impactfulness, confrontational style, and confusing own truth with objective truth.
  • What to Appreciate in Other Protectors. Robust expressive energy, loyal friendship, heartfelt support, protectiveness, directness, persistence, and courage
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Moderate the expression of energy and practice self-restraint. Realize vulnerabilities, concerns, and needs are strengths and encouraging the other Protector to do likewise. Relinquish possessiveness and control. Appreciate the other Protector’s truth. Practice receptivity – really listening.

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Type 8, the Protector, and Type 9, the Mediator

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

In this relationship, Protectors will typically lead the way and Mediators will go along with Protectors’ agendas. Mediators promote harmony by following Protectors’ lead and sharing in the Protectors’ activities. However, the Protector’s exuberant energy and associated excessive behavior can evoke resistance in the Mediator who may experience the Protector as being too pushy or too demanding. A cycle of increasing conflict may occur when the Mediator, feeling intimidated, pressured, and discounted, digs in and gets oppositional and stubborn. Thus, the Protector’s efforts to mobilize the Mediator can be experienced by the Mediator as overbearing and confrontational. A cycle of “attack” and resistance, hurt feelings, and withdrawal can ensue. This pattern may ultimately lead to alienation.

Relationship Development for Protectors with Mediators

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Over exuberance leading to aggressiveness, insensitivity regarding impact, tendency to devalue compromise and compliance, seeing only own truth, and impulsiveness.
  • What to Appreciate in Mediators. Steadiness and patience, adaptability, genuine desire to please, caring nature, ability to harmonize and blend in, and facility in seeing all sides of an issue.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Practice both patience with and deferring to Mediator. Notice and moderate impact. Respect boundaries and provide space for the Mediator. Encourage the Mediator’s self-expression. Practice receptivity – really listening in order to reduce impulsiveness and really hear the Mediator. Create balance with the other two centers of intelligence – the heart and head – and encourage the Mediator to do likewise.

Relationship Development for Mediators with Protectors

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Discomfort with confrontation, difficulty asserting self, ambivalence regarding the Protector’s leadership, tendency to be overly accommodating, and propensity to stubbornly dig into a position rather than confront it.
  • What to Appreciate in Protectors. Power, zestful exuberant energy, directness and decisiveness, action orientation, support, friendship, indomitable spirit, and underlying vulnerability.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Work on assertiveness, setting personal boundaries, and stating own truth. Notice discomfort and practice facing it. Hold ground and sustain own energy. Value self equally to Protector, not more or less. Encourage the Protector to express vulnerabilities and softer side. Create balance with the other two centers of intelligence – the heart and head – and encourage the Protector to do likewise.

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Type 9, the Mediator with another Type 9

Synergies and Challenges | Key Conflicts

Mediators have the potential for a comfortable, mutually supportive, and caring relationship with each other, but their mutual desire for harmony may lead to an unhealthy avoidance of conflict and a deadening of the relationship. In addition, their mutual tendency to defer to others and avoid focusing on their own priorities can lead to procrastination and indecision. These patterns can then lead to complaining, subtle blaming, and passive resistance. One or both Mediators may try to get the other to initiate with “what do you want” type of statements. With neither being comfortable with taking the lead in the relationship, they may have a difficult time finding a direction and moving forward in order to deal with the accompanying distress. A cycle of increasing conflict can ensue as neither one tends to view himself or herself as causing the distress. So both may gradually find substitute interests aside from the relationship. Ultimately the relationship can fall apart when both individuals not feeling fulfilled withdraw in anger. There just may not be enough shared energy left to sustain the relationship.

Relationship Development for Mediators with Mediators

  • What to Acknowledge about Self. Habit of deferring to the other, indecisiveness, passive resistance, difficulty knowing own priorities, tendency to avoid conflict, desire for too much comfort, and tendency to engage in subtle blaming by complaining.
  • What to Appreciate in Other Mediators. Patience, responsiveness, steadiness, accepting attitude, desire to please, ability to communicate genuine empathy, caring nature, and ability to blend in and to go along.
  • Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Work on decisiveness, viewing one’s self as being and cause, and then taking the initiative. Encourage each other in setting priorities, establishing boundaries, and paying attention to own needs and desires. Recognize tendency to blame the other Mediator for what isn’t working or fulfilling (based on seeing the other as the cause of the difficulty). Notice own tendency to dig into a position and use this to express self.

>> Return to the Relationships Matrix >>


3 Responses to “The Enneagram Types
in Relationship”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank you…

  2. David, this is gratifying work you are sharing with us, so insightful and poignant. You have cracked us open to grow beyond what we could imagine.
    Thank you, Petra 9

  3. Thank you. I have been waiting a long time for this. Very helpful.

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