Ask David…
His Responses Archived

Whether it’s a relationships issue you may be faced with today or the inability to overcome painful grief, David’s most likely encountered something close to what you’re experiencing across his 35+ year career as a doctor, therapist, and Enneagram teacher-trainer and researcher. No question is too small and insignifcant or too big to tackle!

Your question and David’s responses are ready to be shared on this page as a form of inspiration, support, and hope to many. Thanks in advance for contributing!


If you have questions about…

… Determining Your Enneagram Type

Take the scientifically validated Enneagram test online or through the paper-back book version found in Dr. David Daniels’ The Essential Enneagram.

To find out more about these and other typing methods, click here.

… Fostering Fulfilling and Loving Relationships through the Enneagram and Between Different Personality Types

Check out Dr. David Daniel’s books The Enneagram, Relationships and Intimacy: Understanding one Another Leads to Loving Better and Living More Fully, co-written with Suzanne Dion, and The Enneagram Types Relationship Matrix.


68 Responses to “Ask David…
His Responses Archived”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Dear Dr David,

    Hi. Thank you for the information you shared on the net about OCD, which I’ve found them lately from other websites. To try to sign-up here for your weekly messages, I wonder what to choose about my Enneagram type, as I’m not sure about it, if it’s 3, 6, or 8!

    How can I know?

    Best regards,

    • Hi Farzaneh, You could go to the section on lookalikes in my Essential Enneagram book. And/or you could simply pick one of these three types and try it on and see how it works. Let me know. Warmest regards, David

  2. Anonymous says:

    Dear David,


    I am currently conducting my thesis entitled “Professional Competency, Psycho-emotional Stability and Performance of School Administrators.” In line to this, I would like to use your emotional stability test as my research instrument in assessing the emotional stability of my respondents. I am hoping for a positive response regarding this matter.

    Thank you and More power.

  3. Anonymous says:

    i’m actually a Type 7 and I like someone ( Type 3 ), i think he likes me too, but the problem is that I’m not sure if he recognized I like him (as i haven’t told him or shown that to him ?); he is a workaholic and I don’t know what to do, or if I can do something…

    • Hi Type Seven Anonymous, Well when Sevens care too much they often want to avoid disappointment and in this instance rejection. You need to move forward and risk rejection or simply disinterest from this Type 3. Remember nothing ventured nothing gained. Remember both joy sonf sadness come with life. Dotage the risk. Warmest regards, David

  4. Anonymous says:

    Dear David,
    Tonight I came up with the answer to the question that has stymied so many Enneagram teachers for years. Simply have her or him take a copy of Helen Palmer’s book, “The Pocket Enneagram” and have her or him read the worldview about her/himself.

    Your student and friend,
    David W. Baldwin

  5. Hi David,
    I’m a 4w5 sex/sp/soc. I was wondering if you had any tips for how I can jumpstart my creativity in a healthy way? It seems like most of my creative endeavors are either short-lived or I just end up longing for the creative spark without just settling in and doing it.

    Also, as a sexual type, do you have any suggestions got how I can integrate my blind spot (the social?)

    ‘I’m currently going through a divorce from a 6w5, and have a 13 yr old daughter (3).


  6. Hello!
    I am an Enneagram 5w4 and I sometimes am pretty depressed. I don’t understand why I like to live alone most of the times? But I also sometimes crave to talk to people and there is this internal battle I always fight against. It’s like sometimes I want to be alone and other times I want to be with people and when I want to connect with people it’s like they never understand me; I find myself so different from other people. It’s like their thoughts and thinking doesn’t match at all with mine. I am very introverted and I don’t know why I feel so sad when I give my full attention and love to a loved one, but they don’t reciprocate. I always want to learn new things about science but I am also interested in the arts, like, I write and paint and take photos. I don’t understand why I have so many interests. It’s like sometimes, I feel my head is gonna explode as hundreds of thoughts are coming in my head. And I am pretty sensitive and feel very deeply and am very emotional.

    So, I wanna know what should I do to calm myself and to think clearly; can you please give me some suggestions so that I can function better and make my head clear? Thank you?

    • Hi, The most fundamental task for a Type 5 is to notice how desire for relationship, creative work, or whatever, gets opposed by the retraction energy. Type 5s learned early to protect their sensitivity by pulling back. Oftentimes, even desire is opposed, which can lead to energy exhaustion. Notice the pull back is venerably, often in the chest when there’s desire, and do your best to breathe back down and get grounded. Then let yourself move forward into life and the joy of connection, whether in relationship or creative activity. You need to realize that most of this retractive energy is just habitual and not necessarily useful protection. Also, allow yourself to move to your connection to Type 7.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I am a type 6. I was a volunteer subject along with my wife (type 4) at your workshop this spring (2015) at Paradise Valley UM Church. “You are magnifying” was one of your comments as you observed my interaction with my wife (Kathy). I am realizing that alone, I cannot perceive the breadth and depth of what feels like my native reactions to my partner. I have had much psychotherapy and couples counseling over the years. My marriage is under threat. This is connected with my no longer being able to be sexually at ease with my historically unsettling partner/wife of 28 years.

    I would like you to recommend an Enneagram-oriented therapist in the greater Phoenix area who has expertise with type 6. I am probably a social 6, altho sexual thoughts are often plentiful. I am not a counter-type either. Except for summers with my aunt’s family, I was under seemingly total control by my mother until my late teens.

    • Hi Type Six, For a referral Go to the Arizona Enneagram Association. There is a comprehensive list of teachers and therapists. I suggest you contact Renee Siegel by email | Contact Renee by phone at 480 991 9818 She can help you find an experienced therapist and I regard her highly. Warm regards, David

  8. Anonymous says:

    Dear David,

    I am a closeted four.

    I don’t bleed emotion in public.

    I pretend not to feel because I was abused by my parents for emoting. I was quite repressed after so many years of being mocked for my sensitivity.

    Alone I weep. I have storms, I dig my fingers in my bruises to drain any pain remaining in memories, to purge any venom, I hide and I have spent my entire life just holding it all in until I could find a cool, dark place to unleash.

    I reach out to others suffering because I understand even when I do not share how deeply I feel. I loathe my empathy, sensitivity and fragility. Others energy is overwhelming and I drown in it and have to find a dark place to recharge.

    Should I tell my typology consumed friends or just keep it between my partner who originally pointed out after living together that I was lying to myself about my core?

    It rocked my world because I was so in denial to myself.

    I really do not think they are capable of seeing beyond themselves and would rather just paint me by number than truly know me.

    Its not fun to talk to people who memorize everything you say and put you in a box. Never allowing you out of that box. I don’t think that is a true friendship. I don’t put them in boxes. I listen, love, show mercy, try to dispel their shame and hold them.

    Thank you,

    • David Daniels says:

      Response from David
      Hi, First remember we are human beings that just happen to have a pattern which is an adaptive strategy to have a satisfying life. Sometimes our strategy just isn’t working. Yours has a lot to do with the way your parents treated feelings. And remember the ancient saying that which is resisted persists. Resisting your feelings contributes to their persisting. Moreover feelings while always real are not necessarily valid. Feelings are part of heart intelligence and when we resist them we go away from our own heart. You need to come back to your own heart in kindness as you are to others as you already “listen, love, show mercy” to them. But first you need to a practice breathing down and in to ground and center and observe yourself. Remember the breath is neutral and always there 16,000 or more times a day. It may take you some time to get yourself really grounded. Practice then kindness and compassion to yourself. Use the shame you feel to remind yourself it is just old habit attached to the shame you felt with your parents. Lastly, friends mistakenly may put you in a box trying to help you and it leaves you feeling even more deficient. Fours remember are the ultimate idealists which is wonderful so long as it doesn’t own you and in the process make you feel deficient. Please let me hear from you. Warmest regards, David

      • Anonymous says:

        What I am noticing is that I am constantly putting myself down in very subtle ways. Example: “You are so good in handling projects; I could never do that!” “You are so good with speaking up; I am just not good at that.” I think that I am complimenting someone, but, I am noticing that I am constantly putting myself down in the process. This has been my life-long process. Why do I constantly do that?

        • HI, Well you are already half way there in noticing your pattern with great awareness. Now you simply need to love and appreciate yourself equal to all others. So Pause when you notice your degrading yourself and release into appreciate you. Warm regards, David

  9. Anonymous says:

    Dear David,

    I am a sexual Type 8, and the healthier I get, the lower my libido seems to get. I still equate sex with intensity and the more compassionate and gentler I get, the harder it is to muster sexual interest. My partner is a self-pres Type 2. Her idea of a romantic evening of being together (with the dogs) and talking about our lives makes her want to be close and intimate, but it touches the warm gentle part of me and I have little desire to initiate sex after a night of talking about non-intense things and a bit of cuddling. And there’s no way she’ll initiate it after the cuddling, so I find myself apologizing to her that I don’t have the energy for sex. We both end up feeling rejected and lonely and lay next to each other in bed for another sleepless night. On the flip side, if we get into a debate about something and then resolve it, I’m completely turned on and she’s emotionally drained and wants to go to bed. The only times we seem to have sex are after a night out where she feels that we’ve been close all night and I feel that I’ve had a dose of night-life energy. But even then, sex for her feels awkward, and she often doesn’t let sex continue to orgasm for herself. How can a healthy Type 8 and a Type 2 learn how to have a heathy sex life?

    Thank you,

    • Well A, Good that you are doing the work of development. This situation you describe is a bit complex. Life is all about the three great energies: receptive energy of being open and truly present, active energy of doing and asserting self, and reconciling energy of bringing active and receptive energies into balance. Your work is to bring the active, assertive energy you naturally have back into your lovemaking. You need to access this through awareness and bring it forward. And receptive energy is not passive. It is being open with presence. When you go passive, notice where this is in your body/soma and let this be a clue to come back to your active, assertive energy. Make the balancing of active and receptive energies a key part of your daily life, not only in lovemaking. Lastly, share this step in your development with your wife. Let me know how you are doing.

    • HI anonymous, your developing the more gentle receptive part of yourself is lovely. As to your sexual interest do remember that desire does not necessarily come before initiation. So try being present and initiating sexual content even though you are not in a state of arousal. The only important guideline here is knowing that a person imitating sex with their partner who is not in a state of arousal is to respect the other. Also encourage you partner to initiate sexual experience as both of you care for each other.Lastly breath down and in and recall a time when you were in intense arousal which may help you be more assertive. Warm regards, David

  10. angela mohandas says:

    Hi David,

    As a 7, my journey includes learning to work with my heart and gut. I have a new client who seemingly is a 4. He’s got trauma from his past with his Dad dying when he was 11, having had cancer. My client was 4 when the father was diagnosed. He’s the 3rd of 4 children. Now suffers from OCD and struggling with alcoholism (off and on)… His OCD includes a panic fear of death. He holds down a job and has a fulfilling marital relationship of one 1/2 years.

    Suggestions for me as a head-type, working with a traumatised, slightly chemical influenced 4? I usually am very able to stay emotionally safe with 98% clients. So this has unexpectedly ‘bumped’ me!

    I notice a pull to rescue him. But at the same time have memories of being wounded and bullied by my number 4 big brother.

    I want to make sure I remain grounded and out of the drama triangle (to not have childhood fear that he can hurt me). But also want to facilitate a calming atmosphere for him to find his own way of coming out of his drama and panic…

    Thanks for any insight you feel free to share:-)


    • David Daniels says:

      Hi Angela,
      This is David responding. My hunch is that you are both in the 1-4-7 Harmony triad. This means you need to allow more of your Type 4, knowing that Type 7 is always there for you. And he needs to allow more of his Type 7, knowing that Type 4 is always there for him. When we make this connection between Types 4 and 7, there’s often a great deal of resolution. And you have suggested good generic practice such as some centering breath work and reflection. Let me hear from you about this suggestion. I call this Harmony triad the Idealists triad and Russ Hudson calls this triad the Frustration triad. Both words are appropriate. Warm regards, David

    • HI Ang, Well we all have our challenges. As part of the 1-4-7 harmony triad you have a connection to type 4. You need to allow your feelings to be present knowing you will always have the ability to go to the positive. The bump you mention is a positive. You could even share your you own task of staying present with feelings and what is. And in the process help him release into acceptance of feelings so that as a 4 he isn’t running aware from them in his OCD. Warm regards, David

  11. Frankie Benning says:


    I understand you had a podcast which was about 5 minutes long talking about 8s. My former husband is an 8 and we are trying hard to figure out how we can be together. We always say we do not know how to live together and we do not know how to live apart. I am a 2. My therapist said your podcast on 8s was something my former husband should listen to and so should I. My therapist could not find it on your site. I believe it was on the site where you are doing on line instruction. I was wondering if you could send it to me or tell me where to find it. Very grateful for your assistance in this matter. Have a great day. Tons of smiles, Frankie

    • David Daniels says:

      Hi Frankie, David responding. There is much vital information on Enneagram type on my website. But here are some possibilities. Type 8s don’t want a lot of help as they can experience this as controlling and somewhat degrading. He may need your help. If you are more grounding and check with him about it, being OK to make a suggestion, it will move things forward. He needs to recognize that he can get quite controlling and intrusive too. Lastly you both are in the 2-5-8, Harmony triad, which means you need to recognize this and bring your Type 5 energy forward. Let me hear from you. Warm regards, David

    • Hi Frankie, I have an overview with all the types speaking for themselves on my DVD “Nine Points of View: Nine Paths to a Productive and Fulfilling Life.” This might be what you are referring to. I don’t have a copy of what you might be referring to. Warm regards, David

  12. To what extend do parenting styles shape a child’s Type? Or are types thought to be more intrinsically-determined by non-environmental factors?

    As a parent, my primary goal is for my child to be happy. Do you recommend any Enneagram-based, child-rearing books?


    • First the task is for us all to have healthy children. We need to help our children develop by being on the path ourselves. When we go from ego centric to more world centric meaning caring about and respecting both self and child/other we foster development. We all need grounded open-hearted awareness and presence. This does not mean that we condone our or the other’s bad behavior. Understanding type structure helps use know how to manage our children. Knowing type helps us work effectively with our children. I don’t have a specific book to recommend. The suggestions in my Essential Enneagram for each type are useful with children as well as adults.

  13. David Banner says:

    So sad about Robin Williams, so clearly an unredeemed 7. He HAD to be joyful to mask his deep wounding.

    As a 7, so sad to hear about Robin Williams, so clearly an unredeemed 7. He HAD to be joyful to mask his deep wounding.

    As a 7, I know this compulsion well; that is why I KNEW I needed to do my shadow work, no matter how uncomfortable it made me. I am so thankful I made myself do that deep work.

    Had I not done it, I could have gone the way of Robin. I suspect all 7’s have deep trauma from their childhoods that is masked by their need to be joyful.

    Love, David the Younger (big smile – I just turned 73!!!!)

    • David Daniels says:

      Hi David, What you say is so core and so powerful. The 7’s greatest fear is being sunk into suffering. So in trying to avoid suffering, it just gets magnified. I recall the saying, “That which is resisted, persists.” When we face our emotional pain, sadness, and suffering, we find liberation. The natural joy of life is there, and we can experience life fully with all its joys and delights as well as its sadness and pain. Thank you for sending this note. It reveals the power of the Enneagram understandings! With love to you my dear friend.

  14. Hi David,
    Just came across your site today. Very brilliant perceptions. Been a little involved and a longtime aware of the enneagram and work with people quite knowledgeable but my own journey has just now arrived at waking up to the self sabotage of the SEVEN which I clearly am.I am a very young 61 but feel a tad desperate that it’s too late to change all these very tricky habits which you identify so well. Your ‘solutions’ are remarkable but my fear is that I simply turn it all back inside out on myself. I really do want release and freedom from all this now. I am also in a relationship with a magnificent EIGHT, only 40 but has herself taught the enneagram in the past. We are electric together and she is my saviour somehow, but we have torturous periods of aggressive argument too. I feel I need her to rein me in in order to ‘get’ some of these ways and practices to start to turn myself around before it truly is too late. I don’t know what my question is! Typical! Anything you can say though gratefully received.

    • David Daniels says:

      Hi Nyck, Waking up can be painful for all of us, but with 7s, it can be accompanied by the fear that the pain will sink you into suffering by “turning it all back inside on yourself,” as you put it. There isn’t so much to change, the work is in allowing yourself to come back to the present moment and stay with what is, and paradoxically, enrich your life with presence. When upset, notice your felt-sense in the body, that which makes you want to flee, and once you feel it, sit with it and ground yourself. With this simple practice, you can begin to do the work of inquiry that will help you discover what’s at the root of your type’s reactivity. Especially, do this when upset with your “savior” and beloved. And lastly, remember that at the most fundamental level, this work is not about reining yourself in, it’s more about liberating yourself so that you can experience all of life, the emotional pain and suffering as well as the joys and delights. Warm regards, David

  15. Lauren Winborne says:

    David, I walked today with my great, good, grounded and just lovely friend, Kerry Izard. I actually am blanking on her maiden name….it’s Irish…maybe Macman or McMahan? I have a couple of questions.
    I founded a non-profit, developed a program about driving. Sounds boring/snore, but it’s the most unique and compelling program in the country about driving. Not just for new drivers, but for anyone who drives a car and for anyone who rides in one. The program walks through the anatomy of real crashes where kids have either been killed or have had serious injuries.

    Consequently, I know an inordinate amount of parents who have lost their children. I have many close friends as a result of my program who have lost high school and college
    children. May I direct them to your website, and may I tell them to seek your council? Secondly, one of my husband’s best friend’s only son was murdered on Thursday last week.
    I have not words, and as you well know, there aren’t any words. I’m wondering if he, Mike Long, can reach out to you? If so, how does he do this?

    God bless you for all you do. I’m very excited about following you and learning from you.
    All the best and with my heart, Lauren Winborne

    • David Daniels, MD says:

      HI Lauren, Yes teenage drivers, especially guys, are at high risk. I suggest you share the non-profit’s name and contact information here on my website. There also is a wonderful supportive website about the grief process, “Open to Hope.” My article on Loss and Grief is on the site now. And I can be contacted here on Ask David. Lastly, thank you for this caring and thoughtful note. Just go to “Articles.” With Warmest Regards, David

  16. David Daniels, MD says:

    What a great question. There is an underrated principle that goes, “Feelings are real, but not necessarily valid.” We need to be able to observe a feeling (e.g., anxiety) in our body, “our soma.” Breath in and down into the belly and do the work of inquiry, which is asking ourselves, “Is this feeling (anxiety), which feels so real, actually valid? In time, we become better able to distinguish the valid from the invalid. It is also true with those of us leading with Type 6 that when there is a real distress, something to really fear, we are often better able to deal with the situation than others. We have spent our lives practicing. I know this is true for me. We 6s need some faith in ourselves. We need to know that we will, in time, be able to distinguish the valid from the invalid. It is the process of exploring our feelings (in this case, anxiety) that leads to determining validity. This is true for all of us, not just 6s. Thank you so much for this question.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I am Enneagram Type 6. I listened to, and like, your guided meditation for Type 6. My question revolves around your qualification about “real hazards.” I find myself having a hard time knowing what the real hazards are. For me, if I feel something is hazardous, it is hazardous.

    • Hi Anonymous, You already have significant awareness. Asking yourself the question is this a real “hazard” and then pausing to briefly reflect will help you determine what is a genuine threat. Most of the time we Sixes have just non-consciously magnified the seeming hazard. So it also is useful asking yourself “How might I be magnifying this situation?”. Warm regards, David

  18. Anonymous says:

    Hi David,
    i am a type 4 and having a lot of trouble to detach myself from my feelings you recommend any specific meditation ?


    • Anonymous says:

      Hi Type 4,
      Work at practices that ground you, e.g., deep relaxed breathing, extending expiration, feeling your feet on the floor/ground. Put attention on the deeper abdomen, which is in the gravitational center of the body. When the feelings get big, that is fine. Let them. You just need to ground yourself so that you aren’t compelled to instantly act them out. The object is to respect your feelings, but while remembering that while they are real, they are not always valid. People try to get 4s to repress their feelings. It’s much better to have them, yet to be aware of not have them dominate you. Grounded presence really helps. Thanks so much for your question. David

  19. Anonymous says:

    Dear Dr. David Daniels, good afternoon.

    I am a medical psychiatrist Santos in Minas Gerais, Brazil. I wonder if there is a masters program where I can study the enneagram. I have searched here, but no supervisor meeting.

    Since now, thank you very much,

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi, I don’t know of specific programs in Brazil. And the Enneagram in general is still working its way into the mainstream of psychiatry and psychology. I suggest you contact Uranio Paes ( as he is an excellent Enneagram trainer in Brazil and may be able to answer your question. Also you could check with the International Enneagram Association. Let me know if you find a program. Warm regards, David

  20. Anonymous says:

    Dear Dr. David Daniels, good afternoon.

    I am a medical psychiatrist Santos in Minas Gerais, Brazil. I wonder if there is a masters program where I can study the enneagram. I have searched here, but no supervisor meeting.
    Since now, thank you very much,

  21. Anonymous says:

    Dear David. I have done many Enneagram trainings with Jerry Wagner and Riso Hudson. So exciting!
    I am a Sx Two with a One Wing. One thing I’ve noticed is that I have a sense of urgency about most everything and I move very fast whether I need to or not. When I decide to sit and pray or meditate etc I’m fine. It’s just that when I’m in motion I have only one pace which is fast. I love my life and I want to experience it all. I’m not sure why this is troubling me. I’d love your comments. Is it something to change or does it contain it’s own value? Thankyou, in advance. I truly appreciate your work and your generosity.

    • Anonymous says:

      Twos have an active move forward energy which can even be intrusive at times. If you are going to fulfill others’ needs you need to be ready to act. But in the process your own needs and desires get repressed. So you need to work at self-observation of your energy and pace. Breath in and down a few times, Notice your energy and intensity. Ask yourself what it is you need and desire. Slow your pace through the breathing after all you do meditation. Allow yourself to be present and just practice receptivity, taking things in. You can even practice walking at 80% of your usual pace or doing some walking meditation. Remember the fast pace will always be there when you need it. Thanks for your question. Remember the work for all of us is to gain more freedom.

      • Thank you for your reply, David. So much resonated for me especially seeing my forward moving energy and your suggestion to, instead, adopt a receptive stance. I can see how wanting to serve others calls me to a continual state of readiness which is unnecessary. Your last sentence pointed out how this limits my freedom.
        I’m very grateful. Melissa

        • Thanks Melissa, One other thing. The task is to increase the range of pace, not just slow it. There is nothing “wrong” about the fast pace just not having choice. Warm regards, David

    • Hi Anonymous, I simply suggest you stop several times a day for a minute or so to notice your fast pace and reflect on its meaning and necessity. Take a few deep breaths and come back knowing that pace can be flexible when you know that the entire range from fast to slow is valuable. Warm regards, David

  22. Anonymous says:

    Dear David,
    First, I am so pleased to see you off of “Caring Bridge” and back with us anew.
    Five years ago I was diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia, a progressive, intractable neurological disorder. Long story short, in an attempt to save my career and life as I knew it, I had the brain surgery intended to help relieve the “worst pain known to mankind”. Instead it permanently damaged my trigeminal nerve at the brainstem, disabling me. I’ve spent 4 years searching globally for answers and/or help only to learn that science and medicine don’t know how to reverse the damage done.
    This is the first time in my adult life that I have encountered something that I cannot will my way around or through. I’ve lost all hope.
    Given my type (2, sexual), how can I help myself and get beyond seeing what has happened as validation of my separation from all that is good, as a punishment that I must deserve for some “karma” I have?
    I’ve had so many people ask what I must have done to create this. Engaging in those thoughts, along with the endless “why” questions that I have eventually leads to a search for blame which often ends up at my door step. That then ignites the self blame floggings (stress at type 8) that can convince me that I don’t matter, and am now irrelevant. The outcome is often an internal either/or struggle between ‘my will vs. thy will’ about life.
    Thank you for listening and for your kind heart, David.

    • Thank you Pat. You have struggled mightily. As a person leading with type Two, the Giver/Helper there is deep often non-conscious belief that you can always and must provide whatever is needed both to others and yourself. To me this is what is meant by the driving emotion for Twos of pride. You didn’t cause this. You need to practice the second “A” of acceptance meaning open hearted kindness toward self and others. Acceptance does not mean you give up, but that you can allow your energy to go receiving care and kindness from others and to yourself. And this is one of the meanings of your virtue, humility. You may very well then free some energy for healing and self care. Do let me hear from you. With warm regards, David

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you, David. I so appreciate your response and wisdom. I understand (cognitively) the opportunity that you describe, and work to catch myself when I notice my energy tensing up at the point of receiving.

        In addition, and probably more primary is that internal voice that constantly tells me that it may be ‘better’ for me to exercise my will and end this physical suffering and deterioration myself vs. follow/trust in a Universal (good) will that would include me in it. The way that voice reasons is that if there was such a force for good and I was part of it, then something this tragic would never have happened to me. So, somehow it must be my fault, and my judgment to take care of myself (e.g., the brain surgery) was/is faulty and cannot be trusted. It “feels” like an impossible wad to untangle and those feelings can become bullies.

        I hope your own healing is progressing well, David. With appreciation,


        • Hi again Pat, None of us can make real progress and resolve difficult and painful issues when we are stuck in the 2ndA of Acceptance meaning not having open-hearted kindness toward ourselves. When you start to criticize and judge yourself, breath back down and in, go to a time when you radiated compassion and helpfulness whether to yourself or someone else, really sense this in your body, absorb it into your being, and then remind yourself to be kind to yourself as you would be with a small child. It will take some time. So you will need to give yourself the gift of time. We need to wire in the positives. So your “task” is to receive loving kindness from yourself and others, in the process integrating the virtue of humility of being in the flow of giving and receiving kindness into your life.

          • Anonymous says:

            Dear David,
            On an occasion when I am able to allow myself to experience what you describe, it helped me feel like I was included and that I mattered in the big scheme of it all. I’d like to experience that much more before all is said and done.

            Experiencing a brush that puts the end near in sight has really created a sense of urgency in me around what really matters in life. For me that is love and being a part of all parts of that flow.

            I sincerely thank you,

        • Anonymous says:

          I tried it, using what chore am I going to do next? I took six items from my to-do list, since I was having a hard time deciding one to start with. I know myself well enough to know if I don’t make some kind of decision, I may fritter away a good chunk of the day with meaningless activity. My list: 1) work on class hand-outs; 2) work on blog entries; 3) move forward on an editing project; 4) decide on my next quilting project; 5) finish sorting the last container of fabric; 6) work on sorting papers and books. I told myself that whatever the choice, I would spend 30 minutes on that project, and then move on to something else. The winner: sorting paper and books. An interesting thing happened. I ended up (over the course of the day) making this organizational task the focal point of my day. I spent two hours in the first part of the morning, including setting up a filing system to organize the papers. I filed, recycled, and generally remade my workspace. It cleared some physical surfaces and also some mental cobwebs. When I took a break after two hours, I made good progress on the editing, and the course preparations; but interestingly, I kept returning to 15-30 minute chunks of the organizational activity. I was aware that the part of me that wants to do some quilting was not totally happy, but the good news for that part is that there is now plenty of physical space to start playing with that activity, and it’s on the agenda for tomorrow even without rolling the die.

          • Sounds really great. You don’t’ say your type, but it is difficult for you to decide which we see in types 7 and 9, especially whose attention gets pulled away by something else getting your attention. Warm regards, David

          • Hi Anonymous, I’m not sure what you are asking. I suggest you pause take some deep breaths and ask yourself to do what really matters to you as best you can. Sounds like sorting through things was valuable to you so the energy associated with that could be applied to other purposes in your life. Warm regards,David

  23. Anonymous says:

    David…this is not a question, but a statement. Your definition of what is really important moved me deeply. Yes, love, and the clear, unconditional expression of it, is the goal of human life, from my perspective. I feel so blessed to know you and to learn from your wisdom. Your humble clarity inspires me very much (a self-referent sexual 7!) (smile)

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you for this caring and thoughtful message. When human kind recognizes love ultimately is at the core we will have peace at last.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Hi David
    I have been fascinated to start exploring the enneagram. I seperated four years ago after a thirty year relationship. I have three children from my marriage.
    I find that type 9 is scarily accurate as a description of my ex husband.
    Owing to the natural crises of a series of very serious earthquakes in our city in 2010-11 we still have some property issues to resolve. I have been trying to find a path through this.
    I write because I am finding it difficult to type myself.
    And I guess could be an 8,4,1,3,7 AND I have to admit possibly to a lesser extent type 9.
    All the material on your site I have found both enlightening and useful. Thank you.
    But what are your thoughts on this scattered confusion regarding my type and the possiblity of in dis function sharing aspects of a type (9).
    I am of course open to purchasing your book to further my understanding of the enneagram but thought I would send this through.

    • Hello, I’m answering your questions about determining type. Determining type is a key issues. Here are my thoughts
      • Typing needs to be self-determined. It is about the internal structure of a person. While skilled teachers can help with this process, typing from the outside is subject to many errors. I suggest that you get my Essential Enneagram xxxx or take the test and self-discovery process by going to xxxx. Here you will find the self-discovery process including your likely types and the key differentiators.

      • What you have stated is interesting. Three of the types you chose lead with active energy, type 3, 7, and 8. Types 7, 8, and 1 are all connected types and type 3 and 7 are real lookalikes. Also types 1, 4, and 7 are all connected types too. So you are getting close. And lastly you reluctantly put in type 9 which has an ability to experience all of the types as the type is outwardly focused and good at seeing everyone’s stance and views except their own.

      • Because your former husband is a likely type 9, you may not want to be this type. And depending upon level of personal development, impact of wings and connected points the flavoring can be quite different.

      So in conclusion, I suggest that you take the Essential Enneagram test and then let me hear from you again!

  25. Dear David

    After a few years of not knowing my Enneagram type, and a lot of confusion, I’ve been blessed to discover that I am a Type 6. Your book helped me a great deal to accurately identify my type. Thank you!

    I have a question concerning my stress type, Type 3. I recognize that when I go into stress, type 3 patterns come up. I start working harder and try to get everything done at once. I get worried that everything I need to do won’t get done, and I need to remind myself to slow down.

    My question is, is it a good practice to reflect on the type description of the Type 3, and put those practices into use particularly when I get stressed?

    Many thanks and I wish you a happy new year full of blessings.

    • David Daniels says:

      Dear Rick, Please excuse the delay. Thanks for your thoughtful note. Type 3, as your stress type, is also your action type. Getting really task-focused, outcome-oriented, and goal-directed can be very positive aspects of Type 3. Yet with Type 6 as home base, the worry is really based there. We don’t leave our type; we just take on attributes of other types in this instance your stress/action Type 3. So the worry part is based in Type 6. So yes, (1) as you observe worry especially the bodily manifestations, (2) breath back down slowly and deeply and center yourself as a reminder to slow down. Then (3) non-judgmentally review what you really need to get done and ask yourself is this just my old doubt about myself, my lack of faith and belief in myself? Most of the time you will answer this with a “Yes.” Know that faith is not foolish. Lastly (5) remember a time when you have believed in yourself, embody this as best you can, and move forward allowing the good-goal focus of your Type 3 connection to be present. Oh and by the way, the negatives of your stress Type 3 are getting too concerned about your image, recognition, status, and approval. Keep remembering our work as 6s is building faith and trust in ourselves, which takes practice. Thanks again and please let me hear from you. Warm regards, David

      • Anonymous says:

        Hi David,

        No problem about the delay. I hope you had a happy Christmas and New Year, and I’m grateful for your reply! Thanks 🙂

        This helps a lot, particularly the point you made about not leaving our type. That’s important for me to recognize, for both integration and disintegration. For example, rather than studying type 9 and trying to copy 9 behaviour, my focus needs to be on the core issues of the 6 (working on building faith and trust in myself and life), and, as I heal I will naturally take on attributes of the type nine. I hope that’s correct 🙂

        Also helpful to understand is my type 3 as both stress AND action type. I just read your article on Harmony Triads to further understand this. This means that in stress I take on negative aspects of the type 3, but also – whether in stress or not – a connection exists to the type 3 because it’s my action type. Is that right? Also I have a 7 wing which is also action based, which makes sense when I reflect on the general active drive I’ve had through life.

        It’s amazing how the simple practices are often the most difficult and easy to forget. Just learning to slow down and be present in my body is a major learning task, I guess life long. Nice that the 9 is a body type, so my task is to move away from the obsession with thinkingness (6 head type) and move awareness into my body.

        Thanks again for your helpful response. It’s great to come across your work.

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes Rick, you grasped all I was trying to say. We need to focus on the core themes/issues of our lead type. Then we can integrate the other types to which we are connected, integration being the interweaving of differentiated parts. Keep up your good work. Thanks again for your thoughtful question.

    • HI Anonymous, Yes, I do really understand type 3 since it is your stress or action type. And yes, also Type 3 has a rapid pace as so many Type 6s do, so do use your self-observer to ground yourself and slow the pace. You can really benefit from the positive attributes of Type 3 like task-focus, efficiency, and goal-orientation. Warm regards, David

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