I was having a discussion about where enneagrams types might come from, and someone sent me this list that relates enneagram types to our childhood wounds. I had never considered our types being born of childhood survival instincts, so reading this was a reframing-of-my-perspective type moment. I’m still thinking it all over, but I think there’s a lot of value in this list. Does it feel accurate for you? Let me know in the comments below.
*She didn’t write this, and I don’t have a source. If you know where this came from please let me know so I can credit the writer*
Enneagram Childhood Wounds
Type 1: These children felt heavily criticized, punished, or not good enough. Household rules may have felt inconsistent. As such they became obsessed with being good/not making mistakes to avoid condemnation. The principle message was: “You must always be better than you are.”
Type 2: These children felt loved only if they were helping or pleasing others, their personal needs felt selfish. As a result they closed off their own needs and feelings and tuned into those of others. Love became defined as giving to others – though the love often didn’t feel received or reciprocated.
Type 3: To the heart – These children felt rewarded only for what they did and how well they did it. their feelings were discounted and ignored, only their performance and what was expected of them mattered. This harmed their ability to love themselves and others. Admiration replaced real love.
Type 4: These children felt abandoned by one or both caretakers. They felt alone, cut off from the source of love for reasons they couldn’t understand. They were not “seen” or mirrored, and felt different from their parents. As a result, they turned inward to their feelings and imagination to cope in isolation.
Type 5: These children received no meaningful interaction, emotion, or affection from caretakers. Or, the child had intrusive, over-controlling parent(s) and felt exposed and defenseless in the face of this intrusion. As a result, they built walls around themselves and retreated to the mental realm.
Type 6: To the trusting nature. These children were raised in an unpredictable situation with no safe place to go. They lost faith they would ever be protected. As such, they turned to their own inner defense of doubting, disbelieving reality and rejecting their own instincts/inner guidance.
Type 7: These children were deprived of nurturing, or it was too-soon removed. They handled this lack by searching for distractions to minimize/repress fear and pain. They decided to focus on positive options and rely on themselves to fulfill their desires and gain a sense of nurturance.
Type 8: These children often grew up in an unsafe environment (emotionally and/or physically) and had to mature way too soon. They didn’t feel safe to show any vulnerability, and may have felt controlled. Weakness was used against them, so they focused only on building their strength.
Type 9: To the gut, the core of being. These children were overlooked or neglected and felt unimportant or “lost.” They were ignored/attacked for having needs or expressing themselves (especially anger) and decided to keep a low profile and instead focus on the needs/experience of others.