Expert Claims There's One Condition For Using The Enneagram In Your Relationship - Exclusive

Whether it's in the workplace, relationships, or a personal context, tools that facilitate self-reflection can make a profound impact. The Enneagram is a system with roots in spirituality that provides a context for personal growth — and platforms like Truity and The Enneagram Institute provide free testing and educational resources.

Truity provides historical background on the Enneagram's growing use in the U.S., tracing it back to mystic leaders and the spiritual teacher George Ivanovich Gurdjieff. The system was later adopted by religious and spiritual communities, as well as the psychological field. Conceptualizing what your core motivations are can assist in professional development, therapeutic growth, as well as interpersonal interactions. And now that Gen-Zers and Millennials are using the Enneagram for everyday discernment and introspection, its applications across disciplines are growing.

So whether you're already an Enneagram fan or still need to find your type, personality typing expert Molly Owens is here to help. In her exclusive interview with The List, Truity's CEO let us know that our environment can be as important for growth as the tools we use. Especially when it comes to intimate relationships, Owens made it clear that the Enneagram can only take us so far without these other necessary factors.

The Enneagram is a personal tool that benefits your relationships

Since growth won't occur in a vacuum, its unlikely to happen without an understanding of personal patterns in your relationships. "Although it was originally imagined as a tool for personal growth," Molly Owens told us, "it can be very effectively used to help people grow together in a relationship, or even work more effectively together." 

Compatibility can vary among the Enneagram types, but mindbodygreen refers to research that indicates Enneagram type is not a major factor in long-term relationship success. However, emotional healing and deep work can make this difference, according to Michael Shahan. "Because the Enneagram is so focused on underlying motivation and not on outer behavior, all types can end up working well together." He clarified, "The point of using the Enneagram for relationships is not to figure out who you can rule out of the dating pool but to learn how to use this tool as a path toward growth and deeper connection."

Personal growth requires emotional safety

Truity's CEO gave The List a rundown on getting the best results from using the Enneagram in any context. When asked about whether Enneagram typing functions best in the workplace, spiritual contexts, or elsewhere, Molly Owens shared, "The best environment to explore the Enneagram is one where you feel accepted and safe to dig deep into your own beliefs and experiences." As it turns out, your physical environment may have less of an impact than your social context, despite the Enneagram's broad range of applications.

Ultimately, Owens told us one key factor makes the difference in using the Enneagram to guide your relationships. "As long as that psychological safety is present," she shared, you are in the ideal environment for growth. The Enneagram's therapeutic applications are amplified with the help of an understanding support system, making it the perfect system to dig into with a partner and even improve your relationship.