The nine Enneagram types are grouped according to their primary placement of attention. We rely on all three centers of intelligence, heart, mind and body for our experience of the world. But one of these centers is relied on more heavily for each personality type. All centers must be cultivated in order to have a rich and balanced life.
Heart Center (2,3,4): When this center dominates, the person sees the world through a filter of emotional intelligence and depends on the esteem of others. In order to get this esteem and approval, they learn that they must create an image of themselves that is attractive. This image may be as an unusually giving person, an exceptionally high- achieving person or simply, the world’s most unique person. Being dependent on the approval of others makes these people very sensitive to other people’s needs. Feelings are either over-expressed, under-expressed, or suppressed. We all rely on the emotional intelligence of the Heart Center for developing higher qualities of compassion, empathy and love.
Mind Center (5,6,7): When this center dominates, the person sees the world through mental faculties and is gaining a sense of safety and security through analysis and planning. This can be in the form of hoarding resources, anticipating worst possible outcomes, or only looking forward and avoiding the negative. In any case, there is a lot of mental activity in order to always be safe, since fear is the basic pre-occupation. (Many of these people do not recognize the fear immediately. But they are clear about the presence of doubt, its mental counterpart.) The ability to think is over-expressed, under-expressed, or suppressed. We all rely on mental intelligence for knowing, wisdom, and thoughtfulness.
Body Center (8,9,1): When this center dominates, the person filters information through gut instinct. Body center people are noticing where power and control are in the environment, whether or not things are congruent or in place in the world, and whether or not things are comfortable. Anger is either over expressed, under expressed, or suppressed. We all depend on the Body center for energy to move in the world, manage power and feel grounded.