Hold Your Ground Instead of Holding a Grudge

June 14th, 2016

Did you ever scratch your head and kind of squint, and say to yourself, “I can’t believe he did that?” And it was really impossible to even imagine why?

I know you know this, and it’s true. We don’t all see the world through the same lens. For some people, everything is great. This kind of person will turn anything into a positive. Other people have the same experience and see themselves as a victim. And the same events become a struggle.

It’s been so useful to learn and understand the Enneagram. Ennea means nine in Greek, and the Enneagram is a personality system that describes nine lenses through which people see and experience the world.  Each personality type has particular gifts and strengths and when stressed, predictable ways of “acting out.”

Here’s my own example of “acting out.” I used to cringe, and want to hide and escape as soon as possible if someone raised their voice at me. Anger was not an emotion I could be around. Not my own, and not someone else’s. If someone else got angry at me, even if they were wrong, I didn’t know how to speak up for myself. I shrunk, became invisible and got out of there as soon as possible! If I were angry at someone, it was almost as bad. I’d pretend not to be. It might take me years to let that person know—if they were still in my life—that they had hurt my feelings. Did I like it? NO! Could I change it? NO! I tried and tried and tried, but apparently I didn’t know how!

I’m glad to tell you things finally did change for me. And it was not only because of learning the Enneagram but because of embodying the different personality types. This has been useful in probably at least a dozen or more ways. I’ll tell you a couple of them —about my anger, and about when someone else is angry at me.

My anger. Now, if I’m hurt or get angry, instead of getting small, not saying anything, disappearing and holding a grudge, I hold my ground. I’ve learned how to embody the energy of the personality style that can take charge, be direct and decisive, and let people know what I think and feel. And if I do that reasonably, we can actually have a conversation about what happened, and we both end up learning something about the other person. It’s a way to cultivate and nourish a relationship, instead of challenging or even destroying a relationship.

Now, instead of holding a grudge, I hold my ground!

Someone else’s anger. If someone else gets angry with me now, my reaction is not to get defensive, not to get angry back, not to run away, but to listen. It could be that person was having a bad day and their anger had nothing to do with me. Or, they have a strongly held opinion which I didn’t know about, or that I disagree with. Either way, I’m able now to stay in the conversation and find out why this happened, and again, we both end up learning something about the other person and can more easily find a good resolution.

These are examples of increasing emotional intelligence. I believe emotional intelligence includes having the ability when challenged to respond in a way that reflects your best and highest self, and honors the best and highest of all involved. This often requires that we respond in a way differently than we usually do, in a way that is outside our “comfort zone.”

Most people think that’s difficult if not impossible to do. I disagree! To know more, go to https://sunriseranch.org/eqx-july-9-2016/

-Andrea Isaacs


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Andrea Isaacs is called a “master of change.” She is the creator of two Body Wisdom techniques that promote and support your best next steps for the change you want in your life. Her system increases emotional intelligence, connects you to your best and highest self, teaches you how to shift emotions you don’t want to with resilience, ease, peace and joy, and combines deep learning with a lotta fun. She became a founding faculty member for the Enneagram Institute in 1994, was co-founding editor-publisher of The Enneagram Monthly, and is Director of Special Programs at Sunrise Ranch. An international speaker, empowering facilitator and transformational coach, she’s been traveling the world since 1994 teaching people how to manifest their hearts’ desires. Read more at www.EnneaMotion.com.


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