The Becoming Ourselves Podcast

The Enneagram Type 8 with Marlie Heberling

March 09, 2022 Episode 86
The Becoming Ourselves Podcast
The Enneagram Type 8 with Marlie Heberling
Show Notes Transcript

This week our fellow enneagram teacher Marlie Heberling gives us an insider's perspective of life as an eight. She tells us about what it was like growing up in a world where anger and intensity aren't met with understanding and she shares how she has been able to harness her eight energy and do good with it. We talk about emotions, conflict, centers of intelligence, growth and the question on every non-eight's mind - "What is really behind the protective eight armor?"

MEET MARLIE:

Marlie Heberling has been studying the Enneagram for over 12 years. She began teaching enneagram classes six years ago during her time as a youth minister and has since led workshops at conferences, taught classes to multigenerational groups, and worked with individual couples and families. Marlie began The Fellowship9 Project in 2020 as a way to explore creating better connections through compassion. Fellowship9 is in the process of becoming an educational nonprofit that will offer Enneagram courses to schools, faith and nonprofit groups, and individuals with the mission of creating a more connected community. 

Since moving to Eugene, OR in 2018, Marlie has enjoyed experiencing life in a three-generational home and spending time with her parents, sister, niece, and nephew. She also enjoys exploring the Pacific Northwest and all it has to offer! 

Fellowship9.org

IG: @fellowship9project


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Juli Wenger:

We're on this earth for a purpose. You want to live a life that matters. So let's get through the fear and the overwhelm and all the crap that gets in the way of you living the life of fear for this is the becoming ourselves podcast where we are fired up about you getting clear on who you are, what you're called to, and how to get there. Because the world is waiting for you to show up and own your power. I'm your host, Juli Wenger, a coach, a speaker, a Jesus lover in Enneagram, two, and a tree shaker. Let's dive into what's keeping you stuck. Because on the other side, is a life that's fired up the film. Welcome to the becoming ourselves podcast. I am really excited to be continuing our Enneagram series. We have a couple episodes left, we're doing episode type eight. It's actually episode nine because we did an intro episode. So I did not think about lining up numbers. But interestingly, I think this is actually episode 89 of the podcast, or no 88. That's what it is. Because the numbers, I know it's counting them up the other day, just out of curiosity. I was like, Where are we actually at? Because our type five interview was someone who had inspired me and kind of like, supported me in starting the podcast. And I wanted to tell her, and she was type five, and her episode was going to be at five and I was like, No way. So the fact that the type eight episode is actually type 80, or episode 88 is hilarious to me. We love when it's all about us. Right? So welcome, Marley.

Unknown:

Thank you, Marley

Juli Wenger:

and I met, as most of me in this series of people have met in Enneagram training. But what's fun? And what's unique about you is we've gone through like a number of them together. Yes, yeah, a lot of things. And, and I'm just like, I've been able to witness some of your vulnerability in learning and all of that about all the different type structures. And so we're planning this, and you're like, Yeah, I'd love to do it. Yes, this is gonna be so good. So why don't we take a hot second, and you can tell them a little bit about you. And I'll stop doing my to the thing over here.

Unknown:

It's fine. You're filling the space and meeting the need. That's what that's what tools are so good at, right? Yeah, I'm based on the west coast in Oregon. And I've been studying the Enneagram for about 12 years now. And I kind of stumbled on it at a retreat that I was asked for something completely different. But one of the leaders of the retreat was also an Enneagram. Teacher. And it came up in conversation. And I just thought this is this is intriguing. And at the time, I was like in my mid 20s. And kind of struggling with communication with family and figuring out that space of kind of moving from that teenage space to real adulthood. And as this teacher talked about it, I was like, You know what, this is it. This is how I figure out why my mom is the way she is, so that we can get along. And then I just dove right into the training and went, Oh, I'm the problem. So it was

Juli Wenger:

very apt. Like why is that person?

Unknown:

Why are they like this? Yeah, and realizing Nope, it's it's mostly the way I engage with them. And from that moment, because it was such like an aha moment of, oh, I'm responsible for how I engage with people. And even though it seems totally natural and totally great to meet other people don't feel that way. Any Grimm has been wonderful. It's been a wonderful way to experience that and learn it in a way that doesn't feel attacking. It feels validating to who I am, but also encouraging to become the best version of me. So for marriages, I kept studying it. And I started teaching youth Enneagram classes, in my work as a youth minister. And that was really enriching I think, for the older youth and is something that they're all in college or graduated college and still occasionally call and want to talk Enneagram stuff. And then I introduced it to my family. And that has been revolutionary for us in terms of three generations living together to try being in a pandemic together and quarantine together for a long time. And Ingram has been a wonderful tool to help us understand each other a little bit better.

Juli Wenger:

There's been this consistent theme through all of these interviews about the validation, the permission slip to be authentically you the understanding that whoa, I'm not wired like that type and they're not wired like me. So I don't need to try to be like them. And they don't need to try to be like I am. And we can start to understand each other and have a dialogue and have language around some of our differences. And not just language for them but compassion in them. So I just wanted to highlight that and maybe before we jump into a whole bunch of your stories so we can keep like a little bit of consistency between episodes, give us the lowdown on type eight, like Enneagram 101, what do we need to know? Yeah, type

Unknown:

eight, we're, we're a very dynamic number we're, you know, we like to be the boss that's, that's the nickname, we're the boss of everything, we are very good at coming into an a space and expanding to take the energy in that room. And sometimes that's to bring energy and get, you know, get a party moving or get a meeting flowing. But sometimes it's just to take the power in the space, depending on on how how healthy we are on that day. We are an anger number, and we're externally angry. So we flare up really fast, we also kind of let that anger go pretty fast. But that's how we process things. Anger is very energizing and invigorating, we have the most energy of any number of the Enneagram, which can be very overwhelming for people and our passion or sin. However, how are we going to turn that is is lust, and that's like a lust for life, you know, if something was good, more of it would be better. And that means we often run ourselves and everyone around us ragged, because if we can put 150% and you can do it too. And then we get to a point where we don't have anything more and then you know, we have to have that moment where we kind of break down. But we don't want anybody to see that. Because being strong is the most important thing. And being vulnerable is terrible, because someone will betray, you will take advantage of that. So we're really good with animals because they don't betray you are pretty good with kids because again, they don't have a chain. But with with actual adult humans, it's a little more of a struggle at times.

Juli Wenger:

There's so many good things there. And I mean, so eight is a really fascinating number for me both because I'm married to one and because it's a number that I have a direct tie to as a to like it's my it's my stress slash resource number, right? So I pull from there a lot, there's a lot of fire in type and a lot of fire. And that is both a I like to call them superpowers and kryptonite. Like it's one of those things that is totally what you can bring to the table in that momentum creation and leadership and, and yet, without the right intentionality and self awareness that can turn into like anger that just leaks out at other people. Yes. And I liked how you talked about the big energy because one of my favorite analogies I think this was an Ian Morgan cron thing because he was a started my journey reading the road back to you. And he talks about, like it was the start of mind. Okay, there we go tied together? Well, because they co wrote the road back to you, actually. So the, the analogy used was a 220 volt plug. It's like the rest of us are like 100, or fives or sometimes less than 100. Right? Like, we just have these different energy levels, but it's like eight are like, big, like, and I am on or I am off. And that is it. So there's not a lot of gray area, there's a lot of like, go big, yes, or go home. Yeah, like actually.

Unknown:

And that can be very, like overwhelming for people also, because that that energy shift of like, oh, I don't care about this thing anymore. And so I'm just not into it at all. And they're like, well, where where's this, I'm like, Yeah, but I don't, I'm an all or nothing person. So once the nothing happens, I just I want to be somewhere else where the all can happen again. Which is sort of unfair to the people around you. Because they're, you know, they're like, I thought you were gonna help with this thing. And I'm like, Oh, I mean, I like Christmas decorations when they're out. But I don't want to help take them down. That's not fun. And it's not interesting to me. So I'll be back when there's a project that's more interesting. And so you know, having to have that, that, you know, you have all this energy, and you have all this power as an eight and you are good at finishing projects, you're good at being a part of that. But having to get to that space where you force yourself to be like, This is not about you, this is about the team, this is about the family, this is about the commitment that you made. So show up even when you're not all about this thing. Yeah, and use that energy for Good is is a is a big learning curve for the eight. And I kind of think of it as like, learning to be a controlled burn versus a wildfire. Of like, you know, I'm from California, and we're used to this, and without those controlled burns, it becomes a problem really quickly. And as a kid, I didn't know how to control all that energy and that fire in the anger. I didn't know how to how to express that in a way that was okay. And that was, you know, growing for me as a person and for the people around me. And instead, I just burned a lot of people. And so that was a lot of learning that I had to do as a kid as I grew up to be like, and unfortunately anger management at the time kind of taught me like no, just tamp it down, don't like anger is not appropriate. And as a as an adult and doing any good work. It was like no, it's not the anger. That's the problem. It's the way that it hurts people when it's expressed in a particular way. So coming into the space of anger being not an inherently bad thing. But you know, it being a tool like anything else and how you use it makes a big difference. And so that was very, very validating as a person because I spent a lot of time I'm feeling kind of ashamed of that anger, and trying to not be that person, but it is a big part of who I am.

Juli Wenger:

I see that a lot within the coaching space and some of the work that I do. And I mean, regardless of type, there is this societal idea and even within like Christianity and religion, right, that anger equals bad. And I've had to do some, like rewiring and reframing both personally and with other people of anger is okay. It's just not the expressing it in a way that hurts people. That's okay. Like that part, we need to nip in the bud. But let's find outlets for it that are healthy, let's find ways to express it that are healthy, so you can move through it because anger is often a feeling kind of indicator that a boundary has been crossed.

Unknown:

Absolutely. Yeah. And I think there's a tendency for people who don't express themselves through anger as much to assume it's it's directed at them. Whenever it comes up in a space. Yeah, twos. My sister who is, you know, my closest friend is a two and absolutely, like,

Juli Wenger:

we're like, what did I do? What's wrong with me? Like, I just did I did I do something? I do that to my husband and drives him nuts, and I'm getting way better at it. But I'm like, Are you upset with me right now, like the story, I'm telling myself? Because you have an angry face? I've done I've done something wrong. And he's like, No, we're good. Like, it's not about me, it's not about me.

Unknown:

And she'll get that way. I'll tell something that she wasn't even there for it. And she's like, well, but why are you mad at me? I'm like, I'm what I'm not. I'm upset about this thing that happened that I'm putting on

Juli Wenger:

this is that it's that outward expression of that without like, clear intentionality. And I think for other people, too, like it's not owning the whole interaction, from your point of view, or from your position in it. Because the rest of us have a responsibility to really get clear on what's mine, what's not mine. And what's about me, it's not about me, just being aware of that,

Unknown:

when it's a two way street, right? It's like, well, while my sister has had to own that space of being like, okay, not everything is because I've done something wrong, I've had to own, not everybody sees the fact that I'm just frustrated with a situation, not them as a person. And I've had a gift of having several people in my life in the past, you know, 10 or 15 years, who have been able to just kind of sit with that frustration and be like, yeah, let it out, tell me all about it. And then it's gone for me, you know, and I'm really rarely mad at a person. I'm often mad at situations, things that are efficient, or places where justice is not happening, or, you know, this thing, even, you know, this is like a badly designed parking lot, you know, those kinds of things will rile me up.

Juli Wenger:

That sounds like my merits right now. Sorry. Yeah, you know, why would they do it like that? That makes

Unknown:

no sense it Yeah. And, and I think that's been kind of a beautiful thing to recognize that I can name that a little bit more of what I'm really frustrated about, and remind myself that when I really hit that anger space, there's something underneath the anger. And for an eight, there's probably anger underneath the anger, but then there's something under that. So figuring that out and hurt is a lot of it, you know, sometimes it's fear. And when he gets scared, we don't know what to do with that, because we're very rarely scared. So having kids in my life now is like a new experience of fear that I have not had in the past. So learning that sometimes that fear comes out as anger. And that doesn't make sense to a four year old has been like a really important part of my journey recently with the Enneagram is, how do I tap into that to space, that meeting their needs and being nurturing space and process the anger on my own time, time knowing that it's really about fear that I was scared of what was happening there. And, you know, I think I try to be really open and honest with my niece and nephew about what's going on. And, and they're pretty good now at being like, Oh, she's not mad at me. She was worried about what was happening. And I tried to tamp it down pretty quickly. But, you know, recognizing that that's a lot to ask a small child to process through that when I'm as an adult not doing it very well. So that's been an interesting new new part of the journey, I think.

Juli Wenger:

Yeah, there's, there's so many themes here. I've got notes going like crazy over here. But I mean, eights are an integrity type. Right? Everything boils down to integrity. And they're also natural protectors. This is one of your superpowers. And it often stems from a need to learn how to protect yourself. Yeah, which is that will tie into vulnerability, right? Like if I'm too vulnerable, if I let my walls down, if I put my armor down, someone might take advantage of me because it's a dog eat dog world. And at the same time, that protector nature and that integrity drive when you grow up and you have an opportunity to lead and to make an impact and to move people. There is there's such a gift in that. So here's a question. Tell me about AIDS and conflict.

Unknown:

We love it. I mean, it's, it's true, you know, it sounds terrible when you just kind of set it up like that. But we typically find conflict very invigorating. Like it brings the energy up, we love energy, and we love intensity. And conflict does that. And the part that we often forget is that people, other people don't love conflict, the way that we do, other assertive numbers often do, and they're willing to get into it with you. And it's often very kind of surface conflict, like, it's kind of playful, like, we want to argue about it, and then we're over it, we're not upset with each other. But for other folks who are not recognizing that it's playful, it gets personal really quickly. And so I think, you know, I'm an I would say, this is true for most eights is we're just see it the way we see it kind of people, you know, there's very little filter there. Sometimes we don't work things very well, and it is hurtful. And sometimes we're a little better about figuring that out. But we're always going to be honest. But honesty comes with, that's honest, how I see it, that doesn't make it true. So that sort of space of we always feel like we're speaking from honesty doesn't mean that we're giving factual information, because we're giving it how we see it, but that may not be how the other person sees it. So that can that can cause some issues in communication styles with conflict. And I think, you know, eights are like, tell us everything, tell us the good and the bad, let us process at all and then we'll move forward. And the minute you've given us half a story, and then we found out the other half, we don't trust you anymore. And it takes a long time to get that trust back. And then that feeds into the conflict problem. Because no matter how much we think we're trying to trust you, they're still in the back of our minds. But you didn't tell us the whole story. And we got blindsided by something. So that's a that's a fear aspect of that vulnerability of I didn't know how to handle that situation, we're not always good with change would We're not the ones making it. Yeah, so that can be a real struggle. And I think that that plays out in conflict of like, we want to just meet it head on, we want to thrash it out, talk it till we're blue in the face. And we're not great at letting it go until we feel good about it. But that doesn't mean the other person feels good about it. And it doesn't mean the other person wanted to take this time, sometimes you need space to process it. So that's that can be a struggle for an eight as we do the work is figuring out how do we meet other people where their conflict styles are. And, you know, in terms of the protection thing I think that plays into it a lot to you is like, you're going to get real conflict with an eight, the minute that they think you're threatening somebody who is important to them, because we are like that kind of you know, bear protective energy. And I think some folks, I think I've talked about this and and this really resonates with me as an eight is that for us, the people that we deeply care about, that we have let in, you know, past that protective shell, they're now an extension of us. So that protective shell and that need to protect ourselves gets extended to them. And there may only be eight or 10 of them our entire lives. But we're there, we're loyal, and we are there forever. And so somebody comes or from our perspective comes from them, that may not be a real thing that's happening, but we think something's happening, they're going to get the full strength of that eight conflict, and it's probably not going to be pretty.

Juli Wenger:

Yeah, it's like watch out because there is such an intensity. And I would say righteousness that shows up in those moments. And I mean, I can identify with that from when I really get into my triggered and like protective space that I pull from there in. But there is a there's an element of control right of and this is where I think the pandemic has been really interesting. Watching the eights in my life, and even just being part of, you know, panel discussions with the narrative Enneagram and listening to groups of AIDS, that the pandemic has, like stripped this control over your own life, because that's one of the things you want the most right is like, I want to know that I'm in control of me and my circumstances.

Unknown:

I can protect my people, I can protect myself. And this is a virus that I can't control or protect anybody from, you know, so that absolutely, having something that is affecting me outside of my control is so much harder for me than something that that I can't even if something's going badly because of a choice that I made. I'm like, Okay, I'll figure out solutions to that. But yeah, having these outside forces that I can't control that, yeah, that definitely threw me for a loop and was very hard that first year. It's gone on long enough now that I think I've activated a little bit, but there are still moments where it's like, you know, I want to I want to take my niece and nephew to the park and I have these like moments of anxiety, which as an eight I'm not used to, but just knowing that I can't control whether there'll be safe there or not. It's It's not like I can throw a jacket on them and make sure they're safe from the cold. It doesn't work that way. And so that has that's been a real struggle. And I think that that kind of lack of control Roll hits against the self confidence of the eight, which is something that we've always had effortless, effortlessly, I would say, you know, it's never occurred to most eights that they might not be able to handle something because we just do, which is very annoying to people I will point out, I think that is one of the things that irritates people, but it's the most is the fact that they're just like, Yeah, we got this. Why are we even talking about it? And we don't mean it as arrogance. Most of the time, it's just competence by they rubs people the wrong way. But to have that chipped away, that's like a foundational part of who we are. And so then to have something that is just like, well, I can't control this. Haha, is it? That's when Ruff,

Juli Wenger:

yeah, yeah. So let's chat a little bit about the eight to five line with that. Because when eights are triggered, when you start to run out of your coping mechanisms, or if your capacity for resilience within your core type structure, there's that line to five. So what shows up for you there?

Unknown:

Yeah, I mean, I've always really liked Suzanne's to Bill's phrase about first you behaved badly and your own number, and then then you move. And I think that definitely shows up that I can tell when I'm getting extremely combative, for no reason, that's a great sign that I need to that I need to move into that five energy, I need to take some of that on. And I think historically, in my life, it's been just withdrawing from everybody just kind of taking myself out of the mix. When I was a little kid, I had a closet that was kind of a walk in closet, and I had like a sleeping bag and a pillow set up in there. And I will just go hide in there for a while until I could calm down because everything was just so overwhelming. And I needed a safe space where I could be vulnerable, without worrying about anybody taking advantage of that. So having a physical space was very helpful for that. I think the thing that I realized as I grew up is that I always felt abandoned when I was in that space, I felt like nobody cared, nobody reached out. But as an adult, recognizing every single part of me was projecting to people leave me alone. And then I also felt abandoned when they left me alone. So there was a decade of dichotomy there that I had to address. And I think taking that positive part of that energy has been, that's five spaces a space where I can stop and think things through. I don't have to do and react instantly, I can process. And, interestingly, fives are not the most in touch with their emotions. But that is a space where I can get in touch with my emotions. And I think that's just a quietness to it, a lack of a need to be on stage and be in charge and leading people is just that permission to be quiet, and to listen to what's happening inside myself. And it doesn't necessarily make it easier to figure out when I'm feeling but it gives me it makes me slow down enough that sometimes it happens naturally. So I really value five space now as a, you know, as a 30, something, I think I I respect the need for that a little bit more and, and knowing how to take that to process through a big decision that I need to make, rather than just reacting to it has been very helpful.

Juli Wenger:

There was a really interesting piece of Christopher here, it's book the sacred Enneagram. And I remember reading in there about the three different centers of intelligence and how we all have a different path to our own spiritual growth. And essentially, to me, it landed, like our own recovery and coming back to ourselves. And for gut types, it's stillness, because there's this action and doing and impulse and, you know, intuition piece of just like, Go Go, go do do do move, move, move, that, to really be able to get back to neutral to be able to move towards the best of you. There is a stropping that can be super healthy. And I hear that in the like, I'm just going to go and sit and be by myself. And I'm going to think and I'm going to just just cut it out versus four head types. He said that it's about silence, because they need to quiet their mind. And for heart types. It's been quite ourselves because we don't have to be anything for anybody. Yeah, solitude was like, preach, right? Yeah, that is so key. So I'm always worried about like, what do you need? What do you need? Like it's like Genie, right? Poof, what do you need? Poof. Right, exactly. And he has this stillness that just routing into like, Okay, I'm just, I'm just here, right, the mindfulness component that shows up there, because five without that intentionality can be a withdrawal that is just like, literally full on shutdown. Yeah,

Unknown:

exactly. Yeah. You got self preservation mode mode, and I can see that there are moments that I have to hit that before I can even get to the healthy space of it because, and that's usually when I've just overextended myself far too much. And I used to do it in terms of I just wanted to be involved everywhere, I didn't want to miss out on anything. And I think I've gotten a little better about that, because I've gotten older and I'm tired now. But I think I still tend to overextend my, my energy that I have to kind of take care of people, which may sounds maybe sounds weird for an eight, but we do try to take care of people in our own way. It's, it's not usually the the nurturing way that a two does, it's a little more aggressive honesty, and, and you know, badgering them into taking care of themselves, but, but we do have a lot of that emotional energy tied into the people that we care about, and the people that we're looking at, for and maybe the people we're trying to protect, because we do love, you know, our cases of folks that we're trying to lift up and, you know, help them get back on their feet. And I think that, you know, when we first met, I was definitely in that space of like, being overwhelmed with a job situation that wasn't good, and trying to help out in the house and, you know, help my parents and help my sister and her kids and do all these things. And I, I just was was expending way more energy than I really had. And that was not a thing I was super used to so. So hitting that break down was kind of was kind of a hard thing. And so I did a couple of times have to hit that, that just disappearing space of the five in order to get to the space where I could find that stillness that was helpful instead of disassociating.

Juli Wenger:

So that's the word right there.

Unknown:

Nailed it. Yeah, yeah. And I think that's, that's an important space for for any, any eight. But, you know, speaking from my personal experience, that's been an important space for me to be able to figure out, because I will have the tendency to go go go, and then I can stay in that behaving badly space for a really long time. And that can be really hurtful to people and burn bridges that I don't, I don't want to. So I think that that, you know, as I've matured as, as an adult, that's been a thing to concentrate on is how do I make sure that I'm being healthy to myself and the people around me, and and recognizing the way that fires getting out of control?

Juli Wenger:

Yeah, there's a, there's an armoring up with eight so that sometimes people mistake as you being harsh as people. But I think what's important to really give some airtime to is that there is this soft, caring human behind all the armor, but often the armor I pick out like some of the Brene Brown work and this fits with a conflict styles of the Enneagram because there's some groupings there. That first eights typically move against. Right there are the fighters if there was a archetype for the fighter, it's the eight. Yeah, and there's a moving away of just like be avoiding like peace out, I'm done. And then there is this I think it's usually like not so natural or not. So default of moving towards which is more like the people pleasing, right that Tuesday. So getting that getting behind the armor for people who are listening this maybe that are like, Oh my gosh, I'm totally like, I have an eight in my life. And sometimes they come across like we joke around here. Okay, like an eight hole. So take that. Like, it's Yeah. Eight wholeness, okay, we love our eights. But behind that, is this actual really soft, loving, protective, caring, integrity filled human? And it's all about like, can you trust us? With you?

Unknown:

Right? Yeah, can can you be a safe place to land and to take some of that armor off. And I think for a lot of people, but eights that they have experienced, they've experienced in like teenage years, or as adults, and they maybe haven't met a child eight. And I think one of the things that it's important to understand is that for the average eight, certainly, this was true in my experience, and lots of other eights that I've talked to, we heard, we spent a lot of time hearing that we needed to be less, that we were too much and too much to handle. And we were overwhelming. And we needed to tame that down a little bit. And, you know, my my niece and nephew love this, this movie vivo and the little girl and it talks about how you're at a 10 You need to be at a three we heard that a lot. Yes. And not in a funny kind way, in a way that was very hurtful to us as kids. And so there was this sense of, you know, if you think of as as this kind of fire energy, there's the sense of always trying to keep ourselves banked and not having safe spaces, to just let ourselves go and just be treated as a person. Instead of being treated as kind of a live wire that's looking like people made assumptions as even as kids that we were trying to be hurtful. And it takes a special person to recognize this is a child who's not really trying to be hurtful. They're saying things the way they see them. Kids are very honest. That way, right? Yeah. And I think that really builds the that armor as we grow, you know, every every person that has made it clear to us that we're too much for them. And they love that energy when it works for them, right? They love it when it's a project that we're carrying, or when we're leading a group or something like that, but the minute that it turns and they're confronted with it, they don't like that energy anymore. And that was very confusing as a kid was like, why I'm not doing anything different. I'm being the same person I've always been. But now you don't like the way I'm acting and you did then. So it was very confusing. And so I think as it as I got older, I just learned to protect myself so that I wouldn't reveal those vulnerabilities. Because it hurt too much to then lose the person after I shared these things with them, which I think that's a human thing, right? Like, we're always worried that the people that we care about the people we've opened up to are going to use that against us or are going to disappear or something like that. So I think in order to access that kind of marshmallow inside of the eight, you do have to create that safe space. And and eights love honesty and eights love authenticity. So being honest with them of being like, I want to be a safe space for you. And I have no idea how to do that, we're gonna respond well, to that, we're gonna, we're going to take that, not at face value, but we're going to dig into it. And we're gonna, if you can show us consistently that you care about us, you want to create that space, you want to have open communication with us, we're usually going to lean into it. Because we do like the connection, we like the intensity, we wouldn't we can get to the vulnerability. I don't know if like is the right word, but we appreciate it. We appreciate having that space to be vulnerable, even is it's very, very scary for us. We love twos, because twos just take care of us without asking. We don't have to, we don't have to do anything special. We don't have to break that armor down. They just kind of show up. And they're like, here's a blanket and a glass of wine. And you know, what, what do you mean, and you know, my mentor is a to and and unfortunately, don't live near her anymore. But when I when I lived within three hours, if I had a bad day like or a bad week, I would call her up and I would go to her house for a weekend. Because I knew I could just be with her. And she wasn't going to take things personally she wasn't going to she was going to look at intention over impact. And I think that we really value that because when we're being the truest versions of ourselves, we don't always understand the way that things are going to hit hot buttons for people. Because we don't, we often don't take things personally in the same way. So it doesn't occur to us that other people are, but we're certainly not trying to be hurtful. We're just trying to be ourselves. And so creating a space where we can be ourselves. That's, that's amazing. And we love that as a it's all the reasons that we liking out with each other. Yeah, because like we can get into it, we can argue we can we're very tactile. So like all of that physical aspect of it is great. And we know that we're going to be able to say what we want to say and not have to worry that we're that we're hurting somebody accident. That's not to say that eight should just do whatever they want. That's our normal good seal. But it is nice when we have people in our lives who give us that space to do it every so often.

Juli Wenger:

Yeah. And it's so fun to watch when we've done eight panels, because that's how we learn, right? We listen to these groups of people talk about their experiences, that type one watching the eights interact with each other, there's just this like, it's this fun combative, kind of playful, high energy environment, right? And I'm sitting there, like, this is fun, just, you know, watching you guys kind of Have at it with each other. But I want to circle back, though, to this too much thing, because this has been a kind of a mantle that I've been picking up this year in doing the work around, you know, who are we and what are we here for? And so often, we attach and I mean, I picked up on this too, right? And I think all of the types have a version of this, right? You're too emotional, right? You're vulnerable, you're too. And it's like this reflection of other people's expectations that they've assigned to themselves, right? They project that onto us or like, oh, well, I'm supposed to be like this, which means you're also supposed to be like this. And here's all my failures and my failures and my expectations and my stories I've bought, that somebody else wrote about who I'm supposed to be, and you need to fit in this box so that I'm comfortable. And then we make the mean something about us and of course, our kids because we don't have context. And because we're just trying to get through life and get our needs met and stay safe and you know, be loved and all of those things. But I think what's so key in you know, having this conversation is that now that we're grown up, now that there's an adult version of us that has context, it's like okay, hold up, step back for a minute is this pattern serving me anymore? How do I make sure that I'm in control of it and it's not in control of me, so that I can show up in a way that is beneficial while also embracing this. Our two muchness, like our powerful, authentic selves, our whole selves are genuine selves. It's exactly who we need to be, to go and create the impact that we're on this earth to create. Absolutely, full stop. That's it. So I'm like, hashtag be too much, okay? Just like, read it, redefine what that is, and reclaim it, and be too much self while being cognizant of our impact on other people. So that we create that impact in a way that is the most healthy, and the most, most productive, but like this, too, okay? Like, this is where I love eight. And I love that I have that space that I can pull from, I just can't stay there because I burn myself out is that sometimes people really just need you to shake their tree.

Unknown:

Sometimes people need to hear heard things. And I think as an eight, my, my learning curve has been, when do they need to hear those hard things. And I saw somebody on the internet talking about that. People, nobody's asked for brutal honesty. Honesty is good. But you can do that in a way that's affirming. And that's honoring. You know, I started doing youth ministry a decade ago. And that was a huge shift of recognizing, like, I want to be for these teenagers who I needed at that age, but for their specific thing that's going on. And I didn't need one more person telling me something hurtfully, I needed them being honest with me, but in a way that helps me grow, not helped me to deflate. And so recognizing, you know, doesn't need to be said Does it need to be said by me and doesn't need to be said right now. And if I can answer those, then yeah, I can probably take that space and figure out how to say it. Because sometimes you do need that sometimes you need to be shaken out of your comfort zone and shown that something's gone wrong. Or, or you could be doing something a little bit differently, or just maybe that you're on a path, that's, that's not going in a place that you're saying you want to go. But doing that in a way that's honoring to the other person, instead of me, forcing my view on them is really important. And I can still be honoring to myself, I'm still telling them my truth as I see it, just doing it in a way that is compassionate in a way that shows them that I'm seeing it because I care about them, not because I'm trying to control them. And I think Enneagram has been so life changing for me because of that reframing of being too much. And you know, going into it, I obviously didn't have the best motivations when I went into it. Because I was like, I'm gonna figure out why this person's being terrible. And the recognition that I came to is like, No, you know, what the expectations my relationship with my mom was contentious because I didn't understand how she saw things. And she didn't understand how I saw things. And we were saying the same thing, but so totally different from each other, that we could not hear it. And my mom is a one. She's a perfectionist. And my dad is a nine, the peacemaker. So we have these three anger numbers who all express anger totally differently in the My poor sister, who's the fourth person and I little dynamic is a two. She's just trying to make sure everybody's getting along and being okay. And so you know, there was so much combative energy between me and my mom, because she has this inner critic going on. And as far as she can see it, she's letting me down somehow, because I'm having these struggles. And all I think is that I'm let I'm letting her down because she doesn't like the way you know. So it was just so much miscommunication and misunderstanding. And it wasn't that she thought it was too much it was it was a matter of her being scared for how things were playing out with the way I expressed anger and the way I interacted with people. And so any of them was life changing to be able to go, maybe I could just ask her what she's thinking and assuming and being into that space of being like, you know, my two muchness often comes with protective energy often comes with energy to help other people be the best version of themselves and to lift them up. And what if I deliberately did that for my mom? What if I started to step back and go, What is making her feel self conscious right now what is making her feel like she's to blame or something, something is broken, and can I use some of my very expansive energy to to lift up the fact that she's doing a great job and lift up the fact that she is a good mom and she has always been a good mom, even in the moments that we didn't understand each other. And she didn't have to know any grip for me to be able to do that, which I think was the huge gift. I didn't have to force her to do something she didn't want to do. I just changed the way I engaged, still being myself still being authentic, but doing in a way that was also reacting to her authentic self and and loving her the way she needed to be loved. And I think that shift has made it a whole lot easier moving forward to recognize the other places that I can do exactly what you're saying, which is kind of own that too much Ness, and do it in a way that's also beneficial for the people around me.

Juli Wenger:

Yeah, the the power of this, as a system as a tool for developing awareness and compassion is that it doesn't require us to make other people come along in the journey. And it's fun when we can develop common language and, you know, understanding from both sides, that is a whole nother level of thing. But even for us to do our work and change how we show up, I see that changing relationships all the time, in ways that are really profound, and sustainable. And I think that's important because we can try to be something that we're not, we could try to show up for our people in a way that we think is going to be helpful, but doesn't actually align with them. They're all of these, you know, pushing, trying proving kinds of ways we attempt to fix relationships, and fix other people was like, Are they even broken? Or is it just our approach that we can tweak? And is it that we can learn to offer ourselves more compassion. And like, when I started this journey, I didn't like myself. Right? And I've learned to it is it's exhausting. And it's exhausting for the people around me because two of them are not healthy. We're like codependent and victim. Like, it's not a whole lot of fun, okay, like needy, needy over here. Like, I don't I don't shy away from that when I married my eight husband, I think part of the attraction was that he was a protector. And I felt like I hadn't been worth protecting. Yeah, so there was a natural pull there of my to energy to his anus of like that nurturing, loving, soft space to land. And for me, it was like, I feel safe. And like, I can be bold and crazy and silly and goofy and too much. And he doesn't judge that because it's not too much for him. Right. And there's something really beautiful in that. But I was very, very codependent. And like, that's not, that's not sustainable. So moving through to a point where I not only develop more independence, but where I could learn to actually like myself, and then to love myself, shift how I show up, because I have more compassion for me. So I have more to give. That was love how Brene Brown talks about and we can't love people more than we love ourselves, we can't offer them more compassion and vulnerability than we can have with ourselves. So that's kind of a magic.

Unknown:

That's such an interesting way to think about it. Because you know, I think so often is, especially as, as girls, as teenagers, we hear about this whole, like, nobody can love you if you don't love yourself. And I don't know that that's true. But I do think it is hard for us to love other people fully if we don't love ourselves. Because if we don't value ourselves, how can we be an equal part of that relationship? How can we have that two way street? And so you know, it's not to say that we don't love that other person. But I think that that fullness of love comes from having expectations of each other and lifting each other up. And if you if you don't feel like you're worth doing that for, you're never going to totally trust the relationship.

Juli Wenger:

Yeah, and you can't receive it. You can't receive the love. I think that's where they can't love you peace comes in. It's not that they don't love you, because they do. But it's am I just like putting a wall up over here and bouncing it off because I'm so committed to my unworthiness. Right.

Unknown:

And I think it's interesting, because I think eights have so much power and energy in a space when they come in, and people tend to notice them and, and I they have this this self confidence. That's pretty innate. And I think that people, people take that to mean that they love themselves. And I'm not sure that's true. I think growing up as an eight being an adult, as an eight, we're very aware that people respect us, and that people trust us to lead things and to be in charge of things. But I think that we would probably count on two hands, how many people we think truly love us. And I think we think of ourselves as being difficult to love. And I think we're at times difficult to be around. But I think everybody is sometimes. So I think that that's been part of figuring out how to be authentic and and break those that armor down and be vulnerable with people is recognizing that there are people who genuinely love me and all of my peripherally self. And it's not just my family who wants some level I think I'll always think have to love me because they're related to me. I know that's not true. But on some level that's that's there in the back of your mind. But it's these really wonderful, amazing friends that I've made throughout the years who have been able to just sit with me and whatever Be Simon, and make me feel held. And you know, going through hard times to have people who reach out and just like, listen, I know you're probably not feeling like you want to be around, people just know I'm here, ready for you, if you if you want to talk, if you want me to make you dinner like whatever you need, I'm here and I'm thinking of you. That's huge. To not have to take that first piece of armor off myself, but to have somebody tell me, like, whenever you're ready to put that soft part out, you're safe and protected here, and I'm here for you. That's amazing to have that. And I think that that eights have a hard time leaning into that space. But if they can find somebody who's willing to get through the prickliness, who's willing to kind of, you know, go through all the all the thorns, they're going to be pretty, pretty happy with what they find inside?

Juli Wenger:

Yeah. Ah, this is so good. It's just like, I'm sitting back like I'm participating. But I'm also sitting back looking at like, there's so much gold in here that I can't wait to just like sit with and like, How can I better empower at home anyway, before we wrap up? If there's anyone who's listening to this, that is like, I might be an eight. What do they need to know about the next steps in their journey?

Unknown:

I think? That's a great question. You know, I think I think the thing that I would say is, it can be very easy as an eight, as you start to learn any grammar to only pay attention to the eight to go, this is who I am. And this is the information that I need. And I think really looking at that two and five space and seeing the way it plays out in in your experience. And then really learning kind of a core desires of the other numbers is going to help you to understand how they interact with you and the way they respond to you. And I think that that has been incredibly helpful for me in basically every relationship I have is to know, the way my mom responds to my energy is totally different than the way my best friend responds to it. Because they want different things, they need different things. And so recognizing that I think makes us as eights, able to be more authentic, which is something we so deeply want. And I think just taking that space to you know, we talked about innocence with eights that that's the thing that they need to find again. And that sounds absolutely bizarre the first time as an eight they're like, what does that mean? My supposed to like go to a park and sit on the swings. I don't, I don't understand. And I went to one of Suzanne's reveals workshops, and I got the chance to talk to her afterwards. And I finally said, Listen, what does that mean, exactly? What am I supposed to be doing with that and she was like, I want you to remember the last time you just felt safe no matter what. And I was like who I think I was like three, maybe four. But for me, having little kids in my life has helped me remember that innocence, the way that they just jump off of things and assume that I will catch them. And the way that they just run to me if they have a nightmare, or if they're upset about something, that innocence of leaning on people without having to double, triple quadruple check whether they'll still be there is terrifying, but so rewarding when you can get there. And so I think for eights that are thinking that that's my take is really try to lean into that vulnerability. Get out of the comfort zone, know that it's the protections that are needed. But know that there are true good, compassionate, honest people who want to know you for who you are.

Juli Wenger:

I can't help but think right now in this moment about like the faith aspect of that comment of like, when's the last time you felt safe? And that you could just like jump off of something and know that like, somebody's got you. And I just think about that God relationship for those of us that are in that kind of a journey in that faith space. And it's like that is the invitation. Right is this and I mean, this is what God's been telling me over and over and over again is like, Hey, I got you. I got you. And learning to trust that learning to really like, drop into that is terrifying on so many levels. But as I find proof of it, it's like, oh, okay, yeah, I can actually slow down. I can actually rest a little bit. I can actually take it out of warp eight. Yeah. And the concept for

Unknown:

me that there's something bigger than us something bigger that's in charge is like, I don't know about that. But it's so when you can push yourself into that space. It's so comforting. It's so comforting as an eight to have this moment where you're like, I don't have to manage everything. I don't have to be in charge. These people are competent. I don't have to run their labs. I don't have to do any of this. I can just rest and I can be still and having a faith relationship does really emphasize that. And I think I grew up in the church, I grew up in a fairly conservative church. And as I grew up, and realized that I was gay and realize that I didn't agree with all of these things, that was that felt like feeding into that betrayal of the eight, right like this place that should have been safe this place that taught me all these values that are so meaningful to me about love and compassion, and grace, then not offering that was so hard. But recognizing that my relationship with the church was not the same as my relationship with God was very empowering. And, and leaning more into that side of it, and then finding new faith communities who who did a kind of exploring and and exude those qualities that I felt that God and Jesus and all these things that I had learned really were about, really did help to, to give me as an eight that space to relax and be like, You know what, it's fine. It is what it is. We'll see how it plays out. And, and my family's motto is we'll make it work. And I think that that also has helped me to just be like, You know what I don't, I don't have to own every single detail. I don't have to be the power in the situation. I have these people around me that are always going to make sure that we make it work. So I can just be and be still. And that is such a gift for an eight who is always on always going to just say no, I can rely on other people.

Juli Wenger:

Yeah. That's beautiful. Thank you for that. Okay, deep breaths, deep breaths. I'm feeling really, like really grounded right now, which is so fun. I am really grateful that we could do this. And we could have this conversation and just for your willingness to be open and to be vulnerable and to share some of your journey and the insight, right, because sometimes we just don't have that opportunity to get kind of the inside scoop on eight. So so thank you for being with us.

Unknown:

Thank you for having me. It's been a lot of fun. It's

Juli Wenger:

been an honor. I hope this episode triggered something in you and got you thinking about your next growth curve. Make sure to check out the show notes for more details and links to resources or people that we've mentioned today. And make sure you hit follow or subscribe. And if you have a hot minute we'll leave an awesome review. I would be so beyond grateful. Until next time, be too much. I dare you