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Are some types more compatible than others?

Fortunately, the Enneagram does not predict which types “go” with which others in any kind of cookbook fashion. Positive or negative relationships cannot be predicted by whether or not certain types are connected to each other by lines on the Enneagram, as some Enneagram teachers have taught. Nor are types more or less compatible because they are in the same group or Triad of the Enneagram, or on the right or left side, or opposite each other on the circle.

However, insight into the structure and characteristics of each of the types does reveal the kinds of psychological issues that preoccupy people of each type—and based on that kind of deeper knowledge, some thoughtful things can be said about what kinds of issues are likely to arise between any two of the Enneagram types. For instance, Eights have issues with autonomy and independence (among many others), whereas Twos have issues with needing validation and seeking intimacy, (among many others). Depending on each type’s Level of healthy functioning, a number of insightful things could be said which would be helpful to such a couple-the strengths and weaknesses and likely conflicts they will have concerning these issues.

Don Riso and Russ Hudson have outlined the key compatibility issues between each combination of Enneagram types in their forthcoming book, Growing Relationships, a large excerpt of which appears on this website.

Next: Which books and audiotapes do you recommend about the Enneagram?

Previous: What are the Instinctual Variants (or Subtypes)?

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