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Enneagram: Hornevian Groups

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The triads in the Enneagram were discovered and classified by Psychologist Karen Horney, as she was studying the direction that we move relative to other people around us. It is perfectly possible to move together with people, move against those people and move away from them as well. These triads are known as the Hornevian groups.

On the Enneagram, we find that every type belongs to a corner of the enneagram. What are these corners? They are the Head Centre, the Heart Centre and the Body Centre. Sometimes, these centres can become imbalanced over time, and this was described in detail by Karen Horney.

Wheels in Your Head

There are Three Hornevian Groups: Compliant, Aggressive and Withdrawn

One of the centres is always favoured by an Enneagram type along with a secondary centre that supports the first one. In this arrangement, the third centre is not used to the full, and as such, there are three Hornevian groups and they are Compliant, Aggressive and Withdrawn. 

Withdrawn Type:

The people under this type gravitate towards the thinking centre (Feeling) and do not have a lot of contact with the body centre (doing). Emotions and feelings come easily for them, and as a result, they don’t do a lot of physical work, not utilising their bodies to its fullest potential.

Type 5 is recognised as being more in line with their thinking centre, using their feelings to support their thoughts. They draw back from people and retreat into their selves to think.

Type 4 draw their strength in their feeling centre, and use their thinking to put their feelings into overdrive. They also withdraw into themselves, but to live in an imaginary construct. 

Type 9 belongs to the Instinctive corner, and as such, they have no meaningful contact with the doing centre. They might look to be busy, but as they don’t have a concrete plan, they waste a lot of their time.

Withdrawn Type

Aggressive Type:

These type of people like thinking and doing more than feeling. They go ahead with their plans without giving a second thought to feelings - their own feelings and those of others.

Type 7 is in the thinking centre, and they love to make plans and go ahead with action in order to bypass their own pains. This is where their aggression comes from.

Type 8 is in the doing centre, and as their centre suggests, they are into action and just use thinking as a prop. They are looking to achieve great things in the world as a result of their actions. 

Type 3, in the heart centre, have no contact at all with their feelings and can put feelings aside in the pursuit of their plans.

Assertive Type

Compliant Type: 

These types gravitate towards the feeling and doing centres, bowing down to the will of other people and have no contact with their own thoughts. 

Type 1, is in the Instinctual centre, and they know the ego of people higher than them very closely. They receive their wisdom and go about changing the world with that.

Type 2 in the heart centre, want to be loving and helpful to other people. They are most likely to go ahead with their feelings through acting on them and not just thinking.

Type 6 who are in the thinking centre, do not have any contact with their minds, but let the beliefs and ideals of others drive their lives.

Complaint Type

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