Ali Wren

whole-hearted living, healthy-minded eating

Type Six with Lauren Arnett

Lauren Arnett lives in Atlanta with her high-school sweetheart and husband of 5 years. During the day, she works in finance. Any other time, you can find her having coffee with a close friend, enjoying a delicious meal (that her husband most likely made), or finding new, “hip” spots in Atlanta. She is passionate about practicing self-care and developing rich relationships, and hopes to coach women to practice those things in their own lives as well. You can find her on her new YouTube channel chatting about life and lifestyle, or connect with her on Instagram @laurenparnett.

How long have you known about the Enneagram? 

My journey with the Enneagram started my first year in college, which feels like yesterday, but was actually almost a decade ago. After reviewing the types, it didn’t take long for me to identify myself as a Six. I then started reading more, including “The Enneagram in Life and Work” in an effort to better understand myself and my relationships.

What do you wish people knew about being your type? 

Once you have Sixes’ trust, you have their loyalty. Because of this, they can be fantastic community builders. They build and cultivate long-term relationships founded on trust and authenticity. They have the ability to build a safe space for others to thrive and feel secure. I wish people knew that despite the anxiety and need for reassurance Sixes sometimes have, with a little encouragement and support, they can be willing to lead and defend people and relationships in ways many are not.

What do you like about being your type? 

One thing I love most about the Enneagram in general is that it inspires me to provide others with what I need most, which is security and encouragement. The characteristics of anxiety and the lack of self-assurance I feel as a Six on a daily basis leads me to strive to create safety and security for those around me, and to foster an environment of authentic community.

What challenge(s) does being your type bring? 

Sixes look for security in everything in life. In the turmoil of today’s world, that security can be hard to find. For me, that causes difficulty in decision making, and I struggle to find confidence in my own voice. I struggle to not constantly assess my environment or relationships and drown in the fear of “what if.” However, identifying these struggles and making sense of them through the Enneagram has led me to create a network of support that I can stand on when times get tough. I’ve also learned to reassure myself that despite the uncertainty of circumstances, it will be okay. I know it sounds silly, but sometimes I literally give myself a pep-talk. It’s really helpful to remind myself of past situations I’ve been in or decisions I’ve made that turned out much better than I ever could have planned. Sometimes looking back helps give me the confidence to move forward towards whatever goal or dream I have next.

Here is a silly, but very real example of how my Enneagram type plays out in life. I hate roller coasters. I avoided them my whole life. Then I met my thrill-seeking (Type Seven) husband, who loves nothing more in the world than riding the fastest coasters possible. He couldn’t understand why I couldn’t let loose and enjoy them. I reassured him they weren’t fun for me. Why would I choose to get on an unsafe contraption, plummeting towards the ground? Are those seat belts even safe? What if mine malfunctions? What if we get stuck upside down?” I could go down the “what if” trail forever. Long story short, it was a real issue in our marriage. He couldn’t understand why I couldn’t just relax and have fun with him. I couldn’t understand why he’d want me to do something that made me so terrified. Through the Enneagram, this scenario made so much more sense. I like security. I like my feet planted right on the ground. My husband seeks adventure and fun in everything. You can see where these two could collide. We have since both compromised. I will ride roller coasters on his birthday, after I give myself a little pep-talk (and maybe cry) in line. He makes me feel supported and gives me encouragement along the way. My hope for you in learning how to use the Enneagram is that it would help improve your understanding of yourself and others in such a way that it cultivates your relationships for the better.

This is part of a 31-day series: The Enneagram. To read all posts, head here.

About Ali

I'm Ali. I write about my journey of living a full and healthy life with food allergies, overcoming the comparison trap, and cultivating authenticity.

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