We’ve all heard the advice that we should always aim to respond to situations in life as opposed to reacting to them.

But what exactly is reactivity?

In my experience it has two key components:

–a lack of fully aligned (=Head + Heart + Body) Presence


–an overused Center Emotion (such as Anger, Fear or Shame).

This means that depending on our #Enneagram Type and Center of Intelligence, we’ll typically be reactive in (three) different ways.

Body Types will (over-)use Anger to protect their personal space.

Heart Types will (over-)use Shame to alert themselves to whether they are still connected.

Head Types will (over-)use Fear to let them know if they are in danger or threatened.

We all knew and used all three of the Centers as children but then were ‘taught to’ forget some of them as we grew up.

The #Enneagram helps to ‘relearn’ true presence by helping us notice when we are ‘abusing’ (overusing) any one strategy (emotion) at the expense of using all three, or only the one that would be most adequate in any given situation.

The paradox of the Centers is that the more resourced we are in one, the least free we become.

Let me repeat that, because I think this is a huge piece to the puzzle, I think.

The paradox of the Centers is that the more resourced we are in one, the least free.

The paradox of the Centers is that the more resourced we are in one, the LEAST FREE.

In practice this then means that:

Body Types need learn to really occupy the body (i.e. ‘stay there’ as opposed to automatically become activated in it through Anger) to experience a profound sense of fullness, stability, autonomy, agency, and independence that they so desire.

Heart Types need to make sure they fully occupy the heart (and not just as a valve for their Shame!) to gain the profound sense of self-worth, compassion, loving kindness and feeling loved and valued that their ego learned to artificially manufacture.

Head Types need to learn to operate from a truly mindful presence by fully occupying the head (and not allow it to be hijacked by their Fear and mental chatter), to experience the profound sense of inner guidance, clarity, support and steadiness they lost in childhood.

Transformation, ‘Presence’ and fully aligned (i.e. heartfelt, mindful and embodied at the same time) responding as opposed to just ‘reacting’ cannot happen with

–a body that’s become an automaton

–a contracted heart

or a 

–mind that’s full of chatter or clutter.

What’s the biggest ‘aha’ from any of this for you?

— —

Hi, I’m Fatime. 

I talk about the #Enneagram, #personality and #coaching.

I help introverted entrepreneurs (edupreneurs, solopreneurs and coaches) become better at promoting their services on social media by understanding and using personality to get more clients.

Want to know more?

1) Follow me on LinkedIn!

2) Follow me on Substack!

3) Message me if you would like a free PDF overview of the 9 #personality Types!

4) Schedule a free Type and Instinct Exploration Session!