How Each Enneagram Type Should Handle Their Anger https://chrisonet.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/how-each-enneagram-type-should-handle-their-anger.png
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What makes you mad? Each Enneagram type has its own unique anger triggers, ways of expressing anger and God-centered solutions to process anger.

In this post, you’ll learn what makes you angry, what’s behind your anger, how your anger manifests itself and God-centered habits for what to do with that anger.


No matter your personality type or how much you promise you “really don’t get angry,” you have anger triggers. However, some of us are not onboard with saying we ever get angry. I mean, isn’t anger a “bad” emotion? In fact, anger is a God-given emotion that isn’t sinful, yet God commands us not to sin in our anger (Ephesians 4:26).

Anger is okay to feel, and we all feel it, but there are God-centered ways to feel and process it.

What’s your Enneagram type?

The Enneagram is an ancient personality typing system whose purpose is to help us understand what makes us tick. Not sure of your Enneagram type? Start here.

I’m not an Enneagram expert, merely a lover of it. What I present to you is based on my study of Enneagram resources such as The Road Back to You and The Sacred Enneagram, websites like The Enneagram Institute and Your Enneagram Coach, feedback from people of all Enneagram types, and peer review by those of all nine types.

The FCC requires that I tell you that I’m an Amazon Affiliate, which means I earn a bit of commission on each sale. But don’t worry there’s no added cost to you!

TYPE 1 – The Reformer

What makes you angry: Nothing riles you up more than people who don’t do their part. For real, how hard is it to communicate expectations, pull your own weight and follow the rules? As a Type 1, you’re sensitive to injustice, a lack of control, inefficiency, people “getting away” with poor choices/irresponsibility and last-minute changes.

A Type 1 said, “There’s a deep sense within me that if everyone just did their part, we could have an efficient and happy world.” Because your type reflects God’s goodness and righteousness, you get angry because not all is right with the world, your plans or your people.

What’s behind your anger: Because Type 1s are in the Body Center, you are concerned with having and maintaining control and power. While other types may react to situations because of fear or shame, your type often feels anger. You become frustrated because God’s perfection and completion are wired into you, yet you can’t make that happen here on earth.

How you express your anger: You suppress your anger, which evolves into resentment then seething then explosion. After you get angry, you may get mad at yourself for not being perfect because you shared your frustration. You may even feel like you need to apologize that you got angry because it shows that even you – the perfectionist – aren’t always pleasing to others.

Your anger takes the form of yelling, “nitpickiness,” judgmental facial expressions, a self-righteous attitude and/or passive-aggressive behavior. You are also likely to carry your anger in your shoulders, neck and back.

How to process your anger in a God-centered way:

  1. Bring your anger to God – He’s not surprised by it, won’t condemn you for it, and will walk with you through it.
  2. It’s hard for your type when things don’t go how you planned. As an antidote to this frustration, spend some time in stillness – not doing, perfecting, fixing, planning, or spinning. Just sit still in the presence of Christ and allow Him to remind you how much He loves you. For practical strategies on how to do this, pick up a copy of Made Like Martha by Katie M. Reid.
  3. Journal your angry thoughts or talk through your anger with a neutral third party.

Want to read and learn more from a fellow Type 1? Check out the sites of these fellow Type 1s and reviewers of this portion, Katie Reid and Marissa Henley.

TYPE 2 – The Helper

What makes you angry: What makes you the most angry is when you’re unappreciated by those you sacrifice to serve. As a Type 2, you’re especially sensitive to being misjudged, ignored or shut down.

A Type 2 said, “Lack of responsibility and affirmation are my triggers.” Because your type reflects God’s care and love, you get angry when others don’t reciprocate or recognize the helpfulness, nurturing and support you offer.

What’s behind your anger: Because Type 2s are in the Heart Center, you are concerned with having and maintaining esteem and affection. Before you get angry, you’re more likely to feel shame. You’re normally the giver, fixer or helper in situations so you feel ashamed that you have needs or that you don’t have less needs than those you’re helping. You believe you shouldn’t need help, but you should only give help.

How you express your anger: You tend to suppress your anger because it seems scary and you want to be liked by those you’re trying to help. You may also say, “I’m not mad. I’m just hurt” in order to mask the true extent of your anger. If your anger does manage to escape, it may take the form of snarkiness, manipulation, passive-aggressive behavior and/or ranting. After you get angry, you feel guilty about it, which turns into a vicious cycle.

How to process your anger in a God-centered way:

  1. When you feel anger rise up, know it’s okay to be angry and you’re allowed to be angry, and recognize that having needs is part of being human. Then talk to God about it.
  2. It’s hard for your type to understand who you are if you’re not helping others, but this misunderstanding can lead directly to martyrdom. Remember that your identity is tucked away with Christ so you are fully known and appreciated by Him.
  3. Practice expressing one of your needs with safe people, which gets easier with time.

Want to read more truth by someone who’s also a Type 2? Check out the sites of these fellow Type 2s and reviewers of this portion, Wendy Douglas, Emily Green, Summer Gross, Callie Clayton, Dionne Kumpe, Taylor Schumann, and Amanda Bacon.

TYPE 3 – The Achiever

What makes you angry: You cannot stand anything that slows you down or anyone who fails to acknowledge your hard work. As a Type 3, you are especially sensitive to inefficiency, a lack of control and time wasting.

A Type 3 said, “Anything from uncontrollable situations to not knowing – or being unable to ask – or figure out a solution can set anger off in us.” Your type reflects God’s hope and action, which means you’re an optimistic “go getter” at heart. You get angry when the hope of completing a task or goal is thwarted because you wonder where you’ll find love if you’re not achieving.

What’s behind your anger: Because Type 3s are in the Heart Center, you’re concerned with having and maintaining esteem and affection. Before you get angry, you’re more likely to feel shame. Type 3s cannot stand not being able to control outcomes, not meeting your own expectations and not rising up to all the “shoulds” your inner critic (and others) throw at you. Your shame motivates you to look successful at all times, and when you don’t, your shame turns to anger.

How you express your anger: You push down your anger because you want to look good and it seems shameful to lose your cool in public (and “public” can mean one other person not seeing you at your best). If your feelings simmer over into a direct expression of anger, it can take the form of yelling or passive-aggressive behavior, but mostly yelling. Type 3s can run a little bit hot!

How to process your anger in a God-centered way:

  1. If your anger stem from people “getting in your way” from accomplishing tasks, ask God to give you eyes to see people as He sees them. If your anger stems from inefficiency, ask God to remind you that your identity is not found in what you achieve but in who God says you are: loved and valued.
  2. Spend time in solitude and ask God to show you how He sees you.
  3. Think through where your shame comes from: not being able to meet expectations, feeling trapped by ”shoulds,” or lacking control of an outcome. Ask God to help you apply His Word to your situation.

Want to read more truth by someone who’s also a Type 3? Check out the sites of these fellow Type 3s and reviewers of this portion, Kim Lisby, Rebecca Peet, and Dakota Rice

TYPE 4- The Individualist

What makes you angry: What angers you is being dismissed. You are frustrated by people who dismiss your feelings, gifts and commitments. Type 4s don’t do well with being criticized, fixed or ignored. More than any other type, you cannot stand being misunderstood.

A Type 4 says it this way, “Feeling misunderstood or misrepresented always hits me hard. I get frustrated with myself because I don’t have the time/capacity/giftings to pursue every little cause that tugs at my heart.”

Your type reflects God’s creativity and depth, which means you get angry when others don’t recognize – or take the time to recognize – the beauty and depth of who you are.

What’s behind your anger: Because Type 4s are in the Heart Center, you’re concerned with having and maintaining esteem and affection. Before you get angry, you’re more likely to feel shame. You may feel shame because, while you long to be viewed as distinguished and unique from others, you’re not sure that you are.

How you express your anger: Type 4s anger-cycle looks like this: Suppression -> Sadness -> Explosion -> Guilt for outburst -> Anger that no one understands you -> Guilt that you’re mad -> Crying

This cycle will continue if not broken in a healthy way. When your anger explodes, you yell, cry, zone out/disengage, and engage in passive-aggressive behavior.

How to process your anger in a God-centered way:

  1. You are allowed to feel every emotion, but your emotions cannot drive the bus. Remember your feelings are not always factual and can be fickle. Take those feelings of anger and sadness to Christ and allow Him to walk you through them.
  2. Because it’s excruciating for your type to be misunderstood, spend time alone with God so He can give you freedom from rising and falling with every emotion you feel.
  3. Find someone who loves and understands you, who will let you share your emotions without judgment. It’s unhealthy to hold on to these intense feelings, so let them out.

Want to read more truth by someone who’s also a Type 4? Check out the sites of these fellow Type 4s and reviewers of this portion, Ashley Fields, Deborah Beddoe, Kerry Campbell, Kathryn Vigness, and Deon Sexton

TYPE 5 – The Investigator

What makes you angry: You focus more on information and less on emotion. When you do get angry, a lack of respect is what gets you there. You don’t do well with people wasting your time, invading your space and making assumptions about you. You’ve spent a lot of time contemplating all the angles, analyzing data, and studying a problem so if your ideas are rejected, anger ensues.

A Type 5 says, “If you want to trigger my anger, be someone important to me, talk down to me, tell me that what I think doesn’t matter, don’t listen, talk over me, insist you’re right and refuse to acknowledge my counter arguments or efforts at providing perspective. Then load me down with unrealistic expectations, especially unrealistic timelines.”

Your type reflects God’s truth, which means that you become angry when people don’t discover the truth about you either because they don’t take the time or because people have shared untruths about you.

What’s behind your anger: Because Type 5s are in the Head Center, you’re concerned with having and maintaining safety and security. You don’t go to anger first, but fear. You fear you won’t be able to function in the world. From this root, spring fears of being helpless, incapable, not having all the information and feeling out-of-control of your circumstances. You fear not being able to measure up. Deep down, you simply want to be capable and competent.

How you express your anger: As a way to get space between you and your anger, Type 5s suppress your emotions. However, you are not afraid to confront what makes you upset. If your anger does manifest itself, it comes out as snippiness, yelling, crying or sarcasm.

How to process your anger in a God-centered way:

  1. When you feel anger pushing you toward isolation, use that as a cue to draw close to Christ. He sees your every need, knows how overwhelmed you feel and will replenish your depleted emotional reserves.
  2. It’s hard for your type to be disrespected so remember God always respects you and is gentle with your heart. You want control for the instability you feel so ask God to remind you that He is unchanging, steadfast and eternally loves you.
  3. Spend time in silence knowing that the Holy Spirit will help keep you in check as you listen for His still, small voice.

Want to read more truth by someone who’s also a Type 5? Check out the sites of these fellow Type 5s and reviewers of this portion, Rebekah Llorens and Loretta Gjeltama.

TYPE 6 – The Loyalist

What makes you angry: Nothing gets a Type 6 angry faster than inconsiderate behavior. Type 6s are especially sensitive to disingenuousness, bullying, demands on their time and injustice. Your anger may stem from the hurt you feel because you weren’t shown respect or made to feel valued, two qualities you give others.

A Type 6 said she gets angry, “…when people don’t follow through with something important that they said they’d do (without any real explanation) or when people try to rush me into making a big decision.” Because your type reflects God’s trustworthiness, you get angry when people show a lack of faithfulness toward you.

What’s behind your anger: Because Type 6s are in the Head Center, you’re concerned with having and maintaining safety and security. Your first reaction isn’t anger. Instead, your primary emotion is fear. You fear everything will go wrong. From this root springs fears of trusting others and not having guidance or support. Deep down, you want security.

How you express your anger: If you’re angry at an acquaintance, you may pick your battles carefully and handle the situation factually. If you’re mad at someone you love deeply, you may either avoid the person altogether out of a fear of conflict or directly confront to restore the hurt relationship. Your anger, which masks your fear, may take the form of yelling, having outbursts and/or stomping away.

How to process your anger in a God-centered way:

  1. Take the root of your anger, which is fear, to Christ. Ask Him to remind you that true peace and security are found in Him alone. Ask Him to heal your heart from the hurt others have caused.
  2. Spend time in silence listening to God remind that He is watchful over you. Hear Him say that when that when bad things happen, God is always with you and will never leave you.
  3. Find a safe person or grab a journal and share what’s bothering you. Memorize and repeat God’s word when you feel overcome by anger.

Want to read more truth by someone who’s also a Type 6? Check out the sites of these fellow Type 6s and reviewers of this portion: Janel Guevara and Sarah Crickenberger.

TYPE 7 – The Enthusiast

What makes you angry: Type 7s get angry when they believe others have overstepped their bounds, leaving you without ownership, authority or options in a situation. Whether it’s overhearing a rude comment, being disliked for no reason, or being told you “must” do something, you can’t stand it when you’re told what to do without any opportunity to defend yourself.

Type 7s are the most sensitive to having limited options, having mandates placed on their time, and offers of unsolicited advice that they “should” take. A Type 7 said she gets angry when she feels “…boxed in, or like I have to do something! I have to have an ‘escape route’ most of the time.”

Your type reflects God’s abundance, and for you “abundance” equals “having options.” Limited choices and a lack of alternatives can lead to anger.

What’s behind your anger: You’re concerned with having and maintaining safety and security, so your biggest fear is being trapped in pain. To avoid caught in your hurt, you want to have choices, do All The Things, and have freedom. Deep down, you simply want to be content and joyful, living life to the fullest.

How you express your anger: Unlike many types, Type 7s are likely to directly express their anger. Occasionally, your anger “pops up” out of nowhere, and just as suddenly, you’re ready to move on. However, those who experienced your anger may not get over it as quickly. Your anger manifests itself as well-articulated debate, assertiveness, crying, impatience, impulsivity and saying words you may regret.

How to process your anger in a God-centered way:

  1. Breathe slowly and pray before expressing your anger, even if it’s a few simple words like “Jesus help me.”
  2. Your type is especially sensitive to having limits or boundaries placed on you. Spend time in silence with God to ask Him if limits are actually His way of protecting you so you don’t burn out. Ask Him to reveal what He may be teaching you through this time of limited authority.
  3. Find a safe person who will help you process all those feelings inside.

Want to read more truth by someone who’s also a Type 7? Check out the sites of these fellow Type 7s and reviewers of this portion: Jessica Dalton, J. Bethany Anderson, Dorina Gilmore, and Nina Hundley.

TYPE 8 – The Challenger

What makes you angry: Your angers stems from feeling you or others have been unjustly treated. As much as 8s seem powerful, how people make you feel is of utmost importance, and you do not want to feel bullied, betrayed or taken advantage of. When plans and situations do not go your way, you feel stuck, betrayed, helpless and out of control.

What’s behind your anger: Because Type 8s are in the Body Center, you are concerned with having and maintaining control and power. While other types may react to situations because of fear or shame, your type often feels anger. Your type reflects God’s protection and power so it makes you angry when you or others are treated unfairly and unjustly.

How you express your anger: Just like Type 7s, Type 8s are quick to express their anger. You prefer to confront situations head on. Sometimes your anger may manifest itself as irritability, verbally lashing out, and detachment; it is typically intense.

How to process your anger in a God-centered way:

  1. Pray that in your anger, which is oftentimes a righteous anger, you would not sin. Pray that God would use the words of your heart to bring peace and resolution, not further conflict. Pray for God to show you whether your actions are self-righteous or holy.
  2. Your type is sensitive to injustice and disrespectful behavior. Consent to being still so that you can feel God’s power and protection in your life. God will fight on your behalf and for others. Remember that you alone are not responsible for righting every injustice.
  3. Instead of detaching from your feelings, find safe people to express your needs, frustrations and wants.

Want to read more truth by someone who’s also a Type 8? Check out the sites of these fellow Type 8s and reviewers of this portion: Kaysie Steele and Samantha Martin.

TYPE 9 – The Peacemaker

What makes you angry: Type 9s don’t get angry often. In fact, you rarely experience or feel anger. If, and when, you get angry, your trigger is not feeling valued. Not being valued looks like being interrupted, taken advantage of, nagged, criticized or ignored. You also notice when others have been treated disrespectfully.

A Type 9 said what makes her mad are actions like… “criticism of any kind, but especially from loved ones. Conflict and being unable to fix things, find things, or make things whole in any way.” Because God’s peace and community are wired in you, your anger is activated when you see a lack of value and respect.

What’s behind your anger: Because Type 9s are in the Body Center, you are concerned with having and maintaining control and power. While other types may react to situations because of fear or shame, your type often feels anger.

How you express your anger: Type 9s seem the most calm and relaxed, but your anger is there, just stuffed down deep. You suppress your anger because you believe connection and unity will be disrupted if you express what you feel. You prefer to bottle up your anger instead of expressing it. If your anger does come out (and it may be a delayed response), it manifests itself as passive-aggressive behavior, crying, blowing up at another, a biting response or quiet resentment.

How to process your anger in a God-centered way:

  1. Ask God to remind you your feelings are important, and it’s healthy to express your emotions in a God-honoring way.
  2. Because Type 9s can “merge” so easily with others and believe the feelings of others are their own, ask God to give you clarity of mind so you can react in a God-centered way that is true to you.
  3. Take some time to pinpoint your triggers and be intentional to come up with a plan to work through them in advance. This might look like setting expectations for yourself and others before a potential confrontation sets in.

Want to read more truth by someone who’s also a Type 9? Check out the sites of these fellow Type 9s and reviewers of this portion: Jessica Wolstenholm, Laura Fox, and Patricia Marshall

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