Let's dive right in, shall we? So the first point that I want to make is that, uh, communication is more than what you say, it's more than the words you use, if that's all it was, you know, you would read a book about I statements or, you know, knowing your audience or whatever it is that the conventional wisdom says, and then you would go out and you would be a great communicator, but it is the focus for us is not so much on what you say, the focuses on who you are and who the person is that you are talking to as best you can, the words are tertiary, I wouldn't even say secondary, and so we're not going to be talking about how to construct your sentences or you know what? There are no tricks here for getting people to listen to you open with a joke. There'll be none of that, um, because we're not gonna be looking at your communication as a by product of what you say, we're looking at it, abi, we're looking at it as a byproduct of your presence, so I want to make that that point right ...
off the bat, so we're we're gonna go deep in my exploration of this topic over the last, probably twenty years, I have studied many things about communication styles I'm sure you have to myers briggs and colors and things like that I think they're all great they're all useful symbolic languages I call them but I've come to see that there are four aspects that I would ask you and you to consider to determine about yourself and then to get a handle on what do these qualities mean in such a way that you can when someone else opens their mouth or write to an e mail any kind of communication that you can begin to sort of sniff feel where they are along these four lines? So the first one is are you an introvert or an extrovert? And I'm gonna explain what I mean by all of these things in a moment this is the beginning of everything because anyway I'll explain that a second the second one is when you are triggered as we were just discussing do you move against which is uh what you described and I'm not saying that's you but that was what you described do you try to do you move against the object that has triggered you? Do you move towards it or do you just move away from it and I'll go into more detail on that in a moment the third thing to consider is what is your personal type and I am going to present you with nine and that's gonna be the bulk of our time in this session is what is that style? Because there's a tremendous amount of detail to consider and we're gonna review that and then the final one is, um he's wearing it's tricky your subtype because there are three and I'm gonna explain what they are in a second and then your your personal type whatever it is of the nine it's modified by one of those three it's like the type is a mirror is a prism let's say I don't know about if this is the right way to say it and then the subtype is a mirror that refract ce that prism in a particular way so we're going to go over all of that and before we dive in I want to tell you that there is going to be like a tsunami of information coming at you today there is a tremendous amount to consider please don't think that you have to write it all down first of all it's in the works book it's in the bonus material that you will get and that others would get when they purchased the course and the best way to take this information is just let it let it wash over you I don't trust that you will remember what's important and then when you when you think there is something important that you forgot you can go back to the reference materials and look it up but there's gonna be a lot of information coming at you but so don't don't be uh don't be overly concerned about trying to write it all down to remember it because it's not gonna be possible so first are you an introvert or an extrovert and this has been a topic of great conversation is especially since uh the wonderful author susan kane wrote her book I think it's called the quiet revolution really brought the notion of introversion or extra version to the four and this is the place to begin determining your personal style it's commonly thought that introverts I mean introvert means you're shy and extrovert means you're outgoing no the definition I'm going to offer you has nothing to do with shyness or non china's for example I myself I'm an introvert I'm an un shy introvert there are people who are shy extroverts and so on so it has nothing to do with that it has to do with everything to do with where your energy comes from introverts gain energy from solitude when an introvert is alone the gas tank refills few when they're out too long in the world with others talking or socializing or whatever that tank dreams and they need to go back and be by themselves for it to refill um understanding comes in solitude more apt is more apt to come when they're alone that it is in dialogue people who are more extroverted understand what they think in the act of talking about what they think that's not his true for people who are introverted this is what I have noticed extroverts on the other hand, they gain energy from interacting with others when an extrovert leaves a party there like I can't sleep I'm so buzz that was so much fun or whatever it is and they're interviewed partner is kind of like just please get me oh get me home exhausted because their tank fills through engagement has nothing to do again with shy or not shy but it's like I get energy from you and you and you and it just feels so great and when I have to spend too much time by myself I start to get restless and I lose energy and I'm not comfortable and I'm unhappy I need to get out there and refill my tank and the energy the understanding comes through engaging so you know ask yourself as far as this sounds right now which one are you? Do you get more energy from being alone or with others and you don't have to know the answer but that's the first thing to start thinking about where is my energy source and how can I construct my day my relationships, my life so that I can have access to that energy source on an as needed basis so I know that after this day which I am going to love this isn't like actually perfect for an introvert because we have a start time and we have an end time and if this was open ended let's hang out talk about personal styles the introvert person would be like I don't think so but give me an n and an end time and I will show up with all my guns blazing and full force and no problem because I know that it's going to be on hand so that's cool so does that make sense it's a little bit of a question I do you can you have some of both? Absolutely. And then what are you then more introvert? I mean absolutely it's a really good question and you do have some of both everybody has some of both its nobody is it's not black and white so if you have some of both but that's awesome you can be more balanced. One of them is probably predominant and if you think about when you were a child for example which one was more true not as the preacher processed adult that you are now but say in your teens which one was more true for you? That could be a way to say what I think I weigh a little bit more on this side than this side but you can definitely be a mix great thing about that, can you? Is there something traumatic that might trigger your behavior in a certain way um as opposed to your natural way of being is it nature or nurture is a question for the ages and I don't know the answer and if you are asking it I wish I could offer something helpful but this is a question again of the ages and my guess would be yes both that there is some internal innate pred election and then something happens in the environment that triggers it but if you're asking because you're like I don't like it and I want to change it and if I heal this trauma could I I don't know I don't know I say always the first place to begin is with appreciating yourself now and then whatever investigation ensues can be more fruitful question from girl friday following up on this can you be an introverted ex wrote, can you be both but she's gotta conserve same does this mean I have a split personality? If this is something that applies, I'm sorry it does it does sorry girl friday I know it doesn't mean that it means that you have a capacity perhaps that is broader than other people who can more readily situate themselves on one end of the spectrum or the other and it may be circumstantial like in these situations I'm more introverted and in those situations on more extroverted that's a great place to begin the exploration and just start maybe maybe making little notes in a journal well, I seem to be get a lot of energy from this kind of interaction and I spent all day sunday by myself and I'm exhausted my energy's gone I wonder what that means so begin exploring where you are start where you are is always a good first step and they are they are really exploring we've got a lot of cool conversations in that exploration going on so they're with you on this for sure that's exciting let's get another things that people say they want to get out of this course is have to communicate across generations because this is something that the workplace certainly demands money always had sure, but I think it's something that's become very, very important to people in their work lives as well absolutely especially the generational thing what I what immediately comes to my mind is someone who's talking to me while they're texting nine other people I'm like how could you possibly be listening to me? But they are so it is different definitely so that's a really good point um so that's the first place to start considering are you an introvert? Are you an extrovert? Do you not know that's awesome start thinking about it start noticing bring this awareness into your daily life and see what you notice the next thing teo contemplate is this is gonna sound really fancy and it's gonna make me sound really smart but I'm not going to tell you that right now there was a psychoanalyst I think in like the forties and fifties a german psychoanalyst named karen horn I h o r n e y and she developed something I don't know why bounce this way but when I've heard it said this is how it's pronounced the horn evian directional theory of neurosis and what the horn evian theory says is that when when triggered when confronted with something frightening something painful something whatever we have learned one of three uh responses and that one has his primary you do all three but one is primary and the first response is people who move toward the object of fear or pain whatever it might be to pacify it like if I could just make friends with you I know you're mad at me but if I could just make friends figure out what you want and then go okay look we can solve that problem then my trigger will dissipate and I won't have to be so scared anymore so I'm going to try toe calm the situation down I'm sure you all have been in situations where that's the right thing to do but sometimes it's ah it's a default response that may not be appropriate so a third of the people move towards look at those awesome illustrations thank you emily for making those great illustrations uh the second third of us want to move against that object of fear or pain and take it down it's in my way I want it gone I need to change things I don't like it it's inappropriate bad wrong I'm clearing that out of my path that could be the exact right thing to do in certain circumstances but again when it is your um triggered response in most situations it's not so conscious it's not so good none of them were good in that such in that circumstance so a third of the people move against to try to defeat moving against people want to defeat the problem they want to develop, you know, like get people on their team to also fight that problem and of course everybody's just trying to avoid pain so including the third type which I will just evil learn whether you want to or not I'm going you learned about me that's me, I'm in a way person the people who move away are your classic avoiders like never mind that's a scary, difficult, painful thing. Well, I need to wash my hair or I'm going to go look at some other problem that I have that actually isn't scaring me that I think I can do something about or, you know I'll just try to think about something else so it can happen in personal relationships perhaps you've heard of such a thing that you are rarely together with a partner who does the same thing as you and it can actually be bad if you're both moving against people, you could have a lot of fights few post moving away people you're gonna, um not figure anything out and if you're both moving toward people, you're not gonna really address riel difficulties could youjust gonna wanna always be like oh it's okay baby don't worry about it I am a moving away person and my partner is a moving against person and it took us probably ten years for him to stop saying to me, why don't you just sit down and if we just talk it through, if we just get at the heart of it, we can stop this problem why do you keep running away if you would just face it and I would be like, I don't want to face it uh, I would be like, can we talk about it in a different way or we love each other right or what? I'm going to go do something else write me an email about it it really took a long time for and and the the way it sort of snapped to both of us is when someone was talking, some friends of ours were with some friends and we're talking about couples and fighting in your relationship and so on and one of the person people at the table said to us, do you guys fight a lot and simultaneously he said we never fight and I said we fight all the time because what he thought was when I think of as a fight he thinks of as a robust conversation so it would be interesting to hear from the students and their perspective on this this is such a fascinating line of conversation so yes, what do you think you are? Does anything come to mind? Well, I just had a thought that and your buddhist and I've practiced buddhist practice for fourteen years as well and my understanding is there's maybe a fourth way or what they call it a middle way I'm just being kind of unmoved or chinese the wool way of not not toward not against, not away just kind of their present I don't I wonder if you had like funds about do you understand there maybe there's a fourth way, a middle way, a way of just being with so I would say, of course, but check check your check your intention checking motivation are you trying to be with to move towards? Are you trying to be with as a way of moving against? Are you trying to be with as a way of moving away which often spiritually practice you know, going off to another program right now is a way of moving away it's a way of not engaging that's false spiritually practice of course so yes there can be just being with I would say in those moments when you are the buddha which you have those moments you have those moments you have those woman's in the other moments check your motivation are you trying to be with so you can get away or moving answer whatever so but good question great we can actually move through this and one by one that's a great idea I'm definitely a way I could see your face way you're like yeah and my boyfriend is against for sure because every time is like let's talk about it I'm like I don't wanna talk about it let's do something else if you know it's like a gender reversal for both yeah and I hope that like by morning we both forget about it and it's solved I feel your sister yeah so that's good to know about yourself yeah and in a sense that first thing that I was I was talking about earlier letting yourself off the hook it's not wrong or right to move away it's just how you do things so now you can not be mean to yourself or him but just sort of looking away how can we make this work when you're going like this and I'm going like this I'm the way as well yeah, sometimes I just sit down and just I'm just quiet and yeah, just and down does that what how do you feel in the moment if you can answer this in the moment before you shut down for the moment you do shut down what does it feel like? Probably angry um yeah, I was angry and it's not so easy for other people to then find you know e just might just go to my room or something just do something else get my mind away from whatever the situation is as your fellow moving away or I know that it is a wonderful hiding place no one can actually find you because no one actually knows you're hiding or where you are but you could just visit curtain goes down and you're like saying things and doing things but really you're took a train somewhere else so very interesting thank you. My first reaction was towards and then the more I thought about it I could find myself it's each come and I was also looking for their neck for the fourth option for the middle work is often time also do that is kind with and the like so it's very interesting I could find myself in all of them but I think maybe toured is most often most trusted so that's you can see all the points of view yeah, so I confined I think it depends on the relationship who it is and what's my what is my moods and what do I have to gain or is something immediate I need to solve and then going with someone on a trip you don't need to be together for the next or is it or is there a long time on a ship? But I'm oh, is it? Uh um friendship, family member or non right? What is the stake so that's? Very interesting and this is sort of the second instance and I don't mean to pry into your psychological state, but of you saying I can't find my point of view or finding what I have to say establishing myself is what I am looking for and not everybody's like that. The beauty of this is you can see all points of view your heart can go out and out and out and out and then for someone in this situation not saying you but someone in this situation the work would be find your seat, we'll find your ground and so that I would just ask you to keep an eye on that as we go through our time together um I'm I'd lean more towards against sure in your eyes yeah, I don't think I want to be sometimes, but I related to your conversation he's been sorry the fights you say you have with your husband where I want to talk about it and then I want to talk about it again and I'm gonna beat the dead horse and then one more time I just want to make sure that we got it right and that I can see how the people that I do that with are not the same way that I am so is that what we're going to learn next? How teo, I know what I am I know what they are how do we communicate? You know that's exactly what we're gonna talk about exactly, but but let me just caution and there's no like one, two, three now do this that and the other it's this all this is all about awareness when you're aware of your direction and you're aware of his direction or her direction, you have the inside track I don't mean because you can take advantage of the situation, but you're suddenly your vision is expanded and you can see more clearly what's going on and fights are the opposite. Everything shrinks and become very constricted and contracted, but this is a way or you go home, let me take a look at the bigger picture so and moving against we need people in this world that move against because there are things that need to be moved against and the rest of us can't not so good at it so it's a powerful scale so please and embrace it too don't hurt me well, my upbringing was definitely away and not dealing with um uncomfortable situations that's how you were taught to act certainly you know is uh evangelical fundamental, you know pretty much and you know, I of course would be the one in the family who you know I've always wanted the truth I wanted to know the truth the most important thing to me in life is what's the truth that the earlier s h I can even think about and so it was always in conflict with I didn't want to run away, but I didn't know what else to do because you know, you don't have those kinds of analytical skills at a really young age at this point now uh, you know, I mean, clearly I go toward, uh not like smothering or anything and against would be maybe if I'm at a protest march but it's not physically violent, but I like I do like communicating and I liked to solve problems uh I want happiness everybody needs to be happy about that so that's very interesting in that brings to my mind a layer of complexity that I invite you to forget about if you like I was too much complexity but there's a secondary level of the toured against away I find this excited so I'm kind of very geeky about this some people moved toward to move against some people move toward to move toward some people who toward to move away so there's a secondary level so what you're describing and I'm not saying this is you with someone who moves toward to move against so keep letting your mind expand around these notions of toward against away and and I look forward to hearing what you come up with um I'm actually a combination ofthe toured and of a because as a childhood I read lots of stories ofthe buddha and mahatma gandhi and how they would go to the solitude and kind ofthe king's salvation that knowledge and then come back to the society and spread that and so means both kind of complementary aways uh useful in gaining something like knowledge and towards that's in sharing that knowledge what you have attained sure so uh I see myself as a combination ofthe water there that's also that's the most balanced but let me ask you this when your team is all talking at once uh huh and you're like we're not getting anywhere what do you do uh I tried to meet teo try to make the situation it's me everyone has their own idea so let them give them time to think about it means let them like uh go deep into that and when they think that they have sorted out our they're understood to the level they can and they can come back and share those insides that would be much more helpful that's great so you don't yell with um you know you don't say hey you you said this you said that work it out everybody let's talk about it you sort of create more space okay interesting fantastic thank you uh for me I definitely gamma toward person the once to pacify and wants to make friends really jumped out at me and you know at first when I think I started getting into that habit I wanted to be like really spiritually and kind and and all of that but now I'm learning that actually there's a manipulation to it teo you know we're definitely going to be able to smooth this out and you know I don't actually want to be your real friend I just want to make myself feel better and that's why I'm being so nice so it can be a little false sometimes that is so self aware and so great and makes you trustworthy in my when you know you want to manipulate it actually makes you more trustworthy than someone who does it but doesn't know that's what they're doing so so you can look at your moving towards it also has all of these air double edged swords is it it's all about your intention what do you moving towards for to move towards to have against interesting you're an interesting character uh, I think I've been all of them at one point or another way probably all have, but I think I've been in a way person most of my life uh, but now I think I'm realizing that that's a point where you can gain some perspective and look at the situation and then become a toward person rather than getting emotional if that makes any sense of jumping right into it. Oh, so you're saying that moving toward is the best is opposed to moving against were just avoiding no at moving toward is better because you're trying to solve the problem sometimes not always know there's some problems that if you keep trying to move toward it when the other person is like punching you, you know in some way not so good, none of these are better than the others, and again, I just want to emphasize again, the awareness piece is three right is the important part and then you have a choice do I want to move towards my inclination is telling me to but is that just my habitual pattern? The best thing to do so you're saying it's some point it might be better to just punch somebody out? Well, I would say rarely rarely, but you know what if they've punched you five hundred times, so I'm not saying that there any value I'm not placing any value judgment on any word that I'm going to say to you in our time together zero minus zero I know that's not really a thing, but I want to tell you that no value judgments it's just about knowing so what you guys chapter matching philip from belgium again he's joining us today welcome to you, philip he's saying does the toward against away does this have anything to do with the three main drivers of behaviour social result ego? I've never heard of those drivers social came from an mba program that he was actually involved in those were identified the three main drivers said it's social social uh result and ego we don't know phillip you're gonna have to explore that and tell me um because I don't know, but I'm very fascinated and if you wouldn't mind emailing what you think, is there a correlation? What correlates with what I would be very fascinated to hear it that's a very interesting conversation that talk is cheap is sharing with us that they're obviously having a big challenge with somebody who they obviously want in their life but has really frozen them out in many respects I think it's to do with some misunderstood text messaging but talk is cheap, saying should you approach or demand a response from someone who runs away from an issue situation what if them running away and not giving you an answer is preventing you from moving on or living your life? So it sounds like they're very much a toward person, but they're trying to deal with someone who's very much away, it's like a toward person running after in a way a person, right? Yes, exactly, and that first my heart goes out to you because it is so painful to open yourself and want to embrace a person or situation who just turns their back very painful. So of course I cannot tell you what is right because there is no right, but I would encourage you talk is cheap too think about what is underneath your impulse to move towards. I'm sure it's a good intention of wanting to solve something and make things better, but what's beyond that and might my gas is that what is underneath what you're saying? Even just from this text message, I can sort of hear in my imagination that there's a sadness and the sadness is soft and workable, and when you can allow yourself to feel your own sadness first about any situation, then the inclination to rush out and do something about it sort of comes second, but when you sit in your sort of emotional truth and really let yourself be there, right action tends to arise. And no one can tell you what that isnot even you because it's something that happens in the moment so I'm not trying to be a bit too sir obscure, but what I'm saying is I don't know what is right I'm not you are not right and this other person is not right but start to explore your own feelings about the situation and then see what comes to you to do christ requires self trust reminder to that we cannot control others, we can observe and act on our own behaviors in our own a way of being right that's such an important thing to say we can't control people obviously we're on good days we can control ourselves, but we can see and know what is happening. Yes, and then yes related to that question there is a couple psychologist who wrote a book uh few years ago called the tools and one of the principles was, uh, moving toward pain. I noticed the last or not the last call on all three of those was avoiding pain, and I thought it was very interesting. Their idea is that you gain that power by actually moving towards that thing or you're saying, like, sitting with that, I wondered like, what are your thoughts was about that, um is there that ability towards or value in kind of moving toward pain? Absolutely these air neurotic reactions when you moved towards neurotically it's not so beneficial but when you moved toward non neurotically with a sense of healthy curiosity and kindness toward yourself then it's a great thing so it's about your intention again yes yeah I was I too am dealing with a situation of ah decades long friend who occasional very occasional goes through bouts of depression and other things and at the time you know hell there will be non communication and you know sometimes it might get a little bit of communication but my tendency is of course to wanna go toward you know I want to be available but you know even friendship is a two way communication uh it doesn't do any harm to sit and wait sometimes it's it's difficult it's just difficult I'm I'm trying to figure it out and I change my mind you know every moment of what I'm going to do about it or not so you have a decades long friend who is in a depression right now and I need to be able to communicate with him because there's time limitations on some things that need to happen that should involve him I say but I can't make I can't make him okay you will communicate with me now all right you know that uh sometimes it leads allowing the space tow happen is so difficult in situations like that and sometimes things fall through and ultimately end up you know okay and the big picture of whatever is going on but it's difficult it's difficult in those times very difficult and it goes back to john marie's point that you can't control exactly anyone and you can have some say over your own reactions but in the meantime we all have to sit with intractable situations and there are no magic solutions but and I'm not gonna sound like a buddhist polly anna right now um there's always the possibility of having an open heart and leaning in not in the shirt not you know, not in the book way but in the just like heart way leaning in to whatever situation you're in allowing your heart to feel noticing noticing noticing noticing your reactions, their reactions, how things change, how they don't change staying with as a practitioner you know what is meant by staying with and when you start to rupert, come back and stay with what is difficult and this is what I would call riding the situation and of course we want to ride the car into the garage shut the door but sometimes just doesn't work that way, so you just gotta keep going so I wish you luck with that and your friend too because I'm going to ask this and put on the spot with marie what do you think? I'm curious too? I really I feel like a chameleon actually, and it's very scenario dependent my husband would say I'm against because I I I am quite pointed with with something that that I want to push through on the agenda and the way that I say it to him because he is not so much in a way, he's very toward so he always want he's like, I feel like I'm just you're putting your point out here like we're on a debate. I told him I was on the model u n united nations team and forever I'm in a debate hey says you're the big debater, I said, no, this is just the way I make my point. I'm very clear about it, and this is what I would like to happen and he says, oh, that's a debate oh, maybe that's similar to you and and your, um your husband, right? Yes. And then in some situations I feel as though I'm toward because, um, I I know that I have to be in order to perhaps drive the point through and then when nothing is working, I'm out of there so you can relate to all three and moving towards the way you described it is like because that's the right thing to do and you want to be kind or that's, not a neurotic reaction, right? So sometimes the debate and the away can as you described them, can be more neurotic reactions and that's what to look for is m I triggered and and and then sort of falling into one of these behaviors to fight the situation that I don't like and that's actually a good point I have really tried to monitor if I'm feeling that against trigger go off where I'm like I gotta prove something here I go well, maybe I could work with them to try to prove the point which is why I said I feel like a chameleon because I take that neurotic activity and I try to go well, how can I actually make this part of something that we build us a solution together? That's beautiful and so that's not an erotic right? No, I'm sorry it is no, no, no it sounds loving and wonderful and and like you're working with yourself out of love and I think that's great so it's good to develop awareness which one are you in certain situations but the trigger the one that's like you do it automatically that's the one to really look out for how about you? I feel I'm very much the same this jamboree I feel I apply different things to different situations and different people that I'm dealing with certainly so I recognise myself in many of these I don't think I necessarily have one, pathan that I follow. I mean, ultimately always wanted to feed anybody, that I'm having a specific uber, alice. But it is. I'm joking. I think I do apply different things to different situations, definitely, as a mature adult would well, I hope so. That's, definitely not me.
Susan Piver is a Buddhist teacher and the New York Times bestselling author of seven books, including The Hard Questions (Tarcher) and the award-winning How Not to Be Afraid of Your Own Life (St. Martin’s Press). Her latest book is
I would really recommend this course if you want to get to know your personality type better. What makes the course amazing is the idea of including mindfulness into your life to create better, more authentic and compassionate communication with others. Susan Piver does a great job and comes across as a genuine and generous person. Thank you to Creative Live for producing this excellent course.
Took me a bit to get through the course because of other commitments. That said I found it to be wonderful. I am part of the Open Heart Project and assumed the course would focus on just that and how it related to communication. I was thrilled that the Enneagram- something I have studied some was included too and how mindfulness and the Enneagram can together support more effective communication. Susan was warm, funny and and overall did an awesome presentation. Well worth the price I paid for this.
I loved this class. I was not expecting it to be a full on enneagram tutorial, but with that said, the content of Susan's class was life changing. I grew up in a very conservative household where open conversations were not welcome and therefore, never knew how to communicate my thoughts and feelings without becoming emotional and feeling misunderstood. By taking this course, and afterward reading The Wisdom of the Enneagram, I was able to learn my personality/communication type, the styles of those around me, and how to bridge the gap to be understood in any message. The coursework has also helped me to better understand the thoughts, feelings, and intentions of my loved ones. Again, truly life changing course work. Highly recommend to anyone looking to make sense of themselves and their surroundings, and apply this knowledge in a practical sense, both personally and professionally. THANK YOU, SUSAN!!!