How can we identify what our core personality needs are?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 13,770
    Relationship expert Chris Wright talks about how we can identify what our core personality needs are.

    Chris Wright

    Chris Wright is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist.  He sees clients in the Washington, D.C. area and has telephone clients from all over the world.  He also has over 35 years of experience as a trainer and workshop leader in human and organizational development across the U.S. and Canada.   Chris was founder and director of the Human Relations Institute in Houston, Texas.  He was also the Director of PAIRS International -- training psychologists, psychiatrists and therapists in couple’s skills programs.     As an innovator in the field, he has developed a unique blend of tools that increase the effectiveness in relationships -- for couples and in the workplace.  He has Masters Degrees from the University of Arizona and Antioch University in Los Angeles.

    Host: Is there a way to identify, what your core personality needs are?

    Speaker: There is a simple system that shows what our core needs are for both you and your partner and everybody, it is called the enneagram personality system. It is an ancient system in sacred phycology that explains what makes people tick, why they are, the way they are, what those core needs are? In this system there are nine different types of people, nine different ways of experiencing reality, each one is driven by a core need inside.

    So, they are referred to by number. You could be a one, you could be a five, you could be a seven and if there are hundred people in the room, they would all fall into these nine categories. So, it works like this, people of the same type all share a certain gift in their personality, a certain quality in their personality that is incredible, that is wonderful. But to the extent that they lose touch with that quality, there leaves emptiness inside, where they are missing that quality and their essence and it is painful for them, it is a terrifying place that void that emptiness inside and it drives a personality that is driven to try to find in the outside world what is missing inside, it becomes dependent on the outside world to fill that quality that I am missing inside. So, let us give you an example, in the enneagram let s use the ones, the ones in the enneagram have this gift of perfection, they have an intuitive sense, moment by moment what would make every situation perfect, it is incredible.

    But when they lose touch with that quality, it leaves an emptiness inside, it leaves a pressure, it leaves an insecurity having to do with perfection, a fear of the imperfection and that drives a personality that is thrown way out here as far as possible, trying to always scan for to get in the experience of everything being done perfect, everything being done right. When it is right, it creates wholeness inside, it replicates something I am missing inside myself, I now feel complete, I feel whole, I feel wonderful. It is like sugar but then it dissolves and start to creates an effrontery in the personality to constantly make sure the outside world is perfect, is done right so I can feel fulfilled inside.

    It is like it cerates a reference point, a singular reference point vantage point of my personality that all I scan for is moment by moment, is it done right, is it done right, is it perfect, is it right, is it right, so that if I walk into a room I merely notice when something is not perfect. So, when the situation gets out of balance, if it starts moving this close to the emptiness, it starts irritating me. You did not put the stapler back where you found it in the exact place, if it gets even this close to the emptiness where it is even further much of a mess, the kitchen is a mess, now I am not just irritated I am upset and if I walk in and see the whole is a mess that I am this close to that emptiness I am furious. And if in this relationship you throw me right into that place inside, that insecurity, then I can t live in this relationship, I can t work in this job under these conditions. Each of us have a core need inside, that need becomes our whole reality, our whole personality is designed about trying to fill that need, when the need is filled we feel whole, when the need not filled we feel empty, we feel pain.