Chris WrightChris 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: Isn t someone right and wrong in a conflict?
Chris Wright: Well, sure it can seem like somebody is right and somebody is certainly wrong in a conflict, but it shows you how grouping these pressures are how much they affect to your whole reality. The best way of illustrating this is, there is a television show in US called Wife Swap or Trading Spouses are two different shows. In both these shows, what they do is they take the wives from two different families and exchange them, one wife goes to one family and the other wife goes the other family for two weeks and off course, what they do is they take wives who have completely different personalities. Knowing the enneagram is fascinating to watch because it immediately you understand what the needs are, of each of the women. So, for an example, in one episode, they took woman who was one of the perfectionist and they traded houses with her where she went to live with a family where the women was in nine. Nines have the need to just go with the flow to harmonize with everybody, to connect everybody, they really laid back, they led things slide, it is more interesting that we love and connect to each other than it is about how good a job we do and things.
So, when the one arrives in the nines house, I mean she is imminently just amazed. I mean there is dogs and cats running around and hair on the floor and there is a big mattress in the living room, a puppy-pile for all the family they get together and the bathrooms are dirty and the kitchen soaked in. She has gone crazy, I mean within 3 or 4 days, she is in her bedroom crying I can t stand here and I can t live here, I need go home or I am going to die here.
That is how strongly people can get thrown into that emptiness when there needs are disregarded. Then nine goes into the one s home and looks around and it is like, God it s like a museum here, everything is just so perfect, doesn t feel like anyone lives here. The kids walk around and they are very robotic and they were very disciplined and everybody has to do certain chores and it is like wow! And again by the third night, she is in the bedroom crying, I cannot breathe, I can t believe and I can t live like this, incredible. Let me give you another example, they took a six and they took a woman who was a four and they exchanged. You remember sixes, sixes have this need for security, for certainty that everything is tied down in their environment. To protect everybody s well-being because things will fall apart, if you do not. So, in the six woman s family, the kids for example were home school. She has doesn t trust whether they are being taught in school, so she wants to make she controls but they learn. Everybody has duties, everybody is structured, there are rules that everybody follows. Oh, my god she goes over to this other woman s home and that woman is a four. Four is a artist, they are creative.
It is all about free expression of yourself that is what matters to a four and so in a four s house, the kids are in a punk rock band, the mother has tattoos all over her body, she dresses provocatively, her head is shaved, because four are blending in like everyone else, it is like death. So, need to feel special that they different and so when the six comes into that house she is gazed, that people could live this way. Oh! My god and tries to establish order and structure and it turns in the chaos or heated confrontations and then when the four goes to the six s home where everything is orderly, she can t live this way, she is gone crazy and so she wants to open up the doors and let kids have freedom and oh it is like a mutiny, incredible.
In these situations people live the realities and the realities are based on these pressures inside, these needs inside, that color, their whole sense of their values, their lifestyle, they even train their children in these pressures, in these insecurities so they feel to protect their children. So, their children don t have to feel those same insecurities. And in all cases, when you watch the show you will realize that the reality is so strong that they don t realize when they over the top.
When you are watching this show you can see, Oh! My god this family is really over the top, but when there in it because that need meets some sense of wholeness for them. It makes them feel fulfilled, it gives them bliss. How could wholeness be over the top? Each one them thinks, how could wholeness be over the top? And yet from our side we see that is really a trap and so it shows you -- you can see throughout the show how these principles here that you can be completely lost in your world in a way that could be over the top without you recognizing it at all. So, the question is who is right and who is wrong. I mean each one has a different set of values, a different point of view, a different advantage point that feels real in their world and so how can you say one is right is one is wrong. It is just depends on you reference point from point of view.