Enneagram: Berghoef & Bell Innovations

Leadership. Communication. Teamwork.


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Mindful Holiday Gift Giving

img_0110The holidays are here again this year! No matter which one of several holidays you celebrate this December, most likely you’ll be buying gifts for your family, friends, and coworkers – or all of the above! Trying to choose the right gift for everyone you care about can be one of the holiday season’s biggest sources of stress.

Your gift giving style depends on a number of factors, one of which is your Enneagram type. As we’re gearing up for the biggest shopping month of the year, remember that it’s possible to consume mindfully and get gifts that everyone enjoys. Here’s a tip to help each Enneagram type reduce holiday shopping stress:

One – Your gift to your loved one doesn’t need to be perfect. Instead of angsting over what just the right gift is for someone, get something “good enough” that comes from the heart. The special person in your life will still love and appreciate your perfectly imperfect gift!

Two – Remember, buying gifts is an expression of love, but a truly selfless gift giver gives without expecting anything in return. If you have expectations around a specific buy getting you something, return it for a gift that feels lower-stakes to you emotionally.

Three – You’re great at reading people and attuning to what they want, but remember to stay humble about the gifts you give. Give your loved ones time to enjoy unwrapping the gifts and thank you in their own way this holiday season.

Four – Keep in mind that the person you’re buying a gift for may have different taste than you. You may love patterns and find stripes distasteful, but if that’s what the person enjoys and requested, avoid self-indulgence by buying their gift of choice.

Five – ‘Tis the season for generosity! It’s important to conserve resources and buy a gift within your budget, of course, but avoid being too conservative in your choices with your nearest and dearest. A thoughtful gift will show your deep caring to your loved ones.

Six – Gift-giving is one way you express your commitment to others, and you’ll feel better if you reduce your anxiety around it. Instead of debating endlessly in your head and asking others what to get your loved ones, trust your own guidance of what they will like.

Seven – You delight in the fun of giving others gifts, but before you buy, make a habit of getting your loved one’s wish list. It can be so easy for you to see the fun in everything, that you need to keep in mind not everyone will enjoy the same types of gifts as you.

Eight – Work towards relinquishing control this holiday season. Get your family the gifts they’d enjoy, instead of imposing your will of what you think they need or should prefer. Be gentle and magnanimous in meeting everyone’s needs.

Nine – Stay proactive this holiday season by not only actively asking the people in your life what they’d like for the holidays, but challenging yourself to let them know what gifts you’d appreciate, too. That way, you can enjoy a holiday with empowered giving and receiving.

Remember, no matter what you buy or don’t buy for your loved ones this holiday season, the real meaning of the holidays is getting to spend time together with the people you care about. There’s always something to celebrate over the holidays. Relax and enjoy!


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Managing Holiday Stress

2014-11-18 22.12.33The late calendar year hums with holiday magic. Families gather to feast. Gifts are exchanged, and lights festoon the windows. The holidays bring great joy to the world! They allow us to take time off work, celebrate with friends and colleagues at special events, and spend quality time with our loved ones.

This busy time of year also brings special challenges. Many of us find ourselves in a flurry of parties, seeing distant relatives, and travel. Our routines get disrupted, and we spend more money looking for the perfect gifts for everyone. Old conflicts with family can resurface. Some of us end up feeling lonely because we feel we don’t have enough events to attend or people to spend the holidays with.

Self-care is of particular importance during the holiday season, and what we need varies based on our Enneagram type. We’ve put together a list of tips for managing stressors and getting the most out of the holiday season, based on your social and communication style. You can learn more about the three communication styles and identify yours by reading our blog post Crafting Successful Communication.

Soloists (Enneagram Types 4, 5, and 9) – As a Soloist, you offer a spirit of creativity and reflection during the holidays. You’re also at risk for being overwhelmed by the additional socialization, travel, and activities. Staying grounded and aware of your body is particularly important. Make sure to take the time to recharge your batteries if your holiday season is busy. Step outside and take a breather during holiday events, and look for individual roles you can take in the events, such as preparing the food or playing the holiday music. If your social circle is smaller and your holidays tend to be solitary, get out of your comfort zone and attend an event! Local nonprofits are always looking for volunteers on holidays, and Meetup.com groups often have holiday celebrations.

Initiators (Enneagram Types 3, 7, and 8) – If you’re an Initiator, you bring natural energy and enthusiasm to this festive season. You likely have a busy schedule all the time, and the holidays get even busier! You may find yourself running from place to place on little sleep. It may be necessary for you to prioritize events and skip some to maintain your self-care practices. Stay present in your heart center at the gatherings you go to by letting yourself be emotionally affected by the people around you. Take the extra effort to appreciate friends and loved ones through verbal acknowledgement, a thoughtful card, or a carefully chosen gift. This is also a great time to prioritize helping the less fortunate, through your time or financially.

Cooperators (Enneagram Types 1, 2, and 6) – As a Cooperator style, your generosity and commitment shine during the holidays. You may feel a strong sense of duty to your family, charity, or religion, and it can be easy for you to get overcommitted trying to support everyone in your life. Take some time to individually reflect on your own values, and make sure to take on only those responsibilities that align with them. Saying “No” to that extra commitment is important sometimes; take care of yourself by scheduling in some time to rest. And have fun at the events you do attend! Supporting others during the holidays can be richly meaningful, but letting your hair down and enjoying yourself is important too.

No matter what type you are, maintaining your daily practice throughout the holidays will help you stay mindful and centered. We wish all of you a wonderful holiday season this year!