Experience Life Magazine recently ran a very interesting article entitled Peace Through Personality (link here). The article uses the Enneagram of Personality Types to examine 9 different personalities, including strengths and weaknesses, to examine how people react differently to conflict and how this can effect attempts at conflict resolution.
As a Collaborative Divorce Process (CDP) practitioner, I am always looking for new tools for my clients to help them understand conflict and enable them to work through the emotional turmoil of divorce. Often, the differences in how two people handle conflict differently contribute to their decision to pursue a divorce. During divorce proceedings, particularly in the traditional litigated process, emotions are amplified and decisions which affect the rest of the family forever are made in high-pressure environments. This often only reinforces couples varying approaches to conflict.
As a CDP practitioner, I make a point for couples to utilize divorce coaches. The work of the coaches is imperative in recognizing, acknowledging, and overcoming these differences, which in turn allows couples to move forward productively and to effectively co-parent their children after the divorce.
If you and your partner are in a state of turmoil and you are considering a divorce, I strongly encourage you to utilize this resource and discover your Enneagram personality and it’s implications on your interactions with your partner (you can take the test here). Because it is often difficult to process clearly in times of high conflict and distress, I also encourage you to reach out to a mental health professional who can help you navigate your varying approaches to conflict—whether your end goal is to maintain the relationship or to successfully preserve the family through a divorce.