It’s been a wild 18 months, but the good news is that in many parts of the world, the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter. As vaccine rollouts pick up pace, lockdown restrictions lift, and travel is gradually reintroduced, many of us are emerging from the pandemic and searching for our new normal.
Different Enneagram types have different worldviews, and these differences color our experience. Re-entry after the pandemic won’t feel the same for everyone, and the Enneagram provides a useful tool to help understand some of these differences.
Below we offer you nine approaches to emerging from the pandemic, based on your Enneagram type.
Type 1: Perfectionist: You Are Trying to Find Your Balance.
The pandemic really threw you for a loop because your tightly controlled plans were shattered. The holiday you booked six months in advance was abruptly cancelled, and you had to quickly reorganize your entire home in an attempt to efficiently combine your work life and your personal life. Now you are trying to get re-entry just right. You might be tempted to overbook trips and events by including multiple contingency plans or to not book anything to avoid disappointment. Finding your new normal is a delicate balancing act and a constant state of recalibration. You are trying to find the best way to be correct and efficient in this new environment and the truth is, it isn’t easy…
Our message to you: Take it easy on yourself.
Type 2: Giver: You Just Want to Rest.
You feel conflicted about re-entry. On the one hand, you are really excited to see people in person again. It’s been hard to maintain relationships over Zoom, and you look forward to the day you can hug your family members and grab an after-work drink with your co-workers. But you’re also exhausted. Trying to support everyone’s fragile mental state has been hard on you, and self-care isn’t your strong point. Now that you can start considering in-person meetings again, the truth is you just want a long, well-earned vacation.
Our message to you: Be kind to yourself.
Type 3: Achiever: You Are Wondering How To Do the *Best* Re-Entry.
You really had to redefine yourself during this period, and the good news is, you rose to the challenge. You nailed those video calls, moved your work online, met your goals, and found a way to succeed despite all the challenges. You showed you have the ability to pivot but now you are a bit confused about how to return. The new reality isn’t the old one so you are working really hard to figure out how to nail re-entry. We know you’ll be the first one back to the office, and that’s no surprise to anyone.
Our message to you: Don’t overdo it.
Type 4: Individualist: You are Trying Hard Not To Be Overwhelmed.
You already feel things intensely so the pandemic and social isolation have been particularly hard on you. You swing between feeling elated that some freedom is returning and feeling overwhelmed and traumatized by these last months. You are highly aware you need a gradual, staged approach for re-entry, especially since you pick up on the emotional state of those around you. Your plan is to re-engage slowly, check in with yourself often, and let yourself process your feelings day by day.
Our message to you: Go slow.
Type 5: Investigator: Nothing Much Changes.
The dirty secret is you didn’t mind the lockdown that much because you finally had a socially acceptable reason to avoid gatherings. Now that the restrictions are being eased, it is a bit anxiety-provoking to consider what is next. You really had gotten in the groove of staying alone and distanced, and while you are looking forward to a bit more engagement, you’re worried that you’ll be inundated with invitations. Your plan is to stay in hiding a bit longer and let the first wave of re-entry pass over your head.
Our message to you: Don’t shy away--we’ve missed you!
Type 6: Skeptic: You Are Reminding Everyone It is Not Over.
You were the first to go into lockdown, and you have barely left your home since this whole pandemic started. Now that the vaccine is rolling out, you really wish people would remember the risks that remain. Vaccines aren’t 100% effective, the virus is constantly mutating, and new information is always being surfaced. You are enjoying a bit of carefully measured freedom, but you remain vigilant.
Our message to you: Relax a bit. Others will do as they please.
Type 7: Enthusiast: You are Telling Everyone It is Finally Over.
You were remarkably social during lockdown, found ways around the rules you didn’t like, and even made a few new friends during this period of isolation. Now that you have your vaccine appointment, the end is in sight, and you already feel like this whole nightmare is behind us. You’ve pulled out that day planner and started scheduling your first trips. The pandemic is over, and you feel it in every cell of your body.
Our message to you: Ground yourself.
Type 8: Challenger: You Are Redrawing the Battle Lines.
You made enemies and allies during the pandemic and now that the worst is likely behind us, you are taking stock of the new battlefield. You want to be sure to emerge powerful so you’re carefully planning your next moves. The stress of the pandemic really showed everyone’s true colors, and you’re reorganizing your relationships as necessary.
Our message to you: Don’t be too harsh.
Type 9: Peacemaker: You’re Confused.
With your attention gravitating to others, lockdown offered you a rare opportunity to focus on yourself. At first it was hard, but then you got into it. It was nice putting yourself first and rediscovering the things you love. Now that this chapter is ending, you’re confused about what’s coming next. You are looking forward to seeing other people in-person, but you hope you are able to maintain this stronger sense of self.
Our message to you: Stay connected to yourself.
The pandemic threw us into a strange crucible, and everyone has come out of it a bit different. It’s easy to assume that others will have your reaction to re-entry but as you can see above, that isn’t realistic. The Enneagram offers a tool for greater understanding, for both yourself and others, and this deeper understanding is an essential ingredient of this next post-pandemic chapter. At its highest and best use, the Enneagram is a tool for compassion, just what we need right now.
Go here to learn more about the nine Enneagram types.