One-on-one conversations with our editor Tom and various YOB friends! We generally publish 30-minute episodes every other week.
Just when you thought our Enneagram series was finished – we're back with another Ennea episode! We promise this ConvoCast will actually be the last one on the Enneagram (at least for a good while). We wanted to tie a bow on this series by bringing back Ben, who helped kick off this series on YOBcast 095, talking with somebody who doesn't identify as one particular Enneagram type but with multiple ones. This final episode of the series is for the "Enneagram wanderers" and "Enneagram prodigals" – those who find themselves bouncing and searching among several types, and those more apathetic (or perhaps antagonistic?) with the Enneagram. We hope this broader conversation on decision-making, vices, and virtues resonates wherever you stand with (or even against) the Enneagram!
Daniel remembers the first time he felt shame for showing enthusiasm as a child, and how that response impacted his introversion -- a rare disposition for Sevens. He discusses his love for travel, moving from the Philippines to the United Kingdom, visiting 35 cities in one year, seeing a different country every month, and even coming to America for multiple YOB retreats. But when does a love for travel turn to escape? When is escape healthy and courageous, and when is escape more detrimental? Regarding sexuality and relationships, was he constantly trying to escape something uncomfortable, something painful, something sad? We close the conversation with the growth and beauty of a Seven who can stay put and persevere -- with others, with self, and with God.
Aaron discusses the anxiety surrounding his sexuality through the years, including coming out to others as an adult and coming out to himself in high school. He also shares openly about taking medication to help with his anxiety. Throughout the episode we read lots of YOBBER feedback, much of it centering around anxious attachment with other men: how much ongoing reassurance is needed for the relationship, and how much is unhealthy? We talk a lot about fear in this episode, particularly relational fear and this ability to live out a Side B life, but also of courage and comfortability and the Six's ability to be incredibly loyal and steadfast! Perhaps if YOB and the greater "Side B" movement endure through the years, Type Sixes will be a big reason why.
Fives are heady types, supreme thinkers and philosophers, as Will confirms his "endless curiosity" for books and learning, and returning to school whenever he hits an existential crisis. Enneagram expert Ian Cron describes Fives as the most misunderstood type, people with emotions beneath their intellectual exterior, and Will confirms his journey with processing difficult emotions. He shares the appeal of intellectual attraction versus physical attraction for the Five, and he explains how his problem-solving nature wanted to "fix" his "gay problem" in adolescence. During stress Will admits getting disorganized and clingy, but during security he's passionate about strengthening the people around him – where, as a pastor, his Five-ness particularly shines. During times of doubt and questions, Will returns to the Gospels and his love for how Jesus makes sense of this world.
Tom and Alex discuss the qualities they love about being Fours: artistic, empathetic, and yes, unique. In times of security they're objective and productive, taking action and creating things that add beauty to the world. A Four's "superpower" is empathy, giving others permission to "feel all the feels" with them, too. Tom and Alex also dive into their dark side of Four-ness: the neediness, the manipulation, the constant craving for approval, particularly from other men. Fours are often described as people who perceive lacking a critical "missing piece," and as queer or SSA men this hits especially deep for Tom and Alex. In adolescence did they miss some critical component for masculinity or sexuality, along with connecting with the other boys? What is the path forward for a Four in those whirlwinds of emotional stress?
Adam makes his YOB podcast debut (or does he??) as he helps us get over the hump of this Enneagram ConvoCast series! As a member of our community he opens up about the need for vulnerability as a Three, along with the core struggle it launches against the impressive persona he strives to present. We ponder the reason why Threes are perhaps the least common type in YOB – and maybe even within the greater "Side B" community? Is it simply because the closet is especially comfortable for a Three and less threatening to their reputation in the Church? Adam also confesses why he thinks Threes are the least desirable type in the Church and how that's impacted his ability to belong as a believer.
Since so much of the Two's identity is tied to other people, we dive into this realm of "relating with other men" more than any other episode of this series. In particular, how does a Two respond to that precious loss in male friendship? How does a Two feel a sense of belonging with a community? How important is coming out for a Two? Wes also shares about the Two's relating with God: does a Two feel beautiful in God's eyes or merely tolerable to His purposes? How does the Two experience pride and manipulation in times of stress, and how does the Two experience self-care that isn't selfish during times of growth?
Jesse discusses his inclination to order and perfection and how that has translated to a need to "clean up" before God, particularly with his sexuality. He shares his love for lists and how he's only recently begun to prioritize tending to his sexual and gender identity. He talks about his messy stress path into Four as well as his security into Seven, including how he embraces a more spontaneous, adventure-seeking nature with his guy friends -- but only for two hours at a time.
Ryan compares himself to how Julia Roberts orders eggs in Runaway Bride, and he also pleads with other types to let him just enjoy his wrong restaurant order! He discusses the Nine's ability to "merge" with other people's passions and personalities in a loss of personal identity, and we read some extensive YOBBER feedback that exchanges "peace" for "unity" as a Nine's primary motivator. We discuss some other feedback about coming out publicly as a Nine versus coming out selectively to "keep the peace." What happens at a church after Ryan comes out and serves in the children's ministry, and some parents are acting a little off? Finally, Ryan shares about the Nine's fear of neediness as he reacts to the neediness in others.