People who are eternally cheerful and optimistic approach conflict with a POSITIVE OUTLOOK CONFLICT STYLE. They focus on happiness and positivity. They don’t sweat the small stuff, always looking at the best possible outcome and framing challenges into a broader context. In conflict situations, they bring our attention to what is right, how the problem may not be that bad or how there is a lesson in adversity.
People who use the positive outlook conflict style might minimize difficulties or downright deny that anything is wrong. In their avoidance of pain and over-focus of the positive emotions, they might not be in touch with their own negative emotions or those of other people. This pattern is also known as the avoidant or escapists style - focusing on making the conflict go away or escaping the impact. People with this pattern tend to disengage themselves quickly from the problem situation. They might find it difficult to hear about other people’s unhappiness or suffering, especially if they play a role in it. They need to learn to acknowledge and face conflict.
Enneagram types 7, 9, and 2 all put emphasis on being positive, while avoiding acknowledging their negative reactions, especially if these are a shadow aspect for them.
Enneagram type 7s habitually focus on happiness by bringing an energetic, lively uplifting energy into any environment. They actively avoid negativity by making life fun, but in the process may create some chaos for momentum and distraction since they fear being stuck in boredom and the mundane.
Enneagram types 9 maintain their tranquility throughout any ordeal, acting as a soothing, grounded presence for others and bringing a calmness into any environment. In their quest for harmony and peace, they avoid turbulence, big waves and disturbances. They are very conflict-avoidant.
Enneagram type 2s place emphasis on their own positive self-image and on maintaining a cheery disposition by focusing on the goodness in themselves and others, amplifying their lovable aspects. They tend to keep people close by being a good giving person, but may neglect their own needs in the process.
People with a Positive Outlook pattern need to be mindful that they tend to overlook the problem, sometimes even denying that it exists. They need to realize that sometimes it’s necessary and beneficial to face a problem (without putting a positive spin on it) and that their avoidance of problems and conflict may actually contribute to the problematic pattern.
If this is your pattern what would like to say to your partners/family/friends/work colleagues/bosses if you were free to say anything. How can you frame it in a direct, honest, non-violent, non-accusatory manner?
How can you develop strategies that draw on the strengths of the competency and reactive patterns to help you with the best outcome? It is the combination of all three Conflict styles that gives us the freedom to respond in an optimal manner to conflict and difficulties.
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