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How to Lose Friends and Alienate People

Remember the Dale Carnegie book How to Win Friends and Influence People? I wonder if this relentlessly positive author ever considered writing a book from the opposite perspective, like How to NOT Lose Friends and Alienate People.

Unfortunately, losing friends and alienating people is something most of us have accidentally inadvertently done in the past, and would prefer to avoid doing in the future!

The Enneagram can not only inform us around what to do in order to be skillful with others, but also what to avoid doing.

Below is a list of one thing to “Never Do” for each of the nine types. I found this list online. While I don’t know who created it, I find what it shares to be sage advice. Particularly because the action to never do is something that triggers the basic fears of each type. 

Here is one thing to “Never Do” for each of the nine Enneagram types. 

  1. Never criticize an Enneagram Type 1 Reformer. Type 1’s basic fear is that they are bad, corrupt, evil or defective. They are working hard to make sure this fear doesn’t come true, so criticism can be painful. 
  2. Never take an an Enneagram Type 2 Helper for granted. Type 2’s basic fear is that they are unworthy of being loved. They work so hard to take care of others to prove that they are in fact worthy of being loved, so taking them for granted can feel hurtful.
  3. Never ignore an Enneagram Type 3 Achiever. Type 3’s basic fear is that they are worthless or without inherent value. They work so hard to prove their value and be seen, so ignoring them can be galling. 
  4. Never tell an Enneagram Type 4 Individualist what to do. Type 4’s basic fear is that they are without identity or personal significance. They work so hard to create an identity as a unique and uniquely creative person, so telling them what to do can feel demoralizing. 
  5. Never underestimate an Enneagram Type 5 Investigator. Type 5’s basic fear is that they are useless, incapable or incompetent. They work so hard to deeply investigate the world to gain knowledge, capacity and competence, so underestimating them can be disturbing.
  6. Never lie to an Enneagram Type 6 Loyalist. Type 6’s basic fear is that they are without support or guidance. They work so hard to discern the truth and detect bullshit so they can stay safe, so lying to them can be exasperating.  
  7. Never try to control an Enneagram Type 7 Enthusiast. Type 7’s basic fear is that they will be deprived or trapped in pain.They work so hard to generate fun future possibilities and enjoyable experiences, so trying to control them can be maddening. 
  8. Never betray an Enneagram Type 8 Challenger’s trust. Type 8’s basic fear is that they will be harmed or controlled by others. They work so hard to keep themselves safe and know the truth, so learning that you have betrayed their trust can be devastating. 
  9. Never talk over an Enneagram Type 9 Peacemaker. Type 9’s basic fear is of loss of connection, of fragmentation. They work so hard to connect with others, so talking over them (leaving them feeling unheard, unseen and unmet) can be infuriating. 


1. Have you ever been triggered by someone who does the "Never Do" for your type? If so... how did that feel? How did you respond? What impact did that have on your relationship? 

2. Can you recall a time you inadvertently laid one of these "Never Do's" on someone in your world? If so, how did that go? How did they respond? What impact did this have on your relationship? 



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