Growing up, there was a Cantonese (硬頸) word often used to describe me. The literal translation is “thick neck” – as in, the rigid neck which does not allow the the head to turn (to see other perspectives/options).

That word translates to: stubborn.

There's a story my mother used to tell during her mah jong games about the first time I revealed my stubbornness. It was the early 90's – I was only 3 years old and I wanted to wear a very specific skirt. Did I mention it was December and the snow was up to my knees?

She tried to put a jacket on me and I refused. I wanted everyone to see me in my pretty skirt as we walked 12 blocks through the Brooklyn snow. She brought the jacket with her and encouraged me to wear it.

Instead, 3 year old Fiona trekked through that snow, blue lipped and shivering, so everyone could see that skirt. She never put the jacket on.

Over two decades later, I learnt about the “not listening gates,” (traditionally called “the deaf gates” but let's update that, yeah?) which show up in people who are designed to not be influenced by others.

(I may have at least one of them).

Not Listening Gates Human Design

The Not-Listening Gates are:

  • Gate 38 (The Gate of the Fighter)
  • Gate 39 (The Gate of Provocation)
  • Gate 43 (The Gate of Insight)

People who have these gates are not designed to be influenced by others. Fingers in their ears, going their own way.

If you're one of these people and you've heard, “You never listen!” quite a bit in your life, perhaps you're designed that way. 😬

👉Fun side note: This is part of my audience bias, but I noticed a number of people who have these gates identify with being an “activist.” Perhaps there's something to this. 👀

Gate 38 – Opposition – The Gate of the Fighter

When you feel the pressure of what's worth fighting for, you fight for it. Even when everyone else is telling you that it's dumb. Even when you're doing it alone.

In the words of Marv from Sin City…

Worth dying for. Worth killing for. Worth going to hell for.

Intense? Yes, people with Gate 38 are intense.

The Not-Self: This can show up as fighting for the sake of fighting, but not knowing exactly what to fight. You end up getting into meaningless debates on Facebook. Endlessly searching for somewhere to put all this “fight energy” and allow someone else to make that decision for you. You feel constantly defeated. You fight for “the wrong thing.”

Note: You only know what is “right” through your strategy and authority.

Gate 39 – Obstruction – The Gate of Provocation

Ever been accused of giving someone “a look” or that you're “acting” a way to deliberately annoy someone? With this gate, your mere presence can bring up conflicting feelings in another person.

You're someone who can ask a genuine question and someone takes it as you're challenging them.

At your best, you “provoke” your loved ones and clients to look beyond their self-imposed limitations. You encourage them to get a little uncomfortable and try to see the other side.

Even with political debates, you lean in the gray area. You can see the perspectives of both sides. The “gray” is uncomfortable for human beings, but you feel at home here.

The Not-Self: Provoking other people because you know that you can get under their skin. Doing it for the sake of doing it, with no purpose or direction in sight. Blaming other people for your lack of direction, because you rather philosophize and question than take action.

Note: To enter an environment where your provocative nature is welcome, refer to strategy and authority.

Gate 43: Breakthrough – The Gate of Insights

This gate is in the Ajna (awareness center) instead of the Root (pressure center) which makes this one a little different than the former two gates.

This is about truth.

It's about all the information you've collected and conceptualized and concluded. Good luck on anyone trying to convince you otherwise.

One of the members of The Guided Voyage mentioned how this seemed to be a “tame” gate compared to the other two, and I'd like to remind everyone that the Athens, who prized wisdom and democracy, defeated the Spartans, who prized their military prowess.

(However, I also want to credit the progressiveness of the Spartans because they educated their women, where the Athens did not). As you can see, the level of “tameness” is only defined by how YOU live out your gates.

The Not-Self: Thinking that your truths and conclusions aren't valid because you're struggling to articulate it. Downplaying what you truly believe because you don't want to stir the pot. Activism for woke points and to relieve yourself of guilt, rather than being an activist for what you truly believe and stand for.

Want more nerdy stuff or would you rather not listen? 😂

You have what these gates mean but did you know that Human Design is like an ogre because of all the layers?

Beneath each gate is something called changing lines (if you've ever wondered what all those decimals were next to your gate).

I see them as “smaller archetypes” within the gate that gives a unique flavor of how that gate manifests in your life.

Your fellow passenger,
Fiona Wong