Growth & Grace Podcast Episode #33
EP 33: Enneagram Basics
What is the Enneagram?
It is an ancient personality tool, that has 9 personality types. And it can be a wonderful tool for self discovery. It dates back as far as the 4th century and people have used it for 100s of years, I would say in the last 100 years or so, there has been more research and things written, but in the last few years it seems like it has EXPLODED.
Your enneagram type is determined by your motives NOT by your actions.
Which is why there is not a 100% accurate 'test' like other personality tools.
Tests looks at behaviors and not motivations, only you can know your motivations.
If you want to take an online test, then use that as a starting place. Take your highest numbers and then start to read up on the different types.
I'm going to describe some basics of each type later, but I really encourage you to do your research. The enneagram institute is a good place to start, and the book the road back to you!
Your enneagram type can't change
If you are having trouble figuring out your number, think about how you were in your early 20s when reading about the types.
Each enneagram type goes to one number in stress and one number in wholeness. Which is why tests aren't always accurate, but that can also show up different ways. There is a while diagram, and I'll post it in the FB group so that you can see what it looks like if you have never seen it before.
What's the deal with wings?
There are a lot of talk about wings. A wing means that you may heavily lean to one of the enneagram types on either side of you. Your wing can only be located on either side of your number. Your wing can't just be any number. It is not your top two highest numbers.
There are not 'better' types. They are all equal. And quite frank, the world needs all the people.
There are different levels of health, obviously.
When you do your research, not everything in the description of your basic type will apply to you all the time because you fluctuate constantly among the healthy, average, and unhealthy traits that make up your personality type.
Type One, the reformer is principled, purposeful, self-controlled, and perfectionistic.
Fear - Of being corrupt/evil, defective
Desire - To be good, to have integrity, to be balanced
May be overly critical and judgmental
Really hard on themselves
Details are super important to them.
If they say they are going to do it, then they will do it!
A lot of self discipline
They like routine.
Worry a lot
Type Two, the helper is generous, demonstrative, people-pleasing, and possessive.
Fear - Of being unwanted, unworthy of being loved
Desire - To feel loved
Want to be acknowledged and appreciated
More comfortable giving than receiving
Really focused on relationships, and makes decisions based on relationships.
Really good listeners
Naturally take care of others
Don't know how to articulate what they need
Lots of people ask for help
Type Three, the achiever is adaptable, excelling, driven, and image-conscious.
Fear - Of being worthless
Desire - To feel valuable and worthwhile
Important to come across a winner
Loves setting and obtaining measurable goals
Doesn't always talk about personal life
Type Four, the individualist is expressive, dramatic, self-absorbed, and temperamental.
Fear - That they have no identity or personal significance
Desire - To find themselves and their significance (to create an identity)
Likes to feel unique
Spends a lot of time trying to explain self
Really comfortable with sad things, stories, song, movies, situations
Feels like something is missing
Intense feelings, lots of feelings
Often feels misunderstood
A lot of times an artist or highly creative
TypeFive, the investigator is perceptive, innovative, secretive, and isolated.
Fear - Being useless, helpless, or incapable
Desire - To be capable and competent
Can be sarcastic and cynical
Needs time alone
Often an observer rather than participant
Like to learn
Relationships take a lot of energy
Sometimes feels awkward around other people
A good listener
TypeSix, the loyalist is engaging, responsible, anxious, and suspicious.
Fear - Of being without support and guidance
Desire - To have security and support
These are our worst case scenario people
Often don’t trust authority
Can sometimes be anxious
Generally not comfortable with extremes
Acts quickly in a crisis
Slow to start
Likes to have things in order
TypeSeven, the enthusiast is spontaneous, versatile, acquisitive, and scattered.
Fear - Of being deprived and in pain
Desire - To be satisfied and content—to have their needs fulfilled
Always up for an adventure
Optimist to a fault
Doesn't like routines
Endings are hard
Runs from pain a difficult conversations and situations
Lots of idea, a visionary, sometimes hard to finish things
Type Eight, the challenger is self-confident, decisive, willful, and confrontational.
Fear - Of being harmed or controlled by others
Desire - To protect themselves (to be in control of their own life and destiny)
Blunt and aggressive
Does things right, and not 1/2 way
JUSTICE is worth fighing for
Easy for these people to say no
Doesn't shy away from confrontation
Get straight to the point
Usually more sensitive than they let on
Really protective of people they love
Type Nine, the peacemaker is receptive, reassuring, complacent, and resigned.
Fear - Of loss and separation
Desire - To have inner stability "peace of mind"
Will do almost anything to avoid conflict
Tends to procrastinate
Chooses the path of least resistance
Can get lost in doing trivial things while other things get put off
Likes being outside
Goes a long with what others want to do
Enneagram has been an amazing tool to help me in my own journey of self-awareness. It has helped me be a better leader, and helped me navigate relationships better. So if you are looking for a starting place to learn more about yourself, then I highly recommend this tool!
SO many resources out there. On how numbers interact with each other, sticking points in number pairs. It can really be a transformational tool…but that is all it is. The enneagram is not the end all-be all. And I know it is all the buzz right now, and I personally love it. But it is for your own self-discovery and not a weapon to use against people.
You should never try to type someone else