What’s your type?
The Enneagram is the study of personality types, ennea is Greek for the number 9 and gram means a drawing with 9 points. The nine points on this diagram represent 9 different personality types. Understanding these 9 different views can help us to understand ourselves better and why we and other people do the things they do. It can offer us specific direction for personal growth.
What type am I?
Here is a brief description of the nine different types.
Type One: The Perfectionist
Perfectionists believe that they have to be good and avoid error to be accepted. At best they are ethical, conscientious and responsible, but at worst can also be judgemental, rigid and irritable.
Type Two: The Helper
Helpers believe that to get their own needs fulfilled they have to give to others. At best they are nurturing, generous and empathic, but at worst can also be intrusive, manipulative and martyr like.
Type Three: The Achiever
Achievers believe that to be loved and accepted they have to achieve things and be successful. At best they are hardworking, motivated and successful, but at worst can also be unfeeling, superficial and workaholic.
Type Four: The Romantic
Romantics believe that there is something missing in their lives, without which they are not complete. At best they are creative, compassionate and deeply feeling, but at worst can also be moody, self absorbed drama queens.
Type Five: The Observer
Observers believe that the world asks too much of them and gives too little in return. At best they are analytical, objective and self-sufficient, but at worst can also be intellectually arrogant, emotionally detached and negative.
Type Six: The Questioner
Questioners believe that the world is a dangerous place and that they must constantly be on the alert. At best they are loyal and practical with enquiring minds, but at worst can also be paranoid, defensive and self-sabotaging.
Type Seven: The Adventurer
Adventurers believe that in order to avoid pain and frustration in life they need to always be looking for new options and ideas. At best they are spontaneous, joyful and enthusiastic, but at worst can also be unreliable, manic and narcissistic.
Type Eight: The Asserter
Asserters believe that they have to be strong and powerful in a tough world. At best they are direct, authoritative and protective, but at worst can also be excessive, bullying and insensitive.
Type Nine: The Peacemaker
Peacemakers believe that they have to blend in and go along with others to be accepted. Nines at best are friendly, unselfish and accepting, but at worst can also be spaced out, stubborn and unassertive.
What knowing you type can do for you
Understanding your personality type is very useful information to have, as no matter how much we want to achieve something there will inevitably be difficult times ahead and the more we know ourselves the better equipped we are to discover and remove our own mental blocks to achieving our own goals. It is also useful to know how we deal with situations when we are at our best and also when we are at our worst and to have better knowledge of ourselves and our effect on others. You may be more able to anticipate more accurately how we are likely to behave in the future, in as yet unknown situations.
What to do next
There are a lots of automated enneagram questionnaires on the internet that could quickly give you a rough idea. Be careful of them because they are not that accurate and you can mistype yourself. A much better way is to have a qualified enneagram professional ‘type’ you or read more about the enneagram numbers and see which resonate with you.