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Have you heard of the Enneagram?
Maybe this term has caught your attention in passing, or you saw it on social media. It’s not just a trendy way to talk about personalities…
The Enneagram is actually a complex tool that not only helps you understand yourself and others, but allows you to see areas of yourself that need growth and areas where you naturally shine!
I began studying the Enneagram about 3 years ago because I love learning about how myself and others think, react and see life. There is so much to learn… I am always stumbling across even more ways to understand the people in my life, and the enneagram has become my favorite tool to help me do this!
The beginners guide is perfect for those just learning the enneagram, and especially helpful for groups.
– overviews of each type
-A questionnaire for each type to help you discover which sounds most like you
-A section describing what motivates each type
-Becoming our best selves-
a section describing how understanding when we are healthy, average, or unhealthy versions of ourselves can help us become our best selves!
Though it is a simple tool, encompassing only 9 personality types, the enneagram really does go deep! But lets just talk about the basics…
So, there are nine types.
WHICH TYPE ARE YOU?
The best way to find out your type is not by taking a test, or quiz, but by reading a lot about all the types, and listening for what rings true for you.
The easiest way to begin recognizing your type is by asking this question:
What is my orientation to time?
Do I spend my days in the present, looking toward the future, or looking back in the past?
This trick will eliminate 6 of the numbers for you. Then you can determine your type from there.
If you find yourself in the present, you are likely a type 1, type 2, or a type 6.
If you find yourself looking toward the future, then you are likely a type 3, type 7, or type 8.
If you find yourself always looking back in the past, then you are likely a type 4, type 5, or a type 9.
Another thing to think about when determining your type, is to consider you first reaction to things. There are also three options here… Either you are a “doer” a “feeler,” or a “thinker.” In other words, when faced with an every day stimulus, do you need to take action, do you feel first, or do you take time to think about the situation?
The “feelers” are part of what is called the Heart Triad, including types 2, 3, and 4.
The “thinkers” are part of what is called the Head Triad, including types 5, 6, and 7.
The “Doer/ action-oriented” types 8, 9, and 1 are part of the Gut Triad.
Simply by finding your orientation to time and which triad you fall into should really narrow down which type you might be.
I am a type six. My orientation to time is the present, and I fall under the Head triad. It took me a long time to figure out my number (I didn’t know these tricks in the beginning). Also sixes typically take the longest to figure out their type (ha ha!) because we tend to over-think everything and have a lack of trust in ourselves. This didn’t stop me from being fascinated with the enneagram. I have loved learning about all the types.
Just so we’re clear, no type is better or worse than any other type. We all have strengths and weaknesses, that’s what makes us all so interesting.
Now that you know your possible orientation to time, and your triad, I’m going to give just a quick summary of each type. (Later we will go into much more detail).
Type 1 (the perfectionist)
Type ones are very black and white about things. There is a “right” way to do everything, and everyone should be doing it the “right” way. They are critical of themselves and others, but genuinely want to make the world a better place.
Type 2 (the helper)
Type twos want to help everyone… their neighbors, random people at the grocery store, their grandma, and you! They are generous and supportive, say “yes” to everything, and are truly good friends. They can be overly accommodating, and intrusive, but really just want to be appreciated.
Type 3 (the acheiver)
Type threes tend to be well-liked and popular. They use their charms to get ahead in any area they need to succeed. They are ambitious, and optimistic, but can easily become out of touch with themselves.
Type 4 (the individualist)
Type fours live primarily in their imaginations and feelings. They love to express themselves in unique ways. They are authentic, compassionate, withdrawn, and tempermental.
Type 5 (the investigator)
Type fives want to be capable and competent. They are incredible researchers, analytical, wise and dependable. They can seem distant, and cynical, but there is no one more dutiful.
Type 6 (the loyalist)
Type Sixes are steadfast and constant. They have a plan and stick to it. They want to feel secure and supported, and have a deeply high value for friendships. They can become judgmental and paranoid, but truly are the most loyal of all the types.
Type 7 (the enthusiast)
Type Sevens want the most out of life, and love imagining the fun they will have in the future. They are fun-loving, and charming and desire contentment. They can be rebellious, self-focused, and impulsive.
Type 8 (the challenger)
Type eights love goals that they can conquer. They are natural leaders with tough exteriors to protect themselves, but underneath they have a softer side. They will go to battle for those they love, and aren’t afraid to be loud, bold, and blunt.
Type 9 (the peacemaker)
Type nines see everyone’s perspectives, and often merge with opinions that are not their own to keep the peace. They value inner and outer peace above all things. They can be stubborn, passive aggressive, and unassertive.
I hope you enjoyed this introduction to the enneagram, and maybe you even saw yourself in the brief descriptions. I look forward to sharing more enneagram thoughts with you!
Maybe you want to share your interest in the enneagram with a group of friends, or your family. Maybe you are part of a spiritual group, or club- the Enneagram Beginners Guide is excellent for groups. You will get a printable of all the basics! Just think of how much fun it will be to discover your types together!
When I first started learning about the enneagram, I read this book, The Road Back to You. It really helped me get a handle on finding my own type as well as beginning to understand the other types. I highly recommend it! It is easy to read and well written!