The Enneagram has reached a level of boy-band popularity lately with no end in sight. Maybe you’ve heard of it on social media or online, but have been confused by what all the fuss is about?! Well, the Enneagram is definitely not new. In fact, it’s been around for centuries!
The word Enneagram stems from the Greek words ennea (nine) and gram (drawing).
The Enneagram is so much more than a simplified personality test. It dives deep and explains why we do what we do, how we struggle and how we can grow as individuals. This is not a one size fits all system and gets more complex the more you research. I’ve been diving deeper lately and it continues to amaze me! Please know I’m NOT an expert and am only driven by my curiosity and desire to understand more about myself and the people I love! #type7problems
I love how the book, The Road Back to You, describes it:
Compassion - something we all need more of today, right?
So, what is the Enneagram?
The Enneagram is a simple, yet complex personality typing system. It uses a 9-point geometric symbol to reflect the nine types, or personalities.
I love how the Enneagram recognizes that people can’t be put in a box. We are multi-dimensional. But even though we can change and grow, we still have an inherent or dominant number.
How do I find out my type?
Gurus of the Enneagram believe that a test isn’t always the best way to type yourself. They tend to agree that reading about each type and seeing where you relate is the best approach. However, I believe getting a baseline from a quiz can be really helpful. You can take a free assessment here: Your Enneagram Coach
If after you take the test you feel like it’s not accurate, do more research about types and wings. Understanding your core fears and motivations takes deep soul work. If reading about your type makes you feel a bit ashamed or embarrassed, then you’re probably on the right track! We don’t always love to hear the hard stuff about ourselves, but that’s when growth is possible.
It’s important to remember there are no bad numbers. There are pros and cons to every type! We need to understand both to grow into our best possible selves.
What are the Types?
Keep in mind this is just a short highlight reel, each type is much more complex. Which one do you most connect with?
Type 1: The Reformer or Perfectionist - ethical, reliable, self-controlled, and perfectionistic.
Type 2: The Helper - generous, warm, people-pleasing, and possessive.
Type 3: The Achiever or Performer - success-oriented, adaptable, productive, and image-conscious.
Type 4: The Romantic - expressive, creative, sensitive, and moody.
Type 5: The Investigator - perceptive, analytical, secretive, and isolated.
Type 6: The Loyalist - engaging, committed, witty, and suspicious.
Type 7: The Enthusiast - spontaneous, versatile, fun and scattered.
Type 8: The Challenger - self-confident, decisive, intense, and confrontational.
Type 9: The Peacemaker - pleasant, laid back, complacent, and resigned.
What are the Stress and Security Numbers?
If you noticed on the Enneagram’s symbol, the arrows are connected and cross at certain points. These are the stress and security numbers.
When you are under stress, the arrow that is leading away from your number is your stress number. This means you’ll reflect some of the more negative aspects of that type. For example, as a seven, I stress towards a type one. I can become more perfectionistic and less easygoing when I’m feeling overwhelmed, trapped or stressed out.
The line that is moving towards your number is your security number. When you are feeling secure and healthy, you will reflect the more positive aspects of that number. Mine is a type five, so when I’m doing well I let go of excess and become more orderly. Ironically, I’m married to a type five, so he is always thrilled when this happens!
What are wings?
In your reading you might see types listed as 3w4 or 8w7. What does this mean? The w stands for wings. Some types, or numbers, lean heavily to another number directly beside their base number. This means there are two possible wings for each number.
For example, there is a marked difference in a person who is a 1w9 versus a 1w2. Read about the differences and nuances for your type’s wings and see if anything rings true.
Craving more? Check out these resources:
The Enneagram Institute
Iam Morgan Cron, author of The Road Back to You
Beth McCord, Your Enneagram Coach
I hope this was a helpful starting point for you to understand more about the Enneagram! Come find me on Instagram, @erinammons, I’ll be sharing more of my favorite Enneagram accounts to follow. Chat soon!