In the time of health and wellness, and getting to know ourselves more, several have gone to personality inventories to gain a broader understanding of self. There are various methods, but one of the oldest and most popular is the Enneagram of Personality; known commonly, in short, as the Enneagram.
The Enneagram of Personality can be thought of as a typology of personality, including nine different personality types, that all intertwine with one another in a cohesive system. Each of the personality types describes how an individual perceives the world, their core fear, motivation, and how an individual regulates their emotions. Further, the enneagram can help an individual recognize the strategies they have used throughout their life to relate to others, and themselves, and create their worldview. Typically, when an individual has reached adult age, they have a dominant personality type, out of the nine types.
On the Enneagram type symbol, each point represents one of the nine personality types. The enneagram symbol has ancient origins and provides a visual representation of how these nine types are intertwined with each other. The nine different types were placed on specific points during the 1960s, but the basis of the Enneagram has older roots.
The Enneagram allows much room for detail. Each of the personality types details the overall type when in stress, when in a healthy state, basic characteristics and traits, as well as motivating factors and fears. Along with having a predominant type, subtypes known as wings are present. These wings allow for further detail into one’s personality, but starting with the basics of the nine types is a good starting point.
Type 1 – The Reformer
The Reformer is also known as The Perfectionist. An individual with this type is typically detail-oriented and strives for high achievement. Type 1’s tend to have a strong sense of morality and standards, as well as responsible character. On the other hand, Type 1’s can be overly critical and rigid towards themself.
Type 2 – The Helper
The Helper is also known as The Giver. An individual with this type of personality has a deep desire to be loved by others. Type 2’s are deeply caring, and nurturing, and want to be involved in the lives of those around them. A challenge that Type 2 individuals tend to experience is the tendency to please others to a point of exhausting self.
Type 3 – The Achiever
The Achiever is an individual whose identity is shaped by their achievements and accomplishments. Type 3 individuals can be competitive since achievement is the ultimate goal. 3’s are highly ambitious and result-driven individuals. Type 3’s can have the tendency to seek approval from others for validation of worthiness.
Type 4 – The Individualist
The Individualist is known to be intensely creative. One of the biggest driving factors for a Type 4 is to be authentic and self-expressive. Type 4’s tend to feel a strong sense of uniqueness, which is their blessing, as well as their challenge. Type 4’s tend to experience challenges with feeling connection, due to their innate feeling of uniqueness.
Type 5 – The Investigator
The Investigator is also commonly referred to as The Thinker. Type 5’s highly values knowledge and independence. Type 5’s tend to be curious and inventive, and highly revere their own energy. A challenge that 5’s tend to experience is disconnected from self and others, as well as over-intellectualization.
Type 6 – The Loyalist
The Loyalist, by no surprise, highly values loyalty, as well as security. 6’s are able to think multiple steps ahead and are alert. They are also known as The Skeptic, which stems from the need for security and preparedness. Due to this, 6’s can experience challenges with anxiety and hypervigilance.
Type 7 – The Enthusiast
The Enthusiast seeks to experience life to the fullest. Type 7s tend to lean towards thinking optimistically, and avoid experiencing pain. A type 7 is spontaneous, adventurous, and fun-loving. Some of the challenges a person with Type 7 has are distractibility, burnout, and cynicism.
Type 8 – The Challenger
The Challenger is strong, assertive, and protective. Type 8s can easily take charge in situations, but desire freedom from vulnerability. 8s have a strong sense of standing up for what they believe is true. Challenges that 8 experiences are controlling tendencies, anger, and intimidation.
Type 9 – The Peacemaker
The Peacemaker is adaptable, supportive, and understanding, which makes them easy for others to be around. 9s seek harmony and tend to avoid conflict if given the chance. The challenges of a person with Type 9 can be procrastination and stubbornness.
While each of the Enneagram types is drastically different, they are all interconnected. The interconnection of the types makes a person who they are. The Enneagram goes much deeper than just the 9 core personality types. By researching and discovering your type (typically through an online test), you can begin to dive deeper into a journey of discovering yourself and validating the methods you use to connect and make sense of the world.
If you would like to learn different ways to better understand how to address your thoughts, feelings, and daily challenges, give Tx Harmony Counseling a call at (832) 352-1600 or contact us here.