“The testimony of the greatest humans who have ever lived is that the way to make the most of ourselves is by transcending ourselves. We must learn to move beyond self-centeredness to make room within ourselves for others. When you transcend yourself, the fact will be confirmed by the quality of your life. We will attain – even if only momentarily – a transparency and a radiance of being which results from living both within and beyond yourself. This is the promise and the excitement of self-understanding.” ~Don Richard Riso
You might have already taken the Myers-Briggs test and figured out where you fit on that scale. People have been very much into the personality typing with Myers-Briggs for years now. However, another personality typing system called the Enneagram has been gaining a lot of traction in pop culture these days. (Haven’t taken the Enneagram Personality Test yet? Click here to take the test now!)
So, what is all of this “Enneagram” stuff? Well, let’s dig into it.
What is the Enneagram?
As Don Richard Riso put it, “[T]he Enneagram is, at its most abstract, a universal mandala of the self—a symbol of each of us.”
The Enneagram is a model that consists of 9 different personality typing systems, and people find it fascinating because it is another tool they can use to learn about themselves. But it goes deeper than that.
“In the course of working on ourselves, we learn in time that when we stay on the surface of ourselves, which is to say when we are identified with and operating from our outer shell—our personality—we suffer. The more asleep we are to the reality beneath our shells, the less we feel that life is fulfilling, meaningful, and pleasurable.
Or, in the language of the enneagram, the more fixated we are, the less we partake of the loving nature of reality, for we have lost our connection with Holy Love. Our suffering is not the result of being alone or of being in the wrong relationship, is not because we don’t have enough money or because we have too much of it, or because of anything of the sort.
Nor is it because our outer surface doesn’t look as pretty as we think it should or because our personality isn’t as pleasant as we think it might be. We suffer because we are living at a distance from our depths—it’s as simple as that. The more our souls are infused with Being, the better we feel and the better life seems to us, no matter what our outer circumstances happen to be.” ~Sandra Maitri, The Spiritual Dimension of the Enneagram: Nine Faces of the Soul
The Enneagram helps to clarify patterns in how people perceive the world and can help them learn to manage their emotions by illuminating them. So it can help us to see ourselves on a new, more objective level. This can obviously be of great value to us as we journey along our path to self-knowledge.
You can use the Enneagram to learn about why you behave the way you do, and it is a great tool for self-growth. Let’s now briefly go over the 9 personality types of the Enneagram right now:
Type 1 – The Reformer
This type is the type to follow the rules, to conform and has a need for order and organization. The homes of those who are this type would be neat, clean and organized which would not be a surprise.
Type 2 – The Helper
Those who are this type are there to nurture, make sure that the needs of the others are met, and will be there for you no matter what. In other words, when they say they are there for you, they really are and will check on you. They will be the ones to invite you over for a comforting meal every now and then!
Type 3 – The Achiever
Those who are this type are known to be high-performers and do what they can to excel in what they do. If they want to get into good health, they will do what they can in their power just to do that. If there is a career they want to go after, they will go after it and nothing will stop them. They are also known as the Performer type because they most definitely are all about action and not just talk.
Type 4 – The Individualist
Creativity, intuition, and emotion are what this type is about. They are unique and quite expressive. Many of those who re this type are in the arts as they are often writers, musicians, or artists – but not always. It could simply be a side to them even if they are in an occupation that is not in the arts.
Type 5 – The Investigator
Research, learning, and gaining wisdom is what this type is about. This type sits back and enjoys their privacy while they read and observe to learn. They are always hungry for knowledge and if you need to know about something, go to those who are this type.
Type 6 – The Loyalist
The other name for this type is the loyal cynic. It takes them time to believe in someone or in something, but once they do, they are loyal to you for life. You can always count on a friend who has this personality type.
Type 7 – The Enthusiast
Life is exciting because it presents you with so many golden opportunities and those who are this type do not want to miss what life can offer. They are always looking forward to the next adventure and can always find a positive situation in anything that happens. This is the true optimist
Type 8 – The Challenger
Those who are of this type are natural leaders and will be in control. They will stand up for those who they care for as they are strong protectors. However, they will always find a way to take the lead as they are naturally bold.
Type 9 – The Peacemaker
Those who are the Peacemaker type are known to make everyone comfortable and want to please everyone. They tend to not express themselves as they want to make everyone else happy. They do need to often work on expressing their needs, but they will most definitely make you feel at home and will always listen to you if you need someone to talk to!
Your Turn: What Enneagram type are you? Let us know in the comments!
Wait! Don’t Stop Here! There’s More!