Have you ever wished for a guidebook that not only describes your personality but that of those around you? Do you wonder what makes your roommate tick and what your friend is really feeling? We all know of the Myers-Briggs test that explains our actions and motivations, but what about the inwards feelings, the ones we never voice? Well, a guidebook of sorts does exist; it’s called the Enneagram. This personality test digs deep and can put into words what you’ve never been able to and help you understand and acknowledge the “whys” behind thoughts, feelings, and actions.
Stemming from the Greek words ennea (nine) and grammos (a written symbol), the Enneagram consists of 9 personality types with different levels of thinking, feeling, and acting. Like Myers-Briggs, there is a test you can take to assess which type you are. However, these tests can sometimes be inaccurate. One of the best ways to find your type is by reading in-depth descriptions of each one. It can be relieving and exciting to know that there are others who think similarly to you. One of the best ways to more accurately find your type is by reading in-depth descriptions of each one.
Below is a quick rundown of each type.
- Type one is the Reformer/Perfectionist. Ones are motivated by a desire to be perfect.
- Type two is the Helper. Twos are motivated by the desire to be needed.
- Type three is the Achiever. Threes are motivated by a desire to look successful.
- Type four is the Individualist. Fours are motivated by a desire to be unique.
- Type five is the Investigator. Fives are motivated by the desire to be self-reliant.
- Type six is the Loyalist. Sixes are motivated by the desire to be secure.
- Type seven is the Enthusiast. Sevens are motivated by the desire to stay busy.
- Type eight is the Challenger. Eights are motivated by the desire to be in control.
- Type nine is The Peacemaker. Nines are motivated by the desire to keep a calming climate between themselves and others.
To read an in-depth analysis of each type, click here.
There are many more facets to the Enneagram, like wings, centers, dominant emotions, and development levels. These are tools to learn more about the types, how each type thinks, feels, and if these are expressed in healthy and unhealthy ways. Once you figure out which type you are, diving deeper into these areas can help you better understand yourself, improve, and grow.
Emily Ruotsala, an Enneagram enthusiast and Regent alum says this about the Enneagram:
“I think it can help us love each other better by learning to understand one another…When we understand WHY people are the way they are—it can help us give them more grace. Second, it can help us become more aware of our own drives, flaws, and gifts—to help us toward being more healthy versions of ourselves.”
She goes on to say, “By becoming aware of our personality…we can better understand when we are acting in a healthy or unhealthy way… Understanding our Enneagram type helps us to become more conscious of our responses to situations—and whether they are healthy (growth) or unhealthy (insecurity).”
The Enneagram can be a valuable and helpful tool to learn more about ourselves and those around us. God created all of us in His image and each type reflects that. We are fearfully and wonderfully made and can rest in the knowledge that, ultimately, our identity is in Christ alone.