For those of you not familiar, the Enneagram is a personality typology consisting of 9 personality types. It’s origins are debated, but by some accounts it dates back to as early as the 4th century.
As with any personality typology, the average person can see characteristics of themselves in any of the nine types. What makes the Enneagram different in my eyes, is that these types are then connected in a manner that show what various types integrate to in times of security, and disintegrates to in times of stress.
The more I have learned about the Enneagram, the more fascinated I have become.
Initially, I heard about it from several friends who happened to be really in to the subject. Seeing as I respected a lot of the other work they had done in transformation, I thought I would check it out. So, I went online and began to take some random tests that are available. I usually find these tests entertaining, and I also find them frustrating as I can most always identify with all the multiple choice answers in different situations.
I was stunned when I got the results. I had received 100% on several different numbers! How is that even possible?
After speaking with several different people, I was told that this was common. We can identify with all the different personalities at different stages in our development, and the tests can sometimes reflect that. After taking several different online tests several different times, I was asked to identify my type for a workshop I was participating in. Being frustrated the process, I chose one of the numbers I had scored 100% on, and called it good. I was a 6. It seemed right. I could relate. I wasn’t quite buying into all the fuss, but this would do in order to get through the workshop.
As the topic began to show up more and more in my everyday life, the question would come up from time to time. What number are you on the Enneagram? I would identify as six, and then begin to own the fact that I really didn’t feel like I was any one number, and questioned whether or not this personality typology really worked.
Then, a friend on Facebook gave me some of the best advice I had ever received about discovering my type number. She suggested I read a book on the subject, read the shadow aspects of the types I suspect I might be, and when I read the one that has me most pissed off, and want to throw the book across the room, that would be the type number I most identify with.
The thought amused me, and seeing how I still found the subject interesting, I thought I’d give it a go. I took another online test, and scored 100% in several different numbers. I then checked in with some friends who had recently attended a 3 day Enneagram conference and asked their opinion of which of these numbers they could see me as. I then went and read the shadow aspects of those numbers.
I laughed. I cringed. It was painful and enlightening at the same time. I had to accept these aspects of myself I had been blind to.
At that point, I had to admit, I had found a personality typology that really added some deeper understanding to my life.
I have recently began to identify as a Type 9. (The Peacemaker/ The Mediator)
I’d love to read any experiences you have had with the Enneagram.