BY MEGAN TAYLOR
Within the past few months on social media, you may have seen two new words pop up on your feed – enneagram types. These words are personality descriptions and are often used to help people discover moreabout themselves and allow for personal, spiritual, and career growth. Within an enneagram, a person learnsmore about their inner workings, relationships, and strengths based on nine emotional descriptions and whilethese types are on the newer side to our society, they have actually been around since 1915.
Moscow philosopher and teacher George Gurdjieff used this ancient Christian and Sufi tradition of a nine-pointed diagram in his human development courses. A few decades later, in the 1960s, Oscar Ichazo addedthe nine personality types, which were then introduced to modern psychology by Dr. Claudio Naranjo andothers in Berkeley, California. Today, the enneagram types serve as a concept and framework forpsychologists, business consultants, and others who are guiding others through life situations. Think of anenneagram as a personality test, similar to the Myers-Briggs test. To find out their own, a person will answer aseries of emotionally-based questions to determine their core emotion and personality out of the ninedescriptions, which are: the reformer/the perfectionist, the helper/the giver, the achiever, the individualist, theinvestigator, the loyalist/the skeptic, the enthusiast, the challenger, and the peacemaker. According to TheEnneagram Institute, these nine types can be described as:
- The Reformer / The Perfectionist – a person who is rational and idealistic but with self-control.
- The Helper / The Giver – a person who is caring, people-pleasing, and generous.
- The Achiever – a person who is success-oriented and can adapt well.
- The Individualist – a person who is expressive, sensitive, but often withdrawn.
- The Investigator – a person who is innovative, perceptive, and can be intense at times.
- The Loyalist / The Skeptic – a person who is committed, responsible, and security-oriented.
- The Enthusiast – a person who is busy, spontaneous, and fun.
- The Challenger – a person who is powerful, self-confident, and confrontational
- The Peacemaker – a person who is easygoing and agreeable.
Within each of these types, a person also explores their three centers of intelligence and perception: the head, heart, and body. The head serves as the known intellectual center and is used for rational thinking, ideas, andplans. This personality relies on their intellectual thinking to make decisions. As for the heart, this is youremotional center and is known for processing all feelings, empathy, and reactions towards others. Lastly, thebody is the instinctual center or the center that tells you to “follow your gut.” In this area, a person’s movement, awareness, social belonging and security are housed. Depending on your type, you may be stronger in oneintelligence and perception area compared to the other two.
Going deeper into the categories, the helper/giver, the achiever, and the individualist are tied to the heart. The investigator, the enthusiast, and the loyalist are connected mainly to the head. As for the body, the challenger, the peacemaker, and the reformer are the key category types associated.
After researching more about enneagram types, I find them very intriguing. Online tests, such as the one on truity.com, are widely available for you to find out your enneagram type. In the test, you are asked many questions on six different pages. These questions relate to your responsibilities, security, emotions, etc. As for me, my results stated that my main enneagram type is 6 or the loyalist with the giver and perfectionist coming shortly behind. Looking at my personality, actions, and habits, I can completely see why these are my top 3 categories.
Enneagram types are fun and useful ways to help people learn more about themselves and why they do certain things. The purpose of these types is to help others better their lives, relationships, and goals. The test doesn’t take long to complete, but the results will be valuable in many different ways. What is your enneagram type?