Introduction to the Enneagram

Everyone, at some point in their life, has looked in the mirror as simply asked “why am I like this??”

It’s one thing to get to know your family and friends, but getting to know yourself and the reason behind some of the things you do can often hurt our feelings. It requires us to be honest with ourselves and accept the fact that regardless of how we look at ourselves, we will always have something valuable to contribute to this world in our lifetime. The Enneagram is just the tool you need to deep dive into finding an understanding of yourself and others.

My husband and I used to bicker. He is a lover, and not a fighter. I, however… I love to fight and I fight for love. I just like to say that I am “passionate”. When I found the enneagram, I wasn’t in a very good place mentally. I quickly learned all I could about myself and my type. Then, I learned my husband. It brought me such an understanding as to his thought process. It honestly taught me how to love him better. I found a podcast, listened to his type, showed him, and watched as he teared up. It was like he finally had an understanding of himself. It was one of the most beautiful moments in our marriage.

From there we learned each others desires, longings, and what we both fear the most. I learned what he needed from me to be his best self and vise versa. I made all my friends and loved ones take it so I could do the same for them.

So, we are going to touch on the types, wings, triads, and arrows.

What is the Enneagram?

The enneagram is a model of 9 personality types. It is assumed that everyone belongs to one of these. However, people can carry personality traits of all 9. If you want to learn more of the history and beginning of the enneagram check out The Enneagram Institute.

What the Enneagram is NOT:

  • A way to condemn people or speak of them in a negative light.
  • A way to excuse your poor actions. For example, “I treat you like that because I’m a 7” or “I can’t help it, I’m a 3”

We are going to just go over some of the essentials.

Finding Your Type

The two best ways to find your type is by taking a personality test or reading into each type and choosing what mostly resonates with you. Keep in mind, the test is based off of how YOU view yourself. Therefore, asking someone else for answers is basically cheating.

Two of the most accurate tests are Truity and Your Enneagram Coach.

Some of the best options for reading and studying are The Road Back To You and Becoming Us.

The 9 Types

Type One: The Perfectionist – Ethical, dedicated, and reliable. They have the desire to live the right way, improve the world, and avoid fault.

Type Two: The Helper -Warm, caring, and giving. They need to be loved and needed and to avoid their own needs.

Type Three: The Performer – Success-oriented, image-conscious, and wired for productivity. They need to be (or need to appear to be) successful and avoid failure.

Type Four: The Romantic – Creative, sensitive, and moody. They need to be understood, experience their oversized feelings, and avoid being ordinary.

Type Five: The Investigator – Analytical, detached, and private. They need to gain knowledge, conserve energy, and avoid relying on others.

Type Six: The Loyalist – Committed, practical, and witty. They are worst-case-scenario thinkers who are motivated by fear and the need for security.

Type Seven: The Enthusiast – Fun, spontaneous, and adventurous. They are have a need to be happy, plan stimulating experiences, and avoid pain.’

Type Eight: The Challenger – Commanding, intense, and confrontational. They are motivated by a need to be strong and avoid feeling weak and vulnerable.

Type Nine: The Peacemaker – Pleasant, laid back, and accommodating. They are motivated by a need to keep the peace, merge with others, and avoid conflict.

Wings

Not everyone has a wing. Wings are the numbers on either side of your type number. When you wing to one of those, you carry some of the characteristics of that number.

For example, I am a 7wing6, or 7w6. I am outgoing and spontaneous but can worry constantly about everything. Whereas a 7w8 is outgoing, but more of an adrenaline seeker. You can only wing to the numbers beside you. 9’s can wing to a 1 or 8. 1’s can wing to a 2 or 9.

Triads

The nine types are divided into three groups.

The Anger or Gut Triad (8, 9, and 1) – Driven by anger. Eight’s externalize and often vocalize their anger. Nine’s avoid anger all together. One’s internalize their anger. They live life using their gut instincts.

The Feeling or Heart Triad (2, 3, and 4) – Driven by feelings. Two’s focus on the feelings of others. Three’s have trouble recognizing their own feelings, as well as the feelings of the people around them. Four’s concentrate on their own feelings. They live their life by what they feel in their heart.

The Fear or Head Triad (5, 6, and 7) – Driven by fear. Five’s externalizes or projects it. Six’s internalizes fear. Sevens try to avoid fear all together. They take in the world with their mind.

Arrows

These are called your stress and security numbers. These numbers are each type. Your stress number is the type number that you begin to take on the unhealthy characteristics of when you are stressed. Your security number is just the opposite. This is the type that you take on the healthy characteristics of when you are secure and healthy.

For example, I am a seven. I take on the positive qualities of a five when I am secure. I let go of my need for constant new experience and begin to feel that what I have is enough. In stress I take on the negative qualities of a one. I become not-so-easy-going and more mundane.

Over the next few weeks, I will be writing about each individual personality type. I will include links to podcasts that helped me, and well as where I have studied most of my information. Most websites have already been linked above.

Keep your eye out for your number and let me know how spot on it is! This is a tool that has helped me tremendously in all of my relationships between my family and friends.

Always –

Jordan