Let’s talk about the Enneagram.
Have you heard about it? Has it grabbed ahold of you and disrupted your life a bit?
Maybe it’s just me, but I’m hooked. I’m possibly late to the game, but that’s ok… the timing is perfect in my life to take the Enneagram bunny trail.
(Warning: This is going to sound like a mini book report for a moment, but just for a moment.)
Here’s a formal definition from one of my favorite books on the subject: The Enneagram is a system of classifying personality types with the purpose of self-understanding and growing beyond the self-defeating dimensions of our personality, as well as improving relationships and growing in compassion for others. (The Road Back to You by Cron and Stabile.) The book goes on to say the purpose of the Enneagram is to develop self-knowledge and learn how to recognize and dis-identify with the parts of our personalities that limit us so we can be reunited with our truest and best selves.
Sounds fun, right??
It has honestly been a painful process for me because it has brought me face to face with my weaknesses and fears.
Again. Fun, right?
Another book, The Essential Enneagram by Daniels and Price, states, “By knowing your Enneagram personality type, you can become aware of the habits of your personality that limit you, and you can free yourself from those habits.”
Uh huh. SO FUN. Hah!
In other words, it’s a system for dealing with your junk! … living an uncluttered life, emotionally and spiritually.
Another favorite book on the subject is Anne Bogel’s Reading People. Bogel even calls her chapter on the Enneagram: Confronting Your Junk. Since my life mantra (that I can’t seem to shake) is all about getting the junk out (you can read more about that here and here) — my Enneagram obsession is a very real thing.
It’s helping me unclutter my emotions, which releases me to healthier relationships all the way around: God. Ed. Kids. Family. Friends… all of it!
There are 9 personality types in the Enneagram system. Here is an overview, taken from all three of the books mentioned above:
One: The Reformer (the need to be perfect) or The Perfectionist.
Two: The Helper (the need to be needed) or Giver
Three: The Achiever (the need to succeed) or Performer
Four: The Individualist (the need to be special) or Romantic
Five: The Investigator (the need to perceive) or Observer
Six: The Loyalist (the need for security) or Loyal Skeptic
Seven: The Enthusiast (the need to avoid pain) Epicure
Eight: The Challenger (the need to be against) Protector
Nine: The Peacemaker (the need to avoid) Mediator
The first time I took a quick on-line test, I scored as a One (Perfectionist) and it’s true— I have a lot of those characteristics. But, I’ve come to realize, you HAVE to wrestle with the Enneagram if you want it to be the most effective. It’s not a ‘one-and-done’ type of thing.
I am a Six: Loyal Skeptic.
Sixes struggle with being fearful and needing security. I just had to laugh as I discovered that, because if you read almost any blog post I’ve ever written, you will find the theme of fear versus faith. It has been the theme of my life to grow in faith and understand what it means. Studying the Enneagram has given me another framework to see how God loves me so much and wants me to be whole in all areas.
You can start with a quick, free, on-line test as a first step toward finding your number. This website is where I started: https://www.exploreyourtype.com/intro.
I would then highly recommend buying the book The Essential Enneagram and follow their system for identifying your type. You can also do the same thing on the following website for a fee of $12: https://www.enneagramworldwide.com/test/
I personally loved having the book because I could mark it up.
One more recommendation…
I have enjoyed listening to the Typology podcast with Ian Cron, one of the authors of The Road Back to You.
I would love to hear from you: Have you studied the Enneagram? Do you know your number? Do you have any favorite books on the subject? Could we meet for coffee and just chat about what you’ve learned?! It’s one of my favorite topics!