If you know someone, like me, who is obsessed with the Enneagram, you may have heard these questions.
The Enneagram is a personality test that’s slowly starting to sweep the nation. The Enneagram is a compelling tool for individual and combined transformation. Stemming from the Greek words ennea (nine) and grammos (a written symbol), the nine-pointed Enneagram figure describes nine distinguished approaches for comparing to the self, others and the world. Each Enneagram model has a distinct design and way of thinking, feeling and acting that stems from a deeper intrinsic motivation or worldview.
The Enneagram encourages elevated understanding through a universal language that exceeds gender, religion, nationality, and culture. While we are all unique, we share common experiences.
So, what are these “nine symbols”? Well, there are nine “types”, divided into three separate sections.
Type 8, 9, and 1 are grouped as the “Body” Types. Body-based types begin with the body for action, sensate awareness, and gut-level knowing. Their center is on individual protection, power, social belonging and taking the right action. Also known as the Instinctual Center.
Type 2, 3, and 4 are grouped as “Heart” or “Feeling” Types. Feeling-based types indicate the heart for positive and negative emotions, compassion and care for others, passion, and commitment. Their focus is on success and connection, performing up to expectations of the job or other people. Also known as the Emotional Center.
Type 5, 6, and 7 are grouped as “Head” or “Thinking” types. Thinking-based, head types start with plans, finding information, figuring things out and intelligent decision-making before doing. Their focus is on planning, assurance, and safety or finding multiple options. Also known as the Intellectual Center.
Now that we’ve grouped the types, what are each of the types?
Type 1 is known as “The Perfectionist“. Perfectionists believe they must be good and right to be worthy. Consequently, Perfectionists are honest, reliable, improvement-oriented and self-controlled, but also can be critical, resentful and self-judging.
Type 2 is known as “The Giver“. Givers assume you must give sufficiently to others to be loved. Consequently, Givers are caring, helpful, supportive and relationship-oriented; they also can be prideful, interfering and demanding.
Type 3 is known as “The Performer“. Performers believe you must perform and win to be loved. Consequently, Performers are hard-working, fast-paced, practical and goal-oriented; they also can be inattentive to feelings, impatient and image-driven.
Type 4 is known as “The Romantic“. Romantics believe they can retrieve the forgotten absolute passion or pure nature by obtaining the desire or circumstance that is unique, special and fulfilling. Consequently, Romantics are visionary, genuinely touching, empathetic and authentic; they also can be dramatic, moody and sometimes self-absorbed.
Type 5 is known as “The Observer“. Observers believe they must defend themselves from a life that asks too much and delivers too little. Consequently, Observers seek self-sufficiency and are non-demanding, analytic, attentive and humble; they also can be reserved, disconnected and overly private.
Type 6 is known as “The Loyal Skeptic“. Loyal Skeptics believe you must obtain assurance and protection in a dangerous world that you just can’t trust. Consequently, Loyal Skeptics are spontaneous, curious, reliable, good friends and problem-solvers, but also can be questionable, accusatory and nervous.
Type 7 is known as The Epicure“. Epicures believe you must stay enthusiastic and keep your possibilities open to assure a good life. Consequently, Epicures seek pleasurable options, and are optimistic and adventurous; they also avoid pain, and can be uncommitted and self-serving.
Type 8 is known as “The Protector“. Protectors believe you must be tough and dominant to assure security and respect in a tough world. Consequently, Protectors seek justice and are direct, strong and action-oriented; they also can be overly impactful, excessive and impulsive.
Type 9 is known as “The Mediator“. Mediators believe that to be admired and appreciated, you must blend in and go with the flow. Consequently, Mediators seek peace and are including, friendly, relaxed, easy-going and steady; they also can be self-forgetting, conflict-avoidant and headstrong.
Now that you know the basics of the enneagram, I highly encourage you to find out what your enneagram is, and get to know yourself a bit more!
For more information about the Enneagram, check out these websites!
Fore more information about the Enneagram, check out these books!
The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery
The Path Between Us: An Enneagram Journey to Healthy Relationships
The Sacred Enneagram: Finding Your Unique Path to Spiritual Growth
The Enneagram Made Easy: Discover the 9 Types of People
To learn what YOUR enneagram is, check out these websites for a free online test!
By: Sara Corcoran, Undergraduate Intern
Olive Branch Counseling Associates