What's Going On With The Enneagram?

Okay Okay.

So you probably keep hearing about this “Enneagram” thing, or maybe you’ve even taken the test but like...what is it??? 

I’ve gotcha.

I get asked about the Enneagram all. the. time. And while I’m no expert, I definitely have done my research and am more than happy to share what I know! Ya ready?! Mk let’s go:

So, let me start by saying if you feel a little lost in a sea of random numbers...you’re not alone. The Enneagram DOES have a lot of information and researched involved, so you’re not wrong to be like...wtf is this?

In a nutshell, The Enneagram is a personality test. But unlike Myers Briggs, DISC or the like - the Enneagram is all about uncovering your motivations behind your behaviors, not analyzing the behaviors themselves. 

Make sense?

So, like, people with the same “number” (or Type) can look like very different people on the outside, but they share a Type because of what motivates them. In this way it’s very inclusive. It speaks to all different personalities and allows opportunities to grow (wow I feel like I’m writing on a corporate website with that sentence haha) BUT YOU FEEL ME RIGHT?? It’s a complex little bugger but it offers a lot of insights & practical tools.

I’ll be the first to admit I hate personality tests. I never identified with them, and felt like overall they weren’t offering that much. No thank you.

Que the Enneagram.

Where other mechanisms just tell you what you are, this tells you why you feel the way you feel. Which is somehow way more enlightening and helpful. I think this is WHY it’s so wildly popular right now. People be feelin’ SEEN.

I mean, ultimately it’s just a tool for understanding yourself & others more, and while some people really make it their bible, I think it’s best applied as just a lens to get to know yourself more! Always a good thing.

Feel pretty good about it so far? Yeah? Okay. Let’s look closer. WTF do all these numbers and random “w”’s mean??

Here’s what you need to know:

  • The Enneagram is organized into 9 different numbers or “Types”.

  • Each number has a different core fear vs. desire that makes them tick.

  • Once you identify number (which can take a while, do the work and research!), you can also identify with one or both of the numbers on either side of your dominant number for your “wing”. For example, you could be a 2. And then your wing would be either a 1 or 3. Making you either a 2w1 or a 2w3. (Starting to make sense?)

  • Okay if you’re feeling pretty good about all of this, I’m gonna add onto that. Each type also has arrows. The arrows indicate what that number does in stress, vs. in health. So like, a Type 1 goes towards a Type 4 in stress, and a Type 7 in health.

Look at the diagram again, it makes more sense that way: 

Mk so those are the basics! Let’s get into the nitty gritty. I’ll list a synopsis of the different types below to give you a foundation. And I’m going to steer away from stereotypes you’ll find on the Insta memes. Because while those are fun, (I follow a bunch of those accounts too), they often are pretty narrow in their depiction of each type which isn’t very helpful when you’re trying to figure out your type. So read over below, and then hop over to The Enneagram Institute, and read over the types you think you might be in depth. And honestly, pay the $12 for the little test on there, it’s worth it. The free ones I took were trash.
K, now that’s outta the way let’s go: 

Type One: (“Reformer”)

This type’s basic desire is to be good/have integrity. The basic fear is to be corrupt. Ones tend to have a strong inner critic, which often guides them. They are often principled, & organized. In stress, they often withdraw. While in health, they tend to be playful. Read the official shiz on 1s HERE.

Type Two: (“Helper”)

This type’s basic desire is to be loved. The basic fear is being unwanted. Twos are often generous & kind, and can err on the side of ignoring themselves to help others. In stress they can lash out. While in health they get better at self-care, & are emotionally aware. More HERE.

Type Three: (“Achiever”)

This type’s basic desire is to be valuable. The basic fear is being worthless. Threes are super driven, able to adapt to social environments, and work their asses off. In stress they can become apathetic. In health they become committed to others alongside themselves. All the 3 things HERE.

Type Four: (“Individualist”)

This type’s basic desire is to have a unique identity. The basic fear is having no significance. Fours are usually seen as artists and pioneers, they tend to relish in their emotions. In stress they can become co-dependent. In health they become more objective. More HERE.

Type Five: (“Investigator”)

This type’s basic desire is to be capable. And the basic fear is being useless. Fives are known to be researchers. They typically know so much random shit, and often have a very limited reserve of energy. Once they’re spent, they withdraw. In stress they get scattered. In health they get more decisive. More HERE.

Type Six: (“Loyalist”)

This type’s basic desire is for security. And the basic fear is being without support. Sixes are good people to have on your team because they are able to think through many angles of a situation & offer advice. In stress they can get hyper-competitive. While in health they become adaptable & relaxed. Read the full description HERE.

Type 7: (“Enthusiast”)

This type’s basic desire is to enjoy. And the basic fear is to be in pain. Sevens are known for being wild, life of the party, always bursting with ideas and plans. These are the friends you wanna take to the bar haha. In stress they can become critical. But in health they engaged & interested in life. Read alllll about them HERE.

Type 8: (“Challenger” ) 

This type’s basic desire is to be in control of their own lives. The basic fear is being controlled. Eights are often seen as aggressive, but usually that’s just because they are direct & honest. They have big hearts, but are usually more known for taking charge. In stress they become withdrawn & hyper focused. While in health they become more empathic & others-focused. All the shiiz HERE.

Type 9: (“Peacemaker”)

This type’s basic desire is peace of mind. The basic fear is loss/separation. Nines are known for being easy-going, they tend to go with the group and mesh well with teams. That doesn’t mean they don’t have a backbone though! Although, they often struggle with a sense of identity. In stress they can be anxious. While in health they are focused on self-development. More 9-ness HERE.

OKAY SO THERE YOU GO! Now you are an Enneagram expert in the making lol.

But if you are still like: I RELATE WITH ALL OF THEM THANK YOU...just know that is normal. I recommend focusing on the basic fear/desire, as that is often the biggest indicator to your type. Read over several different ones, and see what you relate the most with. Ultimately only you can type you.
Okay so, have an idea what your type is?? Have questions? Comment below, I’d love to chat Enneagram craziness with you! 
- Jessie
(yep, 8w9)