What Is The Enneagram


The Enneagram is an ancient psychological typology that describes the nine personality types of human nature and their complex inter-relationships. It is a psychological map that tells us not only who we are, but where we are and where we are going in our development as persons. This invaluable tool has been used in the United States and Europe for personal growth and counseling since 1970.

The Enneagram will help you to unlock hidden parts of yourself enabling you to become a freer, healthier, more fully functioning person. The Enneagram can help you understand your fears and desires, strengths and weaknesses, defenses and anxieties, how you react to frustration and disappointment—and more positively, what your truest capacities and greatest strengths are so that you can build on those rather than on misjudgments, illusions, and inaccurate ideas. Understanding your personality type and the personalities of your spouse, your children, and special friends will make a crucial difference in your life. When personality types are understood and taken into consideration, not only are relationships richer, they are less apt to be marred by misunderstandings, conflicts and confusion.

So, which type are you:

Type One is “The Reformer.” Are you the rational, idealistic, type? Conscientious, with a strong sense of right and wrong? As advocates and Teachers, Reformers are agents for change: always striving to improve things, but afraid of making a mistake. They are moral and ethical, critical and perfectionistic. Well-organized, orderly, and fastidious, Reformers can also be impersonal, rigid, and emotionally constricted, plagued by problems with anger and impatience. At their best the Reformer is wise, discerning, realistic, noble and can be morally heroic.

Type Two is “The Helper.” Are you the caring, nurturing type? Empathetic, sincere, and warm-hearted? Twos are people-oriented, friendly, generous, and self-sacrificing, but can also be sentimental, flattering, and intrusive. Possessive of others and doing things in order to be needed, they have hidden agendas and ulterior motives. Proud and self-deceptive, they can feel unappreciated and victimized, becoming manipulative and controlling. At their best, the Helper is unselfish and altruistic with unconditional love for others.

Type three is “The Motivator.” Are you the adaptable, success-oriented type? Self-assured, attractive, and charming? Ambitious and energetic, Threes can also be too competitive and driven; image-conscious and overly concerned about what others think of them. Threes tend to be pragmatic chameleons, calculating, saying and doing whatever “works” for them. Seeking attention and admiration, they can be arrogant and opportunistic. At their Best: The Achiever is self-accepting and authentic; everything they seem to be – role models who inspire others.

Type four is “The Individualist.” Are you the intuitive, reserved type? Self-aware, sensitive, introspective, and gentle? Fours are individualistic, expressive, and personal, but can also be too moody and self-conscious. They dwell in their fantasies, feeling different, melancholy, and exempt from ordinary ways of living. Becoming impractical, self-indulgent, and self-pitying they tend to wrestle with problems with self-inhibition. At their best the Individualist is inspired and highly creative. They are able to renew themselves and transform their experiences.

Type five is “The Investigator.”  Are you the perceptive, cerebral type? Alert, insightful, and curious? Fives are able to concentrate and understand complex ideas. They are independent, innovative, and inventive, but can also be too preoccupied with their thoughts and imaginary constructs. They become detached, yet high-strung and intense. The Investigator can be awkward and isolated, lacking interpersonal skills, and can be cynical and eccentric. At their best Investigators are visionary pioneers, ahead of their time and able to see the world in an entirely new way.

Type six is “The Loyalist.” Are you the committed, security-oriented type? Are you endearing and likable, able to form strong bonds with others? Sixes are reliable, responsible, and trustworthy, but can also be too partisan and suspicious of others, creating “in” and “out” groups. Loyalists are defensive, contradictory, evasive, and anxious and tend to run on stress while complaining about it. They are cautious and indecisive, but also defiant and rebellious, talking “tough” and scapegoating others. At their best The Loyalist is open-minded, stable, and self-reliant, courageously supporting the weak and powerless.

Type seven is “The Enthusiast.”  Are you the enthusiastic, productive type? Extroverted, optimistic, and spontaneous? Sevens are playful, high-spirited, practical, and accomplished, but can also be over-extended, superficial, and undisciplined. The Enthusiast is acquisitive, seeking constant stimulation. Enthusiasts distract themselves by staying on the go. They are uninhibited, excessive, and self-centered and can be infantile, demanding, and insensitive to others. At their best Enthusiasts focus their talents on worthwhile goals, becoming thoughtful, appreciative and joyous.

Type eight is “The Challenger.”  Are you the powerful, aggressive type? Self-confident, strong, and assertive? Protective, resourceful, straight-talking and decisive, Eights can also be proud and domineering. The Challenger feels they must control their environment, becoming confrontational and intimidating. Everything is a contest of wills and they seldom back down. They can be hard-hearted and openly belligerent. At their best The Challenger is self-mastering, using their strength to improve others’ lives, becoming heroic, magnanimous, and even great.

Type nine is “The Peacemaker.” Are you the easygoing, accommodating type? Are you accepting, trusting, and stable? Nines are good-natured, optimistic, straightforward, and supportive, but can also be too willing to go along with others to keep the peace. The Peacemaker wants things to be smooth and easy. They tend to be complacent to simplify problems and to minimize anything upsetting. Peacemakers are creatures of habit. They can be passive and unwilling to change; stubborn, inattentive, and neglectful. At their best The Peacemaker is indomitable and all embracing. They are able to bring people together and heal conflicts.

With each one of these types, you do not have to guess yours. There is a test a person can take to find his or her type.  


Published by Willie Starks


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