We all have different personalities that make us unique and influence how we live our lives. If you’re curious about your personality type, there are a few systems that help you determine your type, and one is called the Enneagram Personality System.
In essence, the Enneagram is a personality typing system that identifies you with a certain personality type based on your core beliefs and views of how the world works.
The Enneagram was invented in the 1900s to help understand the human psyche and how different personality types are interconnected. Since then, its use and purpose have expanded to fit modern society.
The Enneagram looks into your deepest motivation and fears, which are crucial factors that shape how you view the world. These also influence how you deal with situations in your life and behave the way you do.
The Enneagram Symbol
The Enneagram system is illustrated in a nine-point diagram, with each point representing a personality type. It also has three elements – the circle that makes up the outer part, the triangle for three key centers – action, feeling, and thinking, and the irregular hexagon that connects the other personality types.
The Nine Personality Types
The nine personality types are as follows:
- Reformer – You’re principled, purposeful, and have integrity. However, you can be a perfectionist, judgmental, and uncompromising.
- Helper – You’re generous, a good listener, and genuine, but you tend to be a people pleaser and overlook your own needs.
- Achiever – You’re hardworking, adaptable, and driven to succeed, but you can be a workaholic and image-conscious.
- Individualist – You’re creative and have a strong sense of identity, yet you can be self-centered and temperamental.
- Investigator – You’re highly perceptive, smart, and logical. You can also be detached and unemotional.
- Loyalist – You’re responsible and devoted, but you tend to focus on the negative and worry too much.
- Enthusiast – You’re fun-loving and love spontaneity. However, you’re easily distracted and can lose focus.
- Challenger – You’re bold and self-confident, but you can be dominating and aggressive.
- Peacemaker – You’re easy-going and agreeable, but you can be complacent.
Meanwhile, the three key centers of intelligence and perception can be described as the following:
- Intellectual – The center that’s located in the head. You use your mind for rational thinking, strategies, and ideas.
- Emotional – The center that’s located in the chest and diaphragm area. You use your heart for empathy and positive and negative feelings.
- Instinctual – You use your body for movement, gut feelings, and social belonging.
How Does The Enneagram Work?
This personality model says that there’s a set of dominant behaviors, fears, and motivations for each personality type. Understanding your personality type will help you leverage your strengths and manage your weaknesses. Consequently, it will help you realize your full potential.
This system’s theory also poses that we are born with a dominant personality type, which refers to our basic type. While it may come with the genes, our environment and life experiences shape this personality type.
However, no one has a single pure personality type. The Enneagram system says that your basic type has at least two adjacent types, which are called ‘wings.’ These wings influence your overall personality, but your basic type remains constant.
Your traits may vary, and you may not express all the elements of your personality type, but your basic personality type is what matters the most.
Where Is The Enneagram Used?
You can use the Enneagram to understand yourself for self-development and personal growth. You can become more self-aware, and you can use that to achieve greater things in your life when you know how to harness your strengths and deal with your weaknesses.
The Enneagram system is also used often in psychotherapy, counseling, parenting, and business development.
Businesses can benefit from understanding their employees’ personality types and using them for team building, leadership development, work relationships, and interpersonal communication.
Personality is a complex subject. The Enneagram system is only one way to determine your personality type and understand your deepest motivations and fears and explain your behaviors.