Enneagram Types: Their Meaning and Importance

By on April 27, 2019

How much do you know about your personality type? If you’d like to learn a bit more about what helps you move forward and what pushes your button, you may feel tempted to do a personality test. There are several prominent methodologies out there with the Myers-Briggs personality test being the most common test. There are however, other personality tests out there. The Enneagram test can also be used to find out your personality type.

There are nine distinctive personality types, the descriptions of all the personality types are available on the official website of the Enneagram Institute.. We are all born with a dominant personality type and subsequently, we can change on the basis of the environment and the life occurrences that we go through.

While there is somewhat of a controversy surrounding the adequacy of enneagram personalities, this is still a valid idea worth exploring (even if you’re doing it just for fun).

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The Enneagram Personality Types

As already mentioned, there are nine distinctive personalities types. Each one of us is born with one of those being dominant.

The Reformer – Type 1

A reformer is rational, idealistic, principled and purposeful. These individuals are driven by the quest for the truth and for doing what’s right. The problem with this personality type is that its representatives can be quite judgmental and unwilling to make a compromise.

The Helper – Type 2

 A caring and interpersonal type, the helper is generous and bound to do a lot of people-pleasing. These people are excellent and loyal friends. On the downside, they feel strongly when it comes to being appreciated and loved. Helpers can be a bit overwhelming in their desire to build perfect, fulfilling relationships.

The Achiever – Type 3

 The achiever is success-driven. They are very pragmatic, capable of adaptation and learning. Achievers are ready to do whatever it takes to accomplish their goal. As a result, they can be way too focused on their goal or on the image they project in society.

The Individualist – Type 4

 Individualists are somewhat withdrawn and self-absorbed. They’re sensitive, temperamental and expressive. Individualists are very creative and authentic. Their view of the world is romantic and somewhat idealistic. Some of the biggest problems that types four face include being way too emotional and overly dramatic.

The Investigator – Type 5

 Intense, cerebral, perceptive and innovative – this is the investigator. Investigators are very intelligent and somewhat introverted. They keep to themselves, which can sometimes be perceived as arrogance or haughtiness.

The Loyalist – Type 6

 Loyalists are committed and security-oriented. They are responsible and somewhat suspicious of the outside world. Loyalties are heavily devoted to the people that they love. At the same time, these individuals can be great worries and they are prone to experiencing bouts of anxiety.

The Enthusiast – Type 7

 Enthusiasts are fun-loving, dynamic individuals. They are versatile and spontaneous but at the same time, they’re prone to getting distracted and scatterbrained. Enthusiasts love to explore; they enjoy adventures and new experiences. As a result of this urge, they can be very impulsive and reckless.

The Challenger – Type 8

 This is a powerful and dominating personality type. Challengers need to be in control. They are strong, committed and they can do anything they put their mind to. The negative traits of a type eight personality are also easy to understand – these individuals can be difficult to handle as they’re not likely to make a compromise.

The Peacemaker – Type 9

Easygoing, agreeing and peaceful, peacemakers are receptive and reassuring. These people are wonderful to be around but their biggest shortcoming comes in the form of being stubborn and way too passive whenever definitive actions are required.


How to Determine Your Enneagram Personality Type

You now know the nine personality types under the enneagram system but what does it take to determine yours?

The enneagram symbol itself is ancient. You have a nine-pointed star. Each of the points represents one of the personality types. The peacemaker is in the middle (type 9). Types 5, 6, 7 and 8 are to the left of the peacemaker and the other personalities are organized to the right.

Thus, three sectors are formed – three personalities in the instinctive center, three in the thinking and three in the feeling center. The personalities are grouped on the basis of their similarities. Each center is guided by a specific emotional response to life events, hence the way the grouping occurs.

To see where you place on the chart and which personality types come close you, opt for a simple enneagram test. Your personality will be determined on the basis of various questions – these focus on how you see yourself and how you’d act in certain situations. In this sense, the Enneagram test is pretty similar to the Myers-Briggs personality analysis.

A Few Other Important Enneagram Type Specifics

There are a few other important things you need to know about Enneagram personality types.

People cannot change from one basic personality type to another, no matter how life-changing of experiences they go through.

Apart from the basic personality, type, however, there are adjacent types (your wing). These can vary from time to time, forming the “second side” of one’s personality. If you want to understand your personality better, you will need to examine the basic type and the wing as one unit.

Enneagram practitioners still cannot agree whether people have one or two wing personalities. Each person possesses the potential for all nine personality types but the number that can dominate at any given time is limited.

Most people will have just one win and the potential for two adjacent personality types on top of the basic one is very, very restricted. Two wings are rarely observed and, in such cases, one will still be dominant (and more important than the other).

None of the nine personality types are inherently masculine or feminine. Thus, the methodology applies to both men and women.

There are no types that are better than others. As you’ve seen already, each one of the personalities has its strengths and weaknesses. The number assigned to the personality type is also not of significance. It’s not better to have a higher or a lower number – it’s just who you are.

Author’s bio:

Jason Jacoby is a professional psychologist with a master’s degree in experimental psychology who loves nothing more than sharing what he knows with others. He writes a lot of articles and you can find some of them on DoULikeBlog. Jason also works as a family therapist and his unusual sessions helped many couples to save their marriages.


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Enneagram Types: Their Meaning and Importance