The Enneagram Effect
By: Sarah Hardy
Personality tests. If I’m being honest, I love them and I do believe there is some method to the madness (despite what research says). One of the more recent personality tests hitting the younger generation is the Enneagram (eh-nee-uh-gram) test. I first learned about the Enneagram two years ago, and I’ve convinced more and more people to start finding their Enneagram type since then. There is a lot of depth to the Enneagram, and I believe it encompasses more realistic qualities than other personality tests. So, let’s dive in!
First, the Enneagram is broken up into nine different “types” each defined by a number 1-9 and a title. If you’d like to take the Enneagram test before finishing this article, I recommend taking the one from Truity or just Googling “Free Enneagram Test.” The basis of the Enneagram is that each type has a basic fear and core beliefs that motivate and guide the individual to certain actions. If you search the Enneagram symbol, it comes in a geometric shape. After you get your type, you have a “wing” which is the number to the left or right of your dominant number. Each wing has another separate set of characteristics. I personally use the Enneagram for personal self-growth and to recognize areas of strength and weakness. Now let’s dive into the nine different types, courtesy of The Enneagram Institute.
Type 1: “The Reformer” This type is considered rational and a perfectionist. The basic fear of a Type 1 is being corrupt or defective while the basic desire is to be good. The Type One wants to be useful to others and that can often result in not responding to instinctual drives. They also believe that being strict on themself is a way to achieve perfection in their eyes and the eyes of others. This might make the Type 1 come across as rigid or cold, even when that is not their personality. Famous 1s: Nelson Mandela, Harrison Ford, and Michelle Obama.
Type 2: “The Helper” This type is very caring, people-pleasing, and sometimes possessive. The basic fear for a Type 2 is being unwanted or unloved by others while the basic desire is to be loved. These people often have very caring hearts and help other people see positive qualities in themselves. However, there is a “dark side” to a Type 2 in which the individual gives in to their superego’s demands and believes they have to be unselfish and give in to others demands to get validation. Famous 2s: Eleanor Roosevelt, Elizabeth Taylor, and Lionel Richie.
Type 3: “The Achiever” Type threes are success-oriented, adaptable, and very self-conscious about their image. The basic fear of a Type 3 is feeling worthless, and the main desire is to feel valuable. Many people look up to the Type 3 because they usually carry great personal accomplishments. Their definition of success varies based on the kind of culture they grew up in, but all threes learn to present themselves in ways that will give them praise or recognition. Famous 3s: Anne Hathaway, Oprah, and Andy Warhol.
Type 4: “The Individualist” People who are a Type 4 tend to be expressive, somewhat temperamental, sensitive, and potentially self-absorbed. But don’t worry, this isn’t a bad type to be! The fear of a Type 4 is to not have a strong identity, so their desire is to find themselves and make themselves significant. A Type 4 is more likely than other types to see their differences from others as well as amplify the degree of their flaws. They deeply want to connect with others and are often called the “romantics” of the Enneagram. Famous 4s: Judy Garland, Kate Winslet, and Bob Dylan.
Type 5: “The Investigator” These are your friends who are very perceptive, sometimes secretive, and innovative. Their fears revolve around being useless or feeling helpless, while their goals are to be capable. A Type 5 spends a lot of time making observations, but also has to have at least one area of expertise. However, a drive to succeed in one facet of life can lead to ignorance in others. Famous 5s: Albert Einstein, Vincent van Gogh, and Bill Gates.
Type 6: “The Loyalist” This is me! A Type 6 is very engaging and responsible, but heavily anxious. The basic fear is being without support or guidance from others. A Type 6 tends to fight for others more than they will fight for themselves. They also try to build a strong network of trust to cover up their underlying fears. The anxiety surrounding a 6 is not easily lost, but a strong 6 will be able to understand that not everything in life can be controlled. Famous 6s: Jennifer Aniston, Princess Diana, and Malcolm X.
Type 7: “The Enthusiast” A Type 7 is spontaneous, versatile, and sometimes scattered. Their basic fear is to be deprived of joy, and they want to feel satisfied. A 7 can come up with things “on the fly” and are not necessarily considered the studious type, although they can be very intelligent. They often work through problems by trial and error, and want to focus on making the “right” choice. Famous 7s: Elton John, John F. Kennedy, and Amelia Earhart.
Type 8: “The Challenger” This type runs high in self-confidence, power, and is also confrontational. The basic fear of a Type 8 is being harmed or controlled by others, and they like to leave their mark in places they’ve been. This is the most independent type of the Enneagram, and will sometimes take their own well-being over that of others. Friends and family will often need to explain the reasoning behind their actions because a Type 8 will not talk about their vulnerabilities easily. Famous 8s: Matt Damon, Serena Williams, and Winston Churchill.
Type 9: “The Peacemaker” Like its title, Type 9 is easygoing, agreeable, and receptive. Their main fear is being separated from others, and their goal is to have inner stability. The Type 9 is at the top of the Enneagram symbol because their qualities can radiate through all the other types. However, they tend to ignore the disturbing parts of life and seek simple solutions to problems. However, the Type 9 has the power to greatly influence the people around them. Famous 9s: Morgan Freeman, Queen Elizabeth II, and George Lucas.
Enjoy your new Enneagram knowledge! Hopefully you’ve uncovered some knew and exciting things about yourself.