What is the Enneagram Test?
The Enneagram is a comprehensive personality typing system that describes patterns in how people perceive the world and manage their emotions. It categorizes the human psyche into nine interconnected personality types. Unlike other personality tests that focus on behavior, the Enneagram focuses on the core motivations and fears that drive our actions.
The 9 Enneagram Types
Each of the nine Enneagram types represents a distinct strategy for dealing with the self and others, comprising a distinct set of abilities and traits. Here is a brief overview of the nine Enneagram types:
- Type 1: The Perfectionist – Ethical, dedicated, and reliable, Ones are driven by a fear of corruption and a desire to be good.
- Type 2: The Helper – Twos are caring, interpersonal individuals who fear being unloved and desire to feel loved.
- Type 3: The Achiever – Success-oriented, adaptable, and excelling, Threes fear being worthless and desire to be valuable.
- Type 4: The Individualist – Fours are expressive, dramatic, and self-absorbed, driven by a fear of having no identity and a longing to be unique.
- Type 5: The Investigator – Fives are perceptive, innovative, and secretive, driven by a fear of being useless and a desire to be competent.
- Type 6: The Loyalist – Sixes are loyal yet anxious, committed yet suspicious, fearing a lack of support yet desiring security.
- Type 7: The Enthusiast – Sevens are busy, fun-loving, and spontaneous, with a fear of deprivation and a desire for satisfaction and contentment.
- Type 8: The Challenger – Eights are self-confident, confrontational, and protective, driven by a fear of being harmed and a desire to protect themselves.
- Type 9: The Peacemaker – Nines are accepting, trustworthy, and stable, guided by a fear of conflict and a longing for peace.
Understanding Your Enneagram Type
Your Enneagram type provides insight into your own behaviours and motivations. It sheds light on why we think, feel and act the way we do. A key concept of the Enneagram is that we are not confined to one specific type throughout our life. Instead, we can move between different types depending on our environmental context, behaviour, and mental state.
In addition to identifying our core Enneagram type, we also have so-called “wings” – adjacent types that also influence us to a lesser extent. For instance, a 5w4 type signifies a core Type Five personality with a strong influence from the Type Four traits.
Levels of Development
Each Enneagram type has various levels of development, reflecting our ability to cope with stress or to flourish. The ‘healthy’ levels are where we are at our best. The ‘average’ levels are where we might be operating on autopilot. And the ‘unhealthy’ levels depict times when we may be dealing with stress or unhelpful behaviors.
Using the Enneagram for Personal Growth
Identifying and understanding our type can be an empowering and liberating experience. It can help us become more aware of our “automatic” reactions and enable us to make more conscious choices about how we’d like to respond in given situations. The aim of using the Enneagram isn’t to box ourselves into a type, but rather to uncover our patterns and make choices that allow us to live to our fullest potential.
Ultimately, the Enneagram is a tool for personal and psychological development that offers insights into the subconscious motivations, beliefs, defences, and biases that can drive our behaviour and influence our worldview. As you embark on this journey with the Enneagram, keep in mind that the goal is not to change your personality, but to understand it and, through understanding, find a way to tap into your true capacity.
An Example of the Power of Enneagram Test: Carl Jung and His Individuation Process
One of the most influential figures in psychology, Carl Jung, explored various aspects of the human psyche, including personality types. His work laid the foundation for the development of the Enneagram test. Jung’s concept of individuation, which aligns closely with the Enneagram test, emphasizes the importance of self-discovery and personal growth.
Jung believed that individuals had to go through a process of self-realization to fully understand their inner selves. This process involves confronting and integrating the unconscious aspects of their personalities. The Enneagram test serves as a valuable tool in this journey towards self-awareness.
Here are some key points highlighting the connection between Jung’s individuation and the Enneagram test:
- The Enneagram test helps individuals identify their core personality type, providing insight into their motivations, fears, and behaviors.
- Similar to Jung’s concept of individuation, the Enneagram test encourages self-reflection and the exploration of unconscious patterns.
- By understanding one’s Enneagram type, individuals can gain a deeper understanding of their strengths and weaknesses, enabling personal growth.
- The Enneagram test serves as a framework for self-improvement, allowing individuals to develop a more integrated and balanced personality.
Carl Jung’s work and the Enneagram test share a common goal: to assist individuals in unraveling the complexities of their inner selves. Both emphasize the significance of self-awareness and personal transformation on the path to leading a more authentic and fulfilling life.