The Enneagram is a self-development tool which provides you with a description of how and why you usually behave the way you do. I was very resistant to learn about it before because there was a huge hype around it a few years ago and now that I find out I’m a personality type 4 I can understand why I keep running away of whatever becomes mainstream trend. Fours (the Individualists) spend most of their lives telling (and showing) other people that they are different and therefore they are never following whatever the crowd is doing or saying.
It was my loss to be honest. I have been amazed with the therapeutic effect of the enneagram. In fact, I have never seen a tool so efficient in matters of pinpointing your core issues and what you can do in order to evolve and be a more balanced person. If Myers Briggs saved my sanity a good couple of years ago (I’m an INFP-t), the Enneagram is definitely saving from spending another decade stuck in my own unconscious excuses and pitfalls. Exactly, it’s that powerful!
In a previous post, I talked about the Enneagram and its purpose. I didn’t dive deep in the different personalities that it includes though. In total, there are 9 Enneagram personality types and I’m going to offer you a brief description of each one of them below.
|Type||What motivates them||What they avoid|
|1||to be virtuous||blame|
|2||to be loved and needed||acknowledging their needs|
|3||to be perceived as successful||failure|
|4||to be understood||being ordinary|
|5||to gather information||relying on others|
|6||to feel secure||fear|
|7||to be happy||pain|
|8||to be strong||vulnerability|
|9||to keep the peace||conflict|
Type 1 (the Perfectionist) is a personality characterised by a sense of ethics and righteousness. People with this personality type tend to be reliable and motivated to lead life in a way that is virtuous and of service. They try to avoid blame. People with personality Type 2 (the Helper) tend to be warm, caring and giving. They look for love and a sense of being needed. They avoid acknowledging their own needs.
Type 3 (the Performer) is a personality that is oriented towards success and wired for productivity. They want to be perceived as successful and they avoid failure. Type 4 (the Romantic) is creative, sensitive and moody. They want to be perceived as different and they look forward to being understood. They avoid being ordinary. Type 5 (the Investigator) is analytical, detached and private. Their motivation is to gather as much knowledge as they can and save energy. They avoid relying on others.
Type 6 (the Loyalist) is committed and practical. They want to feel secure and they avoid fear. People with a type 7 personality (the Enthusiast) are usually fun, spontaneous and they look forward to adventure. They are motivated to be happy and they avoid pain. Type 8 (the Challenger) is associated with commanding, intensity and confrontation. They are motivated to be strong and they avoid vulnerability. Personality type 9 (the Peacemaker) is often pleasant, relaxed and welcoming. They are motivated to keep the peace and merge with others. They avoid conflict.