I’ve recently become fascinated with the Enneagram. The Enneagram is a tool for understanding yourself and others, based on nine different personality typologies. The Enneagram is not scientific. Rather, it seems to have evolved from the wisdom of several ancient traditions.
One place to learn more about the Enneagram, and which of the nine types you are, is iancron.com. There are many such sites, but I particularly like this one.
Admittedly, I am a junky when it comes to personality assessments. I’m an INFP on the Myers Briggs. I am an S on the DISC. I’m a “quick start” on the Kolby. I’m a blue on the True Colors. I’m in the house of Ravenclaw on Pottermore – but, that’s totally different.
What I like about the Enneagram, is that it helps you understand your personality when you’re healthy and when you’re unhealthy. The Enneagram reveals how you likely react to stress, and who you can become when you’re healthy and growing. And, the Enneagram provides a path for personal growth and development.
If you know me, and are wondering, I’m a Nine on the Enneagram, which means I’m a “Peacemaker,” and my primary weakness is “sloth.” According to the website integrative9.com, “Enneagram Nines are motivated by a need to be settled and in harmony with the world and, as a result, being accommodating and accepting will be important to them. They strive for a peaceful existence and appreciate stability, preferring to avoid conflict. At their best, Nines are experienced as self-aware and vibrant. They offer the gift of right, sustainable action to themselves and the world around them. Less-healthy Nines may be experienced as procrastinating, stubborn and self-denying. This stems from a pattern of going along to get along with others and the eventual discomfort that arises when this strategy is not satisfying.”
As a nine, when I’m unhealthy, I tend to withdraw, avoid conflict, suppress anger, and may become passive-agressive (though, I really hope not!). When I’m healthy, I’m able to to see the strengths of multiple perspectives, and may be able to build bridges. My primary growth opportunity is to set goals, to communicate my passions, and to act.
The Enneagram isn’t the Bible. It doesn’t say everything about every variation of every personality type. It doesn’t explain why I enjoy riding a motorcycle, or perusing antique shops, or growing bonsai trees, or watching super-hero movies. It can’t explain, fully, how or why I’m the person I am, with the complicated assortment of strengths and struggles I possess. But, it is a helpful tool.
Just like a hammer can’t fix every home repair, the Enneagram has its limits. But, just like a hammer is great for hammering, I’m finding the Enneagram to be very helpful in gaining a deep understanding into myself, and how I can work on growing and becoming a healthier version of me. I encourage you to explore the Enneagram for yourself.
For those who are interested, two excellent books on the Enneagram are…
Ian Cron and Suzanne Stabile’s, The Road Back to you; An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery