As a psychology major, it feels like I should have been on the enneagram bandwagon a long time ago. Sadly, the truth is, the enneagram did not form a part of my curriculum!
Ever since finding out my enneagram type, I’ve become a little bit obsessed with it. In a good way!
What is the Enneagram?
Firstly, it is easy to classify the enneagram as a personality test, when in actual fact, it is so much more than that! It is a way of classifying yourself, personality-wise, however, it provides ways for you to get to know yourself. It helps you understand your motivations, which is linked to a basic fear. For me, it has really helped me gauge how I’m really doing based on what I’m doing! (I’ll explain some more later.)
In short, finding our what your Enneagram type is, is possibly, the smartest thing you can do while in lockdown!
It may just save your marriage! Or help you manage your kids a little bit better.
What the Scientists say:
Now that you know what the enneagram is according to me, here’s what the specialists have to say. Ennea is the Greek word for Nine and Gram refers to a diagram. According to the Oxford Dictionary, it is a nine-sided figure used in a particular system of analysis to represent the spectrum of possible personality types.
You may have seen the picture before, it looks a little something like this:
To be fair there are many resources available online! I don’t want to pretend to be any kind of expert. However, I do want to encourage you to take the test!
If you have any love for the 16 Personality Types or MBTI – this information is priceless.
Take the Test
I’ve used a free online test. In fact, I’ve done a number of free online tests and made all my friends and work colleagues do the same.
My point is, that is a specific test I recommend. The reason why I like this particular test is because it gives you quite a lot of information.
First things firsts, if you do get lost (I’m curious by nature too) on the Eclectic Energies website, you want to make sure you take Test 2.
Secondly, don’t try to remember everything. You won’t, even if you try. There will simply be too much information on the screen, most of which won’t mean anything to you just yet! Take a screenshot.
Thirdly and probably the most important. As a guide to this test, think of your behaviour in general. As we mature in life, we tend to learn how to compensate and this is a good thing. However, when trying to do the test, don’t think of your response in a particular setting at home or in the workplace. Some articles I have read even suggests for you to think of what you would have done just after school or university. The long and the short to this point is that for some of us, it is instinctual to answer these questions and derive at a full no-brainer kind of result. For others, it isn’t as easy! Which is okay. Taking the test is the starting point. There are other ways (like research) to find your type. (I will share some of these in a follow-up post.)
As I mentioned earlier, personality tests (MBTI, etc) is great because it describes you. What it doesn’t do, is help you find ways to grow.
Here are some of the things that you will learn as you grow in your Enneagram Understanding
1. Your Type
Your type alone can keep you intrigued for quite some time. I’m an Eight, that makes me a challenger. A, my husband, is a perfectionist or type 1. Understanding your type will give you insight into what motivates you. (Or your basic desire, if you will.) It will also provide insight into your basic fear – which explains why you do what you do.
If this wasn’t enough, every type behaves differently when they are healthy, normal or unhealthy. Which brings me to:
2. Stress and Grow Lines
Have you noticed the lines on the Enneagram? These provide valuable information as to how a person reacts when they are in a good space or when they are stress.
When Type Eight’s are in a good space, they take on the healthy qualities of a Two (Helper). Essentially, they become kinder to the people around them and less obsessed with the goal or objective they’ve currently assigned themselves to.
When Eights are stressed, they take on the unhealthy qualities of a Five (Investigator) which means we tend to become secretive and isolate ourselves, in the hope to become invincible.
Like I mentioned earlier, by keeping an eye on what I’m doing, certain flags tell me, I’m stressed or I’m in a good place.
It gives you information about your Wings. Now wings aren’t difficult to figure out, in actual fact, it is pretty straight forward once you know your type.
Wings are the types, right next to your type on the diagram. In other words, as an Eight, my wings are either Seven or Nine. (Or Both?) By taking wings into consideration, it explains why various people can be the same type, yet different in nature.
4. Instinctual Variant
To be fair, you won’t have the capacity to process on a lot more than your enneagram type or number and perhaps the wings for the first little while. But it is of immense value to make a note or take a screen print of your results in order to refer to it later.
Instinctual variants are yet another group of subtypes within each type. There are three instinctual variants as follows: (1.) self-preservation (dealing with oneself), the sexual or one-on-one (dealing with another person) and the social instinct (dealing with a group).
I could seriously go on and on about the Enneagram, but to be fair, it is no fun talking about something on your own!
So here’s what I want you to do: Click on the link below and take the test.
In the comments below, tell if this is your first introduction to the Enneagram and if it is: What is your type? Alternatively, tell me what you love or hate most about the Enneagram.