A Look at Human Nature through Enneagrams

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I never could resist taking a personality test. It started with those silly ones in Tiger Beat magazine and continued with more sophisticated tests like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, DISC Assessment and Enneagram of Personality.

As fascinating as nature can be, it’s equally interesting to observe the habits and behavior of human beings. The Enneagram is a model of nine personality types that can help us better understand the curious nature of ourselves and others.

There’s much to learn about this theory, but here’s a broad look at the nine Enneagram personality types. (I combined some elementary research here for the sake of simplicity.)

Do any of these types shout your name or the name of someone you know? Like most personality tests, the point is to increase our capacity for personal growth and self-awareness. As Aristotle said, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”

Type 1 The Reformer  ~ The rational, idealistic type described as principled, purposeful, self-controlled and perfectionistic. Belief: I must do things right. Motto: A job worth doing is worth doing well. Try not to criticize a Type 1. Famous Quote: Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching. ~ C.S. Lewis

Type 2  The Helper ~ The caring, interpersonal type described as demonstrative, generous, people-pleasing and possessive. Belief: I must help others. Motto: Home is where the heart is. Try not to take a Type 2 for granted. Famous Quote: Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty. ~ Mother Theresa

Type 3 The Achiever  ~ The success-oriented, pragmatic type described as adaptive, excelling, driven and image-conscious. Belief: I must succeed. Motto: Winners never quit and quitters never win. Try not to ignore a Type 3. Famous Quote: The whole secret of a successful life is to find out what is one’s destiny to do, and then do it. ~ Henry Ford

Type 4 The Individualist  ~ The sensitive, withdrawn type described as expressive, dramatic, temperamental and romantic. Belief: I must be unique. Motto: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Try not to tell a Type 4 what to do. Famous Quote: I have to change a tune to my own way of doing it. That’s all I know. ~ Billie Holiday

Type 5  The Investigator  ~ The intense, cerebral type described as perceptive, innovative, secretive and isolated. Belief: I must understand. Motto: Good fences make good neighbors. Try not to underestimate a Type 5. Famous Quote: The unexamined life is not worth living. ~ Socrates

Type 6 The Loyalist  ~ The committed, security-oriented type described as engaging, responsible, anxious and suspicious. Belief: I must be prepared. Motto: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Try not to lie to a Type 6. Famous Quote: Do the thing you fear to do and keep on doing it. ~ Dale Carnegie

Type 7 The Enthusiast ~ The busy, fun-loving type described as spontaneous, versatile, distractible and scattered. Belief: I must be happy. Motto: Eat, drink and be merry. Try not to control a Type 7. Famous Quote: My focus is to forget the pain of life. Forget the pain, mock the pain, reduce it. And laugh. ~ Jim Carrey

Type 8 The Challenger  ~ The powerful, dominating type described as self-confident, decisive, willful and confrontational. Belief: I must be strong. Motto: He who is not with me is against me. Try not to betray a Type 8. Famous Quote: Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far. ~ Theodore Roosevelt

Type 9 The Peacemaker ~ The easy-going, self-effacing type described as receptive, reassuring, agreeable and complacent. Belief: I must be at peace. Motto: Live and let live. Try not to talk over a Type 9. Famous Quote: In seeking truth, you have to get both sides of a story. ~ Walter Cronkite

Our world is filled with unique and amazing creations, from the hummingbird and eagle to you and me. Understanding and appreciating everything in nature, including ourselves and each other, increases the love and tolerance in the world. Desmond Tutu said, “My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.” §

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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