Enneagrams Help Us Appreciate Ourselves & Others

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.

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. 

Do any of these types shout your name or the name of someone you know? 

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Type 4 The Individualist  ~ The sensitive, withdrawn type described as expressive, dramatic, temperamental and romantic.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

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.”

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