Although they’re not always rooted in science, personality quizzes like the Enneagram can help you understand yourself better. Whether they’re teaching you about your communication style (hi, love languages), offering you some personal insight, or helping you understand your sexual needs.
The Enneagram in particular seems to be having a resurgence lately. Which Brian Taylor, Vice President of the Enneagram Institute, attributes to the pandemic. “[The Enneagram] was giving people a chance to figure out who they are in terms of, ‘How is COVID changing my life? What are my reactions?’” And: What else are you going to do when you’re stuck at home other than learn more about yourself?
If you haven’t had a chance to try it, don’t worry. We broke down each and every Enneagram type. And included where you can find and take the Enneagram test. Get ready to feel seen.
What is the Enneagram test?
The Enneagram, created in the late 1950s by author and philosopher Oscar Ichazo, is made up of nine basic personalities, referred to in Enneagram-speak simply as “types.” (Hint: “Ennea” means “nine” in Greek). The basic purpose of the Enneagram test is to determine which of the nine types most closely describes you — and particularly, your basic fears and desires.
“It will tell you the three most likely types that you are,” said Taylor. “Then there has to be a little bit of self-reflection to say, ‘Of these types, which is the one that is most like me?’”
That said, each type belongs to one of three “centers,” each of which features one dominant emotion:
The Instinctive Center: Types one, eight, and nine, whose dominant emotion tends to be anger or rage
The Feeling Center: Types two, three, and four, whose dominant emotion is typically shame
The Thinking Center: Types five, six, and seven, whose dominant emotion is most often fear
One last term to add to your Enneagram vocabulary: wing. Because even though you’ll identify with one specific type, you may also have an adjacent type which is called your "wing." Your wing may identify some additional “qualifying” elements to your basic type, said Taylor.
Types, centers, and wings. Got all that? Good. Now it’s time to find yours.
What are the nine personality types of the Enneagram?
Important note: The numerical order of the types has no significance, according to the Enneagram Institute. Meaning: Higher numbered personalities aren’t better or worse than lower numbers. That said, the different Enneagram types are as follows:
Enneagram Type One: The Reformer
Type Ones are said to have a strong sense of right and wrong. They can be self-critical, but also wise and discerning. “Ones are very healthy and they're very principled. They're very ethical,” said Taylor. “As they get more unhealthy, they can get more puritanical and very judgmental of other people.”
Enneagram Type Two: The Helper
Type Twos tend to be “very loving and caring and compassionate and generous,” said Taylor. They usually love to help others. Sometimes that can lead them to help others in order to feel needed. Their basic fear is being unwanted or unloved. And at times they can tend to people-please.
Enneagram Type Three: The Achiever
Type Threes are most often motivated by success. They are typically confident, ambitious, and charming. They often care a lot about what others think of them. And they have a fear of being seen as unworthy.
Enneagram Type Four: The Individualist
Type Fours strive to be significant and have a unique identity. They are usually highly creative but can tend to be melancholic or self-pitying.
Enneagram Type Five: The Investigator
“The Fives tend to be very cerebral,” Taylor said. They’re also usually independent, curious, and motivated by being capable and competent. But they tend to detach from their emotions.
Enneagram Type Six: The Loyalist
Type Sixes are driven by “having security and guidance,” said Taylor. They tend to be great problem solvers and can be self-reliant. But they can also be indecisive, reactive, and struggle with self-doubt.
Enneagram Type Seven: The Enthusiast
This type is, just like it sounds, enthusiastic about life. They tend to be upbeat and playful. Because their main goal is to be happy and satisfied with life. Think: main character energy. But they can be scatter-brained and easily distracted. “The Sevens can be all over the place, and want to have ice cream, go to the movies, and then go roller skating,” said Taylor.
Enneagram Type Eight: The Challenger
Type Eights are usually motivated by controlling their environment. They’re self-confident and assertive. But they can be confrontational and intimidating. And tend to avoid vulnerability. Think: Every character on “Succession.”
Enneagram Type Nine: The Peacemaker
Driven by the desire for peace of mind, Type Nines are usually “very open, very trusting, very receptive to other people,” Taylor said. They can bring people together and appear easygoing, but can be passive and too willing to go along with others.
Where can I take the Enneagram test?
You can take the Enneagram test on the Enneagram Institute website for $12 (for one-time use). But if your budget doesn’t include online personality tests, the internet is full of free versions. Like Truity, The Enneagram Academy, and Crystal Knows, to name a few.
Reminder: Your Enneagram type isn’t a mental health diagnosis. But it can give you insight into things like why you start projects but don’t finish them or avoid conflict at all costs. Just like your daily horoscope, it’s not an exact science, so take it with a grain of salt. You’re still you, after all.
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