intro to the enneagram


it doesn't take long for me to bring up the enneagram in conversation with people. I find it so easy to understand, explain and relate to. Studying it has changed the way I look at people completely. The enneagram takes away the notion that people are good and bad & explains that people simply have different basic fears & desires that motivate their behaviors. It has completely changed the way I communicate and relate to others.

The enneagram uses a diagram with 9 equidistant points that connect to each other in different directions. Each point represents a personality type. Each type then connects to the personality type they take on the characteristics of when they are stressed (disintegration) and the type that they take on when they are at their best (integration). Points 3, 6 & 9 are an equilateral triangle. The rest of the points connect like this: one to four, four to two, two to eight, eight to five, five to seven, and seven to one. The circle is broken up into three triads: the feeling triad, including types 2, 3 & 4, the thinking triad including 5, 6 & 7, and the instinctive triad with 8, 9 & 1.

The first thing I did to learn about this is figure out what I was. Here is a simple test you can take to find out: Classical Enneagram Test . Then you can read all about your basic fears & desires. I am a 3, or the achiever. At my best I am authentic & everything I seem to be. I accept my limitations & live within them. Threes are on a search for validation of the self, so we look to others we consider accomplished to determine what we should do to feel valuable. If we become unhealthy, Threes deceive themselves (& others) into believing they're still superior people, when in fact we have lost touch with the difference between who we really are, & what we can say they have accomplished.

Once you have absorbed the basic information for your type, you can read about where you go when you're stressed. A Three starts to take on the characteristics of a Nine, the peacemaker. Sounds nice, right? Well, when a Three acts like a Nine they can stress themselves into inactivity. That would be like being on a strict diet & saying "I ate a bad breakfast so screw it, the whole day is a cheat day". Or, I have 11 things on my to do list today, so I am going to binge watch Breaking Bad & see what happens". No bueno!

Finally, you get to delve into where you go at your absolute best. In my opinion, this is also the personality type you should look for in a partner. At their best, Threes take on the traits of a healthy Six, the loyalist, & learn to rely on themselves & trust their inner thoughts without nagging self doubt. They feel accepted, secure & comfortable with themselves.

Once you understand the direction of integration and disintegration & how it shows up in your life, you can start figuring out what other important people in your life test as, like your boss, spouse, siblings, children, clients. You can also read two of my favorite books on the subject: Enneagram made easy & Personality types. & follow my favorite insta account: Enneagram & Coffee !

I'm excited to hear what everyone tests as!

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