What is the Enneagram?

A Guide to the Enneagram & How To Know Yours



The 9 Types

Priscilla Ngantung, Journalist

The Enneagram is a personality system that consists of nine interconnected personalities, with each of the types having their own distinct motivations and characteristics. Each type has a different way of thinking and feeling due to their core desires and core fears. The nine types go as follows:

1 – The Reformer

The Rational, Idealistic Type: Principled, Purposeful, Self-Controlled, and Perfectionistic

2 – The Helper

The Caring, Interpersonal Type: Demonstrative, Generous, People-Pleasing, and Possessive

3 – The Achiever

The Success-Oriented, Pragmatic Type: Adaptive, Excelling, Driven, and Image-Conscious

4 – The Individualist
The Sensitive, Withdrawn Type: Expressive, Dramatic, Self-Absorbed, and Temperamental

5 – The Investigator
The Intense, Cerebral Type: Perceptive, Innovative, Secretive, and Isolated

6 – The Loyalist
The Committed, Security-Oriented Type: Engaging, Responsible, Anxious, and Suspicious

7 – The Enthusiast
The Busy, Fun-Loving Type: Spontaneous, Versatile, Distractible, and Scattered

8 – The Challenger
The Powerful, Dominating Type: Self-Confident, Decisive, Willful, and Confrontational

9 – The Peacemaker
The Easygoing, Self-Effacing Type: Receptive, Reassuring, Agreeable, and Complacent

The Enneagram Wheel (Integrative9)

The Enneagram can help provide insight into one’s self and their view of the outside world; Unlike other personality systems, the Enneagram does not box people in but instead encourages them to grow through personal awareness and self-discovery.

“Everyone emerges from childhood with one of the nine types dominating their personality,” said The Enneagram Institute. “We are born with a dominant type. Subsequently, this inborn orientation largely determines the ways in which we learn to adapt to our early childhood environment.”

According to Sharleen Giovanna, who is familiar with the Enneagram, she has found it to be extremely useful by identifying her strengths and weaknesses which helped her realize the areas in her “relationships, workplace, etc, that [she needed] to improve on.” Giovanna explains that it has also allowed her to forgive herself for her “shortcomings as well as to learn to love [herself] for [her] strengths.”

“I would recommend anybody to take the test to find out their Enneagram type,” said Giovanna. “In addition, I would highly recommend the podcast Enneagram for Idiots. The two hosts provide such an eye-opening and thorough description of each Enneagram type and why they act in the way they do.”

I personally believe that learning your Enneagram type would be most beneficial in discovering how to best achieve personal growth and find ways to utilize your strengths or overcome your weaknesses. Though taking tests is not the only way to discover your type since mistyping is a common conception, you may take a free online Enneagram test here.