A personality study, the enneagram, has gained popularity in recent months, especially among the Christian community.
Within this study, there are 9 personality types:
Type one- the perfectionist ,Type two- the helper, Type three- the achiever , Type four- the romantic, Type five- the observer, Type six- the questioner, Type seven- the adventurer
Type eight- the asserter, Type nine- the peacemaker.
I’m a Type Two- the helper. The basic desire of a type two is to feel loved and wanted.
Within each type, there are different levels of development, ranging from healthy, average, and unhealthy. For example, according to The Enneagram Institute, a type two at level one, the healthiest level, is described as “Deeply unselfish, humble, and altruistic: giving unconditional love to self and others. Feel it is a privilege to be in the lives of others.”
A two at level nine, the most unhealthy level, is described as “Able to excuse and rationalize what they do since they feel abused and victimized by others and are bitterly resentful and angry. Somatization of their aggressions results in chronic health problems as they vindicate themselves by “falling apart” and burdening others. Generally corresponds to the Histrionic Personality Disorder and Factitious Disorder”
I’m about at a level four, which is an average level. Since I have assessed my level, I see what areas of my outlook on life need improvement.
Many get confused and believe that one’s type is similar to an astrological sign, in the sense that one is meant to “live by” their type, but this is not the intended use.
The enneagram is meant to learn more about oneself, and understand friendships and relationships to a deeper extent.
The enneagram study is also not meant to be an excuse. I always hear people using their astrological sign as an excuse, saying “sorry, I can’t. I’m a Scorpio.” The enneagram is intended for people to read about their weaknesses in order to be aware of them and correct them.
For instance, a major weakness of a type two is the tendency to be demanding. Often times, type twos feel like they deserve a certain treatment because they do so much for others. Because of this, they become demanding and feel sad when people don’t show direct appreciation for them.
When I read this about my type, I immediately realized that this was a major blind spot for me. I did value friendship based on the amount of appreciation shown to me, and I realized that this was an unhealthy mindset. I’m still working on it, but I’ve become more aware of this aspect of my personality, and I try to stop it when I catch it.
I’ve also been intentional in finding the types of my family and friends. Knowing the types of the people I love has been helpful. I can confidently say that I feel more able to look at subjects from different points of views.
My mom is a type five (the observer), and a major trait of fives are their tendency to be introverted. My mom would much rather stay in the shadows, while I am the opposite. Sometimes it’s hard for me to understand why my mom would rather stay at home instead of going out, but it helps to be able to look at things from her viewpoint.
On top of a helpful tool to aid oneself and those around them, “typing” people is just fun! The other day my friends and I sat with an enneagram book and spent an hour and a half finding out who was which type, and laughing about everything said about each type.
As long as the enneagram types are used in their proper, helpful way, I believe that everyone should make an effort to understand their personality type. For more information, go to enneagraminstitute.com, or get the book “The Enneagram Made Easy.”