The aesthetic enneagram trend is more than just something to add to your social media bio. It’s a theory on the human psyche that implies there are nine personality types in the world. This is different than the Myers Briggs personality types as the enneagram of personality labels people with identities. Where Myers Briggs uses letters, such as INFP, enneagram uses titles such as “the helper.” I’ve always known my Myers Briggs personality type, so I thought it was about time that I researched what the enneagram personalities were. While there is no definitive answer, I’ve decided that the type that best fits me is type one, the reformer. When I say there’s no definite answer, I mean that a couple different personalities can apply to everyone. You can take quizzes to help you decide, such as this Buzzfeed one, but ultimately it’s your choice on which type you identify with.
The nine personality types are as follows: reformer, number one; helper, number two; achiever, number three; individualist, number four; investigator, number five; loyalist, number six; enthusiast, number seven; protector, number eight; peacemaker, number nine. If you don’t see a familiar type listed that’s normal because these are just their most common names. Believe it or not, there are other titles they go by. The reformer personality fits me the most. Reformers are focused on their morals. They’re driven, realistic, serious, and perfectionistic bordering on OCD. All of these traits describe me perfectly. Each enneagram type has their strengths, weaknesses, fears, desires, stresses and main traits. The more I read up on reformers specifically, the more I found myself relating to the information. It kind of reminds me of astrology signs. People either are born under the perfect sign or they aren’t. Sometimes their sign is perfectly lined up with their personality, but not always.
What else is there to reformers? When they’re thriving, reformers are smart and heroic. They have a fear of failure which I think is a fear everyone can relate to. Reformers have such high standards that sometimes they can appear standoffish. Trust me when I say we don’t try to seem mean! We just want everyone around us to be successful and happy. Reformers aren’t perfectionists for just the sake of being perfectionists. They genuinely want to make the world a better place, so they give a hundred percent effort all the time. So it’s useful to have this personality type around. Reformers’ motives are pure because we want to help people but we can also be ambitious. We’re so organized that we’re almost too organized!
There are downsides to being a reformer. For example, self-care is never a priority for us. We are so busy trying to save the world that we don’t make the time to take care of ourselves! I suffer from this all the time. Also, reformers can seem rude or unapproachable due to their extreme focus and unrelenting lifestyle. Often we have our heads buried in a book and don’t notice when a new friend could be walking by. When something goes wrong, it can ruin a reformer’s day. It’s easy for me to fall into a depressed state when I make a mistake. Where it’s easier for some people to bounce back, reformers have trouble being happy unless everything is perfect. I really related to this personality type when I read that they are more likely to suffer from anxiety. Anxiety is a daily struggle for me. It affects all my projects and my lifestyle. I think the reason reformers suffer from anxiety is because we work so hard we literally collapse with anxious exhaustion. While this may seem like an unbearable way to live, I appreciate my work ethic. I’ve learned to appreciate that about myself.
A reformer’s fears and desires go hand-in-hand. Reformers fear being corrupt and strive to be a decent human being. One of my greatest aspirations is to be considered “a good person” by my peers. The struggle that comes with this is it’s difficult to define what makes a good person. Since there’s no concrete definition, reformers struggle with the fear that they are never enough. I believe being good varies from person to person. I believe it’s impossible to be good every day all the time, but that we can all try our best to be good when we can. Something I loved discovering in my research were examples of other reformers. Some of my favorite fictional characters are reformers! Hermione Granger, Claire Fraser, Colonel Brandon, and Steve Rogers all fit this personality type. Additionally, some other famous reformers are: C.S. Lewis, Henry David Thoreau, Katharine Hepburn, Samuel Johnson, Gregory Peck, Ayn Rand, and Eleanor Roosevelt.
No matter what your enneagram type is, it’s a useful way of understanding your personality and the personalities of others. There is plenty of interesting research out there and I’d encourage everyone to check it out. While I don’t believe it’s one hundred percent accurate, it made me feel more connected to other weirdos like me.