Enneagram 101: What It Is and Why You Should Know Yours

I’m sure I’m not alone in saying I’ve taken my fair share of personality tests. For whatever reason, I just have to know things like what type of McDonald’s Happy Meal I am or which Disney princess I’m most like. They’re such a fun way to pass the time, but, I’m sorry to burst your bubble, the results have virtually nothing to do with you or your personality. While it may feel good to get told you're the Chicken McNugget of your friend group or the Belle of the ball, these don’t actually mean much.

So, what if you were actually looking to take an accurate personality test that could truly help you understand yourself and others better?

*white light from above emerges* Presenting: The Enneagram test! The Enneagram is a personality and career coaching tool that explains how and why people interact with the world in the ways that they do. Why do certain people care so much about what others think of them while others don’t? Why do some people think knowledge is power while others find their power in having as many connections as possible? When I discovered my enneatype, it was like someone cracked open my brain and took a peek inside to look at all the things I’d never said out loud.

Using basic multiple-choice questions, this test analyzes your subconscious to determine what your deepest fears and largest motivations are, then labels as you predominantly one of nine types. Each of the nine types has its own core beliefs, and it is as a result of these foundational beliefs that people behave so differently when put in similar situations (for example, why some people can bounce back 24 hours after a breakup and others spend weeks in bed listening to old Taylor Swift).  By knowing and understanding your enneatype and the eight others, the enneagram can be an incredible tool for self-exploration and discovery, as well as an insightful intermediary between you and the world around you.

While taking the test is the most effective way for you to determine your enneatype, here’s a quick little rundown of each to get you thinking and reflecting!

Type Ones: The Reformers

Ones view the world not as it is; but what it could be. They are very focused on being a good person and always doing the right thing. This constant drive to make things ‘right’ or ‘good’ often results in them having high expectations and being disappointed. Monica Geller from Friends is supposedly a one!

Type Twos: The Helpers

Twos are driven by the relationships in their life. They are very in-tune with other people’s needs and very generous when giving time and energy to their loved ones. Because they place such emphasis on giving to others, they can often feel over-extended or taken advantage of. Think Cam Tucker from Modern Family!

Type Threes: The Achievers

Threes are motivated by success and the idea of being successful. They are hardworking and tend to achieve what they set out to do. Being so driven by success can often result in threes neglecting their own emotional needs as well as the needs of those close to them. Andy Bernard from The Office is a three!

Type Fours: The Individualists

Fours long to be unique and to be noticed by others for their uniqueness. They want to find the deeper meaning of life and what it is they feel is missing or keeping them from living out their best life. They are very creative and often use their creative talents to express their vast spectrum of emotions. Johnny Depp’s enneatype is a four!

Type Fives: The Observers

Fives place a large importance on knowledge and information. They view the world as a chaotic place full of unpredictability. They are incredibly curious and insightful people. They tend to isolate themselves and observe others from a distance, as a five’s privacy is very important to them. Think Dwight Schrute from The Office!

Type Sixes: The Loyalists

Sixes are very safety-oriented. They are incredibly loyal to those close to them, as well as highly intuitive of people’s intentions. Sixes are often the ‘worst-case scenario’ thinkers, resulting in a lot of difficulties trying to make decisions and changes. Spiderman is actually a type six!

Type Sevens: The Enthusiasts

Sevens are the wild cards. They can usually be found doing something fun and spontaneous, and constantly switching from one stimulating activity to another. They want so desperately to enjoy what life has to offer that they often avoid or suppress negative feelings. Austin Powers is an enneatype seven!

Type Eights: The Challengers

Eights value honesty and place high importance on fairness and equality. They are confident, decisive and make incredible leaders with a fierce need to protect the ones they love. In being so self-assured, eights often unintentionally intimidate others ending up in conflict. Queen Latifah is enneatype eight!

Type Nines: The Peacemakers

Nines find it very important to be in a peaceful environment, and they will do whatever they can to keep harmony and avoid conflict. They are very laidback/go-with-the-flow kind of people, and in their constant attempt to keep the peace, they tend to lose themselves and their sense of purpose. Winnie the Pooh is an enneatype nine!

No enneatype is better or worse than another. They all have incredibly valuable strengths as well as their fair share of weaknesses. We all have a little bit of each enneatype inside of us, but it is our most dominant number that we are labelled as. I strongly encourage you to investigate your enneatype so you, too, can feel seen and understood!