November 11, 2008

The Enneagram Made Easy: Discover the 9 Types of People

A few months ago while online, I stumbled on something that divides people into nine different types of people. It has a few questions and then proceeds to tell you a little about yourself. Some of the things were obvious, but some were interesting things that we may not know about ourselves. What I found more interesting however was the matter of applying it to others to learn more about them. I had been going through a few arguments and lots of times of being misunderstood so I thought it would be a good way to learn to communicate better with others. It mentioned a link to the book this was based from, and I requested it once it was available on PaperBackSwap.

Renee Baron and Elizabeth Wagele's The Enneagram Made Easy starts out by explaining basic information about the enneagram and goes on to talk about each type of person with a full chapter for each type. There are twenty questions at the start of each chapter describing the different types of people. It explains many things for each type:

  • How to get along better with them,

  • their strengths and weaknesses,

  • how they are as children, in relationships, and as parents,

  • about careers they're most successful at as well as how they spend their free time,

  • compliments people usually give them,

  • each types' negative and positive side as they move around the enneagram and about the types they draw from as their wings,

  • and has positive suggestions and exercises for each type.

  • You could answer the one hundred and eighty questions to search for the type that best describes you or someone else, but it's useful to remember that the nine types have three categories: heart, head, and gut instinct. Most enneagram tests I viewed online did not discuss these. The heart is made up of types 2, 3, and 4; the head of types 5, 6, and 7; and gut instincts of types 1, 8, and 9. These are the types of people, taking in consideration some of the different titles some references give the types of people:

  • 1 The Perfectionist/Reformer

  • 2 The Helper/Giver

  • 3 The Achiever/Motivator

  • 4 The Romantic/Individualist/Artist

  • 5 The Observer/Investigator/Thinker

  • 6 The Questioner/Loyalist/Skeptic

  • 7 The Adventurer/Enthusiast/Generalist

  • 8 The Asserter/Challenger/Leader

  • 9 The Peacemaker

  • When answering the questions, my book says it's best to answer as you would when you were under twenty-five years old. I'm one week shy of reaching my twenty-fifth birthday so I answered as I would currently, trying to answer for the past as well. However, I suspect some of my answers to the questions would have been very different even one or two years ago. It was really hard to determine some of my types because a few of my results were so close together. Also, our results will vary by what mood we are in. This is how to better get along with my top two types:

    Heart: Type 2
    "Take your share of the responsibility so I don't end up with all the work. Acknowledge my achievements. I'm hard on myself - reassure me that I'm fine the way I am. Tell me that you value my advice. Be fair and considerate, as I am. Apologize if you have been unthoughtful - It will help me to forgive you. Gently encourage me to lighten up and to laugh at myself when I get uptight, but hear my worries first."

    Head: Type 6
    "Be direct and clear. Listen to me carefully. Don't judge me for my anxiety. Work things through with me. Reassure me that everything is okay between us. Laugh and make jokes with me. Gently push me toward new experiences. Try not to overreact to my overreacting."

    The link above is to the best enneagram test I can find that matches with questions from my book. If you would like to take it and feel open about sharing your results, feel free to leave a comment.

    56 / 70 books. 80% done!


    jugglingpaynes said...

    I could have told you I would be a nine! I think it comes from growing up in a family with a lot of arguing.

    My mother was really into enneagrams for a while. I think she even took some courses on it. I'll ask, but I believe she's a one.


    Kerian said...

    I thought you would be! :)

    I'm having fun guessing what others may be. It's hard, though! We never know how others may answer the questions so I go more by what it says about each type.