I recently have seen SO many things about the Enneagram on Instagram. Whether it’s posting memes to stories or sharing their type, the people I follow have been having a hay day! What is this Enneagram anyway?
The Enneagram is a tool to better understand who you are at your core and how you relate to yourself, others and the world. The name enneagram comes from the nine-point symbol that is associated with the tool. There are nine different personality types defined in the Enneagram, with your “wing” giving further information and specificity to your unique personality.
The nine personality types are:
- Type 1: The Reformer
- Type 2: The Helper
- Type 3: The Achiever
- Type 4: The Individualist
- Type 5: The Investigator
- Type 6: The Loyalist
- Type 7: The Enthusiast
- Type 8: The Challenger
- Type 9: The Peacemaker
As mentioned above, though you will have a dominant type, it is likely that you will have a “wing.” A wing means that you have some noticeable characteristics of the type on either side of your dominant. You will see this abbreviated with a “w,” such as 6w5 (Type 6, wing 5 – ME!).
I’ll dive VERY BRIEFLY into basic descriptions of the nine types, because each is SO complex. I guarantee that you cannot determine your type just by reading these – even if some seem to fit you and your personality, it won’t be the right one. Trust me, because that’s exactly what happened to me! 😉
1: The Reformer
perfectionists wanting to improve
2: The Helper
need to be needed
3: The Achiever
seek validation through the appearance of success
4: The Individualist
focused on maintaining unique identity
5: The Investigator
withdrawn and cerebral thinkers
6: The Loyalist
anxious about intentions and trustworthiness
7: The Enthusiast
seek enjoyment and plans
8: The Challenger
unwilling to be controlled
9: The Peacemaker
maintaining peace and harmony
You will learn far more about your type and your wing after you take the Enneagram test. Honestly, I took a few free tests before I finally purchased the $12 *official* Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator, administered by the Enneagram Institute. I would say your best option is to go for the full official test from the get-go. I was really doubting myself when I got the wrong type back from the free tests as they’re simpler and quicker (maybe that’s just the doubtful Type 6 in me!) so avoid the headache and pay the $12. You may have to skip out on Starbucks, but you’ll learn so much more about yourself, and to me it’s a better use of money.
When you finish the test, you will get a summary of the points you’ve earned toward each type. Normally, the top scoring type is YOUR type! However, the top scoring type may NOT be your type if there is little point difference between multiple. There are some common mistypings that can occur, according to the Enneagram Institute:
- If your highest type was a 2, and you are a woman, your true type may be the second highest scoring type. Most women take on the Type 2 characteristics in some form, which can influence your scoring
- If your scores are evenly scattered among multiple types with no clear winner, you may be a Type 6
- If you have a number of close ties, you could be a Type 3, 6 or 9
My two highest scoring types were 2 and 6 – but Type 2 was only one point higher than Type 6. The statement about women taking on the characteristics of a Type 2 rings true to me! So, that being said, although I have nurturing personality traits, I truly am a Type 6.
After you figure out your type, it’s time to look at your wing. Since your wing can only be one of the two types NEXT to your type, determine which of those two types received a higher score. For example, since I am a 6, my wing could only be a 5 or a 7. I looked at my scores, and I had more points in Type 5 than Type 7. After reading about Type 6 with a 5 wing, I realized that this indeed was my wing!
After the results are shown on the Enneagram Institute test, there is a list of more information about your specific type. It breaks down how you cope with stress, how to be your best self, suggestions for careers and hobbies, etc. I also like how it shows a “high functioning” type versus a “low functioning” type – both fit how I act when I am feeling great versus feeling crummy.
There is SO much information out there about the enneagram, and I encourage you to do your own research. Overall, I think the enneagram is a great way to figure out who you truly are and to understand how to be the best version of you.
Let me know your type below! I am a 6w5 🙂