The Enneagram (pronounced “Any-a-gram”) is a nine pointed system of personality “type” configuration with ancient origins from many traditions. The Enneagram dates back to Babylonia over 2,000 years ago and include learning from the Greeks, Jewish mystics and Kaballah as well as from the Sufi and Eastern Orthodox Churches. The Enneagram system defines nine distinct types of personalities and how each personality type relates to the world given their own given nature. By understanding your “type” and its accompanying strengths and weaknesses, a map is created directing your “self” to gain the most out of life in love, work, or the spiritual realm. The Enneagram system also helps us to understand the “types” of others, providing the opportunity to clearly see the struggle and growth we all go through as human beings.
The Nine Personality Types of the Enneagram
- THE REFORMER. The rational, idealistic type. Conscientious,, with a strong sense of right and wrong. Advocates and teachers, they are agents for change always striving to improve things, but afraid of making a mistake. Moral and ethical, critical and perfectionistic. Well-organized, orderly, and fastidious, but can also be impersonal, rigid, and emotionally constricted. Problems with anger and impatience. At their Best: Wise, discerning, realistic, and noble. Can be morally heroic.
- THE HELPER. The caring, nurturing type. Empathetic, sincere, and warm-hearted. People-oriented, friendly, generous, and self-sacrificing, but can also be sentimental, flattering, and intrusive. Possessive of others, doing things in order to be needed, they have hidden agendas and ulterior motives. Proud and self-deceptive, they can feel unappreciated and victimized, becoming manipulative and controlling. At their Best: Unselfish and altruistic, they have unconditional love for others.
- THE PERFORMER: The adaptable, success-oriented type. Self-assured, attractive, and charming. Ambitious and energetic, but can also be too competitive and driven. Image-conscious and overly concerned about what others think of them. Pragmatic chameleons, calculating, saying and doing whatever “whatever “works” for them. Seeking attention and admiration, they can be arrogant and opportunistic. At their best: Self-accepting, authentic, everything they seem to - role models who inspire others.
- THE INDIVIDUALIST. The intuitive reserved type. Self-aware, sensitive, introspective, and gentle. Individualistic, expressive and personal but can also be too moody and self-conscious. They dwell in their fantasies, feeling different, melancholy, and exempt from ordinary ways of living. Become impractical, self-indulgent, and self-pitying, problems with self-inhibition. At their best: inspired and highly creative, they are able to renew themselves and transform their experiences.
- THE INVESTIGATOR. The perceptive, cerebral type. Alert, insightful, and curious. Able to concentrate and understand complex ideas. Independent, innovative, and inventive, but can also be too preocucupied with their thoughts and imaginary constructs. They become detached, yet high-strung and intense. Awkward and isolated, they lack interpersonal skills, and can be cynical and eccentric. At their Best: Visionary pioneers, ahead of their time, able to see the world in an entirely new way.
- THE LOYALIST. The committed, security-oriented type. Endearing and likable, forming strong bonds with others. Reliable, responsible, and trustworthy, but can also be partisan and suspicious of others, creating “in” and “out” groups. Defensive, contradictory, evasive, and anxious: they run on stress while complaining about it. Cautious and indecisive, but also defiant and rebellious, taking “tough” and scapegoating other. At their Best: Open-minded, stable, and self-reliant, courageously supporting the weak powerless.
- THE ENTHUSIAST. The enthusiastic, productive type. Extroverted, optimistic, and spontaneous. Playful, high-spirited, practical, and accomplished, but can also be over-extended, superficial, and undisciplined. Acquisitive, seeking constant stimulation, they distract themselves by straying on the go. Uninhibited, excessive, and self-centered. Can be infantile, demanding, and insensitive to other. At their Best: They focus their talents on worthwhile goals, becoming, appreciative and joyous.
- THE LEADER. The powerful, aggressive type. Self-confident, strong, and assertive. Protective, resourceful straight-talking and decisive, but can also be proud and domineering. Feel they must control their environment, becoming confrontational and intimidating: everything is a contest of wills and openly belligerent. At their Best: Self mastering,, they use their strength to impr0ve others’ lives, becoming heroic, magnanimous, and great.
- THE PEACEMAKER. The easygoing, accommodating type. Accepting, trusting, and stable. Good-natured, optimistic, straight forward, and supportive, but can also be too willing to go along with others to keep the peace. Want things to be smooth and easy: tend to complacent, to simplify problems and minimize any upsetting. Creature of habit, they can be passive and unwilling to change. Stubborn, inattentive, and neglectful. At their Best: Indomitable and all-embracing, they are able to bring people together and heal conflicts.