Exclusives

What’s Your Number?: The Enneagram

Like the Myers Briggs and the Love Language personality tests, the Enneagram is a platform created to investigate a deeper understanding of the different personality tendencies and variations. Essentially, it is a tool that utilizes self-analysis in order to categorize a personality into one of nine types, each represented by their number. IMG_3707.PNGThe name “Enneagram” is derived from the geometrical shape that represents the interconnections of each type, shown in the first photo. This classification can be broken down into various levels of complexity, but on the surface, each type is determined by the most dominant characteristics of a person—everyone has the qualities of each type but to a varying extent.

Elisa Grasz, junior, is typed as a 7: The Enthusiast and learned about the Enneagram from her sister. She said, “It’s cool to know your Enneagram because you get to learn more about you. It can tell you things about yourself that you didn’t know before.”

Type descriptions include information regarding basic fears, basic desires, key motivations, type compatibility, and behavioral shifts during times of stress or growth. Each number has a general overview of how a person with that number may feel or act, but further reading reveals the thought process behind it all as well as possible causes and results. Graz said, “I knew that I was outgoing, but I didn’t know that within ‘outgoing,’ there are a bunch of levels.”

One thing the Enneagram specifically highlights are a person’s typical flaws or weaknesses. Lauren Collins, senior, is also a 7: The Enthusiast and said, “Knowing your weaknesses allows you to be aware of what you are doing and catch yourself doing it.” The purpose of understanding yourself as a whole would not be complete without a discussion of weaknesses, as it is intended to teach intentionality and catapult a mindset of growth.

To love is to know, and to know is to understand. The Enneagram is a tool that allows people to do exactly that, whether it be in the form of self-love or an appreciation for others. “It’s like knowing someone else’s love language,” said Collins. Once a personality number is taken into account, it is easier to see how to best love and serve others.

“When you interact with people, you often think that they are processing things the same way that you do, which is such a narrow perspective,” said Collins. “We have a lack of empathy and judge people for the way they are without understanding why. This test really allows you to have empathy for a wider range of people.”

For more information about each Enneagram number, go to www.enneagraminstitute.com. To take the test for free, go to www.eclecticenergies.com/enneagram/test. Disclaimer: To ensure accuracy, read about the top few results and decide your Enneagram for yourself. Read The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types by Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson, or any of the other books listed on the Enneagram Institute website for a more complex understanding of the types, including instinctual variants and wings. Lastly, take a look at The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery by Ian Cron for a spiritually grounded explanation of the Enneagram and its practical applications. 

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