Have you ever tried to figure out your Enneagram personality type? There are nine types, labeled 1-9. I recently dove into this realm of self-discovery with one of my sisters and it can be a little addicting. If you have looked into them and knew your type right away and never swayed from that, even after reading all the other possibilities, my guess is that you’re a 1,8, or 9. They are the three personalities that make decisions straight from the gut. If they make plans and lists like a 1, they go right to it and get it done. At first glance I thought I was a one. We shared a lot of the same traits and I do definitely have some one tendencies, but my decisions are not made straight from my gut. I’m more of a head-decision making type. I get in my mind and can stay there for quite some time. Knowing that narrows me down to a 5,6,or 7 and I was able to easily wipe out 7. The remaining three numbers make decisions from the heart. All three in each category use their gut, head, and heart differently and if you’re curious about how and why my advice would be to start your search on google then go from there (I included links below). There are several tests you can take to at least give you an idea of where you stand. This one was pretty accurate.
While my initial thoughts were that I was a one I began to quickly realize that a lot of the decisions I make are not from my gut, even though I’d like to believe I am a quick instinct decision maker. When you read about enneagram Type 5 it explains how they need alone time. They crave it more than others. They need their own space. They need silence when they want it, and loud music that they don’t favor irritates the crap out of them. They sound peachy, right? Yeah, well because of those descriptions I believed I was a 5. They don’t ever want to be overwhelmed and hate intrusion. While no one really likes being intruded upon it carries a special sort of angst with a five. Nailed it! Fives are also very thoughtful and considerate, they plan things out thoroughly, and will probably be standing with a first aid kit while all their friends decide to jump off a bridge. They are not afraid of confrontation, but don’t necessarily seek it, and will question those in authority. But our questioning is generally derived from curiosity. We love to learn.
So after reading about that particular personality for days I was pretty convinced I found my number. While it seems like I act from the gut from time to time, my big decisions come from massive contemplation in my head. I can think back to decisions that were out of my character and know that I defiantly went against my mind and followed either my heart or my quick instinct. Speaking of, it also states that fives tend to keep their anger at a simmer and then BOOM–it all comes out. I’m working on it. So anyway, as I’m reading about myself I begin to think about my husband and my kids and my siblings. I try to figure out their numbers. I think I guessed the majority correctly but not positive. And then I started thinking about how I’m always surrounded by people. Always. And I love that on any given day I’m next to at least one person who genuinely cares for me and I genuinely care for them. It’s amazing and not many have that experience. But it can get a bit loud, right?
Growing up my life was always very loud. It was hard to find quiet. I believe I was able to find peace but rarely actual quiet. All together I have 5 sisters and one brother, along with a neighbor girl who insisted on being added to the sibling crew (wink, wink Danielle–I guessed your number too), and then one or two extras on even given day, so it’s not a secret why there wasn’t much room for literal quiet time or privacy for that matter. But the benefits of having so many siblings definitely outweighed the negatives. My brother and sisters had an immense impact on the person I am today. When you have such a big family chances are you told a sister or brother your deepest fears, your highest aspirations, and your embarrassing flops much sooner than it even crossed your mind to confide that to your parents. There’s something to be said about growing up, knowing that you always have someone who you can be completely real with. I’m sure people with only one sibling feel that way too but the bonus of having so many, especially so many sisters, is when one is being a complete ass you can stop engaging for a few days and neither one of you is left in the dust. And now I’m a stay at home mom. I have two kids and sometimes feel bad they won’t grow up with multiple siblings. But not bad enough to try for 3 more little ones. I do love having the privilege to be home with my kids. I would not trade it for eight hours a day of silence and minimal interaction, but I will fantasize about it.
So once I start thinking back to my upbringing and my adult life before marriage and children, which is something that will happen if you take the leap into the Enneagram world, I begin to wonder if I really am a 5, or if I’m actually a six. I tend to second guess myself and at times I can seem like a walking contradiction. To really know your number there are wings and stacks and all kinds of layers that can make you completely different than the person next to you who embodies the same base number. It is said that Hillary Clinton is a 1. She strives to fix what is failing in this world; she sets a plan and meticulously works towards it. My guess is that Donald Trump is an 8. He believes he’s the most powerful man in any room that he walks into, whether he actually is or not. They both go from the gut. While I’m in the head realm, I’m married to someone driven by their gut. I’m curious to see how my children grow into this world. There is reading for kids on the enneagram scale but I won’t go down that path just yet.
My final conclusion is this: if you fall into the head category of the enneagram types, I’m not sure you’ll ever be fully convinced of where you rest. But, luckily, you will be able to narrow it down to at least three choices. Once you open the mystery of the enneagram, you can’t forget it.
And, psst, after writing and gathering resources I’m thinking, “Shit. Am I actually a 7?”
Resources to get you started:
This test will lead you to a beginners book you can purchase. This test gave me a different score than the one linked above.
Exploring the Enneagram
Official site, although it seems easier to navigate if you use this based off your google searches rather than going directly to The Enneagram Institute.