I’ve always loved personality tests. Remember those magazines we got as teens with the quizzes in them? You know, “back in the 1900s,” as my kids would say.
Are you a flirt?
Do you talk too much?
What’s your style?
Those were THE reason to buy the magazine.
I think the popularity of BuzzFeed quizzes is a pretty good indicator that there are still a lot of people who are interested in learning more about themselves. Some of my favorite assessments include Myers-Briggs, DISC, High 5 Strengths, and Enneagram. That last one is probably my favorite, so let’s go a bit deeper!
What is the Enneagram?
The word enneagram is Greek for “nine points.” This is known as an ancient personality typing system that teaches that there are nine basic personality styles in the world. The main distinction I love about the enneagram is that it is based on motivation, not behavior. Each type has an unconscious motivation that influences how they act based on their core desires & fears.
Maybe you’ve heard this question: “Is the enneagram ok for Christians?” After a lot of research and personal experience, my resounding answer here is, “YES!” I will mention a resource at the end of this post that specifically provides a biblical roadmap to guide you back to God and your identity in Christ by using the enneagram.
The 9 Enneagram Types
- ONE – The Approver or Perfectionist; ethical, meticulous, and detail-oriented. Their way of seeing the world is that they see what’s wrong, and they think it’s their responsibility to fix it. Ones have a strong internal critic voice.
- TWO – The Helper; warm, caring, and giving, and highly motivated by a need to be liked and needed. Twos typically want to avoid acknowledging their own needs. They feel bad when they’re really tired and don’t have anything to give because they’re not sure of their own values or worth without helping others.
- THREE – The Performer or Achiever; success-oriented, driven by productivity, adaptive, excelling, and image-conscious. Threes are often known as the “social chameleon,” becoming all things to all people.
- FOUR – The Romantic or Individualist; creative, sensitive, emotional, dramatic, and imaginative. Fours are motivated by a need to be unique, and they love deep conversations.
- FIVE – The Investigator; independent, analytical, perceptive, detached, and private. Fives have limited amounts of energy and fear overextending themselves to the point of depleting all of their energy.
- SIX – The Loyalist; committed, practical, security-oriented, witty, anxious, and suspicious. Sixes are concerned about the common good. They are often behind the scenes doing things others won’t. They are often worst case scenario thinkers, and they like to be prepared for anything.
- SEVEN – The Enthusiast; fun, spontaneous, and adventurous. Sevens always want to avoid unpleasant feelings, thoughts, and situations. They are motivated by a need to be happy.
- EIGHT – The Challenger; powerful, dominating, self-confident, decisive, willful, confrontational, and commanding. Eights need to assert strength and power to hide vulnerable feelings from others and themselves. Being an eight is often more difficult for women because their leadership skills aren’t valued as much as men.
- NINE – The Peacemaker; pleasant, laid-back, accommodating, go with the flow, receptive, reassuring, and agreeable. Nines can often see both sides of an argument. They are great mediators, but they hate conflict. Nines feel a deep need to keep internal and external peace, so they tend to merge with others and lose themselves.
Self-awareness & Identity
In case you don’t already know, my enneagram personality type is TWO (with a strong Three wing!). Knowing this about myself has helped me grow out of some really unhealthy habits and learn to set healthy boundaries for myself.
- I’m more likely to catch myself in the act of overextending or helping when I don’t need to. I can redirect my energy where it truly matters.
- It’s easier to recognize when I’m leaning into my own strengths instead of leaning on God.
- Instead of seeing my empathy as constantly feeling “all the feels,” I can recognize that this actually makes me a better friend, spouse, mom, and coach because I’m eager to lend an empathetic ear and offer support.
- You know how I’m always reminding you that self-care isn’t selfish? That’s because it’s a reminder I need, too! Helping others fills my cup, but It’s all about finding that sweet spot of giving to others without losing myself in the process.
Basically, understanding myself in this way has allowed me to grow and help others in ways that I couldn’t before.
Improving Relationships with Others
When it comes to connecting with others, the enneagram is like a secret weapon that allows us to communicate more effectively and connect on a deeper level! If I know my best friend is a Type Five, I can encourage more thoughtful conversation instead of constantly asking about her feelings. When my Type Nine friend seems indecisive about where we should meet for lunch, I can respond with more grace as I see her peacekeeping spirit showing up.
A Powerful Tool in Your Toolbelt
The enneagram is not the end all, be all when it comes to gaining self-awareness and becoming more confident in your identity. It is, however, a great tool to learn more about yourself, identify behaviors that are healthy and unhealthy, and grow in understanding and compassion towards others. It’s about embracing your God-given qualities and using them to make the world a better place while also taking care of yourself.
There are a ton of resources out there if you want to learn more about the enneagram or if you want to determine which number best describes you! Here are a couple of my favorites:
- The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery by Ian Morgan Cron & Suzanne Stabile
- The Journey Home: A Biblical Guide to Using the Enneagram to Deepen Your Faith and Relationships by Meredith Boggs
I could talk about this stuff all day, and I would love to hear from you! Do you already know your enneagram number? Or maybe you took a quick online quiz, but now you’re not so sure it was right. This is the type of thing we love to share about in the Create Some Breathing Room podcast community on Facebook. I would love to connect with you there!
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