This week’s obsession: The Enneagram

A couple of weeks ago, I was introduced to The Enneagram, an ancient personality and psyche assessment system.

The system is based on 9 basic personality types. They are the following:

  1. The Perfectionist (aka Reformer)
  2. The Helper
  3. The Achiever
  4. The Individualist
  5. The Investigator
  6. The Loyalist
  7. The Enthusiast
  8. The Challenger
  9. The Peacemaker
The Enneagram with Riso-Hudson type names. Image courtesy of: The Enneagram Institute

The more specific characteristics of each of these personality types can be read about here.

Now, what’s cool about this particular “personality test” is its fluid nature. In other words, you are not expected to be 100% of any of these basic personality types.

In fact, you will probably find that you have a little bit of each of these personalities in you.

Does this make the test bogus? Pseudoscience?

Personally, I don’t think so, and a lot of it has to do with the fact that the Enneagram does not put you in a box.

I am not merely a One/perfectionist. I am mostly a One.

There are no absolutes in this system. And to me, absolutes are what merit skepticism.

So far, I’ve had a good chunk of my friends and family take the Enneagram test to see if their basic personality types are consistent with the things I think I already know about them.

And the results will shock you (click here to find out more)…

In all seriousness, I was pretty amazed by the accuracy of the test in pinning the basic personality types that I expected of a few of my friends.

Sure, initially I didn’t know much about any of the nine personality types (aside from my own, a One), but after more reading and new personality types emerging in my friends’ results, I started to learn more.

Now I’m at the point where I can somewhat accurately guess which personality type my friends and family are, before they even take the test.

I know I won’t be right all the time, but it’s fun to focus on the stuff that goes beyond the surface.

Everything can be categorized.

That’s worth repeating…

Everything can be categorized.

And that includes complex human beings. Don’t be so arrogant to think that you are too complex to be categorized into 1 of 9 categories.

Nobody is saying you are 100% anything.

It’s your choice to decide how much of your basic personality you agree with, but don’t forget that you were the one who answered the initial questions whose algorithm categorized your type.

The only thing you should be dubious about is whether you were categorized accurately or not, which is mostly contingent on how honest your answers were in the initial Enneagram test.

Forgive the tangent, but this is me responding to one of my skeptical friends, who didn’t even read anything about his personality type after getting his result, but immediately called the test bogus.

That’s fine. You do you.

But I will tell you that most of what I’ve read about my type and my friends’ types have been consistent with what I know about them as individuals, and this includes how the various personality types interact with each other.

For example, V is a 7, I am a 1, and when I read the description of the relationships between 7s and 1s my jaw nearly hit the floor.

Again, it wasn’t 100% accurate. Almost nothing is.

Can we agree on this?

But if something is 90% true, then it will usually be credible enough for me.

This is the Enneagram test I took.

Feel free to drop a comment with your personality type. I’d love to hear your thoughts on its accuracy and whether it has helped you understand yourself and/or relationships better.