5.07.2008

The Enneagram.

Here's the deal, until about a year ago, I LOATHED personality tests. Perhaps it was the fact that i had this unquenchable desire to be an "individual" and thus could not even begin to desire to allow a test to put me in a box and make me like 1/4 of the rest of the earth's population. This is how i felt until i found this--the ENNEAGRAM. Now, my story with this personality indicator is made 30x cooler by the fact that i was told my personality via the electrical currents in my body, however, this is irrelevant.

What i like about this system is that it really isn't confining. It gives some motivations and drives, its more about the "why" of a person than the "what". And as a person who values the why more than the what in general, i like this test.

There are nine possibilities in this model, and they are consist of the numbers 1-9. Each number has a few "archetypal" adjectives that describe the activity of the person. Here are the 9 types.

Brief descriptions of the nine Enneatypes are as follows:

[Ones: Reformers, Judges, Perfectionists]

Ones are focused on personal integrity and can be wise, discerning and inspiring in their quest for the truth. They also tend to dissociate themselves from their flaws or what they believe are flaws (such as negative emotions) and can become hypocritical and hyper-critical of others, seeking the illusion of virtue to hide their own vices. The greatest fear of Ones is to be flawed and their ultimate goal is perfection.

Ego fixation: resentment
Holy idea: perfection
Passion: anger
Virtue: serenity
Stress point: Four
Security point: Seven

[Twos: Helpers, Givers, Caretakers]

Twos, at their best, are compassionate, attentive, generous and caring but they can also be particularly prone to clinginess, neediness and manipulation. Twos want, above all, to be loved and needed and fear being unworthy of love.

Ego fixation: flattery
Holy idea: freedom
Passion: pride
Virtue: humility
Stress point: Eight
Security point: Four

[Threes: Achievers, Performers, Status Seekers]

Threes tend to be especially adaptable and changeable. Some walk the world with confidence and authenticity; others wear a series of public masks, acting in ways they think will bring them approval but losing track of their true self. Threes are motivated by the need to succeed and also to be seen as successful.

Ego fixation: vanity
Holy idea: hope
Passion: deceit
Virtue: truthfulness
Stress point: Nine
Security point: Six

[Fours: Romantics, Individualists, Aesthetes]

Fours are driven by the desire to understand themselves and find a place in the world. They often fear that they have no identity or personal significance. Fours embrace individualism and are often profoundly creative and intuitive and at best they are very humane. However, they have a habit of withdrawing to internalize, searching desperately inside themselves for something they never find and creating a spiral of depression.

Ego fixation: melancholy
Holy idea: originality
Passion: envy
Virtue: equanimity
Stress point: Two
Security point: One

[Fives: Experts, Thinkers, Investigators]

Fives are motivated by the desire to understand the facts about the world around them. Believing they are only worth what they contribute, Fives have learned to withdraw, to watch with keen eyes and speak only when they can shake the world with their observations. Sometimes they do just that. However, some Fives are known to withdraw from the world, becoming reclusive hermits and fending off social contact with abrasive cynicism. Fives fear incompetency or uselessness and want to be capable and knowledgeable above all else.

Ego fixation: stinginess
Holy idea: omniscience
Passion: avarice
Virtue: detachment
Stress point: Seven
Security point: Eight

[Sixes: Loyalists, Heroes / Rebels, Defenders]

Sixes long for safe stability above all else. They exhibit unwavering loyalty and responsibility, but once betrayed, they are slow to trust again. They are particularly prone to fearful thinking and emotional anxiety as well as reactionary and paranoid behavior. Sixes tend to react to their fears either in a phobic manner by avoiding fearful situations or by confronting them in a counterphobic manner.

Ego fixation: cowardice
Holy idea: faith
Passion: fear
Virtue: courage
Stress point: Three
Security point: Nine

[Sevens: Enthusiasts, Adventurers, Sensationalists]

Sevens are adventurous, constantly busy with many activities with all the energy and enthusiasm of the Puer Aeternus. At their best they embrace life for its varied joys and wonders and truly live in the moment but, at their worst, they dash frantically from one new experience to another, too scared of disappointment to actually enjoy themselves. Sevens fear being unable to provide for themselves or to experience life in all of its richness.

Ego fixation: planning
Holy idea: work
Passion: gluttony
Virtue: sobriety
Stress point: One
Security point: Five

[Eights: Bosses, Mavericks, Challengers]

Eights value their own strength and desire to be powerful and in control. They concern themselves with self-preservation. They are natural leaders who can be either friendly and charitable or dictatorially manipulative, ruthless and willing to destroy anything in their way. Eights seek control over their own lives and destinies and fear being harmed or controlled by others.

Ego fixation: vengeance
Holy idea: truth
Passion: excess (lust)
Virtue: innocence
Stress point: Five
Security point: Two

[Nines: Mediators, Peacemakers, Preservationists]

Nines are ruled by their empathy. At their best they are receptive, gentle, calming and at peace with the world. They also, however, tend to dissociate from conflicts and to indifferently go along with other people's wishes. They may also simply withdraw and try to shut down emotionally and mentally. They fear the conflict caused by their ability to simultaneously understand opposing points of view and seek peace of mind above all else. Nines are especially prone to dissociation and passive-aggressive behaviour.

Ego fixation: indolence
Holy idea: love
Passion: laziness (sloth)
Virtue: action
Stress point: Six
Security point: Three



Another interesting thing to note is that there are not usually any repeats within a family...unless, i suppose, you have more than 9 people in your immediate family. But in that case, some people's personalities are probably getting suppressed anyway. :) I love trying to guess which enneatype fits people in my life.

I am a 4. You should take a test and find out what you are, or just read through them and decided. You are probably going to be a better judge than any test, after all, you've lived with yourself for a while.

3 comments:

Andrew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew said...

Annie,

I just took the test and it said I was a 1w2 or a 2w1. I really hope you are still my stress point and I am your security point. The strongest one without wings in consideration was 8. I don't know how I feel about that.

annie.marie.dimond. said...

you are not an 8. end of story.