Developing Self-Awareness Using the Enneagram


Enneagram Personality Test

The Enneagram Personality test offers readers nine different personality types with two numbers called wings. There is no perfect number and each number has its strengths and weaknesses. I am a big fan of personality tests. From Strengths Finder to Meyers Briggs to the Big Five to the Four Temperaments Test, I love the opportunity to look inward and learn about myself and others. In college, I enjoyed sitting around my dorm room with a cup of coffee in hand and discussing the quirks, preferences, and driving forces of my colleagues. Being a homeschool mom of three, I have less time these days to have the mentally stimulating conversations I was once accustomed to. That is, until a family member introduced me to the Enneagram.

The Enneagram in Our Home

The Enneagram personality test is not a new phenomenon. It has been around for years. In fact, my husband remembers taking a test as a kid to determine his personality type, but he didn’t make much of it at the time. Over the last several months between grad school and starting a new job, my husband and I have spent a LOT of time together. While having us both home full-time is a rare gift, it is not without challenges. We have once again reopened the conversation about our very different personalities, and how some of our disagreements stem from how differently we view the world.

The Nine Personality Types of the Enneagram

Simply put, the Enneagram states that there are nine basic personality types, which are based on the Catholic church’s understanding of the original nine deadly sins (they now recognize seven). While we all possess traits of many personalities, the hallmark of the Enneagram is that each person gravitates to one, based on how the person was raised and what motivates him or her as an individual. The types are as follows:

  1. The Reformer (formerly called “The Perfectionist”)
  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 Transformative Nature of the Enneagram

What I love most about this test is that it is based on motivation, not just behavior. Reading through the types at first glance, I was sure I could type myself (and others were sure I could be easily typed), but upon reading the descriptions and doing some serious introspective work during naps and after bedtime, I learned that I am another type entirely. There are countless resources to be able to understand more of why we act the way we do, but I will list some of my favorites at the bottom of this post.

Needless to say, this test has been revolutionary for my marriage, my relationships with co-workers, and understanding those whom which I spend a lot of time. From why arguments start to the less flattering traits I display under stress, my husband and I have been able to work through some of our major misunderstandings and appreciate each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

Enneagram Resources

You can learn all about the different personality types and pay $12 to take the extensive, official test here at the Enneagram Institute (there is also a free option, but this is the official one).

Take a free personality test HERE or HERE, but be sure to read about each of the types first! For this one, I only pay attention to the actual personality type and not the eclectic energy portion. Also, go with your top number and then dig a little deeper using the descriptions in the previous link.

Enneagram Books to get started:

The Road Back To You My Personal Favorite! You can look for it at your local library or purchase it on Amazon.

The Path Between Us

The Sacred Enneagram

The Modern Enneagram

Enneagram Podcast:

Typology with Ian Cron

Ian Cron is the Author of The Road Back to You interviews authors, speakers, and individuals of all walks of life in this deep but relateable podcast

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