Every single person has a different way of thinking, which causes unique outlooks on every situation, however, there are similarities that group people into separate distinctions. That grouping is called the Enneagram, and it is a way to discover the personality traits of others, and why they act the way they do. Though the in-depth personality depicter has supposedly been around for centuries, in 1915, a Russian philosopher, George Gurdjieff, was researching human development, and thus came the publicity and popularity of the Enneagram. This personality test gives individuals the opportunity to look deeper into the components that guide their thinking, and explains behavioral patterns.
The nine personality types allow for everyone to have a source of clarification for their feelings and actions. The nine types are subdivided into three categories, called triads: the body, the heart, and the head. In the body lies the Challenger (8), the Peacemaker (9), and the Reformer (1). The people associated with the body tend to guide their lives by instinct and gut feeling. A more romanticized category, the heart, contains the Helper (2), the Achiever (3), and the Romantic (4). As you could guess, these people base their decisions off of emotion. Lastly, the Head contains the Investigator (5), the Loyalist (6), and the Enthusiast (7). This last group uses intellect to make decisions, and thoroughly thinks through the outcomes.
Theology III teacher, Mrs. Lori Spanbauer, has spent a considerable amount of time studying the Enneagram in her faith journey. She said, “I think that the nine types make up the whole person. We all have all of those nine types within us, but we have a dominant type that helps us understand how we interact with the world.”
Just like no person fits into just one category, each type has two wings and security and stress points. The wings of each type are the two numbers directly next to it, and some people with that type may “wing” one of those two numbers; your wing can change over the course of your life, but your type cannot. The security point across the diagram from your number is the type you act like in times of growth. The stress point, in turn, is the number from which you take the negative qualities during times of stress.
For example, if you are a four, a romantic, you can wing a three or five, your security point is one, and your stress point two.
However, the Enneagram does not simply state the redeeming, positive qualities of everybody; it also points out the faults each type contains: stubborn, self-absorbed, demanding and more. Shedding light on the good and the bad praises everyone, while also humbling them and giving them the gift of seeing their own faults.
Libby Cole, Owner and Certified Coach of Enneagram to Expand, said, “I truly believe learning more and digging deeper into the Enneagram can help you develop into the best version of yourself. Many forms of self-exploration are beneficial to your overall development and self-awareness, but the Enneagram especially is a strong tool.”
The Enneagram gives a specific insight that allows for deep personal reflection and an acceptance and deeper understanding of the self.