Intro to Enneagram

I've always been intrigued by what drives myself and others to think, act or react a certain way. I've taken many personality tests but typically aren't very satisfied with them. Knowing myself, I can see in different situations or moods I could test differently and I didn't feel like that should be the case for a true personality test. About three years ago a friend of mine told me about the Enneagram. As she was explaining it, the Enneagram seemed like more than just a personality test. It is more of how and why you think and act a certain way. 

Intro to Enneagram

The Enneagram is a set of nine distinct personality types, with each number on the Enneagram denoting a type. One number is not better than another but the numbers next to each other do have similarities. It's both a simple and complex system (see more here). Why the Enneagram seems different than other personality tests is it is based on your core motivations and fears. The 9 types can be subgrouped into 3 centers: Instinctive, Feeling or Thinking.

How to Find Your Enneagram Type

The best way to find out your type is to take this test. While this is not a short enneagram test and there are other options; I strongly recommend this one because it is so thorough. Once you are done with the test you receive an email with your results and a pdf with an extensive explanation of the 3 types you scored highest on. Most likely while reading thru the explanation of you top three types, one will stick with you.

There is a structure within each type called Levels of Development. This helps you understand how the random traits that characterize a type relate to each other. When we are in a healthy mindset we exhibit the healthier traits of our type and vice versa. One of the many reasons I love the enneagram is the levels of development. While many personality test try to teach you to be different or more like another type, the enneagram doesn't. Your goal is to just work towards a healthier version of yourself.

My Experience with the Enneagram

My test results ranked me pretty high as a 6 (The Loyalist) and after reading the description I felt confident that it was my number! Learning about 6's really made so many things click. My type is summarized as someone that wants to have security, be supported by those around them, have certainty in situations and fight against anxiety and insecurities.

Good or bad, learning about yourself can cause so much growth. As I understand many of my faults I am better able to recognize when they are coming out. I also have learned how some things that I thought were faults actually are helpful and can be used for good. My anxiety has been something that I have struggled with for a long time. There is a lot I do to manage it. As I learned more about myself by researching my Enneagram type, I learned how when my sense of security is threatened or I let my constant thoughts keep turning, my anxiety can get out of control. 

Enneagram Resources

A simple search for enneagram resources will show you hundreds! This test gives so much information with the results that it really is the best first source. I was eager to learn more about my type and all the others. The book The Road Back to You can provide a great basic understanding of all of the types. I have used it as a resource not only for myself but have learned about close friends and family when I know their types. Learning to understand and communicate with them better has been such an asset to my relationships.

There are an overwhelming amount of enneagram instagram profiles. Many of them are more entertainment than informational but I have found a few that I love: @NineTypesCo and @EnneagramandCoffee

The Enneagram Institute has an email subscription (scroll to the bottom of the page after you click the link) that sends a customized email every day based on your type. The emails are short and give a thought to focus on each day. I really look forward to reading the email each morning. 

Kara Krittenbrink

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