The enneagram of personality continues to divide experts: for some, it has too many methodological deficiencies, for others, it is a good tool for self-knowledge and personal development in the field of clinical psychology.
The origin is unknown, but its reworking has come down to us as a system that presents nine different personalities interrelated through their shortcomings and potentialities. The goal is to assume power over one’s own personality .
- You can also read: The 12 types of language: characteristics and functions.
What is an enneagram
The enneagram is based on the description of nine personalities or enneatypes that are distributed in a circumference and are related to each other through lines. This mystical and oriental system was rescued and reworked by western authors, and has reached our days as a very popular tool.
According to this theory, there are nine different types of personality that relate to each other based on their frustration or proactivity. The key is, precisely, that it not only allows us to discover the potentialities of our character, but also provides us with tools to know with which enneatypes we are more or less related.
Therefore, the enneagram is a psychological tool but also a social one., insofar as it is based on the potentialities of complex human relationships.
How does this personality test work?
In Greek, ennagram means “nine lines” and in geometry it means a nine-pointed star. The nine personalities of the enneagram are distributed symmetrically around a circumference (as if they were the numbers on a clock) and are related to each other through straight lines, forming a star shape.
These nine enneatypes are divided into three groups: emotional, mental and instinctive . In a first stage, these define the way of dealing with problems and the tools used by the individual who undergoes the personality test.
The theorists of this test are based on the belief that in childhood we develop strategies to survive, and that these crystallize in adulthood. These can become an obstacle for the development of the personality .
Through the choice of some care centers we rule out others, promoting some aspects while renouncing the rest. In a way, what the enneagram does is to detect those centers of attention and put them in relation to the rejected ones, to give us free choice and eliminate the unconscious form of our character.
The Enneagram personality test poses 135questions with four options each: “Almost never”, “Rarely”, “Somewhat true”, “Generally true” and “Very true”. The result leads to a classification into enneatypes.
The 9 enneatypes
The enneagram is not a strict personality classifier, but rather invites self-knowledge and development: that is why the enneatype is indicative, marks behavioral trends and proposes ways of improvement and empowerment.
Each entype combines two factors: the mental sensation and the relationship with others. Each of these two factors admits three possible values, so that there are nine possible combinations (3×3=9).
The 9 enneatypes included in an enneagram. | Available at: Gestalt Granada.
For the relationship with the rest there are three groups (empathetic, apathetic, and antipathetic) and for the mental sensation, three more (superiority, equality, and inferiority).
Our personality is ascribed to a number according to the enneatype to which we belong.
Your mental structure divides things into good and bad. They are idealistic and have strong principles that they try to put into practice through an organized, meticulous and perfectionist personality. They can become angry and arrogant, and their positive values are found in nobility, wisdom and insight.
It is the generous personality focused on the welfare of others. Since he focuses his attention on others, he always likes to feel needed anddevelop as such a proud character . He has a hard time taking care of himself and giving himself attention, but in his raw state he harbors sincere altruism.
The profile of the winner. He has a confidence and self-assurance that leads to success. They adapt to any situation, they have skill and talent, they are ambitious, they have energy and perseverance, they live for their work and they are very competitive. Tends to vanity: needs the recognition of others.
Individualistic and introspective, tends to close in on himself to feel safe and secure from what is out there. He has a fragile personality full of fears and insecurities, but at the same time he is very self-aware and committed to his reality. He is emotional, romantic and creative.
His character is marked by intelligence and insight. They have a detective spirit, an investigator, a tracker. They process the world cerebrally and logically , and often see it independently. They tend to be eccentric, nervous and isolated, but at the same time they are pioneers and avant-garde.
Those who enter this enneatype are committed as well as supportive, they always seek safety and are concerned about the well-being of others.They are loyal friends but at the same time they live imprisoned by many fears.
Within the 6 there are two types, depending on the way of facing fears.
The phobic Six finds himself in danger, withdraws into himself. Instead, the counterphobic reacts aggressively . Those of the first type are lovable, modest, and submissive, while those of the second type are tough and defiant.
These like to live life to the fullest, they indulge passions and pleasures without restraint, they want to squeeze their existence to the fullest in a sensitive way. They are impulsive and start many projects that they rarely finish: when they get tired they leave it. It is difficult for them to be responsible and they run away from problems.
Their value system is governed by the division between strong and weak, and they feel called to dispense justice. They try to go through life with presumption of superiority, which leads them to excess. They feel good in the role of protectors and vigilantes, and face problems with courage and determination.
They like comfort and are humble, without great ambitions or aspirations in life, limited by laziness and calm. They avoid conflict whenever they can and look at life optimistically, minimizing problems. Their equanimity allows them to bring people together and act as peacemakers and mediators.
Questions and results
These are some of the frequently asked questions that appear in the Enneagram test:
- I am generally considered a serious and sensible person , and I think I am.
- My authentic interest in others makes me get involved with them .
- I consider myself a very competent person , it doesn’t bother me to be effective and efficient.
- Many consider me an enigmatic, difficult and contradictory person .
- I like to dig into things, and I study the details carefully .
- I am attracted to authority but at the same time I distrust it.
- I love to travel and discover different cultures, foods and people.
- I am independent and I don’t like to depend on anyone for what I need.
- What people like about me is that they feel safe by my side .
- I always try to be honest with myself and true to my conscience .
- It is natural for me to be friendly, I start conversations easily .
- When things are going well for me, I shine with an inner light .
- I tend to obsess over my negative feelings before I get rid of them.
- I am a private person, I don’t let many people into my world.
- I am very emotional , but I do not usually show my feelings.
- My agenda is usually full , and I like that.
- I think you have to go out and fight for what you want to get something.
- As long as I am at peace with myself, I don’t mind being alone or surrounded by people.
- Although it can be something crazy, that is not part of my essence .
- I have found that people react with joy when I give them my help .
- I try to present myself to others with the best possible image .
- Even when I’m surrounded by friends, I often feel lonely .
- I don’t feel very important or very powerful. I am small and invisible .
- I am afraid that everyone will criticize me if I make a mistake .
- I run away from comfort and precaution, I like walking and emotion .
- When I love people I consider them my people , my family.
- I have found a certain balance in my life , and I see no reason to change.
- I have the impression that a judge lives inside of me .
- My feelings tend to be alien to me
- If they criticize me I tend to close myself off.
- If the others knew what I think they would consider me crazy.
- I feel safer doing what is expected of me than acting on my own.
- My mind doesn’t stop working: I’m always thinking about ten things at the same time .
- Only by having the correct information can a rational decision be made.
- I can’t stand boredom and I try never to get bored.
These and other questions about principles, courage, generosity, appearance, honesty, temperament or optimism, among others, are what you can find in the complete test. When answering the questions , an automatic classification is made , since each question responds to a specific enneatype.
From here we fit into a specific enneatype, from which we can begin to develop our personality, solving the deficiencies and improving its potential .