You are just a number


Example of Enneagram results

Kira Guerrin

   Everyone has found themselves stuck in a rabbit hole of Buzzfeed surveys or personality quizzes at one time or another. As humans we strive to better understand ourselves, whether it’s finding out “What mean girl are you?” or something as obscure as “Know your inner Stranger Things characters based on the cake you would bake.” Though these tests are fun, the Enneagram test takes the cake. The Enneagram is not only an incredibly interesting personality test, but it also is extremely useful in helping people better understand themselves and figure out what truly motivates them.

   There are nine types of Enneagrams. Everyone relates to one of the nine types, depending on the number they score highest on. The higher number on either side of your top score is your “wing.” If someone is a type 4, they would have a wing 3 or wing 5 (abbreviated 4w3 or 4w5). Before we take a deeper look into the Enneagram’s effect on people, it’s important to know what each type means. You can try to identify yourself with one of the types written below, but the test is the true identifier. Hopefully you’ll feel motivated to take the test and find out your true Enneagram type.  Personality Test expert from Hope College, Amy Freehafer, pushes an important fact to keep in mind while testing. She says, “Typically, your initial response is the most true. With all assessments you do not want to over-think questions and respond with your initial “gut” or first thought.”

  Type 1- They are idealistic, purposeful, perfectionistic, ethical, and their main goal is to have integrity, be good, balanced, and right.

   Type 2- They are thoughtful, generous, people-pleasing, and their main goal is to be helpful, appreciated, and loved.

   Type 3- They are driven, success oriented, efficient, and their main goal is to be successful, admired, and valuable.

   Type 4- They are creative, authentic, expressive and their main goal is to be special, unique, and original.

   Type 5- They are insightful, intelligent, detached and their main goal is to be competent and capable.

   Type 6- They are responsible, faithful, anxious and their main goal is to be safe and have guidance and support. 

   Type 7- They are playful, excitable, versatile, scattered and their main goal is to be happy, satisfied and content.

   Type 8- They are assertive, self confident, strong willed, and their main goal is to protect themselves and those closest to them.

   Type 9- They are thoughtful, reassuring, and receptive, and their main goal is to have inner stability and peace of mind.

   Freehafer says, “Personality assessment tools like the Enneagram are helpful in that they give us language in which to better understand ourselves. They can also help us better understand how to relate to others and strengthen our relationships. They DO NOT dictate who we are or define us but rather serve as tools to help us better understand who we are and how we work.” This is a very important distinction to ensure that people use the Enneagram, and other personality tests, responsibly. 

   Sr. Selah Kephart is a 6w7. She has a lot of passion for the Enneagram ideology. “[My type] means that I am very loyal to my people, while also being super anxious.”  She feels as if these traits are accurate and the people in her life would agree. 

   This test is so helpful in being able to understand yourself and fit your traits into a little collection that makes you, you. When you not only understand your type, but all of the others, you gain a sense of empathy for people in your life and patience for them.

   “I have come to realize through this that my anxiety has driven me to stay organized and plan everything out, but on the downside it can be very exhausting. I get frustrated often when others in my life don’t fixate on the things that are important to me, and that can be hard, but I’ve realized there are only so many type 6’s in the world, and I can’t control everyone,” Kephart says. She also expands on the importance of the wing type and it’s effect on your main type. “My wing seven brings out the more extraverted part of me, where I can be very sociable and want to be surrounded by people.” 

   Kephart believes that more people should take the Enneagram test. “It really helps you narrow your persona down to a few characteristics (not that the others ones don’t matter) and relate to and discover other people as well.”

    Sr. Kamryn Dumas  is a type 3 with a little bit of a complicated wing situation. “Interestingly enough, my wing tends to shift between both the 4 and the 2. I don’t know if there is any other situation where others are like that, but I feel like that’s the best way to describe myself. At first I didn’t really understand it [Enneagram], but through Kira and other research, I’ve grown to find it quite interesting. To me, [my type] means that I’m an achiever, but how I do that I can either shift from being a 2 type of achiever where in the path of achievement I strive to help others, or being a 4 type where in the path of achievement I want to be different and stand out. Those two really balance me and create who I am.” This is a great description of how your wing can affect your main type. It guides your main type and describes not only what motivates you but why it motivates you.

   The number one benefit about the Enneagram is that it helps you better understand how you fit in groups of people and almost explains other people’s certain behaviors and motivation behind the decisions they make. Dumas says, “Not only have I learned about myself but I’ve learned about others as well.  Just how to see others in a different light or more specifically their own light. It’s interesting because it’s helped me make sense of how I react in the ways I’m driven and just the little parts of who I am. It’s interesting how the Enneagram just lays it out perfectly and gives an answer to everything.”

   “I encourage others to take this test, like I said before it really teaches you about yourself, about others… If I can understand their Enneagram I can understand what motivates them.”