“Everyone wants insight into others, few people are as willing to look so intently at themselves.”
― Don Richard Riso
On weekends, I work part-time for an amazing company who puts a lot of focus on mental health + wellness, especially in the work place. They use the Enneagram system - a model of the human psyche, taught as a typology of nine interconnected personality types, to better understand the workplace dynamics; using it as a method for self-understanding and self-development.
The system is made up of 9 distinct types, identified by numbers:
Type One is principled, purposeful, self-controlled, and perfectionistic.
Type Two is generous, demonstrative, people-pleasing, and possessive.
Type Three is adaptable, excelling, driven, and image-conscious.
Type Four is expressive, dramatic, self-absorbed, and temperamental.
Type Five is perceptive, innovative, secretive, and isolated.
Type Six is engaging, responsible, anxious, and suspicious.
Type Seven is spontaneous, versatile, acquisitive, and scattered.
Type Eight is self-confident, decisive, willful, and confrontational.
Type Nine is receptive, reassuring, complacent, and resigned
According to the Enneagram Institute, no one is a pure personality type. We are all a unique mixture of our basic type and one of the two types adjacent to it on the circumference of the Enneagram. This is called your wing.
After several months of self-exploration, personality tests, and a lot of research, I have made the discovery that I identify as a 4W3.
Fours are self-aware, sensitive, and reserved. They are emotionally honest, creative, and personal, but can also be moody and self-conscious. Withholding themselves from others due to feeling vulnerable and defective, they can also feel disdainful and exempt from ordinary ways of living. They typically have problems with melancholy, self-indulgence, and self-pity. At their Best: inspired and highly creative, they are able to renew themselves and transform their experiences.
- The Enneagram Institute
By understanding your personality type, you will soon come to realize why you may react a certain way, and how you may differ from others. If you are in a relationship, I highly recommend learning about your partners number and how your two types interact with each other romantically. For instance, my partner is a 5. Knowing this, I am able to understand how our personalities come together and interact with each other on a much deeper level. For example, I have discovered that both types find each other stimulating and are tolerant of each other's idiosyncrasies. Both inspire creativity in the other and give permission to the other to be themselves and follow their own inspirations.
Since making this self-discovery, I am certain my happiness + understanding has increased, and my stress level has reduced, as I comprehend the reasons why I may feel and react a certain way to a situation. It has also encouraged a more perceptive way to approach any obstacles that may arise in my relationship.
I strongly advise you to take the test yourself to explore your own Enneagram Type. Keep in mind that the best way to discover your number, is through a lot of time + research. Taking the test will only jump-start your journey to self-discovery, via the Enneagram system. Happy discovering!