Exploring the 9 Enneagram Personalities

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Exploring the 9 Enneagram Personalities

enneagram aims to make people aware of their core drivers/Photo By piksel via 123RF


An enneagram is a typology system that was invented to reveal a person’s core motivations, fears, and coping mechanisms. It takes the form of a geometric figure that outlines nine types of personalities and how they are related to each other, Psychology Junkie says. It is derived from the two Greek terms “ennea” which means “nine” and “grammos” which means “figure”. Therefore, it translates to a “nine-pointed figure”.

Based on the enneagram theory, people have one prevailing type, or one of the numbers from one to nine. It also said that people do not change their type throughout their lives. It is a personality system that is intended to help a person gain self-knowledge and self-understanding.

Origins of the Enneagram

The philosophy behind the enneagram was founded on several religions such as Buddhism, Christianity, and Judaism. However, it is not a religion but rather a spiritual philosophy. It aims to make people aware of their core drivers and the effect of an individual’s fears, experiences, and attitudes.

Enneagram Types

The following are the nine Enneagram types:

Type One: The Reformer

People of this type are considered idealists, conscientious, and persistent. They are motivated by a desire to change the world and eliminate corruption. They are also inclined to be perfectionists, disciplined, and orderly. However, what lies under their industrious, moralistic disposition is that they are driven by anger. They often feel that they have to control their anger and instincts so that they may do what is right.

Type Two: The Helper

Individuals who fall under this enneagram type are known to be committed, generous, and self-sacrificing. They are often sensitive to the needs and emotions of other people and are usually warm and giving. They desire to be depended on and often attend to the needs of others. They also want to feel a sense of belonging.

Since they are so focused on attending to everyone else’s needs, they usually have difficulty fulfilling their own. They also have the tendency to restrain themselves from feeling anger and are also inclined to seek their validation and worth from outside. They typically deny their real feelings so that they can feel and be viewed as a person who loves completely.  

Type Three: The Achiever

Those who are type threes seek to attain success and gain many accomplishments. The achievers are considered flexible, competitive, alluring and goal-oriented. They desire to be different from others by honing their skills and talents. They are always trying to be the best. This may prompt them to be a workaholic and constantly feel unsatisfied with their current status in life. They also often cover up their feelings so that others can have a better impression on them or to be more effective in their career.

Type Four: The Individualist

Individualists are typically silent, artistic, self-aware and emotional. They cherish being truthful with emotions and they stand up for their values and for their beliefs. Fours have a tendency to hide a part of themselves from other people. They often feel that others could not understand them. They despise the concept of being an ordinary person, yet they also secretly envy those who live ordinarily. They are usually preoccupied with their rich, imaginary inner world, which they convey by their art or their decisions in their lifestyle. They are also inclined to under-express feeling.


a reformer is motivated by a desire to change the world and eliminate corruption/ Photo By goodluz via 123RF


Type Five: The Investigator

Investigators are described as cynical, curious, inventive and self-sufficient. They thrive in discussing concepts and theories and are enthusiastic about uncovering new knowledge. They are often seen as aloof and intense, leaning towards reclusiveness, nihilism, and peculiarity. They have a different worldview which is often seen as unique and original. They are prone to replacing actions with thinking and have a hard time making their ideas a reality.

Type Six: The Loyalist

Loyalists are noted to be people who are dependable, doubtful and focused on safety. They always work towards gaining a more secure future. They may try to find security by looking for a community whose traditions they can follow or by ultimately rejecting communities and their traditions because they see them as suspicious. They always have the sensation that they are unable to cling to anything or that security is always out of their reach. Their fear central to their character. This may lead them to be avoidant, apprehensive and skeptical. On the other hand, a healthy six can be incredibly perceptive, protective and giving in nature.

Type Seven: The Enthusiast

Enthusiasts are deemed as the spontaneous and energetic types. Sevens are drawn to adventure and enjoy being playful. They revel in having new experiences and always live in the moment. They often try to be engaged in as many activities as possible and have fun trying to keep themselves busy. In social events, they may be considered the life of the party because of their impulsive and cheerful disposition. The immature enthusiast may be seen as being too attention-seeking and disorganized. They also have an inclination to under-express thinking. Their line of thought is often fragmented and they easily get distracted by new thoughts and activities regularly.


an enthusiast revels in having new experiences and always live in the moment/ Photo By rido via 123RF


Type Eight: The Challenger

Challengers are characterized as confident, firm and protective. They do not want others to manipulate them. They also tend to rely on their instincts. They also hate being in positions that require them to submit to authority. This leads them to working independently or starting their own business. They desire to be completely autonomous and may feel like a rebel among the majority who obey the rules.

Type Nine: The Peacemaker

Peacemakers are defined by their laidback, cooperative and earnest nature. They have a talent for making everything peaceful. They want to live a simple and secure life. They are generally approachable and friendly. They also have no desire to manipulate other people. Nines are often hopeful that situations will turn out positively.  People are attracted to their optimistic nature. However, they often try to avoid their anger and instincts because they feel intimidated when confronted by them. They would rather not focus on any negative feelings and emotions. Instead, they would rather turn their attention to their surroundings and their current interpersonal relationships.

Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator (RHETI)

The Riso-Hudson Enneagram Test Indicator, otherwise known as the RHETI is a scientifically approved forced-choice personality test. It contains 144 paired statements and may be finished in around 40 minutes. The Enneagram Institute states that it is the most internationally recognized Enneagram-based test.

It was created by Don Riso and Russ Hudson in 1999. The latest studies conducted on the validity of the RHETI were conducted in 2009 and 2001, by Mary Ann Giordano and Rebecca Newgent, respectively. Statistics Solutions says that both researchers found it to be a test that is “valid and reliable” and has “solid psychometrics.

People who are interested in knowing their enneagram type may take the RHETI. If they would like to learn more about the Enneagram, they may also refer to books like The Wisdom of the Enneagram.



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