What is the Enneagram?

Nine interconnected personality types

The Enneagram is a model of personality that describes nine interconnected personality types. It offers insights into how individuals perceive the world, process information, and engage in relationships. Each Enneagram type has distinct patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving, as well as unique motivations and fears.

The nine types of the Enneagram are represented by numbers from 1 to 9:

  1. The Perfectionist/Reformer: Strives for perfection, has a strong sense of right and wrong.
  2. The Helper/Giver: Driven by the need to be needed, focused on meeting others’ needs.
  3. The Achiever/Performer: Motivated by success, seeks recognition and admiration.
  4. The Individualist/Artist: Emotionally sensitive and expressive, seeks personal significance.
  5. The Investigator/Thinker: Analytical and observant, desires knowledge and understanding.
  6. The Loyalist/Loyal Sceptic: Seeks security and support, tends to anticipate and prepare for worst-case scenarios.
  7. The Enthusiast/Epicure: Optimistic and pleasure-seeking, avoids pain and discomfort.
  8. The Challenger/Protector: Assertive and confrontational, strives for control and independence.
  9. The Peacemaker/Mediator: Easy-going and accommodating, seeks harmony and avoids conflict.

The Enneagram is not simply a typology system but also emphasizes personal growth and self-awareness. It highlights both the strengths and the challenges associated with each type and encourages individuals to understand their core motivations and defense mechanisms. By recognizing their patterns, individuals can work toward personal development, improving relationships, and achieving greater self-acceptance.

It’s worth noting that the Enneagram has roots in various spiritual and psychological traditions, and it is used in different contexts, such as personal development, team building, and therapy. However, it’s important to approach the Enneagram with an open and discerning mind, using it as a tool for self-exploration rather than a definitive measure of personality.