Why You Should Take an Enneagram Test

by Alyx Carolus

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Anytime is the perfect time to pursue different avenues of self-development and dedicate energy into learning more about yourself. Personality tests are not a new thing, and we’re all trying to find ways to define and assess our characteristics. The last two decades saw the rise of social media, which spawned a culture of sharing so much more of ourselves online. And if you’ve been scrolling on your newsfeed or checking your email – you’ve probably seen some content about the Enneagram (pronounced eh-nee-uh-gram) test. The test model isn’t new at all, but check #enneagram on Instagram – you’ll find tons of accounts dedicated to each personality type, sharing content such as funny, relatable memes. 

 

Enneagram Type Test 

I found out about it via my social timeline, when a mutual friend spoke about it and how accurate it was. I love a good personality test and learning about my own characteristics and others as well. I’ve done the Myers-Briggs test on 16personalities.com (ENFJ!) and was curious how this new-to-me personality test could help my self-development. So what is this all about and how can it help us?

 

Ennea-what? 

So what is the Enneagram test? I spoke to Drew D’Agostino, the CEO and co-founder of Crystal, a Nashville-based company that created the first personality AI in 2015. Crystal provides a variety of personality tests, like the Enneagram test – which also happens to be one of their most popular offerings. 

D’Agostino mentions, “The Enneagram is a very old model that provides deep insights about your core motivations, fears, and behavioral tendencies. It breaks up people into 9 main types, each with its own dominant traits, responses to stress, and personal growth trajectories.”

 

Enneagram Types

At a glance, you might identify with a multitude of personality types, so the tests help to define your main type as well as wing. Integrative9, a South African-based company that works with Enneagram-focused solutions and personal development, states on their site that the wings refer to the two types adjacent to your core type on the Enneagram circle.

If you’re a type 8 like me, your wings could be type 7 or type 9. Alternatively, your wings might be balanced and not show up on the test. 

According to Eclectic Energies, the nine personality types are defined as:

 

  • Type One – The Reformer
  • Type Two – The Helper 
  • Type Three – The Achiever 
  • Type Four – The Individualist 
  • Type Five – The Investigator 
  • Type Six – The Loyalist 
  • Type Seven – The Enthusiast 
  • Type Eight – The Challenger 
  • Type Nine – The Peacemaker 

 

There are no “good” or “bad” types but it can clarify or condense the information you may have known about yourself in a way that’s easy to understand and communicate. D’Agostino is quick to clarify, “while we don’t take an approach of viewing certain characteristics as inherent ‘negatives’ of each personality, we all have natural blind spots, or areas we should focus on growing and improving.”

Type One might find they’re prone to perfectionism and being highly critical of themselves. Type Two might respond badly to criticism or need approval from others. Type Threes could find that they’re overly competitive and can’t accept failure. And Type Four might find that they fixate on hardship and what they don’t have yet in life. 

 

For my type, we’re often perceived as intimidating with the potential to disregard others’ opinions. Type 8 can also have difficulties following rules or orders or taking charge when it isn’t their place. And while I can recognize this within myself, it’s opened my eyes to changing my behavior. I try to listen attentively and now know to take a step back to allow others to chat, instead of just talking over someone else. 

If you’re curious about your Enneagram type, you can take this free Enneagram test by Crystal.

 

Get professional 

So you’ve done the test, now what? The overall results could give you insight into how you might perform in a professional environment. 

Once I found out I’m a type 8, that really clarified why I didn’t enjoy working in previous jobs and the surrounding environments. It helped me understand and communicate what I need from a job, manager, and employer. 

D’Agostino explains, “Understanding the personalities of your coworkers is a big step toward empathizing with them your day-to-day interactions.” she further outlines, “when you understand how someone naturally prefers to work and communicate, you can adjust your style to complement theirs and reduce any friction you may feel.” 

While a personality test isn’t a fix-all approach, it can be integrated with other holistic and conventional therapies. Getting to know yourself, means you can be a better, more enlightened person to those around you and in your life. And that’s one intention I have all year round. 

Are you thinking about taking an Enneagram test? Have you taken one? Let us know what you think – we’d love to hear from you. 

 

Image via @iammoteh

 

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