The Enneagram is a specific system of personality tests designed to help you learn more about yourself. The system is simple; it’s based on a 9-type wheel.Everyone can find a little bit of themselves in each type, but the one that stands out closest to your personality is called your “basic personality type”.
For example, I am a Type Five. While you might not wholly identify with one type, it’s generally understood that your type is fixed and that people do not fluctuate between basic personality types. The system was designed to take into consideration your mental state. So during times of stress, you might begin to act like a different type. This doesn’t mean your basic personality type has changed, it simply means you are now in the “unhealthy” attributes of your type.
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A component of the Enneagram is the “wing” system. Everyone has a dominant type, but most people also have traits from their complimentary types. I’m a Type Five, Wing Six in this category. Because the traits from the types tend to bleed into each other, it’s common for people to have the dominant personality of a One but can also have a lot of traits from Two. This would make them a 1w2. People can only have wings from their two corresponding types. As a Five, I can only have a wing of either Four or Six because those are the types most similar to mine. Wings are seen as additions to one’s personality. This takes into consideration people’s uniqueness and the fact that one person can’t possibly be one singular type.
There are three centers and three types fall into each of them. These centers are: Thinking, Feeling, and Instinctive. Types One, Nine, and Eight fall under Instinctive, Types Two, Three, and Four fall under Feeling, and Types 5, 6, and 7 fall under Thinking. The centers tell us how the types are connected to one another. So we know that “1s”, “9s”, and “8s” all rely on their instincts when dealing with the world. This can help you understand other people better, for if someone you know shares the same center as you, you can relate to them better. Or if someone has a different center than you, then you can begin to better understand how they approach life. This can help establish and strengthen relationships.
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This also pertains to the core emotions of the specific centers. Instinctive Types react to difficulty and/or loss of control or self with anger or rage. Feeling Types react with shame, and Thinking Types react with fear. This can also help you understand how you react to hardship or stress. It’s also helpful to understand how those around you react to stressful situations, as this can help you understand how to best help them through the situation and can also avoid conflict.
Understanding these centers and the core emotions tied to them are vital in helping one to provide insight on themselves and those around them through the Enneagram.
Establishing your Enneagram is a great and easy way to helping get to know yourself and those around you. In my own experience, knowing my Enneagram has helped me to identify when I’m beginning to become mentally unhinged, how I deal with stress and how to manage it better, and how to better relate to the people around me. Especially as a college student, this has helped me immensely. There are ways to figure out your type through books and research, but if you want to find it out in a much easier and less-time consuming way, I’d recommend taking one online. You’ll be surprised by how much you learn about yourself through finding out your Enneagram type.