Have any of you heard of the Enneagram? Gimli and I kind of got into it about 10 years ago; it’s a way of understanding your personality type based on your fundamental, basic motivation. There are 9 different types and I won’t go into all the arcana here, but I’m supposedly a Type 4 (the Individualist – motivated by the desire to be unique) and Gimli is a Type 8 (the Challenger, motivated by the desire to be in control). Several people on our team are into posting their “Enneathought for the day” on Facebook and kind of got me hooked on it again. I have found it helpful at times, for understanding some of the conflicts G and I have, in terms of getting flashes of insight into what kinds of things feel threatening to him (he hates feeling controlled by others) as well as what he is like at his best (a compassionate leader). I’ve also used it recently to try to help him understand other people on the team.

I signed up for a free online membership to the site linked above, and now I get an Enneathought for the day (I do have to refrain from rolling my eyes slightly at the whole thing even though I also find it really fascinating) delivered to my inbox daily. Below are a sample of some of the best ones I’ve gotten:

“A major feature of average Fours is using the imagination to heighten the emotional impact of reality. Fours can relate to their fantasies instead of to reality. Watch for this tendency in yourself today.” (Deleted PWP posts, this is so relevant)

This one is kind of corny: “Ponder this Insight: How can you fully experience your Presence here and now? Allow yourself to experience the richness and subtlety of your life.”

This one hit too close to home for comfort: “How is your unconscious childhood message that ‘It’s not okay to be too functional or too happy’ affecting you today?” Gimli often teases me about (at some level) enjoying being moody. A quote from The Historian, about Eastern Europeans: “We take our pleasures sadly” – he says fits me to a T.

Here is a concept I remember from the first time we got into the Enneagram, which I have often taken as affirmation of some of my career choices (including the most recent one): “Community service of some kind will make you less self-conscious and give you a better perspective on yourself.”

I liked this one a lot, because I do it way too much (hence a few of the categories on my blog – e.g. Overthinking Things Navel-Gazing, etc.) “Remember it’s not endlessly exploring your emotions that produces change but self-knowledge and awareness. Don’t try to change your reactions today. It is enough to see them more clearly.”

So, it’s kind of fun; I take it with a grain of salt, a bit. If you know your type or take the free short test, I’d be curious to know what number you were identified as, and if you think it fits you!


5 Responses to “Enneagram”

  1. Esperanza Says:

    I am a six. This is what is says about sixes:

    Type Six: The Loyalist
    The Committed, Security-Oriented Type: Engaging, Responsible, Anxious, and Suspicious

    Sixes are reliable, hard-working, responsible, and trustworthy. Excellent “troubleshooters,” they foresee problems and foster cooperation, but can also become defensive, evasive, and anxious-running on stress while complaining about it. They can be cautious and indecisive, but also reactive, defiant and rebellious. They typically have problems with self-doubt and suspicion. At their Best: internally stable and self-reliant, courageously championing themselves and others.

    I have to admit, that described me pretty damn well. I’m interested in learning more about this stuff. I like to better understand myself. Thanks for the introduction!

  2. Wordgirl Says:

    I’m a nine. Totally blown away by the accuracy! Thanks for this this morning. I am thinking if you and I’d like to send an email I’m just behind on just about everything.



  3. jjiraffe Says:

    Oooh. I think I am going to check out this site: I love this kind of stuff. Thanks for the heads up 🙂

    • jjiraffe Says:

      And: I’m a number 4 too. Weirdly, I just described myself as a romantic today. I’d say about 10 years ago that I would not be classified as an Individualist. So did my personality change or did circumstances change my personality? Hmmmm.

  4. Rachel Says:

    My youngest brother is really into these. I came out a number 4, but when you look at my results, I only had one more “4” result than a “2” and “6”. I definitely feel like I have a mixed personality.

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