Discover the 9 types of people

Discover the 9 types of people

I’ve been wanting to explore the enneagram for years–I’m a total geek when it comes to personality typing–but only recently began to investigate this ancient way of classifying personality types.

If you want to wade into the enneagram waters, The Enneagram Made Easy: Discover the 9 Types of People is the place to start. (Hint: it’s pronounced any-uh-gram, and I’ve been saying it wrong in my head for years.) It’s complex enough to be useful, but simple enough to not be overwhelming.

The Enneagram Made Easy, Renee Baron. 31 Days of Cult Classics | Modern Mrs Darcy

(Understanding the enneagram–or any other framework for understanding personality–can be daunting. It’s like learning a language, and you can only begin to speak it when you learn what the letters or numbers represent.)

The enneagram, like any good personality tool, fosters self-awareness and examination that’s necessary for personal (and spiritual) growth. It differs from Myers-Briggs in that it emphasizes each type’s negative qualities as much as its positive ones.

Exploring your shadow side–and how your type is most likely to make unhealthy choices–can be a big downer, but it flings wide the doors to positive change.

If you’re familiar with Myers-Briggs, you’ll appreciate The Enneagram Made Easy’s last chapter, How the Enneagram and the Jungian Types Fit Together.

Are you a personality geek? Do you know your enneagram type? Tell us in comments.  

P.S. I wrote a book about personality! In Reading People: How Seeing the World through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything, I walk you through 7 different frameworks, explaining the basics in a way you can actually understand, sharing personal stories about how what I learned made a difference in my life, and showing you how it could make a difference in yours, as well.

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  1. Tim says:

    Kudos to me! I was pronouncing it right in my head before reading your explanation of how to pronounce it right! Yay, yay, yay!

    (Now I’ve got myself wondering what that comment says about my personality type.)

    • Jeannie says:

      If my husband were here he’d say “Not compatible with human life” (which is what he says about every questionnaire, quiz, personality profile, and even some of my cooking, ba-dump-bump).

    • Too bad Anne doesn’t give out interwebz here, Tim. I think that should be worth at least 10,000.

      P.S. I don’t know much about enneagrams, but I’m thinking your comment might reveal something about your place in the birth order of your family. 😉

  2. Courtney says:

    Before we were married, my husband got me interested in Myers-Briggs and I got him interested in the Enneagram. I’m a Type One INTJ and he’s a Type Four INFP. It can be a tricky combination to work out – logic-driven vs. feelings-driven and self-denial vs. self-indulgence – but it’s a wonderfully beautiful balance when we get it right. 😉

  3. Jeannie says:

    I’m very interested in the Enneagram, having been introduced to it about 10 years ago by some friends. For at least a year or so I thought I was a Four (artistic, kind of moody, sensitive), but then I realized I am really a Six. I think my first reading of the Six made me think Sixes are very social b/c they are so belonging-oriented, and I’m quite shy and quiet. But when I read the Six description more closely and saw things like being anxious, expecting the worst, being very loyal to friends and groups, wanting to know the rules though not necessarily wanting to follow them, it just clicked: OH YEAH, that’s me. Also my Four friend said he always feels a lot of shame (which I think is kind of a 2-3-4 focus) and I realized nope, that’s not me, I don’t feel that; I feel more fear (like most 5-6-7’s). So I’ve found it immensely helpful in understanding myself and friends whose type I know. It’s really tempting to type others but I’ve realized too that you just can’t do that. You can see someone from the outside and think you have them pegged but can be totally wrong.

  4. Jodi says:

    I’m going to be that annoying person. Sorry.

    As far as I know the Catholic Church has made statements AGAINST use of the ennaegram, because of its pagan origin and use in new age religion. So I am curious where you are getting this “ancient Catholic” bit.

    I have read more associated with “The 4 temperaments” and Catholicism (mostly in the book The temperament God Gave you).

    • Leigh Kramer says:

      Jodi, I’m surprised to hear you say the Catholic Church has made statements against the Enneagram. It’s been used heavily in the Catholic tradition (though as I noted in my own comment, Catholics didn’t start it.) The Enneagram has strong Christian roots but because of it’s an oral tradition, no one knows for sure where or how it started. True, there are people who use the Enneagram apart from its spiritual teachings but I believe they miss the point in doing so. Many spiritual directors use the Enneagram. And Richard Rohr, a Catholic priest, is well known for his teaching through his videos and book on it. In fact, I first learned of the Enneagram from one of my Catholic friends and I know he wouldn’t recommend anything the Church spoke out against.

      Admittedly, I’m an Enneagram enthusiast but I’ve never read or heard anything about the Catholic church saying these things in all of my studies.

      • Jodi says:

        You obviously have read more than me on the subject, but I was able to track down this article

        I guess an official statement was never released past draft form. Maybe it’s more like a “careful. Use with caution.” Sort of thing.

        Admittedly, I have done little research on the topic, but I am just pretty surprised to hear it called an “Ancient Catholic” way. …

      • Beth says:

        I know this is an older post but Robert Rohr is not considered an orthodox Catholic and does not follow the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. He is rather considered New Age and Catholics have been warned not to consider his teachings associated with Catholicism. He has made a lot of money publishing and appealing to New Agers. He is from my hometown and know of people who follow him. This has nothing to do with enneagrams but I wanted you to know that Jodi is right and Leigh didn’t get his name correct.

    • Anne says:

      Ha! I don’t think I could ever think of you as “the annoying person.” Sorry, Jodi. 🙂

      You’re right: Catholics didn’t start it (as far as we know) so I took that word out of the post. But it has been used within the Catholic tradition (and other branches of Christianity) for a long time.

      It’s been criticized by some Catholics (and protestants) for being New Age-y.

  5. Leigh Kramer says:

    Love that you’re getting more into this!

    One quick note: no one knows for sure where the Enneagram began because it’s an oral tradition. It was used by Sufis and the desert fathers. It’s heavily used in the Catholic tradition but Catholics didn’t start it. At least, not that we know for sure. Richard Rohr’s Enneagram book gives more info on the history of it but there are also conflicting accounts elsewhere. I love the thought of this teaching spreading via different cultures and still distilling down to the same core principles.

  6. You and Leigh Kramer have gotten me very intrigued by all this. I’m finding that the free tests available online put me all over the place, but I think I’m probably a 6. Today I placed a hold on every enneagram book available at my public library, but I’d like to start in on an e-book so I won’t have to wait. Maybe I’ll choose the one you recommended. I’m also intrigued by the Christian Perspective one by Rohr (no e-book version, sadly). Which is your favorite of the two? Thanks for this post–it’s been a great series!

    • Anne says:

      I like the Rohr for its depth, but it would have overwhelmed me if I’d started there! But then again, the reason I started with The Enneagram Made Easy was because my library had it. 🙂

  7. Lesley says:

    Adding this book to my always growing reading list. I took the paid test a few months ago, and despite my very best efforts I’m still confused. I’ve read quite a bit online, and talked to a few people about my results, but only bits and pieces are coming together. This is not to say I don’t think the Enneagram is a valuable tool…it’s just so complex that I need help in understanding my results.

  8. MJ says:

    I’m a 5w6, which isn’t necessarily flattering, but is quite accurate. I love personality analysis of all types, and I’ve found them to be amazingly (and scarily) accurate.

  9. Emilia says:

    I am going to have to check this out. Having been a psychology major and having gone part way through my Doctoral training in Clinical Psychology I did my fair share of learning about things like the MMPI, but this is the first I have heard of the Enneagram. I am sure I would have fun looking at it.

  10. Pamela says:

    I have been interested in the enneagram since attending a conference on knowing your enneagram number. Based on the online tests I think I am a nine.

  11. Carol Workman says:

    I became interested in Myers-Briggs back in college, I take it every five years or so, currently my MBTI personality is INTJ. As for The Enneagram, surprisingly I had never taken this one but finally did after reading this post and I am Type 6. Extremely accurate in it’s assessment in regards to “How to get along with a 6” and “What I like & What’s hard about being a Type 6” personality. Definitely having my husband take this test. Thank you!

  12. Melanie says:

    I have such a hard time when it comes to personality tests figuring out what I am! Does this just mean that I’m not very self-aware or I’m just weird? ha I get really overwhelmed reading about the different types and trying to figure it all out! I just wish someone who knew me well would do it for me. 🙂 I have just started listening to the audio of The Road Back to You by Ian Cron about ennegrams and it is really good. I think hearing what the “vices” of each type are, is helpful.

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