Today we dive into an overview of the enneagram and how it can help you understand yourself.

This particular framework is one of the most complicated to explain and understand. BUT it also has some amazing payoffs when you do.

Listen in if you are new to the enneagram, or if you are familiar but want to learn a few new things (I did myself prepping for this episode!)

A few things we cover:

Overview of Enneagram

Type summaries:

Type One is principled, purposeful, self-controlled, and perfectionistic.

Type Two is generous, demonstrative, people-pleasing, and possessive.

Type Three is adaptable, excelling, driven, and image-conscious.

Type Four is expressive, dramatic, self-absorbed, and temperamental.

Type Five is perceptive, innovative, secretive, and isolated.

Type Six is engaging, responsible, anxious, and suspicious.

Type Seven is spontaneous, versatile, acquisitive, and scattered.

Type Eight is self-confident, decisive, willful, and confrontational.

Type Nine is receptive, reassuring, complacent, and resigned.

The Centers- each type is focused on assets and liabilities within their center

8,9,1 Instinctive center, dominant emotion is anger

2,3,4 Feeling center, dominant emotion is shame

5,6,7 Thinking center, dominant emotion is fear

The Wing

Your basic type dominates your overall personality, while the wing complements it and adds important, sometimes contradictory, elements to your total personality. Most enneagram experts agree that you have a dominant wing, but it is possible to have no wing or to have both wings show up equally in your personality.

The Levels of Development

Healthy, Average, Unhealthy- three levels in each section

a measure of our capacity to be present.

Directions of Integration (Growth) and Disintegration (Stress)

The inner lines of the Enneagram connect the types in a sequence that denotes what each type will do under different conditions. There are two lines connected to each type, and they connect with two other types. One line connects with a type that represents how a person of the first type behaves when they are moving toward health and growth. This is called the Direction of Integration or Growth. The other line goes to another type that represents how the person is likely to act out if they are under increased stress and pressure—when they feel they are not in control of the situation. This second line is called the Direction of Stress or Disintegration. In other words, different situations will evoke different kinds of responses from your personality. You will respond or adapt in different directions, as indicated by the lines of the Enneagram from your basic type.

The Three Instincts

We each have a self-preservation instinct (for preserving the body and its life and functioning), a sexual instinct (for extending ourselves in the environment and through the generations), and a social instinct (for getting along with others and forming secure social bonds).

Self-Preservation types are concerned with having enough resources to meet life’s demands. Tend to be more grounded, practical, serious, and introverted

Sexual types have an intense drive for stimulation and a constant awareness of the “chemistry” or energy between themselves and others. Tend to be more aggressive, competitive, charged, and emotionally intense

Social types are highly aware of other people and their impact on them. They tend to be warmer, more open, engaging, and socially responsible.

Summary: Ultimately, the goal is for each of us to “move around” the Enneagram, integrating what each type symbolizes and acquiring the healthy potentials of all the types. The ideal is to become a balanced, fully functioning person who can draw on the power (or from the Latin, “virtue”) of each as needed. Each of the types of the Enneagram symbolizes different important aspects of what we need to achieve this end. The personality type we begin life with is therefore less important ultimately than how well (or badly) we use our type as the beginning point for our self-development and self-realization.

Helpful Links:
Free tests:
Podcasts: (I especially recommend the first one with Ian Cron.)

Schedule a free session to partner with me to understand yourself better.