What are Enneagrams?
September 15, 2019
I’ve been really intrigued by the study of human nature and personalities. I think it’s important to try to understand people who are not like ourselves. I’ve read books such as Personality Plus and I’ve done several of my own personality tests over the years, mostly for fun but also to help me
When one of my very best friends, Lesley Selfe, told me about Enneagrams I was immediately intrigued. However, when I tried to do some research I just continued to get more confused by it. So of course I asked Lesley, the Enneagram expert (according to me) for help.
Lesley and I have been friends for 16 years. She is a wonderful wife and a fun mom to 2 boys and a Pitbull named Maggie. She has a wander lust – like me! So we’ve done a lot of exploring together. She also loves to learn ( I love learning from her) and she’s an amazing cook!
I hope you find this as fascinating as I do! Please let me know if you do, and I’d love to hear what you learn and what your number is!
I’m sure by now most of us have heard of the enneagram (ANY-a-gram) and some of us may even know our “number”. Ennea means “nine” in Greek and the “gram” is the geometric figure that maps out these fundamental personality types. Every person has a dominant number that represents your perspective of yourself, others, and your environment. Once you have determined your number, the depth at which you wish to explore your awareness is completely dependent on you. How do you deal with anger? Do you confront or withdraw? Do you size up people when you walk in a room or notice the temperature of the room first? The enneagram helps us immensely to “wake up” to ourselves and our internal habits and to understand our complexities of being a wonderfully created spiritual being within a material world.
The nine personality types are these: One (the Reformer or Perfectionist), Two (the Helper), Three (the Achiever), Four (the Romantic or Individualist), Five (the Investigator), Six (the Loyalist), Seven (the Enthusiast), Eight (the Challenger), and Nine (the Peacemaker).
I am a Nine married to an Eight with two boys who are a Four and a Seven. An example of a challenge in our marriage is that my husband is very confrontational and I am very not…he expects me to meet him in his own intensity and I actually have the ability in our relationship to diffuse him. It works most of the time. He also has the most amount of energy on the enneagram and I have the least amount as I am always trying to keep the peace both in head and in my external world. But don’t be deceived as Nines have the most amount of RAGE of any number, but we just don’t know what to do with it…this is how I discovered that I was a Nine. The anger aspect along with my inability to make big decisions- ha. Just fascinating.
The tools and sources that I have used to study the enneagram have consisted of books and podcasts. “The Road Back to You” is an excellent start along with the podcast of the same name. The Typology podcast by Ian Morgan Cron (also co-author of The Road Back to You) is also very informative along with the book “The Wisdom of the Enneagram” by Riso and Hudson. Anything by Suzanne Stabile (also co-author of The Road Back to You) will also be worth your time. These books will also have short “tests” at the beginning of each of them to give a quick assessment of what your number may be. There are also many free tests online that can just be found through google.
I cannot stress what a relationship saver I find the enneagram to be. There is a reason why so many of us argue over politics and comments on social media. We have childhood wounds/messages, we have our own egos that forcefully protect us, and we have unconscious habits and fears that prevent us from taking next steps. I hope you find the enneagram to be as much of a a gift as I do.
This is Lesley with her husband Robb and their 2 boys
Written by: Lesley Selfe