Some key points to remember when attempting to determine your Enneagram personality type:
Keep an open mind and stay away from premature judgements. Read all of the types first.
Only you can determine your type-others can give input, but eventually these are things you must see in yourself. Sometimes it is hardest to type the people we are closest to! My biggest mis-typings were my son and my daughter.
Some types look and feel similar. You may see yourself a little in each and narrow it down to two or three. That’s normal.
It might be helpful to first determine what you are NOT—use the process of elimination.
Try not to get stuck on one statement in the paragraph. Read the whole thing and get the feel of it. Be mindful of zeroing in on one behavior and assuming that must be your type. The Enneagram doesn’t type your behaviors. Rather, it types your motivation that underlies the behavior.
- Read the description and pick the three paragraphs that fit you best.
- Number the paragraphs 1 to 3 with 1 being the paragraph that seems most like you, 2 the paragraph next most like you, and 3 the third most like you.
- Each of the nine paragraphs may describe you to some degree, but choose the three that seem most like you.
- Once you have come up with your top 3, go to the page to see if it feels like it fits you. Watch the videos for a more fleshed out description.
The 9 Styles
(Adapted from The Essential Enneagram by David Daniels, PhD., clinical professor psychiatry, Stanford Medical School and Renee Baron, therapist and writer
A. I approach life in an ALL OR NOTHING way, especially when something really matters to me. I place a lot of value on being STRONG honest and dependable. I speak and act with authority and behave EXUBERANTLY and enthusiastically—what you see is what you get. I tend to rule other kids. People know when I am around. I tend to be individualist and nonconformist. I like people to be DIRECT and HONEST and have no patience when I see others being emotionally manipulative. I have HARD TIME TOLERATING WEAKNESS in people (especially myself) unless I understand the reason for their weakness or I see that they are trying to do something about it. I have a hard time following orders or direction if I don’t respect the person in authority. I am much better in TAKING CHARGE myself. I show my anger and dissatisfaction freely. I am always ready to STICK UP FOR FRIENDS OR LOVED ONES especially if I think they are being TREATED UNFAIRLY OR UNJUSTLY. I may not win every battle, but they will know I’ve been there.
B. I have HIGH STANDARDS FOR CORRECTNESS and expect myself to live up to those standards. I WORK DILIGENTLY without a lot of handholding and can feel CRITICAL of those who do not. I am tend to be more SERIOUS and HARDWORKING although I do have a kind of “silly switch” that can get activated in the right time and place. Others may experience me as critical, but it is hard for me to ignore or accept things not done THE RIGHT WAY. I pride myself on being RESPONSIBLE—if you tell me to do something, I will make every attempt do it right and be hard on myself if I don’t. I sometimes RESENT people who don’t adapt to my high standards or who act irresponsibly although I try not to show it openly. I don’t believe I have enough time to relax or think I shouldn’t relax. I often COMPARE myself with others or compare myself against a high standard. I tend to WORRY a lot. I dread criticism and judgement. For me, it’s usually WORK BEFORE PLEASURE and I suppress my desires as necessary to get the work done—I feel GUILTY if I don’t get enough accomplished.
C. I seem to be able to SEE EVERYONE’S SIDE of an opinion pretty easily. I may APPEAR INDECISIVE because I can see all the advantages and disadvantages—this makes me good at helping friends resolve their differences. Sometimes I see OTHERS’ OPINIONS, AGENDAS and PRIORITIES BETTER THAN MY OWN. I can have a HARD TIME KNOWING WHAT IS really IMPORTANT FOR ME (although I can see what’s important for you pretty easily). I often say everything is fine with me when it is not. Sometimes it is HARD for me TO MAKE DECISIONS, but when people try to control me, I can be very STUBBORN. It is not unusual for me to become DISTRACTED and then to get off task on the important things that I have to do. When this happens, I can get distracted by watching TV, using the computer, reading books, doing unimportant tasks. Yet, when the deadline gets closer, I almost always get things done. It takes a lot for me to show my anger, but on the rare occasions when I do, I surprise others and myself with my anger. I prefer to AVOID CONFLICT by going along with others. I tend to be EASYGOING, ACCEPTING, pleasing and AGREEABLE
D. I am SENSITIVE to OTHER PEOPLE’S FEELINGS. I can see what they need even when I don’t know them. I have an ATTRACTION TO THOSE WITH PROBLEMS and ENJOY GIVING them ADVICE. I know how to get people to do what I would like them to do by COMPLIMENTING them or helping them—I LIKE THEIR APPROVAL. It hurts my feelings if people don’t realize that I am trying to help and they think I am trying to boss them, CONTROL them or manipulate them. I like to be seen as WARMHEARTED and a good person, but when I am ANGRY WHEN NOT APPRECIATED or not taken into account, I can become EMOTIONAL or DEMANDING, feeling sad, hurt and unimportant. I like to gossip about relationships and I like BEING IN THE KNOW. I try to be a good worker and like when those with POWER AND/OR INFLUENCE APPRECIATE AND SEE ME all I have to offer. I often figure out what others would like in a person and then act that way—I like getting ATTENTION BY PLEASES and SOMETIMES SHOWING OFF. It is really hard for me to watch violence on TV and SEEING PEOPLE SUFFER is almost UNBEARABLE. Significant FRIENDSHIPS are more important to me than almost anything and I like GIVING better than receiving. I’ll work hard to make good relationships happen.
E. BEING THE BEST AT WHAT I DO is what’s most important to me and I will PERSEVERE to get things accomplished.I have a QUICK and EFFICIENT mind and seem OPTIMISTIC and CONFIDENT most of the time. I GET A LOT DONE and I set HIGH GOALS and am usually SUCCESSFUL in almost everything I decide to take on. I get IMPATIENT with people who don’t USE MY TIME WELL and I don’t fully listen to others or I cut them off. Sometimes I would rather just take over a project that someone else is completing too slowly. I have a GREAT DEAL of ENERGY yet become overly tired from too much doing, yet I find it HARD TO SIT and do nothing. I fit quite well into the social scene and I like to IDENTIFY WITH COMPETENT groups or IMPORTANT PEOPLE IN THE FIELDS THAT MATTER TO ME. I don’t like to be in areas where I may fail as I AVOID FAILURE LIKE THE PLAGUE. I like to PRESENT MYSELF WELL and make a good first impression and I like to stand out in some way. It is often HARD for me TO KNOW HOW I FEEL about something as feelings slow me down and make me uncomfortable. I tend to STRONGLY IDENTIFY WITH MY ROLE at work or in a sport or club I am in, because to a large degree, your VALUE is BASED ON WHAT YOU ACCOMPLISH and the RECOGNITION you get for it. While I like to COMPETE I am also a GOOD TEAM PLAYER.
F. I am a rather QUIET, ANALYTICAL, CURIOUS person who NEEDS MORE TIME ALONE than most people do. I usually prefer to OBSERVE what is going on rather than be involved in the middle of it—I really don’t care much about what is socially acceptable. Yet, it sometimes bothers me that the values of others are given more consideration than mine. I tend to have QUIET or SHY personality and prefer to spend my time reading or engaging in my other interests—I am ALMOST NEVER BORED. I have strong interest in how things work or in philosophical questions. I have definite opinions about most things but I am WILLING TO LISTEN to how others may interpret something. It may take me a long time to make a decision as I need time to think things through. I am VERY PRIVATE and don’t like people to pry into my life or to pour too much attention on me. I like to feel welcome, but not too intensely or I doubt the sincerity. I prefer to CONSERVE MY TIME AND ENERGY and I am quite INDEPENDENT. I NEED TIME ALONE to think through how I feel or think about something. I tend to have a unique sense of humor.
G. I WORRY about things that may be THREATENING TO MY SECURITY. I tend to AVOID DANGER or CHALLENGE IT HEAD ON—I can either seem shy and fearful or aggressive and fearless. These help me feel more SECURE WHICH IS IMPORTANT TO ME. I react in extreme, CONTRADICTORY, or unpredictable ways at times. My MOODS CAN CHANGE pretty often from nervous, to comical, to worrying, to enraged to serious. I can usually spot what is dangerous or harmful and may EXPERIENCE MUCH FEAR if it were really happening. This ACTIVE IMAGINATION also leads to my ingenuity and a good, if somewhat offbeat, sense of humor. I tend to like to ARGUE OR THINK THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT SOMEONE IS CURRENTLY SAYING. It’s mostly because I have a doubting mind that turns over and over in my head what I am thinking or what you are saying. I sometimes PROJECT MY THOUGHTS ONTO OTHERS. I can usually see the shortcomings in the view someone is trying to put forward. I suppose that, as a consequence, some people may consider me to be very astute. I tend to be SUSPICIOUS OF AUTHORITY and am not particularly comfortable being seen as an authority. Because I can SEE WHAT IS WRONG with the generally held view of things, I tend to IDENTIFY WITH UNDERDOG causes and have lots of compassion for people who suffer. Once I have committed my self to a person or cause, I am very LOYAL to it (sometimes to a fault).
H. I am an OPTIMISTIC person who enjoys coming up with NEW AND INTERESTING things to do. I tend to SAY WHAT IS ON MY MIND which can get me into trouble. I am a BIG PICTURE PERSON who loves to figure out HOW DIFFERENT IDEAS FIT TOGETHER. I tend to have a QUICK MIND and a QUICK WIT. I usually seem at ease in groups although I can feel anxious on the inside. I love interesting people, places, and things—I am CURIOUS and FASCINATED by many things. I usually pick friends who have similar goals. I like to work on things that interest me and I have a lot of energy to devote to them. I have a HARD TIME STICKING TO REPETITIVE OR BORING tasks. I like the BEGINNING IDEA PHASE OF A PROJECT when there are many INTERESTING OPTIONS to consider, but when I have exhausted my interest, it is hard for me to stick with it. I can get lost in my ideas and get FRUSTRATED WHEN I DON’T COMPLETE MORE OF MY IDEAS. Sometimes I feel inferior and sometimes I feel superior to others. When people are unhappy, I usually try to get them to see the BRIGHT SIDE. I can feel empathy for someone unless their sadness goes on for too long. If something gets me down, I SHIFT MY ATTENTION TO PLEASANT IDEAS. I seem to let go of upsetment and grievances, and recover from loss faster than most people I know. I am IDEALISTIC and WANT TO CONTRIBUTE something to the world or to my group of friends. I believe people are ENTITLED TO AN ENJOYABLE LIFE.
I. I am a SENSITIVE and my INTENSE FEELINGS are easily hurt. I often FEEL MISUNDERSTOOD by my friends and family because I FEEL DIFFERENT from everyone else. I tend to look at things in a CREATIVE and SPECIAL way and I have a SENSE OF THE DRAMATIC—both tragic and comic. My behavior can seem like drama to others, but I really am just LONGING FOR DEEP CONNECTION and deep relationships. I AM DEEPLY TOUCHED EASILY. I don’t feel a need to get out of my MELANCHOLY moods—they are real and important. I can get self-absorbed when I am experiencing a lot of feelings. When I read or hear upsetting stories, it really affects me emotionally. I am always SEARCHING FOR MY IDEAL AUTHENTIC SELF, WORK, FRIEND OR PARTNER. When people tell me what to do, I often become REBELLIOUS OR COUNTERCULTURAL and do, or wish I could do the opposite. I tend to have an appreciation for A UNIQUE AESTHETIC and THINGS THAT ARE BEAUTIFUL TO ME. I place great importance on my intuition. I sometimes wonder why other people seem to have more than I do—better relationships or happier lives. I try to support my friends especially when they are in crisis. I HATE INSINCERITY and lack of integrity in others. I experience a RICH WORLD OF EMOTIONS AND MEANING.
Recording your selections
1st Choice: A B C D E F G H I
2nd Choice: A B C D E F G H I
3rd Choice: A B C D E F G H I
Remember to read the paragraph as a whole rather than considering each sentence out of context with the rest of the paragraph. This is key.
Once you’ve made your selections, print this out and bring to the Introductory class where I introduce all 9 Types.