The Nine Enneagram Types

9 Enneagram Types: A Journey of Self-Discovery & Growth

Dive into the Enneagram Types Guide! Uncover hidden traits of your personality, explore growth paths, and embark on a transformative journey of self-discovery.

The Nine Enneagram Types

There are nine personalities in the Enneagram system, including The Perfectionist, The Helper, The Achiever, The Individualist, The Investigator, The Loyalist, The Enthusiast, The Challenger, and The Peacemaker. Each has its own unique fear, basic desire, core strengths, and possible weaknesses, as well as specific patterns of behavior when healthy and unhealthy. By delving into the complexities of the Enneagram types, you can gain deeper self-awareness and improve your personal growth and relationships. It’s important to note that identifying your personality type is just the beginning, as Enneagram offers much more than that; it provides a pathway to personal growth, transformation, and fulfillment.

The 9 Enneagram Personality Types

The 09 Enneagram types are not given their numbers and names at random, but following the idea that the nine types can be categorized into three groups or triads based on three fundamental aspects of human nature: Head types (Types 2, 3, 4), Heart types (Types 5, 6, 7), and Body types (Types 8, 9, 1).

It's worth noting that the numerical order associated with nine personalities does not have any significance. That means types with higher numbers are not better or worse than those with lower numbers.

Enneagram Type 1 – The Perfectionist

Type Ones are defined by their principled, idealistic nature and a keen sense of right and wrong. They are conscientious and ethical, focusing on following principles and the rules. Perfectionists are orderly, well-organized, and self-disciplined, striving to improve things and maintain high standards, but they can also become critical and perfectionistic. They can often be too hard on others and, especially, themselves.

  • Core Fear: Of being defective, bad, or corrupt
  • Core Desire: To be good and virtuous, and to have integrity.
  • Strengths: Honest, ethical, self-disciplined, highly organized, hardworking, detailed, fair, and dedicated.
  • Potential Weaknesses: Critical and self-critical; impatient; demanding; perfectionistic; possibility of becoming too rigid.

Enneagram Type 2 - The Helper

Twos, the Helpers or Caretakers, are warm-hearted, empathetic, and sincere, known for their friendly, caring, and self-sacrificing nature. They are so generous and giving that they can even forget their own needs and wants. The Helpers are always willing to lend a hand and give support to those around them. Type 2 individuals strongly want to be liked by others and tend to do things for other people to ensure they are needed.

  • Core Fear: Of being unwanted and unloved.
  • Core Desire: To feel loved
  • Strengths: Empathetic, warm, caring, giving, and self-sacrifice
  • Potential Weaknesses: Self-neglect; struggling to recognize their wants and needs.

Enneagram Type 3 - The Achiever

Type 3 individuals are success-oriented, adaptable, and driven towards achievements. They are self-assured, ambitious, energetic, and competent, with solid motivation and the need to be successful and achieve accomplishments. The Achievers don’t want failures and can do anything to avoid them. They’re often highly concerned about their self-image and what other people think of them. Competitiveness and workaholism are considered typical problems for the Threes.

  • Core Fear: Of being insignificant or worthless and disappointing others.
  • Core Desire: To feel accepted, worthwhile, and valuable.
  • Strengths: Efficient, adaptable, confident, and able to gain success and achievements in almost every situation.
  • Potential Weaknesses: Overly focusing on reputation and self-image; becoming too competitive or ambitious.

Enneagram Type 4 - The Individualist

Type Fours are sensitive, creative, quiet, and reserved. As its name suggests, Individualists never want to be ordinary; instead, they are driven by the strong need to be unique, really unique among others. Type 4s are also emotionally honest, introspective, and self-revealing, but can become too moody and self-conscious. Also, self-pity and self-indulgence can be common problems for individuals of this type.

  • Core Fear: Of having no personal significance or no identity
  • Core Desire: To find personal significance and to create an identity based on their own inner experience.
  • Strengths: Creative, introspective, unique, expressive, warm, and empathetic
  • Potential Weaknesses: Tend to be self-absorbed, moody, eccentric, and even dramatic.

Enneagram Type 5 - The Investigator

Fives love to learn, with a thirst for knowledge and boundless intellectual curiosity. They are insightful, innovative, and independent, able to concentrate on creating brilliant ideas and developing complex skills. The Investigators are always working to expand their knowledge of the world and tend to get preoccupied with their own thoughts, making them quite reserved and detached.

  • Core Fear: Of being useless or helpless
  • Core Desire: To be capable & competent
  • Strengths: Knowledgeable, innovative, curious, analytical, insightful, and independent
  • Potential Weaknesses: Very detached, reclusive, and cynical

Enneagram Type 6 - The Loyalist

The Loyalist is a common personality in the Enneagram system, characterized by a deep need for security and safety. Type 6 people are responsible, hardworking, committed, and reliable, but can also become extremely anxious, defensive, and evasive. The Loyalist, as its name implies, always values loyalty and friendship. More importantly, they are often cautious, even considered real worst-case-scenario thinkers who spend lots of time thinking of and preparing plans for the worst.

  • Core Fear: Of being without support, guidance, and security
  • Core Desire: To find support and security.
  • Strengths: Loyal, responsible, committed, practical, and witty
  • Potential Weaknesses: Can be suspicious, highly anxious, and self-doubtful.

Enneagram Type 7 - The Enthusiast

A busy, productive, fun-loving type, the Enthusiast is optimistic, versatile, and spontaneous, with the primary motivation to be happy. If possible, they want to avoid all kinds of discomfort and emotional pain. That’s also the root reason why they always keep themselves busy and constantly seek new, exciting experiences. Though playful, practical, and high-spirited, people of this type can also become undisciplined, impulsive, overextended, and scattered.

  • Core Fear: Of being confined or in pain
  • Core Desire: To be satisfied and happy and to seek fulfillment.
  • Strengths: Adventurous, outgoing, fun-loving, imaginative, confident, and enthusiastic
  • Potential Weaknesses: Undisciplined, impulsive, problems with superficiality.

Enneagram Type 8 - The Challenger

Eights, or the Challengers, are self-confident, protective, and assertive. This personality type is known for a strong need for control over everyone and everything around them. They never want to look vulnerable or weak. Eights are also described as protectors or defenders who possess a clear sense of what they want. However, Type 8 individuals often have problems letting themselves get closer to others.

  • Core Fear: Of being harmed or controlled
  • Core Desire: To be in control & protect themselves and others.
  • Strengths: Protective, self-confident, commanding, direct, and decisive
  • Potential Weaknesses: Controlling, confrontational, and impatient.

Enneagram Type 9 - The Peacemaker

Type Nines are easygoing, self-effacing, and kind-hearted people who highly value peace, harmony, and comfort. They are driven by a great desire to maintain peace in life and avoid tension and conflict at all costs. Type 9 people are stable, trusting, and supportive; however, in order to keep their peace and harmony, they are also likely too willing to go along with other people.

  • Core Fear: Of separation and loss, being disconnected
  • Core Desire: To keep their peace and maintain inner stability
  • Strengths: Kind-hearted, accommodating, pleasant, and easygoing
  • Potential Weaknesses: Passive-aggressive, indecisive, and being too complacent.

Relationships and Enneagram Compatibility

The Enneagram system, with nine interconnected personality types, provides valuable insights into how different types may interact and relate to one another. Though the Enneagram theory, in fact, is not yet fully validated by research, it has been considered a well-liked tool for improving relationships.

As listed above, all Enneagram types have a set of strengths, weaknesses, and core motivations, shaping the way individuals approach and engage in relationships. By understanding individual core traits, fears, desires, communication styles, and more, people can seek opportunities to enhance their connections and communication with their partners and others.

The Enneagram theory suggests that any type can be compatible with any other type if both partners have high levels of self-awareness and respect for each other's differences. However, some types may have more or less natural affinity and attraction than others.

For example, a Type Two, the Helper, known for their nurturing and empathetic nature, may find harmony with a Type Nine, who values peace and harmony. Conversely, a Type Five, characterized by their analytical and isolated nature, may encounter challenges when paired with more emotionally expressive personalities, like the Type Four.

That’s how exploring Enneagram compatibility helps connections become more fulfilling and enriches relationships a lot. Still, it’s worth emphasizing that every pairing of Enneagram types has particular strengths and challenges; no specific pairing is 100% perfect or destined to fail. As long as both partners are healthy and effective communication, mutual respect, and understanding are in place, all types can match well.

How to Use Your Enneagram Type for Self-Improvement?

To effectively use your Enneagram type for self-improvement, here are three key actions to consider.

          • Make peace with your number & embrace your uniqueness

For many people, the first step to using the Enneagram for self-improvement is simply accepting their type. When we first discover our Enneagram number, it may be a strange and even unsettling experience. However, don't try to resist or reject your type but acknowledge and appreciate it instead.
Spend time thinking about your type without an open mind and find out how your personality fits your type. Remember, there is no good or bad, and right or wrong type. Each type has its unique gifts and challenges, and all types are equally worthy of love and acceptance.

          • Identify the areas for growth and change

Be honest with yourself and examine the aspects of your life that need improvement. It could be negative thought patterns, unhealthy habits, a blind spot, or seeking better emotional awareness and harmonious relationships.

For example, if you are a Type 8, you may want to work on your tendency to be domineering or controlling. Or, if you are a Type 2, you likely want to focus on developing healthier boundaries in your relationships.

          • Put your knowledge into practice & take action

The Enneagram can be a valuable tool for understanding ourselves, but it is vital to know that it is not magic. True growth requires hard work, commitment, and dedication. Once you have acknowledged the areas where you want to grow or improve, you need to take action. This may involve setting goals, seeking out support from others, or simply making a conscious effort to be more mindful of your thoughts and behaviors.

Note: Similar to numerous personality classification systems, the Enneagram system depends on self-reporting, requiring individuals to have a high level of self-awareness for accurate self-categorization. So, when you use the Enneagram system to determine your personality type, keep in mind that it is a subjective and intuitive method rather than one supported by rigorous scientific or psychological evidence.

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Common Misconceptions about Enneagram

You may be surprised to know that there are many misconceptions and misunderstandings about what the Enneagram is and how it works. But that’s true; the following are 05 of the most popular misconceptions and misunderstandings about the Enneagram:

Myth 1: The Enneagram is simply a personality test

The Enneagram, to be exact, is a tool that reveals your core motivations, fears, and desires that drive your actions. It is not solely a tool for labeling and stereotyping people. Rather than being a label, your Enneagram type is a dynamic and flexible map for personal growth and transformation.

Myth 2: Some types are better than others

Each of the 9 types in the Enneagram system has its strengths and weaknesses, and each type can be healthy or unhealthy depending on how each copes with its core issues. No type is perfect or defective.

Myth 3: Your Enneagram type can change

Your Enneagram type is based on your innate and unconscious motivations, not on your external circumstances or choices. You may behave differently in different situations, but your core type remains the same. However, the great news is that you can grow and evolve within your type by integrating the qualities of other types.

Myth 4: Your wing can be any number from 1 to 9

Your wings can just be one of the adjacent numbers to your core Enneagram type. It’s impossible to have wings that are a random number on the Enneagram. For example, people with Type Three can either have wings Two or Four (written as 3w2 and 3w4); a wing Nine (3w9) or whatever else doesn’t exist.

Myth 5: Finding your type is the end goal

Finding your type is just a starting point, not an end goal. Discovering your type is the very first step in a rich journey of self-discovery. Embrace the ongoing exploration, gain hidden insights into your personality, find areas for improvement, and take practical actions to be the best version of yourself.

How to Determine Your Enneagram Type

Wonder how you can find out your Enneagram type? There is more than one way to help you determine what personality type you belong to, such as by reading the descriptions of the nine types, taking an online Enneagram test, or consulting with a professional. Of these, taking online tests may be among the quickest and easiest methods.

Right now, you can go to our test page, which offers a comprehensive and user-friendly Enneagram type assessment that guides you through a series of thought-provoking questions and scenarios to help you discover your type. After the test, you’ll be given detailed reports, insights, and resources to help you grow and improve within your type.

FAQs about Enneagram Types

What are the most common Enneagram types?

Type 9 and Type 6 (the Peacemaker and the Loyalist) are often supposed to be more common than some others. However, it’s worth noting that the prevalence of Enneagram types varies depending on the population being studied or surveyed.

What are the least compatible enneagram types?

There’s no definitive answer to this question since Enneagram compatibility varies depending on not only natural affinity and harmony between types but also the level of development, mutual understanding, etc. of both partners.

Still, certain types may face challenges together. For instance, the analytical Type 5 might find it challenging to connect with the spontaneous Type 7, or Type 1 and Type 7 might struggle to find common ground due to their differing attitudes toward rules and spontaneity.

Can Enneagram types affect career choices?

Yes. This is because Enneagram types reflect your core motivations, fears, and desires that influence your work style, preferences, and goals. Knowing your type can help you find a career that matches your personality and strengths, as well as avoid those that may cause stress or dissatisfaction.

In sum, the Enneagram is a system of nine personality types that can help you understand yourself and others better. By knowing your Enneagram types and the associated core motivations, fears, and desires, you can cultivate self-awareness by better understanding your strengths, potential weaknesses, and patterns of behavior. Certainly, this self-awareness can lead to individual development, improved communication, and better interpersonal connections. However, it’s important to remember that growth is a journey, not a destination. With faith, hope, and love, you can become the best version of yourself.