Upstream Field Guide: Lesson 3 Who Are You Part 2-3

What’s my Enneagram type?

Next up we explore the personality profiling system called Enneagram. I’ve heard of Enneagram but never explored nor try to understand it. It seems rather complex. According to Tsh, it is not based on hard science or even psychology but it is unique because it helps explain our behavior and outlook in different times and situations, particularly in times of stress. Both MBTI and Enneagram work well together because one is more about the way our brain functions (our core wiring), while the other tells us about the motivations behind what we do and how we think. It also explores our strengths and weaknesses. I’m certainly curious! It was suggested that one of the ways to figure out your type is to read up on each of the 9 types and see which resonates most. But me being me prefers more accuracy and less guessing so I paid a small fee to take the Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator (RHETI). It turns out I’m a Type One with a 9 wing (1w9). It’s a little surprising as One seems a little too driven for me. If I had to choose based on reading the type descriptions alone I’d be so confused. Firstly because there is so much data on each type, secondly I see a part of myself in a few types. So I’d really recommend someone to take a test for better clarity.

My top 3 scores are

Type 1 (Reformer) – 26
Type 9 (Peacemaker) – 23
Type 6 (Loyalist) – 18
Type 5 (investigator) – 18
Type 4 (Individualist) – 17

I scored highest for 1, followed by 9 and third highest is a tie between 6,5,4. According to RHEIT, my primary type is most likely the highest of these scores (which is 1) and most definitely among the highest two or three. That’s not helpful cos there are 3 types in a tie for my third highest! Together with my results, they also attached detailed descriptions of my 3 highest scored types (5 types in my case!).So I had to read though 50 pages of data! All in all, I think it is pretty accurate. Just bear in mind that we all will find ourselves a variant of a few types but our primary type should stand out most while our wing a close second.

Here’s a summary of the 5 types. Statements I identify with are in bold. [Source: The Enneagram Institute.] You can view a more comprehensive description of all 9 types here.

Type One in Brief

Ones are conscientious and ethical, with a strong sense of right and wrong. They are teachers, crusaders, and advocates for change: always striving to improve things, but afraid of making a mistake. Well-organized, orderly, and fastidious, they try to maintain high standards, but can slip into being critical and perfectionistic. They typically have problems with resentment and impatienceAt their Best: wise, discerning, realistic, and noble. Can be morally heroic.

  • Basic Fear: Of being corrupt/evil, defective
  • Basic Desire: To be good, to have integrity, to be balanced
  • Enneagram One with a Nine-Wing: “The Idealist”
  • Enneagram One with a Two-Wing: “The Advocate”

Key Motivations: Want to be right, to strive higher and improve everything, to be consistent with their ideals, to justify themselves, to be beyond criticism so as not to be condemned by anyone.

When moving in their Direction of Disintegration (stress), methodical Ones suddenly become moody and irrational at Four. However, when moving in their Direction of Integration (growth), angry, critical Ones become more spontaneous and joyful, like healthy Sevens.

Type Nine in Brief

Nines are accepting, trusting, and stable. They are usually creative, optimistic, and supportive, but can also be too willing to go along with others to keep the peace. They want everything to go smoothly and be without conflict, but they can also tend to be complacent, simplifying problems and minimizing anything upsetting. They typically have problems with inertia and stubbornnessAt their Best: indomitable and all-embracing, they are able to bring people together and heal conflicts.

  • Basic Fear: Of loss and separation
  • Basic Desire: To have inner stability “peace of mind”
  • Enneagram Nine with an Eight-Wing: “The Referee”
  • Enneagram Nine with a One-Wing: “The Dreamer”

Key Motivations: Want to create harmony in their environment, to avoid conflicts and tension, to preserve things as they are, to resist whatever would upset or disturb them.

When moving in their Direction of Disintegration (stress), complacent Nines suddenly become anxious and worried at Six. However, when moving in their Direction of Integration (growth), slothful, self-neglecting Nines become more self-developing and energetic, like healthy Threes.

Type Six in Brief

The committed, security-oriented type. Sixes are reliable, hard-working, responsible, and trustworthy. Excellent “troubleshooters,” they foresee problems and foster cooperation, but can also become defensive, evasive, and anxious—running on stress while complaining about it. They can be cautious and indecisive, but also reactive, defiant and rebellious. They typically have problems with self-doubt and suspicionAt their Best: internally stable and self-reliant, courageously championing themselves and others.

  • Basic Fear: Of being without support and guidance
  • Basic Desire: To have security and support
  • Enneagram Six with a Five-Wing: “The Defender”
  • Enneagram Six with a Seven-Wing: “The Buddy”

Key Motivations: Want to have security, to feel supported by others, to have certitude and reassurance, to test the attitudes of others toward them, to fight against anxiety and insecurity.

When moving in their Direction of Disintegration (stress), dutiful Sixes suddenly become competitive and arrogant at Three. However, when moving in their Direction of Integration (growth), fearful, pessimistic Sixes become more relaxed and optimistic, like healthy Nine.

Type Five in Brief

Fives are alert, insightful, and curious. They are able to concentrate and focus on developing complex ideas and skills. Independent, innovative, and inventive, they can also become preoccupied with their thoughts and imaginary constructs. They become detached, yet high-strung and intense. They typically have problems with eccentricity, nihilism, and isolation. At their Best: visionary pioneers, often ahead of their time, and able to see the world in an entirely new way.

  • Basic Fear: Being useless, helpless, or incapable
  • Basic Desire: To be capable and competent
  • Enneagram Five with a Four-Wing: “The Iconoclast”
  • Enneagram Five with a Six-Wing: “The Problem Solver”

Key Motivations: Want to possess knowledge, to understand the environment, to have everything figured out as a way of defending the self from threats from the environment.

When moving in their Direction of Disintegration (stress), detached Fives suddenly become hyperactive and scattered at Seven. However, when moving in their Direction of Integration (growth), avaricious, detached Fives become more self-confident and decisive, like healthy Eights.

Type Four in Brief

Fours are self-aware, sensitive, and reserved. They are emotionally honest, creative, and personal, but can also be moody and self-conscious. Withholding themselves from others due to feeling vulnerable and defective, they can also feel disdainful and exempt from ordinary ways of living. They typically have problems with melancholy, self-indulgence, and self-pity. At their Best: inspired and highly creative, they are able to renew themselves and transform their experiences.

  • Basic Fear: That they have no identity or personal significance
  • Basic Desire: To find themselves and their significance (to create an
       identity)
  • Enneagram Four with a Three-Wing: “The Aristocrat”
  • Enneagram Four with a Five-Wing: “The Bohemian”

Key Motivations: Want to express themselves and their individuality, to create and surround themselves with beauty, to maintain certain moods and feelings, to withdraw to protect their self-image, to take care of emotional needs before attending to anything else, to attract a “rescuer.”

When moving in their Direction of Disintegration (stress), aloof Fours suddenly become over-involved and clinging at Two. However, when moving in their Direction of Integration (growth), envious, emotionally turbulent Fours become more objective and principled, like healthy Ones.

 

rk

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