What Is The Enneagram?
Enneagram is a personality framework that can help you see yourself at a deeper, more objective level through the study of your emotional outlook instead of external traits or characteristics.
In your journey of self-discovery, Enneagram offers a blueprint sketched by the unconscious needs and motivations faced by each type of personality. Many people have used the Enneagram to transform the quality of their work, family, and intimate relationships – and to deepen their understanding of themselves.
The term ‘enneagram’ originated from the combination of Greek words ennéa, which means “nine” and grámma, which means something that is “drawn” or “written”. Enneagram is a system of human personalities which categorizes them into 9 types, also known as enneatypes.
It’s widely believed that your enneagram type has been assigned to you since the day we were born. Most of the time, each person is said to belong to one type only, although it is quite common to have traits from the other types.
The traits that come from your less prominent type are called the wing, which is the type that is adjacent to your primary type. Basically, our primary type is what makes up the most of our traits, while the wing is a number of other traits coming from another type that complement our personalities. Think of it as some sort of a ‘second type’ that can help us identify our own personalities better. Some say that people usually have only one wing, while others believe that most have two. It’s still a highly debated topic among those who study the enneagram.
Other than the wing, there’s also more to each of the enneagram types. There are 27 enneagram subtypes, giving three to each of the primary types. The subtypes are also known as instinctual subtypes and they determine our basic survival instincts regarding our approach to self – preservation, connection with society and primary relationships.
Besides that, the 9 enneatypes can also be categorized into three triads that correspond to three primary aspects; thinking or reasoning, feelings or emotions and instincts. Each aspect has three of the 9 types under them. The triads are what determine how we function in our daily lives, what we more and what needs to be reduced. To put it simply, the triads are the aspect that has the most influence on how we respond to and function in life situations.
Security and Stress Points
There are also stress and security points for each of the enneagram types. In general, the stress point is often described as the path to unhealthy psychological health while the security point is where a person is at their best and most healthy psychological state. Each stress and security point is represented by a sequence of number each. Stress points, or also known among enneagram experts as the Direction of Disintegration is represented by the sequence 1-4-2-8-5-7-1. On the other hand, the security points or the Direction of Integration is represented by the number sequence 1-7-5-8-2-4-1.
Stages of Development
Lastly, each enneagram type also has their specific stages of development. These stages are important in determining how the traits within each type relate or connect to each other to form a person’s personality, even when some of these traits contradict each other. Understanding the connection between these different traits is important as it helps us see how the patterns of our personalities shift according to situations and time.
In a nutshell, understanding your enneagram type goes beyond the process of simply knowing or determining which of the enneatypes you belong to. There are strengths, weaknesses, personality combinations and a number of other aspects that you should take into account. Nonetheless, as complex as it sounds, enneagram still cannot cover the entire complexity of human personalities and nature. What it can do is give us a glimpse into and some truths about an individual’s personality patterns, while the rest remain as mysteries.
Which Enneagram Type Are You?
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