Thursday, March 5, 2015

Enneagram: Personality Indicator

I am about to contradict myself but here goes...

I do not like being boxed in or being told what I am, but I really do like personality tests, astrology, and type indicators. I think they are fascinating and I like the idea that we are born into such an intricate plan that is so far beyond our understanding. It is cool to imagine that we are given this foundation to grow out of and from. I do believe we have the free will to choose from that foundation, but that this foundation is given to us for life. 

I've meet some folks that really hate personality tests because they do not think they represent their true natures or they don't like being told what they are. Of course there is variation and of course there is room to grow and mature, but I think these tests help to point us to behaviors that we don't always claim or name. It's helpful to just consider, deeply, honestly if you are this way or not.

In my Spiritual Direction course we are required to take the Enneagram test which is a personality type indicator that dates back 2,500 years. It was created by the Sufi's and was only a oral tradition until the last couple hundred years. The basic idea is that Sufi's believed that all human beings use 9 ways (or types/behaviors) to attempt to get what they want which was ultimately love. All humans use these 9 types over their lifetimes. Before you are 5 years old, you learn which type works for you most of the time and this is the one that you will lean on for the rest of your life. 

I like the Enneagram because it leaves room to grow. Some folks are uncomfortable with it because the "types" are behavior indicators which means that they can highlight negative behavior as well as positive. It forces people to face their shadow sides and claim their behavior. In doing this you gain awareness which always creates growth. The Enneagram also lets you know what types you lean on almost as much as your dominate type. You get to consider your "wings" which indicate your behavior in healthy and unhealthy stages of life too. It is very well rounded and tends to be accurate.

If you would like to take the Enneagram just click here and choose the free 10 minute test (or pay for the more in depth one if you want to). When you take the test, the results will let you know which types you tend towards the most. It is likely you will have one strong type which is going to be your Enneagram type. You are not boxed in there, don't worry, it just means that this is your most utilized type and there are a variety of situations where this type won't work for you so you do not use it. You can read all about it in your results.

After you have taken this test, stay tuned because tomorrow I am going to post typical behaviors of each type and how people tend to utilize them to experience love (or whatever it is that motivates you to have relationships with anyone). Have fun!