Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Enneagram

Most of my adult life I have been a little obsessed with trying to understand what makes me tick. I have wondered why I think and act as I do. Why am I who I am? One of the great things that has helped me in my understanding of myself, and others, is called the Enneagram. The Enneagram is a personality system, similar to the Myers-Briggs, that have given me much insight into my own behavior. In this system, there are nine basic personality types. Each has their positive and negative traits. Typically one finds their type from the somewhat painful acceptance of their negative or dark side. In terms of the positive traits of each type, it is usually easy to identify with all of them since most of us have exaggerated images of ourselves. Here is a brief description of the nine types. Of course, it’s more complicated than these simple descriptions and there are many subtle dynamics involved. However, some of you may quickly see yourself in one of these types. I am a Type Nine.

1. The Perfectionist-Motivated by the need to be right.

2. The Helper-Motivated by the need to be loved and to serve.

3. The Achiever-Motivated by the need to be successful.

4. The Romantic-Motivated by the need to be special and different.

5. The Observer-Motivated by the need to know.

6. The Questioner-Motivated by the need to be certain.

7. The Adventurer-Motivated by the need to avoid pain.

8. The Asserter-Motivated by the need to be against.

9. The Peacemaker-Motivated by the need to avoid everything, especially conflict.

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