What Is the Enneagram Test and Why Is Everyone Obsessing Over It?
Normally, I get embarrassed when I’m out to dinner with friends and we’re all scrolling through our phones. Millennials, right? But last week, I made an exception because we were all taking the Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator Test. Yes, we were taking a test at dinner. But, it wasn’t just any test—it was a personality test that my friend (and Real Simple coworker) Rebecca Longshore was raving about.
She described it as similar to the classic Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test that you’ve probably taken at a work retreat or as part of some career or college counseling session in high school. Like MBTI, the Enneagram test helps you find your specific personality types. There are nine Enneagram types, and according to the Enneagram Institute, “it is common to find a little of yourself in all nine of the types, although one of them should stand out as being closest to yourself. This is your basic personality type.” The Enneagram symbol is ancient, and actually dates back to the writings of Pythagoras in ancient Greece, according to the Enneagram Institute. However, the personality aspect of the symbol wasn’t introduced until much later.
If you enjoy taking personality quizzes on the Internet (or, like myself, have taken plenty of the ones featured in teen magazines of the early 2000s), you’ll want to take this test. After about 10 minutes, we all completed the quiz—and I have to say, none of us were particularly surprised by the results, but that’s not a bad thing. Most of us just saw it as an affirmation of what we had already perceived about ourselves. Plus, it was fun to see if any of our types matched up (Rebecca and I are both threes!)
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While, personality quizzes aren’t necessarily 100 percent accurate—because how can a test sum up one person completely—knowing your personality or traits could help you become more aware of your strengths and weaknesses. It might also help you improve your relationships, performance at work, and achieve personal goals. A little introspection never hurt anybody.
Take a look at the nine Enneagram types below. You can learn more about each one and take the test at The Enneagram Institute’s website.
1: The Reformer
This type is known as “rational, idealistic.” They want to make change and are well-organized, but sometimes that might mean they’re too critical or perfectionistic.
2: The Helper
This is the “caring, interpersonal” type. People with this personality are friendly, warm-hearted, and want to help others, but “typically have problems with possessiveness and with acknowledging their own needs.”
3: The Achiever
This type is “success-oriented and pragmatic.” These types are highly ambitious and charming, but they might become too obsessed with success and their image.
4: The Individualist
Known as the “sensitive, withdrawn” type, they are “emotionally honest, creative, and personal, but can also be moody and self-conscious.”
5: The Investigator
These types are “intense, cerebral.” They are innovative and inventive, and can come up with high-level ideas, but they might be seen as detached or intense.
6: The Loyalist
These people are “committed, security-oriented.” According to the Enneagram Institute, “they foresee problems and foster cooperation, but can also become defensive, evasive, and anxious.”
7: The Enthusiast
This type’s name is pretty much self-explanatory—they are extroverted, spontaneous, and always looking for new experiences. However, they can be impatient, impulsive, and over-extended.
8: The Challenger
Known as the “powerful, dominating” type, the “Challenger” is self-confident and assertive, but can be temperamental and domineering.
9: The Peacemaker
People who are this type are “easygoing, self-effacing.” They are accepting and supportive, but that can lead to them becoming too complacent.