A surefire way to narrow down and find your Enneagram type is by looking at the Harmonic Triads within the Enneagram typing system. 

Unlock Your Enneagram Type With This Cheat Code

My friends and I were on a road trip and our car broke down in the middle of the Palm Springs. It was 120 degrees. We were hungry. We were tired. We were on the side of a busy road. The three of us all had very different responses to the stressful situation.

Kenzi (a Type 8) was pissed. She had just taken the car in to get the oil changed and tires rotated. She had prepped, dammit! She called her boyfriend to vent out her frustration. She may or may not have kicked the car 👀

Sally (a Type 9) was trying to keep everyone calm. "This happens all the time," she said. "We just need to wait for the engine to cool down." As the cars buzzed past is on the freeway, she pointed out the iconic Palm Springs Windmills.

Myself (a Type 3) went into problem-solving mode. I googled "What to do when your car overheats" and systematically went through the list. Find a safe place to pull over. Check. Turn off the air conditioner. Check. Wait until the engine temp gauge settles before opening the hood. Check.

These three reactions are known as the Harmonic Triad. It shows us the three strategies each Enneagram type employs to defend themselves against disappointment or hurt. What happens when you don’t get what you want? Understanding where you fall in the Harmonic Triad is a fantastic cheat code for finding your main Enneagram type.

Think about a time when something stressful happened to you. How did you respond?

The Reactive Style (Types 4, 6, 8)

Did you respond reactively like Kenzi?

The Reactive Style includes Types 4, 6, and 8. You are emotionally reactive under stress. Type 4s will need to express their disappointed feelings. Type 6s will feel overwhelmed and stressed and look for ways to let off steam. Type 8s will be upset... and everyone will know about it.

The Optimistic Style (Types 2, 7, 9)

Did you respond positively like Sally?

The Optimistic Style includes Types 2, 7, and 9. You put on rose-colored glasses during stressful situations. You look on the bright side, even if the engine is on fire. Type 2s will focus on taking care of everyone else. Type 7s will highlight the adventure of the moment and hyper-focus on the needs of others. Type 9s will either shut down or try to reframe the negative into a positive.

The Logical Style (Types 1, 3, 5)

Did you respond like me?

The Logical Style includes Types 1, 3, and 5. You jump right into troubleshooting and try to solve the problem rationally. Type 1s will immediately start fixing things, sticking by the rules and ignoring their emotions. Type 3s will focus on the to-do list and try to override painful feelings with accomplishments. Type 5s will detach from their emotions and pour over all the facts available to them.

If you're still not sure what your main type is, look at the Harmonic Triad. This will help you narrow down your type options and give you another frame of reference for understanding yourself!