So you want to know your Enneagram number, but you don't know how to find your type? Don't worry, I've got you! I'm going to walk you through 7 easy steps for discovering your Enneagram type.
The biggest mistake that people make when they're discovering the Enneagram and their type is thinking about it like a Buzzfeed quiz. You know, those quizzes that ask profound and hard questions like “Which Friends character are you?” (For the record, I’m Monica: neurotic, anxious, and a hopeless romantic in a controlled kind of way.) However, the Enneagram isn't an inane quiz; it’s actually a tool for growth. It's a way for us to look in the mirror and see all of the things that we can work on and not a quick and easy answer to who we are at the core. (For those Harry Potter fans, think The Mirror of Erised for personality types) So, with that out of the way, let me walk you through step one of discovering your Enneagram type.
Taking an online test IS a good starting point as long as you don’t stop there. Please keep in mind that online tests are not always accurate and they're not the end game. You may find that several different numbers resonate with you so look at the test as a way to narrow down your type options. I give some recommendations for tests in this free typing guide linked here.
Next, write down your results from the online quiz. You're likely not to get just one type. For example, I scored really high in a 3 and a 6. Once you have the 2-3 numbers, write them down and really start reading all about them. Then ask yourself these questions:
Are any of these numbers totally not me?
Are any of the numbers me when I'm having a really hard time?
Are any of these numbers me when I'm having the best time and everything's amazing in my life?
Once you’ve narrowed down your possible types with these questions, it’s time to go shopping! And no, I don’t mean running down to your local Target to peruse the stationery and clothing sections. (No shade. This is my favorite pastime.)
Instead, spend a week trying on one of your possible types. Wear your Enneagram Seven shirt to work and ask yourself, “Did I respond to this work conflict like a Type Seven?” Model your Enneagram Four hat and examine your childhood. Does this match what I know to be true about Type Fours?
Let yourself try on the different types as if you are picking out the perfect pair of jeans. Does this fit my hips? Do I want high-waisted or low-rise? Do I need to get these hemmed? And yes, I’m using this analogy so I can tell you to find the type that makes your butt look good.
Now look at the "Intelligence Centers''. No, this is not your IQ or your Mensa status. It's basically just a way to categorize how we communicate, make decisions, and solve problems.
These Enneagram types struggle with shame, desire to have a significant identity, and operate based on feelings. They make decisions primarily through their heart.
These types struggle with anxiety or fear, desire to have security, and operate based on mental analysis. They make decisions primarily through their head.
These types struggle with anger, desire justice, and operate on gut instincts. They make decisions primarily through their belly.
Look at the 3 centers and think about how you react to situations when you're really stressed out. Which resonates most with you?
Go to a quiet place. Somewhere that brings you peace where you can think. For me, this is a shady park by my home. I like to watch people walking their dogs while laying on my Shohei Otani blanket. (Any Angels fans reading this?)
By now, you probably have a grasp on your main Enneagram type. Start journaling and write about key moments in your life and the motivations behind those moments. For example, did you disappear off the face of the Earth after a tough breakup? Why? Or, are you often upset with your coworkers because you feel like others aren’t pulling their weight?
Once you've journaled your heart out, it’s time for step 6.
Take your journal, take all your thoughts, and go to trusted friends and family. Ask them about your tendencies. Ask them about your reactions when you're really stressed out. Ask them how they perceive your motivations and behavior.
This is a great way to get outside of yourself and get some unbiased feedback from the people who love you best.
This is when it gets good. It’s finally time for growth! Take what you learned about your personality and start applying it to your relationships, your work, and your life. Find a community where you can talk about your personality and start engaging with people who have the same number as you.
A great way to do this is with Instagram! There is a truly delightful Enneagram Instagram community.
Here are some accounts I love:
And I would be remiss if I didn’t also send you to my Enneagram Instagram. We have fun over there and my DMs are always open!
Once you know your type, there is so much more to do on your journey towards self-discovery.
Yay you! I’m excited for your journey.