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The Enneagram of personality types

While there is speculation as to the origins of the Enneagram, we do know the symbol has been around for at least 2500 years and most likely originated somewhere in the Middle East. The aim of the working with the Enneagram of Personality Types is to reduce automatic reactivity of the ego structure by shining the light of awareness on it. Nowadays, it’s used for corporate personnel management, relationship improvement and personal psychological health. Traditionally, the goal was psycho-spiritual growth.

By identifying my personality type (number), I can become aware of how my perception of reality is manipulated by subconscious patterns. What I once thought of as free will is revealed to be little more than a standard set of reactions to standard sets of reactions of others. By studying the Enneagram, I can become aware that what I believe is only what I believe, not what is actually there.

Using the Enneagram, seekers have found relief from the psycho-emotional contraction called “me” by seeing how their behaviors were, in fact, patterned reactions––one of nine immutable patterns that human egos (personalities) take in response to internal and external stimuli.

When one’s personality patterns are illuminated by the light of awareness, spiritual and emotional freedom and  manifestation of Essential Beingness becomes possible.–MR

Enneagram: Find Your Type
Test designed by Don Richard Riso

Please understand that we all have ALL the types operating in us to some degree. To use the Enneagram we determine which type we “fixate” on MOST of the time and work to free ourselves from its confines by noticing when we automatically behave in the patterned ways our “fixation” describes.

To find your type, select one paragraph from each of the following two groups of statements that best reflects your general attitudes and behaviors. None will be exactly perfect. Just relax and pick the one from each group that you feel mostly describes you. Don’t analyze––just read quickly and intuitively pick one from each section. Then refer to the list below described by the two paragraphs you picked.––MR

Group I

A. I tend to be independent and assertive. Life seems to work best when you meet it head on. I set my own goals, get involved and try to make things happen. I don’t like sitting around. I want to achieve something and have impact. I don’t necessarily seek confrontations, but I don’t let people push me around either. Most of the time, I know what I want and I go for it. I tend to work hard and play hard.

B. I tend to be quiet and am used to being on my own. I don’t draw much attention to myself socially and it’s unusual for me to assert myself forcefully. I don’t feel comfortable taking the lead or being competitive. Many would say I’m a dreamer––a lot goes on in my imagination. I can be quite content with out feeling like I have to be active all the time.

C. I have tended to be extremely responsible and dedicated. I feel terrible if I don’t keep my commitments and do what is expected of me. I want people to know that I’m there for them. I’ve often made personal sacrifices for the sake of others, whether they know it or not. I often don’t take adequate care of myself. I do the work that needs to be done and relax if there’s any time left, i.e. do what I really want.

Group 2

X. I usually maintain a positive outlook and feel that things will turn out for the best. I can usually find something to be enthusiastic about and find ways to occupy myself. I like being around people and helping others to be happy. I enjoy sharing my own well-being with them. I don’t always feel great, but I try not to show it to anyone. Staying positive has sometimes meant putting off taking care of my own problems too long.

Y. I am a person who has strong feelings about things. Most people can tell when I’m unhappy. I can be guarded with people, but I’m more sensitive than I let on. I want to know where I stand with others and who I can count on––people always know where they stand with me. When I’m upset, I want others to respond and get as worked up as I am. I know the rules, but I don’t want people telling me what to do. I want to decide for myself.

Z. I tend to be self controlled and logical. I am uncomfortable with feelings. I am efficient––even perfectionistic––and prefer working on my own. When there are problems or personal conflicts, I try not to bring feelings into the situation. Some say I’m too cool and detached, but I don’t want my emotional reactions to distract me from what’s important. I don’t show my reactions when other get to me.

Types (names are those I’ve gathered from many different teachers)

AX 7 The Enthusiast, the Epicure, the Addict, the Fraud, the Planner
AY 8 The Boss, the Challenger, the Bully
AZ 3 The Achiever, the Deceiver, the Actor, the Poser, the Professional
BX 9 The Mediator, the Peacemaker, the Priest, the Confused
BY 4 The Individualist, the Artist, the Romantic, the Drama Queen
BZ 5 The Investigator, the Observer, the Knower, the Teacher
CX 2 The Helper, the Martyr, the Giver, the Door Mat
CY 6 The Cynic, the Loyalist, the Coward, the Paranoid
CZ 1 The Perfectionist, the Reformer, the Judge, the Critic

5, 6 and 7 are Fear and Head types

8, 9 and 1 are Anger and Gut Types

2, 3 and 4 are Image and Heart Types

For more information, there are a number of excellent books on the Enneagram in the Bodymind Bookstore on this website. If you wish to talk with Morgan about determining and understanding your Enneatype and how to work with the Enneagram, please call my toll-free number for an appointment.–MR

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