The Enneagram— It’s Popular, But Is It Valid?

The personality typology that doesn’t come from psychology

Wikimedia Commons

Oh, you say this doesn’t actually describe you? No need to worry, you’re just in an unhealthy traits frame of mind. Our system is still perfect! Yes, and the dog ate your homework, too.

To view a chart with all of these details, have a look at the Wikipedia page. The type numbers and associated roles according to Wikipedia are listed, followed by the role descriptions from the Enneagram Institute in brackets:

  • 2: helper, giver (generous, demonstrative, people-pleasing, possessive)
  • 3: achiever, performer (adaptable, excelling, driven, image-conscious)
  • 4: individualist, romantic (expressive, dramatic, self-absorbed, temperamental)
  • 5: investigator, observer (perceptive, innovative, secretive, isolated)
  • 6: loyalist, loyal skeptic (engaging, responsible, anxious, suspicious)
  • 7: enthusiast, epicure (spontaneous, versatile, acquisitive, scattered)
  • 8: challenger, protector (self-confident, decisive, willful, confrontational)
  • 9: peacemaker, mediator (receptive, reassuring, complacent, resigned)

That’s a whole lot going on.

There are plenty of enneagram tests out there online. I did the one on Truity.com, just because it was the first result on Google, and it gave me these results:

  • Two (giver): 51% match
  • Three (achiever): 32% match
  • Four (individualist): 77% match
  • Five (investigator): 98% match -> this was identified as my type
  • Six (skeptic): 60% match
  • Seven (enthusiast): 44% match
  • Eight (challenger): 79% match
  • Nine (peacemaker): 84% match
  • holy idea is omniscience/transparency
  • basic fear is helplessness/incapacity/incompetence
  • basic desire is mastery/understanding
  • temptation is replacing direct experiences with concepts
  • vice/passion is avarice
  • virtue is non-attachment
  • stress/disintegration point is type 7
  • security/integration point is type 8.

Mental health blogger | Former MH nurse | Living with depression | Author of 4books, latest is A Brief History of Stigma| mentalhealthathome.org