After hearing so much talk about the Enneagram personality test on various podcasts, I had to give it a try. I’ve never really been a fan of personality tests because I feel like they kind of box a person in, I don’t care for the way the questions are worded, and each time I take a test I seem to get different test results. Also, most of the time I didn’t feel like the test results were super accurate.
But after taking the Enneagram and reading the very, very thorough test result and explanations, I am now a fan…. of this one that is. There is no way I could give justice to explaining exactly how the test works and how to interpret the results, but If you go on the website, which I’ll list below, you can read pages of detailed information as to how the test works. I do however want to point out some of the reasons I like this test and a few things I learned about myself from this test. (doesn’t it seem like it takes a life time to figure yourself out? I don’t know that you ever fully do!)
I am Type 1 which is super accurate.
“Type One in Brief:
Ones are conscientious and ethical, with a strong sense of right and wrong. They are teachers, crusaders, and advocates for change: always striving to improve things, but afraid of making a mistake. Well-organized, orderly, and fastidious, they try to maintain high standards, but can slip into being critical and perfectionistic. They typically have problems with resentment and impatience. At their Best: wise, discerning, realistic, and noble. Can be morally heroic.”
-The Enneagram Institute
But, here’s my favorite part of the test—the breakdown they give on how you subconsciously respond. The idea is, each type has a particular way of coping with the dominant emotion of its center. We can briefly see what this means by examining each type, center by center.
In the Instinctive Center, Ones (that’s me!) attempt to control or repress their anger and instinctual energy. They feel that they must stay in control of themselves, especially of their instinctual impulses and angry feelings at all times. They would like to direct these energies according to the dictates of their highly developed inner critic (superego), the source of their strictures on themselves and others. (yeah, yeah. It’s all true)
I love that the test results identify what your unhealthy response may be, but it also breaks down what a healthy response looks like and how you know you are moving towards a healthier lifestyle. Within the explanation of the test results, there is a break down of levels of growth or development.
Here are what they call “The Continuum of the Levels of Development”
- Level 1: The Level of Liberation
- Level 2: The Level of Psychological Capacity
- Level 3: The Level of Social Value
- Level 4: The Level of Imbalance/ Social Role
- Level 5: The Level of Interpersonal Control
- Level 6: The Level of Overcompensation
- Level 7: The Level of Violation
- Level 8: The Level of Obsession and Compulsion
- Level 9: The Level of Pathological Destructiveness
I don’t know about you, but I like to know that I’m improving, and becoming more of a healthy person, which includes mind, body, and soul. Within the levels of development, The Enneagram Institute explains what it looks like to recognize growth within levels.
“ the movement toward health, up the Levels, is simultaneous with being more present and awake in our minds, hearts, and bodies. As we become more present, we become less fixated in the defensive structures of our personality and are more attuned and open to ourselves and our environment. We see our personality objectively in action rather than “falling asleep” to our automatic personality patterns. There is therefore the possibility of “not doing” our personality and of gaining some real distance from the negative consequences of getting caught in it.”
I love how this lines up with the Bible so well. As we become more present, we see our personality traits (how God uniquely made us) more objectively and we can use the Levels as a continuous guide of self-observation, a map that we can use to chart where we are in our development. The higher you find yourself on the levels, the freer you are, and less driven by compulsive, unconscious drives.
This to me describes how our walk as a Christian should be—Present, reflective and not driven by our flesh. Instead, when we are driven by the Holy Spirit we walk in the fruit that lifestyle produces. The fruit of being led by the Spirit is Love, joy, peace kindness, patience, faithfulness, self-control…(If you were a Sunday school kid, you’re now singing the Fruit of the Spirit song!). But, really, if we are dependent on the Holy Spirit, attaining the healthy levels will come natural.
By the way, my husband and I happen to be as opposite as you can be as far as types go on this test, so don’t worry if the same goes for you. There’s an entire section on how your differences can complement each other instead of divid. Knowing your spouse’s type as well as your children and friends is so helpful in understanding the way the Lord wired us all so uniquely and how we can work together best.
The link to take the test is below, if you would like to take it or read more about how it all works. I’d love to know your number and your thoughts on the test! It takes about 40 minutes (but felt a lot faster!) to take and costs $12. Until next time, happy testing!