It's personal: The significance of the Enneagram and (re)discovery

By Rachida Harper on August 20, 2019

The nature of social media has become hypocrisy. For years, people have simultaneously remained connected but detached from each other and themselves. With skewed perceptions, discovery and exploration start to take place online rather than in a natural environment. For so long, identities have been swept away, but as of late, people have (re)discovered their truth, and the Enneagram has been a leading factor as to why.

“I think we’ve lost a big sense of community-based identity now that technology has taken over,” Enneagram Coach Elisabeth Bennett said. “We all want to belong somewhere, and I think a disconnect from community has uncovered this longing.”

An Enneagram, according to Bennett, is an ancient personality typing system that revolves around nine different personality types based on motivational factors rather than behaviors.

With tens of thousands of followers, Bennett’s Instagram page, @Enneagram.Life, and many others help individuals get a better understanding of what the Enneagram is and identify the type they resonate with the most. What is shared online only scratches the surface of what is to be understood because the Enneagram requires a deeper analysis when compared to other personality type tests.

Image provided by Unsplash.com

“The Enneagram is different, because other personality typing systems don’t account for periods of stress, growth, health, unhealth, childhood wounds, and conflict styles like the Enneagram does,” Bennett said. “Giving you a much more in-depth look into your personality in all seasons.”

So, what does each Enneagram number signify? The Enneagram Institute helps break down each type.

Type One: The Reformer

A Type One is self-aware about what is right and wrong. They have the desire to be good while constantly improving, avoiding imperfection at all times.

Type Two: The Helper

A Type Two focuses on being friendly and people-pleasing, with the desire to feel loved and appreciated. They struggle to acknowledge their own needs.

Type Three: The Achiever

A Type Three wants to feel valued, worthwhile and admired by others. They have a fear of appearing worthless and have a competitive spirit.

Type Four: The Individualist

A Type Four is aware of their feelings and strives to find their identity. They tend to wallow in self-pity when lacking personal significance.

Type Five: The Investigator

A Type Five is an innovative individual who strives to understand their environment and retain knowledge. They feel helpless when they cannot figure something out.

Type Six: The Loyalist

A Type Six seeks security and support from others. Without proper guidance, they may struggle with self-doubt and insecurities.

Type Seven:  The Enthusiast

A Type Seven is a high-energy individual who is on the lookout for exciting and new experiences to remain occupied. They fear missing out and being deprived of what makes them happy.

Type Eight: The Challenger

A Type Eight is a confident and dominant individual. They want to be in control of their own destiny and prove their strength to others.

Type Nine: The Peacemaker

A Type Nine wants to maintain a peace of mind in a harmonious, accepting environment. They avoid conflict and struggle with stubbornness.

Even though the ancient practice has gained a sudden burst of popularity among the Christian community and social media users in general, the Enneagram is not meant for everyone to pursue.

“Some people aren’t ready for what the Enneagram might reveal about them, and others have convictions against it,” Bennett said. “We should respect people who aren’t interested and not shove the Enneagram down their throat.”

Even though discovering does not always come at ease and can be discouraging at times, Bennett encourages those who are ready to persevere.

“The Enneagram is a journey. If you’re interested in it but struggling to find you type off the bat don’t let it discourage you,” Bennett said. “It may take a lot of self-discovery to find your type, and that discovery is gold! Keep researching, self-reflecting, and reaching out.”

Aspiring journalist and student reporter at Palm Beach Atlantic University.

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