The Helpful Enneagram Guide To The System, 9 Types, & Tests

Welcome to Enneagram Gifts; we curate the best and most helpful information about the Enneagram.  We want to help you use the Enneagram to experience your full potential and create stronger connections with others. To do this, you must understand how to apply the Enneagram to your daily life in a tangible way.  The problem is, there are complexities and nuances to using the Enneagram that can be overwhelming.

You may find yourself asking,

  • What is my number?
  • Why are there so many lines?
  • Which Enneagram test should l take?
  • Is the Enneagram legit?

At Enneagram Gift, we believe you deserve a reliable, easy-to-use resource that empowers you to use your Enneagram results to create a life you love.  Below are answers to foundational questions about the Enneagram and additional content to help guide toward learning more about the various aspects of this tool.

The Enneagram is more than a trendy test; it is a powerful key that can help unlock the best parts of your personality. We help answer your questions and assist as you navigate your discovery journey.

What Is The Enneagram?

The Enneagram is a personality framework for understanding each type’s motivations, behavior, and thoughts. The system is an interconnected model that represents nine different personality types.  The tool is unique because it can help reveal the patterns associated with what and why each type thinks, feels, and acts.

enneagram symbol

The Enneagram can serve as a clarifying lens to view complex aspects common to human personality traits, along with the pitfalls or shadow sides related to each.  There are six modern categories for exploring these traits using the Enneagram.

Popular Categories For Using The Enneagram

  • Desires and Motivations
  • Basic Fears
  • Vices or Passions
  • Social Style
  • Decision Making
  • Disintegration and Integration

The Enneagram offers insight into people’s primary motivations, fears, and desires.  Understanding these aspects of personality can help individuals overcome re-occurring patterns, empathize, and strengthen relational connections.

The Enneagram Numbers

The Word Enneagram combines two Greek words (Ennea meaning nine and gram meaning written). The nine enneagram numbers represent nine distinct personality types. Each number (1-9) is uniquely connected to other numbers and also distinctive because of the different fears and desires of each type.

How Does The Enneagram Work?

The Enneagram is a system of lines representing directions of growth and stress, or integration and disintegration.  Each line is directly connected to a type and corresponds with their personality’s characteristics during times of stress and growth.  Each number (personality type) indicates traits common to the type in thought, feeling, and behavior areas.

Individuals can use the Enneagram to begin identifying patterns in their lives during times of stress and growth to become more self-aware and relational.  You can visit the post, All 9 Enneagram Types in Stress and Growth, for more about this.

How To Use The Enneagram

The best way to use the Enneagram is to familiarize yourself with the nine types.  We recommend examining the core motivations of each type in addition to the characteristics.  Understanding the motivations of each type can help you more quickly identify which type is most relatable.

As you learn more about your type, you can use other aspects of enneagram teaching to explore personality dynamics further.  Several concepts (referenced below) provide further insight into our thoughts, behaviors, and actions.

7 Concepts For Deeper Application Of  The Enneagram

Each concept can provide even more insight into the complexities and nuances of personality.  Ultimately, the Enneagram can serve as a tool to help individuals move toward growth and transformation.

what is the enneagram test

What Is The Enneagram Personality Test

The Enneagram Test is to help you identify which personality type you may be.  Most tests take around 10-15 minutes and require you to answer using a scale to indicate your level of agreement with a series of statements or thoughts.  There are many tests online; however, there is only a handful that we recommend and trust.

As beneficial as a test can be, none are 100% accurate.  Therefore, it is important to do additional studies concerning the motivations of each type.  If you want to learn more about the four best free enneagram tests online, click HERE.  Our favorite paid test is the iEQ9.  To read our review and comparison of this test, click HERE.

Enneagram Types & Descriptions 

Descriptions for each type can be a quick way to gain valuable insight into how each personality is unique and different.  It is common for teachers to assign a nickname to each number to help associate the personality type with their core motivation and behaviors.

At Enneagram Gift, we want to help you break free from stereotypes to experience fulfillment, freedom, and peace. You are not captive to the description and tendencies of your type.  With faith, perseverance, and work, you can change.  

Enneagram Type 1

enneagram 1w9

Type 1’s cares deeply about quality and the pursuit of improving standards to accelerate purpose and goodness in the world around them.

Known as perfectionists, enneagram ones will uncompromisingly work with laser focus, strictly adhering to an ideal standard they believe is good.  Ones will tirelessly work until they’re content with results, which can have positives and negatives, depending on the situation.

When healthy, type 1’s can achieve their goals and enjoy success. When ones are unhealthy, negative situations can cause them to become obsessive.

Positive Traits Of Type 1:

  • Practical
  • Decisive
  • Sensible
  • Trustworthy
  • Straightforward manner of speaking
  • Ethical

Type 1’s Find Joy In:

  • Planning
  • Organization
  • Supporting Just Causes

Type 1’s Struggle With:

  • Anger
  • Accepting Mistakes
  • Condemning Thoughts
  • Disagreements

Type 1 Wings: Use the following links to learn more about 1w2 and 1w9.

Type 1 Career Options And Advice

Enneagram Type 2

enneagram 2w1

Type 2’s meet most people with a caring attitude and enjoy socializing.  The helper personality desires their love and nurturing to others to be reciprocal.

Enneagram type 2’s like to be on both the giving and receiving end of relationships.  An enneagram two may not express their need for affection and appreciation, hoping for others to give back in the same manner.  Some may even assume that others want and desire the same things and find it difficult to understand when friends or loved ones do not express care in the same way.

Twos, while on the surface can seem happy-go-lucky, often struggle with a fear of being unlovable, which creates emotional instability. Unsure of themselves and their relationships, they can attempt to control, even if they are overbearing or clingy. As a result, their longing to express and receive love can reverse into bitterness and hostility.

Positive Traits Of Type 2:

  • Nurturing
  • Generous
  • Loving
  • Sensitive
  • Friendly
  • Warm

Type 2’s Find Joy In:

  • Emotional Connection
  • Affection
  • Helping Others
  • Receiving affirmation

Type 2’s Struggle With:

  • Rejection
  • Shame
  • Sharing Expectations
  • Transparency

Type 2 Wings: Use the following links to learn more about 2w1 and 2w3.

Type 2 Career Options And Advice

Enneagram Type 3

enneagram 3w2

Threes are driven and thrive in environments where they can pursue their goals. The pursuit of success and admiration go hand in hand, serving as the core desires of this type. The core fear of failure and worthlessness drives the desire for success and esteem. 

Healthy Threes are energetic, well-intentioned, modest, and competent. They achieve goals while being sensitive to how their plans and achievements may affect those around them. These qualities inspire others, making the healthy Three a great role model for many. 

In varying degrees, Threes can fixate on success and outcomes at the expense of other values – or, in some cases, relationships. Unhealthy Threes may take advantage of others when chasing opportunities and self-promotion.

At their worst, they are untrustworthy and resentful. A child who receives praise and conditional love only when they achieve goals or won can grow up into an adult pursuing success, admiration, and self-promotion at the expense of everything else. 

Positive Traits Of Type 3:

  • Confident
  • Charming
  • Motivated
  • Driven
  • Energetic

Type 3’s Find Joy In:

  • Goal-Setting
  • Being Recognized
  • Inspiring Others
  • Success

Type 3’s Struggle With:

  • Shame
  • Failure
  • Denial
  • Vulnerability

Type 3 Wings: Use the following links to learn more about 3w2 and 3w4.

Type 3 Career Options And Advice

Enneagram Type 4

enneagram 3w4

Type Four, “The Individualist,” place value being unique and significant. No one dislikes being bogged down by the mundane details of everyday life as much as a Four, who looks for meaning and beauty in everything they do. They often strive to express themselves through many creative outlets, fashion, art, or writing.

With that said, being ordinary or common is a Four’s worst fear. 

A healthy Four is expressive, artistic, and capable of engaging deeply with those close to them. Their work is not only a meaningful extension of themselves but positively impacts those around them.  Positive self-esteem is another essential trait of a healthy Four.

In contrast, Fours at their worst can withdraw, be uncooperative, self-absorbed, and aimless. They feel constantly misunderstood by others and defective, which often culminates into depression. There are many causes for this unhealthy state, from childhood trauma to a significant setback. 

An individual who felt out of place as a child could become unhealthy Four in adulthood. Learning to focus on what they have in common with others and accepting themselves for who they are can help heal this childhood wound of feeling out of sync with the world. 

Positive Traits Of Type 4:

  • Unique
  • Sensitive to others
  • Creative
  • Empathetic
  • Courageous
  • Inspiring

Type 4’s Find Joy In:

  • Aesthetics
  • Creative outlets
  • Expressing Ideas
  • Authenticity

Type 4’s Struggle With:

  • Overwhelming emotions
  • Shame
  • Dependency
  • Overreacting
  • Loneliness

Type 4 Wings: Use the following links to learn more about 4w3 and 4w5.

Type 4 Career Options And Advice

Enneagram Type 5

enneagram 5w4

Type Fives, or “The Investigator,” has the distinction of being one of the rarest of the Enneagram types. Despite being a minority, Fives find themselves in good company and have made significant contributions to the world.

Notable Fives include:

  • Albert Einstein
  • Jane Austen
  • Bill Gates 
  • Tim Burton

Being competent and capable is the core desire of Enneagram Type Five. In service of this desire, Fives pursue knowledge and a profound grasp of the world around them. They retreat into their minds, contemplating and developing complex ideas and lots of solitary time developing skills.

If competence is the core desire of the Five, then it is the case that feeling incompetent and helpless is the core fear. A Five that feels incompetent can become a reclusive and hostile individual, detached from reality, and closed-minded.

In contrast, a healthy Five is open-minded, communicates and shares their broad and in-depth effectively, and can act with incredible foresight and perception. 

A Type 5’s intense curiosity can shine in careers that allow them to apply their knowledge and skills.  Fives are known for their ability to remain level-headed and calm in stressful situations, need for independence, and logical approach to problem-solving. 

Positive Traits Of Type 5:

  • Observant
  • Creative
  • Wise
  • Perceptive

Type 5’s Find Joy In:

  • Innovation
  • Alone time
  • Sharing insights
  • Developing new skills

Type 5’s Struggle With:

  • Fear
  • Isolation
  • Intimacy
  • Vulnerability
  • Emotions

Type 5 Wings: Use the following links to learn more about 5w4 and 5w6.

Type 5 Career Options And Advice

Enneagram Type 6

enneagram 2w3

“The Loyalist,” or Type Six, is known for practicality and loyalty. They like to build support safe and secure support systems for themselves and those around them and desire to make the world a stable and secure place. For that reason, Sixes gravitate towards careers in administration, law enforcement, and caring professions. 

Like the Five, Sixes can approach stressful situations logically and calmly, making them reliable and stable co-workers, spouses, and friends. They are fiercely loyal team players who are consistent in their values and behavior. At their best, they balance their independence with their commitments and trust others while confidently maintaining their boundaries. 

A chaotic and unsafe environment is the Six’s basic fear which means that, at times, they may tend to focus on the negative and expect the worst. An unhealthy Six may give in to paranoia, believing that others are only out to get them or cannot trust anyone. 

Positive Traits Of Type 6:

  • Loyal
  • Dependable
  • Compassionate
  • Caring
  • Hard-working
  • Trustworthy

Type 6’s Find Joy In:

  • Preparedness
  • Teamwork
  • Close friends
  • Structure

Type 6’s Struggle With:

  • Anxiousness
  • Suspicion
  • Co-dependency
  • Decision making
  • Overplanning

Type 6 Wings: Use the following links to learn more about 6w5 and 6w7.

Type 6 Career Options And Advice

Enneagram Type 7

enneagram 7w8

If any type is characterized best by their zest for life, it would be Enneagram Type Seven, “The Enthusiast.” Other adjectives that can describe the Seven are:

  • Energetic
  • Spontaneous
  • Optimistic
  • Popular

Because of their brimming enthusiasm, energy, and social nature, It is common for type sevens to work in the hospitality industry, the arts, business, and life coaching. In general, Sevens enjoy having spontaneity and meeting different kinds of people. A career where they can adequately channel their energy, creativity, and enthusiasm is a good match. 

The core desire of the Seven is to be happy and content. Suffering and limitations are a Seven’s basic fear. The need for stimulation can show up in destructive ways, particularly for an unhealthy Seven. At their worst, Sevens can be impulsive, unpredictable, and dangerous to themselves and others.

The absence of a nurturing figure in early childhood can cause Sevens to seek comfort in fleeting experiences and distractions. A key to overcoming this deprivation is learning to stay calm and bask in the present moment, focusing on thoughts and emotions.

Positive Traits Of Type 7:

  • Optimism
  • Future-Thinking
  • Adventurous
  • Spontaneous
  • Enthusiastic

Type 7’s Find Joy In:

  • New Experiences
  • Vision casting
  • Starting new ventures
  • Freedom

Type 7’s Struggle With:

  • Escapism
  • Trust
  • Staying on task
  • Resentment
  • Black and white thinking

Type 7 Wings: Use the following links to learn more about 7w6 and 7w8.

Type 7 Career Options And Advice

Enneagram Type 8

enneagram type 8 wing 7

Eight’s are one of the rarest typesEights are motivated by their basic desire to control their destinies and protect others, whether underdogs of society, victims of injustice, or their loved ones.

They are bold, decisive, and willing to take risks. They embody the qualities of many and great leaders, which is why it is unsurprising that many famous Eights were, in fact, world leaders. 

If you know even a bit of history, contemporary politics, or the world of entertainment, you will likely recognize some of these names:

  • Winston Churchill
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Pablo Picasso

What do they have in common? First, they are either visionaries or champions of justice who have left their mark on the world through their chosen careers. Secondly, many consider them to be type eights.

Unhealthy Eights can be excessively aggressive, domineering, or vengeful – at worst. They fear losing control; this can manifest in antisocial behaviors at their most extreme. The Eight is the most prone to megalomania out of all the other types. But this only applies to a severely unhealthy Eight. 

Positive Traits Of Type 8:

  • Decisive
  • Independent
  • Influential
  • Protective
  • Assertive

Type 8’s Find Joy In:

  • Leading
  • Making Decisions
  • Serving Others
  • Hospitality

Type 8’s Struggle With:

  • Anger
  • Affection
  • Avoidance
  • Retreating
  • Control

Type 8 Wings: Use the following links to learn more about 8w7 and 8w9.

Type 8 Career Options And Advice

Enneagram 9

enneagram type 9 wing 8

Type Nine, “The Peacemaker,” is motivated by their desire for harmony and peace and are known for their soothing presence, making the perfect mediators. Because of their diplomatic nature and passion for peace and healing, Nines tend to gravitate towards careers in counseling, social work, politics (especially diplomacy), and community work.

Nines often make it their life purpose to help others. But their most basic desire is for inner harmony and peace of mind. It is hard to imagine someone who is not at peace with themselves being able to help others. Healthy Nines are emotionally stable, optimistic, trusting, and excellent at bringing people together. Their inner harmony complements the peace and harmony they bring to others.

An unhealthy Nine avoids conflict at all costs and represses their true desires and feelings. This habit is connected to their basic fear of neglect and losing connection with others. Traumatized Nines can begin their healing process by taking decisive action regarding what they truly want and need, without fearing that they will drive others away.

Positive Traits Of Type 9:

  • Receptive
  • Peaceful
  • Understanding
  • Patient
  • Supportive
  • Genuine

Type 9’s Find Joy In:

  • Stability
  • Sharing insight
  • Comfort
  • Mediating conflicts

Type 9’s Struggle With:

  • Procrastination
  • Anger
  • Independence
  • Decision making

Type 9 Wings: Use the following links to learn more about 9w8 and 9w1.

Type 9 Career Options And Advice

How To Find Your Enneagram

There are four basic things you can do to discover your type. 1. Study the motivations of each type.  2.  Learn about the wings of each type.  3.  Listen to others share about what it is like to be their type.  4.  Discuss with close friends or a coach to receive feedback.  Using these basic guidelines can help you establish your enneagram type.

If you would like to learn more about each of these steps, visit this POST.

The Benefits Of The Enneagram 

The Enneagram is beneficial because of its unique ability to help individuals interpret the complexities of their personalities.  It is an accessible tool that anyone can understand with help and guidance.  People use the Enneagram to identify and overcome unhealthy patterns that affect them personally and within their relationships.

5 Benefits Of The Enneagram

  • Uncanny assessment
  • Accessible for most people to understand
  • It helps to reflect on the past and create pathways for positive change
  • Provides insight for growth
  • Avoids limitations and stereotypes

The Enneagram is a tool that can help you jumpstart growth and change in your life.  It is a tool rather than a crutch to depend on for identifying your limitations, strengths, and potential. 

Enneagram Sources:

psychologyjunkie.com

thecareerproject.com

crystalknows.com

enneagraminstitute.com

today.uconn.edu

yourenneagramcoach.com