About a month ago I went to an awesome seminar by Eben Pagan and Wyatt Woodsmall. It was all about Personality Patterns, and I learned a TON – both about myself and how to relate with people.
One of the things we learned was the “Enneagram”.
This is a personality system that was actually started in Bolivia as a spiritual practice. The guy who created it said that we all have certain energy fixations in our body, and knowing what they are can help us move them.
Some psychotherapists got a hold of his teachings and started mass-marketing it to everyone.
The reason I really like this is because it’s so thorough. The Enneagram states that whenever you get in a relationship with someone, you’re really getting in a relationship with 3 people. It talks about how people act differently under normal situations and then under intimacy and stress.
The reason the Enneagram is so powerful is because once you know your patterns, you can change them. Thing is, our subconscious dictates about 95% of what we do every single day. We just automatically make comments, say things, etc… without even thinking about it.
When you’re aware of what your subconscious is doing, you can observe it (without shame) and then double-think if that’s how you really want to respond.
The ultimate goal of the Enneagram is to break free of all the fixations (NOT to move to another fixation) and choose your reactions in each moment – not subconsciously.
I got approval from Wyatt to post all my notes here, so I’m going to give a brief description of each one and then you can read further to see which one resonates with you.
Tip: If you’re feeling unsure, look at how each type acts under Stress and Intimacy and that will usually tell you which one you are.
Tip 2: Wyatt says if you don’t like one, it’s probably yours ;) – though that wasn’t the case with me.
I should warn you that they gave mostly the NEGATIVE aspects of all of these, but obviously nothing is all good or bad.
Anyway, here are the types:
Type 1: The Perfectionists – These are people that want everything to be perfect. They often speak in terms of, “You should do this” or “You should do that”. They’re often very angry, but because it’s not perfect to be angry, they stuff their anger. You can read more here.
Type 2: The Nurturers – These are your typical Jewish mothers. They give, give, give, all the time. They think of themselves as the “ideal person”, but deep underneath they’re doing everything for love. They need almost constant words of affirmation. You can read more here.
Type 3: The Workaholics – These people have the most energy from any other group and are always go, go, go. They often want everyone to think of them as amazing and put up a mask to protect themselves from being vulnerable. You can read more here.
Type 4: The Melancholies – These are people who wear a lot of black, are usually highly psychic, and have an underlying depression about them often. They see the world as one way in their heads and get depressed that the world is actually NOT like that. You can read more here.
Type 5: The Over-Observers – These are people who like to sit back and watch but don’t like to participate. They’re often brilliant people and can tell you anything you want about the mechanics of a situation – they just won’t because they’re not super-social. You can read more here.
Type 6: The Paranoid’s – These are people who want security, security, security. They’re the type of people who want the best water filtration systems, get freaked out if a car is too close to them, and are the perfect Boy Scouts. They were either in trouble with the law at one point and did a complete reversal, or they’ve always been that way. They also love adventure. You can read more here.
Type 7: The Idealists – These are people who only want to see the good in life and refuse to acknowledge anything negative. They believe life is good, people are good, and everything’s just… good. They’re often very gluttonous. They’re also usually the life of the party and great at entertaining (although if they’re introverts that might not be as obvious). You can read more here.
Type 8: The Justice Makers – These are people who are vigilant about making sure there’s justice for all. They often go VERY far with their beliefs and are the types of people who want pain amplifiers for people in jail. They often have a very “tough” look to them. You can read more here.
Type 9: The Indolents – These are people who see all sides to every situation. Because they see all sides, they often do nothing (think of a donkey standing in between 2 bales of hay and not knowing which one to go to, so he goes nowhere). They’re perceived as lazy, are often monotone, and ramble a lot. You can read more here.
Any guesses on what I am? I think lots of people are gonna pick the wrong one. :)
Hope you get a ton out of this!