Which Enneagram Type Are You?
Family Life talked to Molly Owens, CEO and founder of Truity, a personality test site, about the Enneagram. With a master’s degree in counseling, Owens, a former therapist, founded Truity in 2012 with the aim of making personality tests more accessible to individuals and businesses.
Family Life: What is the enneagram?
Molly Owens: The Enneagram is a personality system used in psychology, business, and self-help settings around the world. It describes how each of us, based on our individual traits and childhood experiences, fits into one of nine personality types. The goal of the Enneagram system is to help you better understand your core fears and motivations, so you can become a more fulfilled person. The Enneagram can help you discover the roots of who you are, and why you approach life the way you do. That knowledge can help light up your life decisions, career choices, and relationships in some dramatic ways. It can help us better understand ourselves, be more empathetic to others, and find our distinct paths to personal happiness and growth. What I love about the Enneagram is how it celebrates the unique potential in all of us. Since each type has special gifts and talents, the goal is not to mimic someone else, or to be something you’re not; the goal is to truly understand who you are, and become the best version of your true self.
FL: What are the Enneagram personality types?
MO: The Enneagram ascribes your personality to one of nine unique types. Each type has its own set of core motivations and fears that influence one’s approach to life— everything from how you feel about relationships, to what careers inspire you, to what triggers stress and conflict. For example, Enneagram Type Threes—The Achiever—are motivated by status; they fear failure, which tends to make them ambitious and also conscious of their public image. Whereas Enneagram Type Sixes are motivated [by their need for] security and safety. You can read more about each type on Truity’s resource pages: truity.com/enneagram/9-types-enneagram.
FL: What are the basic characteristics of each type?
MO: There is a lot of nuance in all the types, so I’d encourage people to dive deeper on Truity’s resource pages, but here is a quick summary:
Type One—The Perfectionist: Ones place a lot of emphasis on following the rules and doing things correctly. Type Ones fear being imperfect and can be extremely strict with themselves and others.
Type Two—The Giver: Twos want to be liked and find ways that they can be helpful to others so that they belong. This type fears being unlovable.
Type Three—The Achiever: Threes want to be successful and admired by other people, and are very conscious of their public image. Type Threes fear failure and not being seen as valuable by other people.
Type Four—The Individualist: Fours want to be unique and to experience deep, authentic emotions. Type Fours fear they are flawed and are overly focused on how they are different from other people.
Type Five—The Investigator: Fives seek understanding and knowledge, and are more comfortable with data than other people. The biggest fear of the Type Five is being overwhelmed by their own needs or the needs of other people.
Type Six—The Skeptic: Sixes are preoccupied with security, seek safety, and like to be prepared for problems. For the Type Six, the greatest fear is being unprepared and unable to defend themselves from danger.
Type Seven—The Enthusiast: Sevens want to have as much fun and adventure as possible and are easily bored. Type Sevens fear experiencing emotional pain, especially sadness, and actively seek to avoid it by staying busy.
Type Eight—The Challenger: Eights see themselves as strong and powerful and seek to stand up for what they believe in. The greatest fear of the Type Eight is to be powerless, so they focus on controlling their environment.
Type Nine—The Peacemaker: Nines like to go with the flow and let the people around them set the agenda. Type Nines fear pushing people away by prioritizing their own needs, and they tend to be passive.
FL: Where can readers find out more about the enneagram, including what their type is?
MO: You can take Truity’s free Enneagram test (the number one test in the United States) here: truity.com/test/enneagram-personality-test. It takes about ten minutes to complete. Your basic results are free, but if you upgrade to our full 18-page in-depth report, you will get much deeper insights into your type at home, work, and in relationships.