The Enneagram of Personality, or simply the Enneagram(from the Greek words ἐννέα [ennéa, meaning “nine”] and γράμμα [grámma, meaning something “written” or “drawn”]), is a model of human personality which is principally understood and taught as a typology of nine interconnected personality types.
What is Enneagram? It is a personality/motivation analysis survey that gives detailed reports based on two question choice. The two question choice can be unnerving because more than 50% of the time the answer is quite variable based on circumstance, the tester is to attempt to choose the one that reflects the majority of their experience.
However, I decided to finally take it and lo, “they tell me” I am a Type 2 “Helper” with a close runner up of “Peacemaker” which would make my parents howl with laughter.
Apparently I am the Caring, Generous type. I am not however much demonstrative, nor possessive and only on my worst days would I be a people pleaser. I have never been a smotherer–but now as a parent, it’s different. This result indicates my values around parenting, cannot lie. My motivation to be loved? Needy much? My desire to share my positivity sounds much more accurate, I know my children lean and learn from the way they watch me process and frame things which happen in positive light. Because my job with them is primary (for now) yes, I am consummately a Helper, for now.
The Helper description is more accurate in values and less about motivation which is stated as the desire to feel loved. My main motivation is to care for the people around me, but not with the goal of receiving love. It is more like responsibility, one which is important to me, and my motivation is love, but not the receipt of it, more like what compels. Helper because now I am a mother and teacher. Helper because in the past 10 years we transplanted to a community away from immediate family and community/ relationship is important for the sake of our children. Helper because marriage requires care as well–because my biggest responsibilities rely on the health of that marriage. Helper because in looking back on my younger years I see a young person who has been incredibly self-involved, and in desire to change the direction of that river, I am trying to carve a new riverbed… one that focuses on others rather than self. Helper because Pragmatist, except that isn’t one.
Overall it seems the score has Quite a Bit more to do with current life circumstances and season than perhaps a complete holistic picture.
Seldom, if ever, have I been called a Peacemaker. I value the role of peacemaking, but conflict is inherent in mere existence… like doubt is a part of faith. I haven’t much feared speaking out conflict, in the right circumstances but seek persistently to do in a way that frames a conflict as a more natural, comprehensible, resolvable circumstance than an agitated one.
My runner up is Loyalist, Achiever, Individualist, Challenger and Reformer. So, um, perhaps that can be spelled “mixed bag”. They all got the same number of points.
Enneagram is an interesting metric for personality and motivation type; it is quite detailed in its descriptions of each type. However, I am feeling like it is a test which is quite seasonal in its results–I would have gotten quite different results in my 20’s and I will get different results when the kids are older. The either/or questions drove me nuts, because the answer was often yes to both, or no to both.
Truthfully, speaking of my personality type quickly fills me with ennui and I’d rather go throw pots.