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Complete Guide to the Enneagram: The Personality Types Explained

Enneagram with Arrows

The Nine Enneagram Personality Types

Each Enneagram type orginates from an initial self-belief and a compensation for that belief which has a strong influence upon personality.

Click on an Enneagram type below to learn more about that type.

  • Enneagram type 1
    I am unacceptable as I am. I must monitor, correct, and improve myself in order to be acceptable and remain above criticism.
  • Enneagram type 2
    I am unappreciated as I am. I must find appreciation from and connection to people by responding to their needs and desires.
  • Enneagram type 3
    I am not valued as I am. I must become accomplished and prove myself to gain value and regard in the eyes of others.
  • Enneagram type 4
    I am lacking as I am. I must find and cultivate what's authentic and uniquely special about myself to stand out from the ordinary.
  • Enneagram type 5
    I am uninformed as I am. I must objectively observe the world as it is in order to clearly make sense of and navigate it.
  • Enneagram type 6
    I am uncertain as I am. I must search for someone or something that I can depend on that provides the assurance to move forward.
  • Enneagram type 7
    I am not satisfied as I am. I must stay open to exciting possibilities that may become available in life and avoid limitations on my pursuits.
  • Enneagram type 8
    I am disempowered as I am. I must be direct in going after what I want and stand strong against being controlled or taken advantage of.
  • Enneagram type 9
    I am not in unity as I am. I must accommodate others' agenda and opinions in order to feel at ease and in harmony with them.

Enneagram Personality Type Variations

There are a number of concepts that describe variations within type that explain why people of the same type can seem so different.

Click a topic below to learn more about that concept.

  • Enneagram Wings
    The wings produce two variations of type based on the influence of the types on either side (e.g., 9w1, 9w8).
  • Enneagram Instincts
    The instincts are generally considered to be three different survival strategies that we use to varying degrees (i.e., sp, sx, so).
    • Instinctual Subtypes
      The instinctual subtypes divide each of the nine personality types into three subtypes (e.g., sp 1, sx 1, so 1).
    • Instinctual Variant Stacking
      Instinctual variant stacking describes an individual's preferential order for the three Enneagram instincts (i.e., sp/sx, sx/sp, sp/so, so/sp, sx/so, or so/sx).
  • Enneagram Centers
    The Enneagram centers of intelligence can be used to identify three Enneagram types (your gut type, heart type, and head type).
  • Enneagram Stress and Growth
    The inner lines and arrows of the Enneagram symbol are used to represent movement between the types.
  • Enneagram Levels
    The Enneagram levels of development describe nine levels of fixation or psychological health within each type.

Enneagram Personality Type Origins and Influences

Whereas the history of the Enneagram symbol begins with G.I. Gurdjieff, the origins of the Enneagram personality types begin with Oscar Ichazo and Claudio Naranjo.

Click on a topic below to learn more.

  • Gurdjieff and the Fourth Way
    Although G.I. Gurdjieff introduced the Enneagram symbol to the world, he used it very differently than the Enneagram personality types.
  • Oscar Ichazo and the Ego-Types
    The Enneagram personality types find their roots in Oscar Ichazo's five enneagrams which together described nine ego-types.
    • Enneagram Fixations
      Our habits of mind constrict and limit how we interpret and interact with the world around us.
    • Enneagram Traps
      The trap is the false remedy for our fixation, perpetuating the fixation instead of resolving it.
    • Enneagram Holy Ideas
      The holy idea is the true remedy for our fixation by allowing us to see through the fixation.
    • Enneagram Passions
      The passion represents the emotional energy that supports the corresponding ego-type fixation.
    • Enneagram Virtues
      Developing the type's virtue allows us to move beyond the passion supporting our ego fixation.
    • Enneagram Sins
      The seven deadly or capital sins of Christianity are sometimes correlated to the Enneagram passions.
  • Claudio Naranjo and the Enneatypes
    Today's Enneagram personality types come directly from Claudio Naranjo's enneatypes which evolved from Oscar Ichazo's ego-types.
  • Karen Horney and the Stances
    The Hornevian groups or stances come from Karen Horney's three types (compliant, detached, and aggressive).

Enneagram Symbol / Diagram

There are several components of the Enneagram symbol / diagram that are often used to explore and explain the personality types.

Click on a topic below to learn more.

  • Enneagram Numbers
    The Enneagram numbers are used to reference the nine personality types and place them on the Enneagram symbol.
  • Enneagram Circle
    Commonalities and influences between the types are explored by their relative position to one another around the circle.
  • Enneagram Arrows and Lines
    The lines connect each type to two other types. The arrows imply different movements between these two types.
  • Enneagram Triads
    Triads group the nine types into three groups of three to explore commonalities found within each grouping.

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