Sometimes it can be difficult to tell the difference between one Enneagram type and another, especially if only looking at behaviors and personality on the surface. Two people can behave in a similar way for very different reasons. It's important to look beneath the surface when exploring Enneagram type.
Below are some tips to help when you can't decide which Enneagram type is a best fit. At the bottom is a link to a free test that compares any two types you choose.
Look beyond the words
Often when people are trying to find their Enneagram type, they get hung up on the words being used. This isn't necessarily the fault of the people trying to type themselves. Many of the descriptions generalize the types with labels that don't tell the whole story (e.g., type 1 is the perfectionist, type 2 is the helper, etc.).
People can have perfectionistic tendencies even though they are not type 1. Being a helpful person doesn't automatically make you a type 2.
The labels only hint at what's going on underneath. The behaviors used to describe an Enneagram type only offer examples of how that type might be expressed. Although there will be overlap, different people of the same type will express their type in different ways and may even express type in ways not found in the type descriptions.
To find type, you have to trace behavior back to see what's driving it at a deeper level. A level that goes beyond just the situation at hand to how the person approaches life in general.
Narrowing down type
Even if you can't decide on a single Enneagram type that's a best fit for "your type," hopefully you can narrow down type possibilities to two or three candidates. Often this starts with eliminating from consideration those types that are definitely not a fit.
If you haven't narrowed your type down to two or three candidates yet then you may want to take a test like the type preference test on this website. It not only gives you your most likely type but also a ranking of alternative types you can "try on."
Most Enneagram test results will either give you your most likely type or a list of candidates for your type then leave it up to you to validate the result or explore the candidates on your own.
Exploring candidate types
A good way to explore candidates for your type once you've found them is to compare the candidate types to one another two at a time.
If you have more than two candidates, simply compare two of the types then take the better fit of those two and compare it to another candidate type. Repeat as needed.
The choices below will take you to a page that provides a quick test you can take to help determine your preference between two types.
To begin, choose the two types below that you'd like to compare then click "Submit."