A Simple Guide to the Nine Enneagram Personality Types

Jun 29, 2023 | WELL-BEING

Have you ever wondered why you tick the way you tick? Why some social situations drain you while others energize you? The Enneagram offers a lens for understanding your motivations and desires. Let’s explore the many facets of Enneagram personality types.


The Enneagram is an ancient system of nine interconnected personality types. It unveils unique patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving. Each type comes with a core motivation. The core motivation is a driving force shaping our actions and perspectives on the world.

Have you ever felt like you operate on a different wavelength than those around you? Do you crave structure while your friend thrives on spontaneity. The Enneagram offers a powerful lens to understand these contrasting personalities.

This ancient system categorizes people into nine distinct types. Each type has a core motivation that shapes thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. You might be a perfectionist seeking order (Type One). Or you could be a free spirit craving excitement (Type Seven). When you understand your type, you can unlock deeper connections. This helps build stronger relationships.

Identifying your core type helps you understand your strengths, weaknesses, and motivations. This self-awareness can be transformative, allowing you to:

  • Improve your relationships. – Recognize how your type interacts with others fosters better communication and empathy.
  • Make consious choices. – Understand your core fears so you can make decisions that align with your values.
  • Embrace your growth potential. – The Enneagram highlights areas for personal development.


Let’s delve into the Enneagram and explore how each type interacts with the world:

Type One – The Reformer desires perfection and a deep sense of justice. Ones are ethical, honest, and crusaders for improvement. They might come across as critical, but their core motivation is to create a better world.

Type Two – The Helper craves love and appreciation. Twos are the ultimate nurturers. They’re empathetic, generous, and always there to lend a hand. Their focus on others can sometimes lead to neglecting their own needs.

Type Three – The Achiever craves success. They’re ambitious, driven, and strive to excel. Their focus on image and accomplishment can sometimes mask underlying insecurities.

Type Four – The Individualist is expressive and introspective. Fours seek authenticity and a sense of belonging. They can be creative, artistic, and emotional.

Type Five – The Investigator believes knowledge is power. They’re analytical and independent. And they have a thirst for understanding the world around them. Their need for privacy and alone time can be mistaken for aloofness.

Type Six – The Loyalist values security and belonging. They’re responsible, dependable, and loyal to their loved ones. Their fear of betrayal can make them indecisive or anxious.

Type Seven – The Enthusiast is optimistic and adventurous. Sevens crave excitement and new experiences. They’re energetic, social butterflies who bring a sense of fun wherever they go. Their fear of missing out can sometimes lead to impulsiveness or scatteredness.

Type Eight – The Challenger is powerful and direct. Eights value strength and control. They’re confident, decisive, and protective of those they care about. Their dominance can be intimidating, but their core desire is to create a sense of safety and justice.

Type Nine – The Peacemaker loves harmony. They’re easygoing, agreeable, and seek to maintain peace in their environment. Their desire to avoid conflict can sometimes lead to procrastination or indecisiveness.


You might be asking, “Is the Enneagram all it’s cracked up to be?” Let’s delve into the debate about its validity.

The Science of Self – The Enneagram lacks the scientific rigor. There’s no single agreed-upon method for determining your type. And research on its reliability and validity varies. Studies show some correlation between Enneagram types and other personality frameworks. But it’s not clear-cut.

The Power of Narrative – Unlike traditional tests, the Enneagram focuses on personal narratives. The detailed descriptions of each type resonates with people. This offers a framework for understanding their motivations, fears, and desires. This narrative power can be validating. People often say “the Enneagram finally explains me!”

A Tool for Growth, Not a Label – The Enneagram’s is a tool for self-discovery and growth. It helps you understand your core type. This helps you gain insights into your strengths, weaknesses, and triggers. This awareness can empower you to make conscious choices and build healthier relationships.

Finding You Fit – The Enneagram’s strength lies in its potential to be a tool for self-discovery and growth. It helps you understand your core type. This helps you gain insights into your strengths, weaknesses, and triggers. This awareness can empower you to make conscious choices and build healthier relationships.

Keep in Mind:

  • The Enneagram is not a box. Don’t get hung up on matching a single type. You might resonate with aspects of several types.
  • It’s a journey, not a destination. Use the Enneagram as a tool for exploration, not a definitive label.
  • Be open-minded. The Enneagram might challenge your assumptions about yourself.

The validity of the Enneagram lies in your own experience. If it helps you gain a deeper understanding of yourself, then it’s a valid tool for you. Approach it with curiosity. Take the test below and see if it unlocks a new chapter in your journey of self-discovery.


My Enneagram type is 2w1, also known as The Companion. I’m a combination of Type 2 and Type 1. This means I’m driven to help others in a positive and meaningful way.

2w1s have the hearts of a Helper and the souls of a Reformer. Here’s a deeper dive:

Empathy in Action – Like all Twos, 2w1s are empathetic and compassionate. They have a natural ability to sense the needs of others. They also have a strong desire to ease their suffering. 2w1s have a deeper desire to see positive change and growth in those they help.

The Servant Leader – 2w1s often find themselves drawn to leadership roles, but with a twist. They lead by serving and inspiring others to reach their full potential. Their impart a strong sense of ethics and a desire to help make others better.

Perfectionism with a Purpose – Type Ones have a strong desire for order. For 2w1s, this perfectionism isn’t about micromanaging or controlling others. It’s about creating a more efficient and effective way to help those they care about.

Strengths and Challenges of 2w1s:

  • Strengths – Compassionate, resourceful, inspiring, ethical, strong work ethic
  • Challenges Struggle to delegate, focus on others’ needs over their own, critical

If you’re also a 2w1, here’s how to find balance:

  • Set BoundariesSaying no and prioritizing self-care is essential to avoid burnout.
  • Embrace Collaboration – Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks. By working together, you can create a more sustainable and impactful way to make a difference.
  • Acknowledge Your Needs – Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup. It’s crucial for 2w1s to make time for self-care and personal growth.

The main goal of 2w1s is to create a ripple effect of positive impact around them.


Like any tool, the Enneagram has its strengths and limitations. Don’t get caught up in identifying with your Enneagram type. It’s a tool, not a diagnosis, and your personality is far more complex than any single label.

The Enneagram is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Combine it with therapy and self-reflection practices. This provides a more holistic understanding of yourself.

Curious to learn more about the Enneagram? Discover your own type by taking online quizzes and reading books. Here are three resources you may find helpful:

As always, thank you for being here and sharing the articles you appreciate most. Be sure to subscribe to future posts below. And if you have questions or suggestions, leave a comment or drop a note. My mind and inbox are always open.


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