more about the Enneagram

Thank you so much to everyone who took the Enneagram test yesterday and gave me your number. I loved reading all of your comments over on my Facebook page and the discussion about this topic.

A lot of people asked about the other two numbers associated with their main Enneagram number and what this means. Being the perfectionist that I am, I feel that it’s my duty to try to explain this in greater detail. I want to do my part to make the world a better place by answering this question as best as I can. 🙂 However, if you truly want to understand what it all means, I highly recommend the book I suggested in my last post, The Road Back to You.

enneagram-chart

WINGS

Before we get into the subject of the other two arrows leading away from your main Enneagram number, we have to discuss “wings.” Your wings are the two numbers on either side of your main number. For example, I am a 1, so my wing would either be a 9 or 2. In my case, my wing is a 2 (helper). I have a sensitivity toward the needs of others. I love to “help” people by organizing meals for someone who had a baby or offering to babysit for a friend. In an unhealthy place, I can build up resentment that other people don’t have the natural ability to sense my needs and repay the favor.

 

SECURITY

Each Enneagram number points to two other numbers on the circle. If you are a 1, for example, your arrows will always point to 7 and 4. If you are a 2, your arrows point to 4 and 8, and so on. In times of security, a 1 will take on the positive characteristics of a healthy 7. So, for me that means that when I am feeling secure, I will by more spontaneous and fun. I will shift my perfectionist attention from what’s wrong with the world to what’s right with the world.

 

STRESS

The other arrow indicates the direction you will move when under stress. For example, a 1 will adopt the characteristics of an unhealthy 4 in times of stress. In these times, I can by hyper sensitive and feel unlovable. My inner critic is at its worst when I’m under stress. My need to feel unique is amplified, and I compare myself more to others.

 

I have to say that when I first heard the description of my Enneagram type in the book, The Road Back to You, my initial reaction was that I need to quit blogging immediately. My goodness! I have created a public record for the world to see of my quest for perfection. I’m sure everyone who has been reading this blog for the past nine years probably felt sorry for me as I tried to take a photo every day, organize my closets, set goals for myself and decorate my home!

I was relieved when I got to the end of my chapter, to realize that the whole point of the book is to help you know yourself better so you could be the real you that God created each one of us to be. I loved the 10 tips the author gave at the end of each chapter to work toward transformation. I was able to see that my tendency toward perfectionism can be a positive contribution to the world, but I need to grow in the security of feeling loved for who I am, not what I do.

I also asked my kids to take the test last night. As I suspected, one of our sons also is a perfectionist. He and I were able to have a great conversation about how conflict can arise between two perfectionists living in the same home. This gave us a better understanding of each other and more compassion for each other, knowing that when we have conflict it’s because we are so ALIKE, not so different.

Our seventh grade daughter giggled, laughed and made jokes all the way through the test. She kept asking why she couldn’t respond with, “I take a nap,” to most of the questions. We all agreed that her result as an 8 (a controller) was not a good description of her fun-loving personality. So, I’m thinking that anyone in seventh grade (one of the hardest years of life, in my opinion) can’t possibly take the test accurately.

I also figured out that when reading a book on Audible, you can speed up the pace of the reader, so I’ve been flying through the rest of the book. It’s been super helpful in gaining a better understanding of myself, as well as the people around me!

As a 1, I really want to meet with every person who gave me his or her number and explain what it means in great detail. But, hey! I need to work on my perfectionism! So, instead I’ll leave it to you to do your own research. You can download the book here, or take the Enneagram test here.

If you do take the test, let me know your number. I would love to hear!

 

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