You may or may not have seen the Storyweaving Video on The Enneagram system (also embedded at the bottom of this post).
The first step in working with the enneagram system is to discover your enneatype. Wondering why you should even consider taking the test? You can scroll to the bottom of this page for videos about the benefits.
There may be at first several possibilities, and that’s okay just to narrow it down to a few. If it is difficult to choose which one sounds like you, imagine what you would have chosen at age 20 when your ego fixation was likely more intact than it is now (with age comes wisdom and less of a fixation).
Two types of tests are included below in case one type is easier for you than the other. The first test is usually sufficient, the second test can be used for confirmation. If you just can’t find your type, don’t stress about it.
For some types it is easy, other types can be less obvious. It’s not defining “you” anyway, so it’s not something to get attached to. It is a tool for defining the orientation of the nervous system – nothing more.
Two Paragraph Test
Choose one paragraph from group 1, and one more paragraph from group 2 – the one from each group that resonates most with you. The key to this two-letter combination appears under the paragraphs.
Paragraph A: I have tended to be fairly independent and assertive: I’ve felt that life works best when you meet it head-on. I set my own goals, get involved, and want to make things happen. I don’t like sitting around – I want to achieve something big and have an impact. I don’t necessarily seek confrontations, but I don’t let people push me around, either. Most of the time, I know what I want, and I go for it. I tend to work hard and to play hard.
Paragraph B: I have tended to be quiet and am used to being on my own. I usually don’t draw as much attention to myself socially, and it’s generally unusual for me to assert myself all that forcefully. I don’t feel comfortable taking the lead or being as competitive as others. Many would probably say that I’m something of a dreamer — a lot of my excitement goes on in my imagination. I can be quite content without feeling I have to be active all the time.
Paragraph C: I have tended to be extremely responsible and dedicated. I feel terrible if I don’t keep my commitments and do what’s expected of me. I want people to know that I’m there for them and that I’ll do what I believe is best for them. I’ve often made great personal sacrifices for the sake of others, whether they know it or not. I often don’t take adequate care of myself — I do the work that needs to be done and relax (and do what I want) if there’s time left.
Paragraph X: I am a person who usually maintains a positive outlook and feels that things will work our for the best. I can usually find something to be enthusiastic about and different ways to occupy myself. I like being around people and helping others be happy–I enjoy sharing my own well-being with them. (I don’t always feel great, but I generally try not to show it!) However, keeping a positive frame of mind has sometimes meant that I’ve put off dealing with my own problems for too long.
Paragraph Y: I am a person who has strong feelings about things — most people can tell when I’m upset about something. I can be guarded with people, but I’m more sensitive than I let on. I want to know where I stand with others and who and what I can count on — it’s pretty clear to most people where they stand with me. When I’m upset about something, I want others to respond and to get as worked up as I am. I know the rules, but I don’t want people telling me what to do. I want to decide for myself.
Paragraph Z: I am a person who is self-controlled and logical–I don’t like revealing my feelings or getting bogged down in them. I am efficient–even perfectionistic–about my work, and prefer working on my own. If there are projects or personal conflicts, I try not to let my feeling influence my action. Some say I’m too cool and detached, but I don’t want my private reactions to distract me from what’s really important. I’m glad that I usually don’t show my reactions when others “get to me”.
AX = Type 7
AY = Type 8
AZ = Type 3
BX = Type 9
BY = Type 4
CX = Type 2
CY = Type 6
CZ = Type 1
Scroll to the bottom of this page to see some enneagram-related videos!
One Paragraph Test
Which perspective sounds the most like you?
A: I approach things in an all-or-nothing way, especially issues that matter to me. I place a lot of value on being strong, honest, and dependable. What you see is what you get. I don’t trust others until they have proven themselves to be reliable. I like people to be direct with me, and I know when someone is being devious, lying, or trying to manipulate me. I have a hard time tolerating weakness in people unless I understand their reason for their weakness or I see that they’re trying to do something about it. I also have a hard time following orders or direction if I do not respect or agree with the person in authority. I am much better at taking charge myself. I find it difficult not to display my feelings when I am angry. I am always ready to stick up for friends or loved ones, especially if I think they are being treated- unjustly. I may not win every battle with others, but they’ll know I’ve been there.
B: I have high internal standards for correctness, and I expect myself to live up to those standards. It’s easy for me to see what’s wrong with things as they are and to see how they could be improved. I may come across to some people as overly critical or demanding perfection, but it’s hard for me to ignore or accept things that are not done the right way. I pride myself on the fact that if I’m responsible for doing something, you can be sure I’ll do it right. I sometimes have feelings of resentment when people don’t try to do things properly or when people act irresponsibly or unfairly, although I usually try not to show it to them openly. For me, it is usually work before pleasure, and I suppress my desires as necessary to get the work done.
C: I seem to be able to see all points of view pretty easily. I may even appear indecisive at times because I can see advantages and disadvantages on all sides. The ability to see all sides makes me good at helping people resolve their differences. This same ability can sometimes lead me to be more aware of other people’s positions, agendas, and personal priorities than of my own. It is not unusual for me to become distracted and then to get off task on the important things I’m trying to do. When this happens, my attention is often diverted to unimportant trivial tasks. I have a hard time knowing what is really important to me, and I avoid conflict by going along with what others want. People tend to consider me to be easygoing, pleasing, and agreeable. It takes a lot to get me to the point of showing my anger directly at someone. I like life to be comfortable, harmonious, and others to be accepting of me.
D: I am sensitive to other people’s feelings. I can see what they need, even when I don’t know them. Sometimes it’s frustrating to be so aware of people’s needs, especially their pain or unhappiness, because I’m not able to do as much for them as I’d like to. It’s easy for me to give of myself. I sometimes wish I were better at saying no, because I end up putting more energy into caring for others than into taking care of myself. It hurts my feelings if people think I’m trying to manipulate or control them when all I’m trying to do is understand and help them. I like to be seen as a warmhearted and good person but when I’m not taken into account or appreciated I can become very emotional or even demanding. Good relationships mean a great deal to me, and I’m willing to work hard to make them happen.
E: Being the best at what I do is a strong motivator for me, and I have received a lot of recognition over the years for my accomplishments. I get a lot done and am successful in almost everything I take on. I identify strongly with what I do, because to a large degree I think your value is based on what you accomplish and the recognition you get for it. I always have more to do than will fit into the time available, so I often set aside feelings and self-reflection in order to get things done. Because there’s always something to do, I find it hard to just sit and do nothing. I get impatient with people who don’t use my time well. Sometimes I would rather just take over a project someone is completing too slowly. I like to feel and appear “on top” of any situation. While I like to compete, I am also a good team player.
F: I would characterize myself as a quiet, analytical person who needs more time alone than most people do. I usually prefer to observe what is going on rather than be involved in the middle of it. I don’t like people to place too many demands on me or to expect me to know and report what I am feeling. I’m able to get in touch with my feelings better when alone than with others, and I often enjoy experiences I’ve had more when reliving them than when actually going through them. I’m almost never bored when alone, because I have an active mental life. It is important for me to protect my time and energy and, hence, to live a simple, uncomplicated life and be as self-sufficient as possible.
G: I have a vivid imagination, especially when it comes to what might be threatening to safety and security. I can usually spot what could be dangerous or harmful and may experience as much fear as if it were really happening. I either always avoid danger or always challenge it head-on. My imagination also leads to my ingenuity and a good, if somewhat offbeat, sense of humor. I would like for life to be more certain, but in general I seem to doubt the people and things around me. I can usually see the shortcomings in the view someone is putting forward. I suppose that, as a consequence, some people may consider me to be very astute. I tend to be suspicious of authority and am not particularly comfortable being seen as the authority. Because I can see what is wrong with the generally held view of things, I tend to identify with underdog causes. Once I have committed myself to a person or cause, I am very loyal to it.
H: I’m an optimistic person who enjoys coming up with new and interesting things to do. I have a very active mind that quickly moves back and forth between different ideas. I like to get a global picture of how all these ideas fit together, and I get excited when I can connect concepts that initially don’t appear to be related. I like to work on things that interest me, and I have a lot of energy to devote to them. I have a hard time sticking with unrewarding and repetitive tasks. I like to be in on the beginning of a project, during the planning phase, when there may be many interesting options to consider. When I have exhausted my interest in something, it is difficult for me to stay with it, because I want to move on to the next thing that has captured my interest. If something gets me down, I prefer to shift my attention to more pleasant ideas. I believe people are entitled to an enjoyable life.
I: I am a sensitive person with intense feelings. I often feel misunderstood and lonely, because I feel different from everyone else. My behavior can appear like drama to others, and I have been criticized for being overly sensitive and overamplifying my feelings. What is really going on inside is my longing for both emotional connection and a deeply felt experience of relationship. I have difficulty fully appreciating present relationships because of my tendency to want what I can’t have and to disdain what I do have. The search for emotional connection has been with me all my life, and the absence of emotional connection has led to melancholy and depression. I sometimes wonder why other people seem to have more than I do — better relationships and happier lives. I have a refined sense of aesthetics, and I experience a rich world of emotions and meaning.
So which one sounds like you?
Paragraph A = Type 8
Paragraph B = Type 1
Paragraph C = Type 9
Paragraph D = Type 2
Paragraph E = Type 3
Paragraph F = Type 5
Paragraph G = Type 6
Paragraph H = Type 7
Paragraph I = Type 4