The Nine Types

The Enneagram describes in a surprisingly precise way different aspects of the human experience and nine different personality types, each one with specific mental, emotional and sensorial patterns. We may define personality as the pattern of beliefs, emotional attitudes and habitual behaviours that we define as “me”.

 

We can recognise the qualities of all the nine points within us, but all the most important authors of Enneagram agree that we are born with a dominant point, which is our type. The type defines how we manage different intelligences, how we treat our mind, emotions, sensations, instinctive drives and how we manage happy and peaceful experiences and difficult moments or tension.

Each type is a constellation, an internal gestalt in continuous dynamics, a whole complex. It is important to remember that we do not change our type during our lives, while we can change the awareness with which we manifest it. Furthermore, not everything in the description of our type is appropriate at all times, first of all, because we constantly oscillate at different levels of presence and then because we are able to recognise ourselves for what we are at the moment.

 

To define our type is not what we feel, but how we tend to interpret and manage what we feel. Just as to indicate our awareness of the moment is not how good or bad we feel, but how wide or narrow is the perspective from which we recognise and live our inner state.

 

Type One loves to do things in the right way; he’s a hard worker, honest, self-critical and easily frustrated
Type Two loves to help others, is passionate, devoted, capable of sacrifice for beloved ones and easily invasive
Type Three loves to realise himself and to win, is brilliant, active, practical and often obsessed by image
Type Four loves free and original expression, is creative, sophisticated, an art lover and easily self-centred
Type Five loves autonomy and solitude; he’s attentive, reflective, intense and often non-demonstrative
Type Six loves friendship and is gregarious; he’s faithful, committed, loyal and easily sceptical
Type Seven loves fun and variety, he’s cheerful, optimistic, hedonistic and often superficial
Type Eight loves to decide for his life; he’s prone to combat, enterprising, decisive and easily authoritarian
Type Nine loves peace; he’s calm, patient, gentle, easily self-devaluating and lives in his own world.

The Nine Types

Considering that each type has an instinctive predominance and therefore there are three different nuances for each, the types are actually 27.

Types and survival instincts are two different and independent keys to interpretation, however, once we understand how the emotional reactivity and mental distortion of each type influence them, we realise that it is no longer possible to treat a type precisely without considering the dynamic between them. The Instinctive Variants have the added value of clearly describing in which area of ​​life motives our efforts and our choice. They indicate a very practical way what we ca do for ourselves to improve our lives, especially about relationships. They also facilitate the typing process because they are the first thing we notice when we meet someone, even if it is the last one we see in ourselves.