When it comes to looks, smarts, and charm, you’re a total 10! But classifying your personality requires a whole different scale. Introduced in the 1950s by a Bolivian psychiatrist influenced by nature and ancient spiritual belief systems, the Enneagram (which shares some ideas with Myers-Briggs) aims to break down the source of your struggles and successes through a nine-point diagram.
According to Enneagrammers (no relation to Instagrammers), everyone falls under one of nine core types, which dictate everything from who you date to what you do to what sets you off. While you may think you’re acting out of free will, the Enneagram says you are really being guided by deeply embedded biases and habits that start to take shape when you are born. Once you identify your Enneagram number, you can start to recognize patterns in yourself and others and take control of the subconscious traits that, when harnessed, will make you a zenned-out powerhouse.
FINDING YOUR NUMBER
Whether you believe in this stuff or not, there’s merit to studying personality archetypes and being conscious of traits that make you come off a certain way. Take a few Enneagram quizzes and compare the results. (The one through the Enneagram Institute costs $12, but there are shorter free ones.) Then read up on the types and check them against your behavior to see where you fit.
The Nine Types of People
The numbers are connected, so you may have secondary types and even recognize parts of yourself in all of the archetypes. But there will be one that is most you.
1. The Perfectionist: Always the cool-headed rationalist, you’re an upstanding citizen, obsessed with getting things “right.” This may come off as icy, but you’re just focused. That’s all gravy, except sometimes you can be too judgy and condescending.
Famous One: White Hat, type-A workaholic Olivia Pope.
RX: Relax! And don’t hold others to your own level of perfectionism. While you’re at it, maybe go easy on yourself too.
2. The Helper: Generous, nurturing, and humble, you’re more likely to put others’ needs ahead of your own — though you may just be doing it to gain their affection. You seek acceptance and love most of all, and you’re not above playing the martyr.
Famous Two: The Giving Tree, happy just to please his friend.
RX: Think about the motivation behind your benevolent actions, and give without expecting something back.
3. The Achiever: Unlike a One, who focuses on doing everything right, you’re more about doing more. You make lists like it’s your job, and it all actually gets done. You’re charismatic, charming, and successful, and you can turn it on at any time. Things only get ugly when someone dares to not recognize your greatness.
Famous Three: Oprah, of course!
RX: Don’t brag. People will be more impressed if you’re humble. You don’t really need validation: Define your own success, and take time-outs.
4. The Individualist: Whether it’s writing, painting, acting, or crafting, your art is your weapon, and your powers lie in your creativity & intuition. As a romantic genius, you feel things deeply and can be moody and envious of others. You spend a little too much time thinking about yourself, and your biggest fear is that everyone will think you’re average and unoriginal.
Famous Four: Tortured but super-talented artist Sylvia Plath.
RX: Keep creating, and use your art as an outlet for your emotions.
5. The Investigator: Has anyone ever said you’re “too intense”? Well, you may just be a Five. This type of person is cerebral, focused, and innovative. They’re always learning, are really good at thinking big-picture, and can often spot what’s next. The downside is that they can be obsessive and overthink everything, which makes some Fives high-strung loners — womp, womp.
Famous Five: Quick-witted, brainy, and reclusive Dr. Gregory House.
RX: Meditate to calm your thoughts, and try to open up to people.
6. The Loyalist: You are the ultimate best friend: responsible, committed, compassionate. You hope to give as good as you get, though, and become fearful that people are out to get you or can’t be trusted. Since you’re all about stability, you don’t do well with uncertainty but are good at fixing problems.
Famous Six: Maya Rudolph — you just know she’d help you bury the body.
RX: Don’t test the people in your life; chances are your friends really do adore you and want to be there. Trust.
7. The Enthusiast: Well, hello there, social butterfly! The last thing you want is to be tied down, so you flutter from thing to thing and optimistically charge toward new experiences. Some call it being scattered; you call it living life.
Famous Seven: Life of the party Zelda Fitzgerald.
RX: Check your impulses, and try to see things through. It’s in your nature to escape from unpleasant feelings, but satisfaction in life comes from accepting the good and bad.
8. The Challenger: You’ve never met a challenge you didn’t like. Eights are intense, confident, dominant, and, yes, confrontational. You are the boss, whether you actually are or not, and people would be wise to get on board or stay out of your way.
Famous Eight: Miranda Priestly, the Prada-wearing devil herself.
RX: Remember that you do rely on your team and people are not indispensable. Practice restraint and show a little compassion. People will respect you more if you let them shine.
9. The Peacemaker: Standing as a stark opposite of the Eight, Nines are patient, unpretentious, and peaceful. As a Nine you see the best in others and try to reduce conflict in all situations, while burying your own thoughts and needs.
Famous Nine: Screen-legend-turned-humanitarian Audrey Hepburn.
RX: It’s a fine line between being a pacifist and being lazy. Make sure that you are checking in on your goals and actively working toward them.
What’s your Enneagram number? Tweet us your discoveries @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)