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Enneagram personality and eneatipos: what are they?

Enneagram personality and eneatipos: what are they?

May 6, 2021

Among the areas that psychology covers, it has been decades since the study of Personality types arouses great interest and media coverage.

In part, this is why, in and out of this science, many proposals for classifying personality types that are now well-known have appeared. Among them is the Enneagram of the personality and its classification by eneatipos .

What is the personality enneagram?

The personality enneagram is difficult to define with a phrase, because it has many facets. That is why the explanation of what is will be detached throughout this article.

Its most clear and easy facet from the beginning is the following: The Enneagram is a circle with nine lines . East:

In fact, the term enneagram refers to this geometric and circular figure of nine points in which the enneatypes are represented.

This figure shows the second facet easier to understand about what the enneagram is. The Enneagram is, in practice, a system for classifying personality. As such, raises some categories that theoretically can be used to explain trends and propensities that define the habitual behavior of people.

These categories with which you try to classify the different types of personality through the enneagram are the eneatipos, which are numbered from 1 to 9. Thus, each person could be defined by an enneatype, which would pick up the characteristics in which the person stands out more

The eneatipos

  • Eneatype 1 : perfectionism It is a category that applies to people who are particularly demanding with what they do and who struggle to get closer to an ideal version of themselves.
  • Eneatype 2 : tendency to help. This piece of the enneagram describes the people involved in helping others and who underestimate their own needs.
  • Eneatype 3 : the search for personal success It applies to people with a tendency to narcissism who constantly seek to give a good image in the face of others. They like to show off and make their aesthetics speak in their favor to cover their insecurities.
  • Eneatype 4 : artistic sensitivity. These are people who see themselves as part of a very special story, and their way of perceiving things tends to be imbued with a strong emotional charge that turns them into tragic and melancholic people. In addition, they are individualistic and like to think of themselves as unique people differentiated from the rest.
  • Eneatype 5 : investigative spirit. Describes very rational and dispassionate people, with great interest to understand objectively the reality that surrounds them. They do not usually talk much about themselves or their emotions.
  • Eneatype 6 : adherence to the rules and tendency to distrust. What characterizes this enneatype is the propensity to abide by the norms and to question all the logics of action that come out of them. If they are separated from these norms, they are very insecure and fall into constant doubt.
  • Eneatype 7 : tendency to enthusiasm and outbursts. The people described by this enneatype are in a constant search for pleasure, which makes them abandon their long-term plans with some frequency. They usually show good humor and reject the possibility of committing themselves so as not to have to regret losses.
  • Eneatype 8 : attachment for the feeling of justice. It describes people who like to be in control of the situation and who devote a lot of effort to making the poor pay the consequences. They tend to be sure of themselves and trust their criteria, something that puts them in a position to offer protection to others.
  • Eneatype 9 : spirit pacifier and mediator. People who excel in this aspect tend to flee conflict and, in general, show a passive attitude. They prefer to focus their actions on consensus and avoid shrillness in their behavior. In addition, they let important decisions be made by others.

The displacements within the enneagram

According to the logic that is usually attributed to the operation of the enneagram, each person can be explained by the enneatype that best fits her . However, if there were certain atypical circumstances, the context could cause the person to start acting in a similar way as a person defined by another type would do, that is, their personality would experience a displacement.

The directions to which one could move from the point of departure of his enneatype are explained in the circle with lines, in which the 9 eneatipos of the personality enneagram are represented. Thus, the enneatype 1 (perfectionist) could move to position 4 (artist) or 7 (the enthusiast), and each of these other enneatypes, in turn, can also move to two others.These lines would also serve to point out the possible routes of personal development that each person can undertake depending on which is the enneatype from which they start.

Why the Enneagram is not a personality test

What we have so far, as explained, is a personality classification system and a proposal about how transitions from one personality type to another are made. This, in the absence of knowing if there are investigations that endorse the usefulness and robustness of this classification method, and without knowing how each person's scores could be measured in each type, it does not seem unreasonable. But there is a reason why the enneagram can not be considered a personality test : it is based on pseudoscientific ideas.

Although the enneagram accounts for different personality types, it is neither a test of personality nor, as a whole, a tool that can be exploited by psychology if certain guarantees of efficacy are expected. The reason is that it is not a simple classification system of psychological characteristics but goes much further, because is based on a belief system based on esotericism and magical thinking .

This means, among other things, that the enneagram of personality and the formulation of enneatypes not only rest on presuppositions about the functioning of mental processes, but also start from a supernatural vision of what exists and is part of reality .

Thus, for example, it is said that the enneagram can serve to explain our personality, but also to discover the basic mistakes we make in our lives and how we can grow spiritually. This is something very important: among the reasons for being the Enneagram is to be an instrument for the spiritual development of the person, serving to identify the essential problems that affect us every day ... and all this, without having to give information detailed about what things affect us, in what context we live, with whom we relate, etc.

Playing with ambiguities

The reason these powers are attributed to the use of the enneagram is that it supposedly reflects the way in which invisible cosmic forces structure the functioning of reality and, of course, of ourselves. That is the utility of the enneagram is excused under a layer of metaphysics explained on the basis of inaccuracies .

The eneatipos represent these cosmic forces that govern the functioning of the universe, and to demonstrate it, appeals to the mathematical curiosities that appear when playing with the numbers represented in the scheme of relations between enneatypes that represents the enneagram. For example, if we divide the number 1 between the 7 (the magic number) the result will be 0.142857142857, that is, the sequence of numbers that is captured in the figure starting from enneatype 1 and ending at 7.

These "magic" properties of the numbers are universal (they are fulfilled in any situation), and The Enneagram finds in these numbers a way to bond with the essential , which goes beyond the context and can only be explained in a very abstract and confusing way.


Like the ancient Pythagoreans, the defenders of the enneagram go to numerology to try to establish links between the mystical nature between numbers, people and the environment in which they live , exposing mathematical curiosities and taking for granted the existence of supernatural connections between the structure of the human mind and the functioning of the cosmos.

As a tool, the Enneagram is not scientifically useful because it is not designed to be tested and make it possible to detect failures in its operation. Everything it offers are vague explanations that could describe practically anyone. Therefore, their classification system of personality types is arbitrary, although that does not mean that one can find satisfaction in seeing oneself through the descriptions of oneself that one offers.

Neither the enneagram was born with the purpose of generating scientifically valid knowledge, nor its method of application has to do with the principles that govern psychology as a science. However, among the supposed virtues of this tool is the possibility of offering solutions to major life problems from a system applicable to all people, regardless of their context. After all, we are all supposed to be subject to the same cosmic forces.

Bibliographic references:

  • Gurdjieff, G. I. The Enneagram
  • Palmer, H. (2014). The Enneagram Barcelona: The March hare.
  • The Essential Enneagram

Conócete a ti mismo en el Eneagrama por Alberto Peña PARTE1 (May 2021).

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