The Enneagram is a powerful, dynamic system that has the potential to positively change the way you view yourself, other people and reality. There are four aspects of the Enneagram that will help you better understand its dynamic nature. Click on each of the following topics in turn to learn more about this dynamic system: (1) Wings, (2) Connecting Points, (3) Instinctual Variants and (4) Levels of Development.
THE ENNEAGRAM SYMBOL
As well as my Enneagram Type Test, the two following Enneagram websites offer a FREE test to help you determine your Enneagram type.
The Enneagram Institute
I am in the process of making my own Enneagram descriptions so I will also direct you to the following wonderful websites for more information:
Your core Enneagram type is modified (sometimes greatly) by the Enneagram types directly on either side of it. Each of these other Enneagram types is called a wing. So if One is your type, you have a close connection to type Nine or Two or both (the types on either side of One). The One's preoccupation with comparing reality to a set of high standards will predominate but this will be influenced and modified -- sometimes considerably -- by either a sociable warmth and helpful nature (Type 2) or a more peaceful, accepting, easy-going style (Type 9). Most people usually favor one of the two wings since the types that are the wings tend to be quite different from each other. However, as a person's self-awareness grows they will be able to tap into the high side of both wings. The following table offers all 18 possible Enneagram wing type combinations.
Within your core type you also have a connection to two other Enneagram points. These connection points are referred to as stress and security points (also known as points of integration and disintegration) because they clarify the behavioral tendencies that we might exhibit under typical stressful or relaxed conditions. To continue our example, a principled One under stress might begin to act like a melancholic Four. When relaxed the same One might manifest a fun-loving, lighthearted attitude characteristic of the high side of Seven.
One way that you can learn the connecting stress and security points more easily is through the following pneumonic device. 142857 is the pattern of connection between types 1, 4, 2, 8, 5 and 7 and since 14 (1,4) is half of 28 (2,8) and 28 is close enough to half of 57 (5,7) this pneumonic makes it easier to remember the pattern for these six types. For the other three types the pattern is just 9, 6, 3 which is easy enough to remember. Each type to the immediate right of the number next to it is the stress point. So, 7 is the stress point of 5, 5 is the stress point of 8, 8 is the stress point of 2, 3 is the stress point of 6 and so on. Each number to the immediate left of the number next to it is the security point. 1 is the security point of 4, 4 is the security point of 2, etc. Keep in mind that the number 142857 repeats as 142857142857..... and the number 963 repeats as 963963..... so 1 is the stress point of 7, 7 is the security point of 1, 9 is the stress point of 3 and 3 is the security point of 9.
When people are psychologically unhealthy and lost in a sort of downward spiral in their life, they seem to exhibit the neurotic behavior and defenses of both their security and stress points. They also tend to exhibit the unhealthy aspects of their two wings, as well as their core type. When people are psychologically healthy and their life is spiraling upward so to speak, they seem to exhibit the best attributes of both their stress and security points as well as wings and core type.
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The Enneagram may seem like a simplistic system without knowing it well because it categorizes people into one of nine core personality types. But I assure you that this is a dynamic system with great depth and power to transform your life.
Each of us is at a different level of consciousness (or different level of development if you prefer) and the Enneagram can even help you identify where you are in your level of development given your particular Enneagram type. That is beyond the scope of this website but Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson have written an excellent book called, "Personality Types" that addresses the different levels of development within each type (ISBN# 0-395-79867-1).
There are two excellent Enneagram websites that I know of that each offer an interactive grid with descriptions of relationship issues between all of the types. Those websites are:
(1) The Enneagram Institute
(2) The Authentic Enneagram
http://www.authenticenneagram.com/ (Click on the Interactive Matrix icon to go directly to their grid. You will need to scroll down the page to see the grid)
There are also two books out that I know of that talk about Enneagram types in relationship with each other. They are:
"The Enneagram in Love and Work" by Helen Palmer and
"Are You My Type, Am I Yours?" by Renee Baron and Elizabeth Wagele.
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Questions? Comments? Suggestions? My e-mail address is: email@example.com
This page was last updated on 05/29/05.