Dave's Enneagram Blog
For most of us, our initial understanding of the nine Enneagram types comes from reading or listening to descriptions of the nine types. Although this gives us a clue as to what to look for, it's not until we hear the types describe their actual experience in their own words that we truly begin to know the types.
Typing yourself and others using the Enneagram types is a natural part of learning about and using the types. However, a lot of difficulties can arise when typing both yourself and others.
Descriptions of the nine types provide a starting point for learning about the Enneagram types. However, the descriptions can be both accurate and inaccurate when it comes to matching a type's actual experience.
The Enneagram personality type system is deceptively complex. A quick look at the system reveals that there are only nine types. However, a more in-depth look reveals many concepts and features that intermix with the nine types to make the system quite complex.
After spending many years exploring the Enneagram personality types, I've found that understanding and applying the types to one's life can be summed up in five parts. I've reorganized Dave's Enneagram website to provide web links and posts for exploring each part.
Michael Jackson's personality can easily be understood by two themes traced back to his childhood: a childhood that demanded focus on performance excellence and a childhood lost because of it. Together they help describe his personality as an Enneagram type 4 with a 3 wing (4w3).
The Enneatype 6 is most often described as the "fearful" type. Some people identifying as type 6 don't necessarily identify with this fearful aspect. Seems the adjustment to the label was to describe a "counter-phobic" type vs. a "phobic" type. Perhaps the label of this as a "fearful" type is missing the mark.
The obvious dangers of stereotyping with the enneatypes comes about when someone studying or using the system attributes characteristics to a person just because they are a certain enneatype. Here are some of the assumptions that could be a problem:
Generally, a person is identified as body-based, heart-based or head-based depending on their enneatype and which center that enneatype is in. Are we just body, heart or head or are we all three? The answer seems obvious to me.
There are three instincts described in the Enneagram personality types. What's interesting to me is that they really have no mandatory connection to the personality types themselves and can be understood separately from the enneatypes.