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The enneagram is a personality typing system that shows how a person can view and interpret the world in one of nine ways. It’s an incredibly helpful tool in understanding yourself as well as understanding others.

Each person can only be one enneagram type although that is just the surface level of the enneagram. The more you dig into the enneagram, the more you realize that there is so much more to it than just nine types. However, you’ve got to start somewhere and that’s where this brief overview of the nine enneagram types comes in!

How Do I Find My Enneagram Type?

Unlike most personality typing systems, it’s not quite as simple as taking a test and getting an accurate result. You can definitely take an enneagram test but I don’t recommend only relying on the test’s answers.

Enneagram tests rely mainly on testing your traits which is helpful but traits are not what determines your enneagram type. Your core motivation is what determines your enneagram type. To get the full run down on finding your type, I suggest checking out my post “How to Find Your Enneagram Type

A Brief Overview of the Nine Enneagram Types

A Brief Overview of the Nine Enneagram Types

As mentioned, there are nine types in the enneagram. In this post, we’ll do a brief overview of the nine enneagram types. As this is just the basics for each type, I recommend digging in deeper and learning more about each type (or at very least, learning more about your type)

Enneagram Type 1
Enneagram Type 1 – The Perfectionist

Core Desire: To be right / to be good
Core Fear: Being wrong / being bad
Possible wings: 9 and/or 2
Stress Number: In stress, 1’s take on the negative traits of type 4
Growth Number: In growth, 1’s take on the positive traits of type 7
Triad Center: Gut / Instinctual Center
Description: Type 1’s are honest, dedicated, self-disciplined, responsible, and ethical when at their best and living in healthy levels. When 1’s are in unhealthy levels, stressed, or not at their best they can be critical, rigid, judgmental, resentful, and inflexible.

Enneagram Type 2

Enneagram Type 2 – The Helper

Core Desire: To be loved / to be wanted
Core Fear: Being unloved / being unwanted
Possible wings: 1 and/or 3
Stress Number: In stress, 2’s take on the negative traits of type 8
Growth Number: In growth, 2’s take on the positive traits of type 4
Triad Center: Heart / Feeling Center
Description: Type 2’s are selfless, warm, friendly, generous, intuitive, and giving when at their best and living in healthy levels. When 2’s are in unhealthy levels, stressed, or not at their best they can be prideful, martyrish, insecure, possessive, flattering, and demanding.

Enneagram Type 3

Enneagram Type 3 – The Achiever

Core Desire: To be valuable / to be successful
Core Fear:  Not being valuable / not being successful / failing
Possible wings: 2 and/or 4
Stress Number: In stress, 3’s take on the negative traits of type 9
Growth Number: In growth, 3’s take on the positive traits of type 6
Triad Center: Heart / Feeling Center
Description: Type 3’s are confident, efficient, energetic, hard-working, and optimistic when at their best and living in healthy levels. When 3’s are in unhealthy levels, stressed, or not at their best they can be inauthentic, workaholics, self-promoting, impatient, validation needy, and vain.

Enneagram Type 4

Enneagram Type 4 – The Individualist

Core Desire: To be authentic / to be uniquely themselves
Core Fear: Not having an identity / having no significance
Possible wings: 3 and/or 5
Stress Number: In stress, 4’s take on the negative traits of type 2
Growth Number: In growth, 4’s take on the positive traits of type 1
Triad Center: Heart / Feeling Center
Description: Type 4’s are authentic, creative, expressive, introspective, and compassionate when at their best and living in healthy levels. When 4’s are in unhealthy levels, stressed, or not at their best they can be moody, stubborn, temperamental, withdrawn, and depressed.

Enneagram Type 5

Enneagram Type 5 – The Observer

Core Desire: To be capable / to be competent
Core Fear: Being incapable / being incompetent
Possible wings: 4 and/or 6
Stress Number: In stress, 5’s take on the negative traits of 7
Growth Number: In growth, 5’s take on the positive traits of 8
Triad Center: Head / Thinking Center
Description: Type 5’s are observant, objective, insightful, independent, and calm when at their best and living in healthy levels. When 5’s are in unhealthy levels, stressed, or not at their best they can be withdrawing, arrogant, cynical, indifferent, and distant.

Enneagram Type 6

Enneagram Type 6 – The Loyalist

Core Desire: To be safe / to be secure
Core Fear: Being without support / being without guidance
Possible wings: 5 and/or 7
Stress Number: In stress, 6’s take on the negative traits of 3
Growth Number: In growth, 6’s take on the positive traits of 9
Triad Center: Head / Thinking Center
Description: Type 6’s are loyal, witty, committed, prepared, responsible, trouble-shooters, and supportive when at their best and living in healthy levels. When 6’s are in unhealthy levels, stressed, or not at their best they can be anxious, rigid, paranoid, pessimistic, and hyper-vigilant.

Enneagram Type 7

Enneagram Type 7 –  The Enthusiast

Core Desire: To be content / to be satisfied
Core Fear: Being deprived / being trapped in pain
Possible wings: 6 and/or 8
Stress Number: In stress, 7’s take on the negative traits of 1
Growth Number: In growth, 7’s take on the positive traits of 5
Triad Center: Head / Thinking Center
Description: Type 7’s are adventurous, imaginative, enthusiastic, spontaneous, and positive when at their best and living in healthy levels. When 7’s are in unhealthy levels, stressed, or not at their best they can be unfocused, superficial, restless, impulsive, escapist, and self-absorbed.

Enneagram Type 8

Enneagram Type 8 – The Challenger

Core Desire: To be independent / to protect themselves
Core Fear: Being controlled / being harmed
Possible wings: 7 and/or 9
Stress Number: In stress, 8’s take on the negative traits of 5
Growth Number: In growth, 8’s take on the positive traits of 2
Triad Center: Gut / Instinctual Center
Description: Type 8’s are protective, energetic, decisive, loyal, resilient, and direct when at their best and living in healthy levels. When 8’s are in unhealthy levels, stressed, or not at their best they can be insensitive, manipulative, controlling, intimidation, rebellious, and confrontational.

Enneagram Type 9

Enneagram Type 9 – The Peacekeeper

Core Desire: To be at peace / to be harmonious
Core Fear: Being separation / loss of conflict / conflict
Possible wings: 8 and/or 1
Stress Number: In stress, 9’s take on the negative traits of 6
Growth Number: In growth, 9’s take on the positive traits of 3
Triad Center: Gut / Instinctual Center
Description: Type 9’s are amiable, open-minded, optimistic, nonjudgmental, supportive, and peaceful when at their best and living in healthy levels. When 9’s are in unhealthy levels, stressed, or not at their best they can be conflict avoidant, indecisive, unassertive, passive-aggressive, stubborn, and insecure.

For further reading check out:
Enneagram Core Motivations
How to Find Your Enneagram Type
How to Confirm Your Enneagram Type
The Best Enneagram Books for Personal Growth