Whenever people hear or learn about the Enneagram, the very first question they have is always: What type am I? As if the teacher will know this without any doubt after about 3 minutes of meeting. The thing is: The teacher may see features and behaviours that INDICATE you’re a certain type, but they can’t know for sure. And nor can you.
So why would it matter to you what type you are? How will you use that knowledge going forward? Do you want to know just so that you can put another stamp on yourself: I’m Virgo, 7, ESFP, student, niece, etc., etc. Or do you want to know so that you can get a direction of growth or clarity?
I think you’re beginning to see my point here.
To me, the Enneagram is not a party game. Yes, it can be fun to have a few words and numbers attached to oneself, but if you want to know what it really MEANS, the ball is in your court and there’s a fair bit of very rewarding – and sometimes painful – work ahead of you.
So, what are the right and the wrong reasons then? Well, if I want to know my Enneagram type/style/fixation/strategy because then I can:
- Say that there are certain kinds of people with whom I work well
- Know how to find the perfect girlfriend/boyfriend
- Say that I have certain qualities and I can use that for my job hunt – whether I’ve noticed these qualities or not
- Feel entitled to act and behave in a certain way – because that’s just who I am
- Refuse to date certain types without even looking at the person as such
Or even: I want to know the Enneagram type of others so that I can
- Hire and fire people
- Know whether I want to spend time with them
Those would be the WRONG REASONS
If, however, I want to know about the Enneagram because then I can:
- Be made aware of my blind spots and do something about them
- Distinguish better between acting out and being authentic
- Find clarity in why I do what I do
- Find specific guidance in how I can improve my life and behaviours with others
- Get knowledge about why my partner doesn’t understand what I mean.
These would be the RIGHT REASONS.
So, if you want to improve your quality of life and accept that it’s a lifelong process, as well as accept that you will meet unpleasant surprises about yourself on the way – then I welcome you on the journey. You can take it in your own good time, you’ll learn amazing things about yourself and others and you’ll see that you have so much potential you didn’t know about.