Name a personality test and I have probably taken it. I LOVE them. Not because I think we should put ourselves in a box, or let a test dictate who we are or explain how we act, but because they have always had a way of making me feel less isolated. If there is a whole category of people who can relate to how I think, act, and connect to others, I feel a lot more free to be myself.
Though I consider myself sort of a personality assessment junkie, the Enneagram is by far my favorite. I took the assessment twice and typed as a 2 the first time and a 9 the second. I wasn’t totally sold on either result until I read The Road Back to You and, in particular, the chapter on 9s…
“The Enneagram doesn’t put you in a box. It shows you the box you are already in and how to get out of it.”
If you are an Enneagram newbie, The Road Back to You, by Ian Cron and Suzanne Stabile is a good place to start. The book takes you through each Enneagram number – its healthy and unhealthy parts, how those parts play out in relationships and work, and includes tips for spiritual transformation. It also assumes you know yourself better than a questionnaire. The assessment can only be so accurate, but it was reading this book that not only convinced me I was a Nine, but showed me things about myself that may have been blind spots before.
For example, I read that “Nines so value feeling comfortable and tranquil, maintaining the status quo, and preserving connections with others that they set aside their own viewpoints and aspirations to merge with those of others.” Excuse me a moment while my whole life flashes before my eyes and I realize how many times I have done this, even in small ways.
Then there was this gut punch: “Nines will often turn to food, sex, drinking, exercise, shopping, the reassuring comfort of habits and routines, performing mindless busywork or vegging out on the couch and watching TV to numb out and ignore feelings, wants and desires.” Emphasis on that last one for sure.
I learned that Nines are easily distracted and that we have the least amount of energy of any other number. Explains a lot, actually. Now, before you commit to never reading this book, (because why would you want to read about all the awful, sinful things about yourself??), I will also share some affirming and encouraging things about my number that I learned from The Road Back to You.
“Because they are so empathetic and able to recognize the merits of different perspectives, healthy Nines can often reconcile seemingly irreconcilable points of view.”
“These (healthy) Nines are seldom attached to their own way of seeing and doing things. They have learned to make decisions based on the right priorities. They are inspiring, self-actualized people.”
“They’re free and easy, down-to-earth, practical people who are eminently likeable.”
This book kick-started my journey to discovering more about myself through the lens of the Enneagram. It gave me things to celebrate about my personality as well as things to work on.
I am always excited to talk Enneagram and I think it is totally worth digging into – whether that looks like reading a book, listening to a podcast or attending a seminar.
If you are a reader like me, I would highly recommend grabbing a copy of The Road Back To You.
Stayed tuned for my next blog post where I’ll review the sequel to The Road Back to You if you will: The Path Between Us.