Enneagram 101: What It is & Why It’s Useful

Ohhh, the Enneagram … a topic that I not only LOVE discussing but one y’all seem to be super interested in, as well! It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with the entire Enneagram system. I listen to podcasts on it. I’ve read several books on it. I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t been a blessing in my life, as well as some of my friends and family.

But hold up, girlfriend, what the heck is Enneagram?

OK, lemme back up a bit because I know there are some of y’all who haven’t heard of the Enneagram … which is actually awesome because I love teaching people about this! One of my best friends, Whitney [@blonde_atlas], told me about it back in 2017. I love personality tests so I was all over it like white on rice [I share more about that here!] and have been hooked ever since!


What is The Enneagram?

Really, really simply put … it’s an ancient personality typing system or a psychological map of human behavior. And, in my opinion, it’s a guide to knowing yourself and others incredibly well. The Enneagram provides a language to the motivation behind behavior that has allowed me to understand myself so much better.

To start, you take a test to find out your number, or personality type. There are a bunch of tests out there, but I recommend this free version [ which I’ve found to be accurate ] or this paid version [ that I recommend the most ].

I will say, it’s essential to really dive into the tests and give the system time. It’s very easy to misidentify yourself, especially if you skip ahead to see the name of the personality and basically diagnose yourself from the start. Try not to do this! The system has depth. The system needs your time, energy, no judgment, and self-awareness. I’d recommend diving into the test when you’re really ready for that. I think, despite which version you take, it’s important for you to read through all of the numbers and ultimately decide which one feels the most right for you. Professionals say that you are likely the number that makes you cringe while reading, ha!


From there, you have endless amounts of information at your fingertips to learn more about yourself based on your personality number – and those in your life. From work relationships to romantic ones to family dynamics to your own personal motivation cues and flaws, it’s pretty amazing what you can learn. I want to save the specific ways you can use the test in useful ways [because it’s A LOT of information] but know that I’ll share that soon!

It should be noted that while you generally get one number, one personality, there are also “wings”. These are basically a sub-type of personality, and another number on the scale that you sometimes lean towards. This site breaks down wings well, but it won’t make complete sense until you take the test. I wanted to point out the wings though because they’re just as important to know.

Now that you have a sense of what the Enneagram is, let’s get into the really fun part…the nine types!

What are the different types?

You can read all about the nine personality types here and this podcast also breaks down each type in an easy-to-understand way. Based on info from both of those resources, I’ll do a quick breakdown of them below.

BTW, I love learning about each type, and again, I think to truly know your number, you need to learn about all. As you go down the list, can you generally think of people in your life who fall into the types?

1. THE REFORMER/PERFECTIONIST: The rational, idealistic type. Principled, purposeful, self-controlled and a perfectionist. systems, value, law, ethics. They want things done the right way.

2. THE HELPER/GIVER: The caring, interpersonal type. Demonstrative, generous, people-pleasing and possessive. Thoughtful and considerate. Here to serve. Indirect about what they want.

3. THE ACHIEVER/PERFORMER: The success-oriented, pragmatic type. Adaptive, excelling, driven, and image-conscious. Clear on missions. Energized to get tasks done. Looking for acceptance and affirmation. Hides feelings intensely.

4. THE INDIVIDUALIST/ROMANTIC: The sensitive, withdrawn type. Expressive, dramatic, self-absorbed and temperamental. The gypsies of the world. Unapologetically themselves while constantly searching for themselves. Looking for authenticity and purpose. Feel alone at times.

5. THE INVESTIGATOR/OBSERVER: The intense, cerebral type. Perceptive, innovative, secretive, and isolated. Loves data and info and sharing that with people.

6. THE LOYALIST/LOYAL SKEPTIC: The committed, security-oriented type. Engaging, responsible, anxious, and suspicious. skeptic. anxious/double guess, question. Danger-scanning for those around them.

7. THE ENTHUSIAST/EPICURE: The busy, fun-loving type. Spontaneous, versatile, distractible, and scattered. A light. Non-confrontational and positive. Energetic. They hide pain and run from problems.

8. THE CHALLENGER/PROTECTOR: The powerful, dominating type: Self-confident, decisive, willful, and confrontational. Female 8’s get the worst rep. Desire is to protect themselves and their inner circle. Avoiding weakness. Fiery type.

9. THE PEACEMAKER/MEDIATOR: The easygoing, self-effacing type. Receptive, reassuring, agreeable, and complacent. Ability to see the big view all times. A team leader, can see all sides. Don’t want to cause ripples.


What number am I?

Any guesses?!

Actually, I’ve shared this a bunch, but if you’ve missed it ….

I’m a nine, the Peacemaker.

And man, I am SUCH a nine.

I am a very optimistic and supportive person and I’m always looking for ways to make others feel good and to be heard. I feel most comfortable when things are going smoothing and work hard to make that happen – sometimes, too hard. I definitely vibe with the creativeness of a nine but I also notice myself putting others’ opinions and feelings first [classic Nine].

What I love about the Enneagram is that it breaks down what your number looks like in a healthy, average, and unhealthy state so … having a good and accurate understanding of what each of those looks like can be extremely helpful in everyday life. If I’m feeling a complete lack of motivation and I’ve gotten plenty of rest, it could be because I’m feeling overwhelmed by my to-do list and I’m not doing a good enough job of delegating things out.

I tend to hold on to tasks that I could easily have someone else do for me because, as a Peacemaker, I never want to inconvenience anyone and I find it hard to assert myself because of the underlying fear of conflict and disconnection.

Healthy 9’s realize their worth and that their needs matter. They aren’t afraid to verbalize their needs and opinions and find it much easier to make all of these things known. So, I think I utilize it in everyday life by checking in with myself, paying attention to my behavior and asking myself what the motivation is behind it, most especially when I’m exhibiting behavior that is a little unhealthy. This allows me to attempt to get out of that unhealthy space and be my best self day today.

Again, I’ll get more into how to use the system in your own life in an upcoming article, but I wanted to include that snippet for now. I’ll also share what number John is in that article because some of you girls have been asking 😉 Any guesses?!

enneagram book

What are some good resources for learning more about Enneagrams?

Y’all, there is SO much info out there. Some good, some bad, some really wonky. I’ve experimented with several and these are my favorite:

The Enneagram Institute: The OG resource, and again, the test I recommend taking for the most comprehensive and accurate typing.

 “The Road Back To You” Book by Ian Morgan Cron: If you like to learn in a physical way,  I can’t recommend a better book. You learn about not only yourself but those around you; how they think, how they’re motivated, how they suffer, etc. I honestly wish everyone would read this!

The Typology Podcast: This episode in particular covers helpful resources for learning more.

Enneagram & Coffee: This is a really fun account I think y’all would like. She has a playful but useful Instagram and podcast. She also has a self-typing workshop that could be cool if you’re interested in learning more.

The Liturgist Podcast: Especially this show that breaks down the 27 subtypes [ important to know! ] and this shows that talks more generally about the Enneagram.

Alright, enough Enneagram info for now … Ha! Told y’all, I love this stuff.

Due to the amount of information there is to share about this topic, I’ll be sharing another blog post answering your Q&A’s about the Enneagram. I’ll be sharing more information on how to use it in your everyday life. I’ll also get more into what number John is and how I use that in our relationship and on my team.

If you have any questions about the Enneagram, my experience with it, or personal questions, leave them in the comments and I’ll get back to those in the next post, as well. Hope you found this somewhat interesting!

More to come! xo.


Editor's Notes



  1. Nicole wrote:

    I’m going to need to pick up this book! I recently took the free version and found out that I’m a 2 with a 1 wing….dead on!

    Published 10.8.19 · Reply
  2. This is such a fun and unique post! I’ve read a lot about enneagrams and find it all so interesting. I’m a 1w2 and the description is SPOT ON 🙂

    Published 10.8.19 · Reply
  3. Olga wrote:

    I took the test and got a 2, but I’m not sure it’s correct! I definitely have to dive deeper into this as a lot of the numbers resonate with me!


    Published 10.8.19 · Reply