Answering Your Questions About The Enneagram

Hey friends, happy Friday! If you’re new around here, you might not know this, but I’m a big fan of The Enneagram Personality Test! If you’ve been around here for a while, you already know this and you’ve probably seen my prior posts on what number I am and then Enneagram 101: What It Is and Why It’s Useful. In this post, I answered a bunch of general questions about the personality test [what are the different types, resources for learning more, etc] so that’s a great place to start if you have no idea what I’m talking about here 🙂

For those of you who are wanting more, I thought I’d dive a bit deeper into the perks of the Enneagram, how you can use your number in your own life, and more below! So many of you have sent in these questions over the last year or so of me chatting about the Enneagram so I thought it’d be helpful to have all of those answered in one place. There’s truly SO much that you uncover about yourself [and those around you] once you establish your number(s). I’ve obviously learned a lot about myself and I’ve found several ways to implement what I uncovered in how I communicate, work, rest, etc. It’s also extremely interesting to learn what number those around you fall into place, especially people you live with, family, coworkers, and so forth.

With that, here are the answers to your frequently asked questions about the Enneagram.

Your Enneagram Questions Answered

What do you think the greatest perk to the Enneagram is?

One of the greatest gifts the Enneagram test has given me is a better understanding of myself as an individual. We live in a world full of comparison and focusing on what others are doing and it can be easy to fall into the comparison trap. Why aren’t I as productive as them? Why aren’t I as loyal as that person? How can I be more motivated? And so on! It’s exhausting, right?

Knowing my number has given me an endless amount of grace for myself because I simply understand myself better. I know that I suffer from low-energy … and that’s okay. I’ve found ways to work around it! I know I can put others before myself … and that’s okay. I’ve found ways to comfortably delegate and spend some more time on what I want to be doing. Simply knowing these things about myself has been such a gift!

It’s also a great tool for affording more grace for others in your life. I have found this to be most true in relationships and in my team which I go into below. But basically, knowing other people’s numbers [and that just like me, they are wired a certain way] has let me be more patient and understanding. Instead of wondering why someone didn’t handle a situation as I would have, I know it’s because they are X number and a certain way. I know what they need when THEY are at their healthiest, and I understand the motivation behind their number.

It’s truly a gift of grace and understanding in general!

What # is John?

John is a 3, the Achiever, which is very obvious to me. He’s very focused and goal-oriented. He’s honestly a great partner because 9’s can be overcome by “sloth” when they feel overwhelmed so he can be super helpful in helping me identify priorities and in keeping me motivated. What I love about him, though, is that he’s not a workaholic to where work always comes first, which I think can happen a lot with 3’s. [This is due to his subtype as a 3, which I highly recommend you look into no matter what you’re number is. More on this below!] He balances his personal and work life so well and is a really attentive partner. I have a 1 wing and he has a 2 wing, so I’m always wanting to keep things in order and he’s always looking to help in whatever way he can so, I think we make a really good team, overall.

Was this something you found helpful with your team?

Absolutely! It’s a game-changer. It can help explain why your team members work the way they do, act the way they do, and also sheds light on what motivates them. Stacy is a 2 [the helper] so it’s important that she knows and understands that everything she does to help me is very much appreciated whereas, Justine, my previous assistant, is a 6 [the loyalist] and really just wanted to feel safe so knowing her job was never in jeopardy was vital to her because they value safety and security.

If you have a team or work closely with others, I’d suggest everyone taking the test. It certainly has helped our team!

Do you recommend doing a free version or purchasing?

I’ve taken both and I’ve gotten the same number but, I think the paid version sheds deeper and more accurate insight into the numbers you rank the highest in. 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!

I’m a 7 and the second highest number on my results is 2. Does that mean it’s my wing?

Great question! No. Your wing can only be one of the numbers on either side of your main number. It’s also important to mention that the number you score the highest in may not even BE your number. You need to determine which number you feel you identify with the most based on the motivations behind your behavior. If you truly feel like you identify as a 7, then your wing is either 6 or 8 because those numbers are on either side of 7. So, if you were a 2, your wing would either be 1 or 3. I hope that makes sense! As a 9, my wing is either an 8 or a 1. I identify as a 9w1. More on wings here.

What is something you’ve learned about the Enneagram that has been helpful and you haven’t shared with us before?

While each number is technically a label in the Enneagram system [all numbers also have a name attached – like 3’s are the ‘Achievers’], no number is better or worse than the others and this took me awhile to really agree and accept because I operate out of shame a lot. While some numbers and names might feel that way, it’s simply not true. Understanding that each number is associated with their own strengths and weaknesses can help you to feel confident in your number, and then to take what that number tells you and learn from it.

For example, 3’s are the Achiever which sounds great. We all want to achieve things in life! But 3’s can also suffer from perfectionism, over-working themselves to the point of exhaustion, isolating themselves, and putting family/friends/self-care/social life on the back-burner. So while certain numbers might sound shinier than others, remember that they all have ‘pro’s and con’s’.

Instead of wishing you were a different number, or worse, forcing yourself to try to live up to a number that seems glossy to you, learn from your own. What can you improve in your life from knowing your number? What’s taking place when you’re being your healthiest self in your number?

So for me, a nine, that is when I’m delegating, I’m completing tasks, I’m prioritizing, I’m being kind to myself and others, and so forth. But to get to this healthy place takes WORK and that’s what I like to focus on – that work! Not necessarily that doing those things is important, but that doing those things gets me to my most healthy place [which looks different for each number!].

How do you incorporate your enneagram number in everyday life?

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-to-day.

For relationships, what numbers work well together?

Sadly, I’m not as well versed in this area but I think, as you learn about each number, you can probably guess which numbers might find it a little bit harder to work. For me, I can’t imagine dating an 8, especially if they’re in an unhealthy place. I have heard that people often marry or at least gravitate toward people who are the number next to theirs. This post from @enneagramandcoffee offers a little insight on this, though.

I’d love to hear how you manage relationships with friends/family knowing their number.

I mean, I operate the way I always have in my relationships and friendships. Knowing the numbers of my friends and family has just allowed me to understand them all so much better. There were things about different people in my life that puzzled me to death but, after finding out their number, has allowed me to understand those little quirks and love them for it rather than get frustrated by it. It doesn’t mean you’ll never have issues with your family or friends but it helps you identify why they could be acting a certain way and help you navigate your way through it. It also really helps with communication, especially if you both know each other’s numbers and can see where someone is coming from in a discussion.

How has knowing your number helped with your business?

Ha, knowing my number has been a huge dose of humble pie when it comes to business. Honestly, nine’s are great in the sense that they can see multiple sides of an issue and be the natural peacemaker of the group but, as someone who is running the show, I wouldn’t say that’s something that comes naturally to me. I can be indecisive. I can be scatterbrained. It can take me forever to get something done that I don’t want to do. We also have the least amount of energy out of all the numbers …. ha! These are all not-so-ideal qualities for someone who is running a business. HOWEVER, nine’s go to the high-side of 3’s, who are the achievers of the Enneagram. So, it IS possible for me to be very direct, decisive, and productive when I’m in a really good place and feeling competent.

For me, I’ve realized that I’m the least productive when I feel like I can’t handle everything on my list. I recently decided to offload a HUGE piece of my task list that I started noticing had been the source of so much shame recently because, week after week, I wasn’t able to get these pertinent tasks done. Identifying that and giving it to someone else to do and do just as good of a job as I would has been a GAME-CHANGER.

Every day, I feel so proud of everything that myself and my team has been able to get done and it’s because I was open and honest about what I needed, felt confident in that instead of questioning it, and made a firm decision to do something about it. Nine’s have a hard time with all of those things so … knowing my number has definitely helped me be a better business owner, for sure!

Do you know your subtype?

Yes! I am a self-preservation 9 [see what that means here]. Knowing your subtype is quite mind-blowing, even moreso than knowing your number. It helps you understand why you and someone else who is also the same number as you might be very different. An intro to subtypes can be found here [and the specific posts for each number are here: one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight | nine]. She recently shared more info on each of the numbers’ subtypes on her Instagram, as well. So, don’t miss that!

Are there any new resources you’ve found for the Enneagram?

I haven’t read any new ones but I’d love to read this at some point because I follow their IG account and love it. I’d also love to read this new one by Steph Baron Hall – I also love following her for Enneagram resources.

Alright guys, I hope you enjoyed that little dive into the Enneagram! Remember that this post answers a LOT more questions so if you’re intrigued by all of this, head that way. I also shared resources if you want to go down a total rabbit hole [like I have done in the past!].

What number are you?! What have you learned from taking the test?

Have a wonderful day! xo.


Editor's Notes



  1. Angela wrote:

    Highly recommended The Sacred Enneagram by Chris Heurrtz. He dives right into the power and depth it holds as more than a personality test, rather a look at our experiences and how they shaped us, we got lost, and our way towards grace for ourselves and others.

    Published 6.19.20 · Reply
    • Leanne wrote:

      Just as a heads up, there is some controversy around the author of that book right now. The book itself is amazing so I also would still recommend it, but definitely struggling with reconciling with that at the moment.

      Published 6.21.20 ·
  2. Stephanie wrote:

    As a fellow Enneagram enthusiast, I want to say thank you so much for this insightful post. You talked a lot about how you were able to better understand/appreciate those around you when you found out their number—was this your typing them from your understanding of the Enneagram/observing their behavior or did they all take the Enneagram? I ask because there are numerous people in my life whom I’d love to know what number they are to better understand them, but they either aren’t interested in taking the test and it’s not something I’d necessarily want to impose on people either. Would love to know your thoughts.

    Published 6.19.20 · Reply
    • AlysonHaley wrote:

      You are very welcome!

      Published 6.21.20 ·