Everything You Need To Know About The Enneagram

**Disclaimer** We are not mental health professionals and we are not certified in any way in regards to the Enneagram. Everything posted here today is coming from our understanding of the Enneagram which we have obtained through a lot of research and personal experience.

Let me start by saying that the title of this blog post is a little misleading. There is an endless amount of information about the Enneagram, and we could not possibly cover it all here. However, we have tried our very best to break it down in an easy to understand way and in a way that is not overwhelming. Because there is so much information about it, understanding the Enneagram can be challenging. So today, we are here to help you understand the basics, why it's important, how you can figure out what your number is, and provide you with plenty of Enneagram resources so you can do your own research.

I first heard about the Enneagram about 4 years ago from our dog sitter. I remember she was really into it and asked me if I had ever heard of it. I hadn't and she told me to download an app. I downloaded it and I remember being so confused and I moved on. I never really looked into after that until recently. People seem to be talking about the Enneagram all over the place and at the end of 2018, Savannah and I really started digging into it. We are hooked now, and I now love trying to figure out other people's Enneagram number.

Now let me stop right here and say that you cannot actually figure out what someone else's number is, that is 100% up to them and their own motivations. Most people don’t even know what their motivations are until they’ve spent lots of time on personal reflection. Chances are you don’t know that much about most people, so don’t run around telling people what you think they are and are not.

What I love about the enneagram so much is it helps you to be more self-aware and to understand why you do and do not do things. It has been very eye-opening for me so it excites me to help other people to figure these things out for themselves too!

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What Is The Enneagram?
The full name is actually “The Enneagram Of Personality”. It is the belief that there are 9 interconnected personality types, and each represented by a number from 1-9. We aren’t going to go over each personality in this post- there are so many resources out there that already do this in depth. To read about each one, click on the number: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9

What The Enneagram Is Not
The Enneagram is not just a personality test. There are many more levels to it than that. And it is not limiting in that it doesn't put you in a box and leave you there. When I've talked to people about the Enneagram who were unfamiliar with it, they all said the same thing about it. They didn't want to be put in a box, and that's fair. No one does. 

What you have to remember about the Enneagram is that at it's base it tells you what motivates and what is the biggest fear for each number. It doesn't say that this is all you can be or all that you are. The different wings and health levels further diversify us. More about this later. My brother and I are both sixes but if you just met us you would never in a million years think we have anything similar to our personalities.

The Enneagram is also not the gospel. I feel the need to point that out after reading this article which criticizes the The Enneagram and the book Road Back to You. What the author of the article says in a nutshell is that he would be fine with The Enneagram if it wasn't so closely tied to spirituality. There are a lot of people who connect the two and Catholics have used the Enneagram for years. I'm not necessarily saying that's a bad thing. I just caution anyone to not confuse the Gospel Truth with a manmade personality test. Don't go to the Enneagram for spiritual guidance. And ultimately only God through the Holy Spirit can truly reveal to you who He made you to be. So the Enneagram is a great resource to help you understand yourself but it should be used with caution in regards to your spiritual life. 

Why Does The Enneagram Matter And Why Is Everyone Talking About It?
If you're on social media for any time, you've likely heard about The Enneagram. I imagine it has gotten more popular because of social media, and let's face it, people love to talk about themselves. People love to feel understood. So it's easy to understand why this concept has seemingly gone viral.

The Enneagram is important because understanding who you are and what motivates you and what makes you afraid is important. You cannot be your best self if you don't understand who you are. This is what I love about the Enneagram over other personality tests. It allows you to see how healthy you are operating which helps you to see what you need to aim towards. Other personality tests seem to just say ok you are a ___, good luck. With the Enneagram you can go into the depths of your personality and understand what makes you tick. Once you understand who you are and what motivates you, then you can understand how to function better in the spaces you are in. Knowing your number can also help you achieve your goals. So ultimately, knowing your Enneagram number can help you be your best self. 

Knowing your Enneagram number and also the numbers of the other people in your life, can help you improve and strength relationships. Savannah is an 8 and I'm a 6, so what motivates us is very different. We approach problems differently, and this can oftentimes cause disagreements. We are in the beginning stages of learning how to interact with each other based on our personality types. However, discovering what each of our numbers are was eye opening and helped us to understand each other better. Hopefully we all strive to have better relationships, and understanding your Enneagram type and other people's enneagram types can help you achieve that.

How Do I Figure Out My Enneagram Number?
There are a variety of tests that you can take online to help you figure out your Enneagram number, and there are free and paid ones (Check the resources listed below for links to tests). We have only ever taken the free tests, and they are great resources. But they are just a starting point. Most of the tests will give you several different numbers you could be and then it is up to you to do your research to figure out your number. Ultimately no one else and no test can tell you what your number is. 

Keep in mind that figuring out your Enneagram number can be a process and can take months to figure out. Savannah honed in on her number pretty quickly, which is very 8 of her. Where as it took me several months. I thought I was an 8 briefly and then for a longer time I thought I was a 1. I was pretty settled on being a 1 until I randomly read something online about a 6. After further reading about a 6, I knew without question that is what I was.

When you are trying to figure out your number, don't just read the generic descriptions of each type. You have to do a lot of research about each because the general descriptions can be misleading, and if you have done a lot of self-reflection you may not even recognize certain attributes in yourself. What threw me off about a 6 is that at first glance it seemed to be very fear + anxiety driven which I do not consider myself to be. However, what I didn't realize at the time is that even though I was completely unaware that's what was driving me- it was there. I only figured that out after doing a lot of reading and researching. So give it a chance, take your time, and take a look at the resources we have listed below. We've heard a lot of people say they only figured out their number after reading books like The Sacred EnneagramPersonality Types: Using the Enneagram for Self Discovery, and The Wisdom of the Enneagram.

How Do I Understand What My Enneagram Number Means?
When you figure out what your number is, you may be a little confused. I know I was. You look at people who are the same number as you and the generic words used for that number, and you are part of that. But how can Savannah be the same number as Donald Trump?! (He's an 8.) In this section we are going to talk about health levels and wings and hopefully it will help you understand why each number manifests so differently depending on the person. 

Health Levels
This is the part where people's eyes start glossing over when I try to explain the Enneagram, so bear with me. It is not as complicated as it seems. The health levels are my favorite part about the Enneagram. They help you see where you can improve as a person.

Your health levels range from 1-9, with 1 being the best you can be and 9 being the worst you can be. The average person will probably not ever be a 9. Level 9 is someone with severe mental health issues like schizophrenia and narcissism and can be sociopaths and suicidal. The average levels are from 4-6 which is probably where the average person lives (I have zero stats to back that up, but that is my understanding). The health levels are another layer to the Enneagram which allows for each person to be unique.

So once you figure out what your number is, you can figure out what level of health you are operating at. And then you can read about your number and how to improve and start operating at a higher level of health. You may even need to read about the health levels of different numbers to see if you see yourself in them. Your health level could change from day to day although you are probably likely only to stay in close range. 

What the heck are wings?! You may see someone say they are a 6w7 or an 8w9, and this probably seems confusing. The second number is your “wing”. My first example would mean that this person is an Enneagram 6 with a 7 wing. The second example would be an Enneagram 8 with a 9 wing. When you've figured out your Enneagram number, then you could move onto figuring out your wing type.

Your wing can only be one of the numbers that are next to your Enneagram number. So an 8 could only have a wing 7 or 9. An Enneagram 1 could only have a wing 2 or 9. To further complicate things you can vacillate between wings. You will likely mostly be a certain wing number but certain periods of your life and/or certain situations can bring out the other wing in you. Wings are simply another layer of your personality. Most people aren't purely one Enneagram number and they will have tendencies that pull from other numbers, so this is where wings come in.

And because we just had to, here is a map of Nashville with a lot of the neighborhoods as Enneagram types. Feel free to share this on IG!

So I know the Enneagram can be a lot to take in, but I believe it's worth the time. When you do figure out what your number is, we would love to hear about it! Leave a comment below and find us on Instagram to join the conversation over there. Also, save the images below to share on your Instagram stories and tag us! Keep scrolling to see some great Enneagram resources for your Enneagram journey.

Casey is a 6!

Savannah is an 8!

Enneagram Resources


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