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Enneagram The Scientific Guide to Self-Discovery and Improvement. The Path to Increased Spirituality and Empathy that You Need. Build Healthy Relationships and Stop Overthinking. Go Back to Being Yourself. By Robert Leary Table of Contents Introduction Chapter 1: What is the Enneagram? Chapter 2: The 9 Enneagram Personality Types The Reformer The Helper The Performer The Individualist The Observer The Loyalist The Enthusiast The Challenger The Peacemaker Chapter 3: What’s Your Type? – Self-assessment Quiz Chapter 4: What Made You this Way? Chapter 5: Embracing your Truest Self Chapter 6: Simplicity as a Solution Chapter 7: Matters of Perspective Conclusion Description Introduction Congratulations on purchasing this book on the Enneagram of personality and thank you for doing so. Within the following chapters, you’ll be guided through the first few steps of a potentially life-changing journey of personal development, empathetic enlightenment, and spiritual growth. I’m excited to share this journey with you, and I have no doubt that once you get started, you’ll be glad you chose this path, too. I haven’t always been interested in personality typing systems. Like most adolescents, I grew up thinking that my personality—my thoughts, feelings, behaviors, preferences, and perspectives—were essentially normal, average, and reasonable; that any person put in my position, given access to the same information, influenced by the same authority figures, exposed to the same experiences, would likely make the same choices that I did. Whenever I would encounter someone whose viewpoint didn’t make sense to me, or whenever I would find myself in a conflict that I didn’t fully understand, I would resign to writing off the other person (or people) involved as crazy, moody, or misinformed. I believed that I was good at communicating, and that if anyone else had trouble understanding my actions, that was their problem. And though I probably never would have admitted it back then, ov; er time, I was developing a nagging internal fear that I might be wrong; that I might be the moody, crazy, misinformed one; that my perspective included a fair number of blind spots; that maybe--just maybe—the problem wasn’t that everyone else was insane. Maybe the problem was that, from where I was standing, I couldn’t see the reasons behind their actions. Maybe other people couldn’t see my reasons, either, and that was why they couldn’t understand me, my behaviors, my choices, or my beliefs. When I finally found the Enneagram, it felt like taking off sunglasses that I hadn’t realized I’d been wearing my entire life. I was like Dorothy in the first full-color scene in The Wizard of Oz, amazed at all the diversity and depth I’d been missing out on beforehand. Through learning about this personality typing system, I was able to put many of my past experiences into context, understand nuances I’d previously been blinded to, and empathize with people who had once mystified, or even infuriated, me. More importantly, I was led to discover some interesting truths about myself, ones that I might never have come to terms with otherwise. Like any personality typing system, the Enneagram is not a scientific method; it is subjective, and impossible to measure with any standard of precision or accuracy. That being said, the Enneagram can still be extraordinarily powerful when used as a creative tool, rather than a yardstick. It can help to improve communication between friends, family members, and romantic partners; it can build stronger, more harmonious team dynamics in work environments; and it can help to steer any individual towards personal growth and fulfillment. It provides a vocabulary through which we can discuss difficult subjects and free ourselves from the rhetoric of blame and malicious intent. Finally, it consistently works to remind us that our personality types are dynamic, not fixed, so each and every one of us has the capacity to learn, grow, change, and evolve. We all have it in us to become heroes, villains, or apathetic bystanders. What defines us, in the end, are the choices we make, and the reasons we make them. I have every hope that this book will spark your curiosity, entertain and enlighten you, and inspire you to share its contents with the most important people in your life. There are lots of books about the Enneagram on the market today, so thank you again for choosing this one. Every effort was made to ensure it is full of as much useful and accurate information as possible. Please enjoy! Chapter 1: What is the Enneagram? The Enneagram is a personality assessment tool that is popularly used to promote self-discovery, encourage empathy, and foster personal growth. It references nine primary archetypes, or personality categories, each associated with a numerical value. These numerical values are charted on various points of the Enneagram’s physical representation as a geometric shape (see figure below). The relationships between these symbolic numbers correlate to the interpersonal behaviors exhibited and experienced by the represented types. These archetypes aren’t quite like those you might find in fictional settings. None are particularly benevolent or nefarious; they are neither inherently masculine nor feminine. These archetypes don’t adhere to cultural, religious, or familial roles, and the varied types show up in every imaginable walk of life, amongst the wealthy and impoverished, the uneducated and the academically distinguished, the young and the old. Each Enneagram personality archetype, or enneatype as we’ll refer to them henceforth, is a description of an individual’s primary motivating force, or inner emotional drive, rather than a characterization of their outward appearance or their role in any social group. The Enneagram does not evaluate you based on the way that others perceive you, or the ways in which you interact with them; it is primarily based upon self-reported evidence, which is why it cannot claim to be a technical or scientific method. That being said, the fact that enneatype testing and Enneagram growth work are so heavily focused on self-awareness, rather than externally imposed measurement and analyses, is exactly what makes this method so effective for many people. It may take longer to identify our own types than it would for others to judge and convey their impressions to us in the name of guidance; but the journey to find oneself can be healing and rewarding, as well as character-building. Furthermore, when we are able to see ourselves in more than just one of the archetype descriptions, we subconsciously work to enhance our empathetic capacities by considering the world from varying vantage points. It may help to think of the enneatypes not as different personalities, but rather, as different forms of modus operandi. They do not accurately predict what colors, flavors, or textures we’ll enjoy most, or what genres of music and literature will spark our interests; they don’t always determine the degrees of introversion or extroversion that we display; they cannot always explain the types of careers, lifestyles, and lovers that we choose. Instead, the enneatypes describe road maps, blue prints, or operating systems. They plot out the varied ways in which people interact with the world based on differing perspectives. The Enneagram focuses on the motivations behind actions, and furthermore, how these motivations are often defined early in life by experiences that teach us what our role in life should be, or how best to survive in the face of risk and uncertainty. Where does the Enneagram come from? The origins of the Enneagram theory are shrouded in mystery. There is some evidence to suggest that it originated in Alexandria, in the 4th century BC, evolving from the theories of Christian mystic Evagrius Ponticus (also known as “Evagrius the Solitary”) which spoke of eight deadly thoughts, or “logismoi,” their eight remedies, called “holy thoughts,” and one overarching supreme thought to rule over all others: the notion of self-love. This origin story cannot be proven, however, and there are many who believe the concepts of the Enneagram archetypes have earlier roots in the era of ancient mythology. The term is derived from Greek roots: “ennea,” meaning “nine,” and “gramma,” meaning “written or drawn.” This name refers both to the geometric figure and the personality assessment theory applied to it. It’s difficult to say with any certainty when, where, or how the personality theory was first devised, but we do have plenty of information about its modern development. Most present-day teachings of the Enneagram are inspired by the works of Oscar Ichazo and Claudia Naranjo. Ichazo is a Bolivian-born philosopher who is largely credited with the development of modern personality types; he founded the Arica Institute in Chile, where Naranjo eventually became one of his students. Chilean-born Naranjo, a psychiatrist, was eventually disowned by Ichazo and the Arica Institute, as he went on to divert from Ichazo’s school of thought and teach his own theory of the Enneagram in the United States in the early 1970s. Both men, and both theories, still garner a great deal of respect in the personal development community; however, their differences have led to a number of points of confusion and contention amongst followers, as there is often a lack of consistency between different schools, coaches, and written resources. While you may encounter slight differences in terminology from one Enneagram coach to the next—some refer to the type four personality as the Romantic while others will call it the Individualist type—it’s important to note that the numerical values assigned to each type are generally fixed. This is because the numbers and their arrangement within the geometric Enneagram shape are correlated to the relationships between the types. On this point, at least, most theorists are able to agree. Wing Types Each enneatype will be influenced by their wing types, meaning the two numbers on either side of their own. So, for example, a person who identifies as an Enthusiast (type 7) may be influenced by the values and behaviors of either the Loyalist (type 6) or the Challenger (type 8), or sometimes both of their wings; meanwhile, an Individualist (type 4) will have the behavioral traits of the Performer (type 3), the Observer (type 5), or both as their wings. Most people find that they tend to lean more strongly towards one of their wings than the other, or fall back on one more frequently than the other. When we incorporate wings into our understanding of the personality archetypes, we begin to see the Enneagram more as a spectrum of personality function, rather than a randomized mapping of nine distinct and separate points. This system accounts for the subtle differences between a Challenger who sometimes acts like a Peacemaker to diffuse volatile situations, and a Peacemaker who sometimes becomes a Challenger when called upon to defend someone in need. It also allows us to describe those rare individuals who favor both of their wing types equally, sometimes appearing mercurial or two-faced, and at other times, appearing well-balanced. Instinctual Variants Our enneatypes and wing types can be further modified by another layer of evaluation. At any given moment, each of us motivated by a deeply hardwired, and often subconscious, instinct. The Enneagram system recognizes three “instinctual variants”: self-preservation (also called “self-protection,” an instinct that takes over when we feel our security or safety is under threat), sexual (also called “one-to-one,” as this denotes any emotionally intimate connection, whether romantic or otherwise) and social (also called “group integration,” referencing the instinct to weave oneself strategically and effectively into a group dynamic, or to project the personal ego upon a group). Some theorize that these variants are genetic remnants of our hunter-gatherer ancestors, reflections of the behavioral patterns that arose in the years before civilization. The self-preservation instinct would have evolved, obviously, to increase certain individuals’ chances at survival; the sexual instinct would have evolved to increase the chances of genetic transmission to future generations; and the social instinct would have evolved to improve the individual’s ability to manage and navigate complex group dynamics, allowing for community growth. The instinctual variant is often a reflection of what we tend to focus on reflexively whenever the going gets rough. For a quick self-assessment, imagine you are asleep at night in your apartment when a fire breaks out in the basement of the building. You manage to escape successfully, but ask yourself: in this scenario, which of three following thoughts would be the first to cross your mind once you got outside? “Where am I going to stay now?” (Self-preservation) “I need to find a phone and call my partner (or best friend, or colleague, or parent, or sibling) and tell them what’s happened.” (Sexual) “What about the neighbors? Did everyone make it out safely?” (Social) Each of us is capable of functioning with all three instinctual variants in mind, but most of us tend to have a dominant, reflexive habit of looking at life through the lens of one variant more often than others. When we layer the instinctual subtypes over the nine possible enneatypes and eighteen wings, we come up with eighty-one distinct behavioral patterns, each with their own title and set of personality traits, desires, values, and beliefs. In the chart below, you’ll see the instinctual variants at the outer edge of the wheel, with the self-preservation subtype closest to the center of the figure, and the sexual subtype in the middle, and the social subtype at the outermost layer. You’ll also see the named titles of the eighteen wing types. Your primary instinctual variant, perhaps more so than your enneatype or wing type, is likely to change and evolve over the course of your lifetime, especially if your circumstances change drastically. For example, growing up in extreme poverty might teach a Performer to approach the world through the instinct of self-preservation in early life, when the Performer has to worry consistently about shelter, sustenance, and survival. But if this Performer is able to build a successful career in adulthood and escape their poverty, they may eventually grow to focus more often on their sexual or social instincts, as they would no longer need to spend so much time wondering where to find their next meal. Integration and Disintegration The spatial relationship between numbers has further symbolic meaning. Not only are the enneatypes influenced by those of the adjacent numbers; the lines that intersect and connect the numbers within the Enneagram are also significant, pointing towards any type’s tendencies during times of stress, or “disintegration,” and during periods of calm and serenity, often referred to as “integration.” (It is worth noting, though, that in recent years, Naranjo and several other Enneagram teachers have moved to modify or even reject the significance of these interconnected lines; opinions still vary from one school of thought to the next.) Looking at the charts below, you’ll note that the arrows within the circle point in one direction to represent the integration dynamic, and they move in the opposite direction to represent disintegration. This does not indicate that any type is better, or inherently healthier, than any other. While the integration arrow from point 6 on the Enneagram moves towards point 9, this doesn’t mean that Peacemakers are better than Loyalists, or that Loyalist’s should try to become Peacemakers—it simply indicates that for the Loyalist in particular, the embracing some of the Peacemaker’s qualities can help them to overcome personal challenges and become a healthier, more well-rounded individual. By contrast, the disintegration arrow shows that a Loyalist embracing too many of the Performer’s qualities will become hyper-stressed and unhealthy. That being said, the Peacemaker would do well to adopt more of the Performer’s habits and attitudes. Each of us has strengths and weaknesses; each enneatype has something that another type lacks, or needs something that another type has in abundance. Integration dynamics Disintegration dynamics These dynamic charts illustrate one of many reasons why repeated testing is often recommended for those who are uncertain of their type. Taking the test at times of unusually high stress, during vacations, or after milestone accomplishments, you may be likely to skew your answers based on your own integrative or disintegrative momentum. Degrees of Health For each enneatype, there are nine distinct possible levels of health. Health level 1 is essentially an indication that the person has grown into the best possible version of themselves; it does not necessarily imply that this person has achieved a state of nirvana and constant, unfailing happiness, but it does mean that this person has done enough work on themselves to be able to handle most anything life throws at them while causing minimal damage to those around them as they process emotional challenges. It also implies that they have overcome the limitations and challenges presented by the ego. By contrast, in the lower health levels, the individual’s relationship to ego has become damaged and all-encompassing, distorting their perceptions and permeating every facet of life. Levels 1, 2, and 3 are considered generally healthy. Levels 4, 5 and 6 are considered average, and can be maintained without much effort towards self-reflection or self-improvement. Levels 7, 8 and 9 are considered unhealthy, with people at level 9 expressing the worst possible version of themselves, often causing harm to others in the process. We’ll touch on this further in a section titled “Growth Scale” in chapter 5. Chapter 2: The 9 Enneagram personality types Before we go any further, let’s take some time to explore the nine primary enneatypes. In this chapter, you’ll find descriptions of each type in order. These descriptions will include categorizations, such as triad groups, sublime ideals, and ego fixations. First, let’s define these terms generally before applying them to our understanding of the specific enneatypes. The terminology of personality assessment What is a triad group? The nine different enneatypes are grouped in clusters of three called triads. Each triad has one thing in common, a viewpoint or sensation through which they experience the world. Some Enneagram practitioners may refer to these instead as the “three centers of intelligence.” The triad groups represent three ways in which we can process information. When someone makes a statement to declare their certainty by saying “I know it in my…” they can choose to end the phrase with the word “gut,” “bones,” or “heart,” and their choice may be very telling. First, we have the body triad, which is also sometimes called the “gut triad” or the “action triad.” You might also hear it referred to as the “instinctive center.” This triad is composed of enneatypes 1, 8, and 9 (the Reformer, the Challenger, and the Peacemaker); all three-experience anger as their primary emotional driver. They tend to process emotions through the body, which means they sometimes experience physical manifestations of emotions they aren’t mentally conscious of (for example, when dealing with grief, they might gain or lose a significant amount of weight, or have phantom stomach pains for weeks, before recognizing that there is an emotional root to this symptom). They also can be impulsive, compulsive, and reactionary. Members of this triad typically think in terms of black and white, and they tend to value fairness and justice very highly. Next, we have the heart triad, which is sometimes referred to as the “feeling triad” or “emotion triad.” This might also be called the “feeling center.” Types 2, 3, and 4 (the Helper, the Performer, and the Individualist) belong to this triad; they are all motivated by shame as their core emotion. For members of this triad, emotional sensations are of greater importance than physical sensations or rational knowledge. Many members of this triad struggle throughout their entire lives with the nagging feeling that they are inherently insufficient, and that they must do more, work harder, be better, in order to prove themselves worthy of existence, despite the rational knowledge that they are just as worthy as any other human, and frequent physical reminders that they are loved and capable of experiencing joy and fulfillment. Members of this triad care a great deal about how they are perceived by others; even Performers, who have a (perhaps false) reputation for self-absorption and a lack of compassionate energy, will often claim that all of their achievements were completed for the sake of others—either to impress them, support them, prove them wrong, or show them love. Finally, we have the head triad, also known as the “reason triad.” Some may reference it as the “thinking center.” This triad includes types 5, 6, and 7 (the Observer, the Loyalist, and the Enthusiast); they all share a common emotional drive of fear. They tend to rely on their knowledge and inner voice for guidance rather than looking for, or trusting in, external sources of advice. Members of this triad frequently struggle with issues of anxiety, insecurity, and restlessness. They can present as nervous, obsessive, and high-strung. Even in silence, you can usually tell that members of this triad have a lot on their minds—you can practically see the wheels spinning in their brains. Often, they struggle to effectively process or express their emotions to other people. They typically are comforted by good planning, preparation, and predictability (which doesn’t necessarily have to mean boring routine), and they like to acquire as much information as possible in order to address, combat, or express their fears. The enneatype positions within these triads are also significant. Those leading each triad (when you trace the circle clockwise, starting with 5, then finding 8 and 2) are the “relationists”—these types express their emotional center in a way that defines their interactions with other people. Observers allow their fear to become a fortress and a barrier that protects them from intimacy as well as threats; Challengers project the anger that underlies many of their emotional experiences onto the people around them; and Helpers try to overcome feelings of shame by proving their potential worth to others. The secondary types—6, 9, and 3—are the “pragmatists,” types who attempt to repress or escape their emotional centers by running from them, masking them, or denying them. Loyalists mask their fear by overpreparing and casting doubt on everything; Peacemakers deny their anger in hopes this will make everyone else happy; Performers try to outrun their shame by proving themselves worthy, over and over and over again. Finally, the tertiary types—4, 7, and 1—are “utopians,” who prefer to turn their emotional centers inward and face them head on, rather than aiming to escape them or pass them off to other people. Individualists shame themselves through constant comparison, focusing on their own failings and the ways in which they don’t measure up; Reformers direct their anger towards themselves, allowing their resentments to stew and fester rather than allowing themselves to heal through the release of forgiveness or acceptance; lastly, Enthusiasts may seem out of place in the head triad, since they are adrenaline junkies who don’t seem to be afraid of much at all—but in truth, they simply direct their fear inwards, fearing what lies at the core of their own identities more so than they fear any risk or threat to their survival. It’s important to note that these triads are not meant to be interpreted in an exclusionary sense, which means that an Observer, for instance, as a part of the head triad, should not be presumed incapable of connecting with their own gut instincts or heart-felt emotions. All of us are fully capable of experiencing the world through each of these centers in our bodies, and we should all strive to achieve some sense of balance between all three. The triads are designated as such to give us some insight into which center people tend to use most frequently, or when under pressure. You might think of them as our default settings for emotional processing. Whatever default settings we have initially, growth and change are always possible with a bit of hard work, ambition, and focus. What is an Ego Fixation? All of us should aim to maintain a healthy sense of personal ego; this means that we believe ourselves to be inherently significant, worthy, valuable, and loveable, regardless of our external circumstances (body shape, personal wealth, career accolades, relationship status, and so on). But when our egos are over-inflated, all of us—no matter which enneatype we belong to—tend to exhibit some less than desirable attitudes and behaviors. In any discussion of the Enneagram, ego fixations are expressions of unchecked self-absorption with a lack of self-awareness, empathy for others, or needed perspective. They often are behaviors that we know, objectively, are negative, but have trouble identifying in ourselves; or, if we do recognize these behaviors in ourselves, each enneatype will feel compelled to justify or defend their own practice, even if they don’t believe it’s acceptable for other people. These behaviors can be tempting and seductive, because they often provide each enneatype with a sense of higher purpose, or hint at the tantalizing promise that they will ultimately be proven right and good. They also serve as measures by which we can compare ourselves to others and feel either superior or inferior. We call them “fixations” because these are behaviors, attitudes, or opportunities that seem to interrupt our ability to think rationally or exercise restraint, and even distort our perceptions of reality. As an example, the Observer’s ego fixation is stinginess, or retention. This doesn’t mean that members of this type are always mean-spirited or materially greedy; instead, what it means is that most of them grew up in an environment that trained them to be hypervigilant about protecting what is rightfully theirs. These people may have past experiences with intrusion over their boundaries, invasion of personal space, theft, scarcity, or even physical abuse, all of which have taught them to be on the lookout for similar threats in the future, and guard their bodies, minds, and other resources very closely. Observers are highly rational, so if presented with a logical problem as a theoretical—"a homeless person needs a dollar to buy breakfast and avoid starvation; you have one in your pocket that you haven’t needed to use for weeks, so what should you do with it?”—they might offer a generous, compassionate answer. But in real life practice, their reflexive instinct might inspire them to react quite differently, because their ego fixation prevents them from approaching the issue with level-headed objectivity. Primary Fears In relation to the enneatypes, our primary fears aren’t usually the same ones we would profess ourselves if someone were to ask us what we are most frightened of. They aren’t monsters or life-threatening situations—instead, they are usually commonplace dynamics or emotional states that we experienced early in life, and learned that we should avoid repeating ever again, at all costs. Often, these fears stem from a threat of punishment from parental or authority figures in our childhoods. As an example, the Challenger’s primary fear lies in being controlled, and this is often rooted in a childhood experience wherein the Challenger’s parent would threaten to severely restrict their autonomy or to control them as a form of punishment (“If you ever say something sassy to me again, you’ll be grounded and locked in your room for a week!”); alternatively, the parent might have simply warned the child that someone else would try to control them if they didn’t behave accordingly (“If you talk back to your teacher, he’ll send you to detention,” or “You must wear a brave and happy face for the social worker, or the state will take you away from your family and put you in a foster home”). Whether these fears are rational or not, they are deeply planted in our psyches. They often feel like inevitabilities that each enneatype spends their whole lifetime running from. Sublime Ideals Sublime ideals are the light at the end of the tunnel that each of us strives towards. They can often encompass unrealistic hopes and unachievable goals, but no matter how unattainable these ideals may be, they tend to stay fixed in our minds as possible rewards for good behavior. These ideals are often the things that motivate us to get up every morning and fulfill our duties, whatever they may be. They can also be the drivers behind our idiosyncratic behaviors; for example, if a Loyalist’s sublime ideal is the dream of one day proving that their obsessive precaution and distrusting instinct is indeed a useful tool for survival, this desire might manifest in their quotidian actions, inspiring them to stock up on apocalypse survival gear, to train in hand-to-hand combat for a war that may never come, and to never turn their backs on the exit points in any room. We work towards our sublime ideals even if we haven’t thoroughly thought them through in practical terms (case in point: Loyalists don’t really want bad things to happen, but often, their sublime ideal requires a catastrophic or traumatic event to take place so that they might have an opportunity to prove their fear and doubt are useful, reasonable feelings). These ideals are things we believe will help us to reach a point of true and lasting fulfillment; essentially, they are the realities that we believe would allow us to die happily, feeling that we have reached a pinnacle and experienced all the best that life has to offer. In some teachings of the Enneagram that are geared towards spiritual enrichment, the sublime ideal is referred to as the “Holy Idea,” and is described as the reward an individual believes their creator has in store for them if they can live a good and faithful life. Points of Growth For each of the enneatypes listed below, you’ll see a few suggested points of growth; these are areas where these types should strive to improve in order to reach their highest possible level of health. They can also reference skills that these enneatypes will struggle to grasp and maintain without dedicated practice, but which are ultimately necessary for their personal growth. It’s a good idea to consult a professional Enneagram coach or practitioner for more specific guidance in this area. The 9 Enneagram types Type 1 – The Reformer Also known as: the perfectionist, the idealist, the judge, the critic, the motivator. The Reformer has a reputation for being highly critical and judgmental; in reality, though, only unhealthy Reformers allow their judgments to impact others in negative ways. Reformers have a keen eye for small details and can see the big picture; this is the type that would recognize the one missing nail that could lead to the structural collapse of an entire eight-lane bridge. They want everything to be as good as it possibly can be, and hope to spare others from unnecessary pain and disappointment wherever possible (though they sometimes miss the mark here). They may appear cynical and difficult to please on the surface level, but inwardly, they are usually idealists, optimists, and dreamers who believe in the possibility of a better world and a brighter future. Their criticisms may not always be welcome, but most often, they come from a kind-hearted, or at least a well-intentioned, place. Reformers are rational, disciplined, conscientious, and fastidious. They usually have a strong internal sense of right and wrong: a moral compass that functions like an actual, physical magnet inside of them, and which cannot be ignored or overruled by feelings like lust, or by matters of convenience. For them, morality isn’t a choice--it’s more like a compulsion or a muscular reflex. Since they are part of the body triad, they tend to physically feel their moral instincts somewhere in their bodies (“I just know in my bones that this is the right thing to do”) rather than pondering decisions at length, and their powerful sense of intuition drives them to react immediately, with earnest dedication and intensity. Reformers often become ethical crusaders for exactly this reason; they see room for improvement everywhere, quickly note flaws in large systems, and their principles compel them to take action to fix these problems, motivated by the desire to create a new system that is truly fair and balanced. They feel especially empowered when they can find a sense of purpose in such a crusade, feeling they have a higher calling to remedy injustices. Interestingly, though, despite their compulsion to do the right thing, Reformers are not always rule-followers. Most are guided by an inner critic who helps them to discern right from wrong, more so than any external authority figure who might represent justice. If and when the Reformer believes the rules are just and reasonable, they will follow them to the letter of the law; but if the Reformer believes the rules to be unjust, or that the rules (or system they exist within) are fundamentally flawed, then they are liable to rebel and disrespect laws without a second thought. Reformers are not afraid to question or confront authority, as no one could be harder on them than they are on themselves. When Reformers are at their best and healthiest, they can be powerful secret weapons within any organization or team. They are wonderful at quickly recognizing inefficiencies, inconsistencies, errors, and preventable delays; what’s more, given enough time and informational resource, Reformers are usually great at devising sustainable solutions for the problems they discover. The key, often, is in making sure the Reformer feels appreciated for their attention to detail, and encouraged to design a remedy; otherwise, they can become discouraged, dejected, and develop a sense of resentment, which is a major stumbling block for members of this enneatype. Reformers were typically raised in environments where their perfectionism was rewarded. The critical voices of authority figures that they heard in childhood continue to echo in their heads as inner critics, and they never, ever stop pushing them to try harder, to do better, to straighten that poster frame, to stay up late and do the extra credit assignment, to leave a note on that stranger’s dashboard, to replace the shoes with the scuff mark on the heel, and so on. They believe there is always room for improvement—within themselves, within others, and within society at large. And no matter how hard they work, or how well they perform, that inner critic doesn’t relent; no job is ever done well enough to be satisfactory. As they grow older, they begin to open their eyes to two harsh realities: first, the fact that many other people (most other types) aren’t prodded by the voice of any inner critic, and they genuinely don’t care about trying harder, doing the right thing, or respecting the rules of a system unless they are provided with a specific and personal incentive; second, the fact that no one is keeping score. There is no all-seeing eye behind that inner critic’s voice (except, perhaps, a higher spiritual power); there is no guarantee that any human individual will ever recognize or reward the Reformer for constantly striving to do their absolute best at all times. It’s possible that no one will ever even notice—or, if they do take note of the Reformer’s efforts, that they will neither be impressed nor appreciative. This is why most Reformer’s struggle with a general sense of resentment towards specific individuals in their lives, and sometimes towards the world at large. They tend to feel as though they’ve been sprinting through a race for years, only to suddenly realize there is no finish line in sight, nor any trophy at stake—but by this point, it’s too late to break their legs of the habit of running. Reformers may be angry at others for failing to clue them in earlier, or for failing to sprint alongside them and help sustain the illusion of reasonable purpose in their own behaviors. Frequently, they are resentful of the fact that no one has congratulated them on being such skilled runners. In order to grow and move past this mental block, Reformers must become self-aware enough to confront the critics inside their heads. They’ll have to understand who (or what institution) that voice ultimately represents; they’ll need to recognize that this voice hasn’t always told them the truth; and finally, they’ll need to learn how to untangle and separate this voice from that of their own subconscious identity, so that they can effectively dismiss the inner critic and embrace the voice of acceptance and self-love. When a Reformer is healthily self-aware, they are able to recognize the powerful emotions of anger and resentment as simply the first steps of a cyclical journey. Stagnating in resentment can have a corrosive effect on the mind and soul, but Reformers can learn instead to allow these feelings to wash over them and steer them towards strategic, constructive action. Members of this type are at their best when they are able to effect change, particularly if they can do so before anger and resentment are given time to fester. Triad group: Body. Primary emotional drive: Anger. Vice: Ire and resentment (other people become their greatest source of frustration and are seen as the primary barrier between the awful status quo and an idealized future). Ego fixation: Resentment. Primary fear: Being corrupted, immoral, defective, evil, or simply wrong. Sublime ideal: Reaching a state of perfection and unimpeachability. Pet Peeves: Inefficient systems; inattention to detail; lack of respect for (or efficient participation in) systems that do work efficiently; injustices, no matter how small. Point of growth: Serenity, acceptance, peace of mind; ability to ignore or detach from the inner critic and judgmental beliefs. Famous examples: Confucius, Plato, Joan of Arc, Martin Luther, Mahatma Ghandi, Emma Goldman, George Orwell, Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher, Margaret Sanger, Sidney Poitier, Julie Andrews, Carl Sagan, Hilary Clinton, Noam Chomsky, Maxine Waters, Bill Maher, and Tina Fey. These people are so thoroughly driven to improve the status quo and achieve perfection that they often end up changing the world. Type 2 – The Helper Also known as: the giver, the nurturer, the caretaker, the lover. Helpers are naturally warm, caring, and sincere souls. But despite their positive, sometimes bubbly, demeanors, this type is motivated on a deeper level by feelings of shame and sadness. They value interpersonal connection and relatedness very highly, and therefore tend to be more outwardly focused on the needs of other people than on themselves. Often, they aren’t well-practiced at understanding or even identifying their own emotions; meanwhile, they can sense a subtle emotional shift between two strangers from across a room and decipher its exact meaning. Helpers are great people to have in your inner circle, because they are kind, compassionate, and deeply intuitive, often able to anticipate other people’s needs and emotions before they have the opportunity to articulate them. But at the same time, Helpers can be generous to a fault. At their core, they feel that when they aren’t being useful to others, they are deeply unlovable; they fear rejection, and often develop codependent tendencies. Their impulse to help other people goes beyond desire—it is more of a visceral need, one which may frequently overshadow the needs of the Helper’s own physical and emotional bodies. They often attach their feelings of self-worth to other people (a partner, a sibling, a parent, a friend) and equate their own emotional states with those of the people closest to them. If the Helper’s chosen object of affection is not happy, the Helper will not be happy either. If the object of their affection is anxious and afraid, the Helper becomes anxious and afraid in turn, at least initially; they may then move quickly to take whatever actions they deem necessary to help this other person to feel better, so that they can feel better, too. Helpers have a tendency to forget to take care of themselves because they’re so exhausted from taking care of everyone else. After extended periods of hard work without any self-care or relaxation, Helpers can become quite high-strung. Sometimes, under stress, they may appear similar to the Challenger, becoming confrontational and even possessive. They also have a tendency to become manipulative—though perhaps not consciously so—when hoping for overdue expressions of reciprocity. The Helper’s primary struggle in the path to healing and growth is to recognize that they have been barking up the wrong tree for most of their lives. Helpers look to others for inspiration, to assign their lives meaning and purpose, and to fulfill a deep craving for connection; but what they seek is unreachable, so long as they look to find it within other people. Instead, they must look within themselves, recognize their own strengths, honor their own values by establishing and upholding boundaries, and regularly practice self-care. When a Helper is able to maintain balance and respect for their personal needs, they can become extraordinarily effective healers, teachers, and caretakers, as their capacity for empathetic connection is unparalleled. Triad group: Heart. Primary emotional drive: Shame. Vice: Pride (they believe they should be able to endlessly offer up their personal resources to everyone else, but can’t imagine having to ask anyone for help or support in their own moments of need). Ego fixation: Flattery, ingratiation, manipulation. Primary fear: Being deemed undeserving of love. Sublime ideal: Supreme, unconditional love. Pet Peeves: Unnecessary cruelty; inconsiderate behavior; hypocrisy; being ignored. Point of growth: Self-love, self-sufficiency, humility, love without conditions. Famous examples: Mother Theresa, Desmond Tutu, Eva Peron, Nancy Reagan, Tammy Faye Bakker, Yoko Ono, Ken Burns, Monica Lewinsky, Barbara Walters, Whitney Houston, Byron Katie, Pope John XXIII, and Danielle Steele. The overwhelming majority of celebrities believed to belong to this enneatype are female. Most famous men believed to be Helpers are religious figures, or, interestingly, men who are eventually discovered to have a two-faced demeanor and criminal secrets—Bill Cosby, for example—so it is possible that some celebrities use a false Helper’s persona in order to mask their true, nefarious intentions. A notable male exception to this trend: some would posit that Jesus Christ himself was a type 2 personality. Type 3 – The Performer Also known as: the motivator, the achiever, the producer, the chameleon. Pragmatic, efficient, determined, and extremely capable, Performers can be wildly impressive individuals. They are driven by a need to achieve and will not allow anything to stand in their way once they’ve set their sights on a goal or destination—not even their own emotions. Performers typically believe that success and accomplishment are the only ways that they can guarantee their own value in this world. They are motivated to escape shameful feelings of inadequacy, vulnerability, and incompetence through constant forward momentum; this need for motion, and focus on anticipation of the future, is something they have in common with enneatype 7, the Enthusiast, but Performers are generally more goal-oriented and strategic, capable of restraining their impulses when necessary. They can exhibit patience when it helps them to achieve more. Some other types may find Performers intimidating. They are usually assertive and will do whatever it takes to succeed; this means that sometimes, they may cut corners in order to reach their finish line faster than everyone else, or alternatively, they might justify steamrolling over the feelings or needs of others in order to achieve their own goals. Having grown up in environments wherein failure was not an option, Performers are often unwilling to entertain negative outlooks or to accept defeat, which some people find distasteful. Furthermore, Performers are chameleons and shape-shifters—they can alter their facial expressions, tone of voice, posture, habits, and attitudes to suit the needs of those around them, setting themselves up for success in any situation. This habit often comes from a well-intentioned place, as Performers usually feel this behavior is what’s expected of them, and that their performance is somehow desired by others. Still, they can sometimes appear to be two-faced or dishonest in this effort; others might call them cut-throat. Ultimately, though, these skills make Performers well-suited to success in the business, marketing, and entertainment fields. Their ability to change their personal demeanor to reflect the desires of others allows them to establish quick and plentiful connections, foster successful negotiations, and earn the trust of investors, consumers, and audiences easily. Performers are also well-suited to athletics and competitive arenas, because they are not easily discouraged or distracted, and tend to embrace the notion of “mind over matter,” ignoring signals of pain or exhaustion. Finally, they can be powerful motivational speakers and spiritual leaders, because they often have a keen ability to read the emotions of other people, even with very little context. This relationship to the emotional body is a double-edged sword for Performers, who were raised to be hyper-conscious of the emotions of others, primarily for strategic reasons—in childhood, it was important for them to know when they were doing well, when their performance needed improvement, and how emotionally weak or strong the competition might be at any given moment—while simultaneously feeling compelled to push down, ignore, or dismiss their own emotional and physical feelings. It may seem counterintuitive if you know any members of this enneatype, but Performers belong to the heart triad; beneath that shiny, positive, successful exterior, they are driven by feelings of sadness and shame. While they may appear to be focused only on their goals, in truth, Performers aren’t just running towards success—they’re desperately fleeing from the shame of failure, which is why they’re often willing to do whatever it takes to keep moving, even when their choices seem beyond reason to others. They can indeed be inspired visionaries, but it’s important to remember that they are motivated by this shame, so they may be willing to bend the truth, break rules, and engage in other morally questionable practices to sustain any vision that doesn’t prove to be worth its weight in the long run. Think, for instance, of the stories of Elizabeth Holmes, founder of Theranos, or Bernie Madoff, former investment advisor and current convicted felon; these people are easily villainized in the public eye for their morally bankrupt choices, having sold extremely costly lies to thousands of people with little regard for the impact of their actions. At the same time, though, you must admit: it is impressive to imagine how much pressure these people dealt with on a daily basis without ever seeming to lose their cool, and staggering to see how deeply invested they became in their house-of-card visions, even after all the signs began pointing towards imminent failure. This is not to say that all Performers are prone to criminal or fraudulent behaviors, nor that they are all delusional or in denial of reality—on the contrary, many are able to achieve success and reach their goals without causing financial harm to others, or employing any version of a pyramid scheme, in order to do so. But this amazing, albeit frightening, super-power is one that most Performers can claim: they can make the impossible seem possible, by behaving as though personal will is the single most powerful force in the universe. They believe so strongly in their own ability to mold and shape reality that others can’t help but believe in them, too. As adults, Performers typically strive to be self-sufficient and autonomous, steamrolling forwards towards financial success or career stability while paying little attention to any other aspects of their lives. If they do manage to display enough emotional vulnerability to establish close friendships or intimate relationships, those closest to them are often able to recognize the good-intentions behind their calculated—and sometimes cold—demeanors. Romantic partners and family members in particular may be allowed insight into the motivating factors behind their behaviors, understanding that sometimes, Performers don’t work so hard because they enjoy feeling superior or successful, but rather, because they want to be able to provide stability and financial security for themselves and the people they love the most. If they do engage in fraudulent or criminal activity to achieve their goals, they may not seem smug or particularly proud of their abilities, looking upon these actions as necessary evils rather than opportunities for self-glorification. They may also be prone to wearing an emotional mask, presenting a façade of ease and simplicity to their loved ones, failing to share their deepest truths with anyone. Performers can be very charming and persuasive, but their intimate relationships often lack emotional depth and honesty. In a state of distress, the Performer often inhabits the headspace of a Peacemaker, becoming afraid of conflict and confrontation and diving into forms of distraction and escapism. They may choose to detach entirely from reality for an extended period—for example, choosing to play a video game for eight hours straight, or leaving town suddenly to go on a golf retreat or to a spa. They might also turn to mind-altering substances or alcohol abuse to achieve the same ends. Sadly, though, they often bring an achievement-oriented mindset even to their leisure activities. The video game stops being relaxing and becomes stressful when the Performer grows obsessed with leveling up; golfing stops being an escape, and instead becomes a two-tiered platform for accomplishment as the Performer aims to perform the sport with skill, and to network professionally with other players on the course; alcohol and drug use become competitive, as the Performer starts to consume more and more, past the point where the effects of their chosen drug are enjoyable. When the Performer can achieve work-life balance and build their value structure around authenticity, they are likely to become the kind of person that others look up to as a role model, as well as the kind of person who is likely to make history. The Performer must strive to fully understand and accept themselves, acknowledging their own inherent worth beyond the scope of their achievements, titles, and possessions. They must also learn to relax and focus some of their energy on being a receiver rather than a constant provider. At their healthiest, Performers become benevolent and supportive of others as a means to further their own success, abandoning competitive attitudes and helping to lead larger teams to progress and prosperity. Triad group: Heart. Primary emotional drive: Shame. Vice: Vanity and deceit (they believe they deserve the best; they must prove they are the best; it is justifiable to employ dishonesty in order to accomplish this). Ego fixation: Power, arrogance. Primary fear: Being worthless or insignificant. Sublime ideal: Being recognized and important. Pet Peeves: Wasted time; anything that contributes to a failure (lack of attention to detail, lateness, etc); laziness; people who are conversationally repetitive or unfocused; people who lack charisma; indirect communication and passive aggression. Point of growth: Authenticity, emotional vulnerability, teamwork and interdependence, balance of career and personal life. Famous examples: Andy Warhol, David Copperfield, Will Smith, Lance Armstrong, Oprah Winfrey, Muhammad Ali, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mick Jagger, Halle Berry, Truman Capote, Condoleeza Rice, Tony Blair, Lady Gaga, and Diane Sawyer. When members of this type set their sights on something, failure is not an option, and they will not take “no” for an answer. Type 4 – The Individualist Also known as: the romantic, the artist, the mystic, the designer, the free spirit, the creative, the daydreamer, the poet. Individualists are intense and deeply emotional people who lead with their hearts in most endeavors. They are often artistic and creative, with a deep appreciation for beauty and nuance. Individualists embody a number of dualities and contradictions. They want to be special and they want to be seen, yet they don’t want to stand out or be noticed; they want to be wanted, yet they don’t want to be caught; they want to be known and understood, yet they resist being exposed or defined. Their lives often revolve around this grey area, the push-pull dynamic between too much and not enough, and the simultaneous existence of disparate realities and contradicting emotions within a shared space. This being the case, it’s no wonder that many members of this type are plagued with feelings of melancholy. Anyone who is close to an Individualist knows that they can be extremely moody people (though their level of health will define how frequently these mood shifts cause them to lash out at other people), sometimes experiencing several vastly different emotions within the span of a few hours, and feeling each of them deeply and powerfully. Individualists have a tendency to experience emotions disproportionately—for example, they may be moved to tears by a casual gesture, or infuriated by a commercial they see on television—and they usually feel overwhelmed by the sheer force of their emotions. They might be more prone than most other types to call in sick to work or school when experiencing an emotional upset, even if it is in response to a fairly mild trigger. As children, Individualists developed an obsession with something that was missing, and this feeling came to define their perspective as adults. After developing a fear of abandonment or rejection at a young age, they are frequently fixated on whatever they do not have, or whatever is wrong. When they are surrounded by friends, family, and loved ones, they still might claim to feel that they are always on the outside looking in, or to feel misunderstood by even their closest confidants. Socially, they can run hot and cold. At times, they are warm and inviting, exuding a magnetic, appealing energy. Their penchant for artistic expression can make them fairly popular as well; they are usually articulate and thoughtful storytellers (though they are also detail-oriented and can be overly verbose) and they are generally attuned to other people’s emotions, which makes them skilled entertainers and excellent conversationalists. Individualist’s attitudes can be quite seductive, too, as they are extremely self-aware on an emotional level, and driven by a deep desire for compassion and understanding. At the same time, they are deeply sensitive people, and can be easily hurt or offended by other people’s actions, no matter how impersonal they may be. Individualists are masters of the “come hither—no, stay away” dance, alluring but reclusive, charismatic but introverted. They can be both melodramatic and mysterious at the same time. Individualists are perhaps the most deeply in touch with their emotions, as compared with the other enneatypes, but this proves to be both a blessing and a curse. They are not afraid of dark, intense emotions—in fact, they often trust in their authenticity more so than they would with easy, light-hearted feelings. They experience the world through a relational lens, so they cannot sit on unaddressed problems in their most valued relationships. These are the kinds of people who make cinema-worthy grand gestures to right their wrongs, taking a cue from John Cusack’s character in Say Anthing; when they are emotionally moved, they have difficulty in exhibiting patience or decorum. When Individualists are unhealthy and lacking perspective, they can be erratic, melodramatic, and very difficult to deal with. Sometimes they fall into the habits of the Helper as a reaction to stress, becoming prideful and manipulative; others might instead retreat into the vices of the Peacemaker, becoming slothful and paralyzed by the weight of their contradicting emotions. Unhealthy Individualists also tend to be resentful of obligations. By doing the bare minimum, they feel undervalued, taken for granted, bitter and frustrated. They may become self-indulgent or self-pitying, acting as though they are above the common denominators of human experience. By contrast, the Individualist in a state of integration takes on the traits of the Reformer, focused on the small details of reality over their own big emotions, and taking a healthy dose of self-criticism. When an Individualist moves towards a healthier place, they become less introspective and more focused on external manifestation, turning their emotional energy into productivity, and creating works of beauteous genius. They do not fear intense emotions as some other types do, so they have the courage to ask tough—and necessary—questions in the name of progress and change. They can be at their best when they embrace mindfulness, gratitude, and some degree of self-imposed discipline. They also benefit from having a creative or expressive outlet that is recognized and valued in a formal setting. Finally, they can reach a point of serenity when they learn to stop equating their emotions with their identity, recognizing that emotions pass over them like waves, while the self remains solid, like the ocean floor. Triad group: Heart. Primary emotional drive: Shame. Vice: Envy (no matter how grand life may be, someone else always has something that they lack, covet, and long for). Ego fixation: Melancholy, fantasizing. Primary fear: Lack of identity, self-awareness, or individual significance. Sublime ideal: Feeling comfortable in their own skin; knowing and fully understanding the self; living an authentic life. Pet Peeves: Being told they are too sensitive or that they are overreacting; rigid systems and strict sets of rules; people who only see things in black and white terms, overlooking the gray area; conformity; small talk and inauthenticity. Point of growth: Mindfulness, living in the present moment, understanding the temporary nature of emotions, avoiding interpersonal comparisons. Famous examples: Rumi, Edgar Allan Poe, Bjork, Virginia Woolf, Bob Dylan, Billie Holiday, William Faulkner, Diane Arbus, Vincent Van Gogh, Anaîs Nin, Morrissey, Stevie Nicks, Kate Winslet, James Dean, Sylvia Plath, Oscar Wilde, and Prince. It’s no coincidence that this list is dominated by creative professionals, nor that so many of them achieved degrees of fame that allowed them to be internationally recognized without using surnames. Type 5 – The Observer Also known as: the investigator, the thinker, the sage, the reductionist. Not all Observers are academics or intellectuals, but they are all sharp-minded in one way or another. This type learned early in life that their minds were both their most secure fortresses and their most effective weapons for self-protection, so they’ve come to value knowledge, rationality, and logic very highly. This type does have a reputation for intellectual elitism, and they are sometimes said to exhibit condescending attitudes, but many Observers are motivated by a desire to collect knowledge, trivia, and intelligence for the sake of security and self-preservation. They generally mean no offense, but through their lens of unbiased rationality, they sometimes forget to be attentive to the emotional displays of others, or to outwardly display their own emotional reactions. Many are not conscious of the behaviors that make them appear aloof or emotionally detached. Observers typically grew up in environments where their only access to peace of mind was through solitude. They may have grown up in large families with no privacy and rude siblings; or, they might have been children of emotionally immature parents who wouldn’t allow them to have boundaries. Either way, as adults, they are often driven to become introverted (but not always—extroverted Observers are rare, but awfully fun, gems!) and even if they have loving families, they may require long periods of privacy and alone time to maintain their mental health. They are very independent, value autonomy and self-sufficiency, and sometimes produce incredible works of innovation under the confines of isolation. In social situations, they tend to appear reserved, perhaps because Observers think before speaking and choose their words with care. Their actions and words are always deeply intentional, so to the casual observer, they may seem wise beyond their years; however, they’re tendency towards long ponderous conversational pauses can frustrate some enneatypes (Enthusiasts in particular). They are excellent problem solvers, especially when they feel the problem is a worthwhile and stimulating challenge. People sometimes find their lack of expressiveness off-putting, but beneath their poker faces, Observers have a deep well of thought and emotional experience. When asked questions, they may take a long time to respond, but when they do reply, they will provide an answer that is extremely thorough, thoughtful, and exceeds your expectations. Quality and accuracy are far more valuable to the Observer than speed or ease of understanding. Observers have a tendency to become hoarders of information if they feel their knowledge isn’t valued by the outside world. When unhealthy, they may forget to look after their physical bodies, after which point they can become obsessive, and eventually mentally disorganized, distracted, and unfocused. As part of the head triad, they have a dangerous habit of ignoring the physical and emotional sensations they experience, dismissing them as illogical or irrelevant sources of information. While they feel emotions—sometimes very powerfully—Observers typically struggle to process or express them in effective ways. The result can be that their emotions leak out, so to speak, through obsessive behaviors, compulsions, depression, weight gain or physical deterioration. Unhealthy Observers often become nihilistic or cynical; they have a tendency to self-isolate and develop eccentric habits. By contrast, a healthy Observer feels empowered to put their knowledge to good use, and becomes more action-oriented, grounded in their physical and emotional bodies as well as in their minds. They also learn that good teamwork is often the key to manifesting their most brilliant ideas, and that it functions best on interpersonal communication and trust. They must learn to become expressive, even if only with one or two trusted confidants, through a veiled form of expression such as art, or by sharing with anonymous support groups. Introverted Observers must also learn to recognize their own limitations, and give themselves adequate time and space to recharge after energy-draining experiences. When they develop strategies to share their knowledge without compromising their own limits and boundaries, they can grow to harness an incredible generosity of spirit, become inspirational figures, and change history. Triad group: Head. Primary emotional drive: Fear. Vice: Avarice and selfishness (desire to hoard knowledge and resources for the self in case of future scarcity problems). Ego fixation: Stinginess, retention. Primary fear: Helplessness, incompetence. Sublime ideal: Usefulness, capability, productivity. Pet Peeves: Situations in which loudly stated opinions are valued over well thought out or thoroughly-researched information; overly emotional displays; excessive noise or other sources of distraction from their inner world; the spread of false information; people who need an excessive amount of personal attention. Point of growth: Transforming knowledge into deep wisdom and helpful insight; physical manifestation; trusting others; caring for the body. Famous examples: Albert Einstein, Ursula K. Leguin, Nikola Tesla, Oliver Sacks, Annie Leibowitz, Stephen Hawking, Marie Curie, Sir Isaac Newton, Agatha Christie, Karl Marx, Daniel Day-Lewis, David Byrne, Charles Darwin, Joyce Carroll Oates, and Thelonious Monk. Whatever interests these types are drawn to, they become thorough experts and masters of their chosen discipline. Type 6 – The Loyalist Also known as: the devil’s advocate, the troubleshooter, the loyal skeptic, the questioner, the guardian, the pessimist, the security seeker. It is widely believed that Loyalists are the most common of all the enneatypes (though this would be virtually impossible to measure with any certainty). They are a very diverse group of people on the surface level, but all are united in a common value structure. First, they consider interpersonal trust to be extremely important—generally, whatever is best for society as a whole, or for their community at large, is what they support. Secondly, Loyalists are united by an ever-present sense of doubt, fear, and anticipation of imminent disaster. Both of these values serve their ultimate concern: security. They crave safety and predictability, but see the world as a dangerous and untrustworthy place. Their best defense against this is to form strong bonds with other strong-minded and trustworthy people in their sphere, and to cooperatively aim to be prepared for any catastrophe. They are always strategizing, looking for ways to ensure safety and take all possible precautions. Loyalists are future-minded and focused on anticipation of that which is virtually impossible to foresee; typically, they are acutely aware of their surroundings, and have a highly developed sense of intuition. While they are often stereotyped as neurotic and nervous people, they have some wonderful qualities that outweigh these negatives. Loyalists are often gifted with the ability to remain calm and level-headed in emergency situations, allowing their excessive preparedness to pay off. They often have developed a fantastic sense of humor surrounding their anxiety issues, which can help to put other people at ease about their own fears and doubts. Being the most common type, Loyalists are sometimes divided into two subtypes regarding their reactions to threatening stimulus. They may be phobic, meaning their fear inspires respect and obedience, or they might be counter-phobic, meaning their fear lights a rebellious spark within them. Generally speaking, though, even when Loyalists are rebellious and disrespectful of authority, they tend to have faith that society will function better if everyone shows up to do their fair share of work. Therefore, they are usually reliable, responsible, and committed workers in whatever field they chose to work in; furthermore, they often chose fields wherein their expertise for troubleshooting can prove invaluable, resulting in life or death outcomes, or the earning (or loss) of vast sums of money. It’s important for Loyalists to feel that they are contributing something valuable to society in their daily lives. When unhealthy, Loyalists may become overly pessimistic, cautious, indecisive, defiant, and reactive. They might struggle with suspicion, paranoia, and even doubt in their own sanity. But in a state of self-awareness and good health, the Loyalist becomes self-reliant, not needing reassurance from others to feel safe and secure. Additionally, the healthy Loyalist develops a sense of trust and faith in the universe to take care of their basic needs and show them love. They perform best when their instinctual doubt is balanced by loved ones who encourage them to lean into their optimistic side. They will find room for growth in developing a positive outlook, allowing themselves to take occasional risks, and aiming to be more present, rather than always focused on future possibilities. Triad group: Head. Primary emotional drive: Fear. Vice: Dread and anxiety (it can sometimes feel safer to approach everything through the veil of distrust and doubt). Ego fixation: Cowardice, rumination. Primary fear: Falling with no safety net; lacking guidance or support in times of need. Sublime ideal: Security, predictability; being well-prepared for anything and supported by others. Pet Peeves: Having their fears dismissed or laughed off; suck-ups, flatterers, sycophants, and all forms of false kindness; unreliable people or systems; manipulative people; irresponsible, careless, and needlessly risky behaviors. Point of growth: Releasing fear; embracing spontaneity; maintaining inner balance; having faith in the universe to take care of the rest. Famous examples: Sigmund Freud, John Cusack, Mark Twain, Lynda Carter, Richard Pryor, Tom Hanks, Mary Tyler Moore, Seymour Hersh, Lewis Black, Richard Branson, Dame Judi Dench, Woody Allen, Richard Nixon, Jane Fonda, Spike Lee, Jennifer Anniston, and Bruce Springsteen. As the most common of all the enneatype, Loyalists are an extremely diverse group. As a whole, though, they tend to exhibit an excellent sense of humor. Type 7 – The Enthusiast Also known as: the epicure, the adventurer, the escapist, the optimist, the generalist. Of all the potential titles used to describe this type, not a single one of them manages to encompass their spirit with a single word. Enthusiasts are optimistic, energetic, free-spirited and playful. They are innovators and explorers with a constant thirst for new stimulation, which means they are more likely than most to embrace change, take risks, and dive into novel experiences head first. Enthusiasts tend to have a lot of ideas, and they are constantly in motion; some find that physical movement actually helps them to think more clearly or to process emotions more efficiently, so its not uncommon to find Enthusiasts who combine exercise with brainstorming, or adventure with romance. Their fun-loving, easy-going attitudes, combined with their constant forward momentum, often make this type very charming and easy to idealize, but anyone who has maintained a long term romantic or platonic relationship with an Enthusiast knows that it’s not all sunshine, roses, and whirlwind adventure with this type. Enthusiasts are in the head triad, driven towards adventure and excitement as a means of escaping their own fears. They don’t simply enjoy action and excitement—they need these things, because they use them as a shield against the dark thoughts and emotions that might catch up with them if they ever stopped moving for more than a few minutes at a time. Enthusiasts aren’t just hungry for action and momentum, they are desperate for it; this means that they often have a hard time saying “no,” to any invitation, tend to overcommit themselves, and can be unreliable. They burn very brightly until they are completely burnt out, at which point they are unable to live up to any promises they might have previously made to their colleagues, friends, or loved ones. Especially in regards to unhealthy Enthusiasts, many of whom have successfully avoided any meaningful introspective work throughout most of their lives, their frenetic energy and wholehearted belief that the world is their oyster can make them very socially attractive, but only in small doses. It can be exhausting—mentally, physically, and emotionally—to spend a lot of time around an Enthusiast who isn’t self-aware of their shortcomings and maladaptive behaviors. Many have the unfortunate habit of consistently speaking and acting before thinking, which can be both a good and a bad thing. On the one hand, it allows them to be uninhibited, authentic and charismatic, making them quite attractive in the eyes of some other types. On the other hand, this habit sometimes leads them to say and do things that hurt the people they care about, despite the Enthusiast’s best intentions, or it may lead them to take actions that ultimately do not serve their best interests. They are prone to biting off more than they can chew, getting themselves in deep without any escape plan, playing with fire, and flirting with danger. Enthusiasts can be very tactile and expressive, telling entertaining stories embellished with illustrative gesticulation, and may be extremely touchy-feely with trusted companions; yet, despite the fact that an Enthusiast can easily express their love and enthusiasm for others, they themselves can be difficult to pin down, communicate with, or count on. They draw a lot of attention to themselves, but have difficulty focusing on any other single individual for long periods, or through challenges; as a result, their personal relationships often lack meaningful reciprocity. Romantic partners of Enthusiasts might describe them as people who are very kind-hearted and well-intentioned, but frequently thoughtless and careless, too. Bosses and colleagues might describe them as brilliant, but inconsistent and irresponsible. Enthusiasts may find it very challenging to work in highly structured environments, with rigid schedules and high-pressure deadlines, or to maintain relationships with people who require a lot of reassurance and predictability. Team work can also be a struggle for this type, as they have a habit of constantly moving goal posts; whether you are arguing against an Enthusiast, or brainstorming alongside one and working towards a common end, it can be difficult to keep track of where the conversation is headed and what the objective is. The Enthusiast’s vice is gluttony—nothing is ever enough, in their minds, and more is always better. But they also have short attention spans, so working on a project with them can leave your head spinning, as they shift back and forth between expressing dissatisfaction with the project’s current state (“It needs more this, it needs more that, and it needs more of everything!”) and not having enough patience to put any additional work into it (“This is boring, but I have a great idea for our next project!”) consistently focusing on what could be, rather than on what is. Enthusiasts are certainly capable of accomplishing great things—but they tend not to progress in a straight or direct line when they do so. Enthusiasts are adrenaline addicts; the rush of a thrilling and new experience is an effective way for them to distract themselves from their anxieties and disconnect from authentic emotional sensations. They avoid silence and rest for this very reason, and are liable to ignore their own body’s warning signs in order to keep pushing ahead, despite their physical exhaustion. They can be extremely fun to be around, and are often seen as the life of the party—but we can gain important insight into this type’s psyche by recognizing that they often feel this as a personal responsibility, rather than a role they take on because it is fun and rewarding. Enthusiasts fear being seen as boring, letting people down, or failing to heighten the level of energy in any room. They are motivated to create excitement and distraction as a means of self-preservation, so when this task becomes daunting or difficult, they become highly stressed, leaning into some of the Reformer’s habits and becoming perfectionists, focusing on constant improvement where constant forward momentum is no longer an option. Enthusiasts are afraid of pain and suffering; this isn’t unusual, but they seem to define pain a bit differently than other types do. For Enthusiasts, limitation feels the same as physical pain; restriction feels like smothering. This may indeed be due to the fact that members of this type have been avoiding processing their anxieties for so many years that they actually manifest in physical symptoms whenever they slow down enough for these feelings to catch up with them—stomach pains and headaches, for instance, or perhaps nausea and shortness of breath. Members of this enneatype tend to think about these emotions in a theoretical sense, but hold them at a distance, never allowing themselves to truly feel, process, or release them. Avoiding this inner pain is an enormous part of the Enthusiast’s psyche, and recognizing this fact can help to explain a lot of their erratic, confusing, and illogical behaviors. In order to escape limitation, many are willing to sacrifice a world full of good things that come along with it, like stability, a sense of belonging in a community, safety, love, and even financial security. Enthusiasts are future-minded, yet many of them never think far enough into the future to develop any long-term plans. Healthy Enthusiasts move towards temperance and sobriety, learning to get comfortable with stillness, and accept what is rather than fixating on what could be. By working on introspection and self-awareness, they often begin to appear more like Observers, becoming more calm and focused on particular areas of interest that spark their passion; they also may start to exhibit more of the Helper’s traits, making an effort to reciprocate past generosities and to share their emotions with others in their community. Enthusiasts must develop strategies to face and process their pain, rather than running from it, because ultimately, pain is something that pushes us to learn and grow. When we avoid it forever, we stunt our own emotional growth and keep ourselves frozen in an adolescent’s psyche. Once the Enthusiast understands how to accept pain as a part of life, and use it to their own advantage, they’ll be able to evolve into the best possible version of themselves. Triad group: Head. Primary emotional drive: Fear. Vice: Gluttony (nothing is ever enough, no level of intensity is too extreme). Ego fixation: Anticipation, anxiety. Primary fear: Pain, deprivation, imprisonment, restriction. Sublime ideal: Contentment, satisfaction, fulfillment. Pet Peeves: Dealing with overly emotional or hypersensitive people; waiting for progress or forward momentum without an end in sight (airport delays, for example); naysayers and people with inherently doubtful perspectives; strict guidelines, schedules and deadlines; negativity; imposed solitude; busy work; systems that do not offer choices; pointless limitations. Point of growth: Temperance; sobriety; stillness; focus. Famous examples: Leonardo Da Vinci, Benajmin Franklin, Lauren Bacall, Chuck Berry, e.e. cummings, Richard Feynman, Tina Turner, Jackie Chan, Iggy Pop, Roberto Benigni, Sir Elton John, Elizabeth Taylor, George Clooney, Sarah Palin, Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, and Steve Jobs. This group is full of trailblazers and visionaries who tend to take their ideas, run with them, and go all the way. Type 8 – The Challenger Also known as: the protector, the maverick, the hero, the boss, the intimidator, the leader. Challengers are fairly uncommon enneatypes, which may be why there are so many negative stereotypes about their personalities that pervade, despite their lack of grounding in reality. They are indeed strong-willed, direct, assertive, and sometimes bossy, but the intensity of their demeanor doesn’t always translate into aggression, violence, or any other tools that bullies might use to exert control over others. A Challenger who is emotionally unhealthy or in a state of extreme distress can certainly act like a stereotypical bully, using intimidation tactics, physical force, and cruelty to subordinate others and make themselves feel powerful—but far more often, Challengers are people whose entire identity and personality is built around their desire to stand up against bullies and tyrants, protecting and defending weaker people, hopefully empowering them in the process. On the surface level, Challengers may seem like steel tanks, but inside, they are often soft as teddy bears, ready to root for underdogs and believe in the power of love. They may not express emotions soft often, but that doesn’t mean they can’t feel them very deeply. Challengers are not always physically large, but even when they are short and slight, they exude confidence, intensity, courage and strength to a degree that many people find intimidating. They are decisive, sometimes impulsive, and reactionary; much like Enthusiasts, they tend to act first and think later, especially when they are in lower levels of health with underdeveloped self-awareness. They are generally lustful, and part of the body triad, which means they experience emotion, understanding, and desire primarily through their bodies; a Challenger might therefore find themselves physically attracted to someone, even if they share no sentimental attachment, and cannot maintain a pleasant conversation or agree on anything. They can be hot-tempered, and more likely than most other types to react in anger before thinking things through. Most Challengers grew up in an environment that demanded strength, bravery, and integrity from them personally while failing to hold others to the same standards. A classic example is the eldest sibling in a group of several children raised by abusive or neglectful parents; this child would have to summon courage and use every form of strength available—physical, mental, and emotional fortitude—to protect the younger children, prevent or manage the parental abuse, and somehow negotiate for their own needs at the same time. This means that many Challengers grow up with a take-charge attitude that some people read as arrogance or a desire to control other people, when it fact, it stems from a desire to ensure fairness, peace and security for everyone around them. They cannot tolerate injustices, and often end up inserting themselves into disputes that have no relevance to them personally, acting as a referee or a hero. Challengers are usually very aware of power dynamics within any group or setting, and seem to have an antenna that picks up on manipulative, controlling, or aggressive behaviors around them, like a superhero in a comic book. They are not easily intimidated by the anger of others (which, to some people, looks like a lack of emotion or form of sociopathy) and are not afraid of confrontation—in fact, many Challengers actually appreciate confrontation, because they see it as a pathway to understanding truth and deepening intimacy. This may be the result of growing up in an environment where harshly conveyed truths were far more valuable for self-preservation than flowery, sugar-coated lies. To the Challenger, telling someone: “Stop playing with that fire! What are you, stupid? Do you want to get yourself killed?” is actually kinder than a gentle suggestion that one respect fire safety rules and avoid unnecessary risk, because it is more likely to be effective at preventing harm. They appreciate being called out and offered useful criticism, and actually accept these gestures as signs of love and affection. Their methods may seem harsh and lacking in compassion, but ultimately, Challengers believe that it’s better to teach someone to fish than to console them as they bemoan their hunger. Their aim is to stop injustice in its tracks, which they do by first preventing the actions of aggressors, and then secondly, demanding that the victims never tolerate such aggression again. Early in life, most Challengers were taught that emotional vulnerability made them weak, and that exposing their own weakness was a risk they could never afford to take again. As such, they tend to keep their softer emotions repressed or hidden; when these emotions do surface, they sometimes are difficult for others to recognize or interpret, because they are released through the rhetoric and body language of anger. For instance, a Challenger who is feeling grief at the loss of a loved one might express it through violence and destruction; or, a Challenger feeling unsupported or abandoned by their romantic partner might yell at them and call them names, instead of crying and asking for the help and attention they crave. Challengers have no tolerance for dishonesty or cowardice. They believe that trust and moral integrity make us all stronger, and they dislike things like gossip, white lies, false kindness, and betrayal; these behaviors serve to corrode social trust and complicate social hierarchies, allowing abusive dynamics to thrive. When this type is severely stressed, they may start to act more like an Observer, becoming apprehensive, reclusive, and disinterested in social interaction, losing faith in the goodness of other people. They might fall into the practice of overthinking and overanalyzing the power dynamics around them, developing a sense of general mistrust, suspicion, and cynicism. An unhealthy Challenger who has not developed a keen sense of self-awareness usually behaves like a bulldozer or a powder keg. Challengers prefer to be in an offensive position rather than a defensive position, and don’t ever want to be caught off guard. They feel that it is always better to attack life than to let it come at you first, which is why they sometimes enjoy the same thrill-seeking, adrenaline-inducing activities that Enthusiasts love. They are also often loud, forceful, and tough, though they take care to avoid directing these traits at anyone in particular when they are in the higher echelons of health. Challengers tend to curse a lot, but they use foul language to intensify their self-expression, not to offend others or cause them pain. Exhibiting patience and decorum can be difficult for this type. They often believe that bad situations can only get worse with time, and that quick, decisive reactions are the best preventative measures to combat any injustice. At their best, Challengers are natural leaders—the type who would never nominate themselves to a position of power, but are unanimously voted the best person for the job. They can be heroic and brave without needing glory or recognition; more importantly, they tend to think more in terms of the greater good than personal benefit. They must learn to temper their reactionary impulses with tolerance and self-control, and to practice deeper empathy with those enneatypes that are primarily motivated by fear. They must also come to grips with the fact that emotional vulnerability is the true key to intimacy, not just a weakness that can be exploited. When a Challenger learns to trust in the inherent goodness of others, they can find greater peace of mind and release the lion’s share of their anxieties. They become less domineering, and grow to be inspiring instead, leading others to find their own sources of inner strength. Triad group: Body. Primary emotional drive: Anger. Vice: Lust (inability to control impassioned urges, whether sexual, violent, or simply energetic). Ego fixation: Vengeance, objectification. Primary fear: Being manipulated or controlled. Sublime ideal: Safety, freedom, and peace of mind. Pet Peeves: People who abuse positions of authority, or treat them carelessly; invasion of personal space; dishonesty and dishonorable behaviors; anyone who would take advantage of another’s weaknesses; feeling physically restrained or powerless. Point of growth: Surrender; vulnerability; introspection and forethought; compassion. Famous examples: Socrates, Julius Caesar, Pablo Picasso, Toni Morrison, Humphrey Bogart, Johnny Cash, Morgan Freeman, Gloria Allred, Ernest Hemingway, Fidel Castro, Frank Sinatra, Joan Jett, Russell Crowe, Rosie O’Donnell, Donna Karan, Oliver Stone, and Denzel Washington. Challengers aren’t necessarily aggressive people—but generally, they aren’t the type you’d want to cross. Type 9 – The Peacemaker Also known as: the negotiator, the mediator, the preservationist, the accommodator. The last enneatype, sitting at the top of the Enneagram, is type 9—the Peacemaker. Members of this group are warm, kind, optimistic and easy-going. They are natural masters of empathy and communication, and often have a gift for bringing people together, creating harmonious communities. But Peacemakers can be tolerant beyond reason, and therein lies their greatest struggle; by constantly accommodating the needs of others, they tend to lose their sense of self entirely, not only forgetting to attend to their own needs, but also forgetting how to recognize what their personal needs are. Peacemakers and Helpers can frequently be confused with one another, which is understandable, because both are generally agreeable and motivated to please others more so than they are driven to address their own needs. Still, there are some differences that can help us to distinguish between these two types. Perhaps the easiest to illustrate is the way in which these enneatypes relate to others, and how they choose to justify their behaviors. Helpers tend to target specific individuals in need of their assistance, and will defend those individuals against others if called upon to do so, taking on other people’s battles as their own; by contrast, Peacemakers wish to avoid conflict entirely, and try their best to be on everybody’s side at once, at the expense of having any personal opinions or interests to defend. When Helpers choose to love someone, they do so with full awareness of that person’s best and worst qualities; meanwhile, Peacemakers tend to see everyone through rose-colored glasses, assuming the best of others, even when they are given ample reason to think poorly of them. Helpers want their displays of affection to be reciprocated, and are sometimes willing to coerce or manipulate others in order to get their due; Peacemakers, on the other hand, have very little personal agency in relationships with others, and even if they don’t like the way someone is treating them, they will accept the behavior (meaning they will accept that they cannot change the way someone feels about them or wants to behave—they may not allow the behavior to be repeated, though, by withdrawing their attention or presence entirely). Generally, the Peacemaker is not an assertive person, and they aren’t likely to display feelings of frustration, annoyance, doubt, or resentment—but that doesn’t mean they are immune to negative emotions. They belong to the body triad, so beneath that easy-going exterior, they are driven by a sense of anger. Their goal is to repress this anger, or will it out of existence, rather than addressing or processing it. This means that unhealthy Peacemakers can fall into passive-aggressive habits when they are unable to alter or escape bad relationship dynamics. They also have a tendency to become paralyzed in the face of conflict that they cannot extinguish quickly, and grow complacent; this is when their vice of sloth often rears its ugly head. Their initial response to conflict is that of a deer in headlights, but when the conflict doesn’t resolve or progress over time, the Peacemaker often chooses to play dead and leave the rest in the hands of fate. Interestingly, though Peacemakers have a reputation for being calm and relaxed, many self-report that they handle a great deal of hidden anxiety and frantic energy, like swans who appear graceful as they drift, but paddle madly beneath the water’s surface. Peacemakers dread losing the support and acceptance of others; they are fixated on being universally tolerated rather than loved deeply by a few select individuals, or by themselves. Their desperate need to people-please can be overwhelming, though, as they often struggle to prioritize or triage the contradictory needs of others. In their view, everyone else’s needs are equally important, and all of those needs are more important than the Peacemaker’s personal requirements. It’s likely that the Peacemaker was raised in an environment that valued the needs of the community over the needs of any individual within it—perhaps a religious or spiritual atmosphere where they were taught to equate self-denial with virtuosity. They tend to be self-effacing, shying away from the spotlight and avoiding situations in which they are asked to speak about themselves at length. The Peacemaker’s personality might strike some as a blank slate—they often answer questions like parrots: “I don’t know, what do you want to do?” or “I don’t care, what do you want to eat?” As compared to the Helper, the Peacemaker doesn’t just subordinate their own needs in relation to the needs of other people; they wish to be at harmony with the universe as whole, so they are more likely to allow the needs of the planet, ecosystem, and society at large to influence their lifestyle choices, rather than to tailor their behaviors to suit the preferences of a select few people. Peacemakers are dreamers and seekers who want nothing more than to feel connected and at peace with the world around them. They are the most spiritually inclined of all the enneatypes, and also the best suited to diplomatic work (as compared to Helpers, who might be better cast in the role of a personal assistant or agent). They are receptive people who often struggle to enforce boundaries, and are easily influenced by the personalities that surround them at any given time. They identify with all of the other enneatypes to some degree, as a function of their high capacity for empathetic connection, and they are able to harness multiple contradicting viewpoints at once. The Peacemaker can best serve the world at large by identifying, embodying, and empowering the self. They must embrace the notion of self-care and use meditative practice to forge a deeper connection to the self and to a higher power, remembering to honor and serve these entities above all others. When they are centered, balanced, and grounded, rather than feeling pulled in a million different directions at once, the Peacemaker is able to focus on channeling their energy into effecting positive change, and creating stable, lasting harmony in both their inner and exterior worlds. Triad group: Body. Primary emotional drive: Anger. Vice: Sloth (stagnation, indecision, lack of action). Ego fixation: Indolence, daydreaming. Primary fear: Separation, loss, loneliness, banishment. Sublime ideal: Peace, stability, and harmony with others. Pet Peeves: Being treated with a patronizing or condescending attitude; feeling ignored; being interrupted or blown off; being put on the spot or made the center of attention; people who thrive on conflict or willingly create melodrama. Point of growth: Courage in facing confrontation and addressing discord; asserting personal needs. Famous examples: Abraham Lincoln, Jane Austen, Carl Jung, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Johnson, the Dalai Lama, Ronald Reagan, Julia Child, James Earl Jones, Woody Harrelson, Lisa Kudrow, Will Ferrell, Diana Krall, Jeff Goldblum, Ringo Starr, Sammy Sosa, Zooey Deschanel, David Beckham, and J.K. Rowling. In almost any realm, these people function as the glue that holds the rest of society together, and somehow bring smiles to all of our faces while they do so; they tend to be crowd pleasers. Chapter 3: What’s your type? Now that we know a bit about each of the enneatypes, I’ll bet you’re curious to know which type you belong to! In this chapter, we’ll go through a very brief self-assessment quiz that you can use as a first step on your healing journey with the Enneagram. This is only a small sample of a quiz to get you started; there are several longer versions available for free online, or for a cost through Enneagram coaches, all of which can provide more precise, extensive insight. I’d highly encourage you to seek them out, and take several, if you can, to see if your results are consistent. Be mindful of the fact that assessment tests based on self-reported truths can deliver inaccurate results, skewed by personal biases, blind spots, and desires. It’s fairly common for people to take time—sometimes years—and countless tests to find their true type, especially for those who are already deeply empathic, as they will identify with most enneatypes to some degree. For a more insightful evaluation and guided growth, you may want to seek out the services of a licensed Enneagram coach. The river test Imagine you are travelling with a large group. Where you’re heading, the place you’ve left behind—these things don’t particularly matter in this exercise. What matters is that the group must continue moving forward to reach their destination. The group’s momentum is stymied when you find yourselves at the bank of a wide, deep, river that you weren’t expecting to encounter. It lies in your way; you cannot move forward without crossing it. Which of the below options most closely matches your reaction? a) “This river current looks dangerous. Let’s send a small boat of the strongest swimmers across on a reconnaissance mission, and see how they fare; we can stand here on the shore and watch them, taking note of what’s working and what isn’t, and look out for any other potential dangers coming from behind us in the meantime.” b) “If I can factor in everything I’ve learned about rivers, ecology, and human nature, I can crack this nut; let me examine the shoreline so that I can find the perfect point of entry, and scout our landing point on the opposite bank. This will ensure that we all get across safely and without difficulty. There’s no point in even dipping our toes in before I’ve accomplished this.” c) “That river current probably looks stronger than it really is. I’ll just march into the river and swim against the current; that will make everyone else less afraid.” d) “This is a great opportunity to show off my new bathing suit. I’d better dive in and show off my impeccable swimming skills while everyone’s still watching, before anyone else gets in the water. If I can execute a perfect butterfly stroke all the way across, that will reassure everyone and put them at ease… or at least distract them from their panic.” e) “Why is everyone milling about on the shore without a plan? There could be a storm, or a river monster. There are perfectly good trees back here to provide shelter. I’ll just stay back here where it’s safe and watch what the others do at the riverbank. Maybe I’ll take notes. If none of them survive in the end, I can write a book about this…” f) “Alright, here we go, time to swim across the river—wait, that kid behind me is not going to make it across on his own, let me help him. Once he gets across, I can come back and help that pregnant woman, and once she’s safe, I can come back to help the elderly, and then if any of my friends are lagging behind, I can push them along… wait, now most everyone’s gotten across, and I’m still on the wrong side of the river, too exhausted to cross. Who’s going to help me?” g) “I see people are getting on a boat, and there’s room for me to join—but no, that’s too easy, I can do better than that. Plus, I feel like nobody else has paused to consider how the river feels about all of this. Does the river want to be crossed by a boat? The water is so beautiful, graceful, and warm… what if it has more to teach us? Lessons we’ll never learn if we don’t plunge down beneath the surface? What’s the good in crossing a river if we can’t experience the water fully? If we don’t emerge with a story to tell? Not only am I going to swim across on my own—I’m going to do it as gracefully as a dolphin, and take time to honor the river’s feelings. I’ll swim down to dig my fingertips in the silt at the bottom, and then if I make it back up to the surface, I’ll write a song about whatever I found in the depths.” h) “A river? Sweet! I love swimming. Why does everyone else look upset? We can worry about crossing it tomorrow—for now, let’s party. Cannon ball!” i) “Who am I to distrust the river current? Maybe it wants me to go downstream. I’m sure the river has its reasons. I’ll just drift along and let it take me wherever it wants me to go, instead of struggling against the current. Might as well enjoy the ride, right?” Answer key If you identify with option a, you are most likely a Loyalist. If you identify with option b, you are probably a Reformer. If option c struck a chord with you, you might be a Challenger. If option d resonated most strongly with you, chances are that you’re a Performer. If e sounded a whole lot like you, it’s possible you are an Observer. If option f sounds most like something you would say, you may be a Helper. If you can understand the mindset of option g, it is highly likely that you are an Individualist. If option h best represents your attitude, you are probably an Enthusiast. If you identify most with option i, you may be a Peacemaker. Processing your results If you’ve go