Enneagram Personality Guide
Below I’ve placed three cartoons for each of the Enneagram personalities. The middle cartoon will show the typical representation of the personality. The picture above the blue arrow will show the potential of the person when the veils of the personality have been seen through. The picture below the red arrow will show what it’s like when the veils have become heavy and are creating unhappy and unhealthy ramifications for the person.
Type One Personality
This cartoon shows the happy potential that’s possible for the Type One personality.When the critical super ego in their head either dissolves or is seen through, the person can trust their deeper instincts and intelligence. This allows them to be spontaneous, happy, tolerant, loving and flexible while still being able to be disciplined and fundamentally good.
Above is what it can be typically like for the One Personality. Preaching to themselves and others, worrying about details, easily irritated, seeing what’s wrong and what needs to be corrected and judging everything and everyone as an automatic response.
While there are some gifts to this personality (and some which I could certainly do with) such as having an eye for detail, self disciplined, organized, immaculate, being fundamentally a good person and being able to see how to improve things, there are certainly negatives as well. Most with this personality are driven by a strong voice coming from their conscience that orders them about and judges everything they do, which makes them feel uptight with worry that they’ll make a mistake. Or even worse they fear their human instincts will pour out and they’ll act like an animal. Since they go through life bottling up their natural urges as a way to be good they feel that if they let them out then they’ll be bad.
The underlying unconscious feeling that they’re resisting is imperfection. This creates a lot of stress for this type as they actively seek strategies to rid themselves of this fear of being imperfect. (Allowing yourself to feel imperfect can lead to freedom. Allowing yourself to acknowledge that we’re all imperfect alleviates the stress and helps us to see life in broader terms than just ‘good’ and ‘bad’.
This is how it can be for this type of personality if they take their ideal of perfection too far and we’ve all come across people like this in parents, and especially the teaching field and religion. Rigidly pursuing perfection at the expense of everything else leads to an unhappy and unnatural way to live. Often we see these types in religion where they preach ideals (which are too strict even for themselves, so they secretly act out the behaviors they’re preaching against.)
Type Two Personality
Here is a happy type Two personality who is no longer being driven by the underlying, unconscious feeling that they’re worthless.
Here is what its like for the typical Two personality type. Feeling worthless creates a neediness that drives the person to look after everybody whether its wanted or not. These people feel genuine love and compassion for everyone they help and they’re often inspirational. Yet however much they give they can never quite get rid of that awful feeling that deep down they’re worthless and they can never find other people to help them like they look after others.
Allowing themselves to acknowledge and feel the worthlessness allows them the opportunity to be free from this unconscious feeling which they work so hard to resist. When they allow this feeling to be consciously felt they discover their real value (which is priceless no matter how much they give or not).
When a person with this personality type believes they need to do more and give more, no matter what, they can end up desperately and slavishly giving to others and desperately seeking love for their efforts.
Type Three Personality
Here is a happy three type personality once they’ve discovered they’ve been relentlessly pursuing success and desperately seeking approval and realized it will never be enough to stop the fear of rejection and failure that niggles under the surface. They’ve discovered they’re lovable whether they produce or not and whether they’re a success or not. They can pursue genuine interests from a place of love.
Here is the typical three type personality, who rarely rests because they have a schedule to follow, as well as countless agendas and meetings and people to meet and projects to finalize . . . and they have to keep the spin about their success uppermost in everyone’s minds.
The experience they’re resisting is failure. Its beneficial to stop chasing success and feel what failure actually feels like. When we stop to feel and acknowledge failure it allows us to discover that we’re all worthwhile vital human beings and that competition only exists in their own minds. Judging themselves and others in the narrow framework of just success and failure limits their perception of people in a way that is unfair, untrue and doesn’t allow everyone’s different gifts to flourish.
This is not to take away from their brilliant gifts of having enormous energy, charm, focus and ability to achieve. The enneagram is not about limiting ourselves or our gifts. Its about discovering which beliefs and drives don’t serve. The belief that a person has to keep producing as a way to receive love is not very satisfying or healthy.
If the person spirals downwards they may find that they’re burnt out, exhausted and desperate to find ways to keep the spin of success happening.
Type Four Personality
Here is a joyful four personality who has discovered that their flaws are imaginary and their life isn’t as tragic as they’d thought. They know that even though their emotions will come and go they needn’t have a negative meaning or adversely effect their day.
They can discover that if they actively pursue their creativity and dreams with discipline they have an enormous amount to offer the world.
This is all possible when the belief that they’re flawed and inadequate is discovered to be false.
Here is a typical representation of the four personality – self absorbed, emotional, hoping they’re special, feeling unrecognized and feeling unable to deal with the mundane side of life, especially with the gloomy cloud of despair hanging over them.
Even though their gifts of creativity, flair, style, depth of feeling and an unusual take on life are wonderful to have, these needn’t be over-shadowed by sensitivity, hurts, despair and tumultuous emotions.
The feeling they’re resisting is the shame of being flawed. They then have to actively cultivate special airs and elite yearnings to compensate for their flaws. Yet when they consciously allow themselves to feel the shame and feel the flaws they discover freedom and joy, a sense of humor and a commonality with their fellow human beings.
Type Five Personality
Here is how the typical five personality manifests. The person is dissociated from their body and emotions and lives mainly in the head as an observer. They feel overwhelmed by the world and other people so they withdraw into themselves and arm themselves with facts as a way to survive.
The gifts that come with the five personality are enormous yet the downside is that they often miss out as they attempt to live life from a distance or through a book. While understanding the theory they miss the full understanding that comes from actual experience.
This personality can spiral down to the point where they isolate themselves from the world and drastically minimize their needs. They can become highly strung, secretive and fearful.