What’s Your Enneagram Type?

Ken and I met in college. We’d both been selected for a semester-long project that all-too-closely resembled The Real World in those days: 15 students were filmed as we worked/napped/ate together in a towering mansion off campus producing and directing three documentaries for PBS. There were fights and tears and new love, and I still remember inviting the head professor to our whirlwind wedding two years later: You’ll never believe it! We’re getting married! and her response: Oh honey, I called it after one day in that mansion.

We were, indeed, a pair.

Late at night, if there was no footage to log or scripts to write, Ken and I would grab a laptop and plop ourselves on the oversized leather couches, scrolling through dozens of personality tests online. We’d said it was just for fun, of course, but with every quiz answer – What kind of dog are you? Who’s your celebrity crush? – we were answering something else: Could this be love?

It was, and it is, and ever since, I’ve had a strange affinity for personality tests. Sure, they’re flawed in a hundred different ways, leaving little room for margin or gray areas, but you know me, there’s just something so tidy about pegging down a personality in a neat series of check boxes.

My favorite? The Enneagram.

There’s a free shortened version here (you’ll have to log in) that takes 10 minutes or so to work through, but the results are astoundingly precise. Essentially, we all fall squarely into 1 of 9 main personality tendencies, each picking up various traits from the numbers closest. So as a 9 myself (peacemaker), I also carry a few tendencies from 1s (reformer) and 8s (challenger).

It will come as a surprise to no one at all that Ken is a 3.

I don’t put a ton of stock in these things, not really, because I know we’re all a bundled, hard-to-pin-down mix of a hundred different things. But I do like how, every now and then, we can learn something new about our patterns, our defaults, our hardwired personality traits, and then do something about it.

Just yesterday, I was reminded of a weird quirk of type 9: It matters how we’re asked to do things.

Ken is great at knowing this about me and has acquired over ten years of experience asking, ‘If you think about it, could you add cashews to the grocery list?’ instead of ‘Hey, we need cashews.’

It’s a small thing, and it’s not a small thing at all.

Have you guys taken a great personality test lately? Anything that jumps out about you? Anything you’ve learned about yourself? I’d love to hear!

  • I absolutely love personality test and I was excited to find one that I hadn’t taken! I too am a 9 with 1 and 8 tendencies. I also enjoy the Meyer’s Briggs because that was the first time that I felt like I understood my personality. I am an INFJ and less than 1% of the population has that personality type so it was very eye opening! Thanks for sharing!!

  • I have shied away from personality tests because I’ve always been quite unsure of myself. Most often, I know about myself but just wish I was different. I guess my experiences in life have led me to fear that if only I was different, things would be different. I’ve always felt that I’m just a mix of everything because I’m too afraid to be a definitive something. I took this text because I love you and your writing, despite my reservations. It turns out to prove that I am just a mutt… The Investigator with equal parts Achiever, Individualist, Loyalist, and Peacemaker, plus a smattering of Enthusiast, Reformer, Helper, and Challenger. This is clearly something I’m working on! :)

    • It sounds like you are uniquely gifted and adaptable, which is a gift of its own!!

      I think most of us are a mixture and our personalities are somewhat fluid. I am very different from the person I was over a decade ago in college. I used to be extremely reserved and timid and somewhat negative. I still remember how terrified I was the first time I commented on someone else’s website, ha!

      I’m sure you are wonderful just the way you are! But it’s amazing how we as humans have the capacity for change–how we can literally carve new neural pathways. For me, I have had to learn a new way of thinking–one that is grateful and less driven by fear.

    • Oh, I can completely relate to this! You know, a dear friend just took the test and is a mutt as well! I love how she’s embraced the many parts of herself, because one of the biggest benefits I see from her is that she can better understand a variety of perspectives because she offers so many, as well. You – like her – are a great many things!!! :)

  • Haha now it makes sense why I identify so well with everything you write here… I’m a 9 too! In love with an 8 which is challenging (pun intended) but also wonderful. Thanks for sharing!

  • I love personality tests, haha. I swear knowing my husband is a ISTJ to my ENFJ helps so much when interacting. I’ve done the enneagram before (I’m a 2, the helper) but I need to get my husband to do it too. Naturally they are not 100% but like you said, it really can shed light on different parts of our own personality and our partner’s. PS I would prefer someone just telling me “hey we need cashews”. I like straightforward! Haha

    • It does help doesn’t it?! And oh, I LOVE people who are straightforward! I’m not at all, so it can be so refreshing to not hear my circumlocutions all the time. ;)

  • I love personality tests! I have to say though, I’m distracted by the story of how you and your husband met. What an unusual story. I hope you write more about it.

    • I actually wrote a bit about it in the book! It doesn’t come out until January of next year, but the shortened version is this: we fell in love after one short conversation (and burnt dinner b/c we were so distracted by each other’s words!!!). It wasn’t love at first sight, not by any stretch, but definitely love at first talk. ;)

  • Personality tests are fun! I really like this one https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test. It’s free and I feel like it’s quite comprehensive and my results were almost astonishingly accurate.

    I’ve just recently started following your blog and I have to say, I love your writing style. I’ve been finding myself actively looking forward to your posts, so thanks :)

    • Oh Katie – thank you for your kind words! I so, so appreciate the encouragement, and welcome! :)

      And oh, 16 personalities looks like a fun one to try for sure!

  • I am so happy to see this here. It makes a lot of sense an INFJ would be a 9! My husband is an INFJ and in still waiting in him to do the enneagram.

    I’m a 7, and an ENFP. I find they overlap a lot! I think the best thing for me with these tests are not only finding grace for my “quirks” but also understanding the people I love because of it. It is a really helpful tool if we don’t categroize.

    Ps. I have found that in my work, 90% of my clients are INFJ/INFP’s. I just think that’s super interesting I keep attracting the same kind of person.

    • I’m so with you, Madison!!! It’s so so helpful when not used as a categorization tool. And so crazy your husband is an INFJ, too – I’m sure you make a great team! :)

      And ha, I love that your clients are all so similarly drawn to you – you must be doing something right! ;)

  • INFP here, haven’t talked my hubs into taking a test yet, but if he ever says to me “what you have to understand is…” I go straight to seeing red and not listening anymore… I know I push his buttons too, sometimes. = )

  • I love personality tests. I took this one for the enneagram https://www.eclecticenergies.com/enneagram/dotest.php and got 7, the Enthusiast which is a pleasure seeker/planner. For me, personality tests are like astrology for people who think astrology is hokey. I rarely agree with the results 100% but it can be eye opening in some ways. And I love answering the questions! I would definitely say I’m a 7. :-)

  • Should I take this test? I love personality tests but according to my yoga teacher the real person shows up when you expect it less. I will give it a try.

    • Oh, that’s an interesting thought! There’s certainly something to be said for over-thinking things, so if you do decide to take it, I hope it’s fun and encouraging and a bit insightful, rather than producing a result you feel like you MUST reflect at all times, you know? :)

  • That is so sweet! I took the test maybe 10 years ago. I am type 4, and it was useful, like you mentioned, to know a bit more about how you tick. Actually, the best thing I got out of the Enneagram was the Personal Growth Recommendations. They were SPOT ON for me, and I have pulled them out to refer to them over the years. In fact, I recently printed out a hard copy to keep in my journal/planner. Those words have made such a huge difference in my life.

  • First, I just want to say that I just discovered your blog and I am loving the content, the format, the look… so glad I stumbled upon it!

    I did the short test and I am a 6 (the Loyalist). I was amazed at how clearly I saw myself in the description of that type. Just for reference, last time I did Myers Briggs (a few years ago) I was an INFJ.

    • Oh goodness, thank you, Caitlin!!! I was chatting with my mom last night and she pegged my dad as a loyalist, too! They’re good folks. ;)

  • I agree that personality tests are not end-all-be-alls, but do lead to more understanding. My husband and I LOVE both the Enneagram and Myers-Briggs. We’ve even done Myers-Briggs as a “group” and done it with our adult children. It’s fascinating and I do believe leads to better communication!

    • Oh it really does; I completely agree! Also, my goodness, Melani – I am SUCH A FAN of your store!!!! :)

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