Every few years, a new personality test surfaces that proves so accurate it feels like magic. For what seemed like the longest time, it was the Myers-Briggs test (or, to be more specific, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality inventory). But if you’ve been on social media at all in recent months, the posts you’ve seen floating around about personality types are all about your Enneagram type. Now, your passive interest has turned active, and you want to know more about the Enneagram descriptions. You came to the right place.
First, a little background info. Although you may just be hearing about it, the Enneagram Institute was created in 1997 by Don Richard Riso and Ross Hudson to help offer insight into understanding ourselves and others. In order to determine your type, you’d take the Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator (RHETI). Before you do that, keep reading to learn more about the different Enneagram types that exist.
What are the nine types of Enneagram?
Like other personality tests, the enneagram test is designed to identify and highlight how a person views and interprets the world around them. The idea is that when you have a better understanding of that perspective, you can improve your relationships with yourself and with others. It merits noting that while each person only has one Enneagram type, you’ll notice that you have traits of others as well.
So, with that said, here are the nine types:
- Type 1: The Reformer
- Type 2: The Helper
- Type 3: The Achiever
- Type 4: The Individualist
- Type 5: The Investigator
- Type 6: The Loyalist
- Type 7: The Enthusiast
- Type 8: The Challenger
- Type 9: The Peacemaker
What are the Enneagram descriptions?
Now that you know the names of the different types, let’s delve into each one.
Type 1: The Reformer
The Reformer is rational, yet idealistic. They tend to be principled, purposeful, self-controlled, and perfectionistic. They’re the types who love to carry around planners or bullet journals, throw their weight behind a good cause, and practice intentionality when it comes to spending time with friends and family. The problem with reformers is they tend to focus on their imperfections and never really stop to smell the roses. Sometimes it’s difficult for them to enjoy life if everything isn’t in order. They hate making mistakes and are usually advocates or teachers. Others often describe them as judgmental or critical. They also deeply value cleanliness and honesty.
Enneagram Type 1 Careers
- Life/business coach
- Guidance counselor
Type 2: The Helper
The Helper is the caring, interpersonal type. They tend to be demonstrative, generous, people-pleasing, and sure, a little possessive. They want to help out and nurture those around them and, therefore, find value in being needed. Their big hearts make them more sensitive than some of the other Enneagram types.
Enneagram Type 2 Careers
- Social worker
Type 3: The Achiever
Say hello to the success-oriented, pragmatic type! You’ll recognize an Achiever by their adaptive, excelling, and driven nature. They want to be the best, which makes them slightly image-conscious. However, they make up for it with charm and easy confidence — the cheerleader friend. They often inspire those around them.
Enneagram Type 3 Career
Type 4: The Individualist
This type is pretty much what it sounds like: sensitive, somewhat withdrawn, dramatic (although they hate to hear you say that!), and self-aware. However, they are also highly creative beings known for connecting emotionally and creating beauty.
Enneagram Type 4 Careers
- Personal Trainer
- Hair Stylist
Type 5: The Investigator
At least one person in your life probably springs to mind when we say the Investigator is an intense, cerebral type. You know the kind, right? Heck, you might be the kind! This type relishes their alone time and is always on the search for new knowledge. This makes them inherently curious and innovative.
Enneagram Type 5 Careers
- Computer programmer
Type 6: The Loyalist
The Loyalist is committed, security-oriented, and responsible. They want to be safe and are drawn to the safety of familiar and cozy things. Accordingly, they can be both anxious and suspicious. But they’re also engaging, caring, compassionate, and dependable.
Enneagram Type 6 Careers
- Health and safety engineers
- Security guards
- Police and detectives
- Construction and building inspectors
Type 7: The Enthusiast
Yep, you guessed it — the Enthusiast is the life of the party! They’re fun-loving busy-bodies who are naturally spontaneous. Versatile, they’re the proverbial social butterfly, able to adapt to many different situations and social circles. They are positive, joyful, optimistic, and full of adventure… but can also be distractible and scattered.
Enneagram Type 7 Careers
- Travel Writer
Type 8: The Challenger
Natural-born leaders, Challengers are powerful, dominating types. On the plus side, they’re self-confident, decisive, empowering, loyal, honest, and honorable. They stand up for the people and things they believe in, and they always take the initiative in any given situation. However, they do like to be in control, which can make them willful and confrontational at times.
Enneagram Type 8 Careers
Type 9: The Peacemaker
This one is pretty self-explanatory, right? The Peacemaker is the easygoing, self-effacing type. They are receptive, reassuring, agreeable, trusting, good-natured, non-judgmental, and a great listener. They enjoy being at home, having stability, and offering advice to others. A potential downfall for this type is that they can grow complacent.
Enneagram Type 9 Careers
- Social worker
What is the rarest Enneagram?
According to an Enneagram Population Distribution study, the rarest Enneagram is Type 8: The Challenger. Next comes the Investigator (Type 5), followed by the Helper (Type 2). The most common is the Peacemaker (Type 9). Check out how popular other Enneagram types are in this chart below.
What is the hardest Enneagram type to be?
Although this is a frequently asked question, it’s not exactly one with a clear-cut answer. As with all things related to individuals, the response is highly subjective. Having said that, Truity posits that being a Type 4 is difficult due to their highly sensitive and self-aware nature.
What is an Enneagram wing?
When you figure out your enneagram, your wings are the numbers on each side of the enneagram type you scored the highest for. So, let’s say you test as Type 3 — your wings would be Type 2 and Type 4. Often, one of these may be more dominant than the other, although that isn’t always true. You can determine your more dominant Enneagram wing by taking a test online that analyzes your scored results.
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