Psychology as a science has created different types of theories that try to give an explanation of how the personality of human beings works . The objective is to be able to identify the most outstanding characteristics, as well as to determine which are the disorders or conditions that alter its functioning.

In this way, it is proposed to use different types of methodologies aimed at applying solutions when necessary. These will be used to promote the well-being of people, including personal growth depends on the knowledge and identification of all the elements that make up one’s personality. 

This is how different types of systems have been formulated to identify and classify the different types of most common personalities . One of them is the one that is based on the use of enneagrams and enneatypes, below is an analysis and description of how it works.

What are Enneagrams?

The enneagram is a type of tool that has existed for several centuries and whose origin has not been specified. It could be said that it is one of the first methods used during the beginnings of psychology. Basically it is a system constituted from the approach of the existence of 9 types of personality.

This system sort these personalities considering what their flaws and strengths are . In addition, it describes what are those aspects of the unconscious that usually go unnoticed in these personalities. Another relevant characteristic is that it becomes a remarkable theory because it analyzes fears as well as those behaviors and decisions that depend on the ego.

According to the statements made by this theory and system, human beings depend on the ego and the essence. Both concepts define at opposite ends of thought, emotions and behaviors; consequently together they help to have a broader perspective of internal conflicts. These same influence how people perceive reality and personal suffering.

As for the essence, it is directly related to the character of the individual, it does not necessarily intervene in the distortion of reality. On the other hand, this is a very important factor because it indicates what the natural capacities of each individual are, in it were characteristics that have not been adulterated despite the passage of time. 

What are Enneatypes?

The enneagram is the term used to refer to each of the personalities that make up the enneagram system. According to this theory, each person acted based on his ego or particular characteristic of the enneatype. Considering that each personality presents its own distortions in the ego, the thoughts and fears will act based on it. This will have a direct impact on personal and spiritual growth, it is the means used to connect with one’s own essence.

According to the classification made that these personalities can be observed three main categories which are: emotional, mental and visceral or instinctive . In this same order, it is considered that personalities number 2, 3 and 4 are located in the first category; in the second the numbers 5, 6 and 7. Finally, in the third category the numbers 8, 9 and 1 are located.

In the emotional enneatypes are located the personalities that demonstrate dependence on maintaining affective relationships. Their objective will always be directed towards wanting and feeling loved, the personalities that belong to this category are described below:

2 the helper

They are personalities characterized by focusing their attention on other people , through actions and gestures help is provided that makes them feel better about themselves. The need to be loved and reciprocated is a price that will be paid at any price, they do not focus on their own needs which directly affects personal well-being.

3 The winner

This personality is characterized by showing qualities typical of people who have a tendency to act by and for themselves . In the same way, they will act according to what they think other people want from them. They will always try to act and project an image of themselves that is directly associated with success. All their projects will be focused on achieving personal well-being, they are usually described as vain people but at the same time they act according to their feelings and emotions.

4 Melancholic or individualist

The character of these individuals are deeply connected with emotions , this happens unconsciously which makes them special beings. They have tendencies to develop certain depressive disorders and sometimes feel feelings of inferiority. It could be said that compared to other personalities they are more creative, but they are also melancholic and pessimistic. They often need help to improve self-esteem.

Mental personalities are a category that is made up of those individuals who show greater self-confidence. They have the ability to analyze any type of situation with greater precision, and regardless of the type of difficulty they have to face, they usually react appropriately. The personalities that belong to this category are described below:

5 The Investigator

These individuals who show observant, perceptual, analytical abilities and even the facility to establish precise and accurate communication with others. They tend to describe themselves as focused individuals who manage to cope with any kind of difficulty. In addition, they have good abilities to manage their emotions and also those of other people. They have a tendency to personal isolation and sometimes it is difficult for them to share certain thoughts or opinions.

6 Leal 

This is a very particular personality because it has positive characteristics such as sincerity and fidelity . However, they can sometimes be anxious depending on the situations they have to face, even with some individuals they may feel distrustful. They are usually afraid of the unknown and of the possibility of suffering some kind of emotional damage. Therefore, when they feel confident in certain people, they will learn to trust them and be more receptive.

7 the enthusiast

This personality stands out for its energy and constant search to perform different types of activities in a free way. Individuals who have this personality avoid falling into the daily routine , they are constantly making plans of any kind to distract themselves. They are always open to new experiences, they always focus their efforts on achieving personal satisfaction. They may face difficulties in taking responsibility and reaching emotional maturity.

Finally, the visceral or instinctive types are made up of personalities that are characterized by being more defensive. They constantly seek to satisfy the need for autonomy and self-assertion, therefore it could be affirmed that these individuals have a stronger character compared to others. What they are are described below:

8 The leader or territorial

These individuals are characterized by showing control over everything that happens in their environment, and they always try to hide their weaknesses . They are usually described as aggressive and are combative due to the need to achieve power. They are only receptive to those people they consider trustworthy and who also share their same convictions.

9 The Peacemaker

It is characterized by tranquility and the tendency to avoid conflict . These individuals always act as mediators, they focus on achieving an environment of peace both on a social level and also on their internal tranquility. They tend to be uncomfortable with unexpected changes and challenges, sometimes making decisions difficult for them because they always try to respect the needs of others.

1 The perfectionist

The ego is very present in this personality, directly influencing the discipline. These people are not very tolerant of mistakes and have an inability to pass up any type of detail that does not fit their plans. They are usually ordered to the point of obsessing, they generally have good intentions in trying to establish this strict order. However, along the way they may be able to hurt the feelings of others because they always point out the negative aspects.

How does this system work? 

Basically an enneagram usually graphs the different ennea types represented by means of geometric figures. These figures are captured one on top of the other, demonstrating how some facets of personalities influence others. Theoretically, these symbolisms explain the tendencies and propensities that define people’s habitual behavior.

To start putting this system into practice by performing a self-analysis, it is necessary to understand what the characteristics of each enneatype are. Subsequently, when carrying out a concise study of one’s own personality, comparing it with the characteristics that most closely resemble each other , in this way, a choice that best fits is achieved.

Graphically these personalities are captured by means of a graph that consists of a circle, internally lines are drawn in different directions. These same indicate centralizations and decentralizations of the personality itself, the triangulations that are formed are identified with each number from 1 to 0 ordered in a clockwise direction .

There are also other types of tests that include different types of questions that try to delve into the characteristics of each individual. Some people may be more identified with certain traits of some of these personalities. The most important thing is that these tests must be done in an honest way by analyzing the own personality in the most objective way possible.

Importance, limitations and certainties

The importance of this system is that it allows people to know themselves. In an easier way you can interpret what are the habits and patterns that are associated with the personality. Subsequently, those aspects that are more positive will be developed in a better way, consequently significantly improving the quality of life, since this is a method of self-knowledge that delves into relevant issues such as the ego and the essence .

Considering that the character of a person is a strategy developed in order to survive, it is useful to identify the obstacles that have prevented a more complete personal growth . In addition, with this system there is more precision about the perceptions or ways of thinking that we generate in others.

It is a very useful system when it comes to identifying automatic thought patterns that are associated with behavior. In the same way there is an approach in the emotions that induce the character, unconsciously these are reflected in the daily routines. It is a resource that allows people to change those aspects that do not correspond to the real and genuine needs that they are trying to achieve.

However, some find that it has some limitations when trying to put it into practice. One of the most outstanding factors is the difficulty of carrying out the analysis in an objective way . They are due to the fact that it depends to a large extent on the type of self-perception that one has of itself, and it is also not precise in certain aspects and concepts, which is why in psychology it is not a system usually applied.

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Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.

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