The pitfalls of a little knowledge
For the Enneagram to bring about real change it essential to be sure you accurately know your type. There are many aspects to your personality other than your core type. These are unlikely to become clear to you when you only have a little information, and only when you have an accurate and complete picture of all the subtle nuances of your personality that are available via the Enneagram can this knowledge be used as it was meant to be. For this reason, we urge you not to rely on questionnaires, books or other people’s opinion in order to establish your type.
(This also includes the small amount of information about the types given on this website. We have put brief facts here to stimulate interest in your type, not to give you an accurate typing.)
Many people take a passing interest in the Enneagram, read a little, decide what type they think they are and then dismiss it as something of interest but of little value in their lives. However, when studied in the right context, the Enneagram has the potential to unlock every aspect of the personality and our relationships, bringing about balance within ourselves and our lives. It clears the blockages and uncertainties that hold us back, gives clear understanding of our true nature and provides amazing opportunites for real peace, harmony and happiness.
Unfortunately, a little knowledge commonly leads to mistyping which means, of-course, that the Enneagram then becomes an interesting subject but useless within any real context of life. There are many reasons why mistyping occurs.
If someone else has decided your type, stay open to another possibility; they may not be correct. No-one else knows you as you do - only you can accurately decide which is your type and that is only possible with full information.
Most of what you will read, and much of what is taught on other courses, stresses mainly the negative aspects of the types. It can be very uncomfortable to look at only the negative traits of your type when not in the nurturing environment of a course, such as the Enneagram Programme, which not only teaches you very clearly about the positive traits and gifts of your type but also enables you to immediately get rid of the worst of those negative traits. As a result some people reject the truth of who they are and mistype themselves because they find it much more flattering to think of themselves as another type. It is important to realise that the aspects of your type that you find unsettling are the very aspects that you will be letting go of during the Enneagram Programme in fact if the descriptions of your type that you have read do not gives you some uncomfortable feelings then you may be reading about the wrong type!
Many people read a little, latch onto one or two characteristics of a type, and say: “That’s what I do. That must be my type.” However, more than one type can display the same behaviour. It is not the actual behaviour itself that accurately determines type; it is the underlying core need that is driving the behaviour. As this is largely unconscious, most people are unaware of what drives their behaviour patterns until they attend an interactive course.
It is not possible to get a full understanding of the ‘energy’ of each type from a book or from the internet. This sort of information gives a flat, 2-dimensional feel to the types whereas, when the Enneagram is taught in a dynamic course environment, recognition becomes very easy. Then the ‘flavour’ of the types comes over clearly because you are shown the nature of each type’s energy, attitudes, manner of expression and talking speed or style.
Internet questionnaires frequently give an incorrect result – they seem to fail approximately 30% of the population simply because answering questions or choosing ‘correct’ statements requires a degree of self-understanding that many do not have. Even those who are used to plenty of self-observation can get an incorrect result, because each type has links to 4 other types and consequently will display some of the traits of those types. Each has two ‘wings’. These are the types either side on the circle. So, for instance a One will have a little (or even a lot) of the characteristics of both Nine and Two; a Four will have some of the characteristics of both Three and Five etc. Further more, each type connects to 2 other types along the lines across the circle. As a result of these links, it is quite possible to mistype yourself and others; for example, a One may be mistyped as a Nine, a Two, a Seven, or a Four; a Four may be mistyped as a Three, a Five, a One or a Two.
All of this might make understanding the Enneagram seem difficult. It is not. When you have a full picture of all the aspects of the types, as given on the Enneagram Programme it all becomes very simple and amazingly straightforward. As the complete picture of your personality type and your own uniqueness falls into place, then you can really begin to move forward into growth, expansion and easy relationships.
To discuss this further do call us on 01884 855759