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Image / Editorial

Forget Myers Briggs. The Enneagram is the personality test to reveal all


by Geraldine Carton
08th Apr 2018
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Over the years Myers Briggs was getting the most airtime as far as personality test enthusiasts were concerned, but now another personality assessment tool is taking the reigns – the Enneagram.

And the reason for its popularity? The incredibly accurate results that it gives.

Personality tests

There is something satisfying about being given an accurate description of one’s personality. The uniquely human need to be recognised and validated, to feel that someone “gets us” undoubtedly comes into play.

Personality tests have been widely used over the last twenty years; you only have to open a newspaper from the last week to see how omnipresent they are.

Large corporations favour them for the insight they provide into team members personality patterns of their team. It’s believed they can aid in understanding how a person ticks; under which circumstances they thrive; and how they are likely to react to situations that come into play in their given/ perspective role.

This tactic has proved successful on a business level, but it’s reaped similarly good results a personal level. Personality tests can bring about a shift in awareness and can help us to see how our fears and desires dictate our day-to-day actions, and understand our inclination towards unproductive patterns.

What’s more, learning about our own personality traits can not just help us to understand ourselves better, but can lead us to be more empathetic to those wired differently.

The Enneagram: What’s Involved

The Enneagram system is described as “an ancient body of wisdom that identifies nine core personality types and how each sees and interacts with the world”. Free online tests are available here.

The Enneagram test isn’t new, but it’s seen a resurgence of late as people persevere in their search for eternal happiness and life satisfaction, disenfranchised by the generic results provided by Myers Briggs. Some see it as a sort of blueprint of introspection into what makes us tick during our best, worst and most typical times.

Once you know your personality type (which fall under titles such as “The Achiever”, “The Individualist” and “The Peacemaker”), you’ll be able to understand what you are likely to need in a relationship, the type of job you would excel in, your strengths and weaknesses, etc. In short, you’ll get a basic understanding of your natural inclination, establishing where things that might irritate you are stemming from, and what your motivations and values are.

Take the test with friends

So how about getting a group of friends around to take the test together, and discuss whether or not you think the results were accurate?  In understanding people’s motivations for why they do what they do, the inclination to get frustrated by their actions will reduce greatly, as with understanding comes compassion. This is another reason why it’s so popular for couples to take the test and compare their results.

Note: Whilst taking a personality test is generally harmless, we should point out this is not an exact science, and so the test results should probably be taken with a pinch of salt. There’s no need to feel bound to the results in any way, and a bit of scepticism will undoubtedly keep your feet on the ground.