How to Determine Your Enneagram Type
Recently, Jessica messaged me on Instagram about her struggles with finding her enneagram type. She told me that she had taken three different enneagram tests and each of them came back with the same result – she was a Type 3. However, even with those results, she didn’t relate to the Type 3. Instead, she resonated with the Investigator, Type 5. But, with the same test results for all of the tests she took, she didn’t understand why those tests typed her as a Type 3. Jessica’s story is common; often people tell me that their test results say one thing, but they don’t really feel like that is their type. After a little more research, Jessica finally determined she was a Type 5. She realized that maybe she had picked up several traits of the Type 3s from her parents, so that’s why there was some disconnect between her test results and actual type.
The enneagram has been a powerful tool of self understanding and growth for me and my family. But, in order to experience the benefits of the enneagram, you must first determine your enneagram type. One of the most frequent questions I receive is, “What test do I take to determine my type?” Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple answer to this. Like Jessica’s experience, determining your enneagram type is a little more complicated than simply taking a test.
To find your true enneagram type, I recommend the following four steps:
Step 1 – Take a Test
When starting the journey to determining your enneagram type, tests can be useful. However, they are not even close to 100% accurate, for several reasons. First, when we answer test questions, we are not always completely honest with ourselves. It’s just something we all do! We look for the “right” answer, instead of always answering honestly. Second, the enneagram is a typing system that focuses on our motivations. However, often times the questions on these tests ask more about our actual behaviors instead of the motivations behind them. Finally, all psychological tests have some fallibility, so enneagram tests are no different.
Even though tests aren’t always accurate, I do think they can be useful. They can give you a general idea and can at least rule out types that you definitely are not. One test I really like is the one at Your Enneagram Coach. It’s a great test because it will give you your primary type, and also how the other types rank for you. For example, maybe you don’t relate to the type that you score the highest on, but you do actually resonate with your second highest type. Also, in addition to your test results, with the Your Enneagram Coach test results, you will also receive a download with a brief description of each type. That will help you out in the second part of our 4 step process.
Step 2: Research
The second step in determining your enneagram type is to do a little research about the types. If you took the test at Your Enneagram Coach, read over the download provided with your test. It will discuss the core fears, longings and weaknesses of each type. Also, check out this post from Leslie Hershberger’s site. The paragraphs describing each type give good overview of the motivations of each type.
If you’d like to know in even more details about each type, I recommend the book The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self Discovery. Reading this book really solidified my understanding of my type and even each member of my family’s type. Researching about the enneagram will give you a better understanding of the types so you can make an educated determination of your own type.
Step 3: Reflect
Once you have taken a test and researched more about the enneagram, you may feel like you know exactly what type you are. Some people tell me that when they read a little more about each type, they immediately knew which type they were. It just clicked for them. For me, once I started reading about the Type 6, it was like I kept saying “Yes” to each and every thing I read. But, it’s not always that obvious for every one.
If your enneagram type isn’t obvious or you can’t decide between a couple of types, it’s okay to take some time to reflect on the information you have gathered. You might talk to friends and family that know you well to also explore you decision. However, you know yourself the best. Although friends may see you behaviors, only you will know what motivated those behaviors. Take a little time to reflect on your type before deciding if you are struggling. There’s no rush to decide!
Finally, if you are still having a little trouble with your typing, this is where a certified enneagram coach might be helpful. You can schedule a consultation with one to give you a little more insight into typing. Unfortunately, mistyping happens, so if feel if you have mistyped yourself, maybe a consultation would help.
Step 4: Growth
Congratulations! If you have gotten to Step 4, then you have probably determined you enneagram type. But, don’t let your journey end here. Keep learning more about your type and how it will contribute to your self understanding. With more self-understanding, you will experience more true joy in your life!