A while back I was listening to the Goal Digger Podcast by fellow Minnesotan, Jenna Kutcher. She was talking about her favorite personality test and discussed her personality type and why it was beneficial to learn your type. You can listen here. I was so excited to listen to this particular podcast because I myself love tests like this. In fact, one of my first blog posts talked all about the Strengths Finder 2.0 test. Even though I feel like I know myself, it’s often hard to put my finger on my own defining qualities. Somehow these tests always seem to enlighten me to my personality and make me more aware of why I do the things I do. So let’s talk about my T
What is the Enneagram?
So I guess I should clarify a little more about what the Enneagram test is exactly.
The Enneagram is a personality test that breaks down personalities into 9 different types and they are pretty crazy accurate. The Enneagram even has a diagram like this:
This diagram shows the 9 personality types and their titles. From here all the personality types are connected by lines to other personality types.
The diagram is made like this because in times of stress and times of growth one personality type will actually respond like a different personality type.
Let’s look at my Type 2 Enneagram personality for example.
Type 2 Enneagram in times of stress:
In times of stress, I will respond like an “unhealthy” type 8. Here’s the description that I felt fit best:
Level 8: Develop delusional ideas about their power, invincibility, and ability to prevail: megalomania, feeling omnipotent, invulnerable, over-extending self.
This description reminds me of my younger (more stressed out version) of myself. I would puff up my chest and put up a front believing I was better than everyone else. I now see that this was a massive coping mechanism for truly believing I was not good enough for anyone. It’s like I would try to convince myself I was better than them…if you’re better, no one can hurt you, right? Pretty convenient when you see the Type 2’s greatest fear.
- Basic Fear: Of being unwanted, unworthy of being loved
Type 2 Enneagram in times of growth
Now during times of growth (which I am so thankful to be in btw) Type 2 responds like a healthy Type 4:
Level 1: Profoundly creative, expressing the personal and the universal, possibly in a work of art. Inspired, self-renewing and regenerating: able to transform all their experiences into something valuable: self-creative.
Now, this very much sounds like the person I have become. My times of stress are long gone…although when I am angry I am very quick to respond with yelling and door slamming. …yup…
So what does unhealthy and healthy mean?
The way I see it, the Enneagram uses the unhealthy/healthy chart to lay out the layers of how a person develops throughout their lifetime.
Heck, I don’t know, maybe not everyone experiences life at the bottom (unhealthy) but I definitely did…and so did Tom.
As a kid, I would say I was a healthy version of myself and those nasty teen years is more where my unhealthy side came into play.
What are the basic traits of a type 2 Enneagram personality?
Enneagram Type 2: “The Helper”
- Basic Fear: Of being unwanted, unworthy of being loved
- Basic Desire: To feel loved
Key Motivations: Want to be loved, to express their feelings for others, to be needed and appreciated, to get others to respond to them, to vindicate their claims about themselves.
So basically, I am kind, giving and loving but you had better appreciate how nice I am being or I am gonna lose my $h!t. (LOL)
It makes sense to me why I feel this way. Another test I took once showed me how great my fear of abandonment was. I could write an entire novel on how I spent a good chunk of my life feeling like I was not good enough to keep around. But that’s a story for another day.
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Why was this type so shocking to me?
Finding out that my Enneagram was a type 2 “The Helper” seemed inaccurate. So naturally, I retook it a few times just to make sure.
The reason I was so surprised is that I often find myself saying how unnatural it is for me to care for everyone else.
“I’m not selfless.”
“I wasn’t made to live my life for other people.”
Because I always found myself feeling this way or saying these things, I felt like the Type 2 Enneagram personality type wasn’t fitting because it centers around helping others.
Then I read this part:
Average to unhealthy Twos seek validation of their worth by obeying their superego’s demands to sacrifice themselves for others. They believe they must always put others first and be loving and unselfish if they want to get love. The problem is that “putting others first” makes Twos secretly angry and resentful, feelings they work hard to repress or deny.
Well…there ya go. Putting others first is super hard for me to do…all the time…while completely denying my own needs.
So during those times when I slack on self-care and maintaining something for myself are the times when I meltdown. I want to give up and I get super sick of taking care of everyone else around me.
I’m not a big fan of the fact that I am not a totally self-less giver, but I have also come to accept that this is really just who I am.
Practicing self care
That is why this
Why I lock myself in my room at least once a day.
I need to because for the rest of the day I am doing things for everyone else. And I mean everyone. Even if they don’t ask me to!
Most of the time, even just alone in my own head, I am contemplating how I can be better for everyone around me. It’s exhausting. And when they can’t see how hard I’m thinking about them in my own head I feel frustrated and resentful. Yeah…it’s true.
When I start to feel this way, I know it’s time to carve out some time for myself.
How this test was helpful
First of all, it is just crazy interesting to me that some pre-written test could so accurately explain my personality. Secondly, I am now aware that I actually do a lot for people. It’s my nature.
Before I believed caring for others to be unnatural to me. Now I see that it’s one of the most natural things I do every day and because it
That’s why I love little tests like this. Often times the things that come so naturally to us, we aren’t even aware are strengths of ours.
If we miss out on these major defining characteristics of ourselves, we just might miss out on being all we are capable of being!
Want to learn your Enneagram?
Click here and share your results in the comments!! Did you feel it was accurate?