Blog of Sara Jakša

The First Model of Enneagram

I have recently tried to start to read something about the enneagram personality types. I found one book, but I am far from finished with it. But it seems to be that maybe I can start create a first kind of model, to be able to put additional information on this model. It is a way for me to consolidate my own knowledge, so bear with me, if you already know something about the enneagram.

The enneagram has 9 different types, with can be simply numbered. So there are types 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. Each type also has another name, but they are frequently called only by their number. But even these types can be grouped into groups: emotions (2-4), thinking (5-7) and instinct (1, 8, 9). I am not sure why they can not be grouped in 1-3, 4-6 and 7-9, but it might have something to do with the weird symbol in the circle, that enneagram is using to represent their types.

Here are the types, their names and sins or passion that is constraning their ego.

Type Name Sin Description
2 Helper Pride encouraging, demonstrative, possessive
3 Motivator Deceit ambitious, pragmatic, image-conscious
4 Individualist Envy sensitive, self-absorbed, depressive
5 Investigator Avarice preceptive, cerebral, proactive
6 Loyalist Fear dutiful, suspicious, communal
7 Enthusiast Gluttony spontaneous, fun-loving, excessive
8 Leader Lust self-confident, assertive, confrontational
9 Pacemaker Sloth pleasant, easy-going, complacent
1 Reformer Anger rational, idealistic, orderly

If I remember correctly, I am supposed to be type 5. Well, I am nos sure that avarice is really a sin that I have problem with. I would rather say that it is fear, and then pride. Only then do avarice, or really greed, and gluttony come in place. Though I do like the description that I am perceptive (I hope), cerebral (also hope) and proactive (only sometimes). On the other hand, I am only sometimes dutiful, not that suspicious and not at all communal. Neither am I very encouraging or possessive. So I am not entirely sure how to connect these things together. And which one takes the precedence, the description or the sin.

Or maybe the sin for each time is the one which people have most under control, in which case I am most likely reformer or leader. Individualist would also be possible. I do hope to one day put deceit completely under my control, so maybe motivator? I don't know. In my notes, I have written, that this sins (or they call them passions) are the ego structure of the type, but I am not sure what it that supposed to mean.

I also have a problem connecting this system to the Big Five. So I am an investigator, which means that I am perceptive (high openness), cerebral (high openness) and proactive (high extroversion). So basically, high plasticity. It says so far nothing about the other three traits.

Here is a table, where I tried to put each type into the Big Five enumeration:

Type Description Big Five
2 encouraging, demonstrative, possessive 2x high A, 1x high E
3 ambitious, pragmatic, image-conscious 1x low A, 1x low O, 1x high E
4 sensitive, self-absorbed, depressive 1x high A, 1x high E, 1x high N
5 preceptive, cerebral, provocative 2x high O, 1x high E
6 dutiful, suspicious, communal 1x high C, 1x high N, 1x high A
7 spontaneous, fun-loving, excessive 3x high E
8 self-confident, assertive, confrontational 2x high E, 1x low A
9 pleasant, easy-going, complacent 1,5x high A, 1,5x low C
1 rational, idealistic, orderly 2x high O, 1x high C

I am not sure, if I put everything in the correct bucket, but it should me mostly alright. That would also be interesting to do, type the different descriptions be their Big Five nomenclature. But I am not going to do this now. What I can say from this, there are no introverted types here, or at least introversion is not a big part of these types. Either is the emotional stability, with is the opposite of the neuroticism. The other three at least have some combination of low and high traits.

Also based on how frequently I put the description in the traits, the agreeableness and extroversion seems to be the most important part of the system. Openness, neuroticism and conscientiousness are a lot less frequently mentioned. But that might be just because I did not get a very good descriptions. Though it can explain why I was not drawn to it. If the basis is on extroversion and agreeableness, the two of my traits that are low, then I might had the intuitive feeling that this does not seems to be a good model for me.

The last point that I would like to mention is a interesting triangle like structure. In the first level, they each have three groups, and then each group have three types. It does have sort of symmetry, that I find amusing and also orderly. It also looks nice. Kind of like very easy geometry. Which is why I do have just a tiny bit of hope that this model will be worth it.