Personality tests all follow a similar formula. You answer a bunch of questions by giving them a score as to how closely you relate to them, hit submit and a computer churns out an equation which equals the personality you most closely match. There are however to “tricks” to utilizing a personality test to its best potential. One, you need to select a personality test that has some substance, a personality test that will reveal more about your inner workings than say what type of cheese you are. Two, you need to answer honestly. This can be a bit tricky as you may be tempted to answer based on what you hope to be; but to do the work to get where you want to be, we must first acknowledge who we are at present.


Every now and then a new personality test becomes the test to do in order to fulfill one’s true purpose. These include the Meyers Briggs Test (which is favoured by employers), The Big 5 Personality Test (which is the only personality test recognized by personality psychologists), and the test everyone’s talking about now; The Enneagram Test.


The Enneagram has been described as the feeling right brain test to the Meyer Briggs thinking left brain test. It’s made many a person feels heard, understood and provided that aha moment whereby it suddenly clicks why you are the way you are.


If you’ve seen people describe themselves as a 4, or a 2w1 and share memes with the heading “classic 7” and are too wondering what a 4 is and how a meme can be a classic 7, let me explain how the Enneagram works and how to figure out yours.


The Enneagram is a set of 9 distinct personality types, labelled 1 to 9. Each type has distinct traits which explains how different people relate to both the world and them. While you can relate to more than one personality type, one should stand as your true self. Instead of simply listing personality traits the Enneagram seeks to understand what motivates you, what stresses you and what your innate strengths are.


To find your type, you need to take a test (not just read each type and select).  This is one of the few tests I found that is both free and does not require you handing over an email address to access your results. The test takes under 10 minutes and asks you a host of questions, each of which relates to a different personality type. Whichever personality you show a stronger tendency toward, is your dominant type.


What are the 9 Enneagram types?


People tend to refer themselves by numbers, not words ie. I’m such a 1 and not I’m such a reformer. Below are the 9 types with the adjectives used to describe them. To better understand each one, once you’ve done your test and have your results you can look up that type as it relates to you.


1 The reformer

Rational, idealistic, principled, purposeful, self-controlled, perfectionist.


2 The Helper

Caring, generous, people pleasing, possessive.


3 The achiever

Success orientated, driven, image conscious, adaptable.


4 The individualist

Sensitive, withdrawn, expressive, dramatic, temperamental


5 The investigator

Intense, cerebral, perceptive, innovative, isolated, secretive


6 The loyalist

Committed, security orientated, engaging, responsible, anxious, suspicious


7 The enthusiast

Busy, fun loving, spontaneous, distractible, scattered


8 The Challenger

Powerful, dominating. Self-confident, willful, decisive, confrontational.


9 The Peacemaker

Easy going, receptive, reassuring, agreeable, complacent.


Along with your dominant type you can work out your instinctual variant via another test. There are 3, which relate to how you deal with people and your surroundings.


Self-preservation variant

Those who are comfortable and independent. They’re focus on their own health, finances and homes. They don’t need much interpersonal contact and are less spontaneous and emotional than the others


Sexual variant

Those who are interested in one on one contact and crave intimacy. They’re the most passionate sub-type and can be more energetic and temperamental. They don’t mind a fight but do mind rules and responsibility.


Social variant

These types prefer being in groups or teams. They’re concerned with status and where they lie in the group and thus try to fit in and be nice.


It’s important to note that one type isn’t better than other types, they’re just different. The goal of figuring out your type is to better understand yourself and why you react the way you do.


I did the test and after 10 minutes the results were unclear, matching me up with 3 different types which to be honest wasn’t much of a surprise. Have you done your Enneagram test, what did you find out and did it surprise you?


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