An Enneagram? Sounds painful.

Last night, one of my very closest friends introduced me to the Enneagram (which is a fancy way of saying that she’s just cleared my schedule and given me my next time suck).

I love personality quizzes, categorizations, or as Wikipedia tells me “models of human psyche.” It should come as no surprise to anyone who knows my affection for the self-help aisle bookstores that these things speak to me. Myers-Briggs? INFJ. 5 Strengths? Relator, Strategic, Learner, Input, Intellection.

Enneagram? 1.

Now, I’ve taken these over the course of several years and I haven’t done much (read: “any”) analysis into what they all mean together, but I’m pretty sure they all mean that I’m a pretty difficult person to live with. You could ask my husband but I think I can speak for him on this one.

Do you know why I love these models so much?

  1. I know that I am not alone.
    • Someone has my base personality nailed. And it’s prevalent enough in this world to write a book about, or several!
    • I interact with a lot of people who quite frankly aren’t a lot like me. That’s not a bad thing but it can feel isolating sometimes. Reading through these lets me know that I’m okay. I have things I need to work on, sure, but I’m not a complete enigma to the entire human population. To some, definitely, but not all.
  2. I can see what I need to work on.
    • When I took the StrengthsFinder 2.0 a while back, it blew my mind. Did you know that people with strong but unbridled strategic minds can come off as negative naysayers? Of course you did. But guess what. I didn’t. I had been really struggling with certain coworkers of mine because there were major roadblocks down the path we were headed in a particular project. Yet anytime I brought up concerns, I was shut down. Do you know why? (Again, yes, you probably do). It was the how not the what I was communicating that was causing the issue. Once I learned that, I was able to re-approach the topic and look back in history to see the same patterns popping up again and again. (I still struggle with this, by the way. I’ve become somewhat accustomed to letting people know right off the bat that I’m not the most eloquent person they’ll ever meet but I will always be honest with them).
  3. I learn how to love my people better.
    • If you’ve taken the time to read through all of the personality traits with which I identify, you’re probably gathering that I’m not the most easy going person. I need a lot of time alone to decompress. I have a pretty unwavering view of right and wrong that I have been known to inappropriately apply to others (shocker, I know). If you’re looking for a spontaneous adventure partner or someone to break the rules with, I’m not your girl. But I am open to learning, always. I’m open to seeing how my strengths can become my flaws and how my structured approach to the people I love can be stifling.
    • I’m also incredibly loyal. I am devoted and love to walk side-by-side with my people toward a common goal. I can get behind the passions of others and rally the troops in support. I support growth and development of others; I’m a cheerleader for good. I can help with that project, that goal, that new habit.
    • I’m somewhat obsessed with growth and development and I use that to learn ways to better my relationships with others.

So yes, I’m probably a pretty difficult person to live with (I am) but aren’t we all, in our own way? And although my husband would probably look at me and shake his head emphatically “Yes!” if you asked him, he also continues to happily sign up for the long haul with me again and again.

What’s your type?

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