The Nine Personality Types of the Enneagram: Which One Are You?

The enneagram is a valuable tool for self-knowledge and personal development. Find out which enneatype you belong to.
The Nine Personality Types of the Enneagram: Which One Are You?
Elena Sanz

Written and verified by the psychologist Elena Sanz.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

You’ve probably heard about the enneagram as it’s one of the best-known personality classification tools. It’s based on oriental ideas and is extremely valuable in the processes of self-knowledge and personal development.

Each of the nine personality types the enneagram describes has a particular way of perceiving and understanding the world. Thus patterns of thought, feelings, and action are different in each of them. These are called enneatypes.

The enneatype to which you belong demonstrates the masks that you built during your childhood. These are strategies that served to protect your mental integrity during your first years of life but that you still use today.

However, since your circumstances have changed since you were a child, these masks are no longer of any use to you. Furthermore, in most cases, they hinder your development. That’s because they tie you to rigid and automatic patterns of behavior of which you’re not fully aware. In this article, we’ll talk about the nine different enneatypes. You can work out which one you think you belong to.

People holding up question marks.

Enneagram: the nine personality types

Within the enneagram classification, each of the nine enneatypes results from a particular relationship with a cluster of issues that characterize their particular Center. There are three Centers. Firstly, there’s the Instinctive Center characterized by anger or rage. Then there’s the Thinking Center, characterized by feelings of fear. Finally, there’s the Feeling Center, characterized by feelings of shame. Of course, all nine types contain all of these emotions, but in each Center, its own three enneatypes are particularly affected by that Center’s emotional theme.

Instinctive Center/Anger

1. The reformer. They tend to be perfectionists and are meticulous and organized people. They’re ethical, noble, and principled individuals, with a strong sense of right and wrong. However, they can be overly critical of themselves and others, as well as quite rigid. They’re also extremely afraid of making mistakes.

8. The challenger. They’re controlling and challenging people, who protect themselves by avoiding weakness and exercising power. They’re proud, domineering, and intimidating. This means they often have problems in their social relationships.

9. The peacemaker. People with this personality type are kind, humble, and personable. They’re conformists and want to avoid conflict at all costs, making it difficult for them to set limits. They can also be excessively passive and stubborn.

Thinking Center/Fear

5. The investigator. Cerebral, insightful, and curious, they want to know how the world works. They can be lonely and eccentric but also avant-garde, visionary, and capable of developing complex ideas.

6. The loyalist. They’re committed, responsible, and hard-working people. However, they tend to be anxious and skeptical and fear being betrayed. In the face of authority, they may either submit or, alternatively, rise up and support the causes of the most disadvantaged.

7. The enthusiast. These people seek to lead a pleasant, stimulating, and wonderful life. Consequently, they’re optimistic and spirited, they avoid conflict and suffering, and are charming. However, they’re also often disorganized and undisciplined.

Feeling Center/Shame

2. The helper. This type of personality gives to others in an altruistic, generous, and even self-sacrificing way. In other words, they seek the love and approval of others through being helpful. However, because of this, they often have difficulty taking care of themselves and their needs. They’re altruistic and caring but can indulge in manipulative behaviors.

3. The Achiever. They’re success-oriented subjects who are concerned about their image and appearances. So much so that they assume the fictitious image they want to portray as real. Ambitious and competitive, they focus their interest on work and tend to shy away from the emotional. They’re also confident and attractive people.

4. The individualist. Melancholic, sensitive, and emotionally deep people. Reserved and quiet, they tend to hide from others due to their low self-esteem. Nevertheless, they may feel disdain for the ordinary way of life. They also tend to feel vulnerable and can exhibit self-pity.

Man holding up images of himself.

Working with your enneagram

Identifying your enneatype will help you to keep in mind the automatic patterns that direct your behavior. These are trends that you’re generally not aware of but that lead you to interpret situations in a certain way. Furthermore, you’ll be able to defend yourself with various non-functional strategies.

In addition, being aware of your place on the enneagram allows you to free yourself to stop repeating certain patterns of behavior. In other words, it opens a door for you to take control of your thoughts and actions. Indeed, by shedding the masks you wear, you can let your true self emerge.

Therefore, don’t use the enneagram to define, label, or limit yourself. On the contrary, use it to get to know yourself and develop your best version.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Palmer, H., & Shtereva, N. (1996). El eneagrama. Los Libros de la Liebre de Marzo.
  • Durán, C., & Gómez, A. C. (2011). Eneagrama: los engaños del carácter y sus antídotos. Editorial Kairós.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.