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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Enneagram: The Sacred 9 Types. Which one are you?

Personality typing has been used for centuries and for many purposes. The best one I have ever found and used is called the Enneagram, or 9 Types. It was relatively unknown as a oral tradition until first written down in the 1950s.

What has this to do with a Podiatry blog? Your personality influences greatly how you exercise, how you respond to a doctor telling you what it wrong and what to do, how you deal with your injury, how you deal with others around your injury, etc.

It is actually hard to tell what number you are. Your close friends and family can tell easier. The number describes what your basic drive deep inside is (I realized how superficial I really was/am when first reading about it). It is part of a journey into healing yourself (we are all wounded to some degree), and it is helpful dealing with others.

I like the concept that if you had 9 people in a room with a single goal, if all 9 were a different personality type, all 9 would come up with a different opinion. So, if I tell 9 people with 9 different personality types the exact same thing, I will get at least 9 different responses. This has always been called the Art of Medicine, and the Enneagram can at least give you piece of mind that difference is fine. It is okay when some of my patients do not agree with what I say. People process what they hear, see, read, etc so differently.

So, what are the basics.

A) The Person is actually part spirit, body, and soul.
B) The 9 Types deal with the basic drive of the Soul (our deepest drive in life!!)
C) The Soul is divided into Mind, Will, and Emotion (Heart)
D) The 9 Types have 3 Mind Drives, 3 Will Drives, and 3 Heart Drives
E) These drives are us at our core, we can not change it if we tried
F) Each basic drive of personality has pros and cons
G) We grow as an individual by looking at these pros and cons and developing the ones, and suppressing the bad ones.

What are the 9 Types?
1 is The Perfectionist or Reformer (Will)
2 is the Giver or Helper (Heart)
3 is the Achiever or Success Driven (Heart)
4 is the Romantic or Individualist (Heart)
5 is the Teacher or Observer (Mind)
6 is the Loyalist or Trooper (Mind)
7 is the Epicure or Zest for Life (Mind)
8 is the Boss, Challenger or Leader (Will)
9 is the Mediator or Peacemaker (Will)

2 psychologists, who use the Enneagram solely in their practices, last year independently said I was 100% a 9. I always thought I wanted to be a 2 (great for medicine), or that I was a 5, but as I have read more and more, they are right and I am a 9. As you learn your number, you can see how the positive side and negative side affects your life. Without any further reading, look at the 9 numbers above. Can you think how each of these drives could make you great or break you down.

Can you see yourself, your friends or family, or colleagues as predominately one number?
This really has helped me in dealing with groups of people to see that there will be differences in opinion that are equally valid as mine.

We are One Number at our core, but each number has 2 strong wings that we can develop to get stronger or weaker (our choice). We can not pick our wings, as we can not chose our Basic Number. They are what they are. We can just grow with them. We could grow emotionally and perfect the good qualities of our 3 numbers.  See we can possibly be 1/3rd perfect people. LOL

Wings for Each Number are:
1 (Perfectionist) has 7 (Zest for Life) and 4 (Romantic)
2 (Giver) has 8 (Boss) and 4 (Romantic)
3 (Achiever) has 9 (Mediator) and 6 (Loyalist)
4 (Romantic) has 1 (Perfectionist) and 2 (Giver)
5 (Teacher) has 7 (Zest for Life) and 8 (Boss)
6 (Loyalist) has 9 (Mediator) and 3 (Achiever)
7 (Zest for life) has 1 (Perfectionist) and 5 (Teacher)
8 (Boss) has 5 (Teacher) and 2 (Giver)
9 (Mediator) has 6 (Loyalist) and 3 (Achiever)


The video below is a good start if you want to learn more. They tell you where to take a test, but I would check out some easy books (not too psychologically based) describing this topic. The video below had some other helpful descriptions.

Type 1 Perfectionist has beauty through organization, with slight stiffness
Type 2 Giver is friendly and pleasing
Type 3 Achiever reaches for the sunshine, strives for recognition through successs
Type 4 Romantic is unique, experiences richness in relationships, artist expression can be easy
Type 5 Teacher is passionate in pursuit of knowledge, finds identity in understanding
Type 6 Loyalist believes in overcoming fear by strength, and feels safer in groups
Type 7 Epicure appears passionate and lively, loves to fly high and look towards pleasures to come
Type 8 Boss is an attention grabber, prepared to face all competitors
Type 9 Mediator is happy and restful

 I sure hope this simple introduction was interesting enough to have you look into the topic more. As a good Type 9 I feel happy to bring this info to you, and to satisfy my personality wings, I feel great that I achieved this goal (Type 3) and supported by blog readers (Type 6). Have a great day!! Rich


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Thank you very much for leaving a comment. Due to my time restraints, some comments may not be answered.I will answer questions that I feel will help the community as a whole.. I can only answer medical questions in a general form. No specific answers can be given. Please consult a podiatrist, therapist, orthopedist, or sports medicine physician in your area for specific questions.