Fiction writing is a passion of mine and earlier this year I was exploring both Personality Types and Enneagrams on the advice of a writer named Abbie Emmons. On her YouTube channel she has an extremely informative series of videos on fiction writing. The character building portion of this list had a plan of action to use these personality assessments to build characters for fiction stories that make a big impact. At the time I thought this was just research for a romance novel I was planning, but found when I took the test as myself and not as my leading character, it was spot on in its description of who I am and how I react to the world around me.
After dabbling in personal development for years through my association with a fitness company, I figured I should explore the subject of enneagrams more. I figured if I knew what my personality type was I could better understand how to make myself into a better MomMe (and wife).
Here is some of what I found that helped me and I hope will help you.
What is an enneagram?
An enneagram is a chart of nine personality types. Each personality type is given a number and a name. Determining which type you fall into can help you understand why you think, feel and behave in particular ways based upon your core values and desires.
For the moment the list below won’t make much sense to you, but here are the nine personality types in the Enneagram:
- The Moral Perfectionist
- The Supportive Advisor
- The Successful Achiever
- The Romantic Individualist
- The Intellectual Thinker
- The Loyal Guardian
- The Entertaining Optimist
- The Protective Challenger
- The Peaceful Mediator
Taking the test
Websites are very open with having free tests available for interested readers.
The free test I took is available at https://assessment.yourenneagramcoach.com/.
Be aware that this test is very simple but takes probably 10-15 minutes. The more honest you are about the answers the better.
As you can see the answers come in the form of:
- Strongly Disagree
- Strongly agree
I’m not exactly sure how this test categorizes you into each personality type, but the moment I read my results I felt it was fairly accurate.
What information does my enneagram tell me?
The gift of the Enneagram is that through self-discovery, one can create and sustain meaningful and lasting relationships with others, God and themselves. — https://www.yourenneagramcoach.com/type5
Most sites provide the following sections in their “About # Type” sections:
- Overview — This section gives you an overview of the personality type. It’s usually a few sentences long and really will help you understand your personality type if you’re trying to explain it to another person.
- Basic Desire — This is a person’s main motivation.
- Basic Fear — This is usually the roadblock in this person’s life.
- Communication Style — This section is great to explain how a person will work with other people in personal and professional relationships. One site even suggests how to email a person or speak to a person to be very effective.
- Wings — This term came up a lot. As with any assessment there is a scale of how strongly a person fits into a type. A person’s wings (strong and weak) show how similar or different a person is to the personality type on each side of them.
This gets brought up a lot in discussion of enneagrams. In some cases people feel like more than one type than another after getting their results. This is common. Some people tend to resemble other types. Also when you interact with other people they may show emotions that are not typical of their type. It’s not that they are misidentified, but more that they are resembling other types or leaning towards the numbers on each of their wings.
How does this relate to personal development as a mom?
After testing I found that I was a type 5.
Using https://www.crystalknows.com/enneagram/type-5 (the bold statements below), here is how I relate to this information.
Enneagram Type 5’ usually are curious, independent, and observant in their behavior. For all intents and purposes this is me. I love to people-watch and am obsessed with reality series and reality docu series showing the behind the scenes lives of ordinary people.
They love to pursue knowledge and seek a deeper understanding of the world around them. This is totally me. I’m the type of person who will google an actor to find out all about them while I’m watching a movie. I often google the movie to find out where it was filmed and other details about what I’m watching.
They often prefer privacy and time alone to think, which may lead them to withdraw from others. I’m not strictly a private person but I do like my time to think. I find myself wanting the option to be social but hate the obligation of being social for extended periods of time. I believe there are other reasons for this, but now that I know this about my personality type I know it’s even more engrained in me that I previously thought.
The basic desire of the type 5 is to feel helpful and competent. Totally me. I feel like both in work and in personal situations there is nothing worse than feeling like I don’t know what I’m doing.
Fives have a rooted belief that they are less than able to do things than other people and therefore seek to fully understand the world in order to have more of an advantage. While this might seem like this would make me a very calculated person, I feel like my goal in life is to be like the encyclopedia britannica (aka the expert) of whatever subject or situation I’m facing.
Type 5’s tend to be stressed and drained by…
- Large groups of unfamiliar people — I think goes for all groups. My extended family gets together very regularly and it seems to be a ground hog day effect when they hang out. We have probably 3 places to hang out and usually it’s sitting around and talking. I noticed this in college. I got bored going to the same parties with the same people talking about the same things. It doesn’t interest me. On the flipside I feel like when we go out and do something, like play golf, even if it is at the same course, we have something active going on while we are hanging out so it helps the time I spend with them fly by.
- Emotional expressions and situations — The people who seem to bug me the most are those that are drama queens. There are people in my life who constantly have drama going on and it drains me. However, when I have a freak out moment and express my feelings I feel like no one is listening. Hypocritical I’m sure, but now that I see that I’m making a better effort to change how I react to others in hopes that people will react to me better.
- Being required to meet other people’s needs — This is a hard one for a mom to get over. At a certain point I feel like people should be independent. Yes I am there to help, but I hate the feeling of being responsible for people who deep down I know can do it themselves. I often find myself telling my kids “it’s not that hard” which I know I shouldn’t do, but I can’t help but to express.
Type 5’s feel energized at work when…
- They are given plenty of room to work independently — Definitely something I like. When my husband calls me and asks me tons of questions about what I’m doing and how he wants me to do things differently I feel very annoyed.
- Their boss recognizes their skills and knowledge — As a mom I turn to blogging to get this kind of recognition. WHen I come up with a solution for another mom online I feel like I’ve accomplished something.
- Their peers listen as they share information on a subject — I tend to be very wordy in my descriptions of things and I hate when my children tune out or walk out of the room before I am finished talking.
- Their direct reports follow expectations without constant instruction. — This is one that is testing me lately. My son is dyslexic and needs constant help. It is something that I’m struggling with, but I have to control my emotions when working with him due to his constant need of help and reassurance.
The most insightful thing that I’ve read on this page is the common careers section:
- Computer Programmer
Any one of these careers would interest me!
I highly recommend taking a test and seeing what type you are. I feel the information I have found has given me a starting point as to what types of personal development I need to be doing in the future. By recognizing the traits of my type I can steer myself into other areas of my life that could use some improvement.