Among the areas covered by psychology, the study of personality type generates great interest and media coverage.
This is partly why, inside and outside of this science, many well-known personality type classification proposals have emerged today. Among them is the Enneagram of the personality and its classification by enneatipus.
What is the enneagram of personality?
The enneagram of personality is difficult to define with a sentence because it has many facets. This is why the explanation of what it is will be revealed throughout this article.
Its clearest and easiest facet to tackle early on is: the enneagram is a circle of nine lines. Is:
In fact, the term enneagram refers to that geometric, circular nine-pointed figure in which the enneatypes are depicted.
This figure captures the second facet which is easier to understand about what the enneagram is. The enneagram is, in practice, a system of classification of the personality. As such, raises some categories that can theoretically be used to explain trends and propensities that define the usual behavior of people.
These categories with which we try to classify the different types of personality by means of the enneagram are the enneatipus, which are numbered from 1 to 9. Thus, each person could be defined by an enneatipus, which would include the characteristics in which the person stands out the most.
- enneatipus 1: Perfectionism. This is a category that applies to people who are particularly picky about what they do and find it difficult to come close to an ideal version of themselves.
- enneatipus 2: Tendency to help. This part of the enneagram describes people who refuse to help others and who underestimate their own needs.
- enneatipus 3: The pursuit of personal success. It applies to people with a tendency to narcissism who constantly seek to portray a good image in front of others. They like to brag and make their aesthetics speak on their behalf to cover up their insecurities.
- enneatipus 4: Artistic sensitivity. These are people who see themselves as part of a very special story, and the way they view things tends to be imbued with a strong emotional charge that makes them tragic and melancholy people. In addition, they are individualistic in nature and like to see themselves as unique and differentiated from others.
- enneatipus lean: Spirit of research. He describes people who are very rational and dispassionate, with a great interest in objectively understanding the reality around them. They usually don’t talk much about themselves or their emotions.
- enneatipus June: Affection for rules and tendency to mistrust. What characterizes this enneatipus is the propensity to respect the rules and to question all the logics of action that result from them. If they are separated from these rules, they turn out to be very insecure and constantly fall into doubt.
- enneatipus julio: Tendency to enthusiasm and cramps. The people described by this enneatipus are in a constant search for pleasure, which leads them to frequently abandon their long-term plans. They tend to be good-humored and dismiss the possibility of compromising so as not to regret the losses.
- enneatipus 8: Affection for the feeling of justice. He describes people who like to be in control and who go to great lengths to make those who open badly pay the consequences. They tend to be self-confident and trust their own judgment, which puts them in a position to offer protection to others.
- enneatipus September: Peaceful spirit and mediator. People who excel in this aspect tend to avoid conflict and generally exhibit a passive attitude. They prefer to focus their actions on consensus and avoid rigor in their behavior. In addition, they let important decisions be made by others.
Movements in the enneagram
According to the logic generally attributed to the functioning of the enneagram, Each person can be explained by the enneatipus that suits him best. However, if certain atypical circumstances were to occur, the context could cause the person to begin to act in a manner similar to what a person defined by another enneatipus would do, i.e. their personality would undergo a change. change.
The directions in which one could move from the starting point of his enneatipus are explained in the circle with lines, in which they are represented by the 9 enneatipus of the personality enneagram. So the enneatype 1 (perfectionist) could switch to position 4 (artist) or position 7 (enthusiastic), and each of these other enneatypes, in turn, can also switch to two others. These lines would also serve to indicate the possible paths of personal development that each one can undertake according to the enneatipus from which it starts.
Why the enneagram is not a personality test
What we have so far, as explained, is a personality classification system and a proposal for how transitions are made from one personality type to another. This, failing to know whether there are any investigations that support the usefulness and robustness of this classification method, and without knowing how the scores of each person in each enneatipus might be measured, does not seem unreasonable. But there is a reason why the enneagram cannot be considered a personality test: It is based on pseudoscientific ideas.
If the enneagram reflects different personality types, it is neither a personality test nor, in its entirety, a tool that can be exploited by psychology if certain guarantees of effectiveness are expected. The reason is that it is not a simple system of classification of psychological characteristics but goes much further, because it is based on a belief system based on esotericism and magical thinking.
This means, among other things, that the enneagram of personality and the formulation of enneatypes are based not only on presuppositions about the functioning of mental processes, but also from a supernatural view of what exists and is part of reality. .
So, for example, it is said that the enneagram can be used to explain our personality, but also to discover the fundamental mistakes we make in our lives and how we can grow spiritually. This is a very relevant thing: among the reasons of the enneagram is to be an instrument for the spiritual development of the person, serving to identify the essential problems that affect us daily … and all this, without having to give detailed information about what things affect us, what context we live in, who we relate to, etc.
Playing with ambiguities
The reason these powers are attributed to the use of the Enneagram is because it supposedly reflects how invisible cosmic forces structure the workings of reality and, of course, of ourselves. Which means the usefulness of the enneagram is excused under a layer of metaphysics explained on the basis of inaccuracies.
The enneatipus represents those cosmic forces which govern the functioning of the universe, and to prove it, it appeals to the mathematical curiosities which appear by playing with the numbers represented in the diagram of the relations between enneatipus which represents the enneagram. For example, if we divide the number 1 by the 7 (the magic number), the result will be, 142857142857, that is, the sequence of numbers that forms in the figure starting with enneatipus 1 and ending with the 7.
These “magic” properties of numbers are universal (they are fulfilled in all situations), and the enneagram finds in these numbers a way to relate to the essential, Which goes beyond context and can only be explained in a very abstract and confusing way.
Like the ancient Pythagoreans, Enneagram supporters look to numerology in an attempt to make connections between the mystical nature of numbers, people, and the environment in which they live, Expose these mathematical curiosities and take for granted the existence of supernatural connections between the structure of the human mind and the functioning of the cosmos.
As a tool, the enneagram is not scientifically useful because it is not intended to be tested and can detect errors in its operation. All it offers are vague explanations that could describe just about anyone. Therefore, his system of classifying personality types is arbitrary, although that does not mean that satisfaction can be found in seeing oneself through the descriptions of self that he offers.
Neither the enneagram was born for the purpose of generating scientifically valid knowledge, nor its method of application has to do with the principles that govern psychology as a science. However, among the supposed virtues of this tool, there is the possibility of offering solutions to major life problems from a system applicable to all, regardless of their context. After all, we are all meant to be subject to the same cosmic forces.
- Gurdjieff, GI the Enneagram
- Palmer, H. (2014). The enneagram. Barcelona: The March Hare.
- The essential enneagram