Sunday, January 18, 2009

What type are you?

I am concluding the second part of an Enneagram Workshop at my church today. It is a personality inventory that focuses on utilizing gifts and talents based on your type. There are 9 different personality types and they go by number 1 through 9. At first I had a hard time deciphering which one was my core type and was completely confused. I spoke to the leader of the study and with one statement to her and with her years of experience, Sister Lucy nailed me in 30 seconds flat. Then it was so painfully obvious what I was with the emphasis on pain. My personality completely correlates with the fact that I was at the workshop in the first place. I have thus been chuckling at myself continuously as I realize how I am so acting out my number all the time.

When I mention this personality system to those I have come into contact with, most are very intrigued by what number they might be. It has been quite interesting and I realize my best friend, my mother and I are all the same number. Our number is 5. Fives can differ though in that you can be a super duper above average 5 (Albert Einstein), an average 5 or a dysfunctional 5 and it names which mental illness you would digress to. I was at Barnes and Noble finding a book (so totally 5) and while looking it up, I came across several books on Enneagrams. There was one book that had a whole descriptive chapter devoted to each number and I immediately bought it but was only able to look at it briefly but the little that I did read so totally described me, it was eerie. Over time, I am reading it slowly, and I realize that it is like putting months of analytical physchotherapy into a chapter, one painful paragraph at a time, but I'm still reading.

The workshop leader used the act of crossing a river to describe each of the 9 types. My type doesn't ever cross the river but hides behind a tree, observes the others doing so and takes notes. At first, I didn't like this description at all. After all, I had participated in a mini-triathalon and had gotten in the pool and well as biked and jogged. I did get "across the river," but it was only after a good thought process and a testing of the waters to first decide, if I could do it. This is confirmation of what I learned in that if I am comfortable with myself and functioning high as a 5, I can progress to an 8, which is a leader. So in doing the triathlon, I pushed myself past my observer 5. It is so amazing how this book, that I had never heard of, could so completely describe me and others so completely.

But being a 5, I am always interested in learning more. Observing, and adding knowledge to my base. I laugh because one of my favorite things to do is go to Barnes and Noble during my little free time without children and pick up books of differing natures and speed read what I find interesting. So it is, I am a 5. I accept this about myself and when I'm feeling super duper, I will expound and go out and use some of the knowledge that I have gained and cross that river again.

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