Why the Enneagram Wrecked Me
Wow, another blog post about the enneagram, original.
If you're one of the five people in the world who hasn't heard about the enneagram, hello.
The enneagram is a new old way of defining your personality, because we all need that in our lives.
If you're completely in the dark about the enneagram, I honestly suggest you check it out. Basically, there are nine different types, all with a different focus and desire. You have a main type and then a wing. So while you are one type, you can have many traits of another type as well. You can also change types when you are healthy or unhealthy.
Yes, it is confusing.
Everyone has a small part of all of the enneagram types, so you're never truly one type. But usually there is a pretty clear type with which you can identify.
While many of the characteristics of the categories are rather broad or vague, they do help other people to know how to love you, how you love, or any other basic need you might have.
I kinda hate them.
But for some reason, the enneagram has become an excuse to make judgments or stupid decisions.
Just because someone is a certain number or type, he or she allows him or herself to act in certain ways and just blame it on their enneagram.
I can throw myself under the bus for this because I do it. I diagnosed myself as an enneagram type 6. I am loyal and I seek comfort and protection. But the sixes are also known as the most anxious and the people who look on the world a little more negatively. I just set up a box in which to put myself, but that's a small side effect of the enneagram.
Anyway, when I get really worried or I need someone, I just scream out, "it's because I'm a six!" And there, I have an excuse to not trust God's will and just sit around and worry or run to someone that's not Him.
I let my enneagram get the better of me.
Every type has a downfall. The trick is not identifying with the flaw and letting it define you or become a reason why you do stupid things. Look for the good in the types, but also know that just because you identify with one group doesn't mean you are bound to every characteristic of it.
I have never really been a big fan of getting put into a box (I have since come to find that I am actually a type 4, proving how unreliable these tests can sometimes be and how they aren’t set in stone) and I feel like that's what these types do. I've also never really gotten into star signs or myers-briggs, so I guess maybe this stuff will never really be a big thing for me, but I really can't see much of a benefit to telling myself characteristics I have or how I'm going to react to certain things before I even know what they are. I just let myself feel what I want to feel and go along with that.
But recently, I've been surrounded by a culture that knows and loves the enneagram. It's fun to see how people act and why they do it. It's fun to know your friends more than they sometimes do and to see how they see themselves.
While the enneagrams are not particularly my favorite things in the entire world, I do know a lot about them.
"Sleeping at Last" is an artist who has come out with 9 songs and 9 podcasts so far explaining the enneagram phenomenon. He goes into the traits and the reasons why the types are the way they are. I love these podcasts because I think it’s important to familiarize yourself with how your friends love or why they act the way they do.
I know I am now sounding contradictory and explaining how I know a lot about them but I still don't support them. But it's because I'm a wing 5 and want to explore and learn everything (see what I did there?).
I think there is some merit to understanding people and knowing how they see themselves and how the world sees them. I also think it’s really helpful in ministry or friendships to know how to love the other person or when the person is trying to show you love. The enneagrams are just another way to learn about someone.
I went on spring break with a group of my friends and while there, I explained to each of them what their type was and why.
Two of my friends quickly agreed with me, having figured it out on their own and understanding all of the types, while one of my beautiful friends couldn't believe that she wasn't a two (nurturer) and continually got offended when we offered evidence to contradict her.
I think it's tough to hear someone see something different in you than what you see.
We see ourselves through arguably the most skewed and biased lens. While it is true that we might know ourselves the best, we also judge ourselves the most, or see things in ourselves that others don't see- it's also important to see things from an outside perspective as well.
I personally think that the enneagram has blown up a bit too much and caused a lot of people to second guess what they are made up of or who they really are. I can admit to this too.
But honestly, we can't box up God's creation. We are all uniquely made and we will never perfectly be defined. Our identity isn't in 9 different numbers or what the stars say, but in our Creator who knows everything about us.
I think a lot can be lost when we look to certain things to tell us who we are, rather than looking to the Bible and the truth from our Creator.