1-Sentence-Summary: The Road Back To You will teach you more about what kind of person you are by identifying the pros and cons of each personality type within the Enneagram test.
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What in the world is an Enneagram? I wondered the same thing when I first heard of this strange word. If you’re thinking it’s that symbol with five points that is lit on fire in Wiccan ceremonies, that’s the pentagram. And luckily for you, they’re not the same thing!
The Enneagram is actually a personality test. Although nobody’s certain when it began, it’s been around for a while and has been used by multiple religions. That’s pretty cool, but you’re probably itching to know what it’ll tell you about yourself.
That’s what Ian Morgan Cron’s The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery is all about. Not only does this book go into each type, but it will also give you insight into how the types work together to make up your whole personality.
These are 3 of my favorite lessons about discovering yourself:
- There are nine personality types in the Enneagram.
- You might feel that your personal traits fall into multiple types, and that’s why the test has what are known as wing numbers to give you additional clarity.
- Each number in the test has corresponding stress and security numbers to help you better understand how you react in different circumstances.
Ready to find out what type you are? Let’s begin!
Lesson 1: The Enneagram personality test has nine personality types in it, each corresponding to a number.
So what number are you? I recommend you take an online version of the test to find out first. Just Google “Enneagram Test” and try one of the first few.
Here are the nine personality types and a little about each one:
- Perfectionist– These are good at self-discipline and details. They always seek to improve but struggle with their black and white worldview.
- Helper– Caring by nature, Helpers love to feel like others need them. Relationships are central to their life, but they usually care about everyone else’s feelings more than their own.
- Performer– Satisfaction from setting and accomplishing big goals is the hallmark of this type. They attach their self-worth to their success and struggle with self-delusion.
- Romantic– These are good at connecting with everything beautiful and tragic in the world. Sometimes they isolate themselves and become sad because of it.
- Investigator– A love of knowledge and sharing it is the main trait of Investigators. Independent by nature, they struggle with relying on others for help.
- Loyalist– If you’re this type then you’ve got a commitment to serving others. Community, rules, order, and stability are important, but you might struggle with getting anxious if these are threatened.
- Enthusiast– Outgoing and the life of the party, Enthusiasts are always positive. They can struggle with commitment, pleasure-seeking, and addiction.
- Challenger– These have an easy time speaking up when something is wrong. They’re natural leaders, but have a hard time showing vulnerability and thus making good connections with others.
- Peacemaker– This type will avoid conflict no matter what. They’re good at seeing both sides of arguments, but they struggle to speak up about their own needs in relationships.
Let’s take a look about how to use these in connection with each other in our next lesson!
Lesson 2: Wing numbers are important to getting the full picture on your traits.
Okay so if you’re like me you look at those and think that more than one of them are like you, right? I’m a perfectionist, but I also see bits of a lot of the others in my personality.
This is where wing numbers come in handy. Just like a wingman backs you up in social situations, so do these additional traits support your personality. To find yours, look to the numbers on either side of your main number. As a 1, my wing numbers are 2 and 9, and I’d say that’s pretty accurate.
Let’s say you’re a romantic, type four, for example. You thrive on being creative and might do something like acting or writing. But on either side you’ve got three and five, which are the performer and investigator.
You might see some of the performer’s traits in your character if you like to be competitive and think you’re the best. Rather than a pure romantic, who is a little socially awkward, you are more image-conscious. A focus on goals might make you better able to make your ideas become reality.
If you’ve got a little more of the personality of the investigator, though, you might be a little more introverted. Social events may tire you and alone time is a must.
Lesson 3: Your number can help you see how you naturally respond under stress and when you feel secure.
Now that you’ve figured out the main three numbers that describe your personality, let’s look at another two. These are the stress and security numbers.
When you feel safe, you borrow traits from other numbers, as follows:
- Perefectionist → Enthusiast
- Helper → Romantic
- Performer → Loyalist
- Romantic → Perfectionist
- Investigator → Challenger
- Loyalist → Peacemaker
- Enthusiast → Investigator
- Challenger → Helper
- Peacemaker → Performer
As a perfectionist, for example, when I’m calm I borrow traits from the enthusiast. That means I relax when my responsibilities are taken care of or when I’m with friends. I’ll become more self-confident, gregarious, and adventurous anytime I feel secure.
The way you feel when stressed has a number shift associated with it as well:
- Perefectionist → Romantic
- Helper → Challenger
- Performer → Peacemaker
- Romantic → Helper
- Investigator → Enthusiast
- Loyalist → Performer
- Enthusiast → Perfectionist
- Challenger → Investigator
- Peacemaker → Loyalist
Let’s examine the case of a perfectionist who has to stay late at the office and borrows attributes from the romantic. This might affect their self-esteem. They might become more sensitive to criticism and depression is more likely.
Whatever combination you end up with, discovering these two additional numbers is a great way to know yourself better. With this whole picture of who you are, you’ll finally be able to double down on your strengths and prepare for your weaknesses!
The Road Back To You Review
I’m pretty skeptical of personality tests because realistically, we all exhibit different traits of each characteristic. But the Enneagram test at least has a way of accounting for this, which I like. I think what I enjoyed most about The Road Back To You, though, was the idea that your personality type teaches you about your nature rather than just trying to put you into a box.
Who would I recommend The Road Back To You summary to?
The 23-year-old college student who wants to figure out how their personality type might affect their career choice, the 47-year-old who’s got some bad habits that wants to know the good side of their character, and anyone who wants to know more about themselves so they can improve.