Since finding the Myers-Briggs personality test a few years ago, I’ve immersed myself in the world of self-discovery and personality tests. Learning about my strengths and weaknesses from the test opened up the world for me in a way I never expected. It was absurd to realize I’d lived in my body for over twenty years but still didn’t truly know myself (I’m an INFP, by the way). Not only that, but it allowed me to accept these things about myself and realize there’s nothing inherently wrong with me. Self-awareness is liberating!
The Enneagram Test is the latest and greatest fad in personality testing. It’s all the rage on social media and people are experiencing all of the wonderful feelings I felt when discovering my Myers-Briggs type. A few months ago I took an online test attempting to discover my Enneagram type. I actually took it a few days in a row on different sites and kept coming up with different results. I decided to throw in the towel on the Enneagram until Alisse, a friend on Instagram, recommended this book.
Ignorance is bliss except in self-awareness…
What you don’t know about yourself can hurt you and your relationships―and even keep you in the shallows with God. Do you want help figuring out who you are and why you’re stuck in the same ruts? The Enneagram is an ancient personality typing system with an uncanny accuracy in describing how human beings are wired, both positively and negatively.
In The Road Back to You Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile forge a unique approach―a practical, comprehensive way of accessing Enneagram wisdom and exploring its connections with Christian spirituality for a deeper knowledge of ourselves, compassion for others, and love for God. Witty and filled with stories, this book allows you to peek inside each of the nine Enneagram types, keeping you turning the pages long after you have read the chapter about your own number. Not only will you learn more about yourself, but you will also start to see the world through other people’s eyes, understanding how and why people think, feel, and act the way they do. Beginning with changes you can start making today, the wisdom of the Enneagram can help take you further along into who you really are―leading you into places of spiritual discovery you would never have found on your own, and paving the way to the wiser, more compassionate person you want to become.
I have to preface my review of this book by saying I’m still not completely sold on the Enneagram. I find it incredibly difficult to type myself. I think I most closely resemble a 2w1, yet I very closely relate to many of the characteristics of a 4 – The Romantic (sometimes called The Individualist). I also found parts of types 5, 6, and 9 describe me quite well. So, what’s the deal? Am I just a conundrum or am I missing something? I also find it incredibly difficult to type my husband who could be a 1 or a 5w6. Even he’s not sure where he fits in on the circular chart.
If you’re wondering what this nonsense I’m spouting is all about, here’s a quick overview of the Enneagram types:
- Type One: The Perfectionist
- Type Two: The Helper
- Type Three: The Performer
- Type Four: The Romantic
- Type Five: The Investigator
- Type Six: The Loyalist
- Type Seven: The Enthusiast
- Type Eight: The Challenger
- Type Nine: The Peacemaker
Despite the inconsistencies in typing myself and my husband, I found this book very helpful in understanding the types of the Enneagram more clearly, as well as learning what each of the numbers and wings mean. Prior to reading, it all seemed like gibberish. I appreciated the light and humorous tone of this book, as well as the author’s acknowledgment of the test coming across negative or hard to handle at times. This was one of my hang-ups regarding this test from the get-go. I was quite annoyed by the negative connotations in each personality description. I wondered why so many people loved it when it seemed to be picking apart each type in a way that almost seemed cruel at times. This could be the nature of my perceived “2 type” coming out – I’m not a fan of criticism of any kind.
The book is well organized and descriptive of each type without going too deep to be overwhelming. I like how each type section started with a short checklist of traits, allowing the reader to see if they matched up with the descriptions. I’m also grateful this book was written from a Christian standpoint. It made it more relatable and applicable to my life, without being too heavy-handed in the religious department. The overall message seemed to be: if we are able to understand ourselves, we can better understand God. Understanding the types of others can help us to become more compassionate toward others as well. Love thy neighbor is sometimes one of the most challenging commandments, but when we’re able to understand the thought processes and temperaments of others, it slightly lightens the load.
Overall, this was an informative and entertaining introduction to the Enneagram Test. I’m eager to do more research in the future and attempt to further nail down my type.
Rating: 4 stars
Do you know your Enneagram type? Are you a fan of personality tests?
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