Personality typologies: Which one fits you?
Understanding what makes people tick has become a key issue for anyone who works with others. This is particularly true where you are trying to get the best out of people. Yet, trying to understand people’s inner motivations is a notoriously uncertain science. Personality typologies offer us one of the few routes into this world.
According to the Enneagram, the famous Greek nine-starred diagram, there are nine different types of personality. There are people who feel: the need to be perfect, the need to be needed, the need to be successful, the need to be special, the need to perceive, the need to be secure, the need to be happy, the need to be strong and the need to be free.
Maybe you already know in which category you fit, but let’s take a look at three of the most common types anyway.
The Need to be Perfect
Number 1 is the type that needs to be perfect. This type is in the Instinctive group, those who relate to the world through their gut or instincts. From this type come some of the wisest and most moral people and also some of the most fundamentalist do-gooders. This type shows us discipline, the virtue of hard work, and the need to make sense of our world.
Ones give off an impression of tension: they are unable to relax for fear that they should be working. Ones are more tuned in to duty than to pleasure. The words “ought” and “must” figure prominently in their speech and thought.
Because they can see how things ought to be, as well as how they are, Ones’ automatic response to unsatisfactory situations is to feel anger with themselves and others. Though, they weigh up the rights and wrongs of every situation carefully before making a decision and, once made, agonise over whether they are right. Ones hate the thought of failure, of not being right.
Ones believe they must have great integrity. They believe they must set an example to others, to be as near perfect as they can. The thought of lying or cheating is anathema to them.
The Need to be Needed
Number 2 is the type that needs to be needed. This type is in the Feeling group, those who relate to the world through their feelings for others. From this type come some of the most caring and also some of the most manipulative people. This type shows us the world of love in all its many forms.”
Twos are people who have the ability to make instant contact with others, whether family, friends or strangers. They are skilled and natural communicators. The language used by Twos is the language of contact. They seem to know instinctively what to say to others. Words are easy because their emotions lead. They are often rapid talkers because their emotions flow quicker than their thoughts. Theirs is not intellectual, sophisticated or contrived language but direct, plain-speaking, everyday language.
The wisdom of Twos is folksy and homespun. Twos can adjust themselves according to who they’re talking to. They can easily slip into the current idiom, parlance or way of speaking. Their motives are, or appear to be, heartfelt and genuine and they therefore make good listeners, sentence-finishers, gossips and advisors.
The Need to Perceive
Number 5 is the type that needs to perceive. This type is in the Thinking group, those who relate to the world through their thoughts. From this type come some of the most intelligent and also some of the most absent-minded people. This type shows us how to use the power of their minds to be both creative and mind obsessive.
Fives are an easy personality type to spot because they live in their minds and through their perceptions. Fives like to see. At home, the chair is close to the window; at work, the desk oversees everyone else. Fives can see without being seen so much the better.
Fives’ preoccupation with their minds means that they can neglect the habits that are second-nature to everyone else: they can forget to change their clothes, they can put on non-matching socks or ear-rings; they can forget to eat, they can talk well into the night and forget to go to bed.
Fives need to put distance between themselves and the objects of their thoughts. They usually have a place where others can’t intrude. These places are like ivory towers or monastic cells. Although they are bare and frugal, Fives like to fill them with things they don’t have. Like their minds, they need to keep them empty so that they can fill them up.