Knowing Your Enneagram Type Can Help Strengthen Your Relationships — Here’s How

group of friends at a cafe

Jacob Lund/AdobeStock

AnnaMarie Houlis
AnnaMarie Houlis4.87k
Journalist & travel blogger

Curious about the Enneagram test? You're in the right place!

Here's everything you need to know about the Enneagram test — what the Enneagram test is, what the Enneagram test is used for, the history of the Enneagram test, how to take the Enneagram test and how to understand the results of your Enneagram test.

What is the Enneagram test?

The Enneagram test is, simply put, a personality test helps you figure out the various specific traits that make up your personality type — your strengths, weakness, tendencies, likes and dislikes. 
There are various forms of the Enneagram test — some are free and others will cost you. All of them ask you questions about how you react to situations, handle your emotions, engage with others and more. And, at the end of each test, you're given an Enneagram type that describes the kind of person you are.

What is the Enneagram used for?

The Enneagram test can be used for a whole host of reasons. Many people simply take the test to find out for themselves what type of personality they are; it's just good fun!
Meanwhile, many couples may take the test to learn about their personality type and that of their partner. Understanding how each other operates and why can be really helpful for the relationship.
Likewise, companies may ask new employees or potential candidates to take Enneagram tests in order to determine how well they'll fit into the company culture

What is the history of the Enneagram test?

The history of the Enneagram test is unclear as it's largely disputed. That said, many believe it to be connected to spiritual, mathematical and philosophical traditions.
Some authors believe that variations of the Enneagram symbol can be traced to the sacred geometry of Pythagorean mathematicians and mystical mathematics. For example, variations of the Enneagram symbol appear in the Sufi tradition, and Jesuit mathematician Athanasius Kircher has an Enneagram-like drawing that makes up part of a 17th-century text.
In the modern world, the Enneagram test has gone global. It's believed to have first become popularized in South America, when the Bolivian-born founder of the Arica School (established in 1968), Oscar Ichazo, taught the Enneagram. During the 1960s, his Enneagram teachings became part of a larger body of education that he called Protoanalysis. Then Chilean psychiatrist Claudio Naranjo caught on and brought the Enneagram into psychological traditions. Later, it was brought to the United States, first introduced to Christian communities.
"Since its introduction into the world of psychology, the Enneagram has been partially validated through experiential and empirical studies and cross-referenced with other constructs of psychology such as the MBTI," according to Integrative 9.  "Enneagram teachers have also drawn on the work of psychologists outside of the Enneagram community to enhance our understanding and application of the framework."
Throughout history, the Enneagram test has been used by spiritual leaders, mathematicians and scientists, as well as philosophers and psychologists. Today, it's been made easy for anyone to take the Enneagram test ad analyze their own results for themselves.

How do you do the Enneagram test?

Taking an Enneagram test is simple. They usually only take a few moments of your time, and they can be fun to fill out.
That said, there are several different Enneagram tests out there, so just how long it takes you to complete and the questions that are asked of you will vary depending on the Enneagram test that you choose.
You will typically be asked to rate statements based on how much or how little you agree with it. For example, you might be asked to rate "You automatically tune into people's needs and desires" or "I am too strict with myself and others"  as "strongly agree," "agree," "disagree" or "strongly disagree." You might also be asked to rate them as "very accurate," "somewhat accurate," "neither accurate nor inaccurate," "somewhat inaccurate" or "very inaccurate." Meanwhile, other tests may just ask you to choose from "yes," "no" or "partly."
When you're done answering all of the questions in the test, it will give you an Enneagram type — there are nine types in total. According to the Enneagram Institute, “it is common to find a little of yourself in all nine of the types, although one of them should stand out as being closest to yourself." 
The one that stands out is considered "your basic personality type.” You can also have a "wing type."
"Usually one has characteristics of one of the types that lie adjacent to one's own that are more prominent — this is called the wing," according to Electric Energies. "So someone who is a type 5, might have a 4 wing or a 6 wing. This may be abbreviated to '5w4' and '5w6.' If one doesn't have a dominant wing, it is said that the wings are balanced."

What are the 9 Enneagram types?

Here are the nine types in an Enneagram test. Again, many people will see themselves in several of the types, but there is usually one that stands out the most — and that one is your Enneagram personality type.

  1. The Reformer — the rational and idealistic type
  2. The Helper — the caring and interpersonal type
  3. The Achiever (sometimes referred to as the Motivator) — the success-oriented and pragmatic type
  4. The Creative (sometimes referred to as the Individualist) — the sensitive and withdrawn type
  5. The Investigator (sometimes referred to as the Thinker) — the intense and cerebral type
  6. The Loyalist (sometimes referred to as the Skeptic) — the committed and security-oriented type
  7. The Enthusiast (sometimes referred to as the Generalist) — the extroverted and spontaneous type
  8. The Challenger (sometimes referred to as the Leader) — the powerful and dominating type
  9. The Peacemaker — the easygoing and self-effacing type
Find out what personality type you are by taking one of these top Enneagram tests today! (I've already done the legwork for you in testing them each out!)

Don’t miss out on articles like these. Sign up!

AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog,, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreportand Facebook.