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Personality Types: Using the Enneagram for Self-Discovery

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" The Enneagram is an extraordinary framework for understanding more about ourselves. No matter from which point of view we approach it, we discover fresh conjunctions of new and old ideas." So writes Don Riso in this expanded edition of his classic interpretation of the Enneagram, the ancient psychological system used to understand the human personality. In addition to up " The Enneagram is an extraordinary framework for understanding more about ourselves. No matter from which point of view we approach it, we discover fresh conjunctions of new and old ideas." So writes Don Riso in this expanded edition of his classic interpretation of the Enneagram, the ancient psychological system used to understand the human personality. In addition to updating the descriptions of the nine personality types, Personality Types, Revised greatly expands the accompanying guidelines and, for the first time, uncovers the Core Dynamics, or Levels of Development, within each type. This skeletal system provides far more information about the inner tension and movements of the nine personalities than has previously been published. This increased specificity will allow therapists, social workers, personnel managers, students of the Enneagram, and general readers alike to use it with much greater precision as they unlock the secrets of self-understanding, and thus self-transformation.


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" The Enneagram is an extraordinary framework for understanding more about ourselves. No matter from which point of view we approach it, we discover fresh conjunctions of new and old ideas." So writes Don Riso in this expanded edition of his classic interpretation of the Enneagram, the ancient psychological system used to understand the human personality. In addition to up " The Enneagram is an extraordinary framework for understanding more about ourselves. No matter from which point of view we approach it, we discover fresh conjunctions of new and old ideas." So writes Don Riso in this expanded edition of his classic interpretation of the Enneagram, the ancient psychological system used to understand the human personality. In addition to updating the descriptions of the nine personality types, Personality Types, Revised greatly expands the accompanying guidelines and, for the first time, uncovers the Core Dynamics, or Levels of Development, within each type. This skeletal system provides far more information about the inner tension and movements of the nine personalities than has previously been published. This increased specificity will allow therapists, social workers, personnel managers, students of the Enneagram, and general readers alike to use it with much greater precision as they unlock the secrets of self-understanding, and thus self-transformation.

30 review for Personality Types: Using the Enneagram for Self-Discovery

  1. 5 out of 5

    Book Riot Community

    Personality Types is the most comprehensive outline of the Enneagram personality theory I’ve seen (akin to Lenore Thomson’s treatment of Myers-Briggs–Personality Type: An Owner’s Manual–in scope and depth). Riso and Hudson waded through the long history and collective knowledge of the Enneagram from disparate cultures and assimilated it into one cohesive theory. I’ve read a bit about the Enneagram in the past and I approached this book with a huge amount of skepticism about its veracity. To my o Personality Types is the most comprehensive outline of the Enneagram personality theory I’ve seen (akin to Lenore Thomson’s treatment of Myers-Briggs–Personality Type: An Owner’s Manual–in scope and depth). Riso and Hudson waded through the long history and collective knowledge of the Enneagram from disparate cultures and assimilated it into one cohesive theory. I’ve read a bit about the Enneagram in the past and I approached this book with a huge amount of skepticism about its veracity. To my own surprise, I was astonished at its precision, accuracy, and applicability to my own life. The book goes into great detail, but is well-organized and easy to follow. I highly recommend it to anyone looking to explore personality and self-awareness. –– Kate Scott from The Best Books We Read In January: http://bookriot.com/2016/02/01/riot-r...

  2. 4 out of 5

    K.M. Weiland

    Excellent in-depth information. There’s a ton of good stuff here, although I did feel the book too much emphasis on a descent into psychosis rather than a rise to health.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Richard Stuart

    this book has taught me to see the world through many different kinds of perspectives. it allows me to enhance my strong feelings of sympathy/empathy because i can better understand where (and why) people are coming from, whether it is a place of fear or anxiety, or just a need for things to be a certain way so they feel comfortable in the world. it is an invaluable tool to learn to ACCEPT people for who they are.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Luke

    I was initially skeptical of the whole enneagram thing, worried it was one of those pop spirituality trends a la The Secret, kinda like Zodiac-Lite meets the Myers Briggs test (instead of 12 signs, there are 9 personality types.) Turns out, it’s not weird or boring at all. Rather, this book gives an insightful and illuminating rundown of the ways different personality types process information and emotions, the various ways we think about ourselves and navigate the world. In the chapter about my I was initially skeptical of the whole enneagram thing, worried it was one of those pop spirituality trends a la The Secret, kinda like Zodiac-Lite meets the Myers Briggs test (instead of 12 signs, there are 9 personality types.) Turns out, it’s not weird or boring at all. Rather, this book gives an insightful and illuminating rundown of the ways different personality types process information and emotions, the various ways we think about ourselves and navigate the world. In the chapter about my "type," it was freaky to read a (mostly) dead-on description of how I act/think/feel when I'm at my best/worst, and why. I won’t say this book or the enneagram paradigm has necessarily “changed my life,” but it has caused me to think differently about myself and certain people I know (including at least one fictional character I’ve been writing about for a while.) I think I understand a little better now what makes us all tick.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Dimitris Hall

    Experience has shown that ... personalities ... may be grouped into various major categories, and for purposes of studying them this is a helpful device. Classifications must never be taken too seriously—they ruin much thinking—but the fear to use them has prevented much more thinking. —Karl A. Menninger, The Human Mind The above quote would find a lot of people in the world in open disagreement. Even in the US, where different social needs and anxieties gave birth to almost all forms of typology Experience has shown that ... personalities ... may be grouped into various major categories, and for purposes of studying them this is a helpful device. Classifications must never be taken too seriously—they ruin much thinking—but the fear to use them has prevented much more thinking. —Karl A. Menninger, The Human Mind The above quote would find a lot of people in the world in open disagreement. Even in the US, where different social needs and anxieties gave birth to almost all forms of typology developed today, there is still some skepticism about the extent to which typology works and is based on fact; in the culture I grew up in, namely millennial Greece, the very concept of the existence of a number of more or less concrete personality types, is rather foreign to say the least---ironically, too, because some of the most adamant proto-typologists were ancient Greeks philosophers such as Galen, who is the best-known. My enduring fascination with the subject and my attempts of discussing it with my surroundings have been mostly welcomed with polite indifference and at worst with open contempt: surely the entire wide spectrum of humanity cannot fit in a handful of archetypes. "How is this any different from astrology?", asks a One that has made her mind up about right and wrong; "no system can pigeonhole the infinite complexity that is me" is a common reaction from Threes or special-snowflake disintegrating Fours; "you do know that people's behaviours change according to their surroundings, right?", comes the valid though overly dismissive comment from a Five who likes to think he's unusually smart and thorough. It's been very difficult to get people to look at this seriously and see the strengths of existing typology systems and how they can help us empathise with and understand eachother and ourselves. Half-arsed online tests and the seeming equation of typology with "which Disney/Game of Thrones/famous person are you?" hasn't helped people take the field seriously either, but I'm not one to judge; after all, it is how I myself, and many others I'm sure, originally came across typology. The difference is that I took an interest in the theory of it all, the questions that result in the answers that are all the different types. Thus did my research in this realm begin years ago and ever since I've been slowly trying to follow Kierkegaard's advice to become subjective toward others and objective toward myself. Before reading Personality Types, the typology system I'd been most familiar with was the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, or MBTI, developed in the '70s and in later years built upon by David Keirsey and his four temperaments. MBTI was based on Jung's eight cognitive functions and laid out the sixteen four-letter type system we know and love today. According to it, each type is a different ordering of these Jungian functions that correspond to each individuals preference of use. I, for instance, am an INFP because I primarily use Introverted Feeling and then Extraverted Intuition. Understanding how the cognitive functions work for each type is essential for understanding the MBTI, a fact which regrettably but understandably is most often missed by online tests because it makes the whole thing about ten times more difficult to decode. To sum up, MBTI is used to categorise people according to their cognitive functions: the mechanics of the manner in which they perceive and process information, how they perceive the world (by observing or by abstracting?) and how they make decisions (thinking their way out or doing what feels right?). Nevertheless, the MBTI isn't even what this book is about; I just wanted to illustrate the difference between it and the Enneagram, which is a different school of typology, and what Personality Types is about. Riso and Hudson did an excellent job with it of presenting the Enneagram as a more organic form of typology than MBTI. Sometimes the latter feels as if it's somehow constructed or artificial; the Enneagram, on the other hand, is very convincingly presented in this book as something that does exist out there, that it is what had been attempted to be captured by the first known typologists in ancient times up to Freud, and consequently it is something that absolutely has to be part of modern psychology and psychotherapy. They make a convincing case that the Enneagram's the culmination of everything that's been done before in the field, the most perfected and complete system that has been developed to this day. And after reading the book, I do stand convinced. Here's a small sample of what the types are about and our problems: Twos spend their whole lives searching for love from others and still feel that they are unloved. Threes endlessly pursue achievement and recognition but still feel worthless and empty. Fours spend their entire lives trying to discover the meaning of their personal identity and still do not know who they are. Fives endlessly accumulate knowledge and skills to build up their confidence but still feel helpless and incapable. Sixes toil endlessly to create security for themselves and still feel anxious and fearful about the world. Sevens look high and low for happiness [through new experiences] but still feel unhappy and frustrated. Eights do everything in their power to protect themselves and their interests but still feel vulnerable and threatened. Nines sacrifice a great deal to achieve inner peace and stability but still feel ungrounded and insecure. And finally, Ones strive to maintain personal integrity but still feel divided and at war with themselves. The way out of these self-defeating patterns is to see that they cannot bring us the happiness that we seek because our personality does not have the power to create happiness. As wisdom has always recognized, it is only by dying to ourselves—that is, to our ego and its strategies—that we find life. Apart from this small sample, here are some of the reasons I think the Enneagram is an excellent tool and theoretical system: • The Enneagram is based on triads, just as the MBTI is based on pairs. Each Enneagram type is the combination of thinking, feeling or instinct with a modality of overexpression, underexpression or repression, which in turn represents each type's fundamental characteristic: all at once, its main weakness, the bane of its existence, what it strives to overcome, as well as what it's ambitions are aimed at and what it thinks it lacks. That makes 3 times 3, three modalities for three fundamental aspects of humanity. • The wing system adds more depth and intricacy. • On top of that, the fact that if as a person you're expressing your type well you're "integrating" into another type and if you're not you're disintegrating into yet another makes it clear what each type can strive for or can expect to happen if it doesn't remain healthy. • The system is made even more complex by the fact that for each type there are essentially nine sub-types according to the level of development of the type. That also goes for the wings and directions of integration/disintegration. • All the above combined make the Enneagram not only a great tool for self-discovery, empathy and understanding, but also quite revealing and useful for self-development as well. • While reading the lengthy descriptions for each of the types, I had very clear images of real people I know or friends of mine who appear to be embodiments of their types. Imagine the symbol above but with the faces of people in my social network at each end. My personal Enneagram became these 9 friends of family of mine, and now I believe I can understand their possible fears, troubles and priorities much better, as well as see reflections of those characteristics on myself. This stuff is real and I want to get deeper into it. I would heartily recommend you do as well, and there's no better place to start than Reddit's Enneagram Subreddit which has all the information and links to tests you might need. When you get the basics, reading an actual book, this one or another good one by Riso and Hudson or other personality psychologists and distinguished writers on the subject, will be the way to go. Good luck!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Helene

    Interesting read 3.5 -4 (dang wish they had .5 in some of these Labels ) 1. The Reformer 2 The Helper 3 The Motivator 4 The Individualist 5 The Investigator 6 The Loyalist 7 The Enthusiast 8 The Leader 9 The Peacemaker I thought some parts of this book had merit . And other parts had a "horoscope " feeling attached to it . After reading each personality type. This book then breaks down and makes adjustments to the basic type . This is referred as The Wing or the other side of the basic personality . Interesting read 3.5 -4 (dang wish they had .5 in some of these Labels ) 1. The Reformer 2 The Helper 3 The Motivator 4 The Individualist 5 The Investigator 6 The Loyalist 7 The Enthusiast 8 The Leader 9 The Peacemaker I thought some parts of this book had merit . And other parts had a "horoscope " feeling attached to it . After reading each personality type. This book then breaks down and makes adjustments to the basic type . This is referred as The Wing or the other side of the basic personality . Know then thyself , presume not God to scan , The proper study of mankind is man . Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man . Overall I thought the book was good . In each personality type both positive and negative characteristics are discussed . Bottom line everyone is unique . Labeling makes some uncomfortable. And has a tendency to piss people off . Especially when a negative trait is attached .....

  7. 5 out of 5

    Chris Hunt

    Wow! If you have a desire to understand who you are, what drives you, and why, this is a powerful book. For self-understanding, I can't think of anything better. It changed my life when I first discovered this gem. Meyers and Briggs have nothing on Riso and Hudson when it comes to support for self-understanding. My wife and I, for instance, knowing the Types we are, are able to understand the specific challenges we face within our marriage and why, and what we need to do to overcome those challe Wow! If you have a desire to understand who you are, what drives you, and why, this is a powerful book. For self-understanding, I can't think of anything better. It changed my life when I first discovered this gem. Meyers and Briggs have nothing on Riso and Hudson when it comes to support for self-understanding. My wife and I, for instance, knowing the Types we are, are able to understand the specific challenges we face within our marriage and why, and what we need to do to overcome those challenges.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Claudia

    As a person whose Self-Proclaimed Religion is in Astrology (Geminis, rise up), I am happy to say that this book blew me the HECK away with how accurate & in depth these personality profiles are. Heck, the Enneagram has officially replaced Astrology as my favorite personality assessment. I can see how the Enneagram framework can be a useful tool in understanding yourself and others. I myself am on a spiritual journey to transcend my personality (“ego death” as some may call it) and the integratio As a person whose Self-Proclaimed Religion is in Astrology (Geminis, rise up), I am happy to say that this book blew me the HECK away with how accurate & in depth these personality profiles are. Heck, the Enneagram has officially replaced Astrology as my favorite personality assessment. I can see how the Enneagram framework can be a useful tool in understanding yourself and others. I myself am on a spiritual journey to transcend my personality (“ego death” as some may call it) and the integration paths outlined here are super helpful pointers in growth opportunities! I highly recommend anyone looking to do a good psychoanalysis on themselves and/or the people closest to them to take an Enneagram test and pick up this book for further analysis - you will be surprised!!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Charity

    Decent read that goes in-depth into Enneagram types. Could have been even simpler though in terms of identifying the basic core fears of each type; but it has complete write ups of each Enneagram type in various stages of health and disintegration, which is useful. I pegged most of my family and friends quite easily as a result. The Core Fears Simplified: Core fear – agitated, aggression. Core 1: fear of being corrupt. (Strive for perfection.) Agitation: you’re an idiot, pushing you away. Core 2: f Decent read that goes in-depth into Enneagram types. Could have been even simpler though in terms of identifying the basic core fears of each type; but it has complete write ups of each Enneagram type in various stages of health and disintegration, which is useful. I pegged most of my family and friends quite easily as a result. The Core Fears Simplified: Core fear – agitated, aggression. Core 1: fear of being corrupt. (Strive for perfection.) Agitation: you’re an idiot, pushing you away. Core 2: fear of being unloved. (Smother to compensate.) Agitation: freak out and want to know how you feel about them. Core 3: fear of being worthless. (Become the best.) Agitation: aggressively firing off advice. Core 4: scared of being insignificant. (Become overly expressive.) Agitation: aggressive competitiveness, anger at self for blending in too much. Core 5: fear of inadequacy. (Obsess over obtaining knowledge.) Agitation: disassociate, self-analyze, and shut down. Core 6: fear of being without support and guidance. (Rely too much on advice from others.) Agitation: begging for help, doubting others’ abilities to do things alone. Core 7: fear of not having your desires met. (Scared to commit. Phobic.) Agitation: freak out because making this decision might make them miss other opportunities. Core 8: fear of being harmed or controlled. (Dominate people. Paranoia.) Agitation: become aggressive, obsessed with motivation, and confrontational. Core 9: fear of loss or separation. (Stay in unhealthy relationships.) Agitation: passive-aggressive clinging.

  10. 5 out of 5

    thebutterflycastle

    I've read (studied) Myers Briggs "please understand me" for over 20 years, so was delighted this book incorporated ties to that.. but took it to another level of personal growth and development... no human fits neatly into 16 boxes like Myers Briggs dictates, something that I have never fully embraced as I tended to conclude folks are compilations of several of the 16 boxes.. 20% of one, 50% of another, etc... basically defining their own identity. However, the principles in this personality boo I've read (studied) Myers Briggs "please understand me" for over 20 years, so was delighted this book incorporated ties to that.. but took it to another level of personal growth and development... no human fits neatly into 16 boxes like Myers Briggs dictates, something that I have never fully embraced as I tended to conclude folks are compilations of several of the 16 boxes.. 20% of one, 50% of another, etc... basically defining their own identity. However, the principles in this personality book are less rigid.. more fluid... you're a core this with a wing that... then there are subset depending on if you are high, middle, or low in your development which changes as we mature and experience different phases in our lives... much better! Enjoyed it. I think I may actually purchase this one for future reference instead of just borrowing it from the library.

  11. 5 out of 5

    The_Tuck

    This book pulls no punches. Unless you are Bill Gates or Mother Teresa, you will find yourself increasingly depressed while reading this book. These personality type books can be full of fluffy anecdotes, but if they boost confidence for the inquisitive, that can be a good thing. This book is not that. It is written in an extremely pessimistic tone, beginning by defining healthy as the 0.1% of great people in history and then hitting you with a series of increasingly stinging whacks about why yo This book pulls no punches. Unless you are Bill Gates or Mother Teresa, you will find yourself increasingly depressed while reading this book. These personality type books can be full of fluffy anecdotes, but if they boost confidence for the inquisitive, that can be a good thing. This book is not that. It is written in an extremely pessimistic tone, beginning by defining healthy as the 0.1% of great people in history and then hitting you with a series of increasingly stinging whacks about why you are probably not great and, by extension, healthy. It has real insight. For that, I give it credit. It will properly catalogue your personality. That’s all I can say that’s nice about it. It is also a more in depth exploration than a few other of these enneagram books. Other books are better for going through to figure out your type. If you go in here New to the typecasting system of the enneagram, you may be swimming neck-deep in horrifying possible realities and portents for you without a guide. Like other books of this subgenre of self “help”, it has a chapter on each of the nine enneagram types that composes the bulk of the book. But, this book is organized in a series of sub parts arranged from the most positive to most negative possibilities of each personality type. If you are Bill Gates or literally a Buddhist monk (its examples), only then are you healthy. (Well, gee, book, I guess I’m not healthy!) It then catalogues, like a set of stairs you’re falling down, each of your foibles, with a series of harsher negative possibilities for you in a series of eight other conclusions. By ending on the negative, and seemingly spending so much time on the negative through this series of increasingly morose conclusions, it is not for the faint of heart. As an example, for one type, Type Five, the investigator, it says you could be a great genius of a person that contributes new perceptions to mankind if only you can put down the book and reach out to others and fearlessly mirror the world back in perfect Buddhist harmony. This section was very short and not instructive and a tall order. It does later say as a Five, you could improve by leaning into the positive traits of the Eight, referring to a type by number that the book has not yet introduced. The book makes no attempt to explain what this type is is or even what the positive traits of the Eight are in relation to the Five. You would have to click through and find that section. No, the book is much more focused on the negative. It then goes on to say you might be an average person who is incapable of reaching a conclusion because you’d rather collect knowledge than use it. You may be the person trying to learn the dance in your head rather than getting out there and dancing by feel. But then, it says you could be: into genre fiction (okay...), seeking escape in video games, underemployed, hiding aspects of your life from friends, non-communicative, a recluse, a bumbling social pariah, obsessed with the taboo and perverse, an inscrutable agoraphobe unable to express a coherent thought, addicted to drugs and alcohol, or living in you car or an abandoned building(!) off the grid. It ends in a true horror show saying you may commit suicide as a real possibility. Four times. I’ll say that again. This self-“help” book says you may commit suicide four times. In one chapter. Oh and it says you may commit impulsive murder! It then ends by saying you may slide into madness and the “darkness”! No exaggeration. What a death sentence of a personality description! Would you feel chipper after reading that? No pat on the head. No, but you probably won’t be a suicidal and murderous drug user. The chapter ends in literal “darkness.” Why would a book about understanding personalities reward its curious reader by telling them that, for them, suicide is a real possibility four times in a single chapter? And end on that note? Barf. This book is a pusher of unhealthy thoughts. It seems recklessly organized and likely to do as much harm as good. This is my first one star rating, and I felt warranted a review. A trigger warning, if you will. For its simplicity and author’s sensitivity, I liked “The Road Back To You” better. It’s more about helping you figure out your type and building you up but is less in depth. And, it’s less likely to sentence you to depression and suicide. In the “darkness”.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ármin Scipiades

    I'm such a Type Four poster boy it hurts >_> So, first off, I like personality type systems, they're good tools for self-reflection, and there's a neatness about the concept that attracts me. This is an unpleasant book. It's unpleasant, at least it's unpleasant for me, to read my type descriptions and see my faults and fears and base desires in all their disgusting glory. It was like so many punches in the belly, I kid you not. Enlightening on some level, but still unpleasant. Same with the descr I'm such a Type Four poster boy it hurts >_> So, first off, I like personality type systems, they're good tools for self-reflection, and there's a neatness about the concept that attracts me. This is an unpleasant book. It's unpleasant, at least it's unpleasant for me, to read my type descriptions and see my faults and fears and base desires in all their disgusting glory. It was like so many punches in the belly, I kid you not. Enlightening on some level, but still unpleasant. Same with the descriptions of people I know, people I recognised in the descriptions. Unpleasant. As other reviewers pointed out, it's also unpleasant that the book describes human life as a downward spiral into madness. Enumerating the "levels of development" of a type in decreasing order really promotes this conclusion. I must admit there's truth in that, actually, though my optimistic self loathes to say this. It is true, somewhat, if we look at it bleakly, that most people aren't happy or healthy, forever trapped in a loop of fears, a loop of inadequate solutions to the wrong problems. Anyway! Back on the book: I disliked the first chapter intensely, with all its talk about the Mysterious Origins of the Enneagram. I'm calling bullshit on all of it! In the same vein, I was appalled how the author always capitalised the word enneagram. And hyped the concept. It's just not elegant, a hallmark of pseudoscience. And the book generally reeks of pseudoscience, with way too many subcategories, way too much hype about that damned little graph (as though that diagram were, like, the key to the human soul (it isn't)). To be fair, the author often admits how it's not a science, but it still left a sour taste in my mouth. But the next bit, about how the author first encountered the system was fun and interesting. Then the descriptions of the types followed, which was a disappointment to me: the descriptions are often way too horoscopic, and the actual writing seemed lacking too, very dry (the author notes that he took care to soften the tone of the book for this edtion, OH MY GOD I don't want to know the first edition). Describing the levels of development in that decreasing order made for a depressing reading. Then there's a very nice closing chapter about transcending our types, which resonated with me all right, and pushed my rating of this book up. My recommendation? Get another book about the enneagram. The system is interesting and fun, this book isn't, not really. Alternatively, don't try to read it from start to finish like I did, use it more like a reference book. Now onto something happier! I think I'll read Morrissey's Autobiography. He just MUST be a type four with a three wing.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

    This is a great, comprehensive book for deep understanding of the Enneagram's 9 core personality types. It offers in depth descriptions of each personality, with approximately 30 pages dedicated to each type, describing 9 different levels of health. Along with those thorough descriptions, there are advanced guidelines, history of the Enneagram, and guidelines on how to use it. Unlike many personality typing systems, the nice thing about the Enneagram is that it doesn't pin a person's behavior do This is a great, comprehensive book for deep understanding of the Enneagram's 9 core personality types. It offers in depth descriptions of each personality, with approximately 30 pages dedicated to each type, describing 9 different levels of health. Along with those thorough descriptions, there are advanced guidelines, history of the Enneagram, and guidelines on how to use it. Unlike many personality typing systems, the nice thing about the Enneagram is that it doesn't pin a person's behavior down to the personality type, and doesn't DEFINE a person. It is much more fluid, leaving more room for people's uniqueness, while still helping to understand why certain people act the way they do. The nice thing about understanding that is it enables you to see how to improve yourself and understand yourself better, and also helps you to understand others. If you understand another person's personality type, this book will help you understand why they act the way they do and not judge from a biased perspective. The Enneagram Personality System is a typing system that makes complete sense to me. Every personality has a reason to exist, and take one personality system out and everything falls apart. It doesn't just base an entire personality off of four traits that anyone can see from the outside; it digs deep down into the very core of a person to explain the thought process behind certain actions. For this reason, it very nicely explains differences in people's behavior of the same type. People may have the same type and act differently, but deep down, the core thought process behind their actions correlates to their type. A must-read, and it's a great book to have to keep as a reference in case you ever meet someone of a specific type and would like to understand that type better. It's also great for character development. So, yes Enneagram! It has helped me understand myself and people I care about better and is the best personality typing system I know of. :)

  14. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

    I wish I could give this book 10 stars. As someone fairly preoccupied with personal growth, no other book has helped me to learn so much about myself, those closest to me, and my interactions with others. I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking to become more self-aware and to understand their interactions with others and the reactions of the various personality types when put into situations of stress, hardship, etc. I learned that I am a Type 9--The Peacemaker with an 8 wing--The I wish I could give this book 10 stars. As someone fairly preoccupied with personal growth, no other book has helped me to learn so much about myself, those closest to me, and my interactions with others. I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking to become more self-aware and to understand their interactions with others and the reactions of the various personality types when put into situations of stress, hardship, etc. I learned that I am a Type 9--The Peacemaker with an 8 wing--The Challenger. Understanding this about myself has made so much of my past make sense. I have been speaking about this book with anyone who will listen and I will be referring to it for years to come. I would highly recommend taking the Enneagram personality test and learning more about how you respond to others at: https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/ty.... My one criticism of this book, noted by other readers, is that the author does focus a lot on disintegration and psychosis of types, rather than placing due emphasis on the positive aspects of the personality types. Other than that, read with an open mind and see if anything in this book holds true for you.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    The Enneagram is an ancient system for understanding basic personality types and their development and relationship to one another. Riso's book gives a thorough analysis of the personality types that encompass this system and how they mature and decline. I found this system enlightening and compelling and the analysis of the types using various developmental theories to be profound and deeply satisfying. In finding my own type in the system, and that of my significant others, I experienced deep The Enneagram is an ancient system for understanding basic personality types and their development and relationship to one another. Riso's book gives a thorough analysis of the personality types that encompass this system and how they mature and decline. I found this system enlightening and compelling and the analysis of the types using various developmental theories to be profound and deeply satisfying. In finding my own type in the system, and that of my significant others, I experienced deep and valuable insights. I highly recommend this book to any with interests in personality development or who are simply interested in learning more about themselves and their relationships.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    I don't like to over-rely on personality tests, but this book gives the singularly best descriptions of people and is more dead-on accurate than any other personality book I've ever read. Even if you are skeptical, this book is extremely interesting. Anyone that's interested in Jungian/Archetypal personality psychology would likely find this book enjoyable. It's great to turn to and look through the pages to place new people you meet. I don't like to over-rely on personality tests, but this book gives the singularly best descriptions of people and is more dead-on accurate than any other personality book I've ever read. Even if you are skeptical, this book is extremely interesting. Anyone that's interested in Jungian/Archetypal personality psychology would likely find this book enjoyable. It's great to turn to and look through the pages to place new people you meet.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Charles Dean

    Probably my most favorite Enneagram book so far. The distinction between "healthy," "average," and "unhealthy" expressions of each type is so helpful. Probably my most favorite Enneagram book so far. The distinction between "healthy," "average," and "unhealthy" expressions of each type is so helpful.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Zeynep Çelik

    This is a great introduction to Enneagrams. I was really confused about my type before I read this book. It cleared up a lot for me about all the types and one of the best things I took out of it was to really recognize that no type is better than the other because we all have our own unique inner battles. I also really appreciated the spiritual component of the book which talked a lot about transcending our personalities instead of being confined by it and that the Enneagram should be a tool fo This is a great introduction to Enneagrams. I was really confused about my type before I read this book. It cleared up a lot for me about all the types and one of the best things I took out of it was to really recognize that no type is better than the other because we all have our own unique inner battles. I also really appreciated the spiritual component of the book which talked a lot about transcending our personalities instead of being confined by it and that the Enneagram should be a tool for this transcendence rather than yet another box we put ourselves into. I’m pretty confident in my understanding of all the types now (especially on a base level) as well as the theoretical reasoning behind a lot of Enneagram’s components. Like some of the other reviews have said though, I also did feel that there was a lot more emphasis on the unhealthy levels than there were on the healthy ones. I think part of this is because the book followed a linear process from being healthy to becoming unhealthy; I think doing it the other way around would have made it less exhausting to read as well as more uplifting. It took me a long time to read the book because of this. When I manage to type people I know, I tend to think of their worst potential now instead of their best — and I think part of that is because of this linear process that the book followed (since it was the first Enneagram book I read). This is something I have to consciously fight against.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Amalie

    This book and the MBTI in depth helped me to understand other people on a level that I never thought to be possible. The distinction between "healthy," "average," and "unhealthy''s of each type was very helpful. When I read this book I could see myself at different times in the different levels of 'health' of my Enneagram type and it was extremely enlightening. Those who found Carl Jung's personality test or MBTI confusing, Enneagram is easier to comprehend and more specific. Amazing, amazing boo This book and the MBTI in depth helped me to understand other people on a level that I never thought to be possible. The distinction between "healthy," "average," and "unhealthy''s of each type was very helpful. When I read this book I could see myself at different times in the different levels of 'health' of my Enneagram type and it was extremely enlightening. Those who found Carl Jung's personality test or MBTI confusing, Enneagram is easier to comprehend and more specific. Amazing, amazing book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Krystina Schuler

    I read this book on the recommendation that it is good for writers in crafting better developed characters. I would agree that is a good reason for using this book, especially if you want to create characters who are not like yourself. As a book about human psychology? Well, it's slightly more specific than horoscopes. And this particular book dwelled quite a bit on the downward spiral into pathology with little discussion on how to take the upward spiral journey toward wholeness. As a writing r I read this book on the recommendation that it is good for writers in crafting better developed characters. I would agree that is a good reason for using this book, especially if you want to create characters who are not like yourself. As a book about human psychology? Well, it's slightly more specific than horoscopes. And this particular book dwelled quite a bit on the downward spiral into pathology with little discussion on how to take the upward spiral journey toward wholeness. As a writing resource: yes. As a self-help book for personal development: maybe not so much.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    If you want to know more about the Enneagram, this is an excellent overview of the framework. It really helped me to delve deeper into each type and better understand the core dynamics and levels of development for each. This is a great addition to my Enneagram library! Well organized and I was able to easily connect the information in it to my own life.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Bett Correa-Bollhoefer

    Life changing.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Bo Kyle

    By far the most detailed book I’ve read on the Enneagram. It pairs both a practical and clinical understanding on this highly accurate personality type system. Best for readers who are already familiar with the enneagram.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cassandra Glissadevil

    5.0 stars Welcome to the Enneagram Bible. The Holy Tomb of the Enneagram. Greatest Enneagram book ever! I used to loan my copy, but I never got it back. The last 4 folks who wanted to borrow it, bought it instead. Live and learn. I'm a 7 with 6 wing. I've read over 10 Enneagram books and nothing compares with this book. However, "Personality Types" is not infallible. I disagree with several opinions expressed by the authors. For example: Generally speaking, I agree their theory of integration and 5.0 stars Welcome to the Enneagram Bible. The Holy Tomb of the Enneagram. Greatest Enneagram book ever! I used to loan my copy, but I never got it back. The last 4 folks who wanted to borrow it, bought it instead. Live and learn. I'm a 7 with 6 wing. I've read over 10 Enneagram books and nothing compares with this book. However, "Personality Types" is not infallible. I disagree with several opinions expressed by the authors. For example: Generally speaking, I agree their theory of integration and disintegration. However, I believe people can access negative qualities from their direction of integration or access positive qualities from their direction of disintegration. I know, I've done it. I've observed other folks do it too. This book changed my life for the better. Even so, I believe a lifetime study of Darwin's Theory of Evolution supersedes all Enneagram knowledge. Take a biology course on Animal Behavior. Apply to human animals.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Elysa

    Psychology nerds and all who geek out on personality typology will love this book as I do! This is an indepth look at the Enneagram, including disintegration and integration and a detailed exploration of nine levels of health for each type. Very fascinating and engaging!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    This book has some really useful insights into personality, fears, desires, motivations, and parental relationships. It can be quite complicated and takes a lot of reading to attain the information on your personality type. Also doing the typing is not straight forward. However, the information is worth having and has resulted in some deep thinking for me. It has helped me understand what areas of my personality I need to address in order to improve my life. I didn't like how negative the tone of This book has some really useful insights into personality, fears, desires, motivations, and parental relationships. It can be quite complicated and takes a lot of reading to attain the information on your personality type. Also doing the typing is not straight forward. However, the information is worth having and has resulted in some deep thinking for me. It has helped me understand what areas of my personality I need to address in order to improve my life. I didn't like how negative the tone of the book is though. The final thoughts on each personality tell of its total demise into suicide, murder, psychopathology, and mental terrors. It is written as if it is human nature to end up this way. The majority of us though will exist in the average levels for the most of our lives. I think more emphasis on how to move out of those levels and into the upper levels would have made the book complete. It does leave you to figure it out for yourself a little too much. The website has lots of useful information and if you wanted just to know about your own personality type, then taking the $10 test would be better than buying the book. Buy the book if you want to learn about all the personalities, not just your own. http://www.enneagraminstitute.com/

  27. 5 out of 5

    David

    I saw a friend mention this book on social media and the idea intrigued me so I checked it out. After reading it I am greatly interested in learning more about the enneagram for it seems incredibly useful. I drove my wife quite nuts talking about the whole thing. I ended up adding 3-4 more books to my amazon wishlist on this topic. At the same time, I honestly did not read every word of the book. I skimmed each chapter to get a quick grasp on the personality type. I eagerly wanted to get to the c I saw a friend mention this book on social media and the idea intrigued me so I checked it out. After reading it I am greatly interested in learning more about the enneagram for it seems incredibly useful. I drove my wife quite nuts talking about the whole thing. I ended up adding 3-4 more books to my amazon wishlist on this topic. At the same time, I honestly did not read every word of the book. I skimmed each chapter to get a quick grasp on the personality type. I eagerly wanted to get to the chapters I thought I was. After reading, I am still not sure where I fit - 2, 9, or 1. Am I a helper, peacemaker or reformer? I read each of those chapters and see myself in each one in many ways. While I did not read every chapter, I definitely see using this book as a reference in the future. This is the sort of book that people, like me, who work in Christian ministry greatly benefit from reading. We work with people and books like this one are about people, so that is reason enough. I know many churches already use different sorts of personality profiles for staff training and I am seriously going to push for our ministry to use it for both staff and volunteers. It definitely sheds a light on quite a bit about people.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jon

    This is a tricky book for me to rate. I both enjoyed it and was annoyed by it. First, the good: The 9-type model is interesting and, for me at least, useful. Like Myers-Briggs, it offers a narrative structure for thinking through my own personality tendencies from a different perspective. I'm probably a 9w1, and it's cool/helpful to read descriptions of that type with my own experiences in mind. The bad: the authors' insistent claims of universal applicability and their pseudoscientific language This is a tricky book for me to rate. I both enjoyed it and was annoyed by it. First, the good: The 9-type model is interesting and, for me at least, useful. Like Myers-Briggs, it offers a narrative structure for thinking through my own personality tendencies from a different perspective. I'm probably a 9w1, and it's cool/helpful to read descriptions of that type with my own experiences in mind. The bad: the authors' insistent claims of universal applicability and their pseudoscientific language became quickly irritating. The typing of celebrities and fictional characters--everyone from Malcolm X to Miss Piggy--was weird and off putting. It all smacked of over-aggrandizement. The authors clearly weren't interested in doing peer-reviewed research, so they needed to keep their claims modest. A few times they did that: describing the Enneagram as one of a number of useful models for narrating personality. But their overall defense of the system went much further than their research could support, and, as a result, they made the whole thing seem less credible than would have been the case otherwise.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Gretchen

    Learning more about being "the helper" Learning more about being "the helper"

  30. 4 out of 5

    Liana

    Very interesting. You don't need to buy into the Enneagram to find it's theories fascinating. Apparently I'm a 9 with a 1 wing. Very interesting. You don't need to buy into the Enneagram to find it's theories fascinating. Apparently I'm a 9 with a 1 wing.

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