Become Your Best Self with the Enneagram

March 20, 2020 | Brendan Kalish
Become Your Best Self with the Enneagram

I never expected to benefit from yet another personality test but as it turns out researching my Enneagram type was a wise choice. With a limited investment of time, you can learn a ton about yourself and the people you love.    

The Enneagram types, represented by numbers one through nine, are more than personalities. They help to explain a person’s worldview, self-image and motivations. For example, I learned that people of my type, the Four, strive to be unique and authentic. They tend to be skeptical of anything they consider too “mainstream,” which is why I took the Enneagram test only after a friend badgered me for a month.    

After reading about each type, one of them will very likely stand out as best describing you, though you might not relate to every detail in the description. Purchasing an app or test is not necessary. The brief tests in The Wisdom of the Enneagram and The Essential Enneagram should be enough to determine your type. You may want to ask a trusted friend for a second opinion.    

No type is inherently superior to another—each one has both flaws and desirable traits. Learning about your type can help you uncover and address any core issues stunting your growth. As you mature and become more self-aware, you can at least partially shed your type’s drawbacks and “integrate” (or adopt) the positive traits of both your type and others. Learning about the nine types’ default behaviors will also help you to better understand people of other Enneagram types in your life. 

The three titles below give an overview of how each type approaches life at their best and at their worst, starting with their childhood and weaving through their relationships and professional life. The advice tailored to each number will help you harness your strengths and overcome your weaknesses. The library has several other Enneagram books in our collection that apply specifically to marriage, parenting, and work. 


Millenneagram: The Enneagram Guide for Discovering Your Truest, Baddest Self by Hannah Paasch
Millenneagram: The Enneagram Guide for Discovering Your Truest, Baddest Self by Hannah Paasch  

Millennial influencer Paasch writes like your straight-talking, foul-mouthed (but supportive) bestie. She gives each type a more trendy name, as well. Its colorful glossy pages give it the inviting feel of a popular magazine. Available as a print book and as a Hoopla audiobook


The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-discovery by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile
The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-discovery by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile

Self-improvement is presented through a Christian lens here, but the principles are applicable to readers of any background. Each chapter closes with suggested spiritual growth practices for a given type. The examples of each type’s extreme behaviors are hilarious and thought-provoking. Available as a print bookFreading ebookHoopla ebook, and Hoopla audiobook.


The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types by Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson
The Wisdom of the Enneagram by Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson

The heftiest and most detailed of the three books by far, Paasch calls it her "bible." Both she and Cron cite it often. It provides the best guidance in finding your type. Available as a print book


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