Enneagram Type 5: “The Observer”

Below is a ‘checklist’ of sorts to determine whether or not you could possibly be a Type Five in the Enneagram of 9 Personality Types.  Five is the Observer (also referred to in other sources as the Investigator, Thinker, Sage). I am again quoting from The Enneagram Made Easy by Renee Baron and Elizabeth Wagele.

In general, Fives are “motivated by the need to know and understand everything, to be self-sufficient, and to avoid looking foolish.” They are described as “analytical, persevering, sensitive, wise, objective, perceptive, self-contained” at their best. They can also be “intellectually arrogant, stingy, stubborn, distant, critical of others, unassertive, negative” at their worst.

The most common Myers-Briggs types for Type 5 are INTJ and INTP. Other strong possibilities are ISTJ and INFP.  Slightly less common are ESTJ, ISTP, and INFJ.

Consider these statements in regard to your own personality, especially as you would have related to them before age 25 or so. Or if you’re not a Five, you may recognize someone you know in here!

1. I learn from observing or reading as opposed to doing.

2. It’s hard to express my feelings in the moment.

3. I get lost in my interests and like to be alone with them for hours.

4. I usually experience my feelings more deeply when I’m by myself.

5. Sometimes I feel guilty that I’m not generous enough.

6. I try to conceal my sensitivity to criticism and judgment.

7. Brash, loud people offend me.

8. Conforming is distasteful to me.

9. I like to associate with others who have expertise in my field.

10. I like having a title (doctor, professor, administrator) to feel proud of.

11. I have been accused of being negative, cynical, and suspicious.

12. When I feel socially uncomfortable, I often wish I could disappear.

13. I am often reluctant to be assertive or aggressive.

14. I dislike most social events. I’d rather be alone or with a few people I know well.

15. I sometimes feel shy or awkward.

16. I get tired when I’m with people for too long.

17. I feel different from most people.

18. I feel invisible.  It surprises me when anyone notices anything about me.

19. I don’t look for material possessions to make me happy.

20. Acting calm is a defense.  It makes me feel stronger.

Are you a Five?  Do you know a Five?  Let me know!


Enneagram Type 4: “The Romantic”

Below is a ‘checklist’ of sorts to determine whether or not you could possibly be a Type Four in the Enneagram of 9 Personality Types.  Four is the Romantic (also referred to in other sources as the Individualist, Artist, Melodramatic, Mystic, Elitist). I am again quoting from The Enneagram Made Easy by Renee Baron and Elizabeth Wagele.

In general, Fours are “motivated by the need to experience their feelings and to be understood, to search for the meaning of life, and to avoid being ordinary.” They are described as “warm, compassionate, introspective, expressive, creative, intuitive, supportive, refined” at their best. They can also be “depressed, self-conscious, guilt-ridden, moralistic, withdrawn, stubborn, moody, self-absorbed” at their worst.

The most common Myers-Briggs types for Type 4 are INFJ and INFP. Other strong possibilities are ENFP and ISFP.  Slightly less common are ISFJ, ESFP and ENFJ.

Consider these statements in regard to your own personality, especially as you would have related to them before age 25 or so. Or if you’re not a Four, you may recognize someone you know in here!

1. Being understood is very important to me.

2. My friends say they enjoy my warmth and my different way of looking at life.

3. I can become nonfunctional for hours, days, or weeks when I’m depressed.

4. I am very sensitive to critical remarks and feel hurt at the tiniest slight.

5. It really affects me emotionally when I read upsetting stories in the newspaper.

6. My ideals are very important to me.

7. I cry easily.  Beauty, love, sorrow, and pain really touch me.

8. My melancholy moods are real and important.  I don’t necessarily want to get out of them.

9. I often long for what others have.

10. I try to support my friends, especially when they are in crisis.

11. I live in the past and in the future more than in present-day reality.

12. I place great importance on my intuition.

13. I try to control people at times.

14. I hate insincerity and lack of integrity in others.

15. I have spent years longing for the great love of my life to come along.

16. I focus on what is wrong with me rather than on what is right.

17. I like to be seen as one of a kind.

18. I am always searching for my true self.

19. Sometimes I feel very uncomfortable and different, like an isolated outsider, even when I’m with my friends.

20. When people tell me what to do, I often become rebellious and do, or wish I could do, the opposite.

Are you a Four?  Do you know a Four?  Let me know!

Enneagram Type 3: “The Achiever”

More Enneagram!!  Below is a ‘checklist’ of sorts to determine whether or not you could possibly be a Type Three – Achiever (also referred to in other sources as Performer, Motivator, Achiever, Producer, Status Seeker).  I am again quoting from The Enneagram Made Easy by Renee Baron and Elizabeth Wagele.

In general, Threes are “motivated by the need to be productive, achieve success, and avoid failure.”  They are described as “optimistic, confident, industrious, efficient, self-propelled, energetic, practical” at their best.  They can also be “deceptive, narcissistic, pretentious, vain, superficial, vindictive, overly competitive” at their worst.  Many are in between, I suppose. :-)

The most common Myers-Briggs types for Type 3 are ENTJ and ENFJ.  Other strong possibilities are ESTJ, ESFJ and INTJ.  Rare but possible are ISTJ, ISFJ, ESTP, ESFP, ISTP, ENTP and ENFP.

Consider these statements in regard to your own personality, especially as you would have related to them before age 25 or so.  Or if you’re not a Three, you may recognize someone you know in here!

1. I am almost always busy.

2. I like to make to-do lists, progress charts, and schedules for myself.

3. I don’t mind being asked to work overtime.

4. I have an optimistic attitude.

5. I go full force until I get the job done.

6. I believe in doing things as expediently as possible.

7. It is important for people to better themselves and live up to their potential.

8. I’m not interested in talking a lot about my personal life.

9. I try not to let illness stop me from doing anything.

10. I hate to see jobs undone.

11. I tend to put work before other things.

12. I can’t understand people who are bored.  I never run out of things to do.

13. It is sometimes difficult for me to get in touch with my feelings.

14. I work very hard to take care of and provide for my family.

15. I like identifying with competent groups or important people.

16. I try to present myself well and make a good first impression.

17. Financial security is extremely important to me.

18. I generally feel pretty good about myself.

19. People often look to me to run the show.

20. I like to stand out in some way.

Did you read this and think, “That’s me!”?  If so, I want to hear about it. :-)

PS – I’m editing the checklist articles for Types 1 and 2 so that they have the “at their best” and “at their worst” adjectives as well, plus most common Myers-Briggs types.  You can read about the Perfectionist HERE and the Helper HERE.

Enneagram Type 2: “The Helper”

The other day I posted on Type 1 in the Enneagram personality typing system, and you can read that HERE.  Today is all about Type 2!

In general, Twos are described as “loving, caring, adaptable, insightful, generous, enthusiastic, tuned in to how people feel” at their best.  At their worst, they can be “martyrlike, indirect, manipulative, possessive, hysterical, overly accommodating, overly demonstrative (the more extroverted Twos.”

The most common Myers-Briggs types for a One are ESFJ, ISFJ, ESFP, ENFJ, & ENFP.  Another fairly likely possibility is INFP.  Rare but possible are ISFP and INFJ.

Below is a ‘checklist’ of sorts to determine whether or not you could possibly be a Type Two – Helper (also referred to as Giver, Nurturer, Adviser).  I am again quoting from The Enneagram Made Easy by Renee Baron and Elizabeth Wagele (great introductory book to the Enneagram!).

Do these describe you or someone you know?  Think of them especially as they relate to you before around age 25.

1. I want people to feel comfortable coming to me for guidance and advice.

2. Relationships are more important to me than almost anything.

3. Sometimes I feel overburdened by people’s dependence on me.

4. I have trouble asking for what I need.

5. I crave, yet sometimes fear, intimacy.

6. I am more comfortable giving than receiving.

7. I am very sensitive to criticism.

8. I work hard to overcome all obstacles in a relationship.

9. I try to be as sensitive and tactful as possible.

10. When I am alone I know what I want, but when I am with others I am not sure.

11. It is very important that others feel comfortable and welcome in my home.

12. I don’t want my dependence to show.

13. Watching violence on television and seeing people suffer is unbearable.

14. Sometimes I feel a deep sense of loneliness.

15. If I don’t get the closeness I need, I feel sad, hurt, and unimportant.

16. Sometimes I get physically ill and emotionally drained from taking care of everyone else

17. I often figure out what others would like in a person, then act that way.

18. I enjoy giving compliments and telling people that they are special to me.

19. I am attracted to being with important or powerful people.

20. People have said I exaggerate too much and am overly emotional.

There ya go!  Could you possibly be a Type 2?

On Being Tired

I’m super tired.  I know that several of you that sometimes read here are moms of a plethora of offspring, and you might be saying to yourselves, “Allie, tired? Who does she think she is to be tired when she’s only got a husband to take care of!”  It’s true.  I probably don’t even know he half of it.  But…teaching/singing pretty much straight from 8:30am-9:15pm takes it toll, and I’m very ready for bed (after some lesson planning and gathering the laundry piles for tomorrow morning).  Here’s to hoping that God’s training me to be able to handle it when I do have good reason to be tired. :-)

Anyway, it was getting to the point today (and several days lately) where I’ve thought, “Do I even have any more to give?  No, pretty sure I don’t.”  And each time I think that, I try remind myself of this challenging but encouraging post by a friend (click here to read).  She says that when you need, give.  It’s simple.  But oh-so hard.

A little while back I was reading a couple of the accounts in the gospels where Jesus has His disciples feed several thousand people at a time.  His disciples show him the couple of loaves and few fish available to them, hoping to demonstrate the impracticality/impossibility of accomplishing a successful mealtime for that many people.  But Jesus basically says, “Just start handing it out.  I’ll deal with the outcome.”

These passages are an encouragement to me in that what God tells me to do is give, give, give until I have no more to give.  And then He tells me, “Give more.   Yes, I can see that you have very little energy, and there are many activities/tasks/people who need to be filled with what little you have.  But you just start handing it out, and I will work miracles with it.”  And lo, it multiplies. :-) But that’s the thing – if I don’t start handing it out, if I think, “There is no more.  I’m stopping here and reserving any little bit I might have left,” then there’s no hope of multiplication.

So we must give, even when we need.  Especially when we need.  And God will work miracles.

Enneagram Type 1: The Perfectionist

Here I am again obsessing about the Enneagram personality typing system!  Below is a ‘checklist’ of sorts to determine whether or not you could possibly be a Type One – Perfectionist (also referred to as Reformer, Judge, Crusader).  I am again quoting from The Enneagram Made Easy by Renee Baron and Elizabeth Wagele (this is a great introductory book to the Enneagram, and I highly recommend it!).

In general, Ones are described as “ethical, reliable, productive, wise, idealistic, fair, honest, orderly, self-disciplined” at their best.  At their worst, they can be “judgmental, inflexible, dogmatic, obsessive-compulsive, critical of others, overly serious, controlling, anxious, jealous.”  The most common Myers-Briggs types for a One are ESTJ, ISTJ, ISFJ, & INTJ.  Other fairly likely possibilities are ESFJ, ENTJ, ENFJ, and INFJ.  Rare but possible are ISTP, INTP and INFP.

Consider these statements in regard to your own personality, especially as you would have related to them before age 25 or so.  Or if you’re not a One, you may very well recognize someone you know in here!

1. I like to be organized and orderly.

2. It is difficult for me to be spontaneous.

3. I often feel guilty about not getting enough accomplished.

4. I don’t like it when people break the rules.

5. Incorrect grammar and spelling bother me a lot.

6. I am idealistic.  I want to make the world a better place.

7. I am almost always on time.

8. I hold on to resentment for a long time.

9. I think of myself as being practical, reasonable, and realistic.

10. When jealous, I become fearful and competitive.

11. Either I don’t have enough time to relax or I think I shouldn’t relax.

12. I tend to see things in terms of right or wrong, good or bad.

13. I analyze major purchases very thoroughly before I make them.

14. I dread being criticized or judged by others.

15. I often compare myself with others.

16. Truth and justice are very important to me.

17. I often feel that time is running out and there is too much left to do.

18. I almost always do what I say I will do.

19. I worry almost constantly.

20. I love making every detail perfect.
So…could you  be a One?

Blessed Is He Who Is Not Offended

A couple of years ago, I began enthusiastically researching methods for starting and running a small business.  There are a million resources and mentors out there willing to guide you along your way to becoming successful in this field.  I learned a lot.  A lot of good stuff.  And also a lot of stuff that flies in the face of biblical Christianity.

For example, most of the mentors who are selling the “best method to start a small business and become a millionaire” rarely factor in the biblical virtue of humility in the worldview they endorse.  It’s all about appearances – if you look successful (wear the right clothes, live in their right house on the beach, post pictures of the lavish parties you get invited to, etc.) then people will flock to you and your product.  But as people flock to you, be careful to never appear too available or accessible.  You must maintain that air of elite-ness or your influence will be severely undercut.  Basically, put yourself on a pedestal and people will worship you; come alongside them and they will despise you or, worse, never leave you alone.

Oh, another biggie in the world of being a successful person with high self-esteem and and lots of ambition is this: Always surround yourself with people who will only build you up, tell you that you can accomplish amazing things – people who are already successful and good for you to emulate.  Never get in the habit of associating with people in lower positions than yourself, with people who are self-limiting or a little directionless.  These people are not your friends – they are your following.
The apostle Paul writes, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.  Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.  Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:3-8).
Also, Luke records Jesus as saying of his ministry, “The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them.  And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me” (7:22b-23).

Our Lord, the most “successful” and powerful human to ever live, didn’t desire prestige.  He didn’t brag about the fact that He could hang out with the Pharisees anytime he wanted to.  He didn’t belittle lost sinners behind their backs and then try and “sell” life to them.  He associated with “embarrassing” people.  He ministered to them, healed them, taught them, died for them.  He was “successful” in his mission because He was working for someone else – He was here as a servant of His Father.  There was no sense of selfish ambition whatever.  He was sent to preach the gospel and die, and that’s what He did.  In today’s Top Ten Traits of a Successful Person, “willingness to die for the sake of someone ‘beneath’ you” is pretty rare.  So is even simple humility and genuine interest in the rabble who may admire and follow you.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with people becoming wealthy by doing what they love.  I think small businesses are awesome.  (Obviously these Scripture passages apply much more broadly, but since small business is what I mentioned in the first paragraph, I might as well stick with a theme, right?) But it’s good to keep in mind that many if not most of the big-name entrepreneurs out there selling their method for being top dog are coming at it from a completely different angle than followers of Christ ought to.

We are here as servants and sons, as Christ was.  We should humble ourselves and wait for God to lift us up, not preemptively clamber up onto our pedestal and try to look shiny so people will love us.  Because if we are faithful to imitate Christ, God will lift us up, as He has His Son.  To continue the first quotation above, “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:9-11).

That’s the point: to the glory of God the Father.  Don’t listen to anyone who starts to sound like they’re saying “to the glory of you.”