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 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.

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.

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.”

Keeping the Reins Taut

“How, then, are people to behave at home? If a man can’t be comfortable and unguarded, can’t take his ease and ‘be himself’ in his own house, where can he? That is, I confess, the the trouble.  The answer is an alarming one.  There is nowhere this side of heaven where one can safely lay the reins on the horse’s neck.  It will never be lawful simply to ‘be ourselves’ until ‘ourselves’ have becomes sons of God.”

~ C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock 286

Preoccupations of the 9 Types

A while back I mentioned that I was just getting into the Enneagram personality typing tool… since then, I’ve been kind of enraptured by it, I have to say! Its applicability, depth and accuracy blow me away, and I LOVE talking about it. Problem is, I forget to actually *write* about it. So today, since I’m short on time, I’m gonna cheat and steal quotes from a fun introductory book I bought this summer called “The Enneagram Made Easy” by Renee Baron and Elizabeth Wagele. As a part of each chapter, they include a cartoon where the person of a particular type is surrounded by thought bubbles containing common preoccupations/questions specific to his/her type. The people I’ve shown the book to find these cartoons very helpful in identifying themselves as one of the types. So, here they are:

Type 1: “The Perfectionist”
‘Am I dressed properly?’
‘I should have checked the figures one more time.’
‘I could use some help but nobody can do it as well as I can.’
‘I should have run the meeting more fairly.’

Type 2: “The Helper”
‘Did I take too much attention for myself?’
‘My advice will really help him out!’
‘I hope I didn’t hurt her feelings.’
‘How can I get her to like me?’

Type 3: “The Achiever”
‘That guy did a good job, but I can do it better!’
‘I certainly hope I make a good impression.’
‘Why doesn’t EVERYONE work as hard as I do?’
‘I wish I hadn’t taken on those ten extra projects.’

Type 4: “The Romantic”
‘Searching, longing, grieving…’
‘I want to create something meaningful, deep, and unique!’
‘What’s it all for anyway?’
‘No one REALLY understands me.’
‘Why did I say the wrong thing again?’
‘When is my REAL life going to begin?’

Type 5: “The Observer”
‘How can I get out of my birthday party?’
‘How can I get out of the meeting?’
‘How can I get out of the family reunion?’
‘I’m going to give him a piece of my MIND…as soon as I can figure out the perfect way to say it.’

Type 6: “The Questioner”
‘Was I talking too much?’
‘Do I fit in?’
‘What are they thinking?’
‘Am I ready for every emergency?’
‘Why did I say THAT?’
‘Why did SHE say that?’
‘What am I supposed to do?’
‘Will he take advantage of me?’
‘What if I don’t like it?’

Type 7: “The Adventurer”
‘I wish people would take better care of this wonderful planet!’
‘I can’t BEGIN to count the fun things I want to do!’
‘I’ll go, go, go as long as my body will take me!’
‘We have to keep our options open!’

Type 8: “The Asserter”
‘I don’t have to put up with this if I don’t want to!’
‘I hate to see Patty let people walk all over her!’
‘I’ll show him who’s really in charge!’
‘Why doesn’t she stand on her own two feet?’

Type 9: “The Peacemaker”
‘My taxes are due tomorrow. I’ll do them after I clean my desk.’
‘I’ll agree with whatever he says – but I’ll do what I want.’
‘Why do people get so worked up about things?’
‘The more she nags, the longer I’ll drag.’

Hope you enjoyed!

All the best,

The Face of J.R.R. Tolkien

Okay, time to analyze the face of another favorite author of mine…this is young J.R.R. “Tollers” Tolkien. A few features I picked up on were these:

Creativity/fruitfulness is indicated by his well-defined philtrum.

Tolkien’s slightly slanted-back forehead (more noticeable in other pictures) shows his tendency toward impatience; also, a good memory.

Personal power is shown in Tolkien’s high, prominent cheek-bones. This trait also indicates that he is highly sensitive to his environment, perhaps even taking on the moods of people around him unconsciously.

Mental exertion is prominent in the lines formed between Tolkien’s eyebrows.

Speaking of his eyebrows, they are thick, which indicates intelligence and constant thinking.

The fact that much of Tolkien’s eyelids are visible even with his eyes open means that he desires closeness and intimacy with certain people; this also means that he can be sensitive, especially to criticism.

Both of Tolkien’s ears have slightly protruding ‘points’ in certain areas around the rim, indicating that he underwent some sort of trauma/significant change around age 3 or so and also around 10-11 or so.

The combination of Tolkien’s low ears and low eyebrows would indicate that he gathers information slowly and yet wants immediate results. This can lead to perfectionism.

Tolkien’s chin is rather prominent, indicating strong willpower.

His leadership ability is seen in his long, straight nose. People with these noses also like to know that they are making a significant difference in their jobs, relationships, etc.