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The fool-proof way to know your Enneagram type

Oh, can we talk about the Enneagram, can we please?!

Ariel Meadow Stallings
8 min readMay 25


A pop psychology typology system with a somewhat shrouded in mystery history, the Enneagram was imported to the US from South America in the 1970s. The general premise of the system is that there are nine different personality archetypes, with each one having a different core wound (or fixation) that motivates the type’s behavior. Depending on how high- or low-functioning a person is, their type will express itself in different ways.

Here’s my take on the 9 archetypes, and the core lie that each type tells themselves:

  • Type 1: The Reformer / Perfectionist
    “I feel defective, but if I improve the world, I’ll finally feel perfect!”
  • Type 2: The Helper / Giver
    “I feel unlovable, but if I help everyone, I’ll finally find love!”
  • Type 3: The Performer / Achiever
    “I feel worthless, but if I can just get enough validation, I’ll finally feel valuable!”
  • Type 4: The Artist / Individualist
    “I feel insignificant, but if I can uniquely express myself, I’ll finally feel special!”
  • Type 5: The Investigator / Observer
    “I feel incompetent, but if I can just learn everything, I’ll finally feel capable!”
  • Type 6: The Loyalist / Skeptic
    “I feel scared, but if I can just commit deeply enough, I’ll finally feel safe!”
  • Type 7: The Enthusiast / Epicurian
    “I feel deprived, but if I can just get enough stimulation, I’ll finally feel satisfied!”
  • Type 8: The Protector / Challenger
    “I feel vulnerable, but if I can just control others, I’ll finally find power!”
  • Type 9: The Peacemaker / Mediator
    “I feel discord, but if I can just keep everyone calm, I’ll finally find peace!”

Now of course these are archetypes, which means we all have the capacity to relate to and feel each one. Each type has a logic to it that can make sense to anyone. But each of us has a core fixation, a deeply baked-in motivational system that ties us most to one of the types.

How is the Enneagram different?



Ariel Meadow Stallings

Medium's Director of Publisher Growth. Also an author, publisher, devotional dancer, and a human humanning!