So what sort of gobbedly-goop am I spouting now?
It’s another personality test, but one that goes into more depth and will give her mixture of personality traits that could make your character more interesting.
First of all, what is an Enneagram?
The Enneagram system
The Enneagram is a personality typing system that consists of nine different types. Everyone is considered to be one single type, although one can have traits belonging to other ones. While it’s uncertain whether this type is genetically determined, many believe it is already in place at birth.
The nine types (or “enneatypes”, “ennea” means “nine”) are universally identified by the numbers 1 to 9. These numbers have a standard way of being placed around the Enneagram symbol. Enneagram authors have attached their own individual names to these numbers. On this site the type names by authors Riso and Hudson are used. They are:
After taking the test for myself, I’m a Reformer and a Peacemaker.
Let’s start with Reformer:
“Perfectionists, responsible, fixated on improvement
People of this personality type are essentially looking to make things better, as they think nothing is ever quite good enough. This makes them perfectionists who desire to reform and improve; idealists who strive to make order out of the omnipresent chaos.
Ones have a fine eye for detail. They are always aware of the flaws in themselves, others and the situations in which they find themselves. This triggers their need to improve, which can be beneficial for all concerned, but which can also prove to be burdensome to both the One and those who are on the receiving end of the One’s reform efforts.
The One’s inability to achieve the perfection they desire feeds their feelings of guilt for having fallen short, and fuels their incipient anger against an imperfect world. Ones, however, tend to feel guilty about their anger. Anger is a “bad” emotion, and Ones strive sincerely and wholeheartedly to be “good.” Anger is therefore vigorously repressed from consciousness, bursting forth in occasional fits of temper, but usually manifesting in one of its many less obvious permutations – impatience, frustration, annoyance and judgmental criticality. For this reason, Ones can be difficult to live with, but, on the high side, they tend to be loyal, responsible and capable partners and friends.
Ones are serious people; they tend to be highly principled, competent and uncompromising. They follow the rules and expect others to do so as well. Because they believe so thoroughly in their convictions, they are often excellent leaders who can inspire those who follow them with their own vision of excellence. Reform movements are frequently spearheaded by Ones.
Ones are often driven and ambitious, and are sometimes workaholics. But whatever their professional involvement, they are definitely active, practical people who get things done. They are natural born organizers, listmakers who finish everything on the list, the last one to leave the office, the first one to return, industrious, reliable, honest and dutiful.”
I also tested as a Peacemaker:
“Keeping peace and harmony
People of this personality type essentially feel a need for peace and harmony. They tend to avoid conflict at all costs, whether it be internal or interpersonal. As the potential for conflict in life is virtually ubiquitous, the Nine’s desire to avoid it generally results in some degree of withdrawal from life, and many Nines are, in fact, introverted. Other Nines lead more active, social lives, but nevertheless remain to some to degree “checked out,” or not fully involved, as if to insulate themselves from threats to their peace of mind. Most Nines are fairly easy going; they adopt a strategy of “going with the flow.” They are generally reliable, sturdy, self-effacing, tolerant and likable individuals.
Nines tend to adopt an optimistic approach to life; they are, for the most part, trusting people who see the best in others; they frequently have a deep seated faith that things will somehow work out. They desire to feel connected, both to other people and to the world at large. They frequently feel most at home in nature and generally make warm and attentive parents.”
I would agree with some of this, not all.
I wouldn’t say I avoid conflict, I just don’t care enough to partake most of the time.
Of course, I found out about the Enneagram from Abbie Emmons.
Pretty interesting stuff, honestly.
Now, let’s run Maya, my main character’s personality through the Enneagram and see what happens.
She’s an Achiever and The Helper.
Ha! I knew it! When I was watching Abbie’s video and she was going through the various personalities I picked the Achiever for Maya because that’s how she appears in my head.
“Focused on the presentation of success, to attain validation
People of this personality type need to be validated in order to feel worthy; they pursue success and want to be admired. They are frequently hard working, competitive and are highly focused in the pursuit of their goals, whether their goal is to be the most successful salesman in the company or the “sexiest” woman in their social circle. They are often “self-made” and usually find some area in which they can excel and thus find the external approbation which they so desperately need. Threes are socially competent, often extroverted, and sometimes charismatic. They know how to present themselves, are self-confident, practical, and driven. Threes have a lot of energy and often seem to embody a kind of zest for life that others find contagious. They are good networkers who know how to rise through the ranks. But, while Threes do tend to succeed in whatever realm they focus their energies, they are often secretly afraid of being or becoming “losers.”
Threes can sometimes find intimacy difficult. Their need to be validated for their image often hides a deep sense of shame about who they really are, a shame they unconsciously fear will be unmasked if another gets too close. Threes are often generous and likable, but are difficult to really know. When unhealthy, their narcissism takes an ugly turn and they can become cold blooded and ruthless in the pursuit of their goals.
Because it is central to the type Three fixation to require external validation, Threes often, consciously and unconsciously, attempt to embody the image of success that is promoted by their culture. Threes get in trouble when they confuse true happiness, which depends on inner states, with the image of happiness which society has promoted.”
And The Helper:
“Helpers who need to be needed
People of this personality type essentially feel that they are worthy insofar as they are helpful to others. Love is their highest ideal. Selflessness is their duty. Giving to others is their reason for being. Involved, socially aware, usually extroverted, Twos are the type of people who remember everyone’s birthday and who go the extra mile to help out a co-worker, spouse or friend in need.
Twos are warm, emotional people who care a great deal about their personal relationships, devote an enormous amount of energy to them, and who expect to be appreciated for their efforts. They are practical people who thrive in the helping professions and who know how to make a home comfortable and inviting. Helping others makes Twos feel good about themselves; being needed makes them feel important; being selfless, makes Twos feel virtuous. Much of a Two’s self-image revolves around these issues, and any threat to that self-image is scarcely tolerated. Twos are thoroughly convinced of their selflessness, and it is true that they are frequently genuinely helpful and concerned about others. It is equally true, however, that Twos require appreciation; they need to be needed. Their love is not entirely without ulterior motive.
Twos often develop a sense of entitlement when it comes to the people closest to them. Because they have extended themselves for others, they begin to feel that gratitude is owed to them. They can become intrusive and demanding if their often unacknowledged emotional needs go unmet. They can be bossy and manipulative, feeling entirely justified in being so, because they “have earned the right” and their intentions are good. The darkest side of the type Two fixation appears when the Two begins to feel that they will never receive the love they deserve for all of their efforts. Under such circumstances, they can become hysterical, irrational and even abusive.
Because Twos are generally helping others meet their needs, they can forget to take care of their own. This can lead to physical burnout, emotional exhaustion and emotional volatility. Twos need to learn that they can only be of true service to others if they are healthy, balanced and centered in themselves.”
I won’t say I’m as into this as Abbie, but I have to admit, it’s hugely helpful in shaping my characters.
As you can see, Maya is vastly different than my own personality – I hope I can pull it off. But at the same time, I’m excited to write her.
As for the rest of my characters:
Dree is the individualist
Jax is The investigator
Ava is the peacemaker
Damon is the challenger
I think I’ve settled on a theme: You are valuable – the character’s misbelief is, she’s worthless. Or at least not worthy of her family’s reputation.
I’ve also picked out some pictures of my characters from Pinterest:
Good looking people, no?
Anyway, I’m getting closer! This is more fun than I thought it would be. Next, I’m working on character profiles but these personality quizzes are really inspiring me to dig under their beautiful surfaces.