The Enneagram Broke Me


I'm an eater with a writing problem. I say I blog and write stories, but most of the time I'm thinking about what I'll have for lunch and supper or daydreaming about my current writing project. I like to discuss books, movies, music and sports. I'm passionate about my faith and my family, and believe that finding joy and gratitude in our everyday lives is as powerful as changing the world.

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8 Responses

  1. dragonfrog says:

    We have (well, had) these twice-yearly, drag the entire multi-city team to one place for a full day meeting, things at work.

    At one of the early ones, we did some kind of personality test, which I understand was based on the non-copyrighted bits of Myers Briggs, which is to say apparently mostly based on Jung. The personality types were expressed IIRC as hue and saturation pairs. My personality was determined to be a medium blue-green or something like that.

    I read mine over and a few colleagues showed me their results. Very horoscope-like statements that are carefully true to some extent of everybody at certain times. I remain convinced that the results could have been shuffled and handed out at random without affecting their accuracy one way or the other.Report

  2. Jaybird says:

    I admit to kinda liking the Myers-Briggs (even as I joke about how it’s astrology for smart people).

    Mostly because there does seem to be a there there. A million years ago, I asked our regular readers to take a Myers-Briggs test.

    Before clicking through and confirming, what percentage of types do you think showed up?

    How many Is vs. Es? Ns vs. Ss? Ts vs. Fs? Js vs. Ps?

    Well, check it out.

    That’s representative of why I think there’s a there there with Myers-Briggs.

    As for Enneagram, I’m a 5.Report

    • James K in reply to Jaybird says:

      In all seriousness, I used to work with a psychologist and she told me that personality tests are about as useful as horoscopes.Report

      • George Turner in reply to James K says:

        I looked briefly at the Enneagram tests and I would concur. All the possible traits are so positive, just like astrological signs. It’s more like “This simple test will tell you just what you want to hear!”

        My joke about world dictators stems from wondering where someone like Kim Jung Un would land on these tests. I suppose “You are a forceful, take charge kind of person” could somehow be stretched to cover someone who loves televising family members getting killed and ripped apart by starving dogs, but that doesn’t seem to quite capture the essence of them.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to James K says:

        There are certainly a lot of ways to make them that useful, yes. “Which Spice Girl Are You?” and the like.

        But there *ARE* introverted people and extroverted ones and it is possible to tell the difference between them. I think that a professionally administered M-B test does show a handful of indicators and tendencies in a way that a silly web quiz doesn’t (and can’t). And there are a number of caveats about how we wear particular faces at work and at home and at the poker game in the garage.

        And while these tests are a flawed measuring instrument, the thing that it’s trying (and mostly failing) to measure *IS* there.Report

    • Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird says:

      I don’t know much about Jung and the motivations for developing MB… but understanding “personality types” is ancient.

      My contrarian thought for the day is that the recent phenomenon of “Which Awesome Person Are YOU!” personality tests is the opposite of why people traditionally looked to understand personality types… which was to understand what impediments you will encounter cultivating certain “good habits” (or virtues, if you prefer) given certain pre-dispositions of your personality.

      So, old-school personality tests were more about warnings for introverts, or things that extroverts ought to be aware of, or while you might find xy and z soothing, your partner will experience them as challenges.

      So what’s a little weird to me are the MB/Personality tests as *destinations* not starting points.

      Of course, where to go? Well, that’s the hard part, not the baseline personalities.Report

  3. George Turner says:

    The kind of personality test I would take would probably have the click-bait link “Which Totalitarian World Dictator Are You?”Report