How Enneagram helped me understand myself

I woke up one morning and felt weird. Not myself… Somewhat odd. These strange and dramatic reaction must come from somewhere deep inside? I decided to do something about it.

You may not have heard about the Enneagram test, but it is a wonderful model of human personalities. It divides people into 9 different types. You may not believe in it, but as a yoga, self-love, candlelight, book-loving nerd this is stuff that goes straight to my heart!

My whole life I have always thought and believed I was the life-enjoyer, the adventurous one. Type 7… Always lived life to the fullest and accepted that I was the kind of person who would run from my problems and negative feelings.

Lately I feel as if I have grown up. I no longer feel Disney-positive 24/7 or a want to escape my deep emotions. I actually run towards them. Enjoy the sensation they give me. A sense of life and presence. A feeling I can’t seem to find through ordinary actions or activities. I seek the scary, dramatic and extreme moments that will push me over the edge. Nothing is ever good enough.

But does that also mean that I have lost my positive Peter-Pan sense of life?

Are we really defined by what a personality test says?

As I was reading through my “new type”, I began to recognize traits and thoughts that I recalled from my own life. Let me explain…

Type 7 is very optimistic, energetic, charming and fleeting. They love planning, and dreaming about things that might never happen. As long as they can think it, it is as if, it really did happen for them. They love escaping into their own fantasy world, where nothing evil can happen to them… They love new experiences, meeting new people and new ideas.

Type 4 always feels as if something is missing in their life… A sort of emptyness. They are artistic, passionate and seek the ideal partner or life-occupation. They want to reach the unattainable and find faults and mistakes in everything they do. They see themselves as unique and special and thrive in this sensation. Their life needs to have a meaning and importance in order for them to feel as if they have succeded. Feelings are strong, big and dramatic for this type and they may overreact to things that make no sense to other people.

There is no doubt who you’d prefer to be… Or is there?

Obviously we all wish we could just enjoy life and not care about anything. But as I get older I begin to see the boring-ness in type 7 and how running scared from all the problems in the world, might not be the best solution. Some problems can be life changing and educational. There is beauty to be found in misery and despair.

That being said. There is also trouble in seeking this despair only in order to achieve your art and inspiration. That is not the way it’s suppose to be.

As I mentioned earlier I have been feeling somewhat off lately. It’s not particularly noticeable for other people, but I can feel the change in my mood, presence and apperance. Loads of little things can have added to this feeling: 23rd birthday coming up, sickness, sleep deprivation, pressure on one-self and the biggest factor, selfdoubt.

This is no excuse to react badly to the people you hold dear in your life. This is an issue you should take up with yourself and learn from. Think about why you are feeling as you are and what makes you react that way.

For me two things suddenly made perfect sense.

I have been feeling invisible and unnecessary at work. A feeling that came out of nowhere. Well not no-where. I have been struggling with selfesteem and self trust for many years, so I knew it would hit me one day. Suddenly I lost all want and motivation for work. Why do it, when I knew it would suck anyway. Everything I touched felt like it turned black and dead at seconds contact. A silly thing, when you think of the fact that the previous week I felt on top of the world. The mind is silly and we must learn not to listen to it all the time.

The real reason for these feelings was not that I did a bad job, or that the people at my work didn’t appreciate or enjoy my work. It was all me (surprise). I couldn’t take all the happiness and success. I had to include some misery and failure (taken to the extremes). This sentence is playing on repeat in my head “I can never be good enough, it can never be good enough”.

I set up unreacheable goals and reacted to me not being able to be the best at everything within the end of the day. I now know that I must face these problems at home and trust myself at work, if I ever want other people to trust me.

The other major eye opener was my relationsship.

I have always been good at pushing people away once it got too serious. A trait I didn’t think much about other than it was to protect myself.
I see now that there is a very good reason for it.

In order for people to seem interesting for me, I tend to push them away, just so I can pull them back right away, because they are suddenly interesting again. I get scared of the closeness and possibility of rejection and failure.

This change between closeness and distance makes people seem more unreacheable thus impossible to hold. Once they get too close, you start to notice their flaws and mistakes and decide to push them away again.

Evil circle…

This make type 4 believe that great relationsships must be a myth and unreachable.

I started freaking out and overreacting about the smallest things, the poor guy not knowing where it all came from? How could he? I didn’t even know what came over me. All I know is I felt a black cloud enter my mind and blur my whole system making it all look dark and miserable thus making me react very strongly to what I saw. Nothing makes sense, nothing gives you clarity.

After the storm had passed I was left alone, with my thoughts and regrets. Nothing but confusion and despair about what had happened. What has been happening the past 2 months. I needed to figure it out and not react this way again. Theres only so many times your loved one can forgive you for situations like these.

Enneagram really helped me in that sense.

I could recognize trait and I finally got an explanation as to why I do as I do. It might be a silly book, but when it helps you get clarity and understanding over your own mind, it can truly help more than anything else.

Accepting the fact that I was not the bobbly girl I thought I was, was hard. We always want to believe the best in one self, and always hide our inner self from our mind. The soul knows who you are, even when you don’t. I see now that you don’t have to choose or tell anybody which type you are. This is for you, for your own self-help and understanding of your mind. You may not agree with all the things that is typical for your type, but perhaps one day you will. When you learn yourself, your reactions and your feelings.

Till then I will just continue to write my many feelings down, instead of telling people about them. I know they are fleeting and will pass in a moment. It is not all the end of the world. I must get my dramatic fix elsewhere.

Have you ever tried the Enneagram test and did you agree with your result and how you are perceived ? :) I would love to know!

Karoline Daae Christensen

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Passionate writer. In love with love, laugh at humor and smile at creative souls.

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