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The Nine Enneagram Points of View

The enneagram describes nine core motivations that have a profound influence on how we live our lives. Each core motivation is associated with characteristic ways of thinking, feeling, and acting.

Often such patterns are called personality types. In the enneagram tradition, they are called enneagram types, enneatypes, or points of view. While they can describe the personality, they are broader than the personality. So I most like to think of them as points of view.

Below is a brief sketch of each point of view and how it tends to show up in daily life. The labels for each point of view reflect my view of the enneagram as depicting both points in space and points in time.

Enneagram image

Point 1 - The Perfecter. Civilizing, self-critical, precise & ennobling. The focus is on fairness, honor, hard work, & doing things correctly. The challenge is to relax, unwind, have fun, & be able to see the perfection in things as they are. The gift is the ability to work toward a worthwhile goal with great care, precision, and integrity. Possible archetypes: Pilgrim, Puritan, Pioneer, Settler, Craftsman, Ascetic, Nun, Priest, Monk Renunciate, Evangelist, Judge, Lawgiver, Hierophant, Social Arbiter, Whistleblower.

Point 1

Point 2 - The People Person. Warm, sociable, helpful & friendly. The focus is on people, relationships, sharing, & engaging. The challenge is learning how to be emotionally independent and to share without expectation of reward. The gift is an emotional sensitivity to the needs of other people. Possible archetypes: Mother, Nurturer, Caretaker, Giver, Best Friend, Lover, Seducer, Devotee, Saint, Sacrificer, Social Networker, Ambassador, Power Behind the Throne.

Point 2

Point 3 - The Self-tester. Assertive, outgoing, ambitious, & adaptable. The focus is on achieving, succeeding, impressing, & getting ahead. The challenge is learning how to do for the sake of doing, to take time for relationships, and to relax and just be without needing to do anything. The gift is the ability to respond readily to changing situations and challenges. Possible archetypes: High Achiever, Great Adaptor, Model Student, Go-getter, Head of the Class, Super Star, Shining Aspirant, Fashion Model, Politician, Rhetorician, First Among Equals.

Point 3

Point 4 - The Deep Sea Diver. Deep, reflective, restive, & resonant. The focus is on depth, authenticity, originality, & individuality. The challenge is to experience the heights or the depths without getting lost in them and cultivating the ability to feel joy in the ordinary pleasures of daily life. The gift is a deep emotional resonance with intense states and emotions. Possible archetypes: Individualist, Bohemian, Gypsy, Artisan, Originator, Writer, Wordsmith, Dramatist, Tragedian, Jealous Lover, Pundit, Critic, Muckraker.

Point 4

Point 5 - The Puzzle Solver. Cool, detached, ingenious, measured, & analytical. The focus is on logic, thinking, rationality, & self-protection via withdrawal from people and situations. The challenge is to learn how to allow a free flow of energy to freshen and revitalize the self instead of minimizing emotional and physical needs and withdrawing to conserve energy. The gift is a genius for apprehending complex systems and deep knowledge. Possible archetypes: Recluse, Hermit, Genius, Wizard, Sleuth, Spy, Absent-minded Professor, Philosopher, Magician, Alchemist, Shaman, Iconoclast.

Point 5

Point 6 - The Steward. Sharp-eyed, conscientious, sensitive, & supportive. The focus is on family values, keeping watch, & protecting the community. The challenge is to transform fear-based hypersensitivity and the potential to overreact or overprotect into a sense of basic trust that arises from coming to terms with one's fears. The gift is the ability to attune to the surrounding energy. Possible archetypes: Family Loyalist, Faithful Friend, Underdog Scrapper, Tender Defender, Vigilante, Warrior, Psychic, Intuitive, Keeper of the Flame, True Believer, Community Cornerstone.

Point 6

Point 7 - The Improviser. Quick, witty, high-energy, & innovative. The focus is on ideas, multitasking, freedom & excitement- and fun-seeking. The challenge is to get grounded, steady, & focused, being willing to make an emotional commitment to long-term projects & relationships. The gift is a lightning-fast ability to link ideas in visionary ways. Possible archetypes: Messenger of the Gods, Bon Vivant, Free Spirit, Trickster, Drifter, Dance-away Lover, Magical Child, Storyteller, Idealist, Aquarian Visionary, Trendsetter, Jet-setter, One of the Beautiful People.

Point 7

Point 8 - The Master. Forthright, direct, grounded, & powerful. The focus is on mastery, leadership, personal honor & boundaries. The challenge is to cultivate inner sensitivity, receptivity, flexibility, and subtlety. The gift is the unwavering upholding of a personal ideal of justice and honor. Possible archetypes: Monarch, Ruler, Father, CEO, Empire Builder, Power Broker, Chivalrous Knight, Protector, Champion, Piller of Strength, Natural Leader.

Point 8

Point 9 - The Storyteller. Matter-of-fact, unassuming, agreeable, dreamy & imaginative. The focus is on everyday activities, keeping the peace, enjoying relationships & small pleasures. The challenge is to become more self-aware and self-assertive. The gift is a listening heart and a naturally accepting disposition. Possible archetypes: Server, Listener, Tabula Rasa, Receiver, Herder, Farmer, Counselor, Peacekeeper, Mediator, Meditator, Blender, Balancer, Harmonizer.

Point 9

Click here to read further about the enneagram
Source: Chapter 1, The Positive Enneagram.