Personality Typing

Anyone who has had any lengthy conversations with me over the last 10 years knows that the topic will eventually come round to ‘personality type’. I cant help it. Having been interested in the Myers Briggs Type Indicator for some time I have built up quite a repertoire of knowledge and was confident to analyse almost everyone around me and make an educated guess as to what box to put them in. I have harassed family and friends for years trying to ‘work them out’. Some (kinder) members have humoured me and reluctantly appreciated the personality testing and subsequent deeper (ahem) understanding of themselves and others. Other family members only just tolerated my obsession and one only converted once undertaking the ‘team building exercises’ via work. Hah! This still counted as a victory in my book!

I did however come to the end of this obsession after exhausting the available lay information on the web and local library books. Some would say I had to detox from my addiction but that is all subject to perspective. And so my interest lay dormant for years.

But then, fairly recently I was introduced to the Enneagram theories of personality typing, something which I had previously written off as slightly new-agey mumbo jumbo. But imagine my delight as I discovered this whole new world of personality packaging in the Enneagram. It is quite different from the MBTI, uses different frameworks and understandings, different perspectives and fundamental views of personality. It’s a bit more ‘Freudian’ in concept I think in the way that it looks for almost primal motivations for all outworkings of personality.

I do now understand why my loved ones rolled their eyes very occasionally. I have felt the new feelings of annoyance at being put in a box or frustration at reading types that seem familiar but not quite right. MBTI made sense to me straight away and I found my fit almost immediately at 16 and then again at 30. But I do not yet understand this new method of personality typing.
Every few months I have taken a look at another portrait or type. I have worked my way through 4 and 7 and 9, discarding nine, seeing some of myself in both 4 and 7 on good and bad days.

After taking an online test, I decided to look at the 3 profile, and some seemed unnervingly close to current experience, but I would not have seen it if I had not had recent crisis. I think you need to be able to see the highs and lows of yourself to have a truly full picture. I have never had a crisis of faith, but I have had several crises of faith in myself. The 3 personality goes some way to describe what I have always known… that for the most part I am fairly self confident and have good self esteem, and then I can flip almost 180. So am trying on a 3, a 3 in crisis anyway…. If this stuff is true then I have some work to do, but also maybe a plan and a little understanding.

Might try another type another day. One day it will make sense, I will understand the framework and once again be able to analyse my family members and find new boxes for them.
They will be thrilled!


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