Last summer I went down the enneagram rabbit hole, and when I finally came back up for air I both was 100% positive that an enneagram one pretty much explained everything about me that you needed to know, and that it would be very helpful if all the people in my life also figured out their enneagram numbers so that I could better understand them.
That was kind of a one thing to think. And while some of my family and friends did indulge me with some self-exploration, many others waited for my fixation to pass and hoped I didn’t ask about their numbers again!
In the midst of the pandemic, I’ve been pushed back towards the enneagram a bit because I have this sense that people’s responses could be very representative of their numbers. And as each number has a security and stress point, and each week in quarantine feels like a roller coaster of both security and stress, you can probably work through all three points of your enneagram in just a few day’s worth of experiences and emotions.
Take my enneagram number, one, for instance.
The Enneagram at Work summarizes ones this way:
“Ones are a body-based type with an emphasis on personal integrity and self control. Their attention goes toward seeing and correcting what is wrong, and doing the right thing. They are known for their honesty, dependability and common sense. Ones are very responsible, so much so that they may resent other people who don’t take life as seriously as they do. They have high standards and tend to see things in black and white, right and wrong.”
This likely explains my nightly ranting to Josh about people who won’t wear masks to the store, refuse to social distance, or (in the case of the manager at Hy-Vee last weekend) are hugging people in public places right now! It also probably accounts for some of my intolerance for conspiracy theories about the virus and/or the general blathering and backtracking by many public officials.
Basically, if you’re being stupid right now in the midst of COVID-19, you are driving me insane.
That’s different than Josh, a nine, a type described as follows:
“Nines excel at seeing all points of view. This can make it difficult for them to make personal decisions, but at the same time, they can be excellent mediators and peacemakers for others. Nines seek harmony in their environment and will go to great lengths to avoid conflict (although at times championing others). They are body-based types, with a strong gut sense of knowing. Balanced at the top of the Enneagram, Nines are the most basic and most numerous personality type. They are the “salt of the earth” and the “glue” that holds the community together. “
On an average day in quarantine, Josh will wear a mask in the places where he’s asked to or it makes the most sense. He’ll defer to me if we’re together about whether or not we’re donning masks or not (probably so as to avoid conflict! 😂). He doesn’t get worked up about much of the news, and will read all sides and conspiracy theories about it…just because. He will listen to a friend or family member wax philosophical (or stupid) about their coronavirus views and never challenge or contradict them, other than when he talks with me about them later and I get righteously outraged about them! He’s cautious about things now, but not outwardly alarmed.
Each enneagram number then has a stress and growth arrow which points towards the characteristics of another type which are likely to display when either presented with tension or self-actualization. This is where I think the pandemic is really an interesting pressure cooker in which to observe behaviors related to the enneagram. Let’s face it! One day in quarantine you might be thriving, and the next might feel like a complete cluster!
The one’s stress type is the four: the individualist. According to the Enneagram Institute, during times of stress ones may become angsty, melancholy, and feel generally misunderstood. They may take to nature looking for comfort, finding solace in its beauty (or finding it equally depressing in what it is lacking!). Consequently, they also suggest that angsty films or music may begin to become desirable and relatable…which might explain some of my quarantine Netflix history on the toughest quarantine days and my penchant for midday walks!
The one’s growth, or security, type is the seven…the lovers of life! While it’s not a great time to be carefree and rebellious (see that responsibility coming out again!?) these are the words associated with the one’s growth point in The Modern Enneagram. When ones work towards their growth point they experience more joy, humor, and a general sense of lightness. And truly, on the best days of quarantine, life is this way! As the most introverted type, there are some days that I wake up feeling like there is nothing better in the world than being at home in an empty house all day, and my days are full of little joys and freedoms that I wouldn’t otherwise have. My inner critic voice is quiet because there’s nothing to criticize when all you’re expected to do is stay at home!
For a humorous take on all 9 types during quarantine, check out this take. If you know your number, skip ahead using the links in the video description:
Things from the “one” section that have actually come out of my mouth during quarantine: “If you can sanatize your hands, but your neighbor can’t YOU’RE GONNA GET IT!” AND “If everyone would just follow the rules and stay home unless absolutely necessary…don’t hoard toilet paper or hand sanitizer…share…make sure everyone has enough…it would be fine!”
You are your most interesting sociological study right now! If you’ve never tried an enneagram test, truity has a free assessment here: LINK. The Enneagram Institute also has tons of excellent information on types, wings, and how your number might show up in work, relationships, and daily living!