Oh So Five!

 Posted by on 21 June 2002 at 6:59 pm  Uncategorized
Jun 212002

So when I took the the personality compatibility test blogged below, I noticed that it was an enneagram test. I’ve been interested in enneagrams for a while now, as Josh Zader introduced me to Don Richard Riso’s very interesting and clear book Personality Types a few years ago.

Riso’s enneagrams quickly captured my attention for a few reasons. First, Riso’s enneagrams seemed to distinctly and clearly capture most people’s personalities in a way that other typing schemes do not. Second, the description of my own personality type (which I’ll get to in a minute) identified and integrated some very strange traits of mine that I never ever would have thought of related to each other or shared with others. Third, there is little rosy glow to the enneagrams, as each of Riso’s descriptions of the nine enneagram types includes ten clearly identified levels of healthy to unhealthy functioning within that type. (To know that an unhealthy person of my personality type is the Unabomber is a bit chilling.)

Anyway, my reading Personality Types made it quite clear that I am a 5. (I expect that a great many bloggers are 5s.) I got similar results from the Similar Minds enneagram test:

Here’s my detailed results:

Enneagram Test Results

Type Score Summary
5 19 Fives are basically on some level ambivalent about the world, consequently, their mind is usually their best friend. They like to analyze things and make sense of them (that is their anchor), perception and invention come naturally. The immense inner world of fives can cause them to lose touch or interest in reality.
7 14 Sevens are optimistic thrill seekers that see life as an adventure. They are always thinking of new possibilities and adventures. This constant zest for life can become escapism. Once things lose there fun they are no longer interested, so many projects go unfinished. Essentially, they avoid the difficulties of life because they fear being overwhelmed by them.
8 12 Eights are natural leaders. They are straight forward, direct, large personalities, that are unlikely to back down to adversity. They have a talent for motivating others. They have a strong sense of justice and are often protectors of the weak. However, they also have short fuses and can become domineering tyrants.
9 11 Nines are calm, laid-back, and optimistic. They are able to see everyone’s point of view, and have a natural desire for making peace. Consequently, they are effective mediators. Fearful of conflict and separation from others, they can be too accommodating and unassertive.
3 10 Threes derive self worth from success in the external world. They are highly skilled at adapting themselves in whatever way necessary to achieve success. This external success driven image often comes at a price of having a personal identity and they often are uncertain of who they really are.
1 10 Ones are idealistic and strive for perfection. Morals and ethics drive them. They live with an overbearing internal critic that never rests. They are always comparing themselves to others and are overly concerned with external criticism. They can be very judgmental and others perceive them as too uptight.
6 8 Sixes are overly alert and anxious. They are skeptical of the status quo but are also fearful of being on their own. They satisfy their need for security and belonging by establishing strong friendships and/or loyally backing a cause.
4 8 Fours are all about being unique and creating their own distinct culture. They experience the highs and lows of life more intensely than other types. They take great pride in their aesthetic tastes. Fours often feel like misplaced children, and they long for a sense of real family.
2 5 Twos are defined by their empathy of other people. They are uniquely gifted at tuning in on the feelings of others. This makes them great networkers, but being too caught up with other people can cause them to lose track of their own personal well being. Two charity is really a projection of how they want others to care for them.

I tend to think that I scored more 7-ish on this test than I actually am. Interestingly, I know from too much personal experience that 7s are rather dangerous people for me to become close friends with. I suspect that it is my own unhealthy tendencies towards 7-ness that make 7s both attractive and dangerous to me. (So I might have score too highly 7-ish because I am ultra-aware of any minor slippage in an unhealthy 7-ish direction. But not all my 7-ness is unhealthy — and much of it is healthy. Certainly without it, I would be boring with a capital b.)

I wonder whether the longer test would give better results. This one didn’t seem to hit on many of the core issues for any particular type, as it was simply too short. I also wonder whether how much my results would vary if I took the test in a week or month or year. I’m sure that I’d still be a 5, the only question is how much the above numbers would vary.

Oh, and Paul’s results are here. It is interesting to me that he rated more 5-ish than me. But even more interesting (and accurate, when I think of it) is his high 9-ish score.

Since Paul was as similar to me as I was to Eric Raymond, we tried a direct comparison here. As it turns out, Paul and Eric have a higher similarity and compatibility rating (95% and 96%, respectively) than I do with Paul. Oh dear! I just hope that Paul doesn’t file for divorce and elope to Vegas with Eric Raymond!

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