I’ve spent nearly a half century becoming self-actualized and amazingly thought I was there when I hit a road bump the last week. A friend, who is a social worker, told me about this personality test, the Enneagram, which has a high degree of accuracy in defining how you deal with life and its challenges. I scored a Number 2 – which is referred to as The Helper with almost as equal high scores in Number 7, The Enthusiast and Number 8, The Challenger.
I looked at the definitions of all three and feel more closely aligned with the #7 personality type and the test says if you are a woman and your Two score is highest, look at your next two high scores—women are often taught to play the role of the Two whether it is their basic type or not.
Type Two in Brief – The Helper
Twos are empathetic, sincere, and warm-hearted. They are friendly, generous, and self-sacrificing, but can also be sentimental, flattering, and people-pleasing. They are well-meaning and driven to be close to others, but can slip into doing things for others in order to be needed. They typically have problems with possessiveness and with acknowledging their own needs. At their Best: unselfish and altruistic, they have unconditional love for others.
Basic Fear: Of being unwanted, unworthy of being loved
Basic Desire: To feel loved
Key Motivations: Want to be loved, to express their feelings for others, to be needed and appreciated, to get others to respond to them, to vindicate their claims about themselves.
Although I see myself in Type Two a lot, I think I fall more in line in personal relationships with Type Seven. I’m not called Zea for nothing.
Type Seven in Brief – The Enthusiast
Sevens are extroverted, optimistic, versatile, and spontaneous. Playful, high-spirited, and practical, they can also misapply their many talents, becoming over-extended, scattered, and undisciplined. They constantly seek new and exciting experiences, but can become distracted and exhausted by staying on the go. They typically have problems with impatience and impulsiveness. At their Best: they focus their talents on worthwhile goals, becoming appreciative, joyous, and satisfied.
Basic Fear: Of being deprived and in pain
Basic Desire: To be satisfied and content—to have their needs fulfilled
Key Motivations: Want to maintain their freedom and happiness, to avoid missing out on worthwhile experiences, to keep themselves excited and occupied, to avoid and discharge pain.
Type Eight represents more of who I am in business:
Type Eight in Brief – The Challenger
Eights are self-confident, strong, and assertive. Protective, resourceful, straight-talking, and decisive, but can also be ego-centric and domineering. Eights feel they must control their environment, especially people, sometimes becoming confrontational and intimidating. Eights typically have problems with their tempers and with allowing themselves to be vulnerable. At their Best: self- mastering, they use their strength to improve others’ lives, becoming heroic, magnanimous, and inspiring.
Basic Fear: Of being harmed or controlled by others
Basic Desire: To protect themselves (to be in control of their own life and destiny)
Key Motivations: Want to be self-reliant, to prove their strength and resist weakness, to be important in their world, to dominate the environment, and to stay in control of their situation.
When I was seeing E, I learned one of my goals in life is to combine my Type Seven and my Type Eight personality traits because I was bifurcated – my personal relationships were marred by my self-sacrificing while my business relationships were flawed by a quest for perfection. I guess they all come together in Type Two, but that personality is more of a patch and not a true path.