1. YOU’LL BE ABLE TO LET YOURSELF OFF THE HOOK.
A surprising amount of what we perceive of as our own individual quirks, flaws, and shortcomings are not the result of our upbringing or personal experiences—or the fact that we’re stubborn, wrongheaded, or lack any semblance of willpower. It’s just the way we are. Which means we don’t have to continue expending time and energy trying to figure out why we’re that way or attempting to fix ourselves. The Enneagram offers a short-cut to self-acceptance, and self-acceptance is very powerful ground to stand on. That ought to be worth the price of admission all by itself.
2. OTHER PEOPLE WILL MAKE YOU LESS CRAZY.
Even when you don’t know what someone else’s type is, just being aware of the fundamentally different perspectives and attitudes of each type can be eye-opening. That awareness makes it a lot easier to cut the other people in your life some slack and stop expecting them to be who they’re not. It also makes it less likely they’ll be able to push your buttons as often and as easily. Our differences don’t always have to be frustrating or divisive. They can be a source of humor and even a way to connect.
3. YOU CAN STOP BANGING YOUR HEAD AGAINST THE WALL.
If you feel like your life is the one Albert Einstein was referring to when he defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, take heart. The Enneagram explains how we get into our particular ruts of behaving, thinking, and feeling—and then offers a range of alternatives to try out from among the other types. (This is where Ennea-Journaling comes in handy.) Knowing your type can also give you a leg up on working with the habit loop to change an old habit or start a new one.
4. IT’LL MAKE YOU SMARTER, IMPROVE YOUR MEMORY AND YOUR MOOD, AND KEEP YOUR BRAIN HEALTHY.
No, learning about the Enneagram won’t add points to your I.Q. But brains crave challenge and stimulation in order to maintain their plasticity. Learning something new actually changes your brain physically by increasing synaptic connections, which keeps your mind sharp and flexible and your memory intact. These neuronal interconnections in our brains affect our behavior, thoughts, and feelings on a daily basis. So nurture your neurons: learn about the Enneagram.
5. IT HAS WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR.
On the psychological level, the Enneagram is a great tool for anyone who’s on a journey of personal exploration or simply wants to change old, outmoded patterns of behavior. On the interpersonal level, it can help you deepen your relationship with your partner or develop clearer communication with friends and family members. At work, it can help you get along better with your co-workers, understand your boss, and become more effective. On a deeper level, the Enneagram can be a path to spiritual insight and even transformation. What you take from it depends on how you come at it and what you’re looking for.