My friend Debbie, whom I’ve known for close to 40 years, spent a few weeks with me this summer, and I took the opportunity to tape record a discussion with her about her experience with the Enneagram. When she first tried to determine her type, she settled on 7w6, and since that seemed a reasonably good fit, neither of us questioned it. That is, until last summer. Towards the end of her visit last year, several things about what she was doing and saying jumped out at me as being at odds with type 7.
Being mistyped is not at all uncommon. There are lots of reasons for it. But it happens to some types more frequently than to others.
I’ve broken my conversation with Debbie into five parts. Here is part one.
J: What was interesting to you about the Enneagram?
D: It seemed like if there was a way to understand better what was going on with me, what was driving things—the way I was looking at things—that would be a good thing to do. I hadn’t yet done the Myers-Briggs or anything like that, but I was interested in psychological kinds of things and what made people tick. I was interested in finding out what made me tick.
J: So it was primarily to get some personal insight. What did you find out?
D: Well, I thought I found out that I’m a 7 and that explained quite a bit about me. I was always interested in a lot of things and willing to kind of go down whatever path struck my fancy at the moment. I’m interested in this, and I’m interested in this, and I’m interested in this. It really fit. I’m a 7. It’s pretty cool. That gave me a sense of it being OK to have a lot of interests and to not know which one I wanted to nail down.
J: It validated some of your own experience.
D: Yes, and it gave me an explanation for it, so that if I looked at someone who seemed to have an idea of exactly what they wanted to be doing and didn’t have all of this other stuff going on, I thought, well, they must not be a 7. So, yes, it made me understand myself better. Continue reading