Confirm your Enneagram Type, Wing, Tri-Center, and Instincts

An important first step in working with the Enneagram types is to find your type. Most people start out by reading the type descriptions or taking a test.

For some people their type is obvious upon first glance. For most people it requires a longer discovery process. This is especially true for finding variations of your type (i.e., preferred wing, tri-center, and instincts).

There are several things you can try if you're not sure about your Enneagram type.

Try other tests and descriptions

  • There is no single authority on the Enneagram. Each website, author, teacher, and school has their own interpretation of the types and their variations. This is reflected not only in the tests but also in the type descriptions.

    Each test or description will hit on certain aspects of type and miss on others. It may be that another test or description will hit on something different about a type that wasn't hit on by a previous test or description.

Look for your type in others

  • It's one thing to understand the Enneagram types conceptually by reading or listening to type descriptions. It's quite another to bring the types to life by watching and listening to someone of a given type.

    It can often help to confirm your Enneagram type by seeing if you relate to someone else's experience of that type. Video and audio interviews of people who know and describe their type in their own words can be useful for that purpose.

Ask others for help or feedback

  • Sometimes we can have difficulty seeing ourselves clearly because we're too close to the source. An outside point of view may offer insight that our own point of view isn't privy to.

    This outside point of view can come from someone who knows you well or knows the Enneagram types well or ideally someone who knows both you and the Enneagram types well.

Look at the variations of a type

  • You're not really a single Enneagram type. While you have one type that is more dominant than the others you also have other types that have an influence on your personality.

    Although these other types have a lesser influence, they have the effect of creating variations of your type. These variations are described through such concepts as wings and tri-center (often called trifix or tritype). In addition to the types there are other Enneagram concepts which create variations of type as well, such as the instincts (subtypes and variant stacking).