The Enneagram drawing by Elizabeth Wagele
Source: The Enneagram drawing by Elizabeth Wagele

In the Enneagram system of personality, one of the 9 types is our main one. We also have a special connection to four other types: our two wings and two arrows. Since I’m a 5-Observer, my wings are type 4-Romantic and type 6-Questioner. My arrows are type 7-Adventurer and type 8-Asserter.

Every now and then I rate the order of strengths of all 9 types in my own personality:

5 - I’ve always been quiet, curious, introverted, and shy. I’m an INFP (introverted, intuitive, feeling, perceiving) with almost as strong Thinking as Feeling. My father, an INTJ scientist, a 5 with a strong 6 wing, had a big influence on me. His Feeling function was developed in some ways – he was idealistic and a humanitarian – but weak in others - he didn’t like to read novels or watch plays, and had no tolerance for strong displays of feeling. My life is more influenced by my 4-Romantic wing – I love the arts and psychology.

What I like about being a 5 (from The Enneagram for Teens):

Drawing by Elizabeth Wagele
Source: Drawing by Elizabeth Wagele

4 – My second type in importance is my 4-wing, the Romantic, especially when it comes to the artistic and compassionate sides of life. I was drawn to the piano early, majored in music at the University, and taught piano for many years. I almost never get depressed, however, and I’m not a dramatic kind of person.

9 – I relate to how type 9-Peace Seekers often appreciate nature and embody spirituality. I also relate to the 9’s distaste for conflict. And I have trouble making up my mind. My mother was probably a 9 or a 2.

1 - I’m idealistic as 1-Perfectionists are, but not a reformer. Like Ones, I can be meticulous about some things. My father was critical of my school-work and tried to teach me to be logical and exacting. My mother tried to teach me to be a neat housekeeper (her One-wing) and only partially succeeded.

6 – I’m not very paranoid but I am sometimes fearful, cautious, and uncertain. I also relate to the anti-authoritarian attitude of some 6’s.

7 – When I feel like a 7-Adventurer all my cares fly away and life is great. I love feeling uninhibited and being in the moment, especially when I’m playing the piano, drawing, or hanging out with friends. This is one of my arrows.

2 - Like many females my age, I was pressured somewhat to act like a Helper but my life isn’t organized around helping others. I’m not as diplomatic or sociable as most 2’s I’ve known.

8 – Going toward my 8-Asserter arrow is growthful for me, but you would never mistake me for an 8. One reason I fell in love with the Enneagram was that I already knew I needed to become more confident, assertive, and outspoken, like many 8’s are.

3 – I’m least of all like the 3-Achiever. Ambition, materialism, obsession with success, and marketing myself scare me. Being intrigued and happy with what I’m doing is much more appealing to me than success or making a splash. I’m still trying to understand the 3 part of me.

• See The Enneagram Made Easy, for adults, or The Enneagram for Teens for teens, to help you decide on your type. Finding the Birthday Cake teaches the Enneagram to children.

About the Author

Photo by Gail Wread

Elizabeth Wagele was the co-author with Ingrid Stabb of The Career Within You: How to Find the Perfect Job for Your Personality.

You are reading

The Career Within You

Elizabeth Wagele (1939-2017)

The author, musician, and blogger has passed away at age 77.

9 Ways of Being Stuck

And how some folks got unstuck.

Marry the Wrong Person?

A 5-Observer who married the right one.