Thunder: “I have a hard time establishing what my enneagram type is. I did one test earlier where I got 3, 7 and 9. This time the most likely types were 4, 6 and 8. I am not sure how this thing works really, especially as I believe we change and even if I DID find one enneagram type it would limit how I see myself.”
We try out all the personality types when we are very young, but decide upon one of them as a means to defend ourselves in a harsh world. This defense system we adopt is the kernel underlying the structure of our personality, which underlies all the reactions we have in terms of turning around our self-image (me). To find out what type you are might take a few more years of self-observation before you are able to see it clearly. Others might be able to tell you, but then you won’t believe them. I think there is an inherent aversion to seeing ourselves so clear, because seeing clear would cause a big crack in our personal defense system. This is one of those things you have to see for yourself through self-observation, by going within. Reading about it in more detail, you can use it as a tool to eventually zoom in on that ‘now hidden’ aspect of your personal defense system, by learning to observe your emotions and thoughts and finding out what might be your driving passion of energy behind all your actions. For each personality type there is a core passion.
You list two sets of 3 types above in different times you tried to determine your type. What you might know is that we do visit all the types in our lives so you can always see aspects in all the types about yourself. But, in truth, we all only have one type that never changes in our lives. It is neurologically hard-wired. This doesn’t mean you can’t learn to go beyond your hard wiring, but in order to go beyond something you first have to become aware of what it is.
The enneagram has 9 types, and are split into three groups. Numbers 8,9,1 have passions which use the body in a ‘fight’ sense, Numbers 2,3,4 emotions/feelings in an ‘adaptation’ sense and Numbers 5,6,7 are mental passions using a ‘flight’ or retreat as a means to defend themselves. So you see we decide on a way to either confront difficulties head on (fight), flee from difficulties (flight) or adapt to difficulties (sort of like a chameleon, neither fighting or fleeing). Within each group are 3 variations of those 3 ways to defend oneself. If you look at it close, you will see that there are all the possible ways to protect ourselves to survive from harm.
In both your examples above you have a type listed from each group. So the first step for you might be to determine which main group you are most likely within, by reading up on them and then looking at your own reactions (thoughts and emotions and actions) to find out what might be your main way to get through life. To find out your main type you need to know what passion drives you the most. This driving energy then will be mostly unconsciously controlling your entire life – including all actions and interactions with people – meaning while unaware of this aspect of yourself, you are not in the driver’s seat, your ego is. Once you clearly identify your driving passion and type, then you can learn to see your personality when it rises up ‘on the spot’ in it’s flight and/or fight response and learn to control and diffuse the passion (emotion), which will also have the side-effect to defuse your personality.