I have a good friend who is really into enneagram typing. She’s been doing it for years, has a certification and everything. She offered to type Tywana and I for free many months ago (probably over a year). Finally, we got around to doing it.
I’m not much for type tests. I attended a church where the Meyers-Briggs thing was huge. People would walk around saying “I’m an INFP”, the response would be “I’m an INPJ.” And, that was all you needed to know about that person. I’ve never liked being put into a box. I struggle with personality tests. When given the choice of two scenarios, my first thought is usually “It depends”. Sometimes I like to be around people. Sometimes I like to be alone. “Would you rather go to a party or sit at home and watch a movie?” Well, how about we go to the party for a while, then watch a movie? I’m not particularly adventuresome, but I do like learning new things. When asked how others perceive me, I wonder because I am many different things to many different people. I think some people probably see me as pretty friendly, but a lot of people think I’m aloof and intimidating. And I’m nothing like I was 25 or 30 years ago. The people I went to high school wouldn’t even recognize me today.
The enneagram divides people into 9 different types with strong influences from other types. I turn out to be a type 9 with influences of type 1 and type 8. OK, I read the type 9 description and that kind of fits me, but there are elements of the other types that seem to fit pretty well, too. Then, Deb tells me that one of the traits of type 9s is we tend to think we are all of the other types. So, yeah, I guess I am a type 9.
Last night as I was reading “The Seat of The Soul”, the author made a distinction between personality and the soul. A whole person, as I understand it, will have his personality aligned with his soul. This brings to mind something I have been wrestling with for several years. Some of us feel like we were born into the wrong family, the wrong culture, even the wrong time. There is something about our souls that wants to be one way, but everything and everyone around us wants us to be another way. Humans are amazingly adaptable animals and we quickly learn to give people what they want so we can get what we want and need from them. Socialization isn’t just a nicety, it’s a matter of survival. We have to please people not only so life is pleasant, but so that we can earn a living. As we mold our personalities to fit what they want, we give up on who we truly are, who we are at our souls level. Some of us hit a dark night of the soul which can last years or even decades as we realize we are not being who we really are, who we really want to be.
Over the last couple of decades, I have been trying to align more with who I really am. It freaks some people out. And even after all of these years, I realize that I’m not there yet. I struggled to answer some of Deb’s questions on the typing test, wondering if I should ask from the way I act or the way I feel like I really am. Should I answer the way 20-year-old Brian was- is that the real me? Or, should I answer the way 55-year-old Brian would- the me I’ve become?
Deb left me with a book that describes the types and it’ll probably help me understand myself a little better and maybe understand Tywana a little better. I do know I want to be the type who is truly who I am supposed to be.