• Alex Rathbun

How the Enneagram changed my life


The Enneagram has changed my life and my marriage.


Learning that I am an Enneagram type 4, wing 3 has helped me make sense of my life and brain. It has impacted my relationships, the way I view myself, how I see others, how I interact with my work, and more.


If you're not familiar with the Enneagram, I strongly recommend checking it out! If you have 2 minutes, keep reading for a brief overview. If you have 2 hours, I recommend The Liturgists podcast episode that dives a little deeper into each type.


Before I dive into an overview, know that I am no expert in this field. I have never done any formal studying of it, but instead I'm speaking from my own experience and the stories of those close to me to share with you what I know. Here we go!



How many types are there?

Each person is one of nine types, and almost everyone has a wing, which is the number next to your primary type that you often lean into.


How do you learn what type you are?

There are disagreements on what the best way to be "typed" is - some say a free online test does the trick, others say you should be coached through it by a professional, others say you should study it then decide which one resonates with you. Whichever way you chose to go about it is probably okay, though (in my unprofessional opinion).


What does each number mean?

(List based on this overview)


1. The Reformer

Their basic desire is for excellence and integrity


2. The Helper Their basic need is to give and receive love


3. The Achiever

A three's basic desire is to feel valuable


4. The Individualist

Fours' basic desire is the be unique


5. The Investigator

Their basic need is to understand and know


6. The Loyalist

A six's basic need is to have support and guidance


7. The Enthusiast

Their basic motivation is to be satisfied and content


8. The Challenger

An eight's basic desire is self-protection


9. The Peacemaker

Their basic desire is wholeness and harmony/peace


How did the Enneagram change my life?

Like I said, the Enneagram has changed the way I see the world. Knowing that my strongest driving motive is to be special and unique, along with characteristics of fours like always seeking beauty and feeling things intensely, helps me understand why I'm inclined towards so many things: being unsatisfied with a "normal" job and needing my career to have a clear purpose driving it, living in a city that I didn't grow up in, dying my hair often (haha!), always wanting my style to be a little brighter and weirder than average, feeling like I have more emotions than others in my life, thriving in structure but also resenting it. And the list goes on.


Beginning this week, I'll be releasing an Enneagram interview with someone from each type, starting with type one this Friday.


I hope that throughout the next 9 weeks you're able to learn and grow by further understanding yourself, but also better understanding those around you.





Brightly Alex