What Is An Enneagram? This In-Depth Personality Test Can Reveal Your Hidden Strengths

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

You're probably in the know about the Myers-Briggs Type Indictor personality assessment, but you might not be familiar with another disposition test. So, what is an enneagram? This personality test has nine basic types, and it can help you identify your hidden strength. "At its core, the enneagram helps us to see ourselves at a deeper, more objective level and can be of invaluable assistance on our path to self-knowledge," The Enneagram Institute explained on its website. A circumference with nine points, the enneagram might make you feel like you're back in high school geometry class, and it's pretty complex.

However, if you're a beginner, it's to identify your basic personality type. The nine basic enneagram types include the reformer, the helper, the achiever, the individualist, the investigator, the loyalist, the enthusiast, the challenger, and the peacemaker. For instance, I just took a free enneagram test online, and I am an investigator, which means I have a need to know everything, and I am introverted, curious, analytical, and insightful. This is pretty spot on. "Working with the enneagram empowers individuals to take responsibility for their own behaviors and growth, from a greater understanding of why they act and react the way they do," Integrative 9 Enneagram Solutions explained on its website. If you're curious about what each type means, this is your secret strength according to the enneagram.

1. Reformers Are Rational Perfectionists

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According to The Enneagram Institute, reformers are both rational and idealistic, and core traits include being principled, purposeful, self controlled, and a perfectionist. "[Reformers are] conscientious and ethical, with a strong sense of right and wrong," The Enneagram Institute noted. "They are teachers, crusaders, and advocates for change: always striving to improve things, but afraid of making a mistake."

2. Helpers Are Both People Pleasing & Possessive

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If you consistently put other people's wants and needs ahead of your own, you might be a helper. The Enneagram Institute noted that helpers are caring, generous, demonstrative, and tend to be both people pleasers and possessive. "[Helpers] are friendly, generous, and self-sacrificing, but can also be sentimental, flattering, and people-pleasing. They are well-meaning and driven to be close to others, but can slip into doing things for others in order to be needed. They typically have problems with possessiveness and with acknowledging their own needs."

3. Achievers Are Practical & Success Driven

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Achievers are kind of like Capricorns, they are likely to succeed at anything they try, and they make it look effortless. If you're an achiever you value efficiency, results, recognition, and image, according to Integrative 9 Enneagram Solutions. "[Achievers] strive for success in their chosen field and tend to be highly flexible and willing to adapt to achieve their goals." When achievers are at their best they are inspiring to others. But, at their worst this type can get mired in self importance and alienate people who are close to them.

4. Individualists Are Sensitive & Temperamental

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If you're an artist, or you know one, it's no surprise that creative people tend to be sensitive, withdrawn, dramatic, self absorbed, and temperamental. However, the individualist also has a softer side. "[They] value individualism and as a result, feelings, self expression, and purpose will be important to them," Integrative 9 Enneagram Solutions explained. "They are quite romantic at heart and appreciate beauty and creating meaning for themselves and for others."

5. Investigators Want To Know Everything

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If you're an investigator like me, then you have a thirst for knowledge. According to The Enneagram Institute, investigators tend to be intense, cerebral, perceptive, innovative, secretive, and isolated. "They are able to concentrate and focus on developing complex ideas and skills. Independent, innovative, and inventive, they can also become preoccupied with their thoughts and imaginary constructs. They become detached, yet high strung and intense." Basically, investigators are like Olivia Benson on Law & Order: SVU.

6. Loyalists Are Trustworthy & Responsible

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Loyalists seek security, and tend to be engaging, responsible, anxious, and suspicious, according to The Enneagram Institute. "[They] are reliable, hard working, responsible, and trustworthy. Excellent 'troubleshooters,' they foresee problems and foster cooperation, but can also become defensive, evasive, and anxious — running on stress while complaining about it." If you're a loyalist you probably spend a lot of time solving other people's problems. And, even though you might resent this role, you play it to the hilt.

7. Enthusiasts Love Life & Avoid Pain

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Enthusiasts tend to love life, and are always looking for the next adventure, kind of like a Sagittarius. On the surface they might seem footloose and fancy free, however enthusiasts often keep busy to avoid dealing with painful experiences. "[They] have the motivational need to experience life to the fullest and avoid pain," Integrative 9 Enneagram Solutions explained. This type may also be "impulsive, uncommitted, and unfocused as they are distracted by their insatiable search for fulfillment and a fear of missing out."

8. Challengers Are Always Right

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Powerful, dominating, self confident, decisive, willful, and confrontational, the challenger rarely loses an argument. "Protective, resourceful, straight talking, and decisive, but can also be ego-centric and domineering. [Challengers] feel they must control their environment, especially people, sometimes becoming confrontational and intimidating," The Enneagram Institute noted. Challengers sound a lot like Virgos, and then tend to be good leaders.

9. Peacemakers Just Want Everyone To Get Along

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If you're a peacemaker, you might sacrifice what you want to keep the peace. Peacemakers need everything in their lives to be in harmonious balance, similar to Libras. "[Peacemakers] are motivated by a need to be settled and in harmony with the world and, as a result, being accommodating and accepting will be important to them," Integrative 9 Enneagram Solutions noted. "They strive for a peaceful existence and appreciate stability, preferring to avoid conflict."

In addition to the nine basic types, the enneagram also has 27 subtypes, and three centers that include action, feeling, and thinking. If you're intrigued, you can take a free enneagram type test on EnneagramTest.net. Once you learn your basic type, feel free to fall down an enneagram rabbit hole and explore your subtypes and three centers. Because, #TheMoreYouKnow.