Personality Types: Are They Meant To Put You In A Box?

I’ve written multiple series on personality types and how they relate to education. Read about them here:

Myers Briggs Personality Types

Enneagram in Education

A lot of people are not a fan of learning more about personality types because they feel like they are put into a box when assigned a “type” or “number”. I see this point of view! I absolutely have felt the same way. I have also felt like as I read general overviews of types, I can relate to every single one, they seem very “vanilla” and are relevant to anyone with a pulse.

While these are valid, I have found in my research that these personality types are not trying to put you in a box, their goal is to help you understand yourself and those around you a little deeper. Just because you identify with one “type” doesn’t mean you have to or will act EXACTLY the same way. However, it can help you understand your personality better if there are aspects you do identify with.

For example: I am an ENFJ in the MBTI personality type. This tells me I am extroverted and breaks down what exactly extroversion means. This one in particular I came out with 95% extroverted when completing the test, so it is a trait that I can learn more about and help me apply these findings to my life.

(N) means I primarily use my intuition over my senses. Does this mean I don’t use my senses? No! It means I primarily tend to choose intuition over sensing, however, I can still use sensing at times too.

(F) means I use feeling in decision-making versus (T) which is thinking or logic. I use both, and often! But feeling tends to win over thinking. (J) means I use judgment over (P) perception. I can use both and I do.

Because I identify as an ENFJ I have lists and articles galore that can help me dive deeper into learning more about my personality. Including the ones I wrote. But if an article reads, “you thrive in group work because you are extroverted.” but I personally don’t like group work, it doesn’t mean they are trying to fit you into a box. That is the general consensus of the ENFJ type, and you are who you are. Not many people fit the exact mold or can agree with every single point in their personality type.

So next time you don’t want to research your personality type for fear of “being put in a box”, consider that it’s there for you to learn more and gain knowledge, not put you in a box!

What is your MBTI or Enneagram if you know it? How does it help you learn more about yourself to research personality types?

Enneagram In Education: Conclusion

I recently wrote about each enneagram type in education and how each type learns. You can read more about your own enneagram type and tips for how to learn best. It can also be beneficial to read more about each type and turn that around to use it to your student’s best interest if you know their enneagram types. 

You can read about every enneagram type on this page! 

Learning about all nine enneagram types has opened my eyes to educating nine different personality types. It reminded me that not all kids work and think the same way. Teaching beyond the test is so important to our students, they thrive on personal relationships just like we do, and will retain more information when we are teaching to humans that we’ve built these personal relationships with. 

From the other side, it’s helped me to understand my enneagram type and how I learn. Learning is constant in everyone’s lives and taking these points into consideration has improved my learning and research tenfold! 

Check out this video on students at Baylor University who enjoyed learning about enneagram for their education. 

What enneagram type are you? How has it helped you in your education? 

Enneagram In Education: Type Nine

This is part of a series using enneagram in education. For more information on why enneagram in education, refer to this post. To read about other enneagram types in education, you can see those here.

Enneagram type 9, the mediator, or the accommodating companion.

A few words to describe this type: 

Accepting.

Trusting.

Laid back.

Friendly.

Cooperative.

Optimistic. 

Let’s pull this into a classroom setting. If you’re an enneagram type nine, you are a big-picture learner. Every little topic you learn about, you like to pull into a bigger setting to see how all of the pieces fit together and relate. You also have a hard time planning and prioritizing school work. Homework, essays, due dates, and more often get pushed to the side and done last minute. Group work is good for type nines, under the condition that everyone works together and harmoniously, contention and confrontation are type nine’s biggest turn aways and stressors. 

How to get the most out of your education as a type nine. 

  • Work on keeping good notes of when assignments are due so that you’re not working at the last minute to get them in. 
  • Give yourself time to study away from friends, peers, and family. Quiet, alone time study will give you the best results. 
  • Immerse yourself in your studies in a hands-on way, even when your professors don’t give you the opportunity to. 
  • Use your deeply connected relationships to help you with your schoolwork, ask for help with studying or on assignments from friends. 
  • Build good, lasting relationships with teachers and professors. 

Mediators believe that to be loved and valued, you must blend in and go with the flow. Consequently, Mediators seek harmony and are inclusive, amiable, easygoing, comfortable and steady; they also can be self-forgetting, conflict-avoidant and stubborn.

Enneagram Worldwide

Type 9’s go to type 3 in growth and type 6 in stress. 

Are you a type 9? What is important for you to have a successful learning environment? 

Enneagram In Education Type Eight

This is part of a series using enneagram in education. For more information on why enneagram in education, refer to this post. To read about other enneagram types in education, you can see those here.

Enneagram type 8, the challenger, or the protector. 

A few words to describe this type: 

Honest. 

Controlling.

Direct. 

Strong.

Independent.

Practical.

Intense.

Let’s pull this into a classroom setting. If you’re an enneagram type eight, you’re always up for a good debate. A well-involved classroom with students actively participating is where they thrive. Collaboration and bouncing ideas around ignites their typically extroverted personalities. Being challenged in your schoolwork is the best motivation for you. You’re also always up for challenging the rules as well, finding a way around a boundary is your craft you are set out to perfect. 

How to get the most out of your education as a type eight. 

  • When working in groups, try not to take over and control the group. Be a leader, not a boss.
  • Always be involved in the big discussions and projects, it’s where you learn best. 
  • Remember the difference between opinions vs facts and not to confuse the two.
  • When protecting others, remember to think of yourself. 

“Eights are the true “rugged individualists” of the Enneagram. More than any other type, they stand alone. They want to be independent, and resist being indebted to anyone. They often refuse to “give in” to social convention, and they can defy fear, shame, and concern about the consequences of their actions. Although they are usually aware of what people think of them, they do not let the opinions of others sway them. They go about their business with a steely determination that can be awe-inspiring, even intimidating to others.”

– Enneagram Institute

Type 8’s go to type 2 in growth and type 5 in stress. 

Are you a type 8? What is important for you to have a successful learning environment? 

Enneagram In Education: Type Seven

This is part of a series using enneagram in education. For more information on why enneagram in education, refer to this post. To read about other enneagram types in education, you can see those here.

Enneagram type 7, the enthusiast, or the epicure. 

A few words to describe this type: 

Upbeat.

Adventurous.

Uncommitted. 

Future Thinker. 

Fun Seeker.

Scattered.

Let’s pull this into a classroom setting. If you’re an enneagram type seven, you’re constantly bouncing ideas off of your peers, seeing how you can make connections with multiple subjects of study. Sitting still isn’t an option, especially when it comes to a subject you are passionate about. You are constantly pumping up your classmates and teachers to have positive energy, for you genuinely believe it’s the best and only way to learn. When a lesson or lecture slows down in pace it’s easy for you to become distracted and especially daydream of bigger, better plans for the future. 

How to get the most out of your education as a type seven. 

  • Find ways to stay focused during those slower, less engaging lectures. 
  • Continue sharing your positive energy and light! 
  • Be mindful of those that are learning differently than you, others need to sit in silence and take in information (hello, type five!) and can react in a negative way to your bubbly, excited personality, even causing them not to take in the needed information. 
  • Embrace your scatter-brained thinking. Your form of organization may not be “ideal” to the eyes of society, but it typically works for you, so keep it. 
  • Remember to say no when too much is too much. 
  • Find a project to work on that will help you achieve your forward-thinking, community building tendencies. 

“Sevens are exuberant, fast-paced, spontaneous, analytical and idea-oriented. Others may perceive Sevens as quickly shifting topics, making excuses, self-absorbed and indifferent to others’ input.”

– Enneagram Worldwide 

Type 7’s go to type 5 in growth and type 1 in stress. 

Are you a type 7? What is important for you to have a successful learning environment? 

Featured Photo: The Enneagram Institute

Enneagram In Education: Type Six

This is part of a series using enneagram in education. For more information on why enneagram in education, refer to this post. To read about other enneagram types in education, you can see those here.

Enneagram type 6, the loyalist, or the questioning friend. 

A few words to describe this type: 

Controlling.

Doubtful. 

Safety Conscious. 

Perceptive.

Questioning. 

Loyal. 

Let’s pull this into a classroom setting. If you’re an enneagram type six, you may walk into a new classroom with a new teacher or professor and be skeptical of what they are teaching or what their qualifications are. You may feel the same about peers. Anxiety can fill your thoughts as you wonder if your ideas and questions will be accepted or dismissed in this environment, being open about these are important to you. The more structured and organized the classroom and classwork is, the better you do. 

How to get the most out of your education as a type six. 

  • Build relationships with your teachers and peers so you can excel in your studies. Relationships are important to you. 
  • Ask questions! Speak your mind. Utilize office hours or study hall time if you feel your needs are not being met and your questions are not being answered. 
  • Give yourself time to observe different situations. 
  • Find safety in yourself and your environment so that you can be confident in your school work. 

“[Sixes] Start investing their time and energy into whatever they believe will be safe and stable. Organizing and structuring, they look to alliances and authorities for security and continuity. Constantly vigilant, anticipating problems.

– Enneagram Institute

Type 6’s go to type 9 in growth and type 3 in stress. 

Are you a type 6? What is important for you to have a successful learning environment?

Feature Photo: Enneagram Institute  

Enneagram In Education: Type Five

This is part of a series using enneagram in education. For more information on why enneagram in education, refer to this post.

Enneagram type 5, the investigator, or the outsider.

A few words to describe this type: 

Perceptive.

Isolated.

 Visionaries.

Logical.

Problem Solver.

Observer.

Let’s pull this into a classroom setting. If you’re an enneagram type five, you are the one sitting there quietly taking in every word the teacher says. You may not be taking notes because you are internalizing everything going on in the lecture. Group work is not ideal for your learning type because you want to bring in information on your own and have the time to process it. Often if there is a topic you are having a hard time with, taking time to think over and internalize the information will help you understand it more than any other way. 

How to get the most out of your education as a type five:

  • Be open with your teacher about your silence during class. Just because you aren’t saying much doesn’t mean you aren’t taking it in and learning. Teachers are not always aware of this. 
  • Work on your social skills in group settings and taking in valuable information from peers, even when it’s stressful. 
  • Find topics you love and are passionate about. 
  • Give yourself plenty of alone and quiet time in a learning/studying setting. 
  • Be confident in your intelligence, especially in settings that are harder to be a part of, such as group work or large classroom lecture settings. 

“Behind Fives’ relentless pursuit of knowledge are deep insecurities about their ability to function successfully in the world. Fives feel that they do not have an ability to do things as well as others. But rather than engage directly with activities that might bolster their confidence, Fives “take a step back” into their minds where they feel more capable.”

– The Enneagram Institute

Type 5’s go to type 8 in growth and type 7 in stress. 

Are you a type 5? What is important for you to have a successful learning environment?