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Personality Types: Using the Enneagram for Self-Discovery

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  1,425 ratings  ·  68 reviews
" The Enneagram is an extraordinary framework for understanding more about ourselves. No matter from which point of view we approach it, we discover fresh conjunctions of new and old ideas." So writes Don Riso in this expanded edition of his classic interpretation of the Enneagram, the ancient psychological system used to understand the human personality. In addition to up ...more
ebook, 544 pages
Published October 29th 1996 by Mariner Books (first published 1987)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,626)
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Richard Stuart
this book has taught me to see the world through many different kinds of perspectives. it allows me to enhance my strong feelings of sympathy/empathy because i can better understand where (and why) people are coming from, whether it is a place of fear or anxiety, or just a need for things to be a certain way so they feel comfortable in the world. it is an invaluable tool to learn to ACCEPT people for who they are.
I've read (studied) Myers Briggs "please understand me" for over 20 years, so was delighted this book incorporated ties to that.. but took it to another level of personal growth and development... no human fits neatly into 16 boxes like Myers Briggs dictates, something that I have never fully embraced as I tended to conclude folks are compilations of several of the 16 boxes.. 20% of one, 50% of another, etc... basically defining their own identity. However, the principles in this personality boo ...more
I saw a friend mention this book on social media and the idea intrigued me so I checked it out. After reading it I am greatly interested in learning more about the enneagram for it seems incredibly useful. I drove my wife quite nuts talking about the whole thing. I ended up adding 3-4 more books to my amazon wishlist on this topic.

At the same time, I honestly did not read every word of the book. I skimmed each chapter to get a quick grasp on the personality type. I eagerly wanted to get to the c
I don't like to over-rely on personality tests, but this book gives the singularly best descriptions of people and is more dead-on accurate than any other personality book I've ever read. Even if you are skeptical, this book is extremely interesting. Anyone that's interested in Jungian/Archetypal personality psychology would likely find this book enjoyable. It's great to turn to and look through the pages to place new people you meet.
Dimitris Hall

Experience has shown that ... personalities ... may be grouped into various major categories, and for purposes of studying them this is a helpful device. Classifications must never be taken too seriously—they ruin much thinking—but the fear to use them has prevented much more thinking.

—Karl A. Menninger, The Human Mind

The above quote would find a lot of people in the world in open disagreement. Even in the US, where different social needs and anxieties gave birth to almost all forms of typology
This book has some really useful insights into personality, fears, desires, motivations, and parental relationships. It can be quite complicated and takes a lot of reading to attain the information on your personality type. Also doing the typing is not straight forward. However, the information is worth having and has resulted in some deep thinking for me. It has helped me understand what areas of my personality I need to address in order to improve my life.

I didn't like how negative the tone of
Chris Hunt
Wow! If you have a desire to understand who you are, what drives you, and why, this is a powerful book. For self-understanding, I can't think of anything better. It changed my life when I first discovered this gem. Meyers and Briggs have nothing on Riso and Hudson when it comes to support for self-understanding.

My wife and I, for instance, knowing the Types we are, are able to understand the specific challenges we face within our marriage and why, and what we need to do to overcome those challe
Decent read that goes in-depth into Enneagram types. Could have been even simpler though in terms of identifying the basic core fears of each type; but it has complete write ups of each Enneagram type in various stages of health and disintegration, which is useful. I pegged most of my family and friends quite easily as a result.

The Core Fears Simplified:
Core fear – agitated, aggression.

Core 1: fear of being corrupt. (Strive for perfection.) Agitation: you’re an idiot, pushing you away.

Core 2: f
I was initially skeptical of the whole enneagram thing, worried it was one of those pop spirituality trends a la The Secret, kinda like Zodiac-Lite meets the Myers Briggs test (instead of 12 signs, there are 9 personality types.) Turns out, it’s not weird or boring at all. Rather, this book gives an insightful and illuminating rundown of the ways different personality types process information and emotions, the various ways we think about ourselves and navigate the world. In the chapter about my ...more
Although my study of the Enneagram is limited to listening to a set of tapes and reading two books, I would consider this book to be a comprehensive study of each of the nine types. Although a couple of the chapters were more theoretical and read more like a text book and therefore didn’t catch my attention, I found the information for each of the types to be quite helpful in learning to discover oneself and to recognize how one could move towards being healthy by moving in the direction of inte ...more
Sergio Flores Niklitschek
El libro es muy detallado y no ahonda en especulaciones amateur en las que entran otros libros que tratan de hablar sobre personalidad.
Es muy bueno porque, además de describir a cada personalidad, describe cuál es el origen infantil de cada una.
Este libro es el primero que leí sobre eneagrama y fue, sin lugar a dudas, el que me provocó un profundo interés sobre el tema (deformó mi cabeza al respecto).
This is a great, comprehensive book for deep understanding of the Enneagram's 9 core personality types. It offers in depth descriptions of each personality, with approximately 30 pages dedicated to each type, describing 9 different levels of health. Along with those thorough descriptions, there are advanced guidelines, history of the Enneagram, and guidelines on how to use it. Unlike many personality typing systems, the nice thing about the Enneagram is that it doesn't pin a person's behavior do ...more
Ning Xin
A very detailed and comprehensive book on the Enneagram; incredibly helpful for all who are interested in it and/or want to find out their type. Having searched the internet for the past 2-3 years for articles on the Enneagram and hung around PC, INTJf, INFJs, INTP Central, Typology Central and etc to read the discussions on it, I must say that this book really sums up most of the posts I've seen.

Apart from the lengthy descriptions of the 9 Types, I particularly liked the section where it linked
Melinda Payne
This is an amazingly useful book. The way it breaks down personality traits into understandable bits of information makes it an easy way to figure out what makes you and your family tick. It's also a fabulous resource for writers who want to develop true to life characters. I feel like I found a gold mine of information in this one book. This is one that will be re-read many times.
Good book, introduces some new ideas about the counter types and so forth, but repeats a lot from "The Wisdom Of the Enneagram" and does not reach the depth or accuracy as "The Complete Enneagram" by Beatrice Chestnut
Daniel Ionson
This is the core Enneagram book (or was when I found the Ennea).
The Enneagram is the best personality paradigm I have found so far. I also use this in my writing when creating my characters.
If you're ever curious about what motivates people to behave and respond in different manners this system of personality typification is an interesting alternative to the Jung, Freud, and others out there. When you've read enough of this stuff you come to realize that most are the same, they just call it something different.

Still, I like Riso's approach for the most part. No book is the be-all, end-all of personality traits but this books is fun and interesting to read if you have an open mind.
Glenda Dekkema
The enneagram is, in my opinion, one if the best books for understanding personality types.
A deep look at the enneagram.
Great book describing personality types. Based in psychology while recognizing the philosophical, spiritual, and other factors involved in humans. The Enneagram is a complex system, a great next step for those dissatisfied with simplified versions of other personality systems. The authors do a good job explaining what each type is like, how they relate to the world, and how they develop. Generally speaking, the book reads like a text book so don't expect an invigorating read. I skimmed over many ...more
Dave Peticolas

This is another personality sorter, one more involved than the Kiersey sorter. This one has 9 categories, but you can be in two categories at once, and each category has 9 levels of development. I found it difficult to place myself in the categories. There is an on-line test available at the Enneagram Institute but it costs $10.

Caleb Mason
This system dates back to Aristotle. One of the important developments in modern times was breaking each type down into nine levels of healthy to psychotic for each type. And how we are drawn to those types that are bad for us when we need to move toward this who are good. This is not a lightweight pop psych book but is very deeply researched and includes sections analyzing the Eneagram in the contexts of Freud, Jung, Horney and others. This book could change how you see yourself and others.
Anne Van
Welllll.......still interested in trying to understand this system of personality types. This book by Riso was definitely more instructive to me than "Spiritual Dimensions...", but both have (and maybe the whole system) have a tidy quality of boxes that inter-relate and integrate/disintegrate that is fascinating. But, in reality I think the system doesn't hold contradiction (or paradox) very well. Personally, I'd still go with astrology as a "reasonable" explanation.
More referenced than read. It explains each of the nine personality types in-depth, and dwells on each type's healthy and unhealthy aspects. The authors made some generalizations that seemingly came from left field, for example, "Individualists (Type 4s) are not close to their parents." What?? A handful of nonsensical observations like that, in addition to the absence of pragmatic pointers for vocations and relationships, made me feel very "eh" about this book.
Okay - I admit it. I have a thing for pop psychology.
First I was into Myers-Briggs (started in college). Then, about 10 years ago, I discovered the Enneagram. It's much more insightful, and, I might add, more fun for analyzing and annoying your friends and colleagues with.
This is the best of the enneagram books I've read.
(Oh, and if you get it, I'm a FIVE....which will be very easy to see once you read the description of the nine types).
Sometimes I get skeptical reactions from people when I tell them I like reading about personality types, as if I were talking about astrological signs. Fair enough... but these same people often talk about introvert/extrovert, or thinker/feeler, or leader/follower, so the belief in personality traits is there, though not organized. The enneagram organizes personality traits. Take the bits that seem true to you, and find it easier to understand people.
Bente Olie
Geen suf semipsychologisch zelfhelpgelul (hoewel het zeker een enorme hulp kan zijn voor mensen), maar beschrijvingen van logische en herkenbare patronen in menselijk gedrag. Jammer dat de beschrijvingsrichting van de typen de desintegratie van elk type volgen. Het begint steeds bij hoe iemand op z'n mooist kan zijn, maar eindigt elke keer weer in een schrikbeeld. Aan de ander kant, dat is misschien ook de enige humor in dit boek :-)
I have been following and trying to learn enneagram for more than a year now. And although i can fully observe my own personality type quirks and defenses, i am totally unable to type anyone else i know, even the closest of my friends. Logically the system makes a lot of sense to me and Is the one system head and shoulders above the rest but even after reading the book it remains a mystery.
Talbot Hook
A strange combination of practicality and spirituality, anxiety and peace. Highly recommended to all.
Liz Gillingham
The type four description fits me ridiculously well. I like how detailed it is and how it is a good way of monitoring your levels of health. However, I don't believe it is as helpful as it claims. Better to live your life doing the things that matter to you rather than obsessing over your type, as I have a tendency to do with these sort of things.
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  • The Enneagram: Understanding Yourself and the Others in Your Life
  • The Spiritual Dimension of the Enneagram: Nine Faces of the Soul
  • The Enneagram Made Easy: Discover the 9 Types of People
  • The Essential Enneagram
  • Personality Type
  • Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type
  • Was That Really Me? How Everyday Stress Brings Out Our Hidden Personality
  • I'm Not Crazy, I'm Just Not You: The Real Meaning of the Sixteen Personality Types
  • Psychological Types
  • Type Talk: The 16 Personality Types That Determine How We Live, Love, and Work
  • Facets of Unity: The Enneagram of Holy Ideas
  • The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective
  • Please Understand Me II: Temperament, Character, Intelligence
  • The Hero Within: Six Archetypes We Live By
  • Integral Psychology: Consciousness, Spirit, Psychology, Therapy
  • Toward a Psychology of Awakening: Buddhism, Psychotherapy, and the Path of Personal and Spiritual Transformation
  • Just Your Type: Create the Relationship You've Always Wanted Using the Secrets of Personality Type
  • Solitude: A Return to the Self
The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine  Personality Types Discovering Your Personality Type: The Essential Introduction to the Enneagram, Revised and Expanded Understanding the Enneagram: The Practical Guide to Personality Types Enneagram Transformations The Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator (RHETI, Version 2.5)

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“Self-acceptance is a way of viewing oneself compassionately, without condemnation or justification. It is a starting point in life which makes other things possible. It celebrates the fullness of joy of being alive and of being who we are: accepting ourselves, however, does not mean embracing our neuroses or bad habits and celebrating them as if they were virtues. On the contrary, self-acceptance involves loving ourselves enough to accept painful truths about ourselves. . . . Self-acceptance is, at its simplest, the experience of one's self, here and now, as a complete human being, with all the glories and problems that condition entails.” 12 likes
“In the artist of all kinds I think one can detect an inherent dilemma, which belongs to the co-existence of two trends, the urgent need to communicate and the still more urgent need not to be found....” 3 likes
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