Why Type Labels Shouldn’t Put Us Into a Personality Box

How Can People of the Same Enneagram Type Be So Different?
January 17, 2020

For some of us, sharing our Enneagram Types may have led to a few people around us putting us into a so-called ‘personality box’. You may have experienced a few reactions to sharing your type, including “Ah, well that makes sense” or “That must mean that you…”. This form of stereotyping is common, especially when people focus more on your outward behaviours, rather than realising that the Enneagram reflects your inner workings. Let’s delve a little deeper into this, learning more about why this happens, as well as how you can overcome being placed in a personality box.

What is an Enneagram Type Label?

If the Enneagram is relatively new to you, you may be wondering what exactly your Enneagram type is. I’ve done a post about this previously, which highlights the nine different types, and gives a short overview of each. While you may get a sense of your Enneagram Type, it’s best not to make assumptions about each type, and to consider a private session where you can learn more about the motivations behind your own (and other) types.

Unfortunately, Many People Use The Enneagram To Stereotype

Knowing your Enneagram type may lead others to stereotype your behaviours, but the most important thing we can do is to remind them that putting you into a personality box means reducing your very complex inner world to something basic and tangible. The Enneagram opens up your world and allows you to learn more about who you are at your core, which at times is a mixture of the good and the bad. No type is going to perfectly sum up everyone, but there are ways to delve deeper into the specifics attached to your type, in order to become more self-aware as a whole.

We Are More Than Our Personalities

Never forget that we are more than our personalities. Each of us is unique, with an essential self that cannot be plainly categorised. If you find yourself being placed in a specific box as a result of the past, your upbringing or some of your recent behaviours, and you intend to change those behaviours, then notify those around you that you will be doing so. You are not bound to who people think you are, or expect you to be. You are your own, beautiful self, capable of achieving anything you set out to achieve, especially when you have a clearer understanding of who you are, and why you act the way you do.

Using The Enneagram To Get Out of “Personality Boxes”

The Enneagram is a great tool to get yourself out of a ‘personality box’, considering it teaches us about our automatic patterns and our long standing habits. The more you bring the unconscious patterns of your Enneagram Type to the surface and work with them, the less identified you become with your type. So if anything- working with the Enneagram gets you out of the personality box rather than putting you in it.

If you’re tired of being classified as “this” or “that”, or you would like to learn more about who you are, then learning about your Enneagram type, coupled with some coaching, is the best way to go. Next time someone tries to classify you, or place you in a box, you can correct them timeously, noting that just like them, you are vast, complex and beautiful. You’ll thank us for their reaction later!

A certified Enneagram Coach specialising in relationships, Karen-Sophia offers in-person and online coaching to people from all walks of life. Reach out to her if you’d like a free 20 minute consultation to learn more about how the Enneagram can help you. 

Written by: Karen-Sophia Editorial

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