Does knowing one predict the other?
As you may already know, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI®) and the Enneagram of Personality are two of the most widely used personality tests today.
While each of these tools is based on its own theory of how personality traits align in combination to form a fixed number of psychological types, people often wonder how much their Myers-Briggs type reveals about their Enneagram type, and vice versa.
The short answer is: very little.
Although both inventories are useful in deepening your understanding of yourself and who you really are at your core, the two systems have no correlation to one other. Your Myers-Briggs personality type cannot be used to predict or guess what your Enneagram personality type might be, and the same holds true in the reverse.
Combined Myers-Briggs & Enneagram Personality Types Reveal About Who You However, these systems are similar in that they attempt to describe what you, as an individual, are like when you are "integrated" and when you are "disintegrated" — i.e., feeling pretty functional vs. feeling as though you are in a tough place in your life).
Looking at your Myers-Briggs and Enneagram personality types side-by-side can is a great way to gain a more comprehensive understanding of your "whole self."
Each brings an important and deep understanding of yourself — they just each describe different parts of yourself.
Your Myers-Briggs personality type reveals your core self.
The MBTI tells you about your your essence, the person you were wired to be way back when you were born. It's the part of your personality that is dedicated to aliveness and life.
Your Myers-Briggs personality type gives you a sense of your true self, what makes you happy and satisfied and what does not. This is absolutely essential in understanding how to support yourself in the world and what your true needs in relationships and friendships generally look like — at least, the satisfying ones.
Your Enneagram personality type reveals your defense system.
The Enneagram shows the part of you that protects your essence (i.e., your Myers-Briggs personality type) when it is under threat or stress. It's the part of your personality that is dedicated to survival.
It is the part of you that's responsible for protecting your vulnerability and your heart, the part of that kicks into automatic (and in most cases, unconscious) action whenever you perceive an emotional threat, real or imagined.
Although this part of your personality may be more familiar to you than your Myers-Briggs personality type, it is always running in the background. It's like the virus software that is always working on your computer, even if you don't remember or think about it until a little box pops up on your screen letting you know a threat has been detected or a virus has been quarantined.
The Enneagram defense system operates just like this. It is automatic, continuous, and often gives no visible sign that it's running the show ... that is, not until the wheels begin to come off the cart.
This is the part of you that motivates most people to consider or start therapy, as this aspect of personality can obscure someone's true self, their essence, and it's responsible for many of the unhelpful behaviors or choices we make in our lives.
The Dark Side Of Each Personality Type
It's important to note, however, that neither of these two parts of yourself is more important than the other.
That would be like someone who is left-handed saying they only need their left hand, and could be just fine without the right.
When you consider that one part of yourself is dedicated to living and the other is dedicated to surviving, you can see the value in knowing about both of these personality types, despite the fact that one doesn't directly reveal anything about the other.
That's why separately, these personality typing tools are rich. But, together, they are powerful.
There is no "good" or "best" combination when it comes to your Myers-Briggs and Enneagram types.
They simply co-exist within you and describe the unique personality traits, values, and behaviors you have that are inherent to that particular type.
When you become intimately familiar with the traits of both your MBTI and Enneagram types, you can readily recognize when you are functioning within one operating system or the other — your true essence (your Myers-Briggs type) or your defense mode (your Enneagram type) — which will help you understand why you get stuck in certain areas of your life, like relationships or jobs.
In some cases, you might have an Enneagram and MBTI type combination that have a lot of compatibility in personality traits.
Your life may feel less emotionally disruptive due to their similarities. However, you might also have a difficult time recognizing other possible ways of relating or operating in the world.
For example, if you have an Myers-Briggs and Enneagram type combination in which neither personality type knows how to do anything other than to achieve or work, you might have a difficult time finding balance in the areas of slowing down or relaxing.
On the other hand, when there is a lot of opposition between your Myers-Briggs
and Enneagram traits, you may feel a lot of internal disorder.
When you're in one part of yourself, you feel or believe a certain way. But when you shift into the other part of yourself, you may feel diametrically opposite the way you felt moments ago.
Although you might have a sense of volatility or instability emotionally — which can look and feel a lot like having bipolar disorder or other extreme mood shifts and related disorders — it will be marginally easier for you to recognize when you're acting from either your center or your defense system.
Overall, knowing more about your personality type combination helps you improve your emotional intelligence and recognize when you are in “survival” mode as opposed to coming from your centered, grounded self.
This might sound obvious, but for many people, it's not.
Most people live primarily in the part of themselves governed by their Enneagram defense system, spending their daily lives stuck in survival mode.
It becomes difficult for them to recognize that their actions are about survival, because these patterns feel so familiar and constant.
It's not a problem to be in survival mode from time to time — anyone who's human is familiar with being in that place.
But the more you learn about what each part of yourself looks like — your core Myers-Briggs personality type and your defense system Enneagram personality type — the more readily you can support yourself and your needs.
This is what therapy is about: deepening your understanding of you are and why you operate in the ways that you do.
Building awareness and compassion for all the parts of who you are can help you experience deep, transformational shifts in your life and relationships, in addition to teaching you new and more satisfying ways to support yourself and get your needs met.
And isn't this what we all ultimately want? Super-Secret Side Of Each Personality
Type You Don't Get To See
Kate Schroeder is a psychotherapist and coach who utilizes the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) and the Enneagram, as well as experiential body-mind-spirit healing practices, to access men and women's inner wisdom in order to create a life filled with satisfaction. Start changing your life today by downloading her guided imagery program or joining her Visual Journaling Facebook Group for support in finding your true self.
Originally published on YourTango.comcom