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The Un-Guide to the Enneagram

The Unfair, Over-Generalized (But Still Kinda True) Un-Guide to the Enneagram / Design and words © Charm Design Studio

In the process of making a set of Enneagram vector graphics for sale, I ended out making this satirical un-guide. Understanding the Enneagram has a bit of a learning curve compared to other personality typing systems, but it’s pretty fascinating. Whereas other systems focus on describing people, it could be said that the Enneagram focuses on what motivates people and how that plays into their actions, whether toward or away from personal growth. To be clear, this un-guide is SATIRE—more like a funny caricature than a portrait, and it doesn’t account for “wings” or “subtypes.” (So, no tomato throwing please.) If you’re having trouble figuring out your type though, a caricature might help you narrow down the features that are easiest to recognize. Plus, it might be good for a laugh!

If you’re looking for a more constructive method of learning your type, there are a lot of resources. Among others, Suzanne Stabile and Ian Morgan Cron are helpful with their books and podcasts. For informative infographics to help break down enneagram topics, look up JustMyEnneatype on Instagram. (Their post series on subtypes is really helpful!)

Enneagram Un-Guide: Type 1 believe everything is divided neatly into categories of “right” and “wrong”—except when it comes to themselves. The soap box of morality is never subjective, unless it’s between looking good or actually being good. / Design and words © Charm Design Studio

Enneagram Un-Guide: Type 2 feel every day should be an infinite chorus of singing “Kumbaya” with everyone they’ve ever met—all while running through a field of daisies, holding hands, wearing matching friendship bracelets, and hoping to fill their co-dependent, emotional void. / Design and words © Charm Design Studio

Enneagram Un-Guide: Type 3 feel all of life is a competition. Might shape-shift, fib, and cut corners to ‘win.’ The worst part, however, about elbowing people off the ladder on the way to the top is either that fewer people want to applaud them once they get there—or the realization that the thrill of the catch didn’t live up to the chase. / Design and words © Charm Design Studio

Enneagram Un-Guide: Type 4 feel, dramatically so, that the world should revolve around them and their feelings. They take it as a deep, personal insult that the world doesn’t agree, which can easily make them chronic victims of self-inflicted emotional catastrophes. Cue sulking, stage right. / Design and words © Charm Design Studio

Enneagram Un-Guide: Type 5 think everything exists to be studied—from a cabin far, far away from everyone. They prefer spending time with most books over most people and think that saying “hello” to the delivery person should really count as an active social life. / Design and words © Charm Design Studio

Enneagram Un-Guide: Type 6 think of Murphy’s Law on a visceral level. Self-appointed experts in danger avoidance, they know all the safety exits and have Poison Control on speed dial. If ever there’s a zombie apocalypse, they’ll already know which scenarios to avoid. / Design and words © Charm Design Studio

Enneagram Un-Guide: Type 7 think that the goal of living is to remain a carefree child, perpetually void of responsibility (or anything that isn’t fun) while collecting the most toys. Repressing negative emotions isn’t the same as not having them, but they can dream that it is. / Design and words © Charm Design Studio

Enneagram Un-Guide: Type 8 believe it’s better to be the bull in the china shop than it is to risk being the china. They don’t believe in no-win scenarios, which is its own no-win scenario. In lieu of open communication, they’ll do things with gusto and debate or not at all. / Design and words © Charm Design Studio

Enneagram Un-Guide: Type 9 believe it’s best to be the personification of Switzerland, staying out of everything—even things for which they should be involved. They can relate to everyone but themselves, and thus find themselves narrating their own lives rather than starring in them. / Design and words © Charm Design Studio

Design and words © Charm Design Studio. Personal use (e.g., shares on social media) allowed with attribution; commercial use not allowed. Contact Charm Design Studio for details.

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Jacquelyn Arends

Graphic designer + Illustrator + Entrepreneur // Owner of Charm Design Studio; blogging at Eclectic Affinity

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