The Road Back to You:

An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery

By Ina Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile

Reviewed by Tom Kennedy

Just what are Enneagrams?  According to Cron and Stabile we are born with one of the nine Enneagram types and your type will guide your thoughts, beliefs, and actions for the rest of your life. The Enneagram is similar to the Myers-Briggs types but the two are not historically related.  

This book requires one to remember more detail and take the time to learn types that are not your own. It is to be studied, not browsed.

Somehow the Enneagram has been associated with evil forces in the past but there is no evidence of such a relationship.  It is more of an updated personality inventory that tries to help people to understand themselves.  Each of the nine types describes strengths and weaknesses of that person.  Though it has been used by millions of people, the authors acknowledge some limitations to its use.  “If its sketchy origins weren’t enough to spook the mules, there is no scientific evidence that the Enneagram is a reliable measure of personality,” p. 11.  Still many people resonate with the teachings and how they describe one’s personality.  The major strength of the Enneagram is to give you permission to act out your own personality and not try to modify it to fit other people’s expectations.  If you struggle with “who you are”, this book might help.

You can buy the book by clicking here.   I reviewed the 2016 hardback copy of the book.

Here are the basics of the nine types as found on pages 25-26.  Which one most closely matches your personality? NOTE: in the Enneagram you have access to two “wings”. That means you may occasionally blend in with one or two of the other types, depending on the situation.

  • TYPE ONE: The perfectionist. Ethical, dedicated and reliable, they are motivated by the desire to live the right way, improve the world, and avoid fault and blame.
  • TYPE TWO: The Helper. Warm, caring and giving, they are motivated by a need to be loved and needed, and to avoid acknowledging their own needs.
  • TYPE THREE: The Performer. Success-oriented, image-conscious and wired for productivity, they are motivated by a need to be (or appear to be) successful and to avoid failure.
  • TYPE FOUR: The Romantic.  Creative, sensitive and moody, they are motivated by a need to be understood, experience their oversized feelings and avoid being ordinary.
  • TYPE FIVE: The Investigator. Analytical, detached and private, they are motivated by a need to gain knowledge, conserve energy and avoid relying on others.
  • TYPE SIX: The Loyalist. Committed, practical and witty, they are worst-case -scenario thinkers who are motivated by fear and the need for security.
  • TYPE SEVEN: The Enthusiast. Fun, spontaneous and adventurous, they are motivated by a need to be happy, to plan stimulating experiences and to avoid pain.
  • TYPE EIGHT: The Challenger. Commanding, intense and confrontational, they are motivated by a need to be strong and avoid feeling weak or vulnerable.
  • TYPE NINE: The Peacemaker. Pleasant, laid back and accommodating, they are motivated by a need to keep the peace, merge with others and avoid conflict.

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