Enneagram personality development includes capacity building, and skill enhancement programs that each of the nine enneagram types should embark upon for their wholesome growth. We are born with certain strengths and weaknesses that make us exclusive.
Likewise, the 9 enneagram personality types also have their unique set of upsides and downsides. When they move along the path of personality growth, they get a chance to develop their potential to the fullest by overcoming those weaknesses that can become an impediment to future growth.
In this short think piece, we will highlight personality development tips for all 9 personality types.
Enneagram Personality development
Personality development is an ongoing process of strengthening one’s core skills and capacities while overcoming the others that are not so good. The process of development helps an individual gather a better understanding of the ‘self’. It also helps to gain self-confidence and strong self-esteem when interacting in the social space.
No two people are the same in this world. Therefore, it is obvious that all the 9 enneagram personality types have some key strengths and a few subtle weaknesses that need to be overcome.
In this way, these types will have better control over their immediate surroundings. Their communication skills and social abilities will improve significantly. Personality development is a rewarding experience because it teaches the individual an amazing art of living that actually makes life worthy and beautiful.
The process of personality development has the following benefits:
- It grooms an individual and helps them make an identity for themselves
- The process enables stress reduction in daily life by making the person resilient and adjustable to the demands of the situation
- It helps the person look into the bright side of things and never dwell on pessimism and gloom
- The personality development process improves self-confidence and communication style.
- Personality development also helps in controlling emotions that are troubling, ultimately paving the path for a let-go process
- The process helps you to develop varied opinions about everything, become more flexible and easygoing in life
- It teaches appropriate conflict resolution techniques that will surely be based on peace and harmony.
Let us discuss personality development for all the nine personality types according to the enneagram model.
Enneagram 1 personality development
Enneagram 1s should learn to become more tolerant of others’ opinions, thoughts, and feelings. They should practice looking into the various facets of the situation before taking a call on the matter.
Ones are nitpicky and critical and this tends to increase their perfectionist tendencies. They may show a critical appreciation of others’ work and performance but never does so compassionately.
Since they are emotionally cold and distant, they struggle to build close human connections. Therefore, their personality growth process should help them practice compassion and empathy as much as possible.
They should learn to accept themselves and others as easily as possible. More clearly, type Ones should learn adaptation and tolerance as a part of their personality development regime. Ones should learn to loosen their critical evaluations and soften their remarks and comments towards others.
In this way, they’ll be able to develop good interpersonal relationships and get a chance to see a wide range of possibilities that were otherwise blurred.
Some of the best personality development tips for enneagram Ones are as follows:
1. Practice self-love and stop running behind perfection
Ones are hard nuts. Due to the presence of overwhelming perfection in their character, they often cannot let loose and allow flexibility to move into their daily lives. They never allow themselves to make mistakes.
This makes them remain under the mental pressure of performing on the best notes as always. In reality, they are obsessed with perfection. They should learn to take things simply and easily. Practicing self-love will allow this flexibility and will help them overcome their critical tendencies.
Their personality development plan should help them stop their nitpicky tendencies, allowing them to make mistakes and feel confident about themselves. They should realize that giving space to others for making mistakes won’t be that bad.
2. Enhance compassion skills
Ones should embrace the strengths and weaknesses of others humbly. They should put a lot of emphasis in developing their compassion skills. This will make them more tolerant and adjustable while interacting with others.
3. Stop being judgmental
This should remain a part of their personality growth plan so that they can accept others the way they are. They should put a stop to their brutal remarks and understand the fact that they can also hurt others.
4. Develop a healthy work-life balance
Enneagram type 1s are highly ambitious and goal-oriented people. Thus, they tend to maintain a very strict daily schedule that focuses on their work only. They tend to overlook their health priorities and forget everything about self-care.
This makes them appear too disciplined from the outset but it makes them workaholics with poor health. Therefore, their personality development plan should focus on regular time-outs, relaxation, and self-care strategies.
They should learn to maintain a good work-life balance so that they can nurture their hobbies and relationships along with their work commitments.
Enneagram 2 personality development
For any personality type, the growth plan focuses on making an adequate effort to build the weak links of one’s nature so as to have an overall development. Enneagram 2s are selfless but this habit of theirs’ is taken for granted by others in most circumstances. This habit hampers their physical and mental well-being.
By constantly looking into the needs and aspirations of others, type twos may allow others to use them. In this way, they may lose their sense of individuality and start living the life of others. Type 2s should realize that offering help and compassion to others is good but only to a certain extent. They should not deplete their energy by just attending to others’ needs.
Their personality development program should highlight self-care, rejuvenating them by doing things that they really love.
Some of the personality development tips for an Enneagram 2 are as follows:
1. Practice mindfulness
Type 2s should practice mindfulness and meditation so that they can get an overall idea of where they should stretch themselves to help and assist others and where they should draw a line.
It means they will develop a better understanding of setting boundaries in relationships and at the same time gauge some valuable self-care techniques to feel relaxed from within.
2. Attend to their subtle feelings
Enneagram type 2 is the giver. In this process of attending to others’ needs, they may lose their self-identity. Therefore, their personality development plan should be such that it will enable them to attend to their own feelings and needs.
They should accept their feelings by indulging in writing a journal or maintaining a record of their feelings on a daily basis; just to be in touch with their feelings.
3. Practice self-love and self-care
It is important for an enneagram type 2 to understand that serving others is good but only to a certain extent. They are in desperate need of self-approval and validation because of their too-selfless nature.
Giving time to oneself is not about being selfish; instead, it’s a type of personality empowerment where a person knows the art of healthy living all by oneself and at the same time knows how to assist others when needed.
4. Learn ways to set boundaries
Type 2s should learn healthy boundaries in relationships. They should stop investing more time and resources to help others grow while depleting their energies in the process. They should realize that focusing on one’s needs is equally important just like attending to other adversities.
Enneagram 3 personality development
Type 3s is the achiever. They are self-assured and dependable in nature. Similarly, they’re image-conscious people who would never allow others to tarnish their self-image. Being highly competitive, threes can often overwhelm themselves. They will run behind success and will ignore their health in most circumstances.
They might engage in unhealthy competitions and believe only in winning. Somehow, if failures come over, they will react instantly with a lot of impatience and mood swings.
Therefore, their personality development plan should look into developing emotional maturity. They should learn to accept defeat as a part of being human. As they have worked hard to curate a perfect self-image, they cannot accept defeats and failures easily. They will critically evaluate the failure and might blame others or the system for not being a winner.
Their personality development plan can use the following tips to ensure overall growth.
1. Stop taking hasty decisions
Threes are impatient and may take hasty decisions that they will repent later on. As a part of the growth plan, they should learn the art of thoughtful decision-making. They should try to live in the moment and analyze each small detail of the situation before taking the necessary call.
Threes should learn to remain easygoing even if the decision is not as per their wishes. Flexibility and open-mindedness are the two key qualities that they should learn in their daily life.
2. Empower yourself by active listening
Type 3s should learn to actively listen and understand what others have to say on an issue. This will help the achiever learn about varied perspectives and not resort to what they think they know the best.
3. Accept vulnerabilities
Type 3s should learn to accept their insecurities by embracing failures and setbacks in life. Their overachieving mindset should learn to accept defeat as a part of life.
In this way, threes will become more resilient and tolerant of failures. They will be able to embrace their vulnerabilities and innate fears. Maybe, they’ll win over their ‘shadow self’ much more easily.
4. Reflect on thoughts and emotions that are true to you
Enneagram type 3s have the propensity to achieve big heights in life. They will always place their self-image and success stories much ahead of emotions and sentiments.
Their personality development plan should aim at nurturing self-love, and accepting and validating all sorts of emotions just as they are. Threes should learn to acknowledge their feelings as a part of them.
5. Mindfulness can teach patience
Type 3s should remain focused on the present and stop thinking too much about future goals. They should learn the art of developing patience and nurture deeper peace within. They should learn to slow down in life and take things as they happen, not to pressurize themselves with unnecessary ambitions and big dreams of life.
Enneagram 4 personality development
Type 4s is the creative soul. They are self-aware, introspective, and sensitive by nature. Their personality development program should focus on inculcating humbleness and gratitude. They should learn to become open-minded and tolerant of others’ views and opinions.
Type 4s should also focus on developing skills of flexible living, and then only they will be able to show consideration for all the subtle imperfections that human beings are born with.
Sometimes, they can engage with books based on philosophy, history, and psychology to gain insight into the varied perspectives of life. This will also help them to broaden their scope of knowledge and shall enable them towards new growth.
Some of the best tips for their personality development are as follows:
1. Practice using positive affirmations
Fours are prone to think negatively about themselves. They may struggle to maintain their level of confidence from time to time. Sometimes, these negative thoughts can drag them down toward pessimism.
They may suffer from inferiority complexes as well. Their personality growth plan should focus on developing their weak links. Fours should practice using positive affirmations more often. They should boost their spirits with positive self-talk. This helps in developing a positive image of ‘self’.
2. Remain open to various opinions and perspectives
Type 4s should keep in mind that though their thoughts and feelings about a situation are genuine and valid, they are subjective. What they think about a person or situation is not the ultimate. There could be other perspectives also.
Type 4s should learn to appreciate varied perspectives and opinions and enlighten themselves with more wisdom and knowledge. In this way, they will be able to perceive the world objectively.
3. Socialize more often
Enneagram 4s should learn to come out of their comfort zones and connect with others in a social space. In this way, they will be exposed to various ideas, opinions, and creativity than what they already know.
Type 4s should look for ways to stay connected to others. Human connections can teach them humility, gratitude, compassion, and much more that will help in overall personality development.
4. Use small steps for a giant leap in life
Type 4s should break big tasks into small manageable chunks and accomplish their goal successfully. In this way, they will be able to lower their stress of performing to the best levels.
Sometimes, enneagram type 4s struggle with time management. This ends up being a state of burnout. Their personality development plan should help them streamline their work as per a priority list so that they can complete all their tasks on time.
5. Remain open to constructive criticisms
They should learn to accept feedback from others. This will help them to come out of a mental block that feels restrained for them. Type 4s should stop taking feedback as personal attacks, and instead focus on using this feedback to overcome their weak links and walk along the path of personality development.
Enneagram 5 personality development
Enneagram type 5 is independent, introverted, and private souls. This means they prefer to do things on their own and maintain privacy at all costs. They hate being told what to do and how to do things in a situation. This makes them appear snobbish in social spaces. Others think of them as arrogant nerds.
While working on a personality growth plan, type 5s should understand that it is not possible for anyone to do everything on their own.
Fives are fiercely independent and when they seek assistance from others, they may start feeling inadequate, imperfect, and insufficient. Therefore, their personality development plan should focus on this aspect.
Fives should be made aware that seeking help from others is all about empowerment. It is not a sign of weakness. Seeking support when you are feeling too lonely in life is not a problem, instead symbolizes your inner power to accept and admit things as they are.
We have some best tips for your personality development.
1. Practice gratitude
When you appreciate people and thank them for their contribution to your life, it will help you to become more humble and accepting by nature. You will be able to remain open-minded about seeking help from them the next time you’re in trouble. Practicing gratitude will also improve your self-esteem.
2. Invest time in understanding varied perspectives
Type 5s act stubborn at times and may not realize that others’ opinions also matter in shaping their own life. So, the foremost thing that they need to develop is an open-minded and flexible nature.
They should learn to pay attention to the opinions of others and respect them as new learning. This will help gain the trust and confidence of others. Fives will be able to maintain healthy relationships also in the best possible manner.
3. To have faith in the process of life
Fives have a tendency to feel insufficient in life. Thus, they fear losing a grip on the events that are happening around them. Instead of holding things tightly, they should learn to loosen the grip and allow flexibility to flow into their lives.
They should stop overplanning and just move on with the flow of life. Fives should have faith in the process of life and start embracing the journey just as it unfolds slowly in front of them.
4. Practice hobbies that soothe you mentally
As a part of their personality development plan, type fives should give time to develop their hobbies and take interest in doing things that can relax them mentally.
If they remain occupied with future planning, they will never be able to enjoy the precious moments of life. Thus, their personality growth plan should focus on making them aware of the importance of self-care.
Enneagram 6 personality development
Everyone wants to grow in life at their own pace and time. It is common for all of us to have subtle weaknesses that need to be lessened or overcome fully for the personality development process to happen. For an enneagram 6, the growth plan should focus on removing their self-doubting and skeptical tendencies.
Type 6 individuals suffer from poor self-esteem. They tend to doubt their abilities and may start seeing themselves as lesser being when compared to others. Thus, the foremost development plan for them is to remove their weak links and make them confident and strong from within.
During their growth process, an enneagram 6 person moves towards enneagram 9. It means they start developing the personality traits of type 9 in finer ways.
Let us now discuss some best tips for enneagram 6 here-
1. Tap your inner powers
When enneagram 6s learn to realize their inner powers, they are ready to face the adversities of the real world. They will stop their skeptical tendencies and will feel abundant from deep inside.
Sometimes, they need to realize that life is just a chain of events and that everything happens for a reason. But blaming themselves for the things going wrong in life will only make them feel weak and inferior. It is best to tap the inner powers and put to rest the critical voice that is telling you that you are not good enough.
2. Never create self-fulfilling prophecies
Type 6s are the loyal skeptics. They are faithful and trustworthy yet remain in doubt as always. This makes them make predictions about people and situations that are not true.
In this way, their logical mind takes a backseat. They feel lesser and start blaming themselves in various ways. Type 6s should stop making predictions of worst-case situations in life that are unreal but are just a small piece of imagination without any valid reasons.
Their growth plan should ensure clear thinking, fewer doubts, and self-blaming tendencies; then only they will become better beings in every small way.
3. Avoid overthinking and dramatizing problems
Type 6s tend to magnify their problems much more than they really are. They should stop this habit so that their skeptical tendencies are put to rest forever. They may give a false impression that they are fighting some of the worst issues in life and others are all at peace. But in reality, this is not the case.
As a part of their development plan, type Six should be made aware that magnifying the problems will only make things worse. It will not resolve their life issues; instead, it may appear more pressing. Thus, they should learn the art of developing patience and tolerance and move with the flow of life.
Enneagram 7 personality development
Enneagram type 7 is a playful and light-hearted person. They prefer to stay active and agile in life; so you may find them doing something or the other every now and then. But this tendency often allows them to lose focus on their life’s priorities.
In their spree to enjoy, they may never allow themselves to move out of their comfort zone. They may resist change and suffer from learned helplessness.
Type 7s may act in restless ways. Their fun-loving nature may keep them far away from the harsh truths of life. Thus, their personality development plan should focus on nurturing reality checks; so that they become aware of the other shades of life and not happiness alone.
Some of the personality growth tips for Sevens are as follows:
1. Slow down
Sevens should learn to slow down and enjoy the moments they are in. In doing so, they will realize that life is not about sunshine alone; there are clouds and rain also that can bother them. Thus, they should keep them ready to face tough times also. They should stop, reflect back on the decisions made, and think about the consequences that may arise in the future.
2. Acknowledge pain and suffering
Sevens should make a conscious effort to understand that life will come with both good and bad things. Several bad experiences can give them pain but they should not break down like a pack of cards, rather should try to become more resilient in nature. They should realize the fact that dark days are equally good because it makes them brave, bold, and stronger than before.
3. Build deeper human connections
Type 7s are too easygoing when it comes to relationships. They may behave erratically with their partners and may not realize their deepest needs and wishes. Thus, most of their relationships land in trouble one day or the other.
Therefore, their personality development program should focus on consistency in building good relationships. They should try to understand their partners well so that whenever a problem arises, they are prepared to solve the issue mutually.
4. Develop organizational skills
Enneagram type 7s is flexible and easygoing. Thus, they tend to be disorganized and unsystematic in their daily life. If they learn to structure their daily work and streamline their schedules, they will move toward growth and success.
Enneagram 8 personality development
Eights are known for their dominating and controlling nature. They will never show their weak and vulnerable side to others. Being challengers, type 8s are excellent leaders and communicators. But one weakness that makes them too unpopular in the social space is their intimidating nature.
Type 8s chase power and they can overpower anything that comes their way of success. In this way, they tend to give little importance to others’ feelings. Their social relationships suffer a setback because others may see them as aggressive and dominating.
Their personality growth plan should be such that it allows them to become more sensitive to the needs and opinions of others and at the same time help them become more considerate and easygoing.
For an enneagram 8, some useful growth tips are:
1. Give space to others
Type 8s should learn to give space to others by respecting their opinions and judgments. They should not act bossy with people they work with. Sometimes, being sensitive also allows you to do stuff peacefully.
2. Give a check on your impulsive and impatient nature
Type 8s should learn the skills of talking softly to others and handling situations peacefully. Practicing meditation can help to control your anger responses.
3. Pay attention to your emotional states
Types 8s try to maintain a dominating outlook in life because they fear showing their weak links. They are unable to validate their true feelings of fear, insecurity, and anger most of the time. If they learn the skill of self-validation properly, they will be able to pay attention to their true feelings in a better way.
Enneagram 9 personality development
Enneagram type 9s carry a serene disposition. They are peace-loving people who show genuine interest in staying away from confrontations and disputes. Because of their peaceful nature, they are liked by almost everyone. They are also quite tolerant and adaptable.
Sometimes, their conflict-aversive nature can make them people pleasers where they may keep their self-esteem at stake for the sake of peace. This ideally does not work and others may try to take advantage of this nature.
Type 9s should know that downplaying issues may not resolve them altogether, instead, the resentments burning in people’s hearts can live for many years. Therefore, their personality development program should help them face issues and resolve them logically on the spot.
Some personality development tips for type nines are as follows:
1. Realize that conflict is not always bad
Type nines should realize that at times conflicts, arguments, and disagreements make them better beings. It is also important to raise your opinions whenever needed. Always following the crowd just because you want to avoid conflict is not good.
2. Learn to say ‘no’
Another vital thing that nines should develop is their ability to say ‘no’ whenever needed. They should not ignore issues just to please others. If they do not like something because it’s going against their values, then a straight no is enough to put an end to the ongoing conversation.
3. Stop being a pleaser
Type nines should realize that pleasing others just for the sake of maintaining peace don’t work well. They should try to maintain peace only when it is genuinely needed, not at the stake of their prestige and self-esteem.
To Sum Up
In conclusion, it becomes clear that all the nine types are made of certain key strengths and weaknesses. The aim of the personality development program is to enhance their key skills and similarly overcome those weaknesses that can lead to problems in later life at work, relationships, etc.
Chandrani is a former school psychologist and teacher by profession. She is a post graduate in Applied psychology with focus in clinical and health domains. Her passion for writing, kindled during school days have now become a full time freelancing endeavor. For her, writing is cathartic and keeps her mentally agile. Her lovable niches includes psychology, parenting, spirituality, lifestyle, and love and relationships. Her work depicts her perspectives about various experiences that she came across; unleashed a richer and deeper meaning of life. "Let me leave an aftertaste in the minds of few, if not many who need to find a path of absolute bliss, happiness, and inner peace."