Myers-Briggs / MBTI & Enneagram Correlations

By Dr. A.J. Drenth

One of the most interesting ways to study personality typing, at least for us personality junkies, is to make comparisons between the personality types of different classification systems. Two of the most popular typologies, the Myers-Briggs (MBTI) and the Enneagram, show some important and consistent correlations. In this post, we will take a quick peek at some of these telling connections.

Enneagram 1 (One)

(One): Ones can be found among any  of the Myers-Briggs (MBTI) Judging types. The Judging preference also tends to be quite pronounced among Ones. As open-minded, dominant Intuitives, INJs would seem the least likely of Judging types to score as Ones.

Enneagram 2 (Two)

ESF (ESFP, ESFJ), ISF (ISFP, ISFJ). While ENFJs and INFJs may also show many Two characteristics, their preference for Intuition makes them more likely to score higher in other Enneagram zones.

Enneagram 3 (Three)

This is a tricky one. A 2008 study in the Journal of Psychological Type showed that Intuition is the Myers-Briggs preference most strongly correlated with the Three. This makes sense considering that both Enneagram Threes and Myers-Briggs Intuitives are future and goal-oriented. The same study also found that 28% of Introverted Threes were misreported as Extraverts by the MBTI. Hence, there are likely to be more Introverts among Threes than is commonly believed. We might also associate Threes’ knack for adaptation MBTI Intuition and/or Perceiving. Moreover, we might postulate Threes’ ambition to relate to Myers-Briggs types with a dominant Judging function (e.g., EJs or IPs). Based on the above, I would consider the ENFJ as the best embodiment of the Three, particularly ENFJ males. NTPs and male NFPs may also display a number of Three characteristics.

Enneagram 4 (Four)

INFP, INFJ

Enneagram 5 (Five)

 INTP, INTJ, ISTP, male INFJs

Enneagram 6 (Six)

IFPs (ISFPs, INFPs), ISJs (ISFJs, ISTJs), STPs (ESTPs, ISTPs). The fact that Sixes are so ambivalent suggests they are more likely to be Perceivers. Moreover, their continuous struggles between independence and communion suggests a tension between Introversion (independence) and Feeling (communion). Lastly, the Sixes lack of confidence in formulating their own belief system speaks to a preference for Sensing, since S types are ill-suited for abstract theorizing. This is why ISTJs, who generally base their N beliefs on past precedent, were included. ESFPs generally seem less inwardly divided and are more likely to be found among other types.

Enneagram 7 (Seven)

EPs (ENFP, ESFP, ENTP, ESTP). Clearly, the Seven represents Extraversion, as well as a combination of Ne and Se. According to Myers-Briggs theory, Ne and Se do not occur within the functional stack of the same type. Nonetheless, both can be viewed as novelty-seeking functions that can be associated with Sevens.

Enneagram 8 (Eight)

ETJ (ENTJ, ESTJ). I tend to disagree with Riso & Hudson on this one, who associate of the Eight with Extraverted Intuition (Ne). It seems more appropriate to associate the Eight with Extraverted Thinking (Te), with the ENTJ being its purest embodiment. Granted, some EFPs  also display strong Te by way of their tertiary function (e.g., ENFP Steve Jobs) and may fit the bill as Eights.

Enneagram 9 (Nine)

IFPs (INFP, ISFP). Since Nines are slow to truly engage in the outside world, they are more likely to be Introverts. Moreover Nines, also known as “Peacemakers,” are more apt to be Perceivers because Perceivers’ Extraverted Judging function (Fe or Te) always comes after their Introverted Judging function (Ti or Fi). This is why Perceivers are more prone to  have communication issues in their relationships (see this post) and to act passive-aggressively. ISFJs or ESFPs could also test as Nines but their identity seems less nebulous than is characteristic of Nines. Because of their inferior Fe function, ITPs certainly tend to function as peacemakers as well, but their identity is usually better formed than is characteristic of IFP Nines.

Consider the following observations based on the above relationships:

  • Types characterized by introverts (4, 5, 6, 9) and extraverts (2, 7, 8 )
  • Intuitives (3, 4, 5) and sensors (6)
  • Thinkers (5, 8 ) and feelers (2, 4, 9)
  • Perceivers (3, 6, 7, 9) and judgers (1, 8 )

Related Posts:

Myers-Briggs vs. the Enneagram

Enneagram, Myers-Briggs & the Inferior Function: Healthy Type Correlations

Personality Junkie Home

Comments

  1. Minh says

    Totally agree with your comments on enneagram 3 and 8. Most enneagram websites mention the similar tendencies in 3 and 8 with regards to achievements and successes. The main difference is that 3’a successes are socially-oriented while those of 8 are related to willpower and more lust-driven. This makes 3 more likely to be extroverted feeling-dominated and 8 extroverted thinking. Also there are cases of misidentifications among 3 and 8s.

  2. Helen E says

    I’m a enneagram type 9w1, and a DISC type Sc. But when it comes to Myers Briggs I do not feel at home in any of the 16 personality types…. (Very frustrating since my enneagram wing 1 really wants to know) 😉

    • Joshua Matchett says

      If you really want to know your Jungian personality type, you need to go into typology, not your MBTI. The letters are meaningless, the functions are more important.

  3. Bonnie Hillesheim says

    I am classified as Enneagram Type 9 Peacemaker. I am also a female INTJ. This makes me wonder if I am an unhealthy Type 9. My tendencies include being outwardly friendly and open minded, yet also very introverted and private.

    I strive for one on one relationships with friends and lovers both, though groups and social banter such as small talk hold extremely little interest for me. The only way I feel I can fit in is when a group is project oriented with a goal in mind.

    Especially during the past 10 years I myself accommodating others and then getting blamed by the same others for their problems which encourages me to pursue relationships less and less. To find peace and harmony I engage in outdoor activities (man biking, hiking, etc.) and volunteering with animal welfare. Now at age 46 I am wanting a singular love relationship and not caring so much about a social group of friends.

  4. Philippe Manzano says

    Hi,

    My previous comment was removed, I don’t know why.
    I’d like to discuss MBTI 3D model with you.
    Feel free to contact me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *