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)
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)
Enneagram 5 (Five)
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 )