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There’s only nine people on earth

People, 7.442 billion of them inhabit the planet every day, yet no person sees out of the same irises or speaks with the same vocal chords. Though many things make us different, there are personality traits that inevitably connect us all, like basic fears, wants and desires. These commonalities can be determined and defined through various personality tests.

The goal of these tests is to define inner traits that humans relate and repeat psychologically through behavior and action. Usually, they’re tracked through about 100 questions and then defined in various paragraphs of really convicting sentences that compel the reader to feel known.

These assumptions of human behavior are made through the study and theoretical research of patterns in unnatural and unfamiliar situations, inevitably displaying the differences in human reactions. Every personality is just as valuable as the others, and there are pages of research on them all. That being said, tests like these increase compassion and empathy for personal differences. They allow not only the test-taker to interact with some of their preferred traits, but compare and understand those of others in a healthy and constructive format.

There are several popular system tests out there, like the Myers-Briggs test created by Katharine Cook Briggs, Gallups Strength Finders test, which is popular among many Christian groups, and the nine personalities of Enneagram.

Personally, the nine types of the Enneagram have taught me the most about who I am and how my personality relates to other people. These types are both very subtle and, coincidentally, very complex.

Although each person can find their own self in each type, generally individuals identify with one of the types in particular. This is the real instrument in the Enneagram itself—the identification with a type number that brings a lot of freedom to understand oneself. Struggling with a friendship? Certain types find other numbers overwhelming. Feel overwhelmed by emotions and misunderstandings? Certain types tend to operate fully in the heart more than others. Unlike the popular Myers- Briggs, the Enneagram does not indulge in introvert or extrovert percentages, which means that being a number two does not mean that you are like every other two on the planet.

Through the Enneagram, anyone can better understand individuals for their unique personalities— and further, it is with that same tool that a friend can garden the grounds of their relationships based off of what they fundamentally understand about them, but do not naturally understand.

This week on the Oracle’s podcast The Basement, we dive into what Enneagram types the editors are and how that knowledge affects our work together.