Can Your Enneagram Change?

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Jesse Williams

One of the most frequently asked questions that I get surrounding enneagrams, is whether or not they can change over time. This does seem completely feasible, especially considering that as human beings, we accumulate a whole host of potentially life altering experiences. 

Could such experiences change our enneagrams, which sit at the very base of who we are? In this article, I’ll be taking a closer look at this question, as well as some other common enneagram queries around changing your enneagram. 

To find out more, simply take a look below. 

How is Your Enneagram Formed? 

Before we jump straight in together, let’s take a look at what exactly an enneagram is, for those who don’t already know. The enneagram system refers to a group of individual characteristics, which are both genetic and environmental, that are then classified as a personality type. 

The type of enneagram that you have will typically emerge in childhood, as these are our most formative years that make up the base of our personality. Got the perfectionist enneagram type? Thanks mom and dad!

But, as we move throughout life, we might experience things that cause our enneagram type to appear as though it’s shifting. Perhaps you used to be a perfectionist, and it was the source of a lot of anxiety for you. Over time however, you’ve received a lot of therapy, and have become adept at letting go of this behavior. 

Does this therefore mean that your enneagram type has changed? This brings us on to our next question that we’ll be taking a look at below. 

Can Your Enneagram Type Change? 

The simple answer to this question is no, your enneagram type cannot change. This is because the enneagram test isn’t a fleeting personality test that wantonly alters over time. Instead, it takes a look at the core of who we are as people. 

Enneagram tests take a look at our deepest darkest fears, as well as our driving forces. These aspects are impossible to shift, no matter what we do. 

This doesn’t mean that you can’t change your behavior patterns, or work on yourself. In fact, the enneagram test is a great tool for therapy. By identifying your driving fear, you can help to work on it with a counselor. 

How Can Two Different People Share The Same Enneagram? 

Another question that I get quite frequently regarding enneagram types, is how two seemingly different people can share the same enneagram type. 

Can Your Enneagram Change
Two sides of the same mirror

For example, you might be a complete introvert, and don’t enjoy a wealth of social activities, but your friend with the same type does. How could such disparate people share the same type? 

This is because enneagrams are not based on individual personalities. For example, each of the types can be either extroverted or introverted, there is no exclusive personality trait fixed for each type. It is our core values that determine our enneagram type. 

The Mature And Immature Enneagram 

One of the key reasons why people ask if enneagram types can change, is because of the behaviors expressed by the individual. Perhaps you and your friend share the same type, and you’re confused because they have seemingly different motivations to you. 

This can be explained by the maladjusted and well-adjusted individual. For example, let’s take the perfectionist personality type. 

A well adjusted personality with this enneagram type will use their perfectionism to lift others up. This could mean encouraging them to study hard, do well in school, and to realize their full potential. This way they’re actually utilizing their personality type to make a positive change. 

On the other hand, you might also get a maladjusted perfectionist. The maladjusted perfectionist will not use their core type to engage in positive change, and will instead use it as a force of negativity. This might sound dramatic, but it could be something as simple as getting angry with themselves when they don’t get a perfect score on a test. 

In their quest to be the best version of themselves, they might attempt to tear others down, and belittle the achievements of others. 

This helps to explain away the theory that types change over time. The enneagram type will never change, but the behaviors associated with the individual might. 

Can You Have More Than One Enneagram Number? 

Many people might think that they share more than one enneagram type. Sure, we’d all like to think that we’re perfectionists and peacemakers! But, contrary to popular belief, you can’t have more than one enneagram type, so don’t try and get greedy. That’s right, we’re looking at you, achievers. 

We can gradually let go of some of the stereotypes that are demonstrated by the enneagram types, simply by looking at what drives us. The enneagram test is about determining your core driving forces, this will always consist of one thing alone. 

For example, the core fear of the negotiator is to be separated from the world. This is something that will not alter with the course of time, and won’t be accompanied by other core fears either. 

Sure, we can all empathize with the fears shared by other enneagram types, but this doesn’t mean that they are our own core fears. 

Final Thoughts 

To sum up and answer the titular question, no, your enneagram type can’t change over time. This doesn’t mean that you can’t change your behaviors, but your core self will never be altered. 

Some people might think that they have different enneagram types to others simply because they’re engaging in adaptive rather than maladaptive behaviors, but again, this doesn’t mean that you don’t share the same one. 

Be sure to get your own Enneagram Results

Check out out best free enneagram tests to find out which one you should take!

Hint: For most people, the best test is from Truity.

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Written By Jesse Williams

Jesse has taken a deep dive into how personality effects our daily lives. After taking all the tests under the sun, she enjoys comparing her results with total strangers. It's fun for her.

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