By Denise Wade
All of us emerge from childhood with an inborn temperament and dominating personality traits. Believe it or not, most personality characteristics are encoded in your DNA. It is these inborn tendencies that largely determine the ways in which you adapt to your childhood environment, family members, education, and conflicts – and not the other way around. This could very well be the reason why you may not get along with your ex boyfriend, while his current girlfriend seems to have a soul connection. Or perhaps you and your husband get along beautifully but you don’t fare well with his family.
There are nine universal personality types called the Enneagram. Most likely you encompass pieces of all nine types, however most experts agree you possess one dominant type. In their book Are You My Type, Am I Yours? Authors Renee Baron and Elizabeth Wagele simplify the Enneagram for you. *
Whether you are looking to improve a good relationship, find your soul mate, or understand a difficult partner, by gaining an understanding of the nine personality types you will be able to forgive more, judge less, align a potential match, and appreciate your personality differences.
The Nine Personalities Types
The Perfectionist – has high standards; can be critical of themselves and can oftentimes be critical of their partner; is motivated by improving people; can be seen as controlling, obsessive, judgmental; wants to be seen as perfect; wouldn’t think of asking for help.
Best Match up: The Adventurer (teaches the perfectionist how to lighten up)
Worst Match up: The Romantic (not productive enough for the perfectionist)
The Helper – Puts their partner’s needs ahead of their own; has trouble receiving; may tend to work or perform for love; good listener; masks their own feelings; prioritizes themselves last; dire need to be loved; will manipulate or victimize themselves to get love; overly accommodating; won’t speak up for themselves.
Best Match up: The Asserter (can teach the helper how to speak up for themselves)
Worst Match up: The Romantic (will take advantage of the helper)
The Achiever – Measure themselves by their successes; driven; typically not in touch with their feelings or their partner’s feelings; industrious; efficient; can be overly competitive, narcissistic and insensitive to achieve results; may ignore their partner; preoccupied with work.
Best Match up: The Adventurer (achiever can learn how to have fun)
Worst Match up: The Peacemaker (achievers will see them as lazy and unmotivated)
The Romantic- Emotional and needs to be noticed; tends to be idealistic about their relationships; creative; warm; needs to be understood; can attract a partner very easily, but has trouble keeping him/her; goes to great lengths to avoid being ordinary; tends to be moody, depressed, guilt ridden; expects their partner to be excessively available to them or they feel neglected.
Best Match up: The Perfectionist (ironically the perfectionist can teach them self discipline and practicality)
Worst Match up: The Helper (romantic becomes overly dependent)
The Observer- Curious; needs to understand every detail; may have trouble connecting in relationships; self sufficient; doesn’t want to look foolish or stupid; wise; analytical; can be stubborn, critical of others, emotionally distant.
Best Match up: The Adventurer (can teach observer how to become more fun loving and broad minded)
Worst Match Up: The Asserter (they will fuel each other’s anger)
The Loyalist- Likes safety, security; doesn’t like change; seeks approval; insecure, loyal, responsible, trustworthy; does not trust easily; tends to make great monogamous partners; can be paranoid; worrier, defensive, controlling.
Best Match up: The Peacemaker (teaches the loyalist to trust in their own inner authority and to take life less seriously)
Worst match up: The Achiever (loyalist will feel like a failure around achievers)
The Adventurer- Needs freedom; short attention span; tends to get bored easily especially in relationships; likes to have fun; avoids suffering and negativity; charming, spontaneous; can be restless, impulsive, undisciplined, and rebellious.
Best Match up: The Observer (settles the adventurer down)
Worst Match Up: The Perfectionist (adventurer becomes resentful of the perfectionist; sees him/her as the bulwark to having fun)
The Asserter- Tends to be loud; somewhat aggressive; likes to take on the bully; isn’t intimidated by much; needs to be heard; self- reliant; direct; protective; can be domineering, insensitive, aggressive, and controlling.
Best Match Up: The Helper (teaches the asserter vulnerability, tenderness, and concern for others)
Worst Match Up: The Observer (asserter becomes distrusting; more withdrawn)
The Peacemaker – Wants everyone to get along; usually the mediator; avoids conflict; takes on the other eight personalities depending on who he/she is trying to make happy; can be pleasant, generous, open-minded, stubborn, passive-aggressive, judgmental.
Best Match Up: The Achiever (peacemaker becomes more efficient and productive)
Worst Match Up: The Loyalist (peacemaker becomes more indecisive and rigid, overwhelmed by worry and anxiety)