November 7, 2015

Enneagram Personalities: The Challenger, The Harmonizer & The Reformer.


To go to the overview of the Enneagram personality test click here.

These are the three personality types that relate to body as detailed in the Enneagram personality system.

For types 2, 3 & 4 click here and for types 5, 6 & 7 click here.

The Enneagram types are set out in three groups of three and they correspond with each of the three centers of intelligence: the head, the heart and the body.

Although we all process information through the head, heart and body, each personality type strongly relates to a specific one.

Groups 8, 9 and 1 relate to the body. The body types are associated with anger, with this emotion influencing the personality of those predominant in these types. The focus is on body movements and taking action, for example: gut-feelings, using instincts, displaying aggressive and impulsive behavior. They are motivated to express their feeling when anger rises up within them and can appear as aggressive.

8. The Challenger

Aggressive, assertive, blunt, confrontational, courageous, decisive, demanding, direct, dominating, independent, powerful, protective, self-confident, straightforward, strong willed.

Challengers are straight-talkers, although this can often come across as being blunt, abrasive and aggressive. Without realizing it they can be confrontational and intimidating when trying to put their point across.

They love a challenge and as they are extremely charismatic they easily influence others to follow their lead and join them in their pursuits. They have a strong desire to control and cannot bear being controlled themselves. They see power as one of their strengths, and they want to be the strongest of them all.

They have a lot of will power, energy and courage and they use these traits to their advantage to preserve with whatever they set their minds to, no matter how difficult their goals are to achieve. This often means they will be successful in whatever they choose to pursue.

They have an abundance of self-confidence and their instinct is to use this confidence to be assertive in their plans to create change. Their determination to do something great often means that they appear as aggressive, although this is usually because their ego gets in the way and causes them to take great offence to anyone who they perceive to be standing in their way.

They are not only ruthless, but they can also be very dangerous players and stop at nothing to achieve their goals. They aim to achieve a great deal and they do not feel guilty for the steps they take to make that happen. They will even take pleasure from dominating, intimidating and manipulating others if anyone attempts to halt their plans.

Their aggression can quickly turn to anger and then develop into a full-blown rage.

Challengers are fiercely independent, self-reliant, independent and aim to create great things out of nothing, so when they reach the top they have a great sense of entitlement for everything they have had to overcome to get there. Ideally, they want to empower others to do the same, and will assist anyone that is at a disadvantage along the way. However, if that assistance is disrespected, Challengers react furiously as they feel dishonored and they stand strong behind whatever they believe in.

Although they appear to be very hard on the outside, they are very sensitive on the inside; they are out of touch with these sides of their emotions as they are afraid that they may cause them to be weak. They do not show empathy easily and are unsympathetic towards others who show weakness.

When they learn to become more tolerant of others and see that traits they perceive as weaknesses may actually be strengths, they will find that far more opportunities open up to them and they will also find inner peace and greater strengths. First though, they need to accept their own sensitive and emotional side, which isn’t an easy thing for Challengers to do, as they fear it will leave them open to being vulnerable and that is their greatest fear.

9. The Harmonizer

Accepting, agreeable, approachable, calm, creative, easygoing, optimistic, peaceful, non-judgmental, likeable, reassuring, receptive, resigned, supportive, tolerant, trusting, unassuming.

Harmonizers are peacemakers and they work to maintain both inner and external peace.

Often Harmonizers are known as the crown of the Enneagram as they include traits and characteristics from all the other points. Therefore, they are less individualistic than any of the other numbers as they prefer to mold into other types of people rather than stand firm on their own ground.

They are far more comfortable in a group surrounding than they are in their own company. They are mediators and are at their best when they are helping to achieve calm and diffuse conflict. They are at ease with most people and they can be either introverted or extroverted depending on the circumstances.

They are people pleasers who see all sides to a story and their aim is to keep everyone calm, happy and content. They have many friends and if they feel someone is an enemy they will do whatever they can to turn the situation around. Being popular and able to relate to everyone is what gives them inner peace and satisfaction.

Harmonizers are easy-going, laid back and they adapt well to their environment. They are a valid addition to any team or organization as they sit in the middle of the scales and are able to balance them perfectly. Their placid personality can sometimes be misunderstood and seen as a weakness or as though they are indecisive. They know what they want to achieve, however, they don’t always find it so easy to express themselves as they don’t want to come across as dominant, aggressive or over-assertive.

They are listeners, though, sadly, not many people listen when they are speaking. This can be frustrating for a Harmonizer as they feel it is essential that people listen so that they can restore harmony.

The downside to being a Harmonizer is that they do not always feel valued or worthy; they feel as though they are often taken for granted and give a lot out but receive very little in return. An important lesson a Harmonizer needs to learn is how to say no and another is how they can avoid becoming a martyr.

They try to avoid anyone or any place with negativity associated to it. Although they try very hard not to be judgmental and try to see the good in everyone, they struggle to remain positive if all around them are determined to cause destruction. While they will do whatever they can to calm and restore the situation, if they had the choice they would remove themselves and find a more peaceful place where they can radiate positive vibes.

Harmonizers are easily influenced and unfortunately very easy to manipulate. Their good nature often gets seen as a weakness and because they do not like confrontations, people know that they can get what they want from them by causing a scene. Unfortunately, Harmonizers find it difficult to express how they feel, as they do not like to upset anyone, or more importantly be disliked.

They are patient, accepting and forgive very easily and will persist with difficult situations, although they find them debilitating, just so that they can restructure and eventually regain calm.

They like simplicity and order as anything else causes them to feel unsettled and chaotic. They find it difficult to think straight and their mind becomes foggy when everything is upside down, so primarily, they fix their external world so that they can also fix how they feel inside.

Assertiveness is not one of their greatest strengths, although, if they can learn to be more direct in voicing their concerns and speaking up for themselves more, they will lose their inner feelings of low self-esteem and unworthiness. Everything that happens on the outside reflects how they feel about themselves on the inside. They need to turn that around and work on how they feel first and then direct that out into the world. Neglecting themselves should not be a consideration or an option when they attempt to create and implement outer peace.

1. The Reformer

Ambitious, conscientious, dedicated, discerning, idealistic, independent, intelligent, high morals and values, noble, principled, perfectionist, problem-solver, purposeful, rational, realistic, self-controlled, wise.

Reformers are idealistic advocates for change, always looking to improve, reform and perfect things to achieve what they perceive to be the highest level of standards. They pay attention to fine detail and are critical of themselves and others around them and they listen to the constant niggling voice of their superego. They are hard on themselves as they are constantly anticipating criticism of others, as they believe their shortfalls are noticeable to everyone.

If their high expectations are not met they can become extremely frustrated and this can lead to outbursts of anger, an emotion that they try desperately hard to suppress. Their benchmark is to be a pure, good, positive person so they deny and reject any signs of negativity, including the associated emotions.

If they think they will not be successful at something they will quit before anything goes wrong. They aim to be at the top and in first place and if they think they will fall short they would rather step out of the competition rather than feel as though they didn’t try hard enough or weren’t clever enough to avoid losing.

Reformers have integrity, high ethics, morals and values and they want to help to make the world a better place and they try to do their part by bringing out the best in people and situations. However, when their efforts are not appreciated or taken seriously this backfires and Reformers lose patience and try to discipline others because they believe that those who have not lived up to their standards have serious life lessons to learn.

As they take life so seriously, they find it very difficult to wind down and relax or have fun. They are often tense and unemotional as they see freely expressing emotions as being out of control and they cannot bear feeling they have no self-control. They like order, regulation and structure and their emotions are included in this.

They are very judgmental, not just of themselves but of everyone; they look at everything with a critical eye and believe that there are always better options that haven’t yet been thought of. Their main interest is correcting what they feel is right or wrong and they have strong feelings of resentment towards anything that they believe does not meet their exceptionally high moral and ethical standards. In a Reformer’s world, only their way is the right way and to them, that is the only thing that counts.

They are very direct in how they approach people and can appear as being excessivley blunt, as they take their self-righteousness seriously and feel that they are doing other people a favor by letting them know about their shortcomings. They are narrow-minded and don’t find it easy to see things from other people’s perspective. There is only “their way” and they turn a blind eye to any alternative options.

Although they are not very sensitive when approaching others they are very sensitive if they themselves are criticized. Criticism is their greatest ally, but also their biggest fear. They are only comfortable with criticism when they are the ones dishing it out.

They are the first in line to stand up for social causes and issues and want to leave their mark on the world, so they can leave it a better place. Unfortunately though, as their intention for change comes from a rigid and close-minded place, their aims to create goodwill and a more balanced society often backfire.

So that they become more balanced and grounded, they need to first stop with the self-criticism. When they learn to love, accept and appreciate themselves they will then be able to pass on these qualities to others. 



The Ancient Enneagram Personality Test with Detailed Profiles: Finding Out Who We Really Are.

Enneagram Personalities: The Helper, The Performer & The Artist.

Enneagram Personalities: The Thinker, The Loyalist & The Visionary.


Author: Alex Myles

Editor: Travis May

Images: Flickr/Jinho Jung

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