Who Can We Type?

If you think someone is mistyped, don’t tell them that! As I mentioned earlier, God often won’t reveal truths to us about who we are until we’re ready. There may be people in your life who need to believe they’re a certain number because that fits in with the view they have of themselves. God will reveal the truth to them in due time.

You can: 

  • Pray for them. 
  • Be patient with them. 
  • Answer any questions they might have...but don’t pry. 
  • Give them resources such as the book The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery by IanMorgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile.


  • When you start getting really into and excited about theEnneagram, it is only natural to want to type everyone around you. However, this is a big mistake because you can never know someone’s internal motivations, which is the backbone ofEnneagram typology. 
  • All that you can see from the outside is someone’s behaviors, even if the person is someone near and dear to you. Although your brother may look so stereotypically like a Seven that it’s painful, he might in fact be a type Three whose view of success is being the funniest person in the room.

You can teach someone about the Enneagram and encourage them to do their own exploring and type finding, but never tell someone what you think their type is. At best, you might be mistyping people; at worst, you are probably hurting them by turning them away from the Enneagram and robbing them of a very rewarding journey.

Please, please, please do not type your children or anyone else under age fifteen. You should not type anyone except yourself, but especially don’t try to type a child.

All of the most credible Enneagram teachers will tell you that type cannot be clearly explored and cemented until early teen years. In addition, you cannot and should not type your children because: 

  • You only see their behaviors. Children under fifteen usually cannot clearly articulate their motivations enough for you to help them discover their Enneagram type. 
  • Children change a lot between ages twelve and fifteen. In my own experience, before age twelve, my parents prob-ably would’ve typed me as an Eight. Nope! I’m a Four. 
  • Your child will one day be able to type themselves, and that journey of self-awareness is very rewarding, like saving up money and buying something yourself instead of someone giving you the money or buying it for you. 
  • You only have a short amount of time to enjoy your relationship with your child when they are young. Both of you will gain more from an Enneagram discussion when they’re adults who are able to tell you their type.

However, this does not mean that you can’t use the Enneagram in parenting. I think you should—not by typing your children, but by giving them all nine of the lost childhood messages that 1. each Enneagram type longs to hear: 

You are good because you’re in Christ.

You are wanted and your needs are seen by God.

You are loved for you and you have the freedom to be who God made you to be.

You are seen and loved for who you are; you’re enough in Christ.

Your needs are not a problem; even Jesus had needs and He was without fault.

You are safe because God is with you.

You will be taken care of because God will not fail you.

You will not be betrayed by God and He will sustain you if others fail.

Your presence matters; God made you with value and purpose.

Animals are not created in the image and likeness of God and, therefore, they do not reflect God. Animals cannot have anEnneagram type.

For the most part, typing characters can be harmless fun. Although no character will fit into an Enneagram type exactly, there are a lot of good examples of types throughout pop culture:

  1. Mary Poppins 
  2. Samwise Gamgee (The Lord of the Rings
  3. Tom Haverford (Parks and Recreation
  4. Anne Shirley (Anne of Green Gables
  5. Sherlock Holmes 
  6. Elinor Dashwood (Sense and Sensibility
  7. Ferris Bueller 
  8. Wolverine (X-Men
  9. Walter Mitty 

We do not try to type celebrities unless they have come forward with their typing, and many have done so. Celebrities have real motivations, real souls, and real public relations agents who usually make sure those first two factors don’t become visible to the public. We respect real people by humbly acknowledging that there is no way we know them enough to guess their Enneagram type.


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