The Enneagram for Teens

Teenagers. Stop. Read.

First off, no, the Enneagram is not super confusing. Yes, I realize the name of it is quite strange. But, “ennea” means nine in Greek and “gram” means drawing. Simply stated, the Enneagram is a drawing with nine points. However, it is much more than that. It provides you with tools to examine and realize that your strengths are different from your best friends and your other family members. THAT IS A RELIEF! A GOOD THING! A GREAT THING!

 Adolescence (noun)

  1. the transition period between childhood and adulthood.
  2. confusion.

Many people my age, 17, struggle with who they really are. This is directly correlational with Erikson’s Psychosocial Stage of Development, Identity vs. Role Confusion ranging from ages 12 to 20 years. A few examples of this involve the life of Allyson Rae, me! I’ve been in plays, choirs, sports teams, volunteer clubs, and much more randomness. Don’t get me wrong, I created fond memories and enjoyed the groups. However, I continued to alter my activities due to curiosity of fulfillment in doing another. Something new. Something different.

That is why the latest book I read was perfect for me, The Enneagram for Teens: Discover Your Personality Type & Celebrate Your True Self by Elizabeth Wagele. It provided quizzes to discover your own personality type, biographies written by adolescents, and seven goals for adolescents. Psychologist Erik Erikson said, “The goal of adolescence is the establishment of a clear and stable sense of self.” To do so you can follow the goals…

  1. To develop good work habits.
  2. To be mindful of your body.
  3. To be mindful of your social life.
  4. To be mindful of your emotional/spiritual development.
  5. To nurture your intellect, logical thinking, and problem solving.
  6. To develope interests based on your passion and values.
  7. To educate yourself on career choices that incorporate your inate strengths.

So while the Enneagram helps you to unveil your own personality type, it also supports you in determining how your loved ones will act and why. The Golden Rule is “Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you.” However, the Enneagram would like to challenge that idea and say “Do unto other as others would would like you to do unto them.” This makes so much sense. I am now enlightened! Not everyone acts the same as you do when they are upset. They might want space, whereas you would like a hug. DON’T GIVE THEM THE HUG. GIVE THEM SPACE! There are so many more scenarios like this, I could go on and on. But, you get the point. We are all different people, who all want to be treated with love. But, that love can be shown in a myriad of ways, each one specific to each individual.

Like I said earlier, I change what I do quite often. I’m not the only one. These years of adolescence contain much change (physical, mental, emotional), curiosity, and chaos for all participants…aka every human. So as Logan Pearsall Smith states, “Don’t laugh at a youth for his affectations; he is only trying on one face after another to find a face of his own.”

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I may have many faults but being wrong ain’t one of them.” -Jimmy Hoffa

  • They strive to improve themselves and they even correct their friends.
  • They are the judge of all things done right and wrong.
  • They prefer things neat, orderly, and clear.
  • They will get mad at themselves if they don’t get good grades… such as Straight A’s.
  • They focus on being a ‘good’ girl or boy.

Famous Perfectionist: Hillary Clinton, Gandhi (idealist), and Natalie Portman.

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“We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don’t know.” -W. H. Auden

  • They are givers, caretakers, and nurturers.
  • They provide lots of love for others, but want to feel appreciated for their work.
  • They want to be liked and are interested in how they look.
  • They hate to be a disappointment.

Famous Helpers: Christina Aguilera, Celine Dion, Jennifer Lopez, and MY MOM.2015-01-16 11.01.15


“You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” -Head & Shoulders commercial

  • They like winning a title or recognition.
  • They like dressing well and trying to make a good impression.
  • They want to be seen as successful and popular.
  • Personal drive is a key factor for them.
  • They want to fit in.

Famous Achievers: Tom Cruise, Taylor Swift, Denzel Washington, and Oprah Winfrey.

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“There is something pleasurable in calm remembrance of a past sorrow.” -Cicero

  • They don’t like having limits on them.
  • They want to be unique, to be understood, and to find meaning to life.
  • They long for emotional connections with people.
  • They fantasize and have a good imagination.
  • They are always searching.

Famous Romantics: Johnny Depp, Ariana Grande, Michael Jackson, Angelina Jolie, and ME.

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“You can observe a lot just by watching.” -Yogi Berra

  • They are thinkers that always want to know more.
  • They like to see things clearly.
  • They are generally quiet people who have a tendency to watch what is happening around them.
  • They feel more grown up at younger ages.

Famous Observers: The Buddha, Bill Gates, Daniel Day Lewis, and Mark Zuckerberg.

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“A pessimist is one who feels bad when he feels good for fear he’ll feel worse when he feels better.” -Anonymous

  • They want to be safe and to be told the truth.
  • They are defensive, anxious, and cautious.
  •  They are also friendly, loyal, strong-minded, and honest.
  • They often think of what could go wrong.

Famous Questioners: Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Lawrence, Marilyn Monroe, Julia Roberts, and David Letterman.

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“When choosing between two evils, I always like to take the one I’ve never tried before.” -Mae West

  • They are always doing something. Busy, busy, busy.
  • They always want to be happy and avoid sadness.
  • They desire a fun-loving, exciting life.
  • They are likely to participate in adrenaline-pumping activities.

Famous Adventurers: Miley Cyrus, Tina Fey, Elton John, Channing Tatum, and Robin Williams.

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“Never go to bed mad-stay up and fight.” 

  • They love to be in control.
  • They are natural leaders.
  • They are respectful and independent.
  • They are genuine and in charge.
  • The chief.

Famous Asserters: Nicki Minaj, Demi Lovato, Pablo Picasso, Britney Spears, and MY DAD.

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“I always procrastinate when I get around to it.”

  • They like to keep things as they are.
  • They are fairly easy-going.
  • They get along well with most people and dread conflict.
  • They want everyone be happy.

Famous Peace Seekers: Beyonce, Abraham Lincoln, Bruno Mars, and Rihanna.

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