Review of Relevant Literature

Numerous experts invest much time and effort in furthering their knowledge on the Enneagram and its practices. Among them is the well-known Helen Palmer. Palmer is a teacher of intuition and psychology, as well as a published author, and a founding director of the International Enneagram Association (Allgaier). Renowned Christian author Richard Rohr stated, “Helen Palmer teaches the Enneagram with an in-depth and clinical clarity that can only help and strengthen those who are seeking to use it for spiritual direction, Christian guidance, or even the classic “reading of souls” (Helen). Her repertoire includes five best-selling books in the human consciousness sector. However, Palmer does much more than just write books. In fact, she tours around the world to train people toward more self-awareness. This past fall of 2014, my mother and I actually had the fortune to participate in one of Palmer’s many conferences in a near-by Cincinnati location.

Another instrumental researcher key to the growth of the Enneagram is David Daniels, a clinical professor of psychoanalysis and behavioral sciences at Stanford Medical School (Allgaier). Doctor Daniels has been in private practice for the last forty years and continues to learn more about himself and his surroundings daily. Daniels states, “It is my hope that the Enneagram system will become part of definitive psychological and spiritual research, will reach out into the world to help resolve conflict and aid collaboration, and will help us all move forward on the path to wholeness both individually and collectively” (Daniels). Moreover, it is understandable that some of the top scholars in this field would be psychologists who devote their time to relationships, mental health education, and human development.

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Is one particular type more compatible with another?

“Understanding is the key to having compatible, fulfilling relationships—this includes both understanding others and yourself.”

-The Enneagram Institute


I know you’re all thinking it. Now that you know your own ‘type’ you are curious as to which number your life-long partner will be. What number would create the best, most healthy relationship? Which other type will work best with me– in my family life, friendships, and workplace environment? There’s good and bad news… the Enneagram does not specifically name the type that is most compatible to you. Everyone has different values in the way they live their life, and people want different things out of a relationship. However, that is not to say that a quiet observer (5) would not be with an outgoing asserter (8). They could very well enjoy a long life together. In fact, relationships work best when your companion supports you in your weaknesses and even compliments them with their own personality. Perhaps you struggle with autonomy, like an 8, while you’re spouse battles with seeking intimacy, as many 2’s do. This friendship could result in a lovely union, since both people add to the other. Another quality about the Enneagram is that it provides insightful thoughts on likely conflicts between various types. This is the link that goes more indepth about type compatibility. Unfortunately, this part of the field–as in relationship correlations– is not fully developed. http://www.enneagraminstitute.com/compatibility.asp#.VNUEqvnF-So


Here I provided a link that delves into the topic more. You may pick different combinations of pairings and the website provides positive and negative issues that might arise in that relationship. http://www.enneagraminstitute.com/matrix.asp#.VNUFyvnF-So