“Questioners” (Type 6) as Children


From "The Enneagram of Parenting" by E. Wagele

Now read about all the nine Enneagram types as children on this WordPress blog under the category “Enneagram Books and Children.”   

Personality typology explains why we frustrate each other. It’s not always because we don’t think straight or don’t have common sense, it’s often because we’re born with different ways of looking at the world. This produces different values. When we try to walk in others’ shoes (when we learn the Enneagram), our frustration eases and dealing with our family members, students, teachers, or fellow students becomes easier.

The Enneagram personality system had been around for about twenty years. At first it was kept a secret. Its leaders thought the world couldn’t handle it. Then the positive ones among them exerted more influence. They wanted to share their newfound prize and tell the world about it. Classes and books about the Enneagram sprang up starting mainly in 1987.

In 1997, I wrote the first book for using the Enneagram with children in families and schools, The Enneagram of Parenting. Each type has a different learning style, for example, and different paces, outlooks on life, and needs to nurture and be nurtured. In 2007, I wrote the first book for young children to learn the Enneagram by reading it themselves or having it read to them, Finding the Birthday Cake. Both books are full of cartoons and are easily accessible.

Questioner children have busy, alert minds, are suspicious of flattery, and are always on the lookout for danger. They can be quick-tempered, brave, and anti-authoritarian. Some are assertive, others are timid. Stevie Six is a character from Finding the Birthday Cake:

Here is a test from Finding the Birthday Cake:

See my list of Famous People’s Enneagram and MBTI types.

More Famous People are on my Psychology Today blog and my WordPress blog.

See my Happy Introvert and Creative Enneagram on You Tube.

Buy The Enneagram of Parenting

Kindle edition

Buy Finding the Birthday Cake

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Where True Self Meets Personality


Cover of The Happy Introvert

I changed the name of my blog on WordPress from The Career Within You to Enneagram… Exploring Your True Self a few months ago. I wanted it to represent all of my work instead of one book since the initial year’s promotion of the career book had passed. (The Happy Introvert is my one non-Enneagram book, though includes the Enneagram.)

The reason Enneagram… Exploring Your True Self is an interesting, perhaps controversial blog title is that some Enneagram enthusiasts believe the nine Enneagram types do not represent our true self, but stand for ways we cover up our true self with dreaded personalities or false selves. Our task is to find our authentic self, so the theory goes. And do we ever find it? What is it and where? And what am I now? Am I worth nothing until I have become enlightened by shedding my personality? How am I to reconcile having so much improving to do in the age of NOW?

I used to be a member of The Conversation, a forum magazine editor Jack Labanauskas got together on The Enneagram Monthly. Theologists, professors, writers like me, and others participated and tried to hash out questions like this. We never got closer to resolving this problem than people ever seem to get with the question of free will.

When I wrote The Enneagram of Parenting, I realized we have inborn styles of behavior. We express our true selves in a certain style and we act out habits we use as defenses in the same style. The styles of behavior we’re born with are in our DNA so they are true and natural. A person who has been consistently happy or grouchy or neat or messy or introverted from day one didn’t get that way by training.

One reason I was attracted to calling this blog Enneagram… Exploring Your True Self is that it shares part of the title of my introvert book: The Happy Introvert, a Wild and Crazy Guide for Celebrating Your True Self.

Do you know what your self is? Do you know what your personality is? When I feel anxious, I know that I am the least mySelf. I will act too smiley, too pleased, or too much the way others want me to act out of fear. When I am the most secure, especially when I’m alone or with one or two others I trust, I am the most myself. My behavior and my inner thoughts and feelings all match. I most know who I am at those times. Normally, even if I feel anxious, I don’t put on a big act that I’m someone I’m not. I can’t be out of my quiet space for very long no matter what. Pretense doesn’t sit well with me. When I’m uncomfortable, I’m likely to just be quiet.

Let me know what you think of your self and your personality. Is your self on an authentic/phony continuum? Is there a self/personality continuum or are they the same thing riding along parallel? Are your defenses the real you? What and/or where is the authentic you?

“Help! There’s an Observer in my House!” Guest blog by Theresa Hoang.


No, not that type of observer/stalker. If that were the case, I would instead be whipping out my phone to call the police instead of writing a blog about it. I’m talking about the Number 5…the Observer on the enneagram. People who are “Observers” are very analytical and wise. They (surprise, surprise!) observe. They want to understand the world around them and how it works.

This explanation of the Observer would be the perfect description of my 12 year old brother. As the eldest of four kids, I have tutored all three of my little siblings. And I must say, he is the most difficult one to tutor.

For example, he is very slow at answering questions. It would take him forever to answer a simple yes-or-no question. Even his teachers at school have talked to my parents about him being very silent and non-responsive—that he needed to pay attention in class. My brother recently asked me a question about sex-linked traits for his biology class, and I went on a 20 minute speech talking about genes and heredity. When I was done, proud that I remembered something from my AP Biology class, I asked, “So does that answer your question?” And all he did was stare at me. All I did was stare at him back. And got angry. I asked, “Were you even listening to me?! You can’t even tell me if you understood me or not?” And my brother stood quiet. Then finally, after a full ten minutes, he uttered, “I still don’t get it.” It would drive me nuts when this happened. I mean, does it really take that long to realize you don’t understand it?

My parents even took these signals as signs that he was getting behind in school, and they have hired countless tutors to help him. But still, his old habits stayed the same.

However, after starting my externship with Elizabeth Wagele and learning more about the Enneagram, I discovered so many things. After reading her The Enneagram of Parenting, I concluded that my brother was definitely an Observer. He has a “quiet personality,” “likes to be alone,” and “seems uninterested in social norms,” just to name a few (The Enneagram of Parenting). I never knew that my brother could not help but be the way he was. He wasn’t slow or anything. His mind just works differently.

I decided to put what I learned to use. Late last night, my brother called me to help him with math. I was sure to be patient. (Two times during the conversation, I told him to call me back so he could think about it until it made sense to him or until he realized he did not understand it. It worked.) Lo and behold, after about half an hour, he figured out the problem! Because of finding out what his “type” was, I learned that he wasn’t blatantly ignoring me or not understanding the concept. He just needed to sort things out in his mind before saying anything. Reading this book made me realize how important it is to understand how other people work. For me, this just doesn’t pertain to how I should be very patient towards my brother when helping him, but also to how I should be very flexible in how I treat other people, because their personality types might be very different from mine. Now, I just need to tell my parents (and make them tell my brother’s teachers) about my newfound discovery…the enneagram!

Theresa Hoang is a University of California, Berkeley, student majoring in music and biology. She is an extern for Elizabeth in January 2011.

Another book relevant to this blog is “The Happy Introvert” by Elizabeth Wagele. Included is a chapter on introverts as children, which covers most 5-Observers.

“Adventurers” as Children (Type Seven)


The Adventurer, from "The Enneagram of Parenting" by E. Wagele

This cartoon shows an Adventurer child giving a sparkling performance, cheered on and supported. Adventurer children are usually curious, lively, charming, and have many interests. They often do best when they can pick and choose from a rich learning environment, since having many options appeals to them. Routine does not. Adventurers tend to be extraverted, sociable, and talkative, but there are exceptions. Freedom is good; boredom and restrictions are bad from their point of view. Adventurer Norris said he felt like a grasshopper in a world of ants when he was a child.

Adventurer children are usually positive, happy, optimistic, have many friends, and think well of themselves. They may sign themselves up to do too much, but they’re usually resourceful and learn fast. They like to be spontaneous.

Likely variations on this type are those who resemble the Observer type and are studious and focus well and those who resemble the Perfectionist and try to do things right. These two types are at the Adventurer’s “arrows,” the lines that radiate out from the 7th point in the Enneagram. The wings, the Questioner and the Asserter also frequently influence Adventurers, in the first case by adding a more light or jittery feeling to the personality and in the second by adding a heavier, more or definite feeling.

With this post, I will have covered all nine Enneagram styles as children in my WordPress blogs in the past six months. Often, I feature the same type as an adult the next week in my longer, alternating “Psychology Today” blog.

Reminder: Ingrid Stabb and I will give a presentation on our Wagele-Stabb Career Finder from “The Career Within You” on Saturday, July 31, at the International Enneagram Association conference in San Francisco. administration@internationalenneagram.org

We’re also hosting a party for our book at Maxfield’s in the Palace Hotel at 5:30 on the same day, to which all are welcome.

To buy “The Enneagram of Parenting”: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

“Perfectionists” as Children (Type One)


Three fish from "The Enneagram of Parenting"

One parent reported his son would line up grains of sand in his crib in perfect lines as a baby. He grew up to become a Perfectionist airplane pilot, a good occupation along with dentist, surgeon and other careers where being exact is important. Some Perfectionist children become teachers’ pets for being obedient, turning in assignments on time, and encouraging their peers to do what’s expected of them. When I taught piano lessons, I tried to downplay the importance of getting every note right. Some children applied their own pressure to themselves, though, and I couldn’t convince them that a wrong note here and there was nothing to be ashamed of. I suspect it was most often the Perfectionists who were most likely to burst out in tears when they made mistakes.

Walter One from "Finding the Birthday Cake"

As is often the case in the Enneagram, there are two kinds of Perfectionists: the meticulous one featured in these two cartoons and the kind that pays more attention to principals, ideals, and causes. This second type might grow up to be an ecologist, consumer activist, or minister. Of course, both aspects can be combined in the same person. Perfectionists want to do what is right and usually strive to improve themselves throughout their lives.

In order to reduce the stress of Perfectionist children, parents and teachers do well to encourage creativity and free play. Creativity and having fun get children in touch with their own desires and beauty so they have less time to focus on what they “should” or “ought to” be doing. It helps to schedule in these times, especially for the most serious Perfectionists.

To Buy “The Enneagram of Parenting:” Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

To Buy “Finding the Birthday Cake:” Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

For more information about all of Wagele’s books and tape: http://www.wagele.

Romantic-Style Children (Type 4)


Romantic children

find special

meaning where

others may not.

Six examples of where Romantic children express special meaning to their friends follow this cartoon on page 57 of my “Enneagram of Parenting” book, ending with a Romantic kid telling a friend he has noticed the expressive and poetic way his friend speaks. Romantics can be especially compassionate.

This is one of the most sensitive types of children. They often have easily hurt feelings and strong emotions. Many are interested in the arts or literature, tend to express themselves dramatically, and engage in imaginative fantasy play. Howard loved to look for treasures such as beautiful jewels, rocks, or colors when he was a child and became an artist and psychotherapist when he grew up. Beauty, ideals, and meaning were important to him.

There are more introverted than extraverted Romantic children. Franny Four, the Romantic horse in “Finding the Birthday Cake,” my book for teaching the Enneagram to children, wants to help get the cake back but she wants to do it in her own way. ”I’ll write a beautiful, fancy song,” she says, “and sing it all through the land. When the cake hears it, he will come running to me because he loves my music. After I find the cake I’ll dress up for the party in my best silk and velvet clothes. We’ll have the most special party in the world!”

Lunch box

This child from “The Happy Introvert” could easily be a Romantic type.

Be sensitive of your Romantic children’s sensitivity and treat them gently. Romantics easily feel shamed. Give them plenty of stimulation and take an interest in what they’re interested in. Remember they may have a tendency toward feeling melancholy. It can be helpful to talk with them about how they would prefer for you to react when this happens.

To buy “The Enneagram of Parenting”: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

To buy “Finding the Birthday Cake”: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

To buy “The Happy Introvert”: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

Next week I’ll post a blog about Romantics as adults on Psychology Today’s blogs. http://bit.ly/psychtdy

Do You Have an “Asserter” Style Child? (Type 8)


In my Enneagram book for kids, “Finding the Birthday Cake,” I decided to stop by my house as we looked here and there for the missing cake:

Amy Eight was so insistent that something be done about the problem of the missing cake for the evening’s party, she said we’d have it even if she had to bake it herself! She was impatient to celebrate both the Ninosaur’s birthday and finding the cake: “We’ll have the most EXHUBERANT party in the world!” She may be tiny but she’s powerful in word and deed. Asserter children are so energetic, they may tire their care-givers out and are sometimes misunderstood or blamed wrongly.

Some of the questions in the Personality Quiz in the Asserter chapter in my

“Enneagram of Parenting” book are:

Does your child

* have a great deal of energy?

* always make his or her presence known?

* show anger or disagreement freely?

* have a fast-running motor and need down time?

* speak and act with authority?

* behave enthusiastically?

Followed by some cartoons about how protective Asserter children can be. Read also about the other eight styles of children in both books.

For more on “Finding the Birthday Cake:” http://www.wagele.com/Finding.html

To buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

For more on “The Enneagram of Parenting:” http://www.wagele.com/EnneagramParent.html

To buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

5/4/10 Please see today’s Psychology Today blog by me:  http://www.psychologytoday.com/ “How-Does-It-Feel-to Have-an Assertive-Personality-Type?” for the adult Asserter personality and a cartoon from “The Enneagram Made Easy.”