What's My Type?


Hurley and Dobson explore how the wisdom of the Enneagram allows you to bring out the best in yourself and others. Delving deeper than other systems of personality exploration, the Enneagram system of nine distinctive patterns of unconscious motivation reveals the primary sources of our behavior and the reasons we live as we do.

Through detailed descriptions and discerning self-inventory questions, Hurley and Dobson make discovering your personality type fun and easy. They ...

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Hurley and Dobson explore how the wisdom of the Enneagram allows you to bring out the best in yourself and others. Delving deeper than other systems of personality exploration, the Enneagram system of nine distinctive patterns of unconscious motivation reveals the primary sources of our behavior and the reasons we live as we do.

Through detailed descriptions and discerning self-inventory questions, Hurley and Dobson make discovering your personality type fun and easy. They provide simple, proven methods for neutralizing negative attitudes about self and others and releasing untapped potential. Armed with the Enneagram's insights, readers learn to transform weaknesses into strengths, break free of crippling patterns, choose new ways of relating to others, and enjoy balance and harmony. For example:

  • The Achiever can move from dissatisfied perfectionism to effective leadership and become a Pathfinder.
  • The Observer can move from fear of commitment to curiosity and courage and become an Explorer.
  • The Helper can move from over-involvement in the lives of others to mutual relationships and become a Partner.

Inspirational, easy-to-use and practical — What's My Type? puts the Enneagram system to work for you.

This accessible, practical, and easy-to-use Enneagram book reveals how to identify your personality type, break out of self-defeating patterns, and transform your weaknesses into unimagined strengths.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062504210
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/28/1992
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 204
  • Sales rank: 1,395,367
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Kathleen V. Hurley and Theodore E. Dobson, the authors of What's My Type?, are counselors and Enneagram workshop leaders. They live in Lakewood, Colorado.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

What Type Am I?
The Nine Prime Addictions

Children's stories that begin with "Once upon a time..."embody some of life's deepest wisdom. For children, fairy tales become the secret passageway that leads to the magical world of vivid imagination, excitement, and a life lived happily ever after. Children delight in hearing these stories over and over because in their mind's eye they always discover something new.

Adults, however, easily forget the ever-changing world of imagination in order to get down to the serious business of living. As grown-ups we tend to believe that we know what life is all about, and we deal with day-to-day existence as the only reality. Thus we seldom consider the possibility that fairy tales could reveal a greater, more creative reality. Indeed, children's stories were brought forth by the minds and hearts of adults who had learned many of life's lessons, often under difficult circumstances. Their stories, whether about people or animals, tell of the struggles, joys, pain, and healing that is available to all children — no matter how old they are.

The animals talk; the children are wise; the flowers whisper warnings; the winds of the heavens come gently to caress or to blast the land with the fury of an angry avenger. Throughout the story everything in the heavens and on earth, good or evil, works together intentionally or unintentionally to lead the hero or heroine into greater freedom, beauty, and goodness.

These stories of happy endings, so filled with hope and promise, are completely plausible to the wide-eyed child. Asadults, unfortunately, we all too often exchange the childlike freedom to believe for the chains of cynicism. In the adult world this is called maturity.

Is it? Is maturity increased with cynicism?

Perhaps these fairy tales were written by adults for adults, to open adult eyes to a realm of reality that is hidden to one who has been beaten down by life's difficulties. Because adults can no longer hear, understand, or believe, they read them to their children — whose understanding is complete! But once in a while, in a magical, mystical, sacred moment, the cynical adult touches the wide-eyed, believing child who still lives within. Then the wry smile expands into a grin and the eyes shine with hope rekindled.

The true self. It was in one such moment that Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale "The Ugly Duckling" became our paradigm for the remarkable wisdom that has lain hidden for centuries in the Enneagram. "The Ugly Duckling"is, a story of rejection and confusion caused by a lost or misplaced identity.

After enduring many struggles — and at a critical moment being assisted by a power greater than himself — the duckling undergoes a transformation into the most beautiful of all the water fowl. Emerging in his new identity as a swan, he finds dignity and also discovers a reason for all his trials. He is no longer misplaced and confused — he is an exquisite creature universally admired.

This is the story that the Enneagram also tells. What's My Type? will unveil to careful readers the mysterious reasons for their unhappiness and pain. It will provide a light through the shadowy maze of self-destruction and open a new and mystically shimmering world of creativity and transformation.

As the duckling's search for true identity began he believed that he was unquestionably ugly because everyone told him so. After all, he was different from the others. Ridiculed, scorned, and rejected, the lonely duckling went from place to place trying to find others like himself — others he could fit in with, others who would love him. Isn't this what we all search for?

The story told by the Enneagram begins similarly. Within all of us is a self-definition that is reinforced by the world in which we live. It becomes an identity we believe to be true and complete. Then, like the ugly duckling who was mystified and hurt when he was not accepted, we protect ourselves in whatever way we can, hoping that someday we will find a home. We search for someone who will recognize, respect, and love us.

The wisdom of the Enneagram says that this puzzle of confusion and misunderstanding is an inner mystery that can be unraveled only by a closer examination of ourselves, and especially of our own motives. This investigation will not turn up what we expect, however. Though most people perceive themselves to be simple and their motives clear, closer scrutiny of the evidence will bring to light clues to hidden patterns.

The Enneagram reveals that the underlying reason for our unhappiness is cleverly disguised in our basic motivation, which is patterned in one of nine different ways. This motivational pattern — often unconscious to the person who bears it — causes us to limit our perspective to a predetermined set of issues and responses. Living in this mechanical way, we can experience nothing but the frustration of the ugly duckling who longed to be loved but could not fit in.

By describing the nine patterns of unconscious motivation, the Enneagram begins to unravel the mystery of unhappiness. Every person has one and only one of these motivational patterns. Using the blurred lens of his or her individual pattern, each of us sets out to investigate self, others, God, and the world.

In the beginning the Enneagram reveals the addictive and dysfunctional motivations in each pattern. initially, this approach may seem unduly negative; however, we soon come to know that the darkness of unconsciousness is quickly consumed in the brilliance of truth. In this light, our eyes slowly adjust to see our surroundings in new ways. Our minds are alerted to discern the difference between real and imagined enemies.

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