Enneagram mistyping happens. There are a variety of reasons why people can be mistyped, which I am exploring in this post. After studying the Enneagram for years and getting my certification, I am sharing my mistyping story. I’m also discussing things that can cause people to be mistyped, including online Enneagram tests.
Enneagram Mistyping due to online tests
It’s very easy to be mistyped when you take an online Enneagram test. Why? Well, for starters, online tests are on average about 68% accurate.
I used to recommend online tests to people before I took my Enneagram certification program. And I feel bad about it now because I learned how inaccurate these tests can be. However, the only thing I can do now is offer education about Enneagram mistyping and my typing sessions for people who want to invest in those.
Another issue with some of these online Enneagram tests is that not all of them have been scientifically validated. What?! There are quite a few popular tests that get recommended and the companies haven’t validated them.
Sure, online Enneagram tests have their place. Such as when you need to type a large group of people for an event. But following the test, you should have someone with a deep understanding of the Enneagram explain what all of the results actually mean.
Sometimes, we take the test without full awareness of ourselves. Or we answer the questions based on how we want to appear. This can cause issues with the test results too. So if you are taking an online test, go in without overthinking the questions and answer them how you truly are–not how you want to be.
If you do decide to take an online Enneagram test, I recommend the RHETI test. This test is the most accurate of all the online tests available. For $12ish USD you can purchase the test here: RHETI Enneagram Test.
What else causes Enneagram Mistyping to Occur?
Gifs, memes, and social media can cause mistyping issues
Enneagram mistyping can occur when people see all the fun social media posts. I love gifs and memes as much as any millennial, but the creators don’t always have the theoretical knowledge to back up their content.
Many of these are tongue-in-cheek, satirical posts that can be a lot of fun. However, because there are character limits and image limits on social media, all of the background information cannot be shared. That cuts back significantly on the information that end users digest.
Not looking at defense mechanisms
One good way to prevent Enneagram mistyping from occurring is by looking at defense mechanisms of each type. If someone skips over these, you’ll probably end up being typed incorrectly.
When I thought I was an Enneagram Type 4, I did not really connect with the defense mechanism of introjection. But at the same time, I thought I couldn’t be an 8 because I don’t chase or enjoy conflict.
Once I realized that I am actually an Enneagram Type 8, I relate so much to the defense mechanism of denial. I can deny my vulnerabilities and weaknesses all day long. I can think of very specific instances of where this denial occurred. This is one way to know you’ve landed on your correct Enneagram type.
Not looking at the why and focusing on the what
When we look at the behavior of certain groups of people, like entrepreneurs, it’s easy to think that they are all Enneagram Type 3’s. But this could not be further from the truth.
For example, if we had three entrepreneurs who wanted to hit $10k months we need to look at the reason why they want to hit that goal. Is it because they want to be seen as successful and recognized for their accomplishments? If so, then they are most likely a Type 3. If not, then they are another Enneagram type.
Enneagram mistyping can occur when you are focused on the what. The what in the above example is hitting $10k months. Remember to ask: Why do I want this? Why is this important? Why am I doing this?
My Story of being Mistyped
Over many years I typed as an Enneagram 4. My memory is a bit fuzzy, but I am pretty sure I even typed as a 4 the very first time I took the Enneagram test as a freshman in college.
I absolutely love being creative and making art. I can sit with emotions. However, I have also been conditioned to be more emotionally intelligent due to my background in higher education. I am okay with being vulnerable and showing my emotions. You can learn more about me here!
When I learned about the childhood of the Enneagram Type 8, my jaw dropped. I remember I was on the elliptical at the gym and I had to stop for a second. I instantly connected with the child who stood up against their parent. I was a protector, a challenger, and unafraid of ramifications even at 8 years old.
At that moment, everything connected. No wonder people told me I was intimidating. No wonder I could easily deal with anger. No wonder I could easily take action and had innate confidence. No wonder I was a mama bear and protector of my family, friends, and students.
There are some similarities between a Type 4 and a Type 8, especially the 1:1 subtypes of these types. But when I looked at the why behind everything I did in life and growing up, it was because I wanted to have the persona of the powerful person. I didn’t want to be weak. I wanted to be in charge and in control.
When you come home to your true Enneagram type, you will feel so seen. And probably a little bit like you were personally attacked. Ha! But in all seriousness, you will be better able to understand how you operate. You’ll know your strengths and areas of growth. You’ll be able to know where you need to develop in self-mastery.
Enneagram Mistyping Happens
There are so many nuances when it comes to Enneagram types. Even though we live in an online world, we still have to look at voice inflections, body language, and nonverbal cues to discern type.
If you’ve been mistyped, you’re not alone. I encourage you to keep doing the work to uncover your true Enneagram type. You can do this through personal development or by working with an Enneagram coach such as myself. I do have Enneagram typing sessions, which you can learn more about here: Enneagram Typing Session.