9 Versions of Normal

The Goal

It is natural for us to believe that the way we see things is the way everyone around us does, and should, too. Through life though, we all have bumped into the conflict of realizing that “normal” to me can look very different for others.

We believe the bible teaches us that there is a uniqueness to the ways God has designed and gifted us. As we take the time to learn more about this individual design, we have the opportunity to grow in our faith. The Enneagram is a tool that suggests there are 9 natural “types” and that by studying them we can learn a lot about our motivations, tendencies, and potential hangups. Though there is a lot of room for differences within each type, they can serve as a general outline of ones tendencies for fruit and folly.

The goal of this series is to use the Enneagram tool as a platform to explore our faith, and ultimately; gain personal awareness, compassion for others, and overall health in our lives.

So we invite you to take a summer to learn more about what makes you tick, why the people you hate aren’t crazy, and how to love the people you care for better.


Type 1 -





Type 6





Descriptions taken from “The Road Back to You” (See Resources)

Type One: the Perfectionist (A.K.A, the Reformer)

  • “Ethical, dedicated and reliable, they are motivated by a desire to live the right way, improve the world, and avoid fault and blame.” (Descriptions from The Road Back to You)

  • Root sin: anger.

    • “Ones feel a compulsive need to perfect the world. Keenly aware that neither they nor anyone else can live up to their impossibly high standards, they experience anger in the form of smoldering resentment.” (From The Me I Want to Be by John Ortberg) 

  • Root motivation: the need to be perfect or good. 

  • Healthy and mature Ones: Call others to the good, the beautiful, and the true. An inspiring vision of what is possible. The Nelson Mendelas and Martin Luthers and Pauls of the world.

  • Unhealthy and immature Ones: Self-righteous, judgmental, hyper-critical, racked by their “inner critic” and just a total boor. The ultimate Pharisee.

Type Two: The Helper

  • “Warm, caring and giving, they are motivated by a need to be loved and needed, and not avoid acknowledging their own needs.”

  • Root sin: pride

    • “Twos direct all their attention and energy toward meeting the needs of others while disavowing having any of their own. They secretly believe that they alone know what’s best for others and that they’re indispensable reveals their prideful spirit.”

  • Root motivation: to be needed.

  • Healthy and mature Twos: Loving. Warm. They make you feel like a million dollars and they love to help you.

  • Unhealthy and immature Twos: Manipulative, use flattery to get you to want and need them, enmeshed, etc. 

Type Three: The Performer (The Achiever)

  • “Success-oriented, image-conscious and wired for productivity, they are motivated by a need to be (or appear to be) successful and to avoid failure.”

  • Root sin: deceit

    • “Threes value appearance over substance. Abandoning their true selves to project a false, crowd-pleasing image, Threes buy their own performance and deceive themselves into believing they are their persona.”

  • Root motivation: the need to achieve and look good to others.

  • Healthy and mature Threes: Amazing leaders, they are driven to grow and help others grow, and they achieve so much.

  • Unhealthy and immature: Vain and image-consciousness. They often brag or cut corners or step on others to get ahead. 

 Type Four: The Individualist (The Romantic)

  • “Creative, sensitive and moody, they are motivated by a need to be understood, experience their oversized feelings and avoid being ordinary.”

  • Root sin: envy

  • “Fours believe they are missing something essential without which they will never become complete. They envy what they perceive to be the wholeness and happiness of others.”

  • Root motivation: to be unique and special.

  • Healthy and mature Fours: Creative, imaginative, strong inner compass.

  • Unhealthy and immature Fours: Melancholy, racked by comparison, undisciplined, a loner. 

 Type Five: The Investigator (The Thinker)

  • “Analytical, detached and private, they are motivated by a need to gain knowledge, conserve energy and avoid relying on others.”

  • Root sin: avarice (which is similar to greed, but what you hoard isn’t money; it’s yourself)

  • “Fives hoard those things they believe will ensure they can live an independent, self-sustaining existence. This withholding ultimately leads to their holding back love and affection from others.”

  • Root motivation: the need to be competent and capable.

  • Healthy and mature Fives: Smart, well-read, thinkers, logical, truth-tellers. 

  • Unhealthy and immature Fives: Aloof, withdrawn, hide away, waste copious amounts of time learning about things that don’t matter. 

 Type Six: The Loyalist

  • “Committed, practical and witty, they are worst-case-scenario thinkers who are motivated by fear and the need for security.”

  • Root sin: fear

  • “Forever imagining worse-case scenarios and questioning their ability to handle life on their own, Sixes turn to authority figures and belief systems rather than God to provide them with the support and security they yearn for.”

  • Their root motivation is: the need for security and support.

  • Healthy and mature Sixes: Faithful through thick and then. Steady at the helm. Calm.

  • Unhealthy and immature Sixes: Fearful and isolated. 

 Type Seven: The Enthusiast

  • “Fun, spontaneous and adventurous, they are motivated by a need to be happy, to plan stimulating experiences and to avoid pain.”

  • Root sin: gluttony, not just of food, but of life.

  • “To avoid painful feelings, Seven gorge themselves on positive experiences, planning and anticipating new adventures, and entertaining interesting ideas. Never satisfied, the Seven’s frenzied pursuit of these distractions eventually escalates to the point of gluttony.”

  • Their root motivation is the need to escape emotional pain.

  • Healthy and mature Sevens: A contagious love of life. They spread joy everywhere they go. Full of energy. They make great leaders. 

  • But unhealthy and immature Sevens: Can’t deal with emotional pain. Given to addiction. Need to be the center of attention.  

 Type Eight: The Challenger

  • “Commanding, intense and confrontational, they are motivated by a need to be strong and avoid feeling weak or vulnerable.”

  • Root sin: lust

  • “Eight’s lust after intensity. It can be seen in the excessiveness they evidence in every area of life. Domineering and confrontational, Eights present a hard, intimidating exterior to mask vulnerability.”

  • Root motivation: the need to be in control of their own life.

  • Healthy and mature Eights: Strong, just. Stands up for the oppressed. Charismatic. An example of a healthy eight is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

  • Unhealthy and immature Eights: Angry. Overbearing. Intimidating. A bull in a china shop. Come off as rude. An example of an unhealthy eight is Osama Bin Laden.

 Type Nine: The Peacemaker

  • “Pleasant, laid back and accommodating, they are motivated by a need to keep the peace, merge with others and avoid conflict.”

  • Root sin: sloth

  • “For nines, sloth refers not to physical but to spiritual laziness. Nines fall asleep to their own priorities, personal development and responsibility for becoming their own person.”

  • Root motivation is: the need for peace

  • Healthy and mature: Chill, calming to be around, wise. Makes everyone feel understood. A leader of peace.

  • Unhealthy and immature Nines: Passive aggressive. Avoids conflict at all costs. Lazy. Distracted.


Take the Test: Though there are many free versions that do a great job, if you would like an in-depth assessment, feel free to take the paid version.

Suggested Reading: The Road Back to You - by Cron and Stabile