Narrowing Down Your Enneagram Type Using Triads
Most users determine their enneagram type by reading descriptions or taking quizzes, but there's a quick & dirty method to narrowing down your type using triads and coping mechanisms. It's an easy three step process.
Step 1: Hornevian Triads
The "hornevian triads" are another way to group types in the Enneagram. Read the following three descriptions and see which one best matches you. It's likely they all apply to you to some degree; the question is which is the most true.
Are you withdrawn? (When problems arise, do you tend to withdraw into your own head, using logic or emotions?) Then you may want to consider 4, 5, and 9.
Are you always checked by your superego? (When problems arise, do you feel like your conscience/sense of right and wrong demands you act a certain way?) Then you may want to consider 1, 2 or 6.
Are you assertive? (When problems arise, do you address them assertively to get what you want?) Then you may want to consider 7, 8, or 3.
Step 2: Harmonic Triads
Like the Hornevian triads, harmonic triads are yet another way to group types in the Enneagram. Again, read the three descriptions and pick whichever is the most true.
Are you reactive? (You get very volatile and reactive under stress?) Then you should consider 4, 6 and 8.
Are you optimistic? (You try to see the silver lining of a situation under stress and keep an optimistic outlook.) Then you should consider 2, 7 and 9.
Do you rely on your competence? (Do you feel that you always need to be competent to address life situations?) If so, then consider 1, 5, and 3.
Step 3: Figure out your coping mechanism
After steps 1 and 2, you may have a few enneagram types that you're considering. To determine which one is most likely correct, read through this list and decide which coping mechanism is the most accurate for you. So for example, if you're trying to decide between 4, 6, and 7, read the coping mechanisms for 4, 6, and 7 and compare.
Type 1: You can become rigid and perfectionist in the face of a fatal flaw.
Type 2: You can become clingy and over-invested in people.
Type 3: You can become obsessed with ascending the social ladder or attaining success.
Type 4: You can become fixated on the need to express your individuality and set yourself apart from others.
Type 5: You are fixated on meticulous planning/observation/thinking before you act, but when you do act, you act assertively.
Type 6: You are fixated on what could go wrong (possible situations) and try to troubleshoot them.
Type 7: You are somewhat scattered and can fixate on all sorts of things other than your current troubles.
Type 8: You have a compulsive need to control situations that you're in.
Type 9: When serious problems arise, you tend to withdraw into your head to find inner peace. Conflict wears on you.
This should lead you to maybe one or two types that you think might be yours.