Personal growth on steroids, the Enneagram feels like the world’s best kept secret in self-awareness.
I don’t feel compelled to sell the Enneagram to my mates and family. Which is lucky, because that would suck – for them and me.
If we did happen to get into a conversation about it, I’d excitedly waffle something about how learning the Enneagram has helped me in ‘observing ego’, and ‘becoming aware of self sabotaging strategies, performed unconsciously’.
But you wouldn’t care. Why would you care?
Anyway, recently I was listening to a song that was so type Two, it got me thinking: what if there was a song that encapsulates each Enneagram type? Well, it turns out that there is. In fact, there are plenty.
True, introducing people to their Enneagram type through songs is a bit simplistic. And it doesn’t account for the flavours of the main types that the two subtype provide (you’d need even more songs for that).
But have I let any of that stop me? Course I haven’t.
Here’s the Enneagram in songs.
Type One – the Reformer
The song: Carly Simon’s Nobody Does It Better
Morally upstanding Ones are pretty into perfection and keeping standards high. I should know; I almost married one. Actually, he liked this song a lot.
My ex One formed his whole business around his Oneness- accuracy, attention to detail and integrity.
My mother also happens to be a One. And that woman has a certain way of arranging the dishes in the dishwasher, I can tell you.
Let it Go is also a One song:
Be the good girl you always have to be
Conceal, don’t feel,
don’t let them know
Well now they know
That song is a One freeing herself from the chains of her own unhealthily exacting standards.
Do either of these songs resonate with you?
You could be a One.
Type Two – the Giver
The song: James Arthur, Say you Won’t Let Go
‘You made me feel like I was enough’.
‘I knew I needed you when…’.
This song perfectly captures the Giver’s devotion, and their highly seductive, single-pointed focus on the object of their affections. No other type is quite as selfless, nor as capable of providing unconditional love.
If they’re your friend, just avoid overlooking their unexpressed needs. Twos need encouraging to do what the hell they want more, and with understanding that people will still love them.
Type Three – the Achiever
The song: Travie McCoy: Billionaire ft. Bruno Mars
This song, an ode to becoming filthy rich, is very Three-ish. Type Threes want (and usually get) the external trappings of success more than the other types. Why? To fill up the gaping hole left by their failure to recognise their own inherent worth.
At some point, Threes realise that they aren’t their various successes, and care more about discovering their core values instead.
Type Four – the Romantic
The song: P!nk – Just Give Me A Reason ft. Nate Ruess
It’s in the stars, it’s been written in the scars on our hearts
We’re not broken just bent, and we can learn to love again
Fours can be a little…melodramatic. It’s not their fault Nobody understands them.
Feeling unseen and unrecognised contributes to type Four’s moody, melancholic air. They desire self identity and uniqueness, completely oblivious to the fact that they’re already unique (because they’re alive.)
Just like in the song, for Fours the magic is always slightly out of reach.
My alternative anthem for Four is James Morrison’s Undiscovered. This is a very Four-ish sentiment.
Type Five – the Observer
The Song – Tears for Fears, (it’s a very very) Mad World
All around me are familiar faces
Worn out places, worn out faces
It’s more the mood of this song, than the lyrics, that makes me think of Fives. My Five friend actually sent me the song when I requested her thoughts regarding President Trump’s election.
This song exemplifies Five’s intellectual prowess, and utter absorption into the world of their thoughts. Fives are the people you want around you when mass destruction is imminent. Why? Because they’ve been preparing for it for years.
Fives are brilliantly insightful, and at times intellectually superior, introverts.
Type Six – the Loyalist
The song: Bill Withers’ Lean on Me
‘Lean on me, when you’re not strong… It won’t be long, before I’m gonna need somebody to lean on.’
The dependable dogs of the Enneagram, type Sixes are loyal because their sense of self depends on it. Other people – or institutions, or faith – are their source of security. These people are reliable.
Lovely for the friends; not so good for the Six, who is often in the grips of a personal hell of confusion that comes from not having any internal sense of guidance. ‘What happens if they abandon me?’ ‘What will I do then?’.
The world is a scary place for Sixes. It gets less scary once they quieten that mind.
Much like Sevens.
Type Seven – the Adventurer
The song: Natasha Bedingfield, Unwritten
Ridiculously (and sometimes unreasonably) optimistic, this song is characteristic of Seven’s magpie worldview. Try to get a Seven to deal with a personal problem or relationship challenge, and they will likely make you feel like a bore or a pedant.
These people are just terrified of pain, and will escape into distraction and forward planning at any opportunity.
They grow by feeling their fears.
Wait – did someone say fears?
Type Eight – the Challenger
The song: Bon Jovi, It’s my Life
Eight’s don’t really have fears.
Don’t even think about trying to control the Challenger. It’s their life and they are in charge.
If they’re your friend, you can probably also forget about seeing their vulnerable side – Eights don’t really do vulnerability.
But when they’re healthy, they are truly amazing friends who use their power to support others.
Type Nine – the Peacemaker
The song: Bob Marley, Don’t worry about a thing
Don’t ask a Nine to assert themselves or acknowledge their hurt feelings. Like Sevens, they’d rather avoid the drama and keep the peace.
This song exemplifies Nine’s laid-back diplomacy. These guys are the glue.
But keep an eye on your Nine friend’s tendency to merge with others, and minimise their own needs.
Just don’t let them fade away.