Book Review: The Road Back to You

The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery
Ian Morgan Cron & Suzanne Stabile

The Enneagram of Personality is a 9-point or 9-type approach to understanding human personality and behavior. It is often called simply “the Enneagram,” but I find it interesting to note that an enneagram is a geometrical figure.

Anyway. This specific book explores the Enneagram types through a Christian worldview, offering insight into how each type functions and can improve on their weaknesses, or “sins.”

I’ve been aware of the Enneagram model for several years, but I didn’t feel specific urgency in exploring it until some close friends dived into the model and invited me to learn more and discuss it with them.

When learning a new personality model, there’s a specific experience, a sort of lightning bolt moment you hope for, where a certain type of description strikes a chord in your soul and you think, “That’s me!” Ideally, it makes you feel understood in a way you’ve never before experienced, and you immediately begin seeing your behavior and feelings in a new light. I’ve had light-bulb (or lightning) moments with several models: MBTI, DISC, 4 Tendencies, etc.

I did not have an Enneagram light-bulb moment, unfortunately. I did eventually settle on a type that I think fits me, but it was not an easy or obvious choice, by any means. That was disappointing for me, although I did gain a little insight into myself through the introspection required to really accurately see myself against the descriptions.

The book feels heavy on negative focus and almost caricatures of the types, and I struggled with that. To be fair, the authors explain up front that they will focus more on the negative characteristics of the type–it’s easier for people to see themselves in negatives than positives. But I struggled with that, and with the drive to improve on a fatal weakness.

I’m sensitive to criticism and prone to seeing myself in a negative light. I don’t need a personality model for that. And I work on getting better, but it’s easiest if I don’t think of it as fixing my fatal flaw. So that made this particular book a tough read for me. Maybe other Enneagram writings would be better for me.

If none of that puts you off, give it a try! It’s not a bad book, just hard for me specifically. The Enneagram can be a useful way to understand yourself and others.

Have Enneagram recommendations you think would be better for me? Drop them in the comments!

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