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Showing 1-10 of 105 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 161 reviews
on May 27, 2016
I discovered this method of personality diagnosis from a co-worker. He left the first edition of this book on my desk at work. He told me I was a certain personality type, which I did not believe since I felt that all people are a mix of all kinds of personal history, religious beliefs, etc. When I read about the type he had described as me, I was astounded. It was as if someone had written down my thoughts. Till that time I had been a fairly depressed person with no reason to believe my life would improve. I focused on the positive attributes of my personality type to realize a new awareness about myself. This book truly helped me evolve.
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on January 19, 2017
It's all covered here. When you read the long, comprehensive description of your personality type, you will surely know it, for better or worse. The entire spectrum of (mental) health is covered, from top-form (which is very rare) to rock bottom (which hopefully is rare, too). The journey of all 12 Enneagram personality types as they descend in a downward spiral to become the person they fear the most is riveting reading. You would never believe it, but all laid out like this, it makes perfect sense. The book doesn't leave it there; it reveals the way one must go in order to come full circle & achieve an inner-peace & happiness. It explains why you must do what is not instinctive in order to be whole. There is even an explanation of how we become the personality types we become, through parental identification. I've found this book to be so helpful in understanding others and, most importantly in understanding myself (a work in progress).
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on June 22, 2017
This book has changed my life. I've read tons about being a Gemini, infp, hsp but nothing has ever made as much sense to me in describing why I do certain things. I'm new to understanding the ennegram but I'm so glad I stumbled on this. I'm an individualist type four and the description of my personality is so accurate it's scary. My whole life I thought I was just crazy. I have always retreated into my imaginary life which only leads to my depression and I've spent my whole life making decisions based off my fleeting emotions only to regret them later. I feel like now that I understand why I do this I can become a healthy four. If you're a four I would def suggest reading this.
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on August 11, 2015
The detail which Don Riso has put into the research and explanation of the Enneagram is quite remarkable - and also amazing. When I read this book I could see myself at different times in the different levels of 'health' of my Enneagram type and it was extremely enlightening. I am very grateful to this book for the help it has given me to see and understand better my core motivations and to progress on the road to the healthiest version of myself that I can be.
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on November 3, 2015
Most insightful book I've ever read on understanding what makes people tick and why what motivates one person doesn't motivate another. Possibly more importantly you'll learn how different our fears are based on our personality types and their biggest inherent insecurities. The Enneagram (and especially Riso's thorough and well articulated explanations) is infinitely more enlightening, thorough, lucid, and SPECIFIC than Carl Jung's personality test. I feel like I understand my fellow human beings 500% more than I did before. This book will make you way more empathetic (unless you're a sociopath then you'll just be 50 times better at manipulating people). I wish this were required reading for high schoolers and young adults trying to figure out who they are and why they don't always mesh with others around them. I couldn't recommend this book more empathically. Wish there were more stars to give it.
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on January 14, 2016
This is a great book that highlights the 27 personality types of the Enneagram personality system. Each type is given a thorough description, including trouble spots for people of each type and what happens when that person becomes psychologically unhealthy or becomes more healthy, up to their peak. I bought the book to find myself, of course, and I did that, but I like to read it from time to time to check out other people's types and see if I can figure out which type applies to which friend.

To me the best part of all this is the poetry of the authors. They don't just churn out boring text about different personalities; they really gave some thought to how each type acts when they are psychologically healthy and how they act when they are unhealthy, or just average. When you find yourself, it feels like being discovered by a talent scout from Hollywood; the descriptions are flattering and so well said that you'll love finding you.

This is a big book, over 500 pages, and it is stuffed with information. You can pick it up for a few bucks on Amazon used books and enjoy it for months as you chew through the types and assign your friends and family their character. Highly recommended; everybody should own a copy of this book.
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on October 14, 2014
This book was, to me, a very good treatment of the Enneagram. I enjoyed the structure and the format. It starts with a general overview of what the Enneagram is and theories about its origin and evolution. From there, it moves on to each individual type, describing the types in general, then moving to specifics in each health state. The author describes what a healthy member of a given type looks like, moving to average, and then unhealthy.

What was most interesting to me is that he then explores each wing type. This is my first Enneagram book, so I can't really say how other authors have treated wings, but I know that it can be difficult to find information online. This was very helpful because the wing can dramatically affect the core type. For example, type Threes are typically quite extroverted. Threes with a Four wing, however, are often much more introverted. Threes are extremely competitive. Threes with a Four wing are just as competitive, but they often compete with themselves.

What this did for me was give some distinctions that helped clarify my type in areas where the core description didn't quite fit. I do wish Riso would have maybe given the the wing overviews immediately after the top level overview and then sprinkled additional information about the wings into the later subsections. I understand why he did it the way he did it, but that would be my preference.

One complaint I have doesn't have anything to do with the book. I share it only in the hopes it might be helpful for someone. Much of the information in this book can be found online. Where that's a problem, is that it is "much" of the information but not nearly "all." What that means is that my tendency the first time through the book was to skim and skip because much of it was familiar. It took me a little bit to figure out that I ended up skipping stuff that wasn't in the online descriptions.

With all that said, the reason I gave four stars instead of five has to do with the author's theories about "why." He theorizes about why the types exist, and tries to give insight into the mechanics for certain motivations.

First - the motivation of why the types exist or form. In each case, he identifies some sort of parental relationship that involves connection, disconnection, or ambivalence to either the nurturing figure (mother), protective figure (father), or both. The issue I have with this is that there is no information to back this up. Where does this idea come from? Is it observational or theoretical? As far as I can tell, there is nothing about how or why this part of the theory exists.

Second - Riso tries to give insight about the mechanics for certain motivations, and they seem too general for me. For example, he says that type 3s suppress their emotions to gain efficiency. Basically, they get in the way, so we shut them off. Okay, I imagine that is true for some people. I really don't know that it is true for me. Yes, I shut them off and it has been one heck of a battle to turn them back on, but I don't know that I shut them off because of efficiency.

I guess my point is that it bugs me when people present something as truth when it is either not necessarily truth, or it is not verifiable.

With that said, that really is just a nit and it doesn't take a ton away from the material. That's why I'm still giving it four stars. I do think it is a very helpful resource, and I would definitely recommend it.
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on August 18, 2016
This book and the Enneagram in general helped me to understand other people on a level that MBTI still doesn't. It's easy to read, and you don't have to read it from beginning to end to learn what you need. This is "The Book" for the Enneagram, and if you don't wind up liking it, it's probably a good gift for someone you know.
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on June 25, 2015
I’m a 6 with a 5 wing, so I have a considerable amount of anxiety and fear about unknown situations, public speaking, conversing with others, and playing out future conversations with my internal “committee”. I am not going to go into the particulars (you can read more about what the enneagram is and how it applies to individuals in other reviews) but not only did Riso’s book give me a better understanding of myself, it also helped me tremendously with understanding others. I did not read it cover to cover, instead I read the general summary of each type and went into more depth as I encountered (interrupted) those personality types (I have yet to read it all). So far, it’s been great for self-discovery and handling social situations (for those with my particular personality type). Also, he has another book (one of many), The Wisdom of the Enneagram, that I am also reading which I find less technical but also a good read.

How did I hear about this book? My father is a retired therapist of 30+ years. He recommended this book to me as a starting point for understand how others operate (I was interviewing for a new job at the time).
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on August 5, 2015
Certainly interesting, but all books of this genre while they can be used to articulate how you may feel about yourself should never be taken as the final word or a way to define yourself. Also it might be handy to take some online tests first, people can 'mis-type' themselves quite easily, (example, 5 with 4 wing may believe they are 4 with a 5 wing instead, while similar, also quite different).
btw, suits hardcopy much better than ebook format, so consider that.
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