What if there was a tool that could help explain why you do stupid stuff? Not like, why humanity in general does stupid stuff, but why YOU personally do stupid stuff.
I’ve found a tool that not only does this for me, but also sheds light on how to do LESS stupid stuff moving forward. Hint: it’s not Easter eggs.
Which leaves, you guessed it, the Enneagram. People all over the world use this awesome personality tool to get to the bottom of who they are, why they do what they do (especially the stupid stuff), and put them on a path to become their best selves.
First, Easter eggs.
Easter Eggs P. 1
A few years ago, I watched a home video of my second-grade Easter and I will never forget what I saw.
The video begins with a close-up of my toddler brother waddling around, egg in hand, just happy to be there.
Then I enter the screen, finding egg after egg and proudly placing them in my basket. It goes on like this for a few minutes, and while I thoroughly enjoyed watching myself kick some serious easter egg finding butt, I somehow doubt you’d enjoy the play by play as much as I did.
So I’ll skip to when my mom informed me there was one egg left. You can’t notice it in the video, but I remember a sense of thick smugness as I thought, “I’ve only been going for what? Five minutes? #tooeasy.”
But alas, that egg took forevvverrr to find. I got frustrated when it was taking me longer to find this last friggin egg than it took to find all the other eggs combined.
I checked behind the blinds and between the couch cushions for the millionth time but still to no avail. I checked and double checked that my mom was absolutely sure the Easter Bunny didn’t hide any eggs outside of the living room.
This had to be a sick joke.
When my parents realized I was stuck and gave me a hint, I became downright whiny. Becacuse I’m not someone who needs hints. Didn’t they know I was perfect at this? Hints are for stupid kids!
And then I finally spotted it.
The last stupid egg was in my dad’s stupid big shoe by the stupid front door.
But did I grab it right away, eager to end this nightmare?
Nope. I pretended like I didn’t see it.
Because now I had everyone’s attention. The camera was still rolling. And if they thought I needed hints because I was too stupid to find the last egg, well then I was going to be too stupid to find the last egg.
I walked around the living room grumpily shuffling my feet, secretly happy to bring everyone down in my misery.
Eventually, my parents’ continual hints upset me enough to fast walk across the room, snatch the egg, throw it in my basket, and exclaim, “I don’t need this stupid egg! The shoe is a dumb hiding spot anyway!”
I plopped on the couch, folded my arms, and brooded for the rest of the video.
Then the camera panned to my dad whose expression was basically, “WTF?”
Even at the ripe old age of seven, there was clearly something driving me to strive for the appearance of perfection. It wasn’t until much later that I started on the journey to get to the bottom of it.
Easter Eggs P. 2
14 years after that infamous Easter egg hunt tantrum, I’m a junior in college and was psyching myself up for another Easter egg hunt. (Yes, I was a twenty-year-old woman that still required my mom to get all the Easter eggs from the attic, stuff them with money and candy, and hide them for me.)
I invited my boyfriend (now husband) over to participate in the hunt with my brother and I. Even though I warned him how cutthroat these egg hunts were, he didn’t quite grasp the gravity of the situation.
All three of us stood at the starting line just outside the kitchen. My mom pulled out her video camera just like the good ol’ days and said, “On your mark…get set…go!”
My poor boyfriend got THROTTLED.
He was shoved right into the corner of the fridge as my brother and I blew past him, eyes peeled for eggs. I may have yelled “sorry” as I was heading into the living room but honestly I don’t know.* I was on a mission.
It wasn’t until I saw the footage of Joe getting slammed into the fridge that I realized I have a problem.
I am an enneagram type 3.
The Enneagram is a fabulous personality assessment tool that is gaining ground in the mental and spiritual health communities. It is structured around an ancient symbol and identifies nine main ego drivers/personality types.
What I love about the Enneagram is how it doesn’t put you in a box and takes the fluidity of personality into consideration. Also, I found it to be eerily accurate. Albeit straight to the point and with no sugar coating.
I am a type 3 on the Enneagram, otherwise known as the “performer” or “achiever.”
Threes are goal oriented, social chameleons, and we get. shit. done. Our value is based on what we achieve and how we perform because somewhere along the line, threes adopted the belief that the “real us” is not loveable or valuable and what makes us lovable and valuable is what we achieve, how we perform, and how people perceive us.
So while many different types can be competitive, threes compete because they believe the best way to be loved is if they perform or achieve what is lovely to people.
So the challenge to get the most eggs becomes a challenge to prove myself as a valuable and loveable human being. And when people offer me help, an unhealthy part of myself could take that to mean I’m not performing well enough at something, and if I’m not performing well enough, I am not loveable.
As an Enneagram type 3, my path to freedom is letting my self define my image, and not my image define my self.Let your self define your image, not your image define your self. Click To Tweet
Keep in mind that many types struggle with being true to themselves, and everyone has parts of each type in them. Even if my brief description of a three resonates with you, your main type could still be any of the eight others.
Also, there is something important to clarify here. I didn’t behave this way on Easter because I am an Enneagram type 3. Identifying myself as an Enneagram type 3 merely opens a window to look at these behaviors at a new angle.
Human beings are complicated and no single tool can explain everything about you. But I’ve found the Enneagram to have opened up a powerful new angle to explore and with the existential confusion blanketing my life as of late, diving into my Enneagram type has helped me understand and have compassion for the stupid stuff I do.
I hope it can do the same for you.
If you’re interested in learning your type, there are several good Enneagram personality tests on the internet (and linked below). But keep in mind that online tests are only there to point you in the direction of your type. They are a great starting place, but only you can decide what your true type is.
For instance, you may have several of the nine types within one or two points of each other. If this happens, read the descriptions of your top three types and it should become clear which one resonates most with you.
One quick note on finding your type before you take an online test: It’s not uncommon to feel emotional or “tight” inside when you read the description of your type. In fact, the type description that makes you feel most uncomfortable is probably the one.
So, if you are interested in taking an online test to find your Enneagram type, here are a few links:
- https://tests.enneagraminstitute.com/test/1/code (Costs $12. But I’ve found this one to be the most accurate. enneagraminstitute.com is a great resource for type descriptions regardless.)
If you do discover your type, post in the comments what type you are! I would love, love, love to connect with you over this empowering personality tool.
*Upon reading this, my husband informed me that I, in fact, did not say sorry. Woops.