Friday, October 21, 2011


So, my friends Rob and Vicki are the only people who like personality tests more than me. This is Rob and Vic:
As you can see, if anybody is going to win a personality test, it's going to be them.

Rob and Vicki are into this thing called the Enneagram Personality System, wherein there are nine basic personality types (numbered 1-9). The Enneagram focuses on how each type of person might respond to the world when they're psychologically healthy, in just sort of average health, and when they're unhealthy. There are books written about this stuff by men who look like this:
See? I'm talking about turtlenecks and haircuts. Plenty of fiber. Bracing outdoor exercise. Tough love.

So, a few months ago Rob had me take the Enneagram test because he and Vic were all the time arguing about what my personality type was. Conversations over at their house would go like this:

Vic: Rob, don't you think Jesslyn's a 9?
Rob: You really think so?
Vic: What? You don't think she's a 9? She's know. Nine-ish.
Rob: You could be right.
Vic: But? But what. What do you think she is?
Rob: I mean, I don't know--you might have a point.
Vic: What do you think she is?
Rob: Well, I always thought she was a 2.
Vic: Oh. Huh. Because...wait. You think she's a 2? You just think that because you're a 2. She's not manipulative enough to be a 2. She could be a 7 but I think she's a 9.

These conversations, by the way, were not about me. No no. Rob and Vicki would stand in the kitchen together, making uncomfortable amounts of eye contact, talking about me as if I wasn't even in the room.

"No, Rob--2 goes to 8 in health, and she's just not that aggressive!"
"Well, all I know is that she doesn't have any 1 or 5, so she couldn't be a 7."

Anyway, so one night Rob got out his computer and sat me down and I rated about 200 Likert scale questions just like these:
  • I love traveling and discovering different kinds of foods, people and experiences.
  • People feel safe around me.
  • Most people see me as a serious, no-nonsense person.
  • I feel that "you have to break some eggs in order to make an omelet."
I answered the questions to the best of my ability, and when I was done the computer generated this bar chart:

Which Rob annotated, as you can see. And then, because the test was inconclusive, he told me to get this book:

Which I did that while I was in California this summer--because California is apparently the only place that sells books like this one.

And so now I'm getting around to reading it. And ya'll, the Enneagram book did not come here to make friends. It might have a dove on the cover, but this shit is harsh. It made me CRY this morning. That guy in the turtleneck totally made me cry.

I called Bryan and was all, "Wahhhhhhhhh I'm so unhealthy--I'm basically just a lump of poop--I can't believe you can even stand to stay married to me wahhhhhhhh...."

And Bryan was like, "Have you been taking online personality tests again?"


P.S. I'm totally a 9.


  1. That works out, then. Thank goodness you like the #9!

  2. the mini-test says I'm a four! I have problems with melancholy, self-indulgence, and self-pity! IT'S TRUUUUEEEEE

  3. What's YOUR sign? That was the "test" in the 70's. Your sign was everything you were or ever hoped to be, like TOTALLY,man. Classmates, old friends, bosses, shunned you if you didn't have a compatible sign...that's why I'm a garlic farmer today. NOBODY wants to be around ME, just my garlic.

    Every generation has it's personality, Freud, ink blob, Ouija Board, test. We're all birds of a feather, as Brian can tell you. You come from a long line of different birds. Some pretty, some not so pretty, some erratic, some brilliant, some just plain boring. Enjoy.