How well do you know yourself?


Being created in the image of God means we are designed to reflect aspects of His character. Therefore, each man & woman reflects one or more of the following characteristics:

wise, caring, radiant, creative, insightful, protective, joyful, knowledgeable, peaceful

Which one describes you?
Which best describes your mate?
When you’re at your best, that is.

Always remember that it is your birthright and natural state to be wise and noble, loving and generous, to esteem yourself and others, to be creative and constantly renewing yourself to be engaged in the world in awe and in depth, to have courage and to rely on yourself to be joyous and effortlessly accomplished, to be strong and effective, to enjoy peace of mind and to be present to the unfolding mystery of your life.

Riso & Hudson, 1999

The information below will not only help you describe your personality, but also give you insight into how things go sideways. And when one person is sideways, the other person looks sideways, too! Go figure!

“There’s nothing like a new relationship to bring up old crap.”

Jodi, My Best Friend in Grad School

Soon after meeting The Cute Boy (Summer 2011Opens in a new tab.), my greatest fears & deepest longings, as well as my past pain, unexpectedly crashed onto the scene with a vengeance.

Dancing with The Cute Boy has always made me smile! He thinks it is just who I am. He doesn’t yet realize that my smile is actually my instinctive response to him!

I was excited beyond measure. But I had trouble seeing The Cute Boy as the man he truly is.

Because I unwittingly began to interpret everything he did through the lens of my past experience.

Always on the lookout for anything that looked remotely like the attitudes & actions of the other men who had hurt me. (We all do this!)

However, just because he is male does not guarantee that he is just like all other men.

In fact, he is unlike any other man on this earth.

Indeed, he is the most unique & beautiful man I have ever known.

And although he’s more like me than anyone I have ever met, he is nevertheless a man. Consequently, I can never assume that our similar personalities will play out exactly the same.

Because I’m a girl, and he is not.

After all these years, I am still on a quest to know more about who he is & who he is becoming. But first I know I must more fully understand myself.

  • I need to know my own vulnerabilities & defensiveness.
  • Otherwise, I will use them as filters through which I will interpret him.
  • That would make for a very muddy picture of him … as well as myself!

If you want to create a fulfilling relationship, you will need to do the same.

The following personality descriptions will help you get started.

So let’s dig in! Who do you think you are? You need to do that before you can truly understand him. And you’ll need to remember that your gender differences are in your DNA. So pay attention to them, too. (Likewise, if you’re a man reading this, you must start with understanding yourself before you can hope to understand her!)

Brief Personality Test

Which sounds most like you? Yes, you can pick more than one!

Then use the info below to confirm or disconfirm your choice.

  1. I have the ability to lead with integrity and reason. Sometimes I struggle perfectionism and/or resentment.
  2. I have the ability to shine with generosity and healing power. Sometimes I struggle with people-pleasing and/or possessiveness.
  3. I have the ability to be an inspiring example of excellence and authenticity. Sometimes I blindly pursue success and/or status.
  4. I have the ability to model creativity and intuitive power. Sometimes I struggle with moodiness and/or self-consciousness.
  5. I have the ability to demonstrate visionary intellect and inventiveness. Sometimes I become increasingly eccentric and/or isolated.
  6. I have the ability to exemplify courage and commitment. Sometimes I struggle with anxiety and/or rebelliousness.
  7. I have the ability to be highly accomplished and spirited. Sometimes I get waylaid by impulsiveness and/or impatience.
  8. I have the ability to be a powerful, magnanimous leader. Sometimes I control and/or intimidate others.
  9. I have the ability to bring people together and heal conflicts. Sometimes I get held back by passivity and/or stubbornness.

1. The Reformer

  • Rational
  • Idealistic
  • Principled
  • Purposeful
  • Self-Controlled
  • Perfectionist

What Motivates You

Your Greatest Fear: to be wrong, bad, evil, inappropriate, not redeemable, or corruptible

Your Deepest Desire: to have integrity; to be good, ethical, balanced, accurate, virtuous, and right

Your Greatest Weakness: Resentment – of those who do not follow your advice

Your Deepest Longing: to hear, “You are good.”

Childhood Message: “It’s not okay to be wrong or make mistakes.”

To be more specific, you might better describe yourself as …

The Idealist

  • Analytical
  • Emotionally Detached
  • Gentle/Soft/Calm
  • Generous
  • Internal Conflict

You make others aware of what is wrong and express it in ways that are easier for people to see.

The Advocate

  • Warm/Helpful
  • Action-Oriented
  • Helpful
  • Vocal/Social
  • Sometimes Critical/Controlling

You see what is wrong/broken, but get involved in fixing the problem, rather than criticizing from a distance.


2. The Giver

  • Caring
  • Interpersonal
  • Demonstrative
  • Generous
  • People-Pleasing
  • Possessive

What Motivates You

Your Greatest Fear: Being rejected and unwanted, being thought worthless, needy, inconsequential, dispensable, or unworthy of love

Your Deepest Desire: to be appreciated, loved, and wanted

Your Greatest Weakness: Pride – failure to acknowledge your own needs

Your Deepest Longing: to hear, “You are wanted and loved.”

Childhood Message: “It’s not okay to have needs of your own.”

To be more specific, you might better describe yourself as …

The Servant

  • Objective
  • Responsible
  • Helpful
  • Sometimes Impatient
  • Internal Conflict

You focus on improving others’ lives through teaching, care, and nurturance, using your values, encouragement, and warmth.

The Host/Hostess

  • Outgoing
  • Affirming
  • Sociable/Likeable
  • Approval-Seeking
  • Sometimes Flattering

You are likeable, charming, outgoing, and enjoys and thrives being in the spotlight.


3. The Achiever

  • Success-Oriented
  • Pragmatic
  • Adaptive
  • Excelling
  • Driven
  • Image-Conscious

What Motivates You

Your Greatest Fear: to be exposed as – or thought to be – incompetent, inefficient, worthless, or unsuccessful

Your Deepest Desire: to have high status and respect; to be admired, successful, and valuable

Your Greatest Weakness: Deception – making things look better than they are

Your Deepest Longing: to hear, “You are loved and valued for simply being you.”

Childhood Message: “It’s not okay for you to have your own feelings and identity.”

To be more specific, you might better describe yourself as …

The Star

  • Charming/Likeable
  • Adaptable
  • Engaging
  • Confident
  • Competitive

You immediately know how to make others feel special, seen, and supported.

The Professional

  • Private/Quiet
  • Recognition-Seeking
  • Creative/Masterful
  • Emotionally Vulnerable
  • Internal Conflict

You master your craft or skill with introspection and creativity.


4. The Romantic

  • Sensitive
  • Withdrawn
  • Expressive
  • Dramatic
  • Self-Absorbed
  • Temperamental

What Motivates You

Your Greatest Fear: to be inadequate, emotionally alone, plan, mundane, defective, flawed, insignificant

Your Deepest Desire: to be unique, special, and find your authentic self

Your Greatest Weakness: Envy – believing others have qualities you don’t possess

Your Deepest Longing: to hear, “You are seen and loved for exactly who you are – special and unique.”

Childhood Message: “It’s not okay to be too much or not enough.”

To be more specific, you might better describe yourself as …

The Aristocrat

  • Refined Taste
  • Vivid/Buoyant
  • Extroverted/Upbeat
  • Interpersonal
  • Internal Conflict

You make your own unique mark on the world with your remarkable creativity, originality, and ambition.

The Nonconformist

  • Intellectually Deep
  • Creative/Original
  • Introverted
  • Fiercely Independent
  • Withdrawn

You are remarkably creative, unusual, mysterious, and eccentric, combining you intellectual insights with emotional intuition to produce stunning original works.


5. The Investigator

  • Intense
  • Cerebral
  • Perceptive
  • Innovative
  • Secretive
  • Isolated

What Motivates You

Your Greatest Fear: to be annihilated, invaded, or not existing; to be thought incapable or ignorant; to have obligations placed upon you or your energy depleted

Your Deepest Desire: to be knowledgeable, capable, and competent

Your Greatest Weakness: Greed – Holding on to your resources and minimizing your needs.

Your Deepest Longing: to hear, “Your needs are not a problem.”

Childhood Message: “It’s not okay to be comfortable in the world.”

To be more specific, you might better describe yourself as …

The Skeptic

  • Withdrawn
  • Isolated
  • Eccentric
  • Detached
  • Sensitive

You have an amazing ability to pull things apart, then devise new, creative viewpoints.

The Problem-Solver

  • Intellectual
  • Analytical
  • Observant
  • Cerebral
  • Internal Conflict

You thrive on dissecting, analyzing, and solving problems through research and intellectual power.


6. The Guardian

  • Committed
  • Security-Oriented
  • Engaging
  • Responsible
  • Anxious
  • Suspicious

What Motivates You

Your Greatest Fear: to be afraid, without support, security, or guidance; to be blamed, alone, or abandoned

Your Deepest Desire: to have security, guidance, and support

Your Greatest Weakness: Anxiety – constantly worried, hyper-vigilent

Your Deepest Longing: to hear, “You are safe and secure.”

Childhood Message: “It’s not okay to trust and depend on yourself.”

To be more specific, you might better describe yourself as …

The Defender

  • Organized
  • Perceptive
  • Responsible
  • Serious
  • Internal Conflict

You are a voice for the underdogs and go to great lengths to defend them.

The Buddy

  • Engaging
  • Supportive
  • Witty/Sociable
  • Anxious
  • Procrastinator

You are a thoughtful, warm, and engaging friend. You’re always on the lookout for problems, but also like to have fun.


7. The Optimist

  • Busy
  • Fun-Loving
  • Spontaneous
  • Versatile
  • Distractible
  • Scattered

What Motivates You

Your Greatest Fear: to be deprived, trapped in emotional pain, limited, bored, or missing out on fun

Your Deepest Desire: to be happy, fully satisfied, content

Your Greatest Weakness: Self-indulgence – a desire experiences and stimulation to fulfill your emptiness

Your Deepest Longing: to hear, “You will be taken care of.”

Childhood Message: “It’s not okay to depend on others for anything.”

To be more specific, you might better describe yourself as …

The Entertainer

  • Outgoing
  • Creative
  • Silly/Playful
  • Self-Conscious
  • Internal Conflict

You are a committed, loyal, faithful friend, who brings fun, joy, and passion to your relationships.

The Realist

  • Assertive
  • Self-Confident
  • Ambitious
  • Persistent
  • Demanding

You are confident, intense, and determined to overcome obstacles. Failure is not an option, so you look for a different perspective when things don’t work.


8. The Challenger

  • Powerful
  • Dominating
  • Self-Confident
  • Decisive
  • Willful
  • Confrontational

What Motivates You

Your Greatest Fear: to be weak, powerless, harmed, controlled, vulnerable, manipulated

Your Deepest Desire: to protect yourself and those who matter to you

Your Greatest Weakness: Lust – pushing yourself willfully on others to get what you want

Your Deepest Longing: to hear, “You will not be betrayed.”

Childhood Message: “It’s not okay to trust or be vulnerable with anyone.”

To be more specific, you might better describe yourself as …

The Maverick

  • Blunt
  • Intense
  • Energetic
  • Persistent
  • Impatient

You are a powerful driving force, seeing what needs to be done and getting involved to plow a path for the benefit of others.

The Bear

  • Steady
  • Patient
  • Compassionate
  • Soft-Hearted
  • Internal Conflict

Your gentle strength motivates and inspires others to excel in their own areas of strength.


9. The Peacemaker

  • Easygoing
  • Self-Effacing
  • Receptive
  • Reassuring
  • Agreeable
  • Complacent

What Motivates You

Your Greatest Fear: to be in conflict, tension, or discord; to feel shut out and overlooked; to lose connection with others

Your Deepest Desire: to have inner stability and peace of mind

Your Greatest Weakness: Sloth – laziness in trying to keep the peace; unmotivated by your own anger; merging with others by foregoing your own passions, abilities, desires, needs, and worth

Your Deepest Longing: to hear, “Your presence matters.”

Childhood Message: “It’s not okay to assert yourself or think much of yourself.”

To be more specific, you might better describe yourself as …

The Comfort Seeker

  • Sociable/Engaging
  • Encouraging
  • Expressive
  • Independent/Assertive
  • Internal Conflict

You are gentle yet powerful and will assert yourself on behalf of others so they will be valued and seen.

The Dreamer

  • Idealistic
  • Principled
  • Caring/Kind
  • Withdrawn
  • Critical/Judgemental

You are a great mediator who can see all perspectives. You insist on truth and fairness is all circumstances.


Well, which personality type is most like you?

Would you like to know more? Are you interested in a full assessment of your strengths & ways you can grow … as well as how you can connect better with your mate? I’m here to help.

Schedule your free 30-minute video consultation to learn more.


NOTE: The information provided in this post was compiled and adapted from The Wisdom of the EnneagramOpens in a new tab. by Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson, and Becoming UsOpens in a new tab. by Jeff and Beth McCord). (As an Amazon Affiliate I may earn from qualified purchases, with no additional cost to you.)

DrDebiSmith

Dr. Debi is passionate about helping Christian couples & single adults learn more effective ways to apply Biblical principles & the findings of psychological research to everyday life. She is an author & former professor, as well as a California Licensed Psychologist (21711) & a Texas Licensed Psychologist with Provisional Status (38600). She earned her Doctor of Psychology degree (PsyD) at Rosemead School of Psychology-Biola University, and has taught psychology courses at MidAmerica Nazarene University, Azusa Pacific University, & Biola University. * Dr. Debi has taught psychology courses at MidAmerica Nazarene University, Azusa Pacific University, & Biola University.

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