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The Enneagram for Teens

The Enneagram for TeensFrom the Preface to The Enneagram for Teens – Discover Your Personality Type & Celebrate Your True Self

Words that describe these years are change (physical, mental, emotional), curiosity, and chaos. You will want something at the same time as you don’t want it. Who am I? Who am I going to be? Am I crazy or is the world around me crazy? Do I know my parents anymore? Who influences me? Who do I want to influence me—my parents, my society, my teachers, my friends? Aha, my true self, you say, but have I found my true self? I will learn to be my own authority. I will find gifts where I least expect them. I would like a map to follow, but if there is no map, I can live with that.

Underneath the change and chaos, what remains constant is that you are one of a kind and your basic personality style does not change. If you had a vivid imagination all your life, you still do. If you’ve been cautious or daring all your life, you probably still are. You may try many new ways of being during these years, but deep down you are the same basic person when you are twenty-one that you were when you were ten….

Enneagram for High School Teachers

It is a wonderful book. I wish I had had it when I was teaching Guidance in high school. I really liked the comments by the teens themselves, sharing the difficulties they faced growing up. So often the difficulties were because of the way they viewed the world through the lens of their type. I would imagine other teens with the same type would feel so validated by reading about teens having similar problems. – Jack Falt

I wish all the teens in the world had access to this book. Its insights might save so much grief and tragedy; remember, to a teen simple growing pains are often construed as tragedy. Wagele does not flinch; she goes to the heart. – Lucilla Bellucci, author

See reviews on wagele.com and order the paperback version or Kindle or tablet version.

Blog describing the book: “The Enneagram for Teens” is Here!

Reviews and Endorsements

• Tom Condon:

The Enneagram for Teens is another first-rate entry in Elizabeth Wagele’s successful series of targeted books that smartly apply the Enneagram’s system of personality types.

This book uses the Enneagram’s insights to help teens resolve identity issues, ease growing pains and discover their natural talents. Along with her playful inviting illustrations, Wagele has teens with each personality style speak for themselves.

If you are a teen get this book: It will give you valuable guidance for developing your strengths, communicating well and finding your place in the world.

– Tom Condon, Enneagram teacher and author of The Dynamic Enneagram

• Richard Rohr:

I always thought that teaching the Enneagram to young people or about young people would be fruitless. But as always, Elizabeth Wagele has shown us a way–and a way that is honest, helpful and enlightening! This is the next stage of Enneagram studies.

– Fr. Richard Rohr, O.F.M., Center for Action and Contemplation, Albuquerque, New Mexico

• Please read this review by Ally Marth, a high school student who recommends this book.

• Clarence Thomson:

Reviewed by Clarence Thomson in The Enneagram Monthly, 2/15

The Enneagram for Teens by Elizabeth Wagele, PLI Media 2015
Available on Amazon, Paperback & Kindle

Elizabeth Wagele has established herself as an Enneagram authority with her earlier publi- cations. Her Enneagram Made Easy is my standard recommendation for the book to read for a client or student who wants to start looking into the Enneagram. Her new book, Enneagram for Teens, is, as expected, clear and accurate in the Enneagram categories. It is a lot more than just clear, though. It is a really helpful educational tool.

Long before je suis Charlie became a slogan that originated because of the power of cartoons, Wagele has impressed and delighted me and my students with her cartoons. The clarity and evocative power of her cartoons are an important part of all of her books. Hint to presenters: copy a page or five of them and use them in seminars; they’re superior to most power point presentations.

Her cartoons carry the exaggera- tion, distortion and simplification that are also the marks of egotism. Our Enneagram style exaggerates, distorts and filters out the reality we don’t want. That results in simplification. If I have one response (withdrawal, escape, work) to most situations in my life, that simplifies matters. No matter the situation, I just do my thing. Her cartoons are smoothly capable of iso- lating and specifying a dominant ego strategy.

Teachers know the importance of learning styles and the visual informa- tion in the cartoons is powerful, espe- cially in illustrating emphasis. We say that our Enneagram style is a matter of dominant energy and tendencies. To see a style captured in a bit of shad- ing and a line or two is a pedagogical triumph. Because it is a cartoon and a bit funny, we have enough emotional distance to accept the message.

The title of the book contains what is most important for students and teachers using the Enneagram. Wagele makes this book valuable by using research on real teens. She has used the class- room teacher’s resources of a teacher friend and some of her own interviews. Students studied the Enneagram and wrote about their experiences as a style. The result is parallel to interviewing different styles on a panel.

Here are some samples of the teen experience Wagele shares.

Style Two: Kind Person

I want to be liked and to be part of a group who cares about me. I feel really sad if an animal dies on a TV show. We all have feelings but we Helpers have a weakness. I get emotionally hurt easily and have a hard time dealing with people who think I’m too de- manding.

I was the go-between and caretaker in my family when I was a child. But I didn’t do a very good job of taking care of myself. I’ve always taken things person- ally. If someone looked at me sideways or said some- thing like “What makes you think that?” I’d get my feelings hurt and burst into tears. I wish a book on overcoming rejection had been available to me years ago; maybe I wouldn’t have accumulated so many dings and dents along the rejection road.

Style Three: The Achiever

When I got elected to be on student counsel, which to tell you the truth I didn’t think I was go- ing to get, I was proud of what I accomplished and I liked representing our school. First impressions are important. I’d never want to look like I just got out of bed. It might seem sad but I don’t like to hang out with people who are dirty. That is probably a big hint that I’m a 3.

Even though to this old high school teacher it seems as though most teenagers are Fours trying to be different, here is a checklist Wagele shares from real Fours.

I want to be unique, to be understood, to find meaning to life, and to be seen as special. —Mei Xing

I admit I do not have the sunniest overview of life. —Chiara

Whether I’m depressed or happy, I love to unload my emotions. —Chiara

I like to be noticed but I’d rather be nothing than try too hard to be known and make a fool out of myself in the process. —Chiara

What’s the worst thing that can happen to a Romantic? Even the slightest crude remark can hurt me deeply. —Chiara

For people to think I’m weird because I’m different. —Mei Xing

What can you learn? I don’t know if I need to change this, but some people don’t like it that I cry and get too excited over the littlest things. – Kaitlin

I’m emotionally intense. I’d like to learn how to voice my opinions without feeling like everyone is looking at me funny. —Shuan

How do you keep your boundaries? I dress like I’m a piece of art and if people don’t like the way I look they stay away from me. —Hunter

You can tell an experienced teacher is at work. A way of illustrating the differences among the Nine styles is to take a common experience and see how each style would have that experience a little differ- ently. Here is how a student demonstrated that she understood how each Enneagram style experienced taking a bite of food.

No Accounting for Tastes

Even though to this old high school teacher it seems as though most teenagers are Fours trying to be different, here is a checklist Wagele shares from

THREES take a bite of the best-selling, most popular brand.

FOURS take a bite slowly and dramatically, hoping others are watching.

FIVES hide the wrapper so no one else will know what bites they are enjoying.

SIXES check the expiration date or read the list of ingredients before taking a bite.

SEVENS do bite off more than they can chew, and proceed to chew it.

EIGHTS may take possession of someone else’s bite, putting up a fight if necessary. NINES can’t make up their minds what to take a bite of; they take a little of everything so as not to show partiality.

With cartoons, tests, illustrations, hundreds of personal examples and clear explanations of each of the styles, Wagele’s work could serve an excellent text for anyone teaching the Enneagram to teens or any teen wanting to learn his or her Enneagram style. • 

From "The Enneagram for Teens." Cartoon by Elizabeth Wagele

From “The Enneagram for Teens.” Cartoon by Elizabeth Wagele

(Clarence Thomson is a former teacher and is presently an Enneagram expert. See Enneagram Central.)

• Linda Fadden:

–       I’ve been eagerly awaiting the publication of Liz Wagele’s book The Enneagram for Teens, to share with my grandchildren and other young initiates. The book surpasses my expectations in powerful and personal ways. My oldest grandchild showed up as a 5-Observer, not the 1-Perfectionist he had self-identified years ago. Even his 4-Romantic Mom who disparaged all Type discussions, said “WOW, this really describes him.”  And the best part – he agreed.

–       This book fills a big gap between Finding the Birthday Cake and The Enneagram Made Easy, or adult tomes that outline the 9 Types in daunting detail. The format is inviting, couched in teen-accessible concepts and language: a brief poll lists characteristics to help readers identify types/chapters that resonate, and others that “model refreshing new ways to behave”. Stories by adolescents stunningly describe their behaviors, motivations and challenges. Liz’s charming cartoons illustrate, entertain, and draw the reader forward. She lists “Seven Goals for Adolescents,” a “New Golden Rule,” Leadership guidelines, and Resources, with a slogan “Passions will feed your soul while your strengths will support you financially” to guide us all.

–       Liz Wagele has another hugely appealing book to add to her published titles. This one could top the charts. – Linda Fadden, Enneagram enthusiast

• Valerie Atkins:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Elizabeth Wagele does it again. I say this from having read the latest contribution and having used hundreds of copies of The Enneagram Made Easy with my clients. Her books provide an entry into the Enneagram, an amazingly useful system, for all ages from small children Finding the Birthday Cake to teens (this newest book) thru adulthood (The Enneagram Made Easy) and right up to the Enneagram of Death. More than any other author, Liz considers our time of life and the way we learn (visually and with fun) to help even the most skeptical find value in the Enneagram. If you’d like to introduce someone or learn more yourself, pick up one of these books. – Valerie Atkins

• The White Rose:
What an inspired book this is! There’s no lack of advice books for teens, but few with either the simplicity, clarity and insight of The Enneagram for Teens, or its delightfully appropriate illustrations — and none with both. It’s hard to exaggerate the value of Elizabeth Wagele’s book in explaining to young people what makes them tick, what makes others tick, and that this is how the world ticks . – R.T.
• Bob Levin:
Wrote in his blog, http://www.theboblevin.com: The latest book from my cafe pal Elizabeth Wagele, The Queen of the Enneagram, is out: The Enneagram for Teens: Discover Your Personality Type and Celebrate Your True Self. I am one of those at the cafe who contributed themselves as a Case History from which instructional lessons can be drawn. The fact that Liz’s book was first published in Korea, and that Korean teenagers were thus imbibing life lessons from the denizens of our cafe was not without interest to me.

Anyway, the book is now available in English in ebook or print. Find out more at wagele.com.  – Bob Levin, author

• Jack Laubanaskas of the Enneagram Monthy:

Elizabeth Wagele just published her latest charming and well illustrated book “The Enneagram For Teens,” and not a moment too soon, if we want to get the attention of the younger generation(s). After having placed so much focus on issues plaguing seasoned seekers after truth, we often forget that the search for truth is probably most active in teenage years. But in our cultures much of youth is filled in pursuit of practical issues of adaptation, hormones and choosing a future. With an entire life ahead, it’s easy to lose sight of the forest, what with all those trees… A good time to have a road map and a compass is at the beginning of a journey and The Enneagram For Teens is perfect for that.- Jack

• Lynette Sheppard in Nine Points Magazine:

A Book Review: “The Enneagram for Teens: A Navigational Aid for the Teen Years” by Lynette Sheppard

lynette sheppardRecently, our daughter came to us and declared that she would not have survived her high school and college years without the help of the Enneagram. As a One, she was able to recognize her tendency for self criticism as well as her drive for continual improvement. Using the Enneagram map allowed her to ease up on herself. Her most insightful comment? “I knew who I was, unlike so many of my college classmates who were trying on and discarding identities right and left.”

Throughout Deanna’s junior high and high school years, I had the privilege of interviewing and teaching a number of her friends about the Enneagram. I was constantly surprised by the depth of understanding and self reflection these young people exhibited when introduced to the Enneagram. Many of them served on Enneagram panels when I taught, illuminating type as well as (sometimes better than) the adults.

Alas, when they asked for reading material, there was no book specifically geared to teenagers. The Enneagram Made Easy was generally my first recommendation. Still, nothing is more powerful than stories related about type by your peers.

That is the strongest suit of Elizabeth Wagele’s new book: The Enneagram for Teens. Graced with the whimsical cartoons and straightforward insights of her previous books, this newest addition to the Enneagram literature abounds with stories and quotes from teens describing type in their own words. It’s a must read for any young person struggling through the stormy seas of the teen years. I’d also highly recommend it to parents and teachers for glimpses into the internal terrain of type specifically during the adolescent/young adult years. A great many misunderstandings might be avoided and we might become more compassionate mentors to those in our care.

Compassion blooms out of understanding. My husband, Dewitt, and I often wonder what it might have been like to know the Enneagram when we were teens. How much earlier might we have begun expanding our worldviews. We are gratified and humbled by what it has meant to our own children. And now, I can point to a resource that may start teens and those who love them on their own journeys of becoming.

For more information about Elizabeth Wagele, visit her at http://wagele.com

• Bringing the Enneagram to Teens by Melanie Bell and Kacie Berghoef

November 1, 2014 by berghoefbell

Having learned the Enneagram at a young age, bringing the Enneagram to more young people remains a topic close to our hearts. For teenagers, the Enneagram opens a door to improving relationships with parents and friends, and feeling seen for who you are–a person with thoughts, feelings, and needs independent from those around you. It gives a language to describe your viewpoint to the people who matter to you, and helps in making decisions about the direction you want your life to take.

When we were teenagers discovering the Enneagram, wonderful books existed about this system–Melanie has fond memories of holing up in the college library, browsing the “Enneagram corner”–but none of them focused on people our age. The vast majority of our peers were not familiar with the Enneagram, leaving us largely to teach it to them.

Elizabeth Wagele’s latest book, The Enneagram for Teens, has the potential to change this. Wagele previously wrote an Enneagram book aimed at children, but as far as we know, this is the first book exclusively oriented to a teenaged audience. In this fun and clearly-written read, Wagele writes in an engaging manner that teens are sure to enjoy. Wagele’s cartoons, both illustrative of the types and entertaining, grace most of the pages of her book. Wagele dedicates a chapter to each of the nine types, and a final chapter depicts each type’s leadership style. Wagele describes each type in a way that is easy to grasp, with examples most relatable to high school and college-aged readers.

Wagele excels at creating material that connects with the target audience. Each type chapter offers a quiz made of statements that come directly from teenagers–a refreshingly clear and direct approach. (You might be a Six if you “want to be safe and to be told the truth.”) Wagele also offers practical goals for self-development tailored to teens of each type.

The heart and soul of Wagele’s book comes from the primary source material. In each chapter, she interviews several people from each Enneagram type, both teens and young adults looking back on their experience. The subjects Wagele interviews provide a diverse cross-section of perspectives. Some, such as a type One rebel, do a welcome job of defying personality stereotypes, while others give a well-rounded sense of each Enneagram type’s strengths and challenges. Especially affecting is one Three exemplar’s memory of telling the principal her team had lost a tournament as she received her diploma–“That’s all I ever think about when I think about high school graduation.” It should be easy for readers to hear their own experiences mirrored in the young voices in the book.

We believe The Enneagram for Teens is a wonderful resource for teenagers and college students first learning about the Enneagram, as well as parents hoping to get into the shoes of their teens. Our own experiences of encountering the Enneagram young were pivotal: for example, Kacie finally understood her parents’ perspectives and why they were different from her own, and Melanie learned strategies to manage her emotions. Wagele’s book has great potential to more widely engage young people in learning the Enneagram. We hope this book will help young Enneagram enthusiasts connect with each other! – Melanie Bell and Kacie Berghoef

• Teen template, November 3, 2014
  The Enneagram for Teens: Discover Your Personality Type and Celebrate Your True Self (Paperback and ebook)
A simple, candid and whimsical blueprint for that vulnerable and questing time of life. This well thought out approach to the potential
minefield of adolescence allows teenagers to find their own path by asking the right questions of themselves. It is a heartfelt and profound guide that is not condescending or pedantic. I recommend this book for any teenager who does not want to stop asking “why?” or “how come…”. Mood shifts, paranoia, elation, self loathing, bullying, confusion, romance and all the aspects of a hormonal fecund young mind are dealt with clearly and methodically. Elizabeth Wagele has channeled her true teen self to provide this template for peace of mind and confidence in this crucial and often helpless time in Life. – Charles Rock Ross
• Clarence Thomson


Posted on Enneagram Central January 24, 2015

Elizabeth Wagele, author of a number of books on the Enneagram, has a new one, The Enneagram for Teens. It is a superb book and I recommend it. The book has one salient feature I want to comment on. Wagele uses cartoons and I think cartoons and the Enneagram are perfect together.

Our Enneagram style has a tendency to do the same thing to our personality that a cartoon does to a picture. It simplifies. A good cartoon is a simplified (technically, stylized, I suppose) picture, focusing on one or at the most only a few characteristics. So does our Enneagram style. If we have only one habitual response, life is simpler. Impoverished but simple. A good cartoon exaggerates to make a point. So does our Enneagram style: we call it “over-reacting.” If our Enneagram style is pronounced enough, we become a caricature. Scrooge is so bad a five that he becomes a caricature.

So if you are teaching the Enneagram, Wagele’s many books provide a marvelous resource for teaching. The cartoons are immediate, often funny, disarmingly accurate and provide a good visual addition to a spoken presentation.

• Susan Newman, PhD

Is Your Teen an Observer, Asserter, Perfectionist or …?

Knowing their personality type helps teens understand their lives.

Post published by Susan Newman Ph.D. on Feb 16, 2015 in Singletons

Chapt.4 Fit in

So often conflicts occur because of a breakdown in communication where one party fails to understand the motives of the other and, in turn, acts in an uncaring or harmful way.

The old “golden rule” says to “Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you.” A better way of thinking is “Do unto others as others would like you to do onto them.”

For example, an otherwise loving husband gives his sick wife lots of space to relax and recover because that’s how he would like to be treated when feeling under the weather. But she feels neglected because she likes to be pampered and doted on when she’s sick.

That’s one way Elizabeth Wagele makes the case for discovering your personality type and celebrating your true self while improving communication with others. In her new book, The Enneagram for Teens:Discover Your Personality Type and Celebrate Your True Self, she does the same for teens.

Personality classified

According to Wagele and the enneagram of personality system, there are nine basic types of people in the world, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Everyone falls into one of these categories. The nine enneagram types are Perfectionist, Helper, Achiever, Romantic, Observer, Questioner, Adventurer, Asserter and Peace Seeker. Adults have been reaping the benefits of using the enneagram system to understand one another for years.  

The Enneagram for Teens presents the idea that it can be very helpful for teens to learn about which personality type they fall into. So much about being a teen can be confusing and difficult to understand, but organizing things into these nine categories can alleviate some of the confusion. Not only does the enneagram provide some extra structure for what can be a tumultuous time in one’s life, but it can also change the way a teen views herself, her friends, and others in the world.

Getting to know one another

Wagele, for example, posits that once you realize you’re an Observer and your parent is an Asserter, you can understand each other’s motives better. If you’re fighting, maybe you now understand why that parent is treating you a certain way or pushing you to try new things. The enneagram not only allows you to know yourself better, but also to reach across the aisle and understand where someone else is coming from.

Personality types can conflict, not everyone sees the world in the same way and subtle variations in a person’s personality may cause them to react differently than expected in some situations. However, our differences aren’t necessarily a bad thing once we learn to use the enneagram to relate to one another. As an Observer, you’re curious but shy and want to gather new knowledge without necessarily putting yourself in difficult social situations. You’re more comfortable hanging back a bit. Observers want to see things more clearly but are also afraid of putting themselves out there and being wrong. If your parent is an Asserter, an energetic leader, there might be some conflict there. A parent might be constantly trying to push the Observer teen out of his comfort zone, which can be scary, though not always a bad thing. Asserters can help Observers become more decisive, even if at first the Observer resists being pushed.

Owning your strengths and finding a path

The enneagram system for teens is more about knowing your strengths and celebrating them than focusing on the differences between people who fit different enneagrams. Once you know which of the nine you are, you can try and put yourself in situations where your strengths shine.

Knowing your type might be helpful for a teen in choosing a college, a study major or career path. Applying to college can be a stressful process for teens made a bit easier if they better understand themselves and their strengths. They’re being asked, often for the first time, to make major decisions that can influence the rest of their lives. The enneagram can assist them in discovering what they’re good at and selecting a college or career path that plays to and builds on those strengths.

Anything that might ease the stress and complications of teen life is worth looking into.

Reference: Wagele, Elizabeth.The Enneagram for Teens:Discover Your Personality Type and Celebrate Your True Self. Montana: PLI Media, 2014

Copyright @ 2015 by Susan Newman

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Illustration credit: Elizabeth Wagele

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