I’m Not Crazy, I’m Just Not You

Books on Myers Briggs, the Enneagram, and more

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Image by Dan/Kelli Oakley from Pixabay

The Enneagram

The word Enneagram comes from the Greek word ennea, meaning nine. It divides people up into, you’ve guessed it, nine personality types, and it’s been around since ancient times. It has its roots in Sufi wisdom, and travelled through South America to reach us, so it hasn’t always been the obsession of white people.

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The Enneagram Made Easy by Elizabeth Wagele And Renee Baron

This was my first book about the Enneagram, and it demystified it for me and made it easy to understand. There are lots of visual aids and cartoons as well as quizzes for each of the nine types to help you figure out where you fit.

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Millenneagram: The Enneagram Guide For Discovering Your Truest, Baddest Self by Hannag Paasch

One of the newest offerings about personality books, the Milleneagram is a book which will look great on your shelf, but also doesn’t take itself too seriously. Hannah Paasch also hosts a podcast about the Enneagram, and she’s passionate about our understanding ourselves better through the system. “Only from this position of wholeness, rootedness in who we are, what we believe, and what kind of story we are writing, will we be able to act bravely for the sake of justice and humanity — to approach our f*cked-up world with the grounded courage it asks of us.”

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The Road Back To You: An Enneagram Journey To Self-Discovery by Ian Morgan Cron And Suzanne Stabile

Many Enneagram enthusiasts speak enthusiastically about this book. It’s definitely got a bit of a Christian angle, so if that’s your thing, it’s a great place to start. It will help you figure out why you’re stuck in the same ruts, and what you can do about it.

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator

Myers Briggs is a personality typing system which labels people according to whether they are an introvert or an extrovert, someone who processes the world according to the traditional senses or to intuition, someone who makes decisions based primarily on thoughts or feelings, and someone who prefers to plan or be spontaneous. There are sixteen types, all with some combination of the letters E/I, N/S, F/T, P/J.

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What Type Am I?: Discover Who You Really Are by Renee Baron

Written by one of the co-authors of the introductory primer of The Enneagram Made Easy, this one has a lot of the same features — cartoons, quizzes, and the like — to demystify this typing system.

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Please Understand Me II, by David Keirsey

This is one of the classics, first written in 1978, and it’s a little heavy, but if you want to take a deep dive into the MBTI, it’s a good place to go. It brings a Jungian perspective to the sixteen types and groups them into four archetypes.

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I’m Not Crazy, I’m Just Not You: The Real Meaning Of The 16 Personality Types by Roger R Pearmna And Sarah C Albritton

When I first discovered Myers-Briggs about 20 years ago, it was genuinely life-changing, and this title illustrates why. This book is focussed on how our individual personalities impact our interactions with other people.

Other Personality Books

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The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

This book has helped countless people understand the dynamics of their romantic relationships and friendships. It argues that people give love in the way they like to receive it, but that’s not the same for everyone, which can lead to mismatched expectations. Gary Chapman groups expressions of love into five types: words of affirmation, physical touch, acts of service, quality time, and gifts. It’s a great tool for helping you build stronger relationships of all kinds.

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Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath

This is used a fair amount in the professional world and can help you figure out what the right career is for you. You take a test online, and the result you get is five different strengths — from intellection to communication to winning over others — that you can lean into in your work and volunteering as well as your personal life

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The Birth Order Book: Why You Are The Way You Are by Dr Kevin Leman

There’s no doubt that your position in your family affects your childhood profoundly, which in terms has ripple effects for your development and adult personality. This book goes into all of that and even features a guess-the-birth-order quiz and a feature on where past presidents fell in their own families.

Editor of WALK WITH US: How the West Wing Changed Our Lives; author of the novel UNSCRIPTED and of CONQUERING BABEL: a Practical Guide to Learning a Language.

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