We often feel like we are doing things to please others.

But unfortunately, it only leads to frustration and even anger. A way to improve the situation is to get to know yourself better and what drives you. 

Jay Shetty has always been excited to learn about psychology, personality, and human behavior. In this episode, he shared nine personality types that exist. He also shares tips on understanding your strengths based on these types.

The Importance of Self-Awareness

Jay Shetty believes there are multiple reasons why understanding ourselves is crucial. First, it helps us understand why we developed the way we did, and it enables us to analyze what traits “have led to the psychophysical position that we currently have.”

Second, understanding yourself and your triggers enables you to better understand others. It helps us realize others have their burdens and not everything they do is directed at us.

Third, once aware of your strengths, you can tap into them. You can tailor your behavior so that your abilities turn into superpowers.

Further benefits of knowing your personality include improved communication skills, a more informed decision-making process, and better emotional regulation.

The Enneagram

Jay Shetty described the personality types listed in The Essential Enneagram by David Daniels and Virginia Price. The Enneagram system that allows us to understand our different feelings, actions, and behavior patterns. The word comes from the Greek “ennea,” meaning nine, and “gram,” meaning drawing. Hence, it means a drawing of nine.

Jay Shetty explained that you might see yourself in one or more of these types. We all have a mixture of these traits, but only one predominant type.

The Perfectionist

According to Daniels and Price, perfectionists  behave well and try to meet everyone's expectations. They follow the rules and suppress their anger and, in turn, develop tension and resentment.

The perfectionist learned that good things come as a reward for good behavior. Therefore, their attention is focused on what is wrong and needs improvement rather than on the good stuff.

This category is prone to self-criticism and high expectations. Their inner critic is very vocal and constantly active. Moreover, Jay Shetty explained that they see the world in black and white, without many grays.

Perfectionists have positive traits as well. They show strength and integrity in their endeavors and are concerned about improvement.

Moreover, they have a clear communication style which is precise and to the point. A clear and direct exchange of information is expected from someone with this personality type.

Perfectionists can focus on self-development by accepting that people are different and their behaviors and priorities vary and recognizing there is more than one way of doing things.

To be successful in their personal growth, perfectionists need to practice forgiveness for themselves and others.

Jay Shetty encourages listeners who identify as perfectionists to be kind to themselves. The inner critic is often strong, and it takes courage to face and silence it. His advice is to remind yourself to be easy on yourself and not judge yourself too harshly.

The Giver

The Essential Enneagram describes givers as people who find meaning in being helpful and giving a lot to others. To the giver, being loved and needed is paramount.

They develop a sense of pride in being indispensable. We all know one person with this personality type, Jay Shetty stated. There is always a friend or relative around us who puts everyone else's needs above theirs.

While the giver is careful to fulfill others' demands, they expect reciprocity. Regardless of the relationship type, they are focused primarily on pleasing and helping the other party.

“They're trying to avoid feeling unappreciated. They bend, and they shift, and they break whatever it takes to feel needed,” Jay Shetty said.

The giver personality type is giving and helpful. They are supportive and appreciative. Moreover, they are genuinely generous.

The givers have an expressive and friendly communication style and they don't shy away from telling you how they truly feel.

Regarding their personal development, the givers need to understand being loved is not a result of changing who they are for others. Instead, the key is realizing what they want for themselves and ways to achieve that goal.

It is vital to enter a relationship where healthy boundaries exist. They need an interaction in which natural, un-forced reciprocity can occur.

Jay Shetty warns the listeners that only giving and expecting back is not a way of living life. We need to fill our cups from time to time, too. It is, therefore, essential to be able to set boundaries and become more independent.

A piece of advice Jay Shetty shared was: “Next time they offer to go above and beyond for you, help them help themselves or go above and beyond for them.”

The Performer

The performer enneagram type believes everything follows universal laws. They learned along the way that success and hard work are essential in getting love and approval from others. For the performer, things need to get done efficiently. These can be tasks, goals, or future achievements.

Another thing that drives the performer is their intention to always look good in the eyes of others. Jay Shetty explained they would do everything possible to avoid losing face. Looking good is essential to them.

The performer communicates in a direct, confident, and topic-focused manner. Yet putting all this pressure on themselves will eventually stress them out. They are not attuned to their real feelings and values because their main focus is on achieving things, status, prestige, and power.

Personal development starts with the performer understanding their feelings and values. “Directing that toward your purpose is what purifies this personality type and makes you feel healthy,” Jay Shetty explained. In addition, they also need to learn patience and allow things to happen. 

We tend to be unaware of the relationship that we have with ourselves. That is why the performer must set limits and boundaries. They should put in the work and energy to get in touch with their true self. It all starts with listening and being receptive to their own needs.

The Romantic

This personality type has a romantic view of life. “Their belief is based on experiencing a painful loss of their original connections, leaving them feeling abandoned and feeling that they're missing something important,” Jay Shetty explained.

To fill that void left behind, they search for the perfect love to make them feel complete again. They yearn for the ideal circumstance which will allow them to feel loved.

In their journey to find love, the romantics develop feelings of longing and envy for whatever is missing. They need intensity in their relationships. Romantics have a very developed sense of empathy. It is common to find these traits in artists such as poets, musicians, etc. 

The romantic communicates through expressive feelings. They can be dramatic at times, self-absorbed, or self-focused. Because of their ideal view on life, they might experience stress if people or experiences don't match their romantic ideals. 

This type will achieve personal development through finding a positive note in their lives and focusing on the bright side. This helps them to maintain a consistent course of action despite their intense and fluctuating feelings. 

They can come a long way if they become less self-absorbed and cultivate happiness in others. Keeping their feelings in check and delaying reactions is beneficial to the romantics. This way, they can act with a clearer head and not make rash decisions.

The Observer

This person has learned that keeping their thoughts and actions private will protect them from intrusive demands. In their quest to be self-sufficient, they develop a sense of avarice for the things they deem indispensable. The observer often accumulates a lot of knowledge throughout their life.

These people conserve energy by remaining self-contained and maintaining sufficient privacy, boundaries, and limits. 

Yet the observer is thoughtful, knowledgeable, and can maintain calmness in a crisis. They are trustworthy and can keep a secret.

Despite their calmness, observers can get stressed. They don't like it when they can't maintain good boundaries and keep their sought-after privacy.

Observers can grow and develop by allowing themselves to experience feelings. They must let themselves feel all the emotions rather than detaching and retracting their minds.

Jay Shetty adds: “Another thing for their personal development is taking action in the realization that they have ample energy and support to carry it off, finding ways to engage in conversation to express themselves and to reveal personal matters.”

The Loyal Skeptic

This personality type is questioning and vigilant. They challenge everything around them.

Growing up, they learned to defy authority and battle perceived threats and hazards. As a result, they spend much of their energy on figuring things out. The loyal skeptics doubt, test, look for double messages and like to play the devil's advocate. In their endeavors, the end goal is to gain security by obtaining the goodwill of others.

The loyal skeptic is trustworthy and faithful, and their constant questioning can be both a strength and a weakness. It can frequently lead to stress if they put themselves under too much pressure when dealing with uncertainty and insecurity.

Betrayal and untrustworthiness infuriate the loyal skeptic. 

They can move on in their personal development by acting as their authority and reclaiming faith in themselves and others. In addition, they will find peace once they accept life is full of uncertainty and insecurity.

It is crucial to understand that being in fight or flight mode is a reaction to fear. They need to acknowledge that staying busy is only a way of reducing awareness of anxiety, not the solution.

Three More

The other three personality types are The Epicure, The Protector, and The Mediator. They will be covered in a future episode if anyone is interested in learning more. Jay Shetty encourages readers and listeners to send him their feedback and ask for part two if they found this topic interesting and valuable.

More From Jay Shetty

Listen to the entire On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast episode on “9 Personality Types & How to Understand Your Type to Know Your Strengths & Improve Your Relationships” now in the iTunes store or on Spotify. For more inspirational stories and messages like this, check out Jay’s website at jayshetty.me.

1Daniels, David N., 1934- and Virginia Ann. Price. The Essential Enneagram: The Definitive Personality Test and Self-discovery Guide New York: HarperOne, 2009.
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