Published in 2016 by InterVarsity Press, The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery quickly became the go-to primer for the ancient personality typing. Coming up on its seventh anniversary in October, the book that Publishers Weekly calls “the most popular Enneagram title to date” has officially sold more than one million copies, contributing to widespread Enneagram interest and the growing numbers of Enneagram enthusiasts.
While the Enneagram has gradually been gaining interest since the 1970s, its popularity has become more of a phenomenon in recent years. In March of 2023 #enneagram had 370 million views on TikTok, and in the past two years more than twenty-one thousand articles across hundreds of well-respected media outlets have been written about the Enneagram. The Enneagram is also fully embraced by some corporations as a tool that can help workers collaborate better. Certified Enneagram coaches are often hired for office retreats or HR seminars.
The Enneagram, a personality typing system known for its uncanny accuracy in describing how human beings are wired, has seen a spike in popularity in the last decade. Providing clear, action-oriented explanations of the positive and negative dynamics of each of the nine Enneagram types and pairing them with poignant personal stories, The Road Back to You, coauthored by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile, puts the wisdom of an ancient tool within easy, entertaining reach for greater self-awareness, offering insights into personal and professional relationships, and profound applications for spiritual growth.
Jena Lee Nardella, cofounder of Blood:Water and author of One Thousand Wells, said, “As a newbie to the Enneagram, The Road Back to You offered a delightful and accessible way to honestly examine my own motivations and consider the best path toward growth and flourishing. This book is a must-read for those who seek to not only understand themselves better, but those closest to them as well.”
In an interview with CNBC Abbey Howe, an Enneagram coach since 2020, says she grew up taking the Myers-Briggs Test and other personality tests, but said the Enneagram is different. She first heard of the Enneagram test from a friend but didn’t take it seriously until she read The Road Back to You. “I cried all the way through it,” she said. “I felt like my whole life I had been really anxious and wanting to make my parents proud of me and it felt like life or death. I had to succeed at whatever I put my mind to and failure was not an option.”
“The deeper you go, the more you learn about how much [the Enneagram] offers us in terms of honestly finding our way back to who we were before,” said Stabile in a June 2023 interview with Women’s Health. “We had to put on so much protection and personality to make our way in the world.” Enneagrams are based on motivation, not behavior, she explains, and each type has an unconscious motivation that influences how they act.
Witty and filled with stories, The Road Back to You allows Enneagram fans and those curious about the Enneagram to peek inside each of the nine Enneagram types not only to learn and relearn more about themselves, but also to start to see the world through other people’s eyes, understanding how and why people think, feel, and act the way they do.
The nine Enneagram types are:
“Over the years people have told me that working with the Enneagram has helped them find healing in their marriages, relate to their children with greater understanding, and become more forgiving, patient, and compassionate toward those who differ from them,” writes Cron. “They know the crooked timber from which their own hearts are made.
“I do not believe the Enneagram is infallible or inerrant. I do not think it is the be-all and end-all of Christian spirituality. People go through life without ever hearing about it and they get along just fine.
“That said, here’s my advice: If you find that this book supports you on your spiritual path, great. If not, don’t throw it away. Put it on your bookshelf instead. It might come in handy one day. Life hands us a challenging syllabus. We need all the help we can get.”
Ian Morgan Cron is a bestselling author, nationally recognized speaker, Enneagram teacher, counselor, Dove Award–winning songwriter, and Episcopal priest. His books include the novel Chasing Francis and spiritual memoir Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me. His most recent book is titled The Story of You: An Enneagram Journey to Becoming Your True Self. Ian draws on an array of disciplines—from psychology to the arts, Christian spirituality and theology—to help people enter more deeply into conversation with God and the mystery of their own lives.
Suzanne Stabile is a highly sought-after speaker, teacher, and internationally recognized Enneagram master teacher who has taught thousands of people over the last thirty years. She is the author of The Path Between Us: An Enneagram Journey to Healthy Relationships and The Journey Toward Wholeness: Enneagram Wisdom for Stress, Balance, and Transformation. She is also the creator and host of The Enneagram Journey podcast. Along with her husband, Rev. Joseph Stabile, she is cofounder of Life in the Trinity Ministry, a nonprofit, nondenominational ministry committed to the spiritual growth and formation of adults.