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Enneatype 6 - The Loyalist

Passion: Fear

Fear as the ruling passion is mostly unconscious, therefore, it can manifest in the form of openly expressed anxiety, aggression, amiability, reservation, orientation to authority, being outspoken and reactive, being antagonistic etc etc.


Fixation: Cowardice

Needs a strong leader to follow; one who can be protective.


Defense Mechanism: Projection

projection is a process whereby what is inside is misunderstood as coming from outside. In its benign and mature forms, it is the basis for empathy…In its malignant forms, projection breeds dangerous misunderstandings


Basic Traits:

Fear, cowardice, anxiety, overcautious, skeptical, friendly, punctual, hardworking, defensive

Type 6 on the Symbol

  • Left wing of the symbol: at the left point of the Equilateral Triangle: neutral point in the Head centre.
  • No antipodes.

Characterological Structure


  • Passion: Fear 
  • Fixation: "Cowardice: Needs a strong leader to follow; one who can be protective."
  • Essential Quality: Truth.
  • Specific Psychological Problem: Anxiety & Insecurity.

When taken into account that Ichazo ascribes the fixation of the type 6 as Cowardice, which Lilly & Hart present as "Needs a strong leader to follow; one who can be protective.  Ego-Cow;" and that they go further to say that the type 6's trap is, "Security: Since such a person lives in fear—life is always threatening  —he always seeks something or someone as protector against impending  disaster. He will seek to build up a solid fortune or will become the devoted  follower of a strong leader,"[2] it becomes clear that this is an ego-structure seeking to find some way to orient, guide and protect themselves.

Usually, when the reader reads Fear as the ruling passion of the type 6, they interpret it as fear in the literal sense of the word, and restrict it to meaning "just a person who is always afraid" limiting its various manifestations. In doing this, they narrow the varied presentations of persons found at point 6 of the Enneagram. Fear goes a lot deeper than that, and as the ruling passion of the 6, it's mostly unconscious, therefore, it can manifest in the form of openly expressed anxiety, aggression, amiability, reservation, orientation to authority, being outspoken and reactive, being antagonistic etc etc. It's not surprising, therefore, that we find all these manifestations, and more, in type 6. It also becomes noticeable that the type 6, of all the types, are the most consciously identified with anxiety; and the most ambivalent of characters, constantly ricocheting between two extremes.

If we use fear or cowardice to designate the ruling passion of ennea-type VI, however, we need to point out, as in the case of anger and other emotions, that this important emotional state need not be directly manifested in behavior.

— Claudio Naranjo.


It may be, alternatively, manifest in the over-compensation of a conscious attitude of heroic striving. 

 — Claudio Naranjo.

As a Head type, the 6s deal largely with Anxiety, and use their cognition to manage it. They fear and mistrust themselves and their environment, and seek security in authority, people (or a person) or concepts.[5] As such don't wish to be invaded by the environment, because they fear that they're vulnerable enough to be; they become very cautious in how they interact with the environment in order to determine how to better attach to it.

They are, therefore, characterized by their pragmatism, cerebral orientation, loyalty, skepticism, vigilance, forethought, alertness, paranoia & cautious attachment to their environment.

In type 6 we find deep value and appreciation for objectivity, rationality, community, intellectualism  & studiousness, stability and productivity. With Fear as their ruling passion, there is a strong emotional investment and great deal of responsibility and anxiety tied into how they attain and maintain these qualities and associations, which is why Naranjo compares them to the natures of the Paranoid and the Avoidant personalities.

Due to these deep identifications, we find a sense of uncertainty, vulnerability / strength, need for structure, trust  / distrust, an appreciation for an objectively defined logic and morality embedded in the type 6 psyche. And also a conscious awareness of what it takes to preserve the self from external influences that could jeopardize security. 

Unlike the 5, the 6 consciously holds on to themselves, in order to protect themselves, and is interested in determining the suitability of their environment to their general wellbeing. As such, they also pay attention to behaviour, and people's characters, in order to determine if they're suitable for them to associate with and to attach to.

To further illustrate the type 6 character structure, Naranjo offers some observations:

They are feared, and as fear requires being on guard, giving of oneself is feared. There is fear of being tricked, subjugated, humiliated, controlled. This also leads to self-control and to the inhibition of the flow of life in view of an excessive need for protection.

—Claudio Naranjo.

From Millon's study of the Paranoid he picks characterological traits analogous to the type 6, and so he notes: “Individuals with this disorder are typically hypervigilant and take precautions against any perceived threat. They tend to avoid blame even when it is warranted. They are often viewed by others as guarded, secretive, devious, and scheming. They may question the loyalty of others, always expecting trickery. For this reason they may be pathologically jealous … They are concerned with hidden motives and special meanings. Often, transient ideas of reference occur, e.g., that others are taking special notice of them, or saying vulgar things about them … They often find it difficult to relax, usually appear tense, and show a tendency to counterattack when they perceive any threat …

“[there is a] hypersensitivity to potential rejection, humiliation or shame; an unwillingness to enter into relationships unless given unusual guarantees of uncritical acceptance; social withdrawal in spite of desire for affection and acceptance; and low self-esteem.

“They feel their loneliness and isolated existence deeply, experience being ‘out of things’ as painful, have a strong though often repressed desire to be accepted. Despite their longing to relate and to be active participants in social life they fear placing their welfare in the hands of others.”

From Schneider he notes about the 6, "Their affectivity is restricted, and they may appear 'cold' to others. They have no true sense of humour and are usually serious. They may pride themselves on always being objective, rational and unemotional [...] there is a tendency for the fanatic ideas to be issued in schemes and programmes... "

And from Coulter: “[the Psorinum individual] who can bring himself to act only after carefully weighing every step and every conceivable consequence, knowing precisely where he stands and what he thinks

“he worries unduly about events which may never transpire, depleting his limited energy anticipating entirely improbable vicissitudes.”

He also notes that to be found in the type 6 psychology is, "fearfulness, insecurity, dejection, and a sense of being forsaken."

Avoidant personality [Enneatype 6] is distinguished from schizoid personality [Enneatype 5] in that an active detachment in the insecure person who doesn’t dare to approach others contrasts to the passive detachment of the schizoid, who is a true loner and whose distance betrays not a conscious conflict but indifference.

  —Claudio Naranjo.

Naranjo assigns Projection as their defense mechanism, a possible consequence of Ichazo's fixation, passion and trap designations. According to him, "Though “projection” is a word that has been used with a variety of meanings, that which is appropriate in this context is that of attributing to others motives, feelings, or thoughts not acknowledged in oneself. In some cases (“super-ego projection”) it is self-accusation that is disowned, through the implicit pretense that punitive ill-will comes from an outer source (as is most striking in the persecutory delusions of psychotics)."[3] Therefore, the type 6s naturally defend themselves against unconscious guilt, blame, rejection, torment, pain and anxiety, by projecting said emotions unto the environment.

The sense of being watched, judged, and so on that is part of type VI suspiciousness can also be interpreted in terms of externalization: the mechanism of transferring an intra-personal event to an inter-personal relationship.

 —Claudio Naranjo.

Deeper investigations reveal a wholesomeness in the type 6s missing in the type 5 and a strong attention to and identification with humanity, therefore, an unconscious need to belong to a community (or a home, even if it's with a person) and a strong responsibility to commit to, contribute to and defend said allied community.  We find in them a strong awareness of the environment, and a great ability to detect how to achieve stability and protection. The type 6, of all the types, has a strong sense of duty, and a deeply unconscious need to find and hold on to the truth of what exists.

In relation to their need for objectivity and structure, we also find in them a deep awareness of continuity and practical contextuality, and an inherent ability to "connect all the dots" in whatever situation that arises. 

Structural Traits

Fear, Cowardice and Anxiety:

Fear that manifests as a conscious awareness of anxiety, that results in a conscious need to shield themselves from pain, uncertainty, rejection, loneliness and failure. Deeply identify with loneliness, doubt and uncertainty.

Examining type VI descriptors I find, aside from anxiety, many in which fear is the explicit psychological characteristic: fear of change, fear of making mistakes, fear of the unknown, fear of letting go, fear of hostility and trickery, fear of not being able to cope, fear of not surviving, fear of aloneness in a threatening world, fear of betrayal, and fear of loving. Paranoid jealousy might be included in the same group.

  —Claudio Naranjo.

Closely connected to these are the traits that have to do with the expression of fear in behavior: insecurity, hesitation, indecision and tentativeness (a consequence of the fear of making mistakes), being paralyzed by doubt, immobilized, out-of-touch with impulse, avoidance of decisions and the inclination to compromise, being over-careful and cautious, prone to compulsive double checking, never being sure, lacking self-confidence, over-rehearsing, and having difficulty with unstructured situations, (that is to say, those in which there is no set guideline for behavior).

 —Claudio Naranjo.

Over-alert Hyperintentionality:

Unlike the confident over-alertness of type III which orients itself to having 'everything under control, “this is a hyper-vigilance that is on the lookout for hidden meanings, clues, and the unusual. Aside from constituting a state of chronic arousal in the service of interpreting (potentially dangerous) reality, it serves an excessive deliberation concerning what for others would be a matter of spontaneous choice.

 —Claudio Naranjo.

Theoretical Orientation:

A strong need to not be led astray, to not be deceived, to find stability and structure, which leads to a strong need to investigate and discover what's true, especially before acting. A conscious need to hold the self back before implementation in order to assure the optimal validity (and to thoroughly review the consequences) of their actions. Seeks refuge and validation in the intellect. Is naturally deeply skeptical, questioning and hypervigilant.

He not only needs guidance, but also typically (distrusting guidance as well as needing it) solves this conflict through appeal to the guidance of some logical system or of reason itself.

Ennea-type VI is not only an intellectual type, but the most logical of types, one who is devoted to reason.

Unlike ennea-type VII who uses intellect as strategy, type VI is likely to worship intellect through fanatical allegiance to reason and reason alone—as in scientism.

In his need for answers in order to solve his problems, type VI is more than any other a questioner, and thus a potential philosopher. Not only does he use the intellect for problem-solving, but he resorts to problem seeking as a way to feeling safe.

In his hypervigilance, his paranoid character is on the look-out for problems; he is a trouble-shooter in regard to himself and has difficulty in accepting himself without problems.

Not only is the ineffectualness or generalized problem with doing of the more timid type VI individuals a consequence of an excessive orientation to the abstract and theoretical, but seeking refuge in intellectual activity is also a consequence of fearful holding back, indirectness, vagueness, and 'beating around the bush.'

 —Claudio Naranjo.

Ingratiating Friendliness:

An unconscious need to present a warm, friendly, agreeable, or gracious persona so as not to alienate a possibly validating and supportive community, as a means of attaining security.  Another way of coping with the anxiety of being left on their own.

The compulsive search for protection of cowardly affection falls into this category.

Together with the descriptor 'affection' I list in this cluster 'seeking and giving warmth,' 'being a good host and being hospitable,' and 'generous.' 'Pathological piety' may be also listed here, along with 'exaggerated faithfulness' to individuals and causes. Also the traits of 'considerateness,' 'gentleness,' 'obsequiousness,' and the need for support and validation of the more insecure cowards falls in with the above. I notice that ennea-type VI individuals in whom these traits dominate are also prone to sadness, forlornness, and a sense of abandonment, much as in ennea-type IV.

Related to the ingratiating obsequiousness and the warmth of ennea-type VI is the need for association with a stronger partner, that gives them security yet typically frustrates their competitive inclinations.

 —Claudio Naranjo.


A fear of making mistakes, and getting blamed, which results in a need for transparent and easy-to-read guidelines by trusted authority figures and a deep need to be precise, punctual, hardworking and to maintain control. Deeply intolerant of uncertainty and ambiguity.

The fear of authority and the fear of making mistakes causes them to need clear-cut guidelines as to what is right and wrong, so they are highly intolerant of ambiguity.

These guidelines are never those of popular opinion, as in the “other directed” ennea-type III, but the rules of present or past authorities, such as the set of implicit inner rules of Don Quixote, who follows the knight errant in his imagination.

—Claudio Naranjo.


An unconscious fear that results in a strong need to compete and rebel against authority, to become their own authority, in response to their insecurities and a need to feel safe. Develops a conscious need to present in a way incongruent with the environment's expectations. Also develops a conscious need to be strong, combative, grandiose, critical, argumentative, cynical and skeptical. 

To the extent that competitive usurpation is involved, there is guilt, fear of retaliation, and a perpetuation of paranoid insecurity. Belonging in this category are, aside from the denouncing of authority and the competitive wish to stand in the place of authority, 'argumentativeness,' 'criticality,' 'skepticism,' and 'cynicism.'

Along with these I have listed the descriptors 'they think they know the right way,' 'pressuring others to conform,' 'bombastic,' 'bluffing,' 'strong,' 'courageous,' and 'grandiose.'

 —Claudio Naranjo.

Orientation to Authority and Ideals:

Despite wanting to rebel against authority, there is also an unconscious desire to structure and orient themselves which results in a strong orientation to authority, authority figures and authoritarian ideals in the type 6 psyche. Inadvertently always refers back to, and props up, established sources of authority in everything they do. Idealize authority.

In addition to traits of submissiveness, the demand for obedience and love, hate and ambivalence toward authority, ennea-type VI exhibits, to a larger extent than any other, an idealization of authority figures—manifest either in individualized hero-worship, in a generalized attraction to the great and the strong or in an orientation to impersonal greatness, which causes some to over-mythologize life so as to indulge a passion for archetypal sublimity

 —Claudio Naranjo.

Accusation of Self and Others:

An inherent sense of guilt that leads to an internalization of guilt, and projection of said guilt unto others, to shield themselves from rejection, pain and torment. Becomes self-deprecating, critical, judgemental and oppressive of the self and suspiciously critical, judgemental and oppressive of others, in response to their insecurities and develops a deep sense of victimhood by the environment.

It is not only anxiety, but guilt, we may say, that seeks to be alleviated through ingratiation, through dutiful appeasement of potential accusers, through submission to personal or intellectual authorities, or through an assertive bluffing behind which the individual hides his weaknesses and imperfections.

We may say that guilt manifested in such traits as defensiveness, self-justification, and insecurity, involves an act of self-accusation, by which an individual becomes an invalidating parent to himself.

Not only does ennea-type VI persecute himself and feel persecuted, but also he is a suspicious and critical persecutor—and he may affirm his grandiosity precisely in view of the entitlement that it affords to pronounce judgment on others.

 —Claudio Naranjo.

Doubt and Ambivalence:

A deep sense of uncertainty and doubt of their decisions, motives and opinions as well as uncertainty and doubt towards other people's decisions and motives. Swinging between two different extremes, e.g. love / hate, trust / distrust, submissive / rebellious, vulnerability / strength. Projecting unconscious fears and insecurities unto others. Results in chronic overthinking, an inability to quiet one's thoughts and, in some cases, a need to present as a competent source of authority.

To speak of self-invalidation is to speak of self-doubt, just as suspiciousness implies a doubting of others.

Beyond the attitude of an accusatory inquisitor of self and other, the word “doubt” brings to mind the uncertainty of ennea-type VI in regard to his views: he both invalidates himself and he props himself up—feeling subtly as paranoid schizophrenics feel in the extreme: both persecuted and grandiose.

To say it differently: he doubts himself and he doubts his doubt; he is suspicious of others, and yet he is afraid that he may be mistaken. The result of this double perspective is, of course, chronic uncertainty in regard to choosing a course of action, and the consequent anxiety, need of support and guidance, and so on.

At times—and as a defense against unbearable ambiguity—he may take before the world the position of a true believer who is absolutely sure of things.

 —Claudio Naranjo.



Not all authors agree with E6 being Compliant. According to Naranjo, E6 belongs to the Withdrawn category.[10]


  • Have strong superegos, and are compliant to them. Interact with their environment at the behest of their superegos, therefore, do what they think they should do, not what they want or need to do.
  • Compliant to superego on what to do to maintain security. 
  • Strong focus on duty, responsibility and community.


Admirative (Philial) - Admirative (Philial)


  • As babies felt psychically satisfied with the care provided by their environment, therefore, acknowledged it as a natural source of their survival.
  • Are psychically connected to the protecting (authority / guiding) figure, take on their agendas, and seek to please them. When there is conflict (perceived or real), the child works hard at attempting to mend it. 
  • Unconsciously seek to replicate or replace their relationship with (or the role of) the authority figure in their interactions with the environment as they get older.

Harmonic Triad

  • Has a negative outlook on their environment, desires to know, engineers and is responsive to the emotional bearings of their environment. 
  • Emotionally reacts in response to their insecurities, and a perceived or real sense of wrongdoing or injustice, especially in conflict and when under stress. 


    The Type Six Personality Structure According to Beatrice Chestnut[7]


     LOCATED ON THE LEFT CORNER of the Enneagram’s inner triangle, Sixes are the “core point” of the “head-based” triad, associated with the core emotion of fear and a concern with safety. In a world they experience as dangerous and uncertain, their focus centers on thinking about what might go wrong and strategizing and preparing for potential problems.

    Their thoughts focus both on real possible pitfalls and the trouble they create in their heads through imagination; but in either case they often find it difficult to stop worrying about their internally generated negative expectations.


    While fear represents both the core emotion of the head-based triad as well as the passion or “chief feature” of the Six, Sixes vary in their level of awareness that they act from fear—some Sixes may not be consciously aware that fear drives many of their defensive habits. Each of the three types based in the head center have a relationship to an early experience of fear that gave shape to their personality. Whereas Fives become detached and minimize their need for others, and Sevens focus on what is positive and exciting, Sixes try to understand threats and uncertain outcomes so that they can prevent something bad from happening.



    The Main Type Six Defense Mechanisms: Projection and Splitting According to Beatrice Chestnut[7]


     The primary defense mechanism of Type Six is projection. As in the case of introjection, when someone engages in projection as a psychological protection, the psychological boundary between the self and the world disappears. When Sixes “project,” they unconsciously disown something originating inside themselves and “project it onto,” or experience it as belonging to, someone on the outside.


    As psychologist Nancy McWilliams explains, “projection is a process whereby what is inside is misunderstood as coming from outside. In its benign and mature forms, it is the basis for empathy…In its malignant forms, projection breeds dangerous misunderstandings.” Oriented to detecting threats, Sixes psychologically defend themselves from their own internal sense of fear by unconsciously projecting it out or “getting rid of it,” imagining that it originates in the outside world, often in another person. For example, if a Six is feeling judgmental of or insecure about herself, she may imagine that someone else is judging her. By locating the fear as coming from someone on the outside, she can avoid the pain of her own judgment or insecurity and then manage (or seek to control) the pain of inner judgment by relating to that other person in particular ways.


    Just as Fours use the defense mechanism of introjection to manage an outside threat by experiencing it as being inside themselves so they can better control it, Sixes deal with uncomfortable feelings like fear and self-doubt by experiencing them as being caused by someone else. By attributing the motives, feelings, or thoughts they do not want to acknowledge in themselves to another person, they expel them from their internal experience and feel safer on the inside. If someone else is causing them to experience a bad feeling, they can move away from them or be nice to them. For Sixes, managing a bad feeling that comes from the inside can be harder or more threatening to address. Thus, projection allows Type Six individuals to escape the blame and threat related to their feelings and thoughts by placing those feelings outside of themselves, thereby allowing the Six to believe that uncomfortable feelings are caused by other people.


    Although projection serves as a defense, easing a sense of inner threat, it can also cause many problems, as McWilliams notes: “When the projected attitudes seriously distort the object on whom they are projected, or when what is projected consists of disowned and highly negative parts of the self, all kinds of difficulties predictably ensue.Others resent being misperceived and may retaliate when treated, for example, as judgmental, envious, or persecutory.”The habit of projecting fear and other inner experiences onto others also leads to feelings and behaviors that can be said to be suspicious or paranoid in nature, because when you habitually locate the source of your own fear and discomfort in other people, you unconsciously create reasons to suspect them, mistrust them, or regard them as dangerous and potentially threatening.


    In addition to projection, Sixes also make use of a second primary defense mechanism:

    splitting. Splitting originates in an early stage of childhood and relates to the infant’s need to organize its perceptions of “objects” (others in the outside world) in terms of “good” and “bad.” Developing at a time before young children can comprehend the fact that good and bad qualities can coexist in one person or one experience (this is called ambivalence, and is achieved at a later stage), splitting operates defensively to reduce anxiety and maintain self-esteem.


    We can see evidence of splitting—both in an individual and on a collective level— when someone makes one person or group all bad or all good. This happens in politics when one side demonizes their opponents, and in wars when we perceive the enemy as completely evil. In individual psyches, and, more specifically, within the psychology of a Type Six individual, a person can use splitting to clearly demarcate who is good and who is bad as a way of feeling less fear—they locate the “badness,” or the source of fear, in a clear way so as to more easily cope with it. If you see yourself as bad and others as good, you can try to be better and rely on others to protect you. If you see yourself as good and others as bad, you can maintain your self-esteem and use your positive internal resources to protect you from a specific, localized threat from the outside.


    Splitting is the psychological reason why many Sixes experience a large degree of guilt and self-accusation, and a firm belief that they are somehow bad. It can go both ways, however, with the Six viewing some other person—someone whom they dislike or see as untrustworthy—as all bad, even when that other person objectively possesses both “bad” and “good” trait

    The Type Six Focus of Attention According to Beatrice Chestnut[7]


    Sixes develop a way of being in the world based on the habit of paying selective attention to potential threats and imaginatively elaborating what might happen as their defensive basis for coping with danger. They tend to be alert to the complexities of things and to focus their analytical minds on perceiving and understanding all the varied aspects of situations and people. The focus of Type Sixes also centers on doubting and questioning themselves, other people, and data in the outside world—the specific focus of their doubt varies by subtype.


    Driven by an underlying need for safety in what they experience as a world full of potential dangers, Sixes focus on the negative data in their environment (or their own heads) that might signal the presence of threats to their security. When encountering others, Sixes tend to harbor an initial attitude of wariness and mistrust, questioning the other people’s motives until they get a read on what their intentions are. People are watched until they earn the Six’s trust through experience or evidence. In looking for danger by perceiving and intuiting the “negative” data in a situation—in focusing on the search itself—Sixes sometimes end up creating it.


    If something the Six perceives stirs up suspicion, their thoughts can move to creating worst-case scenarios. Generally, Sixes tend to trust their own radar for trouble and their intuitive ability to pick up on small amounts of information in the environment to determine what might happen and what preparations might be needed. Sometimes this habit of attention leads to an accurate and insightful reading of a situation or a deep or intuitive understanding of what is going on; at other times, however, Sixes can fill in the gaps in the objective data they’ve collected with fear-based thoughts about what is happening. In other words, they can unknowingly (unconsciously) project their fear-based, imagination-fueled thinking to create a threat where none exists.


    Sixes tend to focus attention on authorities, either looking for a good authority to guide their actions or regarding people in positions of authority with suspicion. They often feel suspicious about people who wield power, questioning whether they will use it well or not. Sixes also tend to naturally focus positive attention on underdogs and underdog causes because they understand what it’s like to feel vulnerable and threatened by authority figures who might seek to dominate or oppress others.


    Focusing on and taking a “devil’s advocate” or contrarian stance is another aspect of he way Sixes pay attention. Sixes typically question or oppose people who express strong opinions. They habitually focus on alternative views or contrary positions as a way of getting to the truth, fleshing out the complexity of an issue, or challenging or testing people by promoting a view that has been denied or left out. Continually questioning and analyzing everything can make Sixes feel more secure, because they are gathering more data to generate or confirm certainty. They look for holes in an argument, both to push others to prove their trustworthiness (or their deeper intentions) and to get to the truth.This habit of taking the role of a devil’s advocate and noticing what might go wrong makes Sixes good troubleshooters, a role they often play in the workplace.


    To people with other personality types, Sixes may appear to dwell on the negative, or to be suspicious, paranoid, or pessimistic, but Sixes usually do not see themselves as having a pessimistic outlook. Rather, they tend to perceive themselves as realistic, or even idealistic, in that they are trying to achieve the best-case scenario by performing a thorough analysis of each situation and assessing what might go wrong.


    The Type Six Emotional Passion: Fear According to Beatrice Chestnut[7]


    Fear is a universal emotion central to assuring survival in all animals—and it’s the passion of Type Six. As the emotional passion that gives shape to the Six personality, fear can take many forms and can be more or less conscious. It can take the form of a fear of the unknown; it can motivate anxiety and obsessive worrying about potential threats to well-being; or it can feel like self-doubt and uncertainty. It can be experienced as guilt and shame related to your sense of self, or it can surface as a conviction that someone means you harm or can’t be trusted. Fear can be constant and paralyzing; it can motivate obedience to rules and order to maintain control and safety; or it can manifest as a forceful counterreaction of aggression born of a desire (or impulse) to attack when afraid.


    Closely related to fear, anxiety is also a central characteristic of the Type Six personality. Anxiety is a state of “apprehension, tension, or uneasiness from anticipation of danger.” It is differentiated from fear in that fear is seen as an emotional response to a “consciously recognized and usually external threat or danger,” whereas anxiety is primarily of “intrapsychic origin”—that is, anxiety is something we create in our heads in response to an unknown or unrecognized threat.


    Often, anxiety occurs even when there isn’t a clear sense of imminent threat, because anxiety often stems from a fear of fear itself or of something that we imagine or only dimly perceive. Naranjo likens anxiety to a “frozen fear or a frozen alarm before danger that has ceased to threaten (though it continues to be imagined).” Sixes tend to feel anxiety related to fear when they imagine fearful scenarios or anticipate that they will be endangered or threatened. Often, anxiety can attach to social situations, and Sixes may fear that they will be judged, criticized, or otherwise threatened by other people. Their hesitance or discomfort with regard to social situations may be related to self-doubt or a habit of suspecting others’ motives and judgments. Doubt or the inability to act in the face of anxiety can further intensify their anxiety, and thus the anxious tendencies of a Six can become cyclical, self-reinforcing, and hard to break out of.


    Whichever form fear and anxiety take, these emotional experiences, and Sixes’ internal efforts to cope with them, give rise to a defensive structure based on patterns designed to find ways to survive in the face of threats, whether they are commonly felt as overwhelming or only vaguely sensed.

    Holy Trap of Type 6 According to Beatrice Chestnut[7]


    The Type Six Trap:

    “When You Expect Something to Go Wrong, It Usually Does” or “Danger is Where You Find It”


     As it does distinctly for each type, the cognitive fixation for Type Six leads the personality in circles. It presents an inherent “trap” that the limitations of the personality cannot resolve. Given their life strategy and focus of attention, Sixes experience a conflict between their habits, which are designed to help them feel safe in a threatening world, and the fact that these defensive maneuvers actually work to keep them stuck in anxiety, fear, and insecurity.


    Sixes’ core beliefs keep them fixated in a threatening world because their unremitting focus on fear and related imaginings can have the effect of intensifying, rather than diminishing, their perceptions of threats. Sixes’ over-focus on thoughts about what might go wrong can lead to self-sabotage and self-fulfilling prophecies, as creating fearful scenarios in your mind and acting on them can have the unintended effect of manifesting your fears. To the extent that our reality tends to be shaped by our beliefs and perceptions, Sixes can inadvertently create more danger through the mental activity that is designed to help them escape it.

    Type 6 Key Traits According to Beatrice Chestnut[7]



    Closely related to Sixes’ anxiety is their trait of hypervigilance. With fear as a central characteristic, whether conscious or not, it follows that the Six individual is motivated to frequently be “on alert” to signs of danger or threat or things going wrong. By nature suspicious and overly cautious, the Six’s disposition tends to be characterized by a hyperalertness to clues that might reveal hidden dangers. What Naranjo describes as a “state of chronic arousal” serves as a way to gather data to reduce uncertainty, to protect oneself against negative surprises, and to interpret a potentially dangerous reality in an ongoing way.


    By continually watching for signs of problems and other negative data, the Six engages in a habitual defensive behavior; being in a constant state of vigilance makes sense to a person who tends to imagine that the worst could happen. Being highly alert all the time is a natural consequence of the belief that we live in a dangerous world. And often thisbelief is supported by painful experience. Just as people who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) tend to remain hypervigilant and anxious about experiencing a repeat of a trauma they actually experienced, Sixes can maintain an alert focus based on a fear of something they suffered in the past happening again.


    Theoretical Orientation


    Fear contributes to a lack of certainty about what to do and how to act, so the Six continually looks for good data to base decisions on, then processes that data mentally, applying logic, reason, and rationality as a way to make the best decision about what to Do.


    As Naranjo points out, the Type Six “is not only an intellectual type, but also the most logical of types, one who is devoted to reason.” He goes on to say that “in his need for answers to solve his problems, type VI is more than any other a questioner, and thus a potential philosopher.” The Six lives in the realm of intellect, not only as a method of solving problems, but also as a way of “problem-seeking” in an attempt to feel safe.


    The tendency to focus on the theoretical provides Sixes with a mental means of combating fear and indecisiveness; it also represents a consequence of a fearful holding back. The Six attempts to find safety in the thought process itself—through their excessive orientation to thinking and the abstract—but can frequently get stuck there, trapped in an endless cycle of thinking and applying logic and then questioning their conclusions, which then necessitates further thinking and reasoning. Sixes thus seek refuge in the abstract and theoretical, but this tendency also represents a trap that can prevent them from acting in the world.


    Orientation to Authority


    The orientation to authority is one of the most distinct Six traits. Usually as a result of the echo of early experiences with authority figures—parents, generally—Type Six individuals have specific attitudes toward authorities that vary according to the three Six subtypes. Sixes live in a hierarchical world, and they both love and hate authorities, reflecting the early experience of both loving a parent and hating being dominated or somehow punished by that same parent.


    Naranjo summarizes how experience with parental authorities archetypally structures the three distinct variations of authority issues displayed by the three kinds of Sixes:What the aggressive [Sexual], the dutiful [Social], and the affectionate [Self-Preservation] safety maneuvers have in common is their relevance to authority. We may say the fear of enneatype VI was originally aroused by parental authority and the threat of punishment by the power-wielding parent—usually the father. Just as originally this fear led to sweetness [Self-Preservation], obedience [Social], or defiance [Sexual] (and usually ambivalence) toward his parents, now he continues to behave and feel the same in the face of others to whom he assigns authority.


    Most Sixes, including the Self-Preservation Six (who may not openly oppose authority), report that they feel some anti-authoritarian feelings. Usually Sixes describe experiencing some sort of suspicion, questioning, and mistrust in relation to authority figures, and some may also frequently rebel or work against authority. Of course, this skepticism toward authorities can be a strength—some authorities may not be benevolent, and Sixes can show great courage in challenging unjust authority figures—but at other times, on the low side, this characteristic can indicate paranoia and an inability to accept any authority, even a well-intentioned one. With the tendency to question what is happening, and a natural distrust of those in power, there may be few authorities in a given Six’s life who can pass the trust test.


    Doubt and Ambivalence


    Having a “doubting mind” is a key characteristic of Type Six. Built in to the way a Six thinks is a tendency to doubt and question nearly everything. This reflects both an anxiety about the intentions of others and a need to feel secure through testing and mentally evaluating people and ideas. Prone to both self-doubt and doubting others, the Six coping strategy of being alert to signs of threat relies on the habit of doubting what is true as a way of attempting to find safety. In this way, Sixes can be seen to both invalidate themselves through constant self-doubt and doubt others through the expression of suspicion, with the different subtypes doing one more than the other.


    Naranjo describes the situation of a Six in doubt when he states, “he doubts himself and he doubts his doubt; he is suspicious of others, and yet he is afraid that he may be mistaken. The result of this double perspective is, of course, chronic uncertainty in regard to choosing a course of action, and the consequent anxiety.” Beyond the attitude of an “accusatory inquisitor” of self and other, the role of doubt in the Six character reflects the uncertainty of the Six in regard to his views: he both invalidates himself and he props himself up. Individual Sixes may feel both persecuted and grandiose.


    Ambivalence and indecisiveness are natural outgrowths of doubt in that doubting leads to an inability to emerge from ambivalence and to clarify ambiguity. As Naranjo points out, despite the fact that ambiguity causes anxiety in a Six, they are the most explicitly ambivalent of all the character types. Ambivalence is an early theme for Sixes: when you both love and fear a childhood authority, it can lead to a profound sense of ambivalence.Thus, doubt and ambivalence reflect the ongoing inner conflict a Six experiences between pleasing others and rebelling against them, admiring others and trying to invalidate them.


    Contrarian Thinking


    Another manifestation of doubt and the search for certainty is evident in the Six habit of contrarian thinking. This characteristic is evident in Sixes’ tendency to voice an opposing idea to whatever the dominant opinion of the moment is. As a way of looking for the right answer and defending against heedlessly accepting someone else’s power to dominate, when Sixes hear a statement or an opinion, they often automatically speak to the other side. This is why the Type Six is sometimes called the “Devil’s Advocate” or the “Contrarian.”


    It can feel dangerous to Sixes to immediately buy into someone else’s point of view, so their habit of contrarian thinking constitutes a defensive strategy—a way to prevent being quickly taken over by someone else’s wrong idea. By instantaneously being able to argue the other side of any argument, the Six tendency to engage in contrarian thinking allows them to go up against others who would try to persuade them as a way of attempting to dominate them.


    Contrarian thinking also creates a scenario in which doubt (and, potentially,unconscious fear) motivates a kind of forced investigation through an immediate argument about what is really true. Both as a way to avoid domination and a way to search for the right answer, contrarian thinking allows Sixes to feel like they will not be easily taken over or influenced in a way that might be dangerous.


    This kind of thinking also underscores the intellectual, logical nature of the Six personality. If you have an orientation to the theoretical and the abstract, you can naturally generate opposing arguments quite easily. However, like doubt, the tendency to engage in contrarian thinking can cause the Six to get lost in the endless back and forth of debate. And while this style of thinking can be useful in forestalling easy domination of one point over another, it often fails to bring about certainty, and only leads to more argument.


    Self-Fulfilling Prophecy


    Because Sixes have the habit and primary defense mechanism of projection, which is rooted in fear, they also have the tendency toward self-fulfilling prophecy. Here’s how this works: the Six experiences a feeling that is threatening—perhaps a fear about himself, a feeling that he is too weak or that people don’t like him—and to protect himself from the pain or fear of this feeling, he unconsciously projects it out onto someone else. So, the Six starts by doubting himself and feeling fearful about his own inadequacies, and then he projects that fear and corresponding negative self-evaluation onto someone else. The Six then perceives that other person, the projectee—who may not have been feeling negatively toward the Six at all—as having negative thoughts about and threatening feelings toward him, and he bases the way he acts toward that person on this perception/projection. In response to the way the Six is acting, the other person then develops negative feelings about the Six. In this way, the Six’s initial feeling experience, which at the outset is not real, becomes real—becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.


    In this way, the fear and anxiety characteristic of the Six personality can have the effect of actually creating problems and negative circumstances where none existed in the firstplace. The influence of Sixes’ fear and self-doubt (and aggression, in the case of the Sexual Six) on other people and external situations can actually cause Sixes’ fear-based suspicions and expectations to be fulfilled.




    Type 6 According to Riso and Hudson[8]




    Enneagram Type Six

    The Committed, Security-Oriented Type:

    Engaging, Responsible, Anxious, and Suspicious


    Type Six in Brief

    The committed, security-oriented type. Sixes are reliable, hard-working, responsible, and trustworthy. Excellent "troubleshooters," they foresee problems and foster cooperation, but can also become defensive, evasive, and anxious—running on stress while complaining about it. They can be cautious and indecisive, but also reactive, defiant and rebellious. They typically have problems with self-doubt and suspicion. At their Best: internally stable and self-reliant, courageously championing themselves and others.

    • Basic Fear: Of being without support and guidance
    • Basic Desire: To have security and support
    • Enneagram Six with a Five-Wing: "The Defender"
    • Enneagram Six with a Seven-Wing: "The Buddy"

    Key Motivations: Want to have security, to feel supported by others, to have certitude and reassurance, to test the attitudes of others toward them, to fight against anxiety and insecurity.

    The Meaning of the Arrows (in brief)

    When moving in their Direction of Disintegration (stress), dutiful Sixes suddenly become competitive and arrogant at Three. However, when moving in their Direction of Integration (growth), fearful, pessimistic Sixes become more relaxed and optimistic, like healthy Nine. Learn more about the arrows.

    Examples: Krishnamurti, Johannes Brahms, Mark Twain, Sigmund Freud, J. Edgar Hoover, Richard Nixon, Robert F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, George H.W. Bush, Diana, Princess of Wales, Prince Harry, J.R.R. Tolkien, John Grisham, Mike Tyson, Bruce Springsteen, U2’s Bono, Melissa Etheridge, Eminem, Oliver Stone, Michael Moore, Spike Lee, Marilyn Monroe, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, Mark Wahlberg, Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Mel Gibson, Sally Field, Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, Elliot Page, Paul Rudd, Sarah Jessica Parker, Ben Affleck, Hugh Laurie, Katie Holmes, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Ellen Degeneres, Andy Rooney, Katie Couric, Newt Gingrich, Alex Jones (Infowars), Rush Limbaugh, Chris Rock, Lewis Black, Larry David, Seinfeld’s “George Costanza,” Lord of the Rings’ “Frodo Baggins”

    Type Six Overview

    We have named personality type Six The Loyalist because, of all the personality types, Sixes are the most loyal to their friends and to their beliefs. They will “go down with the ship” and hang on to relationships of all kinds far longer than most other types. Sixes are also loyal to ideas, systems, and beliefs—even to the belief that all ideas or authorities should be questioned or defied. Indeed, not all Sixes go along with the “status quo”: their beliefs may be rebellious and anti-authoritarian, even revolutionary. In any case, they will typically fight for their beliefs more fiercely than they will fight for themselves, and they will defend their community or family more tenaciously than they will defend themselves.

    The reason Sixes are so loyal to others is that they do not want to be abandoned and left without support—their Basic Fear. Thus, the central issue for type Six is a failure of self-confidence. Sixes come to believe that they do not possess the internal resources to handle life’s challenges and vagaries alone, and so increasingly rely on structures, allies, beliefs, and supports outside themselves for guidance to survive. If suitable structures do not exist, they will help create and maintain them.

    Sixes are the primary type in the Thinking Center, meaning that they have the most trouble contacting their own inner guidance. As a result, they do not have confidence in their own minds and judgments.

    This does not mean that they do not think. On the contrary, they think—and worry—a lot! They also tend to fear making important decisions, although at the same time, they resist having anyone else make decisions for them. They want to avoid being controlled, but are also afraid of taking responsibility in a way that might put them “in the line of fire.” (The old Japanese adage that says, “The blade of grass that grows too high gets chopped off” relates to this idea.)

    Sixes are always aware of their anxieties and are always looking for ways to construct “social security” bulwarks against them. If Sixes feel that they have sufficient back up, they can move forward with some degree of confidence. But if that crumbles, they become anxious and self-doubting, reawakening their Basic Fear. (“I’m on my own! What am I going to do now?”) A good question for Sixes might therefore be: “When will I know that I have enough security?” Or, to get right to the heart of it, “What is security?” Without Essential inner guidance and the deep sense of support that it brings, Sixes are constantly struggling to find firm ground.

    Sixes attempt to build a network of trust over a background of unsteadiness and fear. They are often filled with a nameless anxiety and then try to find or create reasons why. Wanting to feel that there is something solid and clear-cut in their lives, they can become attached to explanations or positions that seem to explain their situation. Because “belief” (trust, faith, convictions, positions) is difficult for Sixes to achieve, and because it is so important to their sense of stability, once they establish a trustworthy belief, they do not easily question it, nor do they want others to do so. The same is true for individuals in a Six’s life: once Sixes feel they can trust someone, they go to great lengths to maintain connections with the person who acts as a sounding board, a mentor, or a regulator for the Six’s emotional reactions and behavior. They therefore do everything in their power to keep their affiliations going. (“If I don’t trust myself, then I have to find something in this world I can trust.”)

    Although intelligent and accomplished, Connie still has to wrestle with the self-doubt of her type:

    “As my anxiety has come under control, so has my need to ‘check out’ everything with my friends. I used to have to get the nod of approval from several hundred (just joking!) ‘authorities.’ About nearly every decision would involve a council of my friends. I usually would do this one on one: ‘What do you think, Mary?’ ‘If I do this, then that might happen.’ Please make up my mind for me!’…Recently, I’ve narrowed my authorities to just one or two trusted friends, and on occasion, I’ve actually made up my own mind!“

    Until they can get in touch with their own inner guidance, Sixes are like a ping-pong ball that is constantly shuttling back and forth between whatever influence is hitting the hardest in any given moment. Because of this reactivity, no matter what we say about Sixes, the opposite is often also as true. They are both strong and weak, fearful and courageous, trusting and distrusting, defenders and provokers, sweet and sour, aggressive and passive, bullies and weaklings, on the defensive and on the offensive, thinkers and doers, group people and soloists, believers and doubters, cooperative and obstructionistic, tender and mean, generous and petty—and on and on. It is the contradictory picture that is the characteristic “fingerprint” of Sixes, the fact that they are a bundle of opposites.

    The biggest problem for Sixes is that they try to build safety in the environment without resolving their own emotional insecurities. When they learn to face their anxieties, however, Sixes understand that although the world is always changing and is, by nature uncertain, they can be serene and courageous in any circumstance. And they can attain the greatest gift of all, a sense of peace with themselves despite the uncertainties of life.

    (from The Wisdom of the Enneagram, p. 235-236)

    Type Six—Levels of Development

    Healthy Levels

    Level 1 (At Their Best): Become self-affirming, trusting of self and others, independent yet symbiotically interdependent and cooperative as an equal. Belief in self leads to true courage, positive thinking, leadership, and rich self-expression.

    Level 2: Able to elicit strong emotional responses from others: very appealing, endearing, lovable, affectionate. Trust important: bonding with others, forming permanent relationships and alliances.

    Level 3: Dedicated to individuals and movements in which they deeply believe. Community builders: responsible, reliable, trustworthy. Hard-working and persevering, sacrificing for others, they create stability and security in their world, bringing a cooperative spirit.

    Average Levels

    Level 4: Start investing their time and energy into whatever they believe will be safe and stable. Organizing and structuring, they look to alliances and authorities for security and continuity. Constantly vigilant, anticipating problems.

    Level 5: To resist having more demands made on them, they react against others passive-aggressively. Become evasive, indecisive, cautious, procrastinating, and ambivalent. Are highly reactive, anxious, and negative, giving contradictory, "mixed signals." Internal confusion makes them react unpredictably.

    Level 6: To compensate for insecurities, they become sarcastic and belligerent, blaming others for their problems, taking a tough stance toward "outsiders." Highly reactive and defensive, dividing people into friends and enemies, while looking for threats to their own security. Authoritarian while fearful of authority, highly suspicious, yet, conspiratorial, and fear-instilling to silence their own fears.

    Unhealthy Levels

    Level 7: Fearing that they have ruined their security, they become panicky, volatile, and self-disparaging with acute inferiority feelings. Seeing themselves as defenseless, they seek out a stronger authority or belief to resolve all problems. Highly divisive, disparaging and berating others

    Level 8: Feeling persecuted, that others are "out to get them," they lash-out and act irrationally, bringing about what they fear. Fanaticism, violence.

    Level 9: Hysterical, and seeking to escape punishment, they become self-destructive and suicidal. Alcoholism, drug overdoses, self-abasing behavior. Generally corresponds to the Passive-Aggressive and Paranoid personality disorders.

    Compatibility with Other Types

    Type 6 in relationship with type:

    1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9

    Misidentification with Other Types

    Type 6 compared with type:

       2     3     4     5     7     8     9


    Rigidity in diet causes nutritional imbalances ("I don't like vegetables"). Working excessively. Caffeine and amphetamines for stamina, but also alcohol and depressants to deaden anxiety. Higher susceptibility to alcoholism than many types.

    Personal Growth Recommendations

    for Enneagram Type Sixes

    • Remember that there is nothing unusual about being anxious since everyone is anxious and much more often than you might think. Learn to be more present to your anxiety, to explore it, and to come to terms with it. Work creatively with your tensions without turning to excessive amounts of alcohol (or other drugs) to allay them. In fact, if you are present and breathing fully, anxiety can be energizing, a kind of tonic that can help make you more productive and aware of what you are doing.
    • You tend to get edgy and testy when you are upset or angry, and can even turn on others and blame them for things you have done or brought on yourself. Be aware of your pessimism: it causes you dark moods and negative thought patterns that you tend to project on reality. When you succumb to this self-doubt, you can become your own worst enemy and may harm yourself more than anyone else does.
    • Sixes tend to overreact when they are under stress and feeling anxious. Learn to identify what makes you overreact. Also realize that almost none of the things you have feared so much has actually come true. Even if things are as bad as you think, your fearful thoughts weaken you and your ability to change things for the better. You cannot always manage external events, but you can manage your own thoughts.
    • Work on becoming more trusting. There are doubtless several people in your life you can turn to who care about you and who are trustworthy. If not, go out of your way to find someone trustworthy, and allow yourself to get close to that person. This will mean risking rejection and stirring up some of your deepest fears, but the risk is worth taking. You have a gift for getting people to like you, but you are unsure of yourself and may be afraid of making a commitment to them. Therefore, come down clearly on one side or the other of the fence in your relationships. Let people know how you feel about them.
    • Others probably think better of you than you realize, and few people are really out to get you. In fact, your fears tell you more about your attitudes toward others than they indicate about others' attitudes toward you.





    The Six with a Five-Wing: "The Defender"


    The traits of the Six and those of the Five are in some degree of conflict with each other. The general orientation of Sixes is toward affiliation with others, while the orientation of Fives is toward detachment from people so that they can avoid being influenced by anyone. Sixes and Fives are both looking for safety, but Sixes look to alliances with others and commitment to systems of thought for security, while Fives tend to retreat from others and to tinker with, or even dismantle, established systems of thought. Both tendencies exist in the Six with a Five-wing, producing a subtype which sees itself as fighting for the"little person," while at the same time being drawn to systems, alliances, and beliefs which often contain strong authoritarian elements. Sixes with a Five-wing can seem like Ones because they are serious, self-controlled, and committed to specific moral, ethical, and political beliefs. Like Eights, they can also, be rather outspoken and passionate in the expression of their beliefs, with less concern about being liked than the Six with a Seven-wing. 


    Noteworthy examples of this subtype include Richard Nixon, Robert F. Kennedy, George Bush, Malcolm X, Robert Redford, Michelle Pfeiffer, Diane Keaton, Jessica Lange, Bruce Springsteen, Phil Donahue, Rock Hudson, Billy Graham, Walter Mondale, Alexander Haig, Bob Dole, Joseph McCarthy, J. Edgar Hoover, Oliver North, Meir Kahane, and John Hinckley, Jr. 


    Healthy people of this subtype combine the Six's capacity for organization and personal engagement with the Five's perceptiveness and curiosity. They may have a strong intellectual streak, depending on how much the Five-wing is in their overall personality. Healthy Sixes with a Five-wing often develop technical expertise and are valued as practical problem solvers; they are good communicators, educators, and pundits. They are also attracted to professions such as medicine, law, and engineering; they desire to master a system of knowledge but within a field where the rules and parameters are established and known. They often get involved with political causes and community service. There is a strong identification with the underdog, and Sixes with a Five-wing may become the spokespeople or champions for groups or individuals they see as disadvantaged. Sixes with a Five-wing possess greater powers of concentration and focus than the other subtype, although they can sometimes be perceived as too narrow in their concerns. They are usually shrewd observers of the environment, particularly people, and put a premium on foresight and predicting how others will react. Their perceptions are more original than those of Sixes with a Seven-wing, but because Six is the basic type, they do come across not as intellectuals but as extremely competent, knowledgeable individuals.


    The anxiety we see in average Sixes also causes people of this subtype to be more intense than Sixes with a Seven-wing. Sixes with a Five-wing are more independent than Sixes with a Seven-wing, and are less likely to go to others for reassurance, advice, or to solve their problems. They may have one or two mentors or confidants, but in most cases they will "gut out" their problems and anxieties alone. They can be very hardworking and loyal to the systems or people with whom they have identified, but this can lead to strong partisan stances and a competitiveness with rivals. Persons of this subtype tend to be constricted in the expression of their emotions, and are usually more detached, cerebral, and pessimistic. The Five- wing also adds a tendency toward secretiveness and compartmentalization which fuels the suspiciousness of the average Six. As their insecurities escalate, they tend to see the world as dangerous. They become more reactive and aggressive, and will denounce or scapegoat any perceived threat to their security. They see others as potential enemies and fear that people may be conspiring to ruin them. Ironically, they may respond by hatching plots against others.


    Unhealthy persons of this subtype become increasingly paranoid and obsessed with maintaining their security, and may go to great lengths to protect their position. They are extremely needy, and may abuse alcohol or drugs as a way of dealing with anxiety and paranoid delusions, as well as of bolstering their inferiority feelings. The Five-wing adds elements of cynicism and nihilism to the fearful mentality of the unhealthy Six, resulting in growing isolation, desperation, and a capacity for sociopathic actions. Intense stress will likely lead to outbreaks of rage and extremely destructive behavior accompanied by breaks with reality. Self-sabotaging, self-destructive actions bring about humiliation and punishment to atone for guilt, although the extent and nature of their self-destructiveness will be hidden from others because of their reclusive nature. There may be strong propensity for violence as well as sadomasochistic tendencies in sexual expression. Murder and suicide are both real possibilities.

    The Six with a Seven-Wing: "The Buddy"

    The traits of the Six and the traits of the Seven reinforce each other. This subtype is more clearly extroverted, more interested in having a good time, more sociable, and, for better or worse, is less intensely focused upon either the environment or itself than Sixes with a Five-wing. In this subtype, there is also a dynamic tension between the main type and wing. The Six focuses on commitment, responsibility, and sacrifice of personal pursuits for the sake of security, while the Seven focuses on experience, satisfaction of personal need, and keeping options open. (People of this subtype can sometimes seem like Twos.) They can be affable, supportive, and strongly identified with others. Sixes with a Seven-wing are more eager to be liked and accepted by others than the Six with a Five-wing and are also more hesitant to speak out. The Seven-wing adds sociability, playfulness, and enthusiasm, but the Six component can be uneasy with this, so Sixes with a Seven-wing frequently monitor the reactions of others to see if they are behaving acceptably. 


    Noteworthy examples of this subtype include Jay Leno, Tom Hanks, Johnny Carson, Sally Field, Candice Bergen, Gilda Radner, Princess Diana, Marilyn Monroe, Julia Roberts, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Reggie Jackson, Patrick Swayze, Tom Selleck, Ted Kennedy, Andy Rooney, Rush Limbaugh, "Fred Mertz," "Archie Bunker," and "the Cowardly Lion."


    Healthy persons of this subtype desire to feel not only accepted and secure with others, but also happy, particularly with regard to material well-being. They have broad areas of interest and often have one or more hobbies or pastimes. People in this subtype are friendly and sociable, taking neither themselves nor life that seriously, or at least not solemnly. Many Sixes with a Seven-wing are attracted to the performing arts (acting, popular music) or other professions that allow them to combine their energetic, interpersonal qualities with discipline and craft (advertising, marketing, managing, law). They tend to be self-deprecating, and if possible, turn their fears into occasions for reassurance, further bonding with others, or even humor. Healthy Sixes with a Seven-wing are usually extremely playful and funny, since a sense of humor is one of their most salient means of coping with life and its tensions. They are generally more extroverted than the other subtype.


    Average Sixes with a Seven-wing are also hardworking and loyal, but begin to have problems with procrastination and initiating projects. They tend to depend more on others for reassurance and will usually seek advice from a number of sources before coming to an important decision. If they get conflicting advice, they tend to be more indecisive than the Sixes with Five-wings. They do not handle anxiety, tension, or pressure well and often react by becoming impulsive, grumpy, and peevish. Their sense of humor is used to deflect others, and their passive-aggressiveness to get them out of unpleasant situations. Increasingly, the subtype complains, frets, and turns the Seven's propensity for envisioning options into a tendency to conceive of everything that can go wrong in a situation. At the same time, the Seven-wing causes them to succor themselves with various distractions and compensations. Overeating, drinking, and substance abuse may enter the picture, along with nonproductive "hanging out" (the good ol' boy, the gal who hangs out at the local bar or club). Sixes with a Seven-wing may not take the strong political stands of Sixes with a Five-wing, but they tend to become highly opinionated and quite vocal about their likes and dislikes. Because they are afraid of confronting the real sources of discontent in their lives, however, their anxieties about personal failings or important relationships are often displaced onto helpless "third parties"—the "kicking the cat" syndrome.


    Unhealthy persons of this subtype are more disposed to becoming dependent on others, and do not attempt to disguise the depth of their emotional needs. They may become stuck in abusive working conditions while dependent upon other people, addictive substances, or both. Inferiority feelings combine with the desire to escape from themselves. Unhealthy Sixes with a Seven-wing have few means of dealing with anxiety, and as anxiety gets worse, they become increasingly emotionally erratic. People of this subtype are in a flight from anxiety, tending to become manic rather than paranoid. They act out their unconscious fears, flying into hysterical overreactions much more readily than the other subtype, making them highly unpredictable and reckless. They may alternate between desperately clinging to destructive relationships and lashing out at their supporters. This subtype is also subject to debilitating panic attacks, since anxiety, rather than aggression, has the upper hand. Suicide attempts, as a way of eliciting help, are likely.




    [1] Ichazo, Ó (1976). "The Human Process for Enlightenment and Freedom" 5th ed. Arica Institute. The Human Process for Enlightenment and Freedom: A Series of Five Lectures

    [2] Lilly, J.C. & Hart, J.E. (1975). "The Arica Training" The Arica Training

    [3] Naranjo, C. (1994). "Character and Neurosis: An Integrative Study." 4th ed. Gateways / IDHHB, Inc.

    [4] Naranjo, C. (1995). "Enneagram of Society: Healing the Soul to Heal the World." 2nd ed. Gateways Books and Tapes.

    [5] Riso, D. R., & Hudson R. (1996). "The Personality Types: Using the Enneagram for Self-discovery." 2nd ed. Houghton Mifflin Company.

    [6] Simone, J. "Triads"

    [7Beatrice Chestnut(2021),The Complete Enneagram: 27 Paths to Greater Self-Knowledge


    [9]Riso and Hudson(1996),Personality Types: Using the Enneagram for Self-Discovery

    [10] Naranjo, C. (2017), Ensayos sobre psicología de los eneatipos


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