Enneagram Type 6 - The Loyalist
Conflicted between trust and distrust
People of this personality type essentially feel insecure, as though there is nothing quite steady enough to hold onto. At the core of the type Six personality is a kind of fear or anxiety. This anxiety has a very deep source and can manifest in a variety of different styles, making Sixes somewhat difficult to describe and to type. What all Sixes have in common however, is the fear rooted at the center of their personality, which manifests in worrying, and restless imaginings of everything that might go wrong. This tendency makes Sixes gifted at trouble shooting, but also robs the Six of much needed peace of mind and tends to deprive the personality of spontaneity. The essential anxiety at the core of the type Six fixation tends to permeate the personality with a sort of "defensive suspiciousness." Sixes don't trust easily; they are often ambivalent about others, until the person has absolutely proven herself, at which point they are likely to respond with steadfast loyalty. The loyalty of the Six is something of a two edged sword however, as Sixes are sometimes prone to stand by a friend, partner, job or cause even long after it is time to move on.
Sixes are generally looking for something or someone to believe in. This, combined with their general suspiciousness, gives rise to a complicated relationship to authority. The side of the Six which is looking for something to believe in, is often very susceptible to the temptation to turn authority over to an external source, whether it be in the form of an individual or a creed. But the Six's tendency towards distrust and suspicion works against any sort of faith in authority. Thus, two opposite pulls exist side by side in the personality of enneatype Six, and assume different proportions in different individuals, sometimes alternating within the same individual.
The truly confounding element when it comes to typing Sixes is that there are two fundamentally different strategies that Sixes adopt for dealing with fear. Some Sixes are basically phobic. Phobic Sixes are generally compliant, affiliative and cooperative. Other Sixes adopt the opposite strategy of dealing with fear, and become counterphobic, essentially taking a defiant stand against whatever they find threatening. This is the Six who takes on authority or who adopts a dare devil attitude towards physical danger. Counterphobic Sixes can be agressive and, rather than looking for authorities, can adopt a rebellious or anti-authoritarian demeanor. Counterphobic Sixes are often unaware of the fear that motivates their actions. In fact, Sixes in general, tend to be blind to the extent of their own anxiety. Because it is the constant back drop to all of their emotions, Sixes are frequently unaware of its existence, as they have nothing with which to contrast it.
Because Sixes so frequently fail to appreciate the extent of their own fear, they often mistype themselves. It is common for instance, for female Sixes to mistype as Twos, especially if they are identified with a helper role, but Sixes have a much more ambivalent attitude towards relationships than do Twos, who generally know exactly what they want. Sixes, failing to recognize their anxiety, can mistype as Nines, but Nines have the ability to relax and to trust in others, neither of which come easily to Sixes. Sixes can mistype as Fours, especially if they have artistic inclinations, but they lack the Four's self-absorption. They can mistype as Fives, especially if they are intellectual, as many Sixes are, but unlike Fives, Sixes tend to be practical. Finally, conterphobic Sixes can easily mistype as Eights, but they lack the Eight's self-certainty.
And here is my "wing type,"
Enneagram Type 5 - The InvestigatorThinkers who tend to withdraw and observe
People of this personality type essentially fear that they don't have enough inner strength to face life, so they tend to withdraw, to retreat into the safety and security of the mind where they can mentally prepare for their emergence into the world. Fives feel comfortable and at home in the realm of thought. They are generally intelligent, well read and thoughtful and they frequently become experts in the areas that capture their interest. While they are sometimes scientifically oriented, especially with the Six wing, just as many Fives are drawn to the humanities and it is not at all uncommon for Fives to have artistic inclinations. Fives are often a bit eccentric; they feel little need to alter their beliefs to accommodate majority opinion, and they refuse to compromise their freedom to think just as they please. The problem for Fives is that while they are comfortable in the realm of thought, they are frequently a good deal less comfortable when it comes to dealing with their emotions, the demands of a relationship, or the need to find a place for themselves in the world. Fives tend to be shy, nonintrusive, independent and reluctant to ask for the help that others might well be happy to extend to them.
Fives are sensitive; they don't feel adequately defended against the world. To compensate for their sensitivity, Fives sometimes adopt an attitude of careless indifference or intellectual arrogance, which has the unfortunate consequence of creating distance between themselves and others. Trying to bridge the distance can be difficult for Fives, as they are seldom comfortable with their social skills, but when they do manage it, they are often devoted friends and life long companions.
Fives are usually somewhat restrained when it comes to emotional expression, but they often have stronger feelings than they let on. Few people know what is going on beneath the surface, as Fives have an often exaggerrated need for privacy and a deep seated fear of intrusion. Because of their sensitivity and their fears of inadequacy, Fives fear being overwhelmed, either by the demands of others or by the strength of their own emotions. They sometimes deal with this by developing a minimalistic lifestyle in which they make few demands on others in exchange for few demands being made on them. Other Fives make their peace with the messiness of life and engage it more fully, but they almost always retain their fears that life is somehow going to demand more of them than they can deliver.
Fives, especially with the Four wing, sometimes mistype themselves as Fours. Such Fives recognize that they have strong emotions and don't identify with the often extremely cerebral portrait of type Five. But, Fives, unlike Fours, always retain some degree of discomfort when it comes to the expression of their emotional states. However much facility they may gain with it, the language of emotion is not their native tongue.