The Loyalist (Enneagram 6) is a cautious and skeptical type who aims to be prepared for whatever life might throw at them. Sixes are detail-oriented and carry a whole library of guides for every possible scenario: from losing their phones to surviving doomsday. Their single-handed and greatest asset? Emotional intelligence. Typically associated with the warm parental figure Two or harmony-seeking Nine, Sixes actually possess strong people skills, understanding deeply how others may feel inadequate or left out.
Sixes can be either Phobic or Counter-Phobic. Phobic Sixes make it very apparent to others about their worries and anxieties and are eager to find security in people, communities, or belief systems. Note: Phobic Sixes don’t necessarily have phobias, rather an overarching fear of every possible way a situation could go haywire.
Counter-Phobic Sixes, in comparison, refuse to demonstrate (or even admit to) fear altogether; a fear of fear itself. They can appear robotic or emotionally detached on the surface; highly independent and collected. With their pseudo-fearless attitude and willpower to prove themselves, Counter-Phobic Sixes do very often mistype as Eights.
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Quick Overview of the Six:
- Part of the Head Triad (along with Enneatypes Five and Seven)
- Can have a Five or Seven wing: 6w5 or 6w7
- Nicknamed ‘The Loyalist’
- Ego Fixation: Cowardice
- Vice: Fear
- Virtue: Courage
- Integrates into the Nine (The Peacemaker) under growth
- Disintegrates into the Three (The Achiever) under stress
- Basic Fear: To lose control and be without support or guidance
- Basic Desire: To feel secure and able to handle the demands of life
Values are the core beliefs that make up the most important aspects of life. They have a strong influence over important decisions, especially during critical times, when standing between a fork in the road.
Common Values of the Six:
The Enneagram model of personality identifies three distinct levels of health for each type: healthy, normal, and unhealthy.
Under healthy levels of growth, Sixes integrate into the direction of the Nine and become more at ease with themselves and others. They intuitively know when to drop the ball and relax, and when to fire up their noggin to get back to work. At peace with the world and the organized chaos of the cosmos, they realize fully letting go of expectations and accepting uncertainty is one of the core components of life itself.
Fully aware of their shortcomings and strengths, healthy Sixes are attuned to the world around them and are courageous to take a more positive stance; the high road. They’re incredibly emotionally intelligent and able to empathize with people from all walks of life.
At average levels, Sixes equip themselves with worst-possible-case-scenarios and set expectations to rock bottom in hopes to avoid eventual disappointment. While they worry a lot, they also possess a strong (yet silent) sixth sense, and often rely on their intuition to guide them through sticky situations and tough decisions.
Life’s vagaries and detours throw Sixes off more than any other type in the Enneagram. When they encounter possible chances for failure or mistakes, their fight-flight-or-freeze response kicks in and paralyzes them.
Under unhealthy levels of stress, Sixes disintegrate in the direction of the Three and become image-conscious, overworked, and even vain (to an extent). They replay failures in their heads and wonder: If I had done things differently in the past, would things be better now? There will always be a more feasible and ideal situation in the web of possibilities in parallel universes.
Through rumination and paranoia, Sixes can unwittingly burn bridges and drive away friends through their self-fulfilling prophecies about how disaster will inevitably strike.
Type 6 Behavior at Healthy Levels of Maturity:
- Trusting and at peace with self and others
- Compassionate and well-wishing
- Extraordinarily caring and freely-giving
- Receptive to new ways of thinking
- Balanced and grounded in reality
Type 6 Behavior at Average Levels of Maturity:
- Sheltered and cautious of others
- Flying-under-the-radar lifestyle
- Heavy use of self-deprecating humor
- Second-guesses each decision made
- Needs to feel connected to a group or community
Type 6 Behavior at Unhealthy Levels of Maturity:
- Extremely prone to stress and burnout
- Hypersensitive to criticism and critique
- Competitive—eyes on the wrong prize
- Self-defeating and easily deflated
- Frightening delusions and suspicions
When it comes to vocational preferences, Sixes gravitate toward careers where they can feel at ease and secure. They appreciate predictability and a stable work schedule, as well as benefits such as 401ks or guaranteed vacation days.
- Financial Advisor
- Health & Safety Engineer
During down time, Sixes aim to consciously create an atmosphere of organization and eliminate as much stress as possible beforehand.
- Listening to music
- Writing fiction
Many well-known actors and comedians throughout history were Sixes in the Enneagram. Sixes are often found in the entertainment industry, with their uncanny ability to connect with different people in an endearing way.
Quotes From Famous Enneagram Type Sixes:
- “A lot of people give up just before they’re about to make it. You know you never know when that next obstacle is going to be the last one.” – Chuck Norris
- “If you don’t stick to your values when they’re being tested, they’re not values; they’re hobbies.” – Jon Stewart
- “I used to be more paranoid and stressed, constantly worrying about my Plan B. But the truth is, I don’t have one.” – Uma Thurman
- “I make mistakes, I’m out of control, and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.” – Marilyn Monroe
A Video About the Enneagram 6 To Sum This All Up…
Watch this video to understand some of the most important traits of the Enneagram Six.
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Lily Yuan is a personality psychology writer who has a knack for just missing the bus. She tests as INTP 5w4 and constantly questions her type. Learn more at www.lily-yuan.com or follow her on Twitter @LilyYuanWrites.