14 October 2021

The Loyalist: All About the Enneagram 6

Are you someone who people often describe as their "ride or die?" Do you constantly wonder what the worst-case scenario could be? Are you loyal until the end? You're probably an Enneagram 6.

The Enneagram 6: A Loyalist to the Core

Sixes are the most loyal to their loved ones, beliefs, and communities, holding onto relationships for longer than the other types. They'll often fight for others more than themselves. 6s can also be loyal to ideas, systems—even to the belief that power, opinions, or authorities should be questioned or disobeyed. Their thoughts may be anti-authoritarian, rebellious, and even revolutionary.

Enneagram 6s will often be loyal to others, so they're not left abandoned without support. Thus, the main problem for Type Six is a lack of belief in themselves and their own abilities. 6's tend to believe that they don't have the internal skills or resources to navigate life's challenges by themselves. So, they tend to rely on external resources for guidance and self-preservation. If those structures don't exist, they will help establish and maintain them on their own.

An Enneagram 6: Healthy vs. Unhealthy

A healthy six will have a responsible, engaging, curious, cautious, indecisive, reliable, hard-working, and suspicious personality. They're the committed, security-oriented type. Excellent problem solvers, they anticipate problems and cooperate with others. At their best, they're internally stable and self-reliant, courageously advocating for themselves and others. They're often described as a "loyal skeptic."

An unhealthy 6 can become defensive, avoidant, suspicious, anxious, and self-doubting. They'll be running on stress while complaining about being stressed. When authority becomes oppressive to those they care about, they can be reactive, defiant, and rebellious.

When moving in their Direction of Growth, 6s can become more relaxed and optimistic, like healthy Type 9. But when moving in their Direction of Stress, 6s suddenly become competitive and arrogant, like an unhealthy Type 3.

What Is a 6's Basic Fear?

A Type 6's primary fear is being left without guidance and support. That being said, their personality type's fundamental desire is the opposite: to be securely supported by others. They're often motivated to test and measure the attitudes of others toward them, to fight against anxiety and insecurity, and make sure relationships are solid.

What Is a Counterphobic Enneagram 6?

While fear is the central emotion in Sixes, they tend to process it in two different ways. A counterphobic six will confront and jump into their fears to overcome them. They can even seek out their fears at times.

Regular sixes, or phobic sixes, want to show you they're not afraid. Inside they are actually very afraid, but they handle it by creating safety in preparation, plans, a safe authority, and keeping risky people at a distance. Oddly, the counterphobic six will also be very wary of their chosen authority figure. They are obedient but suspicious. They will continually test the authority or organization, looking for red flags or warnings that something or someone may become untrustworthy.

Counterphobic Sixes are brave when they are healthy and authoritarian when they are stressed. In stress, they will expect submission from you, becoming argumentative. They will intentionally "stir the pot," ask a lot of questions and initiate arguments.

The Wings of an Enneagram 6

Enneagram Six with a Five-Wing: "The Defender" or "The Guardian:" They tend to be intellectual, hard-working, and cautious. They are independent but dedicated to those they trust and support. They are usually more serious, focused, and detail-oriented than other 6s.

Enneagram Six with a Seven-Wing: "The Buddy" or "The Confidant:" They tend to be engaging, hard-working, and personable in their behavior. They are much more sociable than the other 6s and love to make new friends.

Famous Enneagram Type 6s

Since the Enneagram is all about your personal motivation, it's impossible to know someone else's based on their actions alone. That said, the following famous people have several attributes that are stereotypical of an Enneagram 6.

  • Mark Twain
  • Sigmund Freud
  • Robert F. Kennedy
  • Prince Harry
  • Princess Diana Spencer
  • Tom Hanks
  • Jennifer Anniston
  • J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Eminem
  • Robert DeNiro
  • J. Edgar Hoover
  • Sally Field
  • Ben Affleck
  • Mark Twain
  • Jiddu Krishnamurti
  • Meg Ryan
  • David Letterman
  • Johannes Brahms
  • Dustin Hoffman
  • Marilyn Monroe

Thinking Center

6s rely primarily on thinking (as opposed to feeling or doing), meaning it's difficult to tap into their own inner guidance. This can lead to a lack of confidence in their decisions. However, they spend plenty of energy thinking and worrying. They also tend to fear responsibility and making big decisions head-on, but they don't want other people making decisions for them. A true conundrum.

6s are always hyper-vigilant of their anxieties and are always trying to construct security against them. If Sixes feel that they have enough security, they can move forward. But if that falls apart, they become anxious and self-doubting. Without inner guidance, sixes spend all their energy on finding solid ground. This "solid ground" comes in the form of a network of trust to cover their chronic unsteadiness and indiscriminate anxiety they just can't pinpoint.

Trust, faith, and convictions are hard for 6s to achieve, but they need these things to feel stable. So, once they establish a trustworthy belief, they won't easily question it, nor do they want anyone else to do so. Once a Type Six finds a loyal friend or mentor to confide in, they will do everything to maintain that relationship.

What Myers-Briggs Types Tend to Be Enneagram Sixes?

Sixes are an anxious type. Their behaviors and attitudes can be seen as attempts to ease their anxiety observation. Introverts tend to be more anxious and self-conscious than extroverts. Therefore, sixes tend to be more "I's" on the Myers-Briggs.  Being more practical and less introspective than Fours or Fives, the Six is usually the Sensing (S) type. Therefore, you'll primarily find Enneagram 6s as ISTJs, ISTPs, ISFJs, and ISFPs on the Myers-Briggs.

Are You an Enneagram 6?

TheEnneagram has the potential to help lots of different people! The Enneagram certainly isn't a prescription for life, but it can help with expanding self-knowledge and understanding core motivation. If this Enneatype description has been helpful for you, share this article with the people you love on FamilyApp!


Share:

Read more

Relationships
|Tech & Social25 February 2021 (updated)

The Enneagram and Your Family: Maximize the Moments

What's the Enneagram, and how does it apply to family life? We're glad you asked! Here's a basic overview so you can start learning more.

Laura Kraus
Laura Kraus
Mental Health
|Health & Fitness18 February 2021

How to Deal With Anxiety 101: Coping Strategies and Tips

How can you cope with anxiety as an adult? Here are some tips from Amelia Peck, MFT, that may help you manage stress and improve your mental health!

Amelia Peck
Relationships
|Tech & Social19 October 2020 (updated)

Your Enneagram Number and How It Impacts Relationships

What's your Enneagram number and how can it help improve your relationships? We asked Marriage and Family Therapist Kelsey Hoff to tell us all about it.

Amelia Peck