Enneagram Personality guide part two
(Key to understanding your personality)
(Personality Six through to Nine)
Continued from Enneagram Guide 1
Please see Guide 1 first
On this page we’ll be looking at the journey the personalities Six through to Nine take. The aim is to further your understanding of the enneagram personalities. The journey reveals the arc from deeply affected by the habitual traits toward freedom. This guide is useful to know so we can see where in the journey we are and which direction we need to head so we can realize our potential.
We can also see if we’re heading in the wrong direction and when to stop, see the veils in action, reflect and wake up.
Personality Type Six
Here is a secure, independent courageous six personality who has seen through the fears and trusts her own judgment. This is not to say fear and doubts don’t arise but there is a secure peace that underlies the personality and this can be trusted to always be present.
Below is a typical representation of the six personality. Plagued by doubts and fears, seeking safety but mostly seeing danger. Looking for safety in decisions or other people or by acting responsibly and dutifully and being loyal (even though they feel rebellious).
This personality type has many gifts. They’re organized, friendly, dependable, responsible, inspirational, kind, able to ‘get things done’ and they can successfully create networks and groups that work as a team.
Yet they often make their decisions based upon safety simply because they’re ‘seeing’ danger everywhere. Fear is the underlying emotion they’re resisting. When these types consciously allow fear to be present they often discover it to be an ‘energy’ that they needn’t label as fear. They become free to make decisions, trust their intuition and intelligence and can see the world in broader terms than just safety and danger.
If the person spirals downwards they become paranoid and increasingly insecure. They become suspicious, anxious and feel paralyzed by fear.
Personality Type Seven
Here is a sober, steady, satisfied seven personality. They’re still enthusiastic, highly imaginative and bring a positive energy to any project their involved in. But they’ve seen through the false energy that drives them to keep on the move. They understand that life is shallow and meaningless without the depth that comes from accepting boredom and pain.
Below is a typical representation of the seven personality. Restless, grabbing at highs, wanting to experience everything that life has to offer except boredom and pain. They’ll leave before they’ve fully integrated an experience because they fear they’ll miss out on life.
The feeling they’ve resisted is the feeling that they’re incomplete and not ok. When they consciously allow themselves to feel incomplete they become free of this itchy energy. They’re no longer being unconsciously driven by the restless energy driving them to seek completeness in external activities or by staying on the run.
Below is what this personality can spiral down to. They become impatient and frustrated and act recklessly as they become more and more determined to keep life on a high.
Personality Type Eight
Here is a happy eight personality. Free from the need to forcefully control others, point out faults, prod at people’s weakness, explode regularly and blame everyone else for their problems, they can turn their enormous reservoirs of energy and power into lovingly helping others as well as realizing their projects.
Below is a typical representation of the eight personality. Angry, vengeful, bossy, determined to be the leader and seeing weakness in everyone but themselves.
They’re also passionate, industrious, hard working and have a ‘can do’ attitude. Their personality is forceful and larger than life.
The emotion beneath their behavior is fear of weakness. They rarely allow themselves to acknowledge this, in fact they don’t feel weak but its there and driving their actions. When this personality type consciously allows themselves to feel vulnerable they can become free of the fear that they might be weak. When weakness or vulnerability aren’t resisted they no longer need to use their energy as an aggressive power to prove they aren’t weak.
When this personality slides down the spiral they can become violent, vengeful and abusive. They actively threaten anyone who they feel is against them.
Personality Type Nine
Here is a present, awake, dynamic nine personality. They know what they want, they believe in themselves, they realize their desires are important and they no longer need to avoid confrontation or pressure. They no longer always accommodate others as a way to avoid conflict.
Here is how the typical nine personality manifests. They imagine pressures and conflict about to invade their peace in any moment. To escape these pressures they feel they have to numb themselves as their only means to find peace. They strive for harmony, peace and comfort but this desire makes them amiable and agreeable as a way to be left alone. It also drives them to seek comfort in routines, television, food, computers, alcohol or drugs. They go along with the others but then feel resentful and get back in passive-aggressive ways – (Saying they’ll do something but never getting around to it even if they’ve promised to do a task.)
The experience they’re unconsciously resisting is anger. They’re afraid of anger and can feel mortified if it rises up. Yet when they consciously allow anger to be felt they can become free of their fear of this anger. In fact they discover the anger to be masking a large reservoir of energy that they actually enjoy being in touch with.
Here is how the personality can spiral downwards. They refuse to see if there is any problem, they obsessively numb out and they can waste their lives by seeking comfort instead of realizing their dreams. They’ll also live vicariously through others, never actualizing their own dreams but supporting others instead. We see this when the nine plays the supporting role in a business or supports a stronger personality in their lives. (Nines can join communities or support teachers or bosses and hide out in a numbing supporting role rather than go after their own dreams or go for the lead role themselves.)
They can of course be brilliant leaders . . . think of the Dalai Lama. It’s not that nines can’t be leaders. They can and wonderful leaders too. So it’s important for this type to realize it if they’re hiding out in a supporting role, when deep in their hearts they’d prefer to be an ‘alpha’ rather than the ‘beta’. Once they realize they’re hiding out they can begin to play a leading role.
Something for Authors and Actors
The enneagram and the journey the personalities take is creative fodder for authors as they write their characters and it’s an excellent tool for actors as they bring their acting roles to life.
Are you an author?
You’ll see the arc that a character can take from worst case scenario to best. I show it as two directions (an up arrow and a down) , one direction showing the result of freedom, the other when we spiral downwards. The catalyst to these changes will be creatively different for each writer, however, using the enneagram as a guide to the characters arc gives the work a realistic and consistent platform.
Are you an actor?
From the guide you’ll understand the nine types of characters more, you’ll discover their internal motivations and you’ll see what emotion to play against. (When an actor plays against the underlying emotion that the character is feeling it not only creates tension and interest for the audience, it comes across as more realistic.)