Behind the Scenes of Enneagram Type 6

You may know the enneagram type six, as the Loyalist. But I have news for you, I happen to be a type six. So come along with me as I tell you all my secrets. Let’s go behind the scenes of enneagram type 6 and find out who they really are.

Paradoxical

It’s true that type six is extremely loyal. But what you might not know about sixes is that this type is full of paradoxes. Anything you can say about a type six, the opposite is also true. So, though they are loyal, they are first skeptical and distrusting. They are both strong and weak, confident and self-doubting, aggressive and passive, dependent on a group and yet very independent. The list can go on and on.

Holding both opposites inside one human being, causes the type six to doubt themselves, looking outward for advice, but also to the voices within. This brings us behind the scenes of enneagram type six to what we call, “the inner committee.”

The Inner Committee

We all experience doubt at times, and even an inner voice telling us what to do. Sixes experience more than just one voice. It is a multitude of voices from people they love or respect, weighing in their opinion on whatever it is the six is having trouble with. The six channels the perceived opinions of these other people to get rid of their own self-doubt and make a decision based on what they think someone else might choose. This strategy often gets them into trouble however, causing a muddled effect with a riot of voices going on inside.

Sound exhausting? It is. This over-thinking is also related to the fact that the type six is both thinking dominant and thinking repressed. Let’s unpack this idea, as we go deeper behind the scenes of enneagram type 6.

Thinking (head)/Fear Triad

Enneagram type six is the middle number in the thinking/ head triad, sometimes also referred to as the fear triad. Type six shares this triad with types, 5, and 7. All three types are “top heavy,” meaning they are deep thinkers, and also dominant in the the thinking intelligence center. They will all take in information through the thinking center first.

All three of these types are also influenced by fear, but in very different ways. The type six may deal with fear in the most obvious way. Their fear motivates them to strive for security and safety in life. It also causes them to imagine worst-case scenarios wherever they go. They feel if they can prepare and plan for the worst, they will be ready when the worst happens. Ironically, the sixes imagined scenarios almost never happen, and though they fear stressful, unsafe situations, they always seem to handle them with ease and confidence when the moment comes.

The Dependent Stance

Now you know a few of the secrets behind the scenes of enneagram type 6, but did you know the type six is a dependent number? Along with types 2, and type 1, type six is in the dependent stance. This means these numbers have an orientation to time towards the present. These are the “now” people, the “in the moment” people. It also means they base most things on other people. For sixes in particular, it is a combination between self-doubt and wanting the best for all involved.

Sixes are very community minded. They make decisions based on how it will affect the group as a whole. Since they depend on others for decision making, and struggle with self-doubt, sixes can be very indecisive.

Behind the scenes of enneagram type 6

The dependent stance also determines the repressed center, which for this group is thinking. So even though type six is thinking dominant, they are also thinking repressed. What?

Yep, another paradox held inside the type six! This means, the type six takes in information with thinking, but then tends to turn that into over-thinking while processing. This wastes time and energy, that the type six really doesn’t have.

Sixes need to learn to trust themselves. This would eliminate much of their overthinking. They need reminded that they do make good decisions. In fact, if they were to look back at the evidence it would be an overwhelming confidence booster. Sixes seem to forget their successes, and start over with each new decision full of fear and doubt.

Tips for the six in your life

Be clear about expectations. Sixes hate to be surprised, and knowing what to expect calms them, and gives them what they want most: support and a sense of safety.

Reassure them that everything is “okay.” They often feel waves of anxiety and uncertainty about everything in their lives. They need reminded that they have a steady place to stand.

Be supportive, and remind them of their successes. When they are stepping out in faith, give them encouragement. Show them what they have done in the past to get them to where they are now.

I hope you enjoyed going behind the scenes of enneagram type 6 with me. We love those loyalists!

Grab the overview below here.

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