The Enneagram 6 is smack in the middle of the THINKING CENTRE of the Enneagram. The Enneagram Six is the LOYAL SCEPTIC also called The DOUBTER or The GUARDIAN.
“The world is a threatening and unsafe place. Be prepared. Be loyal. People can count on me. Be careful who you trust. I must not be afraid, but I must not let my guard down. I must protect myself, but I must be loyal ”
“A man who doesn’t trust himself can never really trust anyone else.” — Cardinal De Retz
Enneagram Sixes value security and belonging, as this style, stems from the motivational need to be safe and prepared. As a result, loyalty and trust are important to Sixes, who strive to be responsible and prepared at all times.
And of course, like all Enneagram types, the Enneagram Six also has its own four v’s!
Vulnerability (or core fear) – Being Unprepared
Enneagram Sixes fear finding themselves alone and unprepared in a world that to them is threatening, leaving them unable to survive.
Vice – Doubt
Sixes see the world as a dangerous place and survival is not assured, as their vice is doubt. This belief is what creates an atmosphere of fear about whether they are up to the challenges they come up against. They doubt everything and everyone, believing that they have to test and prove themselves and that nothing outside of themselves can be trusted entirely.
Value – Loyalty
Enneagram Sixes value authority, security, and belonging, which stems from their strong motivational need to be safe and prepared.
Virtue – Faith
Type Sixes step into courage when they recognize that their safety and security fears are largely self-conceived. No longer inhibited by them, they begin to question their assumptions, acting without deferring to the rules and ideologies of others.
“The finest act of insight is to throw away the labels.” — Eudora Welty
At their best, Sixes are courageous and connected to a sense of inner knowing, offering the gift of devotion and trust to themselves and the world around them.
Less-healthy Sixes have a tendency to worry excessively, fear letting down their defences and may be experienced as anxious, suspicious or doubting.
So let’s take a closer look at the blind spots of a Six:
- Sixes constantly focus on the things that can go wrong, therefore, their tentative and cautious approach may seem to others like stubbornness, pessimism and negative behaviour.
- Sixes tend to worry a lot about what might happen and their ability to deal with it, which can lead to seeming insecure. Others may then doubt the ability of the Six to take care of things. This questioning of their ability is what the Six is trying to avoid, yet their cautious approach may create just that.
- Despite being very focused on loyalty and issues of trust, the Six is naturally inclined towards scepticism and wondering whether people can be trusted. This may impact negatively on their interactions and relationships. By focusing on trustworthiness so much, Sixes make it difficult for people to consistently trust them.
- Projection is a core issue for the Six. Projecting fears onto the people around them may be a way to avoid owning their own emotions, concerns and worries.
Enneagram Sixes can have a conflicted relationship with wanting to belong, yet often struggling to really trust others. But when a Six feels they can trust others, they are experienced as pleasant and more group-oriented. When they feel less secure though, they can feel suspicious and anxious.
In summary, Sixes tend to focus on the ‘worst-case scenarios’ and can display a wide range of behaviours from being outright phobic, showing their fear openly, to being the exact opposite and appearing outwardly brave. They are hyper-vigilant and anxiously on the lookout for threats. This can be very confusing to others. So Sixes can be very guarded, yet they are also very loyal and dependable.
“Our imagination and reasoning powers facilitate anxiety; the anxious feeling is precipitated not by an absolute impending threat – such as the worry about an examination, a speech, travel – but rather by the symbolic and often unconscious representations.” — Willard Gaylin
🎶My Song of the Week
📚My Poem of the Week
Is by William Butler Yeats (1865–1939). This poem, written in 1919 is one of his greatest and captures the anxieties surrounding this moment of political change in Ireland at the time.
The Second Coming
Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity. Surely some revelation is at hand; Surely the Second Coming is at hand. The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert A shape with lion body and the head of a man, A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds. The darkness drops again; but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
The totem of the Enneagram 6 is the rabbit, always ready to run…
If I piqued your interest to find out more about the Enneagram, your type, and yourself, and how it can transform you and your life, I would be happy to take the time for a speed coaching call that you can reserve right here, go to my website and get in touch with me directly.
Wishing you a great start to your weekend!