Enneagram Six is motivated by the need for security. I have been saying it is helpful to know your type. This is because it can help you move in the direction of growth. I am a six. Phobic sixes tend to be outwardly fearful and seek approval. Counter phobic sixes confront their fear. Both of these aspects can appear in the same person. (Phobic and counterphobic are terms used to indicate the growth movement.) For sure I am a pleaser. It’s the seeking approval side of six but being aware of that, I can counter it.
For example, I know as a therapist/coach, I can’t help everyone who knocks on the door of my office. I would like to, but realize that is not realistic. I know too that I tend to approach most challenges (doing workshops, teaching, playing competitive sports etc.) with a good deal of fear. (Sixes tend to have the most fear of any of the Enneagram types.) The positive move is to do it anyway which I think I have been able to do most of my life.
Safety in a Relationship
In hindsight, those of you who know my emphasis on safety in a relationship, I am sure, comes in part from my six energy. Safety is all-important in a relationship, it is. If you don’t feel safe you will defend, but I am sure being a six makes that even more of a priority.
Enneagram Six Wings
The wings for sixes are fives and sevens. Sixes with a more developed 5 wing tend to be more introverted, intellectual, cautious and standoffish. Sixes with a more developed 7 wing tend to be more extroverted, materialistic, active and impulsive. I am married to a seven and one of the positives for me for sure is how she pushes me towards new experiences. That is a whole other area of study, the combinations of different Enneagram types in intimate relationships. (something Crystal has been encouraging me to explore. Lol)
Enneagram Six Movement
The movement for six is to 9 and 3. The positive move to 9 helps sixes to take life less seriously and to put more trust in their own inner authority. The positive move to 3 helps them take decisive and effective action and to feel good about all they accomplish.
In The Enneagram Made Easy the authors give practical suggestions and exercises for a six, one of which is to “remember it is ok to make mistakes.” For years I have had a saying by Alfred Adler posted on my office wall, and as I tell clients, it is more for me than for them. It reads: “Have the courage to be imperfect.”
Things a six would never dreams of doing:
- Hearing a familiar noise during the night and being sure it was the cat and not a burglar
- Forgiving themselves after breaking their best friend’s favorite vase
- Not taking an opinion poll among their friends when contemplating a career change
- Going to a new therapist or doctor and not asking even one question about their credentials
- Being confident they had made a wise choice after making a major purchase.
I think I identify the most with the first one about the sounds in the night.
Again this is just a quick overview. There is lots of information on the Enneagram out there, one place being my wife, Crystal’s website – Journey to Inner Wisdom. She is going to do some more online workshops on the Enneagram in the fall if you are interested and want more information.