Video: 2 vs. 6

Though I have already addressed this misidentification via writing, one of you reached out to request a video of such– so here it is!

Next up: wings of 5!

Video: 2 vs. 6

Enneagram Wings of 4


Hey fellow Enneagram students!  Moving right along with the Wings series I’m running, I just posted the Wings of 4 video!  Check it out and let me know if you have any comments or questions. 🙂  I do also offer Skype consultations if you’d like more specific help in reaching a type conclusion, or troubleshooting Enneagram dynamics.  Feel free to reach out here or at

Enneagram Wings of 4

Misidentification: 7 vs. 9


Hey friends, I’ve just finished uploading a new Misidentification video, this time on the differences and similarities between the Enthusiast and the Peacemaker!  Check it out and chime in if you have thoughts! 🙂

Be sure to check back in for my next video, on the wings of 4.  See you then!

Misidentification: 7 vs. 9

The Wings of Enneagram 3

3wings1It’s time for another wings distinction video!  I’ve been somewhat surprised by the large amount of views on these videos in particular– it seems that people really want to know more about each Enneagram type’s two main varieties!  I’m really glad to see that, honestly, as I think one of the biggest mistakes one can make with the Enneagram is to be too shallow– learning about the specific variety of a core type that you are can be very, very helpful to growth!  Especially when it comes to using our knowledge of the Enneagram to better understand and interact with others, it’s kind of big deal to get the specific nuances of our loved ones right!  Wing is a big part of that, and I’m excited to continue exploring it here.

To follow the order of my previous posts, The Achiever is up next– 3w2 vs 3w4!  Check it out, and as always let me know if you have questions or insight to share.  Final note: I realized I have been covering a lot of heart type material lately, so will be switching gears for my next Misidentification video.  You can stay tuned by following me here or on Instagram, Facebook or Youtube!

The Wings of Enneagram 3

Misidentification 2 VS 4

Aaand I’m back with a video, yay!  If you’ve ever wondered about some of the differences between the Helper and the Individualist, this is for you.  Feel free to drop me a line if you have thoughts or questions!

One thing I did want to expand a bit on, is a component that I mention in the video: 4’s Reactivity vs. 2’s Compliance.  It’s important to note that these traits are not opposites, which is why I included the graphic below in my video.


Across the Enneagram, we see three different conflict styles: Reactive (4, 6, 8), Reframing (2, 7, 9) and Competency (1, 3, 5).  In another trait triangle, we see three different ways of interacting with the world: Aggressive (3, 7, 8), Compliant (1, 2, 6) and Withdrawn (4, 5, 9). Because these traits come in groups of three, combining them can shed a lot of insight on the differences between Enneagam types!

When we look at 2, we see that it is a Reframing and Compliant type.

When we look at 4, we see that it is a Reactive and Withdrawn type.

This gives us a spectacular example, because these types are different on both fronts!  I think I’ll have to write more on this topic in another post, and how it can be an excellent tool to prevent mistyping.  For now, I hope this helps to explain my use of these terms. 🙂

Thanks friends, see you next time as I cover the wings of The Achiever!

Misidentification 2 VS 4

Misidentification: 2 vs. 6

misid_26Oh, what a busy blur the past few months have been! I am glad to say that I’m newly married and cross-country moved, but in the midst of that I have greatly missed writing and exploring the nuances of personality and motivation here. The wonderful (and surprising) response that I have received from those of you reading or watching along, has been so encouraging and I’m quite looking forward to diving back in as 2017 continues.

As I am still settling in Arizona, I’ll tackle my next type comparison topic here on the blog via writing (instead of through video, as I have not yet found the right space to record). The misidentification of 6 vs. 2 has shown up via real life examples for me a couple of times recently, so let’s break down the nuanced differences between Loyalists and Helpers!

Both of these core types can be warm, loving, protective and sweet “people-persons”, seeing others in their lives as worthy of sacrificing for– even by putting others before themselves.  As always though, the motivations causing this for each type are quite different– namely Fear and Pride. It should be noted that I tend to capitalize these words for the sake of pointing them out as core motivations, which does not mean that individuals of other types don’t experience the feelings of pride and fear (they do), but that these may not be central, re-occurring themes for them.

Pride for an Enneagram 2 tends to manifest in their belief that they must do, help or give in order to have value or be loved by others.  Try to give or do something for a Helper, and you will find that receiving is very difficult for them– this comes across almost like keeping score, as long as they have done/given the most (compared to others) then they can avoid feelings of shame by feeling pride in their deeds.  The feeling of need is very unacceptable to 2’s, instead of being vulnerable about their very real needs, they give love to others in order to be owed love back– transactional love is a theme.  This is even more pronounced usually in the 1 wing variety of the Helper (2w1) because of the added black and white sense of Righteousness and good vs. bad.  This can look a bit different based on instincts.  Growth for 2 comes into play when they can realize that their true worth/value comes not from what they do for others, but from recognizing who they are as an individual.

The Loyalist on the other hand is warm and loving specifically with those whom they feel are trustworthy and “their people”.  Fear for a 6 comes from concern of being without the kind of security in something greater than the self– what this entity is, can vary greatly based on the person, and on instinctual variation but is generally seen through the lens of hero worship style admiration and loyalty.  Many 6’s I have interviewed or conversed with over time attest to having difficulty making decisions for themselves without input from this entity, be it their large immediate family, their best friend, or the ideals of a certain subculture, political movement or interest group.  Of particular note, however, is the unique dichotomy present in the personality structure of a Loyalist– hot and cold, skeptical and naive, submissive and aggressive, the 6 is sometimes compared to a ping pong ball of the mind, “This! No, that. Wait, this. Yes…no.” The mental skepticism and high requirements for trust, often cause 6’s to be indecisive and prone towards anxiety– which of course, is just hopped up, spinning Fear.  Like the two sides of this inner struggle, it’s outward manifestation can also come in two colors: phobic and counter phobic.  I would call these the two sides of *Reactivity for Enneagram 6, in that they feel the need to respond or act in some way when feeling Fear.

  • Phobic – akin to Flight, in that the response to Fear is to flee or hide from it.
  • Counter Phobic – akin to Fight, in that the response to Fear is to meet and conquer it head on.

Recognizing these two varied ways of responding to Fear is very important when examining the Loyalist, as many CP individuals mistype as 8’s, 7’s, 4’s or 3’s because they don’t relate to the cowering, shaken (decidedly Phobic) picture that is often painted of 6’s. The Loyalist is aptly named, in that the Counter Phobic variation can actually be one of the most Fear engaging, courageous types in the Enneagram.

Some major differences that I usually point out when someone is trying to ascertain type between 2 and 6, are as follows:

  • Head vs. Heart – both types can be warm, but 2 is much more fueled by emotion, shame and fixated with identity, while 6 is more prone to mental doubt, anxiety and seeking belonging/security.
  • Health patterns – 2 under stress goes to 8, getting puffed up and indignant with Pride in a way that is demanding of others (usually in an “you owe me” type of way).  6 under stress, on the other hand goes to 3, becoming fixated with and anxious about achievement and cultural ideals in order to feel secure– many times in my experience, this has involved body image, dieting and fitness.  Both types positive health points are also nuanced and important to check out!

As always, the other factors of Enneagram often help us to accurately type– instinct descriptions, wing, etc.– still, a second opinion from someone who knows the Enneagram is also great!  If you should desire that, or further help in understanding this awesome tool for growth, do let me know by emailing me at

Till next time, friends! 😉

*4 and 8 are the other reactive types, should you be interested.


Misidentification: 2 vs. 6

Thoughts on Statistics

Long have I been fascinated by the statistical dispersion of Enneagram types throughout the population– in fact, it was one of the first (critical) questions I asked when introduced to the system. Of course, there is no definitive answer (yet), but more a feel for which types/traits are more or less common (and why). After some early reading and sifting on this topic through the first couple of years of my Enneagram study, I accepted this loose order (most populous to least populous): 6/3/9, 2, 1/7, 4, 8, 5.

Of course, rather than sate my curiosity, this loose order only propelled it further. So many of the surveys on this topic seem to be skewed by where/how they were conducted. For instance, many of the polls that have been taken via the internet reflect higher numbers of withdrawn and introspective types, because those types are both regular internet lurkers and more prone to introspection. As much as I understand the ease and far-reach of Internet surveying (heck, I do it too!) one can’t expect accurate results in any environment that might attract larger volume of any certain type. Running a survey in a corporate environment has the same problem, as 3’s, 1’s, 8’s and 6’s would be over-represented because they are generally more drawn to such an environment.

So, I began collecting data of my own. Though I didn’t realize it at first, the central environment of my polling is probably one of the most neutral environments that I am currently aware of– my giant mega church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago.

The place is filled with as many plumbers as musicians, as elementary school teachers, as CEO’s, every socioeconomic group, every cultural background, every age. It seems that God is something that unites all people. 😉 The most current information I could find says that my church consists of roughly 50,000 people, and my heavy volunteer involvement over the past six years has built me a pretty good sized network.  Oh, and (get this) my church actually occasionally teaches and utilizes the Enneagram, so most people there are at least aware of what it is. Unique environment indeed.

And so my spreadsheet of the Enneagram types of people I knew, grew. Some important details about this surveying:

  • To date, this spreadsheet has been kept over a span of five years.
  • This process required the following to maintain accuracy:
    • a high level of study from me, as in many cases I met with individuals to talk through their questions about their own typing (many times resulting in their own type conclusions).
    • A level of discernment– knowing when someone had probably mistyped.
    • Humility– knowing that it is never my place to convince anyone of type, if they don’t want to know my opinion.
  • I only have counted people on my spreadsheet who either:
    • have confirmed their type, and can satisfactorily explain why.
    • I know very intimately, enough to be certain of their type– in a few cases of this the person is not aware of or interested in the Enneagram (like my Dad, ha!).
    • I have interacted with socially for over two years.

All of that disclaimed, I would love to share my results!


197 humans (120 female, 77 male)

Loyalist – 35 | Helper – 31 | Reformer – 29

Peacemaker – 29 | Achiever – 29 | Enthusiast – 28

Individualist – 6 | Investigator – 6 | Challenger – 4

When looking at my numbers, one can see the loose aforementioned order at play, and yet the numbers are very close among the more populous types– too close, really, to distinguish an overall order among them. The main large distinction one can draw immediately from my results, though, is that the majority (92% in the case of this survey) of the population is made up of types 1, 2, 3, 6, 7 and 9, leaving the remaining 8% to types 4, 5 and 8. I should also note, that I even specifically tried to seek out the lesser represented types, because when I was doing my Photo Project, I needed accurately typed participants!  If I hadn’t done so, I might have even less naturally represented here.

As always, one could point to ways in which my survey is affected by who I am, and the places I frequent.  I have far closer relationships with women in my life, for example, and one could argue that this is why 2 is represented a bit higher than one would expect. Still, at 39%, the male representation in this survey isn’t too far behind.

Many other interesting tidbits could be gleaned from this survey, through commentary on the individuals in questions– what do they do for a living? What is their birth order? How many of each wing are present? Which types display bias towards one gender, or a pretty equal dispersion of both?  Today, I leave you with the overall numbers, but will be working towards discussing more of the finer detail in the future as my spreadsheet grows!  I’m getting married in May, so hopefully my groom’s influence will help to even out the gender dispersion a bit! 😉

Here’s to Understanding, friends!

Thoughts on Statistics