Oh, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Till next time, friends! 😉
*4 and 8 are the other reactive types, should you be interested.