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 ennegaramgirl@yahoo.com

Till next time, friends! 😉

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


Misidentification: 2 vs. 6

Video: 6 vs. 9

Hey Enneagram friends!  After quite the gap, I’ve finally posted another YouTube Enneagram Girl video, this time examining some recent nuances I’ve noticed about misidentification between 6 and 9!  I touch on some of the differences, similarities, health paths and even venture into correlation with MBTI a bit! 😉

Check it out, and feel free to ask questions if you have any!  I hope to be creating more and more videos in the months to come, so keep an eye out.

Video: 6 vs. 9

Instincts: 6

Alright, so we’ve overviewed type 6, the Loyalist.  Now let’s talk about Instinctual differences among Loyalists. If you need a refresher on what Instincts are, check out my first post on the topic.


When talking about instincts, it’s important to realize how the same instinct can look different from core type to core type. The general descriptions of the instincts (above) are much less specific than when those instincts are applied to a specific Enneagram type.

The planning tendencies, security seeking and anxious nature of type 6 manifest with each instinct in a unique way.


Though different, it’s easy to see how the first (general descriptions) factor into the type specific ones.  As aforementioned, all 6’s will probably relate somewhat to all three above descriptions, but more strongly with one or two.  This brings us to the concept of Instinctual Stack, which denotes the order of an individual’s instinctual need.  For instance, Sp/So tells us that Self Preservation is preferred/needed most, So is auxiliary and Sx is the “blind spot”. I do also think looking into the instincts of your wing (especially if it is heavy) is important to behold the whole picture.

Other great sources for more detailed reading on the instincts, are The Complete Enneagram by Beatrice Chestnut, these descriptions originally from (the now inactive) Ocean Moonshine, and the work of early Enneagram scholar, Claudio Naranjo (notes on his work on the instincts).

Have any questions about instincts, Enneagram or typing? Leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you!  Be on the lookout for my next post on the basics of type 7.

Instincts: 6

Enneagram 6

Up next is an overview of Enneagram 6, usually called the Loyalist.  Feel free to click for a closer view!


The Loyalist is dubbed as such because of a strong tendency to seek security and remain “loyal” to it, whatever form it’s found in.  6’s look outside of themselves for this sense of safety, and thus tend to be somewhat uncertain and insecure within themselves.  Be it friends with strong personalities, a corporation, job title or heritage, Loyalists tend to see these outside sources as insuring of their security, and they can be poster children for them.

6’s are the ultimate planners of the Enneagram. The individuals of this type that I’ve interviewed speak of “always being prepared”, having back up plans for even the most mundane circumstances, and fearing the unknown.  This planning tendency is rooted in exactly that, fear of being without security, which can manifest in both internally and externally expressed anxiety.

The terms phobic and counter-phobic are often used when talking about the Loyalist, to distinguish between two very different fear reactions– best known as flight and fight, both of which 6’s experience. This dichotomy is one of the trademarks of Enneagram 6, the existence of both loyalism and skepticism, fear and bravado, etc. Both of these, though polar opposite, are motivated by fear and a quest for security.  In most 6’s I know, this is often noticeable in a back-and-forth, indecisive, “this, no, that” double minded way.

Because of the void of a true sense of inner security, two problems may emerge for people of this type: Loyalists will often “test” people or entities that they trust, in order to really see if they are safe.  On the flip side, 6’s often desire security so much that they subconsciously turn a blind eye to the flaws of their confidants, institutions, etc., becoming zealous, overly-devoted and naive.

If you’d like to know more about Enneagram 6, or have questions, let me know in the comments! Also, be on the lookout for Instincts of 6, which will be my next post. 🙂

Enneagram 6