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triangle, we see three different ways of interacting with the world: Aggressive (3, 7, 8), Compliant (1, 2, 6) and Withdrawn (4, 5, 9).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When we look at 4, we see that it is a Reactive and Withdrawn type.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

The Wings of Enneagram 2

Today I’m talking about the wings of the Helper and how to discern between the two, both in regards to motivation and from an experience standpoint.  Check it out, and feel free to let me know whether this rings true for you– if you are a two, or even if you have someone in your life who is!

Check back in a week or so, for my next misidentification video too!  You can also stay up to speed with my work by following on Instagram or Facebook– as always feel free to reach out at with questions or comments!

Peace + Hope, friends!

The Wings of Enneagram 2

The Wings of Enneagram 1

Hey friends!  I’ve decided to create some “shorts” to fill in the time (that I am slowly editing) between my longer videos, and I realized that perfect bite-sized topic is wings.  As usual, I’ll start from the beginning with 1, the Reformer.  Check it out, and watch for more short videos addressing other wing differences in the future! 🙂

The Wings of Enneagram 1

Enneagram Photo Project {Part I.}

This project is ridiculously, wonderfully imperfect. It’s one of the earliest things that struck me about it, even after just the first couple interviews. From the questions asked, to photographers, interviewers and participants, weather conditions and locations, each interview involved in this project was remarkably different from the next– but in a completely natural, and unplanned way. I’ve found in hindsight, that these differences, image by image, speak to the type in question, in many cases serving as subtle symbolism. Each detail, color, word and movement (like our selves and lives) have happened without intent on my part, but with so much purpose in the end.

As I said when I began writing this blog, this is not a sum-up of the Enneagram, nor is it a good way to learn about the types– that’s what books like The Wisdom of the Enneagram and Character and Neurosis are for. The purpose of this project rather, is to explore the nine core Enneagram types, to give them voice about their experiences, and to allow the viewer to gain insight into the nature of each type. In truth, I also hope that this project will pique individual minds about their own inner workings, and those around them– that the darkness of our sin patterns (what the Enneagram is based on) would be brought even more into the light, so that we can begin to heal and grow towards health.

To capture a fuller picture (and rather than bombarding you with all twenty seven images at once), I’ve decided to present this project a center at a time– heart, head and gut, each group containing three Enneagram types. Today, I’ll begin (in order) with the heart types: 2, 3 and 4.

A note on seeing the images closer (to read all the quotes): click the image once, which should open a new page, and then click to see the full sized image. 🙂


The heart types have in common, themes of Identity, Shame and Worthlessness– these manifest differently for each.


Helpers place their identities in just that, self-sacrificially aiding and loving others. This often stems from feelings of shame, that tell them they must earn love, by loving others first and best. This of course often results in an entitled expectation of love from those that they “help”, resulting in resentment and anger. Internal message: you must love others to be loved.

You can check out my overview of 2 basics here.



3’s are the most unaware of their Identity themes, because they are said to “sacrifice their heart’s desires” at a young age, in order to meet cultural expectations– an Achiever’s qualms with identity are in finding one at all.  Because they are so focused on “winning”, they often adapt themselves (their identity) in order to meet the needs of a person, or situation– so at the end of the day, they are uncertain which “mask” is really them.  All of this achievement is often rooted in a belief that they must win to be loved or accepted, with only Shame to greet them if they don’t.  Internal message: You must be the best to be loved.

You can check out my overview of 3 basics here.



Individualists have a fixation with authentic Identity, and dig deeply into their own beings in order to find it. They err in believing that dark, painful things are the most real– this gives them a painfully accurate read on themselves, flaws and all, but usually leads to a disposition of shame (or feeling less). Internal message: You must be always authentic to be loved.

You can check out my overview of 4 basics here.

As always, feel free to reach out with questions or comments, and be sure to tune in for head types (5, 6 and 7) tomorrow! 🙂 I’d love for you to share this project, but please do not use the images without my express consent. Thanks!


So much thanks to all of my awesome participants, and friends who helped with interviewing! Photo credit for 1, 2, 4 and 7 goes to the lovely Jamie Gray, while 6 and 9 are the work of Tony Au. All quotes are the words of my participants, and the writing/artwork is my own. Thanks everyone, I couldn’t have pulled it off without you!

Enneagram Photo Project {Part I.}

Instincts: 2

You know the deal– now that we’ve talked about the basics of Enneagram type 2, let’s check out the three instinctual varieties! If you need a better idea of what instincts are, check out my first post on them!

I honestly have a lot of 2’s in my life, so I know at lease one of every instinctual variety– which is really cool actually, so see the differences between them.  The question to ask one’s self when trying to determine instincts, is which need is more important to me? Which thing do I actively find myself prioritizing above the others in my life?


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 type.

The pride, focus on love, and seductive tendencies of 2 manifest with each instinct in a unique way.


I’ve found these differences (for every core type, really) to be extremely accurate! Maybe even more so for 2 because I’ve had the means to see how real each of these versions is in real life.

As aforementioned, all 2’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 preference.  For instance, Sp/So tells us that Self Preservation is preferred, 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 questions about the instincts of 2? Feel free to leave them in the comments, and check back for my overview of Enneagram 3!

Instincts: 2