Here we have a more detailed description of the nine types of the enneagram model.Click on one of the links to read about a specific type or scroll down the page to read them all.
- The Perfectionist
- The Helper
- The Achiever
- The Romantic
- The Observer
- The Loyal Skeptic
- The Adventurer
- The Asserter
- The Peacemaker
1. The Perfectionist
The ones are focused on perfection. They are realistic, conscious and live by their principles. They maintain a high standard of moral and ethics and usually judge people if they meet these standards. They want to improve everything and they are afraid to make mistakes. They are well organized and known for their logic way of thinking. They are wise, noble and like structure and rules. The ones might be frustrated because seen through their glasses, life and people are not the way they should be. They can also be disappointed in their own imperfection. They have the tendency to suppress their anger because this is also seen as imperfection.
- They always want the best of the best
- They are good in organizing
- They are good in giving advice
- They always have their door open for real friends
- They listen to their intuition
- They are good independent workers
- They know exactly what to do in certain situations
- They avoid making mistakes
- They always fulfill their obligations
- They always lead a project to a successful end
When the ones are at their best, they make an idealistic impression, are very productive, reliable, honest and self disciplined, help others and are objective. When the ones are at their worst, they are quick with judging and they are not flexible. They try to control other people, they start to doubt their selves, point out other peoples mistakes. They will be stubborn, serious and criticize others fanatically. When the ones are in a crisis situation, it will lead to disintegration. They lose sight of the total picture and start to ramble.
The people with this fixation are trying to receive love by being tidy, organized and perfect. Imperfection is avoided by compulsive behavior and by being rigid. They try to make things which are already good, even better.
- Anger ( indignation )
The one’s blockade is anger. The anger itself is also rejected because it is seen as imperfection. This anger usually builds up and then the bubble bursts. People with anger as passion are motivated by this anger. It gives them power.
- Reaction formation > saying the exact opposite of what you actually mean
- Joyful resignation
- Learning to accept the imperfections of life
2. The Helper
The twos are focused on helping others. They are sociable, sincere, friendly and warm people. Twos always direct their attention to the other and know exactly what their needs are. They sacrifice themselves to help others. These types can be very sentimental and desperately want to please. They do not really pay attention to their own needs. They have a hard time getting through to their inner selves. They want to be loved by others by giving love themselves. Deep down inside the twos are feeling lonely.
- They are always there for other people
- They are everybody’s help and support
- They are reliable
- They are great seducers
- They can make themselves subordinate to another
- They can show their emotions
- They are generous
- They avoid rejection and want approval
- They feel proud when needed in a central place
- They are attached to their freedom
- They adjust to other people
When the twos are at their best, they are loving, warm and adjust easily. They are generous, enthusiastic, helpful, friendly and expressive with emotions. When the twos are at their worst, they are indirect, adjust too much and act controlling, possessive and insecure. They emotionally manipulate people, can be hysteric and act like a martyr. The twos can’t stand a crisis. Whatever it takes to solve the crisis, they will grasp to. If you get into a fight with a two right before going to sleep, the two will not sleep before the argument is settled. A two normally does not have the tendency to take a look at his own behavior. But when in a crisis, they do and they wonder what is going on. It is hard for two to let someone go.
These types have the need to give love. In exchange for that they want to receive love and power back. They like to be in the centre of attention. This love is not a selfless love but love with a goal. They have trouble asking for help when they need it. Indigence causes pain because to them that is a sign that they are not or less capable of helping others.
People with this passion feel superior because they compensate their under lying feelings of inadequacy with an image of pride. Their self image is: Look at how important I am in the lives of others. By giving my love I am irreplaceable for you.
- Displacement > repressing your own needs by focusing on the needs of others
- Real solidarity instead of superior help attitude
3. The Achiever
Successful, hardworking and energetic are good words to describe the threes. They are ambitious, charming, competent and care a lot about image and status. They put everything on the line to have success. Threes often worry about their image and what other people might think of them. They are workaholics who are very competitive. They adjust their image to the situation. They are good leaders, never lose sight of the goal and always want to win. The three is a prototype pusher.
- They work efficient
- They are focused on success
- They have a big dose of self discipline
- They love to be in the center of attention
- They always want to be the best
- Their goals and results are important
- They put their heart in their work
- They focus their attention on their tasks
- They are versatile thinkers
- They are good organizers
- They are the captain of the winning team
- Their self presentation will be changed in order to get better results
- They accomplish a lot through their task orientated thinking
- They make themselves loved by their achievements
When the threes are at their best, they are efficient, optimistic, practical, responsible, competent and energetic. At their worst, they are egoistic, arrogant, vain, shallow, vindictive, over competitive, too defensive and opportunistic. When the threes are in a crisis situation, they will act as if nothing is wrong. They will keep smiling. It is even so when the threes are on a mission, they can create a crisis to reach their goal.
The purpose is all cases is to be successful . The threes deny failure and try to convince others that the failure was actually a success. They will even lie and over exaggerate the truth when needed for this. The truth is insignificant when trying to reach a determined goal. These people often make themselves look better than they really are. Not rarely is self deception playing its role. It seems like they believe their own lies and exaggerations.
Self deception is automatically related to vanity. Vanity means that an exaggerated image of one’s self is created. They usually don’t see that this positive image they have created is not consistent with reality. They have little contact with their inner selves because they live according to this false image.
- Identification > you identify yourself with success or popularity so that the pain is not felt
- Accepting that success is not always possible
4. The Romantic
The fours are extreme sensitive, very creative, self-conscience and reserved. Intuitive and introvert are also key words that describe the four. They are emotionally honest and personal even though mood swings are not strange to them. It goes up and down with the fours. They feel the feelings of other people as if they are their own. They can feel vulnerable and less worthy. The fours are unique and they don’t want to be standard.
- They are focused on beauty
- They can enjoy melancholic’s
- They can have an extraordinary appearance
- They are very unique people
- They feel different then other people
- They are looking for the knight in shining armor
- They are the drama queens
- They are emotional sensitive
- They can sense other peoples moods perfectly
- They see the beauty in all things
- They have the great ability to enjoy the small things in life
- They get energy from loss, fantasy or other artistic activities
- At work they distinguish themselves by creativity or even genius
Individualistic, expressive, creative, warm, passionate, supportive, refined and charming are words that describe the four when they are at their best. Fours at their worst are emotional, withdrawn, self- absorbed, jealous, easily hurt, intellectual, arrogant, depressed and critical. Fours easily stumble into a crisis but they manage to overcome this just as easily. Enthusiasm and depression alternate frequently.
The fours have experienced that they have to suffer first before being loved. That’s why they seek their happiness in experiencing pain. Because they have the feeling that nobody understands them, their behavior has the tendency to be a bit arrogant and superior. Their self image is not: ” I want to be different”, but more:” I am different”. People with this fixation deal with their pain before it has time to hurt because they express their feelings and emotions in all sorts of artistic creations.
With envy as unconscious motivation, these people are often asking themselves: “Why other people and never me?” It usually is not a materialistic kind of jealousy but more an envy of alleged happiness they see in others. For the fours it seems that other people are always happier than they are. People with this passion feel they have a shortage in themselves and wonder what other people have what they do not have.
- Introjections > You are emotional quite often, although you can keep this well hidden inside. But in fact, you pull all emotions around you towards yourself so you don’t have to feel the real pain and emptiness inside you.
- Balance in emotions to be achieved by discipline ( taking distance from emotions )
5. The Observer
The fives are the observers who can isolate themselves to look at a case from all sides and then come back with a very sharp analysis. Fives don’t care about clothes and image and they don’t like emotions. The fives have a need for knowledge. They are calm, analytical, independent, persevering and competent but also a bit eccentric. Sharp visions and serenity are words that the five’s can resonate with.
- They function well alone
- They have brilliant ideas
- They like clear agreements
- They see knowledge as power
- They think that specific information is the key
- They can survive with very little
- Their motto is: My home is my castle
- They know how to avoid trouble
- They can be very spiritual
- They feel that love and hate lie very close to each other
- They want emotional control
- They can summarize a book, lecture or happening in one sentence
- They are excellent observers
- They can separate different life phases very well from each other
- They work on their best when they have a time schedule and a description of responsibilities
The fives at their best are objective, wise, friendly, open for information, trustworthy, curious and can have brilliant visions. When they are at their worst, they are arrogant, stingy, critical towards other people, negative, withdrawn, stubborn and not willing to share information, time and space with others. The fives in a crisis situation will withdraw themselves and take a look at the situation from a distance and will solve it by themselves. They know very quickly where it is going wrong. Their only problem is exchanging feelings. They rather talk about them, then do something with the emotions.
Characteristic for the fives is that they rather do things on their own. They don’t believe in love. They don’t pay attention to other people and really go their own way. They follow the “Einzelganger “ strategy. They need freedom and space. They can be very shy.
The fives need time, space and certain things for themselves and they rather not share these things with others. They are collectors of knowledge. Feelings of scarcity is the underneath lying drive for this. They hamster everything they think is necessary to secure their freedom and independency. Collecting essential information that is needed to survive is more important than obtaining material things. They like to keep information to themselves and never tell others how and which information they have already gathered. They collect this knowledge to better understand themselves and life. People who have this unconscious motivation are constantly searching for the meaning of life and the essence of all.
- Isolation > You withdraw yourself towards your world of thoughts so that everything makes sense again and you directly eliminate emotions.
- Learning how to take distance
- Un-attachment so that they can be wise advisors
6. The Loyal Skeptic
Committed, focused on security, reliable, loyal, hard working and responsible are words that fit the six perfectly. The sixes attach a lot of value to loyalty towards family, friends, groups and charities. They cope well under stress but they complain a lot while at it. You have to explain very clearly to the sixes what is to be expected of them and who is responsible for what. They have problems with their self esteem and need reassurance. They are often cautious and a bit afraid. The sixes are sociable and stand up for the weaker people.
- They are loyal and dutiful
- They set high goals for themselves
- They are hard workers
- They check the motivations of others on purity
- They seek protection by authority
- They are the leaders of the opposition
- They ask sharp and many questions
- They recognize the inner world of others
- Their motto is: Us together againstthe rest
- They can analyze very well
- They look into opposite opinions
- They want to be the hero
- They make sure that the own anger and the anger of others is not felt
- They can make themselves look strong so they can help others achieve their goals
When the sixes are at their best, they are loyal, alert, curious, caring, funny, practical, responsible, supportive, honest and trustworthy. The sixes at their worst are controlling, unpredictable, paranoid, defensive, rigid, testing all, suspicious, super conscience, sadistic and never forget a thing. When the sixes are in a crisis, they need help to get out of it. But the sixes only accept help from someone who is in their eyes, the best.
These people have received love at early age by being loyal to their parents. This gave them a feeling of security. The sixes need the guarantee’s and protection of authorities but at the same time they are scared of it. They can be the loyal employee and still be afraid for the authority. One reaction can be that they go against the authorities and become a revolutionary. This is also called contra phobic behavior. Instead of being held back by their fears, they fight them. They also have a constant fight in their head which goes something like this: Yes, No, Yes, No or will I stay loyal to the authority or will I go against it?
- Fear and Recklessness
One side of this enneatype is phobic and characterized by fear. They see a lot of problems and a lot of bears on the road. The other side of the six is contra phobic and will fight fear by looking for it. One side avoids the fear and the other side fights the fear by challenging it. The sixes have the tendency to project their own hostile behavior and their own distrust on others.
- Projection > You put the blame on some else. It is their fault. By asking questions, you give the other a guilty feeling and you receive an undeserved apology.
- Finding courage
7. The Adventurer
The sevens are productive, busy, optimistic and spontaneous. They have a lot of ideas and need many options in order to function properly. They are the charmers who look for adventure. They adore challenges and see not many problems but more solutions. The sevens are practical people but they lack self discipline. They put of the things that are not fun to do. Sevens are sociable, fun, charming but their impulsiveness can sometimes get them into trouble.
- They prefer to avoid limitations
- They like to have fun
- They have a lot of ideas
- They replace painful emotions by positive options
- They focus their attention on themselves
- They feel like an authority
- They use their charms to reach a superior status
- Their charm is their first defense
- They know how to avoid trouble
- They value spontaneity
- They have a preference for appointments with an open end
- They are strong in the starting and planning phase of projects
- They see the mutual connections and bring these together
- They have a solution for every problem
- In their minds they have already performed the idea so that it can be seen as a fact
Sevens at their best are enthusiastic, full of energy, alive, spontaneous and have a big imagination. They are charming, curious, flippant and generous. The sevens at their worst are egoistic and self absorbed. They are impulsive, rebellious and restless. They will force you to take a position, be defensive, easily distracted, unreliable and self destructive. They hate themselves when things go wrong. The sevens will suppress the crisis. They will do all sorts of fun stuff to dodge the crisis. They act like nothing is wrong and will try to amuse themselves. They are the ideal crisis managers if you want to overcome a crisis quickly. The sevens can stay in a crisis for some period, which is typical for the sevens, but they are the only enneatype which can function normally, when in a crisis.
The sevens try to get appreciation by making everything fun. For the seven fun is not really a spontaneous happening but a must. It has the strategic purpose of acquiring happiness. That’s why they avoid pain. Fun = Happiness and Pain = Misery. They have difficulties with the shadow side of life and there for seem shallow. Their agenda’s are dominated by fun, even manipulated fun.
- Gluttony, Intemperance
Gluttony in this context means immoderate enjoying situation after situation. Sevens jump from one fun thing to another, they can’t do without. They compulsively seek fun. Every minute there is something fun to think about. The gluttony of the seven is to be described as the impulsiveness of satisfying sensual temptations. They fulfill want they want and want even more because more is better.
- Rationalization > You have an explanation for everything, think and talk fast and are always full of funny jokes. This way you will never feel pain and everyone is laughing all the time.
- Sobriety ( sober joy )
8. The Asserter
Powerful, strong, dominant and full of self confidence are key words which describe the eight perfectly. They like to protect others but hate weakness. They are proud people who often seem physically strong. They are direct, independent and have a strong feeling of justice and responsibility. They like to have control over the situation and if they don’t have that, they become confronting and intimidating. They have a small heart but they make sure that others don’t come to close. They rely on their own strength. They are the leaders of the Enneagram.
- They are honest and fair
- They avoid weakness
- They hold control over their own possessions and life
- They are very energetic
- They are searching for satisfaction of lust
- They think their way is the best
- They live fierce and intense
- They test the boundaries and consequences of rules
- They use their own powers to help others
- It’s all or nothing
- They want total control of the situation
- They have no hidden agenda
- They liked to be totally informed
- They are allergic to manipulation
- They create division just to see where everybody stands
- Sex, adventure and struggles are for them a way to make contact
- They think that making compromises is an expression of weakness
The eights on their best have self confidence, they are energetic, take quick decisions, are very direct, royal, protective, generous, supportive and brave. The eights on their worst are insensitive, dominant, selfish, aggressive, demanding, arrogant, not capable of making a compromise, critical and accusing towards others.
People with this fixation once told themselves that they need power over other people for them to be somebody. They want to avoid the feeling of helplessness and impotence because they can’t handle that feeling. It makes them a bit queasy. They want to stay in control of the situation and use power to obtain that. This aim is often characterized by taking matters into own hands. Rules are there to be broken and just as long as I get my way. Revenge can also tag along with this fixation. If the eights get hurt by someone who embarrasses them or makes them look bad, revenge will be taken someday.
Lust is for the eights a passion which presents itself in a hard shell. It is not about really feeling the lust, but more about getting what they want. Nothing will stop them also. They use their life energy to get what they want. They shamelessly long for satisfaction of their needs. Lust and hedonism are characteristics of this tough looking personality.
- Denial > You deny your own weaknesses by directly acting offensive. You make yourself big and strong so that you don’t feel pain. Pain is for the weak and you don’t fall under that category.
- Innocence ( accepting that vulnerable child inside them )
9. The Peacemaker
The nines are easy going, stable, trustworthy and avoid quarrels. They are friendly people who understand all point of views. They are the impartial referee. That’s why they are the peacemakers but they have a hard time choosing for themselves. Nines are spiritual, understanding and need time to get things done. They try to live in harmony with their fellow human beings and their world around them. They can be stubborn once in a while. The nines like to bring people together so they can overcome their differences but they numb themselves when it comes down to their own real problems in their lives.
- They are neutral
- They like to go with the flow
- They are spiritual
- They are very loyal in relationships
- They flourish when supported in a positive way
- They understand other peoples point of views
- They are the ideal mediators
- They want a clear structure to support decisions
- They don’t take an unnecessary risks
- They lay down deadlines and a clear structure
- They have a hard time saying goodbye and saying no
- They make decisions based on the knowing of what they don’t want
When the nines are at their best, they are patient, wise, friendly, nice, receptive for other people’s ideas, not critical and accepting others. When they are at their worst, they are passive aggressive. They out their hostility by stubbornness. They will be defensive, forgetful and will adjust themselves too much to others.
The nines are so sensitive of other people’s opinions that they will say yes to anything. They think that they are not that important and that their needs don’t count. They are prepared to adjust themselves to just about anything and often forget their own needs and wishes. The needs of other people seem to be their needs. They live their lives through the lives of other people. They seem very selfless because they always think of someone else first but at the end this serves an ego purpose. In this way they can not be held responsible for the hurting of other people. Also this behavior leads to a heap of frustrations inside, which will be acknowledged, but they will come out in an indirect manner. The nines are very good in avoiding conflicts because they hide feelings which concern the matter, which makes it seem like they are not there. These repressed emotions will come out in another situation from which they were created and that usually results in confusion and misunderstandings from the other party.
- Laziness and Inertia
The blockade of the nine is laziness. They are okay with everything, they let everything just go by. They have lost the feeling of being and true essence. This lost feeling is for the nines so overwhelming and so dramatic, that an unconscious laziness arises. They want nothing to do with the essence of being, with the unconscious feelings and processes and the pain that comes with that. They rather live their lives half sleeping and loose contact with themselves then feel the pain that comes from their share in life. The inertia comes from the not wanting to deepen themselves in their true feelings so the essence of life seems to pass them.
- Self numbing > You just put a warm blanket over yourself to cover you. You don’t feel the words of others as an attack but as their weakness and you will want to help them.
- Decisiveness . Breaking the patterns of doubt by taking determined steps and responsibility for their own actions.