The Challenger: The Need to Dominate

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Welcome to the final installment of our series examining the nine types of the Enneagram Personality System.  Today we are discussing type eight, the Challenger.  To catch up on previous Enneagram blog posts, follow this link  And to take a free version of the test and find out your type, go here.


Often the most vilified of all the types, eights are driven by the need to be self-reliant and strong.  They are often portrayed as either heroes or villains in literature, dominating others either as a way to protect themselves or their loved ones, to whom they are fiercely loyal.  And this need to dominate is underscored by the basic fear of the eight: of being vulnerable to harm or control by others.  Eights long for assurance of personal freedom and safety. Continue reading “The Challenger: The Need to Dominate”

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The Enthusiast: The Need to Avoid Pain

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Welcome to part eight of our series examining the nine types of the Enneagram Personality System.  Today we are discussing type seven, the Enthusiast.  To catch up on previous Enneagram blog posts, follow this link  And to take a free version of the test and find out your type, go here.


Sevens, or enthusiasts, live in search of adventure, excitement, and satisfaction.  They radiate a kind of child-like joy and optimism.  Sevens are playful, relaxed, and have an easy-going charm and sense of humor that make them incredibly likable. They love to plan activities and social events, and are somehow both busy and laid-back.  They have difficulty slowing down and are prone to boredom if they are not sufficiently stimulated by change and newness.  This tendency can sometimes make it difficult for sevens to commit to jobs or relationships, and can also lead them to be creatures of excess in everything they do.  Like nines, who are also avoiders, sevens can be prone to addiction as a way to distract and cope.  At a deep level, they are terrified that if they pause to reflect, then they might feel pain or a gnawing discontent.

Continue reading “The Enthusiast: The Need to Avoid Pain”

The Loyalist: The Need for Security

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Welcome to part six of our series examining the nine types of the Enneagram Personality System.  Today we are discussing type six, the Loyalist.  To catch up on previous Enneagram blog posts, follow this link  And to take a free version of the test and find out your type, go here.


Sixes are one of the most difficult types to identify, not only because the outside presentation can vary widely from person to person, but also within a single individual.  Sixes are often the most gregarious, warm-hearted, and good-humored people on the outside, but internally, experience a constant fear and suspicion, that makes trusting others extremely difficult.  Sixes are known to ascribe to a cynical worldview that says, Who cares if the glass is half empty or half full, it will break anyway! And though they are fearful people, they also tend to act with a fierce kind of courage in crisis.  They are quite used to grappling with fear, and can show an incredible resiliency to it. Continue reading “The Loyalist: The Need for Security”

The Investigator: The Need to Perceive

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Welcome to part six of our series examining the nine types of the Enneagram Personality System.  Today we are discussing type five, the Investigator.  To catch up on previous Enneagram blog posts, follow this link  And to take a free version of the test and find out your type, go here.


Detached, logical, and cool-headed, fives are the most cerebral and internal of all the types.  They are driven by the need to observe and analyze the world from the safety of their own mind.  For this reason, the five is often associated with the owl, who sees all from his carefully selected vantage point, and yet is incredibly difficult to see.  Fives feel safest when they can collect data and draw conclusions without others intruding on their inner world.

Camouflaging Owl
Can you spot the owl, the animal most closely represented with the five?

Continue reading “The Investigator: The Need to Perceive”

The Individualist: The Need to be Special

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Welcome to part five of our series examining the nine types of the Enneagram Personality System.  Today we are discussing type four, the Individualist.  To catch up on previous Enneagram blog posts, follow this link  And to take a free version of the test and find out your type, go here.


Type four is the Individualist, or Romantic.  Fours are artists who see a world full of beauty and pain.  Bob Dylan, William Wordsworth, Edgar Allen Poe, Sylvia Plath: these are fours of varying degrees of health and happiness, but they are alike in their desire to find and express themselves to a world badly in need of authenticity and depth.  The stereotype of the four is the tortured artist, driven mad by his own powerful emotions and self-absorption.  However, fours when healthy can actually be gentle, playful, warm, and incredibly compassionate, able to use their self-awareness to bond easily with others and draw people in. Continue reading “The Individualist: The Need to be Special”

The Achiever: The Need to Succeed

 

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Welcome to part four of our series examining the nine types of the Enneagram Personality System.  Today we are discussing type three, the Achiever.  To catch up on previous Enneagram blog posts, follow this link  And to take a free version of the test and find out your type, go here.


Type three, the Achiever, is driven by the need for success and to be applauded for his achievements.  Threes at their best are driven, hard-working, capable, likable, savvy and optimistic.  However, they can also tend to be deceptive, vain, superficial, and overly competitive.  Perhaps more than any other type, the three is a chameleon, able to cultivate a public image of success and confidence while inwardly driven by the need to convince himself and others of his own value and worthiness.  So wide is the gap in fact between the three’s outward appearance and inner experience, that they actually are one of the most difficult types to know on a deeper level.  Their focus is almost entirely on the external world: on others’ perceptions of them, on their outward goals, and on the particular successes they have achieved  or wish to achieve, which affirm their self-esteem. Threes are often unaware of their own hidden need for love and affirmation and avoid fear at all cost.

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Continue reading “The Achiever: The Need to Succeed”

Helpers: The Need to be Needed

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Welcome to part three of our series examining the nine types of the Enneagram Personality System.  Today we are discussing type two, the Helper.  To catch up on previous Enneagram blog posts, follow this link  And to take a free version of the test and find out your type, go here.


Holden Caulfield, the rebel and protagonist of J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, summarizes the driving force that motivates the two:

Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody’s around–nobody big, I mean–except me. And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff–I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I’d really like to be. I know it’s crazy.

Continue reading “Helpers: The Need to be Needed”