This is an article describing personality type Six according to the Enneagram of Personality.
Sixes (sometimes called loyalists, heroes, troopers, skeptics, loyal skeptics, defenders or the devil's advocates) are people who desire security, of one form or another, in this world. They are typically not satisfied until they reach a level of security and reassurance that everything will turn out fine. It can, however, take a lot of reassurance before they can reach a point of greater contentment that everything truly is fine.
Sixes tend to exhibit fear and doubt towards their outer environment as well as towards themselves. Only when Sixes realize that their own security does not come from attachments to outside people, places and things but stems from inside themselves (where they are able to feel capable of feeling secure no matter what the circumstances may be) will they be able to feel more at ease in their daily lives.
Passion / Fixation: Fear / Doubt
-- In this case fear is primarily mentally-based (based on a fight-or-flight reaction) where the individual has a certain fear of a future event (which may or may not happen in actuality) occurring. This is more about a given fear happening in the future than in a clear and present fear that is grounded in reality (such as a bear attacking your camping tent). As a result the mind is swirling for ways to resolve the future situation and to bring the individual to greater safety. As a result they may internally question and doubt whether they are truly safe. The nature of this doubt and mental questioning is the hallmark for this type.
Basic Fear: Of being without support and guidance. In other words, the one fear that drives the Six personality structure is a fear that they will not have any security remaining and will be completely unsupported to survive in this world. They can become petrified of not knowing what to do and how to adequately survive in the world.
Basic Desire: To have security and support. When fixated, all people regardless of their personality type, will try to avoid their basic fear and will do anything possible to perpetuate their basic desire. More than other personality types, Sixes will seek to increase their sense of security and make themselves feel more supported. In order to avoid the above feelings of being petrified, not knowing what to do and how to adequately survive, Sixes can fill their minds with strategies, concepts and ideologies to prevent the state of 'not-knowing' from occurring.
|Level 1||Let go of their belief that security comes from a source outside themselves and, paradoxically, they achieve their basic desire to find security and support.|
|Level 2||Focus on the environment to find support and / or to alert themselves to dangers.|
|Level 3||Responsibly work to create and sustain mutually beneficial agreements.|
|Level 4||Start to fear that they will lose their independence but, at the same time, also feel a need for more support. To find increased grounding they seek guidance in procedures, rules and people who can provide some assistance and direction.|
|Level 5||Feel that they have to walk a tightrope in order to alleviate the increasing pressure placed on them and also to not alienate their supporters at the same time. As a result they become anxious, pessimistic and suspicious.|
|Level 6||Become extremely unsure of themselves and fear that they are losing all the supports that they have attempted to gain in the past. To compensate for this high anxiety state they start becoming highly cynical and reactive towards the outside world.|
|Level 7||Fear that their behavior may have sabotaged their security and, as a result, they feel panicky, depressed and helpless.|
|Level 8||In their desperation they may truly feel that others will punish them for the actions that they have taken in the past (and thereby remove all remaining security and supports). As a result they start feeling intense paranoia and may perform highly impulsive and destructive acts in order to deal with their paranoid feelings.|
|Level 9||Realize that they have been so reactive and paranoid that harsh consequences for their actions are quite likely. They feel intense guilt and self-hatred and would rather self-punish than accept others' rejection. Suicide attempts to bring about rescue from others are possible.|
Sixes often feel some sort of uncertainty regarding their interactions with their parents. Often they may have received mixed signals from one or both parents, which may have provided a source of confusion regarding how to be secure in the world. As a result, they can take one of two approaches to manage themselves throughout life. They may try to bond or attach to someone older (or in authority) in order to feel safe. Alternatively, they can also try to survive by warily defending against any outside threats to their safety and security. Most Sixes use a combination of these two coping strategies, rather than simply relying on one or the other. However, individual Sixes may lean more towards one side or the other of this dichotomy. As a result of these two coping strategies, there are often Sixes who are more trusting of the outer world (but may be less trusting of themselves), while there can also be Sixes who are more mistrusting and skeptical of others (deciding to get their way through life on their own).
When healthier they tend to be very analytical and thorough in all their endeavors. They are very capable at foreseeing any potential problems and loopholes that may exist and are extremely skilled at detecting whether the intentions of others are genuine and sincere or may have ulterior motives. They can be extremely loyal and steadfast and will not hesitate to stand up and defend any causes or people they genuinely believe in, even if such a stance is relatively unpopular.
When in a more average psychological state they may begin to feel mistrustful and skeptical of those around them. They may question the motives of others (even when the intentions of another person might be benign). Typically their fear is applied more to the outer world and they may feel a larger need to be mistrustful of others while also believing that they will have to "gut out" their way through life alone (or perhaps with a few tight-knit relationships). They can be extremely independent and serious. If they need any reassurance it may typically come from more abstract systems and beliefs (e.g. humor, word play, personal philosophy). They can also be very secretive in order to not have anything exposed which may threaten them.
In more unhealthy psychological states they may start becoming incredibly paranoid about others being out to get them and that they are destined to be victimized by others. They may become even more mistrustful and it would not be surprising if the only person who they are able to trust is themself. They may be highly cynical toward everyone around them and to the world at large. They may often take on an ‘us against the world’ dynamic and tend to blame and scapegoat any threats to their security. They may begin isolating themselves, catastrophizing and preparing themselves for the inevitable doom that may await.
When healthier they tend to be very warm, likeable, spontaneous and approachable people who are also able to bridge their need for security with an underlying desire to expand their horizons with enthusiasm and sheer curiosity. They are extremely approachable and sincere to others (in order to establish bonds of loyalty and friendship) while additionally welcoming new and intriguing opportunities for personal growth.
When they are more average they may be concerned that the bonds and commitments that were previously formed can be suddenly taken away from them. As a result they can be capable of clinging onto those sources of security in order to prevent losing them. They may exhibit very low self-trust and self-confidence and, concurrently, may look to other people, places and things for the kinds of ‘security’ they seem to lack in themselves. They often second-guess their own intuitions and trust others’ opinions, even if those opinions may be misguided. Additionally, they may feel that they are capable of becoming a loose cannon where, if they let out all of their impulsive energy, they may sabotage themselves and lose everything that supports them. In unhealthier states, however, they may be capable of providing the kinds of impulsive and reactive responses they inherently fear.
If they become even unhealthier their feelings of intense inferiority and lacking of self-worth may be significantly increased. At the same time their impulsive reactivity tends to come to the forefront and they may become highly unstable and unpredictable. At at one moment they may beg and plead for another’s forgiveness. At another moment they may become frantically worried about any impending abandonment. Finally, at yet another moment, they may throw a temper tantrum out of frustration so that, no matter what they do to salvage everything, they appear to be sabotaging themselves at every step. Their explosive unpredictability, stemming from their depressive feelings of low self-confidence, can be a hallmark of this psychologically unhealthy state.