Enneagram Type 6: A Profile

By Kara Reynolds | Mar 18, 2020

Do you want to shriek, “The sky is falling!” every time something goes awry for you or someone you love? If so, you may fall into the sixth enneagram personality type. This individual will do anything to protect those they care about from harm, but they can appear overly cautious. However, even though you’re the biggest worrywart of all the personality types, you can channel that energy into making incredible contributions to the world. You’re loyal to a fault, and you have an iron-willed determination. Once you find something that you believe in, you’ll do anything to advance your mission.

Enneagram Type 6: The Guardian

When you read an internet claim about promising new cancer research, do you react with skepticism instead of hope? If so, you may fall into this category or, at least, have some enneagram type 6 tendencies. Your mission is, above all, to establish a sense of safety and security in a chaotic world where you must exercise caution about whom you trust. You maintain a fierce loyalty toward friends and family, and you actively search for hazards that could imperil them. You might be prone to a helicopter-like parenting style. That said, much like the Boy Scouts, you make preparation your motto. If someone sneezes, you’re the first to whip out a tissue — and the hand sanitizer. You’re an extremely strategic thinker, always anticipating what can go wrong. You aren’t content to have a plan B — you want a plan C and D as well. Because of your ability to see the possibilities, you have much to offer in your field. However, you can let the fear of rejection hold you back from sharing your ideas at times. However, your commitment to anyone — your employer or your loved ones — is commendable. Indeed, without anyone to nurture and protect, you feel like you’re lost at sea in a paddleless canoe. You do question authority and may hold deep suspicions of institutions like government and big business. Once somebody or something gains your trust, though, you cling to them like a pit bull with a tasty bone.

The Guardian’s Strengths

When it comes to making vows and keeping them, your personality type reigns supreme. When you stand at the altar and say, “I do,” your mate knows that you won’t stray the first time your eye spies a hottie. You’re not a job-hopper, either — a fact that your boss no doubt appreciates. Because fear motivates you, you will do anything to avoid harm to yourself or those you love. You will also work tirelessly to make sure your company remains in the black. Emergency fund? Yours contains more like a years’ worth of salary, not a mere three to six months — and you might have acorns squirreled away elsewhere, to boot. You take enormous pride in your home and probably strive to pay your mortgage off early if you haven’t already done so.

The Guardian’s Weaknesses

There is such a thing as being loyal to a fault, and you sometimes cross that line. Because you struggle to let go of people and situations once you allow them into your life, you might stay in a toxic relationship or work situation for too long. You could even tolerate a domestic violence situation to the detriment of your physical and mental health. You need to step back occasionally and question whether those you cling to deserve your dogged loyalty. Additionally, you can let fear drive you to irrational or self-defeating acts. When you feel threatened, for example, you can become overly controlling. If the green monster rears its ugly head when you meet your SO’s attractive new colleague, you immediately start the Inquisition when they have to work late. You rarely let your children out of your sight unsupervised, which can cause considerable tension at home as they grow older. You develop the screaming horrors at the thought of your not-so-little ones getting their driver’s license, even if it means serving as a parental Uber.

Relating to Type 6 in the Workplace

If you manage an enneagram type 6 personality, you should respect their anxieties and do what you can to put them at ease. Because they’re prone to making irrational choices when they feel stressed, strict disciplinary measures, like a formal writeup, can backfire into less satisfactory performance. Try using positive reinforcement to encourage the behaviors you appreciate. Their loyalty to you will drive them to excel. If you’re an enneagram type 6, you probably feel drawn to the following careers:

  • Banking: Although money isn’t your primary motivator, you appreciate the security that financial backing brings. As such, you’re meticulous in helping people safeguard their funds and save toward their goals.
  • Taxes or accounting: You have respect for institutions like the government — but enough distrust to not give them a dime more than they are entitled to. Therefore, you’ll scrutinize returns for every possible deduction.
  • Law enforcement or corrections: Your desire for safety extends to society at large when you step outside of your front door. You see police as necessary for maintaining law and order, and you’re willing to do your part to put the “bad guys” behind bars.

Relating to Type 6 at Home and in Love

If you are in love with an enneagram type 6, breathe a sigh of relief. You won’t need to worry about them leaving you for a younger model during a midlife crisis. However, do use caution not to take them for granted. Everyone deserves gestures of affection, so turn the tables by nurturing and pampering them sometimes, too. If you’re an enneagram type 6, your challenge is letting go and learning to trust. Let your child attend that sleepover after you vet the parents through careful questioning. Resist the urge to text your spouse when they’re running only five minutes late. You might also try practicing guided meditation videos on YouTube to help yourself visualize the best possible scenarios, rather than only the worst.

Enneagram Type 6 — Cherish Those You Love but Learn to Let Go

If you’re an enneagram type 6, appreciate your courage in keeping those you love safe from harm. Take pride in your loyalty to your family and all you hold dear. However, do remember that all people need independence, so learn when to ease up on the reins, too.

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