Disclaimer: This is more me trying to pull a splinter out of my mind than a true balanced evaluation of Enneagram Type 6s. All types are created equally, and all have productive and unproductive traits. I love anyone who acts as a healthy person. This rant really exposes me as someone who gets frustrated at average and unhealthy behavior. Its not meant to be taken 100% seriously, it’s more of me expressing my anger.
The Loyalist aka The Trooper aka The Questioner aka your passive-aggressive best friend is very frustrating. Enneagram Type 6s are a bundle of contradictions, but are so sure of themselves even when riddled with self-doubt. This makes them seem confusing, contradicting, inconsistent, and ironic. Type Sixes can bounce from having no confidence to journeying on self-important Don Quixote missions. They want to lead- or at least call their own shots- because they think they are more qualified than others, but invariably they need guidance, help, and teamwork. They test, question, and rebel against authority figures, loved ones, and teachers- that is, until they get new ones in which they will obey and surrender to. Imagine how crazy that is? And this is just one of hundreds of seemingly polar opposite beliefs The Six can have.
The Enneagram Type 6’s best skill is probably instincts, but they don’t trust them half the time. Their thinking is completely blocked, which is mind-blowing because they pride themselves in being nerds and geeks. They get overcome by their emotions, particularly fear, anxiety, self-pity, and frustration. Sometimes I used to think The Six was a symbol of humanity (or the First Personality Type in human history) because they seem like they have all the traits of a generic person, i.e. they show emotion, get along with others, value family, show creative sparks, like to learn, are versatile, have beliefs, ponder nature and puzzles of the world, comply most of the time to authority, and blend in the background well. But when you consider they can’t even tie their shoelaces or wipe their asses correctly well into adulthood without someone telling them how to do it correctly, there’s no way that a Six was the “First Person”. Perhaps Sixes are better viewed as babies, after all they always view the world like it popped into existence yesterday.
They are awkward, weird, leaching, unpredictable, and their so-called loyalty and responsibility are only are good as how much emotional or financial stability you offer them. In other words, their trust and respect for your friendship or authority go away as soon as the going gets rough. They love to bounce ideas off you to test their opinions and courses of action, since they have no real faith that they can think things through by themselves. (They also love to do the opposite of what you suggest.) But if you encourage or lead them into a direction that does not turn out in their favor- due to circumstances beyond your control- they will blame you, society, and “them”, whoever “they” are. The Six has a skill to see patterns in nature, numbers, and events. However it also makes them prone to conspiracy, fantasy, and feeling persecuted, like REALITY ITSELF IS CONSPIRING against them (i.e. bad luck, being cursed, or God himself).
Although Sixes come off as being trustworthy friends- they are your stereotypical best friend, nice roommate, or even your soulmate- they self-identify with Charlie Brown. They are lovable losers, frustrating artists, currently “in-between jobs”, constantly relocating apartments and switching jobs, never finish their projects, messy and disorganized, forgetful, and never return stuff they “borrow” from you.
The internet is full of Sixes. They are your Star Wars fanboys, cosplay anime girls, and religious apologists. The ones who rebel from geekdom go extreme and cover themselves with tattoos, piercing, play the guitar, and wear black eyeliner. Others will rebel by self-identifying with another race, so for a Six it is not odd to find a pale white person in full hip-hop outfits, speak Ebonics, and be a SJW. Type Sixes can also see themselves as prophets when they get on their soap boxes and preach the end of the world.
Sixes may be the mythical hero archetype, but they are cowards. Let’s look at some pop culture Enneagram Type Six heroes: Luke Skywalker, Spider-Man, and Frodo. They don’t know what the hell they are doing, need help, and are cowards. You see, a Six really is a weak, fucking coward who overcompensates and goes on suicidal missions to prove that they are strong and worthy. Anytime a Six says something with confidence (to the point of passing a lie detector) all it shows me is that they convinced themselves that it is true so they can sleep at night. You see a Six can’t deal with self-doubt, inconsistencies, unresolved plots, people acting out of character, unpredictable events, and market crashes, so they develop or latch onto belief systems and programs which make them feel safe. They will defend and apologize for the authors, radio announcers, TV personalities, and experts who promote these political, religious, economic, or philosophical theories. The Six will always appeal to authority when defending a position. Even something mundane as choosing which smartphone must be based upon how the Six views the CEO, what tech podcasts say, how the phone is viewed by Reddit, and which phone the Six’s inner circle of family and friends own.
A Six is reactive, not proactive. They can form close-minded opinions on something in reaction to how the media portray someone. For example, if the media attack a singer the Six likes, the Six will look past the accusations and put a shield around that singer so she can never do anything wrong in the future, and the media become evil. If that wasn’t bad enough, The Six will still react to the media and read the news apps even though The Six had thoroughly discredited the media from being reliable and trustworthy.
They are blissfully unaware of the chaos they create with their decisions. It’s like they sleepwalk through life. Of course, they will insist they are all too aware of their issues which is why they have no self-esteem and constantly need guidance and direction. If they do not have direction from someone they will continue to drift away from grounded reality. One female Six told me she needs someone to put a leash on her neck but only tug it when she gets too far away.
Sixes are obsessed with “fair play”, justice, and award-based merit. They can’t understand how “unintelligent” leaders get elected or rise to power in business. They ignore how much more successful these people are using their charisma, social networking, adaptability, social IQ, real skills not related to an IQ test, and create an image of a tough leader. Sixes want to fix the world’s problems and conquer hunger, crime, and other impossible things. They would form their own super-hero spandex clubs in real life if they could. Maybe they do already. Yet the real world isn’t fair, rational, or consistent, so they will consistently get upset at hearing injustices from news stories, or if they get passed up for a job. It’s not like anyone has the ability to truly “fix” the world anyway.
Speaking of jobs, they are very competitive and envious at others who are successful or on the rise. In Buddhist psychology, there is a label “The Comparing Mind”. A Six will get upset when others advance at the workplace, industry, or artistic field. The Six will lash out at the person, boss, society, or means by which that person rose through the ranks. They are projecting their own inadequacies yet do not want to confront their dark side. A Six wants to feel optimistic and happy and can lift our spirits. They can be world travelers and explorers. But they wind up being bored, frustrated accountants in ill-fitting suits or in an act of rebellion go into S&M at nightclubs.
Although both male and female Sixes have these same issues outlined here, I can accept the women better- slightly. For one, they are more inclined to forgive and forget and have an attractive charm to their social awkwardness (female nerds and geeks are cute). They have better fashion sense and artistic talent. For the most part, the male Sixes have large penis envy and they overcompensate for their lack of emotional intelligence with their high IQs, anal-retentive grammar Nazism, and by correcting authority figures.
At least with a female Six you could tell this stuff to her face and she will try to correct her behavior (or just go away). But with the male Sixes, they feel betrayed and get into denial. They go into full defensive mode. All Sixes are obsessed with fostering an image of being a “nice person” and a “good wife/husband/son/daughter/employee/parent/artist/friend”. So if anyone tells it to their faces that they did something wrong or inappropriate they take it too personally.
Once you realize your best friend Six can’t take hints (they are guests who overstay their welcome, lovers who cannot understand the opposite sex, and don’t see suggestions from authority figures as orders) and don’t remember things (they repeat their mistakes over and over again, forget conversions and even skills) you have to ask yourself, why are you still in this relationship with them? It was fun at first, but over the years it will become a one way street- with you doing all the favors and bailing them out of jams. A Six is the high school or college friend you grew out of once you hit your 30s. Once you don’t feel like fighting society anymore with them, it’s over.
On a last note (yeah, I could go on and on forever about this), Sixes aren’t really original when it comes to creativity. They model their creations on previous things because they believe all ideas have already been made. They are into improving, combining, or modifying existing content to make it “better” as opposed to creating something innovative from the cloth. They have been preaching that nothing is new under the sun for so long, that millions of people believe this. Just because an innovation is based upon a previous invention doesn’t mean it is not new. But the Six takes the lazy way out and focuses on remixes, reskins, updates, or fanfiction. George Lucas (Enneagram Type 6) is a poster child for taking existing concepts, themes, visuals, sounds, and characters from other places and making something…well, either innovative or ripped off, it’s up to you.
Let’s compare comic book authors Neil Gaiman (Enneagram Type 6) with Grant Morrison (Enneagram Type 4). Gaiman rewrites old myths and legends and updates them for contemporary readers, and focuses on the worlds of dreams, poetry, and Shakespeare. Morrison deconstructs the superhero genre and takes readers on psychedelic, metaphysical, controversial, obscure, metatextual mind-blowing adventures. Let’s compare Stan Lee (Enneagram Type 6) and Jack Kirby (Enneagram Type 7). Although Lee was productive and charismatic, he never had a good memory, and wrote cheesy dialogue in spades. He also took credit for his partners’ work for most of his life. He was personable and projected an image of a nice guy. He spoke through Spider-Man so he had his finger on the pulse of comic book readers. Jack Kirby, however, was the most innovative artist in the comic book medium and he did not need feedback or brainstorming sessions- he was already 10 steps ahead of Stan Lee. Kirby’s imagination was truly fertile with innovative ideas for the comic book medium. Lee based many of his ideas on previous comic book characters and teams, pulp magazines, and sci-fi.
Heck, let’s compare two conservative talk show hosts since that is a creative work as well: Rush Limbaugh (Enneagram Type 8) and Glenn Beck (Enneagram Type 6). Limbaugh is an iconic pioneer in political radio whose gimmick is to tell it like it is, and claims to be nearly infallible. Rush runs a tight ship and created a cult of personality around himself. He is a filthy rich dude who somehow speaks for the silent majority. He is brutally aggressive and does not mince words, and sometimes gets into trouble with racism and sexist accusations. Glenn Beck, however, goes to the library, learns something he never heard of before, and proclaims he has found new information that can change solve current social, political, economic, or religious woes. Never mind that the rest of us already new that “hidden” fact Glen dug up. He reacts to criticism. He cries. He changes his mind all the time. He likes to come off as a compassionate conservative, while Rush mocks that phrase.
Type Ones pretty much created geometry, architecture, and standards of art. The Type 6? A hack.
Suggestion for Type 6: Fucking RELAX!
Level 1 (At Their Best): Become self-affirming, trusting of self and others, independent yet symbiotically interdependent and cooperative as an equal. Belief in self leads to true courage, positive thinking, leadership, and rich self-expression.
Level 2: Able to elicit strong emotional responses from others: very appealing, endearing, lovable, affectionate. Trust important: bonding with others, forming permanent relationships and alliances.
Level 3: Dedicated to individuals and movements in which they deeply believe. Community builders: responsible, reliable, trustworthy. Hard-working and persevering, sacrificing for others, they create stability and security in their world, bringing a cooperative spirit.
Level 4: Start investing their time and energy into whatever they believe will be safe and stable. Organizing and structuring, they look to alliances and authorities for security and continuity. Constantly vigilant, anticipating problems.
Level 5: To resist having more demands made on them, they react against others passive-aggressively. Become evasive, indecisive, cautious, procrastinating, and ambivalent. Are highly reactive, anxious, and negative, giving contradictory, “mixed signals.” Internal confusion makes them react unpredictably.
Level 6: To compensate for insecurities, they become sarcastic and belligerent, blaming others for their problems, taking a tough stance toward “outsiders.” Highly reactive and defensive, dividing people into friends and enemies, while looking for threats to their own security. Authoritarian while fearful of authority, highly suspicious, yet, conspiratorial, and fear-instilling to silence their own fears.
Level 7: Fearing that they have ruined their security, they become panicky, volatile, and self-disparaging with acute inferiority feelings. Seeing themselves as defenseless, they seek out a stronger authority or belief to resolve all problems. Highly divisive, disparaging and berating others
Level 8: Feeling persecuted, that others are “out to get them,” they lash-out and act irrationally, bringing about what they fear. Fanaticism, violence.
Level 9: Hysterical, and seeking to escape punishment, they become self-destructive and suicidal. Alcoholism, drug overdoses, “skid row,” self-abasing behavior. Generally corresponds to the Passive-Aggressive and Paranoid personality disorders.