The Enneagram, revisited

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve thought about the Enneagram personality classification system (and even longer since I’ve thought of PLUR), but I just retook a short quiz and here’s the results:


Type 1 Type 2 Type 3 Type 4 Type 5 Type 6 Type 7 Type 8 Type 9
3 6 2 5 4 8 2 1 5
These same results reported in a histogram.
Type 1   
Type 2      
Type 3  
Type 4     
Type 5    
Type 6        
Type 7  
Type 8
Type 9     

Can’t remember how the quiz scored me in the past, actually.  I get the feeling that it may not have scored me as a 2 very strongly even when I very confidently and assuredly associated myself with that role.

Here’s type 6:

Type Six in Brief

The committed, security-oriented type. Sixes are reliable, hard-working, responsible, and trustworthy. Excellent “troubleshooters,” they foresee problems and foster cooperation, but can also become defensive, evasive, and anxious—running on stress while complaining about it. They can be cautious and indecisive, but also reactive, defiant and rebellious. They typically have problems with self-doubt and suspicion.At their Best: internally stable and self-reliant, courageously championing themselves and others.

  • Basic Fear: Of being without support and guidance
  • Basic Desire: To have security and support
  • Enneagram Six with a Five-Wing: “The Defender”
  • Enneagram Six with a Seven-Wing: “The Buddy”

Key Motivations: Want to have security, to feel supported by others, to have certitude and reassurance, to test the attitudes of others toward them, to fight against anxiety and insecurity.

Not totally wrong, actually.  The running on stress while complaining about it is…well, not entirely accurate, but not entirely inaccurate either.  The “reactive, defiant, and rebellious” is not accurate.  The basic fear and desire are also not quite there.  However, the key motivations aren’t hat off.  “testing the attitudes of others toward them” is something that I have perhaps been thinking about slightly more than before…though it’s more of a thought and less of an actual action.  I guess the main reason you might see me as a 6 would be the determination with which I attempt to stay true to my friends.  But actually, that’s a moot point because I haven’t been doing as good a job of that as in the past.  hmm….

So I guess it’s just like before.  It was only a short test after all.  But let’s look over and see if anything has changed since last time, or if I’m just straight-out a 2 just like before?

Type Two in Brief

Twos are empathetic, sincere, and warm-hearted. They are friendly, generous, and self-sacrificing, but can also be sentimental, flattering, and people-pleasing. They are well-meaning and driven to be close to others, but can slip into doing things for others in order to be needed. They typically have problems with possessiveness and with acknowledging their own needs. At their Best: unselfish and altruistic, they have unconditional love for others.

  • Basic Fear: Of being unwanted, unworthy of being loved
  • Basic Desire: To feel loved
  • Enneagram Two with a One-Wing: “Servant”
  • Enneagram Two with a Three-Wing: “The Host/Hostess”

Key Motivations: Want to be loved, to express their feelings for others, to be needed and appreciated, to get others to respond to them, to vindicate their claims about themselves.

Right, that’s…all still a total bullseye.  “problems with possessiveness and with acknowledging their own needs” in particular are things that are extremely relevant at the moment.

Are there any other things that look like they might fit now?  Last time I said that the other ones that might possibly fit are 1, 3, 4, 6, and 9.

1 is the reformer.  no…i don’t want to change the world at all.

3 is the achiever.  nope, i’m not ambitious.

4 is the individualist.  This one is actually somewhat interesting.

Type Four in Brief

Fours are self-aware, sensitive, and reserved. They are emotionally honest, creative, and personal, but can also be moody and self-conscious. Withholding themselves from others due to feeling vulnerable and defective, they can also feel disdainful and exempt from ordinary ways of living. They typically have problems with melancholy, self-indulgence, and self-pity. At their Best: inspired and highly creative, they are able to renew themselves and transform their experiences.

  • Basic Fear: That they have no identity or personal significance
  • Basic Desire: To find themselves and their significance (to create an
  • Enneagram Four with a Three-Wing: “The Aristocrat”
  • Enneagram Four with a Five-Wing: “The Bohemian”

Key Motivations: Want to express themselves and their individuality, to create and surround themselves with beauty, to maintain certain moods and feelings, to withdraw to protect their self-image, to take care of emotional needs before attending to anything else, to attract a “rescuer.”

The basic fear and desire are definitely off.  I know that I have an identity and a significance; there’s no fear of that.  But I am moody and self-conscious.  I withhold myself from others, but…not because of feeling vulnerable.  I am exempt from ordinary ways of living, sure, and have problems with melancholy and self-pity, sure.  I don’t want to express myself though, but I do want to take care of emotional needs and in particular, “attract a rescuer”.  So this one isn’t really right on, but it’s not -too- far off either.

6 is the loyalist.  I already touched upon that.

9 is the peacemaker.  I don’t think it’s terribly wrong, but…it’s definitely not right either.

So yep, I’m still the same…but just a bit healthier.  Or at least, I’d like to think so!


Let’s look at some of the other details of the type 2–perhaps stuff we haven’t looked at before:

Eating disorders and addictions for type 2:

“Abusing food and over-the-counter medications. Bingeing, especially on sweets and carbohydrates. Over-eating from feeling “love-starved.” Hypochondria to look for sympathy.”

Uh, no, not really.  Maybe alcohol though.  And shopping, haha.  But I feel like I binge on those for different reasons.  And I don’t really know that you can call it “binging” at all.  Over-eating is….well, definitely not applicable here.  The hypochondria thing does seem to point to the whole RSI fiasco though.  Interesting.  Also interesting is something that I realized before when I was talking with BenZhen: the fact that after the RSI fiasco ended the problem moved from the realm of the physical into the realm of the emotional pretty seamlessly.  Something I hadn’t really seen very clearly before.

Okay, let’s look at growth recommendations again:


  • First and foremost, remember that if you are not addressing your own needs, it is highly unlikely that you will be able to meet anyone else’s needs without problems, underlying resentments, and continual frustration. Further, you will be less able to respond to people in a balanced way if you have not gotten adequate rest, and taken care of yourself properly. It is not selfish to make sure that you are okay before attending to others’ needs—it is simply common sense.
  • Trying!  Though sometimes I worry I am trying to take care of myself in a “bitter” way–saying “well…i don’t =need= you.  I’m going to do my own thing” in a passive-aggressive way.  I think I’m getting a little better at this though.  Slowly.  Slowly.



  • Try to become more conscious of your own motives when you decide to help someone. While doing good things for people is certainly an admirable trait, when you do so because you expect the other person to appreciate you or do something nice for you in return, you are setting yourself up for disappointments. Your type has a real danger of falling into unconscious codependent patterns with loved ones, and they almost never bring you what you really want.
  • Heh, yeah.  I think this is less of a problem nowadays.  I don’t think I’m doing the whole “do things for others because I need and want things from them” as much nowadays.



  • While there are many things you might want to do for people, it is often better to ask them what they really need first. You are gifted at accurately intuiting others’ feelings and needs, but that does not necessarily mean that they want those needs remedied by you in the way you have in mind. Communicate your intentions, and be willing to accept a “no thank you.” Someone deciding that they do not want your particular offer of help does not mean that they dislike you or are rejecting you.
  • I guess…I mean I do accept the no thank you’s, so that’s fine.  I think I do intuit other people’s needs better than they do at times though.  I’m very perceptive, or at least I’ve been told that.  I guess what I do need to work on is being able to throw away an act, if it falls through.  I have a hard time dealing with things when they don’t work out like they “should” in my mind, so I need to be more flexible and willing to just let things go.

  • Resist the temptation to call attention to yourself and your good works. After you have done something for others, do not remind them about it. Let it be: either they will remember your kindness themselves and thank you in their own way or they will not. Your calling attention to what you have done for them only puts people on the spot and makes them feel uneasy. It will not satisfy anyone or improve your relationships.
  • Er…who knows whether I’m doing this correctly or not.  I guess I don’t think I’m having an issue with this.  I hope I’m not.



  • Do not always be “doing” for people and above all do not try to get people to love you by giving them either gifts or undeserved praise. On the other hand, do not pointedly withdraw your service when others do not respond to you as you would like. Do not make what you do for others depend on how they respond to you. Help others when they ask for it, especially helping them to become more capable of functioning on their own.

    Also a tricky one to reason about.  I’m not sure, really, because it’s something that’s ingrained.


    Sleepy now so I can’t write anymore.  Wish me luck for my day tomorrow…


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