Find your Enneagram type

Click on a type number to find the following information about
the type: the associated patterns of thinking, feeling,
and behaving; quotes from famous people of that
type; and three questions to ask yourself to
determine if you are that type.

If you need more information to decide between two types,
go to “Enneagram Type Differentiators” to distinguish
which type best describes you. You can also go to
“Real Stories of the Nine Types” to read what
real people say helped them discover
their Enneagram type.

Click on a type number on the left to see
the corresponding information.

Nines seek peace, harmony, and positive mutual regard and dislike conflict, tension, rudeness, and ill will.
Center of Intelligence: Body Center

Core Beliefs

  • If we could all just get along, life would be peaceful.
  • What’s important is for people to listen to one another, treat each other with respect, and live and let live.
  • Before making a decision, it’s best to consider all perspectives and get everyone’s input.

Emotional Patterns

  • Experience a range of low- to medium-intensity feelings, but present a steady, even-tempered demeanor
  • Keep anger at such a subliminal level that they are often not aware of feeling it

Workplace Behaviors

Are affirming, approachable, and facilitative • Like clear, structured processes and details • Can be passive-aggressive when pressured • Avoid conflict with others • Blend and merge energetically

Nines use their Body Center to deal with control in a counterintuitive way: they control by not letting others control them. They do this by being nonassertive, impassive, or inert. Although Nines ultimately do what they want according to their own preferred time frames, they also want to avoid creating conflict with others. As a result, Nines exercise control in several ways: not acknowledging to themselves or others what they really think or want; implicitly agreeing to do something, then not doing it; expressing themselves indirectly; and/or being affable and agreeable. When asked their thoughts about a controversial issue, instead of offering an opinion or stating that they don’t want to discuss the topic, Nines might say the following, with a pleasant tone of voice, a laugh, and a big smile: “Oh, I haven’t really thought about this.”

Quotes from Famous Nines

Walter Cronkite

“In seeking truth, you have to get both sides of a story.”

“And that’s the way it is.”

Dalai Lama

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”

“The purpose of our lives is to be happy.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower

“I despise people who go to the gutter on either the right or the left and hurl rocks at those in the center.”

“Always take the job, but never yourself, seriously.”

Typing Questions for Nines

  1. Do you automatically blend or merge with other people’s positive energy but get distressed when you are around negativity, anger, and conflict that can’t be resolved?
  2. Do people find you easy to approach and nonjudgmental in almost all circumstances?
  3. Do you have great difficulty expressing your opinions, particularly if they may be controversial in some way?
Eights pursue the truth, like to keep situations under control, want to make important things happen, and try to hide their vulnerability.
Center of Intelligence: Body Center

Core Beliefs

  • The world is divided into two kinds of people: the strong and the weak.
  • Bigger is better; almost any action is better than no action at all.
  • You can never get enough of a good thing.

Emotional Patterns

  • Deep, quick anger shows readily and propels them to take immediate action
  • Feel, but rarely show, fear and sadness

Workplace Behaviors

Like everything big, bold, and strategic • Macromanage and micromanage • Are intense and direct • Protect certain people and groups in pursuit of justice • Can intimidate others

As a Body Center type, Eights like action and assert control by taking charge of situations with great speed and intensity. Because they are highly attuned to a situation’s being out of control, their need to step in and take charge has an urgency and immediacy that is palpable and dramatic. Eights do this under most circumstances (unless they don’t care about the situation), but they are particularly driven to take control when they feel vulnerable and anxious.

Quotes from Famous Eights

Arnold Schwarzenegger

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”

“My relationship to power and authority is that I’m all for it. People need somebody to watch over them. Ninety-five percent of the people in the world need to be told what to do and how to behave.”

Donald Trump

“I like thinking big. If you’re going to be thinking anything, you might as well think big.”

“I’m not running for office. I don’t have to be politically correct. I don’t have to be a nice person. Like I watch some of these weak-kneed politicians – it’s disgusting. I don’t have to be that way.”

Rosie O’Donnell

“I always think: Go big or go home.”

“When you’re silent, it’s as good as lying.”

Typing Questions for Eights

  1. Do you have an extraordinarily strong and bold exterior, one that is sometimes intimidating to others (intentionally or unintentionally) but that hides a less visible but highly vulnerable interior?
  2. Do you tend to be excessive in what you do – for example, exercising two to three hours a day for a week but then not exercising for a month, or deciding that if one piece of chocolate cake is good, then eating the whole cake is even better?
  3. Do you have immediate impulses to take strong and forceful action, particularly when you are feeling anxious or vulnerable?
Sevens crave the stimulation of new ideas, people, and experiences, avoid pain, and create elaborate future plans to keep their options open.
Center of Intelligence: Head Center

Core Beliefs

  • Life is full of endless possibilities.
  • Why worry when you can be happy?
  • No one has the right to restrict or limit me.

Emotional Patterns

  • Joyfulness and enthusiasm
  • Avoidance of “negative” emotions, particularly sorrow and fear, through positive reframing

Workplace Behaviors

Adore idea generation • Like everything to be positive • Are in perpetual motion • Dislike restraints, needing to keep themselves constantly stimulated • Have difficulty focusing

The Seven’s mind, called the synthesizing mind, responds instantaneously to stimulation, moving faster than a nanosecond to a new idea connected to the original thought, then triggering another idea, and so forth. Because Sevens become fascinated with information from so many different disciplines and have an abundance of data upon which to draw, these fast and loose associations can be instantly transformed into highly creative, surprisingly original – although not always practical – new ways of doing things. As a result of their desire for constant mental stimulation and their rapid mental processing, Sevens may have a breadth, but not necessarily a depth, of knowledge.

Quotes from Famous Sevens

Howard Stern (radio personality)

“My energy level is through the roof and I’m excited about it.”

“My mother was very involved with me. And we had a dialogue constantly. And it was like an umbilical cord. As long as the words were flowing back and forth, we were connected and feeding each other.

Bill Clinton

“I may not have been the greatest president, but I’ve had the most fun eight years.”

“A lot of presidential memoirs, they say, are dull and self-serving. I hope mine is interesting and self-serving.”

John F. Kennedy

“We need men who can dream of things that never were.”

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”

Typing Questions for Sevens

  1. Do you continuously seek new and stimulating people, ideas, or events to keep life exciting, adrenalized, and forward moving?
  2. Do you avoid pain and discomfort whenever possible, using your mind to conjure up new possibilities and plans and to reframe negative situations so they can be seen as positive?
  3. Do you have trouble sustaining your focus on work projects, people, and conversations without a considerable amount of effort on your part?
Sixes have insightful minds, are prone to worry, and create worst-case scenarios to help themselves feel prepared in case something goes wrong.
Center of Intelligence: Head Center

Core Beliefs

  • Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.
  • Authority figures are supposed to take care of everything, but they cannot be trusted to do so.
  • Dutiful and loyal people like me can be counted on, and this may prevent negative things from occurring.

Emotional Patterns

  • Anxiety, doubt, and vexation
  • Overt displays of courage and risk taking

Workplace Behaviors

See selves as problem solvers • Seek and create like-minded and loyal teams • Worry and procrastinate • Project own feelings, thoughts, and behaviors onto others • Respond with skepticism

The Six’s mind is called the doubting mind. When considering what to do, how to solve a problem, and what decisions to make, Sixes immediately conjecture: What if this happened? What if that doesn’t work? and more. Needing to consider what could go wrong before they commit to a course of action, Sixes automatically explore these possibilities in an effort to do anticipatory, preventive planning.

Quotes from Famous Sixes

Richard Branson (counterphobic Six)

“My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable challenges and trying to rise above them.”

“As an adventurer…I try to protect against the downside. I make sure I have covered as many eventualities as I can. In the end, you have to take calculated risks; otherwise, you’re going to sit in mothballs all day and do nothing.”

George H.W. Bush (phobic Six with some counterphobia)

“I have opinions of my own, strong opinions, but I don’t always agree with them.”

“It’s no exaggeration to say that the undecideds could go one way or another.”

Woody Allen (phobic Six)

“It seemed the world was divided into good and bad people. The good ones slept better… while the bad ones seemed to enjoy the waking hours much more.”

“Confidence is what you have before you understand the problem.”

Typing Questions for Sixes

  1. Do you constantly anticipate multiple scenarios, thinking about what could go wrong and trying to plan so that this will not occur?
  2. Do you have strong positive or negative reactions to authority figures and challenge them when you are concerned?
  3. Do you project your thoughts and feelings onto others, having difficulty discerning whether something is really occurring or whether you are creating it in your mind?
Fives thirst for information and knowledge and use emotional detachment as a way of keeping involvement with others to a minimum.
Center of Intelligence: Head Center

Core Beliefs

  • Everything is potentially knowable.
  • Facts and logic are the only objective source of knowledge.
  • You can trust the mind; feelings are volatile, subjective, and often overwhelming.

Emotional Patterns

  • Intellectualization of feelings
  • Emotional detachment

Workplace Behaviors

Pursue information and wisdom • Cerebrally oriented • Calm in a crisis • Easily drained • Self-reliant and private

Fives use their minds in a unique way called compartmentalizing, a process by which they take in and store information using mental categories as though these were file folders to access later. Fives also compartmentalize people, events, and experiences – for example, their friends may never meet one another. Fives often separate home from work to such an extent that they rarely discuss their personal lives at work or share their work lives at home.

Quotes from Famous Fives

Bill Gates

“I really had a lot of dreams when I was a kid, and I think a great deal of that grew out of the fact that I had a chance to read a lot.”

“I like my job because it involves learning. I like being around smart people who are trying to figure out new things.”

Laura Bush

“When I was in my 20s, I was a bookworm – spent 12 hours of the day in the library. How I met George, I’ll never know.”

“The power of a book lies in its power to turn a solitary act into a shared vision. As long as we have books, we are not alone.”

Prince Charles

“What I want to know is: what is actually wrong with an elite?”

“I just come and talk to the plants, really – very important to talk to them. They respond, I find.”

Typing Questions for Fives

  1. When a situation gets emotional, intense, or overwhelming, do you automatically disconnect from your feelings of the moment and then reconnect with some of these later, at a time and place of your choice?
  2. Do you observe life rather than being fully engaged in it?
  3. Do you create an invisible boundary between yourself and others so that other people understand they should not approach you unless invited to do so?
Fours desire deep connections with their inner worlds and with other people, and they feel most alive when authentically expressing their feelings.
Center of Intelligence: Heart Center

Core Beliefs

  • Nothing has meaning or can be fully understood unless you go deeply into your own personal experience.
  • There’s no greater feeling than sharing something profound with another person.
  • Life is full of joy and suffering; both must be integrated for someone to be completely human.

Emotional Patterns

  • Experience a kaleidoscope of feeling responses, many of which are kept internal
  • Highly attuned to how others treat them, trying to minimize feeling not good enough

Workplace Behaviors

Engage in extensive introspection • Want to be unique or special • Can appear moody • Use self-referencing language • Seek inspiration and want to be understood

Fours are among the most sensitive of all the Enneagram types, although their sensitivity is first and foremost focused on their own internal reactions and feelings. Many Fours are also sensitive to the feelings of others, particularly when these involve deep emotions and profound experiences.

Quotes from Famous Fours

Johnny Depp

“There are four questions of value in life: What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for, and what is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same. Only love.”

“As a teenager I was so insecure. I was the type of guy that never fitted in because he never dared to choose. I was convinced I had absolutely no talent at all. For nothing. And that thought took away all my ambition too.”

Princess Diana

“I understand people’s suffering, people’s pain, more than you will ever know yourself.”

“I wear my heart on my sleeve.”

Anthony Hopkins

“Why love if losing hurts so much? I have no answers anymore; only the life I have lived. The pain now is part of the happiness then.”

“I am able to play monsters well. I understand monsters. I understand madmen.”

Typing Questions for Fours

  1. When you feel something very strongly, do you hold onto your emotions intensely for extremely long periods of time, constantly replaying your thoughts, feelings, and sensations?
  2. Do you think of melancholy as a pleasurable experience?
  3. Do you continually search for deep connections with others and feel distraught when these connections become severed?
Threes organize their lives to achieve specific goals and to appear successful in order to gain the respect and admiration of others.
Center of Intelligence: Heart Center

Core Beliefs

  • The world values winners and ignores or ridicules losers
  • Who and what you know is important, but how you’re known is more important.
  • Stay focused on your goals; everything else falls into place.

Emotional Patterns

  • Maintain a demeanor of self-confidence
  • Keep most strong feelings to themselves and even from themselves, particularly fear and sadness

Workplace Behaviors

Focus intensely on goals and plans • Have well-developed interpersonal skills • Become abrupt and short-tempered under stress • Become angry when obstacles block their goals • Enjoy competition

Threes use their Heart Center to focus on how other people are responding to them in terms of the Three’s gaining their respect and admiration. Because most Threes read their audience adroitly, they are able to change their persona – specifically, what they are saying and how they are saying it, as well as their nonverbal behavior – in order to elicit the response they desire. For this reason, Threes are called the “chameleons” of the Enneagram.

Quotes from Famous Threes

Tom Cruise

“I disagree with people who think you learn more from getting beat up than you do from winning.”

“I’ve learned to relax more. Everybody feels pressure in what they do – maybe mine is just a little different because there don’t seem to be enough hours in the day to accomplish what I want to.”

Oprah Winfrey

“The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you’re willing to work.”

“I always knew I was destined for greatness.”

Kobe Bryant

“I’ll do whatever it takes to win games, whether it’s sitting on a bench waving a towel, handing a cup of water to a teammate, or hitting the game-winning shot.”

“Everything negative – pressure, challenges – is all an opportunity for me to rise.”

Typing Questions for Threes

  1. Do you do the things you do to impress others so that they will value and respect you?
  2. Are you so busy “doing” things that you don’t even know what simply “being” means?
  3. Do you avoid failure by engaging only in activities you will be good at, focusing on goals and making sure you achieve them, and reframing failure by calling it “a learning experience”?
Twos want to be liked, try to meet the needs of others, and attempt to orchestrate the people and events in their lives.
Center of Intelligence: Heart Center

Core Beliefs

  • You can intuit what others need if you just pay close enough attention.
  • Relationships are what matter most.
  • People like people who are as generous and thoughtful as I am.

Emotional Patterns

  • Focus more on the feelings and needs of others than on themselves
  • Become sad when feeling unappreciated, unwanted, or unvalued

Workplace Behaviors

Empathize with others • Focus on relationships • Want others to feel motivated and well treated • Can become surprisingly angry and aggressive • Act as if they have no needs

Twos use their Heart Center to focus on the feelings and needs of individuals and groups. They tend to be consistently warm, although this does not mean they exhibit the same level of warmth with everyone or that they are warm all the time. Appearing warm makes Twos feel as though they are considerate and thoughtful, and it also draws others to them.

Quotes from Famous Twos

Gloria Estefan

“Whatever it is your heart desires, please go for it, it’s yours to have.”

“I am privileged to help in some way.”

Bill Cosby

“I’m still waiting for some actor to win, say, an Oscar . . . and deliver the following acceptance speech: ‘I would like to thank my parents, first of all, for letting me live.’”

“I’m here for a friend. I brought a couple of boxes of chocolate Jell-O.”

Sally Field

“I was raised to sense what someone wanted me to be and be that kind of person. It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else’s eyes.”

“I can’t deny the fact that you like me! You like me!”

Typing Questions for Twos

  1. Do you intuitively know what someone else needs but have a hard time articulating your own needs, even to yourself?
  2. If you’re completely honest, do you believe that you can get almost anyone to like you if you really want to?
  3. Do you feel really good when others respond to you in the way that you most want, but particularly deflated when this does not occur?
Ones seek a perfect world and work diligently to improve both themselves and everyone and everything around them.
Center of Intelligence: Body Center

Core Beliefs

  • If it's not worth doing right, it's not worth doing
  • Most people don’t seem to take their responsibilities seriously, but those who do are people you can count on.
  • No one is perfect, including me; what matters is that you are constantly working to improve things.

Emotional Patterns

  • Have strong emotional reactions that may not be verbalized but usually show in their body language
  • Express irritation and resentment regularly but try to control their deeper anger

Workplace Behaviors

Lead by example • Have highly discerning minds • Relish organizing and structuring work • Have difficulty relaxing at work • Delegate reluctantly

By being self-controlled and highly structured, Ones feel as if they are in control of situations. As individuals who pursue perfection, trying to make everything as correct and error free as possible, Ones monitor what they say, how they say it, the timing of delivery, and more. They try to live up to the internal standards of what they believe to be behavior beyond reproach, including not expressing anger directly. By living structured lives and highly organizing their work, Ones strive to do the best job possible, down to the smallest details.

Quotes from Famous Ones

Jerry Seinfeld

“A bookstore is one of the only pieces of evidence we have that people are still thinking.”

“See, the thing of it is, there’s a lot of ugly people out there walking around, but they don’t know they’re ugly because nobody actually tells them.”

Mahatma Gandhi

“Indolence is a delightful but distressing state; we must be doing something to be happy.”

“A man who was completely innocent offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act.”

Hillary Clinton

“Probably my worst quality is that I get very passionate about what I think is right.”

“In the Bible it says they asked Jesus how many times you should forgive, and he said 70 times 7. Well, I want you all to know that I’m keeping a chart.”

Typing Questions for Ones

  1. Do you have an inner voice – akin to a tape recorder in your head – that continuously criticizes you (90% of the time or more) for what you do wrong and sometimes applauds you when something goes exceedingly well?
  2. Do you have a constant need for self-improvement, while knowing that no one will ever be perfect, not even you?
  3. Do you have a very hard time relaxing, having fun, and getting away from your responsibilities unless you are on vacation?

Several Enneagram types may appear similar to one another in terms
of behavior, but the motivations behind these behaviors are very
different. In this section, written by Enneagram teacher Bea
Chestnut, you can click on two type numbers and read
about the similarities and differences between
those two types.

Click on a type number on the left and a
number on the right to see the
corresponding information.

Click on the style number to the right to see the corresponding information.

Please choose a different type to compare to Ones.

Please choose a different type to compare to Ones.

ONES seek a perfect world and work diligently to improve both themselves and everyone and everything around them.
BASIC CONCERN: What is right or wrong, correct or incorrect?
TWOS want to be liked, try to meet the needs of others, and attempt to orchestrate the people and events in their lives.
BASIC CONCERN: Am I needed? Will others like me?

Ones and Twos can appear similar because both have sets of rules that they expect others to adhere to, then become upset and reactive when others do not follow these. However, on closer examination, Ones have far more rules and expectations than do Twos, and their expectations cover a wider array of behaviors. For example, Ones often have rules governing work style, work product, how things should be organized, how people should behave in a variety of situations, dress codes that define what is appropriate and inappropriate attire in a variety of circumstances, and more. The Twos’ rules are far more focused on interpersonal relationships and how people should treat one another. Although Ones and Twos can both be self-critical and critical of others, most Ones are more consistently self-critical than Twos as well as more overtly judgmental of others. For example, the One’s “inner critic” or judge is activated eighty to ninety percent of the time or more, whereas the Two’s criticism of self and others is less frequent and more activated by highly distressing events.

Some may confuse Ones and Twos because both are dutiful and want to perceive themselves and have others view them as “good” and “responsible.” However, Ones and Twos have very different meanings for these words. Ones believe they are good and, therefore, valued if they do everything right and make few mistakes, and responsible means they keep their commitments, do their work well, deliver it on time, and are punctual. Twos believe they are good and, therefore, valued, if they are thoughtful, considerate, and focused on others, and responsible means they are always available when others are in need and that they don’t disappoint the people in their lives.

Ones and Two are markedly different in many ways. For example, Ones speak definitively, offer opinions, judgments, and ideas, and use language that suggests they are evaluating people and situations – for example, Ones use words such as should, ought, right, wrong, and appropriate with great frequency. Twos, by contrast, speak with a softer tone of voice, ask questions of others to engage them and draw them in conversation, offer advice frequently, and focus on others in a way that makes people feel important. While some Ones can be very warm, they are rarely as consistently warm and empathic as Twos.

A helpful way to understand the distinction between Ones and Twos is that Ones look internally to determine whether or not they have done a good job, made a mistake, or were effective, while Twos are more highly affected by how others perceive them than by how they view themselves. In other words, Twos have a strong inclination to perceive themselves through the eyes of other people rather than having a strong interior sense of how valuable they are and how well they did something. While they may not directly solicit the opinions of others regarding the merit of their work or behavior, Twos pay greater attention to nonverbal cues and interpersonal behavior and are far more affected by the positive and negative reactions of other people.

ONES seek a perfect world and work diligently to improve both themselves and everyone and everything around them.
BASIC CONCERN: What is right or wrong, correct or incorrect?
TWOS want to be liked, try to meet the needs of others, and attempt to orchestrate the people and events in their lives.
BASIC CONCERN: Am I needed? Will others like me?

Ones and Twos can appear similar because both have sets of rules that they expect others to adhere to, then become upset and reactive when others do not follow these. However, on closer examination, Ones have far more rules and expectations than do Twos, and their expectations cover a wider array of behaviors. For example, Ones often have rules governing work style, work product, how things should be organized, how people should behave in a variety of situations, dress codes that define what is appropriate and inappropriate attire in a variety of circumstances, and more. The Twos’ rules are far more focused on interpersonal relationships and how people should treat one another. Although Ones and Twos can both be self-critical and critical of others, most Ones are more consistently self-critical than Twos as well as more overtly judgmental of others. For example, the One’s “inner critic” or judge is activated eighty to ninety percent of the time or more, whereas the Two’s criticism of self and others is less frequent and more activated by highly distressing events.

Some may confuse Ones and Twos because both are dutiful and want to perceive themselves and have others view them as “good” and “responsible.” However, Ones and Twos have very different meanings for these words. Ones believe they are good and, therefore, valued if they do everything right and make few mistakes, and responsible means they keep their commitments, do their work well, deliver it on time, and are punctual. Twos believe they are good and, therefore, valued, if they are thoughtful, considerate, and focused on others, and responsible means they are always available when others are in need and that they don’t disappoint the people in their lives.

Ones and Two are markedly different in many ways. For example, Ones speak definitively, offer opinions, judgments, and ideas, and use language that suggests they are evaluating people and situations – for example, Ones use words such as should, ought, right, wrong, and appropriate with great frequency. Twos, by contrast, speak with a softer tone of voice, ask questions of others to engage them and draw them in conversation, offer advice frequently, and focus on others in a way that makes people feel important. While some Ones can be very warm, they are rarely as consistently warm and empathic as Twos.

A helpful way to understand the distinction between Ones and Twos is that Ones look internally to determine whether or not they have done a good job, made a mistake, or were effective, while Twos are more highly affected by how others perceive them than by how they view themselves. In other words, Twos have a strong inclination to perceive themselves through the eyes of other people rather than having a strong interior sense of how valuable they are and how well they did something. While they may not directly solicit the opinions of others regarding the merit of their work or behavior, Twos pay greater attention to nonverbal cues and interpersonal behavior and are far more affected by the positive and negative reactions of other people.

ONES seek a perfect world and work diligently to improve both themselves and everyone and everything around them.
BASIC CONCERN: What is right or wrong, correct or incorrect?
THREES organize their lives to achieve specific goals and to appear successful in order to gain the respect and admiration of others.
BASIC CONCERN: How can I gain the respect and esteem of others?

Ones and Threes have some strong similarities. Both have a deep desire to excel, have a need both to perceive themselves and to have others view them as highly competent individuals, and are extremely task-focused. However, the Ones’ drive to excel comes from an internal sense of satisfaction that they have accomplished a specific task to the very best of their ability; Ones seek self-respect through their accomplishments by using their own internal standards to make this determination. By contrast, Threes are driven by a need to feel they have succeeded in the eyes of others around them, seeking the respect and admiration of other people, often using external factors as their primary referents – for example, how important people respond to them, how they compare to their mental ideal (usually based on a real or imagined role model) of how they should be, who their friends are, and/or their salaries, pay raises, and office trappings.

Similarly, although both Ones and Threes have a deeply felt need to feel and appear competent, Ones use their own view of their competence as a guide, whereas Threes are far more focused on whether others respond to them in this way. Finally, both Ones and Threes emphasize tasks over relationships – which is not to say that either ignores people – and individuals of both Enneagram types focus on their tasks then organize the work accordingly. However, the Threes’ tasks are typically activities they need to complete as efficiently as possible so they can quickly move on in pursuit of their goals, while Ones like to organize their work at a highly refined level of detail; structuring work with great precision gives them pleasure and satisfaction. Ones may also procrastinate for fear of making a mistake, where Threes tend to want to find the fastest, most efficient path to the goal and do not place such emphasis on the possibility of making a mistake.

The difference between Ones and Threes is most obvious in the way each defines quality. While both would say they are quality oriented, Ones define quality as doing the best job they are capable of doing with no errors or mistakes, if humanly possible. Threes define quality as meeting customer expectations, then going beyond that so that the customer is more than satisfied. However, from the Three point of view, doing every project and task as perfectly as possible is a poor use of time and resources and “good enough” plus some is good enough. From the One perspective, if there are mistakes or they know it could have been better, even if the customer is not aware of this or concerned about it, quality has not been achieved. For Ones, “good enough” is rarely good enough.

Finally, there is a subtype of Three – self-preservation Three – that can be confused with Enneagram Ones. Self-preservation subtype Threes try to create an image of being the perfect model of whatever role they play – for example, the perfect wife, parent, coworker, or boss. They want to be seen as “good” at whatever they do, both in terms of accomplishments and being morally good, and they try to behave in a way that matches their ideal of someone in a similar role who does things the right way. On the surface, self-preservation Threes can appear like Ones – especially the social subtype One – in that they endeavor to model correct behavior. However, their drives or motivations are entirely different. Threes use others – the “audience” – as their frame of reference for what they strive to achieve, while Ones use their own internal standards in determining what they “should” do.

ONES seek a perfect world and work diligently to improve both themselves and everyone and everything around them.
BASIC CONCERN: What is right or wrong, correct or incorrect?
THREES organize their lives to achieve specific goals and to appear successful in order to gain the respect and admiration of others.
BASIC CONCERN: How can I gain the respect and esteem of others?

Ones and Threes have some strong similarities. Both have a deep desire to excel, have a need both to perceive themselves and to have others view them as highly competent individuals, and are extremely task-focused. However, the Ones’ drive to excel comes from an internal sense of satisfaction that they have accomplished a specific task to the very best of their ability; Ones seek self-respect through their accomplishments by using their own internal standards to make this determination. By contrast, Threes are driven by a need to feel they have succeeded in the eyes of others around them, seeking the respect and admiration of other people, often using external factors as their primary referents – for example, how important people respond to them, how they compare to their mental ideal (usually based on a real or imagined role model) of how they should be, who their friends are, and/or their salaries, pay raises, and office trappings.

Similarly, although both Ones and Threes have a deeply felt need to feel and appear competent, Ones use their own view of their competence as a guide, whereas Threes are far more focused on whether others respond to them in this way. Finally, both Ones and Threes emphasize tasks over relationships – which is not to say that either ignores people – and individuals of both Enneagram types focus on their tasks then organize the work accordingly. However, the Threes’ tasks are typically activities they need to complete as efficiently as possible so they can quickly move on in pursuit of their goals, while Ones like to organize their work at a highly refined level of detail; structuring work with great precision gives them pleasure and satisfaction. Ones may also procrastinate for fear of making a mistake, where Threes tend to want to find the fastest, most efficient path to the goal and do not place such emphasis on the possibility of making a mistake.

The difference between Ones and Threes is most obvious in the way each defines quality. While both would say they are quality oriented, Ones define quality as doing the best job they are capable of doing with no errors or mistakes, if humanly possible. Threes define quality as meeting customer expectations, then going beyond that so that the customer is more than satisfied. However, from the Three point of view, doing every project and task as perfectly as possible is a poor use of time and resources and “good enough” plus some is good enough. From the One perspective, if there are mistakes or they know it could have been better, even if the customer is not aware of this or concerned about it, quality has not been achieved. For Ones, “good enough” is rarely good enough.

Finally, there is a subtype of Three – self-preservation Three – that can be confused with Enneagram Ones. Self-preservation subtype Threes try to create an image of being the perfect model of whatever role they play – for example, the perfect wife, parent, coworker, or boss. They want to be seen as “good” at whatever they do, both in terms of accomplishments and being morally good, and they try to behave in a way that matches their ideal of someone in a similar role who does things the right way. On the surface, self-preservation Threes can appear like Ones – especially the social subtype One – in that they endeavor to model correct behavior. However, their drives or motivations are entirely different. Threes use others – the “audience” – as their frame of reference for what they strive to achieve, while Ones use their own internal standards in determining what they “should” do.

ONES seek a perfect world and work diligently to improve both themselves and everyone and everything around them.
BASIC CONCERN: What is right or wrong, correct or incorrect?
FOURS desire deep connections with their inner worlds and with other people, and they feel most alive when authentically expressing their feelings.
BASIC CONCERN: Will I be rejected or feel deficient? Can I express myself?

Ones and Fours can appear similar because both take work tasks seriously and want to do the best job they can. However, Ones focus more on the structure, process, and details of completing tasks, while Fours focus more on relationships, people, and their own creative expression. Both Ones and Fours are idealistic and appreciate quality, but Ones focus most on making things as perfect as they can be according to their own internal standards and base their judgments on their internal, body-based sense and strong opinions of how things “should be.” Fours value creativity, authenticity, and aesthetics beyond a specific and precise idea or definition of perfection and are far more conscious of how things look to other people or what “feels right” to them from an emotional perspective.

Both Ones and Fours can be self-critical, but the One’s inner critic provides a running commentary on how everything could have been done more perfectly; the Fours’ self-criticism comes from a deeper sense of something being fundamentally flawed or wrong within them. Ones take note of grammatical errors or other specific elements that seem out of alignment or less than ideal, often with little or no emotional reaction other than irritation, whereas Fours frequently notice what is missing in a given situation and in themselves in a much broader, less specific sense and may have deep feeling reactions – for example, anger, pain, or angst – to what they see as absent or not good enough.

Ones and Fours also differ from one another in several ways. Fours focus on other people, paying a great deal of attention to interpersonal interactions on an emotional level and how much they feel connected or disconnected to the people around them. Ones are more likely to focus on the structure of work relationships or the structure of work-related tasks.

Ones often see things in black and white – for example, thinking there is one right way to approach a task – while Fours approach situations with more nuance, creativity, and self-expression and, as a result, are more likely to see many ways to approach tasks and projects. While individuals of both types want to perform at a high-level and may be perfectionistic in what they do, the One’s priorities lie in following the rules and structure and making something as good as it can possibly be according to the One’s standards. Fours focus more on creativity, authentic self-expression, and whether others perceive them as special and unique.

In terms of emotional tone, Ones and Fours can appear quite different to an outside observer. Ones seem more reserved and self-controlled, although they do become annoyed and irritated when others don’t follow the rules or perform up to the Ones’ standards and expectations. Fours, on the other hand, tend to be more emotional with far more varied moods – some of which are unpredictable – and are generally empathic, having an understanding and compassion for the range of feelings that they believe are part of the human condition. As a result of these differences in emotional tone, Ones tend to be more controlled, straightforward, concise, and precise, while Fours can be dramatic, emotionally expressive, and far less predictable in their communications with others.

ONES seek a perfect world and work diligently to improve both themselves and everyone and everything around them.
BASIC CONCERN: What is right or wrong, correct or incorrect?
FOURS desire deep connections with their inner worlds and with other people, and they feel most alive when authentically expressing their feelings.
BASIC CONCERN: Will I be rejected or feel deficient? Can I express myself?

Ones and Fours can appear similar because both take work tasks seriously and want to do the best job they can. However, Ones focus more on the structure, process, and details of completing tasks, while Fours focus more on relationships, people, and their own creative expression. Both Ones and Fours are idealistic and appreciate quality, but Ones focus most on making things as perfect as they can be according to their own internal standards and base their judgments on their internal, body-based sense and strong opinions of how things “should be.” Fours value creativity, authenticity, and aesthetics beyond a specific and precise idea or definition of perfection and are far more conscious of how things look to other people or what “feels right” to them from an emotional perspective.

Both Ones and Fours can be self-critical, but the One’s inner critic provides a running commentary on how everything could have been done more perfectly; the Fours’ self-criticism comes from a deeper sense of something being fundamentally flawed or wrong within them. Ones take note of grammatical errors or other specific elements that seem out of alignment or less than ideal, often with little or no emotional reaction other than irritation, whereas Fours frequently notice what is missing in a given situation and in themselves in a much broader, less specific sense and may have deep feeling reactions – for example, anger, pain, or angst – to what they see as absent or not good enough.

Ones and Fours also differ from one another in several ways. Fours focus on other people, paying a great deal of attention to interpersonal interactions on an emotional level and how much they feel connected or disconnected to the people around them. Ones are more likely to focus on the structure of work relationships or the structure of work-related tasks.

Ones often see things in black and white – for example, thinking there is one right way to approach a task – while Fours approach situations with more nuance, creativity, and self-expression and, as a result, are more likely to see many ways to approach tasks and projects. While individuals of both types want to perform at a high-level and may be perfectionistic in what they do, the One’s priorities lie in following the rules and structure and making something as good as it can possibly be according to the One’s standards. Fours focus more on creativity, authentic self-expression, and whether others perceive them as special and unique.

In terms of emotional tone, Ones and Fours can appear quite different to an outside observer. Ones seem more reserved and self-controlled, although they do become annoyed and irritated when others don’t follow the rules or perform up to the Ones’ standards and expectations. Fours, on the other hand, tend to be more emotional with far more varied moods – some of which are unpredictable – and are generally empathic, having an understanding and compassion for the range of feelings that they believe are part of the human condition. As a result of these differences in emotional tone, Ones tend to be more controlled, straightforward, concise, and precise, while Fours can be dramatic, emotionally expressive, and far less predictable in their communications with others.

ONES seek a perfect world and work diligently to improve both themselves and everyone and everything around them.
BASIC CONCERN: What is right or wrong, correct or incorrect?
FIVES thirst for information and knowledge and use emotional detachment as a way of keeping involvement with others to a minimum.
BASIC CONCERN: Will demands be made on me for my time, energy, and resources?

Enneagram styles One and Five can appear very similar because they both tend to be reserved, logical, and task-focused, and both styles may appear serious and withdrawn. Ones and Fives both value independence, self-reliance, and self-sufficiency, although Fives generally require more privacy than Ones. Both seek knowledge; Fives do so because the acquisition of knowledge makes them feel both more potent and in control of situations, while Ones pursue knowledge in order to be more competent and correct. Both can appear intellectual and knowledgeable, and they often excel at logical, objective analysis. Ones strive for objectivity because this helps them be more correct, act more responsibly, and make fewer mistakes; Fives strive for objectivity because they like to analyze situations from a detached perspective and want to understand how everything fits and works together as a system. Both understand boundaries and the need for them, although Fives have much stronger and clearer boundaries than Ones. In addition, both Ones and Fives are diligent and practical, with Ones being more rules-based and Fives being more appreciative of simplicity and resource conservation, and both types can be judgmental, applying their own internal standards when judging their own or others’ work.

While Ones and Fives share some characteristics, the two types also have some fundamental differences. While Fives can be self-critical, Ones are much more so, having an inner critic commenting on almost everything the One says and does. Ones also tend to be more judgmental of others than Fives, and they can be openly angry or irritated when others do not follow the rules or do not do things the right way – that is, according to the One’s sense of the right way to act. Although neither type feels comfortable sharing feelings publicly and both Ones and Fives tend to hold back or control their emotional responses, Ones’ feelings tend to show externally more than Fives, who almost always maintain a calm reserve, even in times of stress. Ones experience anger fairly regularly, and although they try to restrain its outward expression, the Ones’ anger often manifests as irritation, annoyance, or frustration, particularly when people do not perform as the One thinks they should. On the other hand, Fives are more likely to keep their thoughts, and especially their feelings, to themselves; Fives automatically detach from feelings as they are occurring, and it is very rare for them to share their emotions with others, particularly in the work setting.

ONES seek a perfect world and work diligently to improve both themselves and everyone and everything around them.
BASIC CONCERN: What is right or wrong, correct or incorrect?
FIVES thirst for information and knowledge and use emotional detachment as a way of keeping involvement with others to a minimum.
BASIC CONCERN: Will demands be made on me for my time, energy, and resources?

Enneagram styles One and Five can appear very similar because they both tend to be reserved, logical, and task-focused, and both styles may appear serious and withdrawn. Ones and Fives both value independence, self-reliance, and self-sufficiency, although Fives generally require more privacy than Ones. Both seek knowledge; Fives do so because the acquisition of knowledge makes them feel both more potent and in control of situations, while Ones pursue knowledge in order to be more competent and correct. Both can appear intellectual and knowledgeable, and they often excel at logical, objective analysis. Ones strive for objectivity because this helps them be more correct, act more responsibly, and make fewer mistakes; Fives strive for objectivity because they like to analyze situations from a detached perspective and want to understand how everything fits and works together as a system. Both understand boundaries and the need for them, although Fives have much stronger and clearer boundaries than Ones. In addition, both Ones and Fives are diligent and practical, with Ones being more rules-based and Fives being more appreciative of simplicity and resource conservation, and both types can be judgmental, applying their own internal standards when judging their own or others’ work.

While Ones and Fives share some characteristics, the two types also have some fundamental differences. While Fives can be self-critical, Ones are much more so, having an inner critic commenting on almost everything the One says and does. Ones also tend to be more judgmental of others than Fives, and they can be openly angry or irritated when others do not follow the rules or do not do things the right way – that is, according to the One’s sense of the right way to act. Although neither type feels comfortable sharing feelings publicly and both Ones and Fives tend to hold back or control their emotional responses, Ones’ feelings tend to show externally more than Fives, who almost always maintain a calm reserve, even in times of stress. Ones experience anger fairly regularly, and although they try to restrain its outward expression, the Ones’ anger often manifests as irritation, annoyance, or frustration, particularly when people do not perform as the One thinks they should. On the other hand, Fives are more likely to keep their thoughts, and especially their feelings, to themselves; Fives automatically detach from feelings as they are occurring, and it is very rare for them to share their emotions with others, particularly in the work setting.

ONES seek a perfect world and work diligently to improve both themselves and everyone and everything around them.
BASIC CONCERN: What is right or wrong, correct or incorrect?
SIXES have insightful minds, are prone to worry, and create worst-case scenarios to help themselves feel prepared in case something goes wrong.
BASIC CONCERN: What could go wrong here? Whom can I trust? Am I making the best decisions?

Ones and Sixes share several common traits. Both Ones and Sixes excel at analytical thinking, and both worry and become concerned about the possibility of something going wrong. However, Ones feel anxious about not being perfect, while Sixes experience anxiety related to all the different things that could potentially going wrong. In response to their worry, Ones seek perfection and avoid mistakes while Sixes anticipate and imagine worst-case scenarios so they can create contingency plans as a way of proactively preparing for the wide variety of problems that could possibly occur. Although phobic Sixes (the more overtly fearful Sixes) exhibit more worst-case scenario planning than do counterphobic Sixes (Sixes who act courageous as a way to prove they are not afraid), counterphobic Sixes still engage in rapid problem-oriented scenario development and contingency planning.

Both Ones and Sixes can be uncomfortable with success, even as they desire it. Both types can also create problems for themselves related to completing tasks and moving toward success; Ones often believe that nothing is never perfect enough and constantly criticize themselves, and Sixes continually doubt and question themselves, believing that becoming successful will make them a target of attack. Individuals of both types also tend to be activists in support of social causes they care about, but they do it for different reasons. Ones become activists because they feel responsible for making the world a more perfect place while Sixes support social causes because they are sensitive to people in authority positions exercising power over others in unjust or unfair ways.

Ones and Sixes also differ in several ways. Ones worry about making mistakes and being wrong according to their own internal standards, while Sixes worry most about eternal danger and threats of all kinds. Ones are judgmental and critical of themselves and others – particularly when a mistake is made – and Sixes are more doubtful than judgmental, doubting themselves and others on a highly consistent basis as a way to avoid danger and to find some degree of certainty and reassurance that everything will be okay. Both Ones and Sixes can procrastinate, but they do it for different reasons: Ones delay doing something fear making a mistake, always wanting more time to make it more perfect; Sixes procrastinate as a result of their continual doubting of self and others, making it hard for them to know what to do and how best to move forward.

A particularly stark contrast between Ones and Sixes is their relationship to authority. In general, Ones tend to respect and obey authority, while Sixes tend to be suspicious of authority and even rebel against it. Ones follow the rules, while Sixes question them. Ones and Sixes also differ with respect to trusting others. Ones tend to trust people, giving them the benefit of the doubt unless they break the rules or engage in some other behavior that they judge as bad or wrong. Sixes, by contrast, mistrust others initially – that is, until Sixes have observed the other person enough to feel satisfied that this person means them no harm. After a person has earned their trust, Sixes remain loyal and supportive.

Finally, another distinction can be made between the self-preservation subtype One and the phobic Six. Self-preservation Ones and phobic Sixes can be look-alikes because both worry a great deal and have a high degree of anxiety, although their anxiety comes from different sources. Self-preservation Ones worry because they believe that their security depends upon getting everything right. They are the true perfectionists, and they sense that if they don’t take the right action and do everything perfectly, something bad will happen. The phobic Sixes’ worry is not centered on doing things perfectly or seeing the world in terms of right and wrong and wanting to get it right; they worry as a way of detecting signs of danger in the outside world, believing that anticipating, preparing, and planning for what could go wrong will make them feel secure.

ONES seek a perfect world and work diligently to improve both themselves and everyone and everything around them.
BASIC CONCERN: What is right or wrong, correct or incorrect?
SIXES have insightful minds, are prone to worry, and create worst-case scenarios to help themselves feel prepared in case something goes wrong.
BASIC CONCERN: What could go wrong here? Whom can I trust? Am I making the best decisions?

Ones and Sixes share several common traits. Both Ones and Sixes excel at analytical thinking, and both worry and become concerned about the possibility of something going wrong. However, Ones feel anxious about not being perfect, while Sixes experience anxiety related to all the different things that could potentially going wrong. In response to their worry, Ones seek perfection and avoid mistakes while Sixes anticipate and imagine worst-case scenarios so they can create contingency plans as a way of proactively preparing for the wide variety of problems that could possibly occur. Although phobic Sixes (the more overtly fearful Sixes) exhibit more worst-case scenario planning than do counterphobic Sixes (Sixes who act courageous as a way to prove they are not afraid), counterphobic Sixes still engage in rapid problem-oriented scenario development and contingency planning.

Both Ones and Sixes can be uncomfortable with success, even as they desire it. Both types can also create problems for themselves related to completing tasks and moving toward success; Ones often believe that nothing is never perfect enough and constantly criticize themselves, and Sixes continually doubt and question themselves, believing that becoming successful will make them a target of attack. Individuals of both types also tend to be activists in support of social causes they care about, but they do it for different reasons. Ones become activists because they feel responsible for making the world a more perfect place while Sixes support social causes because they are sensitive to people in authority positions exercising power over others in unjust or unfair ways.

Ones and Sixes also differ in several ways. Ones worry about making mistakes and being wrong according to their own internal standards, while Sixes worry most about eternal danger and threats of all kinds. Ones are judgmental and critical of themselves and others – particularly when a mistake is made – and Sixes are more doubtful than judgmental, doubting themselves and others on a highly consistent basis as a way to avoid danger and to find some degree of certainty and reassurance that everything will be okay. Both Ones and Sixes can procrastinate, but they do it for different reasons: Ones delay doing something fear making a mistake, always wanting more time to make it more perfect; Sixes procrastinate as a result of their continual doubting of self and others, making it hard for them to know what to do and how best to move forward.

A particularly stark contrast between Ones and Sixes is their relationship to authority. In general, Ones tend to respect and obey authority, while Sixes tend to be suspicious of authority and even rebel against it. Ones follow the rules, while Sixes question them. Ones and Sixes also differ with respect to trusting others. Ones tend to trust people, giving them the benefit of the doubt unless they break the rules or engage in some other behavior that they judge as bad or wrong. Sixes, by contrast, mistrust others initially – that is, until Sixes have observed the other person enough to feel satisfied that this person means them no harm. After a person has earned their trust, Sixes remain loyal and supportive.

Finally, another distinction can be made between the self-preservation subtype One and the phobic Six. Self-preservation Ones and phobic Sixes can be look-alikes because both worry a great deal and have a high degree of anxiety, although their anxiety comes from different sources. Self-preservation Ones worry because they believe that their security depends upon getting everything right. They are the true perfectionists, and they sense that if they don’t take the right action and do everything perfectly, something bad will happen. The phobic Sixes’ worry is not centered on doing things perfectly or seeing the world in terms of right and wrong and wanting to get it right; they worry as a way of detecting signs of danger in the outside world, believing that anticipating, preparing, and planning for what could go wrong will make them feel secure.

ONES seek a perfect world and work diligently to improve both themselves and everyone and everything around them.
BASIC CONCERN: What is right or wrong, correct or incorrect?
SEVENS crave the stimulation of new ideas, people, and experiences, avoid pain, and create elaborate future plans to keep their options open.
BASIC CONCERN: What is exciting? Do I feel constrained? Can I avoid pain?

Ones and Sevens are both quality oriented, idealistic, and visionary. Ones focus their attention to attaining the highest standards in work and other aspects of their lives and want things to be perfect, working hard to make everything fit their internally generated, idealized sense of perfection. Sevens seek the best possible experience in everything they do, particularly in their recreational pursuits, and are being supremely optimistic and positive, especially about future options and plans. Both Ones and Sevens have a great deal of energy; Ones apply their energy diligently to everything they do, while Sevens dedicate themselves only to the activities that keep them stimulated and interested. Both Enneagram types can also be perfectionistic, intellectual, and analytical and they like to figure things out and solve problems quickly. Ones are generally more consistently concerned with perfection and tend to approach problem solving with more rigor and patience than do Sevens, who let go of their perfectionism when an activity or task becomes too onerous – for example, too much work is involved, too many obstacles appear, or the task becomes routine and boring. Finally, both Ones and Sevens are sensitive to criticism, although Ones are more likely to express their responses with direct comments, and Sevens are more likely to defuse the criticism through humor or rationalization.

Ones and Sevens also have striking differences. For Ones, work almost always takes precedence over play; for Sevens, planning for play and engaging in pleasurable activities is often more important to them than tasks. Although many Sevens are highly dedicated to their work, they may be even more dedicated to their non-work pursuits or they may try to transform their work activities into fun. Ones are idealistic, but they are not particularly optimistic – for example, they continuously find errors as a means for improvement. Sevens, by contrast, are relentlessly optimistic unless they are distressed. Because Ones naturally pay attention to errors that need correcting, they can seem to Sevens to focus too much on the negative. On the other hand, the Sevens’ continuous optimism and focus on the positive can seem unrealistic and annoying to many Ones.

Ones like to structure their work to work in environments that have clear rules and prescribed limits, while Sevens dislike feeling constrained under all circumstances and may have a difficult time with rules and processes that feel limiting. For example, Sevens do not like clear authority hierarchies because Sevens believe everyone is equal; this belief equalizes or neutralizes the authority of their bosses who have the potential to limit the Seven’s freedom. Ones, however, work well and even flourish within defined authority structures. Further, Ones often excel at managing the details of projects and tasks, while Sevens can find this kind of work tedious.

Ones and Sevens also differ in their relationships with others. Although Ones can be critical and inflexible, they are also so strongly committed to self-improvement that, in many cases, they will listen to negative feedback, try to understand it, and then dedicate themselves to both working on the issues raised and preserving the relationship with the person offering the feedback. Sevens bring an abundance of positive energy, engagement, and fun to their relationships, but their sensitivity to criticism and avoidance of pain make it very challenging for them to (1) respond positively to negative feedback, (2) discuss difficult issues that may need to be addressed, or (3) stay engaged in relationships that cause them discomfort.

ONES seek a perfect world and work diligently to improve both themselves and everyone and everything around them.
BASIC CONCERN: What is right or wrong, correct or incorrect?
SEVENS crave the stimulation of new ideas, people, and experiences, avoid pain, and create elaborate future plans to keep their options open.
BASIC CONCERN: What is exciting? Do I feel constrained? Can I avoid pain?

Ones and Sevens are both quality oriented, idealistic, and visionary. Ones focus their attention to attaining the highest standards in work and other aspects of their lives and want things to be perfect, working hard to make everything fit their internally generated, idealized sense of perfection. Sevens seek the best possible experience in everything they do, particularly in their recreational pursuits, and are being supremely optimistic and positive, especially about future options and plans. Both Ones and Sevens have a great deal of energy; Ones apply their energy diligently to everything they do, while Sevens dedicate themselves only to the activities that keep them stimulated and interested. Both Enneagram types can also be perfectionistic, intellectual, and analytical and they like to figure things out and solve problems quickly. Ones are generally more consistently concerned with perfection and tend to approach problem solving with more rigor and patience than do Sevens, who let go of their perfectionism when an activity or task becomes too onerous – for example, too much work is involved, too many obstacles appear, or the task becomes routine and boring. Finally, both Ones and Sevens are sensitive to criticism, although Ones are more likely to express their responses with direct comments, and Sevens are more likely to defuse the criticism through humor or rationalization.

Ones and Sevens also have striking differences. For Ones, work almost always takes precedence over play; for Sevens, planning for play and engaging in pleasurable activities is often more important to them than tasks. Although many Sevens are highly dedicated to their work, they may be even more dedicated to their non-work pursuits or they may try to transform their work activities into fun. Ones are idealistic, but they are not particularly optimistic – for example, they continuously find errors as a means for improvement. Sevens, by contrast, are relentlessly optimistic unless they are distressed. Because Ones naturally pay attention to errors that need correcting, they can seem to Sevens to focus too much on the negative. On the other hand, the Sevens’ continuous optimism and focus on the positive can seem unrealistic and annoying to many Ones.

Ones like to structure their work to work in environments that have clear rules and prescribed limits, while Sevens dislike feeling constrained under all circumstances and may have a difficult time with rules and processes that feel limiting. For example, Sevens do not like clear authority hierarchies because Sevens believe everyone is equal; this belief equalizes or neutralizes the authority of their bosses who have the potential to limit the Seven’s freedom. Ones, however, work well and even flourish within defined authority structures. Further, Ones often excel at managing the details of projects and tasks, while Sevens can find this kind of work tedious.

Ones and Sevens also differ in their relationships with others. Although Ones can be critical and inflexible, they are also so strongly committed to self-improvement that, in many cases, they will listen to negative feedback, try to understand it, and then dedicate themselves to both working on the issues raised and preserving the relationship with the person offering the feedback. Sevens bring an abundance of positive energy, engagement, and fun to their relationships, but their sensitivity to criticism and avoidance of pain make it very challenging for them to (1) respond positively to negative feedback, (2) discuss difficult issues that may need to be addressed, or (3) stay engaged in relationships that cause them discomfort.

ONES seek a perfect world and work diligently to improve both themselves and everyone and everything around them.
BASIC CONCERN: What is right or wrong, correct or incorrect?
EIGHTS pursue the truth, like to keep situations under control, want to make important things happen, and try to hide their vulnerability.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everything under control in an effective and just way?

Ones and Eights look similar in some respects because both are high-energy, hardworking, and like to establish control and order, and they tend to engage in black-and-white, all-or-nothing thinking. Both get angry, but they experience and express their anger in very different ways. Ones try to hold back their anger because they believe that showing anger is wrong. At the same time, it is hard for Ones to completely shut off their reactions, and their anger tends to show anyway, albeit in a milder form than they actually feel – for example, through lower intensity responses such as resentment, irritation, and annoyance. Eights, on the other hand, feel and express anger more readily, and they do not believe it is wrong to be angry. Angry Eight leave no ambiguity regarding how they feel. They may say something immediately and intensely or become stony silent. When Ones get angry, it is usually when people break the rules or engage in bad behavior, while Eights become angry for a wider range of reasons – for example, being lied to, someone not living up to his or her potential, not being told something important, and more.

Both Ones and Eights like to be in control but Ones control by self-control as well as by relying on defined rules, structure, and standards, while Eights exercise power and control in more direct ways. For example, Eights use simple yet emphatic declarative sentences, take charge and tell others what to do, and appear non-vulnerable, if not invulnerable. Ones and Eights are also concerned about justice and fairness and can work hard in support of a cause they believe in, and both types frequently overwork, seriously neglecting their own needs in the process.

There are some key areas that clearly differentiate Ones from Eights. Eights think in terms of the big picture, enjoy high-level strategic work, and dislike having to deal with details (even though some Eights are good at precision work). Ones relish hands-on experience and the satisfaction of completing concrete tasks. When engaged in a task, Ones emphasize achieving perfection, exerting a great deal of effort to make the work as good as it can possibly be. Eights, by contrast, want action to happen fast and can be satisfied with something that is “good enough,” as long as the impact is strong. When communicating with others, Ones tend to be polite and restrained even when upset, and use words like should and ought. Eights, by contrast, can be direct, abrupt, intimidating, and even profane and use commanding words like will and have to.

Eights tend to act on their impulses, can be excessive, and strongly dislike feeling inhibited, and they often move into action quickly, feeling much freer to exercise their power and exert their will without analyzing themselves or entertaining critical thoughts about their intentions. Ones tend to over-control their impulses and delay pleasurable activities, being more focused on exhibiting the correct behavior than on indulging themselves. Although Eights can at times be very hard on themselves, they do not criticize themselves as excessively or continuously as Ones, who are extremely self-critical most of the time.

Ones and Eights also have very different relationships to authority and authority figures. Ones typically observe and obey authority figures, while Eights usually presume they are the authority and do not like being told what to do by others, often rebelling against authority under a variety of circumstances. For example, when Eights do not think the authority figure knows what he or she is doing, they take charge. When they believe an authority is abusing power, Eights become confrontational and aggressive.

ONES seek a perfect world and work diligently to improve both themselves and everyone and everything around them.
BASIC CONCERN: What is right or wrong, correct or incorrect?
EIGHTS pursue the truth, like to keep situations under control, want to make important things happen, and try to hide their vulnerability.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everything under control in an effective and just way?

Ones and Eights look similar in some respects because both are high-energy, hardworking, and like to establish control and order, and they tend to engage in black-and-white, all-or-nothing thinking. Both get angry, but they experience and express their anger in very different ways. Ones try to hold back their anger because they believe that showing anger is wrong. At the same time, it is hard for Ones to completely shut off their reactions, and their anger tends to show anyway, albeit in a milder form than they actually feel – for example, through lower intensity responses such as resentment, irritation, and annoyance. Eights, on the other hand, feel and express anger more readily, and they do not believe it is wrong to be angry. Angry Eight leave no ambiguity regarding how they feel. They may say something immediately and intensely or become stony silent. When Ones get angry, it is usually when people break the rules or engage in bad behavior, while Eights become angry for a wider range of reasons – for example, being lied to, someone not living up to his or her potential, not being told something important, and more.

Both Ones and Eights like to be in control but Ones control by self-control as well as by relying on defined rules, structure, and standards, while Eights exercise power and control in more direct ways. For example, Eights use simple yet emphatic declarative sentences, take charge and tell others what to do, and appear non-vulnerable, if not invulnerable. Ones and Eights are also concerned about justice and fairness and can work hard in support of a cause they believe in, and both types frequently overwork, seriously neglecting their own needs in the process.

There are some key areas that clearly differentiate Ones from Eights. Eights think in terms of the big picture, enjoy high-level strategic work, and dislike having to deal with details (even though some Eights are good at precision work). Ones relish hands-on experience and the satisfaction of completing concrete tasks. When engaged in a task, Ones emphasize achieving perfection, exerting a great deal of effort to make the work as good as it can possibly be. Eights, by contrast, want action to happen fast and can be satisfied with something that is “good enough,” as long as the impact is strong. When communicating with others, Ones tend to be polite and restrained even when upset, and use words like should and ought. Eights, by contrast, can be direct, abrupt, intimidating, and even profane and use commanding words like will and have to.

Eights tend to act on their impulses, can be excessive, and strongly dislike feeling inhibited, and they often move into action quickly, feeling much freer to exercise their power and exert their will without analyzing themselves or entertaining critical thoughts about their intentions. Ones tend to over-control their impulses and delay pleasurable activities, being more focused on exhibiting the correct behavior than on indulging themselves. Although Eights can at times be very hard on themselves, they do not criticize themselves as excessively or continuously as Ones, who are extremely self-critical most of the time.

Ones and Eights also have very different relationships to authority and authority figures. Ones typically observe and obey authority figures, while Eights usually presume they are the authority and do not like being told what to do by others, often rebelling against authority under a variety of circumstances. For example, when Eights do not think the authority figure knows what he or she is doing, they take charge. When they believe an authority is abusing power, Eights become confrontational and aggressive.

ONES seek a perfect world and work diligently to improve both themselves and everyone and everything around them.
BASIC CONCERN: What is right or wrong, correct or incorrect?
NINES seek peace, harmony, and positive mutual regard and dislike conflict, tension, rudeness, and ill will.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everyone being heard, including me?

Ones and Nines share several characteristics. Both appreciate structure and process in the work setting, with Ones emphasizing structure and Nines preferring process. They make good mediators, Nines because they easily see many sides of an issue and feel motivated to create harmony and Ones because they often have a high degree of integrity and tend to be objective and discerning judges. Both can have difficultly noticing and then asserting their own deeper desires because they are prone to denying their own needs, particularly when overworked. In addition, both can be perfectionistic, with Ones usually more so than Nines, and they normally work well within and respect the existing authority structure. Nines, however, will sometimes rebel in subtle, passive ways if they feel controlled and Ones may rebel as a way to reform and perfect the organization.

Many differences also exist Ones and Nines. Ones have strong opinions that they frequently vocalize, often thinking in black and white while also being convinced that they know the one right way to do something. Nines, who see many shades of grey in any issue or situation, often have difficulty identifying their own opinions, which is a consequence of their being so attuned to other people’s varied perspectives. When discussing issues with others, Nines rarely assert their position early on, while Ones often take a strong position initially and assume that theirs is the only correct point of view.

Neither Ones nor Nines like conflict that involves them directly and try to avoid it if they can. Nines dislike conflict far more than Ones, who will engage in arguments when they feel strongly about something or when they feel compelled to enforce the rules. The Nines’ aversion to conflict is foundational to their personality – that is, conflict threatens the harmony and well being they seek so fervently.

When accomplishing tasks, Ones like to do things their way and are far more directive than Nines, and focus their efforts to make everything as perfect as possible and relying on their own internal standards as their guide. Nines, by contrast, adapt to others and are more likely to go along with someone else’s plan or agenda than to assert their own. Nines are far more oriented to what other people think and want and therefore seek consensus, working collaboratively with others to decide what the standards and plan should be. Ones are very observant of the rules – wanting everyone to follow the rules – and they will confront those who do not. Nines are more easygoing, tend to go with the flow, and are much less likely to confront rule violations directly; in the Nine’s mind, it is not worth it, and they do not want to create tension or conflict.

Ones and Nines also have very different interpersonal styles. Ones usually appear responsible, polite, well mannered, intense, and highly focused but they can also seem uptight, judgmental, and inflexible. Nines usually appear peaceful, mellow, friendly, relaxed, and tolerant, but they can also seem vague, unassertive, and low energy.

ONES seek a perfect world and work diligently to improve both themselves and everyone and everything around them.
BASIC CONCERN: What is right or wrong, correct or incorrect?
NINES seek peace, harmony, and positive mutual regard and dislike conflict, tension, rudeness, and ill will.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everyone being heard, including me?

Ones and Nines share several characteristics. Both appreciate structure and process in the work setting, with Ones emphasizing structure and Nines preferring process. They make good mediators, Nines because they easily see many sides of an issue and feel motivated to create harmony and Ones because they often have a high degree of integrity and tend to be objective and discerning judges. Both can have difficultly noticing and then asserting their own deeper desires because they are prone to denying their own needs, particularly when overworked. In addition, both can be perfectionistic, with Ones usually more so than Nines, and they normally work well within and respect the existing authority structure. Nines, however, will sometimes rebel in subtle, passive ways if they feel controlled and Ones may rebel as a way to reform and perfect the organization.

Many differences also exist Ones and Nines. Ones have strong opinions that they frequently vocalize, often thinking in black and white while also being convinced that they know the one right way to do something. Nines, who see many shades of grey in any issue or situation, often have difficulty identifying their own opinions, which is a consequence of their being so attuned to other people’s varied perspectives. When discussing issues with others, Nines rarely assert their position early on, while Ones often take a strong position initially and assume that theirs is the only correct point of view.

Neither Ones nor Nines like conflict that involves them directly and try to avoid it if they can. Nines dislike conflict far more than Ones, who will engage in arguments when they feel strongly about something or when they feel compelled to enforce the rules. The Nines’ aversion to conflict is foundational to their personality – that is, conflict threatens the harmony and well being they seek so fervently.

When accomplishing tasks, Ones like to do things their way and are far more directive than Nines, and focus their efforts to make everything as perfect as possible and relying on their own internal standards as their guide. Nines, by contrast, adapt to others and are more likely to go along with someone else’s plan or agenda than to assert their own. Nines are far more oriented to what other people think and want and therefore seek consensus, working collaboratively with others to decide what the standards and plan should be. Ones are very observant of the rules – wanting everyone to follow the rules – and they will confront those who do not. Nines are more easygoing, tend to go with the flow, and are much less likely to confront rule violations directly; in the Nine’s mind, it is not worth it, and they do not want to create tension or conflict.

Ones and Nines also have very different interpersonal styles. Ones usually appear responsible, polite, well mannered, intense, and highly focused but they can also seem uptight, judgmental, and inflexible. Nines usually appear peaceful, mellow, friendly, relaxed, and tolerant, but they can also seem vague, unassertive, and low energy.

Click on the style number to the right to see the corresponding information.
TWOS want to be liked, try to meet the needs of others, and attempt to orchestrate the people and events in their lives.
BASIC CONCERN: Am I needed? Will others like me?
ONES seek a perfect world and work diligently to improve both themselves and everyone and everything around them.
BASIC CONCERN: What is right or wrong, correct or incorrect?

Ones and Twos can appear similar because both have sets of rules that they expect others to adhere to, then become upset and reactive when others do not follow these. However, on closer examination, Ones have far more rules and expectations than do Twos, and their expectations cover a wider array of behaviors. For example, Ones often have rules governing work style, work product, how things should be organized, how people should behave in a variety of situations, dress codes that define what is appropriate and inappropriate attire in a variety of circumstances, and more. The Twos’ rules are far more focused on interpersonal relationships and how people should treat one another. Although Ones and Twos can both be self-critical and critical of others, most Ones are more consistently self-critical than Twos as well as more overtly judgmental of others. For example, the One’s “inner critic” or judge is activated eighty to ninety percent of the time or more, whereas the Two’s criticism of self and others is less frequent and more activated by highly distressing events.

Some may confuse Ones and Twos because both are dutiful and want to perceive themselves and have others view them as “good” and “responsible.” However, Ones and Twos have very different meanings for these words. Ones believe they are good and, therefore, valued if they do everything right and make few mistakes, and responsible means they keep their commitments, do their work well, deliver it on time, and are punctual. Twos believe they are good and, therefore, valued, if they are thoughtful, considerate, and focused on others, and responsible means they are always available when others are in need and that they don’t disappoint the people in their lives.

Ones and Two are markedly different in many ways. For example, Ones speak definitively, offer opinions, judgments, and ideas, and use language that suggests they are evaluating people and situations – for example, Ones use words such as shouldoughtrightwrong, and appropriate with great frequency. Twos, by contrast, speak with a softer tone of voice, ask questions of others to engage them and draw them in conversation, offer advice frequently, and focus on others in a way that makes people feel important. While some Ones can be very warm, they are rarely as consistently warm and empathic as Twos.

A helpful way to understand the distinction between Ones and Twos is that Ones look internally to determine whether or not they have done a good job, made a mistake, or were effective, while Twos are more highly affected by how others perceive them than by how they view themselves. In other words, Twos have a strong inclination to perceive themselves through the eyes of other people rather than having a strong interior sense of how valuable they are and how well they did something. While they may not directly solicit the opinions of others regarding the merit of their work or behavior, Twos pay greater attention to nonverbal cues and interpersonal behavior and are far more affected by the positive and negative reactions of other people.

TWOS want to be liked, try to meet the needs of others, and attempt to orchestrate the people and events in their lives.
BASIC CONCERN: Am I needed? Will others like me?
ONES seek a perfect world and work diligently to improve both themselves and everyone and everything around them.
BASIC CONCERN: What is right or wrong, correct or incorrect?

Ones and Twos can appear similar because both have sets of rules that they expect others to adhere to, then become upset and reactive when others do not follow these. However, on closer examination, Ones have far more rules and expectations than do Twos, and their expectations cover a wider array of behaviors. For example, Ones often have rules governing work style, work product, how things should be organized, how people should behave in a variety of situations, dress codes that define what is appropriate and inappropriate attire in a variety of circumstances, and more. The Twos’ rules are far more focused on interpersonal relationships and how people should treat one another. Although Ones and Twos can both be self-critical and critical of others, most Ones are more consistently self-critical than Twos as well as more overtly judgmental of others. For example, the One’s “inner critic” or judge is activated eighty to ninety percent of the time or more, whereas the Two’s criticism of self and others is less frequent and more activated by highly distressing events.

Some may confuse Ones and Twos because both are dutiful and want to perceive themselves and have others view them as “good” and “responsible.” However, Ones and Twos have very different meanings for these words. Ones believe they are good and, therefore, valued if they do everything right and make few mistakes, and responsible means they keep their commitments, do their work well, deliver it on time, and are punctual. Twos believe they are good and, therefore, valued, if they are thoughtful, considerate, and focused on others, and responsible means they are always available when others are in need and that they don’t disappoint the people in their lives.

Ones and Two are markedly different in many ways. For example, Ones speak definitively, offer opinions, judgments, and ideas, and use language that suggests they are evaluating people and situations – for example, Ones use words such as shouldoughtrightwrong, and appropriate with great frequency. Twos, by contrast, speak with a softer tone of voice, ask questions of others to engage them and draw them in conversation, offer advice frequently, and focus on others in a way that makes people feel important. While some Ones can be very warm, they are rarely as consistently warm and empathic as Twos.

A helpful way to understand the distinction between Ones and Twos is that Ones look internally to determine whether or not they have done a good job, made a mistake, or were effective, while Twos are more highly affected by how others perceive them than by how they view themselves. In other words, Twos have a strong inclination to perceive themselves through the eyes of other people rather than having a strong interior sense of how valuable they are and how well they did something. While they may not directly solicit the opinions of others regarding the merit of their work or behavior, Twos pay greater attention to nonverbal cues and interpersonal behavior and are far more affected by the positive and negative reactions of other people.

Please choose a different type to compare to Twos.

Please choose a different type to compare to Twos.

TWOS want to be liked, try to meet the needs of others, and attempt to orchestrate the people and events in their lives.
BASIC CONCERN: Am I needed? Will others like me?
THREES organize their lives to achieve specific goals and to appear successful in order to gain the respect and admiration of others.
BASIC CONCERN: How can I gain the respect and esteem of others?

On the surface, Twos and Threes can appear very much alike. Both attempt to manage their image and self-presentation in order to please or attract others and tend to be competent and energetic, although Threes place more emphasis than Twos on appearing competent and tend to be more consistently energetic. Twos and Threes pay a great deal of attention to creating an impression that they believe matches what others value; Twos, however, focus more on meeting other’s needs and appearing friendly, likable, and thoughtful, while Threes focus more on achieving goals and appearing confident and successful in order to win the admiration and respect of others. Both are driven to be productive and also desire the approval of others. Twos, however, are more relationship-oriented and are motivated by earning others’ affection and being considered indispensable. Being more task-oriented, Threes are motivated by the good feeling they get when they reach a goal and the satisfaction that comes with appearing successful in the eyes of others.

Both Twos and Threes can be confused about who they really are deep inside – that is, who or what is their “true” self – because they spend so much energy creating and maintaining an image designed to elicit a positive response from others. As a result of this other-directed focus, it can be difficult for Two and Three individuals to have a clear sense of who they really are. Related to this, both types tend to avoid or defer their own emotional reactions: Threes do so because feelings can get in the way of accomplishing tasks, and Twos believe that feelings – particularly negative ones – can get in the way of forging positive connections with other people.

Despite their many shared characteristics, Twos and Threes also differ in significant ways. While both types repress or submerge their feelings, Twos do this less completely and tend to feel and express more emotions more frequently than Threes. While Threes can be very competitive and see winning as important, Twos are less oriented to competition, believing that aligning themselves with others is more important than coming out on top. Although both can become angry at times, Twos tend to express anger when their unacknowledged needs are not met or when they feel unappreciated, and Threes become angry when someone puts an obstacle between them and their goal.

At work, Threes can emphasize work to such a degree that they become workaholics. They pay a great deal of attention to goals and performance and, as a result, become highly focused on efficiency and the creation of plans to achieve their goals. When focused on specific goals and under time pressure, Threes may have a hard time listening or making time for other people. Twos can also be very hard working, but it is rare for them to achieve the same level of workaholism because they place a higher value on relationships and pleasure. In addition, Twos place such a priority on what others need from them that they adapt their agendas and priorities more to the goals and needs of other individuals or groups for which they feel responsible. As a result, they tend to be very empathic and available to their friends, colleagues, and important others, even at the expense of their own work. In contrast to Threes, who can focus like a laser beam on their goals and related tasks, Twos may abandon their own work in favor of meeting the needs or supporting the efforts of other people.

Finally, Twos and Threes differ in terms of what they avoid most: Twos work hard, sometimes behind the scenes, at achieving positive connections with others to avoid experiencing rejection or not feeling valued, and Threes structure their work and other goal-directed activities to avoid failure. Because of this, Twos tend to be less direct and assertive than Threes, and Threes are far more overtly competitive and driven to win, typically reframing failures as learning experiences.

TWOS want to be liked, try to meet the needs of others, and attempt to orchestrate the people and events in their lives.
BASIC CONCERN: Am I needed? Will others like me?
THREES organize their lives to achieve specific goals and to appear successful in order to gain the respect and admiration of others.
BASIC CONCERN: How can I gain the respect and esteem of others?

On the surface, Twos and Threes can appear very much alike. Both attempt to manage their image and self-presentation in order to please or attract others and tend to be competent and energetic, although Threes place more emphasis than Twos on appearing competent and tend to be more consistently energetic. Twos and Threes pay a great deal of attention to creating an impression that they believe matches what others value; Twos, however, focus more on meeting other’s needs and appearing friendly, likable, and thoughtful, while Threes focus more on achieving goals and appearing confident and successful in order to win the admiration and respect of others. Both are driven to be productive and also desire the approval of others. Twos, however, are more relationship-oriented and are motivated by earning others’ affection and being considered indispensable. Being more task-oriented, Threes are motivated by the good feeling they get when they reach a goal and the satisfaction that comes with appearing successful in the eyes of others.

Both Twos and Threes can be confused about who they really are deep inside – that is, who or what is their “true” self – because they spend so much energy creating and maintaining an image designed to elicit a positive response from others. As a result of this other-directed focus, it can be difficult for Two and Three individuals to have a clear sense of who they really are. Related to this, both types tend to avoid or defer their own emotional reactions: Threes do so because feelings can get in the way of accomplishing tasks, and Twos believe that feelings – particularly negative ones – can get in the way of forging positive connections with other people.

Despite their many shared characteristics, Twos and Threes also differ in significant ways. While both types repress or submerge their feelings, Twos do this less completely and tend to feel and express more emotions more frequently than Threes. While Threes can be very competitive and see winning as important, Twos are less oriented to competition, believing that aligning themselves with others is more important than coming out on top. Although both can become angry at times, Twos tend to express anger when their unacknowledged needs are not met or when they feel unappreciated, and Threes become angry when someone puts an obstacle between them and their goal.

At work, Threes can emphasize work to such a degree that they become workaholics. They pay a great deal of attention to goals and performance and, as a result, become highly focused on efficiency and the creation of plans to achieve their goals. When focused on specific goals and under time pressure, Threes may have a hard time listening or making time for other people. Twos can also be very hard working, but it is rare for them to achieve the same level of workaholism because they place a higher value on relationships and pleasure. In addition, Twos place such a priority on what others need from them that they adapt their agendas and priorities more to the goals and needs of other individuals or groups for which they feel responsible. As a result, they tend to be very empathic and available to their friends, colleagues, and important others, even at the expense of their own work. In contrast to Threes, who can focus like a laser beam on their goals and related tasks, Twos may abandon their own work in favor of meeting the needs or supporting the efforts of other people.

Finally, Twos and Threes differ in terms of what they avoid most: Twos work hard, sometimes behind the scenes, at achieving positive connections with others to avoid experiencing rejection or not feeling valued, and Threes structure their work and other goal-directed activities to avoid failure. Because of this, Twos tend to be less direct and assertive than Threes, and Threes are far more overtly competitive and driven to win, typically reframing failures as learning experiences.

TWOS want to be liked, try to meet the needs of others, and attempt to orchestrate the people and events in their lives.
BASIC CONCERN: Am I needed? Will others like me?
FOURS desire deep connections with their inner worlds and with other people, and they feel most alive when authentically expressing their feelings.
BASIC CONCERN: Will I be rejected or feel deficient? Can I express myself?

Both Twos and Fours are keenly aware of their image and pay a great deal of attention to how others perceive them, with Twos wanting to be perceived as likable, friendly, and appealing and Fours wanting to be viewed as special, unique, and different. Both are sensitive to how others perceive and feel about them and this contributes to both styles being self-critical, with both Twos and Fours judging themselves for not being good enough when someone does not respond favorably. Twos and Fours are both emotional, although Twos may also repress certain feelings and be out of touch with their deeper responses, while Fours often over-identify with their feelings and may dwell on certain feelings as a way to avoid other feelings they are having. Interpersonally, both have a great capacity for empathy and, as a result, are often skilled at creating relationships based on their ability to both listen and understand other people’s thoughts and feelings.

Twos and Fours also differ in many respects. Twos want to be helpful and meet others’ needs and often neglect their own needs in the process. Fours, by contrast, have far more access to their own needs and make their own desires a higher priority. In other words, Twos are more other-focused; that is, they pay more attention to what others feel and need than to their own feelings and needs and place a high value on being liked, often adapting their self-presentation to be what they think others want them to be. Fours focus their attention primarily on themselves and their own inner experience, valuing authenticity and presenting themselves as they believe they truly are. As a result, Fours do not alter themselves nearly as much in order to please other people.

When working on a project with others, Twos can be averse to conflict because they fear conflict will destroy valued connections with others, while Fours are more able to engage in conflict when necessary, finding it more important to express truthful feelings and needs than to accommodate others and avoid anger. Overall, Twos are usually more optimistic, supportive, and upbeat in their mood and emotional presentation, while Fours can dwell more in melancholy and sadness and often focus on what is missing in a situation.

In many ways, Two and Fours are opposite sides of the same coin. Both share a perspective that the world is comprised of distress and suffering as well as joy and opportunity. However, they differ in response to this worldview. Twos believe that it is their job and responsibility to alleviate suffering and pain by being available to, helping, and giving useful advice to others, while Fours believe that one must experience and endure the more difficult parts of life in order to ultimately achieve joy and pleasure.

TWOS want to be liked, try to meet the needs of others, and attempt to orchestrate the people and events in their lives.
BASIC CONCERN: Am I needed? Will others like me?
FOURS desire deep connections with their inner worlds and with other people, and they feel most alive when authentically expressing their feelings.
BASIC CONCERN: Will I be rejected or feel deficient? Can I express myself?

Both Twos and Fours are keenly aware of their image and pay a great deal of attention to how others perceive them, with Twos wanting to be perceived as likable, friendly, and appealing and Fours wanting to be viewed as special, unique, and different. Both are sensitive to how others perceive and feel about them and this contributes to both styles being self-critical, with both Twos and Fours judging themselves for not being good enough when someone does not respond favorably. Twos and Fours are both emotional, although Twos may also repress certain feelings and be out of touch with their deeper responses, while Fours often over-identify with their feelings and may dwell on certain feelings as a way to avoid other feelings they are having. Interpersonally, both have a great capacity for empathy and, as a result, are often skilled at creating relationships based on their ability to both listen and understand other people’s thoughts and feelings.

Twos and Fours also differ in many respects. Twos want to be helpful and meet others’ needs and often neglect their own needs in the process. Fours, by contrast, have far more access to their own needs and make their own desires a higher priority. In other words, Twos are more other-focused; that is, they pay more attention to what others feel and need than to their own feelings and needs and place a high value on being liked, often adapting their self-presentation to be what they think others want them to be. Fours focus their attention primarily on themselves and their own inner experience, valuing authenticity and presenting themselves as they believe they truly are. As a result, Fours do not alter themselves nearly as much in order to please other people.

When working on a project with others, Twos can be averse to conflict because they fear conflict will destroy valued connections with others, while Fours are more able to engage in conflict when necessary, finding it more important to express truthful feelings and needs than to accommodate others and avoid anger. Overall, Twos are usually more optimistic, supportive, and upbeat in their mood and emotional presentation, while Fours can dwell more in melancholy and sadness and often focus on what is missing in a situation.

In many ways, Two and Fours are opposite sides of the same coin. Both share a perspective that the world is comprised of distress and suffering as well as joy and opportunity. However, they differ in response to this worldview. Twos believe that it is their job and responsibility to alleviate suffering and pain by being available to, helping, and giving useful advice to others, while Fours believe that one must experience and endure the more difficult parts of life in order to ultimately achieve joy and pleasure.

TWOS want to be liked, try to meet the needs of others, and attempt to orchestrate the people and events in their lives.
BASIC CONCERN: Am I needed? Will others like me?
FIVES thirst for information and knowledge and use emotional detachment as a way of keeping involvement with others to a minimum.
BASIC CONCERN: Will demands be made on me for my time, energy, and resources?

While Twos and Fives are in some ways opposites, they do have some traits in common. Both Twos and Fives can withdraw when feeling vulnerable and need time alone; Fives rely on this strategy far more often and in more situations than Twos, unless the Two is highly introverted or is a self-preservation subtype Two. Both Twos and Fives place a high value on independence, although this is more of a way of life for Fives. For Twos, being independent can be either an authentic desire to be free of constantly focusing on others or, more typically, a way to defend against feeling too dependent on other people.

In many respects, Twos and Fives are quite different. Twos feel their emotions fairly frequently, although not always as strongly as they really are, and they tend to respond to people and events far more strongly due to their more intuitive, feelings-based approach to interactions. Fives habitually and automatically detach from their emotions; they can seem very reserved, unemotional, and analytical because of their more objective and intellectual way of approaching tasks and discussions.

Twos like to be around people and actively seek close relationships with others, focusing their attention on other people’s feelings and needs. Fives highly value their privacy, personal space, and alone time and are generally less relationship-oriented. They often purposely avoid becoming too involved with other people, particularly when the involvement includes having to deal with the emotions and needs of others. In general, Fives feel drained of their energy and resources when they have to interact with others for extended periods of time. Twos typically feel energized and affirmed by close, positive contact with other people, especially close friends and individuals who are important to them. Most Twos give very generously to others, at times even offering too much of themselves or their resources. By contrast, Fives are usually more withholding, having the ongoing concern that others will take too much of their resources – for example, time and energy – that they believe they need for themselves.

Additionally, Twos can have a difficult time setting and adhering to appropriate boundaries between themselves and others, while Fives tend to be very mindful of establishing clear, firm boundaries with other people. For example, Twos can have a hard time saying “no” to others, even when they don’t want to do something or when they are feeling depleted; Fives can say “no” relatively easily if they don’t want to meet another person’s need. Similarly, Twos usually consider themselves to be high-energy people who can readily devote a good deal of their time and energy to others, while Fives have the sense they have limited energy and, as a result, conserve their energy for their own needs.

TWOS want to be liked, try to meet the needs of others, and attempt to orchestrate the people and events in their lives.
BASIC CONCERN: Am I needed? Will others like me?
FIVES thirst for information and knowledge and use emotional detachment as a way of keeping involvement with others to a minimum.
BASIC CONCERN: Will demands be made on me for my time, energy, and resources?

While Twos and Fives are in some ways opposites, they do have some traits in common. Both Twos and Fives can withdraw when feeling vulnerable and need time alone; Fives rely on this strategy far more often and in more situations than Twos, unless the Two is highly introverted or is a self-preservation subtype Two. Both Twos and Fives place a high value on independence, although this is more of a way of life for Fives. For Twos, being independent can be either an authentic desire to be free of constantly focusing on others or, more typically, a way to defend against feeling too dependent on other people.

In many respects, Twos and Fives are quite different. Twos feel their emotions fairly frequently, although not always as strongly as they really are, and they tend to respond to people and events far more strongly due to their more intuitive, feelings-based approach to interactions. Fives habitually and automatically detach from their emotions; they can seem very reserved, unemotional, and analytical because of their more objective and intellectual way of approaching tasks and discussions.

Twos like to be around people and actively seek close relationships with others, focusing their attention on other people’s feelings and needs. Fives highly value their privacy, personal space, and alone time and are generally less relationship-oriented. They often purposely avoid becoming too involved with other people, particularly when the involvement includes having to deal with the emotions and needs of others. In general, Fives feel drained of their energy and resources when they have to interact with others for extended periods of time. Twos typically feel energized and affirmed by close, positive contact with other people, especially close friends and individuals who are important to them. Most Twos give very generously to others, at times even offering too much of themselves or their resources. By contrast, Fives are usually more withholding, having the ongoing concern that others will take too much of their resources – for example, time and energy – that they believe they need for themselves.

Additionally, Twos can have a difficult time setting and adhering to appropriate boundaries between themselves and others, while Fives tend to be very mindful of establishing clear, firm boundaries with other people. For example, Twos can have a hard time saying “no” to others, even when they don’t want to do something or when they are feeling depleted; Fives can say “no” relatively easily if they don’t want to meet another person’s need. Similarly, Twos usually consider themselves to be high-energy people who can readily devote a good deal of their time and energy to others, while Fives have the sense they have limited energy and, as a result, conserve their energy for their own needs.

TWOS want to be liked, try to meet the needs of others, and attempt to orchestrate the people and events in their lives.
BASIC CONCERN: Am I needed? Will others like me?
SIXES have insightful minds, are prone to worry, and create worst-case scenarios to help themselves feel prepared in case something goes wrong.
BASIC CONCERN: What could go wrong here? Whom can I trust? Am I making the best decisions?

In some respects, Twos and Sixes can look similar as both can worry and be fearful, but their fears have different sources. Sixes worry about overall safety, bad things happening, and problems occurring, while Twos worry more about people – for example, whether or not people will perceive them in a positive light, the possibility of being rejected, and the safety and well being of specific individuals who are important to them. Both Twos and Sixes are often adept at reading people, but they do so with different aims: Sixes look for hidden agendas, whether someone is trustworthy, and the potential threats posed by that individual, while Twos try to assess other people’s moods and needs as a way for Twos to connect and establish relationships. When they relate to others, Twos try to present an image that will please people or that help create an interpersonal alignment, and they want to be appreciated and acknowledged. Sixes are not particularly concerned about creating a particular image, being far more focused on making sure others do not intend to do them harm.

Both Twos and Sixes can worry about what will go wrong and work hard to make things go well. However, Sixes do this because they are good troubleshooters and want to anticipate problems before they happen so they can prepare a solution, while Twos engage in this behavior because they want to appear useful and attractive, and as a way to take care of others. Both can have difficulty making decisions. Twos can feel challenged when making choices between alternatives because of two factors: (1) Twos focus so much attention on other people that they become unaware of their own preferences, and (2) Twos may experience anxiety and dismay when they know what they should do but the best choice has a potentially negative impact on people. By contrast, decision making can be challenging for Sixes because they continually doubt themselves and question the alternatives, fearing that making the wrong choice will have damaging consequences.

Twos and Sixes also differ in significant ways. Sixes usually feel suspicious of or rebellious toward authority figures, although they may try to initially befriend them as a way to minimize the chance of the authority causing them harm, doing so by demonstrating their dutifulness and loyalty. Twos try to form good, long-lasting relationships with those in authority, wanting these individuals – as well as other important people – to like them and often try to become indispensable to them; rather than being mistrustful of authority, Twos often like influential people and try to develop close, long-lasting relationships with them.

Sixes also catastrophize and engage in worst-case scenario thinking much more than Twos do. Twos are usually optimistic; while they may sometimes imagine that people don’t like them or worry about what might happen to others they care about, Twos usually do not think in terms of the worst that can occur. Twos and Sixes also deal with conflict differently. While Twos generally prefer to avoid conflict if they can, all Sixes (but especially counterphobic Sixes) may move toward and even initiate conflict. This arises from their need to challenge authority figures whom they believe are abusing their power.

Finally, there are specific similarities between Twos and the self-preservation subtype Six. Both Twos and self-preservation Sixes are warm and spend considerable energy and effort to create friendships. However, Twos try to attract friends based on their desire to be liked and need to be affirmed as this provides them with a sense of personal well being and self worth. Self-preservation Sixes also try to develop warm and friendly relationships, but do so because they believe that these relationships serve as alliances that will provide protection from outside threats, thus keeping them safe.

TWOS want to be liked, try to meet the needs of others, and attempt to orchestrate the people and events in their lives.
BASIC CONCERN: Am I needed? Will others like me?
SIXES have insightful minds, are prone to worry, and create worst-case scenarios to help themselves feel prepared in case something goes wrong.
BASIC CONCERN: What could go wrong here? Whom can I trust? Am I making the best decisions?

In some respects, Twos and Sixes can look similar as both can worry and be fearful, but their fears have different sources. Sixes worry about overall safety, bad things happening, and problems occurring, while Twos worry more about people – for example, whether or not people will perceive them in a positive light, the possibility of being rejected, and the safety and well being of specific individuals who are important to them. Both Twos and Sixes are often adept at reading people, but they do so with different aims: Sixes look for hidden agendas, whether someone is trustworthy, and the potential threats posed by that individual, while Twos try to assess other people’s moods and needs as a way for Twos to connect and establish relationships. When they relate to others, Twos try to present an image that will please people or that help create an interpersonal alignment, and they want to be appreciated and acknowledged. Sixes are not particularly concerned about creating a particular image, being far more focused on making sure others do not intend to do them harm.

Both Twos and Sixes can worry about what will go wrong and work hard to make things go well. However, Sixes do this because they are good troubleshooters and want to anticipate problems before they happen so they can prepare a solution, while Twos engage in this behavior because they want to appear useful and attractive, and as a way to take care of others. Both can have difficulty making decisions. Twos can feel challenged when making choices between alternatives because of two factors: (1) Twos focus so much attention on other people that they become unaware of their own preferences, and (2) Twos may experience anxiety and dismay when they know what they should do but the best choice has a potentially negative impact on people. By contrast, decision making can be challenging for Sixes because they continually doubt themselves and question the alternatives, fearing that making the wrong choice will have damaging consequences.

Twos and Sixes also differ in significant ways. Sixes usually feel suspicious of or rebellious toward authority figures, although they may try to initially befriend them as a way to minimize the chance of the authority causing them harm, doing so by demonstrating their dutifulness and loyalty. Twos try to form good, long-lasting relationships with those in authority, wanting these individuals – as well as other important people – to like them and often try to become indispensable to them; rather than being mistrustful of authority, Twos often like influential people and try to develop close, long-lasting relationships with them.

Sixes also catastrophize and engage in worst-case scenario thinking much more than Twos do. Twos are usually optimistic; while they may sometimes imagine that people don’t like them or worry about what might happen to others they care about, Twos usually do not think in terms of the worst that can occur. Twos and Sixes also deal with conflict differently. While Twos generally prefer to avoid conflict if they can, all Sixes (but especially counterphobic Sixes) may move toward and even initiate conflict. This arises from their need to challenge authority figures whom they believe are abusing their power.

Finally, there are specific similarities between Twos and the self-preservation subtype Six. Both Twos and self-preservation Sixes are warm and spend considerable energy and effort to create friendships. However, Twos try to attract friends based on their desire to be liked and need to be affirmed as this provides them with a sense of personal well being and self worth. Self-preservation Sixes also try to develop warm and friendly relationships, but do so because they believe that these relationships serve as alliances that will provide protection from outside threats, thus keeping them safe.

TWOS want to be liked, try to meet the needs of others, and attempt to orchestrate the people and events in their lives.
BASIC CONCERN: Am I needed? Will others like me?
SEVENS crave the stimulation of new ideas, people, and experiences, avoid pain, and create elaborate future plans to keep their options open.
BASIC CONCERN: What is exciting? Do I feel constrained? Can I avoid pain?

Twos and Sevens can appear similar, with both having upbeat, energetic, fun-loving, and optimistic attitudes. The Twos’ optimistic orientation gets other people to respond positively to them; after all, people like happy people (or so the Two thinks). The Sevens’ positive outlook is more foundational to their personality – the Seven motto is “Why worry, be happy” – and also a result of their agility in imagining positive possibilities and their avoidance of the negative. Both Twos and Sevens have hedonistic tendencies; they like to have a good time and experience pleasure, but their aims behind their pleasure seeking differ. Twos want positive experiences with others in order to build and enjoy relationships, and they may also indulge themselves as a way to address their feelings of deprivation or neediness that stem from not fulfilling their own needs. Sevens use seeking pleasure as a way of distracting themselves and avoiding discomfort and pain – for example, feelings of sadness, fear, or anxiety. Both types enjoy relating to other people and may idealize individuals they especially like; Twos idealize others as a way get these individuals to affirm the Two’s likability, and Sevens idealize certain individuals when they feel particularly stimulated and engaged by this person.

There are also significant differences between Twos and Sevens. Twos pay a great deal of attention to other people, focusing on their moods and needs as a way of aligning with them and creating positive connections. This makes most Twos highly empathic; they can actually feel exactly what another person is feeling without having to be told explicitly. Sevens focus more on themselves, seeking fulfillment of their own desires as a way of averting or distracting themselves from the possibility of negative experiences. The Sevens’ self-focus creates challenges in feeling another’s feelings and empathizing with them. In other words, many Sevens can speculate about how someone else might feel, but this is more often a cerebral conjecture than an actual experience of feeling someone else’s feelings.

Twos often adapt themselves to others, abandoning their own needs and desires in an attempt to strengthen their bonds with others. They actively manage their self-presentation as a way of attracting others, trying to appear the way they think others want them to be. By contrast, most Sevens do what they want to do, rarely give up what they desire in order to please someone else, and seldom focus on their image during interpersonal interactions. Instead, Sevens are far more focused on whether or not the interaction is stimulating and engaging to them. At a fundamental level, Twos are motivated by pleasing others, while Sevens are motivated by participating in interesting, exciting, and pleasurable activities, focusing more on pleasing themselves.

In addition, Twos tend to be feeling-oriented, having regular contact with their emotions and sensitive to the feelings of others, while Sevens are more mentally oriented, with a mind constantly engaged in instantaneous mental processing and rapid associations of ideas. As a result, Sevens can have difficulty focusing and completing tasks, especially when these are tedious, boring, or too repetitive. Twos focus far more easily, particularly when they know what are doing will being seen and evaluated by others. In addition, Sevens crave options, feeling excruciatingly limited if they do not have an abundance of them. Twos neither need nor want multiple options; having too many options can make it more difficult for Twos – who may not be sure of what they want, need, or think – to make a decision.

Finally, social subtype Sevens can appear more similar to Twos than the other two subtypes of Seven; social Sevens are oriented toward being of service to others, and they may sacrifice their own desires for stimulation and excitement in service of the group. Doing this counteracts the social Sevens’ own impulses and desires and helps them to be seen as “good” for making this sacrifice. Their focus on the group and what others might need can make social Sevens seem like a friendly, outgoing, and generous Two. However, despite the social Sevens’ tendency to give more of themselves than the other two subtypes of Seven, they can still be distinguished from Twos by their relentless rapid mental processing, continuous love for new ideas, tendency to talk more than they listen, and clarity about what they want and desire, and their chronic avoidance of difficult experiences and feelings.

TWOS want to be liked, try to meet the needs of others, and attempt to orchestrate the people and events in their lives.
BASIC CONCERN: Am I needed? Will others like me?
SEVENS crave the stimulation of new ideas, people, and experiences, avoid pain, and create elaborate future plans to keep their options open.
BASIC CONCERN: What is exciting? Do I feel constrained? Can I avoid pain?

Twos and Sevens can appear similar, with both having upbeat, energetic, fun-loving, and optimistic attitudes. The Twos’ optimistic orientation gets other people to respond positively to them; after all, people like happy people (or so the Two thinks). The Sevens’ positive outlook is more foundational to their personality – the Seven motto is “Why worry, be happy” – and also a result of their agility in imagining positive possibilities and their avoidance of the negative. Both Twos and Sevens have hedonistic tendencies; they like to have a good time and experience pleasure, but their aims behind their pleasure seeking differ. Twos want positive experiences with others in order to build and enjoy relationships, and they may also indulge themselves as a way to address their feelings of deprivation or neediness that stem from not fulfilling their own needs. Sevens use seeking pleasure as a way of distracting themselves and avoiding discomfort and pain – for example, feelings of sadness, fear, or anxiety. Both types enjoy relating to other people and may idealize individuals they especially like; Twos idealize others as a way get these individuals to affirm the Two’s likability, and Sevens idealize certain individuals when they feel particularly stimulated and engaged by this person.

There are also significant differences between Twos and Sevens. Twos pay a great deal of attention to other people, focusing on their moods and needs as a way of aligning with them and creating positive connections. This makes most Twos highly empathic; they can actually feel exactly what another person is feeling without having to be told explicitly. Sevens focus more on themselves, seeking fulfillment of their own desires as a way of averting or distracting themselves from the possibility of negative experiences. The Sevens’ self-focus creates challenges in feeling another’s feelings and empathizing with them. In other words, many Sevens can speculate about how someone else might feel, but this is more often a cerebral conjecture than an actual experience of feeling someone else’s feelings.

Twos often adapt themselves to others, abandoning their own needs and desires in an attempt to strengthen their bonds with others. They actively manage their self-presentation as a way of attracting others, trying to appear the way they think others want them to be. By contrast, most Sevens do what they want to do, rarely give up what they desire in order to please someone else, and seldom focus on their image during interpersonal interactions. Instead, Sevens are far more focused on whether or not the interaction is stimulating and engaging to them. At a fundamental level, Twos are motivated by pleasing others, while Sevens are motivated by participating in interesting, exciting, and pleasurable activities, focusing more on pleasing themselves.

In addition, Twos tend to be feeling-oriented, having regular contact with their emotions and sensitive to the feelings of others, while Sevens are more mentally oriented, with a mind constantly engaged in instantaneous mental processing and rapid associations of ideas. As a result, Sevens can have difficulty focusing and completing tasks, especially when these are tedious, boring, or too repetitive. Twos focus far more easily, particularly when they know what are doing will being seen and evaluated by others. In addition, Sevens crave options, feeling excruciatingly limited if they do not have an abundance of them. Twos neither need nor want multiple options; having too many options can make it more difficult for Twos – who may not be sure of what they want, need, or think – to make a decision.

Finally, social subtype Sevens can appear more similar to Twos than the other two subtypes of Seven; social Sevens are oriented toward being of service to others, and they may sacrifice their own desires for stimulation and excitement in service of the group. Doing this counteracts the social Sevens’ own impulses and desires and helps them to be seen as “good” for making this sacrifice. Their focus on the group and what others might need can make social Sevens seem like a friendly, outgoing, and generous Two. However, despite the social Sevens’ tendency to give more of themselves than the other two subtypes of Seven, they can still be distinguished from Twos by their relentless rapid mental processing, continuous love for new ideas, tendency to talk more than they listen, and clarity about what they want and desire, and their chronic avoidance of difficult experiences and feelings.

TWOS want to be liked, try to meet the needs of others, and attempt to orchestrate the people and events in their lives.
BASIC CONCERN: Am I needed? Will others like me?
EIGHTS pursue the truth, like to keep situations under control, want to make important things happen, and try to hide their vulnerability.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everything under control in an effective and just way?

Twos and Eights share some common characteristics. They tend to be protective of others and react strongly when they see others being abused; Twos become more reactive when individuals important to them are being treated abusively, while Eights are most activated when the weak or vulnerable are being abused by unjust authority figures. Both can be self-indulgent, hedonistic, and immoderate in their pursuits – for example, eating, working, and giving to others. Twos do this as a substitute for their deeper and unattended needs and because they often don’t know exactly what or how much they need of something. Eights are excessive because they have big energy and appetites, and they dislike inhibiting or limiting their desires. In a sense, Twos abandon themselves by focusing so extensively on others, and Eights forget their own needs and limits when they take on more and more work without recognizing their own limitations. Both Twos and Eights like to be in control, but for different reasons. Eights like to take charge from a big-picture perspective, want everything under control, and feel compelled to take forward action quickly and effectively. Twos like to be in control because doing so makes them feel capable and valuable, and they believe that their effectiveness in orchestrating people and events contributes to others holding them in high esteem.

There are several ways in which Twos and Eights are markedly different. Twos focus on creating and preserving their image and care a great deal about how people perceive them. Eights care very little about their image and how others view them. Most Eights can feel and express their anger quite readily and are willing to confront most conflict directly, unless they don’t care about the situation or the individuals involved. While some Twos are able to confront others and engage in conflict and other Twos are highly reluctant to do so, conflict still takes an emotional toll on all Twos. They most often either repress or avoid expressing their anger because they believe that “nice” people do not get angry, and they fear that expressing anger may alienate the very people with whom they want to maintain a connection. Additionally, Eights avoid expressing vulnerability, even denying that they have any at all while Twos more easily express theirs vulnerabilities, such as hurt, anxiety, and sadness.

Twos and Eights also have very different orientations to power. Eights enjoy having visible power and influence, as well as understanding and leveraging the political dynamics at work; they are attuned to who has it, how it is used, and how they themselves fit into the power structure. Although Twos often sense issues of power and influence, they shy away from direct involvement in it, although they may influence power dynamics indirectly and out of view. Instead, Twos often align themselves with powerful figures, preferring to be the power behind the throne than being the visible source of power. Visibility in these situations makes most Twos feel anxious and highly vulnerable. Although Eights do not always have to be the boss or the leader, Eights easily step into a leadership role, especially if there is an absence of leadership in a given situation. In addition, Eights can dominate and impose their will on others rather easily, whereas Twos tend to read situations in terms of what is required of them to influence others, then do so using more subtle or indirect means.

TWOS want to be liked, try to meet the needs of others, and attempt to orchestrate the people and events in their lives.
BASIC CONCERN: Am I needed? Will others like me?
EIGHTS pursue the truth, like to keep situations under control, want to make important things happen, and try to hide their vulnerability.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everything under control in an effective and just way?

Twos and Eights share some common characteristics. They tend to be protective of others and react strongly when they see others being abused; Twos become more reactive when individuals important to them are being treated abusively, while Eights are most activated when the weak or vulnerable are being abused by unjust authority figures. Both can be self-indulgent, hedonistic, and immoderate in their pursuits – for example, eating, working, and giving to others. Twos do this as a substitute for their deeper and unattended needs and because they often don’t know exactly what or how much they need of something. Eights are excessive because they have big energy and appetites, and they dislike inhibiting or limiting their desires. In a sense, Twos abandon themselves by focusing so extensively on others, and Eights forget their own needs and limits when they take on more and more work without recognizing their own limitations. Both Twos and Eights like to be in control, but for different reasons. Eights like to take charge from a big-picture perspective, want everything under control, and feel compelled to take forward action quickly and effectively. Twos like to be in control because doing so makes them feel capable and valuable, and they believe that their effectiveness in orchestrating people and events contributes to others holding them in high esteem.

There are several ways in which Twos and Eights are markedly different. Twos focus on creating and preserving their image and care a great deal about how people perceive them. Eights care very little about their image and how others view them. Most Eights can feel and express their anger quite readily and are willing to confront most conflict directly, unless they don’t care about the situation or the individuals involved. While some Twos are able to confront others and engage in conflict and other Twos are highly reluctant to do so, conflict still takes an emotional toll on all Twos. They most often either repress or avoid expressing their anger because they believe that “nice” people do not get angry, and they fear that expressing anger may alienate the very people with whom they want to maintain a connection. Additionally, Eights avoid expressing vulnerability, even denying that they have any at all while Twos more easily express theirs vulnerabilities, such as hurt, anxiety, and sadness.

Twos and Eights also have very different orientations to power. Eights enjoy having visible power and influence, as well as understanding and leveraging the political dynamics at work; they are attuned to who has it, how it is used, and how they themselves fit into the power structure. Although Twos often sense issues of power and influence, they shy away from direct involvement in it, although they may influence power dynamics indirectly and out of view. Instead, Twos often align themselves with powerful figures, preferring to be the power behind the throne than being the visible source of power. Visibility in these situations makes most Twos feel anxious and highly vulnerable. Although Eights do not always have to be the boss or the leader, Eights easily step into a leadership role, especially if there is an absence of leadership in a given situation. In addition, Eights can dominate and impose their will on others rather easily, whereas Twos tend to read situations in terms of what is required of them to influence others, then do so using more subtle or indirect means.

TWOS want to be liked, try to meet the needs of others, and attempt to orchestrate the people and events in their lives.
BASIC CONCERN: Am I needed? Will others like me?
NINES seek peace, harmony, and positive mutual regard and dislike conflict, tension, rudeness, and ill will.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everyone being heard, including me?

Twos and Nines are two Enneagram types that share many common traits. Both focus on others more than themselves, and they do this so often that they forget or neglect their own needs and wants in favor of allowing others’ needs and desires to be in the foreground. Both styles overadjust to others, with Twos altering their behavior to what they think other people want so they will be liked and Nines blending into other people’s energy and acceding to their agendas in an effort to create harmony and reduce tension and separation. Twos and Nines can both make excellent mediators because they easily see and understand others’ perspectives and opinions, sometimes more clearly than their own.

To outside observers, Twos and Nines both appear likable, friendly, and caring. In general, individuals of both types have limited contact with their anger, although Twos display more palpable anger when their unexpressed needs are not met or when they ask for something and are ignored. Because most Twos and Nines are uncomfortable when they are angry or when someone is upset with them – both are oriented to maintaining positive connections with others – most Twos and Nines avoid conflict. In addition, they can both engage in passive-aggressive behavior – for example, by implying yes but without intending to do so or by withdrawing and acting as if everything is fine when it is not. For Twos and Nines, asserting themselves and expressing anger in direct ways runs the risk of breaking important connections with other people.

While Twos and Nines can look very similar, they do have some contrasting traits. While both types focus more on others more than on themselves, Twos focus more on their own feelings and those of others and they experience a wider range of intense emotions; Nines focus more on maintaining harmony with individuals and groups, and they tend to be more steady, temperate and even-keeled. Two and Nines also differ in how they relate to others. Twos are more active in relating to other people, proactively sensing and interpreting the needs and preferences of others as a way to align with them emotionally. Nines seek connections with others in a less deliberate way, and they do not intuitively understand other people’s needs as readily as Twos. Although many Nines try to be helpful, they often need others to be explicit about what might be useful. In addition, Twos are more selective when it comes to individuals with whom they seek a friendship. Twos are attracted to some individuals more than others – for example, important people and those in need – while Nines are more democratic, being easily accessible to anyone who is pleasant and interesting to them.

Finally, Two are generally more active, with higher energy levels and a faster pace than Nines, who usually appear more relaxed and easygoing. While individuals of both types can easily abandon themselves in favor of others, Twos tend to repress their needs and feelings, while Nines “forget” or deny their true desires and real opinions. In other words, Twos often know what they are thinking and feeling but are unaware of the strength of these opinions and emotions, while Nines can be completely unaware of their interior reactions.

TWOS want to be liked, try to meet the needs of others, and attempt to orchestrate the people and events in their lives.
BASIC CONCERN: Am I needed? Will others like me?
NINES seek peace, harmony, and positive mutual regard and dislike conflict, tension, rudeness, and ill will.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everyone being heard, including me?

Twos and Nines are two Enneagram types that share many common traits. Both focus on others more than themselves, and they do this so often that they forget or neglect their own needs and wants in favor of allowing others’ needs and desires to be in the foreground. Both styles overadjust to others, with Twos altering their behavior to what they think other people want so they will be liked and Nines blending into other people’s energy and acceding to their agendas in an effort to create harmony and reduce tension and separation. Twos and Nines can both make excellent mediators because they easily see and understand others’ perspectives and opinions, sometimes more clearly than their own.

To outside observers, Twos and Nines both appear likable, friendly, and caring. In general, individuals of both types have limited contact with their anger, although Twos display more palpable anger when their unexpressed needs are not met or when they ask for something and are ignored. Because most Twos and Nines are uncomfortable when they are angry or when someone is upset with them – both are oriented to maintaining positive connections with others – most Twos and Nines avoid conflict. In addition, they can both engage in passive-aggressive behavior – for example, by implying yes but without intending to do so or by withdrawing and acting as if everything is fine when it is not. For Twos and Nines, asserting themselves and expressing anger in direct ways runs the risk of breaking important connections with other people.

While Twos and Nines can look very similar, they do have some contrasting traits. While both types focus more on others more than on themselves, Twos focus more on their own feelings and those of others and they experience a wider range of intense emotions; Nines focus more on maintaining harmony with individuals and groups, and they tend to be more steady, temperate and even-keeled. Two and Nines also differ in how they relate to others. Twos are more active in relating to other people, proactively sensing and interpreting the needs and preferences of others as a way to align with them emotionally. Nines seek connections with others in a less deliberate way, and they do not intuitively understand other people’s needs as readily as Twos. Although many Nines try to be helpful, they often need others to be explicit about what might be useful. In addition, Twos are more selective when it comes to individuals with whom they seek a friendship. Twos are attracted to some individuals more than others – for example, important people and those in need – while Nines are more democratic, being easily accessible to anyone who is pleasant and interesting to them.

Finally, Two are generally more active, with higher energy levels and a faster pace than Nines, who usually appear more relaxed and easygoing. While individuals of both types can easily abandon themselves in favor of others, Twos tend to repress their needs and feelings, while Nines “forget” or deny their true desires and real opinions. In other words, Twos often know what they are thinking and feeling but are unaware of the strength of these opinions and emotions, while Nines can be completely unaware of their interior reactions.

Click on the style number to the right to see the corresponding information.
THREES organize their lives to achieve specific goals and to appear successful in order to gain the respect and admiration of others.
BASIC CONCERN: How can I gain the respect and esteem of others?
ONES seek a perfect world and work diligently to improve both themselves and everyone and everything around them.
BASIC CONCERN: What is right or wrong, correct or incorrect?

Ones and Threes have some strong similarities. Both have a deep desire to excel, have a need both to perceive themselves and to have others view them as highly competent individuals, and are extremely task-focused. However, the Ones’ drive to excel comes from an internal sense of satisfaction that they have accomplished a specific task to the very best of their ability; Ones seek self-respect through their accomplishments by using their own internal standards to make this determination. By contrast, Threes are driven by a need to feel they have succeeded in the eyes of others around them, seeking the respect and admiration of other people, often using external factors as their primary referents – for example, how important people respond to them, how they compare to their mental ideal (usually based on a real or imagined role model) of how they should be, who their friends are, and/or their salaries, pay raises, and office trappings.

Similarly, although both Ones and Threes have a deeply felt need to feel and appear competent, Ones use their own view of their competence as a guide, whereas Threes are far more focused on whether others respond to them in this way. Finally, both Ones and Threes emphasize tasks over relationships – which is not to say that either ignores people – and individuals of both Enneagram types focus on their tasks then organize the work accordingly. However, the Threes’ tasks are typically activities they need to complete as efficiently as possible so they can quickly move on in pursuit of their goals, while Ones like to organize their work at a highly refined level of detail; structuring work with great precision gives them pleasure and satisfaction. Ones may also procrastinate for fear of making a mistake, where Threes tend to want to find the fastest, most efficient path to the goal and do not place such emphasis on the possibility of making a mistake.

The difference between Ones and Threes is most obvious in the way each defines quality. While both would say they are quality oriented, Ones define quality as doing the best job they are capable of doing with no errors or mistakes, if humanly possible. Threes define quality as meeting customer expectations, then going beyond that so that the customer is more than satisfied. However, from the Three point of view, doing every project and task as perfectly as possible is a poor use of time and resources and “good enough” plus some is good enough. From the One perspective, if there are mistakes or they know it could have been better, even if the customer is not aware of this or concerned about it, quality has not been achieved. For Ones, “good enough” is rarely good enough.

Finally, there is a subtype of Three – self-preservation Three – that can be confused with Enneagram Ones. Self-preservation subtype Threes try to create an image of being the perfect model of whatever role they play – for example, the perfect wife, parent, coworker, or boss. They want to be seen as “good” at whatever they do, both in terms of accomplishments and being morally good, and they try to behave in a way that matches their ideal of someone in a similar role who does things the right way. On the surface, self-preservation Threes can appear like Ones – especially the social subtype One – in that they endeavor to model correct behavior. However, their drives or motivations are entirely different. Threes use others – the “audience” – as their frame of reference for what they strive to achieve, while Ones use their own internal standards in determining what they “should” do.

THREES organize their lives to achieve specific goals and to appear successful in order to gain the respect and admiration of others.
BASIC CONCERN: How can I gain the respect and esteem of others?
ONES seek a perfect world and work diligently to improve both themselves and everyone and everything around them.
BASIC CONCERN: What is right or wrong, correct or incorrect?

Ones and Threes have some strong similarities. Both have a deep desire to excel, have a need both to perceive themselves and to have others view them as highly competent individuals, and are extremely task-focused. However, the Ones’ drive to excel comes from an internal sense of satisfaction that they have accomplished a specific task to the very best of their ability; Ones seek self-respect through their accomplishments by using their own internal standards to make this determination. By contrast, Threes are driven by a need to feel they have succeeded in the eyes of others around them, seeking the respect and admiration of other people, often using external factors as their primary referents – for example, how important people respond to them, how they compare to their mental ideal (usually based on a real or imagined role model) of how they should be, who their friends are, and/or their salaries, pay raises, and office trappings.

Similarly, although both Ones and Threes have a deeply felt need to feel and appear competent, Ones use their own view of their competence as a guide, whereas Threes are far more focused on whether others respond to them in this way. Finally, both Ones and Threes emphasize tasks over relationships – which is not to say that either ignores people – and individuals of both Enneagram types focus on their tasks then organize the work accordingly. However, the Threes’ tasks are typically activities they need to complete as efficiently as possible so they can quickly move on in pursuit of their goals, while Ones like to organize their work at a highly refined level of detail; structuring work with great precision gives them pleasure and satisfaction. Ones may also procrastinate for fear of making a mistake, where Threes tend to want to find the fastest, most efficient path to the goal and do not place such emphasis on the possibility of making a mistake.

The difference between Ones and Threes is most obvious in the way each defines quality. While both would say they are quality oriented, Ones define quality as doing the best job they are capable of doing with no errors or mistakes, if humanly possible. Threes define quality as meeting customer expectations, then going beyond that so that the customer is more than satisfied. However, from the Three point of view, doing every project and task as perfectly as possible is a poor use of time and resources and “good enough” plus some is good enough. From the One perspective, if there are mistakes or they know it could have been better, even if the customer is not aware of this or concerned about it, quality has not been achieved. For Ones, “good enough” is rarely good enough.

Finally, there is a subtype of Three – self-preservation Three – that can be confused with Enneagram Ones. Self-preservation subtype Threes try to create an image of being the perfect model of whatever role they play – for example, the perfect wife, parent, coworker, or boss. They want to be seen as “good” at whatever they do, both in terms of accomplishments and being morally good, and they try to behave in a way that matches their ideal of someone in a similar role who does things the right way. On the surface, self-preservation Threes can appear like Ones – especially the social subtype One – in that they endeavor to model correct behavior. However, their drives or motivations are entirely different. Threes use others – the “audience” – as their frame of reference for what they strive to achieve, while Ones use their own internal standards in determining what they “should” do.

THREES organize their lives to achieve specific goals and to appear successful in order to gain the respect and admiration of others.
BASIC CONCERN: How can I gain the respect and esteem of others?
TWOS want to be liked, try to meet the needs of others, and attempt to orchestrate the people and events in their lives.
BASIC CONCERN: Am I needed? Will others like me?

On the surface, Twos and Threes can appear very much alike. Both attempt to manage their image and self-presentation in order to please or attract others and tend to be competent and energetic, although Threes place more emphasis than Twos on appearing competent and tend to be more consistently energetic. Twos and Threes pay a great deal of attention to creating an impression that they believe matches what others value; Twos, however, focus more on meeting other’s needs and appearing friendly, likable, and thoughtful, while Threes focus more on achieving goals and appearing confident and successful in order to win the admiration and respect of others. Both are driven to be productive and also desire the approval of others. Twos, however, are more relationship-oriented and are motivated by earning others’ affection and being considered indispensable. Being more task-oriented, Threes are motivated by the good feeling they get when they reach a goal and the satisfaction that comes with appearing successful in the eyes of others.

Both Twos and Threes can be confused about who they really are deep inside – that is, who or what is their “true” self – because they spend so much energy creating and maintaining an image designed to elicit a positive response from others. As a result of this other-directed focus, it can be difficult for Two and Three individuals to have a clear sense of who they really are. Related to this, both types tend to avoid or defer their own emotional reactions: Threes do so because feelings can get in the way of accomplishing tasks, and Twos believe that feelings – particularly negative ones – can get in the way of forging positive connections with other people.

Despite their many shared characteristics, Twos and Threes also differ in significant ways. While both types repress or submerge their feelings, Twos do this less completely and tend to feel and express more emotions more frequently than Threes. While Threes can be very competitive and see winning as important, Twos are less oriented to competition, believing that aligning themselves with others is more important than coming out on top. Although both can become angry at times, Twos tend to express anger when their unacknowledged needs are not met or when they feel unappreciated, and Threes become angry when someone puts an obstacle between them and their goal.

At work, Threes can emphasize work to such a degree that they become workaholics. They pay a great deal of attention to goals and performance and, as a result, become highly focused on efficiency and the creation of plans to achieve their goals. When focused on specific goals and under time pressure, Threes may have a hard time listening or making time for other people. Twos can also be very hard working, but it is rare for them to achieve the same level of workaholism because they place a higher value on relationships and pleasure. In addition, Twos place such a priority on what others need from them that they adapt their agendas and priorities more to the goals and needs of other individuals or groups for which they feel responsible. As a result, they tend to be very empathic and available to their friends, colleagues, and important others, even at the expense of their own work. In contrast to Threes, who can focus like a laser beam on their goals and related tasks, Twos may abandon their own work in favor of meeting the needs or supporting the efforts of other people.

Finally, Twos and Threes differ in terms of what they avoid most: Twos work hard, sometimes behind the scenes, at achieving positive connections with others to avoid experiencing rejection or not feeling valued, and Threes structure their work and other goal-directed activities to avoid failure. Because of this, Twos tend to be less direct and assertive than Threes, and Threes are far more overtly competitive and driven to win, typically reframing failures as learning experiences.

THREES organize their lives to achieve specific goals and to appear successful in order to gain the respect and admiration of others.
BASIC CONCERN: How can I gain the respect and esteem of others?
TWOS want to be liked, try to meet the needs of others, and attempt to orchestrate the people and events in their lives.
BASIC CONCERN: Am I needed? Will others like me?

On the surface, Twos and Threes can appear very much alike. Both attempt to manage their image and self-presentation in order to please or attract others and tend to be competent and energetic, although Threes place more emphasis than Twos on appearing competent and tend to be more consistently energetic. Twos and Threes pay a great deal of attention to creating an impression that they believe matches what others value; Twos, however, focus more on meeting other’s needs and appearing friendly, likable, and thoughtful, while Threes focus more on achieving goals and appearing confident and successful in order to win the admiration and respect of others. Both are driven to be productive and also desire the approval of others. Twos, however, are more relationship-oriented and are motivated by earning others’ affection and being considered indispensable. Being more task-oriented, Threes are motivated by the good feeling they get when they reach a goal and the satisfaction that comes with appearing successful in the eyes of others.

Both Twos and Threes can be confused about who they really are deep inside – that is, who or what is their “true” self – because they spend so much energy creating and maintaining an image designed to elicit a positive response from others. As a result of this other-directed focus, it can be difficult for Two and Three individuals to have a clear sense of who they really are. Related to this, both types tend to avoid or defer their own emotional reactions: Threes do so because feelings can get in the way of accomplishing tasks, and Twos believe that feelings – particularly negative ones – can get in the way of forging positive connections with other people.

Despite their many shared characteristics, Twos and Threes also differ in significant ways. While both types repress or submerge their feelings, Twos do this less completely and tend to feel and express more emotions more frequently than Threes. While Threes can be very competitive and see winning as important, Twos are less oriented to competition, believing that aligning themselves with others is more important than coming out on top. Although both can become angry at times, Twos tend to express anger when their unacknowledged needs are not met or when they feel unappreciated, and Threes become angry when someone puts an obstacle between them and their goal.

At work, Threes can emphasize work to such a degree that they become workaholics. They pay a great deal of attention to goals and performance and, as a result, become highly focused on efficiency and the creation of plans to achieve their goals. When focused on specific goals and under time pressure, Threes may have a hard time listening or making time for other people. Twos can also be very hard working, but it is rare for them to achieve the same level of workaholism because they place a higher value on relationships and pleasure. In addition, Twos place such a priority on what others need from them that they adapt their agendas and priorities more to the goals and needs of other individuals or groups for which they feel responsible. As a result, they tend to be very empathic and available to their friends, colleagues, and important others, even at the expense of their own work. In contrast to Threes, who can focus like a laser beam on their goals and related tasks, Twos may abandon their own work in favor of meeting the needs or supporting the efforts of other people.

Finally, Twos and Threes differ in terms of what they avoid most: Twos work hard, sometimes behind the scenes, at achieving positive connections with others to avoid experiencing rejection or not feeling valued, and Threes structure their work and other goal-directed activities to avoid failure. Because of this, Twos tend to be less direct and assertive than Threes, and Threes are far more overtly competitive and driven to win, typically reframing failures as learning experiences.

Please choose a different type to compare to Threes.

Please choose a different type to compare to Threes.

THREES organize their lives to achieve specific goals and to appear successful in order to gain the respect and admiration of others.
BASIC CONCERN: How can I gain the respect and esteem of others?
FOURS desire deep connections with their inner worlds and with other people, and they feel most alive when authentically expressing their feelings.
BASIC CONCERN: Will I be rejected or feel deficient? Can I express myself?

Threes and Fours can look similar because they have some common characteristics. As Heart Center types, both Threes and Fours pay a great deal of attention to how others perceive them, try to create a particular image, and emphasize relationships and connections. Threes try to create an image of success and achievement based what they imagine others value, but they avoid or circumvent their own emotions by focusing on tasks and getting things done. Fours try to create an image of being unique, sensitive, and different, while experiencing their emotions deeply and often over-identify with their feelings. In addition, both types place great importance on and are sensitive to recognition and approval, and they can be intense, hard working, competitive, and inventive, with Fours usually having more originality in their creativity and Threes tending to conform more to social conventions.

Significant differences also exist between Threes and Fours. When Threes focus on tasks, they usually look for the shortest, most efficient, and fastest route to their goal and pursue practical goals in order to achieve success as defined by the context or group in which they want to excel. In order to get things done and keep everything moving forward, Threes try to ignore or submerge their feelings, believing that emotions such as sadness, anxiety, and anger can be distractions to success. Fours are more nonlinear, creative, and organic and they tend to pursue ideals more than goals – for example, love, emotional depth through creativity, and authentic expression – as a way for them to feel special and unique. Fours also place far more importance on feelings, self-expression, and connections with others and believe that feelings should be felt and then authentically expressed.

Threes strive to match the image of what they believe other people think is most attractive, admirable, or successful, even if it means appearing to be something or someone they are not. They place a high value on seeming to have the outward signs of success – for example, the right clothing for the occasion, a car that reflects their image or desired status, friends that reflect well on them, and a winning, “can-do” interpersonal style. By contrast, Fours place more emphasis on their own internal sense of what they want and feel and value authentic self-expression and deep relationships; they are far less likely to adjust their behavior based on what others may want. Some Fours can be somber in their type, some appear sophisticated, and others have a flair for the dramatic, and all Fours respond to their internal moods more than what is expected of them and can convey a sense that they and/or the situation are deficient in some way – that is, missing something that would have otherwise made them successful.

Finally, Threes often appear pragmatic, optimistic, and forward looking and focus on specific goals and plans for reaching them. Fours focus on what is missing in the current situation, what occurred in the past that gave them pain or pleasure, or what is needed in a given situation to fill the gap between the real and the ideal. As a result, Fours often come across as focused more on the past than the present, more idealistic, and less optimistic than Threes.

THREES organize their lives to achieve specific goals and to appear successful in order to gain the respect and admiration of others.
BASIC CONCERN: How can I gain the respect and esteem of others?
FOURS desire deep connections with their inner worlds and with other people, and they feel most alive when authentically expressing their feelings.
BASIC CONCERN: Will I be rejected or feel deficient? Can I express myself?

Threes and Fours can look similar because they have some common characteristics. As Heart Center types, both Threes and Fours pay a great deal of attention to how others perceive them, try to create a particular image, and emphasize relationships and connections. Threes try to create an image of success and achievement based what they imagine others value, but they avoid or circumvent their own emotions by focusing on tasks and getting things done. Fours try to create an image of being unique, sensitive, and different, while experiencing their emotions deeply and often over-identify with their feelings. In addition, both types place great importance on and are sensitive to recognition and approval, and they can be intense, hard working, competitive, and inventive, with Fours usually having more originality in their creativity and Threes tending to conform more to social conventions.

Significant differences also exist between Threes and Fours. When Threes focus on tasks, they usually look for the shortest, most efficient, and fastest route to their goal and pursue practical goals in order to achieve success as defined by the context or group in which they want to excel. In order to get things done and keep everything moving forward, Threes try to ignore or submerge their feelings, believing that emotions such as sadness, anxiety, and anger can be distractions to success. Fours are more nonlinear, creative, and organic and they tend to pursue ideals more than goals – for example, love, emotional depth through creativity, and authentic expression – as a way for them to feel special and unique. Fours also place far more importance on feelings, self-expression, and connections with others and believe that feelings should be felt and then authentically expressed.

Threes strive to match the image of what they believe other people think is most attractive, admirable, or successful, even if it means appearing to be something or someone they are not. They place a high value on seeming to have the outward signs of success – for example, the right clothing for the occasion, a car that reflects their image or desired status, friends that reflect well on them, and a winning, “can-do” interpersonal style. By contrast, Fours place more emphasis on their own internal sense of what they want and feel and value authentic self-expression and deep relationships; they are far less likely to adjust their behavior based on what others may want. Some Fours can be somber in their type, some appear sophisticated, and others have a flair for the dramatic, and all Fours respond to their internal moods more than what is expected of them and can convey a sense that they and/or the situation are deficient in some way – that is, missing something that would have otherwise made them successful.

Finally, Threes often appear pragmatic, optimistic, and forward looking and focus on specific goals and plans for reaching them. Fours focus on what is missing in the current situation, what occurred in the past that gave them pain or pleasure, or what is needed in a given situation to fill the gap between the real and the ideal. As a result, Fours often come across as focused more on the past than the present, more idealistic, and less optimistic than Threes.

THREES organize their lives to achieve specific goals and to appear successful in order to gain the respect and admiration of others.
BASIC CONCERN: How can I gain the respect and esteem of others?
FIVES thirst for information and knowledge and use emotional detachment as a way of keeping involvement with others to a minimum.
BASIC CONCERN: Will demands be made on me for my time, energy, and resources?

Threes and Fives can be confused with one another because they share some characteristics. Individuals of both styles value emotional control and try to avoid both feeling and expressing their emotions. Although many Threes have strong emotional reactions, they try to avoid experiencing them too deeply or expressing them too intensely as a way of preventing their emotional reactions from interfering with achieving their goals or tarnishing their image as a confident person who is “on top” of situations. Fives actually detach from their emotions, disconnecting from them as they occur by confining their breathing – that is, not breathing beyond their heads or necks – and focusing extensively on thinking and analyzing information. Fives find comfort and safety in thinking and acquiring knowledge; Threes find comfort and ease in doing and performing.

Threes and Fives also share a deep desire to feel competent and to be perceived as competent by other people whose opinions matter to them. As a result, individuals of both types can be highly sensitive to criticism, especially if they perceive the critique as a challenge to their competence. However, Threes tend to define competence in terms of their performance and achievements, while Fives define competence more in terms of their knowledge and analytical skills.

When others want to forge close relationships with Threes or Fives, both may seem unavailable and difficult to relate to at deeper levels. Threes may appear inaccessible because they are highly identified with their image and unwilling to share more of their real selves, particularly those aspects that may conflict with the image they are trying to project. In general, Fives tend to be inaccessible to others unless they really trust them, and this level of trust takes a long time to develop. Fives withdraw from others as a way to reduce potentially taxing emotional entanglements. In addition, both Threes and Fives value independence and self-sufficiency, and this can interfere with their developing close, interdependent bonds with others.

Significant differences also exist between Threes and Fives. Threes are far more dependent on the approval and admiration of other people and reference groups, and they are focused on creating an image of success; the admiration of others makes Threes feel valued and worthwhile. Fives pride themselves on their autonomy and lack of concern about the perceptions of others. They do not focus on creating and maintaining a particular image other than being highly knowledgeable.

Threes and Fives also differ in their work styles. Threes are primarily oriented toward achieving goals, creating plans, and working on tasks, while Fives place their emphasis on observing, thinking, analyzing, and increasing their knowledge base. Threes expend enormous energy on work itself, thinking nothing of spending whatever amount of time it takes to achieve their chosen goals, even when this requires them to work excessively month after month. Threes can be workaholics, volunteering for extra work and bringing work with them on vacations. Fives emphasize conserving their energy and are reluctant to take on tasks, relationships, and time commitments that they believe will drain them and their resources. Fives feel that their energy can be easily depleted and squandered if they don’t conserve their resources – for example, time, energy, and effort – by setting clear boundaries on their time and commitments.

Although both Threes and Fives can be highly competitive, Threes are more overtly so and display this quality in many more aspects of their lives. For example, Threes are usually adept at marketing themselves, making it obvious – often with subtlety and finesse – what they are good at, what they’ve accomplished, and who they know. Fives, by contrast, feel challenged when they have to market themselves, feeling that doing so is bragging and intrudes on others. Although individuals of both types like to win, Threes often focus on winning to such an extent that they often ignore what it will cost them personally, while Fives easily disengage from activities when they conclude that the effort is not worth the expenditure of their energy and resources.

THREES organize their lives to achieve specific goals and to appear successful in order to gain the respect and admiration of others.
BASIC CONCERN: How can I gain the respect and esteem of others?
FIVES thirst for information and knowledge and use emotional detachment as a way of keeping involvement with others to a minimum.
BASIC CONCERN: Will demands be made on me for my time, energy, and resources?

Threes and Fives can be confused with one another because they share some characteristics. Individuals of both styles value emotional control and try to avoid both feeling and expressing their emotions. Although many Threes have strong emotional reactions, they try to avoid experiencing them too deeply or expressing them too intensely as a way of preventing their emotional reactions from interfering with achieving their goals or tarnishing their image as a confident person who is “on top” of situations. Fives actually detach from their emotions, disconnecting from them as they occur by confining their breathing – that is, not breathing beyond their heads or necks – and focusing extensively on thinking and analyzing information. Fives find comfort and safety in thinking and acquiring knowledge; Threes find comfort and ease in doing and performing.

Threes and Fives also share a deep desire to feel competent and to be perceived as competent by other people whose opinions matter to them. As a result, individuals of both types can be highly sensitive to criticism, especially if they perceive the critique as a challenge to their competence. However, Threes tend to define competence in terms of their performance and achievements, while Fives define competence more in terms of their knowledge and analytical skills.

When others want to forge close relationships with Threes or Fives, both may seem unavailable and difficult to relate to at deeper levels. Threes may appear inaccessible because they are highly identified with their image and unwilling to share more of their real selves, particularly those aspects that may conflict with the image they are trying to project. In general, Fives tend to be inaccessible to others unless they really trust them, and this level of trust takes a long time to develop. Fives withdraw from others as a way to reduce potentially taxing emotional entanglements. In addition, both Threes and Fives value independence and self-sufficiency, and this can interfere with their developing close, interdependent bonds with others.

Significant differences also exist between Threes and Fives. Threes are far more dependent on the approval and admiration of other people and reference groups, and they are focused on creating an image of success; the admiration of others makes Threes feel valued and worthwhile. Fives pride themselves on their autonomy and lack of concern about the perceptions of others. They do not focus on creating and maintaining a particular image other than being highly knowledgeable.

Threes and Fives also differ in their work styles. Threes are primarily oriented toward achieving goals, creating plans, and working on tasks, while Fives place their emphasis on observing, thinking, analyzing, and increasing their knowledge base. Threes expend enormous energy on work itself, thinking nothing of spending whatever amount of time it takes to achieve their chosen goals, even when this requires them to work excessively month after month. Threes can be workaholics, volunteering for extra work and bringing work with them on vacations. Fives emphasize conserving their energy and are reluctant to take on tasks, relationships, and time commitments that they believe will drain them and their resources. Fives feel that their energy can be easily depleted and squandered if they don’t conserve their resources – for example, time, energy, and effort – by setting clear boundaries on their time and commitments.

Although both Threes and Fives can be highly competitive, Threes are more overtly so and display this quality in many more aspects of their lives. For example, Threes are usually adept at marketing themselves, making it obvious – often with subtlety and finesse – what they are good at, what they’ve accomplished, and who they know. Fives, by contrast, feel challenged when they have to market themselves, feeling that doing so is bragging and intrudes on others. Although individuals of both types like to win, Threes often focus on winning to such an extent that they often ignore what it will cost them personally, while Fives easily disengage from activities when they conclude that the effort is not worth the expenditure of their energy and resources.

THREES organize their lives to achieve specific goals and to appear successful in order to gain the respect and admiration of others.
BASIC CONCERN: How can I gain the respect and esteem of others?
SIXES have insightful minds, are prone to worry, and create worst-case scenarios to help themselves feel prepared in case something goes wrong.
BASIC CONCERN: What could go wrong here? Whom can I trust? Am I making the best decisions?

Threes and Sixes have some traits in common. Both can be very hardworking and assertive, and Threes and some Sixes – especially counterphobic Sixes – can be forward moving. Both Threes and Sixes specialize in reading people, although they do this for different reasons. Threes scan their audience to determine what others value so they can create an image or persona that others will view as successful and admirable, matching the particular context and trying to appear confident in what they do. Sixes read others in order to anticipate whether the person is a threat and to protect themselves by looking for hidden agendas and ulterior motives. Both types can be personable, friendly, and practical, with Threes focused on finding the most efficient path to get to the end-result and gaining approval from others, and Sixes focused on creating safety by knowing who they can count on as an ally and anticipating problems and dangers so they can feel prepared and find proactive solutions.

Threes and Sixes also differ in specific ways. Threes do whatever it takes to achieve success, and they focus on moving quickly and efficiently toward their goals. They assume success will occur and work toward goals without slowing down long enough to think a great deal about what might go wrong. Sixes want success as well, but they also fear it and can actually undermine themselves; they may avoid taking action that leads to success out of fear that success leads to exposure because they believe that exposure leaves them open to being attacked. Sixes are skilled troubleshooters as a result of considering what might go wrong in accomplishing a particular task so they can prepare for it; however, they can also procrastinate for fear of doing it wrong or worrying that an unanticipated problem may arise. Phobic Sixes can appear more uncertain than Threes or counterphobic Sixes – a result of their self-doubt and continuous questioning of themselves and others – and can sometimes become immobilized or paralyzed by over analysis and imagining worst-case scenarios.

Finally, Threes can usually work well with authorities, as long as they do not interfere with Threes’ progress toward their goals. When Threes don’t respect a particular authority figure, they tend to simply ignore this person whenever possible. Sixes, by contrast, tend to be suspicious of authority figures, fearing these individuals will use their power against them in unfair or abusive ways. As a result, most Sixes try to prove their value and loyalty to authorities by being dutiful and responsible, but then rebel when their well-placed efforts don’t work or when the authority figure disappoints them. Other Sixes rebel more quickly and engage in confrontational behavior towards these individuals.

THREES organize their lives to achieve specific goals and to appear successful in order to gain the respect and admiration of others.
BASIC CONCERN: How can I gain the respect and esteem of others?
SIXES have insightful minds, are prone to worry, and create worst-case scenarios to help themselves feel prepared in case something goes wrong.
BASIC CONCERN: What could go wrong here? Whom can I trust? Am I making the best decisions?

Threes and Sixes have some traits in common. Both can be very hardworking and assertive, and Threes and some Sixes – especially counterphobic Sixes – can be forward moving. Both Threes and Sixes specialize in reading people, although they do this for different reasons. Threes scan their audience to determine what others value so they can create an image or persona that others will view as successful and admirable, matching the particular context and trying to appear confident in what they do. Sixes read others in order to anticipate whether the person is a threat and to protect themselves by looking for hidden agendas and ulterior motives. Both types can be personable, friendly, and practical, with Threes focused on finding the most efficient path to get to the end-result and gaining approval from others, and Sixes focused on creating safety by knowing who they can count on as an ally and anticipating problems and dangers so they can feel prepared and find proactive solutions.

Threes and Sixes also differ in specific ways. Threes do whatever it takes to achieve success, and they focus on moving quickly and efficiently toward their goals. They assume success will occur and work toward goals without slowing down long enough to think a great deal about what might go wrong. Sixes want success as well, but they also fear it and can actually undermine themselves; they may avoid taking action that leads to success out of fear that success leads to exposure because they believe that exposure leaves them open to being attacked. Sixes are skilled troubleshooters as a result of considering what might go wrong in accomplishing a particular task so they can prepare for it; however, they can also procrastinate for fear of doing it wrong or worrying that an unanticipated problem may arise. Phobic Sixes can appear more uncertain than Threes or counterphobic Sixes – a result of their self-doubt and continuous questioning of themselves and others – and can sometimes become immobilized or paralyzed by over analysis and imagining worst-case scenarios.

Finally, Threes can usually work well with authorities, as long as they do not interfere with Threes’ progress toward their goals. When Threes don’t respect a particular authority figure, they tend to simply ignore this person whenever possible. Sixes, by contrast, tend to be suspicious of authority figures, fearing these individuals will use their power against them in unfair or abusive ways. As a result, most Sixes try to prove their value and loyalty to authorities by being dutiful and responsible, but then rebel when their well-placed efforts don’t work or when the authority figure disappoints them. Other Sixes rebel more quickly and engage in confrontational behavior towards these individuals.

THREES organize their lives to achieve specific goals and to appear successful in order to gain the respect and admiration of others.
BASIC CONCERN: How can I gain the respect and esteem of others?
SEVENS crave the stimulation of new ideas, people, and experiences, avoid pain, and create elaborate future plans to keep their options open.
BASIC CONCERN: What is exciting? Do I feel constrained? Can I avoid pain?

Threes and Sevens can be look-alike types, sharing many characteristics. Both are high energy and hardworking, especially on projects that they are invested in and find interesting, and they can be charming, engaging, and able to attract others. Threes employ these qualities to gain people’s approval, admiration, and cooperation, while Sevens use charm and engagement as a first line of offense and defense – that is, to enlist others in the exchange of ideas and to create an upbeat, positive mood but also to defuse any potential negativity. Both Threes and Sevens are optimistic and confident; Threes want to create an image of achievement and confidence and often have a history of success, and Sevens habitually view things in a positive light, believing in the seemingly endless possibilities available and the abundance of opportunities. The Sevens’ optimism is also a way for them to avoid difficult issues and feelings, such as fear, sadness, and anxiety. In addition, both types avoid negative feelings because they believe these slow them down. Threes think that uncomfortable emotions distract them in their forward movement and goal accomplishment, while Sevens believe there is no reason to dwell on difficulties when you could be racing forward with plans and ideas instead.

There are also traits that distinguish Threes from Sevens. Threes excel at focusing on and completing tasks, while Sevens have difficulty maintaining their focus because they are easily distracted by their stimulating ideas, interests, and activities and have a hard time saying no to something that grabs their attention. Although Threes and Sevens both enjoy multitasking and keeping busy, Threes multitask by doing between three and six things at once, and Sevens like to juggle as many tasks as possible. Threes will delay doing something that interests them without regret, knowing that restraining themselves enables them to get their deliverables completed and that they can do the desired activity at a later date. Sevens almost always say yes to something interesting or exciting even when they are impossibly busy. Although they usually find a way to get it all done, it may not be on time or with the quality they intended.

Threes, being more other-oriented, rely on others’ approval and admiration to affirm their sense of self and personal value, and they cultivate their image and try to manage others’ perceptions of them. Sevens pay little attention to gaining others’ approval and even less to maintaining a particular image. Sevens are self-referencing rather than other-referencing – that is, they focus far more on their own internal experiences, needs, and desires, than on whether others approve of them.

Threes prioritize work over pleasure, even bringing work home when it is not necessary, and they usually work well within organizational authority structures and their limitations as long as these support the Three’s forward progress toward his or her goals. Sevens prioritize pleasure over work whenever possible and dislike hierarchical structures; they try to equalize authority by acting as if authority figures are on the same level as the Seven – for example by befriending or ignoring them. This helps Sevens avoid acknowledging that anyone or anything has the right or the role to place limitations on them. Finally, while both Threes and Sevens plan and are future oriented, the Sevens’ planning is more akin to dreaming about the future and creating ideas that might work, and this makes it difficult for them to pay attention to the present. By contrast, Threes create concrete plans for their specific goals, and focus far more on the present and the tasks in front of them.

THREES organize their lives to achieve specific goals and to appear successful in order to gain the respect and admiration of others.
BASIC CONCERN: How can I gain the respect and esteem of others?
SEVENS crave the stimulation of new ideas, people, and experiences, avoid pain, and create elaborate future plans to keep their options open.
BASIC CONCERN: What is exciting? Do I feel constrained? Can I avoid pain?

Threes and Sevens can be look-alike types, sharing many characteristics. Both are high energy and hardworking, especially on projects that they are invested in and find interesting, and they can be charming, engaging, and able to attract others. Threes employ these qualities to gain people’s approval, admiration, and cooperation, while Sevens use charm and engagement as a first line of offense and defense – that is, to enlist others in the exchange of ideas and to create an upbeat, positive mood but also to defuse any potential negativity. Both Threes and Sevens are optimistic and confident; Threes want to create an image of achievement and confidence and often have a history of success, and Sevens habitually view things in a positive light, believing in the seemingly endless possibilities available and the abundance of opportunities. The Sevens’ optimism is also a way for them to avoid difficult issues and feelings, such as fear, sadness, and anxiety. In addition, both types avoid negative feelings because they believe these slow them down. Threes think that uncomfortable emotions distract them in their forward movement and goal accomplishment, while Sevens believe there is no reason to dwell on difficulties when you could be racing forward with plans and ideas instead.

There are also traits that distinguish Threes from Sevens. Threes excel at focusing on and completing tasks, while Sevens have difficulty maintaining their focus because they are easily distracted by their stimulating ideas, interests, and activities and have a hard time saying no to something that grabs their attention. Although Threes and Sevens both enjoy multitasking and keeping busy, Threes multitask by doing between three and six things at once, and Sevens like to juggle as many tasks as possible. Threes will delay doing something that interests them without regret, knowing that restraining themselves enables them to get their deliverables completed and that they can do the desired activity at a later date. Sevens almost always say yes to something interesting or exciting even when they are impossibly busy. Although they usually find a way to get it all done, it may not be on time or with the quality they intended.

Threes, being more other-oriented, rely on others’ approval and admiration to affirm their sense of self and personal value, and they cultivate their image and try to manage others’ perceptions of them. Sevens pay little attention to gaining others’ approval and even less to maintaining a particular image. Sevens are self-referencing rather than other-referencing – that is, they focus far more on their own internal experiences, needs, and desires, than on whether others approve of them.

Threes prioritize work over pleasure, even bringing work home when it is not necessary, and they usually work well within organizational authority structures and their limitations as long as these support the Three’s forward progress toward his or her goals. Sevens prioritize pleasure over work whenever possible and dislike hierarchical structures; they try to equalize authority by acting as if authority figures are on the same level as the Seven – for example by befriending or ignoring them. This helps Sevens avoid acknowledging that anyone or anything has the right or the role to place limitations on them. Finally, while both Threes and Sevens plan and are future oriented, the Sevens’ planning is more akin to dreaming about the future and creating ideas that might work, and this makes it difficult for them to pay attention to the present. By contrast, Threes create concrete plans for their specific goals, and focus far more on the present and the tasks in front of them.

THREES organize their lives to achieve specific goals and to appear successful in order to gain the respect and admiration of others.
BASIC CONCERN: How can I gain the respect and esteem of others?
EIGHTS pursue the truth, like to keep situations under control, want to make important things happen, and try to hide their vulnerability.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everything under control in an effective and just way?

Because Threes and Eights have several common characteristics, they can look similar to each other. Both are hardworking, results oriented, direct, and assertive and they focus their energy on moving tasks and projects forward; they can also overwork. Threes are driven to finish tasks in order to reach their goals, no matter how much effort and time it takes, and Eights are prone to forgetting and bypassing their own physical needs and limits because they want to make big things happen. Threes and Eights also have ready access to their anger and express it when necessary, but they usually become angry for different reasons. Threes become impatient and angry when others create obstacles to their goals. Eights become angry and express it more frequently than Threes; their ire is stimulated by a wider array of issues – for example, when someone hurts an individual they feel a need to protect, impedes their forward movement, and tells them what to do, or when they feel blindsided or attacked.

Threes and Eights both enjoy being in positions of leadership. Threes like to have direct influence over the goals that are set and how the work is then organized, and they like the image-enhancing effects of having a high status, visible position within the authority structure. Eights want to be in control, to set the overall direction, and to have the power to both set the agenda and oversee the work going forward. Because both want to appear strong and in control of themselves, most Threes and Eights usually have difficulty expressing vulnerable emotions – specifically fear and sadness – and perceive the expression of these feelings as a display of weakness. Threes believe being emotional interferes with their focus on work, compromises their public image, and has the potential to derail progress toward their goals; although many Threes know when they are feeling uncomfortable or vulnerable, they generally regroup and refocus on work as a way of dealing with these feelings. Eights actually deny their vulnerable feelings and may not even be aware of their emotional discomfort. The denial maintains the Eight’s sense of strength, power, and control.

Threes and Eights are also very different. Threes are motivated by success and driven to attain their goals and follow their plans, and they cultivate an image of success to gain the admiration of others. Eights pay little attention to their image and care even less about how people perceive them. Instead, Eights are motivated by a desire for influence and power. As a result of these very different motivations, Threes are usually adept at finding the most efficient path or plan to reach a given goal, while Eights often have difficulty knowing exactly how much pressure, energy, and force to use in order to move closer to a particular objective. Threes are more people oriented and are often skilled in assessing how they impact others, athougth they may not fully anticipate the impact of what they do on structures and systems. Eights are more structure and systems focused, instinctively grasping structural and systems impacts, but they often have blind spots in the interpersonal arena.

Although Threes and Eights like to work for bosses they respect and want to understand the “organizational rules of the game,” they function very differently within organizations. Threes usually work well within existing organizational structures and get along with their bosses, providing neither become an obstacle to their goals. Eights often feel limited by organizational structures, can be rebellious toward authorities, and break the rules if it suits their purposes. Threes may at times also break rules, but they are more likely to subtly circumvent them than to violate them in a bold and visible way.

Both Threes and Eights often describe themselves as honest with a desire for knowing the truth, but they have very different definitions of truth and honesty. Eights often believe they instinctively know what truth is; thus, they tend to not solicit the opinions of others unless they are uncertain about a situation – which is rare – and only if they truly respect someone’s knowledge or character. Threes are confident but not always certain, and they test their “audience” to determine what is true or what is the best course of action. Threes also tend to be more diplomatic than Eights and will speak the truth when they believe it is important to do so, but they usually express it with a sensitivity to the impact their words have on another; for Threes, truth and honesty may be relative and somewhat contingent on particular circumstances. For Eights, there is no relative truth or honesty. They say what they think and expect others to do the same.

Finally, Eights often have a stronger sense of who they really are than do Threes. Although everyone can struggle with the question “Who am I?” at different times in their lives, the Threes’ facility in adapting their persona to their context can leave them confused about their real or deeper identity. Eights, by contrast, adapt so little to their context that their sense of self does not shift and change to the same degree.

THREES organize their lives to achieve specific goals and to appear successful in order to gain the respect and admiration of others.
BASIC CONCERN: How can I gain the respect and esteem of others?
EIGHTS pursue the truth, like to keep situations under control, want to make important things happen, and try to hide their vulnerability.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everything under control in an effective and just way?

Because Threes and Eights have several common characteristics, they can look similar to each other. Both are hardworking, results oriented, direct, and assertive and they focus their energy on moving tasks and projects forward; they can also overwork. Threes are driven to finish tasks in order to reach their goals, no matter how much effort and time it takes, and Eights are prone to forgetting and bypassing their own physical needs and limits because they want to make big things happen. Threes and Eights also have ready access to their anger and express it when necessary, but they usually become angry for different reasons. Threes become impatient and angry when others create obstacles to their goals. Eights become angry and express it more frequently than Threes; their ire is stimulated by a wider array of issues – for example, when someone hurts an individual they feel a need to protect, impedes their forward movement, and tells them what to do, or when they feel blindsided or attacked.

Threes and Eights both enjoy being in positions of leadership. Threes like to have direct influence over the goals that are set and how the work is then organized, and they like the image-enhancing effects of having a high status, visible position within the authority structure. Eights want to be in control, to set the overall direction, and to have the power to both set the agenda and oversee the work going forward. Because both want to appear strong and in control of themselves, most Threes and Eights usually have difficulty expressing vulnerable emotions – specifically fear and sadness – and perceive the expression of these feelings as a display of weakness. Threes believe being emotional interferes with their focus on work, compromises their public image, and has the potential to derail progress toward their goals; although many Threes know when they are feeling uncomfortable or vulnerable, they generally regroup and refocus on work as a way of dealing with these feelings. Eights actually deny their vulnerable feelings and may not even be aware of their emotional discomfort. The denial maintains the Eight’s sense of strength, power, and control.

Threes and Eights are also very different. Threes are motivated by success and driven to attain their goals and follow their plans, and they cultivate an image of success to gain the admiration of others. Eights pay little attention to their image and care even less about how people perceive them. Instead, Eights are motivated by a desire for influence and power. As a result of these very different motivations, Threes are usually adept at finding the most efficient path or plan to reach a given goal, while Eights often have difficulty knowing exactly how much pressure, energy, and force to use in order to move closer to a particular objective. Threes are more people oriented and are often skilled in assessing how they impact others, athougth they may not fully anticipate the impact of what they do on structures and systems. Eights are more structure and systems focused, instinctively grasping structural and systems impacts, but they often have blind spots in the interpersonal arena.

Although Threes and Eights like to work for bosses they respect and want to understand the “organizational rules of the game,” they function very differently within organizations. Threes usually work well within existing organizational structures and get along with their bosses, providing neither become an obstacle to their goals. Eights often feel limited by organizational structures, can be rebellious toward authorities, and break the rules if it suits their purposes. Threes may at times also break rules, but they are more likely to subtly circumvent them than to violate them in a bold and visible way.

Both Threes and Eights often describe themselves as honest with a desire for knowing the truth, but they have very different definitions of truth and honesty. Eights often believe they instinctively know what truth is; thus, they tend to not solicit the opinions of others unless they are uncertain about a situation – which is rare – and only if they truly respect someone’s knowledge or character. Threes are confident but not always certain, and they test their “audience” to determine what is true or what is the best course of action. Threes also tend to be more diplomatic than Eights and will speak the truth when they believe it is important to do so, but they usually express it with a sensitivity to the impact their words have on another; for Threes, truth and honesty may be relative and somewhat contingent on particular circumstances. For Eights, there is no relative truth or honesty. They say what they think and expect others to do the same.

Finally, Eights often have a stronger sense of who they really are than do Threes. Although everyone can struggle with the question “Who am I?” at different times in their lives, the Threes’ facility in adapting their persona to their context can leave them confused about their real or deeper identity. Eights, by contrast, adapt so little to their context that their sense of self does not shift and change to the same degree.

THREES organize their lives to achieve specific goals and to appear successful in order to gain the respect and admiration of others.
BASIC CONCERN: How can I gain the respect and esteem of others?
NINES seek peace, harmony, and positive mutual regard and dislike conflict, tension, rudeness, and ill will.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everyone being heard, including me?

Threes and Nines share the qualities of being optimistic, likable, hardworking, and practical, and they both usually display effective interpersonal skills. In addition, both also depend on external support for their sense of identity and direction. Threes read other people in order to determine how they should look and act in order to appear successful and then (consciously and unconsciously) create their persona to match that image; this helps Threes gain the approval and admiration of others and feel good about themselves. Nines use others as their reference and accede to their wishes as a way of not having to pay attention to what they themselves want, to minimize conflict, and to create harmony.

At times, both Threes and Nines can feel inaccessible at a deeper human level. While they are friendly and interactive on the surface, Threes and Nines can feel uncertain about who they really are, and this confusion can impair deeper human contact with others. Threes focus so much attention on work and activities, identify so strongly with their image, and avoid discussing their deeper feelings; these qualities compromise human interaction at a deeper level. Similarly, Nines can forget who they are, be unclear about what they think, lose touch with what they really want, and instead merge with other people. Merging may feel good, but it is not the same thing as deep human interaction. Deep human contact requires the individuals involved to have a strong enough sense of a separate self to make contact with another.

There are also some key differences between Threes and Nines. The Three’s primary focus is the accomplishment of tasks and goals, while the Nine’s is maintaining comfort and harmony. Threes are fast-paced, decisive, and forward moving; with their keen focus on goals and priorities, they are very work-oriented and can easily become workaholics. Nines move at a slower pace – for example, their rate of speech, pace of work, and speed of walking – and have a tendency to take their time before moving to action. They are also very hardworking, but they can have a harder time finishing tasks on time because they are prone to procrastination, can be plagued by indecision, or become distracted by less essential tasks. Nines may also forget what they were supposed to do, switch to a less important task, or take time off to relax from the pressure.

Threes will engage in conflict if necessary and even initiate it, particularly when it involves an obstacle to their forward momentum, and will more readily endure discomfort if it serves their progress toward their goal. Nines usually take great pains to avoid conflict; they like to stay comfortable and tend to avoid moving outside their comfort zone to accomplish tasks they view as disturbing their peace – for example, a Nines expressing a strong opinion in public or confronting someone about something that was unkind or incorrect. Finally, Nines dislike being the center of attention – although they do like being acknowledged – while most Threes enjoy being in the spotlight, with many Threes actively seeking out situations in which they are center stage.

THREES organize their lives to achieve specific goals and to appear successful in order to gain the respect and admiration of others.
BASIC CONCERN: How can I gain the respect and esteem of others?
NINES seek peace, harmony, and positive mutual regard and dislike conflict, tension, rudeness, and ill will.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everyone being heard, including me?

Threes and Nines share the qualities of being optimistic, likable, hardworking, and practical, and they both usually display effective interpersonal skills. In addition, both also depend on external support for their sense of identity and direction. Threes read other people in order to determine how they should look and act in order to appear successful and then (consciously and unconsciously) create their persona to match that image; this helps Threes gain the approval and admiration of others and feel good about themselves. Nines use others as their reference and accede to their wishes as a way of not having to pay attention to what they themselves want, to minimize conflict, and to create harmony.

At times, both Threes and Nines can feel inaccessible at a deeper human level. While they are friendly and interactive on the surface, Threes and Nines can feel uncertain about who they really are, and this confusion can impair deeper human contact with others. Threes focus so much attention on work and activities, identify so strongly with their image, and avoid discussing their deeper feelings; these qualities compromise human interaction at a deeper level. Similarly, Nines can forget who they are, be unclear about what they think, lose touch with what they really want, and instead merge with other people. Merging may feel good, but it is not the same thing as deep human interaction. Deep human contact requires the individuals involved to have a strong enough sense of a separate self to make contact with another.

There are also some key differences between Threes and Nines. The Three’s primary focus is the accomplishment of tasks and goals, while the Nine’s is maintaining comfort and harmony. Threes are fast-paced, decisive, and forward moving; with their keen focus on goals and priorities, they are very work-oriented and can easily become workaholics. Nines move at a slower pace – for example, their rate of speech, pace of work, and speed of walking – and have a tendency to take their time before moving to action. They are also very hardworking, but they can have a harder time finishing tasks on time because they are prone to procrastination, can be plagued by indecision, or become distracted by less essential tasks. Nines may also forget what they were supposed to do, switch to a less important task, or take time off to relax from the pressure.

Threes will engage in conflict if necessary and even initiate it, particularly when it involves an obstacle to their forward momentum, and will more readily endure discomfort if it serves their progress toward their goal. Nines usually take great pains to avoid conflict; they like to stay comfortable and tend to avoid moving outside their comfort zone to accomplish tasks they view as disturbing their peace – for example, a Nines expressing a strong opinion in public or confronting someone about something that was unkind or incorrect. Finally, Nines dislike being the center of attention – although they do like being acknowledged – while most Threes enjoy being in the spotlight, with many Threes actively seeking out situations in which they are center stage.

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FOURS desire deep connections with their inner worlds and with other people, and they feel most alive when authentically expressing their feelings.
BASIC CONCERN: Will I be rejected or feel deficient? Can I express myself?
ONES seek a perfect world and work diligently to improve both themselves and everyone and everything around them.
BASIC CONCERN: What is right or wrong, correct or incorrect?

Ones and Fours can appear similar because both take work tasks seriously and want to do the best job they can. However, Ones focus more on the structure, process, and details of completing tasks, while Fours focus more on relationships, people, and their own creative expression. Both Ones and Fours are idealistic and appreciate quality, but Ones focus most on making things as perfect as they can be according to their own internal standards and base their judgments on their internal, body-based sense and strong opinions of how things “should be.” Fours value creativity, authenticity, and aesthetics beyond a specific and precise idea or definition of perfection and are far more conscious of how things look to other people or what “feels right” to them from an emotional perspective.

Both Ones and Fours can be self-critical, but the One’s inner critic provides a running commentary on how everything could have been done more perfectly; the Fours’ self-criticism comes from a deeper sense of something being fundamentally flawed or wrong within them. Ones take note of grammatical errors or other specific elements that seem out of alignment or less than ideal, often with little or no emotional reaction other than irritation, whereas Fours frequently notice what is missing in a given situation and in themselves in a much broader, less specific sense and may have deep feeling reactions – for example, anger, pain, or angst – to what they see as absent or not good enough.

Ones and Fours also differ from one another in several ways. Fours focus on other people, paying a great deal of attention to interpersonal interactions on an emotional level and how much they feel connected or disconnected to the people around them. Ones are more likely to focus on the structure of work relationships or the structure of work-related tasks.

Ones often see things in black and white – for example, thinking there is one right way to approach a task – while Fours approach situations with more nuance, creativity, and self-expression and, as a result, are more likely to see many ways to approach tasks and projects. While individuals of both types want to perform at a high-level and may be perfectionistic in what they do, the One’s priorities lie in following the rules and structure and making something as good as it can possibly be according to the One’s standards. Fours focus more on creativity, authentic self-expression, and whether others perceive them as special and unique.

In terms of emotional tone, Ones and Fours can appear quite different to an outside observer. Ones seem more reserved and self-controlled, although they do become annoyed and irritated when others don’t follow the rules or perform up to the Ones’ standards and expectations. Fours, on the other hand, tend to be more emotional with far more varied moods – some of which are unpredictable – and are generally empathic, having an understanding and compassion for the range of feelings that they believe are part of the human condition. As a result of these differences in emotional tone, Ones tend to be more controlled, straightforward, concise, and precise, while Fours can be dramatic, emotionally expressive, and far less predictable in their communications with others.

FOURS desire deep connections with their inner worlds and with other people, and they feel most alive when authentically expressing their feelings.
BASIC CONCERN: Will I be rejected or feel deficient? Can I express myself?
ONES seek a perfect world and work diligently to improve both themselves and everyone and everything around them.
BASIC CONCERN: What is right or wrong, correct or incorrect?

Ones and Fours can appear similar because both take work tasks seriously and want to do the best job they can. However, Ones focus more on the structure, process, and details of completing tasks, while Fours focus more on relationships, people, and their own creative expression. Both Ones and Fours are idealistic and appreciate quality, but Ones focus most on making things as perfect as they can be according to their own internal standards and base their judgments on their internal, body-based sense and strong opinions of how things “should be.” Fours value creativity, authenticity, and aesthetics beyond a specific and precise idea or definition of perfection and are far more conscious of how things look to other people or what “feels right” to them from an emotional perspective.

Both Ones and Fours can be self-critical, but the One’s inner critic provides a running commentary on how everything could have been done more perfectly; the Fours’ self-criticism comes from a deeper sense of something being fundamentally flawed or wrong within them. Ones take note of grammatical errors or other specific elements that seem out of alignment or less than ideal, often with little or no emotional reaction other than irritation, whereas Fours frequently notice what is missing in a given situation and in themselves in a much broader, less specific sense and may have deep feeling reactions – for example, anger, pain, or angst – to what they see as absent or not good enough.

Ones and Fours also differ from one another in several ways. Fours focus on other people, paying a great deal of attention to interpersonal interactions on an emotional level and how much they feel connected or disconnected to the people around them. Ones are more likely to focus on the structure of work relationships or the structure of work-related tasks.

Ones often see things in black and white – for example, thinking there is one right way to approach a task – while Fours approach situations with more nuance, creativity, and self-expression and, as a result, are more likely to see many ways to approach tasks and projects. While individuals of both types want to perform at a high-level and may be perfectionistic in what they do, the One’s priorities lie in following the rules and structure and making something as good as it can possibly be according to the One’s standards. Fours focus more on creativity, authentic self-expression, and whether others perceive them as special and unique.

In terms of emotional tone, Ones and Fours can appear quite different to an outside observer. Ones seem more reserved and self-controlled, although they do become annoyed and irritated when others don’t follow the rules or perform up to the Ones’ standards and expectations. Fours, on the other hand, tend to be more emotional with far more varied moods – some of which are unpredictable – and are generally empathic, having an understanding and compassion for the range of feelings that they believe are part of the human condition. As a result of these differences in emotional tone, Ones tend to be more controlled, straightforward, concise, and precise, while Fours can be dramatic, emotionally expressive, and far less predictable in their communications with others.

FOURS desire deep connections with their inner worlds and with other people, and they feel most alive when authentically expressing their feelings.
BASIC CONCERN: Will I be rejected or feel deficient? Can I express myself?
TWOS want to be liked, try to meet the needs of others, and attempt to orchestrate the people and events in their lives.
BASIC CONCERN: Am I needed? Will others like me?

Both Twos and Fours are keenly aware of their image and pay a great deal of attention to how others perceive them, with Twos wanting to be perceived as likable, friendly, and appealing and Fours wanting to be viewed as special, unique, and different. Both are sensitive to how others perceive and feel about them and this contributes to both styles being self-critical, with both Twos and Fours judging themselves for not being good enough when someone does not respond favorably. Twos and Fours are both emotional, although Twos may also repress certain feelings and be out of touch with their deeper responses, while Fours often over-identify with their feelings and may dwell on certain feelings as a way to avoid other feelings they are having. Interpersonally, both have a great capacity for empathy and, as a result, are often skilled at creating relationships based on their ability to both listen and understand other people’s thoughts and feelings.

Twos and Fours also differ in many respects. Twos want to be helpful and meet others’ needs and often neglect their own needs in the process. Fours, by contrast, have far more access to their own needs and make their own desires a higher priority. In other words, Twos are more other-focused; that is, they pay more attention to what others feel and need than to their own feelings and needs and place a high value on being liked, often adapting their self-presentation to be what they think others want them to be. Fours focus their attention primarily on themselves and their own inner experience, valuing authenticity and presenting themselves as they believe they truly are. As a result, Fours do not alter themselves nearly as much in order to please other people.

When working on a project with others, Twos can be averse to conflict because they fear conflict will destroy valued connections with others, while Fours are more able to engage in conflict when necessary, finding it more important to express truthful feelings and needs than to accommodate others and avoid anger. Overall, Twos are usually more optimistic, supportive, and upbeat in their mood and emotional presentation, while Fours can dwell more in melancholy and sadness and often focus on what is missing in a situation.

In many ways, Two and Fours are opposite sides of the same coin. Both share a perspective that the world is comprised of distress and suffering as well as joy and opportunity. However, they differ in response to this worldview. Twos believe that it is their job and responsibility to alleviate suffering and pain by being available to, helping, and giving useful advice to others, while Fours believe that one must experience and endure the more difficult parts of life in order to ultimately achieve joy and pleasure.

FOURS desire deep connections with their inner worlds and with other people, and they feel most alive when authentically expressing their feelings.
BASIC CONCERN: Will I be rejected or feel deficient? Can I express myself?
TWOS want to be liked, try to meet the needs of others, and attempt to orchestrate the people and events in their lives.
BASIC CONCERN: Am I needed? Will others like me?

Both Twos and Fours are keenly aware of their image and pay a great deal of attention to how others perceive them, with Twos wanting to be perceived as likable, friendly, and appealing and Fours wanting to be viewed as special, unique, and different. Both are sensitive to how others perceive and feel about them and this contributes to both styles being self-critical, with both Twos and Fours judging themselves for not being good enough when someone does not respond favorably. Twos and Fours are both emotional, although Twos may also repress certain feelings and be out of touch with their deeper responses, while Fours often over-identify with their feelings and may dwell on certain feelings as a way to avoid other feelings they are having. Interpersonally, both have a great capacity for empathy and, as a result, are often skilled at creating relationships based on their ability to both listen and understand other people’s thoughts and feelings.

Twos and Fours also differ in many respects. Twos want to be helpful and meet others’ needs and often neglect their own needs in the process. Fours, by contrast, have far more access to their own needs and make their own desires a higher priority. In other words, Twos are more other-focused; that is, they pay more attention to what others feel and need than to their own feelings and needs and place a high value on being liked, often adapting their self-presentation to be what they think others want them to be. Fours focus their attention primarily on themselves and their own inner experience, valuing authenticity and presenting themselves as they believe they truly are. As a result, Fours do not alter themselves nearly as much in order to please other people.

When working on a project with others, Twos can be averse to conflict because they fear conflict will destroy valued connections with others, while Fours are more able to engage in conflict when necessary, finding it more important to express truthful feelings and needs than to accommodate others and avoid anger. Overall, Twos are usually more optimistic, supportive, and upbeat in their mood and emotional presentation, while Fours can dwell more in melancholy and sadness and often focus on what is missing in a situation.

In many ways, Two and Fours are opposite sides of the same coin. Both share a perspective that the world is comprised of distress and suffering as well as joy and opportunity. However, they differ in response to this worldview. Twos believe that it is their job and responsibility to alleviate suffering and pain by being available to, helping, and giving useful advice to others, while Fours believe that one must experience and endure the more difficult parts of life in order to ultimately achieve joy and pleasure.

FOURS desire deep connections with their inner worlds and with other people, and they feel most alive when authentically expressing their feelings.
BASIC CONCERN: Will I be rejected or feel deficient? Can I express myself?
THREES organize their lives to achieve specific goals and to appear successful in order to gain the respect and admiration of others.
BASIC CONCERN: How can I gain the respect and esteem of others?

Threes and Fours can look similar because they have some common characteristics. As Heart Center types, both Threes and Fours pay a great deal of attention to how others perceive them, try to create a particular image, and emphasize relationships and connections. Threes try to create an image of success and achievement based what they imagine others value, but they avoid or circumvent their own emotions by focusing on tasks and getting things done. Fours try to create an image of being unique, sensitive, and different, while experiencing their emotions deeply and often over-identify with their feelings. In addition, both styles place great importance on and are sensitive to recognition and approval, and they can be intense, hard working, competitive, and inventive, with Fours usually having more originality in their creativity and Threes tending to conform more to social conventions.

Significant differences also exist between Threes and Fours. When Threes focus on tasks, they usually look for the shortest, most efficient, and fastest route to their goal and pursue practical goals in order to achieve success as defined by the context or group in which they want to excel. In order to get things done and keep everything moving forward, Threes try to ignore or submerge their feelings, believing that emotions such as sadness, anxiety, and anger can be distractions to success. Fours are more nonlinear, creative, and organic and they tend to pursue ideals more than goals – for example, love, emotional depth through creativity, and authentic expression – as a way for them to feel special and unique. Fours also place far more importance on feelings, self-expression, and connections with others and believe that feelings should be felt and then authentically expressed.

Threes strive to match the image of what they believe other people think is most attractive, admirable, or successful, even if it means appearing to be something or someone they are not. They place a high value on seeming to have the outward signs of success – for example, the right clothing for the occasion, a car that reflects their image or desired status, friends that reflect well on them, and a winning, “can-do” interpersonal style. By contrast, Fours place more emphasis on their own internal sense of what they want and feel and value authentic self-expression and deep relationships; they are far less likely to adjust their behavior based on what others may want. Some Fours can be somber in their type, some appear sophisticated, and others have a flair for the dramatic, and all Fours respond to their internal moods more than what is expected of them and can convey a sense that they and/or the situation are deficient in some way – that is, missing something that would have otherwise made them successful.

Finally, Threes often appear pragmatic, optimistic, and forward looking and focus on specific goals and plans for reaching them. Fours focus on what is missing in the current situation, what occurred in the past that gave them pain or pleasure, or what is needed in a given situation to fill the gap between the real and the ideal. As a result, Fours often come across as focused more on the past than the present, more idealistic, and less optimistic than Threes.

FOURS desire deep connections with their inner worlds and with other people, and they feel most alive when authentically expressing their feelings.
BASIC CONCERN: Will I be rejected or feel deficient? Can I express myself?
THREES organize their lives to achieve specific goals and to appear successful in order to gain the respect and admiration of others.
BASIC CONCERN: How can I gain the respect and esteem of others?

Threes and Fours can look similar because they have some common characteristics. As Heart Center types, both Threes and Fours pay a great deal of attention to how others perceive them, try to create a particular image, and emphasize relationships and connections. Threes try to create an image of success and achievement based what they imagine others value, but they avoid or circumvent their own emotions by focusing on tasks and getting things done. Fours try to create an image of being unique, sensitive, and different, while experiencing their emotions deeply and often over-identify with their feelings. In addition, both styles place great importance on and are sensitive to recognition and approval, and they can be intense, hard working, competitive, and inventive, with Fours usually having more originality in their creativity and Threes tending to conform more to social conventions.

Significant differences also exist between Threes and Fours. When Threes focus on tasks, they usually look for the shortest, most efficient, and fastest route to their goal and pursue practical goals in order to achieve success as defined by the context or group in which they want to excel. In order to get things done and keep everything moving forward, Threes try to ignore or submerge their feelings, believing that emotions such as sadness, anxiety, and anger can be distractions to success. Fours are more nonlinear, creative, and organic and they tend to pursue ideals more than goals – for example, love, emotional depth through creativity, and authentic expression – as a way for them to feel special and unique. Fours also place far more importance on feelings, self-expression, and connections with others and believe that feelings should be felt and then authentically expressed.

Threes strive to match the image of what they believe other people think is most attractive, admirable, or successful, even if it means appearing to be something or someone they are not. They place a high value on seeming to have the outward signs of success – for example, the right clothing for the occasion, a car that reflects their image or desired status, friends that reflect well on them, and a winning, “can-do” interpersonal style. By contrast, Fours place more emphasis on their own internal sense of what they want and feel and value authentic self-expression and deep relationships; they are far less likely to adjust their behavior based on what others may want. Some Fours can be somber in their type, some appear sophisticated, and others have a flair for the dramatic, and all Fours respond to their internal moods more than what is expected of them and can convey a sense that they and/or the situation are deficient in some way – that is, missing something that would have otherwise made them successful.

Finally, Threes often appear pragmatic, optimistic, and forward looking and focus on specific goals and plans for reaching them. Fours focus on what is missing in the current situation, what occurred in the past that gave them pain or pleasure, or what is needed in a given situation to fill the gap between the real and the ideal. As a result, Fours often come across as focused more on the past than the present, more idealistic, and less optimistic than Threes.

Please choose a different type to compare to Fours.

Please choose a different type to compare to Fours.

FOURS desire deep connections with their inner worlds and with other people, and they feel most alive when authentically expressing their feelings.
BASIC CONCERN: Will I be rejected or feel deficient? Can I express myself?
FIVES thirst for information and knowledge and use emotional detachment as a way of keeping involvement with others to a minimum.
BASIC CONCERN: Will demands be made on me for my time, energy, and resources?

There are some clear similarities between Fours and Fives. Both types tend to withdraw from others, but for different reasons and in different ways. Fives draw clear boundaries between themselves and others and do so consistently – for example, making it clear through their comments and behavior how long they will meet with others, what topics are acceptable for discussion, and how much physical space or separation they desire. This enables Fives to move away from interpersonal contact – particularly intense contact – whenever they want to as a way to conserve their energy and internal resources; they fear that prolonged interaction with others will exhaust them, drain their energy, and/or invade their private space. Fours also need distance from others but they withdraw for different reasons: (1) to engage more deeply with their own internal experience, (2) to protect themselves when they feel hurt or angry, and (3) when they feel too close to someone and want to create some distance between themselves and the other person. Although Fours have much more access to their emotions than do Fives, both tend to intellectualize and engage in thinking and analysis as a way of understanding and avoiding painful feelings. In addition, both types are introspective and self-referencing, which means they focus more on their own internal experience than on the experience of other people.

Significant differences also exist between Fours and Fives. Fours are one of the most emotional Enneagram types, and they value deep, authentic relationships. They connect frequently to their own deep-level emotions and enjoy seeking out strong emotional connections with others; because they are sensitive to the feeling of abandonment and loss, Fours make a concerted effort to engage in deep, meaningful interactions. However, Fours can become anxious and ambivalent when connections become too close for their comfort level. Fives are among the least emotional Enneagram types. They habitually detach from their feelings, sometimes choosing to feel them later, and enjoy being alone and having a great deal of private time. Fives keep most feelings to themselves, and they usually avoid deep connections with most other people because they feel more comfortable with limited and circumscribed emotional engagement.

When assessing a situation or task, Fives observe first, analyze their thoughts, and then communicate their perspectives from a detached, analytical, cerebral, and objective point of view. By contrast, Fours rely on their feelings and tend to see things from a more emotional, subjective, and symbolic perspective. Fives tend to be reserved and self-contained, value self-sufficiency, and are highly sensitive to being intruded on when involved in work or personal relationships; they can easily feel drained by the needs of others. Fours, by contrast, are more intense, dramatic, romantic or idealistic, and passionate in their relationships with others, and they are usually very sensitive and empathic when others express their needs. Fours experience longing for their own needs to be met and can become angry or despondent when this does not occur, feeling the lack of need fulfillment and pain acutely. Fives will minimize their needs and desires, detaching from the pain of unmet needs, and instead economize and conserve their resources as a way to cope with not having enough.

FOURS desire deep connections with their inner worlds and with other people, and they feel most alive when authentically expressing their feelings.
BASIC CONCERN: Will I be rejected or feel deficient? Can I express myself?
FIVES thirst for information and knowledge and use emotional detachment as a way of keeping involvement with others to a minimum.
BASIC CONCERN: Will demands be made on me for my time, energy, and resources?

There are some clear similarities between Fours and Fives. Both types tend to withdraw from others, but for different reasons and in different ways. Fives draw clear boundaries between themselves and others and do so consistently – for example, making it clear through their comments and behavior how long they will meet with others, what topics are acceptable for discussion, and how much physical space or separation they desire. This enables Fives to move away from interpersonal contact – particularly intense contact – whenever they want to as a way to conserve their energy and internal resources; they fear that prolonged interaction with others will exhaust them, drain their energy, and/or invade their private space. Fours also need distance from others but they withdraw for different reasons: (1) to engage more deeply with their own internal experience, (2) to protect themselves when they feel hurt or angry, and (3) when they feel too close to someone and want to create some distance between themselves and the other person. Although Fours have much more access to their emotions than do Fives, both tend to intellectualize and engage in thinking and analysis as a way of understanding and avoiding painful feelings. In addition, both types are introspective and self-referencing, which means they focus more on their own internal experience than on the experience of other people.

Significant differences also exist between Fours and Fives. Fours are one of the most emotional Enneagram types, and they value deep, authentic relationships. They connect frequently to their own deep-level emotions and enjoy seeking out strong emotional connections with others; because they are sensitive to the feeling of abandonment and loss, Fours make a concerted effort to engage in deep, meaningful interactions. However, Fours can become anxious and ambivalent when connections become too close for their comfort level. Fives are among the least emotional Enneagram types. They habitually detach from their feelings, sometimes choosing to feel them later, and enjoy being alone and having a great deal of private time. Fives keep most feelings to themselves, and they usually avoid deep connections with most other people because they feel more comfortable with limited and circumscribed emotional engagement.

When assessing a situation or task, Fives observe first, analyze their thoughts, and then communicate their perspectives from a detached, analytical, cerebral, and objective point of view. By contrast, Fours rely on their feelings and tend to see things from a more emotional, subjective, and symbolic perspective. Fives tend to be reserved and self-contained, value self-sufficiency, and are highly sensitive to being intruded on when involved in work or personal relationships; they can easily feel drained by the needs of others. Fours, by contrast, are more intense, dramatic, romantic or idealistic, and passionate in their relationships with others, and they are usually very sensitive and empathic when others express their needs. Fours experience longing for their own needs to be met and can become angry or despondent when this does not occur, feeling the lack of need fulfillment and pain acutely. Fives will minimize their needs and desires, detaching from the pain of unmet needs, and instead economize and conserve their resources as a way to cope with not having enough.

FOURS desire deep connections with their inner worlds and with other people, and they feel most alive when authentically expressing their feelings.
BASIC CONCERN: Will I be rejected or feel deficient? Can I express myself?
SIXES have insightful minds, are prone to worry, and create worst-case scenarios to help themselves feel prepared in case something goes wrong.
BASIC CONCERN: What could go wrong here? Whom can I trust? Am I making the best decisions?

Fours and Sixes share some external behaviors. Both are intuitive and skilled at reading others; Fours intuit other people’s feelings and motivations as a way to be empathic and create deep connections, as well as to protect themselves from possible rejection, while Sixes try to assess other people’s intentions and motivations in order to determine whether these individuals are trustworthy in order to protect themselves from threats.

Fours and Sixes can both challenge authority figures as well as the established way of doing tasks and projects. Fours tend to non-conformists, partly because they have original ways of seeing things and partly because they dare to be different. Sixes can be rebellious and challenging because they think in contrarian ways and are cautious and wary of those they perceive as having power over them. Both types can also be effective troubleshooters; Fours intuitively feel what’s missing in a specific situation, and Sixes automatically think about what might go wrong so that they can prepare for it in advance.

Both Fours and Sixes can engage in self-deprecating behavior, having negative feelings about themselves and asking, What did I do wrong here? Both can feel “stuck” in their lives and pursuits and have difficulty moving forward. Some Fours can appear quite confident, but underneath this exterior is the chronic feeling that they are not good enough, defective, or flawed in some way. They tend to be overly self-critical and often believe that their life circumstances are hopeless or beyond their control to change. Sixes tend to doubt and question themselves in most situations, although this is more true of phobic Sixes and less obvious for counterphobic Sixes. Sixes can become despondent as a result of their tendency to overanalyze issues and events, paralyzed or immobilized when they don’t know what to do, doubtful of their own abilities, and fearful of success and the subsequent visibility and attacks that may ensue as a result.

There are also clear distinctions between Fours and Sixes. Fours are sensitive to how they are being perceived by others – primarily as a hedge against personal rejection – and focus on creating as image of being unique, different, and original; Fours want to stand out and be viewed as special and to feel loved and appreciated for who they are. Sixes, by contrast, focus more on feeling safe in a dangerous world and are not as chronically concerned with personal rejection or creating a particular image. They identify more with the underdog and appear more like the “everyman/everywoman” archetype.

Fours live primarily from and in the emotional arena, while Sixes live in their heads and are predominantly mental and analytical. Although they can be highly analytical, most Fours use their mental agility to process and understand their feelings. Many Sixes have strong emotional reactions, but they primarily rely on their mental functioning to create scenarios that explain and reinforce their emotional responses. In addition, the Six’s most common emotional experiences involve fear, doubt, and worry, searching for certainty that inevitably cannot be found. Fours most often feel sadness and melancholy, focusing on what they don’t have that others seem to – for example, wanting an unattainable love relationship or an extremely close connection and believing that they can finally be happy only if they attain this.

FOURS desire deep connections with their inner worlds and with other people, and they feel most alive when authentically expressing their feelings.
BASIC CONCERN: Will I be rejected or feel deficient? Can I express myself?
SIXES have insightful minds, are prone to worry, and create worst-case scenarios to help themselves feel prepared in case something goes wrong.
BASIC CONCERN: What could go wrong here? Whom can I trust? Am I making the best decisions?

Fours and Sixes share some external behaviors. Both are intuitive and skilled at reading others; Fours intuit other people’s feelings and motivations as a way to be empathic and create deep connections, as well as to protect themselves from possible rejection, while Sixes try to assess other people’s intentions and motivations in order to determine whether these individuals are trustworthy in order to protect themselves from threats.

Fours and Sixes can both challenge authority figures as well as the established way of doing tasks and projects. Fours tend to non-conformists, partly because they have original ways of seeing things and partly because they dare to be different. Sixes can be rebellious and challenging because they think in contrarian ways and are cautious and wary of those they perceive as having power over them. Both types can also be effective troubleshooters; Fours intuitively feel what’s missing in a specific situation, and Sixes automatically think about what might go wrong so that they can prepare for it in advance.

Both Fours and Sixes can engage in self-deprecating behavior, having negative feelings about themselves and asking, What did I do wrong here? Both can feel “stuck” in their lives and pursuits and have difficulty moving forward. Some Fours can appear quite confident, but underneath this exterior is the chronic feeling that they are not good enough, defective, or flawed in some way. They tend to be overly self-critical and often believe that their life circumstances are hopeless or beyond their control to change. Sixes tend to doubt and question themselves in most situations, although this is more true of phobic Sixes and less obvious for counterphobic Sixes. Sixes can become despondent as a result of their tendency to overanalyze issues and events, paralyzed or immobilized when they don’t know what to do, doubtful of their own abilities, and fearful of success and the subsequent visibility and attacks that may ensue as a result.

There are also clear distinctions between Fours and Sixes. Fours are sensitive to how they are being perceived by others – primarily as a hedge against personal rejection – and focus on creating as image of being unique, different, and original; Fours want to stand out and be viewed as special and to feel loved and appreciated for who they are. Sixes, by contrast, focus more on feeling safe in a dangerous world and are not as chronically concerned with personal rejection or creating a particular image. They identify more with the underdog and appear more like the “everyman/everywoman” archetype.

Fours live primarily from and in the emotional arena, while Sixes live in their heads and are predominantly mental and analytical. Although they can be highly analytical, most Fours use their mental agility to process and understand their feelings. Many Sixes have strong emotional reactions, but they primarily rely on their mental functioning to create scenarios that explain and reinforce their emotional responses. In addition, the Six’s most common emotional experiences involve fear, doubt, and worry, searching for certainty that inevitably cannot be found. Fours most often feel sadness and melancholy, focusing on what they don’t have that others seem to – for example, wanting an unattainable love relationship or an extremely close connection and believing that they can finally be happy only if they attain this.

FOURS desire deep connections with their inner worlds and with other people, and they feel most alive when authentically expressing their feelings.
BASIC CONCERN: Will I be rejected or feel deficient? Can I express myself?
SEVENS crave the stimulation of new ideas, people, and experiences, avoid pain, and create elaborate future plans to keep their options open.
BASIC CONCERN: What is exciting? Do I feel constrained? Can I avoid pain?

Fours and Sevens share several common traits that can make them appear similar. Most notably, both seek intense and stimulating experiences, but for different reasons. Fours live in the world of feelings and personal experience, crave the richness of deeply felt emotions and passionate connections with other people, and dislike mundane activities; mundane and ordinary experiences can make them feel discouraged and depressed and cause them to feel as if they are just like everyone else – that is, not particularly special. Sevens pursue intensity and stimulation as a way to keep their moods elevated and their experiences fun and positive to an extreme. Being stimulated and adrenalized helps them avoid less positive, less intense, empty, boring, and unpleasant alternatives, all of which would not feel good to Sevens, whose motto is: Why feel bad when you can feel good? Both Fours and Sevens also value creativity and self-expression. Fours want to be seen as unique and creative, and they enjoy self-expression, often through aesthetics, artistry, and a symbolic understanding of the meaning of events and experiences. Sevens like creativity and innovation and being able to express their continuous stream of new ideas.

In relationships, both Fours and Sevens tend to be self-referencing – that is, they pay far more attention to and place greater emphasis on their own thoughts, feelings, and experiences than on those of others. When Fours focus on themselves, they usually do so by concentrating on their own feelings and moods; in this sense, they are more internally than externally directed. When they listen to others, Fours commonly share their own experiences, sometimes interrupting the other person to do so. Although the intent is most often to deepen the connection between them and to demonstrate their empathy and understanding, others can interpret this behavior as redirecting the conversation back to the Four. The self-referencing behavior of Sevens is more often based on their own thoughts, ideas, future plans, anticipated pleasurable activities, and external stimuli, and Sevens also interrupt others when they have an idea or want to say something. From the their perspective, this demonstrates their interest in what the other person is saying, although others may perceive this as having been cut off.

Fours and Sevens are also highly sensitive to criticism. Fours experience criticism as a blow to their self-esteem, and it elicits their chronic sense that they are not good enough. Sevens experience criticism as a hurtful interruption of their innocent desire to focus on the positive and to see themselves in positive terms. In addition, because many Sevens avoid introspection and self-assessment, they often feel ill-equipped to deal with these judgments, assessments, and critiques.

Fours and Sevens also differ in specific ways. Although both types are idealistic, Sevens tend to be relentlessly optimistic, while Fours can be more pessimistic as a result of the their attention to what is missing in a person or situation. In addition, Fours and Sevens have very different profiles in relation to how they experience feelings. Emphasizing charm and a positive, fun-loving presentation of self, Sevens focus and dwell primarily on positive feelings, partly because they have upbeat, happy temperaments and partly because they want to keep it that way. Sevens have a difficult time accepting and experiencing more challenging emotions, such as sadness, anxiety, discomfort, and even anger to some degree; they reframe negatives into positives, and as a result, they can transform a painful event into one filled with opportunities. Fours, on the other hand, are far more comfortable experiencing a wide range of emotions. From the their perspective, feeling something is better than feeling nothing and Fours feel negative emotions such as disappointment or melancholy fairly regularly. In addition, they focus on what is missing or what something should be, and this helps them feel more familiar with the negative aspects of situations, issues, and relationships.

Fours’ relative comfort and familiarity with a breadth and depth of feelings makes them empathic when others are suffering or under duress. Fours experience a richness and realness in facing deeper issues, perceiving it as a valuable part of the human experience; deep connections with others based on sharing authentic feelings and being available to others in challenging moments satisfies their need for meaningful connection. Most Sevens are far more challenged when empathizing with and supporting others who are experiencing difficulties, particularly if the person’s issues persist for an extended period of time. This is partly because Sevens do not like to deal with suffering in their own lives and have little prolonged experience of doing so and partly because they believe “Why suffer when you can feel good?” Sevens are often hesitant to make long-term commitments to relationships that involve painful experiences because this can feel distressing, depressing, and limiting. As a result, Fours can perceive Sevens superficial and inauthentic, and Sevens can perceive Fours as overly intense and unnecessarily negative.

FOURS desire deep connections with their inner worlds and with other people, and they feel most alive when authentically expressing their feelings.
BASIC CONCERN: Will I be rejected or feel deficient? Can I express myself?
SEVENS crave the stimulation of new ideas, people, and experiences, avoid pain, and create elaborate future plans to keep their options open.
BASIC CONCERN: What is exciting? Do I feel constrained? Can I avoid pain?

Fours and Sevens share several common traits that can make them appear similar. Most notably, both seek intense and stimulating experiences, but for different reasons. Fours live in the world of feelings and personal experience, crave the richness of deeply felt emotions and passionate connections with other people, and dislike mundane activities; mundane and ordinary experiences can make them feel discouraged and depressed and cause them to feel as if they are just like everyone else – that is, not particularly special. Sevens pursue intensity and stimulation as a way to keep their moods elevated and their experiences fun and positive to an extreme. Being stimulated and adrenalized helps them avoid less positive, less intense, empty, boring, and unpleasant alternatives, all of which would not feel good to Sevens, whose motto is: Why feel bad when you can feel good? Both Fours and Sevens also value creativity and self-expression. Fours want to be seen as unique and creative, and they enjoy self-expression, often through aesthetics, artistry, and a symbolic understanding of the meaning of events and experiences. Sevens like creativity and innovation and being able to express their continuous stream of new ideas.

In relationships, both Fours and Sevens tend to be self-referencing – that is, they pay far more attention to and place greater emphasis on their own thoughts, feelings, and experiences than on those of others. When Fours focus on themselves, they usually do so by concentrating on their own feelings and moods; in this sense, they are more internally than externally directed. When they listen to others, Fours commonly share their own experiences, sometimes interrupting the other person to do so. Although the intent is most often to deepen the connection between them and to demonstrate their empathy and understanding, others can interpret this behavior as redirecting the conversation back to the Four. The self-referencing behavior of Sevens is more often based on their own thoughts, ideas, future plans, anticipated pleasurable activities, and external stimuli, and Sevens also interrupt others when they have an idea or want to say something. From the their perspective, this demonstrates their interest in what the other person is saying, although others may perceive this as having been cut off.

Fours and Sevens are also highly sensitive to criticism. Fours experience criticism as a blow to their self-esteem, and it elicits their chronic sense that they are not good enough. Sevens experience criticism as a hurtful interruption of their innocent desire to focus on the positive and to see themselves in positive terms. In addition, because many Sevens avoid introspection and self-assessment, they often feel ill-equipped to deal with these judgments, assessments, and critiques.

Fours and Sevens also differ in specific ways. Although both types are idealistic, Sevens tend to be relentlessly optimistic, while Fours can be more pessimistic as a result of the their attention to what is missing in a person or situation. In addition, Fours and Sevens have very different profiles in relation to how they experience feelings. Emphasizing charm and a positive, fun-loving presentation of self, Sevens focus and dwell primarily on positive feelings, partly because they have upbeat, happy temperaments and partly because they want to keep it that way. Sevens have a difficult time accepting and experiencing more challenging emotions, such as sadness, anxiety, discomfort, and even anger to some degree; they reframe negatives into positives, and as a result, they can transform a painful event into one filled with opportunities. Fours, on the other hand, are far more comfortable experiencing a wide range of emotions. From the their perspective, feeling something is better than feeling nothing and Fours feel negative emotions such as disappointment or melancholy fairly regularly. In addition, they focus on what is missing or what something should be, and this helps them feel more familiar with the negative aspects of situations, issues, and relationships.

Fours’ relative comfort and familiarity with a breadth and depth of feelings makes them empathic when others are suffering or under duress. Fours experience a richness and realness in facing deeper issues, perceiving it as a valuable part of the human experience; deep connections with others based on sharing authentic feelings and being available to others in challenging moments satisfies their need for meaningful connection. Most Sevens are far more challenged when empathizing with and supporting others who are experiencing difficulties, particularly if the person’s issues persist for an extended period of time. This is partly because Sevens do not like to deal with suffering in their own lives and have little prolonged experience of doing so and partly because they believe “Why suffer when you can feel good?” Sevens are often hesitant to make long-term commitments to relationships that involve painful experiences because this can feel distressing, depressing, and limiting. As a result, Fours can perceive Sevens superficial and inauthentic, and Sevens can perceive Fours as overly intense and unnecessarily negative.

FOURS desire deep connections with their inner worlds and with other people, and they feel most alive when authentically expressing their feelings.
BASIC CONCERN: Will I be rejected or feel deficient? Can I express myself?
EIGHTS pursue the truth, like to keep situations under control, want to make important things happen, and try to hide their vulnerability.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everything under control in an effective and just way?

Fours and Eights can appear similar to one another. Most Fours and Eights willingly engage in conflict – even though neither would say they particularly enjoy conflict – and they can confront people when necessary, although Eights tend to do so more regularly than Fours. Both experience emotions deeply and express them with intensity, although their emotional repertoires are different. Eights express anger more frequently than any other feeling, but they hide their sensitivities and vulnerabilities, perceiving these as weakness. Fours usually feel a wider range of emotions, although they are especially attuned to sadness, melancholy, and vulnerability. Fours and Eights are intense and drawn to intensity in others, and both types feel things passionately and can be impulsive, feeling justified in breaking the rules. Eights believe that they are bigger than most rules and that rules are meant to be broken. Fours break rules because they value their own internal experience as well as their needs and desires over a set of established rules. In the work environment, Fours and Eights work hard and can be deeply engaged in their endeavors; Fours view work as an opportunity for self-expression and collaborative artistry, while Eights strive to make the biggest impact possible and to protect the people with whom they work.

Significant differences also exist between Fours and Eights. Eights have a difficult time recognizing and acknowledging their own physical limits, dependency needs, and softer emotions, while Fours are far more familiar and experienced dealing with them. Fours usually expend far more effort in getting their physical and emotional needs met, and they express affection and love by sharing feelings and expressing their desire for connection. Eights often act as if they have no needs, except with the few individuals they trust; in relationships, Eights typically express affection and love by being powerful and protective of others.

While both types can challenge established authorities, Eights are typically more clearly and consistently rebellious than Fours. Eights are sensitive to leadership vacuums and power dynamics and believe it is their role and responsibility to make certain everything is under control. Consequently, they will not only challenge leaders they perceive to be ineffective or unjust, they will also step in and take charge. Although Fours may challenge authority figures and systems, they do so most often when their core values are at stake and rarely assume that they should or need to step forward into the leadership role; in fact, taking charge under these circumstances would be anxiety producing for most Fours.

In general, Eights focus on the strategic, big picture and then immediately strategize how to move things forward, being bold, assertive, aggressive, and even dominating. Fours, by contrast, pay more attention to the creative process, attracting attention, and being valued for their unique contributions to the process. They are generally less assertive – that is, less consistently assertive – and more oriented to achieving emotional connection with others. In addition, Eights tend to be direct and straightforward when communicating and they can easily misperceive the impact they have on others. Fours are highly attuned to how they affect people around them, expressing themselves at length and with nuance, particularly emphasizing their own experience as well as their emotional reactions.

FOURS desire deep connections with their inner worlds and with other people, and they feel most alive when authentically expressing their feelings.
BASIC CONCERN: Will I be rejected or feel deficient? Can I express myself?
EIGHTS pursue the truth, like to keep situations under control, want to make important things happen, and try to hide their vulnerability.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everything under control in an effective and just way?

Fours and Eights can appear similar to one another. Most Fours and Eights willingly engage in conflict – even though neither would say they particularly enjoy conflict – and they can confront people when necessary, although Eights tend to do so more regularly than Fours. Both experience emotions deeply and express them with intensity, although their emotional repertoires are different. Eights express anger more frequently than any other feeling, but they hide their sensitivities and vulnerabilities, perceiving these as weakness. Fours usually feel a wider range of emotions, although they are especially attuned to sadness, melancholy, and vulnerability. Fours and Eights are intense and drawn to intensity in others, and both types feel things passionately and can be impulsive, feeling justified in breaking the rules. Eights believe that they are bigger than most rules and that rules are meant to be broken. Fours break rules because they value their own internal experience as well as their needs and desires over a set of established rules. In the work environment, Fours and Eights work hard and can be deeply engaged in their endeavors; Fours view work as an opportunity for self-expression and collaborative artistry, while Eights strive to make the biggest impact possible and to protect the people with whom they work.

Significant differences also exist between Fours and Eights. Eights have a difficult time recognizing and acknowledging their own physical limits, dependency needs, and softer emotions, while Fours are far more familiar and experienced dealing with them. Fours usually expend far more effort in getting their physical and emotional needs met, and they express affection and love by sharing feelings and expressing their desire for connection. Eights often act as if they have no needs, except with the few individuals they trust; in relationships, Eights typically express affection and love by being powerful and protective of others.

While both types can challenge established authorities, Eights are typically more clearly and consistently rebellious than Fours. Eights are sensitive to leadership vacuums and power dynamics and believe it is their role and responsibility to make certain everything is under control. Consequently, they will not only challenge leaders they perceive to be ineffective or unjust, they will also step in and take charge. Although Fours may challenge authority figures and systems, they do so most often when their core values are at stake and rarely assume that they should or need to step forward into the leadership role; in fact, taking charge under these circumstances would be anxiety producing for most Fours.

In general, Eights focus on the strategic, big picture and then immediately strategize how to move things forward, being bold, assertive, aggressive, and even dominating. Fours, by contrast, pay more attention to the creative process, attracting attention, and being valued for their unique contributions to the process. They are generally less assertive – that is, less consistently assertive – and more oriented to achieving emotional connection with others. In addition, Eights tend to be direct and straightforward when communicating and they can easily misperceive the impact they have on others. Fours are highly attuned to how they affect people around them, expressing themselves at length and with nuance, particularly emphasizing their own experience as well as their emotional reactions.

FOURS desire deep connections with their inner worlds and with other people, and they feel most alive when authentically expressing their feelings.
BASIC CONCERN: Will I be rejected or feel deficient? Can I express myself?
NINES seek peace, harmony, and positive mutual regard and dislike conflict, tension, rudeness, and ill will.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everyone being heard, including me?

Fours and Nines share some common characteristics. They can look alike because both place a great deal of importance on cultivating relationships and the achievement of connections with other people. Both types can lose themselves in relationships, although Nines do this more regularly and with more people by merging or blending with the other person’s energy, priorities, and desires. Fours can also lose their sense of self, but they only do this in extremely close relationships and through sublimating their own needs and desires to those of the other person in hopes of maintaining the close connection.

Both Fours and Nines have the capacity to understand people. Because Fours are emotionally intuitive and sensitive to the moods and feelings of others, they are able and interested in understanding them in depth. Nines are skilled, non-invasive, and nonjudgmental questioners and want everyone to be heard; they have the capacity to understand and embrace many points of views, some even more clearly than their own.

Fours and Nines can feel overlooked and often have the feeling that they are misunderstood or undervalued by others. Fours, however, most often feel misunderstood and therefore overlooked in terms of their feelings and intentions, feeling like misfits who are different and marginal to the groups they belong. Nines most often feel overlooked and therefore not understood in terms of not fully belonging or not being important enough as a person. They often have a deep concern about whether or not they belong to the group, whether it is their family or other groups.

Fours and Nines also differ in significant ways. Nines are other-referencing, while Fours are self-referencing. Nines pay attention to other people’s opinions, agendas, and moods far more than their own, putting their needs and priorities aside in favor of the needs and agendas of others. Fours emphasize and value their own internal experience, focused more on satisfying their own needs, feelings, and desires. Nines tend to be more steady and even-tempered than Fours and they avoid conflict and crave harmony between themselves and others as well as within groups. This is not a priority for Fours, who experience a wider range of intense emotions. In fact, they may even create or contribute to discord if they believe it is important for the authentic communication and the expression of feelings.

Finally, Nines are reluctant to state their preferences for several reasons. They may not know what they want or may believe that someone else’s opinions or desires are more important than their own; they don’t want to create a conflict and believe that expressing a preference can invite opposition. The Nines’ tendency to overadjust to other people – often thinking the connection will be broken that if they do not adapt to others – creates difficulties for Nines in terms of saying no, defining boundaries, and asserting themselves. By contrast, Fours believe that their opinions are of value and should be heard. They assert themselves more, adapt less often, and say no more regularly.

FOURS desire deep connections with their inner worlds and with other people, and they feel most alive when authentically expressing their feelings.
BASIC CONCERN: Will I be rejected or feel deficient? Can I express myself?
NINES seek peace, harmony, and positive mutual regard and dislike conflict, tension, rudeness, and ill will.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everyone being heard, including me?

Fours and Nines share some common characteristics. They can look alike because both place a great deal of importance on cultivating relationships and the achievement of connections with other people. Both types can lose themselves in relationships, although Nines do this more regularly and with more people by merging or blending with the other person’s energy, priorities, and desires. Fours can also lose their sense of self, but they only do this in extremely close relationships and through sublimating their own needs and desires to those of the other person in hopes of maintaining the close connection.

Both Fours and Nines have the capacity to understand people. Because Fours are emotionally intuitive and sensitive to the moods and feelings of others, they are able and interested in understanding them in depth. Nines are skilled, non-invasive, and nonjudgmental questioners and want everyone to be heard; they have the capacity to understand and embrace many points of views, some even more clearly than their own.

Fours and Nines can feel overlooked and often have the feeling that they are misunderstood or undervalued by others. Fours, however, most often feel misunderstood and therefore overlooked in terms of their feelings and intentions, feeling like misfits who are different and marginal to the groups they belong. Nines most often feel overlooked and therefore not understood in terms of not fully belonging or not being important enough as a person. They often have a deep concern about whether or not they belong to the group, whether it is their family or other groups.

Fours and Nines also differ in significant ways. Nines are other-referencing, while Fours are self-referencing. Nines pay attention to other people’s opinions, agendas, and moods far more than their own, putting their needs and priorities aside in favor of the needs and agendas of others. Fours emphasize and value their own internal experience, focused more on satisfying their own needs, feelings, and desires. Nines tend to be more steady and even-tempered than Fours and they avoid conflict and crave harmony between themselves and others as well as within groups. This is not a priority for Fours, who experience a wider range of intense emotions. In fact, they may even create or contribute to discord if they believe it is important for the authentic communication and the expression of feelings.

Finally, Nines are reluctant to state their preferences for several reasons. They may not know what they want or may believe that someone else’s opinions or desires are more important than their own; they don’t want to create a conflict and believe that expressing a preference can invite opposition. The Nines’ tendency to overadjust to other people – often thinking the connection will be broken that if they do not adapt to others – creates difficulties for Nines in terms of saying no, defining boundaries, and asserting themselves. By contrast, Fours believe that their opinions are of value and should be heard. They assert themselves more, adapt less often, and say no more regularly.

Click on the style number to the right to see the corresponding information.
FIVES thirst for information and knowledge and use emotional detachment as a way of keeping involvement with others to a minimum.
BASIC CONCERN: Will demands be made on me for my time, energy, and resources?
ONES seek a perfect world and work diligently to improve both themselves and everyone and everything around them.
BASIC CONCERN: What is right or wrong, correct or incorrect?

Enneagram types One and Five can appear very similar because they both tend to be reserved, logical, and task-focused, and both styles may appear serious and withdrawn. Ones and Fives both value independence, self-reliance, and self-sufficiency, although Fives generally require more privacy than Ones. Both seek knowledge; Fives do so because the acquisition of knowledge makes them feel both more potent and in control of situations, while Ones pursue knowledge in order to be more competent and correct. Both can appear intellectual and knowledgeable, and they often excel at logical, objective analysis. Ones strive for objectivity because this helps them be more correct, act more responsibly, and make fewer mistakes; Fives strive for objectivity because they like to analyze situations from a detached perspective and want to understand how everything fits and works together as a system. Both understand boundaries and the need for them, although Fives have much stronger and clearer boundaries than Ones. In addition, both Ones and Fives are diligent and practical, with Ones being more rules-based and Fives being more appreciative of simplicity and resource conservation, and both types can be judgmental, applying their own internal standards when judging their own or others’ work.

While Ones and Fives share some characteristics, the two styles also have some fundamental differences. While Fives can be self-critical, Ones are much more so, having an inner critic commenting on almost everything the One says and does. Ones also tend to be more judgmental of others than Fives, and they can be openly angry or irritated when others do not follow the rules or do not do things the right way – that is, according to the One’s sense of the right way to act. Although neither type feels comfortable sharing feelings publicly and both Ones and Fives tend to hold back or control their emotional responses, Ones’ feelings tend to show externally more than Fives, who almost always maintain a calm reserve, even in times of stress. Ones experience anger fairly regularly, and although they try to restrain its outward expression, the Ones’ anger often manifests as irritation, annoyance, or frustration, particularly when people do not perform as the One thinks they should. On the other hand, Fives are more likely to keep their thoughts, and especially their feelings, to themselves; Fives automatically detach from feelings as they are occurring, and it is very rare for them to share their emotions with others, particularly in the work setting.

FIVES thirst for information and knowledge and use emotional detachment as a way of keeping involvement with others to a minimum.
BASIC CONCERN: Will demands be made on me for my time, energy, and resources?
ONES seek a perfect world and work diligently to improve both themselves and everyone and everything around them.
BASIC CONCERN: What is right or wrong, correct or incorrect?

Enneagram types One and Five can appear very similar because they both tend to be reserved, logical, and task-focused, and both styles may appear serious and withdrawn. Ones and Fives both value independence, self-reliance, and self-sufficiency, although Fives generally require more privacy than Ones. Both seek knowledge; Fives do so because the acquisition of knowledge makes them feel both more potent and in control of situations, while Ones pursue knowledge in order to be more competent and correct. Both can appear intellectual and knowledgeable, and they often excel at logical, objective analysis. Ones strive for objectivity because this helps them be more correct, act more responsibly, and make fewer mistakes; Fives strive for objectivity because they like to analyze situations from a detached perspective and want to understand how everything fits and works together as a system. Both understand boundaries and the need for them, although Fives have much stronger and clearer boundaries than Ones. In addition, both Ones and Fives are diligent and practical, with Ones being more rules-based and Fives being more appreciative of simplicity and resource conservation, and both types can be judgmental, applying their own internal standards when judging their own or others’ work.

While Ones and Fives share some characteristics, the two styles also have some fundamental differences. While Fives can be self-critical, Ones are much more so, having an inner critic commenting on almost everything the One says and does. Ones also tend to be more judgmental of others than Fives, and they can be openly angry or irritated when others do not follow the rules or do not do things the right way – that is, according to the One’s sense of the right way to act. Although neither type feels comfortable sharing feelings publicly and both Ones and Fives tend to hold back or control their emotional responses, Ones’ feelings tend to show externally more than Fives, who almost always maintain a calm reserve, even in times of stress. Ones experience anger fairly regularly, and although they try to restrain its outward expression, the Ones’ anger often manifests as irritation, annoyance, or frustration, particularly when people do not perform as the One thinks they should. On the other hand, Fives are more likely to keep their thoughts, and especially their feelings, to themselves; Fives automatically detach from feelings as they are occurring, and it is very rare for them to share their emotions with others, particularly in the work setting.

FIVES thirst for information and knowledge and use emotional detachment as a way of keeping involvement with others to a minimum.
BASIC CONCERN: Will demands be made on me for my time, energy, and resources?
TWOS want to be liked, try to meet the needs of others, and attempt to orchestrate the people and events in their lives.
BASIC CONCERN: Am I needed? Will others like me?

While Twos and Fives are in some ways opposites, they do have some traits in common. Both Twos and Fives can withdraw when feeling vulnerable and need time alone; Fives rely on this strategy far more often and in more situations than Twos, unless the Two is highly introverted or is a self-preservation subtype Two. Both Twos and Fives place a high value on independence, although this is more of a way of life for Fives. For Twos, being independent can be either an authentic desire to be free of constantly focusing on others or, more typically, a way to defend against feeling too dependent on other people.

In many respects, Twos and Fives are quite different. Twos feel their emotions fairly frequently, although not always as strongly as they really are, and they tend to respond to people and events far more strongly due to their more intuitive, feelings-based approach to interactions. Fives habitually and automatically detach from their emotions; they can seem very reserved, unemotional, and analytical because of their more objective and intellectual way of approaching tasks and discussions.

Twos like to be around people and actively seek close relationships with others, focusing their attention on other people’s feelings and needs. Fives highly value their privacy, personal space, and alone time and are generally less relationship-oriented. They often purposely avoid becoming too involved with other people, particularly when the involvement includes having to deal with the emotions and needs of others. In general, Fives feel drained of their energy and resources when they have to interact with others for extended periods of time. Twos typically feel energized and affirmed by close, positive contact with other people, especially close friends and individuals who are important to them. Most Twos give very generously to others, at times even offering too much of themselves or their resources. By contrast, Fives are usually more withholding, having the ongoing concern that others will take too much of their resources – for example, time and energy – that they believe they need for themselves.

Additionally, Twos can have a difficult time setting and adhering to appropriate boundaries between themselves and others, while Fives tend to be very mindful of establishing clear, firm boundaries with other people. For example, Twos can have a hard time saying “no” to others, even when they don’t want to do something or when they are feeling depleted; Fives can say “no” relatively easily if they don’t want to meet another person’s need. Similarly, Twos usually consider themselves to be high-energy people who can readily devote a good deal of their time and energy to others, while Fives have the sense they have limited energy and, as a result, conserve their energy for their own needs.

FIVES thirst for information and knowledge and use emotional detachment as a way of keeping involvement with others to a minimum.
BASIC CONCERN: Will demands be made on me for my time, energy, and resources?
TWOS want to be liked, try to meet the needs of others, and attempt to orchestrate the people and events in their lives.
BASIC CONCERN: Am I needed? Will others like me?

While Twos and Fives are in some ways opposites, they do have some traits in common. Both Twos and Fives can withdraw when feeling vulnerable and need time alone; Fives rely on this strategy far more often and in more situations than Twos, unless the Two is highly introverted or is a self-preservation subtype Two. Both Twos and Fives place a high value on independence, although this is more of a way of life for Fives. For Twos, being independent can be either an authentic desire to be free of constantly focusing on others or, more typically, a way to defend against feeling too dependent on other people.

In many respects, Twos and Fives are quite different. Twos feel their emotions fairly frequently, although not always as strongly as they really are, and they tend to respond to people and events far more strongly due to their more intuitive, feelings-based approach to interactions. Fives habitually and automatically detach from their emotions; they can seem very reserved, unemotional, and analytical because of their more objective and intellectual way of approaching tasks and discussions.

Twos like to be around people and actively seek close relationships with others, focusing their attention on other people’s feelings and needs. Fives highly value their privacy, personal space, and alone time and are generally less relationship-oriented. They often purposely avoid becoming too involved with other people, particularly when the involvement includes having to deal with the emotions and needs of others. In general, Fives feel drained of their energy and resources when they have to interact with others for extended periods of time. Twos typically feel energized and affirmed by close, positive contact with other people, especially close friends and individuals who are important to them. Most Twos give very generously to others, at times even offering too much of themselves or their resources. By contrast, Fives are usually more withholding, having the ongoing concern that others will take too much of their resources – for example, time and energy – that they believe they need for themselves.

Additionally, Twos can have a difficult time setting and adhering to appropriate boundaries between themselves and others, while Fives tend to be very mindful of establishing clear, firm boundaries with other people. For example, Twos can have a hard time saying “no” to others, even when they don’t want to do something or when they are feeling depleted; Fives can say “no” relatively easily if they don’t want to meet another person’s need. Similarly, Twos usually consider themselves to be high-energy people who can readily devote a good deal of their time and energy to others, while Fives have the sense they have limited energy and, as a result, conserve their energy for their own needs.

FIVES thirst for information and knowledge and use emotional detachment as a way of keeping involvement with others to a minimum.
BASIC CONCERN: Will demands be made on me for my time, energy, and resources?
THREES organize their lives to achieve specific goals and to appear successful in order to gain the respect and admiration of others.
BASIC CONCERN: How can I gain the respect and esteem of others?

Threes and Fives can be confused with one another because they share some characteristics. Individuals of both types value emotional control and try to avoid both feeling and expressing their emotions. Although many Threes have strong emotional reactions, they try to avoid experiencing them too deeply or expressing them too intensely as a way of preventing their emotional reactions from interfering with achieving their goals or tarnishing their image as a confident person who is “on top” of situations. Fives actually detach from their emotions, disconnecting from them as they occur by confining their breathing – that is, not breathing beyond their heads or necks – and focusing extensively on thinking and analyzing information. Fives find comfort and safety in thinking and acquiring knowledge; Threes find comfort and ease in doing and performing.

Threes and Fives also share a deep desire to feel competent and to be perceived as competent by other people whose opinions matter to them. As a result, individuals of both types can be highly sensitive to criticism, especially if they perceive the critique as a challenge to their competence. However, Threes tend to define competence in terms of their performance and achievements, while Fives define competence more in terms of their knowledge and analytical skills.

When others want to forge close relationships with Threes or Fives, both may seem unavailable and difficult to relate to at deeper levels. Threes may appear inaccessible because they are highly identified with their image and unwilling to share more of their real selves, particularly those aspects that may conflict with the image they are trying to project. In general, Fives tend to be inaccessible to others unless they really trust them, and this level of trust takes a long time to develop. Fives withdraw from others as a way to reduce potentially taxing emotional entanglements. In addition, both Threes and Fives value independence and self-sufficiency, and this can interfere with their developing close, interdependent bonds with others.

Significant differences also exist between Threes and Fives. Threes are far more dependent on the approval and admiration of other people and reference groups, and they are focused on creating an image of success; the admiration of others makes Threes feel valued and worthwhile. Fives pride themselves on their autonomy and lack of concern about the perceptions of others. They do not focus on creating and maintaining a particular image other than being highly knowledgeable.

Threes and Fives also differ in their work styles. Threes are primarily oriented toward achieving goals, creating plans, and working on tasks, while Fives place their emphasis on observing, thinking, analyzing, and increasing their knowledge base. Threes expend enormous energy on work itself, thinking nothing of spending whatever amount of time it takes to achieve their chosen goals, even when this requires them to work excessively month after month. Threes can be workaholics, volunteering for extra work and bringing work with them on vacations. Fives emphasize conserving their energy and are reluctant to take on tasks, relationships, and time commitments that they believe will drain them and their resources. Fives feel that their energy can be easily depleted and squandered if they don’t conserve their resources – for example, time, energy, and effort – by setting clear boundaries on their time and commitments.

Although both Threes and Fives can be highly competitive, Threes are more overtly so and display this quality in many more aspects of their lives. For example, Threes are usually adept at marketing themselves, making it obvious – often with subtlety and finesse – what they are good at, what they’ve accomplished, and who they know. Fives, by contrast, feel challenged when they have to market themselves, feeling that doing so is bragging and intrudes on others. Although individuals of both types like to win, Threes often focus on winning to such an extent that they often ignore what it will cost them personally, while Fives easily disengage from activities when they conclude that the effort is not worth the expenditure of their energy and resources.

FIVES thirst for information and knowledge and use emotional detachment as a way of keeping involvement with others to a minimum.
BASIC CONCERN: Will demands be made on me for my time, energy, and resources?
THREES organize their lives to achieve specific goals and to appear successful in order to gain the respect and admiration of others.
BASIC CONCERN: How can I gain the respect and esteem of others?

Threes and Fives can be confused with one another because they share some characteristics. Individuals of both types value emotional control and try to avoid both feeling and expressing their emotions. Although many Threes have strong emotional reactions, they try to avoid experiencing them too deeply or expressing them too intensely as a way of preventing their emotional reactions from interfering with achieving their goals or tarnishing their image as a confident person who is “on top” of situations. Fives actually detach from their emotions, disconnecting from them as they occur by confining their breathing – that is, not breathing beyond their heads or necks – and focusing extensively on thinking and analyzing information. Fives find comfort and safety in thinking and acquiring knowledge; Threes find comfort and ease in doing and performing.

Threes and Fives also share a deep desire to feel competent and to be perceived as competent by other people whose opinions matter to them. As a result, individuals of both types can be highly sensitive to criticism, especially if they perceive the critique as a challenge to their competence. However, Threes tend to define competence in terms of their performance and achievements, while Fives define competence more in terms of their knowledge and analytical skills.

When others want to forge close relationships with Threes or Fives, both may seem unavailable and difficult to relate to at deeper levels. Threes may appear inaccessible because they are highly identified with their image and unwilling to share more of their real selves, particularly those aspects that may conflict with the image they are trying to project. In general, Fives tend to be inaccessible to others unless they really trust them, and this level of trust takes a long time to develop. Fives withdraw from others as a way to reduce potentially taxing emotional entanglements. In addition, both Threes and Fives value independence and self-sufficiency, and this can interfere with their developing close, interdependent bonds with others.

Significant differences also exist between Threes and Fives. Threes are far more dependent on the approval and admiration of other people and reference groups, and they are focused on creating an image of success; the admiration of others makes Threes feel valued and worthwhile. Fives pride themselves on their autonomy and lack of concern about the perceptions of others. They do not focus on creating and maintaining a particular image other than being highly knowledgeable.

Threes and Fives also differ in their work styles. Threes are primarily oriented toward achieving goals, creating plans, and working on tasks, while Fives place their emphasis on observing, thinking, analyzing, and increasing their knowledge base. Threes expend enormous energy on work itself, thinking nothing of spending whatever amount of time it takes to achieve their chosen goals, even when this requires them to work excessively month after month. Threes can be workaholics, volunteering for extra work and bringing work with them on vacations. Fives emphasize conserving their energy and are reluctant to take on tasks, relationships, and time commitments that they believe will drain them and their resources. Fives feel that their energy can be easily depleted and squandered if they don’t conserve their resources – for example, time, energy, and effort – by setting clear boundaries on their time and commitments.

Although both Threes and Fives can be highly competitive, Threes are more overtly so and display this quality in many more aspects of their lives. For example, Threes are usually adept at marketing themselves, making it obvious – often with subtlety and finesse – what they are good at, what they’ve accomplished, and who they know. Fives, by contrast, feel challenged when they have to market themselves, feeling that doing so is bragging and intrudes on others. Although individuals of both types like to win, Threes often focus on winning to such an extent that they often ignore what it will cost them personally, while Fives easily disengage from activities when they conclude that the effort is not worth the expenditure of their energy and resources.

FIVES thirst for information and knowledge and use emotional detachment as a way of keeping involvement with others to a minimum.
BASIC CONCERN: Will demands be made on me for my time, energy, and resources?
FOURS desire deep connections with their inner worlds and with other people, and they feel most alive when authentically expressing their feelings.
BASIC CONCERN: Will I be rejected or feel deficient? Can I express myself?

There are some clear similarities between Fours and Fives. Both styles tend to withdraw from others, but for different reasons and in different ways. Fives draw clear boundaries between themselves and others and do so consistently – for example, making it clear through their comments and behavior how long they will meet with others, what topics are acceptable for discussion, and how much physical space or separation they desire. This enables Fives to move away from interpersonal contact – particularly intense contact – whenever they want to as a way to conserve their energy and internal resources; they fear that prolonged interaction with others will exhaust them, drain their energy, and/or invade their private space. Fours also need distance from others but they withdraw for different reasons: (1) to engage more deeply with their own internal experience, (2) to protect themselves when they feel hurt or angry, and (3) when they feel too close to someone and want to create some distance between themselves and the other person. Although Fours have much more access to their emotions than do Fives, both tend to intellectualize and engage in thinking and analysis as a way of understanding and avoiding painful feelings. In addition, both types are introspective and self-referencing, which means they focus more on their own internal experience than on the experience of other people.

Significant differences also exist between Fours and Fives. Fours are one of the most emotional Enneagram types, and they value deep, authentic relationships. They connect frequently to their own deep-level emotions and enjoy seeking out strong emotional connections with others; because they are sensitive to the feeling of abandonment and loss, Fours make a concerted effort to engage in deep, meaningful interactions. However, Fours can become anxious and ambivalent when connections become too close for their comfort level. Fives are among the least emotional Enneagram types. They habitually detach from their feelings, sometimes choosing to feel them later, and enjoy being alone and having a great deal of private time. Fives keep most feelings to themselves, and they usually avoid deep connections with most other people because they feel more comfortable with limited and circumscribed emotional engagement.

When assessing a situation or task, Fives observe first, analyze their thoughts, and then communicate their perspectives from a detached, analytical, cerebral, and objective point of view. By contrast, Fours rely on their feelings and tend to see things from a more emotional, subjective, and symbolic perspective. Fives tend to be reserved and self-contained, value self-sufficiency, and are highly sensitive to being intruded on when involved in work or personal relationships; they can easily feel drained by the needs of others. Fours, by contrast, are more intense, dramatic, romantic or idealistic, and passionate in their relationships with others, and they are usually very sensitive and empathic when others express their needs. Fours experience longing for their own needs to be met and can become angry or despondent when this does not occur, feeling the lack of need fulfillment and pain acutely. Fives will minimize their needs and desires, detaching from the pain of unmet needs, and instead economize and conserve their resources as a way to cope with not having enough.

FIVES thirst for information and knowledge and use emotional detachment as a way of keeping involvement with others to a minimum.
BASIC CONCERN: Will demands be made on me for my time, energy, and resources?
FOURS desire deep connections with their inner worlds and with other people, and they feel most alive when authentically expressing their feelings.
BASIC CONCERN: Will I be rejected or feel deficient? Can I express myself?

There are some clear similarities between Fours and Fives. Both styles tend to withdraw from others, but for different reasons and in different ways. Fives draw clear boundaries between themselves and others and do so consistently – for example, making it clear through their comments and behavior how long they will meet with others, what topics are acceptable for discussion, and how much physical space or separation they desire. This enables Fives to move away from interpersonal contact – particularly intense contact – whenever they want to as a way to conserve their energy and internal resources; they fear that prolonged interaction with others will exhaust them, drain their energy, and/or invade their private space. Fours also need distance from others but they withdraw for different reasons: (1) to engage more deeply with their own internal experience, (2) to protect themselves when they feel hurt or angry, and (3) when they feel too close to someone and want to create some distance between themselves and the other person. Although Fours have much more access to their emotions than do Fives, both tend to intellectualize and engage in thinking and analysis as a way of understanding and avoiding painful feelings. In addition, both types are introspective and self-referencing, which means they focus more on their own internal experience than on the experience of other people.

Significant differences also exist between Fours and Fives. Fours are one of the most emotional Enneagram types, and they value deep, authentic relationships. They connect frequently to their own deep-level emotions and enjoy seeking out strong emotional connections with others; because they are sensitive to the feeling of abandonment and loss, Fours make a concerted effort to engage in deep, meaningful interactions. However, Fours can become anxious and ambivalent when connections become too close for their comfort level. Fives are among the least emotional Enneagram types. They habitually detach from their feelings, sometimes choosing to feel them later, and enjoy being alone and having a great deal of private time. Fives keep most feelings to themselves, and they usually avoid deep connections with most other people because they feel more comfortable with limited and circumscribed emotional engagement.

When assessing a situation or task, Fives observe first, analyze their thoughts, and then communicate their perspectives from a detached, analytical, cerebral, and objective point of view. By contrast, Fours rely on their feelings and tend to see things from a more emotional, subjective, and symbolic perspective. Fives tend to be reserved and self-contained, value self-sufficiency, and are highly sensitive to being intruded on when involved in work or personal relationships; they can easily feel drained by the needs of others. Fours, by contrast, are more intense, dramatic, romantic or idealistic, and passionate in their relationships with others, and they are usually very sensitive and empathic when others express their needs. Fours experience longing for their own needs to be met and can become angry or despondent when this does not occur, feeling the lack of need fulfillment and pain acutely. Fives will minimize their needs and desires, detaching from the pain of unmet needs, and instead economize and conserve their resources as a way to cope with not having enough.

Please choose a different type to compare to Fives.

Please choose a different type to compare to Fives.

FIVES thirst for information and knowledge and use emotional detachment as a way of keeping involvement with others to a minimum.
BASIC CONCERN: Will demands be made on me for my time, energy, and resources?
SIXES have insightful minds, are prone to worry, and create worst-case scenarios to help themselves feel prepared in case something goes wrong.
BASIC CONCERN: What could go wrong here? Whom can I trust? Am I making the best decisions?

Fives and Sixes are alike in several ways. Both can be reserved and withdrawn from others; Fives maintain a distance between themselves and others as a way to guard against people making too many demands on them and potentially depleting them, and the more phobic Sixes are wary of others and withdraw out of fear that other people represent some kind of danger or threat. The phobic Sixes, in particular, most closely resemble Fives, as both keep more to themselves and seek a sense of security by moving away from other people.

Both are slow to trust others when forming relationships. Fives and Sixes – both phobic and counterphobic Sixes, as well as Sixes who have elements of both phobia and counterphobia – have safety and security concerns and become vigilant about protecting their personal boundaries. Fives and Sixes also become angry when their boundaries are challenged or violated. The Fives’ need for clear boundaries arises from their desire to prevent intrusions, invasions of privacy, and other potentially energy-draining interactions with others, while the Sixes’ need arises from their fear of being attacked or harmed in some way. Both Fives and Sixes are analytical, and they intellectualize on a regular basis – that is, they rely on their thinking function as their primary mode of avoiding feelings. They may think about feelings, but can have difficulty actually feeling them or differentiating between and a thought and an emotion.

Fives and Sixes are also different in several ways. Counterphobic Sixes rarely get confused with Fives because they are often more assertive than phobic Sixes and also move toward people and situations rather than withdraw. All Sixes are suspicious of and even openly rebellious with authority figures, while Fives more often than not follow the directions given by authorities, although they are also watchful of those in authority. Even if they do not respect or trust a person in a position of power, Fives tend to go against that individual in a quieter, less noticeable way. For example, Fives simply disappear by not attending meetings or returning calls or e-mails or by engaging in strategizing behind the scenes. After being initially hesitant, Sixes often challenge authorities directly – for example, by questioning, doubting, or confronting them in a quest for clarity and certainty – and they even do this in public forums.  When analyzing situations, Fives try to be objective in their analyses and reach their conclusions in an emotionally detached way. Sixes, by contrast, have difficulty distinguishing facts from intuitions and intuitions from projections. In other words, Sixes may confuse what is objectively occurring from what they perceive to be true and can confuse their intuitions with projections, which arise from their own fears and anxiety.

In relationships, Fives may feel close to someone but they have strict limits on these interactions and withdraw frequently in order to take time for themselves, replenish their own energy, and to avoid feeling that that they are obligated to meet that person’s emotional needs. Fives value emotional control, self-containment, and personal autonomy, and they strongly prefer independence to interdependence. Sixes, by contrast, like to meet others’ needs, give their time and energy more freely, and enjoy more closely connected relationships with people they trust.

FIVES thirst for information and knowledge and use emotional detachment as a way of keeping involvement with others to a minimum.
BASIC CONCERN: Will demands be made on me for my time, energy, and resources?
SIXES have insightful minds, are prone to worry, and create worst-case scenarios to help themselves feel prepared in case something goes wrong.
BASIC CONCERN: What could go wrong here? Whom can I trust? Am I making the best decisions?

Fives and Sixes are alike in several ways. Both can be reserved and withdrawn from others; Fives maintain a distance between themselves and others as a way to guard against people making too many demands on them and potentially depleting them, and the more phobic Sixes are wary of others and withdraw out of fear that other people represent some kind of danger or threat. The phobic Sixes, in particular, most closely resemble Fives, as both keep more to themselves and seek a sense of security by moving away from other people.

Both are slow to trust others when forming relationships. Fives and Sixes – both phobic and counterphobic Sixes, as well as Sixes who have elements of both phobia and counterphobia – have safety and security concerns and become vigilant about protecting their personal boundaries. Fives and Sixes also become angry when their boundaries are challenged or violated. The Fives’ need for clear boundaries arises from their desire to prevent intrusions, invasions of privacy, and other potentially energy-draining interactions with others, while the Sixes’ need arises from their fear of being attacked or harmed in some way. Both Fives and Sixes are analytical, and they intellectualize on a regular basis – that is, they rely on their thinking function as their primary mode of avoiding feelings. They may think about feelings, but can have difficulty actually feeling them or differentiating between and a thought and an emotion.

Fives and Sixes are also different in several ways. Counterphobic Sixes rarely get confused with Fives because they are often more assertive than phobic Sixes and also move toward people and situations rather than withdraw. All Sixes are suspicious of and even openly rebellious with authority figures, while Fives more often than not follow the directions given by authorities, although they are also watchful of those in authority. Even if they do not respect or trust a person in a position of power, Fives tend to go against that individual in a quieter, less noticeable way. For example, Fives simply disappear by not attending meetings or returning calls or e-mails or by engaging in strategizing behind the scenes. After being initially hesitant, Sixes often challenge authorities directly – for example, by questioning, doubting, or confronting them in a quest for clarity and certainty – and they even do this in public forums.  When analyzing situations, Fives try to be objective in their analyses and reach their conclusions in an emotionally detached way. Sixes, by contrast, have difficulty distinguishing facts from intuitions and intuitions from projections. In other words, Sixes may confuse what is objectively occurring from what they perceive to be true and can confuse their intuitions with projections, which arise from their own fears and anxiety.

In relationships, Fives may feel close to someone but they have strict limits on these interactions and withdraw frequently in order to take time for themselves, replenish their own energy, and to avoid feeling that that they are obligated to meet that person’s emotional needs. Fives value emotional control, self-containment, and personal autonomy, and they strongly prefer independence to interdependence. Sixes, by contrast, like to meet others’ needs, give their time and energy more freely, and enjoy more closely connected relationships with people they trust.

FIVES thirst for information and knowledge and use emotional detachment as a way of keeping involvement with others to a minimum.
BASIC CONCERN: Will demands be made on me for my time, energy, and resources?
SEVENS crave the stimulation of new ideas, people, and experiences, avoid pain, and create elaborate future plans to keep their options open.
BASIC CONCERN: What is exciting? Do I feel constrained? Can I avoid pain?

Fives and Sevens have several characteristics in common. Both are mental types, “living” primarily in their heads or their thinking function. However, because they believe that knowledge is power, Fives gather data that interests them and then store this information in compartments in their mind so it can be retrieved at a later time and used to analyze and explain how things work and fit together as systems. This way of mental processing, called the compartmentalizing mind, is akin to having mental file folders with subfolders, much like a computer desktop. The Seven’s mind is very different. They constantly conjure up new and inventive ideas, engage in ongoing planning for future possibilities, and spontaneously connect and relate ideas that may seem dissimilar to others. The Seven’s mind, called the synthesizing mind, is more akin to a computer desktop that contains all the files – but no folders – in the workspace in which all are connected though invisible lines. As a result of this difference in mental processing, Fives are analytical, structured, systematic, and deliberate in their thinking, while Sevens are generative, spontaneous, original, and among the fastest thinkers of the Enneagram styles.

In addition, Sevens and Fives have active minds and genuinely enjoy learning, new ideas, and pursuing their intellectual interests. They also guard against becoming too committed to others in social interactions. Fives keep their distance from fear of being drained by others’ demands and needs and strive to conserve their energy. They are economical in their use of resources, believing that their resources are limited and they are at risk of being depleted. Sevens want to maintain their independence in order to keep their freedom and options open. They crave having multiple options and limitless opportunities and feel trapped and limited by others’ plans, desires, and expectations of them. In addition, individuals of both types intellectualize; they avoid their feelings by thinking, analyzing, and keeping themselves mentally stimulated.

There are also clear differences between Fives and Sevens. Sevens live primarily in the future, through their fantasies and plans, and by thinking about interesting and pleasurable activities that have not yet happened. Sevens are relentlessly positive – most of the time – and automatically reframe negative events and experiences into positive ones, using rationalization to do this. They seek excitement and stimulation as a way of avoiding feelings like frustration, discomfort, and sadness but they express pleasure and joy quite readily. In addition, Sevens are highly spontaneous, sometimes to the point of being impulsive. Fives, by contrast, tend to be far more objective in their analysis of situations and events. They live more in the practical reality of the present and their planning orientation is more like project planning than dreaming about possibilities. Fives detach from feelings in the moment, automatically letting them go and focusing instead on thoughts and ideas. However, they feel their feelings later when they are alone and have the time, desire, and privacy to reflect on them, and they do not limit the feelings they are willing to experience. Being the most self-contained and self-controlled of the Enneagram types, Fives are rarely spontaneous unless they are highly relaxed and with the very few other people they completely trust.

FIVES thirst for information and knowledge and use emotional detachment as a way of keeping involvement with others to a minimum.
BASIC CONCERN: Will demands be made on me for my time, energy, and resources?
SEVENS crave the stimulation of new ideas, people, and experiences, avoid pain, and create elaborate future plans to keep their options open.
BASIC CONCERN: What is exciting? Do I feel constrained? Can I avoid pain?

Fives and Sevens have several characteristics in common. Both are mental types, “living” primarily in their heads or their thinking function. However, because they believe that knowledge is power, Fives gather data that interests them and then store this information in compartments in their mind so it can be retrieved at a later time and used to analyze and explain how things work and fit together as systems. This way of mental processing, called the compartmentalizing mind, is akin to having mental file folders with subfolders, much like a computer desktop. The Seven’s mind is very different. They constantly conjure up new and inventive ideas, engage in ongoing planning for future possibilities, and spontaneously connect and relate ideas that may seem dissimilar to others. The Seven’s mind, called the synthesizing mind, is more akin to a computer desktop that contains all the files – but no folders – in the workspace in which all are connected though invisible lines. As a result of this difference in mental processing, Fives are analytical, structured, systematic, and deliberate in their thinking, while Sevens are generative, spontaneous, original, and among the fastest thinkers of the Enneagram styles.

In addition, Sevens and Fives have active minds and genuinely enjoy learning, new ideas, and pursuing their intellectual interests. They also guard against becoming too committed to others in social interactions. Fives keep their distance from fear of being drained by others’ demands and needs and strive to conserve their energy. They are economical in their use of resources, believing that their resources are limited and they are at risk of being depleted. Sevens want to maintain their independence in order to keep their freedom and options open. They crave having multiple options and limitless opportunities and feel trapped and limited by others’ plans, desires, and expectations of them. In addition, individuals of both types intellectualize; they avoid their feelings by thinking, analyzing, and keeping themselves mentally stimulated.

There are also clear differences between Fives and Sevens. Sevens live primarily in the future, through their fantasies and plans, and by thinking about interesting and pleasurable activities that have not yet happened. Sevens are relentlessly positive – most of the time – and automatically reframe negative events and experiences into positive ones, using rationalization to do this. They seek excitement and stimulation as a way of avoiding feelings like frustration, discomfort, and sadness but they express pleasure and joy quite readily. In addition, Sevens are highly spontaneous, sometimes to the point of being impulsive. Fives, by contrast, tend to be far more objective in their analysis of situations and events. They live more in the practical reality of the present and their planning orientation is more like project planning than dreaming about possibilities. Fives detach from feelings in the moment, automatically letting them go and focusing instead on thoughts and ideas. However, they feel their feelings later when they are alone and have the time, desire, and privacy to reflect on them, and they do not limit the feelings they are willing to experience. Being the most self-contained and self-controlled of the Enneagram types, Fives are rarely spontaneous unless they are highly relaxed and with the very few other people they completely trust.

FIVES thirst for information and knowledge and use emotional detachment as a way of keeping involvement with others to a minimum.
BASIC CONCERN: Will demands be made on me for my time, energy, and resources?
EIGHTS pursue the truth, like to keep situations under control, want to make important things happen, and try to hide their vulnerability.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everything under control in an effective and just way?

Some clear similarities exist between Fives and Eights. Both can feel and express anger when someone challenges their boundaries, although this is one of the only situations in which Fives express anger spontaneously, and Eights become angry far more frequently and over a wider range of issues. For example, Eights become quite angry when they perceive others as not telling the truth, when someone acts irresponsibly, doesn’t live up to their potential, wastes their time, and more. Both types can also appear disengaged and detached, with Fives doing this habitually and Eights intermittently. In addition, Fives and Eights have difficulty experiencing and expressing any emotions that suggest they are feeling vulnerable. Fives detach from emotions and withdraw from situations that might ignite their vulnerable feelings, while Eights deny their vulnerability and overcompensate by focusing on and finding ways to express their strength and power.

Fives differ from Eights in several respects. Fives are usually more deliberate, reserved, withdrawn, and low-key energetically. They exert control more quietly, less obtrusively, and with less expenditure of energy and they are more systematic, minimalistic, conserving, and economical in their use of time and resources. By contrast, Eights are bold and intense and their vast energy and strong presence can be felt by others even when they are silent. They actively take control in more overt and aggressive ways and tend to be excessive in the things they do – for example, eating food in large quantities and exercising for hours at a time. Eights can be impulsive and move to action so quickly that they can neglect to consider the various alternatives, while Fives think a great deal about the alternatives and their consequences before taking action. As result, Eights can take too much action too quickly, and Fives can take too little action or not take it soon enough.

The difference between Fives and Eights is also a byproduct of the fact that Fives are a Head Center type and Eights are a Body Center type. When analyzing situations, Eights can have trouble distinguishing between the objective truth and what they believe to be the truth because they rely on their gut instincts as their primary information source and guide. Fives use their minds to determine the truth; this includes a robust data-collection process and an objective, logical, and analytical approach that helps them reach their conclusions.

In relationships, Eights usually make it clear what they think and feel and where they stand, while Fives can be difficult to read and may withhold information about what they are thinking and feeling, even with others to whom they feel close. Most Eights feel energized by relationships and closeness although, like Fives, they trust selectively and take time to develop the trust. Fives tend to minimize and inhibit their own needs and desires and can feel depleted by life and relationships. Fives may even forgo the possible pleasure that a relationship may bring because the cost for engagement seems too high in terms of the Five’s time, space, and energy. Eights, by contrast, rebel against inhibitions – internal or external – to their pleasure and need satisfaction.

FIVES thirst for information and knowledge and use emotional detachment as a way of keeping involvement with others to a minimum.
BASIC CONCERN: Will demands be made on me for my time, energy, and resources?
EIGHTS pursue the truth, like to keep situations under control, want to make important things happen, and try to hide their vulnerability.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everything under control in an effective and just way?

Some clear similarities exist between Fives and Eights. Both can feel and express anger when someone challenges their boundaries, although this is one of the only situations in which Fives express anger spontaneously, and Eights become angry far more frequently and over a wider range of issues. For example, Eights become quite angry when they perceive others as not telling the truth, when someone acts irresponsibly, doesn’t live up to their potential, wastes their time, and more. Both types can also appear disengaged and detached, with Fives doing this habitually and Eights intermittently. In addition, Fives and Eights have difficulty experiencing and expressing any emotions that suggest they are feeling vulnerable. Fives detach from emotions and withdraw from situations that might ignite their vulnerable feelings, while Eights deny their vulnerability and overcompensate by focusing on and finding ways to express their strength and power.

Fives differ from Eights in several respects. Fives are usually more deliberate, reserved, withdrawn, and low-key energetically. They exert control more quietly, less obtrusively, and with less expenditure of energy and they are more systematic, minimalistic, conserving, and economical in their use of time and resources. By contrast, Eights are bold and intense and their vast energy and strong presence can be felt by others even when they are silent. They actively take control in more overt and aggressive ways and tend to be excessive in the things they do – for example, eating food in large quantities and exercising for hours at a time. Eights can be impulsive and move to action so quickly that they can neglect to consider the various alternatives, while Fives think a great deal about the alternatives and their consequences before taking action. As result, Eights can take too much action too quickly, and Fives can take too little action or not take it soon enough.

The difference between Fives and Eights is also a byproduct of the fact that Fives are a Head Center type and Eights are a Body Center type. When analyzing situations, Eights can have trouble distinguishing between the objective truth and what they believe to be the truth because they rely on their gut instincts as their primary information source and guide. Fives use their minds to determine the truth; this includes a robust data-collection process and an objective, logical, and analytical approach that helps them reach their conclusions.

In relationships, Eights usually make it clear what they think and feel and where they stand, while Fives can be difficult to read and may withhold information about what they are thinking and feeling, even with others to whom they feel close. Most Eights feel energized by relationships and closeness although, like Fives, they trust selectively and take time to develop the trust. Fives tend to minimize and inhibit their own needs and desires and can feel depleted by life and relationships. Fives may even forgo the possible pleasure that a relationship may bring because the cost for engagement seems too high in terms of the Five’s time, space, and energy. Eights, by contrast, rebel against inhibitions – internal or external – to their pleasure and need satisfaction.

FIVES thirst for information and knowledge and use emotional detachment as a way of keeping involvement with others to a minimum.
BASIC CONCERN: Will demands be made on me for my time, energy, and resources?
NINES seek peace, harmony, and positive mutual regard and dislike conflict, tension, rudeness, and ill will.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everyone being heard, including me?

Fives and Nines share some traits, especially from the perspective of the outside observer. Both can appear reserved, withdrawn, and non-aggressive. Both can be good mediators, as Nines can easily see all points of view and Fives are objective analysts.  In addition, neither likes conflict and can be passive-aggressive when they don’t like something – for example, being stubborn and immovable in a quiet way. Nines do this as a result of their unwillingness to assert themselves or express their anger directly, while Fives do not want to express their emotions openly or get involved in an emotional and draining situation that they believe isn’t worth the effort. Individuals of both types also distance themselves from their own internal experiences and feelings. Fives detach from their emotion through intellectualization and emotional disconnection, while Nines ignore, deny, and forget their own preferences and opinions by telling themselves that they do not really matter and by disconnecting from their physical sensations.

When they work with others, Fives and Nines like structure, consistency, and predictability and want to be consulted about what they think. Both styles are sensitive to and dislike being controlled by others and have strong negative reactions to demands and pressure. In addition, Fives and Nines often need time to reflect on what they think and how they feel. Fives need this time because they detach emotionally when feelings are occurring and need to reconnect with the feelings and analyze the situation, and Nines are often unclear about what they think or how they are reacting and thus need time to let their thoughts and feelings emerge.

There are also significant differences between Fives and Nines. In most relationships, Nines merge or blend with others energetically and accede to the other person’s desires and preferences. They feel comfortable, connected, harmonic, and relaxed with this lack of personal boundaries between themselves and others. Nines are other-referencing, pay attention to others more than to themselves, and tend to overadapt to other people. Because they are often unclear about what they want, Nines have difficulty stating their preferences, but they can later feel resentful that they went along with others and that their wishes were not expressed or heard. By contrast, Fives withdraw from others and establish clear, strong, and relatively immovable interpersonal boundaries that arise from a need for autonomy and their fear of being depleted in these relationships. Fives are self-referencing, focused more on their own thoughts and reactions, almost always know what they want, and are adept at preventing others from interfering with what they want to do.

Most Nines have great difficulty saying no or expressing their thoughts, feelings, and preferences, particularly when they anticipate opposition from others. Nines will say yes and mean no, while Fives say no far more easily and often and mean it. In addition, because Nines crave harmonic connections with people, they often have difficulty separating themselves from others. Fives separate from others very easily, as withdrawal constitutes one of their primary forms of self-protection. Consequently, Nines are often perceived as friendly, affable, and easygoing while Fives tend to be viewed as aloof, reserved, and highly independent.

FIVES thirst for information and knowledge and use emotional detachment as a way of keeping involvement with others to a minimum.
BASIC CONCERN: Will demands be made on me for my time, energy, and resources?
NINES seek peace, harmony, and positive mutual regard and dislike conflict, tension, rudeness, and ill will.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everyone being heard, including me?

Fives and Nines share some traits, especially from the perspective of the outside observer. Both can appear reserved, withdrawn, and non-aggressive. Both can be good mediators, as Nines can easily see all points of view and Fives are objective analysts.  In addition, neither likes conflict and can be passive-aggressive when they don’t like something – for example, being stubborn and immovable in a quiet way. Nines do this as a result of their unwillingness to assert themselves or express their anger directly, while Fives do not want to express their emotions openly or get involved in an emotional and draining situation that they believe isn’t worth the effort. Individuals of both types also distance themselves from their own internal experiences and feelings. Fives detach from their emotion through intellectualization and emotional disconnection, while Nines ignore, deny, and forget their own preferences and opinions by telling themselves that they do not really matter and by disconnecting from their physical sensations.

When they work with others, Fives and Nines like structure, consistency, and predictability and want to be consulted about what they think. Both styles are sensitive to and dislike being controlled by others and have strong negative reactions to demands and pressure. In addition, Fives and Nines often need time to reflect on what they think and how they feel. Fives need this time because they detach emotionally when feelings are occurring and need to reconnect with the feelings and analyze the situation, and Nines are often unclear about what they think or how they are reacting and thus need time to let their thoughts and feelings emerge.

There are also significant differences between Fives and Nines. In most relationships, Nines merge or blend with others energetically and accede to the other person’s desires and preferences. They feel comfortable, connected, harmonic, and relaxed with this lack of personal boundaries between themselves and others. Nines are other-referencing, pay attention to others more than to themselves, and tend to overadapt to other people. Because they are often unclear about what they want, Nines have difficulty stating their preferences, but they can later feel resentful that they went along with others and that their wishes were not expressed or heard. By contrast, Fives withdraw from others and establish clear, strong, and relatively immovable interpersonal boundaries that arise from a need for autonomy and their fear of being depleted in these relationships. Fives are self-referencing, focused more on their own thoughts and reactions, almost always know what they want, and are adept at preventing others from interfering with what they want to do.

Most Nines have great difficulty saying no or expressing their thoughts, feelings, and preferences, particularly when they anticipate opposition from others. Nines will say yes and mean no, while Fives say no far more easily and often and mean it. In addition, because Nines crave harmonic connections with people, they often have difficulty separating themselves from others. Fives separate from others very easily, as withdrawal constitutes one of their primary forms of self-protection. Consequently, Nines are often perceived as friendly, affable, and easygoing while Fives tend to be viewed as aloof, reserved, and highly independent.

Click on the style number to the right to see the corresponding information.
SIXES have insightful minds, are prone to worry, and create worst-case scenarios to help themselves feel prepared in case something goes wrong.
BASIC CONCERN: What could go wrong here? Whom can I trust? Am I making the best decisions?
ONES seek a perfect world and work diligently to improve both themselves and everyone and everything around them.
BASIC CONCERN: What is right or wrong, correct or incorrect?

Ones and Sixes share several common traits. Both Ones and Sixes excel at analytical thinking, and both worry and become concerned about the possibility of something going wrong. However, Ones feel anxious about not being perfect, while Sixes experience anxiety related to all the different things that could potentially going wrong. In response to their worry, Ones seek perfection and avoid mistakes while Sixes anticipate and imagine worst-case scenarios so they can create contingency plans as a way of proactively preparing for the wide variety of problems that could possibly occur. Although phobic Sixes (the more overtly fearful Sixes) exhibit more worst-case scenario planning than do counterphobic Sixes (Sixes who act courageous as a way to prove they are not afraid), counterphobic Sixes still engage in rapid problem-oriented scenario development and contingency planning.

Both Ones and Sixes can be uncomfortable with success, even as they desire it. Both types can also create problems for themselves related to completing tasks and moving toward success; Ones often believe that nothing is never perfect enough and constantly criticize themselves, and Sixes continually doubt and question themselves, believing that becoming successful will make them a target of attack. Individuals of both types also tend to be activists in support of social causes they care about, but they do it for different reasons. Ones become activists because they feel responsible for making the world a more perfect place while Sixes support social causes because they are sensitive to people in authority positions exercising power over others in unjust or unfair ways.

Ones and Sixes also differ in several ways. Ones worry about making mistakes and being wrong according to their own internal standards, while Sixes worry most about eternal danger and threats of all kinds. Ones are judgmental and critical of themselves and others – particularly when a mistake is made – and Sixes are more doubtful than judgmental, doubting themselves and others on a highly consistent basis as a way to avoid danger and to find some degree of certainty and reassurance that everything will be okay. Both Ones and Sixes can procrastinate, but they do it for different reasons: Ones delay doing something fear making a mistake, always wanting more time to make it more perfect; Sixes procrastinate as a result of their continual doubting of self and others, making it hard for them to know what to do and how best to move forward.

A particularly stark contrast between Ones and Sixes is their relationship to authority. In general, Ones tend to respect and obey authority, while Sixes tend to be suspicious of authority and even rebel against it. Ones follow the rules, while Sixes question them. Ones and Sixes also differ with respect to trusting others. Ones tend to trust people, giving them the benefit of the doubt unless they break the rules or engage in some other behavior that they judge as bad or wrong. Sixes, by contrast, mistrust others initially – that is, until Sixes have observed the other person enough to feel satisfied that this person means them no harm. After a person has earned their trust, Sixes remain loyal and supportive.

Finally, another distinction can be made between the self-preservation subtype One and the phobic Six. Self-preservation Ones and phobic Sixes can be look-alikes because both worry a great deal and have a high degree of anxiety, although their anxiety comes from different sources. Self-preservation Ones worry because they believe that their security depends upon getting everything right. They are the true perfectionists, and they sense that if they don’t take the right action and do everything perfectly, something bad will happen. The phobic Sixes’ worry is not centered on doing things perfectly or seeing the world in terms of right and wrong and wanting to get it right; they worry as a way of detecting signs of danger in the outside world, believing that anticipating, preparing, and planning for what could go wrong will make them feel secure.

SIXES have insightful minds, are prone to worry, and create worst-case scenarios to help themselves feel prepared in case something goes wrong.
BASIC CONCERN: What could go wrong here? Whom can I trust? Am I making the best decisions?
ONES seek a perfect world and work diligently to improve both themselves and everyone and everything around them.
BASIC CONCERN: What is right or wrong, correct or incorrect?

Ones and Sixes share several common traits. Both Ones and Sixes excel at analytical thinking, and both worry and become concerned about the possibility of something going wrong. However, Ones feel anxious about not being perfect, while Sixes experience anxiety related to all the different things that could potentially going wrong. In response to their worry, Ones seek perfection and avoid mistakes while Sixes anticipate and imagine worst-case scenarios so they can create contingency plans as a way of proactively preparing for the wide variety of problems that could possibly occur. Although phobic Sixes (the more overtly fearful Sixes) exhibit more worst-case scenario planning than do counterphobic Sixes (Sixes who act courageous as a way to prove they are not afraid), counterphobic Sixes still engage in rapid problem-oriented scenario development and contingency planning.

Both Ones and Sixes can be uncomfortable with success, even as they desire it. Both types can also create problems for themselves related to completing tasks and moving toward success; Ones often believe that nothing is never perfect enough and constantly criticize themselves, and Sixes continually doubt and question themselves, believing that becoming successful will make them a target of attack. Individuals of both types also tend to be activists in support of social causes they care about, but they do it for different reasons. Ones become activists because they feel responsible for making the world a more perfect place while Sixes support social causes because they are sensitive to people in authority positions exercising power over others in unjust or unfair ways.

Ones and Sixes also differ in several ways. Ones worry about making mistakes and being wrong according to their own internal standards, while Sixes worry most about eternal danger and threats of all kinds. Ones are judgmental and critical of themselves and others – particularly when a mistake is made – and Sixes are more doubtful than judgmental, doubting themselves and others on a highly consistent basis as a way to avoid danger and to find some degree of certainty and reassurance that everything will be okay. Both Ones and Sixes can procrastinate, but they do it for different reasons: Ones delay doing something fear making a mistake, always wanting more time to make it more perfect; Sixes procrastinate as a result of their continual doubting of self and others, making it hard for them to know what to do and how best to move forward.

A particularly stark contrast between Ones and Sixes is their relationship to authority. In general, Ones tend to respect and obey authority, while Sixes tend to be suspicious of authority and even rebel against it. Ones follow the rules, while Sixes question them. Ones and Sixes also differ with respect to trusting others. Ones tend to trust people, giving them the benefit of the doubt unless they break the rules or engage in some other behavior that they judge as bad or wrong. Sixes, by contrast, mistrust others initially – that is, until Sixes have observed the other person enough to feel satisfied that this person means them no harm. After a person has earned their trust, Sixes remain loyal and supportive.

Finally, another distinction can be made between the self-preservation subtype One and the phobic Six. Self-preservation Ones and phobic Sixes can be look-alikes because both worry a great deal and have a high degree of anxiety, although their anxiety comes from different sources. Self-preservation Ones worry because they believe that their security depends upon getting everything right. They are the true perfectionists, and they sense that if they don’t take the right action and do everything perfectly, something bad will happen. The phobic Sixes’ worry is not centered on doing things perfectly or seeing the world in terms of right and wrong and wanting to get it right; they worry as a way of detecting signs of danger in the outside world, believing that anticipating, preparing, and planning for what could go wrong will make them feel secure.

SIXES have insightful minds, are prone to worry, and create worst-case scenarios to help themselves feel prepared in case something goes wrong.
BASIC CONCERN: What could go wrong here? Whom can I trust? Am I making the best decisions?
TWOS want to be liked, try to meet the needs of others, and attempt to orchestrate the people and events in their lives.
BASIC CONCERN: Am I needed? Will others like me?

In some respects, Twos and Sixes can look similar as both can worry and be fearful, but their fears have different sources. Sixes worry about overall safety, bad things happening, and problems occurring, while Twos worry more about people – for example, whether or not people will perceive them in a positive light, the possibility of being rejected, and the safety and well being of specific individuals who are important to them. Both Twos and Sixes are often adept at reading people, but they do so with different aims: Sixes look for hidden agendas, whether someone is trustworthy, and the potential threats posed by that individual, while Twos try to assess other people’s moods and needs as a way for Twos to connect and establish relationships. When they relate to others, Twos try to present an image that will please people or that help create an interpersonal alignment, and they want to be appreciated and acknowledged. Sixes are not particularly concerned about creating a particular image, being far more focused on making sure others do not intend to do them harm.

Both Twos and Sixes can worry about what will go wrong and work hard to make things go well. However, Sixes do this because they are good troubleshooters and want to anticipate problems before they happen so they can prepare a solution, while Twos engage in this behavior because they want to appear useful and attractive, and as a way to take care of others. Both can have difficulty making decisions. Twos can feel challenged when making choices between alternatives because of two factors: (1) Twos focus so much attention on other people that they become unaware of their own preferences, and (2) Twos may experience anxiety and dismay when they know what they should do but the best choice has a potentially negative impact on people. By contrast, decision making can be challenging for Sixes because they continually doubt themselves and question the alternatives, fearing that making the wrong choice will have damaging consequences.

Twos and Sixes also differ in significant ways. Sixes usually feel suspicious of or rebellious toward authority figures, although they may try to initially befriend them as a way to minimize the chance of the authority causing them harm, doing so by demonstrating their dutifulness and loyalty. Twos try to form good, long-lasting relationships with those in authority, wanting these individuals – as well as other important people – to like them and often try to become indispensable to them; rather than being mistrustful of authority, Twos often like influential people and try to develop close, long-lasting relationships with them.

Sixes also catastrophize and engage in worst-case scenario thinking much more than Twos do. Twos are usually optimistic; while they may sometimes imagine that people don’t like them or worry about what might happen to others they care about, Twos usually do not think in terms of the worst that can occur. Twos and Sixes also deal with conflict differently. While Twos generally prefer to avoid conflict if they can, all Sixes (but especially counterphobic Sixes) may move toward and even initiate conflict. This arises from their need to challenge authority figures whom they believe are abusing their power.

Finally, there are specific similarities between Twos and the self-preservation subtype Six. Both Twos and self-preservation Sixes are warm and spend considerable energy and effort to create friendships. However, Twos try to attract friends based on their desire to be liked and need to be affirmed as this provides them with a sense of personal well being and self worth. Self-preservation Sixes also try to develop warm and friendly relationships, but do so because they believe that these relationships serve as alliances that will provide protection from outside threats, thus keeping them safe.

SIXES have insightful minds, are prone to worry, and create worst-case scenarios to help themselves feel prepared in case something goes wrong.
BASIC CONCERN: What could go wrong here? Whom can I trust? Am I making the best decisions?
TWOS want to be liked, try to meet the needs of others, and attempt to orchestrate the people and events in their lives.
BASIC CONCERN: Am I needed? Will others like me?

In some respects, Twos and Sixes can look similar as both can worry and be fearful, but their fears have different sources. Sixes worry about overall safety, bad things happening, and problems occurring, while Twos worry more about people – for example, whether or not people will perceive them in a positive light, the possibility of being rejected, and the safety and well being of specific individuals who are important to them. Both Twos and Sixes are often adept at reading people, but they do so with different aims: Sixes look for hidden agendas, whether someone is trustworthy, and the potential threats posed by that individual, while Twos try to assess other people’s moods and needs as a way for Twos to connect and establish relationships. When they relate to others, Twos try to present an image that will please people or that help create an interpersonal alignment, and they want to be appreciated and acknowledged. Sixes are not particularly concerned about creating a particular image, being far more focused on making sure others do not intend to do them harm.

Both Twos and Sixes can worry about what will go wrong and work hard to make things go well. However, Sixes do this because they are good troubleshooters and want to anticipate problems before they happen so they can prepare a solution, while Twos engage in this behavior because they want to appear useful and attractive, and as a way to take care of others. Both can have difficulty making decisions. Twos can feel challenged when making choices between alternatives because of two factors: (1) Twos focus so much attention on other people that they become unaware of their own preferences, and (2) Twos may experience anxiety and dismay when they know what they should do but the best choice has a potentially negative impact on people. By contrast, decision making can be challenging for Sixes because they continually doubt themselves and question the alternatives, fearing that making the wrong choice will have damaging consequences.

Twos and Sixes also differ in significant ways. Sixes usually feel suspicious of or rebellious toward authority figures, although they may try to initially befriend them as a way to minimize the chance of the authority causing them harm, doing so by demonstrating their dutifulness and loyalty. Twos try to form good, long-lasting relationships with those in authority, wanting these individuals – as well as other important people – to like them and often try to become indispensable to them; rather than being mistrustful of authority, Twos often like influential people and try to develop close, long-lasting relationships with them.

Sixes also catastrophize and engage in worst-case scenario thinking much more than Twos do. Twos are usually optimistic; while they may sometimes imagine that people don’t like them or worry about what might happen to others they care about, Twos usually do not think in terms of the worst that can occur. Twos and Sixes also deal with conflict differently. While Twos generally prefer to avoid conflict if they can, all Sixes (but especially counterphobic Sixes) may move toward and even initiate conflict. This arises from their need to challenge authority figures whom they believe are abusing their power.

Finally, there are specific similarities between Twos and the self-preservation subtype Six. Both Twos and self-preservation Sixes are warm and spend considerable energy and effort to create friendships. However, Twos try to attract friends based on their desire to be liked and need to be affirmed as this provides them with a sense of personal well being and self worth. Self-preservation Sixes also try to develop warm and friendly relationships, but do so because they believe that these relationships serve as alliances that will provide protection from outside threats, thus keeping them safe.

SIXES have insightful minds, are prone to worry, and create worst-case scenarios to help themselves feel prepared in case something goes wrong.
BASIC CONCERN: What could go wrong here? Whom can I trust? Am I making the best decisions?
THREES organize their lives to achieve specific goals and to appear successful in order to gain the respect and admiration of others.
BASIC CONCERN: How can I gain the respect and esteem of others?

Threes and Sixes have some traits in common. Both can be very hardworking and assertive, and Threes and some Sixes – especially counterphobic Sixes – can be forward moving. Both Threes and Sixes specialize in reading people, although they do this for different reasons. Threes scan their audience to determine what others value so they can create an image or persona that others will view as successful and admirable, matching the particular context and trying to appear confident in what they do. Sixes read others in order to anticipate whether the person is a threat and to protect themselves by looking for hidden agendas and ulterior motives. Both types can be personable, friendly, and practical, with Threes focused on finding the most efficient path to get to the end-result and gaining approval from others, and Sixes focused on creating safety by knowing who they can count on as an ally and anticipating problems and dangers so they can feel prepared and find proactive solutions.

Threes and Sixes also differ in specific ways. Threes do whatever it takes to achieve success, and they focus on moving quickly and efficiently toward their goals. They assume success will occur and work toward goals without slowing down long enough to think a great deal about what might go wrong. Sixes want success as well, but they also fear it and can actually undermine themselves; they may avoid taking action that leads to success out of fear that success leads to exposure because they believe that exposure leaves them open to being attacked. Sixes are skilled troubleshooters as a result of considering what might go wrong in accomplishing a particular task so they can prepare for it; however, they can also procrastinate for fear of doing it wrong or worrying that an unanticipated problem may arise. Phobic Sixes can appear more uncertain than Threes or counterphobic Sixes – a result of their self-doubt and continuous questioning of themselves and others – and can sometimes become immobilized or paralyzed by overanalysis and imagining worst-case scenarios.

Finally, Threes can usually work well with authorities, as long as they do not interfere with Threes’ progress toward their goals. When Threes don’t respect a particular authority figure, they tend to simply ignore this person whenever possible. Sixes, by contrast, tend to be suspicious of authority figures, fearing these individuals will use their power against them in unfair or abusive ways. As a result, most Sixes try to prove their value and loyalty to authorities by being dutiful and responsible, but then rebel when their well-placed efforts don’t work or when the authority figure disappoints them. Other Sixes rebel more quickly and engage in confrontational behavior towards these individuals.

SIXES have insightful minds, are prone to worry, and create worst-case scenarios to help themselves feel prepared in case something goes wrong.
BASIC CONCERN: What could go wrong here? Whom can I trust? Am I making the best decisions?
THREES organize their lives to achieve specific goals and to appear successful in order to gain the respect and admiration of others.
BASIC CONCERN: How can I gain the respect and esteem of others?

Threes and Sixes have some traits in common. Both can be very hardworking and assertive, and Threes and some Sixes – especially counterphobic Sixes – can be forward moving. Both Threes and Sixes specialize in reading people, although they do this for different reasons. Threes scan their audience to determine what others value so they can create an image or persona that others will view as successful and admirable, matching the particular context and trying to appear confident in what they do. Sixes read others in order to anticipate whether the person is a threat and to protect themselves by looking for hidden agendas and ulterior motives. Both types can be personable, friendly, and practical, with Threes focused on finding the most efficient path to get to the end-result and gaining approval from others, and Sixes focused on creating safety by knowing who they can count on as an ally and anticipating problems and dangers so they can feel prepared and find proactive solutions.

Threes and Sixes also differ in specific ways. Threes do whatever it takes to achieve success, and they focus on moving quickly and efficiently toward their goals. They assume success will occur and work toward goals without slowing down long enough to think a great deal about what might go wrong. Sixes want success as well, but they also fear it and can actually undermine themselves; they may avoid taking action that leads to success out of fear that success leads to exposure because they believe that exposure leaves them open to being attacked. Sixes are skilled troubleshooters as a result of considering what might go wrong in accomplishing a particular task so they can prepare for it; however, they can also procrastinate for fear of doing it wrong or worrying that an unanticipated problem may arise. Phobic Sixes can appear more uncertain than Threes or counterphobic Sixes – a result of their self-doubt and continuous questioning of themselves and others – and can sometimes become immobilized or paralyzed by overanalysis and imagining worst-case scenarios.

Finally, Threes can usually work well with authorities, as long as they do not interfere with Threes’ progress toward their goals. When Threes don’t respect a particular authority figure, they tend to simply ignore this person whenever possible. Sixes, by contrast, tend to be suspicious of authority figures, fearing these individuals will use their power against them in unfair or abusive ways. As a result, most Sixes try to prove their value and loyalty to authorities by being dutiful and responsible, but then rebel when their well-placed efforts don’t work or when the authority figure disappoints them. Other Sixes rebel more quickly and engage in confrontational behavior towards these individuals.

SIXES have insightful minds, are prone to worry, and create worst-case scenarios to help themselves feel prepared in case something goes wrong.
BASIC CONCERN: What could go wrong here? Whom can I trust? Am I making the best decisions?
FOURS desire deep connections with their inner worlds and with other people, and they feel most alive when authentically expressing their feelings.
BASIC CONCERN: Will I be rejected or feel deficient? Can I express myself?

Fours and Sixes share some external behaviors. Both are intuitive and skilled at reading others; Fours intuit other people’s feelings and motivations as a way to be empathic and create deep connections, as well as to protect themselves from possible rejection, while Sixes try to assess other people’s intentions and motivations in order to determine whether these individuals are trustworthy in order to protect themselves from threats.

Fours and Sixes can both challenge authority figures as well as the established way of doing tasks and projects. Fours tend to non-conformists, partly because they have original ways of seeing things and partly because they dare to be different. Sixes can be rebellious and challenging because they think in contrarian ways and are cautious and wary of those they perceive as having power over them. Both types can also be effective troubleshooters; Fours intuitively feel what’s missing in a specific situation, and Sixes automatically think about what might go wrong so that they can prepare for it in advance.

Both Fours and Sixes can engage in self-deprecating behavior, having negative feelings about themselves and asking, What did I do wrong here? Both can feel “stuck” in their lives and pursuits and have difficulty moving forward. Some Fours can appear quite confident, but underneath this exterior is the chronic feeling that they are not good enough, defective, or flawed in some way. They tend to be overly self-critical and often believe that their life circumstances are hopeless or beyond their control to change. Sixes tend to doubt and question themselves in most situations, although this is more true of phobic Sixes and less obvious for counterphobic Sixes. Sixes can become despondent as a result of their tendency to overanalyze issues and events, paralyzed or immobilized when they don’t know what to do, doubtful of their own abilities, and fearful of success and the subsequent visibility and attacks that may ensue as a result.

There are also clear distinctions between Fours and Sixes. Fours are sensitive to how they are being perceived by others – primarily as a hedge against personal rejection – and focus on creating as image of being unique, different, and original; Fours want to stand out and be viewed as special and to feel loved and appreciated for who they are. Sixes, by contrast, focus more on feeling safe in a dangerous world and are not as chronically concerned with personal rejection or creating a particular image. They identify more with the underdog and appear more like the “everyman/everywoman” archetype.

Fours live primarily from and in the emotional arena, while Sixes live in their heads and are predominantly mental and analytical. Although they can be highly analytical, most Fours use their mental agility to process and understand their feelings. Many Sixes have strong emotional reactions, but they primarily rely on their mental functioning to create scenarios that explain and reinforce their emotional responses. In addition, the Six’s most common emotional experiences involve fear, doubt, and worry, searching for certainty that inevitably cannot be found. Fours most often feel sadness and melancholy, focusing on what they don’t have that others seem to – for example, wanting an unattainable love relationship or an extremely close connection and believing that they can finally be happy only if they attain this.

SIXES have insightful minds, are prone to worry, and create worst-case scenarios to help themselves feel prepared in case something goes wrong.
BASIC CONCERN: What could go wrong here? Whom can I trust? Am I making the best decisions?
FOURS desire deep connections with their inner worlds and with other people, and they feel most alive when authentically expressing their feelings.
BASIC CONCERN: Will I be rejected or feel deficient? Can I express myself?

Fours and Sixes share some external behaviors. Both are intuitive and skilled at reading others; Fours intuit other people’s feelings and motivations as a way to be empathic and create deep connections, as well as to protect themselves from possible rejection, while Sixes try to assess other people’s intentions and motivations in order to determine whether these individuals are trustworthy in order to protect themselves from threats.

Fours and Sixes can both challenge authority figures as well as the established way of doing tasks and projects. Fours tend to non-conformists, partly because they have original ways of seeing things and partly because they dare to be different. Sixes can be rebellious and challenging because they think in contrarian ways and are cautious and wary of those they perceive as having power over them. Both types can also be effective troubleshooters; Fours intuitively feel what’s missing in a specific situation, and Sixes automatically think about what might go wrong so that they can prepare for it in advance.

Both Fours and Sixes can engage in self-deprecating behavior, having negative feelings about themselves and asking, What did I do wrong here? Both can feel “stuck” in their lives and pursuits and have difficulty moving forward. Some Fours can appear quite confident, but underneath this exterior is the chronic feeling that they are not good enough, defective, or flawed in some way. They tend to be overly self-critical and often believe that their life circumstances are hopeless or beyond their control to change. Sixes tend to doubt and question themselves in most situations, although this is more true of phobic Sixes and less obvious for counterphobic Sixes. Sixes can become despondent as a result of their tendency to overanalyze issues and events, paralyzed or immobilized when they don’t know what to do, doubtful of their own abilities, and fearful of success and the subsequent visibility and attacks that may ensue as a result.

There are also clear distinctions between Fours and Sixes. Fours are sensitive to how they are being perceived by others – primarily as a hedge against personal rejection – and focus on creating as image of being unique, different, and original; Fours want to stand out and be viewed as special and to feel loved and appreciated for who they are. Sixes, by contrast, focus more on feeling safe in a dangerous world and are not as chronically concerned with personal rejection or creating a particular image. They identify more with the underdog and appear more like the “everyman/everywoman” archetype.

Fours live primarily from and in the emotional arena, while Sixes live in their heads and are predominantly mental and analytical. Although they can be highly analytical, most Fours use their mental agility to process and understand their feelings. Many Sixes have strong emotional reactions, but they primarily rely on their mental functioning to create scenarios that explain and reinforce their emotional responses. In addition, the Six’s most common emotional experiences involve fear, doubt, and worry, searching for certainty that inevitably cannot be found. Fours most often feel sadness and melancholy, focusing on what they don’t have that others seem to – for example, wanting an unattainable love relationship or an extremely close connection and believing that they can finally be happy only if they attain this.

SIXES have insightful minds, are prone to worry, and create worst-case scenarios to help themselves feel prepared in case something goes wrong.
BASIC CONCERN: What could go wrong here? Whom can I trust? Am I making the best decisions?
FIVES thirst for information and knowledge and use emotional detachment as a way of keeping involvement with others to a minimum.
BASIC CONCERN: Will demands be made on me for my time, energy, and resources?

Fives and Sixes are alike in several ways. Both can be reserved and withdrawn from others; Fives maintain a distance between themselves and others as a way to guard against people making too many demands on them and potentially depleting them, and the more phobic Sixes are wary of others and withdraw out of fear that other people represent some kind of danger or threat. The phobic Sixes, in particular, most closely resemble Fives, as both keep more to themselves and seek a sense of security by moving away from other people.

Both are slow to trust others when forming relationships. Fives and Sixes – both phobic and counterphobic Sixes, as well as Sixes who have elements of both phobia and counterphobia – have safety and security concerns and become vigilant about protecting their personal boundaries. Fives and Sixes also become angry when their boundaries are challenged or violated. The Fives’ need for clear boundaries arises from their desire to prevent intrusions, invasions of privacy, and other potentially energy-draining interactions with others, while the Sixes’ need arises from their fear of being attacked or harmed in some way. Both Fives and Sixes are analytical, and they intellectualize on a regular basis – that is, they rely on their thinking function as their primary mode of avoiding feelings. They may think about feelings, but can have difficulty actually feeling them or differentiating between and a thought and an emotion.

Fives and Sixes are also different in several ways. Counterphobic Sixes rarely get confused with Fives because they are often more assertive than phobic Sixes and also move toward people and situations rather than withdraw. All Sixes are suspicious of and even openly rebellious with authority figures, while Fives more often than not follow the directions given by authorities, although they are also watchful of those in authority. Even if they do not respect or trust a person in a position of power, Fives tend to go against that individual in a quieter, less noticeable way. For example, Fives simply disappear by not attending meetings or returning calls or e-mails or by engaging in strategizing behind the scenes. After being initially hesitant, Sixes often challenge authorities directly – for example, by questioning, doubting, or confronting them in a quest for clarity and certainty – and they even do this in public forums.  When analyzing situations, Fives try to be objective in their analyses and reach their conclusions in an emotionally detached way. Sixes, by contrast, have difficulty distinguishing facts from intuitions and intuitions from projections. In other words, Sixes may confuse what is objectively occurring from what they perceive to be true and can confuse their intuitions with projections, which arise from their own fears and anxiety.

In relationships, Fives may feel close to someone but they have strict limits on these interactions and withdraw frequently in order to take time for themselves, replenish their own energy, and to avoid feeling that that they are obligated to meet that person’s emotional needs. Fives value emotional control, self-containment, and personal autonomy, and they strongly prefer independence to interdependence. Sixes, by contrast, like to meet others’ needs, give their time and energy more freely, and enjoy more closely connected relationships with people they trust.

SIXES have insightful minds, are prone to worry, and create worst-case scenarios to help themselves feel prepared in case something goes wrong.
BASIC CONCERN: What could go wrong here? Whom can I trust? Am I making the best decisions?
FIVES thirst for information and knowledge and use emotional detachment as a way of keeping involvement with others to a minimum.
BASIC CONCERN: Will demands be made on me for my time, energy, and resources?

Fives and Sixes are alike in several ways. Both can be reserved and withdrawn from others; Fives maintain a distance between themselves and others as a way to guard against people making too many demands on them and potentially depleting them, and the more phobic Sixes are wary of others and withdraw out of fear that other people represent some kind of danger or threat. The phobic Sixes, in particular, most closely resemble Fives, as both keep more to themselves and seek a sense of security by moving away from other people.

Both are slow to trust others when forming relationships. Fives and Sixes – both phobic and counterphobic Sixes, as well as Sixes who have elements of both phobia and counterphobia – have safety and security concerns and become vigilant about protecting their personal boundaries. Fives and Sixes also become angry when their boundaries are challenged or violated. The Fives’ need for clear boundaries arises from their desire to prevent intrusions, invasions of privacy, and other potentially energy-draining interactions with others, while the Sixes’ need arises from their fear of being attacked or harmed in some way. Both Fives and Sixes are analytical, and they intellectualize on a regular basis – that is, they rely on their thinking function as their primary mode of avoiding feelings. They may think about feelings, but can have difficulty actually feeling them or differentiating between and a thought and an emotion.

Fives and Sixes are also different in several ways. Counterphobic Sixes rarely get confused with Fives because they are often more assertive than phobic Sixes and also move toward people and situations rather than withdraw. All Sixes are suspicious of and even openly rebellious with authority figures, while Fives more often than not follow the directions given by authorities, although they are also watchful of those in authority. Even if they do not respect or trust a person in a position of power, Fives tend to go against that individual in a quieter, less noticeable way. For example, Fives simply disappear by not attending meetings or returning calls or e-mails or by engaging in strategizing behind the scenes. After being initially hesitant, Sixes often challenge authorities directly – for example, by questioning, doubting, or confronting them in a quest for clarity and certainty – and they even do this in public forums.  When analyzing situations, Fives try to be objective in their analyses and reach their conclusions in an emotionally detached way. Sixes, by contrast, have difficulty distinguishing facts from intuitions and intuitions from projections. In other words, Sixes may confuse what is objectively occurring from what they perceive to be true and can confuse their intuitions with projections, which arise from their own fears and anxiety.

In relationships, Fives may feel close to someone but they have strict limits on these interactions and withdraw frequently in order to take time for themselves, replenish their own energy, and to avoid feeling that that they are obligated to meet that person’s emotional needs. Fives value emotional control, self-containment, and personal autonomy, and they strongly prefer independence to interdependence. Sixes, by contrast, like to meet others’ needs, give their time and energy more freely, and enjoy more closely connected relationships with people they trust.

Please choose a different type to compare to Sixes.

Please choose a different type to compare to Sixes.

SIXES have insightful minds, are prone to worry, and create worst-case scenarios to help themselves feel prepared in case something goes wrong.
BASIC CONCERN: What could go wrong here? Whom can I trust? Am I making the best decisions?
SEVENS crave the stimulation of new ideas, people, and experiences, avoid pain, and create elaborate future plans to keep their options open.
BASIC CONCERN: What is exciting? Do I feel constrained? Can I avoid pain?

Sixes and Sevens have several traits in common as both are mental types and primarily thinking-oriented. Sixes think about what might go wrong to proactively prepare for it, and they think in contrarian terms, questioning ideas and opinions they hear from others in an effort to find certainty. Sevens think about new and interesting ideas, plan pleasurable and exciting future activities, and interrelate and synthesize information from disparate sources. Consequently, the Six’s mind is called the doubting mind and the Seven’s mind is called the synthesizing mind.

Sixes and Sevens are quick thinkers with active imaginations, although Sixes imagine worst-case scenarios or do rapid anticipatory problem solving, while Sevens imagine highly positive scenarios. In particular, Sevens and counterphobic (less overtly fearful) Sixes can appear very much alike as both move toward threats or challenges in the environment and face dangers head on. Sevens use charm, pleasantries, and an engaging self-presentation to disarm potential threats, and counterphobic Sixes use strength and a willingness to intimidate if necessary. Sixes and Sevens tend to think excessively and not move into action quickly; Sixes can become preoccupied and even immobilized by doubt, while Sevens become distracted by exciting ideas, new people, and external stimulation and often get more excited by creating ideas than executing them.

Sixes and Sevens also differ in specific ways. Sevens tend to be highly optimistic and adventurous, with a generally bright and positive outlook, and they reframe negative situations by putting them in a positive context. They focus on positive possibilities to keep themselves stimulated and moving forward as a way to maintain their good feelings and to avoid pain and discomfort. At work, Sevens expect success and usually appear highly confident. By contrast, Sixes describe themselves as idealistic realists, often expecting things to go wrong – especially phobic Sixes – and may unwittingly appear anxious, unconfident, and suspicious. Careful and cautious, Sixes remain vigilant and watchful in order to anticipate threats and prepare to overcome them. They can hardly avoid feeling pain and distress because they continually second-guess themselves, question their own ideas and those of others, challenge their own perceptions of reality, and scan their environments for potential danger. In addition, Sevens are reluctant to make commitments because these feel like constraints and limits, while Sixes tend to be loyal, dedicated, and commit readily to those they trust.

Both Sixes and Sevens like to engage their teams as “equals,” but Sixes do so because they believe there is greater safety in loyal and like-minded groups, and Sevens think more voices means they are able to generate many more ideas. Both have issues with authorities, although their concerns and reactions are very different. Sixes are ambivalent toward authority figures; they hope these powerful individuals will be just, fair, and cause no harm, while at the same time doubt they will do so. As a result, Sixes try to demonstrate their loyalty through dutifulness, but their become questioning, suspicious, rebellious, and challenging when disenchanted or disturbed by an authority. Sevens equalize authority – that is, they simply deny hierarchical power relationships and perceive themselves as being on the same level as their superiors. Sevens do this by befriending their bosses, acting as if they are friends rather than in a boss-subordinate relationship; if this fails, they ignore their bosses. Ultimately, Sevens may rebel and challenge their bosses, but they only do this as an absolute last resort or are under extreme duress.

SIXES have insightful minds, are prone to worry, and create worst-case scenarios to help themselves feel prepared in case something goes wrong.
BASIC CONCERN: What could go wrong here? Whom can I trust? Am I making the best decisions?
SEVENS crave the stimulation of new ideas, people, and experiences, avoid pain, and create elaborate future plans to keep their options open.
BASIC CONCERN: What is exciting? Do I feel constrained? Can I avoid pain?

Sixes and Sevens have several traits in common as both are mental types and primarily thinking-oriented. Sixes think about what might go wrong to proactively prepare for it, and they think in contrarian terms, questioning ideas and opinions they hear from others in an effort to find certainty. Sevens think about new and interesting ideas, plan pleasurable and exciting future activities, and interrelate and synthesize information from disparate sources. Consequently, the Six’s mind is called the doubting mind and the Seven’s mind is called the synthesizing mind.

Sixes and Sevens are quick thinkers with active imaginations, although Sixes imagine worst-case scenarios or do rapid anticipatory problem solving, while Sevens imagine highly positive scenarios. In particular, Sevens and counterphobic (less overtly fearful) Sixes can appear very much alike as both move toward threats or challenges in the environment and face dangers head on. Sevens use charm, pleasantries, and an engaging self-presentation to disarm potential threats, and counterphobic Sixes use strength and a willingness to intimidate if necessary. Sixes and Sevens tend to think excessively and not move into action quickly; Sixes can become preoccupied and even immobilized by doubt, while Sevens become distracted by exciting ideas, new people, and external stimulation and often get more excited by creating ideas than executing them.

Sixes and Sevens also differ in specific ways. Sevens tend to be highly optimistic and adventurous, with a generally bright and positive outlook, and they reframe negative situations by putting them in a positive context. They focus on positive possibilities to keep themselves stimulated and moving forward as a way to maintain their good feelings and to avoid pain and discomfort. At work, Sevens expect success and usually appear highly confident. By contrast, Sixes describe themselves as idealistic realists, often expecting things to go wrong – especially phobic Sixes – and may unwittingly appear anxious, unconfident, and suspicious. Careful and cautious, Sixes remain vigilant and watchful in order to anticipate threats and prepare to overcome them. They can hardly avoid feeling pain and distress because they continually second-guess themselves, question their own ideas and those of others, challenge their own perceptions of reality, and scan their environments for potential danger. In addition, Sevens are reluctant to make commitments because these feel like constraints and limits, while Sixes tend to be loyal, dedicated, and commit readily to those they trust.

Both Sixes and Sevens like to engage their teams as “equals,” but Sixes do so because they believe there is greater safety in loyal and like-minded groups, and Sevens think more voices means they are able to generate many more ideas. Both have issues with authorities, although their concerns and reactions are very different. Sixes are ambivalent toward authority figures; they hope these powerful individuals will be just, fair, and cause no harm, while at the same time doubt they will do so. As a result, Sixes try to demonstrate their loyalty through dutifulness, but their become questioning, suspicious, rebellious, and challenging when disenchanted or disturbed by an authority. Sevens equalize authority – that is, they simply deny hierarchical power relationships and perceive themselves as being on the same level as their superiors. Sevens do this by befriending their bosses, acting as if they are friends rather than in a boss-subordinate relationship; if this fails, they ignore their bosses. Ultimately, Sevens may rebel and challenge their bosses, but they only do this as an absolute last resort or are under extreme duress.

SIXES have insightful minds, are prone to worry, and create worst-case scenarios to help themselves feel prepared in case something goes wrong.
BASIC CONCERN: What could go wrong here? Whom can I trust? Am I making the best decisions?
EIGHTS pursue the truth, like to keep situations under control, want to make important things happen, and try to hide their vulnerability.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everything under control in an effective and just way?

Sixes and Eights can appear quite similar, particularly Eights and counterphobic Sixes. In fact, they are often mistaken for one another. Both Eights and counterphobic Sixes appear strong, invulnerable, and invincible and can intimidate others, sometimes intentionally but always by their bold behavior. Both move toward threatening or difficult situations, seemingly without fear, and they deal with issues, challenges, and problems directly. However, Eights truly have very little fear or no fear, while counterphobic Sixes push against threats as a way to quell the deeply held fear that often resides below their conscious awareness. The counterphobic Six’s behavior represents the “fight” part of the “fight or flight” response to fear, whereas the phobic Six’s behavior represents the “flight” response.

All Sixes and Eights tend to rebel against authority and both can be protective of others they care about, but do so for different reasons. Eights tend to protect those they perceive as abused and vulnerable and do so as a way to demonstrate their strength – that is, only the strong can protect the weak – while Sixes are drawn to support underdogs or underdog causes, fighting on behalf of these individuals as a way to prove they have no fear. In addition, Sixes and Eights are very hardworking and practical. Eights are prone to overwork because they want to move things forward quickly and tend to be excessive about their activities, be it work, exercise, or recreation. Sixes often overwork because they are afraid to not to do so. Sixes believe they must continuously demonstrate their loyalty, dutifulness, and value to their bosses and teammates in order to feel protected and safe in these relationships.

Eights differ from Sixes in specific ways, although the contrasts are most obvious between Eights and phobic Sixes. Eights seldom feel fearful or vulnerable; in fact, their approach to life is based on denying their vulnerability and overcompensating for this by being confident, powerful, and strong. Eights rarely engage in self-doubt. They take immediate action, often without thinking a great deal beforehand, and like to move things forward quickly, becoming impatient when others impede their forward progress. Phobic Sixes, by contrast, feel fearful, anxious, and vulnerable most of the time. They stay vigilant to threats and dangers, continually doubting themselves. Because Sixes tend to over-think and overanalyze, they can become immobilized and fail to take action or procrastinate and purposely slow themselves down as a result of their fear that something bad may occur.

All Sixes inspect, investigate, and analyze other people to determine if these individuals have hidden agendas or ulterior motives before they are willing to trust them. Eights usually trust people who appear competent, reliable, and honest – that is, until their trust is broken. Eights also directly confront people and situations. While counterphobic Sixes also do this, less phobic Sixes avoid conflict unless they believe it is absolutely necessary or when confronted with an authority figure they believe is unjust or when an underdog cause is at stake.

SIXES have insightful minds, are prone to worry, and create worst-case scenarios to help themselves feel prepared in case something goes wrong.
BASIC CONCERN: What could go wrong here? Whom can I trust? Am I making the best decisions?
EIGHTS pursue the truth, like to keep situations under control, want to make important things happen, and try to hide their vulnerability.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everything under control in an effective and just way?

Sixes and Eights can appear quite similar, particularly Eights and counterphobic Sixes. In fact, they are often mistaken for one another. Both Eights and counterphobic Sixes appear strong, invulnerable, and invincible and can intimidate others, sometimes intentionally but always by their bold behavior. Both move toward threatening or difficult situations, seemingly without fear, and they deal with issues, challenges, and problems directly. However, Eights truly have very little fear or no fear, while counterphobic Sixes push against threats as a way to quell the deeply held fear that often resides below their conscious awareness. The counterphobic Six’s behavior represents the “fight” part of the “fight or flight” response to fear, whereas the phobic Six’s behavior represents the “flight” response.

All Sixes and Eights tend to rebel against authority and both can be protective of others they care about, but do so for different reasons. Eights tend to protect those they perceive as abused and vulnerable and do so as a way to demonstrate their strength – that is, only the strong can protect the weak – while Sixes are drawn to support underdogs or underdog causes, fighting on behalf of these individuals as a way to prove they have no fear. In addition, Sixes and Eights are very hardworking and practical. Eights are prone to overwork because they want to move things forward quickly and tend to be excessive about their activities, be it work, exercise, or recreation. Sixes often overwork because they are afraid to not to do so. Sixes believe they must continuously demonstrate their loyalty, dutifulness, and value to their bosses and teammates in order to feel protected and safe in these relationships.

Eights differ from Sixes in specific ways, although the contrasts are most obvious between Eights and phobic Sixes. Eights seldom feel fearful or vulnerable; in fact, their approach to life is based on denying their vulnerability and overcompensating for this by being confident, powerful, and strong. Eights rarely engage in self-doubt. They take immediate action, often without thinking a great deal beforehand, and like to move things forward quickly, becoming impatient when others impede their forward progress. Phobic Sixes, by contrast, feel fearful, anxious, and vulnerable most of the time. They stay vigilant to threats and dangers, continually doubting themselves. Because Sixes tend to over-think and overanalyze, they can become immobilized and fail to take action or procrastinate and purposely slow themselves down as a result of their fear that something bad may occur.

All Sixes inspect, investigate, and analyze other people to determine if these individuals have hidden agendas or ulterior motives before they are willing to trust them. Eights usually trust people who appear competent, reliable, and honest – that is, until their trust is broken. Eights also directly confront people and situations. While counterphobic Sixes also do this, less phobic Sixes avoid conflict unless they believe it is absolutely necessary or when confronted with an authority figure they believe is unjust or when an underdog cause is at stake.

SIXES have insightful minds, are prone to worry, and create worst-case scenarios to help themselves feel prepared in case something goes wrong.
BASIC CONCERN: What could go wrong here? Whom can I trust? Am I making the best decisions?
NINES seek peace, harmony, and positive mutual regard and dislike conflict, tension, rudeness, and ill will.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everyone being heard, including me?

Sixes and Nines can look similar as both can be loyal, caring, and supportive of others and both procrastinate. Sixes do so because they fear things might go wrong in various the scenarios they have considered, while Nines put off work and tasks because they have a difficult time setting and adhering to priorities or feel resentful of the demands and pressure they feel. Both Nines and Sixes can resist moving forward; Nines resist forward movement as a way to not do what others want them to do, and Sixes resist as a result of their continuous questioning, overanalysis, and doubt.

In addition, phobic Sixes and Nines are both conflict avoidant, although Nines have a far greater aversion to direct confrontation. Sixes are primarily concerned that they will be harmed or attacked as a result of conflict, whereas Nines are more concerned that the relationship will be broken and disharmony will ensue. Individuals of both types tend to be self-effacing and humble, preferring to avoid the spotlight. Sixes fear that even positive attention can make them vulnerable and open to attack, while Nines are simply uncomfortable being the center of attention.

There are also significant differences between Sixes and Nines. Nines tend to merge with others and trust easily. They “go along to get along” and over-adjust to and comply with others’ preferences as a way to avoid the discomfort and potential separation involved in saying no. Sixes initially separate themselves from others and are suspicious until they gather enough information to determine whether or not someone is trustworthy. In contrast to Nine, Sixes are naturally mistrustful of others and may question or test people before agreeing to go along with someone else’s desires or plan of action.

Nines typically see and embrace many different points of view and usually serve as mediators or facilitators when others are in conflict. By contrast, Sixes are far more contrarian; they can see one point of view, then take the opposing side, and continuously question and counter whatever perspective is put forward. Nines dislike being in conflict with others and will suppress and repress their own anger until they barely feel it. Sixes feel angry far more often, particularly counterphobic Sixes who get angry and move toward conflict as a way of dealing with – that is, facing down – their fear. Sixes and Nines also differ in how they respond to authority. Sixes have very strong reactions to authority figures; they may love them, hate them, or both but almost all Sixes have the capacity to be strongly anti-authority. Nines, by contrast, usually go along with and cooperate with authority figures; when they are displeased with someone in authority, it is usually not obvious or observable.

SIXES have insightful minds, are prone to worry, and create worst-case scenarios to help themselves feel prepared in case something goes wrong.
BASIC CONCERN: What could go wrong here? Whom can I trust? Am I making the best decisions?
NINES seek peace, harmony, and positive mutual regard and dislike conflict, tension, rudeness, and ill will.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everyone being heard, including me?

Sixes and Nines can look similar as both can be loyal, caring, and supportive of others and both procrastinate. Sixes do so because they fear things might go wrong in various the scenarios they have considered, while Nines put off work and tasks because they have a difficult time setting and adhering to priorities or feel resentful of the demands and pressure they feel. Both Nines and Sixes can resist moving forward; Nines resist forward movement as a way to not do what others want them to do, and Sixes resist as a result of their continuous questioning, overanalysis, and doubt.

In addition, phobic Sixes and Nines are both conflict avoidant, although Nines have a far greater aversion to direct confrontation. Sixes are primarily concerned that they will be harmed or attacked as a result of conflict, whereas Nines are more concerned that the relationship will be broken and disharmony will ensue. Individuals of both types tend to be self-effacing and humble, preferring to avoid the spotlight. Sixes fear that even positive attention can make them vulnerable and open to attack, while Nines are simply uncomfortable being the center of attention.

There are also significant differences between Sixes and Nines. Nines tend to merge with others and trust easily. They “go along to get along” and over-adjust to and comply with others’ preferences as a way to avoid the discomfort and potential separation involved in saying no. Sixes initially separate themselves from others and are suspicious until they gather enough information to determine whether or not someone is trustworthy. In contrast to Nine, Sixes are naturally mistrustful of others and may question or test people before agreeing to go along with someone else’s desires or plan of action.

Nines typically see and embrace many different points of view and usually serve as mediators or facilitators when others are in conflict. By contrast, Sixes are far more contrarian; they can see one point of view, then take the opposing side, and continuously question and counter whatever perspective is put forward. Nines dislike being in conflict with others and will suppress and repress their own anger until they barely feel it. Sixes feel angry far more often, particularly counterphobic Sixes who get angry and move toward conflict as a way of dealing with – that is, facing down – their fear. Sixes and Nines also differ in how they respond to authority. Sixes have very strong reactions to authority figures; they may love them, hate them, or both but almost all Sixes have the capacity to be strongly anti-authority. Nines, by contrast, usually go along with and cooperate with authority figures; when they are displeased with someone in authority, it is usually not obvious or observable.

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SEVENS crave the stimulation of new ideas, people, and experiences, avoid pain, and create elaborate future plans to keep their options open.
BASIC CONCERN: What is exciting? Do I feel constrained? Can I avoid pain?
ONES seek a perfect world and work diligently to improve both themselves and everyone and everything around them.
BASIC CONCERN: What is right or wrong, correct or incorrect?

Ones and Sevens are both quality oriented, idealistic, and visionary. Ones focus their attention to attaining the highest standards in work and other aspects of their lives and want things to be perfect, working hard to make everything fit their internally generated, idealized sense of perfection. Sevens seek the best possible experience in everything they do, particularly in their recreational pursuits, and are being supremely optimistic and positive, especially about future options and plans. Both Ones and Sevens have a great deal of energy; Ones apply their energy diligently to everything they do, while Sevens dedicate themselves only to the activities that keep them stimulated and interested. Both Enneagram types can also be perfectionistic, intellectual, and analytical and they like to figure things out and solve problems quickly. Ones are generally more consistently concerned with perfection and tend to approach problem solving with more rigor and patience than do Sevens, who let go of their perfectionism when an activity or task becomes too onerous – for example, too much work is involved, too many obstacles appear, or the task becomes routine and boring. Finally, both Ones and Sevens are sensitive to criticism, although Ones are more likely to express their responses with direct comments, and Sevens are more likely to defuse the criticism through humor or rationalization.

Ones and Sevens also have striking differences. For Ones, work almost always takes precedence over play; for Sevens, planning for play and engaging in pleasurable activities is often more important to them than tasks. Although many Sevens are highly dedicated to their work, they may be even more dedicated to their non-work pursuits or they may try to transform their work activities into fun. Ones are idealistic, but they are not particularly optimistic – for example, they continuously find errors as a means for improvement. Sevens, by contrast, are relentlessly optimistic unless they are distressed. Because Ones naturally pay attention to errors that need correcting, they can seem to Sevens to focus too much on the negative. On the other hand, the Sevens’ continuous optimism and focus on the positive can seem unrealistic and annoying to many Ones.

Ones like to structure their work to work in environments that have clear rules and prescribed limits, while Sevens dislike feeling constrained under all circumstances and may have a difficult time with rules and processes that feel limiting. For example, Sevens do not like clear authority hierarchies because Sevens believe everyone is equal; this belief equalizes or neutralizes the authority of their bosses who have the potential to limit the Seven’s freedom. Ones, however, work well and even flourish within defined authority structures. Further, Ones often excel at managing the details of projects and tasks, while Sevens can find this kind of work tedious.

Ones and Sevens also differ in their relationships with others. Although Ones can be critical and inflexible, they are also so strongly committed to self-improvement that, in many cases, they will listen to negative feedback, try to understand it, and then dedicate themselves to both working on the issues raised and preserving the relationship with the person offering the feedback. Sevens bring an abundance of positive energy, engagement, and fun to their relationships, but their sensitivity to criticism and avoidance of pain make it very challenging for them to (1) respond positively to negative feedback, (2) discuss difficult issues that may need to be addressed, or (3) stay engaged in relationships that cause them discomfort.

SEVENS crave the stimulation of new ideas, people, and experiences, avoid pain, and create elaborate future plans to keep their options open.
BASIC CONCERN: What is exciting? Do I feel constrained? Can I avoid pain?
ONES seek a perfect world and work diligently to improve both themselves and everyone and everything around them.
BASIC CONCERN: What is right or wrong, correct or incorrect?

Ones and Sevens are both quality oriented, idealistic, and visionary. Ones focus their attention to attaining the highest standards in work and other aspects of their lives and want things to be perfect, working hard to make everything fit their internally generated, idealized sense of perfection. Sevens seek the best possible experience in everything they do, particularly in their recreational pursuits, and are being supremely optimistic and positive, especially about future options and plans. Both Ones and Sevens have a great deal of energy; Ones apply their energy diligently to everything they do, while Sevens dedicate themselves only to the activities that keep them stimulated and interested. Both Enneagram types can also be perfectionistic, intellectual, and analytical and they like to figure things out and solve problems quickly. Ones are generally more consistently concerned with perfection and tend to approach problem solving with more rigor and patience than do Sevens, who let go of their perfectionism when an activity or task becomes too onerous – for example, too much work is involved, too many obstacles appear, or the task becomes routine and boring. Finally, both Ones and Sevens are sensitive to criticism, although Ones are more likely to express their responses with direct comments, and Sevens are more likely to defuse the criticism through humor or rationalization.

Ones and Sevens also have striking differences. For Ones, work almost always takes precedence over play; for Sevens, planning for play and engaging in pleasurable activities is often more important to them than tasks. Although many Sevens are highly dedicated to their work, they may be even more dedicated to their non-work pursuits or they may try to transform their work activities into fun. Ones are idealistic, but they are not particularly optimistic – for example, they continuously find errors as a means for improvement. Sevens, by contrast, are relentlessly optimistic unless they are distressed. Because Ones naturally pay attention to errors that need correcting, they can seem to Sevens to focus too much on the negative. On the other hand, the Sevens’ continuous optimism and focus on the positive can seem unrealistic and annoying to many Ones.

Ones like to structure their work to work in environments that have clear rules and prescribed limits, while Sevens dislike feeling constrained under all circumstances and may have a difficult time with rules and processes that feel limiting. For example, Sevens do not like clear authority hierarchies because Sevens believe everyone is equal; this belief equalizes or neutralizes the authority of their bosses who have the potential to limit the Seven’s freedom. Ones, however, work well and even flourish within defined authority structures. Further, Ones often excel at managing the details of projects and tasks, while Sevens can find this kind of work tedious.

Ones and Sevens also differ in their relationships with others. Although Ones can be critical and inflexible, they are also so strongly committed to self-improvement that, in many cases, they will listen to negative feedback, try to understand it, and then dedicate themselves to both working on the issues raised and preserving the relationship with the person offering the feedback. Sevens bring an abundance of positive energy, engagement, and fun to their relationships, but their sensitivity to criticism and avoidance of pain make it very challenging for them to (1) respond positively to negative feedback, (2) discuss difficult issues that may need to be addressed, or (3) stay engaged in relationships that cause them discomfort.

SEVENS crave the stimulation of new ideas, people, and experiences, avoid pain, and create elaborate future plans to keep their options open.
BASIC CONCERN: What is exciting? Do I feel constrained? Can I avoid pain?
TWOS want to be liked, try to meet the needs of others, and attempt to orchestrate the people and events in their lives.
BASIC CONCERN: Am I needed? Will others like me?

Twos and Sevens can appear similar, with both having upbeat, energetic, fun-loving, and optimistic attitudes. The Twos’ optimistic orientation gets other people to respond positively to them; after all, people like happy people (or so the Two thinks). The Sevens’ positive outlook is more foundational to their personality – the Seven motto is “Why worry, be happy” – and also a result of their agility in imagining positive possibilities and their avoidance of the negative. Both Twos and Sevens have hedonistic tendencies; they like to have a good time and experience pleasure, but their aims behind their pleasure seeking differ. Twos want positive experiences with others in order to build and enjoy relationships, and they may also indulge themselves as a way to address their feelings of deprivation or neediness that stem from not fulfilling their own needs. Sevens use seeking pleasure as a way of distracting themselves and avoiding discomfort and pain – for example, feelings of sadness, fear, or anxiety. Both types enjoy relating to other people and may idealize individuals they especially like; Twos idealize others as a way get these individuals to affirm the Two’s likability, and Sevens idealize certain individuals when they feel particularly stimulated and engaged by this person.

There are also significant differences between Twos and Sevens. Twos pay a great deal of attention to other people, focusing on their moods and needs as a way of aligning with them and creating positive connections. This makes most Twos highly empathic; they can actually feel exactly what another person is feeling without having to be told explicitly. Sevens focus more on themselves, seeking fulfillment of their own desires as a way of averting or distracting themselves from the possibility of negative experiences. The Sevens’ self-focus creates challenges in feeling another’s feelings and empathizing with them. In other words, many Sevens can speculate about how someone else might feel, but this is more often a cerebral conjecture than an actual experience of feeling someone else’s feelings.

Twos often adapt themselves to others, abandoning their own needs and desires in an attempt to strengthen their bonds with others. They actively manage their self-presentation as a way of attracting others, trying to appear the way they think others want them to be. By contrast, most Sevens do what they want to do, rarely give up what they desire in order to please someone else, and seldom focus on their image during interpersonal interactions. Instead, Sevens are far more focused on whether or not the interaction is stimulating and engaging to them. At a fundamental level, Twos are motivated by pleasing others, while Sevens are motivated by participating in interesting, exciting, and pleasurable activities, focusing more on pleasing themselves.

In addition, Twos tend to be feeling-oriented, having regular contact with their emotions and sensitive to the feelings of others, while Sevens are more mentally oriented, with a mind constantly engaged in instantaneous mental processing and rapid associations of ideas. As a result, Sevens can have difficulty focusing and completing tasks, especially when these are tedious, boring, or too repetitive. Twos focus far more easily, particularly when they know what are doing will being seen and evaluated by others. In addition, Sevens crave options, feeling excruciatingly limited if they do not have an abundance of them. Twos neither need nor want multiple options; having too many options can make it more difficult for Twos – who may not be sure of what they want, need, or think – to make a decision.

Finally, social subtype Sevens can appear more similar to Twos than the other two subtypes of Seven; social Sevens are oriented toward being of service to others, and they may sacrifice their own desires for stimulation and excitement in service of the group. Doing this counteracts the social Sevens’ own impulses and desires and helps them to be seen as “good” for making this sacrifice. Their focus on the group and what others might need can make social Sevens seem like a friendly, outgoing, and generous Two. However, despite the social Sevens’ tendency to give more of themselves than the other two subtypes of Seven, they can still be distinguished from Twos by their relentless rapid mental processing, continuous love for new ideas, tendency to talk more than they listen, and clarity about what they want and desire, and their chronic avoidance of difficult experiences and feelings.

SEVENS crave the stimulation of new ideas, people, and experiences, avoid pain, and create elaborate future plans to keep their options open.
BASIC CONCERN: What is exciting? Do I feel constrained? Can I avoid pain?
TWOS want to be liked, try to meet the needs of others, and attempt to orchestrate the people and events in their lives.
BASIC CONCERN: Am I needed? Will others like me?

Twos and Sevens can appear similar, with both having upbeat, energetic, fun-loving, and optimistic attitudes. The Twos’ optimistic orientation gets other people to respond positively to them; after all, people like happy people (or so the Two thinks). The Sevens’ positive outlook is more foundational to their personality – the Seven motto is “Why worry, be happy” – and also a result of their agility in imagining positive possibilities and their avoidance of the negative. Both Twos and Sevens have hedonistic tendencies; they like to have a good time and experience pleasure, but their aims behind their pleasure seeking differ. Twos want positive experiences with others in order to build and enjoy relationships, and they may also indulge themselves as a way to address their feelings of deprivation or neediness that stem from not fulfilling their own needs. Sevens use seeking pleasure as a way of distracting themselves and avoiding discomfort and pain – for example, feelings of sadness, fear, or anxiety. Both types enjoy relating to other people and may idealize individuals they especially like; Twos idealize others as a way get these individuals to affirm the Two’s likability, and Sevens idealize certain individuals when they feel particularly stimulated and engaged by this person.

There are also significant differences between Twos and Sevens. Twos pay a great deal of attention to other people, focusing on their moods and needs as a way of aligning with them and creating positive connections. This makes most Twos highly empathic; they can actually feel exactly what another person is feeling without having to be told explicitly. Sevens focus more on themselves, seeking fulfillment of their own desires as a way of averting or distracting themselves from the possibility of negative experiences. The Sevens’ self-focus creates challenges in feeling another’s feelings and empathizing with them. In other words, many Sevens can speculate about how someone else might feel, but this is more often a cerebral conjecture than an actual experience of feeling someone else’s feelings.

Twos often adapt themselves to others, abandoning their own needs and desires in an attempt to strengthen their bonds with others. They actively manage their self-presentation as a way of attracting others, trying to appear the way they think others want them to be. By contrast, most Sevens do what they want to do, rarely give up what they desire in order to please someone else, and seldom focus on their image during interpersonal interactions. Instead, Sevens are far more focused on whether or not the interaction is stimulating and engaging to them. At a fundamental level, Twos are motivated by pleasing others, while Sevens are motivated by participating in interesting, exciting, and pleasurable activities, focusing more on pleasing themselves.

In addition, Twos tend to be feeling-oriented, having regular contact with their emotions and sensitive to the feelings of others, while Sevens are more mentally oriented, with a mind constantly engaged in instantaneous mental processing and rapid associations of ideas. As a result, Sevens can have difficulty focusing and completing tasks, especially when these are tedious, boring, or too repetitive. Twos focus far more easily, particularly when they know what are doing will being seen and evaluated by others. In addition, Sevens crave options, feeling excruciatingly limited if they do not have an abundance of them. Twos neither need nor want multiple options; having too many options can make it more difficult for Twos – who may not be sure of what they want, need, or think – to make a decision.

Finally, social subtype Sevens can appear more similar to Twos than the other two subtypes of Seven; social Sevens are oriented toward being of service to others, and they may sacrifice their own desires for stimulation and excitement in service of the group. Doing this counteracts the social Sevens’ own impulses and desires and helps them to be seen as “good” for making this sacrifice. Their focus on the group and what others might need can make social Sevens seem like a friendly, outgoing, and generous Two. However, despite the social Sevens’ tendency to give more of themselves than the other two subtypes of Seven, they can still be distinguished from Twos by their relentless rapid mental processing, continuous love for new ideas, tendency to talk more than they listen, and clarity about what they want and desire, and their chronic avoidance of difficult experiences and feelings.

SEVENS crave the stimulation of new ideas, people, and experiences, avoid pain, and create elaborate future plans to keep their options open.
BASIC CONCERN: What is exciting? Do I feel constrained? Can I avoid pain?
THREES organize their lives to achieve specific goals and to appear successful in order to gain the respect and admiration of others.
BASIC CONCERN: How can I gain the respect and esteem of others?

Threes and Sevens can be look-alike styles, sharing many characteristics. Both are high energy and hardworking, especially on projects that they are invested in and find interesting, and they can be charming, engaging, and able to attract others. Threes employ these qualities to gain people’s approval, admiration, and cooperation, while Sevens use charm and engagement as a first line of offense and defense – that is, to enlist others in the exchange of ideas and to create an upbeat, positive mood but also to defuse any potential negativity. Both Threes and Sevens are optimistic and confident; Threes want to create an image of achievement and confidence and often have a history of success, and Sevens habitually view things in a positive light, believing in the seemingly endless possibilities available and the abundance of opportunities. The Sevens’ optimism is also a way for them to avoid difficult issues and feelings, such as fear, sadness, and anxiety. In addition, both types avoid negative feelings because they believe these slow them down. Threes think that uncomfortable emotions distract them in their forward movement and goal accomplishment, while Sevens believe there is no reason to dwell on difficulties when you could be racing forward with plans and ideas instead.

There are also traits that distinguish Threes from Sevens. Threes excel at focusing on and completing tasks, while Sevens have difficulty maintaining their focus because they are easily distracted by their stimulating ideas, interests, and activities and have a hard time saying no to something that grabs their attention. Although Threes and Sevens both enjoy multitasking and keeping busy, Threes multitask by doing between three and six things at once, and Sevens like to juggle as many tasks as possible. Threes will delay doing something that interests them without regret, knowing that restraining themselves enables them to get their deliverables completed and that they can do the desired activity at a later date. Sevens almost always say yes to something interesting or exciting even when they are impossibly busy. Although they usually find a way to get it all done, it may not be on time or with the quality they intended.

Threes, being more other-oriented, rely on others’ approval and admiration to affirm their sense of self and personal value, and they cultivate their image and try to manage others’ perceptions of them. Sevens pay little attention to gaining others’ approval and even less to maintaining a particular image. Sevens are self-referencing rather than other-referencing – that is, they focus far more on their own internal experiences, needs, and desires, than on whether others approve of them.

Threes prioritize work over pleasure, even bringing work home when it is not necessary, and they usually work well within organizational authority structures and their limitations as long as these support the Three’s forward progress toward his or her goals. Sevens prioritize pleasure over work whenever possible and dislike hierarchical structures; they try to equalize authority by acting as if authority figures are on the same level as the Seven – for example by befriending or ignoring them. This helps Sevens avoid acknowledging that anyone or anything has the right or the role to place limitations on them. Finally, while both Threes and Sevens plan and are future oriented, the Sevens’ planning is more akin to dreaming about the future and creating ideas that might work, and this makes it difficult for them to pay attention to the present. By contrast, Threes create concrete plans for their specific goals, and focus far more on the present and the tasks in front of them.

SEVENS crave the stimulation of new ideas, people, and experiences, avoid pain, and create elaborate future plans to keep their options open.
BASIC CONCERN: What is exciting? Do I feel constrained? Can I avoid pain?
THREES organize their lives to achieve specific goals and to appear successful in order to gain the respect and admiration of others.
BASIC CONCERN: How can I gain the respect and esteem of others?

Threes and Sevens can be look-alike styles, sharing many characteristics. Both are high energy and hardworking, especially on projects that they are invested in and find interesting, and they can be charming, engaging, and able to attract others. Threes employ these qualities to gain people’s approval, admiration, and cooperation, while Sevens use charm and engagement as a first line of offense and defense – that is, to enlist others in the exchange of ideas and to create an upbeat, positive mood but also to defuse any potential negativity. Both Threes and Sevens are optimistic and confident; Threes want to create an image of achievement and confidence and often have a history of success, and Sevens habitually view things in a positive light, believing in the seemingly endless possibilities available and the abundance of opportunities. The Sevens’ optimism is also a way for them to avoid difficult issues and feelings, such as fear, sadness, and anxiety. In addition, both types avoid negative feelings because they believe these slow them down. Threes think that uncomfortable emotions distract them in their forward movement and goal accomplishment, while Sevens believe there is no reason to dwell on difficulties when you could be racing forward with plans and ideas instead.

There are also traits that distinguish Threes from Sevens. Threes excel at focusing on and completing tasks, while Sevens have difficulty maintaining their focus because they are easily distracted by their stimulating ideas, interests, and activities and have a hard time saying no to something that grabs their attention. Although Threes and Sevens both enjoy multitasking and keeping busy, Threes multitask by doing between three and six things at once, and Sevens like to juggle as many tasks as possible. Threes will delay doing something that interests them without regret, knowing that restraining themselves enables them to get their deliverables completed and that they can do the desired activity at a later date. Sevens almost always say yes to something interesting or exciting even when they are impossibly busy. Although they usually find a way to get it all done, it may not be on time or with the quality they intended.

Threes, being more other-oriented, rely on others’ approval and admiration to affirm their sense of self and personal value, and they cultivate their image and try to manage others’ perceptions of them. Sevens pay little attention to gaining others’ approval and even less to maintaining a particular image. Sevens are self-referencing rather than other-referencing – that is, they focus far more on their own internal experiences, needs, and desires, than on whether others approve of them.

Threes prioritize work over pleasure, even bringing work home when it is not necessary, and they usually work well within organizational authority structures and their limitations as long as these support the Three’s forward progress toward his or her goals. Sevens prioritize pleasure over work whenever possible and dislike hierarchical structures; they try to equalize authority by acting as if authority figures are on the same level as the Seven – for example by befriending or ignoring them. This helps Sevens avoid acknowledging that anyone or anything has the right or the role to place limitations on them. Finally, while both Threes and Sevens plan and are future oriented, the Sevens’ planning is more akin to dreaming about the future and creating ideas that might work, and this makes it difficult for them to pay attention to the present. By contrast, Threes create concrete plans for their specific goals, and focus far more on the present and the tasks in front of them.

SEVENS crave the stimulation of new ideas, people, and experiences, avoid pain, and create elaborate future plans to keep their options open.
BASIC CONCERN: What is exciting? Do I feel constrained? Can I avoid pain?
FOURS desire deep connections with their inner worlds and with other people, and they feel most alive when authentically expressing their feelings.
BASIC CONCERN: Will I be rejected or feel deficient? Can I express myself?

Fours and Sevens share several common traits that can make them appear similar. Most notably, both seek intense and stimulating experiences, but for different reasons. Fours live in the world of feelings and personal experience, crave the richness of deeply felt emotions and passionate connections with other people, and dislike mundane activities; mundane and ordinary experiences can make them feel discouraged and depressed and cause them to feel as if they are just like everyone else – that is, not particularly special. Sevens pursue intensity and stimulation as a way to keep their moods elevated and their experiences fun and positive to an extreme. Being stimulated and adrenalized helps them avoid less positive, less intense, empty, boring, and unpleasant alternatives, all of which would not feel good to Sevens, whose motto is: Why feel bad when you can feel good? Both Fours and Sevens also value creativity and self-expression. Fours want to be seen as unique and creative, and they enjoy self-expression, often through aesthetics, artistry, and a symbolic understanding of the meaning of events and experiences. Sevens like creativity and innovation and being able to express their continuous stream of new ideas.

In relationships, both Fours and Sevens tend to be self-referencing – that is, they pay far more attention to and place greater emphasis on their own thoughts, feelings, and experiences than on those of others. When Fours focus on themselves, they usually do so by concentrating on their own feelings and moods; in this sense, they are more internally than externally directed. When they listen to others, Fours commonly share their own experiences, sometimes interrupting the other person to do so. Although the intent is most often to deepen the connection between them and to demonstrate their empathy and understanding, others can interpret this behavior as redirecting the conversation back to the Four. The self-referencing behavior of Sevens is more often based on their own thoughts, ideas, future plans, anticipated pleasurable activities, and external stimuli, and Sevens also interrupt others when they have an idea or want to say something. From the their perspective, this demonstrates their interest in what the other person is saying, although others may perceive this as having been cut off.

Fours and Sevens are also highly sensitive to criticism. Fours experience criticism as a blow to their self-esteem, and it elicits their chronic sense that they are not good enough. Sevens experience criticism as a hurtful interruption of their innocent desire to focus on the positive and to see themselves in positive terms. In addition, because many Sevens avoid introspection and self-assessment, they often feel ill-equipped to deal with these judgments, assessments, and critiques.

Fours and Sevens also differ in specific ways. Although both types are idealistic, Sevens tend to be relentlessly optimistic, while Fours can be more pessimistic as a result of the their attention to what is missing in a person or situation. In addition, Fours and Sevens have very different profiles in relation to how they experience feelings. Emphasizing charm and a positive, fun-loving presentation of self, Sevens focus and dwell primarily on positive feelings, partly because they have upbeat, happy temperaments and partly because they want to keep it that way. Sevens have a difficult time accepting and experiencing more challenging emotions, such as sadness, anxiety, discomfort, and even anger to some degree; they reframe negatives into positives, and as a result, they can transform a painful event into one filled with opportunities. Fours, on the other hand, are far more comfortable experiencing a wide range of emotions. From the their perspective, feeling something is better than feeling nothing and Fours feel negative emotions such as disappointment or melancholy fairly regularly. In addition, they focus on what is missing or what something should be, and this helps them feel more familiar with the negative aspects of situations, issues, and relationships.

Fours’ relative comfort and familiarity with a breadth and depth of feelings makes them empathic when others are suffering or under duress. Fours experience a richness and realness in facing deeper issues, perceiving it as a valuable part of the human experience; deep connections with others based on sharing authentic feelings and being available to others in challenging moments satisfies their need for meaningful connection. Most Sevens are far more challenged when empathizing with and supporting others who are experiencing difficulties, particularly if the person’s issues persist for an extended period of time. This is partly because Sevens do not like to deal with suffering in their own lives and have little prolonged experience of doing so and partly because they believe “Why suffer when you can feel good?” Sevens are often hesitant to make long-term commitments to relationships that involve painful experiences because this can feel distressing, depressing, and limiting. As a result, Fours can perceive Sevens superficial and inauthentic, and Sevens can perceive Fours as overly intense and unnecessarily negative.

SEVENS crave the stimulation of new ideas, people, and experiences, avoid pain, and create elaborate future plans to keep their options open.
BASIC CONCERN: What is exciting? Do I feel constrained? Can I avoid pain?
FOURS desire deep connections with their inner worlds and with other people, and they feel most alive when authentically expressing their feelings.
BASIC CONCERN: Will I be rejected or feel deficient? Can I express myself?

Fours and Sevens share several common traits that can make them appear similar. Most notably, both seek intense and stimulating experiences, but for different reasons. Fours live in the world of feelings and personal experience, crave the richness of deeply felt emotions and passionate connections with other people, and dislike mundane activities; mundane and ordinary experiences can make them feel discouraged and depressed and cause them to feel as if they are just like everyone else – that is, not particularly special. Sevens pursue intensity and stimulation as a way to keep their moods elevated and their experiences fun and positive to an extreme. Being stimulated and adrenalized helps them avoid less positive, less intense, empty, boring, and unpleasant alternatives, all of which would not feel good to Sevens, whose motto is: Why feel bad when you can feel good? Both Fours and Sevens also value creativity and self-expression. Fours want to be seen as unique and creative, and they enjoy self-expression, often through aesthetics, artistry, and a symbolic understanding of the meaning of events and experiences. Sevens like creativity and innovation and being able to express their continuous stream of new ideas.

In relationships, both Fours and Sevens tend to be self-referencing – that is, they pay far more attention to and place greater emphasis on their own thoughts, feelings, and experiences than on those of others. When Fours focus on themselves, they usually do so by concentrating on their own feelings and moods; in this sense, they are more internally than externally directed. When they listen to others, Fours commonly share their own experiences, sometimes interrupting the other person to do so. Although the intent is most often to deepen the connection between them and to demonstrate their empathy and understanding, others can interpret this behavior as redirecting the conversation back to the Four. The self-referencing behavior of Sevens is more often based on their own thoughts, ideas, future plans, anticipated pleasurable activities, and external stimuli, and Sevens also interrupt others when they have an idea or want to say something. From the their perspective, this demonstrates their interest in what the other person is saying, although others may perceive this as having been cut off.

Fours and Sevens are also highly sensitive to criticism. Fours experience criticism as a blow to their self-esteem, and it elicits their chronic sense that they are not good enough. Sevens experience criticism as a hurtful interruption of their innocent desire to focus on the positive and to see themselves in positive terms. In addition, because many Sevens avoid introspection and self-assessment, they often feel ill-equipped to deal with these judgments, assessments, and critiques.

Fours and Sevens also differ in specific ways. Although both types are idealistic, Sevens tend to be relentlessly optimistic, while Fours can be more pessimistic as a result of the their attention to what is missing in a person or situation. In addition, Fours and Sevens have very different profiles in relation to how they experience feelings. Emphasizing charm and a positive, fun-loving presentation of self, Sevens focus and dwell primarily on positive feelings, partly because they have upbeat, happy temperaments and partly because they want to keep it that way. Sevens have a difficult time accepting and experiencing more challenging emotions, such as sadness, anxiety, discomfort, and even anger to some degree; they reframe negatives into positives, and as a result, they can transform a painful event into one filled with opportunities. Fours, on the other hand, are far more comfortable experiencing a wide range of emotions. From the their perspective, feeling something is better than feeling nothing and Fours feel negative emotions such as disappointment or melancholy fairly regularly. In addition, they focus on what is missing or what something should be, and this helps them feel more familiar with the negative aspects of situations, issues, and relationships.

Fours’ relative comfort and familiarity with a breadth and depth of feelings makes them empathic when others are suffering or under duress. Fours experience a richness and realness in facing deeper issues, perceiving it as a valuable part of the human experience; deep connections with others based on sharing authentic feelings and being available to others in challenging moments satisfies their need for meaningful connection. Most Sevens are far more challenged when empathizing with and supporting others who are experiencing difficulties, particularly if the person’s issues persist for an extended period of time. This is partly because Sevens do not like to deal with suffering in their own lives and have little prolonged experience of doing so and partly because they believe “Why suffer when you can feel good?” Sevens are often hesitant to make long-term commitments to relationships that involve painful experiences because this can feel distressing, depressing, and limiting. As a result, Fours can perceive Sevens superficial and inauthentic, and Sevens can perceive Fours as overly intense and unnecessarily negative.

SEVENS crave the stimulation of new ideas, people, and experiences, avoid pain, and create elaborate future plans to keep their options open.
BASIC CONCERN: What is exciting? Do I feel constrained? Can I avoid pain?
FIVES thirst for information and knowledge and use emotional detachment as a way of keeping involvement with others to a minimum.
BASIC CONCERN: Will demands be made on me for my time, energy, and resources?

Fives and Sevens have several characteristics in common. Both are mental types, “living” primarily in their heads or their thinking function. However, because they believe that knowledge is power, Fives gather data that interests them and then store this information in compartments in their mind so it can be retrieved at a later time and used to analyze and explain how things work and fit together as systems. This way of mental processing, called the compartmentalizing mind, is akin to having mental file folders with subfolders, much like a computer desktop. The Seven’s mind is very different. They constantly conjure up new and inventive ideas, engage in ongoing planning for future possibilities, and spontaneously connect and relate ideas that may seem dissimilar to others. The Seven’s mind, called the synthesizing mind, is more akin to a computer desktop that contains all the files – but no folders – in the workspace in which all are connected though invisible lines. As a result of this difference in mental processing, Fives are analytical, structured, systematic, and deliberate in their thinking, while Sevens are generative, spontaneous, original, and among the fastest thinkers of the Enneagram types.

In addition, Sevens and Fives have active minds and genuinely enjoy learning, new ideas, and pursuing their intellectual interests. They also guard against becoming too committed to others in social interactions. Fives keep their distance from fear of being drained by others’ demands and needs and strive to conserve their energy. They are economical in their use of resources, believing that their resources are limited and they are at risk of being depleted. Sevens want to maintain their independence in order to keep their freedom and options open. They crave having multiple options and limitless opportunities and feel trapped and limited by others’ plans, desires, and expectations of them. In addition, individuals of both styles intellectualize; they avoid their feelings by thinking, analyzing, and keeping themselves mentally stimulated.

There are also clear differences between Fives and Sevens. Sevens live primarily in the future, through their fantasies and plans, and by thinking about interesting and pleasurable activities that have not yet happened. Sevens are relentlessly positive – most of the time – and automatically reframe negative events and experiences into positive ones, using rationalization to do this. They seek excitement and stimulation as a way of avoiding feelings like frustration, discomfort, and sadness but they express pleasure and joy quite readily. In addition, Sevens are highly spontaneous, sometimes to the point of being impulsive. Fives, by contrast, tend to be far more objective in their analysis of situations and events. They live more in the practical reality of the present and their planning orientation is more like project planning than dreaming about possibilities. Fives detach from feelings in the moment, automatically letting them go and focusing instead on thoughts and ideas. However, they feel their feelings later when they are alone and have the time, desire, and privacy to reflect on them, and they do not limit the feelings they are willing to experience. Being the most self-contained and self-controlled of the Enneagram types, Fives are rarely spontaneous unless they are highly relaxed and with the very few other people they completely trust.

SEVENS crave the stimulation of new ideas, people, and experiences, avoid pain, and create elaborate future plans to keep their options open.
BASIC CONCERN: What is exciting? Do I feel constrained? Can I avoid pain?
FIVES thirst for information and knowledge and use emotional detachment as a way of keeping involvement with others to a minimum.
BASIC CONCERN: Will demands be made on me for my time, energy, and resources?

Fives and Sevens have several characteristics in common. Both are mental types, “living” primarily in their heads or their thinking function. However, because they believe that knowledge is power, Fives gather data that interests them and then store this information in compartments in their mind so it can be retrieved at a later time and used to analyze and explain how things work and fit together as systems. This way of mental processing, called the compartmentalizing mind, is akin to having mental file folders with subfolders, much like a computer desktop. The Seven’s mind is very different. They constantly conjure up new and inventive ideas, engage in ongoing planning for future possibilities, and spontaneously connect and relate ideas that may seem dissimilar to others. The Seven’s mind, called the synthesizing mind, is more akin to a computer desktop that contains all the files – but no folders – in the workspace in which all are connected though invisible lines. As a result of this difference in mental processing, Fives are analytical, structured, systematic, and deliberate in their thinking, while Sevens are generative, spontaneous, original, and among the fastest thinkers of the Enneagram types.

In addition, Sevens and Fives have active minds and genuinely enjoy learning, new ideas, and pursuing their intellectual interests. They also guard against becoming too committed to others in social interactions. Fives keep their distance from fear of being drained by others’ demands and needs and strive to conserve their energy. They are economical in their use of resources, believing that their resources are limited and they are at risk of being depleted. Sevens want to maintain their independence in order to keep their freedom and options open. They crave having multiple options and limitless opportunities and feel trapped and limited by others’ plans, desires, and expectations of them. In addition, individuals of both styles intellectualize; they avoid their feelings by thinking, analyzing, and keeping themselves mentally stimulated.

There are also clear differences between Fives and Sevens. Sevens live primarily in the future, through their fantasies and plans, and by thinking about interesting and pleasurable activities that have not yet happened. Sevens are relentlessly positive – most of the time – and automatically reframe negative events and experiences into positive ones, using rationalization to do this. They seek excitement and stimulation as a way of avoiding feelings like frustration, discomfort, and sadness but they express pleasure and joy quite readily. In addition, Sevens are highly spontaneous, sometimes to the point of being impulsive. Fives, by contrast, tend to be far more objective in their analysis of situations and events. They live more in the practical reality of the present and their planning orientation is more like project planning than dreaming about possibilities. Fives detach from feelings in the moment, automatically letting them go and focusing instead on thoughts and ideas. However, they feel their feelings later when they are alone and have the time, desire, and privacy to reflect on them, and they do not limit the feelings they are willing to experience. Being the most self-contained and self-controlled of the Enneagram types, Fives are rarely spontaneous unless they are highly relaxed and with the very few other people they completely trust.

SEVENS crave the stimulation of new ideas, people, and experiences, avoid pain, and create elaborate future plans to keep their options open.
BASIC CONCERN: What is exciting? Do I feel constrained? Can I avoid pain?
SIXES have insightful minds, are prone to worry, and create worst-case scenarios to help themselves feel prepared in case something goes wrong.
BASIC CONCERN: What could go wrong here? Whom can I trust? Am I making the best decisions?

Sixes and Sevens have several traits in common as both are mental types and primarily thinking-oriented. Sixes think about what might go wrong to proactively prepare for it, and they think in contrarian terms, questioning ideas and opinions they hear from others in an effort to find certainty. Sevens think about new and interesting ideas, plan pleasurable and exciting future activities, and interrelate and synthesize information from disparate sources. Consequently, the Six’s mind is called the doubting mind and the Seven’s mind is called the synthesizing mind.

Sixes and Sevens are quick thinkers with active imaginations, although Sixes imagine worst-case scenarios or do rapid anticipatory problem solving, while Sevens imagine highly positive scenarios. In particular, Sevens and counterphobic (less overtly fearful) Sixes can appear very much alike as both move toward threats or challenges in the environment and face dangers head on. Sevens use charm, pleasantries, and an engaging self-presentation to disarm potential threats, and counterphobic Sixes use strength and a willingness to intimidate if necessary. Sixes and Sevens tend to think excessively and not move into action quickly; Sixes can become preoccupied and even immobilized by doubt, while Sevens become distracted by exciting ideas, new people, and external stimulation and often get more excited by creating ideas than executing them.

Sixes and Sevens also differ in specific ways. Sevens tend to be highly optimistic and adventurous, with a generally bright and positive outlook, and they reframe negative situations by putting them in a positive context. They focus on positive possibilities to keep themselves stimulated and moving forward as a way to maintain their good feelings and to avoid pain and discomfort. At work, Sevens expect success and usually appear highly confident. By contrast, Sixes describe themselves as idealistic realists, often expecting things to go wrong – especially phobic Sixes – and may unwittingly appear anxious, unconfident, and suspicious. Careful and cautious, Sixes remain vigilant and watchful in order to anticipate threats and prepare to overcome them. They can hardly avoid feeling pain and distress because they continually second-guess themselves, question their own ideas and those of others, challenge their own perceptions of reality, and scan their environments for potential danger. In addition, Sevens are reluctant to make commitments because these feel like constraints and limits, while Sixes tend to be loyal, dedicated, and commit readily to those they trust.

Both Sixes and Sevens like to engage their teams as “equals,” but Sixes do so because they believe there is greater safety in loyal and like-minded groups, and Sevens think more voices means they are able to generate many more ideas. Both have issues with authorities, although their concerns and reactions are very different. Sixes are ambivalent toward authority figures; they hope these powerful individuals will be just, fair, and cause no harm, while at the same time doubt they will do so. As a result, Sixes try to demonstrate their loyalty through dutifulness, but their become questioning, suspicious, rebellious, and challenging when disenchanted or disturbed by an authority. Sevens equalize authority – that is, they simply deny hierarchical power relationships and perceive themselves as being on the same level as their superiors. Sevens do this by befriending their bosses, acting as if they are friends rather than in a boss-subordinate relationship; if this fails, they ignore their bosses. Ultimately, Sevens may rebel and challenge their bosses, but they only do this as an absolute last resort or are under extreme duress.

SEVENS crave the stimulation of new ideas, people, and experiences, avoid pain, and create elaborate future plans to keep their options open.
BASIC CONCERN: What is exciting? Do I feel constrained? Can I avoid pain?
SIXES have insightful minds, are prone to worry, and create worst-case scenarios to help themselves feel prepared in case something goes wrong.
BASIC CONCERN: What could go wrong here? Whom can I trust? Am I making the best decisions?

Sixes and Sevens have several traits in common as both are mental types and primarily thinking-oriented. Sixes think about what might go wrong to proactively prepare for it, and they think in contrarian terms, questioning ideas and opinions they hear from others in an effort to find certainty. Sevens think about new and interesting ideas, plan pleasurable and exciting future activities, and interrelate and synthesize information from disparate sources. Consequently, the Six’s mind is called the doubting mind and the Seven’s mind is called the synthesizing mind.

Sixes and Sevens are quick thinkers with active imaginations, although Sixes imagine worst-case scenarios or do rapid anticipatory problem solving, while Sevens imagine highly positive scenarios. In particular, Sevens and counterphobic (less overtly fearful) Sixes can appear very much alike as both move toward threats or challenges in the environment and face dangers head on. Sevens use charm, pleasantries, and an engaging self-presentation to disarm potential threats, and counterphobic Sixes use strength and a willingness to intimidate if necessary. Sixes and Sevens tend to think excessively and not move into action quickly; Sixes can become preoccupied and even immobilized by doubt, while Sevens become distracted by exciting ideas, new people, and external stimulation and often get more excited by creating ideas than executing them.

Sixes and Sevens also differ in specific ways. Sevens tend to be highly optimistic and adventurous, with a generally bright and positive outlook, and they reframe negative situations by putting them in a positive context. They focus on positive possibilities to keep themselves stimulated and moving forward as a way to maintain their good feelings and to avoid pain and discomfort. At work, Sevens expect success and usually appear highly confident. By contrast, Sixes describe themselves as idealistic realists, often expecting things to go wrong – especially phobic Sixes – and may unwittingly appear anxious, unconfident, and suspicious. Careful and cautious, Sixes remain vigilant and watchful in order to anticipate threats and prepare to overcome them. They can hardly avoid feeling pain and distress because they continually second-guess themselves, question their own ideas and those of others, challenge their own perceptions of reality, and scan their environments for potential danger. In addition, Sevens are reluctant to make commitments because these feel like constraints and limits, while Sixes tend to be loyal, dedicated, and commit readily to those they trust.

Both Sixes and Sevens like to engage their teams as “equals,” but Sixes do so because they believe there is greater safety in loyal and like-minded groups, and Sevens think more voices means they are able to generate many more ideas. Both have issues with authorities, although their concerns and reactions are very different. Sixes are ambivalent toward authority figures; they hope these powerful individuals will be just, fair, and cause no harm, while at the same time doubt they will do so. As a result, Sixes try to demonstrate their loyalty through dutifulness, but their become questioning, suspicious, rebellious, and challenging when disenchanted or disturbed by an authority. Sevens equalize authority – that is, they simply deny hierarchical power relationships and perceive themselves as being on the same level as their superiors. Sevens do this by befriending their bosses, acting as if they are friends rather than in a boss-subordinate relationship; if this fails, they ignore their bosses. Ultimately, Sevens may rebel and challenge their bosses, but they only do this as an absolute last resort or are under extreme duress.

Please choose a different type to compare to Sevens.

Please choose a different type to compare to Sevens.

SEVENS crave the stimulation of new ideas, people, and experiences, avoid pain, and create elaborate future plans to keep their options open.
BASIC CONCERN: What is exciting? Do I feel constrained? Can I avoid pain?
EIGHTS pursue the truth, like to keep situations under control, want to make important things happen, and try to hide their vulnerability.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everything under control in an effective and just way?

Sevens and Eights can look alike. Both tend to be visionary thinkers, able to see the big picture and future possibilities, and they will engage in conflict if necessary, although some Sevens feel more comfortable with confrontation than others. They can both be uninhibited, self-indulgent, and excessive when it comes to seeking pleasure, and individuals of both types appreciate intense and stimulating experiences. In interpersonal interactions, Sevens and Eights dislike being limited or controlled by other people, and both can be rebellious, although Eights rebel more openly and aggressively and Sevens use high-engagement and ideas when they confront others. While Eights believe the best defense is a strong offense, and Sevens believe that the best defense is a charm-based offense.

Both Sevens and Eights break the rules if it suits their purposes and easily overbook themselves, taking on too much work. The Sevens’ overbooking reflects their difficulty in saying no to exciting possibilities and intriguing activities that arise, while the Eights’ overworking reflects their tendency to be excessive, to feel responsible and compelled to get everything done immediately, and to ignore their own physical limits. Eights and Sevens also avoid and deny emotions that make them feel vulnerable  – for example, sadness and anxiety – although Eights primarily deny feelings that might make them look weak or helpless and Sevens avoid pain and discomfort.

Significant differences also exist between Sevens and Eights. While Eights can rebel against authority figures, they can also work well with authorities they respect and enjoy being leaders themselves. By contrast, Sevens try to equalize authority relationships, acting as if authorities have no real power to limit them. They befriend their bosses and subordinates as a way of denying the existence of a vertical power structure that has the ability to constrain them. Sevens can also be rebellious with authorities, but this occurs only if befriending the person doesn’t work or ignoring the individual is not possible.

Sevens and Eights focus on very different things. Eights focus on power and control, while Sevens focus on planning and pleasure. While individuals of both types have ready access to their anger, Eights are more likely to express it than are Sevens. Eights are direct and like to move things forward in a strong and forceful way, while Sevens have a difficult time focusing on work tasks for extended periods of time, especially when the work does not excite them. Many Sevens are more interested in creative idea generation than in the details of execution. Although Eights also dislike boredom, they only become bored when they no longer feel challenged by the size and scope of their work or when things are running too smoothly. Eights, however, like to bring their projects to conclusion.

Sevens intellectualize as an escape from their feelings; difficult feelings such as pain, anxiety, and sadness make them highly uncomfortable. When analyzing or evaluating situations, Sevens look for positive possibilities and reframe negatives issues into opportunities. Although some Eights are intellectual, Eights are far more instinctual than intellectual, and they move immediately into action, often without extensive analysis beforehand. For this reason, Eights usually appear far more physically grounded and rooted than Sevens, who center of gravity most often resides in their minds.

SEVENS crave the stimulation of new ideas, people, and experiences, avoid pain, and create elaborate future plans to keep their options open.
BASIC CONCERN: What is exciting? Do I feel constrained? Can I avoid pain?
EIGHTS pursue the truth, like to keep situations under control, want to make important things happen, and try to hide their vulnerability.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everything under control in an effective and just way?

Sevens and Eights can look alike. Both tend to be visionary thinkers, able to see the big picture and future possibilities, and they will engage in conflict if necessary, although some Sevens feel more comfortable with confrontation than others. They can both be uninhibited, self-indulgent, and excessive when it comes to seeking pleasure, and individuals of both types appreciate intense and stimulating experiences. In interpersonal interactions, Sevens and Eights dislike being limited or controlled by other people, and both can be rebellious, although Eights rebel more openly and aggressively and Sevens use high-engagement and ideas when they confront others. While Eights believe the best defense is a strong offense, and Sevens believe that the best defense is a charm-based offense.

Both Sevens and Eights break the rules if it suits their purposes and easily overbook themselves, taking on too much work. The Sevens’ overbooking reflects their difficulty in saying no to exciting possibilities and intriguing activities that arise, while the Eights’ overworking reflects their tendency to be excessive, to feel responsible and compelled to get everything done immediately, and to ignore their own physical limits. Eights and Sevens also avoid and deny emotions that make them feel vulnerable  – for example, sadness and anxiety – although Eights primarily deny feelings that might make them look weak or helpless and Sevens avoid pain and discomfort.

Significant differences also exist between Sevens and Eights. While Eights can rebel against authority figures, they can also work well with authorities they respect and enjoy being leaders themselves. By contrast, Sevens try to equalize authority relationships, acting as if authorities have no real power to limit them. They befriend their bosses and subordinates as a way of denying the existence of a vertical power structure that has the ability to constrain them. Sevens can also be rebellious with authorities, but this occurs only if befriending the person doesn’t work or ignoring the individual is not possible.

Sevens and Eights focus on very different things. Eights focus on power and control, while Sevens focus on planning and pleasure. While individuals of both types have ready access to their anger, Eights are more likely to express it than are Sevens. Eights are direct and like to move things forward in a strong and forceful way, while Sevens have a difficult time focusing on work tasks for extended periods of time, especially when the work does not excite them. Many Sevens are more interested in creative idea generation than in the details of execution. Although Eights also dislike boredom, they only become bored when they no longer feel challenged by the size and scope of their work or when things are running too smoothly. Eights, however, like to bring their projects to conclusion.

Sevens intellectualize as an escape from their feelings; difficult feelings such as pain, anxiety, and sadness make them highly uncomfortable. When analyzing or evaluating situations, Sevens look for positive possibilities and reframe negatives issues into opportunities. Although some Eights are intellectual, Eights are far more instinctual than intellectual, and they move immediately into action, often without extensive analysis beforehand. For this reason, Eights usually appear far more physically grounded and rooted than Sevens, who center of gravity most often resides in their minds.

SEVENS crave the stimulation of new ideas, people, and experiences, avoid pain, and create elaborate future plans to keep their options open.
BASIC CONCERN: What is exciting? Do I feel constrained? Can I avoid pain?
NINES seek peace, harmony, and positive mutual regard and dislike conflict, tension, rudeness, and ill will.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everyone being heard, including me?

Sevens and Nines share some common traits. Both have friendly, optimistic dispositions and have personable, affable interpersonal styles. They like to be around people and want to be liked, and they act in ways that make it easy for others to like them. Sevens and Nines keep things positive and avoid conflict if possible, although many Sevens can engage in conflict when necessary while most Nines prefer not to do so. Both can have difficulty maintaining a clear and sustained focus on work projects; Sevens become distracted by interesting things, external stimuli, and their desire to experience and do everything and Nines become distracted – that is, their attention becomes diffused – because they forget what they were supposed to be doing, do not follow their priorities, or just want to take time off to do something relaxing and enjoyable.

Sevens and Nines also differ in several ways. While individuals of both types are primarily, albeit unconsciously, trying to avoid uncomfortable feelings, Sevens pursue excitement, pleasure, and fun as a way of avoiding discomfort while Nines avoid feelings they don’t like to feel – for example, anger and anxiety – by neglecting themselves and forgetting what they think and want. Sevens are extremely fast-paced and high-energy and usually know what they want. Sevens are self-referencing; they focus mainly on themselves and their desires usually take priority over other people’s desires should these conflict. By contrast, Nines move at a slower, more relaxed pace, even at times becoming inert. They are other-referencing and pay attention primarily to what other people think, feel, and want; they merge with others and tend to go along with the other person’s preferences. It is usually easier for Nines to know what they don’t want or like than to know what they do. They typically do not state their preferences and then become resentful when they do something they do not like, even though they never said this was the case.

SEVENS crave the stimulation of new ideas, people, and experiences, avoid pain, and create elaborate future plans to keep their options open.
BASIC CONCERN: What is exciting? Do I feel constrained? Can I avoid pain?
NINES seek peace, harmony, and positive mutual regard and dislike conflict, tension, rudeness, and ill will.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everyone being heard, including me?

Sevens and Nines share some common traits. Both have friendly, optimistic dispositions and have personable, affable interpersonal styles. They like to be around people and want to be liked, and they act in ways that make it easy for others to like them. Sevens and Nines keep things positive and avoid conflict if possible, although many Sevens can engage in conflict when necessary while most Nines prefer not to do so. Both can have difficulty maintaining a clear and sustained focus on work projects; Sevens become distracted by interesting things, external stimuli, and their desire to experience and do everything and Nines become distracted – that is, their attention becomes diffused – because they forget what they were supposed to be doing, do not follow their priorities, or just want to take time off to do something relaxing and enjoyable.

Sevens and Nines also differ in several ways. While individuals of both types are primarily, albeit unconsciously, trying to avoid uncomfortable feelings, Sevens pursue excitement, pleasure, and fun as a way of avoiding discomfort while Nines avoid feelings they don’t like to feel – for example, anger and anxiety – by neglecting themselves and forgetting what they think and want. Sevens are extremely fast-paced and high-energy and usually know what they want. Sevens are self-referencing; they focus mainly on themselves and their desires usually take priority over other people’s desires should these conflict. By contrast, Nines move at a slower, more relaxed pace, even at times becoming inert. They are other-referencing and pay attention primarily to what other people think, feel, and want; they merge with others and tend to go along with the other person’s preferences. It is usually easier for Nines to know what they don’t want or like than to know what they do. They typically do not state their preferences and then become resentful when they do something they do not like, even though they never said this was the case.

Click on the style number to the right to see the corresponding information.
EIGHTS pursue the truth, like to keep situations under control, want to make important things happen, and try to hide their vulnerability.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everything under control in an effective and just way?
ONES seek a perfect world and work diligently to improve both themselves and everyone and everything around them.
BASIC CONCERN: What is right or wrong, correct or incorrect?

Ones and Eights look similar in some respects because both are high-energy, hardworking, and like to establish control and order, and they tend to engage in black-and-white, all-or-nothing thinking. Both get angry, but they experience and express their anger in very different ways. Ones try to hold back their anger because they believe that showing anger is wrong. At the same time, it is hard for Ones to completely shut off their reactions, and their anger tends to show anyway, albeit in a milder form than they actually feel – for example, through lower intensity responses such as resentment, irritation, and annoyance. Eights, on the other hand, feel and express anger more readily, and they do not believe it is wrong to be angry. Angry Eight leave no ambiguity regarding how they feel. They may say something immediately and intensely or become stony silent. When Ones get angry, it is usually when people break the rules or engage in bad behavior, while Eights become angry for a wider range of reasons – for example, being lied to, someone not living up to his or her potential, not being told something important, and more.

Both Ones and Eights like to be in control but Ones control by self-control as well as by relying on defined rules, structure, and standards, while Eights exercise power and control in more direct ways. For example, Eights use simple yet emphatic declarative sentences, take charge and tell others what to do, and appear non-vulnerable, if not invulnerable. Ones and Eights are also concerned about justice and fairness and can work hard in support of a cause they believe in, and both styles frequently overwork, seriously neglecting their own needs in the process.

There are some key areas that clearly differentiate Ones from Eights. Eights think in terms of the big picture, enjoy high-level strategic work, and dislike having to deal with details (even though some Eights are good at precision work). Ones relish hands-on experience and the satisfaction of completing concrete tasks. When engaged in a task, Ones emphasize achieving perfection, exerting a great deal of effort to make the work as good as it can possibly be. Eights, by contrast, want action to happen fast and can be satisfied with something that is “good enough,” as long as the impact is strong. When communicating with others, Ones tend to be polite and restrained even when upset, and use words like should and ought. Eights, by contrast, can be direct, abrupt, intimidating, and even profane and use commanding words like will and have to.

Eights tend to act on their impulses, can be excessive, and strongly dislike feeling inhibited, and they often move into action quickly, feeling much freer to exercise their power and exert their will without analyzing themselves or entertaining critical thoughts about their intentions. Ones tend to over-control their impulses and delay pleasurable activities, being more focused on exhibiting the correct behavior than on indulging themselves. Although Eights can at times be very hard on themselves, they do not criticize themselves as excessively or continuously as Ones, who are extremely self-critical most of the time.

Ones and Eights also have very different relationships to authority and authority figures. Ones typically observe and obey authority figures, while Eights usually presume they are the authority and do not like being told what to do by others, often rebelling against authority under a variety of circumstances. For example, when Eights do not think the authority figure knows what he or she is doing, they take charge. When they believe an authority is abusing power, Eights become confrontational and aggressive.

EIGHTS pursue the truth, like to keep situations under control, want to make important things happen, and try to hide their vulnerability.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everything under control in an effective and just way?
ONES seek a perfect world and work diligently to improve both themselves and everyone and everything around them.
BASIC CONCERN: What is right or wrong, correct or incorrect?

Ones and Eights look similar in some respects because both are high-energy, hardworking, and like to establish control and order, and they tend to engage in black-and-white, all-or-nothing thinking. Both get angry, but they experience and express their anger in very different ways. Ones try to hold back their anger because they believe that showing anger is wrong. At the same time, it is hard for Ones to completely shut off their reactions, and their anger tends to show anyway, albeit in a milder form than they actually feel – for example, through lower intensity responses such as resentment, irritation, and annoyance. Eights, on the other hand, feel and express anger more readily, and they do not believe it is wrong to be angry. Angry Eight leave no ambiguity regarding how they feel. They may say something immediately and intensely or become stony silent. When Ones get angry, it is usually when people break the rules or engage in bad behavior, while Eights become angry for a wider range of reasons – for example, being lied to, someone not living up to his or her potential, not being told something important, and more.

Both Ones and Eights like to be in control but Ones control by self-control as well as by relying on defined rules, structure, and standards, while Eights exercise power and control in more direct ways. For example, Eights use simple yet emphatic declarative sentences, take charge and tell others what to do, and appear non-vulnerable, if not invulnerable. Ones and Eights are also concerned about justice and fairness and can work hard in support of a cause they believe in, and both styles frequently overwork, seriously neglecting their own needs in the process.

There are some key areas that clearly differentiate Ones from Eights. Eights think in terms of the big picture, enjoy high-level strategic work, and dislike having to deal with details (even though some Eights are good at precision work). Ones relish hands-on experience and the satisfaction of completing concrete tasks. When engaged in a task, Ones emphasize achieving perfection, exerting a great deal of effort to make the work as good as it can possibly be. Eights, by contrast, want action to happen fast and can be satisfied with something that is “good enough,” as long as the impact is strong. When communicating with others, Ones tend to be polite and restrained even when upset, and use words like should and ought. Eights, by contrast, can be direct, abrupt, intimidating, and even profane and use commanding words like will and have to.

Eights tend to act on their impulses, can be excessive, and strongly dislike feeling inhibited, and they often move into action quickly, feeling much freer to exercise their power and exert their will without analyzing themselves or entertaining critical thoughts about their intentions. Ones tend to over-control their impulses and delay pleasurable activities, being more focused on exhibiting the correct behavior than on indulging themselves. Although Eights can at times be very hard on themselves, they do not criticize themselves as excessively or continuously as Ones, who are extremely self-critical most of the time.

Ones and Eights also have very different relationships to authority and authority figures. Ones typically observe and obey authority figures, while Eights usually presume they are the authority and do not like being told what to do by others, often rebelling against authority under a variety of circumstances. For example, when Eights do not think the authority figure knows what he or she is doing, they take charge. When they believe an authority is abusing power, Eights become confrontational and aggressive.

EIGHTS pursue the truth, like to keep situations under control, want to make important things happen, and try to hide their vulnerability.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everything under control in an effective and just way?
TWOS want to be liked, try to meet the needs of others, and attempt to orchestrate the people and events in their lives.
BASIC CONCERN: Am I needed? Will others like me?

Twos and Eights share some common characteristics. They tend to be protective of others and react strongly when they see others being abused; Twos become more reactive when individuals important to them are being treated abusively, while Eights are most activated when the weak or vulnerable are being abused by unjust authority figures. Both can be self-indulgent, hedonistic, and immoderate in their pursuits – for example, eating, working, and giving to others. Twos do this as a substitute for their deeper and unattended needs and because they often don’t know exactly what or how much they need of something. Eights are excessive because they have big energy and appetites, and they dislike inhibiting or limiting their desires. In a sense, Twos abandon themselves by focusing so extensively on others, and Eights forget their own needs and limits when they take on more and more work without recognizing their own limitations. Both Twos and Eights like to be in control, but for different reasons. Eights like to take charge from a big-picture perspective, want everything under control, and feel compelled to take forward action quickly and effectively. Twos like to be in control because doing so makes them feel capable and valuable, and they believe that their effectiveness in orchestrating people and events contributes to others holding them in high esteem.

There are several ways in which Twos and Eights are markedly different. Twos focus on creating and preserving their image and care a great deal about how people perceive them. Eights care very little about their image and how others view them. Most Eights can feel and express their anger quite readily and are willing to confront most conflict directly, unless they don’t care about the situation or the individuals involved. While some Twos are able to confront others and engage in conflict and other Twos are highly reluctant to do so, conflict still takes an emotional toll on all Twos. They most often either repress or avoid expressing their anger because they believe that “nice” people do not get angry, and they fear that expressing anger may alienate the very people with whom they want to maintain a connection. Additionally, Eights avoid expressing vulnerability, even denying that they have any at all while Twos more easily express theirs vulnerabilities, such as hurt, anxiety, and sadness.

Twos and Eights also have very different orientations to power. Eights enjoy having visible power and influence, as well as understanding and leveraging the political dynamics at work; they are attuned to who has it, how it is used, and how they themselves fit into the power structure. Although Twos often sense issues of power and influence, they shy away from direct involvement in it, although they may influence power dynamics indirectly and out of view. Instead, Twos often align themselves with powerful figures, preferring to be the power behind the throne than being the visible source of power. Visibility in these situations makes most Twos feel anxious and highly vulnerable. Although Eights do not always have to be the boss or the leader, Eights easily step into a leadership role, especially if there is an absence of leadership in a given situation. In addition, Eights can dominate and impose their will on others rather easily, whereas Twos tend to read situations in terms of what is required of them to influence others, then do so using more subtle or indirect means.

EIGHTS pursue the truth, like to keep situations under control, want to make important things happen, and try to hide their vulnerability.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everything under control in an effective and just way?
TWOS want to be liked, try to meet the needs of others, and attempt to orchestrate the people and events in their lives.
BASIC CONCERN: Am I needed? Will others like me?

Twos and Eights share some common characteristics. They tend to be protective of others and react strongly when they see others being abused; Twos become more reactive when individuals important to them are being treated abusively, while Eights are most activated when the weak or vulnerable are being abused by unjust authority figures. Both can be self-indulgent, hedonistic, and immoderate in their pursuits – for example, eating, working, and giving to others. Twos do this as a substitute for their deeper and unattended needs and because they often don’t know exactly what or how much they need of something. Eights are excessive because they have big energy and appetites, and they dislike inhibiting or limiting their desires. In a sense, Twos abandon themselves by focusing so extensively on others, and Eights forget their own needs and limits when they take on more and more work without recognizing their own limitations. Both Twos and Eights like to be in control, but for different reasons. Eights like to take charge from a big-picture perspective, want everything under control, and feel compelled to take forward action quickly and effectively. Twos like to be in control because doing so makes them feel capable and valuable, and they believe that their effectiveness in orchestrating people and events contributes to others holding them in high esteem.

There are several ways in which Twos and Eights are markedly different. Twos focus on creating and preserving their image and care a great deal about how people perceive them. Eights care very little about their image and how others view them. Most Eights can feel and express their anger quite readily and are willing to confront most conflict directly, unless they don’t care about the situation or the individuals involved. While some Twos are able to confront others and engage in conflict and other Twos are highly reluctant to do so, conflict still takes an emotional toll on all Twos. They most often either repress or avoid expressing their anger because they believe that “nice” people do not get angry, and they fear that expressing anger may alienate the very people with whom they want to maintain a connection. Additionally, Eights avoid expressing vulnerability, even denying that they have any at all while Twos more easily express theirs vulnerabilities, such as hurt, anxiety, and sadness.

Twos and Eights also have very different orientations to power. Eights enjoy having visible power and influence, as well as understanding and leveraging the political dynamics at work; they are attuned to who has it, how it is used, and how they themselves fit into the power structure. Although Twos often sense issues of power and influence, they shy away from direct involvement in it, although they may influence power dynamics indirectly and out of view. Instead, Twos often align themselves with powerful figures, preferring to be the power behind the throne than being the visible source of power. Visibility in these situations makes most Twos feel anxious and highly vulnerable. Although Eights do not always have to be the boss or the leader, Eights easily step into a leadership role, especially if there is an absence of leadership in a given situation. In addition, Eights can dominate and impose their will on others rather easily, whereas Twos tend to read situations in terms of what is required of them to influence others, then do so using more subtle or indirect means.

EIGHTS pursue the truth, like to keep situations under control, want to make important things happen, and try to hide their vulnerability.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everything under control in an effective and just way?
THREES organize their lives to achieve specific goals and to appear successful in order to gain the respect and admiration of others.
BASIC CONCERN: How can I gain the respect and esteem of others?

Because Threes and Eights have several common characteristics, they can look similar to each other. Both are hardworking, results oriented, direct, and assertive and they focus their energy on moving tasks and projects forward; they can also overwork. Threes are driven to finish tasks in order to reach their goals, no matter how much effort and time it takes, and Eights are prone to forgetting and bypassing their own physical needs and limits because they want to make big things happen. Threes and Eights also have ready access to their anger and express it when necessary, but they usually become angry for different reasons. Threes become impatient and angry when others create obstacles to their goals. Eights become angry and express it more frequently than Threes; their ire is stimulated by a wider array of issues – for example, when someone hurts an individual they feel a need to protect, impedes their forward movement, and tells them what to do, or when they feel blindsided or attacked.

Threes and Eights both enjoy being in positions of leadership. Threes like to have direct influence over the goals that are set and how the work is then organized, and they like the image-enhancing effects of having a high status, visible position within the authority structure. Eights want to be in control, to set the overall direction, and to have the power to both set the agenda and oversee the work going forward. Because both want to appear strong and in control of themselves, most Threes and Eights usually have difficulty expressing vulnerable emotions – specifically fear and sadness – and perceive the expression of these feelings as a display of weakness. Threes believe being emotional interferes with their focus on work, compromises their public image, and has the potential to derail progress toward their goals; although many Threes know when they are feeling uncomfortable or vulnerable, they generally regroup and refocus on work as a way of dealing with these feelings. Eights actually deny their vulnerable feelings and may not even be aware of their emotional discomfort. The denial maintains the Eight’s sense of strength, power, and control.

Threes and Eights are also very different. Threes are motivated by success and driven to attain their goals and follow their plans, and they cultivate an image of success to gain the admiration of others. Eights pay little attention to their image and care even less about how people perceive them. Instead, Eights are motivated by a desire for influence and power. As a result of these very different motivations, Threes are usually adept at finding the most efficient path or plan to reach a given goal, while Eights often have difficulty knowing exactly how much pressure, energy, and force to use in order to move closer to a particular objective. Threes are more people oriented and are often skilled in assessing how they impact others, athougth they may not fully anticipate the impact of what they do on structures and systems. Eights are more structure and systems focused, instinctively grasping structural and systems impacts, but they often have blind spots in the interpersonal arena.

Although Threes and Eights like to work for bosses they respect and want to understand the “organizational rules of the game,” they function very differently within organizations. Threes usually work well within existing organizational structures and get along with their bosses, providing neither become an obstacle to their goals. Eights often feel limited by organizational structures, can be rebellious toward authorities, and break the rules if it suits their purposes. Threes may at times also break rules, but they are more likely to subtly circumvent them than to violate them in a bold and visible way.

Both Threes and Eights often describe themselves as honest with a desire for knowing the truth, but they have very different definitions of truth and honesty. Eights often believe they instinctively know what truth is; thus, they tend to not solicit the opinions of others unless they are uncertain about a situation – which is rare – and only if they truly respect someone’s knowledge or character. Threes are confident but not always certain, and they test their “audience” to determine what is true or what is the best course of action. Threes also tend to be more diplomatic than Eights and will speak the truth when they believe it is important to do so, but they usually express it with a sensitivity to the impact their words have on another; for Threes, truth and honesty may be relative and somewhat contingent on particular circumstances. For Eights, there is no relative truth or honesty. They say what they think and expect others to do the same.

Finally, Eights often have a stronger sense of who they really are than do Threes. Although everyone can struggle with the question “Who am I?” at different times in their lives, the Threes’ facility in adapting their persona to their context can leave them confused about their real or deeper identity. Eights, by contrast, adapt so little to their context that their sense of self does not shift and change to the same degree.

EIGHTS pursue the truth, like to keep situations under control, want to make important things happen, and try to hide their vulnerability.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everything under control in an effective and just way?
THREES organize their lives to achieve specific goals and to appear successful in order to gain the respect and admiration of others.
BASIC CONCERN: How can I gain the respect and esteem of others?

Because Threes and Eights have several common characteristics, they can look similar to each other. Both are hardworking, results oriented, direct, and assertive and they focus their energy on moving tasks and projects forward; they can also overwork. Threes are driven to finish tasks in order to reach their goals, no matter how much effort and time it takes, and Eights are prone to forgetting and bypassing their own physical needs and limits because they want to make big things happen. Threes and Eights also have ready access to their anger and express it when necessary, but they usually become angry for different reasons. Threes become impatient and angry when others create obstacles to their goals. Eights become angry and express it more frequently than Threes; their ire is stimulated by a wider array of issues – for example, when someone hurts an individual they feel a need to protect, impedes their forward movement, and tells them what to do, or when they feel blindsided or attacked.

Threes and Eights both enjoy being in positions of leadership. Threes like to have direct influence over the goals that are set and how the work is then organized, and they like the image-enhancing effects of having a high status, visible position within the authority structure. Eights want to be in control, to set the overall direction, and to have the power to both set the agenda and oversee the work going forward. Because both want to appear strong and in control of themselves, most Threes and Eights usually have difficulty expressing vulnerable emotions – specifically fear and sadness – and perceive the expression of these feelings as a display of weakness. Threes believe being emotional interferes with their focus on work, compromises their public image, and has the potential to derail progress toward their goals; although many Threes know when they are feeling uncomfortable or vulnerable, they generally regroup and refocus on work as a way of dealing with these feelings. Eights actually deny their vulnerable feelings and may not even be aware of their emotional discomfort. The denial maintains the Eight’s sense of strength, power, and control.

Threes and Eights are also very different. Threes are motivated by success and driven to attain their goals and follow their plans, and they cultivate an image of success to gain the admiration of others. Eights pay little attention to their image and care even less about how people perceive them. Instead, Eights are motivated by a desire for influence and power. As a result of these very different motivations, Threes are usually adept at finding the most efficient path or plan to reach a given goal, while Eights often have difficulty knowing exactly how much pressure, energy, and force to use in order to move closer to a particular objective. Threes are more people oriented and are often skilled in assessing how they impact others, athougth they may not fully anticipate the impact of what they do on structures and systems. Eights are more structure and systems focused, instinctively grasping structural and systems impacts, but they often have blind spots in the interpersonal arena.

Although Threes and Eights like to work for bosses they respect and want to understand the “organizational rules of the game,” they function very differently within organizations. Threes usually work well within existing organizational structures and get along with their bosses, providing neither become an obstacle to their goals. Eights often feel limited by organizational structures, can be rebellious toward authorities, and break the rules if it suits their purposes. Threes may at times also break rules, but they are more likely to subtly circumvent them than to violate them in a bold and visible way.

Both Threes and Eights often describe themselves as honest with a desire for knowing the truth, but they have very different definitions of truth and honesty. Eights often believe they instinctively know what truth is; thus, they tend to not solicit the opinions of others unless they are uncertain about a situation – which is rare – and only if they truly respect someone’s knowledge or character. Threes are confident but not always certain, and they test their “audience” to determine what is true or what is the best course of action. Threes also tend to be more diplomatic than Eights and will speak the truth when they believe it is important to do so, but they usually express it with a sensitivity to the impact their words have on another; for Threes, truth and honesty may be relative and somewhat contingent on particular circumstances. For Eights, there is no relative truth or honesty. They say what they think and expect others to do the same.

Finally, Eights often have a stronger sense of who they really are than do Threes. Although everyone can struggle with the question “Who am I?” at different times in their lives, the Threes’ facility in adapting their persona to their context can leave them confused about their real or deeper identity. Eights, by contrast, adapt so little to their context that their sense of self does not shift and change to the same degree.

EIGHTS pursue the truth, like to keep situations under control, want to make important things happen, and try to hide their vulnerability.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everything under control in an effective and just way?
FOURS desire deep connections with their inner worlds and with other people, and they feel most alive when authentically expressing their feelings.
BASIC CONCERN: Will I be rejected or feel deficient? Can I express myself?

Fours and Eights can appear similar to one another. Most Fours and Eights willingly engage in conflict – even though neither would say they particularly enjoy conflict – and they can confront people when necessary, although Eights tend to do so more regularly than Fours. Both experience emotions deeply and express them with intensity, although their emotional repertoires are different. Eights express anger more frequently than any other feeling, but they hide their sensitivities and vulnerabilities, perceiving these as weakness. Fours usually feel a wider range of emotions, although they are especially attuned to sadness, melancholy, and vulnerability. Fours and Eights are intense and drawn to intensity in others, and both styles feel things passionately and can be impulsive, feeling justified in breaking the rules. Eights believe that they are bigger than most rules and that rules are meant to be broken. Fours break rules because they value their own internal experience as well as their needs and desires over a set of established rules. In the work environment, Fours and Eights work hard and can be deeply engaged in their endeavors; Fours view work as an opportunity for self-expression and collaborative artistry, while Eights strive to make the biggest impact possible and to protect the people with whom they work.

Significant differences also exist between Fours and Eights. Eights have a difficult time recognizing and acknowledging their own physical limits, dependency needs, and softer emotions, while Fours are far more familiar and experienced dealing with them. Fours usually expend far more effort in getting their physical and emotional needs met, and they express affection and love by sharing feelings and expressing their desire for connection. Eights often act as if they have no needs, except with the few individuals they trust; in relationships, Eights typically express affection and love by being powerful and protective of others.

While both types can challenge established authorities, Eights are typically more clearly and consistently rebellious than Fours. Eights are sensitive to leadership vacuums and power dynamics and believe it is their role and responsibility to make certain everything is under control. Consequently, they will not only challenge leaders they perceive to be ineffective or unjust, they will also step in and take charge. Although Fours may challenge authority figures and systems, they do so most often when their core values are at stake and rarely assume that they should or need to step forward into the leadership role; in fact, taking charge under these circumstances would be anxiety producing for most Fours.

In general, Eights focus on the strategic, big picture and then immediately strategize how to move things forward, being bold, assertive, aggressive, and even dominating. Fours, by contrast, pay more attention to the creative process, attracting attention, and being valued for their unique contributions to the process. They are generally less assertive – that is, less consistently assertive – and more oriented to achieving emotional connection with others. In addition, Eights tend to be direct and straightforward when communicating and they can easily misperceive the impact they have on others. Fours are highly attuned to how they affect people around them, expressing themselves at length and with nuance, particularly emphasizing their own experience as well as their emotional reactions.

EIGHTS pursue the truth, like to keep situations under control, want to make important things happen, and try to hide their vulnerability.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everything under control in an effective and just way?
FOURS desire deep connections with their inner worlds and with other people, and they feel most alive when authentically expressing their feelings.
BASIC CONCERN: Will I be rejected or feel deficient? Can I express myself?

Fours and Eights can appear similar to one another. Most Fours and Eights willingly engage in conflict – even though neither would say they particularly enjoy conflict – and they can confront people when necessary, although Eights tend to do so more regularly than Fours. Both experience emotions deeply and express them with intensity, although their emotional repertoires are different. Eights express anger more frequently than any other feeling, but they hide their sensitivities and vulnerabilities, perceiving these as weakness. Fours usually feel a wider range of emotions, although they are especially attuned to sadness, melancholy, and vulnerability. Fours and Eights are intense and drawn to intensity in others, and both styles feel things passionately and can be impulsive, feeling justified in breaking the rules. Eights believe that they are bigger than most rules and that rules are meant to be broken. Fours break rules because they value their own internal experience as well as their needs and desires over a set of established rules. In the work environment, Fours and Eights work hard and can be deeply engaged in their endeavors; Fours view work as an opportunity for self-expression and collaborative artistry, while Eights strive to make the biggest impact possible and to protect the people with whom they work.

Significant differences also exist between Fours and Eights. Eights have a difficult time recognizing and acknowledging their own physical limits, dependency needs, and softer emotions, while Fours are far more familiar and experienced dealing with them. Fours usually expend far more effort in getting their physical and emotional needs met, and they express affection and love by sharing feelings and expressing their desire for connection. Eights often act as if they have no needs, except with the few individuals they trust; in relationships, Eights typically express affection and love by being powerful and protective of others.

While both types can challenge established authorities, Eights are typically more clearly and consistently rebellious than Fours. Eights are sensitive to leadership vacuums and power dynamics and believe it is their role and responsibility to make certain everything is under control. Consequently, they will not only challenge leaders they perceive to be ineffective or unjust, they will also step in and take charge. Although Fours may challenge authority figures and systems, they do so most often when their core values are at stake and rarely assume that they should or need to step forward into the leadership role; in fact, taking charge under these circumstances would be anxiety producing for most Fours.

In general, Eights focus on the strategic, big picture and then immediately strategize how to move things forward, being bold, assertive, aggressive, and even dominating. Fours, by contrast, pay more attention to the creative process, attracting attention, and being valued for their unique contributions to the process. They are generally less assertive – that is, less consistently assertive – and more oriented to achieving emotional connection with others. In addition, Eights tend to be direct and straightforward when communicating and they can easily misperceive the impact they have on others. Fours are highly attuned to how they affect people around them, expressing themselves at length and with nuance, particularly emphasizing their own experience as well as their emotional reactions.

EIGHTS pursue the truth, like to keep situations under control, want to make important things happen, and try to hide their vulnerability.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everything under control in an effective and just way?
FIVES thirst for information and knowledge and use emotional detachment as a way of keeping involvement with others to a minimum.
BASIC CONCERN: Will demands be made on me for my time, energy, and resources?

Some clear similarities exist between Fives and Eights. Both can feel and express anger when someone challenges their boundaries, although this is one of the only situations in which Fives express anger spontaneously, and Eights become angry far more frequently and over a wider range of issues. For example, Eights become quite angry when they perceive others as not telling the truth, when someone acts irresponsibly, doesn’t live up to their potential, wastes their time, and more. Both styles can also appear disengaged and detached, with Fives doing this habitually and Eights intermittently. In addition, Fives and Eights have difficulty experiencing and expressing any emotions that suggest they are feeling vulnerable. Fives detach from emotions and withdraw from situations that might ignite their vulnerable feelings, while Eights deny their vulnerability and overcompensate by focusing on and finding ways to express their strength and power.

Fives differ from Eights in several respects. Fives are usually more deliberate, reserved, withdrawn, and low-key energetically. They exert control more quietly, less obtrusively, and with less expenditure of energy and they are more systematic, minimalistic, conserving, and economical in their use of time and resources. By contrast, Eights are bold and intense and their vast energy and strong presence can be felt by others even when they are silent. They actively take control in more overt and aggressive ways and tend to be excessive in the things they do – for example, eating food in large quantities and exercising for hours at a time. Eights can be impulsive and move to action so quickly that they can neglect to consider the various alternatives, while Fives think a great deal about the alternatives and their consequences before taking action. As result, Eights can take too much action too quickly, and Fives can take too little action or not take it soon enough.

The difference between Fives and Eights is also a byproduct of the fact that Fives are a Head Center type and Eights are a Body Center type. When analyzing situations, Eights can have trouble distinguishing between the objective truth and what they believe to be the truth because they rely on their gut instincts as their primary information source and guide. Fives use their minds to determine the truth; this includes a robust data-collection process and an objective, logical, and analytical approach that helps them reach their conclusions.

In relationships, Eights usually make it clear what they think and feel and where they stand, while Fives can be difficult to read and may withhold information about what they are thinking and feeling, even with others to whom they feel close. Most Eights feel energized by relationships and closeness although, like Fives, they trust selectively and take time to develop the trust. Fives tend to minimize and inhibit their own needs and desires and can feel depleted by life and relationships. Fives may even forgo the possible pleasure that a relationship may bring because the cost for engagement seems too high in terms of the Five’s time, space, and energy. Eights, by contrast, rebel against inhibitions – internal or external – to their pleasure and need satisfaction.

EIGHTS pursue the truth, like to keep situations under control, want to make important things happen, and try to hide their vulnerability.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everything under control in an effective and just way?
FIVES thirst for information and knowledge and use emotional detachment as a way of keeping involvement with others to a minimum.
BASIC CONCERN: Will demands be made on me for my time, energy, and resources?

Some clear similarities exist between Fives and Eights. Both can feel and express anger when someone challenges their boundaries, although this is one of the only situations in which Fives express anger spontaneously, and Eights become angry far more frequently and over a wider range of issues. For example, Eights become quite angry when they perceive others as not telling the truth, when someone acts irresponsibly, doesn’t live up to their potential, wastes their time, and more. Both styles can also appear disengaged and detached, with Fives doing this habitually and Eights intermittently. In addition, Fives and Eights have difficulty experiencing and expressing any emotions that suggest they are feeling vulnerable. Fives detach from emotions and withdraw from situations that might ignite their vulnerable feelings, while Eights deny their vulnerability and overcompensate by focusing on and finding ways to express their strength and power.

Fives differ from Eights in several respects. Fives are usually more deliberate, reserved, withdrawn, and low-key energetically. They exert control more quietly, less obtrusively, and with less expenditure of energy and they are more systematic, minimalistic, conserving, and economical in their use of time and resources. By contrast, Eights are bold and intense and their vast energy and strong presence can be felt by others even when they are silent. They actively take control in more overt and aggressive ways and tend to be excessive in the things they do – for example, eating food in large quantities and exercising for hours at a time. Eights can be impulsive and move to action so quickly that they can neglect to consider the various alternatives, while Fives think a great deal about the alternatives and their consequences before taking action. As result, Eights can take too much action too quickly, and Fives can take too little action or not take it soon enough.

The difference between Fives and Eights is also a byproduct of the fact that Fives are a Head Center type and Eights are a Body Center type. When analyzing situations, Eights can have trouble distinguishing between the objective truth and what they believe to be the truth because they rely on their gut instincts as their primary information source and guide. Fives use their minds to determine the truth; this includes a robust data-collection process and an objective, logical, and analytical approach that helps them reach their conclusions.

In relationships, Eights usually make it clear what they think and feel and where they stand, while Fives can be difficult to read and may withhold information about what they are thinking and feeling, even with others to whom they feel close. Most Eights feel energized by relationships and closeness although, like Fives, they trust selectively and take time to develop the trust. Fives tend to minimize and inhibit their own needs and desires and can feel depleted by life and relationships. Fives may even forgo the possible pleasure that a relationship may bring because the cost for engagement seems too high in terms of the Five’s time, space, and energy. Eights, by contrast, rebel against inhibitions – internal or external – to their pleasure and need satisfaction.

EIGHTS pursue the truth, like to keep situations under control, want to make important things happen, and try to hide their vulnerability.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everything under control in an effective and just way?
SIXES have insightful minds, are prone to worry, and create worst-case scenarios to help themselves feel prepared in case something goes wrong.
BASIC CONCERN: What could go wrong here? Whom can I trust? Am I making the best decisions?

Sixes and Eights can appear quite similar, particularly Eights and counterphobic Sixes. In fact, they are often mistaken for one another. Both Eights and counterphobic Sixes appear strong, invulnerable, and invincible and can intimidate others, sometimes intentionally but always by their bold behavior. Both move toward threatening or difficult situations, seemingly without fear, and they deal with issues, challenges, and problems directly. However, Eights truly have very little fear or no fear, while counterphobic Sixes push against threats as a way to quell the deeply held fear that often resides below their conscious awareness. The counterphobic Six’s behavior represents the “fight” part of the “fight or flight” response to fear, whereas the phobic Six’s behavior represents the “flight” response.

All Sixes and Eights tend to rebel against authority and both can be protective of others they care about, but do so for different reasons. Eights tend to protect those they perceive as abused and vulnerable and do so as a way to demonstrate their strength – that is, only the strong can protect the weak – while Sixes are drawn to support underdogs or underdog causes, fighting on behalf of these individuals as a way to prove they have no fear. In addition, Sixes and Eights are very hardworking and practical. Eights are prone to overwork because they want to move things forward quickly and tend to be excessive about their activities, be it work, exercise, or recreation. Sixes often overwork because they are afraid to not to do so. Sixes believe they must continuously demonstrate their loyalty, dutifulness, and value to their bosses and teammates in order to feel protected and safe in these relationships.

Eights differ from Sixes in specific ways, although the contrasts are most obvious between Eights and phobic Sixes. Eights seldom feel fearful or vulnerable; in fact, their approach to life is based on denying their vulnerability and overcompensating for this by being confident, powerful, and strong. Eights rarely engage in self-doubt. They take immediate action, often without thinking a great deal beforehand, and like to move things forward quickly, becoming impatient when others impede their forward progress. Phobic Sixes, by contrast, feel fearful, anxious, and vulnerable most of the time. They stay vigilant to threats and dangers, continually doubting themselves. Because Sixes tend to over-think and overanalyze, they can become immobilized and fail to take action or procrastinate and purposely slow themselves down as a result of their fear that something bad may occur.

All Sixes inspect, investigate, and analyze other people to determine if these individuals have hidden agendas or ulterior motives before they are willing to trust them. Eights usually trust people who appear competent, reliable, and honest – that is, until their trust is broken. Eights also directly confront people and situations. While counterphobic Sixes also do this, less phobic Sixes avoid conflict unless they believe it is absolutely necessary or when confronted with an authority figure they believe is unjust or when an underdog cause is at stake.

EIGHTS pursue the truth, like to keep situations under control, want to make important things happen, and try to hide their vulnerability.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everything under control in an effective and just way?
SIXES have insightful minds, are prone to worry, and create worst-case scenarios to help themselves feel prepared in case something goes wrong.
BASIC CONCERN: What could go wrong here? Whom can I trust? Am I making the best decisions?

Sixes and Eights can appear quite similar, particularly Eights and counterphobic Sixes. In fact, they are often mistaken for one another. Both Eights and counterphobic Sixes appear strong, invulnerable, and invincible and can intimidate others, sometimes intentionally but always by their bold behavior. Both move toward threatening or difficult situations, seemingly without fear, and they deal with issues, challenges, and problems directly. However, Eights truly have very little fear or no fear, while counterphobic Sixes push against threats as a way to quell the deeply held fear that often resides below their conscious awareness. The counterphobic Six’s behavior represents the “fight” part of the “fight or flight” response to fear, whereas the phobic Six’s behavior represents the “flight” response.

All Sixes and Eights tend to rebel against authority and both can be protective of others they care about, but do so for different reasons. Eights tend to protect those they perceive as abused and vulnerable and do so as a way to demonstrate their strength – that is, only the strong can protect the weak – while Sixes are drawn to support underdogs or underdog causes, fighting on behalf of these individuals as a way to prove they have no fear. In addition, Sixes and Eights are very hardworking and practical. Eights are prone to overwork because they want to move things forward quickly and tend to be excessive about their activities, be it work, exercise, or recreation. Sixes often overwork because they are afraid to not to do so. Sixes believe they must continuously demonstrate their loyalty, dutifulness, and value to their bosses and teammates in order to feel protected and safe in these relationships.

Eights differ from Sixes in specific ways, although the contrasts are most obvious between Eights and phobic Sixes. Eights seldom feel fearful or vulnerable; in fact, their approach to life is based on denying their vulnerability and overcompensating for this by being confident, powerful, and strong. Eights rarely engage in self-doubt. They take immediate action, often without thinking a great deal beforehand, and like to move things forward quickly, becoming impatient when others impede their forward progress. Phobic Sixes, by contrast, feel fearful, anxious, and vulnerable most of the time. They stay vigilant to threats and dangers, continually doubting themselves. Because Sixes tend to over-think and overanalyze, they can become immobilized and fail to take action or procrastinate and purposely slow themselves down as a result of their fear that something bad may occur.

All Sixes inspect, investigate, and analyze other people to determine if these individuals have hidden agendas or ulterior motives before they are willing to trust them. Eights usually trust people who appear competent, reliable, and honest – that is, until their trust is broken. Eights also directly confront people and situations. While counterphobic Sixes also do this, less phobic Sixes avoid conflict unless they believe it is absolutely necessary or when confronted with an authority figure they believe is unjust or when an underdog cause is at stake.

EIGHTS pursue the truth, like to keep situations under control, want to make important things happen, and try to hide their vulnerability.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everything under control in an effective and just way?
SEVENS crave the stimulation of new ideas, people, and experiences, avoid pain, and create elaborate future plans to keep their options open.
BASIC CONCERN: What is exciting? Do I feel constrained? Can I avoid pain?

Sevens and Eights can look alike. Both tend to be visionary thinkers, able to see the big picture and future possibilities, and they will engage in conflict if necessary, although some Sevens feel more comfortable with confrontation than others. They can both be uninhibited, self-indulgent, and excessive when it comes to seeking pleasure, and individuals of both styles appreciate intense and stimulating experiences. In interpersonal interactions, Sevens and Eights dislike being limited or controlled by other people, and both can be rebellious, although Eights rebel more openly and aggressively and Sevens use high-engagement and ideas when they confront others. While Eights believe the best defense is a strong offense, and Sevens believe that the best defense is a charm-based offense.

Both Sevens and Eights break the rules if it suits their purposes and easily overbook themselves, taking on too much work. The Sevens’ overbooking reflects their difficulty in saying no to exciting possibilities and intriguing activities that arise, while the Eights’ overworking reflects their tendency to be excessive, to feel responsible and compelled to get everything done immediately, and to ignore their own physical limits. Eights and Sevens also avoid and deny emotions that make them feel vulnerable  – for example, sadness and anxiety – although Eights primarily deny feelings that might make them look weak or helpless and Sevens avoid pain and discomfort.

Significant differences also exist between Sevens and Eights. While Eights can rebel against authority figures, they can also work well with authorities they respect and enjoy being leaders themselves. By contrast, Sevens try to equalize authority relationships, acting as if authorities have no real power to limit them. They befriend their bosses and subordinates as a way of denying the existence of a vertical power structure that has the ability to constrain them. Sevens can also be rebellious with authorities, but this occurs only if befriending the person doesn’t work or ignoring the individual is not possible.

Sevens and Eights focus on very different things. Eights focus on power and control, while Sevens focus on planning and pleasure. While individuals of both types have ready access to their anger, Eights are more likely to express it than are Sevens. Eights are direct and like to move things forward in a strong and forceful way, while Sevens have a difficult time focusing on work tasks for extended periods of time, especially when the work does not excite them. Many Sevens are more interested in creative idea generation than in the details of execution. Although Eights also dislike boredom, they only become bored when they no longer feel challenged by the size and scope of their work or when things are running too smoothly. Eights, however, like to bring their projects to conclusion.

Sevens intellectualize as an escape from their feelings; difficult feelings such as pain, anxiety, and sadness make them highly uncomfortable. When analyzing or evaluating situations, Sevens look for positive possibilities and reframe negatives issues into opportunities. Although some Eights are intellectual, Eights are far more instinctual than intellectual, and they move immediately into action, often without extensive analysis beforehand. For this reason, Eights usually appear far more physically grounded and rooted than Sevens, who center of gravity most often resides in their minds.

EIGHTS pursue the truth, like to keep situations under control, want to make important things happen, and try to hide their vulnerability.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everything under control in an effective and just way?
SEVENS crave the stimulation of new ideas, people, and experiences, avoid pain, and create elaborate future plans to keep their options open.
BASIC CONCERN: What is exciting? Do I feel constrained? Can I avoid pain?

Sevens and Eights can look alike. Both tend to be visionary thinkers, able to see the big picture and future possibilities, and they will engage in conflict if necessary, although some Sevens feel more comfortable with confrontation than others. They can both be uninhibited, self-indulgent, and excessive when it comes to seeking pleasure, and individuals of both styles appreciate intense and stimulating experiences. In interpersonal interactions, Sevens and Eights dislike being limited or controlled by other people, and both can be rebellious, although Eights rebel more openly and aggressively and Sevens use high-engagement and ideas when they confront others. While Eights believe the best defense is a strong offense, and Sevens believe that the best defense is a charm-based offense.

Both Sevens and Eights break the rules if it suits their purposes and easily overbook themselves, taking on too much work. The Sevens’ overbooking reflects their difficulty in saying no to exciting possibilities and intriguing activities that arise, while the Eights’ overworking reflects their tendency to be excessive, to feel responsible and compelled to get everything done immediately, and to ignore their own physical limits. Eights and Sevens also avoid and deny emotions that make them feel vulnerable  – for example, sadness and anxiety – although Eights primarily deny feelings that might make them look weak or helpless and Sevens avoid pain and discomfort.

Significant differences also exist between Sevens and Eights. While Eights can rebel against authority figures, they can also work well with authorities they respect and enjoy being leaders themselves. By contrast, Sevens try to equalize authority relationships, acting as if authorities have no real power to limit them. They befriend their bosses and subordinates as a way of denying the existence of a vertical power structure that has the ability to constrain them. Sevens can also be rebellious with authorities, but this occurs only if befriending the person doesn’t work or ignoring the individual is not possible.

Sevens and Eights focus on very different things. Eights focus on power and control, while Sevens focus on planning and pleasure. While individuals of both types have ready access to their anger, Eights are more likely to express it than are Sevens. Eights are direct and like to move things forward in a strong and forceful way, while Sevens have a difficult time focusing on work tasks for extended periods of time, especially when the work does not excite them. Many Sevens are more interested in creative idea generation than in the details of execution. Although Eights also dislike boredom, they only become bored when they no longer feel challenged by the size and scope of their work or when things are running too smoothly. Eights, however, like to bring their projects to conclusion.

Sevens intellectualize as an escape from their feelings; difficult feelings such as pain, anxiety, and sadness make them highly uncomfortable. When analyzing or evaluating situations, Sevens look for positive possibilities and reframe negatives issues into opportunities. Although some Eights are intellectual, Eights are far more instinctual than intellectual, and they move immediately into action, often without extensive analysis beforehand. For this reason, Eights usually appear far more physically grounded and rooted than Sevens, who center of gravity most often resides in their minds.

Please choose a different type to compare to Eights.

Please choose a different type to compare to Eights.

EIGHTS pursue the truth, like to keep situations under control, want to make important things happen, and try to hide their vulnerability.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everything under control in an effective and just way?
NINES seek peace, harmony, and positive mutual regard and dislike conflict, tension, rudeness, and ill will.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everyone being heard, including me?

Eights and Nines share some characteristics. Both dislike being controlled by others, but they differ in how they respond to the experience of another’s attempted control. Eights openly rebel, fight against, and even try to overpower the person trying to control them, while Nines take a much more passive approach, seeming to agree or go along while passively resisting – that is, they say yes but have no intention of doing it. Eights and Nines can be “self-forgetting” of their own needs and wants; Eights do this by being excessive, overworking, and taking on too many responsibilities, while Nines forget themselves by focusing on others and losing conscious contact with their own emotions, sensations, and priorities. Both enjoy worldly comforts and pleasures – for example, food, television, an engaging past time, or interacting with others who interest them – and, as instinctual or Body Center types, both trust their gut reactions, although Eights tend to have stronger gut responses than most Nines.

Eights and Nines also differ in key ways. Eights focus primarily on power and control and usually have strong opinions that they assert in a direct, straightforward manner. They feel anger frequently and have a far easier time engaging in and initiating conflict. By contrast, Nines dislike conflict and interpersonal tension and pay most attention to creating harmony and avoiding conflict. In the Nines’ mind, limiting the intensity of their anger reduces the possibility that others will be upset with them or that tension will ensue. Nines are reluctant to what they think and even more conflicted about expressing something that may be contrary to another’s perspective. From their perspective, having an opinion means risking conflict, and it is simply not worth it.

Nines easily consider multiple points of view and are open to seeing and discussing many sides of an issue; this makes them excellent facilitators and mediators. At the same time, Nines have trouble setting boundaries and even more difficulty saying no. By contrast, Eights see their own view most clearly and perceive most issues in terms of black and white, with little room for nuance or contingency. They expect things go their way, have an easy time asserting their will, and have little difficulty saying no.

Eights and Nines are quite different interpersonally. Eights can be perceived as intimidating, a result of their certainty, boldness, and take-charge attitude. They usually have a big impact on others as their presence can be strongly felt even when they are being quiet. People rarely perceive Nines to be aggressive; with their friendly, easygoing manner, Nines are usually affable and approachable. At work, Eights break the rules easily, make up their own when they feel like it, and frequently rebel against authority. Nines, by contrast, like clear structure, predictable processes, and work easily work with authorities.

EIGHTS pursue the truth, like to keep situations under control, want to make important things happen, and try to hide their vulnerability.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everything under control in an effective and just way?
NINES seek peace, harmony, and positive mutual regard and dislike conflict, tension, rudeness, and ill will.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everyone being heard, including me?

Eights and Nines share some characteristics. Both dislike being controlled by others, but they differ in how they respond to the experience of another’s attempted control. Eights openly rebel, fight against, and even try to overpower the person trying to control them, while Nines take a much more passive approach, seeming to agree or go along while passively resisting – that is, they say yes but have no intention of doing it. Eights and Nines can be “self-forgetting” of their own needs and wants; Eights do this by being excessive, overworking, and taking on too many responsibilities, while Nines forget themselves by focusing on others and losing conscious contact with their own emotions, sensations, and priorities. Both enjoy worldly comforts and pleasures – for example, food, television, an engaging past time, or interacting with others who interest them – and, as instinctual or Body Center types, both trust their gut reactions, although Eights tend to have stronger gut responses than most Nines.

Eights and Nines also differ in key ways. Eights focus primarily on power and control and usually have strong opinions that they assert in a direct, straightforward manner. They feel anger frequently and have a far easier time engaging in and initiating conflict. By contrast, Nines dislike conflict and interpersonal tension and pay most attention to creating harmony and avoiding conflict. In the Nines’ mind, limiting the intensity of their anger reduces the possibility that others will be upset with them or that tension will ensue. Nines are reluctant to what they think and even more conflicted about expressing something that may be contrary to another’s perspective. From their perspective, having an opinion means risking conflict, and it is simply not worth it.

Nines easily consider multiple points of view and are open to seeing and discussing many sides of an issue; this makes them excellent facilitators and mediators. At the same time, Nines have trouble setting boundaries and even more difficulty saying no. By contrast, Eights see their own view most clearly and perceive most issues in terms of black and white, with little room for nuance or contingency. They expect things go their way, have an easy time asserting their will, and have little difficulty saying no.

Eights and Nines are quite different interpersonally. Eights can be perceived as intimidating, a result of their certainty, boldness, and take-charge attitude. They usually have a big impact on others as their presence can be strongly felt even when they are being quiet. People rarely perceive Nines to be aggressive; with their friendly, easygoing manner, Nines are usually affable and approachable. At work, Eights break the rules easily, make up their own when they feel like it, and frequently rebel against authority. Nines, by contrast, like clear structure, predictable processes, and work easily work with authorities.

Click on the style number to the right to see the corresponding information.
NINES seek peace, harmony, and positive mutual regard and dislike conflict, tension, rudeness, and ill will.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everyone being heard, including me?
ONES seek a perfect world and work diligently to improve both themselves and everyone and everything around them.
BASIC CONCERN: What is right or wrong, correct or incorrect?

Ones and Nines share several characteristics. Both appreciate structure and process in the work setting, with Ones emphasizing structure and Nines preferring process. They make good mediators, Nines because they easily see many sides of an issue and feel motivated to create harmony and Ones because they often have a high degree of integrity and tend to be objective and discerning judges. Both can have difficultly noticing and then asserting their own deeper desires because they are prone to denying their own needs, particularly when overworked. In addition, both can be perfectionistic, with Ones usually more so than Nines, and they normally work well within and respect the existing authority structure. Nines, however, will sometimes rebel in subtle, passive ways if they feel controlled and Ones may rebel as a way to reform and perfect the organization.

Many differences also exist Ones and Nines. Ones have strong opinions that they frequently vocalize, often thinking in black and white while also being convinced that they know the one right way to do something. Nines, who see many shades of grey in any issue or situation, often have difficulty identifying their own opinions, which is a consequence of their being so attuned to other people’s varied perspectives. When discussing issues with others, Nines rarely assert their position early on, while Ones often take a strong position initially and assume that theirs is the only correct point of view.

Neither Ones nor Nines like conflict that involves them directly and try to avoid it if they can. Nines dislike conflict far more than Ones, who will engage in arguments when they feel strongly about something or when they feel compelled to enforce the rules. The Nines’ aversion to conflict is foundational to their personality – that is, conflict threatens the harmony and well being they seek so fervently.

When accomplishing tasks, Ones like to do things their way and are far more directive than Nines, and focus their efforts to make everything as perfect as possible and relying on their own internal standards as their guide. Nines, by contrast, adapt to others and are more likely to go along with someone else’s plan or agenda than to assert their own. Nines are far more oriented to what other people think and want and therefore seek consensus, working collaboratively with others to decide what the standards and plan should be. Ones are very observant of the rules – wanting everyone to follow the rules – and they will confront those who do not. Nines are more easygoing, tend to go with the flow, and are much less likely to confront rule violations directly; in the Nine’s mind, it is not worth it, and they do not want to create tension or conflict.

Ones and Nines also have very different interpersonal styles. Ones usually appear responsible, polite, well mannered, intense, and highly focused but they can also seem uptight, judgmental, and inflexible. Nines usually appear peaceful, mellow, friendly, relaxed, and tolerant, but they can also seem vague, unassertive, and low energy.

NINES seek peace, harmony, and positive mutual regard and dislike conflict, tension, rudeness, and ill will.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everyone being heard, including me?
ONES seek a perfect world and work diligently to improve both themselves and everyone and everything around them.
BASIC CONCERN: What is right or wrong, correct or incorrect?

Ones and Nines share several characteristics. Both appreciate structure and process in the work setting, with Ones emphasizing structure and Nines preferring process. They make good mediators, Nines because they easily see many sides of an issue and feel motivated to create harmony and Ones because they often have a high degree of integrity and tend to be objective and discerning judges. Both can have difficultly noticing and then asserting their own deeper desires because they are prone to denying their own needs, particularly when overworked. In addition, both can be perfectionistic, with Ones usually more so than Nines, and they normally work well within and respect the existing authority structure. Nines, however, will sometimes rebel in subtle, passive ways if they feel controlled and Ones may rebel as a way to reform and perfect the organization.

Many differences also exist Ones and Nines. Ones have strong opinions that they frequently vocalize, often thinking in black and white while also being convinced that they know the one right way to do something. Nines, who see many shades of grey in any issue or situation, often have difficulty identifying their own opinions, which is a consequence of their being so attuned to other people’s varied perspectives. When discussing issues with others, Nines rarely assert their position early on, while Ones often take a strong position initially and assume that theirs is the only correct point of view.

Neither Ones nor Nines like conflict that involves them directly and try to avoid it if they can. Nines dislike conflict far more than Ones, who will engage in arguments when they feel strongly about something or when they feel compelled to enforce the rules. The Nines’ aversion to conflict is foundational to their personality – that is, conflict threatens the harmony and well being they seek so fervently.

When accomplishing tasks, Ones like to do things their way and are far more directive than Nines, and focus their efforts to make everything as perfect as possible and relying on their own internal standards as their guide. Nines, by contrast, adapt to others and are more likely to go along with someone else’s plan or agenda than to assert their own. Nines are far more oriented to what other people think and want and therefore seek consensus, working collaboratively with others to decide what the standards and plan should be. Ones are very observant of the rules – wanting everyone to follow the rules – and they will confront those who do not. Nines are more easygoing, tend to go with the flow, and are much less likely to confront rule violations directly; in the Nine’s mind, it is not worth it, and they do not want to create tension or conflict.

Ones and Nines also have very different interpersonal styles. Ones usually appear responsible, polite, well mannered, intense, and highly focused but they can also seem uptight, judgmental, and inflexible. Nines usually appear peaceful, mellow, friendly, relaxed, and tolerant, but they can also seem vague, unassertive, and low energy.

NINES seek peace, harmony, and positive mutual regard and dislike conflict, tension, rudeness, and ill will.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everyone being heard, including me?
TWOS want to be liked, try to meet the needs of others, and attempt to orchestrate the people and events in their lives.
BASIC CONCERN: Am I needed? Will others like me?

Twos and Nines are two Enneagram types that share many common traits. Both focus on others more than themselves, and they do this so often that they forget or neglect their own needs and wants in favor of allowing others’ needs and desires to be in the foreground. Both types overadjust to others, with Twos altering their behavior to what they think other people want so they will be liked and Nines blending into other people’s energy and acceding to their agendas in an effort to create harmony and reduce tension and separation. Twos and Nines can both make excellent mediators because they easily see and understand others’ perspectives and opinions, sometimes more clearly than their own.

To outside observers, Twos and Nines both appear likable, friendly, and caring. In general, individuals of both types have limited contact with their anger, although Twos display more palpable anger when their unexpressed needs are not met or when they ask for something and are ignored. Because most Twos and Nines are uncomfortable when they are angry or when someone is upset with them – both are oriented to maintaining positive connections with others – most Twos and Nines avoid conflict. In addition, they can both engage in passive-aggressive behavior – for example, by implying yes but without intending to do so or by withdrawing and acting as if everything is fine when it is not. For Twos and Nines, asserting themselves and expressing anger in direct ways runs the risk of breaking important connections with other people.

While Twos and Nines can look very similar, they do have some contrasting traits. While both types focus more on others more than on themselves, Twos focus more on their own feelings and those of others and they experience a wider range of intense emotions; Nines focus more on maintaining harmony with individuals and groups, and they tend to be more steady, temperate and even-keeled. Two and Nines also differ in how they relate to others. Twos are more active in relating to other people, proactively sensing and interpreting the needs and preferences of others as a way to align with them emotionally. Nines seek connections with others in a less deliberate way, and they do not intuitively understand other people’s needs as readily as Twos. Although many Nines try to be helpful, they often need others to be explicit about what might be useful. In addition, Twos are more selective when it comes to individuals with whom they seek a friendship. Twos are attracted to some individuals more than others – for example, important people and those in need – while Nines are more democratic, being easily accessible to anyone who is pleasant and interesting to them.

Finally, Two are generally more active, with higher energy levels and a faster pace than Nines, who usually appear more relaxed and easygoing. While individuals of both types can easily abandon themselves in favor of others, Twos tend to repress their needs and feelings, while Nines “forget” or deny their true desires and real opinions. In other words, Twos often know what they are thinking and feeling but are unaware of the strength of these opinions and emotions, while Nines can be completely unaware of their interior reactions.

NINES seek peace, harmony, and positive mutual regard and dislike conflict, tension, rudeness, and ill will.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everyone being heard, including me?
TWOS want to be liked, try to meet the needs of others, and attempt to orchestrate the people and events in their lives.
BASIC CONCERN: Am I needed? Will others like me?

Twos and Nines are two Enneagram types that share many common traits. Both focus on others more than themselves, and they do this so often that they forget or neglect their own needs and wants in favor of allowing others’ needs and desires to be in the foreground. Both types overadjust to others, with Twos altering their behavior to what they think other people want so they will be liked and Nines blending into other people’s energy and acceding to their agendas in an effort to create harmony and reduce tension and separation. Twos and Nines can both make excellent mediators because they easily see and understand others’ perspectives and opinions, sometimes more clearly than their own.

To outside observers, Twos and Nines both appear likable, friendly, and caring. In general, individuals of both types have limited contact with their anger, although Twos display more palpable anger when their unexpressed needs are not met or when they ask for something and are ignored. Because most Twos and Nines are uncomfortable when they are angry or when someone is upset with them – both are oriented to maintaining positive connections with others – most Twos and Nines avoid conflict. In addition, they can both engage in passive-aggressive behavior – for example, by implying yes but without intending to do so or by withdrawing and acting as if everything is fine when it is not. For Twos and Nines, asserting themselves and expressing anger in direct ways runs the risk of breaking important connections with other people.

While Twos and Nines can look very similar, they do have some contrasting traits. While both types focus more on others more than on themselves, Twos focus more on their own feelings and those of others and they experience a wider range of intense emotions; Nines focus more on maintaining harmony with individuals and groups, and they tend to be more steady, temperate and even-keeled. Two and Nines also differ in how they relate to others. Twos are more active in relating to other people, proactively sensing and interpreting the needs and preferences of others as a way to align with them emotionally. Nines seek connections with others in a less deliberate way, and they do not intuitively understand other people’s needs as readily as Twos. Although many Nines try to be helpful, they often need others to be explicit about what might be useful. In addition, Twos are more selective when it comes to individuals with whom they seek a friendship. Twos are attracted to some individuals more than others – for example, important people and those in need – while Nines are more democratic, being easily accessible to anyone who is pleasant and interesting to them.

Finally, Two are generally more active, with higher energy levels and a faster pace than Nines, who usually appear more relaxed and easygoing. While individuals of both types can easily abandon themselves in favor of others, Twos tend to repress their needs and feelings, while Nines “forget” or deny their true desires and real opinions. In other words, Twos often know what they are thinking and feeling but are unaware of the strength of these opinions and emotions, while Nines can be completely unaware of their interior reactions.

NINES seek peace, harmony, and positive mutual regard and dislike conflict, tension, rudeness, and ill will.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everyone being heard, including me?
THREES organize their lives to achieve specific goals and to appear successful in order to gain the respect and admiration of others.
BASIC CONCERN: How can I gain the respect and esteem of others?

Threes and Nines share the qualities of being optimistic, likable, hardworking, and practical, and they both usually display effective interpersonal skills. In addition, both also depend on external support for their sense of identity and direction. Threes read other people in order to determine how they should look and act in order to appear successful and then (consciously and unconsciously) create their persona to match that image; this helps Threes gain the approval and admiration of others and feel good about themselves. Nines use others as their reference and accede to their wishes as a way of not having to pay attention to what they themselves want, to minimize conflict, and to create harmony.

At times, both Threes and Nines can feel inaccessible at a deeper human level. While they are friendly and interactive on the surface, Threes and Nines can feel uncertain about who they really are, and this confusion can impair deeper human contact with others. Threes focus so much attention on work and activities, identify so strongly with their image, and avoid discussing their deeper feelings; these qualities compromise human interaction at a deeper level. Similarly, Nines can forget who they are, be unclear about what they think, lose touch with what they really want, and instead merge with other people. Merging may feel good, but it is not the same thing as deep human interaction. Deep human contact requires the individuals involved to have a strong enough sense of a separate self to make contact with another.

There are also some key differences between Threes and Nines. The Three’s primary focus is the accomplishment of tasks and goals, while the Nine’s is maintaining comfort and harmony. Threes are fast-paced, decisive, and forward moving; with their keen focus on goals and priorities, they are very work-oriented and can easily become workaholics. Nines move at a slower pace – for example, their rate of speech, pace of work, and speed of walking – and have a tendency to take their time before moving to action. They are also very hardworking, but they can have a harder time finishing tasks on time because they are prone to procrastination, can be plagued by indecision, or become distracted by less essential tasks. Nines may also forget what they were supposed to do, switch to a less important task, or take time off to relax from the pressure.

Threes will engage in conflict if necessary and even initiate it, particularly when it involves an obstacle to their forward momentum, and will more readily endure discomfort if it serves their progress toward their goal. Nines usually take great pains to avoid conflict; they like to stay comfortable and tend to avoid moving outside their comfort zone to accomplish tasks they view as disturbing their peace – for example, a Nines expressing a strong opinion in public or confronting someone about something that was unkind or incorrect. Finally, Nines dislike being the center of attention – although they do like being acknowledged – while most Threes enjoy being in the spotlight, with many Threes actively seeking out situations in which they are center stage.

NINES seek peace, harmony, and positive mutual regard and dislike conflict, tension, rudeness, and ill will.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everyone being heard, including me?
THREES organize their lives to achieve specific goals and to appear successful in order to gain the respect and admiration of others.
BASIC CONCERN: How can I gain the respect and esteem of others?

Threes and Nines share the qualities of being optimistic, likable, hardworking, and practical, and they both usually display effective interpersonal skills. In addition, both also depend on external support for their sense of identity and direction. Threes read other people in order to determine how they should look and act in order to appear successful and then (consciously and unconsciously) create their persona to match that image; this helps Threes gain the approval and admiration of others and feel good about themselves. Nines use others as their reference and accede to their wishes as a way of not having to pay attention to what they themselves want, to minimize conflict, and to create harmony.

At times, both Threes and Nines can feel inaccessible at a deeper human level. While they are friendly and interactive on the surface, Threes and Nines can feel uncertain about who they really are, and this confusion can impair deeper human contact with others. Threes focus so much attention on work and activities, identify so strongly with their image, and avoid discussing their deeper feelings; these qualities compromise human interaction at a deeper level. Similarly, Nines can forget who they are, be unclear about what they think, lose touch with what they really want, and instead merge with other people. Merging may feel good, but it is not the same thing as deep human interaction. Deep human contact requires the individuals involved to have a strong enough sense of a separate self to make contact with another.

There are also some key differences between Threes and Nines. The Three’s primary focus is the accomplishment of tasks and goals, while the Nine’s is maintaining comfort and harmony. Threes are fast-paced, decisive, and forward moving; with their keen focus on goals and priorities, they are very work-oriented and can easily become workaholics. Nines move at a slower pace – for example, their rate of speech, pace of work, and speed of walking – and have a tendency to take their time before moving to action. They are also very hardworking, but they can have a harder time finishing tasks on time because they are prone to procrastination, can be plagued by indecision, or become distracted by less essential tasks. Nines may also forget what they were supposed to do, switch to a less important task, or take time off to relax from the pressure.

Threes will engage in conflict if necessary and even initiate it, particularly when it involves an obstacle to their forward momentum, and will more readily endure discomfort if it serves their progress toward their goal. Nines usually take great pains to avoid conflict; they like to stay comfortable and tend to avoid moving outside their comfort zone to accomplish tasks they view as disturbing their peace – for example, a Nines expressing a strong opinion in public or confronting someone about something that was unkind or incorrect. Finally, Nines dislike being the center of attention – although they do like being acknowledged – while most Threes enjoy being in the spotlight, with many Threes actively seeking out situations in which they are center stage.

NINES seek peace, harmony, and positive mutual regard and dislike conflict, tension, rudeness, and ill will.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everyone being heard, including me?
FOURS desire deep connections with their inner worlds and with other people, and they feel most alive when authentically expressing their feelings.
BASIC CONCERN: Will I be rejected or feel deficient? Can I express myself?

Fours and Nines share some common characteristics. They can look alike because both place a great deal of importance on cultivating relationships and the achievement of connections with other people. Both types can lose themselves in relationships, although Nines do this more regularly and with more people by merging or blending with the other person’s energy, priorities, and desires. Fours can also lose their sense of self, but they only do this in extremely close relationships and through sublimating their own needs and desires to those of the other person in hopes of maintaining the close connection.

Both Fours and Nines have the capacity to understand people. Because Fours are emotionally intuitive and sensitive to the moods and feelings of others, they are able and interested in understanding them in depth. Nines are skilled, non-invasive, and nonjudgmental questioners and want everyone to be heard; they have the capacity to understand and embrace many points of views, some even more clearly than their own.

Fours and Nines can feel overlooked and often have the feeling that they are misunderstood or undervalued by others. Fours, however, most often feel misunderstood and therefore overlooked in terms of their feelings and intentions, feeling like misfits who are different and marginal to the groups they belong. Nines most often feel overlooked and therefore not understood in terms of not fully belonging or not being important enough as a person. They often have a deep concern about whether or not they belong to the group, whether it is their family or other groups.

Fours and Nines also differ in significant ways. Nines are other-referencing, while Fours are self-referencing. Nines pay attention to other people’s opinions, agendas, and moods far more than their own, putting their needs and priorities aside in favor of the needs and agendas of others. Fours emphasize and value their own internal experience, focused more on satisfying their own needs, feelings, and desires. Nines tend to be more steady and even-tempered than Fours and they avoid conflict and crave harmony between themselves and others as well as within groups. This is not a priority for Fours, who experience a wider range of intense emotions. In fact, they may even create or contribute to discord if they believe it is important for the authentic communication and the expression of feelings.

Finally, Nines are reluctant to state their preferences for several reasons. They may not know what they want or may believe that someone else’s opinions or desires are more important than their own; they don’t want to create a conflict and believe that expressing a preference can invite opposition. The Nines’ tendency to overadjust to other people – often thinking the connection will be broken that if they do not adapt to others – creates difficulties for Nines in terms of saying no, defining boundaries, and asserting themselves. By contrast, Fours believe that their opinions are of value and should be heard. They assert themselves more, adapt less often, and say no more regularly.

NINES seek peace, harmony, and positive mutual regard and dislike conflict, tension, rudeness, and ill will.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everyone being heard, including me?
FOURS desire deep connections with their inner worlds and with other people, and they feel most alive when authentically expressing their feelings.
BASIC CONCERN: Will I be rejected or feel deficient? Can I express myself?

Fours and Nines share some common characteristics. They can look alike because both place a great deal of importance on cultivating relationships and the achievement of connections with other people. Both types can lose themselves in relationships, although Nines do this more regularly and with more people by merging or blending with the other person’s energy, priorities, and desires. Fours can also lose their sense of self, but they only do this in extremely close relationships and through sublimating their own needs and desires to those of the other person in hopes of maintaining the close connection.

Both Fours and Nines have the capacity to understand people. Because Fours are emotionally intuitive and sensitive to the moods and feelings of others, they are able and interested in understanding them in depth. Nines are skilled, non-invasive, and nonjudgmental questioners and want everyone to be heard; they have the capacity to understand and embrace many points of views, some even more clearly than their own.

Fours and Nines can feel overlooked and often have the feeling that they are misunderstood or undervalued by others. Fours, however, most often feel misunderstood and therefore overlooked in terms of their feelings and intentions, feeling like misfits who are different and marginal to the groups they belong. Nines most often feel overlooked and therefore not understood in terms of not fully belonging or not being important enough as a person. They often have a deep concern about whether or not they belong to the group, whether it is their family or other groups.

Fours and Nines also differ in significant ways. Nines are other-referencing, while Fours are self-referencing. Nines pay attention to other people’s opinions, agendas, and moods far more than their own, putting their needs and priorities aside in favor of the needs and agendas of others. Fours emphasize and value their own internal experience, focused more on satisfying their own needs, feelings, and desires. Nines tend to be more steady and even-tempered than Fours and they avoid conflict and crave harmony between themselves and others as well as within groups. This is not a priority for Fours, who experience a wider range of intense emotions. In fact, they may even create or contribute to discord if they believe it is important for the authentic communication and the expression of feelings.

Finally, Nines are reluctant to state their preferences for several reasons. They may not know what they want or may believe that someone else’s opinions or desires are more important than their own; they don’t want to create a conflict and believe that expressing a preference can invite opposition. The Nines’ tendency to overadjust to other people – often thinking the connection will be broken that if they do not adapt to others – creates difficulties for Nines in terms of saying no, defining boundaries, and asserting themselves. By contrast, Fours believe that their opinions are of value and should be heard. They assert themselves more, adapt less often, and say no more regularly.

NINES seek peace, harmony, and positive mutual regard and dislike conflict, tension, rudeness, and ill will.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everyone being heard, including me?
FIVES thirst for information and knowledge and use emotional detachment as a way of keeping involvement with others to a minimum.
BASIC CONCERN: Will demands be made on me for my time, energy, and resources?

Fives and Nines share some traits, especially from the perspective of the outside observer. Both can appear reserved, withdrawn, and non-aggressive. Both can be good mediators, as Nines can easily see all points of view and Fives are objective analysts.  In addition, neither likes conflict and can be passive-aggressive when they don’t like something – for example, being stubborn and immovable in a quiet way. Nines do this as a result of their unwillingness to assert themselves or express their anger directly, while Fives do not want to express their emotions openly or get involved in an emotional and draining situation that they believe isn’t worth the effort. Individuals of both types also distance themselves from their own internal experiences and feelings. Fives detach from their emotion through intellectualization and emotional disconnection, while Nines ignore, deny, and forget their own preferences and opinions by telling themselves that they do not really matter and by disconnecting from their physical sensations.

When they work with others, Fives and Nines like structure, consistency, and predictability and want to be consulted about what they think. Both types are sensitive to and dislike being controlled by others and have strong negative reactions to demands and pressure. In addition, Fives and Nines often need time to reflect on what they think and how they feel. Fives need this time because they detach emotionally when feelings are occurring and need to reconnect with the feelings and analyze the situation, and Nines are often unclear about what they think or how they are reacting and thus need time to let their thoughts and feelings emerge.

There are also significant differences between Fives and Nines. In most relationships, Nines merge or blend with others energetically and accede to the other person’s desires and preferences. They feel comfortable, connected, harmonic, and relaxed with this lack of personal boundaries between themselves and others. Nines are other-referencing, pay attention to others more than to themselves, and tend to overadapt to other people. Because they are often unclear about what they want, Nines have difficulty stating their preferences, but they can later feel resentful that they went along with others and that their wishes were not expressed or heard. By contrast, Fives withdraw from others and establish clear, strong, and relatively immovable interpersonal boundaries that arise from a need for autonomy and their fear of being depleted in these relationships. Fives are self-referencing, focused more on their own thoughts and reactions, almost always know what they want, and are adept at preventing others from interfering with what they want to do.

Most Nines have great difficulty saying no or expressing their thoughts, feelings, and preferences, particularly when they anticipate opposition from others. Nines will say yes and mean no, while Fives say no far more easily and often and mean it. In addition, because Nines crave harmonic connections with people, they often have difficulty separating themselves from others. Fives separate from others very easily, as withdrawal constitutes one of their primary forms of self-protection. Consequently, Nines are often perceived as friendly, affable, and easygoing while Fives tend to be viewed as aloof, reserved, and highly independent.

NINES seek peace, harmony, and positive mutual regard and dislike conflict, tension, rudeness, and ill will.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everyone being heard, including me?
FIVES thirst for information and knowledge and use emotional detachment as a way of keeping involvement with others to a minimum.
BASIC CONCERN: Will demands be made on me for my time, energy, and resources?

Fives and Nines share some traits, especially from the perspective of the outside observer. Both can appear reserved, withdrawn, and non-aggressive. Both can be good mediators, as Nines can easily see all points of view and Fives are objective analysts.  In addition, neither likes conflict and can be passive-aggressive when they don’t like something – for example, being stubborn and immovable in a quiet way. Nines do this as a result of their unwillingness to assert themselves or express their anger directly, while Fives do not want to express their emotions openly or get involved in an emotional and draining situation that they believe isn’t worth the effort. Individuals of both types also distance themselves from their own internal experiences and feelings. Fives detach from their emotion through intellectualization and emotional disconnection, while Nines ignore, deny, and forget their own preferences and opinions by telling themselves that they do not really matter and by disconnecting from their physical sensations.

When they work with others, Fives and Nines like structure, consistency, and predictability and want to be consulted about what they think. Both types are sensitive to and dislike being controlled by others and have strong negative reactions to demands and pressure. In addition, Fives and Nines often need time to reflect on what they think and how they feel. Fives need this time because they detach emotionally when feelings are occurring and need to reconnect with the feelings and analyze the situation, and Nines are often unclear about what they think or how they are reacting and thus need time to let their thoughts and feelings emerge.

There are also significant differences between Fives and Nines. In most relationships, Nines merge or blend with others energetically and accede to the other person’s desires and preferences. They feel comfortable, connected, harmonic, and relaxed with this lack of personal boundaries between themselves and others. Nines are other-referencing, pay attention to others more than to themselves, and tend to overadapt to other people. Because they are often unclear about what they want, Nines have difficulty stating their preferences, but they can later feel resentful that they went along with others and that their wishes were not expressed or heard. By contrast, Fives withdraw from others and establish clear, strong, and relatively immovable interpersonal boundaries that arise from a need for autonomy and their fear of being depleted in these relationships. Fives are self-referencing, focused more on their own thoughts and reactions, almost always know what they want, and are adept at preventing others from interfering with what they want to do.

Most Nines have great difficulty saying no or expressing their thoughts, feelings, and preferences, particularly when they anticipate opposition from others. Nines will say yes and mean no, while Fives say no far more easily and often and mean it. In addition, because Nines crave harmonic connections with people, they often have difficulty separating themselves from others. Fives separate from others very easily, as withdrawal constitutes one of their primary forms of self-protection. Consequently, Nines are often perceived as friendly, affable, and easygoing while Fives tend to be viewed as aloof, reserved, and highly independent.

NINES seek peace, harmony, and positive mutual regard and dislike conflict, tension, rudeness, and ill will.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everyone being heard, including me?
SIXES have insightful minds, are prone to worry, and create worst-case scenarios to help themselves feel prepared in case something goes wrong.
BASIC CONCERN: What could go wrong here? Whom can I trust? Am I making the best decisions?

Sixes and Nines can look similar as both can be loyal, caring, and supportive of others and both procrastinate. Sixes do so because they fear things might go wrong in various the scenarios they have considered, while Nines put off work and tasks because they have a difficult time setting and adhering to priorities or feel resentful of the demands and pressure they feel. Both Nines and Sixes can resist moving forward; Nines resist forward movement as a way to not do what others want them to do, and Sixes resist as a result of their continuous questioning, overanalysis, and doubt.

In addition, phobic Sixes and Nines are both conflict avoidant, although Nines have a far greater aversion to direct confrontation. Sixes are primarily concerned that they will be harmed or attacked as a result of conflict, whereas Nines are more concerned that the relationship will be broken and disharmony will ensue. Individuals of both types tend to be self-effacing and humble, preferring to avoid the spotlight. Sixes fear that even positive attention can make them vulnerable and open to attack, while Nines are simply uncomfortable being the center of attention.

There are also significant differences between Sixes and Nines. Nines tend to merge with others and trust easily. They “go along to get along” and over-adjust to and comply with others’ preferences as a way to avoid the discomfort and potential separation involved in saying no. Sixes initially separate themselves from others and are suspicious until they gather enough information to determine whether or not someone is trustworthy. In contrast to Nine, Sixes are naturally mistrustful of others and may question or test people before agreeing to go along with someone else’s desires or plan of action.

Nines typically see and embrace many different points of view and usually serve as mediators or facilitators when others are in conflict. By contrast, Sixes are far more contrarian; they can see one point of view, then take the opposing side, and continuously question and counter whatever perspective is put forward. Nines dislike being in conflict with others and will suppress and repress their own anger until they barely feel it. Sixes feel angry far more often, particularly counterphobic Sixes who get angry and move toward conflict as a way of dealing with – that is, facing down – their fear. Sixes and Nines also differ in how they respond to authority. Sixes have very strong reactions to authority figures; they may love them, hate them, or both but almost all Sixes have the capacity to be strongly anti-authority. Nines, by contrast, usually go along with and cooperate with authority figures; when they are displeased with someone in authority, it is usually not obvious or observable.

NINES seek peace, harmony, and positive mutual regard and dislike conflict, tension, rudeness, and ill will.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everyone being heard, including me?
SIXES have insightful minds, are prone to worry, and create worst-case scenarios to help themselves feel prepared in case something goes wrong.
BASIC CONCERN: What could go wrong here? Whom can I trust? Am I making the best decisions?

Sixes and Nines can look similar as both can be loyal, caring, and supportive of others and both procrastinate. Sixes do so because they fear things might go wrong in various the scenarios they have considered, while Nines put off work and tasks because they have a difficult time setting and adhering to priorities or feel resentful of the demands and pressure they feel. Both Nines and Sixes can resist moving forward; Nines resist forward movement as a way to not do what others want them to do, and Sixes resist as a result of their continuous questioning, overanalysis, and doubt.

In addition, phobic Sixes and Nines are both conflict avoidant, although Nines have a far greater aversion to direct confrontation. Sixes are primarily concerned that they will be harmed or attacked as a result of conflict, whereas Nines are more concerned that the relationship will be broken and disharmony will ensue. Individuals of both types tend to be self-effacing and humble, preferring to avoid the spotlight. Sixes fear that even positive attention can make them vulnerable and open to attack, while Nines are simply uncomfortable being the center of attention.

There are also significant differences between Sixes and Nines. Nines tend to merge with others and trust easily. They “go along to get along” and over-adjust to and comply with others’ preferences as a way to avoid the discomfort and potential separation involved in saying no. Sixes initially separate themselves from others and are suspicious until they gather enough information to determine whether or not someone is trustworthy. In contrast to Nine, Sixes are naturally mistrustful of others and may question or test people before agreeing to go along with someone else’s desires or plan of action.

Nines typically see and embrace many different points of view and usually serve as mediators or facilitators when others are in conflict. By contrast, Sixes are far more contrarian; they can see one point of view, then take the opposing side, and continuously question and counter whatever perspective is put forward. Nines dislike being in conflict with others and will suppress and repress their own anger until they barely feel it. Sixes feel angry far more often, particularly counterphobic Sixes who get angry and move toward conflict as a way of dealing with – that is, facing down – their fear. Sixes and Nines also differ in how they respond to authority. Sixes have very strong reactions to authority figures; they may love them, hate them, or both but almost all Sixes have the capacity to be strongly anti-authority. Nines, by contrast, usually go along with and cooperate with authority figures; when they are displeased with someone in authority, it is usually not obvious or observable.

NINES seek peace, harmony, and positive mutual regard and dislike conflict, tension, rudeness, and ill will.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everyone being heard, including me?
SEVENS crave the stimulation of new ideas, people, and experiences, avoid pain, and create elaborate future plans to keep their options open.
BASIC CONCERN: What is exciting? Do I feel constrained? Can I avoid pain?

Sevens and Nines share some common traits. Both have friendly, optimistic dispositions and have personable, affable interpersonal styles. They like to be around people and want to be liked, and they act in ways that make it easy for others to like them. Sevens and Nines keep things positive and avoid conflict if possible, although many Sevens can engage in conflict when necessary while most Nines prefer not to do so. Both can have difficulty maintaining a clear and sustained focus on work projects; Sevens become distracted by interesting things, external stimuli, and their desire to experience and do everything and Nines become distracted – that is, their attention becomes diffused – because they forget what they were supposed to be doing, do not follow their priorities, or just want to take time off to do something relaxing and enjoyable.

Sevens and Nines also differ in several ways. While individuals of both types are primarily, albeit unconsciously, trying to avoid uncomfortable feelings, Sevens pursue excitement, pleasure, and fun as a way of avoiding discomfort while Nines avoid feelings they don’t like to feel – for example, anger and anxiety – by neglecting themselves and forgetting what they think and want. Sevens are extremely fast-paced and high-energy and usually know what they want. Sevens are self-referencing; they focus mainly on themselves and their desires usually take priority over other people’s desires should these conflict. By contrast, Nines move at a slower, more relaxed pace, even at times becoming inert. They are other-referencing and pay attention primarily to what other people think, feel, and want; they merge with others and tend to go along with the other person’s preferences. It is usually easier for Nines to know what they don’t want or like than to know what they do. They typically do not state their preferences and then become resentful when they do something they do not like, even though they never said this was the case.

NINES seek peace, harmony, and positive mutual regard and dislike conflict, tension, rudeness, and ill will.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everyone being heard, including me?
SEVENS crave the stimulation of new ideas, people, and experiences, avoid pain, and create elaborate future plans to keep their options open.
BASIC CONCERN: What is exciting? Do I feel constrained? Can I avoid pain?

Sevens and Nines share some common traits. Both have friendly, optimistic dispositions and have personable, affable interpersonal styles. They like to be around people and want to be liked, and they act in ways that make it easy for others to like them. Sevens and Nines keep things positive and avoid conflict if possible, although many Sevens can engage in conflict when necessary while most Nines prefer not to do so. Both can have difficulty maintaining a clear and sustained focus on work projects; Sevens become distracted by interesting things, external stimuli, and their desire to experience and do everything and Nines become distracted – that is, their attention becomes diffused – because they forget what they were supposed to be doing, do not follow their priorities, or just want to take time off to do something relaxing and enjoyable.

Sevens and Nines also differ in several ways. While individuals of both types are primarily, albeit unconsciously, trying to avoid uncomfortable feelings, Sevens pursue excitement, pleasure, and fun as a way of avoiding discomfort while Nines avoid feelings they don’t like to feel – for example, anger and anxiety – by neglecting themselves and forgetting what they think and want. Sevens are extremely fast-paced and high-energy and usually know what they want. Sevens are self-referencing; they focus mainly on themselves and their desires usually take priority over other people’s desires should these conflict. By contrast, Nines move at a slower, more relaxed pace, even at times becoming inert. They are other-referencing and pay attention primarily to what other people think, feel, and want; they merge with others and tend to go along with the other person’s preferences. It is usually easier for Nines to know what they don’t want or like than to know what they do. They typically do not state their preferences and then become resentful when they do something they do not like, even though they never said this was the case.

NINES seek peace, harmony, and positive mutual regard and dislike conflict, tension, rudeness, and ill will.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everyone being heard, including me?
EIGHTS pursue the truth, like to keep situations under control, want to make important things happen, and try to hide their vulnerability.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everything under control in an effective and just way?

Eights and Nines share some characteristics. Both dislike being controlled by others, but they differ in how they respond to the experience of another’s attempted control. Eights openly rebel, fight against, and even try to overpower the person trying to control them, while Nines take a much more passive approach, seeming to agree or go along while passively resisting – that is, they say yes but have no intention of doing it. Eights and Nines can be “self-forgetting” of their own needs and wants; Eights do this by being excessive, overworking, and taking on too many responsibilities, while Nines forget themselves by focusing on others and losing conscious contact with their own emotions, sensations, and priorities. Both enjoy worldly comforts and pleasures – for example, food, television, an engaging past time, or interacting with others who interest them – and, as instinctual or Body Center types, both trust their gut reactions, although Eights tend to have stronger gut responses than most Nines.

Eights and Nines also differ in key ways. Eights focus primarily on power and control and usually have strong opinions that they assert in a direct, straightforward manner. They feel anger frequently and have a far easier time engaging in and initiating conflict. By contrast, Nines dislike conflict and interpersonal tension and pay most attention to creating harmony and avoiding conflict. In the Nines’ mind, limiting the intensity of their anger reduces the possibility that others will be upset with them or that tension will ensue. Nines are reluctant to what they think and even more conflicted about expressing something that may be contrary to another’s perspective. From their perspective, having an opinion means risking conflict, and it is simply not worth it.

Nines easily consider multiple points of view and are open to seeing and discussing many sides of an issue; this makes them excellent facilitators and mediators. At the same time, Nines have trouble setting boundaries and even more difficulty saying no. By contrast, Eights see their own view most clearly and perceive most issues in terms of black and white, with little room for nuance or contingency. They expect things go their way, have an easy time asserting their will, and have little difficulty saying no.

Eights and Nines are quite different interpersonally. Eights can be perceived as intimidating, a result of their certainty, boldness, and take-charge attitude. They usually have a big impact on others as their presence can be strongly felt even when they are being quiet. People rarely perceive Nines to be aggressive; with their friendly, easygoing manner, Nines are usually affable and approachable. At work, Eights break the rules easily, make up their own when they feel like it, and frequently rebel against authority. Nines, by contrast, like clear structure, predictable processes, and work easily work with authorities.

NINES seek peace, harmony, and positive mutual regard and dislike conflict, tension, rudeness, and ill will.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everyone being heard, including me?
EIGHTS pursue the truth, like to keep situations under control, want to make important things happen, and try to hide their vulnerability.
BASIC CONCERN: Is everything under control in an effective and just way?

Eights and Nines share some characteristics. Both dislike being controlled by others, but they differ in how they respond to the experience of another’s attempted control. Eights openly rebel, fight against, and even try to overpower the person trying to control them, while Nines take a much more passive approach, seeming to agree or go along while passively resisting – that is, they say yes but have no intention of doing it. Eights and Nines can be “self-forgetting” of their own needs and wants; Eights do this by being excessive, overworking, and taking on too many responsibilities, while Nines forget themselves by focusing on others and losing conscious contact with their own emotions, sensations, and priorities. Both enjoy worldly comforts and pleasures – for example, food, television, an engaging past time, or interacting with others who interest them – and, as instinctual or Body Center types, both trust their gut reactions, although Eights tend to have stronger gut responses than most Nines.

Eights and Nines also differ in key ways. Eights focus primarily on power and control and usually have strong opinions that they assert in a direct, straightforward manner. They feel anger frequently and have a far easier time engaging in and initiating conflict. By contrast, Nines dislike conflict and interpersonal tension and pay most attention to creating harmony and avoiding conflict. In the Nines’ mind, limiting the intensity of their anger reduces the possibility that others will be upset with them or that tension will ensue. Nines are reluctant to what they think and even more conflicted about expressing something that may be contrary to another’s perspective. From their perspective, having an opinion means risking conflict, and it is simply not worth it.

Nines easily consider multiple points of view and are open to seeing and discussing many sides of an issue; this makes them excellent facilitators and mediators. At the same time, Nines have trouble setting boundaries and even more difficulty saying no. By contrast, Eights see their own view most clearly and perceive most issues in terms of black and white, with little room for nuance or contingency. They expect things go their way, have an easy time asserting their will, and have little difficulty saying no.

Eights and Nines are quite different interpersonally. Eights can be perceived as intimidating, a result of their certainty, boldness, and take-charge attitude. They usually have a big impact on others as their presence can be strongly felt even when they are being quiet. People rarely perceive Nines to be aggressive; with their friendly, easygoing manner, Nines are usually affable and approachable. At work, Eights break the rules easily, make up their own when they feel like it, and frequently rebel against authority. Nines, by contrast, like clear structure, predictable processes, and work easily work with authorities.

Please choose a different type to compare to Nines.

Please choose a different type to compare to Nines.

Read three vignettes for each type written by real people who explain
how they recognized which Enneagram type most accurately
described them. For the sake of anonymity, new
names and professions were chosen.

Click on a type number on the left to see the
corresponding information.

Worldview of Nines Nothing really matters very much, and I matter less than other people, both to myself and to others.

Enneagram Type Nine

At first I thought I was a Five because of my tendency to withdraw and seek refuge away from people; I had a sense of being drained by others. However, while the behaviour may be similar to Five, my motivation was not to seek knowledge but to avoid conflict, stating my point of view, or the feeling of being overwhelmed by competing demands. I recognized my Nine-ness in my inertia that tended to value the stop position and the great effort required to get into action. I also learned the difference between isolation and numbing out and recognized the latter in myself, especially when it came to watching TV; the challenge was finding the energy to go to bed.

On the other hand, I recognized my ability to both see others’ viewpoint and bring them together and to get consensus and find common goals while being energized and assertive in the process. At the same time, I was fully aware that I had no opinion of my own to share in the process. In making decisions or evaluation situations, I always took into account the impact on others and immediately see how others would react. What used to amaze and frustrate me was others making decisions or taking actions and being surprised when others would react negatively when all along it was blatantly obvious to me that would be so.

Fred, Lion Tamer

The first time I picked up an Enneagram book, “sloth” screamed at me from the diagram. How did they know, I thought? The only bit about the Nine that didn’t fit was watching too much TV – only because I don’t own one. However, when I’m in a hotel…and I stay at hotels a lot.

Some friends have described me as career-focused; little do they realize that my recipe for corporate success boils down to a combination of a chronic inability to say “no!” and a pollyannish underestimation of the difficulties in strategically important projects. I’ve never applied for a job and never been unemployed…go figure! Well, that eliminates type Three.

Some people in Enneagram circles have tried to convince me I’m a Four because I can write a good poem; I can easily write a 20-page tome. Just because I’m well read, doesn’t mean I’m a Five. At least they exercise discernment in what they read; as long as the ink’s dry, I’ll read it. I can think dark thoughts with the best of them, but only when you stress me out, so scotch your Six hypothesis. Some people have even suggested Eight and One – but, hey, that’s what wings are for! And in that first book they suggested, if you see yourself in all types, you’re probably a Nine. Anyway, it’d take much too much effort to change types now.

Gotta go, the CEO’s waiting!

Jane, SVP for Technology

The very first time I looked at type descriptors I thought, as I read each one, I could be a One. Maybe a Two. Probably not a Two. Perhaps a Four. Maybe a Five. Six seemed likely, but since fun is important to me Seven is a possibility too. Definitely not an Eight. Then I got to Nine and at first glance it didn’t really seem all that different from the others. When I looked at Nine more closely, I realized that the reason I related to almost all of the other types equally to Nine is that is how Nines see the world; it’s all equal.

Of course along the way, I figured out that actually not everything is equal. I do have preferences and priorities. In the past, I’d try to go along with what other people wanted whether it was my family as a child, my friends, or even my girlfriends. Eventually I learned that just about all of them wanted the same thing: for me to have an opinion! So, I started stating my wants and instead of getting the conflict I expected, I started getting something else:what I wanted! It sounds so silly now.

Jerry, City Attorney
Worldview of Eights The world is made up of good and evil, justice and injustice, and I must confront and change all this.

Enneagram Type Eight

I knew I was an Eight from the first three words the teacher used to describe an Eight – will, drive, and energy. When I was a small child, I got into a lot of trouble because I was “stubborn” and because I would get angry with my brothers and sisters when they got tired and wanted to stop playing, when I could have continued for a lot longer. As an adult, I have had to understand that others are not “weak” because they get tired before I do.

I have a formidable will and have extremely high expectation of myself, e.g., going to college full time when my children were 0, 2, 4, and 6 and graduating summa cum laude. My father, who is also an Eight, tried very hard to ‘show me who was boss.’ I hated eating certain vegetables so he would hold my nose until I had to open my mouth to breathe and then he would shove the vegetables in. He won if he could stop me from spitting them out. Another Eight description that fitted me was “blunt.” There have been times when I have felt like an Old Testament prophet, feeling compelled to “speak the truth” about a situation regardless of the consequences to me.

Under stress, an Eight can look a lot like a Five. There was a lot of conflict in my childhood home and I spent hours playing with my imaginary friends who lived in the rows of trees close to our house. I withdrew into my head but remained in an Eight position as the mayor of the town. I had to exert control somewhere! As an adult, I have been drawn to studying psychology in an attempt to understand myself. The strength position of Two is also very familiar to me. I was the oldest in a family of five children and saw myself as the protector of my siblings and mother. I have chosen human service professions as an adult and have on occasion taken physical risks to protect others.

Julia, Psychologist

Dragged to my first Enneagram class by my wife, I thought: Okay, this is an interesting way to learn about psychology, hearing from panels of people who share a similar point of view. But when Eight night came, I was astonished to hear people describing feelings, issues, and a way of seeing the world that was so close to my own experience: the importance of truth and justice, the problem of anger, attracting but also offending people with big energy. It was a great relief to know that I too had a place in the community, that I was not as isolated as I thought. I was very happy for about a month, and then the other shoe dropped as I realized just how much personal work was indicated – like dropping my assertive, angry stance and opening the Heart Center.

As a social subtype Eight, my attention has always gone to groups and causes. I have been a group leader/facilitator all my life. Knowing my type and subtype has helped me discover how I run excess in my social activities and at work. Not only am I more effective in my job, I also remember to bring attention to my self-preservation and one-to-one needs. The Enneagram has saved me from making the kind of mistakes that were so common before I learned the system: overdoing and overextending, being too forceful, alienating friends and colleagues. Conflict is still necessary at times, but cooperation is a much better way to go.

Sam, Group Facilitator and Project Coordinator

As soon as I heard about the Eight, I knew I was an Eight! There were very obvious and easy clues: I have a lot of energy and have always been told that! My grandmother used to call me “my forceful one” and my father, among many nicknames, “my locomotive.” Nothing was ever impossible and I remember as a child answering any situation, “We’ll find a way or a solution!”

In relationships, I have always been very uncompromising and protective to people I love. I was known for championing any cause and standing up for injustice.

Since I can remember, I have always been in charge: of my younger sister, of the children I went to school with when I was six, of my little cousins when I was 10, etc. Each year at school, I was elected as the “chief of the class” and ended up as “chief of all the students” passing their A-levels. At 16, I was in charge of 25 young scouts. At 19, I was in charge of 100 teenagers and 10 coordinators, all older than me!

On a more subtle side, I can date the day I never dared to express what I desired: I was almost six years old and my mum ask my sister and I to choose between two gifts. As my sister wanted the one I’d chosen, my mum asked me to give it up, explaining that I was “the biggest, the wisest.” This happened twice in six months. That was it! I never told anyone again what I really wanted and so was regularly disappointed the next 20 years because I was not getting what I’d have liked but had not told anybody! As a result, I ended up being cut off from my feelings and it took me a long time to become aware of them and to better respect who I am.

It took me a long time to tame my gifts and understand that I could have some impact on people and situations. I remember a day when I was 19, in charge of a big handicapped teenagers’ pilgrimage in Lourdes, an adult told me that I was gifted. Suddenly, I couldn’t hear nor understand, I could feel myself split, becoming white, and unable to say a word! It’s still difficult for me to realize precisely the impact I can have!

Mary, Teacher
Worldview of Sevens I am entitled to be absolutely free to do whatever I want, and no one has the right to restrict me.

Enneagram Type Seven

It all started like a game. What is your type? It did not take long before I knew I was a Seven, just the time to check out that the other options and realize they were not even likely: One was far too serious; Two too other oriented; Three too goal focused; Four too sad; Five too private; Six too scary; Eight too responsible; and Nine too slow… Although, at the time, I did not agree too much with being a number, I felt relieved. Since I was a child, I had this thought that I was not quite normal – sort of heartless. In admitting my type was Seven, I could relax; I was just one of a sort trying hard to keep away from pain. I was hooked!

Hortense, Author of detective stories

No doubt – who else can I be? Freedom, opportunities, and sunshine, that’s what life is all about!

How can I be so sure, when so many of my Enneagram friends often think that I am a Five, or Nine, or Two or… Yes, I sit there at meetings saying only a little, but they don’t know the reason – it is because the meeting is so boring! All the interesting thoughts are in my mind, playing with the future. Yes, I am very polite when I work together with other people, asking them if they are okay with the decision and the solution, but that is because it is necessary – somebody has to be motivated to do the job, otherwise I cannot move on to the next interesting opportunity. And yes, I am very emotional. I cry when I watch Chinese films but that’s my own feelings, which have nothing to do with anybody else.

My stress point, style One – I really try to “love” it by using a more disciplined way of working with both the big picture and the necessary details. And my security point Five has over the years grown to be a big part of me, where I have peace and focus to go into the depth of exciting items. Crises? Problems? No, no – opportunities. Remember, always look at the bright side of life…

Jack, General Manager

I knew I was a Seven because the type was described as being versatile, accomplished, and able to see all the possibilities and I could absolutely see every one of them!! Mind you, some of the other characteristics – irresponsible, escaping, keeping options open, and lack of commitment didn’t sit easily with my “positive outlook.” However, I certainly knew them and understood the impact they had in the past, particularly in the way I had approached a relationship and one or two career moves.

I had never connected the way in which I was able to accomplish so many things in such a wide variety of fields or inspire and encourage others to see the possibilities and potential in situations with the “gift” of my type. Until that time, I had made some assumptions about it either “being in the right place at the right time” or that I had reasonably effective communication and interpersonal skills that engaged others.

In hindsight, I certainly recall others identifying me as multi-skilled, optimistic, “gives everything a good try,” and also makes things happen in the process, through inspiring and engaging people. I was also counted on to look for the positives in situations that were not always that good and I could encourage others to give something a try or have another go – even if it didn’t quite work out.

So now I put all of that into work when I am flying upside down and encouraging someone to open their eyes and see the world from a different perspective!!

Jacqueline, Stunt Pilot
Worldview of Sixes The world is unpredictable and unmanageable, so I have to figure out everything ahead of time to be prepared.

Enneagram Type Six

I originally thought that I was a Two with a One wing. In my profession as an accountant/business consultant, I cared about my clients, was meticulous in ensuring everything was correct, and had a keen eye for detail. My primary subtype was one-to-one as I very much enjoyed one-on-one relationships but didn’t care so much for groups of people or social chitchat; I valued being able to strike a connection with people that was real and more than just superficial. Self-preservation was not even on my radar.

It was suggested to me that I should “consider the possibility that you may be a Six” by Don Riso. I was so angry that he would make such a ridiculous suggestion as I had only spoken to him twice in my life for no more than 10 minutes. So, after I calmed down, I read about the Two and Six mistypings in Understanding the Enneagram and it all became much clearer. I also spoke to Don at length later about what he recognised in me as a Six. His comment was that I only acted like a Two with Marie, my now fiancé. I realised very quickly that this behaviour was related to the early stage of our relationship.

For me, it all came down to the motive behind making connections with people. A Two makes the connections in order to foster some requirement or need to receive love or recognition in return, whereas a Six makes the connections purely in order to make the connections. I wanted the bond, the relationship, the alliance with others. I realised that when I was making connections with others in a social setting, if the chemistry wasn’t there, then I simply moved on. No big deal. I didn’t feel the need to be loved by others but felt a strong need to be socially responsible and committed to a cause. I realised then that the whole “Two” thing didn’t really fit all along as I was continually rationalising why I wasn’t quite like most Twos. I was a unique Two. On reflection, I realised that whenever something bad happened in my life, it was because I had trusted someone that I shouldn’t have trusted.

I considered what my thought patterns were like and realised that when presented with a challenge, I actually ran through all of the different scenarios/permutations in my mind before even talking to anyone else. I then did some research and confirmed that my strategy was correct then made my decision. I’ve usually preempted problems before they occur and worked through the solutions. This isn’t something that I need to concentrate on, it just happens. I thought that Sixes were indecisive, jittery, nervous, and shifty. I was the opposite. When I make a decision, I know that I am sure of it. I wasn’t nervous about anything. I have parachuted, bungee-jumped, scuba dived, driven fast cars and motor bikes, have my ultralight aircraft pilot’s license, and done a lot of other stuff that I don’t even care to mention. Most things in life are a calculated risk. Life is short, and there are no reruns. OMG!!! I must be a counterphobic Six!

Mike, Stuntman

I had borrowed my husband’s beloved car, an old Lexus GS300, to run an errand. When parking it in the parking lot, I rammed it into a pillar. There didn’t appear to be any damage, so when he asked me what happened to the car, I claimed ignorance. I didn’t know…maybe someone hit it in the parking lot… The next day, I began to ruminate about my story, especially when the estimate to fix the damage was $5000. I thought of the novels and movies where a single act of deception leads to tragedy, and I knew that my lie would end up affecting my marriage, which would probably end in divorce. I would lose the respect of my children, because I could no longer be a role model since I didn’t live the values I preached to them. And I would end up on the streets (or at least, alone and friendless) in my old age. I resolved to set things straight. The story has a happy ending and I was accepted back into the fold, but the experience remains with me as a reminder of how easy it is for a Six to build a worst-case scenario as a response to uncertainty and deal with the fear resulting from it.

Pandora, Financial Analyst

It wasn’t easy for me at first to type myself. I was working from one of Helen Palmer’s books and though it was good, it can be so much harder to type oneself from a book alone. And how can one be sure of anything, given so many choices? What finally caught my attention was when Helen mentioned that Sixes often initially push back on the Enneagram, perhaps because they fear someone peering into their mind. Well, a close colleague of mine had been badgering me for over a year about how the Enneagram was such a great method for self-learning and me being such a great learner – what was I waiting for? “Sounds like something weird,” I said.

An avalanche of self-awareness followed my embrace of my type, but characteristically, my learning stayed mostly at the “head” level of understanding for the first few years. Only through developing slowly a progressive practice of full embodiment (still in the works, mind you) have I managed to be able to take in more of the data available to me outside of my own speculations and projections. And what I’ve learned from the data is that I’ve been my own worst enemy – my only enemy, really – for a long time. I’ve finally learned to give my messy impulses space and permission to show up and give me useful information. Within that information, I’m finding my “Yes” and the courage to live it. As I do, others tell me how it gives them courage to do the same. Once my banner might have featured a large image of the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz, but no more.

Ché, Priest
Worldview of Fives The world has limited resources, so I have to conserve every resource I have – time, money, energy, and more.

Enneagram Type Five

It was easy for me to recognize I was a Five because of my need to understand how things work and why, then to gather more information to ensure I knew every facet. For example, when I would dismantle the formula 1 BMW engine to determine the extent of the failure damage, it was never enough to just replace the damaged parts; there was an absolute need to understand the reason for the engine failure. I had to understand the complexity of the engine and the stresses and consequential impact of other parts along with the design and material construction of the part that failed. What was the cause? Did this part fail as a result of some other failure or was this part the actual cause? What do we need to do to prevent another failure of the same kind? Do we need to change the design or materials being used?

So many questions, all of which will need an answer to get to the bottom of this. The more I learn, the more questions that are raised as I pursue the solution to this problem. Meanwhile time is running out as I pursue all the avenues to gather the information I need. There are only four weeks to the next race in Monaco and the pressure starts to build as I race against time to find the answers I need…

Klaus, Formula 1 Engineer

At first, I imagined I was an Eight or a Seven or a Three – wishful thinking from a wannabe entrepreneur. After all, I had left the safety of the public sector and undertaken startup enterprises – albeit on the coattails of an Eight!

How could I have missed the telltale signs? Purchase of a house #5, recessed every so slightly from its neighbours in a quiet cul-de-sac with a wonderful rear view. It was yes on first encounter – checkbook was out and booking deposit paid instantly. Other clues included a solitary lifestyle, self-sufficiency, and a rich mental life. At college, I would get a buzz from new insights. My mother referred to me as a wise owl. Language was condensed and abstract – the better to retain detachment from the subject matter.

Such was the fixity of the blind spot that it took some time for the now blindingly obvious to register on my radar. Reconciliation to my castle Five state was not without considerable resistance.

Martha, Analyst

It was easy for me to recognize that I am a Five because I am thinking when I work, sit, walk, eat, read, or even sleep. I can think all day long and never feel bored or get a headache from that. I never feel lonely when I am alone for long periods of time. When I was a teenager, I was happy counting the number of days that I could stay in my home without having to go out.

I also knew I was a Five because I never speak to anyone first and I never fall in love, no matter how beautiful that girl or how handsome that guy is. And I didn’t care people would love me, hate me, or whatever. I was extremely happy that I could live on very little. I was not afraid of unemployment, being poor, being cheated, or even death. I used to think that if I ever got married, my ideal partner was someone who couldn’t hear or who spoke very little so that we could live a quiet life happily together.

Chalee, Accountant
Worldview of Fours I am inherently flawed, so I must figure out what this is, redress the deficiency, or hide behind just being different.

Enneagram Type Four

The Enneagram appeared in my life after a couple of people mentioned it within the space of a few weeks. I did what I always do with a new idea – how did we ever survive without Google? In the absence of a trained teacher, I spent several years bouncing around the Enneagram, trying on types. Maybe I was a Seven (tendency to start new things), or a Six (worrywart), or a Five (love to go deep with ideas).

Finally, I had the good fortune to take a class with Joe Howell, a minister and therapist deeply steeped in the Enneagram. The class was seated around a long table, and Joe marched us through an overview of type. I remember it was summer, and I was wearing a light, sleeveless top. When he reached Four, I felt myself start to flush then blush crimson, something I hadn’t done since I was a teenager. I felt I had been unmasked in front of all those people. In all my Enneagram musings, I had never thought twice about Four. Me, the successful professional, an artist?

Once I saw it, however, so much about my experience of life became clear. The Enneagram has helped me own and incorporate my ability to see possibilities, passion for transformation, and delight in people reaching their potential. These tools now inform, rather than running, my life. And, my photography and poetry are coming along nicely, too.

After over a decade of serious Enneagram study, I am more conscious of how I sometimes hang out in Two. I can reach down and find, say, the order of One and the strength of Eight when needed. And I have a lot more patience, with myself, and with the other people whose Enneagram tendencies enrich my life.

Suzanne, Marine Biologist for the National Weather Service

When I first learned about the Enneagram, I thought I was a Five. I was a software engineer and loved to solve problems. I was introverted enough to sit for hours writing software alone on my computer. Everyone seemed to agree, I was definitely a Five. Until…

I read Ginger’s first book. The description about the Four was more practical and less moody than others I had read, and it enabled me to connect back to memories of lying in bed as a teenager listening to romantic music, loving poetry, singing in chorus for the sheer joy of it, and only really having three girlfriends in my life – I married the third one. I loved deep emotional relationships. I also noticed that my strategy all through my life was to create an emotional relationship with people in authority – like my teachers.

Does this sound like a Five having difficulty connecting with their emotions? Not anymore it didn’t. I was now able to understand that I must have moved into my strong Five wing in order to make a living in a business world less comfortable with emotional expression. I never realized that sharing my heart was so important to me.

Paul, now a Psychologist

I knew I was a Four after I saw my first Four type panel. I had suspected from the readings that I had done but the panel confirmed it. What especially rang true was the discussion of envy as the negative driver and of sadness as the underlying emotional state of the Heart Center.

I always seemed to be in a state of envy. I would always want to be like people I would meet and admire. I longed for beauty in my possessions and surroundings. I wanted what others had. I did not seem to have a sense of satisfaction with my life even when it seemed to be going well.

When I heard that sadness is the dominant emotion in the Heart Center, that also struck a strong chord. Sadness and depression have been a part of my life. Studying the Enneagram helped me see that envy, sadness, and depression did not have to be running my life. Recognizing that they were innate in me was the first step in loosening their hold. They are still in my life but in a less dramatic way.

Laurie, Mediator
Worldview of Threes I am only as good as my last performance, so I must appear to be at the top of my game at all times.

Enneagram Type Three

I had some momentary confusion with Eight, because I can be a little overbearing when I’m trying to get stuff done, and with One, because I like things done well, and with Two and with Nine… but then I was asked to complete this sentence: “I am what I…”. Without hesitation, I said, “I am what I do!” which was true then and remains true to this day. I define myself by my work and my accomplishments. They are the standard by which I judge my success, and they paint a picture of me for all the world to see. It was enlightening to discover that others define themselves using different standards which are as basic to them as mine is to me.

It was both comforting and a bit disconcerting to discover that I’m rather less complex in the real world than I am in my own mind. Mostly, though, it was a relief to discover that there were type-based reasons for the thought and behavior patterns that have tripped me up my whole life, like how I tend to view people as annoying distractions when I’ve got a task to accomplish. I’ve grown because I know this.

Drew, Entertainment Industry: Performance and Tour Coordinator

Initially, I was sure I was a Seven. I’m upbeat, forward thinking, and love options. I figured I had a Six wing because I could move into that “worry place.” A number of tests resulted in validation of Seven but Three was a very close second. After taking Jerry Wagner’s WEPSS test, I had to consider Three with a strong Two wing. A good friend (a real Seven) and I discussed the results and our similarities. We discovered that while we both loved generating options, she was happy to “just have the possibilities” and I felt compelled to “do something with them.” I began to see that I was a Seven wannabe. Given my Three-ish need to look like I had everything handled, the upside of Seven was very appealing.

I have been profoundly reminded of my Three with Two wing as my kids are graduating from college and launching into their own lives. I am amazed at how much of my self-image has been tied up in being a great Mom. Despite a successful career and marriage, I most identify with “mom.” It’s very interesting to begin to build the me that comes from my standards and not what looks good to others.

Elise, Sales VP (Self Pres 3w2)

I thought at once I was a social subtype Three, according to my extreme sensibility toward any failures.

When I was 40, I developed two winning formulas to ensure the feeling of success every evening before going to sleep that I integrate into my daily life:

  1. Having more and more various activities each day so I would be gratified by my successes
  2. Assessing my capability to fulfill various positions in a variety of fields to make my competence known to the biggest audience

As a normal result, my life became a kind of “overbooked agenda” with no place for private activities until I decided to do less and stopped to “be” instead of always “do.”

Jeff, CEO
Worldview of Twos The world is full of suffering and abundance, and I have to keep others from difficulty and despair.

Enneagram Type Two

It took me two years of studying the Enneagram before I finally chose my type. This is especially interesting because I am a very decisive person. And I am proud of the fact that I know myself pretty well and have done a lot of work on myself to become a better person who takes responsibility for her “stuff.” It’s just that all the descriptions of the nine types in the books I read were so “unlikable.” I didn’t want to be any of them. The virtues of many of the types were, of course, resonant with me, but the vices were definitely things I wanted to disown. Nah, that’s not me, I’d think. I work so hard to not be like that!  And then it struck me: who cares about being likable?

As a Two, I had spent a lot of time being chameleon-like, editing myself, adapting, trying to join people in their energy so I’d meet their needs and they’d like me. So, of course, all nine types felt familiar. Familiar, yes; authentic, probably not. I could be empathic to all of the types. I just didn’t want to be any of them. Perhaps the number that felt most shameful to me was the Two. Another clue.

Finally, it has been freeing to claim type Two, with its ugly and its beautiful. And I guess I have grown to be likable to myself.

Karen, Wedding Planner

I had been working for ten years as an assistant of the head of production in our company. My boss – who is an Eight – is a person whom I admire for his strength and sovereignty in managing difficult situations. We were a perfect team.

Two years ago, he was promoted to CEO of our company and I was asked to take over his job. I felt honored, but at the same time I was horrified that the responsibility of the leadership task might be too heavy a burden. I had a couple of sleepless nights not knowing if I should accept the offer, or better not. Leadership very often means loneliness.

In this situation, I realized I was being a (social subtype) Two. I loved my job and my place in the background. But then I decided to accept the challenge – because my former boss believed in me – and I jumped into the icy water.

I made the experience one that I am able to swim in. I have learned to develop more comfort in being visible rather than behind the scenes and to take better care for myself. I keep more distance in my professional relationships, without giving up my care-taking nature. At least, this is one of my greatest strengths, which is highly appreciated by my staff.

Maxim, Brewery Head of Production

I knew I was a Two because I was always looking for ways to be helpful. Sometimes my “helpfulness” got me into trouble, like the time I made an illegal u-turn to avoid emergency vehicles at an accident site, just to be helpful. It made sense to me but not to the police officer who gave me a ticket. It was easy for me to recognize that I am a Two because I would give and give to people without boundaries, only to be upset and angry when they weren’t there for me in the same way. I found it difficult to believe that not everyone was as thoughtful as I was.

I also recognized that I was a Two because almost everyone I knew would come to me for advice. This would happen with complete strangers, and it wasn’t unusual for people to tell me things out of the blue and then tell me that they had never told anyone else this secret. I am such a people person that even when I’m doing business with someone like a realtor, I find him or her more interesting than the business at hand. As far as for myself personally, I rarely confide in someone the way they do me and keep most of my personal business to myself unless it’s with my very closest friends.

Mary Jane, Loan Officer
Worldview of Ones The world needs to be perfect, and I have to keep improving everyone, everything, and especially myself.

Enneagram Type One

I knew I was a One when I read a description that said the One’s basic fear is of being defective (read: not good enough). I have an Inner Critic who is on duty 24 hours a day, and she never lets up. It’s great to have high standards, but they are a pain to live up to (for me and for others)! It’s not unusual for me to walk away from an interaction second-guessing myself and agonizing over what I should have said. The world view is that you will be okay if you follow the rules, do everything right and don’t get into trouble… but you get tired of controlling yourself so rigidly, so often. It’s great to be reliable and dependable, but I also get very irritated with others who can get away with not having to work so hard or be so controlled. What I perhaps dislike the most is my natural tendency to see the glass as half empty. When asked for my perspective, I always tend to offer what’s wrong!

The two best “attitude adjustments” for me are (i) go to my Seven arrow and become light, spontaneous, and fun; and (ii) go to my Four arrow and be in my heart. The world always looks better from these vantage points!

Sara, IT Director

It was easy for me to recognize that I am a One because:

  • I immediately and always notice what is wrong with something (or someone!) and how it (or the person) could be improved. It doesn’t matter if it’s a work assignment, the way a group of disenfranchised people are treated, a colleague, a friend, a room design, or the way people drive. My mind is always judging and believing that I have keen awareness of “how things should be”.
  • It always was, and still sometimes is, very difficult to give myself permission to play. There’s always more work to be done, more things to be “fixed,” and if I don’t do it, no one will!
  • At work, it used to be very difficult for me to delegate work because I believed that no one else could/would do the work well enough. Why bother to give it to someone else when I’ll just have to redo it?!
  • I can never please myself. No matter how well others tell me I’ve done, my superego tells me what I didn’t do well enough, what needs to be improved, how it can be improved, and how soon it must be improved.
  • For years, people would tell me that I was angry and that it was written all over my face and body language. I would never believe them. Yes, maybe I’m a little irritated. But angry? Never!!
  • I’ve come to realize that my body is wound like a tight spring. It contains layer upon layer of tension resulting from years of denial about accepting my instincts/urges. For me, it’s resulted in a type of autoimmune deficiency issue. And in talking with other Ones, I’m always amazed by how many Ones have dealt with autoimmune health issues during some part of their life.
Sterling, Quality Improvement Consultant

After my first Enneagram class, I thought I was a One but I also resonated with the Sixes. I was an organized and dependable person, and I focused on getting things right. But I was a big worrier with plenty of anxiety. So I read the sections on One and Six in Helen Palmer’s first book, and it was clear I was a One. The phrase, “pleasure should be postponed until everything gets done” fit like a glove. I have to get all my tasks done before I would allow relaxation and fun in. Then, I could be a lot of fun. Getting things right was important, too. I did not identify with being untrusting and having authority issues that were so specific to the Six.

Then I read about the self-preservation subtype One and it explained why I thought I might be a Six. I have strong concerns about money and survival issues. I’m always thinking about the next meal, what’s in the refrigerator, and will there be enough money. I think I would worry about money even if I was extremely wealthy. After all, it could all disappear in a flash. But I was not worried frequently about issues beyond financial security, comfort, and survival. I found my type.

Alexia, Management Consultant and Trainer

Want to discover your Enneagram type?
This interactive tool can help you.

Click on Enneagram symbol.
This opens the interactive tool.

Click on “Find Your Enneagram Type.”
To read about each type, click on the number.

Click on “Enneagram Type Differentiators.”
Not sure between two types? Click on the two numbers to see how they are similar and different.

Click on “Real Stories from the Nine Types.”
Still curious? Click on a number a read three different compelling stories for each type.

Click the Enneagram symbol.

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