Personality Type: Six – The Loyalist or Skeptic
Enneagram is a model of human personality consisting of nine different types. Here comes the basic characteristics of the “Six”.
- Good Friend
Focus of Attention: Worst-Case Scenario and How to Deal With it. Safety and Security.
Basic Fear: Things Going Wrong
Basic Desire: To Feel Safe and Secure.
- Over-Active Imagination
General Behavior of The Loyal Skeptic
The Loyal Skeptic or Six, as this personality is called, has deep seated fears and anxieties. The cause cannot always be identified, but it’s a feeling they have that they’re not quite standing on solid ground. Their anxiety can be expressed in many different ways, making Sixes difficult to type. Their fears and anxieties makes them prone to worry, and they constantly imagine what can go wrong. They scan and assess their environment for threats, as if needing to confirm that the fear they feel inside is justified.
Their keen sense of danger and their need to be prepared when something bad happens, makes Six a great troubleshooter. However, peace of mind is elusive, since paranoia is always present.
They are slow to trust people. Naturally suspicious, they need proof before they let down their guard. But to people they trust, their loyalty is unquestionable. They will stand by a friend or a partner, even during times when it’s best to move on.
In general, Sixes just need something solid and real to believe in, someone to protect them. But since their need is combined with suspiciousness, they have a love-hate relationship with authority. They need them, but they don’t trust them. These opposing needs work side by side in the personality of Sixes.
Another reason why this personality type is so hard to pin down, is that they have two ways of dealing with their fear: The Phobic Six is actively afraid. They often withdraw to their safe zones. The Counter-Phobic Six is aggressive and confronts threats to prove that they’re not afraid. They are defiant at whatever they find threatening. They’re the ones who rebel against authority, or adopts a daredevil attitude.
To sum it up, the basic proposition of Six is this: They can survive and live in certainty by avoiding things that can harm them (the phobic type) or confront it head-on by being vigilant. Perceived threats or danger should either be battled or avoided.
How to Get Along with a Six
- Be open and trustworthy. One lie and a Six will find it very difficult to trust you again.
- Appreciate their vigilance and their keen sense of danger. It might prove useful one day.
- When making plans, discuss with them all the possible things that can go wrong before you move ahead. Six just wants to be prepared with contingency plans. Nothing wrong with that, right?
- When they’re being pessimistic, give them assurance, and steer the conversation to positives. Don’t be vague and secretive around them. They don’t trust you already. Don’t give them the justification.
- Prove yourself if you really want to get close to a Six. Earn their trust.
How to Overcome the Negative Effects of Being a Six
- Be in touch with your emotions. What are you really afraid of? When you feel anxious and fearful, stop the anxiety attack by stepping back and looking at the situation objectively. Is there a logical explanation for the fear?
- Have Faith. This might be really hard for you because having faith in something or someone means to trust even when there’s no proof. But try. Some people will disappoint you, but many might surprise you.
- Increase self-awareness. Knowing why you are acting or feeling a certain way will help you gain control of your emotions… and reactions.
- Feel safe within yourself, and believe that you are capable of facing any situation that might come up, even if you don’t prepare and plan for them.
- Realize that we cannot predict and control everything. It’s ok to not always be on high alert. Whatever happens, you will know what to do.
Criticism of the Enneagram model
The Enneagram model of personality has been criticized as being subject to interpretation and difficult to test or validate scientifically. You can read about The Big Five model of personality that has gained more scientific consensus here.
- Type Six – The Loyal Skeptic
- Wikipedia – The Enneagram of Personality
- International Enneagram Association – Enneagram Systems and Types
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