The Enneagram has nine different personality types. Read this short introduction to the nine enneagram types to understand each one!
What Is The Enneagram?
The Enneagram is a personality typing system that consists of nine types. These 9 types are named numbers 1-9. Your enneagram type is dictated by your childhood wound (also known as childhood programming).
This childhood programming has created instilled desires and fears that drive all your actions and give you personality traits. There are 9 common beliefs and fears you could end up with. Thus, the 9 enneagram types.
The enneagram types give you insight into…
- what your core desire is
- core fears you struggle with
- your path to growth
- signs you are under stress
- how to take care of yourself
- and more
The Nine Enneagram Types
Here’s a simple introduction to the nine enneagram types so you can find your enneagram type and understand what each enneagram type is like!
Jump To A Specific Enneagram…
The Enneagram 1
The enneagram one, also known as The Perfectionist, seeks perfection and order. Their core desire is for things to be perfect because, in childhood, they were taught that they had to be perfect and in control to be enough.
Common traits of an enneagram 1…
As a 1, your core desire comes from the fear that you are the only one in the world who will uphold perfection. You aren’t the type to break the rules or “wing it.”
Type 1 struggle with resentment, bitterness, and self-hate because they are in the anger triad. This resentment can be intrinsically or intrinsically directed. For example, the enneagram 1 can become hyper-critical of others and themselves.
At your worst, you become hyper-critical and bitter. You fixate on all the imperfections around you and aggressively try to fix them.
At your best, you embrace light-heartedness, fun, and, most importantly, playfulness. An enneagram 1 in growth learns that they deserve to relax, enjoy life, and trust.
The Enneagram 2
The enneagram type two, known as The Helper, seeks to serve, help, and care for others. In childhood, they were taught to be selfless or else they would be rejected.
Common traits of a 2…
- And Attentive
A 2’s core desire comes from the fear of being unworthy of love. So you devote yourself entirely to helping others. It feels unnatural to be selfish and express yourself.
The Enneagram 2 is in the shame triad. What this means for type 2 is that they struggle with a lack of self and over-giving. Their selfless nature is rooted in the avoidance of shame.
They believe that they are only valued for their service and actions, leading to a lack of individuality. When type 2 feel that they aren’t wanted or accepted, they go into further selflessness to avoid being abandoned.
At your worst, you become aggressive and blunt. Instead of serving from a place of pure love, you help with the (unconscious) expectation to get approval in return. And when you don’t get that, you become upset and repress your needs even more.
At your best, you embrace individuality, creativity, and, most importantly, self-empowerment. An enneagram 2 in growth learns that they are worthy of care and they learn to take care of themselves
The Enneagram 3
The Achiever is the name of the enneagram 3. A 3’s core desire is to achieve and to be the best.
Common traits of a 3…
- And Diplomatic
While drive can be a gift and a strength, the type 3’s desire for it stems from a childhood wound. A fear that if you aren’t the best then you are unworthy of love. This makes the 3 uncomfortable with being authentic and “chilling.”
The type 3 is a part of the shame triad as well. Type 3s will struggle with inauthenticity along with the 2 and 4 (both in the shame triad.) 3s specifically deal with being image-conscious and authentic.
To be liked and accepted by the group isn’t just a desire for 3s, it is a survival instinct. They believe that who they are isn’t enough. They believe that they have to be the best and hide their authentic self to be liked.
At your worst, you become tired and selfless. Instead of achieving your real dreams, you get pulled into people pleasing, achieve what society or others want them to, forgo your sense of self, and end up burnt out. You fear what others think of you and feel the need to be accepted.
At your best, you embrace trust, authenticity, and, most importantly, support. An enneagram 3 in growth learns that they are worthy of connection as they are and without achievement.
The Enneagram 4
The enneagram type 4 is The Individualist. The individualist’s core desire is to be important. They present themselves as unique, original, selfless, and fun to be important to others. Often they appear as, or view themselves as an enneagram 7!
Common traits of a 4…
- Possibly Melancholy
- And Whimsical
The 4 grows up believing that if you aren’t unique, people will forget about you. Internally, they know who they are. But to show up as that version of themselves and believe that they are enough is another story.
4s, as part of the shame triad, struggle with unworthiness. They believe that who they are is inherently not enough. In childhood, this can make type 4s go through many “phases” or try to be the life of the party to feel valued.
At your worst, you become selfless and responsible. Taking on responsibilities that aren’t yours. Instead of embracing their individuality and using it to serve the world, type 4 in stress forgoes the things that make them unique and focuses on helping others.
At your best, you embrace impartiality, order, and, most importantly, values. An enneagram 4 in growth learns what they value in themselves, others, and the world and unapologetically aligns with them.
The Enneagram 5
The enneagram five is known as The Investigator. The 5s core desire is to have knowledge/resources and be capable, coming from the childhood fear of not being capable or having enough.
Common traits of a 5…
The 5 can be a bit of a hoarder. Due to your core desire for resources, you fear that if you don’t have all the knowledge then you will be incapable. And because they desire resources, the 5 is very reserved. Being spontaneous or emotionally expressive isn’t natural for you.
The enneagram 5 is in the Fear Triad. Where they acknowledge their fear of being incapable or not having enough and avoid it at all costs. If a 5 feels that their resources are being compromised, they’ll start to defend them. This can show up as isolating themselves, anxiety, lack of action, and repressing emotions.
At your worst, you become impulsive and irresponsible. You seek pleasure like a 7, forgo your long-term plans, get tired of being disciplined, and choose to step back into comfortable, unhealthy habits
At your best, you embrace confidence, leadership, and, most importantly, action. An enneagram 5 in growth learns to trust their instincts and do the things they want to do.
The Enneagram 6
Common traits of a 6…
A 6 is taught to believe that the world is dangerous and will harm you. This makes the Enneagram 6 prone to projecting worst-case scenarios and being prepared.
The enneagram 6 is one of the enneagram types in the Fear Triad. The 6 struggles with the fear of being betrayed and harmed. When they feel that their safety is being compromised, they’ll start to push danger away to avoid betrayal. Usually through means such as aggression, stubbornness, isolating themselves, or trying to control friends/situations more.
At your worst, you become self-centered and aggressive. You lose your compassion and focus on achievement in an unhealthy manner. Often cutting off your friends and family.
At your best, you embrace peace, relaxation, and, most importantly, diplomacy. An enneagram 6 in growth learns to find loyalty and grounding within themselves.
The Enneagram 7
With the core desire to have fun, be positive, and be happy, the enneagram type seven is called The Enthusiast. Like the 9, 7s were taught to avoid negativity at all costs in childhood, creating their “life of the party” spirit.
Common traits of a 7…
- and Friendly
The last thing the 7 wants is to feel negative emotions and discomfort. This makes them struggle with responsibility and moderation like sticking to a schedule and embracing silence.
The enneagram 7 is also in the Fear Triad, but the 7 ignores their fear. Specifically, the 7 fears of feeling negative emotions. The enthusiasts will start to over-compensate by chasing fun in unhealthy ways when they feel that they might get pulled down into negativity. This can show up as talkative-ness, cracking jokes at the wrong time, avoiding responsibilities, and over-indulgence.
At your worst, you become controlling and uncooperative. Not in the sense that you suddenly lose your free-spirited nature and become a responsible person this stress amplifies their need for fun more and they go about attaining it with more intensity and control
At your best, you embrace silence, rationality, and balance. An enneagram 7 in growth learns to enjoy being alone and in their mind. They can moderate how much they speak and consume, moderate their emotions, their reactions, moderate their social time and alone time
The Enneagram 8
The enneagram 8 is The Challenger. Similar in appearance to an enneagram 6 but a very different core desire. The Enneagram 8 wants challenge and intensity. In childhood, they were taught to believe vulnerability is weakness and aggression is valued.
Common traits of an 8…
The 8’s core desire comes from the fear that you will be harmed if you show weakness, emotions, or any other form of vulnerability. This makes it hard for the 8 now to release control and be compassionate.
The 8 is easily recognized as part of the Anger Triad. They express this anger verbally as a bodyguard for their softness. Since eights are taught that “vulnerability is weakness,” they can struggle to even recognize when they are pushing people’s emotional limits. This leads to 8s being hyper-independent and overextending themselves
At your worst, you become withdrawn and reserved. You take less action and become focused on attaining more information that you seemingly don’t need whether it’s about your field of work, cryptocurrencies, or the best places to go on their vacation even if they already decided on where they are going.
At your best, you embrace empathy, compassion, and vulnerability. An enneagram 8 in growth nurtures themselves and their relationships. A healthy 8 is present, reflects on their actions, and realizes life isn’t meant to be lived in fast-forward.
The Enneagram 9
And finally, sitting at the top of the enneagram is The Peacemaker, the enneagram type nine. Whose core desire is to have inner peace and harmony around you.
Common traits of a 9…
The 9, above all else, fears conflict. Taught to believe that “if there is conflict, then I will be abandoned and alone,” it can be hard for 9s to have hard conversations, assert their needs, and express their problems.
The 9s is in the Anger Triad. Because the 9 is taught to “not rock the boat,” they will easily repress their feelings & needs until, one day, they blow up. This only leads 9s to further repress their emotions because they feel ashamed of causing conflict
At your worst, you become stubborn and frustrated. They become hyper-critical of themselves and others, picking what seems to be stupid fights possibly about how the dishes were put away or even just how someone breathed.
At your best, you embrace ambition, challenge, and drive. Not forgoing their peaceful lifestyle entirely but creating space every day to push themselves both mentally and physically.
Here is your summary of the 9 enneagram types! Download our Enneagram cheatsheets and Enneagram Growth Hacker mini-course for free to overcome mistyping and be a personality typing master!
- Most Common Enneagram Mistypes
- Enneagram Anger Triad Explained
- Enneagram Fear Triad Explained
- Enneagram Shame Triad Explained