Enneagram Type 6: Loyal Guardian
Loyal Person, Devil's Advocate, Trouble Shooter, Skeptic, Guardian or Rebel
© 1995-2017 Katherine Chernick Fauvre
Sixes want to be safe and secure, to fit in and belong. More importantly, they want to have certainty and security, putting their faith in a trusted authority, belief system or tradition. Sixes see themselves as loyal, friendly, conservative and/or cautious. Sixes would like others to see them as trustworthy, dedicated and reliable. Their idealized image is that they are supportive, responsible and dutiful.
Sixes are innately curious with a wonderful sense of humor. A bundle of contradictions, Sixes can be wary and cautious one minute and/or rebellious and courageous the next. Sixes possess an endearing childlike reactivity and often take the position of the devil’s advocate to promote a sense of fair play. Depending on the situation, Sixes can be friendly and outgoing or reserved and skeptical. A ‘good soldier’, they prefer the role of buddy, loyal family member or trusted employee. They can be a reluctant authority, because they fear that taking on a leadership position might make them a target for opposition. As a result, Sixes need to chose their positions carefully. To manage anxiety, they seek comic relief.
Sixes are attracted to people who are strong, protective and/or have prestige. Sixes seek trusted, reliable authorities and allies. They often identify with the underdog and are distrustful of people’s hidden agendas, which makes them slow to trust new acquaintances. Keenly aware that they could be duped or taken advantage of, they pay attention to insincerity and inconsistencies. To determine if someone is trustworthy, Sixes watch for and question any discrepancy they observe. Once someone passes the testing process, Sixes become deeply committed and a most loyal friend. They are devoted to their friends and family, and show allegiance over individuality.
Seeking certainty, Sixes tend to be cynical. Because Sixes are afraid of being unprepared or caught off guard, they often rehearse in their mind what they might say or do. Imaginative and visual, they can often see what might go wrong. They may even enjoy scaring themselves by thinking of worst-case scenarios so that they will never feel paralyzed by the fear of not knowing what to say or do. Although Sixes are afraid to be afraid, they can learn mind over matter and are capable of being profoundly dutiful and heroic. Once Sixes let go of doubts, their fear turns into excitement and they can surprise themselves with unexpected acts of valor.
Sixes need predictability, a protective authority and the security of feeling that they belong. They long for trustworthy guidance to manage the feelings of fear and doubt. They can be a “proof junkie” who needs to test people, ideas and beliefs over and over again to see if they are worthy of their loyalty. They tend to need reassurance, encouragement and positive feedback from friends and loved ones.
Sixes avoid deviance, uncertainty and anything that is different from any group or idea to which they ascribe. They are highly motivated to avoid disappointing friends or authority figures. Fear and doubt can undermine their sense of safety. Sixes are afraid of fear, submission and cowardice, so they vacillate between loyalty and rebelliousness by puffing up and backing down. Sixes fear anything unproven or radical. They also are afraid of deviating from the norm or being different from their peers. Their greatest fear, however, is to be alone and unprotected.
Sixes' greatest strengths lie in their ability to test for the truth and in recognizing and challenging a bad authority. Loyal and dedicated, they understand the value of making sacrifices for the group and are willing to enforce society’s rules to ensure safety and security for all. Sixes believe that if everyone followed the rules and cooperated with one another, the world would be a safer place. A hero at heart, they are capable of great acts of loyalty and courage.
Sixes' vice is fear. This manifests as excessive doubt and playing the devil’s advocate. Their drive for security can cause them to envision a dangerous and divisive world in which they feel persecuted and then may persecute those who deviate from the rules or the norm. When Sixes are afraid, they doubt their own authority and can become provocative and undermining. Seeking security, they try to control others by ensnaring them in their fears and doubts. A lack of faith in their own authority can cause Sixes to overly submit to or challenge others, the rules or authority figures.
Sixes' attention goes to feelings of fear and doubt and scanning for danger, hidden motives or agendas. They have a tendency to focus on the worst-case scenario. Sixes fears and doubts can keep them from taking action and/or trusting themselves and others. They may at times be overly phobic and at other times overly counter-phobic.
The Sixes' spiritual path is to reclaim their sense of faith and courage and see unity instead of differences. In Sixes search for security, remember that the only real security lies in having faith and in trusting themselves.
As Sixes learn to relax and trust themselves, fear will often turn to excitement and courage. They need to remember that people are far more alike than they are different. Sixes learn to embrace what is new and unfamiliar as an opportunity to remember what they already know and trust. Instead of idealizing those who rescue or protect others, they overcome their tendency to hesitate or doubt and take action instead.
The Enneagram Type 6 with the 5 Wing, desires to appear remote. They see themselves as reserved, faithful, knowing, intelligent, refined, real and brave.
The Enneagram Type 6 with the 7 Wing, desires to appear conformist and fit in with other's expectations. They see themselves as loyal, friendly, intelligent, casual, related, interested, energetic, warm and wary.
Phobic: Jason Alexander, Woody Allen, Alan Arkin, Kim Basinger, Candice Bergen, Albert Brooks, George Bush, Lynda Carter, Stockard Channing, Rodney Dangerfield, Ellen DeGeneres, Eminem, Sally Field, Teri Garr, Ed Harris, Janet Leigh, Jack Lemmon, Richard Lewis, Penny Marshall, Marilyn Monroe, Mary Tyler Moore, Bob Newhart, Richard Nixon, Lena Olin, Anthony Perkins, Sydney Pollack, Paul Reiser, Pat Robertson, Rene Russo, Kristin Scott-Thomas, Carly Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Jon Stewart, Meg Tilly, Brian Wilson.
Counterphobic: Ellen Barkin, Warren Beatty, Judy Davis, Phil Donahue, Carrie Fisher, Mel Gibson, Andrew Grove, Gene Hackman, Adolf Hitler, Dustin Hoffman, J. Edgar Hoover, Tommy Lee Jones, Wynonna Judd, J. Krishnamurti, Spike Lee, David Letterman, Gordon Liddy, Charles Manson, Steve McQueen, Michael Moore, Paul Newman, Chuck Norris, Rosie Perez, Richard Pryor, Robert Redford, Janet Reno, Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan, Steven Seagal, Ben Stiller, Patrick Swayze, Justin Timberlake, Linda Tripp, Ted Turner, Sean Young.
© 1995-2017 Katherine Chernick Fauvre