Enneagram Type 6: “The Loyalist” Personality Type Analysis

25 May 2023

Enneagram 6

The representatives of the Enneagram 6 personality type are the kind of people who make the world a little bit safer, more predictable, and more sensible. Thanks to them, we have procedures, rules, and systems for everything.

However, if you think they are simple and easy to understand, you’ll be surprised by the complexity of their minds and the contradictions they are capable of.

If you are intrigued to learn more about this peculiar type, keep reading. This guide will explain to you all the core traits, fears, desires, strengths, and weaknesses of the Enneagram Type Six.

Let’s get to know the Loyalists!

Enneagram Personality Type 6 Overview

Enneagram 6 typically grows up with a sense of insecurity and a lack of emotional support. Therefore, anxiety becomes their second nature.

Since they never learned to rely on anyone other than themselves, Sixes constantly worry about everything that could go wrong. Therefore, it is no wonder that they have a backup plan for any situation.

They learn to cope with feelings of insecurity and fear of the future by developing an extreme level of responsibility, reliability, and control. They believe it is essential to be ready for any situation, which is why they do their best to predict every possible scenario in detail.

While this makes them genius troubleshooters, it takes the spontaneity and joy from their lives. Yet, it is not just their fears that make them so efficient and organized. They also have excellent people skills, leadership qualities, and a capacity for deep empathy. Honest, warm, and caring, they are amazing friends who will stand by you through thick and thin.

It is particularly interesting that there are two completely opposite ways in which Enneagram 6 manifests their fears. Some Sixes let their fear and anxiety take over their lives, while others choose to ignore their fears and engage in risky endeavors just to prove their fearlessness.

This tendency is also reflected in their attitude toward authority figures. They either exhibit defiant behavior or excessively submissive behavior.

All in all, Sixes are complex personalities whose contradictions often confuse themselves too.

Enneagram Type 6 Compatibility

Enneagram Type 6

Enneagram 6 typically has trust issues and is, therefore, rather careful when choosing a partner. When it comes to dating, they typically stick to their own, often rigid dating rules and often make a wish list of characteristics that a potential partner should have. That's simply how they shield themselves from emotional suffering.

Speaking of Enneagram 6 compatibility, the Enneagram types that are most compatible with Sixes are those who can provide commitment and stability. These would be Ones and Nines.

Type 6 With Type 1

Both Sixes and Ones are committed, serious, loyal, and steady, which is why they share many values. For that reason, they hold a lot of respect for each other and support each other with deep understanding.

While Ones usually take the lead—as they are more idealistic and goal-oriented—Sixes bring emotional warmth and open communication into this relationship. These types feel they can depend on each other, which gives them both room to relax and enjoy life more.

Type 6 With Type 9

Though Sixes and Nines seem very different, they actually have a lot in common, as both long for security and a peaceful life. The accepting, kind, and loving nature of Nines relieves much of the Sixes’ chronic anxiety and helps them become more optimistic toward life.

Nines also enjoy being there for Sixes, while the pragmatism and communication skills of Sixes helps Nines stay in touch with reality. These two boost each other’s confidence and often build harmonious long-lasting relationships.

Enneagram Type 6 Wings

Enneagram Type 6 Wings

The types that are immediately adjacent to your core type on the Enneagram diagram are referred to as wings. The Enneagram wings complement your personality by giving it a touch of another type's traits.

Therefore, it is possible for Enneagram 6 to have either a Type Five or a Type Seven wing, which means that a Type Six person may exhibit some characteristics that are more typical of Types Five or Seven.

6w7

Under the influence of the Seven wing, Sixes become more open-minded, friendly, and optimistic. Though they will still feel the need to test people before becoming really close to them, they will generally allow themselves to enjoy life more and have fun.

Enneagram 6 wing 7 value their relationships with other people the most. They are charming, honest, warm, and communicative, but they are still pragmatic, hardworking, and reliable like the regular Sixes usually are.

6w5

The combination of the Sixes’ pragmatic spirit and the Fives’ immense intellect often results in thought leaders inspired to fight for the principles of good. These people are deeply committed to protecting their communities and preserving their traditions.

Enneagram 6 wing 5 often has a soft spot for the underdog and is deeply motivated to fight for the disadvantaged. Meticulous and hardworking, they are often respected experts and activists who make practical contributions to improving the living conditions of people around them.

Enneagram Type 6 Strengths & Weaknesses

Arrangement of paper clips contrasting order and disorder

Sixes have a lot of wonderful qualities that make up who they are, the majority of which they are probably not even aware of. That’s because they are generally more concerned with their weaknesses. However, as they age and mature, they start to value themselves more.

Enneagram Type 6 Strengths

The serious and honest Enneagram 6 has many exceptional qualities that distinguish them from the other Enneagram types, such as:

  • Strong sense of self-discipline. Sixes are excellent planners who stick to their plans no matter what. Routine makes them feel safe.
  • Accountability at all times. Making responsible choices comes naturally to this type, as they are usually aware of all the details of any given situation and their role in it.
  • Deep respect and care for others. Though they may not seem so emphatic at first sight, Sixes intuitively anticipate the needs of others and are very protective of the people they care about.
  • Excellent organizational skills. Being thoughtful, precise, and focused, they effortlessly make long-term plans and strategies that are practical above all.
  • Exceptional analytical skills. Because they are careful and considerate, Sixes take every detail into account no matter what they do. Their analyses are immaculate and precise.

Enneagram Type 6 Weaknesses

Sixes are very anxious types, so it’s no wonder their core weaknesses include:

  • Self-doubt and insecurity. The Loyalists struggle to recognize and value their qualities, which largely depend on the approval of others for self-worth.
  • Chronic worrying. Sixes have a lot of trouble controlling their anxious thoughts. The slightest obstacle in their path pushes them to imagine all the worst-case scenarios.
  • Difficulty making big life decisions. Their tendency to come up with a multitude of possible bad outcomes often blocks their decision-making ability.
  • Tendency to swing between excessive risk and excessive caution. Their extreme sensitivity to risk and danger may either make them too daring or paralyze them with dread and terror.
  • Difficulty leaving harmful relationships. Sixes are very protective of others and prone to self-sacrifice for the greater good. This attitude may keep them in a bad relationship longer than necessary.

Enneagram Type 6 Fears & Desires

Trust your struggle

Sixes have designed their entire life strategy around the goal of reducing all the worries and concerns they have. Their aspirations are typically quite humble due to the fact that they haven’t experienced a lot of security in their lives.

Enneagram Type 6 Fears

It would not be an exaggeration to say that Sixes have irrational fears of… well, everything. Yet, all their fears boil down to these three core ones:

  • Being left alone without support and protection. Overwhelmed with possible terrifying outcomes they worry about, they fear they don’t have the strength to face them alone.
  • Experiencing betrayal. Their early experiences taught them others couldn’t be trusted, so they are overly conscious of the risk of betrayal.
  • Being subjected to unfair, cruel authority. This fear is also a projection of their earliest experiences with their parents or other authorities that imposed demands on them without considering how they felt.

Enneagram Type 6 Desires

Deep down, all that a Loyalist longs for is:

  • Feeling they can trust and depend on others. Sixes crave being able to rely on someone other than themselves.
  • Building trustworthy, meaningful relationships. They long for someone who will see through their fears and provide them with the stability they need.
  • Having control over their choices. Control is everything to Sixes—that’s the only way they can cope with the general uncertainty of life.

How Does an Enneagram Type 6 Act Under Stress?

Chronically anxious and prone to excessive worry, Sixes are highly susceptible to stress. They are, they are often workaholics and tend to experience burnout.

When pushed over their stress limits, Sixes become obsessed with their past mistakes and failures. They get stuck in their heads, constantly replaying scenarios about what they should have done better.

When stress comes from their relationships, they are prone to paranoid reactions thanks to their trust issues. Even people who love and know them well may get offended by how easily an Enneagram 6 in stress becomes suspicious about other people’s intentions.

Sixes also find it extremely stressful when they lose control over any aspect of their lives. In addition to the typical symptoms of stress, such as withdrawal, paranoid thoughts, over-analyzing, and similar behaviors, they may also exhibit psychosomatic symptoms.

Muscular tensions and problems with the gut and throat are typically most affected when Sixes’ capacity to deal with stress is exhausted.

How Does an Enneagram Type 6 Behave in Relationships?

Enneagram Type 6 in Relationship

Sixes are family types. They often have a precise plan for what kind of partner they will marry and how many kids they will have very early in life.

Though they don’t give their trust easily and are paralyzed at the mere thought of betrayal, when they feel safe, they are warm, loyal, and very protective.

For a Loyalist, relationships are their greatest priority in life. They may seem like careerists who only care about work, but intimate relationships are what matters most to them. Since their early childhood was often saturated with unpredictability and unreliable adults, they look for a partner with whom they can build a safe haven—one that they never had as children.

Enneagram Type 6 Careers Matches

Enneagram Type 6 Careers Matches

As explored in Enneagram Types at Work, Sixes love to feel safe and to belong. Therefore, they enjoy typical business settings with a fixed work schedule, structure, hierarchy, and corporate rules. Also, thanks to their impeccable work ethics and responsible nature, they make excellent bosses, which is especially true once they get past their usual self-doubts.

This type also feels comfortable working in teams, and when things go wrong, they are a dependable and resourceful teammate everyone can count on.

When it comes to working independently, it's not impossible for a Six to work on their own. However, they usually prefer to work in large systems and organizations because they love working with people.

Understanding your conscientiousness level through the My Conscientiousness test can offer more insights into your work habits and organizational skills.

Best & Worst Careers

Sixes have a strong intellect, exceptional analytical skills, and great troubleshooting and problem-solving abilities, so it's not a surprise they are considered one of the smartest Enneagram types. Thanks to this, they excel as financial managers and advisors, accountants, and auditors.

Because they care deeply about others, they are also great lawyers, attorneys, and doctors. They are also not rare in the show business industry, as they have great people skills and a sense of humor.

The worst careers for Sixes are those with high levels of uncertainty, where it is impossible to predict the outcome. Their need for control may rob them of creativity, so they would probably not feel good as designers, artists, or in similar roles.

Development Levels of Enneagram Type 6

Development Levels of Enneagram Type 6 - enneagram 6

Whether Enneagram 6 will function at their healthy, average, or unhealthy level depends largely on their experiences and circumstances in life. The more stressful the circumstances, the greater the chance they will display their weaknesses and fears.

Healthy Enneagram Type 6

A healthy Enneagram Six personality becomes more comfortable with themselves and others as they mature. They understand that letting go of expectations and embracing unpredictability is one of the most important aspects of human experience.

At this level, Loyalists are aware of their strengths and weaknesses. Understanding the real origin of their fears, they bravely chose a more positive outlook on life. Being highly emotionally intelligent, they successfully balance their work and personal lives. For a humurous take on these traits, check out our Enneagram 6 memes compilation.

Average Enneagram Type 6

An average Enneagram 6 worries a lot and is concerned with being prepared for worst-case scenarios. Even though they worry too much, their intuition is still strong and helps them find their way through the fog of their own fears and doubts.

Struggling to feel safe and trust others, they swing from being too truthful to being conspiratorial about others. Their attitude toward authority figures is also often ambivalent, and they are either too compliant or passively aggressive toward them.

Unhealthy Enneagram Type 6

Unhealthy Enneagram 6 becomes imageconscious, conceited, and defensive. They tend to drive away people who love them and unwisely burn bridges by being too negative, critical, and pessimistic.

Unable to cope with their insecurities and anxiety, they strive to rely on authority figures for protection in the hope someone will take care of them. As this rarely happens, they panic and often turn to substance abuse and other self-destructive coping mechanisms.

Enneagram Type 6 Growth Tips

Butterfly emerged from its cocoon

We all have to overcome our weaknesses to reach our full potential, regardless of our Enneagram type. So, here are some essential tips for Enneagram 6 to help them develop into their best selves:

  • Take control of your destiny. You seek security in others while failing to notice how strong and capable you are. Acknowledging your own talents, skills, and strengths will help you develop a sense of security within yourself.
  • Practice optimism. Carefully note each time your catastrophic visions didn’t happen. Write down all the positive outcomes that you feared were impossible.
  • Learn to trust others. As children, we can’t handle it if adults fail to take care of us and betray our trust. But, as adults, we can. Trusting others does not mean blindly believing others can never disappoint us, but acknowledging we can overcome the disappointment and learn from mistakes.
  • Become aware of your self-sabotaging patterns. You are so afraid things will go wrong that you unconsciously notice only the downsides of everything, which inevitably leads to failure and disappointment. Practice positive thinking and see what happens.
  • Learn anxiety-relieving techniques. Your whole body suffers from your chronic anxiety. Practicing body consciousness will help you feel more grounded and stronger. It is essential for you to learn breathing techniques and similar somatic practices for reducing the effects of stress.
  • Engage in some creative activity of your choice. Writing, painting, sculpting, dancing, and similar hobbies can be a great way to introduce more joy and spontaneity into your life. Art can be a great way for you to express your fears and not let them control you.

Enneagram Type 6 Famous People

Modest and hardworking Sixes do not crave fame. That surely does not mean they don’t often deserve it. Some of the most famous Enneagram 6 celebrities are:

  • Woody Allen, American movie director, actor, scriptwriter, and author famous for his irresistible sense of humor.
  • Mark Twain, American humorist, novelist, and travel writer whose works never lost their popularity.
  • Jennifer Anniston, American actress, loved by her audience for her honesty.
  • Joe Biden, American politician and the 46th president of the United States.

Key Takeaways

If you like the Loyalist’s complex personality, make sure you are kind and patient with them. They surely deserve it!

Let's review the key details about the Enneagram 6 before you leave:

  • Sixes are compassionate, trustworthy, and hardworking individuals always willing to help others, regardless of where they come from.
  • Analytic, practical and grounded in reality, they are excellent troubleshooters who love to contribute to their community.
  • When they overcome their self-doubt and insecurities and learn to be more trusting, they become exceptional, thoughtful leaders.