The Ultimate Guide to Enneagram Types

25 May 2023

In life, you learn so many different things. Yet, the only knowledge that will never fade away is the knowledge of yourself. That’s exactly why it is important to learn which of the nine Enneagram types you belong to.

Your Enneagram type will reveal your strengths and weaknesses and help you gain a better understanding of who you are as a person. On top of that, you'll also have a much deeper understanding of the people around you.

So, if you want to know the truth about your personality type and are brave enough to face it, dive right in! We can only guarantee it will be just as fun as it is useful!

What is The Enneagram?

“In essence, every person is perfect, fearless, and in loving unity with the entire cosmos; there’s no conflict within the person between head, heart, and stomach, or between the person and others. Then something happens, and man falls from essence into personality.” Oscar Ichazo

Oscar Ichazo, a Bolivian and American philosopher, was the one who first put together the pieces of what is today known as the Enneagram of Personality Types. This deeply curious adventurist traveled across the world to collect knowledge about human character, the universe, and nature, which resulted in him creating his unique school of Integral Philosophy, the Enneagram system, and—of course—the Enneagram types test.

Historically, the Enneagram can be traced to George Gurdjieff’s teachings. Gurdjieff was also a famous philosopher who was deeply interested in explaining human psychology. Many modern authors like Russ Hudson, Claudio Naranjo, and others have contributed to what the Enneagram is now.

Today, Enneagram is a modern and practical system that explains nine personality types, their core motivations, fears, strengths, weaknesses, and other important traits. Psychiatrists have used the Enneagram in their practice since 1970, as it has turned out to be of great help in their work with patients.

In the light of modern psychology, the Enneagram explains nine different ways that the mind builds a worldview and forms relationships with both itself and other people.

Each Enneagram type follows a predictable pattern of behavior. This practically means that if we are able to determine one’s type, we’ll also be able to predict their behavior and reactions in different situations.

Enneagram Types

Though each Enneagram type is unique and different from others, some share more common traits than others. That’s because all nine types are subdivided into three groups:

  • The body (gut, instinct) triad: 8, 9, 1
  • The heart (feeling) triad: 2, 3, 4
  • The head (thinking) triad: 5, 6, 7

The body types’ perception of themselves and the world is based on their gut. They react instinctively to everything. The heart types are feelers. They are endowed with emotional intelligence. Finally, the head types live in their heads and often have very strong logic and perceptive minds.

Each triad has a characteristic feeling that explains the way in which each type acts and reacts to the world more deeply.

Enneagram Body Types

The body triad’s core feeling is anger. This means these types’ first reaction to any kind of disruption will be anger. While Eights express it directly and bluntly, Nines suppress it, and Ones are most likely to transform it into an idealistic initiative.

#1. Enneagram Type 1, The Perfectionist

The Perfectionists are driven idealists who see the world as it could be, not as it is. Therefore, they feel constant pressure to improve both themselves and the world around them. While they are diligent, organized, and attentive, they can also be too critical and demanding.

Core fears: Enneagram Type 1 fears making mistakes, both in a moral and practical sense. They believe that unless they perform perfectly, their underlying defectiveness will surface, and it will be impossible for them to be loved and accepted.

Core strengths: Ones are natural leaders who guide people with integrity and vision. They also have a strong sense of personal responsibility.

Core weaknesses: When under stress, Ones easily become overly critical, subjective, and strict.

Core desires:They are deeply motivated to fight for social causes, defend the weak, and fight for justice.

Key growth tip: It is essential for Ones toaccept mistakes as lessons and their personal flaws as part of the universal human experience and not as reasons to feel less worthy.

#2. Enneagram Type 8, The Challenger

The Enneagram 8 personality type is the most self-confident and assertive of all the Enneatypes. Energetic, charismatic, and strong-willed, these people know what they want and work hard to turn their big dreams into reality.

Core fears: Eights are terrified of being controlled, manipulated, or forced to depend on others. Hence, they typically have trust issues.

Core strengths: Strong, persevering, and brave, Challengers do not back down from confronting problems or people while they pave their way to success.

Core weaknesses: Sometimes, Eights may be aggressive, domineering, and dismissive of those who are not as strong as they are.

Core desires:Eights enjoy challenges and strive to achieve a position of power and authority. The need to have control over both internal and external resources is a typical motivation behind their great achievements.

Key growth tip: Learning to trust others will bring much more joy into Eights’ lives.

#3. Enneagram Type 9, The Peacemaker

The Enneagram Type 9 is laid back, open-minded, and compassionate. They are always working toward achieving and maintaining harmony in their surroundings. Their quiet exterior hides great strength of character within.

Core fears: Being abandoned and disconnected from their community is Nine’s worst nightmare.

Core strengths: Highly emotionally intelligent Nines are irreplaceable as mediators. Apart from their interpersonal skills, they are also very creative.

Core weaknesses: The tendency to procrastinate and indolence often prevent Nines from developing their many talents.

Core desires: Peacemakers want to have peace of mind and achieveinner balance independently from their environment.

Key growth tip: Learning to say no and practicing assertive communication will allow Nines to get in touch with their greatest strengths.

Enneagram Heart Types

The heart types make decisions based on their feelings, and the core feeling they base their life strategy on is shame. They will try to avoid feeling shame in different ways, and shame is the first emotion they feel whenever they fail.

#1. Enneagram Type 2, The Helper

Helpers are empathetic, caring, and receptive individuals who generously provide emotional support to others. They are also very serious and responsible, often assuming the role of a parent in their friend group.

Core fears: Helpers often believe they are not worthy of love and fear being unwanted and rejected.

Core strengths: Genuinely empathetic, Twos can understand everyone. Therefore, they usually build strong and meaningful relationships with others naturally.

Core weaknesses: Helpers feel that they must help others to be worthy of their love and often extend their generosity and succumb topeople-pleasing patterns. Of course, neglecting their own needs inevitably backfires.

Core desires: There’s nothing more important than love in the lives of Twos. They long to beunconditionally loved and accepted.

Key growth tip: Twos need to learn to love themselves just as they love others.

#2. Enneagram Type 3, The Achiever

Achievers are goal-oriented, ambitious people whose top value is success. Regardless of what they do, they will always give their best to accomplish the greatest result. Therefore, Threes often emerge as leaders, with their eyes always on the prize.

Core fears: Failing feels like an apocalypse for a Three. That’s because their sense of self-worth is directly related to the level of success they achieve.

Core strengths: Pragmatic, attractive, action-oriented, and bright, Threes charm people around them while climbing to the top.

Core weaknesses: Instead of following their authentic needs, Threes feelinternal pressure to conform to social expectations. Therefore they may feel empty despite all the success they achieve.

Core desires: Threes want to feel worthy, but they think they should deserve love through success.

Key growth tip: Learning that failure and success do not define anyone’s worth and that they can be loved even when they fail is a life-changing insight for a Three.

#3. Enneagram Type 4, The Individualist

Fours are creatures of contradiction. They tend to base their identity on emotions, which only makes it harder to build a stable and realistic self-image, as emotions are fluid and ever-changing. Creative, imaginative, and deeply melancholic, they are the explorers of their inner worlds.

Core fears: Not knowing who they areand getting lost in mediocrity feels terrifying for Fours.

Core strengths: Unique creativity and deep psychological insights make Fours capable of remarkable achievements in the fields of interest.

Core weaknesses: Focusing on their flaws, Fours tend to feel less worthy, deeply defective, and therefore ashamed.

Core desires: Individualists are on the search for their true identity, longing to express their authenticity so that everyone can see how different they are.

Key growth tip: Focusing on their virtues instead of flaws and practicing awareness of the here and now will help Four stay in touch with reality and build a positive self-image.

Enneagram Head Types: 5, 6, 7

The head triad relies on their intellect to make sense of the world. Rational, analytical, and logical, they typically have trouble connecting with their feelings. The core feeling they are trying to overcome is fear.

#1. Enneagram Type 5, The Investigator

The Enneagram 5 personality type is a curious researcher who collects all kinds of knowledge and usually becomes an expert in at least one field of their interest. Knowledge gives them a feeling they have some control over the uncertainty of life, so education is their way of handling fear.

Core fears: Fives are paralyzed by the idea ofbeing incompetent and useless. When they feel they can’t contribute with their skills, fear starts to take over, and they feel they are losing control.

Core strengths: Childlike curiosity and a powerful mind are Fives’ biggest assets. They are capable of understanding and creating complex concepts and ideas.

Core weaknesses: Since they often feel they lack energy since they are disconnected from their feelings and bodies, they tend to be stingy at times.

Core desires: Investigators want to have a complete and deep understanding of the world around them and feel competent and useful.

Key growth tip: Introverted Fives need to learn to open up, get in touch with their feelings, and connect with others.

#2. Enneagram Type 6, The Loyalist

Sixes are responsible, hardworking people who are always willing to help. They deal with fear by anticipating the worst possible outcomes and preparing for them. For that reason, they are excellent troubleshooters. A sense of belonging to the group is another important factor for Loyalists, as it contributes to their sense of personal security.

Core fears: Sixes' sense of security would be severely shaken if they lost the support of loved ones and their community.

Core strengths: Loyalists are honest and dependable, especially in times of need. They are also diligent workers and friends you can always count on.

Core weaknesses: Because they tend to be very suspicious of others, especially authorities,

Sixes are either too compliant or too rebellious in their relationships with them.

Core desires: Sixes want to belong, feel connected to others, and work hard and diligently to be worthy of others’ respect and affection.

Key growth tip: Learning to trust life and others is essential for relieving all kinds of anxieties that Sixes are prone to. Once they accept that not every thought and doubt in their head is true and allow themselves to go with the flow, they will start experiencing more joy in life.

#3. Enneagram Type 7, The Enthusiast

The happy-go-lucky Enneagram 7 is in love with all the wonders of life. They enthusiastically jump from one interest to another, like children in an amusement park. However, they sometimes get lost in their wanderlust and start to feel anxious and worried.

Core fears: Sevens are deeply afraid of pain and depressionand will do anything to avoid them.

Core strengths: Creative and bright, Sevens bring incredible enthusiasm into everything they do. They are the life of the party and a source of creativity and ideas at work.

Core weaknesses: Staying focused and persistent is a huge challenge for Sevens. That’s also one of the reasons why they often fail to develop their many talents.

Core desires: Sevens just want to be happy and not miss all the good things in life.

Key growth tip: Feeling pain is terrifying for kids, but adults are capable of going through painful experiences without being devastated and paralyzed. Allowing themselves to grow through painful experiences will also help Sevens stay focused and persevere in all areas of their lives.

Key Takeaways

And that’s a wrap! Hopefully, now that you have all the core aspects of the Enneagram types explained, your understanding of the Enneagram typology is more profound and accurate. Let’s wrap up with the key insights:

  • Depending on whether your Enneagram type belongs to the body, heart, or head triad, you’ll develop different approaches to life.
  • Body Enneagram types rely on their gut instinct and are most in touch with their anger.
  • Heart Enneagram types are in touch with their feelings and base their life choices on how they feel.
  • Head Enneagram types use their sharp mindsto explore the world and base their attitudes on facts and knowledge.