9 Enneagram Types

The 9 Enneagram Types

Whether you’re learning the Enneagram for your own personal growth or becoming a Certified Enneagram Coach, here is a guide to each of the 9 Types.

The Enneagram is not based on behaviors, but rather on the reasons for the behavior.

The Enneagram is not based on behaviors, which could seen in all 9 Types, but rather on an unconscious or conscious reason for the behavior, which we call the InnerLifeSkills 3 Personality Pearls and the 9 Primary Polarities. Together these form the Enneagram Patterns of Personality.

Each type has a range of expressions from low to high. By understanding our Personality Pearl, and collapsing our polarities into wholeness, we can use the Enneagram as a map for growth to coach ourselves and others to our highest expression.

Don’t see the words or qualities of the Enneagram Types in isolation

It’s important to see the Type as a full synergy of the Polarity and the Grains of Sand of the Personality Pearl, not in isolation. For example, all 9 Types experience anger, or fear or shame, so to look at this one aspect of a type makes the Enneagram confusing, and causes mistyping. This is why we teach our Grains of Sand metaphor, to remind our Enneagram Coaches, that the qualities rise and work together.

Click on Each for a full description, including how to coach each of the 9 Enneagram types.

ENNEAGRAM TYPE 8

Type 8 has the Primary Polarity of “Trying to be strong.” Although Type 8 often doesn’t identify with the word “trying” they feel in their gut that they are strong.

Type 8 has a Red Personality Pearl, which means the type is driven by:

  • GUT Center of Gravity
    a body sense instinct that strongly influences decisions and action
  • + ANGER Continuum
    triggered under stress, experienced from mild irritation to eruptive rage
  • + RESISTING REALITY
    a reflex physical push back against the moment
  • + SCANNING FOR IMPACT
    a gut-based sense of how they are impacting and how they are being impacted

By combining these, we can see how Type 8 expresses:

  • Type 8 has a gut resistance to any aspect of reality that threatens their sense of being strong (a kind of military strength).
  • They can be triggered by soft or louder volume expressions of anger when they feel impacted by their own weakness (opposite of strength) or the perceived weakness of others.
  •  Desire to impact through power, control and by using their gut instincts in an assertive, decisive way.

Learn more about Enneagram Type 8

 

ENNEAGRAM TYPE 9

Type 9 has the Primary Polarity of “Trying not to disturb the peace.” 

Type 9 has a Red Personality Pearl, which means the type is motivated and moved by:

  • GUT Center of Gravity
    a body sense instinct that strongly influences decisions and action
  • + ANGER Continuum
    triggered under stress, experienced from mild irritation to eruptive rage
  • + RESISTING REALITY
    a reflex physical push back against the moment
  • + SCANNING FOR IMPACT
    a gut-based sense of how they are impacting and how they are being impacted

By connecting these in different ways, we learn about Type 9:

  • Type 9 has a gut resistance to any aspect of reality that threatens to disturb their sense of peace (harmony, keeping things smooth and free of conflict).
  • They can be triggered into soft or louder volume expressions of anger when feeling deeply impacted, but because anger also threatens their peace, they tend to fall asleep (unconscious resistance) to anger.
  • The striving for peace (felt in the body) can leave type 9 trying to avoid being impacted and avoiding impacting the world, opting to blend in and tuning out.

 Learn more about Enneagram Type 9

 

ENNEAGRAM TYPE 1

Type 1 has the Primary Polarity of “Trying to be good.” 

Type 1 has a Red Personality Pearl, which means the type is motivated and moved by:

  • GUT Center of Gravity
    a body sense instinct that strongly influences decisions and action
  • + ANGER Continuum
    triggered under stress, experienced from mild irritation to eruptive rage
  • + RESISTING REALITY
    a reflex physical push back against the moment
  • + SCANNING FOR IMPACT
    a gut-based sense of how they are impacting and how they are being impacted

By combining these in various ways, we can understand the Type 1 with this foundation statements:

  • Type 1 has a gut resistance to any aspect of reality that is not aligned to their drive to be good (that which appears to be below standard, bad or imperfect).
  • They can be triggered by soft or louder volume expressions of anger when their striving to be good order to chaos is impacted.
  •  Feeling impacted at a gut level (felt in the body) by that which is seen to be opposite of “good” – morals, standards, structure, rules and procedures.

 Learn more about Enneagram Type 1

ENNEAGRAM TYPE 2

Type 2 has the Primary Polarity of “Trying to be seen as selfless.” 

Type 2 has a Green Personality Pearl, which means the type is motivated and moved by:

  • Heart Center of Gravity
    unconscious emotional needs that strongly directs decisions and action
  • + WORTH Continuum
    triggered under stress, experienced from mild embarrassment to shame
  • + EXAGGERATION
    an exaggeration of qualities in the personality to create an ideal self-image
  • + SCANNING FOR HOW THEY ARE SEEN
    a heart-based feeling of how they are seen by others

By combining these, we can understand the Type 2 as:

  • Type 2 has a heart-based emotional need to be seen as selfless in order to establish their sense of worth.
  • They can be triggered by soft or louder volume expressions of shame when their striving to be seen as selfless, kind and giving is threatened.
  •  Covering shame at a heart level with an exaggeration of selfless qualities that are seen as ideal in the eyes of others.

  Learn more about Enneagram Type 2

ENNEAGRAM TYPE 3

Type 3 has the Primary Polarity of “Trying to be seen as the best.” 

Type 3 has a Green Personality Pearl, which means the type is motivated and moved by:

  • Heart Center of Gravity
    unconscious emotional needs that strongly directs decisions and action
  • + WORTH Continuum
    triggered under stress, experienced from mild embarrassment to shame
  • + EXAGGERATION
    an exaggeration of qualities in the personality to create an ideal self-image
  • + SCANNING FOR HOW THEY ARE SEEN
    a heart-based feeling of how they are seen by others

By blending these, we can see why Type 3 expresses:

  • Heart-based emotional needs to be seen as an achiever in order to establish their sense of worth.
  • They can be triggered by soft or louder volume expressions of shame if their striving leads to exaggerating accomplishments.
  • Covering shame at a heart level with an often tunnel vision focus on establishing worth through action to find the quickest path to success.

  Learn more about Enneagram Type 3

ENNEAGRAM TYPE 4

Type 4 has the Primary Polarity of “Trying to be seen as special.” 

Type 4 has a Green Personality Pearl, which means the type is motivated and moved by:

  • Heart Center of Gravity
    unconscious emotional needs that strongly directs decisions and action
  • + WORTH Continuum
    triggered under stress, experienced from mild embarrassment to shame
  • + EXAGGERATION
    an exaggeration of qualities in the personality to create an ideal self-image
  • + SCANNING FOR HOW THEY ARE SEEN
    a heart-based feeling of how they are seen by others

By fusing these, we can see how Type 4 carries these founding drivers:

  • Type 4 has a heart-based emotional need to be seen as special (unique, different, contrary) in order to establish their sense of worth.
  • They can be triggered by soft or louder volume expressions of shame when their striving to be seen as special is threatened by mundane, ordinary, function living and relating. 
  •  Can mask shame at a heart level with an exaggeration of specialness even if this means sometimes clinging to a self-image of being wounded, living a story of suffering.

 Learn more about Enneagram Type 4

ENNEAGRAM TYPE 5

Type 5 has the Primary Polarity of “Trying to understand.” 

Type 5 has a Blue Personality Pearl, which means the type is motivated and moved by:

  • MIND Center of Gravity
    thinking dominates decision making and directs action
  • + FEAR Continuum
    triggered under stress, experienced from mild jittery anxiety to paralyzing terror
  • + SEPARATING REALITY
    a mental dividing, categorizing and labeling of life
  • + SCANNING FOR SECURITY
    a thought based seeking for ways to feel secure with people and in life

By combining these in various ways, we can understand the Type 5 with this foundation statements:

  • Type 5 isolates and separates themselves from others and life in order to feel secure.
  • They can be triggered by soft or louder volume expressions of fear when a lack of understanding or competency.
  •  The mind strongly seeks understanding with laser intensity and often an ivory tower positioning to separate from full engagement with life, until they feel more secure. 

 Learn more about Enneagram Type 5

ENNEAGRAM TYPE 6

Type 6 has the Primary Polarity of “Trying to find support.” 

Type 6 has a Blue Personality Pearl, which means the type is motivated and moved by:

  • MIND Center of Gravity
    thinking dominates decision making and directs action
  • + FEAR Continuum
    triggered under stress, experienced from mild jittery anxiety to paralyzing terror
  • + SEPARATING REALITY
    a mental dividing, categorizing and labeling of life
  • + SCANNING FOR SECURITY
    a thought based seeking for ways to feel secure with people and in life

By weaving these elements together, we see that Type 6 expresses:

  • Type 6 feels separate from external reliable trustworthy support and therefore seeks to secure support from others.
  • They can be triggered by soft or louder volume expressions of fear when a lack of information, transparency or solid support is offered.
  •  The mind strongly seeks feedback asking many questions, and turning over all stones to anticipate insecure pathways and find solid ground. 

 Learn more about Enneagram Type 6

ENNEAGRAM TYPE 7

Type 7 has the Primary Polarity of “Trying to feel happy.” 

Type 7 has a Blue Personality Pearl, which means the type is motivated and moved by:

  • MIND Center of Gravity
    thinking dominates decision making and directs action
  • + FEAR Continuum
    triggered under stress, experienced from mild jittery anxiety to paralyzing terror
  • + SEPARATING REALITY
    a mental dividing, categorizing and labeling of life
  • + SCANNING FOR SECURITY
    a thought based seeking for ways to feel secure with people and in life

By mixing these insights, we see that the Type 7 foundation includes:

  • Type 7 tries to separate themselves from the present moment pain or ugliness by chasing tomorrows happiness.
  • The mind can be triggered by soft or louder volume expressions of fear when possibilities and options are limited, when bored or trapped into being still.
  •  The mind strongly seeks movement, freedom and distraction with energetic enthusiasm to separate from cold hard reality. 

 Learn more about Enneagram Type 7