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Enneagram Personality Type.

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Aw interesting Fizzle. Never heard of it. Is this along the lines of something like Myer Briggs?

I guess I'd be a perfectionist (given I have the disorder). I'd have put perfectionism in the 'fear' category though, although anger is a huge part of it. I'd also have put #1 right over to the left, on the extreme 'stress' side. Definitely not relaxed.

Not sure how the model works though. Can a person be a mix of types?

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Hi Elsie! 


I think the way I understand it is that Myers Briggs and Ennegram describe two different types of functioning although I can never quite get my head around the difference.  


People have all types in them apparently but have one that is at the core and have two more they specialise in. The arrows show the movement towards health. Enneagram looks at what direction one is healthy in whereas Briggs works on recognition. Trouble is that I am equally 5 types and cant recognise any of the internal motivators. It clearly highlights some of my identity issues!


If you go onto Youtube you can find the following on it: Conscious TV Enneagram.

or do the test somewhere such as here:  

http://similarminds.com/test.html     http://www.9types.com/rheti/index.php






Oh and I think they normally have "shame" where they have image on this diagram. 

Edited by Fizzle

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Hey you :-)

Awesome thanks. Yeah I don't think I fit entirely into any particular box. Plus with the online tests, I never seem to be able to answer any of those questions definitely. Like when it asks if I'm orderly/tidy - I am extremely orderly/tidy in some respects but a complete slob in others.

There should be a #10 type I think "Too broken to even bother" haha.

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I love the enegram I find it to be alot more effect then the Meyers briggs i read a few books on it but the best one is written by rico and hudson.they ahve almost 50 pages deiecated to each type and tell how the persolit formed the main motivators there levels of health,mine was shockingly accurate i never read some thing that explained what I was dealing with.im a 4w5 by the way.


Basic Fear: That they have no identity or personal significance

Basic Desire: To find themselves and their significance (to create an identity)


fours are self-aware, sensitive, and reserved. They are emotionally honest, creative, and personal, but can also be moody and self-conscious. Withholding themselves from others due to feeling vulnerable and defective, they can also feel disdainful and exempt from ordinary ways of living. They typically have problems with melancholy, self-indulgence, and self-pity. At Their Best: inspired and highly creative, they are able to renew themselves and transform their experiences.

Want to express themselves and their individuality, to create and surround themselves with beauty, to maintain certain moods and feelings, to withdraw to protect their self-image, to take care of emotional needs before attending to anything else, to attract a “rescuer.”


Famous Examples Rumi, Frédéric Chopin, Pyotr I. Tchaikovsky, Gustav Mahler, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Edgar Allen Poe, Yukio Mishima, Virginia Woolf, Anne Frank , Karen Blixen/Isak Dinesen, Anaîs Nin, Tennessee Williams, J.D. Salinger, Anne Rice, Frida Kahlo, Diane Arbus, Martha Graham, Rudolf Nureyev, Cindy Sherman, Hank Williams, Billie Holiday, Judy Garland, Maria Callas, Miles Davis, Keith Jarrett, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Leonard Cohen, Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens), Ferron, Cher, Stevie Nicks, Annie Lennox, Prince, Sarah McLachlan, Alanis Morrisette, Feist, Florence ( + the Machine) Welch, Amy Winehouse, Ingmar Bergman, Lars von Trier, Marlon Brando, Jeremy Irons, Angelina Jolie, Winona Ryder, Kate Winslet, Nicolas Cage, Johnny Depp, tattoo artist Kat Von D., magician Criss Angel, A Streetcar Named Desire’s “Blanche duBois”


Type Four Overview

We have named this type The Individualist because Fours maintain their identity by seeing themselves as fundamentally different from others. Fours feel that they are unlike other human beings, and consequently, that no one can understand them or love them adequately. They often see themselves as uniquely talented, possessing special, one-of-a-kind gifts, but also as uniquely disadvantaged or flawed. More than any other type, Fours are acutely aware of and focused on their personal differences and deficiencies.

Healthy Fours are honest with themselves: they own all of their feelings and can look at their motives, contradictions, and emotional conflicts without denying or whitewashing them. They may not necessarily like what they discover, but they do not try to rationalize their states, nor do they try to hide them from themselves or others. They are not afraid to see themselves “warts and all.” Healthy Fours are willing to reveal highly personal and potentially shameful things about themselves because they are determined to understand the truth of their experience—so that they can discover who they are and come to terms with their emotional history. This ability also enables Fours to endure suffering with a quiet strength. Their familiarity with their own darker nature makes it easier for them to process painful experiences that might overwhelm other types.

Nevertheless, Fours often report that they feel they are missing something in themselves, although they may have difficulty identifying exactly what that “something” is. Is it will power? Social ease? Self-confidence? Emotional tranquility?—all of which they see in others, seemingly in abundance. Given time and sufficient perspective, Fours generally recognize that they are unsure about aspects of their self-image—their personality or ego-structure itself. They feel that they lack a clear and stable identity, particularly a social persona that they feel comfortable with.

While it is true that Fours often feel different from others, they do not really want to be alone. They may feel socially awkward or self-conscious, but they deeply wish to connect with people who understand them and their feelings. The “romantics” of the Enneagram, they long for someone to come into their lives and appreciate the secret self that they have privately nurtured and hidden from the world. If, over time, such validation remains out of reach, Fours begin to build their identity around how unlike everyone else they are. The outsider therefore comforts herself by becoming an insistent individualist: everything must be done on her own, in her own way, on her own terms. Fours’ mantra becomes “I am myself. Nobody understands me. I am different and special,” while they secretly wish they could enjoy the easiness and confidence that others seem to enjoy.

Fours typically have problems with a negative self-image and chronically low self-esteem. They attempt to compensate for this by cultivating aFantasy Self—an idealized self-image which is built up primarily in their imaginations. A Four we know shared with us that he spent most of his spare time listening to classical music while fantasizing about being a great concert pianist—à la Vladimir Horowitz. Unfortunately, his commitment to practicing fell far short of his fantasized self-image, and he was often embarrassed when people asked him to play for them. His actual abilities, while not poor, became sources of shame.

In the course of their lives, Fours may try several different identities on for size, basing them on styles, preferences, or qualities they find attractive in others. But underneath the surface, they still feel uncertain about who they really are. The problem is that they base their identity largely on their feelings. When Fours look inward they see a kaleidoscopic, ever-shifting pattern of emotional reactions. Indeed, Fours accurately perceive a truth about human nature—that it is dynamic and ever changing. But because they want to create a stable, reliable identity from their emotions, they attempt to cultivate only certain feelings while rejecting others. Some feelings are seen as “me,” while others are “not me.” By attempting to hold on to specific moods and express others, Fours believe that they are being true to themselves.

One of the biggest challenges Fours face is learning to let go of feelings from the past; they tend to nurse wounds and hold onto negative feelings about those who have hurt them. Indeed, Fours can become so attached to longing and disappointment that they are unable to recognize the many treasures in their lives.

Leigh is a working mother who has struggled with these difficult feelings for many years:

I collapse when I am out in the world. I have had a trail of relationship disasters. I have hated my sister’s goodness—and hated goodness in general. I went years without joy in my life, just pretending to smile because real smiles would not come to me. I have had a constant longing for whatever I cannot have. My longings can never become fulfilled because I now realize that I am attached to ‘the longing’ and not to any specific end result.

There is a Sufi story that relates to this about an old dog that had been badly abused and was near starvation. One day, the dog found a bone, carried it to a safe spot, and started gnawing away. The dog was so hungry that it chewed on the bone for a long time and got every last bit of nourishment that it could out of it. After some time, a kind old man noticed the dog and its pathetic scrap and began quietly setting food out for it. But the poor hound was so attached to its bone that it refused to let go of it and soon starved to death.

Fours are in the same predicament. As long as they believe that there is something fundamentally wrong with them, they cannot allow themselves to experience or enjoy their many good qualities. To acknowledge their good qualities would be to lose their sense of identity (as a suffering victim) and to be without a relatively consistent personal identity (their Basic Fear). Fours grow by learning to see that much of their story is not true—or at least it is not true any more. The old feelings begin to fall away once they stop telling themselves their old tale: it is irrelevant to who they are right now.


Levels of Health — More Depth By Level

Healthy Levels
(At Their Best) Profoundly creative, expressing the personal and the universal, possibly in a work of art. Inspired, self-renewing and regenerating: able to transform all their experiences into something valuable: self-creative.
Self-aware, introspective, on the “search for self,” aware of feelings and inner impulses. Sensitive and intuitive both to self and others: gentle, tactful, compassionate.
Highly personal, individualistic, “true to self.” Self-revealing, emotionally honest, humane. Ironic view of self and life: can be serious and funny, vulnerable and emotionally strong.
Average Levels
Take an artistic, romantic orientation to life, creating a beautiful, aesthetic environment to cultivate and prolong personal feelings. Heighten reality through fantasy, passionate feelings, and the imagination.
To stay in touch with feelings, they interiorize everything, taking everything personally, but become self-absorbed and introverted, moody and hypersensitive, shy and self-conscious, unable to be spontaneous or to “get out of themselves.” Stay withdrawn to protect their self-image and to buy time to sort out feelings.
Gradually think that they are different from others, and feel that they are exempt from living as everyone else does. They become melancholy dreamers, disdainful, decadent, and sensual, living in a fantasy world. Self-pity and envy of others leads to self-indulgence, and to becoming increasingly impractical, unproductive, effete, and precious.
Unhealthy Levels
When dreams fail, become self-inhibiting and angry at self, depressed and alienated from self and others, blocked and emotionally paralyzed. Ashamed of self, fatigued and unable to function.
Tormented by delusional self-contempt, self-reproaches, self-hatred, and morbid thoughts: everything is a source of torment. Blaming others, they drive away anyone who tries to help them.
Despairing, feel hopeless and become self-destructive, possibly abusing alcohol or drugs to escape. In the extreme: emotional breakdown or suicide is likely. Generally corresponds to the Avoidant, Depressive, and Narcissistic personality disorders.


This is dead accurate when I read it a few years ago and started reading the book to understand it more indepth.

Edited by scienceguy

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Ok this is still driving me nuts. I feel like it shows up my internal chaos. 


I have now watched all the youtube conscious tv episodes twice each. In fact a couple of them I have watched 3 times! And read up again.


When I do tests I come up as the same score for around 4 or 5 of them usually. I am trying to look back and think how I was before because I have undergone a lot of growth and am hugely healthier than I was before. Different actually. Some things look like they fit until I look at the core drivers or motivations or other core aspects of the type, 


On that front I identify with type 7s always looking for something new and stimulating. But there is no way I am a 7. I am much too introspective and pleasure absolutely isnt the most important thing for me. Too neurotic too!

Identify with some of the 9 stuff but I am so not someone unmotivated and undriven. I am good at peace making and I hate conflict but I spend a lot of time thinking and introspecting. 

There could be a 6 ish side of me but although I am safety focused now but its not natural for me. 

I do a lot of 5 and in some ways it would be possible to think I am this type. But I am social at heart and come across as emotional to an extent. Heart still wins over head. I just use head to contain things. 

I am an individualist like a 4 and like to think and do for myself. I am absolutely not someone who has a self pity or special self mentality. I know a 4 and although I know people can come across differently I am so not like her in fundamental ways. 

I have a history of being driven like a 3 but image isnt a core driver for me. And I have always had a much softer side that was apparent.  

There were a lot of apparent 2 things about me in the past but I never helped people as currency. And I hate people being dependent on me or seeing me as selfless.I am very aware of my faults and foibles and hate manipulation. I speak about things directly. 

I am idealistic like a 1 and a perfectionist but  a lot of the other aspects of this type are a far way off from me. 


At a guess I have now whittled the main influences down to 2, 4 and 5 but I am still unsure about 3 and 9. 1 is there but Im not a 1. 

I identify with the types that are separated from body and are in their  heads That loose track of self. Where emotions are intense. 


I guess I at least know Im not an 8, 6 or 1!  :rolleyes:

Edited by Fizzle

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I generally test INTP (sometimes INFP) on Myers Briggs and it largely fits me. It doesn't cover everything and isn't meant to do the same thing as Enneagram, as Fizzle mentioned above. A year ago maybe, a therapist who knows Enneagram (which I don't, but I *am* fairly familiar with MBTI) once suggested I was probably a 5 when I said I thought I was either a 5 or 4 (thanks to having explored a previous counsellor's suggestion that I check out Enneagram). I think part of it comes down to how well you know yourself, and part of it comes down to how well the resource you're using presents these tools for self understanding.


People get very confused about MBTI, for example, when they think that there's no difference between things they do because they have to and things they would do if they could. There's also a common misconception that you have to be a 100% match of your type at all times and that we don't grow and develop our other characteristics. Many of the quizzes I see online, in fact, are misleading in my opinion because they also fail to make that same distinction. I suspect similar misunderstandings might come into play for Enneagram.

Edited by sabishikunaru

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I can totally see how INTP would correlate with a 5. I find Myers Briggs really easy and clear for me. There was never any real doubt about my type. I had a moment of indeciion about thinking or feeling but thats only because my logic skills are very developed not because it is my frst instinct. I am an INFP verging on E. 


I have just gone over the ennagram notes for figuring out what is happening when confusing types. It looks at the underlyig motications. Occording to that I fit none clearly. There is always some big fundamental thing that sets me apart in the core motivations.  Im starting to think I just need to come to terms with that. I've also identified an absolute horror of being a tape 2 and why. I think my mother is a very unhealthy 2. I know Im nothing like her but the idea is enough to give me nightmares. 


Ironically I also read something about people getting a low  2 score and how problematic that is and can totally see that. The negative side just hits on some sore spots. I have come to the comclusion that I am closest to being a 9 even though I have a lot of 2 and 5 vehaviours and have done a lot of 3. And 1! Argh  :rolleyes:  I thought I was 4 for a while but the underlying stuff doesnt fit. 4s know themselves and are in touch with themselves and struggle to be in touch with others. And they want others to rescue them. I am out of touch with myself and in touch with others and certainly dont want to be rescued. Supported and helped yes but not rescued. 


There are certain things that have always made me feel out of step with other people and Ive realised that ennagram has pin pointed exactly what those things are. Its hard to see, 

Edited by Fizzle

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Misidentifying Twos and Fours

Twos and Fours can be confused primarily because they are both Feeling types, and because they both put great emphasis on the ups and downs of their personal relationships. Even with these similarities, however, these two types are seldom mistaken for each other. When they are, it is usually because they are defining the types too narrowly. For instance, some Twos might mistype themselves as Fours if they have been through a depression or have recently been through the end of an important relationship. They may learn that Fours are a depressive type and deduce that since they have been depressed that they are probably Fours. In fact, all nine types can be depressed: feeling sad or alienated in itself is not an indication of being any particular type. Twos may also hear that Fours are romantic, and seeing themselves as romantic mistype themselves. Female Fours who have been reared in traditional or strongly religious environments may identify themselves as Twos, but this is a danger for woman of all types. Some Fours may also have been under stress for a while may similarly recognize many Two-ish behaviors.

Their differences are not difficult to recognize, however. Twos tend to move toward others and engage them, sometimes excessively. Fours tend to withdraw from others, while hoping that others will seek them out. Twos look for people to rescue, Fours look for someone to rescue them. Twos are very aware of others’ feelings, but tend to be unaware of their own motivations and needs. Fours are highly attuned to their own emotional states, but can fail to recognize their impact on others, and so forth.

Misidentifying Twos and Threes

Here again, confusion about wing versus dominant type is likely to be the problem. A Two with a One-wing is unlikely to be mistyped as a Three, and a Three with a Four-wing is unlikely to be mistaken for a Two. With the 2w3 and the 3w2, however, personal charm and the desire to be liked and to please others can make these types more difficult to distinguish. Confusion sometimes arises, for instance, because the word “seductive” has often been applied to type Two. But clearly, all types can be seductive in their own way, and Threes can be very seductive indeed. Therefore, it is important to distinguish how these two types “seduce” attention from others. Basically, Twos attempt to get others to like them by doing good things for them–by focusing on the other person. (“How are you feeling this afternoon? You look sad.”) Twos give the other person lots of appreciative attention in the hopes of being valued as a friend or intimate by the other. Twos are primarily motivated by the desire to please the other as a way of creating closeness or intimacy–to enhance relationship.

Threes get others to like them by developing the excellence of their own “package.” Threes seldom lavish attention on the other; rather, they are trying to be so outstanding and irresistible that the other will want to focus attention on them. And while Threes enjoy the attention, and want relationships, they actually fear intimacy, becoming more uneasy as the relationship becomes closer.

Twos and Threes are different in several other key areas. While Twos can be ambitious, they feel uncomfortable going after their goals directly, feeling that to do so would be too selfish. Threes are extremely goal-driven, and feel they are not living up to their potential if they are not the best at what they do. Twos are openly sentimental and emote easily. Threes tend to be more composed, and to have difficulty accessing their feelings. Twos keep trying to do nice things for others until they lose their patience and blow up when they go to Eight. Threes keep driving themselves to excel until they burn themselves out and become more detached and passive when they go to Nine.


Misidentifying Twos and Fives

This is an extremely unlikely mistype. Few people of either type would be likely to mistype themselves as the other type, but others might occasionally be fooled. Surprisingly, it is more likely for some Fives to be mistaken for Twos, but only in very narrow circumstances. Because Fives do not form emotional bonds easily, they can be highly dependent on the few they do form, and can become needy with their significant others. At such times, they do not want their loved ones far from them, somewhat like average Twos.

Otherwise, these types are almost opposites. Twos are emotionally expressive and highly people-oriented. Fives are emotionally detached and can be the true loners of the Enneagram. Both feel rejected easily, but Twos cope by winning people over and Fives cope by detaching from the hurt and isolating themselves further. Twos go by their feelings and can get flustered or irritated by overly intellectual approaches or complex ideas and procedures. Fives get flustered or irritated by sentimentality and gushiness: Fives feel that they are in their element with intellectual concepts and complexity. Twos tend to move toward others: Fives tend to withdraw from others, and so forth.


Misidentifying Twos and Nines

There are a number of similarities between these types. Both are interpersonal, both tend to put others’ needs before their own, both believe in service, both like to keep things positive, and so forth. Nonetheless, the differences between them are significant.

It is usually average Nines who mistakenly think that they are Twos; it is rare for average Twos to make the reverse misidentification. Some average Nines (particularly women) would like to be Twos because they believe that Two is the loving type, and since these Nines also see themselves as loving, they feel that they must therefore be Twos. But of course, the capacity to love is not restricted to Twos, and other types (including Nines) are equally capable of loving others. As with other general traits that are common to all the types (such as aggression and anxiety), love is expressed differently from type to type and must be distinguished.

In fact, the way Twos and Nines love others is quite different. Nines are unselfconscious, seldom focusing on themselves. They are self-effacing and accommodating, quite content to support others emotionally without looking for a great deal of attention or appreciation in return. Of course, while Nines want to feel that their love is returned, they are patient about it and can be satisfied with fewer responses than Twos. (Some of this is because Nines secretly do not want others to bother them or to affect them too strongly–they attempt to stay in connection with others while withdrawing within themselves to feel safe and independent.) Average Nines tend to idealize others and fall in love with a romantic, idealized version of the person rather than the person as he or she actually is. Average Twos, on the other hand, have an acute sense of other people and their hurts, needs, and frailties. Twos may focus on these qualities as a way of getting closer to others and as a way to be needed.

Unlike average Nines, average Twos have a very sharp sense of their own identities. Although highly empathetic, they are not particularly self-effacing or accommodating. Rather than being unselfconscious, they are highly aware of their feelings and virtues and are much less hesitant to talk about them.

At their best, healthy Twos can be as unselfish and humble as healthy Nines, but by the average Levels, there is quite a marked difference: Twos need to be needed, they want to be important in the lives of others, and they want people to come to them for approval, guidance, and advice. Average Twos almost “go after” people, and are always in danger of subtly encouraging people to become dependent on them. They tend to do things for people so that others will reinforce their sense of themselves as all-good and loving. By contrast to average Nines (who become silent, uncommunicative, and show few reactions when they get into conflicts with others), average Twos have no hesitation about telling people how selfish they are or informing them in no uncertain terms how much others are indebted to them. In short, as they become unhealthier, the egos of Twos inflate and become more self-important and aggressive, whereas the egos of Nines become more self-effacing, withdrawn, and diffused.

Healthy Nines offer safe space to others. They are easy-going and accepting, so that others feel safe with them. There is almost no tendency in Nines to manipulate others or to make them feel guilty for not responding as they would like. (Healthy Nines are more patient and humble–traits Twos could learn from them.) By contrast, healthy Twos are willing to get down to the nitty-gritty and help out in difficult situations. They have an energy and staying power that average Nines tend to lack. Moreover, the help that healthy Twos give has a direct, personal focus: it is a response to you and your needs. In general, Twos will walk that extra mile with others, whereas, while Nines sincerely wish others well, they generally offer more comfort and reassurance than practical help. (The particularity of the love of healthy Twos is something that Nines could learn.) The similarities and differences between these two types may be seen by contrasting Eleanor Roosevelt and Lillian Carter (Twos) with Lady Bird Johnson and Betty Ford (Nines).


Misidentifying Ones and Twos

This is not a common mistype, but does occur when a wing is mistaken for the dominant type. In other words, 1w2s can sometimes be confused with 2w1s, but confusion is far less likely with 1w9s (owing to their reserved and relatively unemotional demeanor) and 2w3s (owing to their outgoing, effusive demeanor). Gender can influence this mistyping as well. Women who are 1w2s tend to see themselves as 2w1s, and men who are 2w1s may see themselves as 1w2s.

Both types are serious, and conscience-driven, both like to feel that they are of service, and both can be very altruistic; however, their styles and motivations differ significantly. Ones try to transcend the personal in their dealings, appealing to principles and the evident “rightness” of their positions or suggestions. Twos are highly personal and see their service in personal terms. Ones defend their autonomy–they do not want people to interfere with them. Twos seek close connection and even merging. Ones are restrained in the expression of their positive feelings although they let people know when they are dissatisfied or irritated. Twos may have difficulty with hostile or angry feelings, but they are fairly unrestrained in expressing their positive feelings.


Ennagram Institute. 

Edited by Fizzle

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Misidentifying Fours and Nines

Some average Nines think that they are Fours because they have artistic talents and creative inclinations of one kind or another. As in the case of love not being the sole domain of Twos, artistic capacity is not the sole province of Fours. Other types can be, and often are, artists.

Even so, the artistry of Fours is much more personal and self-revealing than that of Nines. The art of Nines often expresses idealized, mythological, and archetypal worlds–usually the real world glossed into something fantastic and wondrous. Nines are often gifted storytellers in which “…and they all lived happily ever after” is assured. (There are no unhappy endings in the Nine’s world of make-believe.) By contrast, the art of Fours is generally more personal and realistic, the expression of the Four’s (and of everyone’s) deep longing for love, wholeness, and meaning. Fours often deal in the tragic, finding redemption in self-transcendence; Nines deal in the commonplace, finding comfort in ordinary lives and simple situations.

The principal reason these types may be confused is that they are both withdrawn types. (PT, 433-36). Fours withdraw from others so that they can protect themselves and give themselves time to deal with their emotions. Nines, on the other hand, are withdrawn in the sense that they remove their attention from people or situations that threaten them, disengaging themselves emotionally so that they will not be anxious or upset. They cut off their identification with others (or never identify with them in the first place), identifying instead with a private idealized version of reality. Average to unhealthy Nines tune out any unpleasantness by dissociating from whatever upsets them, whereas Fours do just the opposite, brooding over their anxieties in an attempt to come to terms with them. Fours are certainly not detached from their emotions–just the reverse, they are keenly aware of them, perhaps too much so.

Both types can therefore be shy, absent-minded, confused, and detached from the real world. The difference is that Nines are detached both from the external world and from their emotions, whereas Fours withdraw from whatever has caused them pain. (In the end, that may add up to quite a lot.) Nines see the world through rose-colored glasses, and their view of it is comforting, whereas Fours see the world from a garret window as outsiders and are not comforted: everyone else seems to be living a happier, more normal life. Contrast the personalities of Mahler (a Four) and Aaron Copland (a Nine), Saul Steinberg (a Four) and Norman Rockwell (a Nine).

- See more at: https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/misidentifying-4-and-9/#sthash.v53e7D9P.dpuf



Misidentifying Fours and Sixes

While there are real similarities between the two types, there are even more differences. The principal difference is that Sixes are usually extremely appealing and relate well to people; they have the ability to unconsciously engage the emotions of others so that others will like them and form secure relationships with them. Fours, in contrast, do not relate primarily to people but to their own inner emotional states. Fours take it for granted that they are alone in life, and find it difficult to form bonds with others—something that comes easily to Sixes. The psychic structures of the two types are also very different: Fours are true introverts, while Sixes are a blend of introversion and extroversion—true ambiverts who possess qualities of both orientations.

Confusion arises between these types principally on the part of Sixes who think that they are Fours for two main reasons. First, some Sixes identify with the negative side of the Four (depression, inferiority, self-doubt, and hopelessness, for example) and think they must be Fours because they recognize similar traits in themselves. The difference lies in the motivations for these traits. For example, while all the types can become depressed, Fours do so because they are disappointed with themselves for having lost some opportunity to actualize themselves. They become depressed when they realize that in their search for self, they have gone down a blind alley and now must pay the price. Unhealthy, depressed Fours are essentially angry with themselves for bringing this on themselves or for allowing it to happen.

By contrast, Sixes become depressed when they fear that they have done something to make their authority figure mad at them. Their depression is a response to their self-disparagement; it comes from the fear that the authority is angry with them and will punish them. Thus, the depression of Sixes is exogenous (coming from the outside) and can be relieved by a word of reassurance from the authority. This is not the case with Fours whose depression is endogenous (coming from the inside), a response to their self-accusations.

Second, we have characterized the Four as The Individualist , and some Sixes who are artistic think that they therefore must be Fours. However, as noted above in the discussion of Fours and Nines, artistic talent is not the sole domain of Fours, so it is entirely possible for Sixes to be artists of one kind or another. Even so, there are important differences in the creative work produced by these two types.

In general, Sixes tend to be performing artists, while Fours tend to be original creators. Sixes are more likely to be actors or musicians than poets and playwrights, more likely to perform the words or music of someone else than to create it themselves. Even those Sixes who are creative tend either to be traditionalists, creating within firmly established rules and styles, or they go to an extreme and become rebellious, reacting against traditionalism–such as rock stars and experimental novelists who purposely defy traditional forms. In either case, both tradition and reactions against it are an important aspect of their art. The themes typically found in the art of Sixes have to do with belonging, security, family, politics, country, and common values.

Creative Fours, by contrast, are individualists who go their own way to explore their feelings and other subjective personal states. The artistic products of Fours are much less involved either with following a tradition or with reacting against it. Fours are less apt to use political or communal experiences as the subject matter for their work, choosing instead the movements of their own souls, their personal revelations, the darkness and light they discover in themselves as they become immersed in the creative process. By listening to their inner voices, even average Fours may speak to the universal person or fail to communicate to anyone, at least to their contemporaries. They may be ahead of their time not because they are trying to be rebellious or avant-garde, but because they develop their own forms to express their personal point of view. What is important to Fours is not the tradition but personal truth. Tradition is no more than a backdrop against which Fours play out their own personal dramas. Compare and contrast the personalities of Rudolf Nureyev and Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky (Fours) with those of Mikhail Baryshnikov and Johannes Brahms (Sixes) for further similarities and differences.



Misidentifying Fives and Nines

A detailed comparison and contrast between Fives and Nines is warranted because so many Nines mistakenly think that they are Fives; typically, the misidentification almost never happens the other way around. Particularly if they are well educated and intelligent, average male Nines tend to think that they are Fives. (As noted in the discussion of Twos, average female Nines tend to think that they are Twos.)

Of all the personality types, Nines have the most difficulty identifying which type they are because their sense of self is undefined. Average Nines have little sense of who they are apart from those they have identified with; hence, they are usually at a loss to know where to begin to find their type. (As we have seen, either they think they are Fives or Twos or they see a little of themselves in all the types and make no further effort at identifying themselves. If they have no guidance, Nines in this predicament usually shrug their shoulders and give up on the Enneagram and more important, on acquiring self-knowledge.)

Even relatively healthy Nines still have a somewhat diffused sense of self because it is based on their capacity to be receptive to others—and to be unself-conscious. Moreover, average Nines have problems identifying their type because doing so arouses anxiety, something completely anathema to them. Whatever disturbs their peace of mind is ignored or met with a blind eye. They avoid introspection in favor of entertaining comforting notions about themselves, whatever they may be. Maintaining an undefined understanding of themselves, and thus, maintaining their emotional comfort, is more important to average Nines than acquiring deeper insights.

None of this is true of Fives, and the two types are opposites in many ways. Nines are gentle, easygoing, patient, receptive, and accommodating, whereas Fives are intense, strong-minded, argumentative, contentious, and highly resistant to the influence of others. Nines like people and trust them; perhaps at times they are too trusting. By contrast, average Fives are suspicious of people and are anything but trusting, perhaps at times too cynical and resistant. Both types are among the three withdrawn types of the Enneagram, and (as we have seen with Fours and Nines), there are genuine similarities between them, although only superficial ones (PT, 433-36).

Despite their similarities, the main point of confusion for Nines arises around the notion of “thinking.” Nines think they are Fives because they think they have profound ideas: therefore, they must be Fives.

Part of the problem stems from the fact that individuals of both types can be highly intelligent, although as a group Fives are probably the most intelligent of the nine personality types. (When Nines are highly intelligent, they can be as brilliant as Fives, although their intellectual prowess is compartmentalized. They are brilliant at work but unfocused and inattentive everywhere else, whereas Fives are focused and attentive everywhere all the time.) Although intelligence can be manifested in different ways, being intelligent does not make Nines intellectuals, just as thinking does not make them thinkers. As we have seen, the pattern as a whole (and the motivations) must be taken into consideration, not one or two traits in isolation. Since all the types think in one way or another, thinking alone, with no further distinction, is not a sufficient basis for a personality diagnosis.

The fundamental difference between the thinking of Nines and that of Fives is that Nines are impressionistic, involved with generalities, imaginative ruminations, and fanciful situations. Nines typically do not concern themselves with details, nor are they usually good at following up once they have acted. By contrast, the thinking of Fives is highly focused, penetrating, and almost microscopic in the narrowness of its frame of reference. Fives love details, losing themselves in research, scholarship, and complex intellectual pursuits. They think in depth, concentrating so much that they block out other perceptions (eventually to their detriment). By contrast, even brilliant Nines tend to have problems concentrating; they also tend to lose interest quickly and to allow their attention to drift off when they become bored or anxious.

Nines tend to spin grand, sweeping, idealistic solutions to problems, while Fives tend to speculate on problems, then on the problems that their problems have raised, then on those problems, ad infinitum. Nines may be gifted storytellers, able to communicate simply and effectively to others, even to children. Fives usually communicate to only a few or keep their ideas entirely to themselves. (Moreover, their ideas may be so complicated that they are difficult to communicate to all but other specialists.) Nines usually do not consider the consequences of their actions; Fives are extremely interested in predicting the consequences of every action. Nines idealize the world and create imaginary worlds in which good always triumphs over evil; Fives analyze the real world and create horrifying scenarios in which evil usually triumphs over good or exists in tension with it. Nines simplify; Fives complexify. Nines look to the past; Fives to the future. Nines are fantasists; Fives are theorists. Nines are disengaged; Fives are detached. Nines are utopians; Fives are nihilists. Nines are optimists; Fives are pessimists. Nines are open; Fives are resistant. Nines are non-threatening and nonjudgmental; Fives are defensive and contentious. Nines are at peace; Fives are in tension. Nines end in dissociation; Fives in paranoia.

Comparisons and contrasts such as these could be multiplied almost indefinitely because, while these two types are such opposites, they are also paradoxically similar. What they have in common is the tendency to ask “What if?” questions. The difference is in their response: Nines tend to ruminate on their fantasies, while Fives attempt to see if their ideas could come true. The Nine’s ideas usually involve a single insight that, while true enough, is often impractical and goes nowhere. For instance, a Nine may think that the way to world peace is “for everyone to love one another.” While this is doubtlessly true, the problem not addressed is how to get everyone to love one another. A Five wondering about the same problem would write a treatise on world peace after doing exhaustive historical research, eventually erecting a grand theory of peace. (The Five’s ideas may also come to nothing, but at least they are pursued, and practical results may eventually come of them.) To give another example, a Nine might wonder what it is like to fly and make up a story about it. A Five might wonder how to fly and invent an airplane or do research on birds or design a rocket.

In short, Nines have an active fantasy life and think that they have deep thoughts. Sometimes they do, of course, although the thinking of intelligent, well-educated Nines tends to be in the direction of simplifying reality and cutting through abstruse thickets to get at the kernel of truth beneath. Nines tend to see things the way they want them to be; they reinterpret reality to make it more comforting and less threatening, simpler and less daunting. By contrast, the thinking of Fives is complex. By attempting to arrive at a grand unifying theory that encompasses and explains everything, average Fives end up involved in increasing complications and abstractions. Their thought is focused on specifics, often highly technical and concerned with foresight and the consequences of acting one way rather than another. But at an extreme, Fives risk seeing reality not as it is but as a projection of their preoccupations and fears. They distort their perceptions of reality so that reality seems more negative and threatening than it actually is.

Nines feel at ease in the world, and their style of thinking reflects their unconscious desire to merge with the world. Fives are afraid of being overwhelmed by the world, and their intellectual efforts are an unconscious defense against the world, an attempt to master it intellectually. There is a world of difference between these two types since they see the world so differently. Compare Charles Darwin (a Five) and Walt Disney (a Nine), Albert Einstein (a Five) and Jim Henson (a Nine) to understand the similarities and differences between these two types more clearly


Ennagram institute

Edited by Fizzle

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Misidentifying Ones and Nines

Usually this mistype is caused by confusion about the wing and dominant type: is the person a Nine with a One-wing or a One with a Nine-wing? In some cases, with a strong wing, this can be a difficult call. Both can be idealistic, philosophical, and somewhat withdrawn. Neither feels comfortable with their anger. Usually, the Nine’s reluctance to get into conflicts is the easiest way to discern these adjacent types. Average Nines want to maintain peace in their lives, and while they may hold strong personal convictions, they generally do not want to argue about them with people–especially people with whom they have an emotional attachment. For Ones, however, the principle is foremost, and Ones will drive home their point to convert the other to their view, even if it risks creating upsets and arguments. (“The truth is the truth.”)

While Nines can be hard workers, it does not take much to convince them that a break would be useful. They enjoy down time, and tend to have difficulty shifting gears from relaxation to activity or vice versa. Ones are extremely driven and have difficulty tearing themselves away from their various projects to take a rest or relax. They feel anxious when they are not being productive (like Threes), and want to get back to work to avoid attacks from their superego.

Another distinction can be found in how the two types handle stress. Nines initially become more emotionally disengaged and resistant, but eventually become more anxious and reactive as they go to Six. Ones, initially become more fervent in their efforts to convince the other that they are right, but then collapse into moodiness and a tight-lipped testiness as they go to Four.

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I withdraw and hope someone will seek me out like 4s. 

I am an individualist and like to be different like 4s

I am very aware of others’ feelings , but tend to be unaware of my own motivations and needs like 2s.

Like 3s I  enjoy attention, and want relationships, but fear intimacy, becoming more uneasy as the relationship becomes closer

I dont feel uncomfortable going after my goals directly like 2s do where they, feel that to do so would be too selfish.


Like 3s I kept driving myself to excel until I burned myself out and become more detached and passive. Out of necessity.

I am not emotionally dependent and needy on my significant other like 2s tend to be. 

I am more like 5s when it comes to  intellectual approaches or complex ideas and procedures than 2s. They certainly dont irritate me. 

Like 9s I dont tend to have a sense of my own identity,  


Like Nines I want to feel that my love is returned but am patient about it. I genuinely am interested in others and am not doing it to get something back or make others dependent on me.  

I dont idealise others like 9s tend to do, Quite cynical  like 5s and 4s 

"By contrast to average Nines (who become silent, uncommunicative, and show few reactions when they get into conflicts with others), average Twos have no hesitation about telling people how selfish they are or informing them in no uncertain terms how much others are indebted to them." Absolutely naturally rather like 9s with this and not at all like 2s. The unhealthier I am the more withdrawn I am in this type of situation. 

Like 9s I hate manipulation and dont  try to make others feel guilty. 

Like Twos I tend to have an acute sense of other people and their hurts, needs, and frailties. Not idealise others like 9s. 


Attracted to the tragic like 4s rather than the simple and comforting like 9s. 

I disengage from others both to deal with my emotions like 4s do and to protect myself from the threatening nature of others like 9s do, 

I both brood over difficulties like 4s and dissociate from them like 9s

Am shy, absent minded,  confused and detached from the real world like both 4s and 9s. Dont have rose coloured glasses like 9s. 


"They avoid introspection in favor of entertaining comforting notions about themselves, whatever they may be. Maintaining an undefined understanding of themselves, and thus, maintaining their emotional comfort, is more important to average Nines than acquiring deeper insights." Absolutely not like this at all in any way and much more like 4s when it comes to this. As shown by these posts! *roles eyes*. And any good opinion of myself is a very resent thing. Hate myself. 


I am detail and fact driven like 5s and not general and fanciful like 9s. 

I tend to think through about consequences like 5s do and am not like 9s that dont. 

I look to the past like 9s not to the future like 5s. 

Im a bit paranoid and in tension like 5s and maybe 4s and not at peace like 9s. 

I am afraid of being overwhelmed by the world and use thinking as a defence like 5s do, Not like 9s who feel at one with the world and use it to attach themselves to it and blend.


Like 1s I have a difficult time relaxing and have had to learn how to do so, I dont identify with the way 9s respond in this way. I am like 3s and 1s. 

Idealistic and philosophical like 1s and 9s. 

Edited by Fizzle

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