Are you loyal, trustworthy, and responsible...kind of like a modern-day Frodo Baggins from Lord of the Rings? Would your closest friends describe you somebody that everyone can count on to get the job done?
If you’re thinking, “Yep, I’d totally be the one to get the Ring to Mordor,” then there’s a chance you might be an Enneagram Type 6! Like Frodo, Sixes are loyal to their convictions and their people, which is why they’re known as “the Loyalist.”
There’s a lot more to being a Six than just loyalty, though. We’ve written this article to help you gain a deeper understanding of the Enneagram 6 personality type. We’ll cover:
- How to tell if you’re an Enneagram 6 (five question quiz included!)
- The top five things you should know about being an Enneagram 6
- What Enneagram Type 6 romantic relationships are like
- The best Enneagram Type 6 careers
- The Enneagram Type 6 wings (Enneagram Type 6 wing 5 and Enneagram Type 6 wing 7)
Are you ready to learn all about The Loyalists? Then keep reading!
The Enneagram Type 6 Personality
Enneagram Type 6 is known for one quality above all others: loyalty. Sixes are committed to the people they care about, often stepping up to defend their friends, family, and community. This sets Sixes up to thrive in many long term friendships that are built on trust and reliability. Sixes are also considered excellent problem solvers. You can count on a Type 6 to be there for you when things are good and to help you when the going gets tough.
But Sixes aren’t just loyal to people: Sixes are also loyal to their beliefs. You can expect Enneagram 6s to staunchly defend the ideas and systems they believe in. But they’re not just blind followers. Sixes are thinkers, which means they’ve worked over every angle of their ideas and thoroughly considered why they’re worth holding.
It may sound like Enneagram Type 6s are rigid and stuffy, but the ideas and systems that they’re loyal to are very diverse. Sixes aren’t necessarily traditionalists. They can also be rebellious, radical thinkers. Don’t be too surprised if you meet a Six who loves to buck authority!
Like we mentioned earlier, Enneagram 6s want things to be long-term, whether that’s their career or their relationships. Sixes aren’t known for flitting around and can often get hyper focused on building security in their lives. This is because Sixes tend to be plagued by a recurring fear of abandonment. To protect themselves, Sixes may go to great lengths to maintain connections in their relationships. This means that Enneagram 6s are prone to anxiety. At their lowest, Sixes can become hysterical, clingy, and self-destructive.
When they’re at their best, Sixes can be found doing excellent work in career fields that involve building alliances, sustaining communities, and helping people connect with their emotions. Some famous Sixes include Diana Spencer (Princess of Wales), David Letterman, Malcolm X, Mark Twain, Elliot Page, and of course, Frodo Baggins!
Quiz: Are You an Enneagram Type 6?
Now that you have some basic knowledge about the Enneagram 6 personality type, are you interested in finding out if you might be a Six?
Then keep reading! We’ve put together a five question quiz that will help you decide if you might be a Six. Just answer yes or no to the five questions below:
- Do you frequently find yourself standing up for the people in your life?
- Do you run your ideas by the people you care about before you make decisions?
- Are you the first person to show up when one of your friends is having a tough time?
- Do you enjoy helping others solve problems?
- Do you like to have close knit relationships with friends, family members, and people in your community?
If you answered “yes” to most of the questions above, there’s a strong possibility that you’re a Six!
Top 5 Things to Know About Enneagram Type 6s
You’re acquainted with the general personality traits of Enneagram Type 6, so what’s next? Taking a closer look at the core characteristics of Sixes, of course!
Here are the five things you need to know about an Enneagram 6.
#1: They’re Reliable
If there’s one thing to know about Sixes, it’s that you can count on them. Sixes work hard at everything they do, whether it’s at work, at home, or in relationships. This is because Sixes’ core character trait is loyalty. Sixes want you to rely on them—it’s one of the ways that they feel affirmed and loved.
But Sixes want the people in their lives to be reliable, too. This is especially true when it comes to maintaining relationships. Sixes see work as value: the more effort you put into a relationship with a Six, the more they’ll feel valued and cared for. One of the biggest ways that Sixes put work into relationships is by being a good listener and giving others a safe space to express their feelings. When it comes down to it, Sixes want to be able to count on you to let them be heard, too.
#2: They Have a Knack for Problem-Solving
Enneagram Type 6s are gifted problem solvers. Sixes spend a lot of time thinking through the possible outcomes in any situation. Whether positive or negative, Sixes are prepared with a plan for facing whatever the future holds.
The best thing about Sixes’ problem solving ability is that they love to share it with others. Helping others find solutions to their problems is one of the key ways that Sixes show their loyalty. If you’re stuck in a tough place, an Enneagram 6 will show up with food, friendship, and a plan.
Sometimes, though, Sixes can get a little too preoccupied with eliminating risks and safeguarding against negative outcomes. Since Sixes’ core fear is that their relationships and beliefs will crumble beneath them, they do everything in their power to build up a fortress around themselves. In a roundabout way, that means Sixes can end up isolated from the people they love the most. At their worst, Sixes can become neurotic, anxiety-ridden, and volatile.
To keep their problem solving from becoming obsessive, it’s important for Sixes to take time to reflect on what triggers them to overreact. Identifying the fearful thoughts that send them into overdrive can help Sixes manage their worries.
#3: They Want Input
When it comes to making decisions about how to think and act, a Six’s first instinct isn’t to look inside of themselves. Instead, they turn outward, looking for feedback and approval in their relationships and belief systems.
For instance, when an Enneagram 6 is trying to make a decision, big or small, they might consult twenty of their closest friends for advice. Sixes are eager to make choices that will maintain the stability of their belief system and affirm the security of their relationships. Rather than acting based on what their inner self says, Sixes react to and act on the opinions of others.
This might make Enneagram Type 6s seem like walking contradictions. And, in truth, they are! They’re simultaneously fearful and courageous, trusting and distrusting, thinkers and does, believers and doubters. But that just means that Sixes like to think before they act. But once a Six makes a decision, look out: they’re going to follow it through until the very end!
To combat this ping pong effect, Sixes need to acknowledge their emotional insecurities. Focusing on their own thoughts and opinions—and acknowledging that their opinions matter—can help Sixes find peace and confidence in a world that’s full of contradictions.
#4: They Value Trust
The cornerstone of an Enneagram 6’s life is trust. They need trust in relationships, trust in their communities, and, more broadly, trust that everything is going to be okay! When a Six has strong and trusting relationships, they feel secure. And that security is what allows a Six to grow into their best self!
To build the trust that they crave, Sixes are known to test the limits of relationships and beliefs. They don’t want to get attached to someone that’s not reliable. That’s why Sixes may ask lots of questions, express doubts, and test boundaries. They just want to make sure they can open themselves up to you without getting hurt.
Once they feel confident that they can trust a person or belief, though, Sixes become very attached. They aren’t likely to test the limits again! Instead, Sixes dedicate themselves to maintaining trust at all costs. Because Sixes struggle to trust themselves, they need stability in the beliefs and relationships that they’ve put their faith in.
Of course, this dedication means that Sixes are themselves highly trustworthy. They’ll always keep their word, no matter what. That’s why Sixes are such great friends—they’ll never spill your secrets!
#5: They’re Cooperative
One of the best things about Sixes is that they have a knack for cooperation. In fact, sometimes the Enneagram Type 6 archetype is referred to as “The Connector”! Sixes excel at helping others find ways to work together and get the job done. Harmony is important to Sixes since they love their communities and feel secure when they see them thrive.
Sixes thrive in stable, cooperative spaces...which is why they’re so good at creating them. Because stability makes them feel safe, Enneagram 6s want to share that gift with others. This is why you might find Sixes marching in a social movement or leading a nonprofit that helps their community. When they’re at their best, Sixes will exhibit the courage and positive thinking that’s needed to build strong alliances and lasting relationships.
Enneagram Type 6 Relationships
In relationships with others, Sixes desire two things above all else: security and support. This means that Sixes thrive in relationships that are steady and consistent. They need to know for sure that you will be there for them, and they feel affirmed by gestures that make your supportiveness obvious.
For instance, Sixes crave quality time. A partner who sets aside time to take a Six out to their favorite coffee shop just to catch up will make them feel supported. Listening attentively and giving thoughtful advice when talking with a Six is one of the best ways to strengthen their faith in the relationship—and in you!
When Enneagram Type 6s are struggling, they can become overly anxious and suspicious. They might question your loyalty and start to believe things that aren’t true. If you find yourself confronted by a suspicious Six, it’s important to be honest with them. When you’re struggling with something, even if it’s a Six’s behavior, be open with them about it! You can count on them to take steps to be a better partner. If all is truly well, reassure your Type 6 partner, but consider explaining that it’s important for them to make an effort to trust you. Without mutual trust, it’s tough for any relationship to flourish.
If you’re in a relationship with a Six, you probably won’t find yourself questioning their commitment, though. Enneagram 6s go all in for the people they love. They’ll be the one in the relationship who consistently asks, “But how are you really doing?” If you need a shoulder to cry on, they’ll listen with empathy. Sixes care, which means they make for supportive and thoughtful partners.
One great career for Sixes? Teaching!
Best Enneagram Type 6 Careers
Sixes will thrive in any career that is focused on caring for others and building community. This means that you’ll often find Sixes working in service-oriented professions.
For example, Sixes are extremely well-suited for jobs in healthcare. Nursing, caregiving for the elderly, and even veterinary medicine are professions that give Sixes a chance to follow their desire to protect others and provide support. Because Sixes are so attentive, they often spot care issues that others don’t...and they have the problem-solving skills to fix them! Really driven Sixes make excellent therapists and psychiatrists, too.
Jobs in education also give Sixes the chance to put their keen ability for problem-solving and building cooperation into practice. Sixes may thrive as teachers, where they get the chance to help students prepare for the future, strategize solutions to problems, and build community with each other. Thriving Sixes will be excellent leaders and positive thinkers in the classroom, guiding students through healthy forms of self-expression while helping them achieve their educational goals.
While Enneagram Type 6s are more risk averse than other Enneagram types, that doesn’t mean they should rule out riskier career decisions. Sixes shouldn't be afraid to branch out into entrepreneurship, especially if their business intersects with their values. For example, an Enneagram 6 would be great at starting a nonprofit that allows them to help their community!
Enneagram wings help give you even more insight into your personality. For instance, a 6 wing 5 is known as "The Defender" because they are more focused on security than a typical Enneagram 6.
Enneagram Type 6 Wings
You might know that the Enneagram uses a construct called “wings” to help explain features of your personality that aren’t part of your primary Enneagram type. “Wings” are the numbers that are adjacent to your Enneagram type, and they help shed light on other aspects of your personality.
An Enneagram Type 6 has Enneagram Type 5 and Enneagram Type 7 wings. You’ll often see these shortened to 6w5 (Enneagram 6 wing 5) and 6w7 (Enneagram 6 wing 7). We’ll explain Enneagram Type 6 wing 5 and Enneagram Type 6 wing 7 below.
Enneagram Type 6 Wing 5
Enneagram 6 wing 5 is known as “The Defender.” Six wing Fives are Sixes who exhibit some of the character traits that are usually associated with Fives.
While these folks are still focused on security, they’re more likely to focus on feeling secure in themselves. 6w5 is more inclined to turn inward to find answers and reassurance. They’ll minimize their needs as a means to achieve security and support. This means that Six wing Fives are less likely to put a lot of effort into building a social support system. They’d rather rely on themselves.
This independence comes with some advantages for 6w5s. They’re likely to be less concerned about other people’s opinions and express their ideas more boldly and freely. Rather than being plagued by self-doubt, Enneagram 6 wing 5s believe in themselves and their ability to make the right decisions.
Enneagram Type 6 Wing 7
Enneagram Type 6 wing 7 folks are Sixes who share personality traits with Sevens. Six wing Sevens are known as “The Buddy.” This is probably because they’re able to be a bit more relaxed in relationships!
Six wing Sevens tend to be less worried about safety and security. The absence of constant anxiety frees 6w7s up to be more playful in life and relationships. Their expectations may be less rigid, and they value freedom of expression for themselves and for others.
A 6w7’s more even-temper lets them take a creative approach to problem solving too. If there’s a crisis, Six wing Sevens are able to stay calm, cool, and collected. They’ll strategize a solution in a pinch, and help others feel safe while they’re doing it. Six wing Sevens tend to be so good in a crisis because they expect plans to go awry. Through the good and the bad, 6w7s are prepared to deal, and they’ll be focused on making sure everybody is happy along the way.
If you’re interested in the Enneagram, we have lots more resources for you. For instance, why not check out these articles on Enneagram Type 4s and Enneagram Type 2s, both of which are complementary to Sixes?
As a Six, you may want even more insight into your personality and how you interact with the world. Why not take this quiz to discover your best learning style, too? Knowing your primary and secondary learning styles can help you get an even better handle on who you are and how you absorb information.
Type 6s are especially well suited to careers in mental healthcare. Learn about the differences between a therapist, psychologist, and psychiatrist here.
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Ashley Sufflé Robinson has a Ph.D. in 19th Century English Literature. As a content writer for PrepScholar, Ashley is passionate about giving college-bound students the in-depth information they need to get into the school of their dreams.