Nicknames: Loyalist, Devil's Advocate, Skeptic, Guardian, Rebel

Energetics: Avoidance and Adaptation - Adapt boundaries to avoid threat

Hidden Essence: Spacious Wisdom 



People with the Six pattern fixate on knowing in order to feel safe. They avoid fear by thinking of everything that could be scary before it might happen.

They are hyper vigilant of people and surroundings, always watching and planning for danger. They think about scary scenarios and make several plans to protect themselves. Many of the situations could happen, but none are happening at the moment. 

They have a continuum of phobic to counter-phobic, including extreme phobics who are actively afraid much of the time and extreme counter-phobics who never feel afraid even the face of danger.

The phobics appear more nervous and may have a fragile physical quality - seem like they need to be protected. The counter-phobics seem stronger and able to take care of themselves and anyone else that may need protecting.

When something scary actually occurs they are often calm and collected - calmer than when nothing dangerous is actually happening. It is difficult for them to accept that when there is no present threat, they do not need to be scared and protected.

Counter phobics experience danger as an exciting and pleasurable adrenalin rush. Danger becomes something to move toward. They believe they are stronger and more daring than others, and see themselves as the protectors of the weak and vulnerable.

They trust their minds the most and so live in their minds. Mental focus cuts them off from emotions and gut-intuition. They use intellectualization and rationalization to avoid feeling.

They don’t trust authority - all authority figures are circumspect and incompetence. They can be pushy, play devil's advocate, and have trouble following rules.

They can notice subtle changes in peoples’ mood or demeanor, but their interpretations may be wrong. The need to know, leads them to give meaning to anything that seems uncertain.

They are hungry for understanding and they feel safer when they have answers. They often ask many people for their opinions gathering as much information as they can before they make a decision.


They are often nervous and skittish. Their bodies may seem to be in constant jittery movement. They have a warm but nervous smile and laugh. Their eyes are sharp and alive - never dull. 

Their speech is often very fast as if powered by the electrical energy running through their body. They seem to have to speak everything that enters their minds.

Their minds work at fast pace and there is a lot of information to get out, which can cause them to stutter or speak with a tremor.



Children with the Six pattern experience their parents as inadequate and unable to protect or care for them well. Early in childhood they feel safe, as they get older something happens that makes them perceive their parents as inadequate.

Usually this occurs during the phase of separating when they need a strong parental figure to show them what is and isn’t safe about the world. At this time they experience parent(s) as inadequate - absent, unavailable, weak, etc. 



They are nervous, friendly, and try to get everyone to like them to feel safe. They nervously anticipate people’s needs and take care of them. They give the impression of hovering. They form alliances so people won’t hurt them.



They are the most drawn to ideologies and philosophical schools. They join groups and take on the identity of the group. They are concerned about being accepted and about their duty to the group. They keep groups separate to protect their different identities with each. They can be cold, exacting, don’t like ambiguity.


They are often counter phobic. They crave being in relationship to feel safe. They try to attract a mate with their strength or beauty. They bark to intimidate, so that others won’t attack. The best defense is an attack. They are more aggressive and defiant. They may not look like other people with the six pattern.




They are anti-authoritarian, see the world as dangerous, more in their minds, reading and studying, plan experiences rather than having them, more introverted



They are insecure, depend on others for advice, enjoy having and planning exciting experiences, have a harder time studying, more extroverted



Self punishing, paranoid, lack of self trust, sometimes cutters or drug abusers.


Anti authoritarian, indecisive, defensive, loyal and dutiful.


Cooperative, responsible, dependable, self reliant, able to have healthy relationships, can experience the full range of emotions, and trust their gut responses, still ego based.


Intrinsic trust is known deeply and they embody spacious wisdom free from mental noise. 


The essence of each type is the quality of character - a particular expression - that remains when the fixation softens and releases. While these qualities are human they are not personal and cannot be developed.

The essence is revealed when fixation is recognized and freed through awareness and compassion. We all have the potential to realize the essence of our type - our more subtle authentic nature. This authenticity means living from open, free, wholeness.

The essence of the type Six is spacious wisdom and divine trust.

Each type has a blind spot that creates a unique experience of separation. Each blind spot is directly related to the essential nature of each type. People with the Six pattern have a blind spot for intrinsic trust and wisdom. 

This blind spot prevents them from perceiving and experiencing authentic beauty and love. All nurturing environments are inadequate to some extent. This inadequacy is experienced personally and interpreted through the enneagram pattern. When this is experienced by the child with the type Six, they fixate on a lack of safety.