I went for a walk tonight and ended up writing in my head. I got home and began typing those thoughts into a new post. A few sentences in, however, I realized that I might want to write an introductory post first.
I love personality stuff. I’m actually wired to love it. My Myers Briggs personality type is INFJ. You may not know what those letters mean, but that’s not important. What is important is that an INFJ is someone who is constantly on a journey of self discovery. We want to know ourselves. We strive to understand ourselves. I love doing research on personality stuff, & Myers Briggs is a good personality indicator. I’ve done presentations at work using Myers Briggs, and I love that. But a few years ago, I discovered Enneagram. It’s another personality type indicator, but it focuses more on emotions and relationships. If you like personality stuff, you should check it out. My Enneagram personality type is a 6 – The Loyalist. In my next post, I plan to refer to a common trait of a 6 so I wanted to give you a little information about The Loyalist. If you know me at all, you will recognize some of these traits. (A lot of this material is taken from Discovering Your Personality Type by Don Richard Riso & Russ Hudson – really great book!)
Sixes desire stability, a safe environment, to cooperate and create with others. They are disciplined, meticulous, and persevering. Organizing resources, prioritizing tasks, and seeing projects through are great strengths. Though they are not necessarily ‘group people’, they like the feeling of ‘belonging’ somewhere – to be a part of something greater than themselves. Being of service, responsibility, reliability, hard work, and a sense of honor are extremely important. Though sixes do their best to be solid and responsible, they are often troubled by doubt and anxiety.
Sixes know that when they make a commitment, they do so 110%. Because of this, they look for assurance that the commitment is worth that energy. They look for common ground and get nervous in situations where there are too many unknowns. Fundamentally, sixes are looking for someone to trust because they do not trust themselves. They do not have much faith in themselves and their own abilities so they look outside themselves for some sort of guidance and security. In the long run, this only adds to their own mistrust. They will keep bouncing back and forth between depending on others and trying to prove that they are tough and independent (one of many contradictions of a Loyalist). Sixes want to have security, to feel supported by others, to have certitude and reassurance. They do not want to feel abandoned, to feel pressured, to have to accept new ideas rapidly, or to have contradictory expectations placed on them.
Sixes often seem like highly organized and responsible people, but the hidden issue is that they are trying to calm their inner anxieties by trying to make their external world trouble free and predictable. Ultimately, they know this is not possible, but they will persevere in the effort to make their world ‘safe’. The real source of anxiety is internal and is perpetuated by their constantly churning thoughts (something I know nothing about…). Sixes cannot stop second guessing themselves. With their minds constantly revved up in a hypervigilant state, it is almost impossible to relax. This is why it is important for sixes to find a space of inner quiet to recharge.
Sixes are full of contradictions. This is something I will explore a little more in my next post. We can be dependent on others yet value independence. We are obedient, yet disobedient. We search for security, yet feel insecure. I personally embody many contradictions. And I’ve realized that it is within those contradictions that I learn the most about myself. More to come…