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Understanding the "passion" of Type 6 on the Enneagram

Updated on March 13, 2013

Passion of Type Six - "fear"

The Enneagram is a personality typology system. It can tell you a lot about your personality but because it is a very vast body of knowledge attempting to understand it in its entirety can literally take years. This HUB focuses only on what is called the “passion” of Type 6 – “The Loyal Skeptic”– on the Enneagram system. I am also writing HUBs about the passion for each of the nine Enneagram personality types. If you do online research, you won’t find much written about the “passion” of Enneagram Types. Sandra Maitri’s book about the Virtues and Passions is overly technical, not an easy to understand book, and not helpful.

The “passion” of the Six is called “Fear”. This does not mean that the Six has a passion, in the normal sense of the word, to be afraid, or to be fearful. The term passion denotes a built-in heart insecurity that cannot be escaped, avoided, or suppressed. Instead, the passion of an Ennegram Type means that it is as if the Six had a passion for fear because of the way that it manifests internally so frequently. One way of looking at the passion of the Six is to see it as fear; another is worry or anxiety. Another way the passion manifests is to create doubt. Thus, the “Loyal SKEPTIC” possesses a doubting mind. Six’s find themselves always worrying, concerned about either another person and what they might do to them or worried about any number of elements in their life. This can lead to intense anxiety. Some Six’s will be afraid that even a friend might do something negative to them even if that fear is completely untrue or not likely to happen. Much of the Six’s fear is based not on reality but on what might happen.

The doubting mind of the Six will lead them to continually challenge all assumptions regarding their safety. For example the Six will worry about their job security, whether a friend will truly be loyal to them in a pinch, whether their investments will fail. While these might seem like normal questions for a person to ask of themselves, the Six is literally always asking such questions about every aspect of their lives in an effort to gain a sense of security and escape the doubting self. Thus reassurance is needed by the Six in order to re-enter a happier, more stable place. The Six craves reassurance.

The opposite of this fear is courage. Everyone needs courage, but the Six is in a constant state of fear, it manifesting continually inside and thus often in a state where courage is required. Faith is a term used in the Enneagram tradition as well. Six’s seem to have lost faith that everything will be okay; instead faith would be a sort of antidote to the passion of Fear. With courage and faith, the Six is on solid ground.

The Enneagram is a very powerful tool for self awareness. Coming into awareness that you have a passion is helpful because it leads to a greater level of self acceptance, self awareness, and enables you to not feel badly about your passion. In the case of the Six, knowing that you have a compulsion to worry and be anxious can help you to be more your authentic self. Knowing that it is because you and others who are also Sixes have a built in need to doubt leads you to a different conclusion that you and others share the same sort of built-in insecurity. I encourage you to check out any number of Enneagram websites if you’re interested in the material. Typing yourself can be a fun process. Try


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