Style Six and It's Subtypes

Self-Preserving, Intimate, or Social

Similar to the other styles, Style Six will present itself and be experienced in three different forms.


Self-preservation sixes are friendly folk. Starting with their fear, they make friends with everyone around them. They especially make friends with those they see as powerful who might be their protectors. They can affiliate with leaders and be extremely loyal, and they can, if entranced too badly, follow authoritarian leaders. They can often use self-deprecating humor to make themselves see harmless. Think of how Woody Allen makes fun of himself constantly.

Self-preservation sixes are wonderful friends, BFF is their stock in trade. Their natural loyalty binds them to groups, especially if those groups are a source of power or protection. When I was editor of an Enneagram newsletter, I polled Catholic sisters. 40% of them were sixes: individually they may have been frightened, but they were bold and creative in community.

Self-preservation Sixes can, on occasion, play the victim. They see themselves as helpless (as a polarization of their focus on self-preservation) and will appear far more helpless than they seem. They see themselves as needing help, but in reality they are often highly competent.


Sixes with this subtype predominating often look the opposite of how they feel (perhaps this is why so many are counterphobic). These are often warriors who practice harsh disciplines to make themselves as strong and secure as they feel. (Think Chuck Norris, Walker, Texas Ranger). They can sometimes court danger or difficulty to reassure themselves of their prowess. They are especially concerned about having their fears exposed. Remember Harry Potter when each person had to face his or her specific fear? An intimate style Sixes worst nightmare.

Women of this style tend to focus on using beauty to protect them. Flirtation is a dangerous art, but Sixes use it as a weapon. They can use their beauty to make friends and achieve a kind of security. Candace Bergen talks about this. Beautiful women are not hurt they are too precious. Beauty is a kind of protection.


Lucky the company populated with social Sixes. Social Sixes are extremely loyal to companies, traditions, family and churches or leagues or gatherings of any kind. They see their tasks through the lens of duty. Once you are in the group, Social Sixes will do their best to see things go your way.

They are often idealistic and will be tireless in the service of a group dedicated to an ideal or cause. They don't seek the leadership; they much prefer to be the "kingmakers," protecting the leader, covering for her mistakes, willing to do the grunt work and asking mostly to belong and be safe.

Because of their social orientation, Sixes tend not to voice opinions that will go against the consensus of the group. They will modify their own opinions, or keep silent, preferring harmony over personal opinion, even strong ones.