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Here is a brief overview of the nine enneagram types. You learn their core desires, fears, wings, stress numbers, and more!

The enneagram is a personality typing system that shows how a person can view and interpret the world in one of nine ways. It’s an incredibly helpful tool in understanding yourself as well as understanding others.

Each person can only be one enneagram type although that is just the surface level of the enneagram.

The more you dig into the enneagram, the more you realize that there is so much more to it than just nine types. However, you’ve got to start somewhere and that’s where this brief overview of the nine enneagram types comes in!

How Do I Find My Enneagram Type?

Unlike most personality typing systems, it’s not quite as simple as taking a test and getting an accurate result. You can definitely take an enneagram test but I don’t recommend only relying on the test’s answers.

Enneagram tests rely mainly on testing your traits which is helpful but traits are not what determines your enneagram type. Your core motivation is what determines your enneagram type.

To get the full run down on finding your type, I suggest checking out my post “How to Find Your Enneagram Type

A Brief Overview of the Nine Enneagram Types

A Brief Overview of the Nine Enneagram Types

As mentioned, there are nine types in the enneagram. In this post, we’ll do a brief overview of the nine enneagram types.

As this is just the basics for each type, I recommend digging in deeper and learning more about each type (or at very least, learning more about your type)

enneagram type 1
Enneagram Type 1 – The Improver

Core Desire: To be right / to be good
Core Fear: Being wrong / being bad
Wounding Message: “It’s not ok to make mistakes”
Possible wings: 9 and/or 2
Stress Number: In stress, 1s take on the negative traits of type 4
Growth Number: In growth, 1s take on the positive traits of type 7
Center of Intelligence: Gut / Instinctual Triad
Description: Type 1s are honest, dedicated, self-disciplined, responsible, and ethical when at their best and living in healthy levels. When 1s are in unhealthy levels, stressed, or not at their best they can be critical, rigid, judgmental, resentful, and inflexible.
For more information see the in-depth Type 1 post.

Enneagram Type 2

Enneagram Type 2 – The Helper

Core Desire: To be wanted / to be loved
Core Fear: Being unwanted / being unloveable
Wounding Message: “It’s not ok to have your own needs.”
Possible wings: 1 and/or 3
Stress Number: In stress, 2s take on the negative traits of type 8
Growth Number: In growth, 2s take on the positive traits of type 4
Center of Intelligence: Heart / Feeling Triad
Description: Type 2s are selfless, warm, friendly, generous, intuitive, and giving when at their best and living in healthy levels. When 2s are in unhealthy levels, stressed, or not at their best they can be prideful, martyr-ish, insecure, possessive, flattering, and demanding.
For more information see the in-depth Type 2 post.

Enneagram Type 3 – The Achiever

Core Desire: To be valuable / to be admired
Core Fear:  Not being valuable / not being admired / failing
Wounding Message: “It’s not ok to have your own feelings or identity”
Possible wings: 2 and/or 4
Stress Number: In stress, 3s take on the negative traits of type 9
Growth Number: In growth, 3s take on the positive traits of type 6
Center of Intelligence: Heart / Feeling Triad
Description: Type 3s are confident, efficient, energetic, hard-working, and optimistic when at their best and living in healthy levels. When 3s are in unhealthy levels, stressed, or not at their best they can be inauthentic, workaholics, self-promoting, impatient, validation needy, and vain.
For more information see the in-depth Type 3 post.

Enneagram Type 4

Enneagram Type 4 – The Individualist

Core Desire: To be authentic / to find meaning
Core Fear: Having no significance / having no meaning
Wounding Message: “It’s not ok to be too much (or too little)”
Possible wings: 3 and/or 5
Stress Number: In stress, 4s take on the negative traits of type 2
Growth Number: In growth, 4s take on the positive traits of type 1
Center of Intelligence: Heart / Feeling Triad
Description: Type 4s are authentic, creative, expressive, introspective, and compassionate when at their best and living in healthy levels. When 4s are in unhealthy levels, stressed, or not at their best they can be moody, stubborn, temperamental, withdrawn, and depressed.
For more information see the in-depth Type 4 post.

Enneagram Type 5

Enneagram Type 5 – The Observer

Core Desire: To be capable / to be competent
Core Fear: Being invaded / being overwhelmed
Wounding Message: “It’s not ok to be comfortable in the world”
Possible wings: 4 and/or 6
Stress Number: In stress, 5s take on the negative traits of 7
Growth Number: In growth, 5s take on the positive traits of 8
Center of Intelligence: Head / Thinking Triad
Description: Type 5s are observant, objective, insightful, independent, and calm when at their best and living in healthy levels. When 5s are in unhealthy levels, stressed, or not at their best they can be withdrawing, arrogant, cynical, indifferent, and distant.
For more information see the in-depth Type 5 post.

Enneagram Type 6

Enneagram Type 6 – The Loyalist

Core Desire: To be secure / to be supported
Core Fear: Being without support / being without guidance / insecurity
Wounding Message: “It’s not ok to trust yourself.”
Possible wings: 5 and/or 7
Stress Number: In stress, 6s take on the negative traits of 3
Growth Number: In growth, 6s take on the positive traits of 9
Center of Intelligence: Head / Thinking Triad
Description: Type 6s are loyal, witty, committed, prepared, responsible, trouble-shooters, and supportive when at their best and living in healthy levels. When 6s are in unhealthy levels, stressed, or not at their best they can be anxious, rigid, paranoid, pessimistic, and hyper-vigilant.
For more information see the in-depth Type 6 post.

*Note about 6s: 6s have two ways of dealing with their fears. They can be more on the phobic side (this is the more stereotypical 6) but some 6s will push against their fears and be counterphobic. Counterphobic 6s still have the same desires, fears, wounding message, etc but they react to it slightly differently.

Enneagram Type 7

Enneagram Type 7 –  The Enthusiast

Core Desire: To be content / to be satisfied
Core Fear: Being deprived / being trapped in pain (typically emotional)
Wounding Message: “It’s not ok to depend on anyone for anything.”
Possible wings: 6 and/or 8
Stress Number: In stress, 7s take on the negative traits of 1
Growth Number: In growth, 7s take on the positive traits of 5
Center of Intelligence: Head / Thinking Triad
Description: Type 7s are adventurous, imaginative, enthusiastic, spontaneous, and positive when at their best and living in healthy levels. When 7s are in unhealthy levels, stressed, or not at their best they can be unfocused, superficial, restless, impulsive, escapist, and self-absorbed.
For more information see the in-depth Type 7 post.

Enneagram Type 8

Enneagram Type 8 – The Challenger

Core Desire: To be independent / to protect themselves
Core Fear: Being controlled / being harmed
Wounding Message: “It’s not ok to be vulnerable.”
Possible wings: 7 and/or 9
Stress Number: In stress, 8s take on the negative traits of 5
Growth Number: In growth, 8s take on the positive traits of 2
Center of Intelligence: Gut / Instinctual Triad
Description: Type 8s are protective, energetic, decisive, loyal, resilient, and direct when at their best and living in healthy levels. When 8s are in unhealthy levels, stressed, or not at their best they can be insensitive, manipulative, controlling, intimidation, rebellious, and confrontational.
For more information see the in-depth Type 8 post.

type 9 the peace seeker

Enneagram Type 9 – The Peace Seeker

Core Desire: To be at peace / to be harmonious
Core Fear: separation / loss of conflict / conflict
Wounding Message: “It’s not ok to assert yourself.”
Possible wings: 8 and/or 1
Stress Number: In stress, 9s take on the negative traits of 6
Growth Number: In growth, 9s take on the positive traits of 3
Center of Intelligence: Gut / Instinctual Triad
Description: Type 9s are amiable, open-minded, optimistic, nonjudgmental, supportive, and peaceful when at their best and living in healthy levels. When 9s are in unhealthy levels, stressed, or not at their best they can be conflict avoidant, indecisive, unassertive, passive-aggressive, stubborn, and insecure.
For more information see the in-depth Type 9 post.

For further reading check out:
Enneagram Core Motivations
How to Find Your Enneagram Type
How to Confirm Your Enneagram Type
The Best Enneagram Books for Personal Growth

The Nine Enneagram Types