Why do Enneagram Type 6s Mistype?

©1995-2021 Katherine Chernick Fauvre

Type 6 Defense Strategy–Common Mistypings

The defense strategy of type 6 is a “fear of fear itself”. This defense strategy can be difficult to detect because type 6 is always monitoring what could be of concern and prepares for all worst-case scenarios. They identify with being prepared and do not see that preparation is an excellent way to keep fears and concerns in check.

For this reason, the 6 is often unaware that fear is actually governing their decision making process. For example, The extroverted social 6w7 with the 639 Tritype® has the most trouble identifying their type and usually mistypes as the 7.

Most 6s will ask multiple others before landing on their Tritype® and Truetype. If in doubt, take or retake my new, recently updated (7-2-20) Free Enneagram Tritype® Test to find out if you might be an Enneagram Type 6 or have 6 in your Tritype®. It has been programmed to notify test takers when they have a common 6 pattern when taking the test.

It helps 6s a great deal to find their actual type as soon as possible. This is not easy for 6s because they often identify with 2 or 3 types before landing on their Tritype® and lead type. 6s can experience a lot of stress when they struggle to find their Enneagram Type, Tritype® and Instinctual Stacking; their true Enneagram types. Just when they think they have found their type they may begin to have doubts about it. And. then second guess their decision.

The problem is that the 6 defense strategy takes them through a few types before the 6 realizes that they have been choosing the types they “identify with” based on their behaviors and what they have done, could do, or have learned to do rather than “why” they actually do whatever it is they do. When the 6 looks at their actual “motivations” in terms of what they fear most they soon realize that whatever they are doing, they are doing it to feel more certain and more secure.

Fear is a great motivator. It triggers the fight, flight, and freeze instincts. It takes a while for the 6 to realize that they are motivated by fear itself and that they are afraid to be afraid.

They fear that they might be afraid so they avoid situations that they fear or might fear, and/or prepare for fearful situations that must be in or that could potentially arise. They do this by rehearsing what they need to say or do and/or by learning to be stronger so as not to be afraid.

They are also afraid of not knowing what they feel is important to know and tend to doubt or second guess themselves and/or others. Second-guessing on top of already second-guessing triggers a spin of potential fears and chaos when they aren’t sure what to do.

They also have a fear being abandoned and alone. The 6 wants a trusted someone to go through life with and/or to call upon when they are in doubt, uncertain, anxious, or just need to process their concerns. So, they will often ask one or more trusted family members, friends, and/or credible authorities before making a decision. They ask others and investigate until they feel they know what to do and no longer feel anxious.

  • If the type 6 has perfectionist tendencies and fears making a mistake they mistype as 1s.
  • If the type 6 is really helpful and supportive of friends and family, they usually mistype as 2s.
  • If the type 6 is focused on attention and puts on a confident face when needed they usually mistype as 3s.
  • If the type 6 is anxious, emotional, and fears abandonment they usually mistype as 4s.
  • If the type 6 is introverted, smart, investigative, and awkward, they usually mistype as 5s.
  • If the type 6 is cautious and scans their environment for potential hazards and dangerous situations they type as the 6
  • If the type 6 is social 6w7 with the 639 Tritype® they have the most trouble identifying their type and usually mistype as the 7.
  • If the type 6 is counter-phobic, pushy, and reactive they usually mistype as 8s.
  • If the type 6 is introverted and laid back with 9 in the Tritype® they usually mistype as 9.

©1995-2021 Katherine Chernick Fauvre