Emotional skill is one of the most essential tools to have in your life. It is a comprehensive tool that helps people understand themselves and others. Cultivating and growing your emotional intelligence (EQ) is crucial in helping you change all aspects of your life, increasing self-awareness, and enabling you to have a better relationship with your family, friends, and workmates. To hone your emotional intelligence skills, the Enneagram system can help. The Enneagram is a comprehensive, profound system that assigns every person a personality type. The system combines ancient wisdom and modern psychology to clarify inward traits, patterns, behavior, and human nature. It helps you be objective, explore your inner self, and understand what motivates your behavior, attitude, and fears. 

Here is a little background information about the Enneagram. Author and philosopher Oscar Ichazo created it in the late 1950s. The Enneagram consists of nine basic personalities referred to in Enneagram-speak simply as “types.” Ennea means “nine” in Greek. The Enneagram test helps determine your type and offers insight into comprehending yourself and others, especially your basic desires and fears. Read on to learn more about the Enneagram system and what each type means.

The Nine Enneagram Type Descriptions

There are nine interconnected personality types, each with a driving force centered around particular emotions, with some experiencing strong emotions. In contrast, others tend to avoid emotions in one way or the other. Each type describes an aspect of emotional experience and voids the notion that one size fits all in various aspects of life. There are numerous Enneagram tests, so feel free to get wrong or right answers when taking one. The Enneagram Institute is considered to be a complete, comprehensive test. The following are the nine types of Enneagram tests:

Enneagram Type One: The Perfectionist

Type ones emphasize following rules and doing things the right way. They always avoid blame and fault (they see things in black and white) by doing things the right way and can be extremely strict with themselves and others. They fear imperfection and can also:

  • Be highly principled
  • Fear corruption
  • Wise and discerning
  • Be judgmental and uncompromising
  • Strive for integrity and goodness
  • Be purposeful and self-controlled
  • Have a strong sense of what is the “right” and “wrong” way of doing things
  • Strive to help themselves and others be the best they can be

Enneagram Type Two: The Helper

Type twos want to be loved and are compassionate, generous, and caring. They find ways to be helpful, feel needed, and belong. They can sometimes be interpreted as needy since they put much effort into relationships. They also:

  • Tend to people-please 
  • Fear being unloved or unwanted
  • Genuine, caring, interpersonal, warm, giving, values relationships and service
  • Good listeners 
  • Tend to overlook their own needs
  • Act as a support system for family and friends
  • They tend to ignore their boundaries for the sake of others
  • Sometimes think they know best about the needs of others

Enneagram Type Three: The Achiever

Type threes are success-oriented and admired by other people. They are extremely driven and conscious of their public image. They fear failure and will do everything to avoid it rather than who they are. They also fear not being seen as valuable by others (image-conscious). Type threes focus too much on what others think of them since they desire to be valued and accepted. They are also:

  • Adaptable, hardworking, and able to succeed in almost any situation
  • Sometimes overachievers or workaholics
  • Driven to excel
  • More focused on being successful than feelings, but good at communicating
  • Fear of being worthless or insignificant and disappointing others

Enneagram Type Four: The Individualist

Type fours experience deep, authentic emotions and want to be as unique as possible (they never want to be ordinary). They focus on feeling all their emotions and overly focus on how different they are from others. They fear being flawed, and their moodiness can hinder them. They can also be: 

  • Creative
  • Be strong in their sense of identity
  • Forward-thinking and highly expressive
  • Self-centered sometimes, and desire to be seen and understood at all times 
  • Sensitive and empathetic
  • Can be temperamental or self-absorbed at times
  • Introspective and understanding 
  • Tend to be jealous
  • Have a basic fear of having no identity or personal significance
  • Desire to be meaningful based on their inner experience

Enneagram Type Five: The Investigator

Type fives are also known as professors or scientists. They love seeking knowledge and learning. Type fives constantly strive to conserve energy and are more comfortable with data than people. This makes them very private, detached, and secretive. They are not social, and their biggest fear is to be overwhelmed by their own needs or those of others. They also fear being useless, helpless, or incapable. They are also:

Intelligent, logical, and likes to think deeply about things

  • Quiet and thoughtful
  • Innovative and highly perceptive
  • Objective and logical
  • Detached and unemotional 
  • Their primary desire is to be capable and competent
  • Very detached and tends to be a loner
  • Curious, insightful, analytical 
  • Struggle to connect with their emotions

Enneagram Type Six: The Loyalist

Type six is the most common and values loyalty and friendship. They are motivated by fear. Type six love being prepared for the worst-case scenario and tend to be anxious if they think they are not well prepared. Their greatest fear is also being unprepared to defend themselves from harm or danger. They also:

  • Preoccupy themselves with safety 
  • Tend to be responsible and committed
  • Have long-lasting relationships
  • Trustworthy, witty, and committed
  • Practical and devoted
  • Sometimes struggle with self-doubt
  • Worry a lot and dwell on the negative
  • Fear being without support

Enneagram Type Seven: The Enthusiast

Type sevens are spontaneous, fun-loving, positive, and versatile. They are motivated by the need to be happy. They are highly adventurous and never want to be tied down. They are vibrant, full of energy, and avoid any kind of emotional discomfort and pain, especially sadness. Type sevens like to keep busy and have a great time but are easily bored. They are also:

  • Quick thinkers
  • Extraverted; they are social and love to meet new people
  • Great at maintaining a positive attitude
  • Highly adventurous and always on the lookout for fun
  • Struggle with recognizing limits and overexert themselves
  • Easily distracted and unfocused 
  • Love having new experiences 
  • Have the basic desire to be always happy and satisfied

Enneagram Type Eight: The Challenger

Type eights are bold, dominating, confrontational, and motivated by their need to be assertive and controlling to those around them. They never want to look vulnerable and weak and always stand up for what they believe in. Type eights see themselves as powerful, strong, and always know what they need and want. They are extremely obsessed with controlling everything and everyone around them and can be described as protectors and defenders. Their greatest fear is being powerless, which is why they are so concerned with controlling others or their environs and getting what they want. They are also:

  • Self-confident and direct
  • Sometimes seen as domineering, commanding, and aggressive
  • Outspoken and action-oriented
  • Often successful in leadership roles because they like taking charge
  • Their basic fear is being harmed and lacking control 
  • Protective 

Enneagram Type Nine: The Peacemaker

Type nines fear pushing people away and avoid conflict and disagreements as much as possible. This makes them prioritize other people’s needs and go with the flow. They value peace, unity, comfort, and harmony and tend to be passive. Type nines tend to let other people take control to make them happy and ensure peace. They also: 

  • Promotes harmony in groups 
  • Agreeable, easy-going, and pleasant
  • Are self-effacing and complacent at times
  • Laid back and accommodating
  • Can explode with anger when keeping things in for too long 
  • They fear being disconnected and lost

The nine Enneagram types are divided into:

  • Body or gut type: Is made up of types eight, nine, and one. They depend on their instinctual intelligence to rely on their body and understand, solve problems, and respond to opportunities and threats using their gut instincts.  They are associated with anger or range and doing.
  • Heart type: Is made up of types two, three, and four. They depend on their emotional intelligence to understand and connect with others while creating a version that is loved and accepted. They are associated with emotion and shame.
  • Head type: Is made of types five, six, and seven. It is associated with anxiety and thinking. They depend on their intellectual intelligence to navigate the world, are always overthinking, and tend to be repressed.


You may identify with one specific type, but you may also identify with an adjacent type known as your wing. Your wing might identify a few additional elements to your specific type. The Enneagram helps give insight into the individual’s personality and provides essential information on understanding yourself and relating with others. It is also a beneficial tool for exploring one’s weaknesses and strengths and others too. It is important to note that the Enneagram does not suggest that any type is more desirable, superior, or better than the other types. The traits associated with every type can help or be hindered by an individual or their culture.