• Enneagram Type Misidentifications

    Enneagram Type Misidentifications

    Type One-Type Two

    This is not a common mistype, but does occur when a wing is mistaken for the dominant type. In other words, 1w2s can sometimes be confused with 2w1s, but confusion is far less likely with 1w9s (owing to their reserved and relatively unemotional demeanor) and 2w3s (owing to their outgoing, effusive demeanor). Gender can influence this mistyping as well. Women who are 1w2s tend to see themselves as 2w1s, and men who are 2w1s may see themselves as 1w2s.

    Both types are serious, and conscience-driven, both like to feel that they are of service, and both can be very altruistic; however, their styles and motivations differ significantly. Ones try to transcend the personal in their dealings, appealing to principles and the evident "rightness" of their positions or suggestions. Twos are highly personal and see their service in personal terms. Ones defend their autonomy–they do not want people to interfere with them. Twos seek close connection and even merging. Ones are restrained in the expression of their positive feelings although they let people know when they are dissatisfied or irritated. Twos may have difficulty with hostile or angry feelings, but they are fairly unrestrained in expressing their positive feelings.

    Type One-Type Three

    Average Ones and average Threes are sometimes mistaken because both types are efficient and highly organized. If an isolated behavior is the only thing being considered (chairing a business meeting or planning a vacation, for instance), their organizational abilities are similar–hence the confusion between them. Both are highly task-oriented and tend to put their feelings on the back burner to get things done. Also, both share a desire to improve themselves and to meet high standards, although the basis of their standards and their key motivations are quite different in nature.

    Average Ones are idealists, striving for perfection and order in every area of their lives, especially their emotional lives, in an effort to control both themselves and their environment so that errors and failures of all sorts will not be introduced. Inner-motivated by strong consciences, they are organized and efficient so as not to waste time and other resources or allow themselves to be in a position for their consciences to rebuke them for being imperfect, for not trying hard enough, or for being guilty of some form of selfishness.

    Average Threes, by contrast, are efficient pragmatists, not idealists. Threes are driven more by their goals than by standards–they care more about getting the job done than about the particulars of how it gets done. Ones tend to be attached to particular methods or procedures ("This is the best way to do this.") Threes are more adaptable, and will change tactics quickly if they feel they are not getting the desired result. Average Threes are primarily interested in success, prestige, and advancing their careers, and the efficiency we see in them is a way of attaining those goals.

    While both types tend to put their feelings aside for the sake of efficiency, average Threes are more able to mask whatever is bothering them. On the surface, they rarely appear emotionally disturbed for long by anything (although they may become momentarily discouraged or even depressed by setbacks), nor are they generally ever distracted by their feelings. They are able to invest most of their energy into achieving their goals and in staying focused on them single-mindedly. Ones are far less able to conceal their irritations and disappointments. Others are almost immediately aware of their agitation.

    Both types can be cool and impersonal, although they are usually polite and well mannered. With average Ones, we get the impression of deeper feelings being held in check or sublimated elsewhere, say into organizing and maintaining their office space, or giving time to a local ecological organization. Even though Ones do not ordinarily allow their passions to be expressed, their emotions remain potentially available should the self-control Ones typically exercise be lifted. (Their most prevalent negative emotions are righteous anger, indignation, irritation, and guilt.) In average Threes, however, the impression of aloofness and of emotional coolness comes more from a detachment from their feelings rather than a suppression of them. At the same time, average Threes tend to present whatever emotion seems appropriate at the time. If seriousness is called for, they tend to project seriousness. If levity is required, they will "do levity," smiling and being chatty, even if inside they are feeling frightened, overwhelmed, or even sad. For better or worse, Threes are more skilled at projecting charm and "personality" than Ones. However, we can discern the underlying detachment from deeper feelings when Threes are "performing" by the abruptness and ease with which they can adjust their affect from situation to situation and from person to person. (In contrast to Ones, their most prevalent negative emotions are hostility, arrogance, and underlying feelings of shame and humiliation.)

    In addition, Ones are trying to be perfect to fend off their own superegos, while Threes are trying to excel to overcome feelings of family shame. In effect, Ones say, "Listen to me–I know the right way to do things," whereas Threes say, "Be like me–I have got it together." Ones offer themselves as examples of those who are striving for perfection, particularly moral perfection, they see themselves as those who can meet the highest standards; Threes offer themselves as exemplars of individual perfection, particularly personal desirability, and as those who can accomplish and be the best.

    These two types are similar because both types are "thinking" types–the One corresponds to Jung's extroverted thinking type (PT, 381), who attempts to be objective and impersonal, while the Three's thinking is goal-oriented and pragmatic, similar in orientation to the extroverted thinking of the average One, although technically, there is no direct Jungian correlation. Both types have in mind some sort of goal that they want to achieve. The difference is that Ones attempt to discover which objective means will best lead to the desired ideal, whereas Threes are pragmatists who work backward to find the most efficient means to achieve their goal. The differences between these types can be seen by comparing Al Gore (a One) with Bill Clinton (a Three) or between Emma Thompson (a One) and Jane Pauley (a Three).

    Type One-Type Four

    Since Ones and Fours are so different, it might seem strange that they can be confused. The confusion seems to arise when a One (who may be going to Four under stress) begins to think that he or she is a Four. Invariably, Ones who misidentify themselves as Fours focus almost exclusively on the traits of the unhealthy Four and not on the type as a whole. Because they feel melancholy, depressed, and alienated from others, they may convince themselves that they must be Fours. If Ones have been having more severe difficulties, they may be "shunting" to Four more continuously to avoid falling into even more unhealthy Levels of type One–a far more serious problem. At such times, Ones are typically guilt-ridden, feel worthless, and are subject to excruciating self-contempt and self-hatred. (They may even felt suicidal). Their confusion would clear if they were to look at themselves historically and see both themselves and the Four as a whole.

    In the average Levels, Ones usually attend to their responsibilities first, and deal with their feelings later. Their lack of focus on their feelings is actually one of the main causes of their not infrequent depressions. (It is also worth mentioning that Ones are one of the types more vulnerable to depression.) Fours, on the other hand, want to sort out their feelings first, and deal with their duties after they have worked through their emotions. As a result, they may have difficulty mobilizing themselves to meet responsibilities. Most Ones would not give themselves permission to "indulge" their feelings in this way for very long. For lower average Fours, non-productively dwelling on their feelings can be the rule rather than the exception.

    Despite these differences, there are similarities. Both tend to be perfectionistic and dissatisfied with things as they are. Both are often frustrated with themselves and their environment, and can be perceived by others as fussy, or picky. Both can be very particular about their environment and the "rules" that they want others to observe in their personal space. ("No one comes in here without removing their shoes.") Both types can be angry: average Ones are frequently critical and irritable, but usually over others' inefficiency or failure to follow agreed upon procedures. Average Fours are often critical and picky over others' lack of awareness of their sensitivities. The may feel irritable about others' apparent coarseness. Similarly, Fours can also become resentful when they feel that others' do not appreciate their depth and creativity. If upset in this way, Fours attempt to punish the offenders by coldly withdrawing emotionally or even physically. They refuse to engage in further communication. Average Ones do not withdraw from people. On the contrary, they press themselves and their opinions on others with increasing urgency as they become angrier at what they see as the irresponsibility of others.

    It is also possible for an occasional healthy Four to be mistaken for a One; such a misidentification would, however, be a compliment to the Four since it indicates that he or she has integrated to One and is living with purpose beyond the self. Fortunately for them, some Fours actually do integrate and begin to manifest the reason, moderation, and attraction to objective values of healthy Ones. Further, some Fours may well be teachers and in a teaching situation be called on to move beyond their feelings and interior states. But a Four who has genuinely integrated some of the healthy qualities of type One is still a Four—and besides having either a Three-wing or a Five-wing, other important characteristics, will continue to be present in the Four's overall personality. Contrast a Four such as Anne Rice and a One such as Martha Stewart or a Four such as Tennessee Williams and a One such as Arthur Miller for more insight into these types.

    Type One-Type Five

    Ones and Fives both correspond to Jungian thinking types–the One to the extroverted thinking type (PT, 381-82) and the Five to the introverted thinking type, or to what we suggest might better be termed the "subjective" thinking type (PT, 177-78). The main difference between them can be discerned from the fact that they are in two different Triads: Ones are an instinctive type and Fives are a thinking type. While Ones certainly do think, they are primarily people of action, and are only interested in ideas that lead to some practical result. Fives, however, are truly a mental type: they can ponder any proposition or idea and do not particularly care about its practical ramifications.

    Contrary to popular notions, opinions and beliefs have their basis in the instincts, in the gut. When we assert a position ("This is absolutely the way it is!") the certainty of our view comes from our gut. If we are present enough to notice, we can feel this when we express a strong opinion. And indeed, Ones are people of strong convictions and opinions as befitting a type in the Instinctive (or Gut) Triad. Average to unhealthy Ones are entirely convinced of the rightness of their views, and respect people who hold similar strength in their convictions. They think as a way of buttressing their already established beliefs. Average to unhealthy Fives tend to get lost in a maze of uncertainty. They may develop elaborate theories or positions only to overturn them soon after. While less healthy Fives may assert provocative views, they are more interested in disturbing the certainty of others than in convincing others that they have the correct view. Unhealthy Fives may want to feel smarter than the other person, and even argue points that they do not personally agree with just to prove to themselves that they can mentally "run circles" around others. As they become less healthy, Ones become more rigid and fixed in their views about things: Fives become more uncertain, nihilistic, and afraid that they cannot arrive at any kind of meaning or truth.

    Similarly, they differ most markedly in the One's emphasis on certainty and judgment and the Five's relative lack of certainty and difficulty with discernment. (While healthy Ones have excellent judgment, average Ones are merely judgmental–still, making judgments about the world around them is one of the principal ways in which their extroverted thinking manifests itself.) Judgment is not as centrally important to Fives. They want to understand how the world works on a theoretical level or create inner worlds of imagination that are interesting and amusing to them. Thus, Fives tend to be detached from the practical world and intensely involved with complex mental constructs. And while healthy Fives observe and interact with the real world around them, average Fives, as they become more deeply enthralled by their own cerebral landscapes, lose their capacity to make accurate assessments about the truth, significance, or accuracy of their ideas. They gradually care less about an idea's objective rightness than about how their ideas relate to other thoughts that arise in their minds. By contrast, Ones employ thinking so that they can relate more perfectly to the world: their focus is on making rules and procedures for the progress and improvement of themselves and their world. Average Ones are not as detached from the world, or as withdrawn as average Fives are: although they may be cool and impersonal, and somewhat overly reserved, Ones are keenly interested in applying their principles to daily life.

    Thus, Ones and Fives are opposites in the way they judge and evaluate reality. Ones judge situations from idealistic standards based on what they think should be the case. Fives are constantly investigating and questioning assumptions, not to mention standards and principles. Ones are deductive, operating from principles to specific applications; Fives are inductive, operating from given data to form more sweeping theories. Both are philosophical, and love knowledge: Ones as a means of perfecting the world, Fives as a way of discovering more about the world. Ones tend to be teachers and moralists, not inventors and iconoclasts like Fives. The difference between these types can be seen by comparing George Bernard Shaw (a One) and Isaac Newton (a Five), Margaret Thatcher (a One) and Susan Sontag (a Five).

    Type One-Type Six

    Both are among the compliant types of the Enneagram. As noted in Personality Types (434-436), Ones are compliant to the demands of their superegos and their ideals, while Sixes are compliant to the demands of their superegos and other people, especially perceived allies or authority figures. We say that Ones have an "Inner Critic" in their heads, while Sixes have an "Inner Committee." What these two types have in common is the tendency to feel guilty when they do something contrary either to their ideals (Ones) or to the commitments to allies, beliefs, and authorities they have made (Sixes). Guilt feelings owing to strong consciences and the tendency to strike out either at themselves or at others (or both) are the main points of similarity between them. While Sixes may rarely mistake themselves for Ones or Ones misidentify themselves as Sixes, other people may be confused by some superficial similarities between them. (And, in fact, a Six with a Five-wing will more likely be confused with a One than a Six with a Seven-wing because of the seriousness and intensity that the Five-wing brings to the Six's overall personality.)

    These two types are easy to distinguish, however, by noting the overall emotional tone of each type. Average Sixes are anxious, indecisive, ambivalent, and, above all, reactive. They find it difficult to relate to others with self-confidence as equals, tending either to become too dutiful and dependent or to go to the opposite extreme and become rebellious and defiant. Sometimes they get stuck in the middle and become ambivalent, indecisive, and vacillating.

    These traits are almost completely absent in average Ones. Their overall emotional tone is one of self-controlled, impersonal efficiency, orderliness and propriety. Ones are emphatically not indecisive: they know their own minds and have opinions about everything, which they are more than willing to express to others. Ones are certain, and trying to convince others that they know the optimal way to do things. Sixes are uncertain, and rely on reassurance, back-up, familiar procedure, or the sanction of previously tested ideas and philosophies to help them come to decisions.

    Average Ones are often so tightly self-controlled that they are able to keep their feelings at bay. They are frequently unaware of the degree of their tensions. Average Sixes struggle with more volatile feelings and have difficulty putting them aside–although they seldom express their feelings to others. Sixes carry considerable anxious tension and are more aware of it. Righteous anger, irritation, and moral indignation are the principal negative emotions in Ones, whereas fearfulness, suspicion, and anxiety are the principal negative feelings in Sixes. Moreover, while lower functioning Ones can be sarcastic and verbally abusive, they almost never let themselves get out of control and are seldom physically violent, whereas low functioning Sixes can more easily lose their tempers, sometimes erupting into hysterical reactions or even physical violence.

    When it does arise, the confusion seems to stem from both types' overactive superegos. Both are "should" and "must" people: both feel obligated to take care of all duties before relaxing or attending to their own needs. Further down the Levels, both types exhibit a legalistic streak: Sixes at Level 6 are The Authoritarian Rebel and Ones at the same Level are The Judgmental Perfectionist. When their superegos are on more severe, both types are quite capable of telling others what to do, although in different ways and for different reasons. Ones moralize and scold, lecturing others in the name of an ideal about whatever issues are of concern to them. ("Do you have any idea how wasteful it is to use an air conditioner?") Ones do not hesitate to order others around, telling them what they should be doing so to improve themselves or to be more effective.

    Sixes can also give orders, not because of rigid inner standards, but because they are afraid of what they see as the erratic, irresponsible conduct of others potentially disrupting the security and stability they are trying to maintain. They are angered and threatened by others "breaking the rules" and becoming more unpredictable. Sixes identify with certain beliefs or authority figures and internalize the values that they have learned from these sources of guidance. Once they have identified with what they have taken to be trustworthy sources of information about the world, Sixes can be aggressive toward anyone who does not accept the same values as they do. This is especially true when Sixes are more insecure–the more anxious they are, the more they want to cling to whatever positions or allegiances they still believe in. The indifference of others to their beliefs may infuriate Sixes as much as outright rejection of them does. Compare the personalities of George Bush (a Six) and Al Gore (a One), Meryl Streep (a One) and Meg Ryan (a Six) for examples of the similarities and differences of these two types.

    Type One-Type Seven

    Ones are unlikely to mistype themselves as Sevens, but Sevens occasionally mistype themselves as Ones. Sevens who have been under stress for prolonged periods of time may notice many average One behaviors, such as perfectionism and a need for order, and conclude that they must be Ones. While these traits may surface in certain extreme circumstances, a quick review of the Seven's life will usually reveal that rigid self-control, harsh inner criticism, and repression of impulses are not their dominant issues.

    Another source of confusion is the shared idealism and sense of "mission" of the two types. Both types hold high ideals about the world and about human beings, but express these in markedly different ways. Sevens are usually very optimistic about the future and about things working out positively. Ones are far less so–they hold high standards and expect to be disappointed by people and by the world. Ones are fairly certain that they know their "mission" while for Sevens, it is more of a feeling. In Sevens, uncertainty about the nature of their mission creates a great deal of underlying anxiety. ("What if I miss my chance?") Sevens may also think they are Ones because they see themselves as "perfectionists," but their style of perfectionism is very different. Ones' perfectionism drives them to berate themselves for days because they misplaced a comma in an otherwise excellent one hundred-page report. Sevens' "perfectionism" may lead them to become frustrated because the sea food salad they ordered in a restaurant was not exactly the way they wanted it.

    The two types are quite different in a number of other ways. Sevens are spontaneous and adventurous–they like to be free to change plans and to follow their inspiration. Ones get frustrated when plans are changed, and usually do not like to deviate from the careful preparations they have made. Sevens are usually unselfconscious socially, Ones are usually very self-conscious socially. Ones are methodical and sticklers for time-management and for following efficient procedures. Sevens have a more fluid sense of time, and balk at being "bogged down" by procedures. Sevens are curious and open-minded, but tend to get distracted and scattered. Ones are more focused and directed, but can be opinionated and closed-minded. Sevens are driven by anxiety: Ones by simmering anger, and so forth.

    Type One-Type Eight

    Both Ones and Eights are in the Instinctive Triad, both have strong wills, both are action-oriented, and both have strong notions about how to do things. However, Ones try to convince others to do the right thing (as they see it) from the standpoint of a moral imperative–because it is the right thing to do. They try to logically convince the other of the soundness of their views, but become irritated and less logical when others resists their reasoning. Eights, on the other hand, rely on their own self-confidence, and attempt to sway others by their gutsy convictions and sheer personal charisma. ("I don't know if it's the right way, but it's my way.") Ones try to convert those who resist them: Eights try to power through them.

    The greatest misunderstanding between these two types involves their concern with justice, although the nature of their sense of justice can be quite different. Ones hold justice as an extremely important value–many judges, attorneys, advocates, and criminal prosecutors actually are Ones. Ones think a great deal about issues of providing suitable standards for human beings and about the specifics of how to administer a fair and equitable system. Ones at all Levels of Development refer to justice and think that they seek justice (no matter how skewed their interpretation of it may become). In any case, justice is a matter of principles–part of their idealism. They strive after justice and want to rectify injustices wherever they find them because, among other reasons, to do otherwise would be to fail to live up to their high moral standards and make them feel guilty.

    In Eights, justice is more of a visceral response, a reaction to witnessing injustices occurring. Eights, generally speaking, do not walk around thinking about these matters, but if they saw a helpless person being harmed or bullied by others, without thinking about it, Eights would rush in to "level the playing field." For Eights, justice has little to do with abstract principles. Eights see themselves as protectors of others, and when they are healthy, they actually are. Eights are more likely to seek justice for "their people"–their family, friends, co-workers, ethnic group, and so forth. It is usually expressed in a concern that those in their care (or under their power and authority) be treated fairly. The cowboy marshal protecting the town against criminals and the union chief negotiating a just wage for the rank and file are examples of this more restricted concern for justice. With Eights, the sense of justice usually involves addressing an imbalance of power. This is quite different from the One who seeks to make sure that people are appropriately rewarded for good actions and punished for bad ones.

    Of course, in their unhealthy manifestations, both types can be extremely unjust. Ones will still believe that they are being fair–the punishments they are meting out are for the good of the person being punished, or at the very least, for the good of society. Ones feel they need to rationalize their punitive activities. Eights do not. For unhealthy Eights, administering justice is simply meting out vengeance. ("You hurt me or my people, and I'll destroy you." "He ripped me off. Now he has to pay.") Needless to say, others may question the "justice" in either of these types' unhealthy behavior.

    The confusion between Eights and Ones probably also stems from the fact that some Ones may misidentify themselves as Eights since they would like to have the authority and influence of Eights. They may also recognize that they have aggressive impulses and misidentify themselves as an "aggressive type," although they are really compliant to their ideals; the Eight is the true aggressive type par excellence. On the other hand, Eights almost never misidentify themselves as Ones, viewing Ones as lily-livered and bloodless–moral only because they are too weak to be strong. Although Eights themselves are unlikely to think they are Ones, other people sometimes misidentify Eights as Ones because they see them as reformers. But clearly, many natural leaders, including Eights, lead reforms when they are needed. Contrasting Ones such as Pope John Paul II, Ralph Nader, and Hilary Clinton with Eights such as Lee Iococca, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Barbara Walters gives a vivid sense of their differences.

    Type One-Type Nine

    Usually this mistype is caused by confusion about the wing and dominant type: is the person a Nine with a One-wing or a One with a Nine-wing? In some cases, with a strong wing, this can be a difficult call. Both can be idealistic, philosophical, and somewhat withdrawn. Neither feels comfortable with their anger. Usually, the Nine's reluctance to get into conflicts is the easiest way to discern these adjacent types. Average Nines want to maintain peace in their lives, and while they may hold strong personal convictions, they generally do not want to argue about them with people–especially people with whom they have an emotional attachment. For Ones, however, the principle is foremost, and Ones will drive home their point to convert the other to their view, even if it risks creating upsets and arguments. ("The truth is the truth.")

    While Nines can be hard workers, it does not take much to convince them that a break would be useful. They enjoy down time, and tend to have difficulty shifting gears from relaxation to activity or vice versa. Ones are extremely driven and have difficulty tearing themselves away from their various projects to take a rest or relax. They feel anxious when they are not being productive (like Threes), and want to get back to work to avoid attacks from their superego.

    Another distinction can be found in how the two types handle stress. Nines initially become more emotionally disengaged and resistant, but eventually become more anxious and reactive as they go to Six. Ones, initially become more fervent in their efforts to convince the other that they are right, but then collapse into moodiness and a tight-lipped testiness as they go to Four.

    Type Two-Type Three

    Here again, confusion about wing versus dominant type is likely to be the problem. A Two with a One-wing is unlikely to be mistyped as a Three, and a Three with a Four-wing is unlikely to be mistaken for a Two. With the 2w3 and the 3w2, however, personal charm and the desire to be liked and to please others can make these types more difficult to distinguish. Confusion sometimes arises, for instance, because the word "seductive" has often been applied to type Two. But clearly, all types can be seductive in their own way, and Threes can be very seductive indeed. Therefore, it is important to distinguish how these two types "seduce" attention from others. Basically, Twos attempt to get others to like them by doing good things for them–by focusing on the other person. ("How are you feeling this afternoon? You look sad.") Twos give the other person lots of appreciative attention in the hopes of being valued as a friend or intimate by the other. Twos are primarily motivated by the desire to please the other as a way of creating closeness or intimacy–to enhance relationship.

    Threes get others to like them by developing the excellence of their own "package." Threes seldom lavish attention on the other; rather, they are trying to be so outstanding and irresistible that the other will want to focus attention on them. And while Threes enjoy the attention, and want relationships, they actually fear intimacy, becoming more uneasy as the relationship becomes closer.

    Twos and Threes are different in several other key areas. While Twos can be ambitious, they feel uncomfortable going after their goals directly, feeling that to do so would be too selfish. Threes are extremely goal-driven, and feel they are not living up to their potential if they are not the best at what they do. Twos are openly sentimental and emote easily. Threes tend to be more composed, and to have difficulty accessing their feelings. Twos keep trying to do nice things for others until they lose their patience and blow up when they go to Eight. Threes keep driving themselves to excel until they burn themselves out and become more detached and passive when they go to Nine.

    Type Two-Type Four

    Twos and Fours can be confused primarily because they are both Feeling types, and because they both put great emphasis on the ups and downs of their personal relationships. Even with these similarities, however, these two types are seldom mistaken for each other. When they are, it is usually because they are defining the types too narrowly. For instance, some Twos might mistype themselves as Fours if they have been through a depression or have recently been through the end of an important relationship. They may learn that Fours are a depressive type and deduce that since they have been depressed that they are probably Fours. In fact, all nine types can be depressed: feeling sad or alienated in itself is not an indication of being any particular type. Twos may also hear that Fours are romantic, and seeing themselves as romantic mistype themselves. Female Fours who have been reared in traditional or strongly religious environments may identify themselves as Twos, but this is a danger for woman of all types. Some Fours may also have been under stress for a while may similarly recognize many Two-ish behaviors.

    Their differences are not difficult to recognize, however. Twos tend to move toward others and engage them, sometimes excessively. Fours tend to withdraw from others, while hoping that others will seek them out. Twos look for people to rescue, Fours look for someone to rescue them. Twos are very aware of others' feelings, but tend to be unaware of their own motivations and needs. Fours are highly attuned to their own emotional states, but can fail to recognize their impact on others, and so forth.

    Type Two-Type Five

    This is an extremely unlikely mistype. Few people of either type would be likely to mistype themselves as the other type, but others might occasionally be fooled. Surprisingly, it is more likely for some Fives to be mistaken for Twos, but only in very narrow circumstances. Because Fives do not form emotional bonds easily, they can be highly dependent on the few they do form, and can become needy with their significant others. At such times, they do not want their loved ones far from them, somewhat like average Twos.

    Otherwise, these types are almost opposites. Twos are emotionally expressive and highly people-oriented. Fives are emotionally detached and can be the true loners of the Enneagram. Both feel rejected easily, but Twos cope by winning people over and Fives cope by detaching from the hurt and isolating themselves further. Twos go by their feelings and can get flustered or irritated by overly intellectual approaches or complex ideas and procedures. Fives get flustered or irritated by sentimentality and gushiness: Fives feel that they are in their element with intellectual concepts and complexity. Twos tend to move toward others: Fives tend to withdraw from others, and so forth.

    Type Two-Type Six

    This is a fairly common mistype because these two types share a number of key traits. Both are warm and engaging and want to be liked–although, more precisely, Sixes want to have the approval and support of others, whereas Twos want to be loved and to be important to others. Both ingratiate themselves with people, although Sixes do so by being playful and silly, by bantering and teasing those they want to elicit an emotional (protective) response from. Average Twos also ingratiate themselves, but more from an implied position of superiority–they are warm and friendly, although the implication is that they are offering their love and friendship, their approval and advice, rather than that they are seeking it from the other, at least at first.

    In short, the feeling-tone of both types is completely different: Sixes warily invite selected others into their lives, whereas Twos throw out the net of their feelings with more abandon and see whom they can sweep into the fold. Sixes want to create partnerships with others that will support them in their bid to be more independent, but start to feel anxious if the relationship becomes too merged or "mushy." Twos want to be close with others, and the more intimacy and merging they have with their loved ones, the better.

    Both types are emotional, corresponding to the Jungian feeling types–the Two is the extroverted feeling type (PT, 62-63), and the Six, the introverted feeling type (PT, 222-223). Twos "wear their hearts on their sleeves" and are openly warm and demonstrative about how they feel toward others. Sixes, by contrast, are often ambivalent about their feelings, frequently sending ambiguous, mixed signals to other people. As they deteriorate, average to unhealthy Twos become increasingly covert in their dealings with people, ultimately becoming manipulative while concealing their true motives even from themselves. By contrast, average to unhealthy Sixes become wildly reactive (overreacting) and consciously confused about their feelings, ultimately becoming paranoid.

    Indeed, Sixes are consciously assailed by anxiety, indecision, and doubts–and they look to trusted others (especially some kind of authority-figure) to reassure them and help them build their confidence and independence. Twos are also sometimes anxious, of course, as all human beings are; however, they are not as indecisive or assailed with doubts, nor do Twos consult an authority figure for answers. On the contrary, as they grow in self-importance, average Twos usually make themselves into authority figures, dispensing advice on all life issues to the people within their spheres of influence. In short, average to unhealthy Twos believe they will only get love by having others depend on them, whereas average to unhealthy Sixes increasingly fear becoming dependent on others, while actually becoming more dependent. At the end of the Continuum, the differences can be seen most starkly between the unhealthy Two's psychosomatic suffering and romantic obsession and the unhealthy Six's paranoia and volatile lashing out. Contrast Twos such as Merv Griffin and Sammy Davis, Jr., with Sixes such as Johnny Carson and Mel Gibson.

    Type Two-Type Seven

    These types are frequently mistaken because both can be emotional and histrionic, although the emotions of Sevens are more labile (changing quickly) than the feelings of Twos. Average Twos are friendly and effusive, even gushy and dramatic, although they take pains to express their warm, personal appreciation of other people. They are deeply feeling (one of the types in the Feeling Triad), and their feelings are intimately connected with their sense of self, their behavior, and their interactions with others.

    Average Sevens are also histrionic in that they dramatize their emotions flamboyantly, although their emotions are usually shorter lived and wide-ranging–from elation to delight to giddiness to flightiness to highly negative displays of anger, frustration, vituperation, and rage at others. Twos, while needing to express their feelings, tend to be more low-keyed. (Unless they are very unhealthy, Twos do not express their anger at others as openly, nor do they ever display the range of emotions–or such a dazzling variety of them–as Sevens.)

    Although both types are gregarious and enjoy being with people, their interpersonal styles are noticeably different. The Two is more interpersonal, genuinely friendly and warm, and interested in others–they would like to be the heart and soul of a family or community, the best friend or confidant everyone comes to for attention, advice, and approval. Twos want to be significant to others and on intimate terms with them, although sometimes they go too far, meddling too much and being too solicitous to make sure they are needed.

    By contrast, Sevens do not get as involved in other people's lives. Sevens do not see themselves as the center of a community or family, but as members of a free-floating band of fellow adventurers whose own enjoyment is enhanced by being with others. Sevens do not like to eat or drink alone, or go to the theater alone, or go on vacation alone, but this does not always mean that they are great lovers of people. But it is certainly true that their activities are more enjoyable when others are around to contribute to the excitement and stimulation they seek. To provide themselves with the company of others, Sevens may pay for the pleasure, buying tickets for poorer friends, inviting them to dinner or the country house, and so forth. Sevens may thus exhibit a certain generosity, although their motives may well have less to do with helping needier friends than with making sure that they themselves have a good time by having others around.

    While average Twos want others to need them, average Sevens do not want to be needed by anyone: just the reverse, they have little patience for anyone who is too dependent on them since dependents become a drain on their resources and limit their freedom. Average Twos can be possessive of their friends because they feel they have invested a lot of time and emotional energy in them and do not want to see them drift away. Average Sevens tend to be less attached to people. ("Fine. If you don't want to be with me, there are always more fish in the sea.") Sevens can be devoted to loved ones like anyone else, but they refuse to cling. Once they decide that a relationship is not working, they can end them fairly quickly. They may feel sad for a time, but seldom have regrets about their decisions. Twos can leave relationships behind as well, but have a lot more difficulty letting go.

    Lastly, although Sevens are action-oriented and expressive, they are primarily thinking types. They are quick-witted and like to fill their minds with interesting possibilities and concepts. Although Twos can certainly be bright and knowledgeable, they really are feeling types and the juice for them is in the sharing of feelings and intimacies. It is probable that more Sevens misidentify themselves as Twos than vice versa. The differences between Leo Buscaglia and Ann Landers (Twos), and Timothy Leary and Joan Rivers (Sevens) may clarify these two types.

    Type Two-Type Eight

    It is not difficult to see how Twos and Eights can be confused, although there is a world of difference between them. Some average Twos realize that they are forceful and dominating, two of the significant traits of Eights. A particularly aggressive Two may find himself or herself in a work-related role that requires leadership and discipline. For these and other reasons, it is possible for some Twos to misidentify themselves as Eights. This is especially true for male Twos, who, for cultural reasons, may prefer to emphasize these traits. (The difference even on these points, however, is that average Twos do not dominate others and their environment to extend their personal power. Twos do indeed dominate others, although indirectly: they may be overbearing and controlling, although always under the guise of being concerned for others. When Eights attempt to dominate, they make it clear that they are in a power struggle with the other.) Twos and Eights are nevertheless similar in the deep feelings and passion they bring to their relationships, although the expression of their feelings and the effects they have on others are quite different.

    It is worth noting that both types struggle with underlying feelings of rejection, although they cope with these feelings in different ways. These feelings probably predispose both types to have stormy relationships and, should conflicts occur, to express their intense passions in interpersonal conflicts (Eights) or in covert neediness and manipulation (Twos).

    The probable source of the confusion is that both types have strong wills and egos and a tendency to dominate others. Eights are openly aggressive, forceful, and egocentric, but are very direct in their communication. When Eights are not happy about something, they have no difficulty letting the other person know that they are angry or disappointed. Twos can also be aggressive, forceful, self-satisfied, ego centric, and so forth, although covertly, under an increasingly thin veneer of love. Twos have great difficulty communicating their anger openly, even though they may be very upset with someone. Thus, they use indirect approaches, trying to hint at, or failing that, to manipulate others into meeting their needs. By contrast, less healthy Eights intimidate people openly and when they are frustrated, they push harder to get what they want, possibly using direct threats. When Twos are frustrated, they try to make others feel guilty, especially by dramatizing the suffering they feel. Of course, as Twos become more overwhelmed by stress, they increasingly resemble Eights since Eight is the Two's Direction of Disintegration. Contrasting Twos such as Mother Teresa and Barbara Bush with Eights such as Indira Gandhi and former Governor of Texas, Ann Richards will yield more insight into these two types.

    Type Two-Type Nine

    There are a number of similarities between these types. Both are interpersonal, both tend to put others' needs before their own, both believe in service, both like to keep things positive, and so forth. Nonetheless, the differences between them are significant.

    It is usually average Nines who mistakenly think that they are Twos; it is rare for average Twos to make the reverse misidentification. Some average Nines (particularly women) would like to be Twos because they believe that Two is the loving type, and since these Nines also see themselves as loving, they feel that they must therefore be Twos. But of course, the capacity to love is not restricted to Twos, and other types (including Nines) are equally capable of loving others. As with other general traits that are common to all the types (such as aggression and anxiety), love is expressed differently from type to type and must be distinguished.

    In fact, the way Twos and Nines love others is quite different. Nines are unselfconscious, seldom focusing on themselves. They are self-effacing and accommodating, quite content to support others emotionally without looking for a great deal of attention or appreciation in return. Of course, while Nines want to feel that their love is returned, they are patient about it and can be satisfied with fewer responses than Twos. (Some of this is because Nines secretly do not want others to bother them or to affect them too strongly–they attempt to stay in connection with others while withdrawing within themselves to feel safe and independent.) Average Nines tend to idealize others and fall in love with a romantic, idealized version of the person rather than the person as he or she actually is. Average Twos, on the other hand, have an acute sense of other people and their hurts, needs, and frailties. Twos may focus on these qualities as a way of getting closer to others and as a way to be needed.

    Unlike average Nines, average Twos have a very sharp sense of their own identities. Although highly empathetic, they are not particularly self-effacing or accommodating. Rather than being unselfconscious, they are highly aware of their feelings and virtues and are much less hesitant to talk about them.

    At their best, healthy Twos can be as unselfish and humble as healthy Nines, but by the average Levels, there is quite a marked difference: Twos need to be needed, they want to be important in the lives of others, and they want people to come to them for approval, guidance, and advice. Average Twos almost "go after" people, and are always in danger of subtly encouraging people to become dependent on them. They tend to do things for people so that others will reinforce their sense of themselves as all-good and loving. By contrast to average Nines (who become silent, uncommunicative, and show few reactions when they get into conflicts with others), average Twos have no hesitation about telling people how selfish they are or informing them in no uncertain terms how much others are indebted to them. In short, as they become unhealthier, the egos of Twos inflate and become more self-important and aggressive, whereas the egos of Nines become more self-effacing, withdrawn, and diffused.

    Healthy Nines offer safe space to others. They are easy-going and accepting, so that others feel safe with them. There is almost no tendency in Nines to manipulate others or to make them feel guilty for not responding as they would like. (Healthy Nines are more patient and humble–traits Twos could learn from them.) By contrast, healthy Twos are willing to get down to the nitty-gritty and help out in difficult situations. They have an energy and staying power that average Nines tend to lack. Moreover, the help that healthy Twos give has a direct, personal focus: it is a response to you and your needs. In general, Twos will walk that extra mile with others, whereas, while Nines sincerely wish others well, they generally offer more comfort and reassurance than practical help. (The particularity of the love of healthy Twos is something that Nines could learn.) The similarities and differences between these two types may be seen by contrasting Eleanor Roosevelt and Lillian Carter (Twos) with Lady Bird Johnson and Betty Ford (Nines).

    Type Three-Type Four

    Here also, misidentifications are probably the result of confusion over wing versus dominant type: 3w4 and 4w3. The primary difference between these types can be seen in their relationship with their emotional life. Threes tend to focus on task, on efficiency, on performance. Of course, Threes have feelings, but as much as possible, they put them on the backburner whenever there are things to get done—and with many Threes, that is most of the time. As Threes become less healthy, they increasingly see their own feelings as "speed bumps"–annoyances that must be dealt with but which interfere with their effectiveness. Threes want to get their goals accomplished, and then, time permitting, process their feelings.

    Fours are almost the exact opposite. Naturally, Fours want to accomplish things too, but when difficult feelings arise, Fours want to stop what they are doing and process them before returning to their tasks. The less healthy the Four, the more he or she will need lots of time to sort through troubling feelings and reactions. Threes can see the Four's preoccupation with sorting feelings as unprofessional and immature. Fours can see the Three's obsession with performance as inauthentic and shallow.

    It is far more common for Threes to mistype as Fours than vice versa. This is especially true for Threes who grew up in families in which artistic self-expression was particularly valued. They may mistakenly believe that only Fours are creative, while failing to recognize that there have been many noted artists who are Threes.

    Type Three-Type Five

    The principal reason these two very different types are confused is that some average Threes (especially if they are intelligent) would like to see themselves as "thinkers." Since Fives are most stereotypically seen as the "intelligent, thinking type," average Threes may choose it rather than the type they actually are. This misidentification is made almost exclusively by Threes since Fives are not likely to think that they are Threes. Average Threes are set up to fulfil the hidden expectations of their parents; so in a family that values intelligence, originality, and intellectual brilliance, it is quite natural for Threes to grow up thinking that they must be those things in order to be worthwhile. Thus, narrow conceptions of the types, or unflattering and unfair presentations of type Three in some Enneagram literature may cause some average Threes to want to be Fives.

    Some Threes may well be thinkers and have original ideas; they may excel academically and be brilliant students. But these traits alone are not sufficient to be a Five. Once again, the root of the misidentification lies in focusing on one or two traits rather than considering the type as a whole, including its central motivations.
    There are many significant dissimilarities between these two types. The kind of thinking they engage in is very different: Fives are very process-oriented: they do not care about final goals and can be extraordinarily involved in abstract ideas for the sake of acquiring knowledge, virtually as an end in itself. The pursuit and possession of knowledge enthralls Fives, and not only do their interests need have no practical results for them to be satisfying, average Fives are just as likely never to seek fame or fortune for their discoveries or creations. Fives follow their ideas wherever they take them, with no particular end in view. Their ideas need not even be related to making discoveries. Creating their own private inner realities can be reward enough. In any case, average Fives will stay with a project for years until they exhaust their subject or themselves, or both.

    Threes, by contrast, are not usually involved in subjects for their own sake: they change their interests and careers rapidly if the success and recognition they seek elude them. Moreover, average Threes pursue their intellectual work with personal goals in mind (either consciously or unconsciously): to impress others, to be famous, to be known as best in their field, to be acclaimed as a genius, to beat a rival at a discovery, to win a prestigious prize or grant, and so forth. The essential consideration is that their intellectual work is frequently undertaken to achieve goals and garner recognition rather than for the love of knowledge and the excitement of intellectual discovery. In Threes, self-promotion and status-seeking elements can enter the picture. Average Threes tend to promote themselves and to talk about their brilliant achievements, whereas average Fives tend to be secretive and reticent about their work and discoveries. Furthermore, the pragmatic thinking of average Threes calculates how to achieve goals in the most efficient manner, something completely alien to impractical, curiosity-driven Fives.

    In addition, Threes are highly sociable and well groomed: they know how to present themselves favorably. Fives are usually loners and often put little to no effort into their personal appearance: their appearance means less to them than pursuing their interests until the problems are solved and the work is done. Average Threes are highly aware of what others think about them, whereas average Fives care little about anyone else's good opinion. Average Threes want to be considered as sexually and socially desirable and will conform to and set social standards. Fives are often strange, eccentric, and isolated from others–not at all concerned about conforming to social standards. Contrast the personalities of Threes such as Michael Tilson Thomas and Carl Sagan with those of Fives such as Glenn Gould and Stanley Kubrick.

    Type Three-Type Six

    These types are not often mistyped, but do have some similarities. Both can be very focused on work and performance, but can play very different roles in the workplace. Threes see themselves as soloists: they cooperate with others, but want to excel, to be the best at what they do. They need recognition and acknowledgment for their accomplishments, and as long as those are forthcoming, can be tireless workers. Sixes are hard workers, too, but unless they are moving to Three in stress, tend to feel awkward about taking the spotlight. ("Everyone takes pot shots at the guy out front.") Sixes work hard to ingratiate themselves with their superiors, to build up security, and because they want to convince others of their dependability. Threes tend to be smooth and composed: Sixes tend to be more nervous and awkward, although sometimes endearingly so.

    Another common source of mistyping here comes from the sexual instinctual variant of type Six (see PT, 426-430). In short, some Sixes focus on cultivating personal magnetism and attractiveness like Threes, but their insecurities about their desirability matters is far more visible. Further, Threes tend to project a cool, emotional reserve, while Sixes project more volatile and intense feelings. Compare Threes Tom Cruise and Whitney Houston with Sixes Tom Hanks and Bonnie Raitt.

    Type Three-Type Seven

    Both Threes and Sevens are aggressive or assertive types (PT, 433-36) and both are interested in enjoying different aspects of success. Both types may pursue the acquisition of wealth and status symbols, but with significant differences: Sevens because their sense of self is maintained by possessing things, Threes because status symbols reinforce their feeling of superiority and hence their sense of self.

    Sevens love the material world and want to acquire a variety of exciting experiences because having a steady stream of sensations makes them feel alive. They are sensation seekers, whose sense of self is maintained and reinforced by heightening their experience of the world, irrespective of anyone else's knowledge of their acquisitions. For them what is important is the stimulation that the pursuit and acquisition of experiences and things gives them, whether or not anyone else is part of the picture. For example, taking a first-class cruise on an ocean liner is a source of pleasure for Sevens, whether or not anyone else knows that they are doing so. By contrast, unless everyone knows that they are going on an expensive trip and are made to feel envious about it, the experience has far less value for average Threes.

    The similarity between Threes and Sevens can be most confusing in the average Levels when Sevens become faddish trendsetters who want to experience whatever is new and exciting right away. (Average Sevens want the excitement of being the first at the hottest place, whereas average Threes are trendy in that they create new status symbols of various kinds for the exclusivity of being one of the "in crowd.") Thus, both types become snobs, with Sevens looking down on others because of the expensive things they have that others do not, and Threes looking down on people because they are able to exclude others from associating with them while still tantalizing them to want to do so.

    The differences, however, are very great. The underlying motive for average Sevens is to provide themselves with a continuous stream of stimulation from the environment, particularly from material things. By contrast, the principal underlying motive for average Threes is to rise above others competitively in whatever ways they can—socially, sexually, in status symbols and careers, or simply in their own minds. For Threes, expensive possessions advertise to others that they have arrived socially and that they are desirable–someone others must pay attention to. For example, money allows Threes to hire a governess for their children so they can pursue their careers and so that they can let everyone know that they are successful enough to afford a governess. By contrast, Sevens may engage a governess so that they can travel and not be tied down by having to raise their children themselves.

    One of the fundamental reasons why Sevens and Threes are confused in the traditional Enneagram teaching is that unhealthy Sevens in a manic phase have grandiose delusions similar to the grandiose feelings of self-esteem we find in narcissistic Threes. The difference is that Sevens are grandiose about their ability to achieve things: they have great expectations about their activities and plans for the future. When they become manic, everything seems possible for them. By contrast, average Threes are grandiose about their self-worth: narcissistic, exhibitionist, arrogant and contemptuous of others.

    It is likely that these two very different types have been confused because both seem to be narcissistic–that is, inflated with self-love or self-regard. However, average Sevens are not really narcissistic; they may be selfish, self-centered, greedy, insensitive, and so forth, but they do not have an inflated sense of self-worth. Instead, Sevens inflate their desires, appetites, plans, and the glut of their possessions.

    Furthermore, by the time that Sevens become grandiose, they are neurotic (at Level 8) and delusionally trying to escape from reality, whereas grandiose Threes are still within the average Levels of Development (at Level 6) and are overcompensating for their fear of failure. The crucial difference is that, beneath their grandiose plans, manic Sevens are intensely insecure and in a flight from anxiety, whereas narcissistically grandiose Threes are not insecure and are fleeing from failure or from being humiliated in any way.

    Last, one of the simplest ways to distinguish these two types is by marking the difference in their overall emotional tone and style. Average Threes are cool, in control, projecting the impression that they are perfectly together, with no emotional or personal problems. So convinced of their superiority, they become shameless braggarts and show-offs, arrogantly looking down on others. By contrast, Sevens have many more rough edges, rarely seeming as perfect or as coolly self-contained as Threes. For better or worse, Sevens do not censor themselves and can be funny, outspoken, vulgar, ill mannered, and outrageous–allowing far less polished behavior and attitudes to be displayed for public view. Contrast Sevens such as Bette Midler and Howard Stern with Threes such as Shania Twain and Bryant Gumbel.

    Type Three-Type Eight

    Threes and Eights are both assertive (PT, 433-36), although the confusion between them centers on the competition found in average Threes and a similar competitiveness in average Eights.

    In general terms, both Eights and Threes are ambitious and competitive: both types want to rise above others. The difference is that average Eights are self-assertive and want others to give them their way immediately so they do not have to waste time and energy fighting with people–not that they are afraid to do so. Eights compete for material and sexual dominance, less over purely social or status issues. For instance, Eights usually do not spend a lot of time comparing themselves with others, and certainly never to the degree that Threes do. For the same reason that Threes confuse themselves with Sevens and Fives (because they are looking for a flattering identity), it is far more likely that Threes identify themselves as Eights rather than vice versa.

    Despite some superficial similarities, the differences are profound: Eights are leaders, deal makers, and power brokers who want to make the world conform to their personal vision. They want to have a large impact, to build and accomplish great things, possibly something that will live as a testament to the greatness of their audacity and will. Strong and implacable, they can be ruthless when something or someone gets in their way. They have large egos, and achieving some form of glory is important to them. Money is both a form of power and a means to amass more of it. Achieving personal power is the dominating drive in Eights, and there is nothing ambiguous, much less furtive or duplicitous, about them.

    By contrast, power is not the key motive of Threes; achieving success and prestige and basking in the admiring attention of others is. (By contrast, Eights do not care about popularity; they do not care about the goodwill of others, so long as they get their way.) If Eights are natural leaders, Threes are natural managers and technicians. If Eights do not fear failure as such, Threes fear failure deeply because they see it as a personal humiliation, a potential occasion for being rejected, their deepest fear. By contrast, Eights see failure as an opportunity to learn something and come back stronger. If Eights are too busy achieving their purposes to worry about public opinion, Threes live and die on the opinions of others and desperately want to be in demand socially. If average Eights are combative and intimidating and can "take the heat", despite a certain bravado, average Threes will back down or be driven to deviousness: they cannot take pressure for long or exposure for a moment. In short, even average Eights are the "genuine article," whereas average Threes are an imitation of it. Contrast Eights such as Telly Savalas and John Wayne with Threes such as Sylvester Stallone and Burt Reynolds.

    Type Three-Type Nine

    Threes and Nines can be mistaken for each other in that both are highly adaptable and both can be interested in gaining acceptance from others. Although it is not always obvious in the case of Threes, both can also have trouble recognizing who they are or what they really want. Threes can also resemble Nines when they move to Nine in their Direction of Disintegration, becoming more disengaged and unmotivated by their usual goals.

    Their differences between these types can be quite pronounced. Threes are highly motivated self-starters who launch into projects with a sense that they can and will succeed. They are determined to meet goals and have trouble slowing down and relaxing. Nines can be highly accomplished in life and hugely successful, but many such Nines have friends or spouses who keep them motivated and on track with their goals. Generally speaking, Nines have trouble doing good things for themselves, and have a much easier time taking it easy than Threes do. Threes try to garner attention from people who they believe are important to them. Nines are reluctant to ask for attention, and discount themselves easily. Threes get excited about their projects, Nines about their free time and comforts. Compare Nines Ronald Reagan and George Lucas with Threes Bill Clinton and Tony Robbins.

    Type Four-Type Five

    Fours and Fives can resemble each other in that both are withdrawn types (PT, 433-36), both can be individualistic and eccentric by mainstream cultural standards, and both can be highly creative. Of course, there is a greater risk of mistyping with 4w5s and 5w4s.

    Fives are more likely to mistype as Fours than vice versa, primarily because of simplistic definitions of the types. Some Fives have learned that Fours are more feeling-oriented, and Fives are more intellectual, and seeing that they have deep feelings presume that they must be Fours. (This is especially true with female Fives.) Also, Fives are often portrayed as scientists or engineers while Fours are creative artists. In fact, it is true that Fours are less likely to be scientists than some other types, but there are as many Fives who are artists as Fours, although their styles are somewhat different.

    Fours are self-absorbed and emotionally volatile–they express their feelings one way or another, and need people to respond to them in an emotional way. Their artistic work tends to be autobiographical, based on their families, on relationships, past or unrequited, and on the content of their subjective experience. Fives may have intense feelings but share them with few people. Their feelings tend to fuel their thoughts and their imagination, leading them to more abstract or fantastic forms of creative expression. Their work is less autobiographical, and more often portrays their vision of reality. ("I paint what I see!") Fives tend to be more experimental and outlandish in their artwork. Although both types can explore personal darkness more thoroughly than most, Fours tend to focus on their disappointments in love and with their childhoods and their attendant pain. Fives tend to focus on inner emptiness and feelings of meaninglessness. Fives are more driven to penetrate the surface of things to understand, Fours to get in touch with feelings and cathartically express them. compare Fours Ingmar Bergman and Anne Rice with Fives David Lynch and Clive Barker.

    Type Four-Type Six

    While there are real similarities between the two types, there are even more differences. The principal difference is that Sixes are usually extremely appealing and relate well to people; they have the ability to unconsciously engage the emotions of others so that others will like them and form secure relationships with them. Fours, in contrast, do not relate primarily to people but to their own inner emotional states. Fours take it for granted that they are alone in life, and find it difficult to form bonds with others—something that comes easily to Sixes. The psychic structures of the two types are also very different: Fours are true introverts, while Sixes are a blend of introversion and extroversion—true ambiverts who possess qualities of both orientations.

    Confusion arises between these types principally on the part of Sixes who think that they are Fours for two main reasons. First, some Sixes identify with the negative side of the Four (depression, inferiority, self-doubt, and hopelessness, for example) and think they must be Fours because they recognize similar traits in themselves. The difference lies in the motivations for these traits. For example, while all the types can become depressed, Fours do so because they are disappointed with themselves for having lost some opportunity to actualize themselves. They become depressed when they realize that in their search for self, they have gone down a blind alley and now must pay the price. Unhealthy, depressed Fours are essentially angry with themselves for bringing this on themselves or for allowing it to happen.

    By contrast, Sixes become depressed when they fear that they have done something to make their authority figure mad at them. Their depression is a response to their self-disparagement; it comes from the fear that the authority is angry with them and will punish them. Thus, the depression of Sixes is exogenous (coming from the outside) and can be relieved by a word of reassurance from the authority. This is not the case with Fours whose depression is endogenous (coming from the inside), a response to their self-accusations.

    Second, we have characterized the Four as The Individualist , and some Sixes who are artistic think that they therefore must be Fours. However, as noted above in the discussion of Fours and Nines, artistic talent is not the sole domain of Fours, so it is entirely possible for Sixes to be artists of one kind or another. Even so, there are important differences in the creative work produced by these two types.
    In general, Sixes tend to be performing artists, while Fours tend to be original creators. Sixes are more likely to be actors or musicians than poets and playwrights, more likely to perform the words or music of someone else than to create it themselves. Even those Sixes who are creative tend either to be traditionalists, creating within firmly established rules and styles, or they go to an extreme and become rebellious, reacting against traditionalism–such as rock stars and experimental novelists who purposely defy traditional forms. In either case, both tradition and reactions against it are an important aspect of their art. The themes typically found in the art of Sixes have to do with belonging, security, family, politics, country, and common values.

    Creative Fours, by contrast, are individualists who go their own way to explore their feelings and other subjective personal states. The artistic products of Fours are much less involved either with following a tradition or with reacting against it. Fours are less apt to use political or communal experiences as the subject matter for their work, choosing instead the movements of their own souls, their personal revelations, the darkness and light they discover in themselves as they become immersed in the creative process. By listening to their inner voices, even average Fours may speak to the universal person or fail to communicate to anyone, at least to their contemporaries. They may be ahead of their time not because they are trying to be rebellious or avant-garde, but because they develop their own forms to express their personal point of view. What is important to Fours is not the tradition but personal truth. Tradition is no more than a backdrop against which Fours play out their own personal dramas. Compare and contrast the personalities of Rudolf Nureyev and Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky (Fours) with those of Mikhail Baryshnikov and Johannes Brahms (Sixes) for further similarities and differences.

    Type Four-Type Seven

    Fours and Sevens are vastly different, and except for a superficial similarity at Level 6 of both types, it would be difficult to see how anyone familiar with both could misidentify them for long.

    It seems, however, that the basis for mistaking them is that both types tend to be excessive–Sevens go to extremes in the external, material world with the lavishness and number of possessions and experiences they acquire. Highly materialistic, Sevens tend to become jaded and hardened, insensitive and demanding, selfish and uncaring about others. At Level 6, we have characterized them as The Excessive Materialist.

    Fours at the same Level (The Self-Indulgent Aesthete) are also excessive and go to extremes, although emotional extremes. Emotionally self-indulgent, average Fours go for the big emotional charge in their fantasy lives, allowing themselves to feel and imagine anything, no matter how ultimately unrealistic or emotionally debilitating it might be. They wallow in their feelings and fantasies, squeezing the last breath of life from them to reinforce their sense of self. Thus the Four's self-indulgences are more internal and private, centered on the emotional world they inhabit. Outwardly, their emotional excess is expressed in an increasing preciosity and impracticality, an effete, over ripe decadence and sensuality that is the main point of similarity between the two types. While both types may become decadent and sensual, Sevens do so to dissipate themselves and thus flee from anxiety. By contrast, Fours embrace sensuality, luxuriating in sex or drink or drugs to heighten their emotions and to deaden the pain of their self-consciousness.

    Both types share a love of fine, expensive things, although here too there are differences. Fours make do with fewer material things, cherishing beautiful objects for the sake of their beauty and the feelings that beauty awakens in them. A stone picked up on the beach or a twig with a single bud can quicken their aesthetic feelings and satisfy them. By contrast, while average Sevens want to possess beautiful objects, they become increasingly unappreciative and insensitive to the beauty or value of those objects. They become acquisitive not because they enjoy things for themselves but because possessing things provides a sense of security. And even more fundamentally, what excites Sevens is the stimulation they feel when they desire something new. The stimulation of their appetites reinforces their sense of self, although once they have actually acquired what they want, they usually lose interest in they acquisition. The pair of shoes that they were "dying" to have joins the racks with dozens of others; the fur coat they were drooling over for weeks suddenly becomes "that old thing" as they turn their attention to acquiring something else. In short, average Sevens tend to be acquisitive materialists, while average Fours tend to be languishing aesthetes–very different types. Compare the styles of Bob Dylan (a Four) and of Elton John (a Seven) and those of Ingmar Bergman (a Four) with Steven Spielberg (a Seven) to understand the difference.

    Type Four-Type Eight

    At first, it would seem extremely unlikely that Fours and Eights would be mistyped for one another, but it does occasionally occur. More often, Eights mistake themselves for Fours because they see themselves as passionate and intense feelings, and this is usually true. Similarly Eights may well recall childhood hurts and identify with the Fours' sense of alienation or loneliness. But Eights cope with these feelings in radically different ways than Fours do. Eights learn to toughen themselves up and to "get over it" so that they can do what they need to do to maintain their independence and personal authority. Fours find it difficult to let go of their childhood wounds and do not want to "get over it." Fours do not necessarily want to be dependent on anyone, but they are willing to rely on others if it gives them the time and resources to work out their feelings or to develop their creativity.

    Eights do feel vulnerable inside, but as much as possible, they steel themselves against any feelings of insecurity and weakness in themselves. Eights tend to see such feelings as self-indulgent luxuries for people who have no serious responsibilities. Fours show their vulnerability, but can be much tougher and controlling than they generally realize. In fact, Fours are quite resilient and can endure emotional difficulties and losses that would cause most other types to collapse. In a strange way, Eights are like Fours turned inside-out. Contrast Fours like Roy Orbison and Johnny Depp with Eights like Frank Sinatra and Sean Penn.

    Type Four-Type Nine

    Some average Nines think that they are Fours because they have artistic talents and creative inclinations of one kind or another. As in the case of love not being the sole domain of Twos, artistic capacity is not the sole province of Fours. Other types can be, and often are, artists.

    Even so, the artistry of Fours is much more personal and self-revealing than that of Nines. The art of Nines often expresses idealized, mythological, and archetypal worlds–usually the real world glossed into something fantastic and wondrous. Nines are often gifted storytellers in which "...and they all lived happily ever after" is assured. (There are no unhappy endings in the Nine's world of make-believe.) By contrast, the art of Fours is generally more personal and realistic, the expression of the Four's (and of everyone's) deep longing for love, wholeness, and meaning. Fours often deal in the tragic, finding redemption in self-transcendence; Nines deal in the commonplace, finding comfort in ordinary lives and simple situations.

    The principal reason these types may be confused is that they are both withdrawn types. (PT, 433-36). Fours withdraw from others so that they can protect themselves and give themselves time to deal with their emotions. Nines, on the other hand, are withdrawn in the sense that they remove their attention from people or situations that threaten them, disengaging themselves emotionally so that they will not be anxious or upset. They cut off their identification with others (or never identify with them in the first place), identifying instead with a private idealized version of reality. Average to unhealthy Nines tune out any unpleasantness by dissociating from whatever upsets them, whereas Fours do just the opposite, brooding over their anxieties in an attempt to come to terms with them. Fours are certainly not detached from their emotions–just the reverse, they are keenly aware of them, perhaps too much so.

    Both types can therefore be shy, absent-minded, confused, and detached from the real world. The difference is that Nines are detached both from the external world and from their emotions, whereas Fours withdraw from whatever has caused them pain. (In the end, that may add up to quite a lot.) Nines see the world through rose-colored glasses, and their view of it is comforting, whereas Fours see the world from a garret window as outsiders and are not comforted: everyone else seems to be living a happier, more normal life. Contrast the personalities of Mahler (a Four) and Aaron Copland (a Nine), Saul Steinberg (a Four) and Norman Rockwell (a Nine).

    Type Five-Type Seven

    These types are seldom mistyped for one another, but they do have some similarities. Fives and Sevens are also both Thinking types. They are both highly curious, exploratory, and willing to try new ways of doing things. Both types also have a propensity to collect things and to be high strung. They are quite different emotionally and in their characteristic preoccupations and avoidances.

    Fives tend to be more socially isolated and withdrawn, spending long hours alone working on their projects, reading, listening to music, and so forth. Fives prefer cerebral entertainment. Sevens are highly gregarious, and like to stay active. They enjoy a good read too, but get impatient with sitting around for extended periods of time. The gift of the Five is intense focus and concentration. The gift of the Seven is breadth of vision and synthesis. Sevens are also the optimists of the Enneagram, seeing the positive side of most things and wanting to avoid topics that get too dark, painful, or heavy. Fives are almost the opposite, seeing optimism as unrealistic and being drawn to the dark, the macabre, and the nihilistic side of life.

    Of course, Fives can resemble Sevens when they are under increased stress and moving in their Direction of Disintegration. At such times, they can become distracted and scattered like average Sevens. But as soon as the stressful situation is relieved, they will return to their more focused, withdrawn ways.

    Type Five-Type Seven

    These types are seldom mistyped for one another, but they do have some similarities. Fives and Sevens are also both Thinking types. They are both highly curious, exploratory, and willing to try new ways of doing things. Both types also have a propensity to collect things and to be high strung. They are quite different emotionally and in their characteristic preoccupations and avoidances.

    Fives tend to be more socially isolated and withdrawn, spending long hours alone working on their projects, reading, listening to music, and so forth. Fives prefer cerebral entertainment. Sevens are highly gregarious, and like to stay active. They enjoy a good read too, but get impatient with sitting around for extended periods of time. The gift of the Five is intense focus and concentration. The gift of the Seven is breadth of vision and synthesis. Sevens are also the optimists of the Enneagram, seeing the positive side of most things and wanting to avoid topics that get too dark, painful, or heavy. Fives are almost the opposite, seeing optimism as unrealistic and being drawn to the dark, the macabre, and the nihilistic side of life.

    Of course, Fives can resemble Sevens when they are under increased stress and moving in their Direction of Disintegration. At such times, they can become distracted and scattered like average Sevens. But as soon as the stressful situation is relieved, they will return to their more focused, withdrawn ways.

    Type Five-Type Eight

    These two types are not often mistyped, but share similar attitudes. Eights and Fives both see themselves as outsiders and both feel rejected easily. Both are highly independent, and willing to go to battle with anyone who threatens their independence. Both believe in direct communication, can be aggressive, and tend to protect their vulnerability.

    Eights sometimes see themselves as Fives because they go to Five in stress, and therefore recall times when they have withdrawn from others to strategize and think about their future courses of action. Nonetheless, Eights more often deal with problems head on, and can be highly assertive in going after what they want. Fives, by contrast, tend to retreat from others and to cut off from many of their needs in order to avoid risking dependencies.

    Eights are highly instinctual and very related to their bodies: they are people of practical action, pragmatism, and sensuality, as a result. Fives tend to stay in their heads more, and often have an ambivalent relationship with their bodies. Staying grounded and practical can be a problem for Fives–it is almost never one for Eights. Compare James Joyce (a Five) with Ernest Hemingway (an Eight).

    Type Five-Type Nine

    A detailed comparison and contrast between Fives and Nines is warranted because so many Nines mistakenly think that they are Fives; typically, the misidentification almost never happens the other way around. Particularly if they are well educated and intelligent, average male Nines tend to think that they are Fives. (As noted in the discussion of Twos, average female Nines tend to think that they are Twos.)
    Of all the personality types, Nines have the most difficulty identifying which type they are because their sense of self is undefined. Average Nines have little sense of who they are apart from those they have identified with; hence, they are usually at a loss to know where to begin to find their type. (As we have seen, either they think they are Fives or Twos or they see a little of themselves in all the types and make no further effort at identifying themselves. If they have no guidance, Nines in this predicament usually shrug their shoulders and give up on the Enneagram and more important, on acquiring self-knowledge.)

    Even relatively healthy Nines still have a somewhat diffused sense of self because it is based on their capacity to be receptive to others—and to be unself-conscious. Moreover, average Nines have problems identifying their type because doing so arouses anxiety, something completely anathema to them. Whatever disturbs their peace of mind is ignored or met with a blind eye. They avoid introspection in favor of entertaining comforting notions about themselves, whatever they may be. Maintaining an undefined understanding of themselves, and thus, maintaining their emotional comfort, is more important to average Nines than acquiring deeper insights.

    None of this is true of Fives, and the two types are opposites in many ways. Nines are gentle, easygoing, patient, receptive, and accommodating, whereas Fives are intense, strong-minded, argumentative, contentious, and highly resistant to the influence of others. Nines like people and trust them; perhaps at times they are too trusting. By contrast, average Fives are suspicious of people and are anything but trusting, perhaps at times too cynical and resistant. Both types are among the three withdrawn types of the Enneagram, and (as we have seen with Fours and Nines), there are genuine similarities between them, although only superficial ones (PT, 433-36).

    Despite their similarities, the main point of confusion for Nines arises around the notion of "thinking." Nines think they are Fives because they think they have profound ideas: therefore, they must be Fives.

    Part of the problem stems from the fact that individuals of both types can be highly intelligent, although as a group Fives are probably the most intelligent of the nine personality types. (When Nines are highly intelligent, they can be as brilliant as Fives, although their intellectual prowess is compartmentalized. They are brilliant at work but unfocused and inattentive everywhere else, whereas Fives are focused and attentive everywhere all the time.) Although intelligence can be manifested in different ways, being intelligent does not make Nines intellectuals, just as thinking does not make them thinkers. As we have seen, the pattern as a whole (and the motivations) must be taken into consideration, not one or two traits in isolation. Since all the types think in one way or another, thinking alone, with no further distinction, is not a sufficient basis for a personality diagnosis.
    The fundamental difference between the thinking of Nines and that of Fives is that Nines are impressionistic, involved with generalities, imaginative ruminations, and fanciful situations. Nines typically do not concern themselves with details, nor are they usually good at following up once they have acted. By contrast, the thinking of Fives is highly focused, penetrating, and almost microscopic in the narrowness of its frame of reference. Fives love details, losing themselves in research, scholarship, and complex intellectual pursuits. They think in depth, concentrating so much that they block out other perceptions (eventually to their detriment). By contrast, even brilliant Nines tend to have problems concentrating; they also tend to lose interest quickly and to allow their attention to drift off when they become bored or anxious.

    Nines tend to spin grand, sweeping, idealistic solutions to problems, while Fives tend to speculate on problems, then on the problems that their problems have raised, then on those problems, ad infinitum. Nines may be gifted storytellers, able to communicate simply and effectively to others, even to children. Fives usually communicate to only a few or keep their ideas entirely to themselves. (Moreover, their ideas may be so complicated that they are difficult to communicate to all but other specialists.) Nines usually do not consider the consequences of their actions; Fives are extremely interested in predicting the consequences of every action. Nines idealize the world and create imaginary worlds in which good always triumphs over evil; Fives analyze the real world and create horrifying scenarios in which evil usually triumphs over good or exists in tension with it. Nines simplify; Fives complexify. Nines look to the past; Fives to the future. Nines are fantasists; Fives are theorists. Nines are disengaged; Fives are detached. Nines are utopians; Fives are nihilists. Nines are optimists; Fives are pessimists. Nines are open; Fives are resistant. Nines are non-threatening and nonjudgmental; Fives are defensive and contentious. Nines are at peace; Fives are in tension. Nines end in dissociation; Fives in paranoia.

    Comparisons and contrasts such as these could be multiplied almost indefinitely because, while these two types are such opposites, they are also paradoxically similar. What they have in common is the tendency to ask "What if?" questions. The difference is in their response: Nines tend to ruminate on their fantasies, while Fives attempt to see if their ideas could come true. The Nine's ideas usually involve a single insight that, while true enough, is often impractical and goes nowhere. For instance, a Nine may think that the way to world peace is "for everyone to love one another." While this is doubtlessly true, the problem not addressed is how to get everyone to love one another. A Five wondering about the same problem would write a treatise on world peace after doing exhaustive historical research, eventually erecting a grand theory of peace. (The Five's ideas may also come to nothing, but at least they are pursued, and practical results may eventually come of them.) To give another example, a Nine might wonder what it is like to fly and make up a story about it. A Five might wonder how to fly and invent an airplane or do research on birds or design a rocket.

    In short, Nines have an active fantasy life and think that they have deep thoughts. Sometimes they do, of course, although the thinking of intelligent, well-educated Nines tends to be in the direction of simplifying reality and cutting through abstruse thickets to get at the kernel of truth beneath. Nines tend to see things the way they want them to be; they reinterpret reality to make it more comforting and less threatening, simpler and less daunting. By contrast, the thinking of Fives is complex. By attempting to arrive at a grand unifying theory that encompasses and explains everything, average Fives end up involved in increasing complications and abstractions. Their thought is focused on specifics, often highly technical and concerned with foresight and the consequences of acting one way rather than another. But at an extreme, Fives risk seeing reality not as it is but as a projection of their preoccupations and fears. They distort their perceptions of reality so that reality seems more negative and threatening than it actually is.

    Nines feel at ease in the world, and their style of thinking reflects their unconscious desire to merge with the world. Fives are afraid of being overwhelmed by the world, and their intellectual efforts are an unconscious defense against the world, an attempt to master it intellectually. There is a world of difference between these two types since they see the world so differently. Compare Charles Darwin (a Five) and Walt Disney (a Nine), Albert Einstein (a Five) and Jim Henson (a Nine) to understand the similarities and differences between these two types more clearly.

    Type Six-Type Seven

    Sixes and Sevens can be mistyped when there is confusion between main type and wing: that is, between a Six with a Seven-wing and a Seven with a Six-wing. Both are Thinking types, and both are driven by anxiety, although they cope with their anxious feelings in strikingly different ways. Sixes tend to react to their anxiety by fretting and becoming more anxious. They may react counterphobically by reacting against their fears, but react they do. Further, anxiety tends to make Sixes more pessimistic and negative about themselves and their prospects. They can be full of self-doubt, while being suspicious of the motives of others.

    Sevens, by contrast are extremely optimistic, and react to anxiety by looking for enjoyable distractions. Sevens suppress their self-doubt as much as possible, and try to keep everything upbeat. Sevens tend to deny the dark corners of their souls, sixes tend to get stuck in them. Sixes, however, have a heightened sense of responsibility and do not allow themselves to "goof off" until all of their obligations have been met. Sevens, for better or for worse, are far more spontaneous, and resist having too many expectations placed on them. They want to be free to come and go as they please, and find the Six's persistent sense of commitment potentially limiting and dull. Sixes tend to find the Seven's lifestyle flighty and irresponsible. In short, sixes seek out structure and guidelines: Sevens resist both. Compare David Letterman (a Six) with Jim Carey (a Seven).

    Type Six-Type Eight

    Sixes and Eights are aggressive, although only the Eight is an entirely aggressive personality. Sixes react both to their fears and to other people and constantly oscillate from one state to another, from Level to Level. They are ambivalent and passive-aggressive, evasive, and contradictory. In contrast, Eights have solid egos and formidable wills; they keep pushing others until they get them what they want. There is little softness in Eights and even less tendency to comply with the wishes of anyone else. They have no desire to be liked or to ingratiate themselves with others. Rather than look to others for protection, Eights offer protection (patronage) in return for hard work and loyalty.

    As different as these two types are, they are nevertheless similar at Level 6–but only at this Level. At this stage both Sixes (The Authoritarian Rebel) and in Eights (The Confrontational Adversary) show similar aggressive traits–belligerence, defiance, a willingness to intimidate others, a quick and threatening temper, the threat of violence, hatred of others, and so forth. However, Eights arrive at this stage as a result of constantly escalating their pressure on others to get what they want until they have become highly confrontational and combative. Sixes arrive at their state from a very different route–in reaction to their vacillation and dependency. Sixes become aggressive because they do not want to be pushed around anymore; Eights become aggressive to push others even more.

    The essential difference is that Sixes eventually will yield and their defenses will crumble if enough pressure is applied to them, whereas opposition to Eights only encourages them to remain defiant and to meet their adversary with renewed aggression.

    Both types at this Level can be dangerous; ironically, Sixes are probably more dangerous at this stage than Eights since they are anxious and may strike out at someone impulsively or irrationally. On the other hand, average Eights are more rational: they take the odds of success into account at every move. If and when they finally do become violent, however, Eights are more dangerous than Sixes because they are more ruthless, and the momentum of their inflated egos makes them feel that they can and must press onward until their enemies are utterly destroyed. Eights eventually become megalomaniacs (and may be destroyed after they have destroyed others). By contrast, unhealthy Sixes eventually become self-defeating (and may be destroyed by their own fear). Compare G. Gordon Liddy and Mike Tyson (Sixes) with Henry Kissinger and Muhammad Ali (Eights) to understand more about the similarities and differences between these types.

    Type Six-Type Nine

    These types are actually frequent mistyped. Sixes and Nines are both concerned with security and with maintaining some kind of status quo situation. They are both family-oriented, and both tend to take modest views of themselves. Their affect, however, is the easiest way to distinguish them.

    In short, Nines like to remain easy-going and unflappable. Nines work steadily at their tasks, but show little sign of being upset by the day's ups and downs. Sixes, on the other hand, cannot easily disguise their feelings. They get more easily worked-up and rattled by mishaps. While Nines can remain silent within their own inner peace, Sixes need to vent with others periodically to discharge their fears and doubts. Sixes are more obviously nervous and defensive when they believe there are problems. Nines remain strangely bland in the face of problems, although beneath the pleasant surface of average Nines, there is stubborn resistance and an unwillingness to be upset or troubled by conflicts or problems. Sixes tend to be suspicious of unknown people and situations–they need to test people before they let them get close. Nines may be protected by the disengagement of their attention, but they tend to be trusting of others–almost to a fault.

    Of course, under stress, when moving in their Direction of Disintegration, Nines will begin to act out some of the behaviors of average Sixes, and for this reason, some Nines will mistype themselves as Sixes. But such periods of overt anxiety generally do not last long. As soon as possible, Nines revert to their more easy going approach to things. Compare Sixes George Bush and Dustin Hoffman with Nines Gerald Ford and Jimmy Stewart.

    Type Seven-Type Eight

    Sevens and Eights are both aggressive types (PT, 433-36) and can resemble each other in certain respects. Both are powerful personalities who are able to go after what they want in life, but what they want, and how they attempt to get it, are different.

    Sevens are primarily interested in variety–they want to sample as many different experiences as possible and become practical in as much as their practicality gives them the means to pursue the experiences they want to try.

    Eights, by contrast, are more interested in intensity–they care less about variety than about having intense experiences that they enjoy. Eights are also interested in power, both as a way to maintain their independence and as a way of asserting their dominance in the environment. Sevens are not particularly interested in having power, seeing the work necessary to maintain it as possibly infringing on their freedom.

    Eights are an Instinctive type, and as such, make decisions from their "gut" instincts. They prefer dealing with practical matters, and although emotionally volatile at times, generally remain grounded and down to earth. Sevens are Thinking types, and can have brilliant, quick minds. At the same time, Sevens can get ahead of themselves with their plans, schemes, and interests: they can have trouble staying grounded and on track with their projects. Sevens see themselves as idealistic optimists, while Eights see themselves as hard-nosed realists. Compare Sevens Mike Myers and Goldie Hawn with Eights Danny DeVito and Roseanne Barr.

    Type Seven-Type Nine

    Sevens and Nines might seem difficult to confuse since average Sevens are the hyperactive extroverts of the Enneagram, while average Nines are obviously passive and complacent, and live at a much lower energy level than Sevens.

    The main reason they can sometimes be confused is that both types can be extremely busy and both are usually rather ebullient and happy. Furthermore, the defense mechanisms of both types are similar: both have repressed their inner worlds—Nines to maintain their identification with an idealized other, Sevens to avoid cutting themselves off from sources of external stimulation.

    The points of similarity are reflected in their psychic structures–the fact that both are sensation types in the Jungian model, Sevens corresponding to the extroverted and Nines to the introverted sensation type (PT, 193 and 250). While it is clear from even a superficial acquaintance with Sevens that they are highly extroverted and orient themselves to the world via sensation, what is unclear is that Nines are introverted. What is even more unclear is the nature of the sensation that they introvert on. This is why the inner world of Nines is so obscure and difficult to describe (and why others have not understood this type's proper correlation to the Jungian category).

    A deeper understanding of the Nine's psyche comes from realizing that the Nine orients itself to the world by introverting on the "sensation" of possessing union with another–by introjecting another, and then idealizing that introjection. To put this in simpler terms, their sense of self comes from the emotion they feel when they sense their identification with another person, much as a pregnant woman introverts with thoughts of love for her unborn child. By talking to the child in her womb, she gains a sense of herself as a mother. In a similar way, Nines commune with their inner sensations (identifications), maintaining their sense of self by living through an identification with another person. Hence they correspond to the Jungian introverted sensation type.

    This introversion accounts for the inner life of Nines, which is largely out of view, protected in the inner sanctum of their psyches so that it cannot be easily disturbed or changed. It is in their dealings with the outside world that Nines can resemble Sevens.

    Average Sevens are hyperactive, busy with too many things superficially. They dabble around to amuse themselves and to stave off boredom and anxiety. Similarly, Nines are highly intolerant of anxiety, and they stay busy to avoid it, using errands and hobbies to occupy their minds in undemanding, non-threatening ways. They want to avoid conflict or over excitement; by contrast, Sevens love excitement. Sevens become demanding and excessive and crassly materialistic as they deteriorate, while Nines become more passive, indifferent, and unresponsive as they become more unhealthy. Sevens want to be stimulated, whereas Nines want to avoid anything that would overly stimulate, much less upset, them. The essential difference is that average Nines do not want to be emotionally involved in their activities (since these can threaten their identifications), whereas Sevens want to have an increasingly high emotional charge from their activities (since they have few subjective identifications).

    Furthermore, Nines do not seek the same kind of happiness that Sevens do (euphoria and elation). Instead, they wish to maintain a state of placid contentment, of being neither too excited nor in discomfort. Indeed, if they could, they would be completely free of excessive stimulation of any kind. The Nine's desire to avoid becoming deeply involved with anything lest it arouse too high a response is the polar opposite of what we find in the average Seven. As we have seen, like all opposites, these two types can nevertheless be alike in many ways. Consider the differences between John F. Kennedy (a Seven) and Ronald Reagan (a Nine) or between Bette Midler (a Seven) and Ingrid Bergman (a Nine) for further insight into these two types.

    Type Eight-Type Nine

    Eights with a Nine-wing can sometimes be mistaken for Nines with an Eight-wing, although this is not a common mistype. Eights are openly assertive and do not mind getting into conflicts to make their point. In fact, Eights often like to get into conflicts and debates, finding them energizing and a sign that the other person really cares about the issue. Nines dislike contention of any kind and if possible, would rather agree with the other to keep the peace. As they deteriorate down the Levels, Eights become angrier, more aggressive, and domineering: Nines become more passive, disengaged and depressive. Compare Nines Geena Davis and Walt Disney with Eights Susan Sarandon and John Huston.

    source: http://www.enneagraminstitute.com/