Enneagram Type Growth: Big 5 Traits Most Predictive of Well-Being

Growth is all about improving ourselves, finding more harmony in our psyche and mind, and conquering our deepest fears and troubles. But which Points in your Growth path are actually the most beneficial when it comes to personal Well-Being?

Increased Well-Being

This article has concluded that the Big 5 traits most conducive to personal Well-Being are (in this order)…

  1. Enthusiasm
    • “People who score high in enthusiasm are friendly, sociable, emotionally expressive, and tend to have lots of fun in life.”
  2. Low Withdrawal
    • “People who score high in withdrawal are easily discouraged and overwhelmed, and tend to ruminate and be highly self-conscious. As a result, they are susceptible to depression and anxiety.”
  3. Industriousness
    • “People who are industrious are achievement-oriented, self-disciplined, efficient, purposeful, and competent. Industriousness is strongly correlated with “grit”- passion and perseverance for long-term goals.”
  4. Compassion
    • “People who are compassionate feel and care about others’ emotions and well-being.”
  5. Intellectual Curiosity
    • “People who score high in intellectual curiosity are open to new ideas, enjoy thinking deeply and complexly, and tend to reflect a lot on their experiences.”
  6. Assertiveness
    • “People who score high in assertiveness are socially dominant, motivated to attain social status and leadership positions, and tend to be provocative.”
  7. Creative Openness
    • “People who score high in creative openness need a creative outlet, and appreciate beauty, daydreaming, imagination, fantasy, and feelings.”

No Significant Impact on Well-Being

The three traits which actually have no significant impact on Well-Being despite the usual claims, were…

Politeness, Orderliness, Volatility

Relation to Enneagram Types

This is how the Enneagram Types measure up to each of those traits on average:

  • Most Enthusiastic: 2, 7, (9)
  • Highest in Withdrawal: 4, 5, 6w5
  • Most Industrious: 3, 1
  • Most Compassionate: 2, 9
  • Most Intellectually curious: 5, 7
  • Most Assertive: 8, 3, 7
  • Most Creatively Open: 4, 7, 5, (9)

Following the above, it would be the most beneficial to “move” to 2, 7, 3, 1, 9 and to a lesser extent 8, 4, 5 in a healthy/positive way when you want to “grow”.

4 and 5 are double-edged swords; they both have positive traits like being more creatively open or more intellectually curious, but at the cost of being also high in Withdrawal, which has quite a negative impact on personal Well-Being.

That’s how primarily types who are more Assertive (the opposite of Withdrawn), as in 3, 7, 8, will be able to benefit most from “moving” to them (to an extent; even those types would be advised to primarily focus on the non-Withdrawn aspects of the type; in the case of moving to 5, focus on becoming more intellectually curious).

In the case of 8, this type tends to have more negative emotions as well (being Emotionally Real like 4), hence moving to 8 needs to be done with caution. That correlation was also found in the article:

“We found that assertiveness was positively related to autonomy in life (being independent and able to resist social pressures) but was also related to greater negative emotions. This makes sense considering that being autonomous often requires nonconformity and standing up for what you believe in, which can make us feel less happy in the moment.”

Scott Barry Kaufman (2016)

Advice for Enneagram Types

Taking all of the above into account, people can try to embody more the traits of the following type recommendations in order to increase their Well-Being:

  • Type 1 – Move to 7 in a positive manner.
  • Type 2 – Move to 8 in a positive manner.
  • Type 3 – Move to 9 in a positive manner.
  • Type 4 – Move to 1 and 2 in a positive manner.
  • Type 5 – Move to 7 and 8 in a positive manner.
  • Type 6 – Move to 3 in a positive manner.
  • Type 7 – Move to 1 > 5 in a positive manner.
  • Type 8 – Move to 2 > 5 in a positive manner.
  • Type 9 – Move to 3 in a positive manner.

By “positive manner“, I mean focusing on the Light side, rather than the demonic Dark side. The Dark side is obviously much more tempting and easier to indulge in, but it ultimately creates destruction of the self or others or both. Anything that is negatively charged and destructive in any way should be avoided, because it leads to demise and no actual growth.

I should also note that the old theory of “integration” and “disintegration” is largely outdated. It has been acknowledged that it is possible to improve within a “disintegration” type and to degrade within an “integration” type.

For example, an unhealthy 8 moving to 2 in a dark manner would become overly helpful or overbearing, to the point of losing several of their assets and being taken advantage of by others (e.g scammed).

Hence it is so important to make a distinction being “positive” and “negative” versions of each type.

Watch this video on “dark side” Sp/Sx.

Focus on *current* Main Issue

Despite your Main Enneagram Type, the “growth type” you should focus on primarily depends on your current main issues.

As a 2 (main type), moving to a healthy 8 could generally be the most helpful. But if your current issues are mostly anxiety-based (here: 6 fix related), moving to healthy 3 like a 6 might be more helpful (at the moment).

Optimize your Wing and Trifixes

The easiest path towards your growth could be optimizing the positive aspects of the types (wing and fixes) you already have a strong connection to.

For example:

You are an unhealthy 4w3 (main type) with the Tritype fixes 9 and 7. Besides or instead of moving to 1 and 2 in a healthy manner, you can primarily make the most out of your 3, 7 and 9 aspects to boost your industriousness, enthusiasm, compassion, intellectual curiosity, and assertiveness, which will give you a more natural advantage.

How to “Move” to the Enneagram Type?

You are probably wondering how exactly you can “move” to the other Enneagram types.

  1. Read type descriptions of the “growing” type and select the positive traits and read the examples below.
    • For example, if you want to boost your 1-ness, read the examples “4 moves to 1” and “7 moves to 1” below.
    • You may want to write the positive traits down.
  2. Follow people who exhibit those positive traits and emulate them.
    • Alternatively, take note of the positive traits of that type you already have and focus more on them.
  3. Study your instinctual stacking and fulfill your instinctual needs.
    • You need to fulfill the desires of your first, then second instinct for optimal well-being.
  4. Rinse and repeat.

Deliberately “moving” to a type is not the same as naturally becoming more like a healthy version of the “real” type in the process of growth, but it can be a helpful first step in order to increase your personal Well-Being.

Growing Enneagram Types (Examples)

Below you can find exemplary signs of the types moving to another in a positive and growing way.

1 moves to 7 (positively)

  • less critical
  • more enthusiastic
  • more optimistic
  • gain the ability to be spontaneous (when necessary)
  • see the positive rather than what’s wrong
  • can loosen up and have fun

2 moves to 8 (positively)

  • feel confidence and power
  • are more honest and straight-forward rather than flattering
  • care less about what others think of them

3 moves to 9 (positively)

  • learn to slow down and be at peace
  • begin to be more open to receiving others
  • less focused on self-image and more on “being”

4 moves to 1 (positively)

  • become disciplined rather than allowing emotions to control their life
  • learn practicality
  • get things done
  • become less negative as a result of emotional level-headedness
  • use strong principles to take action

4 moves to 2 (positively)

  • become less self-absorbed
  • focus on other people’s needs in a healthy (mutually giving) way

5 moves to 7 (positively)

  • lose restrictive inhibitions (based on fears)
  • become more fun-loving and free
  • experience life more

5 moves to 8 (positively)

  • get in touch with their body or reality and out of their heads
  • trust their instinct
  • become more assertive and put themselves out there
  • use anger to motivate them rather than shying away from it

6 moves to 3 (positively)

  • become less uncertain and act to accomplish goals
  • do not shy away from success due to fear of being targeted

7 moves to 1 (positively)

  • learn to follow through with their plans
  • discipline

7 moves to 5 (positively)

  • go into depth in areas of interest, rather than skirting the surface
  • start to reflect and become more observant and deliberate

8 moves to 2 (positively)

  • become more vulnerable (in a mutual manner)
  • express their soft side (in a mutual manner)
  • increased concern for and support of others’ needs
  • help those who need and appreciate it

8 moves to 5 (positively)

  • become less immediate and impulsive
  • lust or fury is tamed by objectivity and consideration before action

9 moves to 3 (positively)

  • gain energy and productivity
  • become more focused on one’s personal goals
  • gain confidence
  • live more for themselves rather than through others


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