Enneagram: Quick Overview of the 9 Types (Ego Identities)

In essence, the Enneagram describes peoples’ internal motivations, sense of identity and habitual thought patterns and issues. All of those are categorized into 9 types. 

Learning about the Enneagram can open up your understanding of others and yourself. At best, you will realize the limitations of your thought patterns and that they are ultimately unnecessary – they only show one aspect of reality, not its entirety.

By working on your self-awareness and improving your instincts, you can slowly overcome the most rigid thought and belief patterns of your type and ascend into mental freedom.

Based on my Enneagram test session, which you can book here, and inspired by Helen Palmer and Riso & Hudson, I have come up with a very short, but succinct, overview of each Enneagram type, which I call “Ego Identities“.


Type 1The Judge

  • Main issue is Anger. (Gut)
  • Strong inner critic, tries to do what is expected of them. (Compliant)
  • Strives for competence. (Competent)
  • Structures the external environment according to (usually externally validated) or lawful/”just” rules, standards, morals, modes of conduct, which are designed to structure the environment from “chaos” into “order”. If other people or The Judge themselves make a mistake, create chaos, and do not adhere to the “perfect” standards, morals or rules, flares up or seethes in anger.

Type 2The Giver

  • Main issue is Sadness/Shame. (Heart)
  • Strong inner critic, tries to do what is expected of them. (Compliant)
  • Positive facade. (Positive)
  • Gives to other people and helps, nurtures, “mothers” them, often at their own expense or making others indebted to them, trying to create the image of a helpful and valuable/esteemed giver, with the hopes and expectation it will bring them love and appreciation. If this strategy does not work, they become sad and/or ashamed.

Type 3The Achiever

  • Main issue is Sadness/Shame. (Heart)
  • Extroverted. (Assertive)
  • Strives for competence. (Competent)
  • They do their most to (over-)achieve with the utmost of their abilities or they create the illusion of such, creating the image of a successful person (based on current, external markers of success), because they believe then they will be loved/admired. If this strategy does not work, they become sad and/or ashamed.

Type 4The Individualist

  • Main issue is Sadness/Shame. (Heart)
  • Introverted. (Withdrawn)
  • Emotionally real.
  • Attempts to create a unique or creative image that sets them apart from the “common (wo)man”, in the extreme to the point of looking or acting inhuman or from another world or time. If that strategy does not work, become sad and ashamed. Overly focuses on their internal states, emotions, feelings, and thoughts during emotional unrest, as a consequence often starts to feel they and/or the world are too flawed/broken/”lacking”.

Read: Type 4 vs 5

Type 5The Analyst

  • Main issue is Fear. (Mind)
  • Introverted. (Withdrawn)
  • Strives for competence. (Competent)
  • They logically analyze the world and acquire theoretical knowledge, typically becoming an expert, because it makes them feel more secure and able at dealing with the world; may “hoard” their knowledge, in the extreme they overly identify with their superior views and become convinced they always “know best”. If this strategy does not work, they are overcome with fear and anxiety.

Read: Type 5 vs 4

Watch: True Nature of Enneagram Type 5: Obsessed with Knowing Better/Know-It-All

Type 6The Troubleshooter

  • Main issue is Fear. (Mind)
  • Strong inner critic, tries to do what is expected of them, or rebels against it. (Compliant)
  • Emotionally real.
  • Constantly on the lookout for, preparing for, and thinking about possible hidden dangers, troubles, lies, potential issues, worst-case scenarios and the like; focused either on avoiding or eliminating and overcoming those challenges to quench their fears. If that strategy does not work, they’ll panic or act out in fear like a “dog that barks but doesn’t bite”.

Type 7The Monkey Mind

  • Main issue is Fear. (Mind)
  • Extroverted. (Assertive)
  • Positive facade. (Positive)
  • Throws themselves into fun, opportunities, potentials, events, ideas, ideal scenarios and the like in the external world (on in their mind), in order to run away from whatever frightens them; they are quite restless internally and externally and prone to feeling constrained. If this strategy does not work, they are overcome with fear and anxiety.

Type 8The Dominant

  • Main issue is Anger. (Gut)
  • Extroverted. (Assertive)
  • Emotionally real.
  • Have the need to feel dominant over other people or situations, get angered when they do not possess the power or control over a situation/someone. Hence they tend to acquire positions of power/leadership or domination. If this strategy does not work, they are enraged and may turn vicious, vengeful and punish others.

Watch: True Nature of Enneagram Type 8: NOT Fear of Vulnerability!

Type 9 –  The Peaceseeker

  • Main issue is Anger. (Gut)
  • Introverted. (Withdrawn)
  • Positive facade. (Positive)
  • Due to their desire for peace, usually come across as peaceful, even if they are internally the opposite; try to repress any negative feelings, especially their anger, around others; as a consequence, often are “asleep” to their real self, issues and desires.

Still don’t know your Enneagram type? Then book a Get•Typed session with me! 🙂

Want to get advice on how to improve your Enneagram type-related issues? Then book a Type•Coaching session with me! 


Last update: October 2021

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