Enneagram Perceptions by Type

Written By Emily Kassmeier
Posted on

Most of us have felt misunderstood by others at some point in our lives. How we act externally may not always exactly match our internal thoughts and motivations. Even when we make every effort to live authentically, others may misunderstand or misread us. Having some awareness of how we might be coming across to the people around us can help us better connect with them and clear up misunderstandings before they happen. Though we each have our own unique personality quirks and traits, your Enneagram type can hold some hints as to how others might perceive you.

Ones: The Perfectionist

  • Ethical
  • Responsible
  • Industrious

Ones have high standards for themselves and others, which can come across as judgmental or critical. High quality work, honesty, and trustworthiness are important to them. They can have a hard time receiving negative feedback because of their perfectionism, which may seem odd since they can be so quick to point out the flaws in others. However, Ones might be doing it to comfort themselves, giving themselves a reminder that they’re only human and others make mistakes too.

Twos: The Helper

  • Supportive
  • Generous
  • People-oriented

Twos can come across as selfless martyrs, always making others feel secure and finding countless ways to meet the needs of those around them. They are perceptive, expressive, and vulnerable. Sometimes it feels like they can read minds because they’re so naturally gifted at sensing needs. Problems can occur when Twos expect people to do the same for them, as this can be unrealistic for others to achieve.

Threes: The Achiever

  • Optimistic
  • Inspirational
  • Charismatic

Threes are often seen as determined, passionate go-getters. They might come across as wildly successful and ambitious people, full of energy and always looking to get ahead. Threes have an unmatched ability to focus relentlessly on a goal until it’s achieved, which can make others feel alienated when Threes distance themselves and set aside feelings or relationships in order to complete a task. They are driven and enthusiastic, and usually feel uncomfortable showing vulnerability.

Fours: The Romantic

  • Sensitive
  • Creative
  • Introspective

Fours tend to be seen as melancholic and deeply emotional. Although they have a strong desire to belong, the methods they use attempting to do so often make it seem like they want the exact opposite. They’re expressive and eccentric, often are interested in aesthetics and they have a flair for originality. When Fours seem to be procrastinating, it might be because they lack finding meaning in their work or they don’t feel appreciated for their unique contributions.

Fives: The Observer

  • Observant
  • Private
  • Innovative

Fives are usually seen as thoughtful and perceptive. They are uncomfortable being caught off-guard. They want others to know they’re always prepared, ready to share their unique insight and add something interesting to the conversation. In social situations, they might come across as detached or standoffish, when in reality Fives simply prefer observing and gathering mental notes, rather than participating.

Sixes: The Loyalist

  • Dedicated
  • Consistent
  • Responsible

Sixes can come across as worriers, usually planning for the worst and expecting calamities at any moment. They are dedicated and cooperative, and seek out security. When they seem indecisive or self-doubting, it’s often simply because they’re brimming with questions. This skepticism can at times feel like a wet blanket to others, but it can help Sixes spot potential catastrophes and get things back on track before a project has a chance to fall apart.

Sevens: The Enthusiast

  • Joyful
  • Spontaneous
  • Charming

Sevens are energetic and usually on a constant lookout for their next adventure, which might make them seem scattered or unfocused. Wherever the excitement is happening, Sevens are likely to be found right in the middle of it. They often try to evade complicated or stressful situations in favor of something they find more enjoyable. Sevens see possibilities everywhere. Their ability to bounce back quickly when life has them down for the count makes them the kind of person that others want on their team.

Eights: The Challenger

  • Assertive
  • Intense
  • Courageous

Eights can seem like they have a hard outer shell, sometimes coming across as aggressive or stubborn in their ways. While it may feel intimidating, intense discussions are what help them relate to others. Their dominant demeanor makes them natural leaders. Even when they’re not actually in a leadership position, people may still look to them for direction because they have an uncanny ability to take charge and influence people.

Nines: The Peacemaker

  • Warm
  • Cooperative
  • Harmonious

Nines come across as easy-going, gentle, and accommodating people. Because they are so relaxed and adaptable, indecision often plagues them. Nines may often agree with the opinions of others in order to avoid conflict and keep the peace, which might make it seem difficult to get to know them or have a genuine conversation with them. They are optimistic and supportive, and can see things from many points of view.

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