TYPE SIX: The Loyal Skeptic

If you are a Loyal Skeptic, you are perceptive, loyal and attentive with a strong belief that love and protection are gained by vigilance and endurance.

You habitually focus your attention on possible hazards.


You are driven by fear of possible dangers and what can go wrong. Challenges for this type include being reactive (defensive/accusatory), doubting and procrastinating.

Each Enneagram Type has its own idealization, avoidance and defense mechanism which holds the idealization “in place”. 


AVOIDANCE:  Uncertainty, deviance, vulnerability  (from the group norms)

DEFENSE MECHANISM: Projection; attributing to others things about ourselves that we cannot accept, both positive and negative. The Six may see someone else as angry when in fact they are angry themselves.

Six’s tend to amplify data in the environment to support any given projection. This allows them to leave the uncertainty in the present moment. The shift into doubting and questioning feeds the habitual search for certainty.

Feeling grateful for something helps keep our focus and energy on it.

This is helpful when working with the Enneagram because gratitude automatically shifts focus away from those things which habitually grab attention to perhaps more productive or nourishing things. Intentionally cultivating a gratitude practice is an excellent way to broaden our focus of attention.


Cultivate gratitude for your successes, your gifts, for the good things in life. You tend to have amnesia when it comes to your successes.

VIRTUE: Courage; a state of being when you have confidence and you trust your innate ability to competently handle whatever occurs.

In this state, you’re not defensively anticipating and preparing for future eventualities.  

Remember a time when you were trusting and open hearted in the present moment and didn’t try to control external circumstances in order to feel safe and secure. 


Accept insecurity as part of life.

Check out your projections. Sometimes they are only partially true. There may be other important information that helps you with perspective.

Practice checking in with your own “inner authority.” This helps you gain faith in yourself, others and the world.

Recognize that fight and flight are reactions to fear.

Use your five senses.When you walk outside or go into the grocery, pause. Notice shapes, colors, sounds, smells. Notice how it feels in your body to PAUSE and appreciate 5 sensory reality.

Observe fear and calm it through gentle breathing.

Move ahead in spite of fear.


Sixes identify the problem areas of a relationship.

Recognizing the issues doesn’t require you to immediately change, but denial creates mistrust.

Your Six wants to affect you.

In relationship, they need to know they have value in your eyes. In return you get enduring loyalty and support.

Expect mood shifts as certainty shifts to doubt and back again.

Expect to be challenged and/or questioned.

Expect challenges with softer emotions which point to their vulnerability and insecurity, and offer genuine assurances.

Sixes can attribute their own feelings to others.

You can seem to be angry or withholding when it’s actually the Six who feels that way.

A clear statement of your position is hugely reassuring.

Spontaneous reassurance,
romance and surprise will work wonders.

Learning to recognize the patterns of type, accepting them with compassion and learning to relax them, brings us to the present moment where life can be experienced more fully. Recognizing these patterns in others helps us understand and relate to them.


Watch Leslie give a short introduction and explanation of Type Six, The Loyal Skeptic:

Interested in learning how we can support you through Enneagram typing or coaching? Click here.

Sources: Helen Palmer; Type Six panelists; The Narrative Enneagram

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