Enneagram 6: Whatever This Is, We’re All in This Together

Healthy 6: Healthy 6’s can be calm in present uncertainty because they have prepared for multiple outcomes. Naturally wary towards danger and able to sense trouble, they help their community know when caution is called for. Healthy 6’s do this out of a healthy response to fear and with deep loyalty for friendships that they wish to protect and nurture.

Unhealthy 6: Unhealthy 6’s act from a fear for others and themselves. Finding danger around every corner, the sky seems to be falling far too often. Worried and anxious, they will find fault in those they perceive to be causing the uncertainty and imagine worst-case scenarios if things (or people) don’t change.

Healthy Stress Move to 3: Like a healthy 3, a 6 moving to stress knows how, when, and where to disarm her own frenetic activity. He recognizes that what could be done is different from what must be done which is also different from what is his to do.

Unhealthy Stress Move to 3: An unhealthy 3 does not know when to slow down and will become a workaholic with a transactional approach to relationships. Similarly, the unhealthy stress move for a 6 is to attempt to cover her own feelings with activity and denial. She may push back on genuine concern for her behavior, denying that any problem exists.

Enneagram Type 6 and Grief 6s are in touch with their emotions and able to name their grief. Grief might get tricky for 6s if they don’t hear permission to stay with the grief through its course. 6s, you are the authority on your own internal life; you have permission to grieve what you need to and in the ways that are helpful to you.

COVID 19 and Church Leadership

A healthy 6 is the perfect person to tell us why it’s the right thing to do to shelter-in-place and have online worship services. A healthy 6 can describe in great detail the logical irrefutable reasons why staying at home means staying safe. A healthy 6 can do this with gentle logic and a desire to keep the community of believers safe for the sake of others.

Our healthy 6’s can also be the first to warn us that there are some who, even if they’re watching online church, are not connecting with the community. Their herd mentality will help us make sure no one is left behind. They’ll help us problem-solve how to keep people together. Their focused activity will comfort those who are worried about financial instability, isolated family members, and a physically scattered church. They can do these things because they’ve already imagined all of these falling apart.

On the other hand, Sixes… now is not the time to constantly be the “bearer of bad news.” Please don’t grieve that which hasn’t happened yet. There is anxiety about our current circumstances. We need pastors who will be present with us rather than news reporters hoping to get our attention on how bad things may end up being.

Special note for 6s: It can be a healthy self assessment for you to notice where you are each day in response to authority. Sixes move along a continuum of phobic to counter-phobic all the time. Are you still fluctuating on that scale or have you camped at one end or the other? Notice which authority figures you are distrustful of and which ones you never question. Either extreme is a red flag when reactive rather than responsive in nature.

Rest assured, your deep desire to protect and nurture us will bring us back together with confidence and joy. You may be the best person in the church to make sure everyone feels seen. We’ll be loyal to our church family because you were loyal to us. You made sure we weren’t forgotten. We aren’t a checklist; we’re your family.

Here’s a few questions to keep in mind:

Who do you worry about? What frightens you about this moment? It’s probably not your first instinctive answer. What’s behind that fear?

Who is in danger of being left behind? How might you make that person feel seen?

What are the flaws in your church’s interim plans for COVID? What unintended consequences might that have on the church long-term? How effectively are you communicating your thoughts about this?

Are you feeling left out or left behind? How is that impacting your leadership? How is that impacting other relationships?

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