Enneagram Types: Similarities & Differences

“..then he added, as if requiring a response to his own remark,
‘Probably the greater the difference, the greater the similarity, and the greater the similarity, the greater the difference,’ at that moment he did not yet know how right he was.” – José Saramago, All the Names

It is consistently interesting to me as I work with clients in my Enneagram Coaching Practice that both:

  1. Our external behaviours can look the same, yet have different internal emotional/energetic underpinnings.
  2. Our internal emotional/energetic underpinnings can be so similar and yet, have different external behaviors or manifestations.

Here is a series of observations I’ve made so far. This is just the tip of the iceberg though. We’re all interconnected and interwoven in such a way that I know I’ll be joyfully fascinated for the rest of my life! – Melissa

Type 9 & Type 5

Same: Both externally procrastinate when needing to complete important tasks. They fill the day with busywork.

Different: Type 5s internally fear being unable to handle the task and having to ask for help. Type 9s internally fear that the importance of the task will upset their inner balance/peace.

Type 4 & Type 7

Same: Both tend to quickly shift jobs, projects, interests, and relationships. This is often done unconsciously, neither Type aware of how much they change.

Different: Type 4s are searching for a sense of identity in each shift. Type 7s search for fulfillment and satisfaction with every move.

Type 2 & Type 8

Same: Both feel angry, often because their selfhood or boundaries are being violated in some way.

Different: Type 2s express their anger in explosive outbursts after trying to repress this particular emotion. Type 8s show their anger more easily and consistently, and move on from it quickly.

Type 3 & Type 6

Same: Both are excited planners, working diligently toward achievable goals.

Different: Type 3s are internally optimistic, believing everything will move smoothly and to great success. Type 6s expect that all manner of problems will arise and so they develop a myriad of contingencies just in case.

Type 1 & Type 5

Same: Both deal with voices of internal criticism and feeling not good enough.

Different: In response, Type 1s pour endless energy into improving all that surrounds them. Type 5s pick a few projects and try to silence their distrust of self with overzealous mastery.

Type 2 & Type 6

Same: Both appear externally warm and friendly in their many relationships.

Different: Internally, Type 2s cling to the love in their relationships; it gives them a sense of identity. Internally, Type 6s mistrust others, always keeping a watchful eye open for breaks in loyalty.

Type 3 & Type 4

Same: Both are intense and competitive, seeking outward recognition and approval.

Different: Type 3s push their true feelings aside to maintain momentum toward a goal. Type 4s lose goal momentum as their fluctuating feelings return them to an inward focus.

Type 7 & Type 9

Same: Both are adaptable, inviting, and would prefer to avoid conflict. Internally, both do not want to feel pain.

Different: Externally, Type 7s have a hectic, wild energy and express their desires. Type 9s live at a more measured pace, are generally mellow, and mesh with the desires of others.

Type 2 & Type 4

Same: Both are used to others liking them, seeking out relationships that bolster their self-confidence. Both are friendly and magnetic.

Different: Type 2s genuinely believe they can get anyone to like them, and it’s in inward image confirmation. Type 4s distrust their relationships and inwardly distrust that they are lovable.

Type 1 & Type 8

Same: Both are focused on control, feeling inwardly that if they have a sense of control, all will be well.

Different: Type 1s exert super-control over themselves and the details of their environment. Type 8s care about the big picture. They desire power to ensure they get what they want and everything stays together.

Can’t figure out your Type? I offer 1-hour Typing Sessions and have fall slots open! Click HERE to fill out a request and discover your number!

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