Enneagram Type 6: The Loyalist

There are many different nicknames for all of the Enneagram types, but there’s something very telling about the fact that the Enneagram 6, or the loyalist, only goes by one nickname.

That’s because Sixes are, at their core, utterly devoted to the people they love, and they will do everything in their power to make sure that those they love are safe, protected, and feel loved.

Sixes are constantly stuck in their own little mind palaces, just like their Enneagram neighbors, the Enneagram 5’s. The difference is that the Five is usually analytical in how they solve their problems, and they can generally detach from their emotions while they’re analyzing the problem; the Enneagram 6 cannot help but think of forty more issues before they’ve even solved the first one.

Enneagram 6’s are the kinds of people you want on your side during a zombie apocalypse. They’re natural problem solvers, even if that means that they create problems or view everything from the lens of a worst-case-scenario idea rather than dealing with actual pressing issues.

Sixes will often see a problem long before anyone else can even fathom it becoming a thing. Because they are natural protectors and thinkers, they will often shoulder the burden of taking care of everyone around them and ensuring that everyone is safe.

There’s a reason Sixes are called loyalists. It’s because they’re dedicated to the people, things, and beliefs that make them feel seen and understood in life. They will often have a hard time letting go of the past, and if you tell them something that pokes a hole in their theories or beliefs, they may never forgive you.

If you’re in a relationship with an Enneagram 6, you are their world, and they will love you with everything in them. Sixes are used to turbulence and fear surrounding them all of the time, so when they find a person they finally feel safe around, they will hold onto that person and never let them go.

We say this about every type on the Enneagram because it’s true, but it’s a privilege to be loved by an Enneagram 6. If you have a Six in your life who is dedicated to loving and taking care of you, you are truly blessed.

The Loyalist Overview

Every single Enneagram type is how they are because of a childhood wound. This is the instance that shaped who they are and why they act in the way they do now. As children, Sixes were taught to depend on their authority figures for everything, almost to a fault.

Even though no one is perfect, the Six was taught from an early age that, for better or for worse, their authority figure was. So when their authority figure ended up being a terrible person or showing signs of manipulation, abuse, or other dangerous things, the Six then internalized that and had to deal with what it meant for them.

Although we could spend all day talking about the childhood wounds of each type, we’re going to move on a bit from that.

But the initial wounds that the Six had to face from an early age ended up impacting them and leading them to their worst fear — being without support or guidance.

The Loyalist - Enneagram 1

That’s one of the many reasons why Sixes are known for attaching themselves to the people who make them feel loved and safe. Because once they found someone who would take care of them, they wouldn’t let whatever happened in the past happen again, and they set out to ensure that their person would never leave them.

All a Six wants in life is to have security and know that they are safe wherever they go.

If you’re traveling with a Six, they are probably the kinds of people who make you print out your boarding pass, call the airline, and talk to about three flight attendants once they get to the airport to ensure that you’re going to get on the plane safely.

Sixes also want to feel supported by the people in their lives. While it might get tiring to be around a Six who is always looking behind them and making sure that they’re okay, the worst thing that you can tell your Six is that they’re overreacting or being stupid.

Instead, try to see life from their perspective and support everything they’re saying they’re afraid of. Sixes operate under high amounts of stress and anxiety all of the time, so by telling them that they’re overreacting or need to calm down, they might feel like you’re invalidating their feelings. This might also make them feel more alone and isolated than when they began, and a Six might not know how to handle those emotions.

While you shouldn’t coddle a Six, and there is a lot of room for growth in this type, there are steps you can take to show your Enneagram 6 partner that you care for them.

Enneagram 6 in Stress

When a Six gets stressed out, they begin to take on the character traits of an Enneagram Three. This means that the loyal and loving Six might appear more arrogant and cocky.

Because the Six sees the world from every point of view possible, they are usually more in-tuned with what the world holds for them and what to expect from their everyday lives.

Due to this reasoning, when something does go wrong, and a Six is already spiraling, they might be the first ones to say, “I told you so.”

When a Six feels as though their security is gone, they often cannot help but go into panic and survival mode. We mentioned that Sixes are the people who you want to go through a zombie apocalypse with, and that’s true, but just like a squirrel will store up nuts for the winter, and the colder the winter is, the more nuts they will store; when a Six feels as though their security has been messed with, they will go into zombie-apocalypse mode and try to fix everything in their lives.

An unhealthy Six will often look for anything that might remotely resemble danger in everything. Their fears will only grow as a result of that search, and they will often feel as though they cannot trust themselves or anyone around them.

Enneagram 6 in Growth

On the other hand, when a Six is at their healthiest, they will grow to show the similar personality traits of an Enneagram Nine. This means that they will become more relaxed, not always looking over their shoulders, and gain a more positive outlook on life.

A healthy Six can see the world for what it is, unexpected and often turbulent, but also maintain a healthy outlook on all of it, knowing that there’s not much, if anything, they can do to stop the danger from coming.

When a Six isn’t sinking all of their energy into trying to make everything safe and perfect, they can explore the things in this world that give them joy and purpose. They are also able to take their discerning eye and use it for good instead of worse-case-scenario ideas.

Enneagram 6 with Wing-5

Six-wing-Fives are often called either the Defenders or the Guardians of the Enneagram. This wing helps show the healthiest version of a Six, a person who is on guard and knows about the danger around them but who is willing and able to defend those they love.

These are a focused and task-oriented flavor of the Enneagram 6, and while their deepest fear remains the same as the core Six, they often combat the anxiety by taking action against it.

Six-wing-Fives are often great at solving problems as quickly as they come up and working independently. The Wing Five really affects the Six overall and makes them stronger.

Sadly, that also means that this version of a Six is prone to negative thinking and cynical beliefs. Sixes often believe that the world is against them and they are the only ones who can save everyone. This version of a Six is dedicated to making the world a better place, but they can also appear cold and withdrawn from the warmth of society around them.

Enneagram 6 with Wing-7

The Six-wing-Seven is known as the Confidant or the Buddy. These are the people who will attach to you like glue and make sure that you know how special and loved and protected you are… specifically by them.

The Wing Seven affects the Six because it makes them more social beings and less scared of all of the unknown around them.

The Six-wing-Seven will often need attention and affirmation from their partners, just so that they know that they’re doing a good job and they’re as appreciated and loved as they love and understand their partner.

Trust and loyalty come first and foremost to these Sixes, and all that matters to them is that they are loved and supported by those closest to them.

That being said, there is a massive level of self-doubt that comes into play with an unhealthy Six, and they will often avoid making any decisions because they don’t trust their own voices.

How the Loyalist’s Characteristics Apply to Romance and Dating

Sixes are one of the few types who need a relationship in their life. That might mean that they need a cat to come home to, or maybe they need an actual partner; that’s up to interpretation.

But a Six’s life needs the stability and adoration that can often result from a relationship.

Sixes are often their own worse enemies when it comes to being loved and known by their partners. While there’s nothing wrong with checking in on your partner every now and then during the day, Sixes will take that one step further. If you’re in a relationship with a Six, you are probably sharing your location with your partner, telling them where you’ll be and when, and if you ever miss a phone call, you’ll probably be met with a tearful voicemail, assuming you’re dead. And this is not us being overdramatic either; these are true stories.

Because the Six needs too much reassurance, and they often ask for it, they can wear their partners down and out by constantly making sure that they’re on the same page and loved.

Please Note:

Because the Six needs too much reassurance, and they often ask for it, they can wear their partners down and out by constantly making sure that they’re on the same page and loved.

But the good news about being in a relationship and in love with a Six is that they want the relationship to work forever. You’ll never see a Six just up and leave a relationship. They would prefer to be bonded with everyone for life than to give up the comfort of their love.

Tips for Keeping 6’s Interested

If you’re in a relationship with a Six and you’re wondering how you should treat them or what some of the ways that they might be the most loved are, keep reading!

Be There for Your Partner

For someone who relies on their partners for love and assurance, there is nothing quite so powerful and meaningful to them as being told that you’re there for them and that you support them.

Leave your Six little notes all around the house or in their office. Check-in on them and love them as much as they love you. If you notice that they’ve been going through a particularly rough patch in their lives and struggling with a good deal of anxiety, send them a little gift to let them know that you care.

Hear Their Fears

While your Six’s Fears might not seem like they are grounded in reality, or you might not have the energy to walk through the worst-case-scenario idea with your partner for every fear and issue that might arise, this is actually one of the kindest and most reassuring things that you can do for your Enneagram 6.

One of the worst things you can tell someone who struggles with anxiety is to calm down or “man up.” The truth of the matter is they might know that their fears are irrational or unlikely to actually happen, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not still paralyzed with fear.

The same thing goes for a Six. If your partner feels comfortable enough to tell you their fears, you need to not only listen to them but try to help them explore how to solve them. This will also help you understand what goes on in your partner’s head and why they so often struggle with fear.

Prioritize Quiet Quality Time Together

The Enneagram 6 is someone whose brain is constantly going a million miles an hour. On your next date night with your Six, curl up under a weighted blanket, put on a movie, and escape the world together.

Your partner needs to know that you’re on their side and they’re safe with you. This is a small gesture that you can make to let them know all of that and have a great night together.

Things to Consider When Dating an Enneagram 6

If you’re dating a Six, you must remember that patience is key. This type will often have to have the same conversation and assurance from you at least three times in a row before they feel confident about it.

Instead of lashing out at them, it’s good to remember that they just want to know they’re safe and loved and everything is okay. Which, if we’re all being honest, is a pretty tall order for this world.

You must never take a Six’s loyalty for granted. As stated many times above, a Six will love you unless you make them stop. And even then, they might still love you after.

Instead of taking that for granted, make sure that you’re cherishing and caring about your partner as much as they care about you.

Being loved by a Six is truly a revolutionary experience that few are lucky to have, but it’s one of the most profound and most devoted forms of love you will ever experience.

The Enneagram 6’s Compatibility with Other Enneagram Types

Because the Enneagram 6 is so oriented to being in a relationship and Sixes are often the kinds of people who need stability above all else, we thought that it might be helpful to break down the best relationship pairings for a Six and what they ought to look for when they’re looking for a partner.

Enneagram 9- The Peacemaker

The Peacemaker - Enneagram

If all a Six wants is a buddy to settle down with and to tell them that everything is going to be just fine in the world, they will find their soulmate in a Nine.

The Enneagram 6/9 pairing creates an adorable couple that is lovingly devoted to each other. Although both types have their own baggage and nobody is perfect, these two types coming together can result in a stable relationship.

At their core, both of these types want security and predictability in their lives. That means that their home will be a place of peace and a haven that both of them can run to when they don’t feel safe.

The difficulty of this relationship comes in the form of communication or lack thereof. Both Enneagram types are often so devoted to their partners that they feel uncomfortable speaking their emotions, and it can get dicey.

But when both types are at their healthiest, the relationship works in perfect harmony.

The Enneagram 6’s Incompatibility with Other Enneagram Types

Although we will never use the Enneagram to pit one type against another, there are a few types that the Enneagram 6 might not mesh well within a relationship.

Enneagram 2 – The Helper

The Helper - Enneagram

Although this pairing might look good on paper, with two extraordinarily loving and dutiful types coming together to form a relationship, there is a severe lack of boundaries that will result in one or both of the types getting hurt in this relationship.

Sixes and Twos often need help establishing personal boundaries and knowing when to not rely on their partners for everything.

If this goes unchecked, a Two will end up doing everything for a Six, and the Six will not only let that happen but eventually grow to need that codependency in their lives.

However, some Six/Two relationships work out well with each other. The Two can admire the loyalty of the Six, while the Six can see the love and adoration that the Two puts into everything they do.

If you’re in this kind of relationship, we would advise you to keep your boundaries up and not lose sight of yourself or your independence, no matter how much you might want to.

Final Thoughts

Dating an Enneagram 6 is a privilege and an honor. The Six will protect you with everything they have inside of them, and they will be loyal to you no matter what.

In a world full of unknowns and ever-changing facts and feelings, Sixes need someone who will ground them and make them feel as though they’re safe and their anxieties are heard, but they’ll still be okay.

All Sixes want out of their life is to know that they will be safe and protected by the people they love and that the people they love won’t be in danger either.

Although all Sixes are anxious, and that assessment could be pretty accurate, the main thing to remember about a Six is that they often put their identity into loving and being loved by other people. All the Six are looking for in their life is a bit of security in a world filled with uncertainty.