3 June 2020


Finally, today, we get to the heart of the Enneagram.
Last Wednesday we said that Enneagram is a geometric figure, formed by a circle on whose circumference are marked nine points, equidistant from each other. Three of these points are connected to each other and form a triangle, which is inscribed in the circle. The other six points are connected to each other by straight lines. So in total there are nine points and nine straight lines, as many as there are enneatypes.

Take a look at the equilateral triangle: let’s now place the three nuclear emotions, with which we have become familiar in previous articles and in the webinar of May 6th. Let’s imagine to place an emotion for each corner, today we see the corner of Fear, located at the bottom left, which as we said characterizes the world of cognitive characters, more mental, head, that is the enneatypes FIVE / SIX / SEVEN.

For those who participated in the webinar on emotions will be easier to understand, but we will do it again in the future!

Each enneatype is characterized by a prevailing passion and a cognitive fixation that reinforces the passion and creates a vicious circle. In each individual there is something of the nine types, but only one passion and fixation prevails.

Each enneatype is influenced by “wings” and “connections”, which explain the “dynamics” of personalities, the various nuances of our way of being and any “contradictory” aspects of our personality, but we will see these next time.

There are also three subtypes for each enneathype (for a total of twenty-seven types) depending on whether the instinct of self-preservation, sexual or social instinct prevails, but we will also see this in the future.

For me the Enneagram is a really useful map of self-knowledge, I need it in relationships, so at work and in couples counseling it offers very interesting ideas. It’s a map, and like all maps it doesn’t exactly match the territory. I can have clear the path to follow to get to the hut, I may have read that to cross some stretches I will need to use crampons, I may have calculated every distance, but only walking there I will feel the scents, the freshness of the air, I will feel the fatigue and satisfaction. Only walking there I will realize all the stones to pay attention not to slip, on the map they are not marked. Is that clear?

Let’s start at the Fear corner, then FIVE / SIX / SEVEN.

I’ll describe the characteristics of these enneatypes taking inspiration from texts, articles and courses.

Then I add my perception, the perception of a Conservative Seven.



Passion: greed.

Cognitive fixation: detachment.

Nuclear emotion: Fear.

It shows a strong retreat from the world. Very intellectual, he has great difficulty in getting in touch with his emotions, in being in the body, in intimacy with others. Feeling he has to preserve his own borders, he detaches himself to maintain control and remove the threat. To give oneself means to get lost. Reflective and reserved, it protects its private self by dedicating most of its time to study and knowledge. He rejects interpersonal contact, perceiving it as potentially intrusive of his private life.

Especially stingy, he maintains an emotional distance to protect his private life, and tends not to get involved, to observe life from the outside. He holds on to what he has because he feels he has little and what he has to hold on to in order to survive. His defense is based on doing without: others and things. Detached from his feelings, he feels drained of his needs. He rationalizes fear with intellectualism, study, the search for knowledge.

How I live it: I am connected to the Five, so it is a way of being in the world that I know well. Few people see me this way, especially those who have known me for a long time find it hard to imagine me isolated and silent!

I live with a Sexual Five: in our relationship it is fundamental to plan in respect of each other’s times and spaces.


Passion: fear.

Cognitive fixation: accusation.

Nuclear emotion: Fear.

It is strongly characterized by anxiety, doubt, insecurity, the feeling of danger that comes from being in the world, in relation with others. Fearful, normative, procrastinating, inwardly overwhelmed by the fear of making mistakes, which stops him from acting because exposing himself means being able to be attacked; sometimes he marries lost causes, and is capable of great loyalty and fidelity, even though he has great difficulty in trusting. Intellectual, observer, he is afraid of humans and, perceiving the world as threatening, he goes so far as to project his fear outwards into paranoia. Hence his need to rationalize everything, in an indecision that can be paralyzing. He has an ambivalent relationship with authority: from blind loyalty to fanaticism, because it guarantees him protection, to open rebellion.

As I live it: it is my wing, for many years I felt it very strongly. Even if I don’t show it I’m very insecure, but I’m very good at disguising it, those who know me well know it! With friends Six I am fine, and when I feel that their closeness makes me paranoid I recognize it and I stop, if even friends know this language, we declare it and have a good laugh.


Passion: gluttony.

Cognitive fixation: planning.

Nuclear emotion: Fear.

He’s very attached to the need to get pleasure; basically extrovert, talker, he can be great company. He has a form of orality that, unlike that of the Two, expresses itself by going in search of pleasant experiences and avoiding boredom, sadness and pain. Baptized as Peter Pan, eternal child, he approaches life in a hedonistic, adventurous, Epicurean way. He remains committed, tends to keep all possibilities open, to start things without ending them, to distract himself easily. He can be seductive and manipulative, and is inclined to plan and invent strategies, which leads him to be little in the present, to remain on the surface, to sink into experiences with difficulty, struggling to stay and deepen. He exorcises his fears by avoiding them.

How I live it: now that I have worked on it, that I have recognized the traps, that I know how to be in Five, that I know how to be in One, that I make use of wing Eight and that I don’t get lost in wing Six anymore… I am fine! When I didn’t recognize any of this and lived through the events, I have to say it was very tiring. Maybe from the outside it all looked like a lot of fun, but being inside it was sometimes exhausting.

Of course, if you read them like that, they’d all say bad characters, wouldn’t they?

From the point of view of passions and obsessions, that is to say from the neurotic aspect we all have a bad temper, yes!

Becoming aware of our mechanisms, seeing them and accepting them is the first step to transformation. We cannot change character, we can transform it.

>>> To be continued next week with enneatypes TWO / THREE / FOUR. Stay tuned!