In average 6/5, the need to feel safe among friends is colored by a fiveish desire to pick things apart into their components. As a result, 6/5 is more likely than 6/7 to join groups whose memberships are highly homogeneous, and thus easier to understand. Unlike the more analytic 5/6, 6/5 is more interested in being liked than in understanding the situation, although both are important. 6/5 is typically a traditional, conservative person who wants to fit into a safe, trustworthy group.
As balanced 6/5 becomes free of anxiety and reductionistic analysis, an endearing kind of gentility and good humor begins to emerge. Here is someone who laughs easily, with almost a sense of relief. Can it really be so simple to live and enjoy life? There is a feeling of relaxed good nature and certainty. This is a person you can trust, someone to rely on for true friendship.
With still further depth of understanding, 6/5 turns into a warm and deeply loving brother or sister, someone who is in touch with a real universal authority, internally and eternally available. 6/5 acts with quiet confidence, coming from a place of peaceful faith. Essential sixness brings deep interpersonal bonding, essential fiveness builds penetrating perception, and nineish tranquility combines with eightish personal power.
Unbalanced 6/5 begins to feel anxious and wants to run away to some protected place. Unable to trust inner or outer authority, a search begins for some explanation for the constant tension. Others are easy to blame, and by projecting the causes of anxiety outward, 6/5 can find a temporary kind of release.
But with increased stress, 6/5 loses faith in the blaming. No explanation for the anxiety satisfies, and the world begins to seem like a horrible, frightening game. Paranoia escalates. Very unbalanced 6/5 bounces rapidly from fearful withdrawal to tense, overconfident pretense. (Everyone is out to get me, and there is no place to run. I’m frightened out of my wits, and I know I am headed for a complete breakdown, but maybe if I can get myself into enough trouble someone will come and rescue me.)
6/5 has the sixish desire to be attractive and likable, but the five wing’s withdrawing, analytical nature sometimes makes it hard to know what it takes to be appealing. 6/5 can be extremely attractive, or somewhat scruffy, depending on level of health and the strength of the wing. Sometimes 6/5 puts on a show of false toughness, dressing in utilitarian, unattractive clothes and assuming defensive, accusatory postures. Others prefer nonthreatening but stylish attire. It is rare to see a 6/5 who stands out because of exceptionally colorful clothing.
Some 6/5s find work that combines belonging to a group with being alone. Janitors, forest rangers, taxi drivers, bus drivers. They might like to be involved in serious, dangerous protection activities, as police officers, fire fighters, spies, private investigators, paramedics, or ambulance drivers. Others pursue risky hobbies like hang-gliding, rock climbing, skydiving, or scuba while working as architects, train conductors, or electrical engineers. Some find ways to protect underprivileged people, becoming defense attorneys, politicians, or other sorts of advocates. There are 6/5 construction engineers, sanitary engineers, and evangelical ministers. Of course, 6/5s can also be found doing many other kinds of work.
Next in Enneagram 101: type 6 with 7 wing
Previous in Enneagram 101: type 6
…or return to contents.