What Your Enneagram Personality Type Says About The Way You Handle Stress (So You Can Finally Relax)

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How Enneagram Personality Types Deal With Stress & Anxiety (So You Can Finally Relax)

Few people enjoy experiencing stress, depression and anxiety, even when those feelings don't rise to the level of a mental health concern, but depending on your particular personality traits, you may be someone who finds it more or less difficult than most others around you to figure out the kind of mindfulness exercises or other techniques will work best to bring you to a state of greater relaxation.

Understanding your Enneagram personality type is important in this regard, because it can help you learn how to deal with stress and anxiety more effectively, which can improve your overall mental health.

The Enneagram test is a personality typing tool that dates back hundreds of years.

It is considered a model of the human psyche wherein various interconnected personality types are represented on a nine-pointed chart. Today, along with modern psychology, it's becoming one of the most popular personality type assessment tools.


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Most Enneagram teachers believe that you are given a particular personality type within the first few months of life to survive in the world. Our personality type determines the tools you are given to survive in the world. Each type is like a different colored lens which limits your ability to see the whole picture.

There are nine different Enneagram personality types, and no one type is better than another. Once you determine your type, this will help you realize the goal of freeing yourself from the restrictions that it puts on you. Your long-term goal is to get as healthy as you can in all nine types, not just the dominant one in your personality.

The Enneagram test can help you to be more present giving yourself the opportunity to learn from your three centers of self: the body, the emotions, and the mind.

It's a tool that can help you live more in tune with the "essential" you.

Your goal is to be as grounded and present as you can be, despite the troubles that come your way. Stress is a normal part of life, and each type reacts to it and deals with stress differently, depending on your level of emotional, physical, and spiritual health.

When we lose touch with who we are, our Enneagram personalities take over. Then we are liable to make poor choices because we are acting more out of fear and limitation, rather than abundance and love. Growing through the Enneagram can help you to find a depth of knowledge and wisdom that resides right within you.

Learning about how each type deals with stress may give you a sense of what Enneagram personality type you may be.

Here's how each of the nine Enneagram personality types deal with stress and anxiety, so you can figure out strategies to finally help you relax.

Type 1: The Reformer

As a type one personality, you have a sense that there is a right way of doing things in the world. At your best, you are mission-oriented, a great teacher, you have the hunger to make the world a better place and a deep sense of responsibility to make it happen.

As you move into stress and get caught up in the voice of your inner critic, you hear this: “I am good or OK if I do what is right.”

Your response to stress is to stand against reality with your anger. People start to ignore you because of your tendency to be overly critical and angry.

Type 2: The Helper

As an Enneagram type two, you have a sense that everyone is your friend, you have a natural inclination to help others, you are nurturing, you are kind, open-hearted, and generous with all you have.

As you move into stress and get caught up in the voice of your inner critic you hear this, “I am good or OK if I am loved and accepted by others.”

Your response stress is to have a higher opinion of yourself than what others think of you. It is easy for you to come to believe that you are indispensable. People begin to push you away because of your neediness.

Type 3: The Achiever

As a type three, you are ambitious. You are great at mentoring others. Being the best in your job is important to you. You are self-confident and willing to do whatever it takes to make your company or business successful.

As you move into stress, you hear your inner critic saying, “I am good or OK if others think well of me and I’m successful."

Your response to stress is to become like an amoeba that will change itself into being whatever it needs to be. The more you disconnect from your true self into being what your ego thinks will make you look good, the more you'll push yourself into further decline.

Type 4: The Individualist

As an Enneagram personality type four, you are creative, sensitive, emotionally honest, intelligent and self-revealing. You have the gift of noticing and creating beauty. You love to have a deep heart to heart conversations with those you love.

As you move into stress, you hear your inner critic say, “I am good or OK if I am true to myself.”

Your response to stress is to feel superior to others. If I can not be like others, I must be better than others. A person with this kind of attitude can be very difficult to be around.


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Type 5: The Investigator

As a type five personality, you are a great observer. You love to share with others what you know well. You would rather host the party than attend the party. You are whimsical, unsentimental, and focused. You need time to yourself to charge your batteries.

As you move into stress, you hear your inner critic say, “I am good or OK if I master something.”

Your response to stress is to separate and withdraw from the world around you. You tend to make yourself so small no one will notice you. You are happy to stay in your imaginary world where everything is perfect.

Type 6: The Loyalist

As a type six Enneagram personality, you are security conscious. You like to prevent problems from happening. You are good at noticing if there are any safety issues. When the fire alarm goes off, you are one of the first people to be out of the building. As the name suggests, you are dependable and trustworthy.

As you move into stress, you hear your inner critic say, “I am good or OK if I know what is expected of me.”

Your response to stress is trying to control everything which leads to stress. Sixes often worry about things they have no control over such as the weather. One Six told me that he is a recovering awfulizer, i.e., someone who imagines "horrific situations and outcomes that don't yet exist." Sixes tend to focus too much on things that are unlikely going to happen and too little on the present.

Type 7: The Enthusiast

As an Enneagram type seven, you are curious, playful, spontaneous, flexible, and quick-minded. Sevens can see the larger picture. Often the seven can become expected to entertain their friends because people are so used to their desire for fun. At times this feels like a burden.

As you move into stress, you hear the inner critic say, “I am good or OK if I get what I need."

Your response to stress is to avoid it at all cost by staying busy and having fun. The seven in you is always trying to outrun the unpleasant and painful in your life. You also get bored easily, so you often have trouble completing projects.

Type 8: The Challenger

As a type eight personality, you are strong, confident, vulnerable, visionary, and assertive. If you are an eight, you often have great concern for people who have had a hard time in life. The eight in you is big-hearted. You want to make the world a better place. You don’t care about what others think of you.

As you move into stress, you hear your inner critic say, “I am good or OK if I can impose my will and be strong and just.”

Your response to stress to put up the wall around your heart. It is to aggressively make sure your vision for the world is made to happen at all costs. It is to sacrifice relationships with family and friends if you perceive them as getting in your way.

Type 9: The Peacemaker

As a type nine, you are patient, an excellent listener, observant, and a bridge builder. At your best, you are a great mediator bringing people together with different points of view. The nine is great at doing this because they have the gift of understanding what it is like to be in others peoples “shoes.”

As you move into stress, you hear your inner critic say, “I am good or OK if everyone around me is good or OK.”

Your response to stress is to avoid conflict at all cost. The trouble is that the more you avoid getting your needs met, there will be a breaking point. When the nine has suppressed their needs for too long, the resentment builds up to a boiling point and explodes.

All nine Enneagram personality types respond to stress in a different way.

When you are healthy, you take on the strengths of all types. As you become more self-aware through the Enneagram, you begin to catch yourself when you fall back into unhealthy patterns — usually caused by something traumatic.

As you become more grounded, you will be able to deal with stress in a much healthier way. It will be like water rolling off your jacket. It won’t bother you in the ways it did before.

The stress you face will no longer push your “buttons.” You will be able to stay grounded and simply let the fear dissipate. Doesn't that sound nice?


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Roland Legge can help you to get to know yourself better and enhance the knowledge of your personality and stress management type. For more information, please arrange for a free 30-minute discovery call by emailing Roland at or book your appointment on his website. You can also get a free Enneagram Test when you sign up for his newsletter here.

This article was originally published at REL Consultants (Roland Legge). Reprinted with permission from the author.