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Love is a very individual experience and no two people see it the same way. We all have preferences on how we receive love due to these perceptions.. You may have heard a lot about love languages, which show specific ways you want to receive and give love. Knowing the love languages of the people you love is important, but it isn’t the only way you can love them best. The Enneagram is an ancient model type that shows the personality type of each individual human. 

The Enneagram is made up of nine personality types. It describes people’s desires, fears, motivations and behaviors. If you don’t know your Enneagram type or want your partner/friend to know theirs, you can take this quiz to figure it out. Once you know your type, keep reading to learn how you can love others based on their Enneagram, and how to tell others how to love you. 

Type 1: The Perfectionist 

The perfectionist strives to be good and honorable. They like things to be orderly and balanced. To love a type one you can: 

  • Participate in community service with them: One wants to continue making the world a better place, so encouraging them to volunteer with them will be the greatest gift you could give them. 
  • Understand change is difficult: Change can be difficult for a type one because they love a routine and being in control. If something is changing in their life, give them the time to adjust 
  • Own worst critic: Ones tend to be their own toughest critic and are very hard on themselves. Reminding them to not compare themselves to others is important. They need to be encouraged that just because something isn’t perfect, they are still loved. 

Type 2: The Helper

The two is something I am very familiar with, as I am a type two myself. Twos are constantly giving and their greatest desire is to be loved and appreciated. To love a type two you can: 

  • Help set boundaries: It is extremely difficult for twos to say no to others, so helping them set boundaries is very important.
  • Constructive criticism: Twos take things to heart, so if you are offering feedback, make sure it is sandwiched with affirmations, otherwise it will be excruciatingly painful for them to hear. 
  • Relationships are everything: Two’s top priority in life is their relationships. Most of their energy goes into their relationships, so make sure you are showing a two that your relationship with them is just as important. 

Type 3: The Achiever

Threes want to be successful and admired by others. They are conscious of the public eye and fear failure. To love a type three you can: 

  • Celebrate accomplishments: It is important to celebrate any accomplishment of a three, whether it is big or small. It is music to their ears. 
  • Remind them they are worthy even when they fail: Threes can get very caught up in success which makes failure very difficult. Remind them that they are loved when they fail. 
  • They move efficiently: Threes like to be productive and move quickly and get a lot done. Try to be conscious of this and not get in the way of their productivity. 

Type 4: The Individualists

Type fours love being unique, have authentic emotions and are usually artistic. They often may feel they are too different for anyone to truly understand them. To love a type four, you can: 

  • Remind them you love their uniqueness: Fours see themselves as unique which can be positive and negative. They may think people won’t love them for who they are. Telling a four the qualities you love about them that they might find favorable is very important
  • Express your emotions: Fours love very passionately and know how to focus on their own emotions and other’s emotions. They love deep connections, so it is important to show a type four your true feelings towards them. 
  • Be patient with their feelings: Fours tend to have fluctuating emotions. One minute they are reserved and keeping to themselves, and the next they are energetic and actively loving. Remember to be patient and with their constant change of emotions.

Type 5: The Investigator 

Type fives are always seeking knowledge and understanding and want to help in the best way they can, especially to make others safe. To love a type five, you can: 

  • Give them space: Type fives value their independence and alone time because it energizes them. They may tend keep to themselves a lot so it is important to not cling to them too much. 
  • Remember it may take time to process emotions: Type fives need time to process through emotions before they respond. They need to analyze the situation and all of the options before expressing themselves. 
  • Help them feel capable: Type fives are always seeking knowledge because they fear not being able to find their own way and navigate the world. Remind them they are capable of action if they are feeling anxious.

Type 6: The Loyalist. 

Enneagram sixes are the most loyal people and it takes a while for them to trust you and let you into their circle. They like the feeling of safety and security. To love a type six, you can: 

  • Show love and trust consistently: It is hard for a six to trust people, so giving them that reassurance and showing your love for them is important to continue that trust. They fear abandonment, so don’t be flaky to them. 
  • Don’t dismiss anxiety: Sixes tend to be anxious people because they fear the loss of security and think of the worse-care scenarios. When this happens, do not dismiss the anxiety, but go through the worst that could happen and display how they can get through it so they understand it really is not that bad. 
  • Be direct: Do not leave a type six guessing, because it will cause them to spiral. Give a six direct communication to clue them in on where you stand with them. 

Type 7: The Enthusiast 

Type sevens are your fun and adventurous people and easily get bored. They like to have worthwhile experiences and enjoy the adrenaline. To love a type seven, you can: 

  • Be spontaneous: Type sevens love doing spontaneous and adventurous activities, so partaking in it with them will make them feel extra loved. 
  • Provide open arms: Sometimes, type sevens need someone to be there when there are bad days. It is important for them to have a “safety belt” to pull them back from the wild-ness. It may be hard for them to show a sensitive side, because they are always seen as the “fun” one. Provide them with open arms when they need that reassurance. 
  • Affirm their talents: Type sevens are constantly picking up new hobbies, so telling them you are proud of them will give them a boost of confidence. 

Type 8: The Challenger

The challenger sees themselves as powerful and strong and often likes to stand alone. They fear being powerless and try to control situations. To love a type eight, you can: 

  • Encourage vulnerability: It can be difficult for eights to be vulnerable, so guiding them through it and not manipulating them is important. 
  • Don’t control them: Eights do not like to feel controlled, so be mindful when suggesting something. Let them know they are in control of their own decisions. 
  • Don’t shrink down: Eights can hold their own, and it is important for them to know you are also strong enough to hold your own. This way they know you can protect them if they need it. 

Type 9: The Peacemaker 

The peacemaker likes the feeling of stability and does not like conflict and confrontation. They tend to be passive and let others lead the agenda. To love a type nine, you can: 

  • Encourage them to be direct: It is hard for nines to be assertive and speak their wants because they fear the loss of harmony. Encourage them to speak up for themselves while understanding it is difficult for them. 
  • Let them pick: Whether it is an activity, a restaurant, etc, let them pick what to do every once in a while. Most of the time they will let everyone else pick to avoid conflict, so it is important for them to know you value their opinion. 

Be patient during emotional times: It can be hard for a nine to express their emotions because they are constantly keeping their feelings to themselves. When they are feeling emotions;, offer them comfort and give them the time to successfully communicate their feelings.

Meghan Dale

Ball State '24

Fashion Merchandising major and Ball State University
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