If you’re reading this article, you probably already know what the Enneagram is. But if you don’t, Truity describes the Enneagram as “a system of personality typing that describes patterns in how people interpret the world and manage their emotions.” There are nine basic personality types, and the Enneagram Institute explains that everyone was born with a dominant type. If you want to take a test, Truity and Eclectic Energies offer free ones. (I recommend taking both!)
Last semester, Morgan and Robby Maxey of The Maxey Co. came to speak to my sorority about the Enneagram. Though I knew my Enneagram type (I’m a Two Wing One), I had never truly put in the work to understand how to best get along with the other personality types.
Luckily, The Maxey Co. gave us a basic rundown of how to get along with all the types in their presentation, and with their permission I’ve put together the most important points below.
- The Moral Perfectionist
Type Ones are perfectionists, high achievers, reliable, hardworking and productive. They desire to have integrity and fear being wrong.
To get along with Type Ones, step up and take responsibility — make sure they don’t end up doing the brunt of the work. They are organized, reliable, and take on leadership roles, but they also can have difficulty sharing the workload in fear of it not being done correctly. It is also important to reassure Type Ones because they can be self-critical.
When in stress, Type Ones can withdraw socially, become moody and be emotional.
- The Supportive Advisor
Type Twos are selfless, helpful, generous and easy to talk to. They desire being appreciated and fear being unloved and needy.
To get along with Type Twos, tell them specifics you appreciate about them, take an interest in their problems and make sure they know they are special to you.
When in stress, Type Twos can be bossy and aggressive.
- The Successful Achiever
Type Threes are success-oriented and enjoy developing themselves and others. In addition to being successful, they desire being admired and they fear being a failure or being inefficient.
To get along with Type Threes, avoid distracting them while they are working and give them honest feedback. Also: let them know if you’re proud of them or enjoy spending time with them.
When in stress, Type Threes can withdraw from their emotions and be sluggish.
- The Romantic Individualist
Type Fours are expressive, dramatic, emotional, authentic, and slightly self-absorbed, and like being different from others. They desire to be special or authentic, and fear being inadequate and defective.
To get along with Type Fours, give them compliments, make sure to be supportive and help them to value themselves. If they’re feeling melancholic, they may not want to be cheered up — make sure not to tell them they are too sensitive.
When in stress, Type Fours can be self-doubting and need affirmation.
- The Investigative Thinker
Type Fives are analytical, perceptive, innovative and love to learn. They are also straightforward and can be distant, and like processing their thoughts and feelings alone. They desire being knowledgeable and fear being ignorant and incapable.
To get along with Type Fives, be brief and straightforward when speaking to them. They like knowing what is expected of them and don’t like group projects. It’s helpful to know they may prefer communicating via text. Also, if they seem distant or arrogant, they may simply feel uncomfortable.
When in stress, Type Fives don’t follow through with all their ideas and use humor as protection.
- The Loyal Guardian
Type Sixes are responsible, engaging, loyal, and faithful to family and tradition. They can be anxious and obsess over being prepared. They desire having support and security and fear being without it.
To get along with Type Sixes, actively listen and work things through with them. Make sure to reassure them about your relationship. Also be mindful not to overreact when they are overreacting.
When in stress, Type Sixes place their worth on their achievements.
- The Entertaining Optimist
Type Sevens are optimistic, joyful, visionary, spontaneous and can be scattered. They have lots of ideas but can be complicated, especially in relationships. They desire being content and fear emotional pain or missing out.
To get along with Type Sevens, try to give them companionship, affection and freedom simultaneously. It’s also important to appreciate their dreams and ideas. Accept them for who they are and be responsible for yourself. Lastly, make sure to laugh with them.
When in stress, Type Sevens suffer from FOMO and keep busy to avoid emotions.
- The Protective Challenger
Type Eights are confident, confrontational, powerful, decisive and independent, but they can be overbearing and blunt. They like taking charge, desire protecting themselves and fear being powerless or weak.
To get along with Type Eights, learn how to stand up for yourself and try not to take things personally. Be strong, confident and direct.
When in stress, Type Eights assume the worst in others and won’t compromise.
- The Peaceful Mediator
Type Nines are agreeable, content, diplomatic and easy-going. They love helping to build collaborative and supportive teams. They desire having peace of mind and fear conflict and being unimportant.
To get along with Type Nines, make sure not to interrupt them, as this can make them feel hurt. Also, be careful when asking them to do something because they don’t like expectations or pressure to make decisions.
When in stress, Type Nines can get stuck in their head and withdraw from what is stressing them out.
This is a very basic outline of how to get along with other Enneagram types. I suggest checking out The Maxey Co. on Instagram or their website for more information. The Enneagram Institute also goes into detail about the different types and how they are compatible with each of the other types.
After the presentation, I spent the entire night reflecting on my friendships, especially ex-friendships, recognizing how the lack of knowledge about what our types need in a relationship led us to grow apart or have conflict. It’s very insightful for past relationships and helpful for current or future ones. I definitely recommend learning how to get along with other Enneagram types.