Enneagram Limitations 101

Thoughts on the different ENNEAGRAM Types

Fist of all, I would like to apologize for being ‘harsh’ on us. I meant to be ‘caring’ though it is tough-Love, I know!  All that I am sharing on this page is based on my personal experiences and observations. I am sorry if you find some of my observations upsetting or ‘not nice’. My intention is to demonstrate how these different characters limit the greatness of who we truly are. 

Our defence mechanisms are not ‘nice’ at all even though we may perceive some of them charming or eloquent. Limitation means that you are hiding the greatness of WHO YOU TRULY ARE behind layers of deceit, a persona that was created in response to a scary world when you were a child. Who you are is much greater than your false identity.

I am an ENG8, so I would like to ‘challenge’ you to shed off some layers of your fear based limitations by taking an honest look at your thinking patters and behaviours. So you can become the magnificent human being of who you are at your higher octaves!

First of all, it seems to me that people who belong to the same TRIADs tend to display some similar characteristics. For example,

the IMAGE TRIAD (2,3,4) often create false image of themselves and their whole defence mechanisms revolves around maintaining that false image, just like in a theatre, the played is like a monologue and played by only one character.

The HEAD TRIAD (5,6,7) are often called the ‘HEAD’ or ‘FEAR’ TRIAD because they try and sort everything out in their heads. They think all the time and hope that their thinking will swish all their fears – sometimes paranoia – away. 🙂 They are often completely consumed by the object of their fear which is their fixation, e.g. health. They are often obsessed with one topic and cannot let it go.

The INSTINCTUAL TRIAD (8,9,1) has issues with their anger and frustration, as well as they often dissociate from themselves. They often believe that in some way they are ‘above’ the world and they can control it.

Further down I give more detailed accounts of my observations. Scroll down. 



IN GENERAL: All three types are comforted with the idea that they appear to be someone they are actually ‘not’. Their self-image is their most limiting enemy that they created in response to a cruel world who judged them, ignored them and questioned their identity. 


ENG2s ‘niceness’ is their downfall.  There fixation on ‘saving the world from doom’ by figuring out what others may need without actually checking out what others may or may not need create all their conflicts. 2s do not have a lot of friends because they make them run. 

In order for them to be able to experience their greatest desire that they are important and lovable without doing anything for others, must come from a sense of inner-worthiness, the knowing that their bare existence is enough for them to receive love and care.


Type 3s are the ultimate achievers. They believe that they can only be loved if they do the impossible. They are often people whom we find inspiring because they look sooooo successful in everything they do. Except, for a 3 to be happy, to feel contented and loved, he/she should be a non-achiever! They often have multiple marriages throughout their lifetime and they end up being alone at the end. The reason for that is that they cannot allow themselves to become real. Without being vulnerably authentic in our intimate relationships one simply cannot relate. They believe that they need to be admired so they can feel being loved. 

I don’t know a lot of 3s and the reason is that they tend to lie. It is not because they are dishonest people, it is rather because they simply cannot face reality! They cannot bear the though of them not being the best of anything they do.


“I dont know … I just dont know … I want someone else to tell me what to do … but more than that, I just want someone to love me so much that I will never feel bad about myself ever again!” Type 4s are completely lost touch with who they are, they often do not have a sense of self at all. They often act like misunderstood artists, brooding and being melancholic about life itself. They often feel that they do not belong and it is because they completely deny themselves. They often pretend to be self-sacrificing in serving others but the truth is that they lack self-confidence so much that they constantly need someone else to do everything for them. In return they give others things they do not want to. That is why they feel that they are sacrificing themselves. A mother who constantly complains about taking care of her family by cooking and doing the housework and acts like a misunderstood Cinderella, wondering when is her princes will show ups saving her from counting the beans, is a low octave type 4. 



Similar to 4s, type 5s also often start their sentences with “I don’t know what to do” – ENG5s often feel lost and indicative regarding what the best course of action should be at any given moment. This sense of ‘lostness’ stems from the amount of information they collect that eventually overwhelmed and paralyses them.

To avoid feeling lost ENG5s tend to follow rules. Probably because they are rather good at it they have a feeling of being restricted. So when they meet a free-spirited ENG7 perhaps, they can get upset with them. They take the morally higher ground based on their convictions and righteousness grounded in rules that all should follow whole-heatedly, according to Eng5s.

The only problem with all that is, that the world does not reward the ‘goodie two shoes’ type of people very much, no matter how hard they try. The reason is that they are actually not convinced that the rules they follow make sense or not. They only follow them because it gives them a sense of security. 

One of the most challenging thing that 5s have face is to be in touch with and being present in their own body.  I noticed that 5s often feel cold which is a sign of ‘lifelessness’ in the body as a result of not being grounded in your physical existence. It is also a proof of the ‘headiness’ of this type.


In my observation, the ENG 6s greatest problem is boundaries in relationships. They believe that the only way they can receive love from others is to devote themselves to them. In some way or another 6s over-give. They make themselves totally available to or they completely become serviant of another person which inevitably result in them being resentful particularly  because they have no time or energy left for him/herself. Because they find it challenging to say NO or to communicate their own needs or put boundaries down, 6s tend to let others down by moving into self-preservation mode and withdrawing themselves completely from people whom they experience too needy or overwhelming.

Therefore, the major problem is  that the most of the 6s’ relationships are based on false pretences. Until 6s become aware and learn to communicate their needs honestly, it will be challenging for them to create fulfilling and mutually rewarding relationships.

Another trap for the ENG6 is appearances. 6s tend to focus mostly on how something or someone appears to be including themselves. For a lower-octave ENG6 his/her appearance is his/her major concern. They act like 3s, trying to convince the world how all together, successful, sweet and beautiful they are just by projecting that image onto others. This is another aspect of false pretences.

It is essential for an ENG6 to come to terms with his/her own true needs and find the courage to fulfil them individually.


ENG7s whole life revolves around self protection and making sure that they do not feel unsafe. 7s can be reactive in a way that feels rude over the top at times, however, we must understand that it comes from a sudden influx of fear of being ‘hurt’ or ‘made wrong’. 

ENG 7s run from fear and try and find shelter in their fantasies in their heads. Therefore, one of the major challenges of an ENG7 is to get in touch with the reality of their existence, their pain and stop chasing the unreachable in order to stay out of the present moment where the truth lies.

It is not that 7s are liars but they have a highly imaginative nature that often appears to be fantasising. They are constantly in their ‘heads’ going on adventures, looking for the next exciting things to do or simply think about. They are never present.

At the same time, it is often that 7s who do not deal with their pain, anguish and the underlying gripping fear of existence, they become addicted to some substance. Substance abuse supports them to stay out of reality and the present completely allowing them to feel relaxed and safe though unfounded.

They are like Tinker Bell, the wonderfully creative Fairy, who always gets excited with someone else’s tasks because they appear more exciting than the one she is asked to do. She tries herself at many different occupations, only that she does not notice how good she is at her own profession, being a Tinker.

So, it is essential for 7s to search and find safe ground within themselves, knowing that they are and what they do is good enough. Most 7s tend to be extremely good at whatever they pursue as a carrier or hobby except they never stay with it long enough to enjoy the fruits of their own labour.

Though 7s look very independent and free spirits, they are often very dependent on someone in their life. They hate to admit it, but 7s tend to be rather neglectful of their well-being and they do need someone who remind them to take better care of themselves. 

Therefore, it is important for 7s to surround themselves with caring people, but the ENG7 must learn to listen to the advise of those who care for her. It is often an issue because 7s tend to take advice as an interference in their free-spirited attitude to life.


IN GENERAL: All three types are rather aggressive in terms of handling their fear. When they are fearful or feel threatened by events, people or circumstances, the instinctual triad moves into ‘offense’. They all do it differently but the theme is the same: ‘you are the problem and now I am going to eliminate you’. This elimination can be as drastic as AL Capone’s (ENG8) wiping out entire families or as mild as ENG9’s passive-aggressive cheeky comments. 

ENG9s + ENG1s tent to move into denial and avoid confrontation with their inner flaws. Whereas ENG8s often seek out and confront their flaws with a ‘shrug’ because in their belief they are unlovable and they have accepted as a matter of fact.

All three types are rather disconnected from their feelings because each time they ‘feel’ something, that something is fear most of all. Therefore, they are often shut down and disconnected which makes it difficult for them to relate to others on an emotional level. They are great providers and ‘care-takers’ but often it is difficult to live with them because they just want to be left alone in their self-tailored ‘delusion’. 

All three grew up with parents who failed to recognize their uniqueness and power and instead they tried to squash and diminish them by telling them off or making them feel incapable. 


ENG8s often like making other people feel intimidated or uncomfortable. With their blunt comments and outspokenness, they often break social standards and silent agreements that though well intended, often come across inappropriate. 8s appear as a bull n a China shop. They lack tact and the sensitivity to know when it is time to lead and when it is time to stay silent.

ENG 8s is a bit of an outlaw who does not conform to the laws of the land that obviously makes him a loaner. Not as if 8s are not in relationships but they are often incapable of bonding and intimacy. They are forever guarded from a viscous world and therefore cut off from others.

In order for an ENG8 to be able to be the caring and loving person he/she is at Heart, s/he needs to become vulnerable and still feel protected through his/her contentedness to him/her inner Beauty. Like the Beast in the Beauty of the Beast, the ENG8 must learn to allow Love to penetrate his self-made shield and allow his giant Love and care for others to be seen.

For both ENG 8s and 9s it is often hard to change and it is because they feel that the change the world (or they) need is ‘out there’. The only problem is that it is not true. The only ‘change’ that they need is within, in their perception of themselves and the the world. So, for both 8s ad 9s it is essential that they find meditative practises that help them connect with themselves.


ENG 9s are rather angry people who find it very challenging to get n touch and express their anger. Most of these people appear very funny, joyful, and pleasant at the same time, they are a bit like the GREMLINS. As soon as they get annoyed with something they lash out and turn into one of the poisoned Gremlins, scary and viscous. But only for a moment! As soon as they notice their own anger bubbling up to the surface, they start feeling bad about themselves and immediately return back to their smiley and humours selves.

9s harbour a great degree of despise and outrage that stem from their rather fixed ideas of what’s right and what’s wrong. They often take a higher moral ground which allows them to become rather  critical of others’ conduct of life. 

The only problem with such an attitude is that all the anger and resentment that have accumulated over the years eventually start attacking their own self, particularly their health. 9s often have weight and other long standing health issues. Looking at it from a holistic point of view, it is possible to assume that all that unexpressed resentment and anger that they have never dealt with constantly circulate in their bodies via the blood stream.

9s also tend to be secretive similar to 5s, this is one of the reasons why 9s are often misidentified as 5s. This secrecy however often covers a lot of deep seated resentment because of the ‘burdens’ 9s tends to take on so to appear supportive and to avoid conflicts at any cost.

9s also tend to be stubborn. They find safety in their unshakeable beliefs except that they forget to check how unfounded their beliefs are. Similar to 8s, ENG9s must develop compassion and flexibility. Interestingly, inflexibility often shows up as a ‘sign’ in their bodies as well. 9s can easily become devotees of a cause or a religious sect which ever represents their beliefs the best. Not taking a closer look at these organisations and why the ENG9 is so succumbed to them can result in rejecting ideas that is outside the scope of their devotion. As soon as someone contradicts them, they can become defensive, aggressive and sulky.

So, it is inevitable that 9s learnt to confront what they do not like or agree with and find a healthy outlets for their anger. For the 9s it is also important to  recover from the underlying pain and anguish  in order to become the majestic, kind-hearted peacemakers who they are in their Hearts.

Low octave 9s tend to be selfish and unaware of other people’s needs or other people full stop! It is not because they do not care about others’ well-being, it is actually the opposite they want people to live in peace and harmony. Except that they are completely lost in their inner world or their distractions which makes it impossible for them to notice others around them. They often actually bothered by others, they prefer to be left alone.

Because they often feel overwhelmed by life – its is mostly because their sense of identity and self-confidence was crashed by one of their parents – not feeling able to deal with they ‘hide’  behind layers of distractions from contently listening to podcasts or YouTube. They are afraid of facing their own fear of being out of control. 

They often appear to be irresponsible and blaming others for any irritation they may experience. Though it is typical of most low octave Enneagram types, ENG9s can to do it to perfection.

It is essential for ENG 9s to start looking within and embracing their fears and flaws. It is mostly because they are in desperate need of connecting to others who could help them see a bigger picture – beyond the one they created in their heads – moving beyong their scope of fear and find support in both others and their inner resources. 


Putting it bluntly, ENG1s are perfectionist cowards who judge others because of their imperfections. For the ENG1 the major challenge is to relax into the notion that all is well. Though most ENG1s attempt to give out this ‘I am relaxed’ vibe, at their core there is constant tension. It is created by the pressure of being perfect, the best, the most in anything that they choose to fixate on. Because the truth is that most 1s actually lack the self-confidence that is created by an inner knowing of ‘being good enough’, you can often hear them boast about how good they are at something or other by criticising others. 

1s tend to externalise their whole world, similarly to 8s and 9s, which means that they do their best to avoid looking at their own flaws, imperfections and if anything goes wrong, there is always some else at fault.

1s tend to be leaders in their chosen field or fixation and they are truly good at it except that they are not quite sure about it. This ‘nothing is good enough’  attitude that pushes all around them, unfortunately, takes a big tall on their relationships. Therefore, they usually chose partners who they can push around and make them feel inferior in order to feel better about themselves and to have someone to blame.

ENG 1s are often the spoiled golden boy/girl of the family who were speared from the hardships of life but were expected to grow up quickly and be ‘perfect’ and ‘good’. It pains them greatly that they never feel that they can measure up to the expectations that they integrated and made them their own.

Until ENG1s are willing to look at their own flaws and stop the constant inner anxiety that drives them to be better and more, they cannot receive their greatest desire: to feel worthy and  start enjoying life’s pleasures.