Enneagram Types At Their Worst (The Best Guide)

This article will take a look at each enneagram and how they behave when they are at their worst. This behaviour usually represents the enneagram when they are stressed out or when their personality is disintegrating.

Enneagram Types At Their Worst

We will take a look at each enneagram when they are at their worst! This may happen because of the stress they experience from their environment and hence they will develop a defensive or offensive approach towards not only that stimulus but also other stimuli in their surroundings. 

Enneagrams can become moody or ill mannered depending on their coping mechanism. Some of them may become offensive and confront people directly whereas others may become withdrawn from others and their social circles while the stress eats them up from inside.

Nonetheless, this article will describe how each enneagram behaves when they are at their worst!

What Happens When An Enneagram 1 Goes Into Stress?

The type 1 enneagram becomes a more unhealthy version of the type 4 when they go into stress. They feel as if they are different from others and feel extremely out of place; they become depressed and isolated as a result. Also, this enneagram becomes quite emotional and it becomes difficult for them to control how they feel or react – they often internalize everything and blame their own selves for what is happening.

Here are some of the traits or behaviours they exhibit when they go into stress:

  • Out of Place
  • Moody
  • Procrastinators
  • Addictive Behaviours
  • Isolation

The enneagram type 1 is also known as the Reformer because of their desire to change the world for the better – they believe they are on a mission to set things right! They are rational and idealistic and can be described by the terms self disciplined, purposeful, possibly perfectionists and hold values high.

What Happens When An Enneagram 2 Goes Into Stress?

The type 2 enneagram becomes more like an unhealthy type 8 enneagram when they go into stress. They become more demanding and blunt and will try to exercise control in their surroundings – they are bossy and confrontational. Instead of being patient with others they push them to get things done. This is unlike the type 2 enneagram who is usually compassionate and understanding.

However, once they go into stress and are not able to regulate their internal side, they exhibit unhealthy behaviours which greatly resemble those of an 8 enneagram.

Here are some of the traits or behaviours they exhibit when they go into stress:

  • Anger Outbursts
  • Manipulative
  • Possessive
  • Suspicious Thoughts
  • Blunt

An enneagram type 2 is also known as the Helper because of their desire to help others and make their tasks easier or remove any burden upon them.  They are very caring and have great interpersonal skills that allow them to interact with people to help them and understand their situation and needs. Personality traits used to describe type 2s include possessive, demonstrative, helpful and people pleasing.

What Happens When An Enneagram 3 Goes Into Stress?

When in stress, the type 3 enneagram becomes like an unhealthy type 9 enneagram who is not responsive – they lose their ability to become apathetic and will not recognize the needs or desires of others. They simply walk away from problem situations instead of trying to pacify them which they usually would do. However the stress has gotten to them and they simply shut down and become complacent.

The type 3 enneagram will turn into an apathetic type 9 who doesn’t care about what will happen as a result of the building conflict. They are seen as indifferent individuals who can’t see the problem anymore and will prefer to turn their face away instead of sacrifice and take care of the problem.

Here are some of the traits or behaviours they exhibit when they go into stress:

  • Do Not Put In The Effort
  • Numb
  • Do Not Sympathize
  • Inattentive
  • Unresponsive

A type 3 enneagram is also called the ‘Achiever’ because of their desire that drives them to accomplish the big things in life. They are very hard working; putting in much time and energy in their work in order to achieve the success they desire!

What Happens When An Enneagram 4 Goes Into Stress?

When 4s become stressed out, they become an unhealthy version of the type 2 enneagram who thinks they can do anything and get away with it. They feel as if people owe them a lot and may expect many things from others – if they do not get what they expect they become quite moody and upset. They are blunt and controlling.

Here are some of the traits or behaviours they exhibit when they go into stress:

  • Controlling
  • Coercive
  • Entitled
  • Blame Others

Before we take a look at these behaviours in detail, let us introduce the type 4 enneagram to the audience!

What Happens When An Enneagram 5 Goes Into Stress?

The type 5 enneagram under stress becomes more like the type 7 enneagram who focuses on pleasing themselves instead of dealing with their anxieties or stressors; they will give in to their impulses and not worry about the problem at hand. 

This enneagram type will also become uncontrollable – they will follow their whims and desires without considering their consequences. As a result, they will mess up their family ties, lose friends and possibly get kicked out from their job or lose the business they spent so much time setting up.

Check the Enneagram Types & Careers.

Another effect of going into stress is that they try to escape their own selves; they forget about their responsibilities and commitments and even throw their values or beliefs out of the door. They want to get rid of any source of conflict or stress and try to enjoy what little peace of mind they can get before they fall into a pile of even more dangerous problems.

Here are some of the traits or behaviours they exhibit when they go into stress:

  • Impulsive
  • Addictive Behaviours
  • Childish
  • Self Destructive Behaviours
  • Abusive

What Happens When An Enneagram 6 Goes Into Stress?

Under stress, the type 6 enneagram disintegrates into an unhealthy type 3 where they are obsessed about keeping up their image at no cost. They become extremely insecure and are afraid that they will lose their standing in front of others.

At the same time, this enneagram is bent on exploiting others and whatever opportunity comes by them in a state of stress and panic. They will turn to deceptive behaviors and get what they think they need at any cost.

Stress makes these enneagrams lose their concept of what is right or wrong; they follow the ideology where every man is for himself and they will do so quietly so as not to get caught or expose their vulnerability to others.

Do not get fooled by the clever tactics of the type 6 enneagram that disintegrates into an unhealthy 3 when they are under extreme levels of stress. They will also engage in psychopathic behaviour where they lie repeatedly to get what they want and also play the victim. They will get into situations for no good reason and tell numerous lies to get out but they will only fall deeper and deeper into the dark pit they dug for their own selves – they might get away for a while but will eventually be exposed.

Here are some of the traits or behaviours they exhibit when they go into stress:

  • A False Image
  • Jealous
  • Competitive
  • Deceptive
  • Psychopathic Behaviour

What Happens When An Enneagram 7 Goes Into Stress?

When in stress, the type 7 enneagram disintegrates into an inflexible type 1 enneagram which is intolerant and holds people to extremely high standards. The type 7 enneagram under stress will behave in a similar manner and also lose the ability to see other’s perspectives and only view the world from an ethnocentric one where what they do or believe in is only right!

This enneagram becomes offensive towards others in the sense that they say what they feel like saying without taking into account the other person’s feelings because they know what is best. Furthermore, they believe that they know what is best and hence have the right to tell people what to do and how. The stress really gets to their head and this is one of the ways they deal with it – they think they know what is best and hence have the responsibility of ensuring good things happen in the world.

Here are some of the traits or behaviours they exhibit when they go into stress:

  • Demeaning
  • Depressed
  • Quiet or Talkative
  • Perfectionistic
  • Inflexible

What Happens When An Enneagram 8 Goes Into Stress?

When stressed, the type 8 enneagram becomes more guarded and disintegrates into the fearful type 5 enneagram. This is because type 8s fear being controlled and manipulated by others the most. Hence, when they are stressed out, they naturally increase their guard and are more alert.

The type 8 enneagram values their freedom the most; they want to be able to make their own life decisions and live according to their own rules. They dislike authority and prefer to carve their own journeys. When they fall into problems or become stressed out, they become more careful in their interactions with others to the extent that they may totally withdraw from others.

In the process, they will push away others to keep them at bay just in case they have any bad intentions of exploiting the type 8s weaknesses or vulnerability.

Here are some of the traits or behaviours they exhibit when they go into stress:

  • Alert
  • Fearful
  • Avoidant
  • Eccentric
  • Reactive

What Happens When An Enneagram 9 Goes Into Stress?

When the type 9 enneagram goes into stress they disintegrate into the unhealthy 3 where they become quite panicky and worried. They are unable to control how they feel or think and will engage in harmful and worrying thoughts and behaviours to manage the stress.

They are of the belief that they have lost the walls that once ensured they were secure and they are an open target to others who can take advantage or exploit their vulnerability. This makes them panic even more. Their stress may become visibly apparent because they are not able to mask it like other enneagrams.

How they feel may backfire on others too and instead of becoming defenseless they will engage in behaviours that will possibly ensure their security. They will lash out at others in an attempt to increase their chances of ‘survival’.

Here are some of the traits or behaviours they exhibit when they go into stress:

  • Panicked
  • Volatile
  • Disparaging
  • Reactive
  • Inferiority Complex

Conclusion

This article took an in-depth look at the enneagram types and how they behave when they are at their worst. The article also listed their prominent traits when they are under stress which usually shows their worst side!

References

https://www.psychologyjunkie.com/2020/03/16/the-best-and-worst-versions-of-every-enneagram-type/
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