What Each Enneagram Needs (A Complete Guide)

This article will not only highlight the needs of each enneagram but also explain what they can do to improve their own selves rather than just run after their desires.

What Does Each Enneagram Need?

Here is a list that shows what each enneagram needs or desires:

  • Type One: Integrity
  • Type Two: Love. …
  • Type Three: Success. …
  • Type Four: Significance and Identity. …
  • Type Five: Knowledge and Competence. …
  • Type Six: Security and Belonging. …
  • Type Seven: Happiness. …
  • Type Eight:Be In Control of Their Own Life.
  • Type Nine: Peace

Let’s take a look at the needs of each enneagram briefly and see what they can do to make things better for themselves!

Enneagram Type 1

This enneagram desires to be perfect and also find perfection in other things. They are scared of impurities especially in their thoughts, intentions and produced work output. They take a very offensive role in putting things right where they want to have rules and make sure others follow them. They are hence a bit difficult to deal with but they offer much structure.

What Can They Do?

It is important to understand there is some good in everything with some exceptions of course! Even in the mistakes we make there is something we can learn from! When we experiment and end up with different outcomes from the goal we learn about new phenomena, ideas and methods to do different things which will help us widen our horizon and things in creative ways when required.

Type 1 enneagrams must understand that everything in life cannot be viewed in an objective manner – there will always be grey spots which we must accept and live with until we are able to figure them out. Hence they must accept people who have different views because as a species we are still understanding how the world works and anyone could be right or wrong. 

Type 2 Enneagrams 

The type 2 enneagram desires to be loved and recognized by others and hence they often overlook their own needs because they are so focused on other people. They are more aware of others’ needs and want to be nurturers who help others. They want to be deeply loved and put first just like they put others first.

What Can They Do?

It is very important for enneagram type 2s to not only recognize their own needs but fulfill them too. Our body has certain rights over us that we must tend to whether they are related to hunger, thirst, sex, rest or exercise. We must strive to fulfill these needs in the right way to ensure our physical and mental health remains ideal. Oftentimes type 2 enneagrams overlook their own needs and this causes them to deteriorate slowly in both spheres.

Sometimes the type 2 enneagram needs to realize that others also have the resources to help them. They are not the only ones who seem to have the ability to help others. This thought process will instill a sense of humility and appreciation for others. Furthermore, accepting this reality will allow type 2s to take help from others and they will be able to experience how it feels like to be able to allow others to grow by helping. This in its way is therapeutic!

The type 2 enneagram must be honest to himself! Is he helping the other person because they really need help or because he is looking for a way to feel good about himself and find an opportunity to be in a position of higher status? Helping others indeed makes one feel good about their own self but that should not be the purpose.

Enneagram Type 3

The type 3 desires success and they think it is material success that truly defines a person and their worth! They will put in long hours to get the output they need and ignore many other important aspects of their life; however they believe this is worth it because they get to earn money and do what they have always wanted to do.

What Can They Do?

The achiever is obsessed with pleasing others and overlooks what they feel is important or desirable. As time passes they lose touch with their inner selves and develop the habit of ignoring what it is that they themselves desire. This happens because they focus on what others want or what they consider to be the definition of success or true bravery!

Like we said, the achiever is extremely competitive to the extent that they immerse themselves in their work and forgot about many important tasks like spending time with family! They will involve all their energies and resources into what it is that they do so they can achieve the results they desire. Type 3 enneagrams need to stop and take a break.

Type 3 enneagrams need to realize that everything is not about them! Also, they don’t have to flaunt whatever good they do. Sometimes it is very healthy to the mind to help others and not show off.  That is the true meaning of humanitarian work. This will not only make them realize that they need to help others and put their needs first but will also allow them to develop the habit of working quietly without exhibiting their accomplishments!

Enneagram Type 4

Fours greatly fear having no identity or personal significance. They often feel alone and misunderstood, as if they are an outcast looking at the rest of the world from a forgotten corner. They are usually enigmatic and tend to hide part of themselves. They are brutally honest with themselves about their shortcomings and flaws.

What Can They Do?

It is important not to experience everything in terms of what one feels. Enneagram type 4s must realize that their feelings may deceive them at times so they must look at the real picture. If they feel extremely down they need to look at the achievements they have accomplished over time. If they feel too distant from others they must remind themselves that they possess similarities; other people also experience negative feelings but overcome them so they should too! If someone tries to help them then they should focus on their effort rather than their own feelings.

Type 4 enneagrams have the habit of dwelling in the past. Why? Once they are in their dark phase, the past is what helps them reinforce the negative feelings that leads to self destruction. They focus on how people hurt them, what mistakes they made and how they let their own self down. They also tend to perceive present events in light of what has gone on before thus not giving people chances to help them because they already know what is going to happen. It is not their past that dictates their present but their persistence that what happened will happen again. This negative thought often leads them to behave in ways that reinforce past happenings.

Type 4 enneagram is surrounded by disturbing thoughts, feelings and negative views about oneself. This leads to low self esteem and a bad self image. How can they break out of this cycle and feel good about themselves? They must be productive and be useful to others. 

Enneagram Type 5

Fives struggle with the core fear of being incapable or incompetent. They feel an endless urge to fill their minds with knowledge and accurate information. They pore over details and want to learn as much as possible about the subjects they are interested in. They tend to be independent, reserved, and extremely curious. They often feel like their minds are always racing with ideas and information that they want to explore. In the quest for their core desire some fives can become stuck – drowning in specialization on a topic that won’t get them anywhere.

What Can They Do?

This enneagram obviously has a problem with overthinking – a big one actually. The first thing they need to do is realize they have an issue with overthinking. They must monitor their thoughts and determine if they are spending too much time on thinking over the same things.

It is important for people with this enneagram type to ensure that they have the right facts with them. Sometimes they like to wander in uncharted territory that may be surrounded with too many false claims or so called facts; this will negatively affect the thoughts of these individuals and it will further cause them to face opposition from people who have their facts correct.

This enneagram often runs away from their practical work! They actually look for something that keeps them distracted and involved so they don’t have to do things they find hard to do. 

Enneagram Type 6

Sixes are plagued by anxiety and often feel alone in the world, as if they have no support or guidance. They try to find a group, authority, or belief system that they can trust without question – but this desire is foiled by their simultaneous skepticism. They question everything and struggle to trust. They are often strategic, hard-working, responsible, and suspicious. 

What Can They Do?

One of the reasons why these individuals are so worried and anxious about losing others is because they think they do not have the resources to battle what life throws at them; they do not have the skills or traits to take on difficult situations, defend themselves or figure out solutions to problems hence they need others. 

One of the ways to reduce such thinking is to learn new skills and tools. This will not only actually result in a more self sufficient individual who has more resources to take on problems but also will increase the self confidence of these enneagram types. They will be assured that they have the ability to increase their power and do not require as much as they used to. They will have higher self efficacy and feel less stressed out.

A bad habit of these enneagrams is that when they get angry or upset they may turn on someone; they will blame them for their own mistakes instead of accepting responsibility and improving their own self! However, a better thing they can do is filter out their thoughts. 

Enneagram Type 7

The type 7 enneagram desires happiness! They will do anything to get this.

What Can They Do?

It is important for the type 7 enneagram to realize what makes them weak. They need to feel their impulses in a way that they can identify them and hence take control of their own self. If they are able to do this they can prevent themselves from getting stuck in a lot of bad situations and hence increase their self control and make the right decisions and increase their quality of life.

If you’re facing this, it may be a good idea to seek the help of a therapist or other mental health professional. You can find a therapist at BetterHelp who can help you learn how to cope and address it.

Sometimes the type 7 will choose to get quick benefits or quick pleasure. They won’t take the long route that has so much more to give them. They need to learn how to choose the right option even if it means they have to wait longer.

Although it is usually said to go your own way ahead in the journey, there is no harm in listening to others advice; even if you don’t intend to use it it can help you generate better or more creative ideas.

Enneagram Type 8

When it comes to the type 8 enneagram, they just want to be in control of their life!

What Can They Do?

The type 8 enneagram needs to realize that just because they are in problems or stress does not mean they have lost their strength. They are still like the person they were before but they just have more challenges now.

The type 8 enneagram also needs to realize that they should not let the stress get to them. They must remain calm instead of getting all scared.

It may be hard but it is sometimes best to listen to the other person and what they have to say especially if they are important to you and are looking out for your own good. They may not be in the hot tub of emotions you are in and can see the situation better and hence advise accordingly. Thus, the type 8 enneagram must understand and accept to listen to others. It will not decrease their power or control but allow them to humble themselves in a manner that benefits them and the people around them. By listening to others, they can not only avoid putting too much thought into things but improve their bonds with their loved ones and make better decisions together.

Type 9 Enneagrams

The type 9 enneagram desires peace and will avoid conflict at any cost!

What Can They Do?

They must learn to face issues and actually make an effort to get to the root cause of problems rather than turn away and hide. This will only make the problem bigger and they will not be able to solve them.


This article took a look at the deep down desires of each enneagram and highlighted what they can do to improve themselves and not just dream away.



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