Enneagram Type One (the Reformer)
Enneagram Type Six (the Loyalist)

What Each Type Brings to the Relationship

Enneagram Ones and Sixes are alike in many ways and they are often misidentified with each other. Both types are extremely hard workers, conscientious, serious minded, and have a strong sense of duty and honor. They both care deeply about truth and commitment, and both have a desire to serve others and improve the world. Both have a guiding sense of purpose, often lead by deeply held beliefs and ideals. Of course, they also bring other qualities that are especially their own. Ones bring a sense of reason and mental clarity, the ability to think clearly under pressure and to come to firm decisions quickly. They are more sure of themselves and their opinions than Sixes tend to be, so Ones often serve as the leader in a One-Six relationship, making the final decision and taking responsibility for it. Ones also bring a concern for order and consistency, for logic and elegance that is sometime lacking in Sixes. They may also bring a distinct idealism that has little to do with personal loyalty or hero worship (as it may in a Six).

On the other hand, Sixes bring warmth, more emotional responsiveness and availability, generosity, and playfulness that can be endearing and which can make Ones think twice about their certitudes and positions. Sixes also have the ability to connect with people in a more direct and human way than Ones tend to do. These qualities are attractive to the other and they can make this couple a dynamic and yet highly stable team, provided their fundamental beliefs are in alignment. They take responsibility in relationships, sharing burdens and chores equally. They also feel that they can count on the other: they are steadfast, loyal, and faithful to each other, wanting to build a solid foundation together. Because both can count on the other, this gives both room to relax—something they both need to do more often.

Potential Trouble Spots or Issues

As stress increases, Ones become more critical and judgmental of everyone including themselves and their partner. They tend to be a clear case of all work and no play, making them fairly joyless and difficult to be around even in the average Levels. Ones begin to feel that others are not trying hard enough, are not serious enough, or not mature and meticulous enough—or certainly not as much as Ones are themselves. This creates resentment and accusations and fairly constant bickering which can be extremely wearing on Sixes more than it is on Ones. As they become more stressed, Sixes become increasingly emotionally reactive, worrying and insecure, looking to their partner to be a bulwark of stability and fairness. What Sixes find instead are Ones who are critical, faultfinding, and rejecting—driving Sixes deeper into their feelings of anxiety and insecurity. This often makes Sixes begin to doubt the future of the relationship, feeling that it is likely doomed, which can often become a self-fulfilling prophesy.

If tensions continue, Sixes will be increasingly defensive and evasive; they will also tend to work harder and to stay away from home more frequently so that they can avoid spending time with the One. Sixes will also find it difficult to talk directly about their feelings or fears, and so little gets adequately aired out. As Sixes become more inconsistent and unreliable, these reactions fuel the One’s resentment and disappointment in them. Stalwart Sixes begin to not show up or do even the minimum of what is expected of them, driving Ones into fits of frustration and apoplexy. Moreover, Ones find the anxieties and defensiveness of Sixes frustrating and they begin be angry and condescending toward them. Ones will become increasingly cold and critical until Sixes lash out at them, blaming them for their predicament. Anger, resentment, accusations, and name-calling can be part of the picture as the relationship deteriorates.

For further understanding about this type combination, read more about the Stress Arrow and how types One and Six behave when they are moving along it.