The Enneagram

click on the numbers to learn more about each type

The Enneagram identifies 9 basic types of people.  It is best to think of these types as lying on a spectrum that fade from one to the other as opposed to rigid categories with harsh lines inbetween.  Below is a chart showing how each of the nine individual types are grouped into sets of three.  These “triads” indicate the three basic “centers” from which people can flow: the gut, the head, the heart.  Every human being has these three centers, but each individual leans toward one center as the dominant, most familiar place from which to operate in life.  Click on any element in these pictures to further here to discover how the Ennegram is useful for becoming transformed into the image of Christ.

The Triads

Gut-centered people act first; think and feel later.  People who flow from this center are very connected to a concrete view of reality and have a very “nuts  and bolts” approach to life.  Their driving sin is that of angerin that they tend to react to their physical circumstances.

Head-centered people think first; act and feel later.  People who flow from this center tend to view life from an outsider perspective looking in.  Their driving sin is that of fear in that they feel separated from other people and their environments, causing them to be afraid .

Heart-centered people feel first; act and think later.  People who flow from this center are very conscious of the community around them and how they are being received by that community.  Their driving sin is that of pridein that they are constantly engaged in “image management” in the attempt to be well received by the community.

The Types


  • Root Sin: Anger
  • Basic Need: to be right
  • I am good if… I am honest, hardworking, and orderly
  • Pitfalls:  Over-criticalness
  • Invitation: Growth
  • Fruit of the Spirit: Cheerful Tranquility (Patience)
  • Temptation: Perfection
  • Avoidance:Vexation
  • Defense Mechanism: Reaction, Formation
  • Unredeemed Attitudes: Obstinate, Pharisaical, Destructive
  • Normal Attitudes: Perfectionist, Wavering, Scrupulous
  • Redeemed Attitudes: Critically aware, Composed, Ethically outstanding


  • Root Sin: Pride
  • Basic Need: to be needed
  • I am good if…I am loving, selfless, and helpful
  • Pitfalls: Obligingness (Flattery)
  • Invitation: Freedom (Grace)
  • Fruit of the Spirit: Humility
  • Temptation: Helping Others
  • Avoidance:Suppressing Needs
  • Defense Mechanism: Repression
  • Unredeemed Attitudes: Manipulative, Dominating, Symbiotic
  • Normal Attitudes: Motherly, Giving, Active
  • Redeemed Attitudes: Caring, Friendly, Original


  • Root Sin: Deceit
  • Basic Need: to be successful
  • I am good if…I am successful, competent, and effective
  • Pitfalls:Vanity (Superficiality)
  • Invitation: Hope (God’s Will)
  • Fruit of the Spirit: Truthfulness (Honesty)
  • Temptation: Efficiency
  • Avoidance: Failure
  • Defense Mechanism: Identification
  • Unredeemed Attitudes: Opportunistic, Deceptive, Career-addicted
  • Normal Attitudes: Pragmatic, Status-conscious, Role-oriented
  • Redeemed Attitudes: Competent, Truthful, Reliable


  • Root Sin: Envy
  • Basic Need: to be unique
  • I  am good if…I am original, sensitive, and cultured
  • Pitfalls: Depression (Melancholy)
  • Invitation: Originality (Union with God)
  • Fruit of the Spirit: Harmony
  • Temptation: Authenticity
  • Avoidance: Ordinariness
  • Defense Mechanism: Artificial sublimation
  • Unredeemed Attitudes: Lamenting, Decadent, Infatuated with Death
  • Normal Attitudes: Aesthetic, Romantic, of good taste
  • Redeemed Attitudes: Creative, Natural, Disciplined


  • Root Sin: Greed
  • Basic Need: to perceive
  • I am good if…I am wise, smart, and receptive
  • Pitfalls: Avarice
  • Invitation: Wisdom (God’s Dispensation)
  • Fruit of the Spirit: Objectivity
  • Temptation: Knowledge
  • Avoidance: Emptiness
  • Defense Mechanism: Withdrawal (Segmentation)
  • Unredeemed Attitudes: Isolated, Nihilistic, Eccentric
  • Normal Attitudes: Analytical, Distanced, Abstract
  • Redeemed Attitudes: Inventive, Wise, Energetic


  • Root Sin: Fear (Anxiety)
  • Basic Need: to be safe, secure
  • I am good if…I am faithful, obedient, and loyal
  • Pitfalls: Cowardice/Recklessness
  • Invitation: Faith (Trust)
  • Fruit of the Spirit: Courage
  • Temptation: Striving for Security
  • Avoidance: Doubt
  • Defense Mechanism: Projection
  • Unredeemed Attitudes: dependent, aggressive, cowardly
  • Normal Attitudes: Duty-conscious, careful, (Anti-) authoritarian
  • Redeemed Attitudes: Loyal, courageous, confident


  • Root Sin: Intemperance (Gluttony)
  • Basic Need: to avoid pain
  • I am good if…I am optimistic, happy, and nice
  • Pitfalls: Scheming
  • Invitation: Cooperation with God
  • Fruit of the Spirit: Sober joy
  • Temptation: Idealism
  • Avoidance: Pain
  • Defense Mechanism: Rationalization
  • Unredeemed Attitudes: Excessive, Dilettantish, Obstinate
  • Normal Attitudes: Hyperactive, Hedonistic, Superficial
  • Redeemed Attitudes: Happy, versatile, Calm


  • Root Sin: Shamelessness (Lust)
  • Basic Need: to be against
  • I am good if…I am just, strong, and dominant
  • Pitfalls: Revenge
  • Invitation: Mercy
  • Fruit of the Spirit: Innocence
  • Temptation: Justice
  • Avoidance: Helplessness, weakness, subordination
  • Defense Mechanism: Denial
  • Unredeemed Attitudes: Tyrannical, fanatical for power, violent
  • Normal Attitudes: controlling, competing, direct
  • Redeemed Attitudes: generous, capable of leadership, protecting


  • Root Sin: Laziness
  • Basic Need: to avoid
  • I am good if…I am calm, in harmony, and balanced
  • Pitfalls: laziness (comfort)
  • Invitation: Unconditional love
  • Fruit of the Spirit: Action
  • Temptation: Self-deprecation
  • Avoidance: conflict
  • Defense Mechanism: Narcosis (Addiction)
  • Unredeemed Attitudes:  Fatalistic, disoriented, stubborn
  • Normal Attitudes: adapted, “requiring little care,” indecisive
  • Redeemed Attitudes: accepting, peaceable, goal-oriented

Online Resources for using the Enneagram

FAST Enneagram Test

The Enneagram Institute

Get Art and Spirituality in Your Inbox

Join my mailing list to receive the latest posts and resources

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This