Enneagram Pairing Type 1 & 6

1 - The Moralist

Quality Control Specialist, Reformer, Perfectionist, Judge, Administrator, Rule Keeper, Crusader

6 - The Loyal Guardian

Loyal Skeptic, Trooper, Trouble Shooter, Defender, Guardian, Questioner, Devil's Advocate


Core Pattern

Ones and Sixes are both compliant types and attempt to earn what they need. Ones are part of the Gut triad and Sixes the Head triad. Ones are detail-oriented, morally upstanding, conscientious, and can be overly critical.

Sixes are mental, quick-witted, warm, and tend to imagine the worst. While Sixes want certainty, Ones want to do what they believe is right. While Ones are clear about the rules, Sixes want the rules but have their doubts about them.

Shared Values

Both Ones and Sixes are hard-working, conscientious, earnest and possess a strong sense of duty and honor. Both have a strong inclination to serve others, correct injustice and improve the world based on deeply held beliefs and ideals. They value commitment, consistency, clarity, and taking care of the people they love.

How You Complement Each Other

Ones can appreciate Sixes loyalty, warmth, intellect, endurance, and healthy questioning. Sixes can appreciate One's high ethical standards, dependability, desire for improvement and attention to detail. Sixes enjoy that Ones keep their word because this shows they can be trusted, allowing Six to feel secure.

Without feelings of security, Sixes can become anxious, detached, and obsessive. Sixes will always be searching for the potential problems with any proposal, which can be misinterpreted as negativity or opposition; however, this Devil’s advocate approach can help avoid obstacles that could get in the way of achieving the goal.

Together, Sixes and Ones will form a very talented troubleshooting team, as both are inclined toward foreseeing problems and working on solutions. Ones bring the ability to think clearly under pressure and make unwavering decisions quickly, whereas Sixes see all options, but usually see some problem with each of them. They can get stuck in “analysis paralysis,” and are unable to come to a decision.

The combination of Sixes’ foresight and Ones’ ability to make decisions means that this pairing works best when the One takes responsibility for the final decision, and the Six advises them on the risks of all the scenarios. Sixes are also usually warmer people, better able to connect and bond with others, through their emotional availability, generosity, and playfulness. Ones are very loyal to their ideals and principles whereas Sixes are very loyal to the people they trust — although earning their trust takes time.

Both Ones and Sixes are great at taking responsibilities seriously, sharing burdens, and making sure all the details get taken care of. These two will likely feel they can count on each other in ways that are usually more difficult with different personality types. This foundation of dependability and trust enables both to relax.

How You Can Get Into Trouble

Ones can become stressed by Sixes' constant questioning and probing, feeling it borders on mistrust, especially when Ones feel the 'right way' is already perfectly clear. They often feel like nothing can satisfy the Sixes doubts and make them feel secure and certain. Whereas Sixes can feel Ones are inflexibly tied to the initial decision based on their pre-determined principles.

This friction can cause tension in their relationship and when Ones get stressed they become more critical of everyone, including themselves. They have a bristling, self-righteous energy, and have a tendency to believe others are slacking or not doing enough — not trying hard enough, not being meticulous enough and not being mature enough. Sixes can suffer from pretty low-self worth, and the criticisms from Ones can feel utterly crippling.

Furthermore, the accusations of “not enough” disturbs Sixes' sense of security, and thus become emotionally destabilized. As this happens, Sixes become become increasingly emotionally reactive, insecure and anxious. They often wonder where the stable and fair person they were counting on went.

The critical nature of the One can drive the Six deeper into feelings of anxiety and insecurity. Sixes usually respond to this energy by being defensive and evasive. They will still work hard to take care of their responsibilities but will try to stay away from the One to minimize their potential of upsetting them.

If the build up of anxiety and disharmony causes the Sixes' performance to suffer that will only provoke more frustration, criticism and condescension from the One. Both Sixes and Ones struggle with directly expressing their feelings so this dynamic can be very difficult to unravel. Anger, resentment, accusations, and name-calling are likely to unfold as the relationship deteriorates.

What Each Type Needs To Be Aware Of

Ones need to be mindful of their tendency to always needing to be right, quickly becoming critical of Sixes’ questions and doubts, and their habit of suppressing playfulness and fun. To feel secure and connected, Sixes require some play and silliness, but also because they are quick to find what is wrong, One’s critical voice can be like gasoline on an already well-stoked fire. On that note, Sixes need to be aware of their tendency to focus on worst case scenarios, their emotional reactivity to criticism, being a contrarian just for the sake of it and how quickly they can jump to mistrust.

These two will benefit from maintaining healthy boundaries, standing up for themselves, and finding ways to be verbally encouraging. It is also good to keep in mind that these two can both be sticklers for the rules, but likely have their version of what the rules are, and their morality around which rules are meant to be broken and which need to be categorically upheld.

How You Can Support One Another

Both of you can improve your relationship by focusing more on the positives to counteract your negative biases. A good rule of thumb is this: for every correction or critique offer an equal amount of reassurance and acknowledgment. Sixes can work on taking criticism in stride and not blowing it out of proportion to believe there are deeper insecurity issues in the relationship.

Because Sixes have doubting minds, excessive praise makes them suspicious but so does a lack of praise. Ones should try to be as up-front as possible about what is going on and show their sincere appreciation for Sixs’ contributions without being excessive. In a professional or team environment, it is helpful to check in with the Ones informally each week since in the absence of feedback, Ones may begin to worry that they have not been getting things right.

Sixes feel most comfortable with a predictable structure, so it is important to ensure that there are intact procedure-oriented systems with clear guidelines. These two would also do well to air their feelings from time to time, as neither Ones or Sixes are forthcoming with their authentic emotions, but also both tend to hold grievances and harbor resentments. To ensure the connection doesn’t suffer from many hurts, non-expressed issues, and misunderstandings, this pair can develop a means of sharing, holding space, and attending their deeper needs together.

In A Romantic Context

These two have the potential to form a lasting, committed bond, characterized by their shared ideals, such as hard work, duty, loyalty, conscientiousness, and purpose. Both Ones and Sixes take their principles seriously, and they admire that the other does too. The sense that they can count on the other creates a space of trust, sharing, and support.

These two likely take care of their partner and enjoy sharing the responsibility for their domestic life: they will both participate in chores, finances, and other obligations of the relationship. To the dynamic, Ones bring a sense of self-assuredness and decisiveness that Sixes can sometimes struggle with. They are clear and firm, which gives them a leadership quality, and they have a strong affinity for order and elegance.

Their idealism tends to come from an inner morality, not loyalty or hero worship, as it often does with Sixes. Sixes, on the other hand, bring warmth and emotional availability all but foreign to Ones. They are generous, charismatic, and have an easy-going approach to connecting with people. When this pair shares foundational beliefs, the combination of inviting and incisive can be quite dynamic.

The danger occurs when these two become stressed. Pressured Sixes spin out very quickly into anxiety and worst-case-scenario thinking, wherein they crave reason and reassurance. This becomes problematic if their partner, the One, is at all stressed.

An overwhelmed One becomes almost instantly judgmental, negative, and joyless. They are unable to offer reassurance and instead, contribute to Sixes’ fears and anxieties. This can result in Sixes pulling back, doubting their connection, and imagining relationship doomsday.

One develops the belief that their partner doesn’t care or isn’t trying hard enough, which further serves to alienate the pair from one another. Sixes, unable to address their fears forthrightly, pull away and build defensive walls. Ones become increasingly more disappointed and resentful, which can explode into apoplectic outbursts if tensions mount high enough.

Explosions lead to blame, name-calling, accusations, and reactive lashing out. Without a course correction, the relationship steers itself into the ground.

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Max Marmer

Max Marmer is a Multidimensional Entrepreneur, Investor, Writer, Coach, Biohacker and Systems Theorist dedicated to supporting and enabling the flourishing of humanity in the 21st century.


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