November 7, 2015

Enneagram Personalities: The Helper, The Performer & The Artist.


To go to the overview of the Enneagram personality test click here.

These are three of the personality types that relate to the heart as detailed in the Enneagram personality system. For type 8, 9 & 1 click here and for type 5-7 click here.

The Enneagram types are set out in three groups of three and they correspond with each of the three centers of intelligence and perception; the head, the heart and the body.

Although we all process information through the head, heart and body, each personality type strongly relates to a particular one.

Groups 2, 3 and 4 relate to the heart. Heart types strongly associate with grief and sadness and these emotions show up in their personality type. Heart types are feelings based with their actions coming directly from the heart.

2. The Helper

Altruistic, caring, demonstrative, emotional, generous, high expectations, interpersonal, irrational, loving, nurturers, people-pleasing, possessive, practical, selfless, sensitive, sentimental.

As Helper’s are heart based types the main focus is on sincerity in both friendships and relationships.

They have a strong desire to feel wanted and needed and require constant validation of how much of a great person they are. They often martyr themselves to do good deeds for others but this can turn to frustration when the acts are not recognized or reciprocated. They focus more on others than they do themselves and this can lead them to become possessive and also to suffer from exhaustion both emotionally and physically and then eventually it can lead to a total burnout.

They are popular and make friends very easily, although, this is partly because they are so generous with their time, emotions and material gifts. They want to help people and make other people’s lives better. They are the “fixers” and “menders” and are very often the shoulder that people turn to when they need one to cry on.

They are also great to be around as they are genuine, caring, helpful, loyal and they have good listening skills. Sadly, though they are far more caring towards others than they are to themselves and while they offer unconditional love and acceptance to everyone that comes along, they forget to make time to give it to themselves. Therefore, they are easily hurt as they depend on others to give them love and appreciation. If they invest a lot of time and attention on others and it is not returned it can leave them feeling bitter, resentful, frustrated and disappointed.

They are a lot of fun to be around, as they are energetic, outgoing and they love to laugh. On the outside they appear to be extremely confident, vibrant and full of life, yet on the inside there is a lot of insecurity and deep-rooted feelings of unworthiness. They regularly feel as though they are not good enough and try desperately hard to be better in all areas of their lives.

It is essential for Helpers to put firm boundaries in place to avoid being used or taken advantage of. They need to take time to look at what it is they need for themselves rather than being overly focused on other people’s requirements. Often they become so attentive to other people’s needs as they are afraid to open up and accept love in return. They find it easier to give than they do to receive, but when they do not receive in return feelings of low self-worth and low self-esteem are reinforced.

They can very easily become codependent, as they are reliant on others for a feel-good boost. They feel guilty if they do anything for themselves and feel that by giving their time, money and energy to others they will receive in return love and affection. Unfortunately though, their good and kind nature is very easy manipulated and taken advantage of.

Rather than turning into a chameleon to suit what everyone else wants, they need to stand firm in their own skin and be true to themselves so that they can then give a true version of themselves to others. 

3. The Performer

Adaptable, achievers, ambitious, attention seeker, charismatic, driven, energetic, excelling, fast learners, hard workers, image conscious, pragmatic, self-confident, successful, vanity.

Performers are achievers and they set out goals and targets for themselves and believe that when they meet these they will gain affection, approval and validation from others. They focus an excessive amount of time and attention on work or special interests and alongside this they are over-competitive so they can easily lose touch with what else is going on in the world. This can lead them to becoming self-absorbed and out of touch with their emotions.

They become so image conscious that they lose sight of their true identity and feel as though success is the only thing that defines them as this is what gains them recognition. They constantly need attention from others to validate their accomplishments and have a strong need for other people to feel proud of them. They move from one challenge to the next as they feel that this is what shows their determination and strength and in return they want those around them to express how impressed they are.

They are energetic and enthusiastic and usually extroverted and these characteristics make it very easy for them to rise to the top of their game and easily succeed in whatever they put their mind to.

To others they can seem over-confident and even egotistical as they battle to continuously rise to the top. They can also exaggerate their achievements and paint a picture for the outside world that is entirely different from the reality. This can cause them to have narcissistic tendencies, as they appear to be grandiose as they over-inflate their results and accomplishments.

It is vital that they believe they are worthy regardless of results or achievements otherwise they will push themselves further and further to try to reach almost unrealistic goals. They are extremely active and always on the go, so being action orientated will feel very natural to them, however, it is essential that they slow down enough to discover that it is not healthy to seek emotional rewards and praise purely from over-achieving.

They struggle with intimacy and are afraid to let people get too close to them as they believe that their greatest worth is what is seen on the outside. It is important that they discover that true happiness is something that is gained on the inside before it can radiate outward, and until they connect with their emotions they are wearing a mask to cover their true feelings. They are constantly afraid that someday their true self will be unveiled.

Although to outsiders it may seem as though they have found meaning in their lives, it is mostly superficial. Their passions are associated with vanity and they believe that as long as they look great on the outside, no one will suspect that they don’t feel as great inside too. They have a great fear of being alienated or rejected and avoid the fear by disconnecting from their emotions and only showing people their best sides.

When they stop putting their emotions on hold to keep up the façade of their action packed lifestyle they will be able to reconnect to what is important to them and what really matters. It is not an easy process as succeeding has become a way of life, but when they stop to consider that they have lost touch with who they really are, they have already taken the first step that leads back to themselves.   

4. The Artist

Artistic, creative, empathetic, expressive, dramatic, feeling unworthy, imaginative, individualists, introverts, intuitive, perceptive, self-absorbed, sensitive, temperamental, unique, withdrawn.

They are individualists, and see themselves as being different than everyone around them. They are often uniquely talented, highly skilled and gifted in the arts and they express themselves through their creative world and this is a main focus of their lives.

The Artists have a deep desire to be understood and they know that for this to happen they must first dig very deep and understand themselves. They regularly purge themselves of their emotions so they can dissect each one, and as they spill out they use their art as a way to process them.

They are constantly looking for meaning in all things and they are seekers of the truth. They are self-aware and are not repelled by the shadow side of life and are willing to face the darker parts of their mind that others would turn away from. Artists detect their subtle emotions and pay close attention to them to figure out their deepest and most unresolved feelings. They are then able to transform their findings to creativity and by doing so create unique and fascinating pieces of art.

They are most often introverted and withdrawn yet their desire to create often means they share their creativity and are then exposed to a world they consider to be harsh and brutal. This is why they often see their gift as a blessing and also a curse.

They feel safe in their inner world, no matter how painful it may be in there. To artists turning everything inwards and immersing themselves within what takes place in their minds feels more secure than what they may face on the outside. This means they are often self-absorbed, deeply melancholy and use introversion as a means of remaining guarded, disconnected and separate from society.

Artists are often moody and lapse into periods of extreme sadness and can even fall into a depression. They are highly sensitive and empathetic and they absorb everything around them and take on the emotions and pain of others, which adds more heaviness to their own dismay. They feel extraordinary in an ordinary world and as though other people do not feel the same intense sensations and experience life in the way that they do.

To be able to connect with the outer world artists must realize that everyone experiences life in their own unique way and no one else’s experience is more or less important than their own. They could benefit from opening up to people around them to see that although they are possibly very different, there could be a mutual understanding and appreciation for lifestyles that vary from their own.

They are idealistic and do not settle for anything less than the high standard they have set out in their minds. This can lead them to have had various types of relationships, friendships and even places they call home. They struggle to settle and are constantly roaming through life looking for something richer and more meaningful than what they have already experienced.

Artists are naturally intuitive and use this gift as a way to uncover the truth and authenticity in all situations. They cannot bear to be in a situation that is just an illusion and so they will peel away layers and break down all walls until they get to the heart of the matter. Whatever they find there, they can handle; they would rather know the true nature of something than be fooled be something that is false.

Artists need to get over themselves so that they can get outside themselves. They delve into their inner world and get lost in there and this is what then leads them to feelings of severe self-doubt and crippling self-depreciation. 

Only looking from one angle does not make for a balanced mind—when they can look at themselves from all angles, that is when they will discover the peace and clarity they have been searching for.

To return to the overview of the Enneagram personality test click here.


Relephant Favorite: 

The Ancient Enneagram Personality Test with Detailed Profiles: Finding Out Who We Really Are.

Enneagram Personalities: The Challenger, The Harmonizer & The Reformer.

Enneagram Personalities: The Thinker, The Loyalist & The Visionary.



Author: Alex Myles

Editor: Travis May

Images: Flickr/Jinho Jung

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