The stances represent the basic attitude or approach we take toward the world and other people. Our stance is most commonly demonstrated in our reaction to perceived threats (fight, flight, or submission).
Go to the two-page Stance Keyword Comparison Checklist to print a copy. After you complete the checklist, return to this page to interpret the results.
Interpreting the Results
Column A represents the Aggressive stance, which is also called “moving against” or fighting. If your highest total is in Column A, you are most likely Type 3, 7, or 8. These three types take the direct approach. They move against what gets in the way of their pursuit of their:
- Goals (Type 3)
- Satisfaction (Type 7)
- Agenda (Type 8)
Column B represents the Compliant stance, which is also called “moving toward or with,” submitting, or giving in to others. If your highest total is in Colum B, you are most likely Type 1, 2, or 6. These three types see an external point of reference. They move toward what will help them earn:
- Righteousness and autonomy (Type 1)
- Attention and approval (Type 2)
- Safety and Security (Type 6)
Column C represents the Withdrawing stance, which is also called “moving away” or keeping to oneself. If your highest total is in Column C, you are most likely Type 4, 5, or 9. These three types go inward to find fulfillment. They move away from what triggers a sense of:
- Something lacking (Type 4)
- Personal inadequacy (Type 5)
- Distress and discomfort (Type 9)
The types that share a stance tend to misuse or under-use the same Center of Intelligence, so they have a lot in common with each other:
- Types 3, 7, and 8 tend to misuse or under-use the Feeling center.
- Types 1, 2, and 6 tend to misuse or under-use the Thinking center.
- Types 4, 5, and 9 tend to misuse or under-use the Doing center.
Since each point on the Enneagram is connected to two other points (and, thereby, two other stances), our psyches contain elements of all three stances. In fact, the order of preference of stances can, in some cases, indicate your type. Types 3, 6, and 9 are a little more complicated because there are two variants of each, but the order of preference for the other six types, is:
Primary Secondary Tertiary
Type 1 Compliant Withdrawing Aggressive
Type 2 Compliant Aggressive Withdrawing
Type 4 Withdrawing Aggressive Compliant
Type 5 Withdrawing Compliant Aggressive
Type 7 Aggressive Compliant Withdrawing
Type 8 Aggressive Withdrawing Compliant
Having a wing (that is, if your type is strongly influenced by one of the types adjacent to it on either side) could affect how strongly you identify with the stance your type takes. For example, a Type 4 (Withdrawing) with a 5 wing (also Withdrawing) would be likely to identify more strongly with the Withdrawing stance than would a Type 4 with a 3 wing (Aggressive).