9 Fatal Flaws of the Enneagram Types

Your imperfections can be the beautiful reflection of your healing... the gold nuggets you had to learn in life in order to be complete and unique.

I've got to talk about the heavier side of the Enneagram and the type 7 and me is not pleased. 😣 lol

I just want to focus on the rainbows 🌈 and unicorns and the potential possibilities of unboxing your personality...

those Superpowers and the positive things of becoming your best self!

But the truth is there are some shadows that we must face in order to balance and heal and to be whole. 

In the previous article, I talked about the Superpowers of each of the Enneagram types

Go back and read that one if you haven't yet:
9 Superpowers of the Enneagram Types

I share the list of the Core Strengths, or Superpowers that your type has that are so ingrained in you that you might even miss recognizing it as being a strength!


When your pendulum has swung the other way...

When your circumstances become a little stressful... 

That's when you might recognize your superpower, but in a negative way.

That's when it's not used in a healthy way and your Superpower becomes the very thing that leads to your Type's Fatal Flaw. 😓

dun dun DUN!!!

Wouldn't it be nice to know when your personality offers you this red flag so that you know you need to prompt yourself to choose a healthy response?

...instead of that knee jerk reaction of our ego

Listen to Episode 32:

Not every Personality wants to talk about their fatal flaw,

But in Enneagram Land, this is necessary. 

This is the Bridge to Growth that you've got across if you really want to unbox yourself and get on the other side.

You must get past the Typing Mode and get into Growing Mode.

In the previous article, I shared my story of how I thought I was a type 4 and some of the life circumstances that I was going through at the time that led me to believe that I was a type 4 for so long. I was fully convinced. 

Now, I realize that the type 7 patterns and motivations are a much better fit. They fit me so snugly, I often feel a little naked and a little overexposed. LOL

The type 7's Superpower is the Power of Positive Thinking.
And if you identify as a type 7, you probably do this so well, just like I do, and not even realize that you're you're doing it.

You do it so naturally you don't even have to think about it.
In fact, if you identify as a type 7 and you aren't thinking positively, you might feel a little uncomfortable or for some, a lot uncomfortable. 

Ask yourself this... 
Have you ever

  • been afraid of being the party pooper?
  • kept negative emotions to yourself because you don't want to bring everybody else down? 
  • want to NOT ruin the good experience?

"Everybody else has their own mess. I don't need to bring my mess to the table!"

  • felt resentful that time you allowed yourself to be vulnerable to someone and they just pat you on the back and say, 

"Cheer up! Where's that happy smile you always have. You're always so chipper. You're going to get through this." 

Maybe it felt a little patronizing.

These are the things that type 7s are very sensitive to,.
so they use that Superpower of Positive Thinking as a coping strategy to protect themselves. 

This looks like reframing.
You tell yourself, 

"Just think positively and we can get out of this. It will all work out."

And then just go about your day. Like everything is peachy. 

And no one knows the wiser. 

Sometimes Even Yourself!  

This is the fatal flaw of the type 7. 

This is my Fatal Flaw!

This over-exaggeration of the positive so much that it allows me to escape. I get to escape the pain of disappointment or limitations or deprivations that have been imposed on me that make me feel emotionally and energetically stuck.

This often leads to an overindulgence of positive and happy experiences no matter the cost!
That might look like overeating, superficial relationships, overspending, getaway trips, adding new projects or other distractions that allow you to take the focus off of the pain.

Often leading me into the very consequences that will prolong my negative emotions!

Oh, the Irony!

And it's similar pattern for each of the other Enneagram types with their Fatal Flaw.

Instead of being a Superpower that supports you in your Purpose, your Core Desires, and making that Impact that you are meant to make, It becomes an Achilles heel that stifles you and keeps you from reaching that purpose and making your impact. 


I want to make a disclaimer here and remind you that you are a dynamic person. You are not doomed to your fatal flaw of your personality. Remember, your life is made up of moments. Some you responded in a healthy way and some in a not so healthy way. And the Enneagram is like your litmus test. It tells you where you are on that continuum of healthy responses to unhealthy responses so that you know how to adjust and become balanced.

I talk about that a little bit in the Secrets to Enneagram Typing, that's the Free mini course that you can access here: go.unboxenneagram.com/secrets

In this mini-course, I talk about the Experience Gap

That's the difference between what your intention is versus how others experience you. 

So in addition to the Fatal Flaw, I'll mention the Experience Gap of each type as well.

Here's the list:

9 Fatal Flaws of each Enneagram Type

Sources: Get Connected to your Business course, and The Complete Enneagram, by Beatrice Chestnut.

Type 8

Type 8s Overcompensate in Weak moments which comes across as Intimidation or Dominance and can lead to Recklessness, the very opposite of the Strength and Control they crave.

Type 9

Type 9s Over-adjust their needs to accommodate others' needs which comes across as Passive-Aggressive and can lead to Neglect, the very opposite of the social connection they want.

Type 1

Type 1s Over Control situations or Over criticize others which come across as Intolerant and can lead to Hypocrisy, the very opposite of the moral goodness they strive for.

Type 2

Type 2s become Overbearing with pleasing or doing for others which comes across as Manipulation and can lead to Victimization, the very opposite of the selfless nurturing they want to be known for.

Type 3

Type 3s Overwork themselves in a way that comes across as Overly competitive and Self-promoting and can lead to Deceit or Exploitation, the very opposite of "being the best" since their success is rooted in lies or half-truths.

Type 4

Type 4s become Over focused on pain and Suffering which comes across as self-pity and can lead to Self-Alienation, the very opposite of their desire to stand out and be extraordinary.

Type 5

Type 5s Over rationalize everything which comes across as Detachment or Rejection and can lead to Distorted Realities or Disassociation, the very opposite of their truth-seeking drive.

Type 6

Type 6s Over analyze the possibilities or what if scenarios which comes across as Insecurity or Ambivalence and can lead to an Inferiority complex to others, the very opposite of their drive to support and guide others.

Type 7

Type 7s Over indulge in all things that give them a Positive feeling which comes across as Excessive or Escapism and can lead Restrictive Consequences, the very opposite of the freedom they're after.

If you want to chat about a type in more detail or something more specific to your situation, just send me a DM on Instagram is @powercoachjen. And if you haven't followed me yet, why not?

So that's the list of your Enneagram types. Super powers turned into fatal flaws,

but I want to make another disclaimer about these fatal flaws:

Please, please, please do not box yourself into the descriptions that I've just shared today. These are our unhealthy moments. Let me say that again. These are moments moments as in temporary, where we're having an unhealthy response.

But you have the Power and Ability to...

  • Recognize these Red Flags, so you can pause to choose a healthy response.
  • Recognize the Experience Gap for other numbers to help you conjure up more empathy and compassion for others. 

Because when we experienced them as intimidating or passive aggressive or intolerant, etc., the odds are that that is not their intention. So we can give them a little more grace and not overreact (toward our own fatal flaws as well!). 

👉🏻 I hope you recognize that for each type, when you overcompensate for not getting your needs met, the irony is that you push yourself farther and in the very opposite direction of where you want to be!

This is why I had to suck it up and share this second part of the series.

Because once you Unbox Yourself to be aware of how you can self-sabotage, you can focus your efforts in a more Productive way, Unleashing your Power. 

Categories: : Enneagram