Everyone uses the Head Center whenever they think, plan, memorize
or strategize. Our dreams and visions for the future are made
in the Head Center. It is the center usually associated with understanding
and intelligence. But for Fives, Sixes and Sevens, this is THE
control center, the one they occupy most of the time. These people
are strong on thinking, as opposed to feeling (heart) or sensing
People in the Head Center are inclined to analyze any situation
by taking in the evidence and applying logic, particularly in
the context of a system or theory. They deal with tasks methodically
and may try to construct meaningful patterns, putting their trust
in ideas. Their common assets and liabilities all spring from
this preoccupation with using the mental center to evaluate all
aspects of life. They are inclined to believe that they know all
there is to know about something once they have collected and
observed all the objective data. They can have a compulsion about
collecting more and more information.
They ask "Where am I?" "How does this all fit together?"
"How will I survive?" "How can I prepare myself
to be safe in the world?"
Fear is the main driving emotion of this center. The background
theme music for this center might sound like the soundtrack to
an Alfred Hitchcock movie played at various audible levels for
each of the types. Inside they feel a lack of support and guidance.
Fives, Sixes and Sevens are the most conscious of life's dangers.
They use their heads to deal with their anxieties about life's
risks and are sometimes called the "fear" types. Each
type copes with their fear differently, but all three types use
thinking (usually unconsciously) as a way of pre-empting fear
in a potentially threatening world.
Fives, who represent the internalized version of fear, make
themselves safe by amassing knowledge and grasping the complexities
of the world, and they use their knowledge as a kind of buffer
to keep others at bay. Sixes, representing externalized fear,
try to make themselves safe by being constantly on the lookout
for danger and by forming solid alliances with trustworthy people
and striving to clearly understand all lines of authoritysometimes
aligning with authority for protection, sometimes rebelling against
it. Sevens simply deny their fears and forget them by distracting
themselves with pleasurable experiences or ideas to avoid thinking
about any dangers.
While their anxieties are exaggerated, they tend to hide their
feelings, most especially tender ones, behind a mask of objectivity
and non-involvement. They can appear clear, convinced, and clever,
while inwardly feeling isolated, confused and meaningless. They
even fear looking confused, illogical or unwise. These types sometimes
have difficulty making decisions and moving confidently into the
In a sense, the Five is the type in the Head Center that over-expresses
thinking; they are the most cerebral and mentally intense of all
the types. They live for their ideas, their concepts, and their
imagination while neglecting many of the practical aspects of
life. The Six is most out of touch with the inner guidance of
the Head Center. Their minds are always thinking; actually over-thinkinganxiously
figuring everything out and second-guessing themselves so much
that they have a hard time recognizing their own inner guidance.
The Seven under-expresses thinking; not that they aren't smart,
they just jump too quickly from one thought to another, or from
thinking to doing, without really thinking through the ramifications
of their actions. This can result in doing too many things at
once and in becoming addicted to staying in motion.2
Fives, Sixes and Sevens tend to overlook their feelings and are
able to stay objectively uninvolved. They also tend to move away
from people, in comparison to the heart types who naturally move
towards others, and body types who tend to stand their ground.
Fives withdraw into their observations of people and situations.
Sixes withdraw into their belief systems, and Sevens withdraw
into ideas, plans and possibilities.
Head types are sensitive to pressure, prodding and meddling and
to having their lives taken over by people they may see as more
passionate, strong or competent. Fives can feel overwhelmed by
perceived demands of others and accordingly establish strong boundaries.
Sixes' reactions are to either use charm and warmth to seek constant
confirmation of trustworthiness or to deliberately confront perceived
threats. Sevens resist being tied down or limited by creating
whirlwinds of visions, ideas and activities.
2Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson, Understanding the Enneagram, Houghton Mifflin Co, 1987