Each of the nine types lives by a tacit creed (philosophy of life) that defines how they see themselves, others, and the world around them:
- Type One: I Must Be Perfect
- Type Two: I Must Be Helpful
- Type Three: I Must Be Excellent
- Type Four: I Must Be Original
- Type Five: I Must Be an Expert
- Type Six: I Must Be Secure
- Type Seven: I Must Be Enthusiastic
- Type Eight: I Must Be Powerful
- Type Nine: I Must Be Malleable
Type One (I Must Be Perfect): When Ones are at their best, they are conscientious, proper, correct, rational, self-disciplined, placing a high value on integrity, objectivity which gives them an extremely keen sense of what’s right and wrong. When under pressure, they become overly critical, demanding, rigid, intolerant, overly detailed, methodical, afraid to make mistakes, and too focused on rule-keeping.
Type Two: (I Must Be Helpful): When Twos are at their best, they are helpful, empathic, warm, supportive, compassionate, sensitive, and nurturing. They enjoy being close with (and connected to) people and focus on others’ well-being by identifying and meeting their needs. When under pressure, they become overly intimate and intrusive, prone to build dependencies – they give to get and impose their will on others through flattery, guilt, and manipulation.
Type Three: (I Must Be Excellent): When Threes are at their best, they are role models of achievement and success and establish and exemplify standards of excellence within their cultural context. They are ambitious, competitive, goal-oriented, and embody highly valued competencies and talents. When under pressure, they become overly focused on self-promotion, creating an "idealized" self to be seen by others – they lose access to their depth feelings and true identity and mobilize their achievements as an "objective" validation of their value and worth.
Type Four (I Must Be Original): When Fours are at their best, they are original, creative, self-revealing, authentic, different from others, and express how they "see" the world indirectly by creating something, e.g. art, music, literature, technology, services, etc. When under pressure, they experience deep inner turmoil, moods of depression, melancholy, withdrawal and a poignant sense of "cosmic" suffering and compulsive longing.
Type Five: (I Must Be an Expert): When Fives are at their best, they are reflective, analytical, curious, pioneering, open-minded, independent thinkers with deep insight into the connections between complex and seemingly unrelated concepts, bodies of knowledge, and human-natural phenomena. When under pressure, they detach from the arena of life’s problems and become provocative, iconoclastic, apathetic, stoically resigned to life’s "cosmic" meaninglessness, and accumulate knowledge and understanding in the hope that it will alleviate their profound sense of neediness, inner-poverty, isolation, and alienation from themselves, others, and the world around them.
Type Six (I Must Be Secure): When Sixes are at their best, they are cautious, responsible, hard-working and vigilant about identifying potential problems in order to create a reliable and safe environment for themselves and others. When under pressure, they are hyper-alert, suspicious, chronically uncertain, looking for hidden meanings and underlying patterns of intention, and filled with anxiety in the absence of real threats.
Type Seven (I Must Be Enthusiastic): When Sevens are at their best, they are a limitless source of thoughts and ideas – they are spontaneous, curious, and adventurous, with quick, agile minds that focus on the positive aspects of life. When under pressure, they become restless, easily bored, overcommitted, stifled by stability and continuity in life, addicted to excitement, narcissistic with a subtle attitude of superiority and "entitlement" clothed beneath a calm, relaxed, confident exterior.
Type Eight (I Must Be Powerful): When Eights are at their best, they are strong, assertive, persistent, tenacious, seeking challenges, action-oriented with a take-charge attitude and enormous determination and will-power to triumph over all obstacles and be influential in their world. When under pressure, they become hostile, vindictive, defiant, emotionally insensitive, desiring to control and dominate people and situations to get what they want, or exploiting people and situations by taking what they want by force and/or cunning.
Type Nine (I Must Be Malleable): When Nines are at their best, they are self-aware, seekers of self-actualization, engaged and connected to life, good-natured, friendly, easy-going, patient, tolerant, creative, imaginative, excellent mediators and communicators, emotionally stable, non-confrontational, and focused on life’s simple pleasures. When under pressure, they become overly submissive and agreeable (peace at any price), distractible, mechanically going through the motions in life and desensitized to the point where their capacity for psychological insight is diminished substantially - they long not to long, to stay blind to their blind spots.
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