The 9 Enneagram Personality Types as Children’s Books Series: Type 6 as Strictly NO Elephants

Enneagram Type 6: The Loyalist = Strictly NO Elephants

Type 6: “The Committed, Security-Oriented Type: Engaging, Responsible, Anxious, and Suspicious” as defined by The Enneagram Institute

Thus far in our series we have had an egg, a tree, a train, a wild king, a narwhal, and now with SIX we have an elephant! Strictly NO Elephants, written by Lisa Mantchev & illustrated by Taeeun Yoo, is one of my favorite books to share with children(of all ages)! The core message of inclusion speaks to the key motivations of the SIX, as defined by the Enneagram Institute in that they “want to have security, to feel supported by others, to have certitude and reassurance, to test the attitudes of others toward them, to fight against anxiety and insecurity.” In the story, I feel the Loyalist is best exemplified by the trusty pet elephant. His basic SIX desire of having security and support, is fulfilled by his friendship with the boy, who helps him over cracks in the sidewalk, and generally accepts the elephant for who he is.

Further evidence of this pachyderm as the Loyalist is exemplified in the essential challenge of the story. The elephant is clearly saddened when his boy takes him to pet club day, and they are met with a sign that says “Strictly NO Elephants.” The elephant’s basic 6 fear of being without support or guidance is realized reading the sign, but his love for his best pal calls him to act by walking, right on the cracks, as they leave the discriminating doorstep, therefore confronting his own anxieties to support his friend.

The 6 is known as the Loyalist, but may also be referred to as the Questioner. The elephant and his boy do precisely that, wondering who would join such a club, and instinctively knowing that any society so mean-spirited is not one they wish to be a part of. As the pages turn, the elephant’s anxiety is almost immediately assuaged by his boy’s swift steps toward a solution to being excluded: creating their own pet club, one that is welcoming to all. Now with this new idea in mind, and a belief shared with his best pal that they can make their own space, one in which security and support will reign supreme, the elephant finds a renewed sense of confidence and purpose.

“Sixes are the most loyal to their friends and to their beliefs. They will ‘go down with the ship’ and hang on to relationships of all kinds far longer than most other types. Sixes are also loyal to ideas, systems, and beliefs—even to the belief that all ideas or authorities should be questioned or defied. Indeed, not all Sixes go along with the ‘status quo’: their beliefs may be rebellious and anti-authoritarian, even revolutionary. In any case, they will typically fight for their beliefs more fiercely than they will fight for themselves, and they will defend their community or family more tenaciously than they will defend themselves.” -the Enneagram Institute

Strictly NO Elephants is especially special, as it was the first featured book in my A Good Place To Start Series, because of its essential lesson to include everyone, and make spaces that do just that. The elephant’s ambition to create a new pet club is a revolutionary idea, and one that defends his loved one and builds a commuity; this checks a lot of SIX boxes.

“The biggest problem for Sixes is that they try to build safety in the environment without resolving their own emotional insecurities. When they learn to face their anxieties, however, Sixes understand that although the world is always changing and is, by nature uncertain, they can be serene and courageous in any circumstance. And they can attain the greatest gift of all, a sense of peace with themselves despite the uncertainties of life.” -the Enneagram Institute

The timid but steadfast titan of our story strikes an excellent 6 balance of dealing with his anxiety, building trust, defending his loved one -and by extension- himself. It is an excellent message to all kiddos and certainly any SIX, that there is always room to make space for support, but groups that ostracize or hurt others need to be deep-sixed.

For more information on the Loyalist 6 y’all head on over to the Enneagram Institute. And y’all get reading Strictly NO Elephants by ordering online(they ship), picking up curbside, or grabbing one in(masked) person from Book People!

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