The Questioner Personality – Type 6

Have you ever met anyone who was exceptionally hard-working, reliable, and committed, yet was haunted by self-doubt and possessed a deeply rooted need for support and security?

If you or your partner possess the fundamental traits listed above, you are categorized as a Questioner, a.k.a. a Loyalist.

People belonging to this personality type are excellent at troubleshooting, anticipating challenges by fostering collaboration and cooperation in order to arrive at a resolution, should one be necessary.  Questioners are engaging, trustworthy, and responsible.  But since they are fueled by that core desire for security and support, they can become defensive, cautious, anxious, and reactive if those two requirements are missing from their life.

Questioners, or Loyalists, come by their name honestly. Extremely faithful to their friends and others who matter, they construct a web of trust that over-arches their fear-based foundation. Once they’ve placed their trust in someone, they will go above and beyond to maintain those connections. A loss of trust or a disappointing relationship with a mentor or supportive individual will cause a painful rift in the Questioner’s carefully crafted network of security. This can progress to the extreme point where Questioners will even “go down with the ship,” so to speak, holding on to a relationship significantly longer than almost any other personality type will, even well after a personal connection might have run its natural course.

Photo credits Ultimate Home Life

Photo credits Ultimate Home Life

People with this temperament are also almost fanatically loyal to their ideas, beliefs, and systems. Not that their beliefs are always mainstream; to the contrary, quite often they are based  on defiance of the norm, going against established authority. But when it comes to family, friends, and community, the Questioner will always stand up for the principles and opinions of others even before their own. 

Princess Diana, Marilyn Monroe, Ben Affleck, Ellen DeGeneres, Katie Couric, John F. Kennedy and Mark Wahlberg all possess, or possessed, obvious traits of the Questioner personality.

Questioners, who tend to fret and worry, are driven by stress and at the same time, complain about it. Because they need to be surrounded by people who support them, if this atmosphere of social well-being is missing,  Questioners doubt their ability to manage the complexities of life.

Though they place a significant amount of trust in others, those with Questioner temperaments lack faith in their own judgment and ability to make important decisions. On the flip side, they don’t want others to make choices on their behalf, as they definitely don’t like to feel controlled.

People with the Questioner temperament are certainly a collection of contradictions. They are simultaneously strong yet weak, trusting and distrustful, fearful and courageous, defenders and provokers.

At their best, Questioners are self-affirming, trusting of themselves and others, independent yet symbiotically interdependent, and cooperative as equals. A sturdy belief in themselves underlies their true courage, positive thinking, leadership, and rich self-expression.

The Questioners’ biggest challenge is constructing an environment in which they feel safe and so do not have to address their own emotional insecurities.

Personal growth recommendations for Questioners:

·       Realize that everyone experiences anxiety. Learn to explore and come to terms with your own anxiety. Work creatively with your tensions, without turning to excessive amounts of alcohol (or other drugs) to allay them or to help make you believe you are more productive and aware.

·       You tend to get edgy and testy when you are upset or angry, and can even turn on others and blame them for things you have actually done, or brought on yourself. Be aware of your pessimism, which results in dark moods and negative thought patterns that you tend to project onto reality. When you succumb to self-doubt, you can become your own worst enemy. Sixes tend to overreact when they are under stress and feeling anxious. Learn to identify what makes you overreact. Also realize that almost none of the things you have feared so much has actually come true. Even if things are as bad as you think, your fearful thoughts weaken you and your ability to change things for the better. You cannot always mange external events, but you can manage your own thoughts.

·       Work on becoming more trusting. There are probably several people in your life who care about you and whom you trust.  If not, go out of your way to find someone trustworthy, and allow yourself to get close to that person. This will mean risking rejection, stirring up some of your deepest fears, but the risk is worth taking. You have a gift for getting people to like you, but you may be afraid of making a commitment to friendship. Therefore, let people know clearly how much you like them.

·       Others probably think better of you than you realize; few people are really out to “get” you. In fact, your fears tell you more about your attitudes toward others than others' attitudes toward you.

By learning to face their anxieties, Questioners realize that the world is, by its very nature, uncertain and constantly changing. This awareness can help Questioners achieve a sense of inner peace and courage in any situation.



Excerpts from the Enneagram website.