Six Personality Developmental Pathway


Hardwiring : Cognitive intelligence – seeking security – introverted and extroverted – avoid fear by trying to predict worries and problems in order to avoid them to feel secure

Life Strategy : Managing risk, Cautious, Loyal Strategy

Primary Beliefs :

The world is unsafe – I must be cautious and wary of people and situations, and must be prepared as I wont cope if blindsided. 

Habit of attention :

Attention goes to what can go wrong, ask questions to gain more certainty/determine if person/information is trustworthy, notice whether information/person is inconsistent, thinking goes into predicting problems, may be sceptical of people’s intentions/agendas, anticipates threats to self and argument.

Greatest fear : uncertainty, unpredictability, not being able to trust my partner, perceiving deception, feeling inadequate

Self identity

Loyal (to gain trust) cautious, sceptical, wary, logical, predict worst case scenarios, good at assessing risks and planning contingencies, thoughtful re decisions, like to be prepared.

“I am a good risk assessor and trouble shooter. I have a vivid imagination, especially when it comes to what might be threatening to safety and security. My attention goes to what could be dangerous or harmful and I may experience as much fear as if something bad were happening, or I can question or challenge the situation and not experience fear. I either tend to avoid danger or tend to challenge it head-on. My imagination also leads to my ingenuity and a good, if somewhat offbeat sense of humor. I would like for life to be more certain, and I seem to doubt or question the people and things around me. I can usually see the shortcomings in the view someone is putting forward. I tend to be suspicious of authority and am not naturally comfortable being seen as the authority, unless it’s a team I really trust and then I am a collaborative leader. I have a strong sense of social justice and tend to identify with underdog causes. I often jump to the worst case scenario, don’t trust people easily, and at times have been seen as negative – assuming another person has negative intentions (rather than possible positive ones). Once I am committed to a person or a cause I am very loyal to it. I tend to doubt myself, and I can procrastinate because of this. I don’t care so much how I present, instead I look for people I can trust. I am strategic in my thinking and planning, and tend to be both extroverted and introverted.”

PDP Needs Triggers Strategies to meet Needs

PDP 6security, clarity, trust, community
supporttransparency, consistency, predictability
Around people with hidden agendas, conflict, uncertainty in situations, surrounded by people/authority can’t trust, not feeling safe, feeling ‘attacked’/manipulatedI like to predict what can go wrong to circumvent it,Asking others opinions, doubting and questioning others, seeking certaintyby thoroughly examining all sides of argumentto eliminate contradictions, being loyal andtrustworthy as they want others to be like this withthem, seek belonging to an organization they trust,and community, collaboration

When the 6 PDP Strategies don’t work to feel secure..

Panic – fear I cant trust myself, doubt, becoming more dependent on something outside the self for guidance – constant doubting, panic, paranoia, an intensifying of a lack of faith in themselves and others. The over-emphasis on anticipating/ looking for what can go wrong leads to this person feeling less safe than they are actually are. So the strategy to constantly look for threat/problems to feel secure and safe can backfire. Can come across as ‘prickly’ or reactive as they are assuming a negative hidden agenda in another, or assuming a negative scenario….this can create conflict, rather than the safety and ease they desire. There can be sadness under the anxiety – in feeling fear a lot of the time (sometimes the fear is unconscious)

Blindspots of the Six PDP whats positive / complaining / their own authority

Main Blind Spots

  • Fear and the way it drives behavior (tendency to project fear out)
  • Their own power and authority
  • What’s working well—what may not go wrong
  • The possibility of faith and trust (in others or self)

Fear is an unconscious driver at the core of the 6 personality – fear is the “shaky” state of the heart when feeling intolerant of uncertainty and reactive to the possibility of bad things happening. Courage is the Virtue that oppose Fear—it’s a state of having the heart open to whatever life brings. Being courageous means moving forward despite unpredictability. It means taking action even if you feel afraid.

People with the six PDP are loyal and dutiful, and their habit is to plan for the worst – and because of this they often don’t see what could go well, what could be positive, in themselves, others and the world. Also as they do not trust their own thought process (they self doubt) they are constantly trying to gauge other people’s reactions (to test the waters) to a given stimulus to see if there is a threat that needs attention. They may complain to see if people agree or disagree with them as a way of finding where people stand. They can project fear outside of themselves onto others.

They tend to be blind to the breadth and depth of their own capacities and ability to cope – whatever life may throw at them –blind to their own authority. They are clever and think well, yet frequently underestimate themselves.

Core wounds/hurts and key triggers

  • Untrustworthy authorities/caretakers—early sense of threat or danger
  • Not having enough protection early on
  • Needing to be on high alert to survive


To use the virtue of courage – taking action, despite anxiety/fear. To realise there is no reason to doubt themselves as much as they do. They are just as capable and competent as others. To manage their worry and fear – check out the reality of their worried thinking with a trusted other who can listen and validate the worry first, and then also give perspective. To be aware of their fear rising and falling each day and to realise that the fear comes up and down as a tendency not because there is necessarily a threat in the room – they can project anxiety unconsciously onto a situation or others in trying to find a cause for the anxiety (sometimes there isn’t a cause – it requires breathing and self soothing). To accept compliments. Recognise their own capabilities….to have faith in themselves to deal with life….that their decisions and thought processes are as good as anyone else’s. To manage their self doubt….. resist the invitations to doubt themselves.

If procrastinating learning to take action despite feeling fear. Rest in their capabilities and learn to relax, and quieten their mind, so less reactive when feeling anxiety.

How their partner in life can help them grow:

Be honest, respectful and transparent re feelings, needs and intentions. Be aware of words or actions than increase doubt or mistrust. Loud conflict/high emotions that are not understood can push the 6 partner to withdraw as conflict increases anxiety Helping your 6 partner to express how they feel, listening non-judgementally and asking what they need. Do all you can to increase their trust in you, that they can depend on you.

Reflection Questions

  1. Reflect on the above information : when do your primary beliefs help you in life? When do they not help you, or not help your partner? Could they potentially cause conflict? How true are they really?

Reflect on where your attention goes? ….and then consider – if that’s the case , what do I not notice…… where does my attention might not go? My blindspots.

What situations most trigger you? Reflect on how your needs and triggers are different to your partners?

Can you think of times you’ve used the ‘strategies’ listed in the table above and did they work? When did they not work?

  1. Attempt to fill in your PDP Map, putting in just the information that it is true for you
  1. Then compare the differences between your PDP Map and your partners – knowing each is an equally valid way to be in the world……and makes complete sense. And to know you will be unconsciously stepping on your partner’s core fears/wounds..and to reflect on the importance of committing to not do that – you can heal each other rather than harm each other.