Understand All 9 Enneagram Childhood Wounds + How To Heal

The Enneagram is a personality typing system that helps people understand themselves and others better. It consists of nine different types, each with its characteristics. Enneagram childhood wounds are the most significant events in childhood that influence the person’s adult behavior patterns. 

Every Enneagram type has a childhood wound that affects their behavior. Children are resilient and intelligent; however, they often do not receive the attention or empathy to thrive. This gap is known as the childhood wound and is significant because of its impact on personality development. When you understand your Enneagram childhood wound, it becomes easier to heal it and develop it into the best version of yourself.

This article will discuss what this means for each Enneagram type and offer tips to help heal these wounds. Keep reading to learn about enneagram childhood wounds and how each type can learn to heal!

Enneagram Childhood Wound F.A.Q.s

What Does The Enneagram Childhood Wound Mean?

What Does The Enneagram Childhood Wound Mean

The Enneagram childhood wound is a deep hurt that every person experiences as children. These wounds shape the child’s personality and behavior, especially as they grow older.  Throughout childhood, the child may lack empathy and understanding in critical areas of need from their parents or other adults. When these needs are unmet, individuals develop adaptive strategies from this place of pain.  

Every personality has a distinct enneagram childhood wound. In other words, all nine Enneagram types have different wounds that are unique to trauma experienced as children.  This minor or significant trauma results in specific characteristics and self-defeating beliefs for each enneagram type.

The childhood wound is a term used by many to describe part of Enneagram personality types. It is quite a defining feature that will most likely resonate with you. 

How To Heal From Your Childhood Wound? 

The key for every enneagram type to experience healing their childhood wound begins with loving yourself and believing in your inherent worthiness. 

And don’t forget about receiving love from others; surround yourself with family or friends who support and encourage you on this journey!

Find a close confidant, coach, or counselor that you can safely explore the effects of trauma in your life.  By opening up to them about how your childhood wounds impact you, you can build stronger relationships and a healthier view of yourself. 

Also, keep in mind, although these wounds often come from a parental figure in a child’s life, the wounding message is many times intentional; nonetheless, it is the message heard.

How To Heal From Your Childhood Wound

There are several ways to release trauma, open up your mind, and experience a more profound sense of freedom.  Below are several ideas; your enneagram type may depend on which practices are more appealing than others.   That’s okay; the most important thing is that you try one or some of them to find what is most helpful to you.

  • Rest
  • Proper diet
  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Prayer
  • Therapy
  • Reflection
  • Journaling

Carve out time for these activities in your daily routine, so you are taking good care of yourself! 

The Enneagram 1 Childhood Wound: Do Not Make Mistakes

The Enneagram 1 childhood wound develops with a judgmental and critical environment. The message type ones received and believe to be true is, it’s not okay to make mistakes.

Enneagram Ones often neglect to take care of themselves physically, leading to serious health problems later in life. Enneagram Ones can be overly critical and demanding of themselves and others, desiring to be as good as possible.

The striving for perfection manifests from the wounding message they heard as children that “making mistakes is never acceptable!”  An Enneagram One will often struggle with statements like:

  • “It is never good enough.”
  • “Why does everyone else get to have fun?”
  • “I don’t deserve to be happy.”

Often the Enneagram One childhood wound is due to a child feeling disconnected from the protective figures in their lives.  This message can develop in homes that are overly strict, lenient, critical, or lacking feedback.

As a result, Enneagram Ones become their own worst critic, taking their actions very seriously and always being responsible. 

How To Heal The Enneagram 1 Childhood Wound

As an enneagram one, you must believe that you are good, regardless of your performance or ability to improve things around you—Settle into a graceful disposition toward yourself and others.  Take time to write your thoughts, listen to music, or go for a walk to decompress.

The Enneagram 2 Childhood Wound: Your Needs Are Not Important 

The Enneagram 2 childhood wound results from a lack of nurturing and guidance; to compensate, enneagram twos begin to prioritize the needs of others while repressing their own. These children often grew up with the need to feel needed by others.

The following traits of an Enneagram Two personality type develop from their childhood wound:

  • Love and service are conditional.
  • I am worthy because of what I do.
  • I must earn my acceptance.

As a child, enneagram twos put the needs of others before their own to earn love and affection.  Twos over-prioritize the needs of others as a way to receive admiration.  They often feel guilty if they do anything for themselves because it seems selfish or self-serving.

How To Heal The Enneagram 2 Childhood Wound

As an enneagram two, healing this childhood wound starts with believing that you are worthy of love just as you are.  You do not have to earn the love of those around you, and you are deserving of it.  Let others know when you need to take a break alone.  Get active by doing something physical.  Designate time and resources to treat yourself.

The Enneagram 3 Childhood Wound: Your Accomplishments Matter More Than You

The Enneagram 3 childhood wound develops from a sense that their value and worth are tightly connected to what they achieve, rather than for who they are.  Along the way, type threes believe that accomplishing what pleases others can result in admiration and recognition. 

Enneagram threes go through their life pleasing others without awareness, sensing that achievement is more important than honesty and transparency.  As a result, they become great at adapting to what others want and are chameleon-like in their interactions with people.

Frequently, Enneagram Threes tend to hide aspects of their personality they consider negative or undesirable, such as:

  • Neediness
  • Anger
  • Selfishness
  • Honesty

Enneagram Threes rejected their core desires for a self that may be more palatable and relatable to those around them.  Threes fear rejection and can become sensitive to critique, so they work hard to please everyone in their lives.

Enneagram Threes primarily focus on the opinions of others, disregarding their own because this was a source of pain growing up. 

How To Heal The Enneagram 3 Childhood Wound

Enneagram Threes can heal from childhood wounds of rejection by becoming vulnerable with others.  This practice of authenticity can open them up to owning all parts of their personality. 

Threes must learn to take responsibility for what they feel and own it, regardless if others are receptive to it.  Create a list of reasons why you want to become more vulnerable.  Engage in a stimulating conversation with a friend or mentor.  Use an emotion wheel to identify what you feel.

emotion and feeling wheel for trauma

The Enneagram 4 Childhood Wound: People Shouldn’t Notice You

The Enneagram 4 childhood wound results from receiving a message that too much or little emotion or interest in any one thing is a bad thing.  As a result, Enneagram fours feel unseen and fear that others may never fully understand them.  They have a deep sense that they are different from everyone, often wrestling with their identity.

Fours strive for authenticity and seek to express themselves as honestly as possible to cope with this misunderstanding.  Fours will romanticize the idea of finding a person or peer group who truly knows and accept them for who they are.

An Enneagram Type Four personality type tends to have underlying:

  • Loneliness
  • Melancholy
  • Unhappiness
  • Sadness
  • Heartache
  • Otherness

Enneagram Fours struggles with relating to others, making long-lasting relationships challenging to develop.  The good news is that fours can learn to embrace positive feedback and affirmation and feel fully alive and complete.

How To Heal The Enneagram 4 Childhood Wound

Enneagram Fours can begin to heal their childhood wound by accepting they are worthy of being their whole selves.  Fours must practice receiving and internalizing positive feedback, disregarding negative, false information. 

The Enneagram 5 Childhood Wound: Your Presence Is A Problem

The Enneagram 5 childhood wound develops from a sense that their presence or needs are a problem to others.  Fives feel unsure about their place in social settings and the world. 

Enneagram fives deal with this trauma by accumulating knowledge and seeking to be self-sufficient, therefore avoiding dependency or need from others.

During childhood, this type often experiences some level of abandonment from a parent or guardian.  This isolation solidifies their belief that their needs are a problem to others, resulting in relational barriers with significant people.

The Enneagram Five personality type can exhibit their childhood wound to avoid expectations of others through the following traits:

  • Appearing aloof or distant
  • Avoiding intimacy and vulnerability with people
  • Needing time alone to re-energize
  • Burying themself in a niche or particular interest

How To Heal The Enneagram 5 Childhood Wound

As an enneagram five, healing the childhood wound begins by learning to trust others, understanding that your needs are not a problem.  Begin to practice identifying your emotions.  Spend time doing physical activity, a sport, or exercise to connect your mind with your body.

Take time to reach out to a close friend and engage in a meaningful conversation.  Practice speaking up even when you feel like you don’t have enough information about the subject.  Make an intentional effort to become curious and supportive of others’ interests.

The Enneagram 6 Childhood Wound: Never Be Too Sure Of Yourself

The Enneagram 6 childhood wound occurs from two extremes: 1)an overdependence upon the opinion and guidance from overly strict parental figures. Or 2) an unpredictable, inconsistent, or absent feedback loop.   As a result, sixes begin to disregard their intuition, fearing making the wrong choice and hoping to gain further guidance from authorities.

Enneagram sixes tend to overthink and can spiral into mentally preparing for the worst case as a means to create a sense of security for themselves.  To further solidify the safety they desire, they will seek a seemingly unending amount of support and guidance from others before settling on a decision.

Enneagram sixes are also known as, The Loyalist.  Their dutiful attitude comes from a desire to create a safe and reliable context where they and others can feel secure.

Enneagram Sixes show the childhood wound through the following personality traits:

  • Living in extreme measures by the guiding principle that it’s better safe than sorry
  • Suspicion of others
  • Anxiety

An enneagram six must learn to identify ways to trust their intuition or thoughts rather than needing an overwhelming amount of extrinsic evidence to support their hunch.  The security an enneagram six desires are obtainable and often closer than they think upon realizing they are capable and responsible enough to act courageously.  

How To Heal The Enneagram 6 Childhood Wound

Enneagram Sixes can begin healing their childhood wound by focusing on:

  • Learning to trust themselves based on logic and existing evidence
  • Developing mindful practices to overcome stress or worry
  • Establishing healthy friendships in which accountability and honesty are present

This learning and unlearning will take practice and time.  Prioritize taking seemingly small steps in the right direction toward courage.  Begin to shift your mindset from “I must prepare because bad things will happen.” to “I have the inner resources and ability to navigate through challenging circumstances if bad things happen.”

The Enneagram 7 Childhood Wound: You Can Only Depend On Yourself

The Enneagram 7 childhood wound comes from a lack of nurture and care.   As a result, this type came to believe it is best to solely rely on themself to meet their needs. Their pursuit of being happy can lead to the avoidance of painful issues at all costs.  This wound can cause them to prioritize planning for future activities rather than confronting present circumstances.

Under stress, Enneagram Sevens will defend themself from complicated feelings by only focusing on potentially positive outcomes and scenarios.  The problem is this avoidance of resolving issues only perpetuates the problems.

Enneagram Sevens can struggle to connect with others because they received a message not to depend on others somewhere along the way.  This trait can make it challenging for others to engage with a seven beyond surface-level conversation and friendship because sevens prefer to avoid difficulty.

Enneagram Sevens exhibit traits of this childhood wound in the following ways:

  • Escapism from difficult circumstances
  • Distrust of others
  • Distractable and scattered in thought
  • Resentment toward others who challenge their ideas

As a child, an Enneagram Seven primarily relied on themself because support and dependability from others were lacking. This autonomy can lead to overly independent adults. 

How To Heal The Enneagram 7 Childhood Wound

Enneagram Sevens can begin healing by trusting the following guidelines:

  • Mindfully receive love, care, and attention from others 
  • Accept the idea is beneficial and rewarding to trust others
  • Receive help from others while in need
  • Recognize and admit when something hurts you

Enneagram sevens can learn to enjoy the present and depend on others by establishing meaningful relationships.  Doing so can validate that others are trustworthy and that contentment is possible.

childhood wound enneagram

The Enneagram 8 Childhood Wound: Never Let Your Guard Down

The Enneagram 8 childhood wound develops out of an insecure relationship with parental figures, often their mother.  This uncertainty forces the Enneagram Eight to focus on becoming the strong one in the relationship and compensate for the lack of positive guidance or leadership.

The world, to an eight, is an unjust place that will hurt you and must be met with aggression to protect oneself and others.  As a child, an Enneagram Eight often “grows up fast” because they believe it is best to be in control and that being vulnerable will create space for others to hurt you.

The primary desire of an enneagram eight is to have protection from harm in many aspects.  This desire can lead to combative behavior to safeguard their resources.  This disposition can communicate to others that they only care about their own needs.  Or, others can interpret the intensity of an enneagram eight as being angry, defensive, or controlling.

Enneagram Eights can exhibit traits of this childhood wound to protect themself or others in the following ways:

  • Anger
  • Avoidance of affection
  • Retreat from others into isolation
  • Attempt to control outcomes and decisions of others

Enneagram Eights struggle to stay in control and will busy themself with projects, other people’s problems, or work to maintain a sense of control.  However, this flurry of activity is often a means of avoiding appearing weak or vulnerable.

How To Heal The Enneagram 8 Childhood Wound

The Enneagram Eights can heal from this childhood wound as they learn to practice compassion for themself.  An eight should practice vulnerability with a small, trusted group of people. 

For an eight, identifying a couple of places to ask for help can be a powerfully freeing thing to do, as they accept that trusting others is a worthwhile endeavor.  Take time to write down the areas that you fear releasing control.  Surrender the idea that you can handle it all.

For an enneagram eight, recognizing the need to be seen as strong at all times and their effort to hide any appearance of weakness is a significant first step on the path toward healing. 

The Enneagram 9 Childhood Wound: Your Involvement Is Not Necessary

The Enneagram 9 childhood wound occurs because they experience neglect and a sense of being unnoticed by authority figures in their life.  Although, as a child, a type nine feels deeply connected to their guardians, however, along the way, they begin to believe they can keep the peace by not being assertive. 

Nines assume that it is best to reserve their involvement and, as a result, can become numb to their feelings and needs.  What can appear as an easy-going, go-with-the-flow demeanor often comes from their belief that they do not matter.  An enneagram nine will lower their expectation of themselves and others to avoid disappointment; if nothing is important to you, then nothing or no one can let you down.

Enneagram Nines can exhibit traits of this childhood wound to provide a sense of peace in the following ways:

  • Procrastination
  • Sleeping for long periods 
  • Frequent changes concerning their interests and desires
  • Inability to make decisions

An enneagram nine can learn how meaningful their presence and opinion is to those around them and become more assertive.

How To Heal The Enneagram 9 Childhood Wound

With resilience and intentionality, there are many things an Enneagram Nine can do to heal their childhood wound. These include all the following:

  • Practice expressing their opinions with people they trust and admire
  • Adopt new mindsets concerning their value and worth
  • Establish accountability with a friend or mentor
  • Prioritize setting goals and create a structure to help achieve their desires

Enneagram Nines can develop into tremendous leaders because of their ability to create harmony and peace within their environments.  They can find common ground between differing opinions. 

A healthy enneagram nine believes and understands that peace should not come at the expense of their sense of worth.  Enneagram nines can assume an active stance because their opinion matters, rather than letting life carelessly drift by. 

In Summary: The Enneagram Childhood Wound Is Significant Yet Can Be Overcome

The enneagram childhood wound you relate to the most will depend on your type.  Every person experiences a wounding message as a child.  The fact is, we live in an imperfect world, with people who make mistakes.  

Thankfully, there is hope for every person to experience healing from their childhood wounds.  With intentionality, willingness, humility, relationship, and work, you and I can process past experiences and develop into healthier versions of ourselves.

If you need further help identifying your Enneagram type, check out the post: How to Find Your Enneagram With 4 Helpful Tips

If you would like to find resources to explore your type in greater detail, check out some of our favorite resources HERE.

Enneagram Childhood Wound Sources: