There seems to be a big difference between counterphobic 6s and phobic 6s. Counterphobic 6s tend to be fierce and opinionated, while phobic 6s can look more like 9s depending on how healthy they are. It's such a big difference within the type that one would almost be compelled to call them different types, but both phobic and counterphobic 6s seem to operate from the same basis, i.e. they fear a lot of things. It's just that phobic 6s tend to "hide" from their fears, while counterphobic 6s tend to "charge" at them.Actually when I think of the Sixes that I know, none of them seem to have any trouble saying no - they sometimes even put disproportionately much passion behind their no's, considering how little they were pressured to agree.
Very good description of what skyhigh Neuroticism entails - this is the defining feature of Sixishness. Their response to negative emotional signals is far easier to trigger and generally stronger than in the average person - think in the sense of an overresponsive receiver for bad stuff being afoot, and you get it. A person we'd call a Six will experience the world as more threatening and uncertain every day, in most aspects of their life, naturally respond accordingly and have those responses reflected back, and again process them with that same wariness. If you look at descriptions like Riso's and Hudson's, they lack the concept of negative reactivity and keep dancing around it in their Six and Four descriptions, highlighting consequences of it in disparate places and trying to tie it together with things that are not quite the cause, and thus feel unsatisfying, like something is off. Most Enneagram authors fall into the same trap.I've always found that no matter whether a 6 is phobic or counterphobic, they always show some form of anxiety in their bodies. They aren't the only type to be anxious, but they are uniquely jittery, uncertain, and doubtful under a wider array of circumstances than other types, regardless of whether there is aggression or passivity mixed in too. It's this anxiousness/nervousness I look for in someone I think may be a 6. Sometimes people I know are 6's flatly deny being so nervous or having anxiety when asked, while other people who aren't really 6's act nervously under certain situations or circumstances, or could be described as "anxious" at that time but after being around them for awhile you realize that the anxiety doesn't end up taking many shapes and variations like it does for true 6's.
In short, for 6's I look for prolonged, habitual nervousness that takes many different forms and expresses itself in a variety of ways - being careful not to mix up "nervousness" with other emotions.
There are some second-fiddle habits of some 9's that can come off as "anxious." Some 9's, especially SP and if they are Sensors will make backup plans for their resources in case something bad happens. Some of them can also come off as being guarded and skeptical, especially if w8. Others (more so w1) can be nervous in the spotlight - but not anxious nervous so much as hesitant because they are also shy and self-conscious.
Aside from those odds and ends 6-ish traits, 9's are as a rule of thumb not really anxious, nervous, or jittery, in their thoughts or in their body language. 9's tend to lack awareness rather than be hyper-aware, and they are characteristically serene and calm until their underlying sadness surfaces (in which case they are more weepy). 9's coarsen over things that trigger 6's - they generalize, fuzz-out, try to artificially simplify things that aren't simple, obfuscate risks, and generally dampen out conflict or inner tension. Like 8's, 9's don't see what they know they don't want to see (whereas 6's warn others about it).
Despite the differences externally, more philosophically I do see 6's and 9's as sharing a sense of self-abnegation that is acknowledged in type 9 descriptions, but only partially in those of 6. The 6's abandon belief in anything in this world being certain, harmless, and real which gives off the thumbprint of hyper-aware angst, whereas the 9's have abandoned themselves and literally self-identified as a papered-over black hole, which gives off a thumbprint of not caring/resignation/abandonment in their words and actions (or lack thereof).
Doesn't it seem like 6s usually tend to be female too and 9s tend to be male? I think 6s tend to rank high in Neuroticism and tend to be Fi users while 9s tend to be assertive Fe users.Isn't not saying "no" more of a Nine thing than a Six thing? With all that attention to what downsides different options might have, I would think that Sixes have to say "no" to all kinds of things all the time.
Actually when I think of the Sixes that I know, none of them seem to have any trouble saying no - they sometimes even put disproportionately much passion behind their no's, considering how little they were pressured to agree.
My best friend is a Six and married to a Nine, and they're so different from each other in almost everything that their being a couple has always baffled us friends. He's very easy-going and she's high-strung, he seems to be able to get along with just about anybody (like other people's parents or complete strangers) and she's very selective in her company. She defends her values, opinions and even very minor choices so passionately that it's funny and endearing, whereas he doesn't even seem to have strong opinions about anything.