Here’s What Your Gift-Giving and Receiving Styles Look Like, Based on Your Enneagram Type24 November 2020 / By Megan Malone
With the holiday season quickly approaching, you may find yourself scrambling to find the perfect gifts for the most important people in your life. Sometimes, picking out the right gift can feel like a guessing game — and that’s where the Enneagram can help.
A recent Truity survey of more than 105,00 users shows that an individual’s Enneagram type does impact the types of gifts that they prefer to give and receive.
So, how does your Enneagram type influence your holiday gift-giving and receiving preferences? Read on to discover some of the key findings from our survey, as well as some gifting tips for your loved ones, based on their Enneagram types.
Not sure about yours or your loved one’s Enneagram type? For a limited time, you can buy Truity’s in-depth Enneagram test and custom report — and get one for your partner, friend, or family member for free. See the full offer here.
Key Findings from the Survey
- Diligent and perfectionistic Enneagram 1s are the most likely to start their holiday shopping early! 77% of Ones hit the stores by Thanksgiving or sooner.
- Withdrawn and independent Enneagram 5 are the procrastinators. 54% wait until the last minute to buy gifts — or don’t bother shopping for gifts at all!
- Nurturing and kind Enneagram 2s are the most likely to give thoughtful gifts. 62% of this type say they listen all year to what their family and friends want, and shop accordingly. Awww...
- Creative and quirky Enneagram 4s are the type most likely to gift unique and unusual presents for their loved ones.
- Energetic and confident Enneagram 8s are the type most likely to give extravagant, over-the-top gifts.
Gift Receiving Style:
- When it comes to what gifts they like to receive, Enneagram 1s are the most likely to prefer gifts for the home, like a new piece of furniture or painting.
- Busy and charismatic Enneagram 3s like to be spoiled. This type is the most likely to prefer gifts related to fashion.
- If you want to give someone technology, books, or music as a gift, consider your Enneagram 5 friends! This type has the strongest preference for media-related gifts.
- Enneagram 2s and Enneagram 4s show the strongest preference for sentimental gifts like a painting or scrapbook of a special trip.
- If you want to bring holiday cheer to an enthusiastic Enneagram 7, surprise them! This type is the most likely to get excited about a gift they weren’t expecting. Upbeat and fun-loving Enneagram 7s are also the type most likely to prefer travel-related gifts!
Trends by Type
The Enneagram personality system describes people in terms of nine types, based on their internal motivations and fears. While it may come as a surprise that our internal motivators externalize in how we give and receive gifts — they absolutely do.
We’ve broken down the gift-giving and receiving trends for each type based on survey results, and some gift ideas to help jumpstart your holiday shopping.
The Early-Bird Gifter
Perfectionistic Enneagram 1s strive to be good and moral, and fear being corrupt or imperfect. Of all the types, Enneagram 1s perhaps hold themselves to the highest standards and are extremely hardworking.
When it comes to gift-giving, Type 1s start earlier than any other type, with 23.3% starting as early as Labor Day and 53.2% starting by Thanksgiving. Organized Ones most appreciate thoughtful, practical, and experiential gifts; and they are also likely to give these types of gifts to others.
When it comes to gift-giving, you can bet your Type 1 has covered all the bases, which may be why only 1.7% said they like to receive toys or other gifts for their kids and pets. And if you want to share a gag gift, you may want to think twice before gifting it to the Enneagram 1 in your life. Only 3.2% of this type say they enjoy receiving weird and/or funny gifts.
Gift Ideas for Enneagram 1s:
- Show your Type 1 that you appreciate their hard work with an experiential gift, such as a travel gift card or a spa trip.
- When it comes to what gifts they like to receive, Enneagram 1s are the most likely to prefer gifts for the home, like a new piece of furniture or painting.
- But keep in mind — practical 1s appreciate gifts that they can actually use, and dislike random items that will just clutter up their space. If you’re not sure what your Type 1 needs, just ask!
The Thoughtful Gifter
There’s a reason that Enneagram 2s are called “ The Giver ” personality type. Type 2s love to share thoughtful and meaningful gifts with their loved ones. The basic desire of the Enneagram 2 is belonging. And their greatest fear is feeling unlovable or unwanted by others.
Because of this, this type makes a point to make the people in their lives feel special. When it comes to gifts, 2s are the most likely to give thoughtful gifts based on what their loved one truly wants and needs. And in return, they appreciate the same thoughtfulness from others. 56% of Enneagram 2s prefer gifts that are picked out with their unique needs/wants in mind.
Your Type 2 is always focusing on everyone else, so make the holidays special with gifts just for them. But you may want to steer clear of technology and gadgets, as only 7% of Twos said they most like to receive these as gifts. Enneagram 2s are also less likely to enjoy practical gifts or gifts focusing on self-improvement.
Gift Ideas for Enneagram 2s:
- Enneagram 2s are the most likely type to enjoy receiving sentimental gifts. Consider giving your Two a framed photo of a favorite memory or a scrapbook of a special trip.
- Your Enneagram 2 may be so focused on everyone else, they have a hard time knowing what they want. If you’re unsure, consider a meaningful gift, like a handwritten letter or a day trip for two to someplace they’ve been wanting to go.
- Avoid giving your Enneagram 2 anything too generic, like a gift card. This can make them feel like you didn’t put much effort into their gift.
The Flamboyant Gifter
The innate motivator of Enneagram 3s is to feel valuable and significant. The 3s biggest fear is being perceived as worthless. These types are the most image-conscious and need to be acknowledged and reassured of their value.
Enneagram 3s tend to prefer the finer things in life — as is evident in their gift-giving and receiving preferences. According to the survey results, this type is the most likely to enjoy gifts that are flashy and over-the-top. And they tend to give as they like to receive. Threes tied with Enneagram 8s as the type most likely to give extravagant gifts to their loved ones.
When it comes to what gifts to avoid, 3s reported little interest in toys for their kids or pets, self-improvement gifts, and funny/gag gifts.
Gift Ideas for Enneagram 3s:
- When shopping for your Enneagram 3, consider high-quality gifts that will brighten up their wardrobe. Threes were the type most likely to report a preference for fashion.
- Many 3s surveyed say they most enjoy travel-related gifts. Treat your 3 to a fancy night out or a weekend getaway.
- Not sure about your 3s personal taste? Treat them to a shopping trip and let them pick out exactly what they want!
The Creative Gifter
Individualistic Type 4s are motivated by their desire to express their identity and feel unique. This type fears having no personal significance and tends to be passionate about expressing themselves authentically.
Avoid the big box stores when shopping for your Enneagram 4. They’re the type most likely to say they enjoy receiving gifts that are totally unique — and that no one else has. Enneagram 4s also like to be creative in the ways they give gifts to others. The data suggests that Fours like their gifts to be thoughtful, useful, and unique/ surprising; all in one package!
This knack for creativity extends even to Fours’ gift wrapping style! According to survey results, Fours are the type most likely to be known for wrapping that is custom-designed (and likely bought on Etsy!).
Gift Ideas for Enneagram 4s:
- When selecting a gift for your Four, the more unique, the better! Instead of searching the ‘Gifts’ section on Amazon, check out a thrift store or Etsy shop to find something that your Four will totally adore.
- Enneagram 4s love personal gifts that show you understand the things that they enjoy. Consider giving your Four tickets to see their favorite musician in concert or a vintage book from one of their favorite classic authors.
- Avoid gifts that are too practical, impersonal, or over-the-top. Your 4 wants a gift that shows you know who they truly are.
The Last-Minute Gifter
Insightful and curious Enneagram 5s possess the desire to be competent and knowledgeable. Their biggest fear is to be useless or have to rely too heavily on other people. Fives report the least enthusiasm when it comes to holiday gifts. In fact, one-quarter of this type says they’d prefer to not buy gifts at all.
Don’t expect your Five to hit up those Black Friday sales. Nearly one-third of Enneagram 5 survey respondents said they wait until the last minute to do their holiday shopping. When they do buy gifts, Fives prefer to give their loved ones presents that are practical, thoughtful, or quirky.
Similarly to Type 1s, independent 5s appreciate presents that are practical and that they can actually use, and distaste anything that is unnecessary or superfluous. Nearly half of Enneagram 5 respondents said that they most enjoy receiving technology or media gifts.
As for gift wrapping style? Enneagram 5s are the most likely type to have a gift pre-wrapped when they order it, or to not use gift wrap at all!
Gift Ideas for Enneagram 5s:
- Enneagram 5s crave knowledge and understanding. You can’t go wrong with giving your Five a book on their favorite subject or tools to help them pursue their interests.
- Fives are the most likely type to enjoy receiving books and gadgets as gifts. You can’t go wrong with giving your 5 the latest technology they’ve had their eyes on.
- If all else fails, simply ask your Five what they need. In fact, they likely prefer this to an unwanted surprise. Fives were the least likely type to say they enjoy receiving gifts that they aren’t expecting.
The Practical Gifter
Responsible Enneagram 6s are defined by their desire for security and their fear of not being prepared for the unknown. Sixes tend to keep a close group of trustworthy companions and can struggle to feel like they fit in. When it comes to gift-giving, Type 6s search for gifts that they know their loved ones actually want and need.
More than 80% of Sixes say that their gifting style is either thoughtful or practical. They are the least likely type to report giving personal growth gifts aimed at educating, inspiring, or enlightening.
What types of gifts do Enneagram 6s most like to receive? This type showed the most diversity in terms of gift-receiving preferences, with the most popular option being fashion, followed by sentimental gifts, and travel-related gifts. But make sure to avoid giving your 6 anything too outrageous or silly, like a funny hat or tacky sweater.
Gift Ideas for Enneagram 6s:
- While down-to-earth 6s may not buy themselves many non-essentials, they do enjoy nice items for their home, such as new gadgets, candles, and blankets.
- Practice makes perfect! Does your 6 show interest in learning a new skill or hobby? Surprise them with a class or tools to help them develop their skills.
- Loyal 6s enjoy thoughtful gifts that remind them of their community and affiliations. Consider gifting your 6 a jersey for their favorite sports team, or get a gift that’s proceeds go to supporting a cause that is close to their heart.
The Fun Gifter
Lively Enneagram 7s seek a life full of freedom, fun, and contentment. The biggest fear of the Type 7 is being in pain/experiencing unpleasant emotions. Optimistic 7s have a childlike enthusiasm and energy. This type enjoys giving thoughtful, exciting, and unique gifts that will make their loved ones smile.
Sevens are also the most likely Enneagram type to give experienced-based gifts, such as wine, dinners, or weekend getaways. And their gift-wrapping style seems to be equally as unique. After type 4s, Sevens are the next most likely type to report using unique and custom gift wrap.
Enneagram 7s are also the type most likely to enjoy being completely surprised by their holiday gifts and to enjoy getting experiential/travel-related gifts. This type reported less interest in gifts that are practical or focused on self-improvement.
Gift Ideas for Enneagram 7s:
- Give your spontaneous and fun-loving 7 a gift they’ll never forget. Plane tickets to Iceland? A weekend getaway at a treehouse AirBnB? The more adventurous, the better!
- After Type 3s, Sevens are the type most likely to prefer fashion-related gifts. Give your 7 a gift card to their favorite retailer, or get them something they’ve had in their online shopping cart for awhile.
- Enneagram 7s also enjoy receiving sentimental gifts, technology, and whimsical gifts that they would never pick out for themselves.
The Over-the-Top Gifter
Enneagram 8s are known for their assertive and independent personalities. This types’ core desire is to be in total control of their life, and they fear losing power.
When it comes to their gift-giving habits, 8s love to shower the most important people in their lives with thoughtful presents that stand out. Eights tied with 3s as the type most likely to give over-the-top gifts to their loved ones.
Shopping for a type 8? Skip the socks — what this type desires most is a vacation. Eights reported the strongest preference for travel-based gifts. They also show a preference for fashion, technology, and sentimental gifts.
Gift Ideas for Enneagram 8s:
- Give your goal-oriented 8 a gift that shows respect for the work they do. Show them how they’ve made a difference in your life with a handwritten note or video made just for them.
- Eights appreciate travel gifts and don’t mind being a bit spoiled! Treat your 8 to a night out or plan a weekend getaway to somewhere they’ve talked about wanting to go.
- Unlock your tough Enneagram 8s tender side with a unique gift that comes from the heart. Eights appreciate any gift that they can see you spent a good deal of time and research coming up with just for them.
The Simple Gifter
Calm and agreeable type 9s are motivated by their desire to maintain inner peace. This type fears conflict and pushing people away. As gift-givers, Enneagram 9s like to keep things simple.
Type 9s are second only to type 5s as the type most likely to give their loved ones practical gifts that will actually come in handy. If you’re hoping for something flashy or focused on self-improvement, don’t expect it from a Nine. This type doesn’t like to rock the boat in their close relationships, and they’re the least likely to buy extravagant gifts or give anything related to self-help.
Of all the types, the Nines’ gift-giving responses varied the most. Possibly because they don’t want to upset someone by giving them the ‘wrong’ gift. When shopping for a type 9, it’s the thought that counts. This type may come across as easy-to-please, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a preference.
Gift Ideas for Enneagram 9s:
- While Nines reported a diverse range of gift-receiving preferences, the most popular items they prefer to receive are sentimental, travel, and fashion gifts.
- You can’t go wrong by giving your comfort-seeking 9 a cozy gift, such as a blanket, comfy sweater, or fuzzy socks.
- Nines are one of the most likely types to prefer decadent/whimsical gifts that they would never buy for themselves. Consider giving your 9 a personalized gift like a monogrammed mug or a special ornament.
105,000+ individuals, sampled from November 13-November 17, 2020 on Truity.com
Users who completed the Enneagram personality test on Truity.com.
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