Enneagram types are not only found in people. They also exist in the spirits of places and cultures. When we traveled to Portugal for the European Enneagram Conference last year, we found ourselves in a somber country of beautiful tiled buildings and fado performances: soulful, melancholy musical laments. We’d arrived in a type Four country. Returning to the much faster paced U.S., we picked up strains of Three (efficiency, racing to the top) and Seven (endless entertainment options). Workplace cultures can likewise embody types, as do cities and communities. Just for fun, we’ve put together an Enneagram tour of the neighborhoods in our home city, San Francisco. Whatever your type, it truly has something for everyone!
Type One – The Financial District. High-reaching architecture and manicured parks frame the orderly Financial District, where every day on the clock, smartly dressed people go to work. This part of the city is where business gets done, and it maintains firm boundaries by closing down on evenings and weekends. It features a selection of ethically sourced restaurants.
Type Two – Noe Valley. Nurturing and family-oriented, there are lots of events for kids, and during the daytime you’ll see numerous parents with young children walking down the street. This neighborhood is attractive and beautifully maintained, while minimizing pretension. Local business on 24th Street take care of residents with frequent discounts and free samples.
Type Three – Pacific Heights. Image is particularly important in this neighborhood full of beautifully restored Victorian homes. This area of the city boasts the highest-end stores and boutiques in the city, and residents are well-dressed and take pride in their accomplishments and appearance. The neighborhood looks and feels good and exudes self-confidence.
Type Four – The Mission. A traditionally Mexican neighborhood, these days it hosts an eclectic group, from its traditional residents to quirky artists to tech employees. This edgy neighborhood values individuality and attracts funky music venues and coffee shops. Murals flourish everywhere. It’s proud of the gritty edge it retains even as the area gentrifies.
Type Five – South of Market (SOMA). San Francisco’s tech sector, which attracts a lot of Fives, is centered in this neighborhood. Originality, innovation, ideas, and a practical way of life rule here. Cloistered among modern apartment buildings and convenient amenities, SOMA residents can remain in a bubble detached from SF’s other communities.
Type Six – Bernal Heights. Highly community oriented, this neighborhood wants input from all its voices. It has a community center, neighborhood watch, and frequent meetings all residents are invited to attend. Residents greet each other as they walk by. Bernal Heights takes care of its own, highly valuing long-term, committed residents.
Type Seven – The Castro. San Francisco’s traditionally gay neighborhood is inclusive and fun for all. Endless bars, clubs, entertainment, and other nightlife stay open late, and it hosts several festivities and street fairs throughout the year. There are fun, quirky shopping options, and residents aren’t afraid to get wild. The atmosphere here is celebratory and exciting.
Type Eight – The Fillmore. Tough and sturdy, San Francisco’s gentrifying historically Black neighborhood requires some street smarts but is protective of both its residents and visitors. Edgy music venues and an annual jazz festival create a loud, festive atmosphere where people come from all over to live large for a little while.
Type Nine – The Outer Sunset. On the outskirts of San Francisco, this neighborhood is slow-paced and laid-back. Ocean Beach and Golden Gate Park allow for peaceful communing with nature. A longer ride on public transportation from downtown than some suburbs, it can feel like a beautiful enclave tucked away from the rest of the city.
It can be useful to know the culture and values of the places and communities you move in day to day. Which types’ values are most represented in your country, community, and workplace?