Karen Horney's Types

Brief Overview

In her book "Our Inner Conflicts" published in 1945, Karen Horney describes types of people based upon their interpersonal coping strategies.

  • The Compliant Type - those who move toward people
  • The Aggressive Type - those who move against people
  • The Detached Type - those who move away from people

The Enneagram types weren't around in Karen Horney's lifetime. Below are the Enneagram types that best fit Karen Horney's descriptions of these interpersonal coping strategies.

  • Enneagram Type 2 - moving toward people
  • Enneagram Type 8 - moving against people
  • Enneagram Type 5 - moving away from people

Enneagram authors have generalized her types into three triads on the Enneagram - in the process, renaming the detached type to the withdrawn type.

  • Enneagram Types 1, 2 and 6 - Compliant Types
  • Enneagram Types 7, 8 and 3 - Aggressive Types
  • Enneagram Types 4, 5 and 9 - Withdrawn Types

An earlier variation that may still be found in some Enneagram teachings swaps types 1 and 7 so that type 7 is a compliant type and type 1 is an aggressive type.