Cost – 7

Style Seven filters out the negatives in their life, so what that can cost them is the depth and fullness of experience. On the one hand, Sevens are gluttons that are afraid of missing out on things, but with their filter not allowing suffering, pain or extended effort, they can miss out on the satisfaction of tasting all of reality. This can easily cost them the satisfaction of doing something really well, too.

Cost – 6

Sixes are complex and they avoid a variety of things, but one category of avoidance is separation from the group. They avoid deviance from what is expected, what the group/country/school/neighborhood wants and does.

When a Six avoids deviance, the cost is flexibility and with that a certain loss of power. Sixes relinquish their power to authority (however the context defines that (it may be a parent or police or teacher or author…). They can lose inner authority in order to be loyal to someone or something (tradition, family, principle). That costs them inner flexibility and options.


Descartes, possibly the most famous Five in history said that he was what he thought. If Fives live in their heads and their deepest reality is what they think, what they avoid is sensory involvement. They miss out on the texture of life: the richness of nature, the pleasure of sensual involvement, the turmoil of personal relationships.

Perhaps a public example, albeit a communal one, will help understand this. If you read academic position papers, you get the idea, but they are usually dry, abstract and well, bloodless. Contrast that writing with the juice in a good rock song.

Cost – 4

Style Fours have a tendency to avoid ordinariness. Our culture sets a trap for Fours by emphasizing individualism. “To be great is to be an individual.” If Fours conflate being not ordinary with being an individual, what that costs Fours is community. America has a weak grasp of the importance of community, and if Fours try too hard to be different, they miss what is ordinary, what is common — community.

We are sustained by what we have in common. One could almost define morality as doing what respects or nourishes the common good. If Fours try to hard to differentiate themselves from the community, their avoidance of the ordinary costs them community. I think that’s why Fours so often talk of wanting deep connection. If the connection is deep enough, it doesn’t feel ordinary.

Cost – 3

Style Threes often are called, and call themselves, workaholics. Workaholism, like most addictions are a solution before becoming a problem.

Style Threes avoid failure. If failure is not an option then you have to keep working to keep that spectre at bay. Avoiding failure, especially at all costs, requires constant effort. So Threes work long and hard not to experience failure. If failure does come, Threes will usually reframe it and call it a learning experience. But to prevent that from happening, Threes work too hard — it is the cost of avoidance.

Cost – 2

Style Twos avoid acknowledging their own needs, usually replacing them with meeting the needs of others if they are on the low side of their style.

Paradoxically, this can cost them real friendship because if they meet the needs of others and ignore their own, they can entertain the suspicion that people value them because of what they can offer them. They don’t realize this is precisely the dynamic within Style Two themselves – they try to be valuable by service.