Those with the Cancer personality type have a birthday that falls between June 21 and July 22. Signified by the crab, this water sign is the fourth sign of the zodiac. 

Cancer is a cardinal water sign (the first of the water signs), which means this zodiac sign kicks off the traits and qualities associated with water such as creativity and sensitivity. Cancers can be “moody” or overly sensitive but are also nurturing and adaptable.

But there’s more to Cancer personality types than their sensitivity. As ever, no person is “what meets the eye” and you have to go deep to understand the Cancer personality. Here are the most common traits of the fourth zodiac sign. 

Cancer is a loyal, protective friend and loved one

Cancer personalities may take a while to warm up to new people, but once someone is in their friend circle, Cancers are incredibly loyal. Because Cancers are empathetic, they can easily connect with and relate to others, even if the Cancer doesn’t have the same beliefs or values. 

Cancers are steadfast comrades, ready to protect friends or family in need. That said, they avoid conflict where possible and strive for a peaceful environment at home and in their relationships. But if someone threatens a Cancer’s loved ones, they’d better watch out!  

Their intuitive nature helps them spot often-ignored details

While Cancers can use rational judgment when necessary, in most cases, a Cancer relies on their feelings and intuition to make decisions about their lives, people and situations. If you’re a Cancer, you have such a strong intuition that people may mistake you as psychic, but this is because you have learned the skill of pattern-spotting and see things others don’t. 

With your ability to intuit things, you don’t take anything at surface value. Instead, you pick up on people’s motives and vibes, so you can tell who is authentic and who isn’t.

Cancers have an independent streak, though they feel most at home with loved ones.

When people think of the Cancer personality, they don’t think of an ambitious leader – they see a sensitive and loyal friend. But when given a chance, Cancers make great leaders and are independent enough to become go-getter entrepreneurs. This strength is in them should they choose to pursue it.

That said, Cancers feel most at home with their family or friends. The people and relationships in their lives help fulfill them. That doesn’t mean Cancers don’t want to have a balanced life with a strong career. But it means without loved ones around, Cancers will feel lonely.

They’re creative and have a rich imagination

Cancers have a vivid imagination and like to retreat into fantasy, and some of their interests and hobbies may reflect this. It isn’t unusual for Cancers to work in creative fields (Meryl Streep, Mindy Kaling and Ariana Grande are Cancers) or at least have a hobby like painting or drawing.  

Their rich imagination leads them to daydream a lot, but they also like to venture into fantasy worlds through books, video games or other sources of inspiration. Cancers are also keen on the arts (at least appreciating them from afar) and the natural world.

Cancers can be aloof, moody and sensitive to criticism

Because Cancers are sensitive and commonly lead with emotions, Cancer people can enter a zone others call “moody.” They are attuned to the emotions of others, as well as their own, which can set them up for a mercurial reputation.

Know that when a Cancer has a “mood swing,” it isn’t because they’re unstable or trying to control the mood — it means something has caused it, whether it’s a harsh word, someone else’s anger or a sad event in a movie or song. In this same vein, Cancers can be sensitive to criticism and may spend hours or days dwelling on something someone critiqued them on.

Which of the 16 personalities is a Cancer most likely to be? 

It’s important to remember that a person with a Cancer personality can have any combination of other personality types, including any of the 16 types. So while there’s one in particular that seems to be the best fit, this does not mean all Cancers will have that personality type.

With that in mind, the personality that matches a Cancer best is the INFJ, with ENFJ and INFP tying for second place. So what makes an INFJ closest to Cancer?

Both have an eerie amount of intuition, so they’re excellent at picking up on patterns, the underlying meaning of things and the motives of others. They’re empathetic and loyal to their loved ones, with their emotions ruling their decisions. Cancers also tend to be more Introverted than extraverted. Lastly, many Cancers like organization and planning, which lends more to a Judging trait. 

A more extraverted Cancer would likely type as an ENFJ

Which Enneagram is a Cancer most likely to be?

Cancer’s traits are most like Enneagram Type 2, “The Giver.” Because a Cancer personality is most concerned with their loved ones, loyalty and maintaining their relationships, they may have the Enneatype 2’s fear of being alone and unloved. So to cope, Cancer makes a point to care for others and remain a central element in their lives. Because they want to receive love, they give it freely, and people assume they’re one of the “nicest” Enneagram types because of this.

Other Enneagram Types a Cancer might have include the Enneagram Type 9 and Type 4. Cancers might be Type 9 because they desire harmony and peace among their loved ones. They’re protective, but they don’t enjoy seeing quarrels. Empathetic Cancers dislike constant conflict and may submit to people’s desires to keep the peace. A famous person with this combo? Ariana Grande is both Cancer and Type 9.

INFJ Cancers may find they’re an Enneagram Type 4. This type has a fear that they’re flawed and won’t achieve the happiness others have, which motivates them to be as unique and individual as possible.

Still, variety in people is commonplace, so not all Cancers will type as Enneagram Type 2s, 4s or 9s.

The gist of it: the Cancer personality as a superpower

If you’re a Cancer personality, you can empathize with others and lead with your heart, as well as your keen intuition. Sometimes you struggle opening up to new people, but once you befriend them, they have a loyal friend for life. You can have difficulty controlling your moods, but that’s because you tune in to your environment and connect with the emotional state of others. With your creative, caring spirit, you have a hidden superpower to love and be loved while creating something beautiful!

Cianna Garrison
Cianna Garrison holds a B.A. in English from Arizona State University and works as a freelance writer. She fell in love with psychology and personality type theory back in 2011. Since then, she has enjoyed continually learning about the 16 personality types. As an INFJ, she lives for the creative arts, and even when she isn’t working, she’s probably still writing.