THE Resource Thread for Instinctual Variants and Stackings

THE Resource Thread for Instinctual Variants and Stackings

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This is a discussion on THE Resource Thread for Instinctual Variants and Stackings within the Enneagram Personality Theory Forum forums, part of the Personality Type Forums category; There have been quite a few discussions relating to Instinctual variants, and a whole lot of misunderstandings surrounding what each ...

  1. #1

    THE Resource Thread for Instinctual Variants and Stackings

    There have been quite a few discussions relating to Instinctual variants, and a whole lot of misunderstandings surrounding what each variant signifies. So, I am going to share an informative article here that not only covers the three instincts but also goes into detailed accounts of variant stackings. The article will form the base, and other resources will be called upon to address relevant material. Understanding the instincts is as important as figuring out and understanding your core type. So, you're encouraged to read through the information presented.

    a) The main article is taken from SP, SX, SO Instinct Variants and Stackings

    b)I will be quoting excerpts from Intro. to Instinctual Variants (the Ocean Moonshine's page) and the Enneagram Institute whenever appropriate to provide a more comprehensive overview.

    c) Another resource that is just about a goldmine of info. on the instincts (containing information from RH's workshops): EIDB Instinctual Variants and Stackings (RH Notes and Discussion)

    d) Naranjo Subtypes

    Alright, I am posting this in four parts for ease of reading. I will begin with RH's definitions of the variants. It's recommended reading.

    On to their definitions:-

    Self Preservation: The focus here is easy to understand from the name. People of this Instinctual type are preoccupied with basic survival needs as they translate in our contemporary society. Thus, Self-Preservation types are concerned with money, food, housing, health, physical safety and comfort. Being safe and physically comfortable are priorities. These people are quick to notice any problems in a room such as poor lighting or uncomfortable chairs, or to be dissatisfied with the room temperature. They often have issues connected with food and drink, either overdoing it or having strict dietary requirements. In the healthy to average Levels, of the three Instinctual types, they are the most practical in the sense of taking care of basic life necessities—paying bills, maintaining the home and workplace, acquiring useful skills, and so forth. When these types deteriorate, they tend to distort the instinct to the degree that they are poor at taking care of themselves. Unhealthy Self-Preservation types eat and sleep poorly or become obsessed with health issues. They often have difficulty handling money and may act out in deliberately self-destructive ways. In a nutshell, Self-Preservation types are focused on enhancing their personal security and physical comfort.

    Social: This subtype is focused on their interactions with other people and with the sense of value or esteem they derive from their participation in collective activities. These include work, family, hobbies, clubs—basically any arena in which Social types can interact with others for some shared purpose. The instinct underlying this behavior was an important one in human survival. Human beings on their own are rather weak, vulnerable creatures, and easily fall prey to a frequently hostile environment. By learning to live and work together, our ancestors created the safety necessary for human beings not only to survive, but to thrive. Within that social instinct, however, are many other implicit imperatives, and primary among them is the understanding of "place" within a hierarchical social structure. This is as true for dogs and gorillas as it is for human beings. Thus, the desire for attention, recognition, honor, success, fame, leadership, appreciation, and the safety of belonging can all be seen as manifestations of the Social instinct. Social types like to know what is going on around them, and want to make some kind of contribution to the human enterprise. There is often an interest in the events and activities of one's own culture, or sometimes, of another culture. In general, Social types enjoy interacting with people, but they avoid intimacy. In their imbalanced, unhealthy forms, these types can become profoundly antisocial, detesting people and resenting their society, or having poorly developed social skills. In a nutshell, Social types are focused on interacting with people in ways that will build their personal value, their sense of accomplishment, and their security of "place" with others.

    Sexual: Many people originally identify themselves as this type, perhaps confusing the idea of a Sexual Instinctual type with being a "sexy" person. Of course, "sexiness" is in the eye of the beholder, and there are plenty of "sexy" people in all three of the Instinctual types. Furthermore, lest one think this type more "glamorous" than the other two, one would do well to remember that the instinct can become distorted in the type, leading to the area of life causing the greatest problems. In healthy to average Sexual types, there is a desire for intensity of experience—not just sexual experience, but having a similar "charge." This intensity could be found in a great conversation or an exciting movie. Much has been said about this type preferring "one-on-one" relationships versus the Social type's preference for "larger groups," but a quick poll of one's acquaintances will reveal that almost all people prefer communicating one on one than in a group. The question is more one of the intensity of contact, and the strength of the desire for intimacy. Sexual types are the "intimacy junkies" of the Instinctual types, often neglecting pressing obligations or even basic "maintenance" if they are swept up in someone or something that has captivated them. This gives a wide-ranging, exploratory approach to life, but also a lack of focus on one's own priorities. In their neurotic forms, this type can manifest with a wandering lack of focus, sexual promiscuity and acting out, or just the opposite, in a fearful, dysfunctional attitude toward sex and intimacy. Sexual types, however, will be intense, even about their avoidances. In a nutshell, Sexual types are focused on having intense, intimate interactions and experiences with others and with the environment to give them a powerful sense of "aliveness."

    Part 1. The Three Instincts: Self-Preservation, Sexual, Social

    In course of our evolution as human beings, we developed a set of three core instincts referred to in the Enneagram as the basic survival instincts, instinctual energies, "drives" or "subtypes". These instincts are part of our body-based intelligence and key to our biological imperatives. They are built deep into our unconscious nature and aid in our survival as individuals and as a species. Instincts are thus more fundamental than enneagram type; they relate to our 'animal soul'. From the perspective of the enneagram, we want to know how these drives manifest and function both as defined by each instinct alone and in terms of their alignment, known as "stacking".

    Self-preservation instinct
    is the first instinct to have evolved. This is an orientation towards survival, health, and comfort. SP drive checks in with the body: "Is this not enough or too much?" and orients by what the body reports on its needs. Of the three instincts, this is the oldest one; it dictates: “I must survive.” Animals are highly attuned to their self-preservation needs. Modern humans, however, are somewhat more distant from basic survival needs. That is, we have more sophistication in the sphere of physical needs and more complex regulation—once survival is taken care of, we aim for comfort and pleasure.

    The SP energy manifests as "conserved", "grounded", "tightly coiled", "planted", "immovable". The energy is usually heavy in its nature, as if the person is carrying some great weight on his or her shoulders and conserving energy for later personal use. This subtype will "sacrifice for self" to insure survival, rather than look to their group or mate to resolve their problems and challenges. Self-preservation types may forgo social standing or intensity of experience for physical comfort, security, and other factors that ensure their own survival. For example, a sp-first person may have "princess and the pea" syndrome, refusing to sleep on most mattresses because they simply don’t feel right. These people "look inward" based upon an inherent recognition that "I'm on my own" and "I have to take care of myself."

    Self-preservation instinct responds to practical concerns of everyday life. SP types express concern centering around issues of security, food and health, employment, sustainability. At times this may make them look like enneagram head types, because they be in habit of planning to predict unforeseen mishaps or possible breaches in their security. In addition, the comfort seeking element to SP types can cause them to appear like gut types because of their desire to avoid too much complication or “fuss”.

    In relationships, sp-first people focus on nesting, building a cozy home with someone, or may fantasize about such scenarios. Key words: self-maintenance, domesticity, practical know-how, finances, work, establishing practical foundation in life, back-up plans, fear of scarcity.

    In neurotic SP types, there is fear of not having enough resources, food, shelter. This fear can distort the natural use of the instinct and turn into eating disorders, compulsive buying, or hoarding. There is a tendency to shore up resources and possibly a strong sense of being frugal or sometimes even downright cheap. This is because resources must be properly maintained to ensure survival for themselves and those within their sphere.

    Topics SP types might bring up in conversation: food, dining out, dieting, nutrition, health, fitness, appearance and looks, money, savings and sales, shopping, employment, benefits, insurance, comfort, clothing, decor, interior design, strength, vitality, sickness, death, noise, discomfort, safety, security, environment, quality or durability of objects such as car, clothing, furniture, physical sciences, engineering, architecture

    Summary of SP instinct:
    • primary concerns - physical safety, comfort, and well-being; securing an orderly and aesthetically pleasing way of life (food, clothing, money, housing, and physical health)
    • primary focus - security, comfort, and well-being of the environment (lighting, temperature, comfortable furniture, aesthetics, food quality)
    • primary ambition - using practicality and financial sense to create a secure environment in the home and workplace (paying bills, acquiring skills to ensure the orderly flow of life)
    • primary stresses - money, sustenance (how they will get food, when it will come, if they will like it, if it fits their diet)
    • coping methods (unhealthy) - over-stocking, overbuying, overeating, overpurging, oversleeping, undersleeping, overindulging in aesthetics or comfort foods, mistreatment of comfort and security as is skewed by the secondary instinct

    N.B. The instinct for self-preservation is attuned to the protection of the self, to its needs, health, comforts, security, and stability. This instinct is the strongest and most fundamental in virtually all life forms, and can easily override the other instincts should the life or safety of the individual be in immediate danger. In such threatening conditions, all of us are dominated by the instinct for self-preservation. But, in more general circumstances, when our health, life or security is not obviously or immediately endangered, this instinct will take a back seat, if the individual is dominated by the sexual or social instincts.

    Sexual instinct
    can be called the instinct of attraction. It’s aggressive, competitive, single-minded, "all-or-nothing". Use of this energy is intensely fiery and affirmative, go-get-it approach, a life-and-death matter e.g. salmon swimming upstream to mate and die. With this instincts you are either turned on or you're not - it is what it is; you cannot fight mother nature. With this instinct one's attention is wholly captivated energetically by someone or something.

    The SX energy is described as "high energy" and is often experienced as "intense", "assertive", "laser-like", "intently focused", "playful yet penetrating" in nature. The feeling of SX-first is sometimes compared to being on a roller-coaster ride even though you aren't on one. This subtype will "sacrifice for the relationship" to insure intensity connection. This intensity does not have to be met by another person—it can be satisfied by a project, hobby, or special interest. Rather than looking inward or to the group to resolve their problems and challenges, these types tend to look to close relations and activities that can guarantee them an experience of liveliness and intensity.

    SX-first people enjoy feeling invigorated. They may fantasize about scenarios that make them feel alive and that are emotionally stimulating. Key words: activation, immersion, charisma, broadcasting displays, fusion, inspiration, volatility.

    Sexual subtypes are not to be confused with having a healthy sex drive or being sexy, which is a common reason for many people misidentifying themselves as SX-primaries. The name of this instinct is misleading as, in the end, all instincts play into sexuality. SP is the body-to-body part - cuddling, sensuality, autonomic regulation. SX is riding the waves of energy, the invisible forces of attraction between the people, but it doesn't need to be actively physical. In a union, all three instincts combine - warmth (self-pres), energy (sexual), affection (social). One can have the sexual instinct operating in a group of friends—being in the heat, stimulated, energized, engaged. In relationships, there is a desire for endless engagement and fascination.

    Topics SX types might bring up in conversation:
    experiences, personal likes and dislikes, emotional and mental states, excitement, elation, ecstasy, intensity, energy, attraction/repulsion, passion, connection, desire, wants and wishes, possessiveness, jealousy, beauty, attractiveness, relationships, intimacy, sex, closeness, mating, risky activities, action sports, rebelliousness (sx-first people often report having strong personal preferences)

    Summary of SX instinct
    • primary concern - intense experiences, connections, and contacts, wide-ranging and exploratory, in order to find something to "complete" them inside (sky diving, deep conversations, exciting movies)
    • primary focus - people and attractions promising intense energy and charge
    • primary ambition - looking outside themselves for the person or situation that will complete them, and then obsessing over that completing element
    • primary stresses - lack of intense mental or emotional stimulation, lack of an intense connection or experience
    • coping methods (unhealthy) - scattered attention, lack of focus, sexual promiscuity, intensely avoiding intense experiences and connections with a fearful and dysfunctional attitude toward sex, intimacy, and other intense "completing" experiences, as is skewed by the secondary instinct

    Social instinct
    is not the same as socializing. This instinct is aimed towards species survival as a whole. It acts in species where families and groups exist to protect the vulnerability of mother and child. The social instinct provides a holding environment. It needs group viability for a sense of well-being.

    Emphasis on cooperation, reciprocity, roles aimed at mutual survival. There is a need to be involved and contribute, a desire to be wanted and accepted by the group. It can sense when a behavior is damaging to group survival. It forms a sort of unconscious clusters where mutual support is an issue. This instinct is also attuned to hierarchy and possesses political awareness. It has a good sense and understanding of group boundaries and what groups can accomplish.

    The SO energy is often described as "split energy" experienced as "scattered" and projected outward, appearing personable and cursory in nature. This subtype can "sacrifice for the group" to insure status. These types tend to "look outward," based upon a belief that "my value is dependent upon how I am perceived by the group." The survival strategy is an emphasis on sociability or unsociability. There is a noticeable inclination to categorize oneself in terms of others. The question "who am I?" is defined by "how comfortably and successfully I experience my group". Focus is on the issues dealing with how the person is being perceived by the group.

    Topics SO types might bring up in conversation: cultural and political movements and developments, popularity, popular songs books movies memes, manners, social values, societal standards, rules, guidelines, social power structures (or subversion of the same; keep in mind that there can very well be a counter-culture or counter-group streak in Social firsts, and when the instinct is operating in health, this can be used to counter injustice or other forms of oppression etc. in ways that benefits society at large. A lot of social leaders that strongly and actively countered prevalent institutional discrimination and other oppressive norms were social firsts, Dr. King being a good example. It's about time that the social first=sheep stereotype be discarded), appropriateness/inappropriateness, friendship, family, inclusion/exclusion, fashion, glamor, fame, notoriety, organizations, clubs, group divisions pertaining to nationality religion race, etc., patriotism, civic engagement, influence.

    Summary of SO instinct
    • primary concern - building their sense of personal value, accomplishment, and a security of place with others via interaction with people in a broader sense (through family, group, subculture, mainstream culture, community, nation, world)
    • primary focus - the status, approval, and admirability of themselves and of others in the minds of any number of different groups; "subtle" power structures and politics; knowing what is going on in the world; a contextual intelligence that allows them to see both their efforts and their broader context in the world
    • primary ambition - interacting with people in ways that will build their personal value, their sense of accomplishment, and their security of place with others; to touch base with others to feel safe, alive, and energized; may include pursuit of attention, success, fame, recognition, honor, leadership, appreciation, and the security of being a part of something bigger than themselves
    • primary stresses - being able to adjust to others and be acceptable; others' reactions to them, whether they are being accepted or not; may include intimacy, which is tended to be avoided
    • coping methods (unhealthy) - antisocial behavior, detesting or resenting society at large, displaying poorly developed social skills, fear and distrust of society, resentfulness at having had to change to gain approval causes a stubbornness against doing what is necessary to get along with people, social resentment and avoidance as is skewed by the secondary instinct

    I am ending this post with a quote from RH. Here, they explain how it's best to thoroughly understand the variants independently first, before turning to descriptions combining instincts with types, as their effect becomes more clear. I'd go so far as to say that, for an Enneagram beginner, relying heavily on variant+core type combined descriptions for self-typing, which also outline behavioural traits that could overlap between multiple types, can result in mistyping. Essentially, combined descriptions are extremely useful (in fact, necessary) for understanding type and instinct interactions but not for strictly self-typing purposes.

    We feel that when the three Variants are properly understood in their own right—without reference to Enneagram type—then the way in which type affects the Variants becomes more clear and compelling. Too often people try first to understand the Instincts in their mixture with Enneagram types. Others have used Ichazo's nicknames for the 27 combinations of Enneagram type and Instincts and tried to make them "fit" with what they know of the types. While some of these names are illuminating, others are less so. For example, the term for the Social Seven, "The Defender," and for the Sexual Four, "Reckless, Dauntless" are misleading and have even led to mistyping. We have found it more useful to apply the type's passion to the Instinct, ponder the connections, and then ask people about their experience.
    source: What is Your View of the Instinctual Variants?
    Last edited by TreeBob; 10-04-2012 at 05:04 AM.
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  2. #2

    Variant stackings-understanding the dynamics

    Part 2. Instinct Stackings

    The dominant variant is the one given top priority, since this is the instinct that the person is most attuned to. There is certain rigidity to this instinct—it is non-negotiable; its needs must be satisfied. As one moves down the levels of health, the priorities of this instinct become more compulsive. The dominant instinct is what will grip your attention, cause sleepless nights, where your buttons get pushed, where you may start compensating. Even though this is the primary instinct, since it serves as a greater source of anxiety than the second instinct, the person may conceal its needs and put the second instinct on display. It may be said that a person comes to embody his or her first instinct.

    Claudio Naranjo describes the dominant instinct as a “weakness which looks like a strength.” By this, he seems to have meant that, as the dominant instinct is overdeveloped, it certainly will attend to the needs associated with that instinct; in this sense it appears to be a strength. But, as the instinct is unbalanced and guided by a fixated personality, it is not being properly utilized, and, in this disturbed state often does not actually best serve the overall interests of the individual who is in its grip.

    The secondary variant provides support to the first instinct. It is much less self-conscious than the dominant instinct. There is more flexibility to it—people generally do not stress as much about this area. They may experiment more in the realm of their second instinct, or just ignore it and put it off for a while.

    The application of secondary instinct is creative and exhibitionistic than that of the primary instinct. While primary instinct is constantly monitored and held in check, the secondary instinct is allowed to roam freely. Often, one has an exploratory attitude towards secondary instinct and may be inclined to start experimenting in this area, or turn it into a hobby, or use it at a supplement to their main occupation. It can be said that while people come to embody their primary instinct, the secondary instinct is akin to a creative field that envelops them.

    Secondary instinct gets summoned in aid of primary instinct. In situations where people are not sure that their primary instinct would be welcomed, they often extend and offer 'products' of their secondary instinct by means of conversing on related interests. Sx/sp and so/sp types may talk about health, fitness, monetary, domestic, or culinary topics. Sp/sx and so/sx—about personal preferences, their friendships and relationships, fascinating and interesting experiences. Sx/so and sp/so may talk about cultural, social, and political events.

    The third (last or bottom) variant in the stack is can be called one's “blind spot”—it's like an unused muscle that on occasion feels sore. One believes that this area is uninteresting and unimportant, that one can do without it. At the same time, there is shame associated with the 'blind spot' variant - a sense of deficiency. One constantly feels like one is lacking skills and refinement in the areas pertaining to your last instinct.

    Often a negative reaction develops in response to seeing your last instinct operate in others. For example, sp-last people might get impatient with those who devote a lot of time and effort into making themselves well fed and comfortable - fiddling with the room temperature, checking seat cushions, arranging their bottled water, etc. Sp-last people can grow bored if they find themselves trapped in a conversation about food, home decorations or furniture, local deals, home prices, salaries. Sx-last people might feel uneasy when they see people openly demonstrating their sexuality, gender orientation or sexual preferences, engaging in PDA, discussing private feelings and experiences, etc. Soc-last people might get impatient with 'shallow' socialite “chit-chat”, get frustrated when required to network, and wonder how others can keep up with so many acquaintances. On the other hand, one takes the dominant instinct as a given. One may believe that everyone should be this way and become surprised that everyone else isn't.

    The Passion of person's main enneagram type plays itself out in the realm of the dominant instinct. Instincts operate at a deeper level than enneagram type. Your dominant instinct will also be dominant in your enneagram type's wing as well as integration and disintegration points.
    Last edited by Sina; 10-01-2012 at 05:09 AM.

  3. #3

    Explaining dominant, secondary and blind spot (last instinct) manifesations

    Part 3. Dominant and Blind Spot Expressions of the Instincts

    1a) SP dominant or secondary - survival, comfort, habits, supplies. You will take care of your basic needs and needs of those who are close to you. These people set up little homes or nests for themselves wherever they go. It can becomes neurotic when fear and habit distort the instinct (e.g. eating disorders, hoarding). One may experience “issues” that drain energy and cause one to lose Presence. Sp firsts are the grounded version of their type, while sp-seconds may have similar concerns but in lighter, more exploratory form.

    More on SP dominance in health and unhealth (from Oceanmoonshine's)

    Those individuals who are dominated by the instinct for self-preservation often have a grounded or practical quality; they frequently develop a high degree of self-sufficiency, discipline and maturity. Many self-pres subtypes devote themselves to programs for self-improvement and, of all the subtypes are probably the most “focused.” All of these qualities can clearly be beneficial, but when the personality is unbalanced, a dominant self-preservational instinct can manifest in an obsessive concern with questions of health, such as a focus on diet or exercise which might be punitive or otherwise excessive. Some self-pres types, when unbalanced, worry too much about health, mortality, finances or security. In fact, as life is ephemeral and safety an illusion, worry in general, of whatever sort, is a frequent manifestation of a dominant instinct for self-preservation.

    b) SP blind spot - lack of solid foundation, lack in comfort and coziness, lack in attention to health and upkeep, since these people are rarely concerned about sp matters. There is fear is of being an "eternal child" who won’t take care of ones’ self and expectation of failure in dealing with sp instinct. They tend to look down on sp-domain, express certain cynicism towards it e.g. state that sp-firsts are too fearful and “don’t know how to really live".

    More on SP blind spot

    When the instinct for self-preservation is last in the instinctual stacking, the individual will often be somewhat ungrounded or seemingly “immature.” Such individuals often have a hard time focusing on issues such as financial security or the commitment to the development of practical skills. Sometimes, issues of health are ignored. In the more extroverted types, individuals who are self-pres last, often find it difficult to develop “inwardness.”

    2a) SX dominant or secondary - charge, electricity, intense attraction, focus, addictions, days without sleeping, moth to the flame attraction, obsessions, stalking, “loose cannons”, blurt things out in groups, don't think about others. It is as if they constantly set themselves on fire. Their life can get out of control if their sx instinct becomes neurotic. They may find it hard to settle into anything, including stable careers and committed relationships, out of fear that the need for intensity won’t be sustained for a long time. High cost—“all or nothing” attitude.

    More on SX dominance in health and unhealth

    On the high side, sexual subtypes often bring a certain passion and experimentalism to their lives; they are generally willing to take risks in order to attain their ideals. Sexual subtypes are also usually willing to sacrifice for those who matter most to them; they have an expanded sense of what constitutes the self and tend to merge with those they love. On the down side however, sexual subtypes tend to struggle with issues of neediness and dependency, as they tend to feel that they need relationships in order to reclaim lost or inaccessible portions of the self. In addition, the merging tendency, when taken to extremes, can lead to an inability to protect important boundaries. And the desire for intensity of experience can lead sexual subtypes to take unnecessary risks, to be somewhat impatient and to grow bored or frustrated with mundane reality. When the overall personality is unbalanced, thrill seeking or self-medication sometimes enter the picture, and can lead to various forms of addiction.

    b) SX blind spot - subvert the fiery energy, tame the fire, don’t honor your passions, procrastinate and postpone if you need to, avoid anything stimulating. Inertia. They may fear of being a boring, bland person, without passions, be afraid of having 'no juice', and feel flattered that someone wants to spend time with them.

    More on SX blind spot

    When the sexual instinct is least developed, the personality can lack a certain charisma and momentum. Such personalities often do not form truly intimate relationships, as they don’t feel driven to do so; consequently, their personal relationships can suffer from a lack of attention. As there are aspects of ourselves which we can only see when in close relationship to others, those whose sexual instinct remains undeveloped might find it difficult to cultivate some forms of self-awareness.

    3a) SO dominant or secondary - Focus on finding one's place in the world, neglect of other things in favor of group contributions (workaholic), need to be plugged into something, danger of being overly accommodating. This can be a narcissistic need satisfied through social manipulation. Focus is on politics, jockeying for positions and roles. You may not want to join but feel aware of the price, so question arises: do I participate or not? So-firsts want to know what’s going on with other people as a way to uncover the hierarchy - talk is currency, discourse is welcomed. Exploring - Are we on the same team? Who can I trust? Healthy expression—how can this help everyone? Unhealthy expression—what’s in it for me? Is this worth my while?

    More on SO dominance in health and unhealth

    On the high side, social subtypes are the most likely to sacrifice their narrow interests in service of that which is larger than themselves. They extend themselves toward others and often have a sort of generosity with their time and energy. They are aware of group dynamics and underlying emotional currents. On the down side however, social subtypes are the most prone to feelings of social shame; as they are the most acutely aware of the opinions of others, they suffer the most when they feel a sense of social rejection. Social subtypes can therefore suffer from self-consciousness. In less balanced personalities, this can lead to a need to conform to the standards of the group in order to achieve acceptance. Social subtypes can sometimes fail to focus on the needs of the self as they are searching for their identity in terms of the larger whole.

    b) SO blind spot - finds it hard to concern self with another’s agenda, dismissive. They may feel that connecting socially will cost them something and consider interactions to be draining. Would rather act as a lone force, lone wolves, I'm-on-my-own attitude, feeling that they don't need others and others don't need them. Fear of being emotionally crippled, being unable to connect with many people, self-conscious of being socially ungracious. It’s hard to take in the gifts and generosity of others. Projected fear - if I ignore others, they will ignore me. There’s an expectation of humiliation. A desire not to impose self on people in fear of not being wanted or being klutzy.
    More on SO blind spot

    When the social instinct is least developed, the individual is going to find it difficult to see why it is important to form social connections or to cultivate multiple relationships. This, in turn, can lead to a certain amount of social isolation. And, as we all must find a niche in the larger whole, those whose social instinct is least developed, can find it difficult to negotiate the needs of the social realm which make this possible. Those whose social instinct is last in the instinctual stacking, find interdependence difficult and dependence on others barely tolerable. But all human beings are interdependent, and sometimes, dependent - when they are, for instance, young, weak, sick, old or dying. Those whose social instinct remains undeveloped are trying to attain a type of independence and self-sufficiency which is not possible for human beings. This “false independence” almost certainly leads to unnecessary suffering and impoverishment of experience.
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  5. #4

    Stacking Descriptions

    Part 4. Overview of Instinctual Stackings

    1) Social Instinct

    a) soc/sx

    • Motivation: To create lasting connections with those they are interested in.

    This type has very strong one to one social skills, but is usually uncomfortable in group settings. They enjoy cultivating multiple relationships, and can be intensely involved when in the presence of someone they are interested in, but have difficulty sustaining these bonds when apart. This may give the impression of being flighty and rootless, willing to adapt and mirror others in order to connect, but lacking a defined approach that would give their relationships a more solid standing. They may have political interests, but are generally more pragmatic and less partisan than the other social variant. They are often attuned to pop culture and the latest trends.

    • Energy: outward energy expressed intensely, broadly
    • Mindset: "If I can get close to people with merging/intensity, I can make sure of and keep improving my position and inclusion in the group/world."
    • Blind spot: Likely to neglect their desire to seek intense connections and experiences for the sake of their primary concern of building their sense of personal value, accomplishment, and security of place with others, in average-healthy levels. May not have an awareness of the body's need for food or sleep, or of the need to accumulate wealth for reasons of security, or of the need to manage time or resources to establish an orderly lifestyle.

    Examples of soc/sx: Michael Jackson, Bill Clinton, Howard Stern, Margaret Cho, Jack McFarland from "Will & Grace"

    b) soc/sp

    • Motivation: To attain status within their chosen sphere.

    This type is often the most comfortable in group settings, but tends to be a bit formal and awkward in one to one relations. This is the natural political type, affiliating themselves with groups or theories which best defend their social and material interests. They may lack warmth and individual identity and this could lead to problems in forming meaningful relationships outside of a shared social interest. They know what they like, but often find it difficult to get deeply excited or enthusiastic about anything.

    • Energy: outward energy expressed calmly, steadily, broadly
    • Mindset: "If I can establish an orderly and pleasing lifestyle, I can make sure of and keep improving my position and inclusion in the group/world."
    • Blind spot: Likely to neglect their desire to maintain physical saftey, comfort, and an orderly lifestyle for the sake of their primary concern of building their sense of personal value, accomplishment, and security of place with others, in average-healthy levels. May not have an awareness of the need to stimulate the mind or emotions, of a sense of deep excitement or enthusiasm, of a need for intimate experiences, of the need for the unfamiliar. May fall into routines and, despite social connection, may feel a strange disconnection even from spouses, friends, and family. They may often limerence but struggle to develop deeper attachments.

    Examples of soc/sp: Hillary Clinton, Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ted Nugent

    2) Self-Preservation Instinct

    a) sp/sx

    • Motivation: To live in a secure, comfortable environment where they can pursue their private interests in depth.

    These people often have an earthy, mysterious quality to them. They are quietly intense, but to others may seem oblivious to the greater social world around them, instead favoring personal interests. They are slow to commit, but once they do it is with an attitude of life commitment, to the establishment of an impermeable bond. Others can be taken aback by how suddenly and completely this type can lock into them, and by the depth of understanding of the other's condition. They attach to others at an organic, root level, in contrast to the other subvariant's surface formality. Somewhat hesitant to enter new relationships, they instead preserve the select few enduring bonds they carefully form along the way. The sanctuary of home is of paramount concern, and this type takes particular delight in decorating their spaces to reflect their cherished sense of taste and depth. Depth and discrimination characterize this stacking.

    • Energy: calm, steady energy expressed intensely, withdrawing
    • Mindset: "I can have merging/intensity without having to leave my orderly & pleasing lifestyle." (imagination, safe people and relationships, when the safety of these are challenged they withdraw)
    • Blind spot: Likely to neglect their desire to seek intense connections and experiences for the sake of their primary concern of maintaining physical saftey, comfort, and an orderly lifestyle, in average-healthy levels. May not have an awareness of the need to connect in a broader sense with the world, of a sense of security or in groups or of the need to seek it, or even of the need to foster approval, support, and understanding of themselves within groups they are connected with, often causing misunderstandings with allies, supporters, friends, and family members.

    Examples: George Harrison, Jackie Onassis, Eric Clapton, Emily Dickinson

    b) Sp/So

    • Motivation: To attain a position of material and societal security.

    This type is generally private and reserved, and especially serious and practical minded in their focus to gain material security and in making useful connections that support their goals. When they do form a connection, loyalty is very important to them and they will not hesitate to end a relationship on grounds of disloyalty. This type may lack a certain degree of interpersonal warmth which can give the impression of coldness or disinterest in others, even a sense of selfishness. May be drawn to groups that attract like minded individuals, as in business clubs or volunteer organizations where a shared professional culture can facilitate social bonds. They tend to live conservatively and dress in an inconspicuously appropriate fashion befitting their status in life. May have a characteristically blunt and direct style of communication that can take others some getting used to. They are particularly strong in matters of commitment and sacrifice, and enjoy being the benefactors in assisting society's practical needs.

    • Energy: calm, steady energy expressed outward
    • Mindset: "If I can maintain position and inclusion in the group/world, I can make sure of and keep my orderly and pleasing lifestyle." (May try to be just appealing and connected with groups enough for everyone to get out of their hair.)
    • Blind spot: Likely to neglect their desire to build their sense of personal value, accomplishment, and security of place with others for the sake of their primary concern of maintaining physical saftey, comfort, and an orderly lifestyle, in average-healthy levels. May not have an awareness of the need to stimulate the mind or emotions, of a sense of deep excitement or enthusiasm, of a need for intimate experiences, of the need for the unfamiliar. May fall into routines and, despite social connection, may feel a strange disconnection even from spouses, friends, and family.

    Examples: Bill Gates, Donald Trump, Martha Stewart, Harrison Ford

    3) Sexual Instinct

    a) sx/sp

    • Motivation: To know the heart, reconcile inner conflict, form a secure union.

    This is perhaps the most internally conflicted of the stackings, and potentially the most inconsistent in behavior. This may occur as a blockage of the sexual instinct which can be redirected as a more generally brooding and troubled personality. They may isolate themselves for long periods of time before reemerging. They live according to a strictly personal outlook and are not particularly concerned with the approval of others outside of their immediate concern. They seem to be searching for something, the missing piece. If they find a soulmate they will unite without fanfare, forming a secret bond, dealing with formalities as an afterthought. Powerful sexual impulses facing inner resistance may manifest symbolically in the psyche, giving way to soulful interpretations of the unconscious. Under periods of stress severe sexual tensions may manifest as erratic, impulsively destructive behavior. Can seem restless, torn between the comforts of a stable home life and the urge to wander. May be prone to self-medicating.

    • Energy: intense energy expressed calmly, steadily, assertively
    • Mindset: "If I can make (us) have an orderly & pleasing lifestyle, I can keep up and escalate all this merging/intensity."
    • Blind spot: Likely to neglect their desire to maintain physical saftey, comfort, and an orderly lifestyle for the sake of their primary concern of seeking intense connections and experiences, in average-healthy levels. May not have an awareness of the need to connect in a broader sense with the world, of a sense of security or in groups or of the need to seek it, or even of the need to foster approval, support, and understanding of themselves within groups they are connected with, often causing misunderstandings with allies, supporters, friends, and family members.

    Examples of sx/sp: Prince, Carl Jung, Johnny Depp, Ozzy Osbourne, Johnny Cash, Joan Crawford, Princess Di, Marilyn Monroe, Janis Joplin, Frollo from "Hunchback of Notre Dame"

    b) sx/so

    • Motivation: To impact others, question assumptions, challenge convention.

    This is the type that exudes the most raw charisma and sexual energy. They may identify so strongly with whatever they're involved with that they often become the symbol of its core essence, and sometimes its lead agent for change. Hardly content with the status quo, this subvariant seeks to alter the fundamental structure of something while at once embodying it's purest or most extreme form. Possibly attracted to radical views on politics, philosophy, spirituality or creativity that reflect their penchant for testing boundaries. They enjoy pushing other's buttons, especially those resistant to their modes of expression. It's not uncommon for them to have a pet social, political or spiritual cause which they're able to support with heartfelt conviction. May exploit and seek to redefine sexuality to reflect their own colorful and uncertain understanding of it. While prone to exhibitionism, they are strongly attracted to grounding influences which can anchor them and provide stability. Failure to satisfy an especially intense desire for connection may cause this subvariant to spite others at the risk of jeopardizing the need for an equal, stabilizing force. Can feel pulled between wanting a life of maximum intensity and reassuring episodes of peaceful convention.

    • Energy: intense energy expressed outwards, assertively
    • Mindset: "If I can maintain position and inclusion in the group/world, I can keep up and escalate all this merging/intensity."
    • Blind spot: Likely to neglect their desire to build their sense of personal value, accomplishment, and security of place with others for the sake of their primary concern of seeking intense connections and experiences, in average-healthy levels. May not have an awareness of the body's need for food or sleep, or of the need to accumulate wealth for reasons of security, or of the need to manage time or resources to establish an orderly lifestyle.

    Examples of sx/so: Madonna, John Lennon, Yukio Mishima, Robin Williams, Drew Barrymore, Richard Simmons, Elvis, Bono, George Michael, Sinead O'Connor, Joan of Arc.
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  6. #5

    Ok, I will be posting the stacking+type descriptions later on. Once it's all done, @TreeBob could sticky the thread so that it's accessible for people looking for info. on the subject.
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  7. #6

    This is awesome and very helpful. According to this I ought to be sx/so, not sx/sp as I previously thought.
    Sina, Pterodactyl, n2freedom and 1 others thanked this post.

  8. #7

    Excellent thread, @Boss. Thanks for combining these, it'll be helpful for people who are still confused about their instincts :) It'll also be an adequate place for people to ask their questions without having to create a new thread every single time.
    Sina, n2freedom, Younique and 1 others thanked this post.

  9. #8

    Type One Stacks

    The Instinctual Stackings of Enneatype One

    Enneatype One belongs to the instinctual/gut triad; its instinctual energy and anger are directed inward. This inward build-up of energies gives to the sexual variant an energy similar to a cork under pressure. The fixation of the One is focused on containnment and improvement, but the sexual instinct is passionate and impulsive and its needs don't take kindly to "going underground." It is essentially opposed to Oneness.

    Comparatively, the social One is less conflicted. The social instinct lends itself more to a plan, an order; the instinctual energy has a natural outlet. Not everyone sees things the same way as the One however, and that’s where problems arise for the One who wants to be "right" and wants the social realm also to be "right."

    The self-pres energy of type One is in sync with its dominant fixation, which can work well when the person is balanced. When out of balance, the self-pres One can become obsessive-compulsive, anal, and/or perfectionistic. The sexual instinct is, in many ways, in opposition to self-pres One energy, so inner conflict is seen more as the sexual variant is expressed through the Oneness.


    Enneatype One's basic fear is of not being perfect, therefore, not being good enough. This manifests in the self-pres variant as the need to "fix" the environment.

    This type is the most steady, organized, and practical. They prioritize time well, pride themselves on, for instance, finding the bargain, buying quality, putting forth their best effort. Perfection comes from dotting all the i's. They tend to watch their health and to not overindulge. When healthy, their example of efficiency is inspiring. The pride they take in their work is commendable.

    On the down side, they can become obsessive-compulsive. They can lose the forest for the trees in attempting to make their homes and environments perfect. They can also be very hard on themselves. The energy of this type is the most consistent. When their ideal falls short, frustration usually turns inward. Anger is repressed, especially with the Nine wing.


    This type is more fiery than the self-pres/social. They still have many of the same concerns of the first type, but there is this secondary energy that wants to throw all their repression out the window. This energy is mainly contained, but it's there just under the surface. The focus of their perfectionism is on their loved ones. On the down side, they can be very critical of the people close to them. Although normally controlled, this type is likely to erupt from time to time with those close to them. It’s an explosion of built up repression that has to be released.

    On the high side, this type can relax a little more than the self-pres/social, but on the down side, they are more volatile. They do share the inner conflict between their sexual and self-pres instincts with the sexual/self-pres, but the self-pres energy usually wins out. The instinctual energy of the sexual instinct is more apparent than with the self-pres/social. Despite being critical of their mates, they are usually very committed to their relationships. In the mind of the self-pres/sexual One, the judgmental criticality is a sign of commitment and love.


    When the social instinct is dominant in enneatype One, the fear of not being perfect manifests with regards to their connection to others. The social instinct is satisfied when others follow their rules or hold up their standards of justice.

    This type is very community minded. They are likely to be the person on the block who offers a hand, tells you, for instance, how to maintain your lawn just right. When healthy, they do this in a truly helpful way. These individuals can be counted on to do the right thing. They convey to others that they can be trusted and have everyone’s best interest in mind. This type is likely to have an interest in politics and social concerns.

    They are similar to the self-pres/social in the respect that both types will be community minded, but the self-pres/social will focus more on self and this type will extend its focus to the group. On the down side, they can be judgmental and intrusive when their input is not called for. Frustration for the social/self-pres One comes when others aren’t maintaining the same ideals and standards the One holds. This frustration in the social arena combines with the self-pres concerns, and can generate the impetus for action we so often see with this type.


    The social/sexual One will have the same concerns as the social/self-pres types, however those concerns center more on individuals. Rules aren’t quite as important. They will zero in on what they want to make better and the intensity of their conviction is more obvious. Along with this, they are more personable, somewhat "lighter" and don’t generally take themselves as seriously. They can have a great sense of humor.

    On the down side, their sensitivity can cause them to hold grudges. Because the self-pres instinct is last, this subtype could easily be mistaken for other enneatypes. Along with the sexual/social subtype, they can even be somewhat sloppy. Usually, there is still a sense of organization and a desire to do the job right, but there is much less emphasis on perfectionism in the material, physical environment. Most of their focus is on people and society. With this as their focus, they can be quite persuasive when it comes to their chosen causes. On the down side, when this extra outward energy is taken too far, they can approach the world with the attitude that they need to be right at all costs.


    When the sexual instinct is dominant, the One's fear of not being perfect manifests directly in the realm of close personal relationships. Close bonds are the focus of their perfectionism. They focus on having a perfect mate or perfect friends and family. Competition and intensity can enter the picture.

    This subtype is a mass of contradictions. They want to let themselves go, but judge themselves for doing so. The difference between this type and the self-pres/sexual is that the sexual first intensity wins out. They can be highly critical of their spouses, expecting perfection from them. They can be very jealous and protective of their relationships. Their sense of humor can be sarcastic and biting. On the down side, they can be brutal to others while being very sensitive themselves to the slightest criticism. When their standards or ideals aren’t met, you’ll likely know about it. The anger and frustration is more visible in this subtype, and they also tend to be more emotionally demonstrative than the other non-sexual subtypes.

    On the high side, the contradictions and struggle usually make for a very interesting person, combining high ideals with passion. Their blind spot can be their inability to see the impact of their intensity in the social realm.


    The instinctual energy of this subtype is the most at odds with their dominant Oneness. This subtype is the most intense. They are looking for perfection in everyone they are close to, not just their spouses. They can be very charismatic and engaging. They can also be very persuasive, like the social/sexual. If they have an opinion you are going to hear about it. It’s very important for them to be understood. They are outwardly competitive. Like the social/sexual, they too may be mistyped as other enneatypes. The anger that is under the surface with the other instinctual variants of type One is much more likely to be apparent with this subtype. You always know where you stand with them. They can mimic type Eight's energy in this regard. On the high side, this type is warm and engaging, but on the down side this same energy can bring with it the full brunt of the One's anger and the need to be right.
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  10. #9

    Type Two Stacks

    The Instinctual Stackings of Enneatype Two

    Healthy Twos know how to give of themselves without the need for reciprocity on their terms. If their love goes unreciprocated, they might still focus energy on the situation, but they accept life for what it is. As Twos become less healthy, pride creeps in and they can't accept that the love and closeness they want from another is not available. They begin to force the issue. They become blind to the fact that their ego is engaged and they start to manipulate others into feeling guilty for not returning their love. They justify, or don't even see that they are manipulating others, because they just can't accept that they don't deserve to be loved. Deep down, the hurt and fear of type Two is that they aren't lovable, but pride blinds them, and the ego's game is to force the other person into giving the Two what the Two wants. This results in a cycle of giving followed by anger. When healthy, Twos give with acceptance of any outcome.

    The basic fear of being unlovable manifests differently with the various instinctual stackings. Two is part of the feeling triad; their fear is of not being loved or seen as loving. When this image/feeling energy combines with the sexual instinct, it compounds the outward merging energy of both the Two and the sexual instinct, resulting in a type very focused on others. The survival energy is based on the need to feel love from intimates.

    When the social instinct is dominant, the fear of being unloved is less focused on key individuals. The sin of pride becomes very apparent in this subtype, and focuses on the need to maintain social bonds. The image/feeling issues of the type combine with the social instinct, and can make for the very caring compassionate drive that is often seen in the social Two.

    The self-pres Two turns their fear of being unloved into material giving. They give of themselves in concrete terms, as in doing things for others. Giving and doing can result in a feeling of entitlement, where they give to get, expecting the return of whatever good they have brought to others.


    The self-pres instinct in the Two is somewhat at odds with the dominant type Two fixation. The heart energy of the Two is an outward energy, while the self-pres energy focuses inward. So the self-pres Two wants to bring love to themselves. They do this in a way that relates to their environment, their safety, comfort, and possessions.

    This subtype is warm, friendly and very personable. Their focus is usually on their home and family. They give to others in acts of kindness - gifts, thoughtful cards, remembering special days. They are likely to be there physically to help, cook, lend a hand, fix something. On the down side, they will resent that they are the ones that do all the work. It would be nice if someone helped them out once in a while. They develop a feeling of entitlement, feeling that it's their turn to be catered to for a while, since they have done so much. They can be stubborn and passive-aggressive in an attempt to get their needs met.

    On the high side, as long as this subtype takes the time to tend to their own needs, they can gain much enjoyment in service to others and the life they build for themselves and their friends and family.


    This subtype is more assertive then the self-pres/social subtype in giving and getting love. On the high side, they are more connected to the people closest to them and not as concerned about others. When the social instinct is last, it helps dampen some of the image issues that surface when this subtype is out of balance. On the down side, they can make a lot of demands on their loved ones. Their world is usually wrapped around their family. On the high side, this type can be the glue that holds people together, but, on the down side, manipulation can enter into the picture when things aren't going as the Two would like. When their attempts to give love don’t get appreciated, the Two will most certainly let others know, usually in the form of a guilt trip.


    The social instinct in the Two emphasizes the Two's issues with pride. The fear of not being seen as loving becomes the focus for the social Two.

    This subtype has strong opinions. On the high side, they want to give to society. For instance they do charity work or volunteer for their church. They get involved in the community in a helping way. On the down side, they can be very manipulative, for instance playing friends against each other in an attempt to keep themselves as the center of attention, as the one that others have to turn to. They can become "know-it-alls." They need to tell you how everything should be done for your own good. They constantly fear the loss of their standing within the group, so they manipulate the group in indirect ways to keep themselves in good standing.


    The soc/sexual Two is very people oriented. They are friends with everyone. They make a point of making a connection with most everyone they meet. They will use humor and charm. They will remind you of how many friends they have. They may exaggerate just how close those friends are to them. Their gift to others is themselves, their friendship. Their focus is not so much on material things. On the upside they are great friends - usually positive and inspiring. On the down side they can be too clingy, causing people to feel violated.


    Jealousy is a big issue for the sexual variant of type Two. When unhealthy, they can’t see how they push away the people from whom they most want love. It becomes a vicious cycle because the more they get rejected the more they push. Twos are usually very good at reading others' emotions and needs, but their blind spot (just like all the heart centered types) is not always being able to read how they are making others feel, especially in the present. The Two is past oriented; they have an emotional tally in their minds of all the good they have done in the past for others, but are blind to how they can make others feel at the moment. This is common to all unhealthy Twos, but is even more accentuated in the sexual variant because the underlying fear of both the enneatype and the sexual instinct are very similar.

    This subtype loves attention. They give by shows of affection and by spending time with those they are focused on. They make themselves attractive to be lovable. They can be very flirtatious, and are very good at making the other person feel special. On the down side, if this attention is not reciprocated, they can become controlling and manipulative with their loved ones. When unhealthy, the sex/self-pres subtype can become volatile with their intimates. When healthier, the Two develops powers of introspection which helps them form truly healthy relationships.

    Telling the difference between self-pres/sexual subtype and sexual/self-pres subtype can be very difficult with enneatype Two because type Two energy itself can mimic the energy of the sexual instinct. Therefore, a self-pres Two can still have many of the same issues as the sexual Two. The biggest difference will be in intensity. When unhealthy, the self-pres/sexual Two will adopt more of an air of entitlement as compared to the sexual/self-pres subtype. They will be less direct when it comes to expressing their needs. They expect their intimates to read their minds and do things for them to show their appreciation.


    This subtype shares most of the same issues with the sex/self-pres subtype - the flirtatiousness, the jealousy, and the intense focus on others. They differ in that they give their attention to more people. They actually have a softer presentation than the fiercely intense sex/self-pres. This subtype has a lot of charisma. On the high side, they can be a role model for acceptance and caring. Their love can spread to all of humanity. The down side can be similar to that of the sex/self-pres, but the secondary social instinct brings the issue of pride more into focus as well.

    The sexual/social, like the social/sexual, tend to consider their presence to be their gift. They can be wonderful friends just like the soc/sex, the difference being that their relationships are taken more seriously, once they move beyond the early stages. They may not work as hard in those early stages as the soc/sex will, but at some point, when the relationship becomes more intimate, the sexual variant issues get triggered. With the soc/sexual the issues and dysfunction are more apparent before the intimacy even begins.
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  11. #10

    Type Three Stacks

    The Instinctual Stackings of Enneatype Three

    Enneatype Three belongs to the feeling/image triad. The fear of being unlovable and the concern with validation are expressed differently with the different instinctual stackings.

    With the self-pres instinct dominant, the need for validation is tied to material possessions. Feelings of safety and security are tied to the Three's always having enough and to being seen by others as having enough.

    When the social instinct is dominant, the concern with validation of image is accentuated, so there is generally a competitive nature to social Threes. Social Threes may go to great lengths to further the image of themselves as being successful. In the social Three, since image validation is accentuated, we find a subtype that can be very competitive when it comes to social status.

    The sexual Three is competitive in the area of physical attraction. Their focus is on being seen as someone who is able to attract and secure a mate.


    This subtype is the most reserved and introverted of the subtypes of enneatype Three, and possibly the hardest worker. They generally put a great deal of effort into their work, excelling at whatever they choose to do. They usually do what it takes to rise to the top. There is a strong desire to excel, although the areas chosen may differ widely from one Three to the next. These Threes are competitive in a quiet way. On the high side, they can be very generous with what they have learned and acquired. The driving motivation for their hard work comes down to their fear of not being good enough. Self-pres Threes seem to feel that if they get that promotion, have enough money or buy a big enough house they will then be lovable, admired by others and finally stop feeling like a failure. The false belief that they are what they accomplish is the driving force behind the behavior of self-pres/soc Threes. When healthier, this subtype comes to the realization that all of their hard work won’t change what they fundamentally feel inside. They learn to prioritize other aspects of their lives. They slow down and begin to accept themselves as they are. As the sexual instinct is last, less energy is available for intimate relationships. These Threes can therefore have a hard time with intimacy until they learn to slow down and prioritize their relationships.


    This subtype also focuses on material success but is overall less concerned with status. These Threes often try to do it all, be the perfect mother or father for instance, while working many hours, and maintaining relationships with friends and family. This subtype is prone to double and triple booking the hours of the day. Their sense of style is quite apparent. You may see them having quite a talent for design and creativity especially, where it comes to their homes and appearance. They take their relationships seriously, but when unbalanced can become cold when their self-pres instinct is threatened in any way. With the social instinct being last, they can have a distrust of new people within their circle of influence. Their focus is not naturally in the social arena, so this can unnerve the self-pres/sexual Three.


    The social instinct combines with the dominant Threeness and accentuates the desire for external validation. This Three derives validation from peer admiration due to high social rank. Of course, the actual sources of admiration (money, a large house, college degrees, flashy cars, etc.) will vary greatly depending on the individual life circumstances. However, the goal will always be on attaining an enviable status in the eyes of others, which necessitates a degree of conformity to the norms of the individual’s culture. For example, a social/self-pres Three born in American society will likely strive to epitomize the “American dream” by embodying all the qualities most Americans currently associate with perfection. These Threes will work tirelessly to find an attractive mate, attain a beautiful home, drive a high status car, and, of course, possess a physically appealing appearance. The bottom line is, unless the social Three perceives their status as being “exceptional” compared to their peers, they feel utterly valueless; there is no middle ground. This stems from the Three's fear that they are inherently empty and must continuously prove their worth by receiving validation. The social Three thus focuses their energy on the arena of social status.

    When backed by the self-preservational instinct, the need for material stability is intensified. For this stacking, status will invariably be associated with wealth. This often leads to a tendency to have lucrative, highly-respected careers in fields such as medicine, law, etc. Self-preservation in the secondary position can also lead to fears and preoccupations with health and safety when the social needs are believed to be unmet.

    Having the sexual instinct in the last position diminishes this type’s need for intimacy and intensity. Being social types, however, this subtype of Three can mimic a sexual variant’s vivaciousness and out-reaching. However, they sometimes lack the resources for sustained intimacy, because the social and self-pres needs will trump the effort for closer bonds. As a result, unhealthy Threes of this stacking will have many colleagues in high places and successful, respectable acquaintances; but may be lacking deep, true friends.

    When this subtype is healthy, they can become very generous and can direct their high energy and enthusiasm into the social sphere with extremely positive results.


    This stacking will cause most of the social variant issues described for the social/self-pres to manifest. The primary differences will be in the arena of interpersonal relationships. Because this is still a social subtype, this Three will strive for the accumulation of wealth in cultures where there is social validation for wealth. The motivation for attainment of material wealth will be derived less out of need for stability and more purely from the desire for social admiration. As with all self-preservation last types, this Three will find it difficult to expend sufficient energy in practical matters, except where there is social pressure to do so. Therefore, just as with the social/self-pres Three; this Three will have an desirable home; but most likely it will fall into disarray when visitors are not expected. With the social/self-pres stacking, there is more internal motivation (stemming from the self- preservation instinct in the secondary position) to maintain order and stability for themselves. With this soc/sexual subtype the motivation to keep up appearances is more purely external.

    This type can still be materially successful, but they will not be as directly focused on this goal as the social/self-pres Three. There will be many occasions where the lure of enjoyment (even excess) will take precedence over the need to stay on the "straight and narrow." Focus on interpersonal relationships, as well as longing for intensity of experience is far more pronounced in this type of Three than in the social/self-pres. Having the social instinct backed by the sexual instinct creates the most playful energy combination, making this Three seem somewhat like a Seven. While social validation is still the primary focus, sexual validation as well as intimacy are also sought, and it is more likely for this subtype to choose “impractically” in the area of relationships (though they may keep their more “socially unacceptable” friends hidden from public scrutiny.)

    When these Threes are healthy, their interpersonal skills become a useful tool for grounding themselves and for finding what they really want from life and for finding who they really are. They learn to maintain a more consistent identity, bringing all of who they really are to the forefront, which means recognizing the real self first.


    This subtype can appear almost Four-like. They can be dramatic and appear introspective, especially with the Four wing. There is an on and off quality to these Threes. They can be very emotional and then become very business like. It’s not uncommon to find this subtype in the arts, especially as actors, singers or performers. The outward sexual energy coupled with the secondary self-pres energy can cause these Threes to focus on projecting an image of themselves to the world. They will seek validation in the area of their persona. This type especially wrestles with the authenticity of the persona/image they create. On the one hand, the image protects the real self, but at the same time they hate the image they project. This subtype is likely to be in a constant state of flux when it comes to the image they project and for this reason, they run the risk of burn-out and disillusionment. They are more prone to depression than the other subtypes.

    When healthier, these Threes begin to trust their intimate relationships, and begin to disentangle the real self from the flux of partial identities they create. They learn that being vulnerable is necessary if they are to get what they really want, which is to reveal the real self and trust that they are lovable even with their flaws.


    The focus of this subtype is less on material gain. The basic fear for this type is loss of intimate love. The sex/soc subtype, like the sex/self-pres, lacks trust in their intimates. Because they feel unworthy of true love, they don’t believe that anyone can love them solely for themselves. Therefore, they continuously strive to hold onto their intimates’ admiration, deluding themselves that if they are admired, they may become worthy of love. They do this through vigorous maintenance of their appearance, achievements, etc. Ageing is often especially difficult for this subtype.

    This insecurity leads to an incessant need for reassurance from intimates, in the form of words of affirmation or time spent together (to the exclusion of others). This insatiable need often leads to intense jealousy, which only serves to distance others from them, thus erroneously affirming the Three's basic fear that they are unworthy of true love. While they share a lot with the sex/self-pres Three, the secondary social instinct adds an element of competition when it comes to questions of desirability. This subtype likes to be seen as the alpha male or alpha female.

    When the sex/soc is healthier, they realize this competition is self-defeating. They can take comfort in the thought that another person’s success and attention do not take away their worth in any way.
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