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MOTM Feb 2012
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Enneagram Instinctual Variant & Pair Bonding: Interrelationship of Instinctual Drives

I found this interesting article a while back, and have been pondering it for a while. When thinking of examples from my own life, I have found this theory to be very true! What are your thoughts? Do you believe there is a shift in instinctual variants when pursuing love? Any comments from an sx/sp, so/sx, or sp/so? (In those cases you would supposedly shift to your last instinctual variant.) Please share!

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"A noteworthy point of interest with respect to the Enneagram Instinctual Subtypes is that the dominant instinctual drive (self-preserving, social or sexual) will shift to the other two subtypes as needed to ensure its influential role in this trialectic instinctual system. The way in which the dominant subtype employs the other two appears to be very specific and predictable. The dominant drive maintains the role of the commander in chief and the other two are channeled through its lens. Generally, this is very primal and often unconscious. This is especially apparent with respect to the human drive to seek a mate and pair bonding, but applies to all areas of life. If a relationship displays conflicting instinctual needs the dominant drive perceives it as a threat to security and acts accordingly. Confusion about the manner in which the instinctual drives manifest to create and maintain a sense of security is often the root of misunderstandings. Such disturbances in the instinctual drive are often the catalyst for seeking counsel or therapy.

Self-preserving moves to Sexual
For example, the self preserving subtype considers a mate as an essential need to maintain and insure security. Therefore, when in search of a mate the self-preserving subtype will feel anxiety and suspense until a mate is secured. In order to attract a mate, the self-preserving subtype will shift to their respective sexual instinctual drive to accommodate this fear. Outwardly the self-preserving subtype will behave like the sexual subtype, pay more attention to their desirability and will be sensual or flirtatious. At first, the self-preserving subtype will spend more time one on more with the possible mate. Once the mate is secured, the self-preserving subtype will return to basic routines that ideally would include the mate. An area of pain and disappointment for this subtype is when they have a mate that is unwilling to pay attention to issues of security and disrupt their need for inner calm.

Social moves to Self-Preserving
The social subtype will think in terms more indicative of the self-preserving subtype when selecting a mate. This is very important to insure the desired security that rank and social status can provide. The social subtype seeks a mate with a shared social vision and similar values. This is necessary to fulfill the desire for a mate that will join them in their activities. Therefore, a secure social position is essential. Much attention is paid to the potential mate's connections, rank and ability to provide financial security. This subtype enjoys bringing others together, feeling that 'the more the merrier'. They are often adept at creating the center stage and often use their home for social events, gatherings and causes. At first the social subtype will spend more time one on one with the potential mate. Once the mate is in place, the social subtype will return to outside interests, groups and/or activities, ideally, this is with their mate. An area of pain and disappointment for this subtype is when they have a mate that is unwilling to pay attention to their need for people, activities, causes and unwilling to share their interest in others.

Sexual moves to Social
The sexual subtype (one on one) will seek the greater world or social arena to find a desired mate. The sexual subtype is normally happy tucked away in a secluded setting with one significant other. However, when alone or in search of a mate, this subtype will behave much more like the social subtype. One must be with others to find 'the other'. Once the mate is selected, the social activity will be replaced by the dominant drive for time spent in union with the other one on one. At first the sexual subtype may spend time with the potential mate in the company of others. They become a pair even in groups. Then when the passion for deeper connection is ignited the sexual subtype will want to bond totally with their desired other. When the mate is determined, the sexual subtype will return to one on one style of relating. Ideally, this is intense time spent with the desired other or mate. An area of pain and disappointment for this subtype is when they have a mate that is unwilling to pay attention to their degree of connection and intimately share their deepest and innermost thoughts."

(c) 1996 Katherine Chernick-Fauvre
Source
 

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MOTM Feb 2012
ISTJ 9w1
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Discussion Starter #4
How do instinctual drives work in terms of introversion and extroversion? Surely an introvert can have social dominant variant instincts, and extroverts can have self pres. dominant instinct variants. So how would the changes occur, in reference to those aspects? Examples would be appreciated...
Yeah, I'm not sure. I haven't seen any studies thus far linking MBTI to the stackings. Most people think that introverts are never social doms, but Type 5s are definitely one of the exceptions. Social 5s are one of the more common types that I've seen and most 5s are indeed introverted. The subtypes do take on a different flair for each type, so sometimes it's hard to generalize them. But I assume the OP theory works no matter whether a person is introverted or extroverted.

Check out the so 5 description, for example:
Social Fives: The Specialist (Ichazo's "Totems")
Social Fives focus their avarice and hoarding in the social realm, meaning that they socialize through their particular areas of expertise. Fives endeavor to master some skill or body of knowledge, and they relate to others primarily through that area of their mastery. As social types, Social Fives are more comfortable interacting with people, but their comfort is largely dependent on having a context for being in a social situation. They need a particular task or function that gives them the confidence to interact with people (for example, being the DJ at a party, or having a specific topic of discussion at a social event).They enjoy talking intensely with other people who share their (sometimes esoteric) interests—either in person or through the Internet. Social Fives feel that their expertise is what they can "bring to the table" since they make it their business to learn things that others may need. While generally quiet, Social Fives can become quite talkative if their area of knowledge becomes the topic of conversation—anything from computer expertise to trivia about movies or comic books is fair game. Less healthy Social Fives can become elitist, feeling others are too unintelligent to understand their thoughts or conversation. They can also be fiercely argumentative, losing social connections by reactively proving others' ideas inadequate.
(Source)
 

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I can't recall my enneagram, so this may be irrelevant but...

I am ISTP and I would identify with "Sexual moves to Social ."

Ideally, in interpersonal relationships I would prefer to get out and meet someone then engage in a bunch of one on one activities... I find little value in rank or social status and seek it rarely, if ever, through intellectual or physical dominance. Self-preservation isn't really on my mind most of the time...I'm just living in the moment and enjoying myself.
 

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You know, I think this whole Self-pres moves to sexual is why I had a hard time disentangling everything and finding my variant stacking. Even though I knew Sp and So were very strong within me, I still felt some nagging not-so-blind-spot connection to Sx. I think this explains quite a large bit of that. :)
 

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:/ I always feel like I'm a bit of every variant XD I hate being social thou...sux with so much social anxiety, sometimes I like it thou...idk what to say tbh.

Under stress I become a critical cold hypochondriac STJ who wants to clean and organize "get life back on track", normally I'm very lax and tend towards being addicted to "information stimulation" (movies, games, experiences that give emotional and intellectual highs, very scattered and disorganized, forget to sleep, eat, routine will become non existant.

When it comes to relationships I lose all track of life and she becomes my single most important concern. My life tends to fall apart more then usual, but I tend to feel safe and okay for the first time in months. The relationship becomes this push pull where I want independence at one point and at another I want intimacy...very much hott and cold.

Problems in the relationship come when i feel we are not working together as a team. If Its my fault I will feel guilty and struggle to be better, if its her...I can get a bit demanding in a diplomatic way. If she fails repeatedly for longer periods...:(...I'll quit.

At all times I would gladly avoid social stuff due to social anxiety. Kinda sounds Sx/sp-ish imo, but sp/sx fits better then anything. Tendencies towards more cp..sx is kinda strong.
 

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Any comments from an sx/sp, so/sx, or sp/so? (In those cases you would supposedly shift to your last instinctual variant.) Please share!
Well according to this, it's not encouraged for me to respond. But I will still throw in my two cents anyway.


Sexual moves to Social
The sexual subtype (one on one) will seek the greater world or social arena to find a desired mate. The sexual subtype is normally happy tucked away in a secluded setting with one significant other. However, when alone or in search of a mate, this subtype will behave much more like the social subtype. One must be with others to find 'the other'. Once the mate is selected, the social activity will be replaced by the dominant drive for time spent in union with the other one on one. At first the sexual subtype may spend time with the potential mate in the company of others. They become a pair even in groups. Then when the passion for deeper connection is ignited the sexual subtype will want to bond totally with their desired other. When the mate is determined, the sexual subtype will return to one on one style of relating. Ideally, this is intense time spent with the desired other or mate. An area of pain and disappointment for this subtype is when they have a mate that is unwilling to pay attention to their degree of connection and intimately share their deepest and innermost thoughts."
This is absolutely 100% true. The social atmosphere is merely my vehicle to secure a mate. Once that's established, you'll hardly see me anymore unless it's about questions to enhance my relationship. The one-on-one relationship is my comfort zone. I only do the social because I have to, especially when I'm on the prowl. Lol.
 

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MOTM Feb 2012
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Discussion Starter #10
Well according to this, it's not encouraged for me to respond. But I will still throw in my two cents anyway.
Haha, I want everyone to comment! I just think those cases would be especially interesting to hear. :happy:
 

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Well according to this, it's not encouraged for me to respond. But I will still throw in my two cents anyway.


This is absolutely 100% true. The social atmosphere is merely my vehicle to secure a mate. Once that's established, you'll hardly see me anymore unless it's about questions to enhance my relationship. The one-on-one relationship is my comfort zone. I only do the social because I have to, especially when I'm on the prowl. Lol.
I never really thought about it like that but I realize that's exactly what I did.

But I do feel like the descriptions of the instincts in this sound a bit too stereotypical and simplified.
 

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I'm sp/so or so/sp (which sounds strangely true)
The way in which the dominant subtype employs the other two appears to be very specific and predictable.
Lol xD

Self-preserving moves to Sexual
For example, the self preserving subtype considers a mate as an essential need to maintain and insure security. Therefore, when in search of a mate the self-preserving subtype will feel anxiety and suspense until a mate is secured. In order to attract a mate, the self-preserving subtype will shift to their respective sexual instinctual drive to accommodate this fear. Outwardly the self-preserving subtype will behave like the sexual subtype, pay more attention to their desirability and will be sensual or flirtatious. At first, the self-preserving subtype will spend more time one on more with the possible mate. Once the mate is secured, the self-preserving subtype will return to basic routines that ideally would include the mate. An area of pain and disappointment for this subtype is when they have a mate that is unwilling to pay attention to issues of security and disrupt their need for inner calm.
Not, but that was my possibly sp female friend o_O. Remembering my sp/sx times haha xD I'm so bad at sx :(

Social moves to Self-Preserving
The social subtype will think in terms more indicative of the self-preserving subtype when selecting a mate. This is very important to insure the desired security that rank and social status can provide. ¬¬ really? social rank and status? The social subtype seeks a mate with a shared social vision and similar values. yes, indeed. I usually pick up the outsiders. At least in terms of friendships. This is necessary to fulfill the desire for a mate that will join them in their activities. Therefore, a secure social position is essential. Much attention is paid to the potential mate's connections, rank and ability to provide financial security. Not This subtype enjoys bringing others together, feeling that 'the more the merrier'. if I were good at it. I would actually bring people together. They are often adept at creating the center stage and often use their home for social events, gatherings and causes. I can imagine myself doing this. I want to live in the city. In a beautiful appartment. Whenever I imagine me there, I usually imagine a reunion with friends talking about our dreams, failures and illusions, drinking wine, chatting, laughing, playing board games, getting drunk and sentimental and having a really good time all together even if we live disappointing lifes. It's night. It's beautiful. It's now and it's memorable. So sweet. :') At first the social subtype will spend more time one on one with the potential mate. My ideal dates are always at his home, just lying there, sharing something purely one on one together. That sounds so to sp Once the mate is in place, the social subtype will return to outside interests, groups and/or activities, ideally, this is with their mate. An area of pain and disappointment for this subtype is when they have a mate that is unwilling to pay attention to their need for people, activities, causes and unwilling to share their interest in others. This is far social for me, excusez-moi
This is weird. So weird. I want a mate :(
 

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The sexual to social describes me extremely well. Funnily, I married a social dom, so he thought I was all social when I married him, because I would do things with the group with him. Now I just want to hang out with him when I spend time with him and he's always wanting to include his friends. The areas of pain and disappointment for both of those is definitely the issues we have with each other.

An aside: I find it odd that all three of these types want to constantly be doing things with their mate. I don't think that's how it is in life, unless you're absurdly codependent.

@pinkrasputin, so with you on that. I think it's why I was contemplating social for a minute for myself, even though I'm so absolutely not.

@MBTI Enthusiast, I'm confused about something. So does this mean that a sx/sp would act like a so/sx? And conversely, a so/sx would act like a sp/so?
 

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MOTM Feb 2012
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Discussion Starter #15
@MBTI Enthusiast, I'm confused about something. So does this mean that a sx/sp would act like a so/sx? And conversely, a so/sx would act like a sp/so?
I don't think so. I think it only accounts for your primary instinct. Thus, sx doms will move to so when searching for a mate, while they still prefer sx in most areas of life.
 

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I don't think so. I think it only accounts for your primary instinct. Thus, sx doms will move to so when searching for a mate, while they still prefer sx in most areas of life.

Oh, okay. I, for some reason, couldn't figure out what you meant by this, but now I get it:

Do you believe there is a shift in instinctual variants when pursuing love? Any comments from an sx/sp, so/sx, or sp/so? (In those cases you would supposedly shift to your last instinctual variant.) Please share!
 

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Still pretty hard to figure this all out for myself, especially since I do identify as Asexual (a valid but yet another controversial orientation to some individuals). Might as well try to figure out how each instinctual variant functions with stuff outside the so called mating game. If anyone can link me to more explanations on the instinctual pair identification, it would be welcome.
 

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As a So/Sx, I really don't relate to the Social moves to Self-Preserving. I relate more to the Sexual moves to Social, I presume that is because of the Sx-So combination.

I don't care about "the desired security that rank and social status can provide".
I don't care about "a shared social vision".
I don't need a mate to join me in social activities.
This statement "Much attention is paid to the potential mate's connections, rank and ability to provide financial security" would be more me if everything about it was inverse.
And I do not "use [my] home for social events, gatherings and causes".

The only things that I could work with are:
I do care about similar values, at least as much as needed to be compatible.
I do tend to spend more time with a potential mate one-on-one than I would otherwise need, and I do want to return to outside interests, groups and/or activities when involved with someone.
 
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