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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?

6,540 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
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.

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Discussion Starter · #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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Discussion Starter · #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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Discussion Starter · #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.

6,540 Posts
Discussion Starter · #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.

6,540 Posts
Discussion Starter · #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.

6,540 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Type Four Stacks

The Instinctual Stackings of Enneatype Four


This subtype is the least volatile and fiery of the type Four stackings. They can resemble type One in terms of their efficiency and practicality. Although their focus will be more on the emotional aesthetic, these Fours do have a considerable practical side. Less flashy than some of the subtypes of Four, they nevertheless have a quiet charm and developed sense of style. They are likely to value their possessions, to perhaps collect items of personal emotional significance. They may, for instance, have shelves and shelves of books and have a place for each book. This subtype can also resemble type Six in terms of having a great deal of anxiety. This anxiety often revolves around self-pres concerns such as those surrounding health issues and mortality. Their strong self-pres instinct also lends a degree of independence to this subtype. As the sexual instinct is least pronounced, this subtype of Four is prone to romanticize intimacy without actually pursuing real relationships. When healthy, these Fours can be very productive; when less healthy they might suffer from boughts of melancholy or self pity. The strong self-pres instinct however often helps these individuals to recognize how their state of mind is impacting their health and well being. This enables them to become action oriented.


This subtype also cares very much about their surroundings and their possessions. They feel as if these things help to express who they are. There is more of a passionate sense about them as compared to the self/soc. They have more of a sensual relationship with their environment. These Fours are much more tortured by their difficulty with respect to maintaining close relationships. The self-preservational instinct tends to be in conflict with the sexual instinct, causing this subtype to habitually analyze their relationships to the point where they find it difficult to be present to them. When unhealthy, these Fours can become very disdainful of the social environment. They also start to envy the ease with which others seem to form relationships and maintain friendships. When Fours of this subtype are healthy, they find that they can form relationships without feeling as though they are sacrificing authenticity. They no longer feel that they have to automatically define themselves as "different from others," as outside the group. They are able to see the ways in which their emotionality might cloud their better judgment and to use that insight to establish equilibrium.


This subtype can mimic type One when it comes to social values. They can be harsh critics of the current mores. They have romantic ideals of what the world should be like; reality always falls short. Ironically, this type can be the most withdrawn of the Fours. Social anxiety combines with the Four's shame issues to make this type feel that the pressure associated with "fitting in" is just not worth it. They are also the most likely of the Fours to intellectualize their emotions and in this way resemble type Five.

The social instinct tends to give the personality a focus on being included, fitting in, or finding a way to make a valued contribution. This agenda conflicts with the Four's sense of being "different from" or "other than." The Four's need to establish a separate identity conflicts with the social instinct's drive towards inclusion. The social Four often deals with this dilemma by defining themselves as being outside the social system. By defining themselves always in terms of the system, even if it is to establish distance, this Four stays essentially tied to it. Fours with the social/self-pres stacking tend to acutely feel a sense of social shame at not quite belonging.

When this subtype is reasonably healthy, they are often gifted critics of the prevailing culture. They develop true insight into social dynamics and have an eye for the nuances and subtleties of social interactions. Many Four writers are soc/self.


This is overall the "lightest" type Four when it comes to social interaction. They are likely to utilize charm and humor. This type is more scattered and can be down right disorganized. They can drift through life always feeling like an outsider, yet they usually have friends. They can alternate from being the life of the party to withdrawing. Intimates will know of their insecurities and dark moody side while acquaintances will see a softer, friendlier side. This subtype’s energy is geared towards people, but they never feel as though they really fit in. They are often quite creative, talented people who have many interests, but they frequently lack the energy to actually accomplish what they would like. They can drift and withdraw very easily. When healthy and with the right support from friends (and perhaps a little push) they tap into their instinctual energy. When they do this, they begin to see how much they can accomplish. A positive connection to others helps them stay focused.


This is a very volatile type. They are driven to form connections but have very high demands of their partners. When their powerful fantasies don’t match reality, they become very restless. They take the fire and passion of the sexual instinct and turn it inward. This can cause both brooding and fiery outbursts. Dramatic mood swings are very likely with this type. This subtype of Four could be considered the most classic Four, because of the way they seem to embody the archetype of the tortured artist, although not all Fours of this subtype are artists. Stereotype aside, this subtype does tend to bring their emotions into focus more readily then the other subtypes of Four. What is under the surface with the self-pres/sexual is now bubbling to the surface. This subtype can resemble type Seven because of their drama, passion for experience and tendency to suffer from frustration when life seems dull. Like type Seven, they can seem to throw themselves into experience.

When healthy, this subtype learns to balance the need for passion with the less obvious need for groundedness which can come from solid and focused relationships with others and with their creative outlets.


This subtype is able to connect with others and with life itself, but always with an undertone of volatility and a tendency to dramatize. They are the most involved and connected of the subtypes of Four. They can go from relationship to relationship, seemingly tortured by each one. They are the most driven of the subtypes of Four to express themselves publicly and type Four celebrities are commonly found with this stacking. This subtype has a real difficulty remaining grounded, partly due to the undeveloped self-pres instinct. Although they can appear almost Eight-like at times with their lust for life and desire for passionate experience, they lack the focus of the Eight and the instinctual energy that would keep them grounded. Sometimes alcohol or substance abuse can be a problem. These Fours become more healthy when they learn to control their impulsiveness and focus their energies.

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Type Five Stacks

The Instinctual Stackings of Enneatype Five

The self-preservational instinct is accentuated by the type Five fixation. The other two instincts are in opposition to the main type. When dominant, the social and sexual instincts therefore set up some degree of conflict with the dominant type Five fixation.


In the average health range, this instinctual stacking is warm, friendly, and loyal. They need their down time and have no problem spending time alone. They actually value it very much. They feel an energy drain from people’s demands on them. This instinctual stacking is what is described in most Enneagram books. The most notable and potentially frustrating thing about people of this type is the difficulty involved in getting really close to them. While they can usually handle themselves socially, they always hold back when it comes to intensity or intimacy in a relationship which can frustrate a sexual variant type. Others are aware that there is more going on beneath the surface, but it can’t really be accessed. These Fives are masters at minimizing their needs. Even though they shy away from intense personal relationships they often have a lot of intuition about others. Their detached level of personal involvement somehow brings objectivity to their insights. They can be the most practical of the instinctual stackings.

Their issues usually revolve around demands made on their time. This can become problematic in personal relationships. This subtype has an ideal vision of what a close or romantic relationship should be, but given their concerns for protecting their space and time and lacking the instinctual drive of a strong sexual instinct, energy just doesn’t flow in that direction. Because this subtype is good at minimizing their needs they can get along fine with few relationships or without a romantic partner. With the social instinct second in the stacking, they generally do find friends or colleagues and they may even be married, but the need to maintain their own time to pursue their interests is always a point of contention.


This subtype, like the self-pres/social, is more typical of the depictions of type Five. The self-preservational instinct accentuates the self-contained, withdrawing tendencies of the Five. Fives of this subtype love their time alone with a passion, and pursue it more actively even than the other subtype of self-pres Five, although with the sexual instinct second, they often want to find time for intimates as well. On the down side, they have more disdain for people and little use for the social aspects of life. They want to be left alone or they want to share their inner world with their intimates. The intensity of the sexual instinct is reserved for their intimates and even there it is sporadic. The self-pres energy gives this subtype a solid foundation and some degree of practicality.

These Fives are conflicted when it comes to experiencing and expressing emotions. They usually default to emotional repression and to detached intellectual analysis. This is a dynamic common to all Fives, but with the self-pres/sexual instinctual stacking, the balance of these forces is pretty precarious and it seems as though the scales are being constantly adjusted one way or another. As the social instinct is the least developed, the social arena gets the drier more intellectual approach almost by default.


One might think that the energy of this subtype would be warmer and friendlier than that of the self-pres/social, but it doesn’t usually present that way. Because the social instinct is dominant, these Fives are much more aware of their role in the group. They are therefore more careful of their involvements with others. The social arena is more important and is invested with more energy, so these Fives will pull up faster and harder into self-pres mode if they should feel at all threatened. This will sometimes give others the impression of coldness. This subtype will center a lot of their intellectual interest around the workings of society, humanity or spirituality. This serves as their connection with people. By means of these abstract mental constructs, Fives of this subtype feel a sense of belonging socially, without having to be personally involved and invested. The healthier people of this subtype are, the more they are able to integrate their mental constructs with their actual experiences. They can really be content to adopt the role of “people watcher,” but they do it from a closer and closer perspective. Their blind spot revolves around the fact that they tend to convince themselves they can get along just fine in the observer role. It does feel safer to them. If they do have a few people relatively close to them, they can really strike a good balance between their need to withdraw and their need to connect to the larger social world.

This subtype could be seen as the most intellectual of type Five. The combination of the basic desire for knowing with the social instinct’s need to "fit in," makes people of this subtype want to find a niche as the expert. Their interest in structure, especially social structure, accentuates their natural inclination for acquiring knowledge. With the sexual instinct least developed, this subtype is in the position of having a strong pull towards understanding the workings of the world around them, without the emotional intensity of the sexual instinct setting up any distraction. These Fives fit the role of the scientist or professor quite well in this respect.


When reasonably healthy, people of this subtype can be very engaging (for a Five). They smile a lot and are often friendly. Their energy is quite different from the social/self-pres subtype because both the social and sexual energies push outwards, and so partly balance out some of the withdrawing tendencies of the Five. This doesn’t mean that people of this subtype are necessarily any healthier however. The outgoing energy is not the result of true integration to Eight but is the result of the compulsive pull of the instincts. People of this subtype are usually warm and when feeling secure are likely to let people in and even to initiate contact. When they feel insecure however, they can actually go to the other extreme and be very shy. For this reason, people of this subtype could easily be mistyped; those Fives who withdraw from social contact because of feelings of insecurity, might not seem like social subtypes at all. It might not be obvious that they actually very much desire contact. For people of this subtype, the social instinct actually works as a release value for the sexual component. When relaxed and comfortable with others, the sexual instinct can easily be seen.

People of this subtype are very aware of how they “fit in,” and also experience the sexual drive of wanting to connect with intimates. Like other social/sexual subtypes, they have the tendency to cultivate many relationships. They want to be liked by everyone, but being Fives they also tend to hold a part of themselves back for fear of rejection or of being overwhelmed by the demands of the relationship. This subtype of Five is more likely to fear rejection than the other subtypes of Five. Because both of the dominant instincts are focused on people, any failure in the realm of interpersonal relationships triggers a fear that there is no safety in the world. Personality systems like the Enneagram function as tool to help this subtype of Five to feel safe in the world. People of this subtype tend to think that the more they understand people, the less chance they have of being rejected. This tends to be a blind spot for people of this subtype as they don’t see that what will actually help them to become healthier is gaining more life experience. This will help them to see that their world will not come to an end with a little rejection.


This subtype has a lot in common the self-pres/sexual instinctual stacking. They experience many of the same internal conflicts surrounding relationships, the need for independence and emotional expression. The sexual/self-pres subtype differs however in being more intense, more counterphobic. They entertain more dark nihilistic ideas, ideas that most others don’t want to consider.

With this subtype, a lot of energy revolves around the issue of boundaries. Sexual/self-pres Fives tend to forge strong connections quickly and deeply, but if they feel betrayed, begin to feel overwhelmed, or if they feel that the connection doesn’t serve their true needs, can seem to cut the connection precipitously and “go cold.” They have high standards for significant others. They must feel that they can share their emotions with a significant other without being judged. This is their private world that they share. Relationships can be difficult, because individuals of this subtype will still want their own space and alone time, while at other times will want intense connection. Because the social instinct is least developed, this subtype is not very concerned with how others perceive them (except their intimates). This subtype is deceptive in that they may not seem to be especially intense - until they are engaged in a conversation they find interesting. Then the intensity and emotion become apparent. The internal struggle for this subtype is similar to that of the self-pres/sexual, but more energized and volatile, and getting to know this subtype means getting to know that.

When unhealthy, the energy of the sexual instinct can combine with the dominant type Five fixation to create a very impulsive Eight-like anger. The strength of their convictions can then come out quite forcefully.


This subtype is the most dramatic of the instinctual stackings of type Five. They are less concerned than the social/sexual subtype with social rejection, but take rejection from intimates very much to heart. They have a strong desire to express themselves, and can be the most Four-like of all the instinctual subtypes of type Five.

Not only do they have a strong desire to merge with a significant other, they also want to make their mark in the larger social sphere. The intensity, aggression, counterphobic stance and desire to connect deeply, all combine with the social instinct to produce a highly charged personality. This subtype can become quite accomplished if they are able to form an intimate connection with someone who will help ground them and provide them with a feeling of security. When Fives of this subtype feel a sense of safety due to healthy intimate relationships, they will want to share whatever knowledge, talent or insight they may have.

When unhealthy, this subtype can be very dark, pessimistic and the most confrontational of all the subtypes of Five. They can also become very arrogant.

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Type Six Stacks

The Instinctual Stackings of Enneatype Six


This subtype of Six is generally warm and friendly. The self-pres combines with the social instinct in such a way that the Six looks to find security in alliances. This type is the least counterphobic of the instinctual stackings of type Six. It's not so much that they can’t be counterphobic; it’s just not where they locate their security. They would rather feel comforted by the safety of like-minded individuals. Family and traditions are often very important to them. They can appear like enneatype One in their ability to get things done, their organizational style, their sense of duty, and their loyalty. This type is usually very independent and proactive when it comes to the details of life. They get things done before they become a problem. On the down side, they can become frozen with anxiety. This stacking is the most visibly anxious Six. They can exhaust themselves from worrying.

In relationships, when healthy, they are very loyal and trustworthy. The self-pres in the Six brings a focus on security. Security to the self-pres/social Six is generated by connections with other individuals or groups. These alliances with others foster a "going towards." This stance usually involves a testing of others to make sure that they are safe. Does the other person have the best interests of the Six at heart? They question other's intentions. It’s not generally an overt confrontational testing, but still, testing others is always an essential element in determining who becomes a trusted friend or romantic partner.


This type shares with the self-pres/social stacking the need to keep their environment in order. They also can appear One-like in that way. The differences revolve around the fact that they find their security more in their ability to attract a mate. They are concerned about how they are seen sexually. Their alliances to groups and authority can be quite conflicting. With the social instinct last in their stacking, this subtype can have a natural distrust of the social dynamic, especially when they fear it threatens their self-preservational concerns. The stance with regards to political or social concerns can vary wildly within this subtype. The self-pres is looking for safety and alliances with others, usually in a "going towards" fashion, but at the same time, the more assertive energy of the sexual instinct can manifest in a more counterphobic stance.

Their intimates are very important. Their issues with security are focused on their loved ones; their anxiety is closely tied to the pulse and feedback of the people closest to them. They are less outwardly fearful than the self-pres/social. While mainly phobic, their counterphobic nature shows in their sense of fun. They are drawn to intensity, and are likely to overcome fear in order to engage in adventures.(This is especially true with the Seven wing.)


This type appears One-like also, but for different reasons. This time, the social instinct combines with the self-pres to give this subtype a strong desire to know where they fit within the group, with whom they can make strong alliances. Conversely, they can counterphobicaly oppose groups. They are usually political in some form. Adhering to rules is seen as very important to this type. They have issues with authority, such as distrusting reactively or trusting too vehemently. This is the result of their lack of a close connection to people (a function of the undeveloped sexual instinct). Their allegiance is not to individuals but to a group of like-minded others. This subtype could possibly find themselves in jobs such as with the police of firefighting force, and in such professions where it is possible to identify with a group which has clearly defined rules and purposes. On the up side, these are people with a strong moral compass; they can be counted on to do the right thing. They do volunteer work. They become politicians. They are generally solid people. On the down side, their "us against them" thinking can turn into bigotry, paranoia, and "playing the martyr."

In relationships, they can appear almost Two-like sometimes. Their need for people in their lives, coupled with the sexual instinct being last, causes them to worry about the close bonds they have with others and can also cause them to "go towards" while at the same time requiring validation about the strength of the bond. On the down side, they can become very critical of others when they fear their differences. Their need to find security within the group is threatened when others don’t do things the way they do or think the way they think. This occurs mostly when this subtype is unhealthy. When they are healthier, the differences between themselves and others are not bothersome and may even be seen as reassuring.


This type can be very different from the other social type, because with this type, security comes from making alliances with individuals. Their weakness comes from their self-pres instinct being last, so they are not as independent as the self-pres/soc. They rely on key people in their lives when doubt sets in. Their security comes from maintaining close bonds. They fear rejection much more then the soc/self-pres. This softens the strong stances seen in the soc/self-pres, because the soc/sex doesn’t find its security in organizations and government. They go through life looking for the people they think will be able to direct them. On the down side, they can make individuals into their authority figures and rely too much on them. They are a lighter Six. They go with the flow more than the other subtypes. They are likely to use humor to charm people, but on the down side may whine and complain about their circumstances to garner support. When healthier, their charm, enthusiasm and curiosity are infectious. They are very loyal friends, although that can be said more or less about all reasonably healthy Sixes. But with the self-pres/soc and the soc/sex nothing much more then your support is required, for maintaining their friendship.


The sexual/self-pres Six is more concerned with strength, beauty and merging. With this stacking, the counterphobic energy is directed more toward individuals than towards ideas and concepts. It’s more about controlling the people closest to them. Paranoia arises when the Six feels abandoned by intimates. In the sexual/self-pres Six, doubt and anxiety is relieved by the knowledge that one's intimates really are trustworthy. These Sixes are always testing their mates for loyalty. The sexual Six is counterphobic in terms of needing to prove their desirability and strength.

This type is identified with their respective gender roles for security. They can be competitive and appear Eight-like. Male Sixes are likely to show strength as a form of counterphobia. Female Sixes are likely to emphasize their looks in order to be attractive. Security comes from knowing they are desirable. They can be very possessive of their mates. This can turn to extreme jealousy. On the down side, paranoia about the relationship can set in. The sexual/self-pres Six can appear Three-like, because of their need for validation and competitiveness.

On the high side, this subtype can be the most fiercely loyal to their friendships and to those loved ones who have gained their trust. The intensity of the sexual instinct brings with it a passion that is unwavering for the love and protection of their loved ones. The nature of the Six to "go towards," combined with the merging of the sexual instinct, can sometimes create an idealization of others, the ones that have passed the test of the Six. On the down side, the fear of losing the close relationship can cause this subtype to desperately lash out counterphobicaly.


The counterphobic stance of the sexual Six can be seen in competition for attracting the right mate, and in testing to see who is worthy of trust. This is true of both sexual subtypes and especially true of the sexual/social. This type is likely to be found quite commonly among actresses and actors as they tend towards a dramatic presentation. Their need to be identified with their desirability and their strong social instinct, combine to sometimes make them public figures. They are less possessive of their mates, but still feel the need to have control in the relationship. They can have a very focused intensity. They can appear Four-like in their desire to express themselves and give into their passions. They define themselves in accordance with the prevailing gender norms opting to appear masculine or feminine as the case may be. This outward energy is sometimes counterbalanced with inward doubting, which can lead to depression, anger, and acting out, at the lower levels of health.

Anxiety isn’t as noticeable with the sexual variant of type Six, especially when the self-pres instinct is last. The typical things we associate with anxiety aren’t obvious with this subtype. Their anxiety is focused in the arena of relationships, and since their stance is mostly counterphobic, anxiety is not always obvious, and the Six too might be unaware of its presence. This can be true of all the subtypes of type Six. Their anxiety exists at a core level so that Sixes don't always know how to gauge its existence. So, even the more visibly anxious subtypes might not be aware of their underlying anxiety. The sexual/social can appear Eight-like, in their defense of their loved ones and social standing.

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Type Seven Stacks

The Instinctual Stackings of Enneatype Seven

The instinctual energies often appear to manifest differently in enneatype Seven, but the underlying structure really is the same as with any other type. The Seven fixation results in a running away from the internal, away from boredom or pain. Sevens go towards the external world for relief. While the self-pres energy is an inward turning energy, when coupled with the Seven’s outward orientation, the self-pres subtype of Seven can appear outgoing, and more fun loving than other self-pres subtypes.

Social seven tends to exhibit a nervous energy compared to the other subtypes of Seven while a dominant sexual instinct often accentuates the outward energy of the Seven in terms of a seeking after intensity.


Self-pres/soc Seven has many friends and loves to entertain. Sevens want to experience life with their friends. The self-pres in type Seven manifests in a desire for sensual pleasures. Their energy goes to the comforts of the body and positive experiences, both experiences of the body and the mind. Like all Sevens, they have an enthusiastic quality, especially as it pertains to the future. Making plans for life is essential for the self-pres/social Seven. This future orientation of the self/social Seven can be an escape from boredom, so many of the plans they make for the future don’t come to fruition. This doesn’t stop them however from forging ahead and moving onto the next grand scheme. The self-pres/social Seven’s plans usually focus around typical self-pres concerns such as making money, exploring job opportunities, or renovating the house. With social second in the stacking much of their energy will spill over into maintaining social connections.

When unhealthier, their many friendships serve mostly as tools which help keep the Seven distracted from facing themselves and their problems. The more friends, the more opportunities the Seven has to be distracted. These Sevens can have a hard time making or keeping commitments, as commitments can feel like a limitation on their options. With the sexual instinct least developed, they can feel unmotivated to put in the work it takes to maintain a close relationship.

When this subtype gets healthier they learn to ground themselves, slow down and actually appreciate the many things they have acquired, whether they be material things or experiences. They start to realize that the next great plan may not give them the happiness they are expecting.


This subtype is similar to the self-pres/social, but their plans and pursuits are more passionate in nature. There is often more of an artistic flair. They can be moodier then the other subtype. Their focus is more on relationships, although commitment can also be a problem for this subtype. This subtype can even be known to use introspection as an escape. They can go inward with a seeming depth, but they will usually avoid the most troublesome areas, the areas and characteristics most painful to them.

This subtype of Seven is overall more focused than the self-pres/social. Their focus is on their intimates although certainly not solely on them as they usually have many other fires burning also. They generally have a great sense of humor, sharp quick minds and many interests. These qualities might be common to all subtypes of the Seven, but in the self-pres/sexual subtype, the infusion of enthusiasm comes through when they are engaged in their plans and fulfilling them.


Enneatype Seven is a mentally fixated type, with image focus generally underdeveloped. For the social Seven, the concern with issues of image and relation to the group is somewhat at odds with dominant type Seven fixation. This can result in some apparently conflicting behaviors in the social/self-pres Seven. There is an underlying sense of insecurity and anxiety that isn’t as apparent in the other subtypes of Seven which is especially noticeable with the Six wing. (These can even become quite needy when unbalanced.) With sexual instinct least developed, they can lose trust in the bonds they have. While they may be very good and comfortable in a large group and when dealing with surface social relationships, they sometimes can struggle with forming and maintaining connections in a closer relationship.

The self-pres backup for the social instinct adds a grounding force that is missing with the social/sexual. While still possessing a good sense of humor, this subtype also usually has more focus and follow-through when it comes to their many projects. On the high side, they are community minded, have a lot of energy and usually socially accomplished.


This Seven has a lot of energy although not always a productive energy, as it often contains a frenetic quality. These Sevens usually have a great sense of humor and many comedians are soc/sexual sevens. The social and sexual instincts go hand in hand with the type Seven fixation. These Sevens want to keep things light. They have fast sharp minds that incorporate social awareness into their humor which they use to get by in their interactions with the world. On the down side, commitment is a big issue for this subtype. They cultivate many friendships and can thrive on winning people over, making them laugh and entertaining them but intimacy can feel threatening and constraining. For others, interacting with this subtype of Seven can feel draining, because they are “on” so much of the time.

With the self-pres instinct least developed in the stacking, they tend to lose focus on their many plans. On the down side, their health and commitments can fall by the wayside in lieu of the buzz of the newest excitement.

In intimate relationships, this subtype is “the charmer,” but they maintain their freedom from any strong ties to the one person. They may end up in marriages or long term commitments where they hook up with someone reliable and stable, someone with a much more low key personality. This gives them the stability they don’t have themselves. This eventually leads to trouble if the soc/sexual seven doesn’t realize that responsibility for his or her own life can’t be transferred to another. It’s not that the soc/sexual goes into the relationship with this kind of pattern in mind. It is just easy for the dynamic to default to that dynamic.


The energy of the sexual instinct is, in some ways, at odds with the type Seven fixation. The Seven’s focus is future oriented and outward, away from the inner world, while the sexual variant is instinctual and dwells on the inner self as far as relationships and identity are concerned. This combination can make for a Seven that can be Four-like in many ways. They can have a flamboyant style and be very moody and intense. In relationships, there is often a push-pull quality. They are very attracted to the falling in love part. The buzz and high of that is very stimulating to them, almost drug-like for them. Their problems come when that buzz wears off. They want to recreate it again and again, but they also have a way of becoming attached and sometimes very dependent on their romantic partners. On the down side, they can be very clingy but don’t want at the same time to lose their freedom. When unhealthy, they can be very selfish in these relationships, things become one-sided in a way that favors the interests of the Seven.

The sexual/self-pres Seven’s addictive behavior with relationships can extend to other areas, like music, and performing in general. The rock star image and lifestyle can be attractive to the sexual Seven. Many rock stars are sexual Sevens the buzz they experience from music can be similar to what they experience in relationships. Creativity can also function as a release of frustration from the boredom.


This subtype has a lot of energy, crazy, intense energy and this energy is going to find a way to manifest. This subtype of Seven can have the biggest extremes in behavior and with material success in life. With the self-pres instinct last in the stacking they aren’t afraid of taking risks, so they sometimes become very successful, as in the case of rock stars, but they typically also take too many risks, look for too many easy ways out. With the self-pres least developed, they can become dependent on others to add a much needed stabilizing element to their busy hedonistic lives. They have many of the same issues and share many of the same problems as the other sexual first subtype with regards to relationship addiction and have even more dependency issues then the sexual/self-pres. They can lose focus and drift similar to the social/sexual subtype and their high energy can likewise be draining for others.

With this subtype, you have drama mixed with mental energy. What separates them from Fours who they might resemble superficially is their planning and future orientation. Their drama and intensity is focused on what they are going to do, not on what has happened. They are usually blind to their past, moving forward and not looking back.

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Type Eight Stacks

The Instinctual Stackings of Enneatype Eight

Each of the instincts of enneatype Eight are amplified and manifest without conflict with the main enneatype. The Eight is an instinctual type and the variants are instinctual energies. You see what you get. A self-pres Eight takes care of their self-pres needs. A social Eight is social and issues of control extend to their circle of influence. The sexual instinct gets amplified also. The lust of the Eight is best exemplified in the sexual Eight.


Self-pres/soc Eights are very self reliant. They are frequently entrepreneurial; the self-preservational instinct combines with the social to make a subtype that is very focused on the external environment. Self-pres/social Eights are the least dramatic of type Eight. They are "no nonsense" types. They can be introverted, especially when the Nine wing is dominant. But, even though they are often quiet, they are very much in control of themselves and their direction in life. On the high side, they make great business owners. They show a sense of fairness and have an instinctual drive to do what needs to be done. They know how to make decisions and aren’t afraid to implement them. Because the sexual instinct is last, they can sometimes be seen as difficult to warm up to. They can be seen as "all business."

This type has a tendency to see relationships as somehow "getting in the way." While they may desire a close romantic relationship, they don't want it if it is at the expense of their self-pres needs. They can appear Five-like in this way, as they are concerned about the demands a relationship might make on their time.


This subtype is more fiery and impulsive. They still have the "no nonsense" approach to life, along with the "can do" attitude, but they exhibit more outward energy. Because the self-preservational instinct and the sexual instinct are in conflict, the one pulling in and the other pushing forward, they often have more of an on-off quality to them. But you will know where you stand with a self-pres/sexual Eight. Although their outward energy is in contrast to their inward self-pres energy, they have a very focused attitude in the areas of life in which the two energies coincide, such as the realm of family and close friendship, those things they are really passionate about. Their control over their intimate life will be noticeable. With the social instinct last in the instinctual stacking, this subtype can be blunt and confrontational with people who aren't in their inner circle.

The self-pres/sexual Eight feels very independent. They feel as though they need no one outside of the few people they are close to. On the down side, they have a tendendcy to distrust people and tend to challenge them to see where they stand. When healthier, they realize there is sometimes a greater strength in adopting a softer approach.


This subtype generally has a larger sphere of influence, although they might still be very entrepreneurial. They are likely to be more socially minded then the other subtypes of Eight. They are more aware of group dynamics. The social instinct, when combined with the type Eight fixation, causes an exagerrated awareness of whoever is in control. This often leads these Eights to get involved in politics, or to rise to levels of leadership within their place of business, or within their social organizations. They are also just as likely to oppose the group or the person in charge of it. The self-pres instinct combines with the social to give this subtype a "can do" approach to life, similar to that of the self-pres/soc. The difference is that their scope of interests extends further into the social arena. The soc/self-pres Eight, when unhealthy, can use their awareness of power realtions to abuse whatever power they might have.


This subtype is a very charismatic. They have a very assertive energy and they demand attention. The lust of the Eight combines with the sexual instinct to make one of the most fiery of the combinations of all of the enneatypes, especially if Seven is the dominant wing. Sexual/self-pres Eights aren’t afraid to tell you what they think. The "can do" attitude that the other subtypes have is now intertwined with an outward passionate storm of energy. The sexual/self-pres Eight will be similar to the self-pres/sex Eight with respect to interests and attachment to close friends and family, but the intensity level is augmented. Since the sexual instinct is first, these Eights usually don't let an opportunity pass by to connect with those they find interesting. They can sense the power in any situation and they like to challenge people. They can enjoy making others react to them, keeping others on their toes, to find out what makes them tick. They are likely to use humor to accomplish this. When sex/self-pres Eights are unbalanced, they are very quick to anger and have a difficult time controlling their impulses.


This subtype of Eight comes across a little softer then the sexual first subtypes. The social instinct combines with the sexual to make a subtype that is very aware of interpersonal dynamics. Like the social/self-pres Eight, they are less concerned with group dynamics. The social/sexual is more talkative, and if the Seven wing is dominant, may even be mistaken for a Seven. This subtype usually has a wide circle of friends. They can be very charismatic also, using humor to charm people. On the down side, they can use their interpersonal awareness to con people.

This subtype, largely because the self-preservational instinct is last, may be the least entrepreneurial of the instinctual subtypes of type Eight. The lust for life manifests through connection to others. On the high side, their awareness of the social dynamic makes them very charismatic. On the down side, it can make them overly aware of issues involving control. They are especially sensitive to any hint that others may be trying to control them, but they may misuse power themselves.


This subtype of Eight manifests as the alpha male and alpha female. They demand everyone's attention, and usually get it. They can be very charismatic. The assertive energy of the Eight combines with the assertive energy of the sexual instinct. With the self-preservational instinct least developed, this subtype has a lot of extroverted energy. This type isn’t afraid to go after what they want in life. The fixation on lust and the emphasis on control combine with great intensisty. At times, it’s almost as if their energy gets ahead of them, which can cause problems. They often have a vision of the future, but they have their blind spots too. They can harness a tremendous amount of energy for change, but at the same time be unaware of the fallout they might encounter because of their sometimes excessive self-assertion.

6,540 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Type Nine Stacks

The Instinctual Stackings of Enneatype Nine

Enneatype Nines are out of touch with the instinctual center. Because Nines are of touch with their instinctual energy they have a very conflicted relationship to the expression of the various instincts.

This subtype is the most self-effacing of type Nine, possibly the least assertive of all the enneagram types. They can feel as though they have been looked over and passed by. While they do desire attention and recognition, with the sexual instinct last in the stacking, they seldom actively pursue it. They feel as though it’s just not worth it. This subtype is usually very deliberate and methodical in their speech. They sometimes get frustrated because they don’t feel that they can say what they really want to say. They are therefore often very short and concise with their communication, not wanting to provoke any confrontation. But when given a chance and the time to express themselves, they can be quite talkative. While self-pres needs are important to this type, the fact that they are essentially Nines, sometimes causes them to put the needs of others before their own. When under stress, this type is likely to do busy work, anything that distracts them from their problems.

In relationships, the self-pres instinct combines with the merging qualities of the Nine to make a person committed and connected strongly in areas of security, home and other practical matters. They merge their environment with their loved ones. On the down side, this subtype can be passive-aggressive and withdraw under stress, holding back affection. They could possibly go long periods of time without talking to their spouse directly.


This subtype is self-effacing also, but is generally more assertive. They may be the subtype of Nine which is most aware of the boundaries between themselves and others and at the same time, possibly the most frustrated when those boundaries are violated. They can be aware of being walked over and they might even be aware of the anger it causes, but they become frustrated with their seeming inability to control this pattern. This is true, to some degree, of all Nines, but with the self-pres/sexual instinctual stacking, there seems to be a complex and interesting balance between the withdrawing energy caused by the dominant self-pres instinct and the assertive energy of the sexual instinct. This combination seems to raise consciousness of this dynamic.

Getting healthy for this subtype, and for all Nines, involves becoming aware of this dynamic and realizing they do have the power to control their boundaries. Part of this must come from the realization on the part of the Nine that they have invited this overstepping of their boundaries from others by not defining them.
Close relationships will usually work or not for this subtype depending on how well they deal with this issue.


Social Nines feel the need for validation and for "fitting in" but they feel these indirectly. They move towards others in a way which can resemble Twos, but they are motivated by a desire to initiate and maintain contact without provoking conflict. On the high side, the social/self-pres Nine generally knows a lot of people and gets along with most everyone. They are helpful people who generally have a great sense of humor. They get involved with the social environment. They might be the soccer coach, or if politically inclined, they might join and participate in a political party. When in leadership roles, they lead by consensus and charm. Their skill is in conflict management. With the sexual instinct last, they tend to avoid intensity, but they are actively involved with people.

Intimate relationships might be frustrating for the partner of this subtype of Nine because the Nine's social engagements might make the partner feel as though the Nine is connected with everyone except them. Sometimes this subtype can use their social connections in a passive-aggressive way against the partner; they might withhold attention from the partner in lieu of spending time with friends.


This subtype is "everyone’s friend." The social/sexual energy combines with the Nine's merging tendency and conflict avoidance to create a subtype that is very charming and uses humor quite extensively to engage with the people in their lives. On the down side, they can be frustrating because they can easily lose focus when it comes to their life priorities. With the self-pres instinct last in the stacking, they have a hard time tending to their own needs. They drift, and tend to use their charm to get a lot of their self-pres needs met by the people in their lives. When the Eight wing is dominant, they sometimes even develop a sense of entitlement, though they are just as likely to return help to those they charm into helping them.

In relationships, this subtype can suffer from some of the same problems as the other social subtype. They usually fall into a relationship in which the partner pushes them to "do more" with their lives. This can be positive for both parties, but often ends up causing resentment to build for both partners.


The energy of the sexual instinct is at odds with the dominant type Nine energy and makes for a conflicted subtype. These Nines can appear to have a stronger connection to Three, for this reason. The assertive fiery energy engages in a constant push-pull with the calm peace-seeking energy of the Nine. This subtype can have an intense relationship with their environment. They are often drawn to solo sports or to an active engagement with nature that involves some risk and exertion. These Nines are drawn to peak experiences. They might enjoy outdoor solo sports or engaging in nature by way of hiking, rock climbing etc.

With the social instinct last in the stacking, there can be an on/off quality when it comes to relating and these Nines are often somewhat moodier than the other subtypes. As with the self-pres/sexual, this subtype might not engage socially with the same smoothness as other subtypes of Nine. They seem to go towards others in a staccato fashion - they connect in bursts, then withdraw.

When it comes to intimate relationships, this subtype can be needy. The merging of the Nine combines with the intensity of the sexual instinct to create a subtype that will always be in danger of losing themselves in a relationship. Their boundaries for themselves and their partner can become blurred which can lead to conflicts. This subtype might have a hard time judging clearly the degree to which they have merged.


This subtype of Nine may appear least like a stereotypical Nine because the outward sexual and social energies obscure some of the withdrawing and "zoning out" tendencies of the Nine. These Nines are the most connected and assertive of the subtypes of Nine, especially when it comes to relationships. There is still some internal struggle, as with the sexual/self-pres, but overall there is less of a tendency to withdraw. With the self-pres instinct last, this subtype can neglect self-preservational needs in favor of the intensity of their sexual instinct's pursuits. Individuals of this subtype could easily be mistaken for the dominant wing, because the sexual energy tends to flow in a manner similar to the energy of the wing. A Nine with a One wing would therefore appear more One-like and a Nine with Eight might be mistaken for an Eight.

The central conflict for these Nines will still be in the realm of close intimate relationships and these Nines will have many of the same issues and challenges as the sexual/self-pres Nines.

5w4 9w8 2w1 Sx/Sp INTJ ESI
10,836 Posts
Maybe I might be able to figure this out now. :)
I pretty much carpet thanked you before starting to read more than the intro,
but it seemed well deserved.
Bookmarked for lonely nights of self-doubt. XD
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6,540 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Naranjo Subtypes Descriptions

Enneagram One

Self-Preservation: Worry. Obsession about details, about getting it right, fussy someone who never
ceases to check and double-check ("Will enough people come to the banquet?" "Will the car have
enough gas?"). Covert anger, covert death wishes (e.g., if your son is late, anger gets translated by
reaction formation into "I was so concerned!").

Sexual: Zeal. In Spanish, "zeal" means "the animal in heat." The most free of the One subtypes. A
passion for being a righteous person (vs. getting it right or being right). Translates into the attempt to be
perfect "so I will be loved by Mommy or by someone else." A passion to think right in order to give
brilliance to your being. Sex with a little invasive anger; may have sadistic fantasies. More Eight-like.
Martin Luther historically broke through the belief in God's good work. "Good works are not enough... you
have to believe and have faith." He studied day and night, came from a very poor background and had
habits of austerity.

Social: The term Nonadaptation has been used, but I prefer Rigidity, although it's disadvantageous in that
it doesn't make us think of a "passion." A kind of inertia of your own "way," e.g., the Englishman taking
tea in Colonial India with the little finger lifted, and a disrespect for Indian tradition, "bringing civilization
to these "savages." A very narrow endorsement of your own values. Like the minister in Hawaii who
wants to teach the Hawaiians their ways are sinful. Self-righteousness. The Inquisition had a lot of Ones
(and Sixes). A passion for being right ("I'm right and you're wrong"). More externally punitive.

Enneagram Two

Self-Preservation: Egocentric ("Me first"). Infantile, like a child ("I am the most important thing"). It's not
power, but the child's feeling of being privileged; e.g., the wife in David Copperfield who didn't know how
to pay the maid, who put bells on the dog, and the Accounts book ended up in the dog's house. ("Please
don't get angry with me, I only wanted to help!"). Ineffective help. Not wanting to grow up. Too soft, too
much needing protection. A Four-ish Two. More openly dependent. Their pride resides as a child in
"being the favorite in Daddy's or Mommy's eyes."

Sexual: Seduction (also called Invincibility or Conquest). Every Two is seductive in one way or the other,
but this subtype is the specialist. Life becomes focused on success in seducing. A woman of this subtype
can lead a man around by the nose, even an Eight male. More imaginative, more original, shows a
seeming independence; dependent in the moment of bonding, but more Eight-ish, wild, creative,
adventuresome, quick to detach if not loved. "Femme Fatale." They "eat up" what they want. Casanova
once seduced someone in jail through the bars, once someone passing on the street, but he could never
get interested in a relationship beyond a few days. He was not interested in the person, he was interested
in the process of seduction. Collecting conquests, as if an insecurity about himself led him to prove it
again and again. "I am because I fuck!" The sexual element of the Two needs an element of freedom.
So Casanova was an adventurer; he tricked people with money, was a speculator, con man (e.g., old

Social: Ambition. The most pushy of Twos, like the Prestige Three. Egocentric in a completely different
way, seduction through achievement or semblance of achievement, focus on power, More
propagandizing (where the Three is more sharp, witty), more flamboyant, makes more claims. A little
colder, not so warm as the other Two subtypes.

Enneagram Three

Self-Preservation: Security. In their obsession for security they make themselves sure of themselves.
These Threes are too sure of themselves. They reject the experience of insecurity. They seem to be
there may be a sexual issue but beneath it is a search for security. Very cautious. Over-confident, the
image of the person who "has it all together." The first time I saw this type I was in bed with a married
woman whose husband came home and began to walk along the corridor toward the room, and she said,
"Take it easy, he never comes into this room" and I was surprised she could be so at ease.

Sexual: Masculinity/Femininity. Sex appeal, attractive image (more a physical image). The man is
"strong" but not the same strength of impulse, more "looking" rough, like the Marlboro Man. As if the
more the person is dependent on the image or identifies with the image, the less freedom there is to be
something else; e.g., being so attached to lipstick you could not go out on the street without it. Because
of the connection with the Six Strength and Beauty subtype, those issues will show up also. Seeks to be
attractive to the other.

Social: Prestige. Here you might say that prestige is the wish that your values are acknowledged, seen,
recognized. That's normal; every child has a need for his or her value to be seen; if there's a wound there
so that would develop into a passion, vanity is a distortion. It's not only driving you because you have to
work for love, but that you are pursuing values that are not your own values; e.g., in societies where "fat"
women are more marriageable. The Little Prince said, "Grown-ups always ask 'How much money do you
make?' They never ask 'Do you like butterflies?'" Seeking to be attractive to the whole world
(conspicuous consumption). If you spend enough you will be known as a rich person, a successful
person. Attracts more money—money is tied to "reputation." It is said of Jacque Onassis that her G-spot
was in the shopping mall! Another woman at a furrier's trying on a mink coat and saying, "Don't you have
another coat? This one is below my means."

Enneagram Four

Self-Preservation: Tenacious. Different from other Fours (who are very oral in their drive to get
something good from the outside). More self-sacrificing, more self-contained. A denial of envy, trouble
finding envy in themselves, partly because of the descriptions in vogue when the Enneagram first
became known. So afraid of dependency, of being hurt, they become counterdependent, autonomous.
Self-demanding ("No matter what it may cost..."). Instead of demanding from the outside world, they
demand from themselves. Self-devouring; they can turn on themselves with cruelty—"I'll make myself do
it!" Van Gogh is an example. His painting became a kind of religion and he chose a life of great poverty
"for his art." He sold one painting in his lifetime, yet recently the Sunflower sold for $54 million. (Gaugin
was an Eight.) This subtype doesn't play the victim; volunteers as martyr without exhibiting it, more of a

Sexual: Competition (Hate). Competitive anger ("I want that, too!"). Where the Social Four makes
comparisons and feels "little," the Sexual Four experiences envy in the sense of denying their inferiority
("I should have it. It's unfair that I don't!") An arrogant position, a covering up a little bit like the Two
covering up their Four connection; e.g., Baudelaire's mother remarried when he was eight years old and
he made such a fuss about being replaced by a stepfather that he ended up being put out on the streets.
His position was always demanding and arrogant. He transformed the feeling of misunderstood genius
into art in his poetry. Angry envy. The word "envy" in Latin has to do with vision, with seeing, with the
"evil eye," wanting something bad to happen to the enemy. "Borderline 3 Personality" describes the
sense of what we'd call a Sexual Four. Very intensely desiring. You want something so much you push
until you are rejected. You have so much desire to be accepted you act invasively. The fantasy that you
would be rejected leads to the very behavior that gets you rejected.

Social: Shame. Social Fours develop mechanisms for calling negative attention to themselves. The
shyest of the Four subtypes. There's a shame about desiring, about "loving." Proust is filled with the
Social envy of the person dazzled by the "aristocracy," who has a passion for being "in", who wants to be
included, to receive their favors. A feeling of "I'm nothing," "I'm ugly," "I'm silly." Fours in general want to
absorb through their gaze, but this is especially true for the Social Four.

Enneagram Five

Self-Preservation: Lair. Metaphorically, hiding inside a cave or castle with thick walls, creating a private
space. More sadness, more suffering, more yearning, more nostalgia. Hidden because of inability to
confront, not wanting to show their non-social side. Rebellious. Wanting to be private, not knowing what
to say, not able to "flow." Shy, socially awkward. The most avoidant. Disconnected from the body. A kind
of zombie obedience. Anger is perceived subliminally as something "dirty" (Fives have issues in general
with anger). Misanthropy, generalized disdain of ordinary mortals. The Unibomber. Fives that have come
to power and become cruel. The Roman Emperor Iberius might have been a Self-Preservation Five. He
chose not to live in Rome but on an island on the river. He was fond of torturing people and liked to be
present at the torture.

Sexual: Confidence (passion to confide). Looks for the ultimate in another person. A little more assertive
and with more feeling than other Fives. Chopin was verbally curtailed and prone to feeling oppressed by
social gatherings and by the only relationship with a woman in his life. He almost couldn't "take" any
relationship, but there was an outpouring in his music. Someone who puts own self into animals, into
activity (e.g., Najinsky). (Tells story of female Five in a workshop who wanted him to work with her but
Naranjo was exhausted; she said "Maybe one of these nights we could go for a walk in the moonlight,"
like an excess of confidence in a specific person: "This person has to be somebody who cares so much
for me that I become the one and I'm confident in that relationship.")

Social: Totem. Quite cold. Overidealization of persons as being after super-human things, beyond heroworship—
may be ideas, systems (not just people)—searching for the absolute. Sometimes they think
they may be Threes because of the impoverishment. Searching for the Absolute (e.g., Philosopher's

Enneagram Six

Self-Preservation: Warmth (harmless). Very soft, "See how nice I am?" Like an animal showing its soft
underbelly, "I'm no threat." Completely the opposite of Strength and Beauty; here it's based on
convincing the other, "I'm completely unarmed, very soft, so you can drop your own arms." "I don't bite,
so you don't have to bite me." "I'm completely harmless." To show that you are harmless, you have to
bottle up a lot of anger, to seek someone who can protect you. There are polarities of strength and
weakness, although you don't speak of "weakness," you speak of life as an exchange of affection. (Points
to Six in the group who is always smiling and says, "Your face says, 'See how nice I am?'")

Sexual: Strength and Beauty. The strength is a strength of impulse, a knowledge that if sexual life is
going to operate there has to be some kind of voltage, and let's say that fear is interfering with that
process. It's as if there would be compensation. A drive to make it unfold, as if fear were not there. A
"push" forward as if "You're not going to hold me back!" "Counterphobic" is an alternative term for
Strength and Beauty. They might be body builders, but women can be just as strong as men. There
might be an ability to stand by one's ideals or being confrontive with an element of moral integrity. But
even the men have a thing about "beauty" – the word for "beauty" in the Latin language is bellum, which
comes from war - so it has something to do with aggression, passion about beauty; e.g., Michaelangelo
was a counterphobic Six who would speak up, not let himself be bossed around. (Tells story of female
friend who is an analyst and who said to a taxi driver, "Slower please!" and Naranjo remarked "You have
more authority than I" because there was command in her statement. He commented "I'm shyer than you
are," and she replied "It's not courage, it's panic.") The kind of strength that Pop-Eye has with spinach is
a natural instinct that’s "boosted," an element of intention that has become automatic. Very strong
people, powerful men and women who typically don't have a very happy sex life. They can be abrasive
but underneath shy and sensitive and not very fulfilled in relationships. Here, you harm yourself by
developing your physical muscles or your psychological "muscles" in your capacity to intimidate—a kind
of bulldog. For the sexual Six "the best defense is aggression." The real courage is to drop the fire-arms,
to develop more of the "wisdom of insecurity," to be able to say "I'm scared."

Social: Duty. This subtype is about being protected, being in a warm environment, which is a different
strategy from Strength and Beauty. In being a Social Six, you need rules and you become too dependent
on rules. The world is your stage, the rules are universal. This subtype is sometimes called "dutiful," but
is really not very dutiful; it brings up so much rebellion and sometimes they pretend to be much more
dutiful than they are. It's only the driven quality that's experienced as a super-ego. It's authority based on
a system. “Hitler’s henchmen.”

Enneagram Seven

Family (doesn't need to be "blood" family). Very earthy, sensuous, focused on tastes,
colors, tactile stimulation; a little cynical like the Eight, not so gullible; counting on one another is
important; very tender, family man. Pain is not felt directly; transforms shit to cream (then might say,
"Not enough cream!"). More for oneself, more opportunistic. Good at business. Epicurean (also applies a
little bit to the Social subtype). A bit more selfish. (Tells story of man who put ads in the papers in France
offering financial advice for widows at a time when it was difficult for women to invest, when they were
required to have a lawyer or some mediation. This man offered his "fatherly" service and a little
romance, took them to his country house, then poisoned them, cut them into pieces and burned them.
He was a very respected, law-abiding citizen, who "only did it to get money for my childrens' education.")

Sexual: Suggestibility. More extraterrestrial; actually not very sexual—more poetic, more the dreamer.
The "charmed charmer." Prestidigitator. More narcissistic. Like being in love, more enthusiastic
("Tomorrow my enthusiasm might take me in another direction"), mania. Not so much into pleasures of
this world, more extraterrestrial. May not be very sexual in the literal sense.

Social: Service. More ambitious, Six-ish, willing to accept limitations in service of recognition; also very
helpful/giving of love in search of recognition; sweetness in exchange for service. Creating an imaginary
"perfectionism" (Dickens almost killed himself with hard work). "Good people," do-gooders. Echoes the
Two a bit, "seducing" the world. A bit of an Epicurean, a sense of sensationalism (Walt Whitman).
Monkey mind.

Enneagram Eight

Self-Preservation: Satisfaction. Less known about this subtype because they don't want to talk about it.
More Machiavellian. You do what you need to do to get what you want. More anti-social. Great desire for
privacy, more Five-ish, less feeling. More contained, less visible as an Eight.

Sexual: Possession/Obsession. Very angry and dramatic. More emotional, hysterical, in the broader
sense (more bravado). The will to take hold of the other and make them do what you want, tyrannical;
passion for possession and surrender (like the Praying Mantis). "Going whole hog including the postage,"
full involvement, more "sadistic." More angry, more liking to humiliate or insult, sometimes to cause
suffering (e.g., Stalin or Hussein).

Social: Complicity (friendship without judgment). Easy to confuse with counterphobic Six, but more
body/motor focused (where the Six in more "in the head'). Harder to recognize, not apparently angry but
very friendly. Key element = "accompliceship" or survival through alliance. More "narcissistic."
Seductiveness makes it possible to be an Eight in the world. Overwhelms out of selfishness,

Enneagram Nine

Self-Preservation: Appetite. The "heavy" ones. Feel heavy, may take a lot to fill a void. Serves sloth
through appetite, but "eating" of a different order (obesity can be a drive, a passion; e.g., Sancho Panza).
Fusion with own body where yearning for affection, "doing without" is somaticized. Very concrete,
interested in concrete things (e.g., a piece of land). "I eat (or "I shop" or "I collect"), therefore I am."
Yearning for love turns into something wider than just eating, like "having" instead of "being." More
aggressive, but doesn't know it (steam roller). Can be invasive, talkative ("epic tale"), can smother out of
need to give. Merges with things—environment, pets, etc. In spite of the Nine being so generous, it's still
this concreteness where value resides—just wants to breathe!

Sexual: Union. The "weak" ones. The most tender of the Nine subtypes. Becomes conscious of self
through the other, finds "being" through the other (merges with one person). Confluence, fusion with
mother; with others can become unconscious of the fusion; symbiosis (living too much through the
other), confusion (real contact would be awareness of differences). "Steam-rolled." Not original instinctual
situation where at a literal level it's a coming together in a healthy way; a "mockery" of togetherness vs.
coming together out of individuation.

Social: Participation. Here are the gregarious Nines. "Union", but with a group—family, team,
organization, nation, humankind. Undeveloped, very provincial, narrow view—a kind of "peasant"
mentality. (The Social Six is more a hero-worshiper, more hierarchical.) Merges with group, not in
contact with own being; deriving sense of being not from contact with own being but through feeling the
value of the group you're in.. ("As an individual, I'm nothing, but as a group I'm very powerful.") A little
movement seems like a lot.

N.B. Naranjo and RH's approach to instinctual variants (which Narano terms Subtypes) are clearly not identical. I will touch upon this in the next segment. I'll address the differences between the two, and I'll comment further on how the subtypes/variants form an essential element of the ego-defense system.

4,790 Posts
I keep (idly) wondering if I have a different stacking, the likely being sp/so, but the soc blind spot sounds exactly like me, every part of it. The only thing is the "lone wolf" part, which I've developed a bit of a flexibility to and my 6w7 core modifies a little. (For example, I cooperate well when I feel comfortable / respected, but I go off on my own so often that other people ask if I have a secret project or something.)
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.
The sp/so description(s) didn't sound much like me, but the sp/sx one(s) did. All of Naranjo's head-type SP descriptions (so 5sp, 6sp, and 7sp) sound very like me, but I think 5sp is closer to my outward "depressive / stressed state." Normally I'm very much 6sp with a tiny flavoring of sx.

Thanks, @Boss :proud:

The Doer King
13,681 Posts
This is awesome and very helpful. According to this I ought to be sx/so, not sx/sp as I previously thought.
Let me know when you want it sticked
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