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Discussion Starter #24 (Edited)
I'll see if I can find the Beatrice Chestnut notes on the 27 subtypes. Here's her Soundcloud.

I'll post the Naranjo/RH distinction on variants/subtypes here when I am free.
 

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Whoops, time to question my stacking again. The sp/sx general description fits me more than the general, but the sx/sp three description fits me better than the sp/sx three. Definitely don't relate to the masculinity/femininity thing said about sx-dom threes, though. Hm. Well, that's still two points for sp/sx and only one for sx/sp. Stackings are complicated.
 

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Whoops, time to question my stacking again. The sp/sx general description fits me more than the general, but the sx/sp three description fits me better than the sp/sx three. Definitely don't relate to the masculinity/femininity thing said about sx-dom threes, though. Hm. Well, that's still two points for sp/sx and only one for sx/sp. Stackings are complicated.
Don't put too much stock into the descriptions particular to every enneatype, they're usually behavioral, vague, and not necessarily true. I don't take them too seriously, personally.

I advise you to put more importance into the general theory behind the stackings instead :)
 

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Discussion Starter #27
General Typing Guidelines

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Don't put too much stock into the descriptions particular to every enneatype, they're usually behavioral, vague, and not necessarily true. I don't take them too seriously, personally.

I advise you to put more importance into the general theory behind the stackings instead :)
Exactly. I have stated it in the OP clearly.

1) Reading stacking+type descriptions is among the major causes for mistyping. I agree with RH when they say that it's important to understand the instincts separately, which is why I quoted them in the OP.

2) It's just as important to understand the theoretical nuances of the 1. instincts independent of type 2. type + instinct interaction 3. stackings and type, in that order.

3) If I look at the stacks+type descriptions for self typing, I'd relate to 8 sp/sx, 5 sx/so and so on. It doesn't matter. The point is to thoroughly understand the theory and apply it in the order described.

For example, @Lotan, you have to identify your dominant instinct correctly, first. Work on what each instinct signifies and how it manifests in dominant , secondary and blind spot positions. A type's passion plays out in the area of the dominant instinct. It can be the hardest to identify, for some people. It will take a lot of introspection, and you'll have to focus more on the theory presented in First Four parts of the article. The Stack Descriptions are secondary.They only provide a brief and general overview and are not typing tools by themselves.


4) Also, Naranjo's brief Subtype descriptions shared earlier shouldn't be taken to be written in stone or , strictly, as typing tools. They're more suited for advanced Enneagram users who have been studying the system for a while and are able to cross check various interpretations. Naranjo and RH have adifferent approach to the instincts. The descriptions I shared are from an older conference. Naranjo has since updated them in his newly published book on the 27 subtypes.
 

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Russ said that you act out the passion of the type in the dominant instinct.
You’re cynical in the domain of your blind spot.
Anyone wanna take a shot at this? :3 I wonder if this is true.

I have an INTJ 9w8 so/sp friend who's extremely cynical about anything related to relationships, sex, intimacy & women in general. He's very openly chauvinist, but it's obvious he doesn't really mean what he says but it's just a coping mechanism to deal with this discomfort. We always teased him about it ^.^

I can be quite cynic about health worries, food, house care, luxury... especially with my parents. Not too much like my friend does with Sx stuff, though. For me it's more along the lines of 'maximum I'll die' or 'Dying plants represent how I feel' sort of thing :p

lol, I just remembered the shopping I did with my mom 3 months ago when I moved to my own place. We went by disposable dishes and I suggested to buy it instead of actual dishes, and she said I'm insane, LOL. Later when I told this to my Sp/Sx dad, he went all dramatic on my ass (ESFP 2w3), saying he'd rather die than eat off disposable dishes voluntarily, HAHA. Me and my dad had sooooo many clashes around Sp issues, wow. He would enter my room... complete darkness, all windows are closed, no air to breath, just me sitting in front of a screen. He'd open up the light saying 'WHAT IS THIS? A GRAVEYARD? OPEN THE GOD DAMN WINDOWS YOU LUNATIC.' At times he would just stare for few seconds, then close the door back, walk away while mumbling to himself 'This kid is insane. I swear.'. LOOOL, I can't stop laughing while writing this post on1.gif (Back then it wasn't so funny, though :mellow: he drove me insane quite bit over these issues. Still do. IT'S SUMMER AND YOU'RE ALL WHITE! GO TO THE BEACH OR SOMETHING! Me: Bleh. ;x)
 

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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.
Yes to the italicized!!! Now that is something about the social I firmly relate to.

@Arienette, I'm irritated by paper plates because I don't like the idea of cutting trees down for the sake of my convenience (that's my social instinct in action). Now I may just eat with my hands instead... As far as what I'm cynical about? I feel like I'm (at times) cynical about social stuff, self pres stuff, sexual stuff... (although when people go on and on about self pres stuff it drives me insane. I don't give a crap about the color of your sofa! I don't care what you ate or what workout you did!!)

@Boss, I agree that going just by instinct descriptions for specific enneagram types can cause mistypes, but I think it's best to cross-check both ways. For example, I think many fours mistype as sexual dom by reading the general sexual descriptions because there is much in common between the two. Also, I think many social fours don't relate to the general social description because I think a good number of social fours see themselves very much as outsiders who kind of suck at social stuff, or balk at the social. But then if you read the social four descriptions and it seems to fit the best, well... Same definitely goes with five and self pres. I'm willing to wager most fives think they're self pres when they first encounter the instincts.
 

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Do you happen to know if the instincts are considered innate or not, according to theorists? Do they change over the course of our lives, depending on our experiences?
I remember reading some theory where it said it was caused by your childhood environment. I thought it was on the enneagram institute website but I can't find it. Essentially it was along the lines of

self pres- unsafe environment due to war, poverty, external factors where base survival is emphasized.
social- large family or enmeshed in social network must learn to navigate.
sexual- loss of parent or loved one due to death, divorce, abandonment. Search for replacement of lost love.

This is me faintly remembering so don't take it too seriously.
 

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@Boss - thanks for your efforts. I've read most of the resources that are available online, but it's nice to be able to find them in one place (and nicely formatted).

Of course, this kind of makes me wonder if I'm really Sx/Sp. I think I'll just ponder it for a while ;)
 
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It's recommended reading. Before I proceed, I will add that, in Enneagram theory, Variant/Subtype are said to develop as a response to early childhood trauma. RH state that Instinctual Variants indicate which of our three basic instincts have been most distorted in childhood.
Just to clarify things; is it the dominant instinct that is thought to have been the most distorted in childhood? A response to early childhood trauma could lead to ignoring the related instinctual area (blind spot).


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'.
I think the basic, instinctual nature of these drives is beautifully manifested by all the clashes people have because of divergent attitudes. Threats to the reasons for the dominant instinct to exist provoke people like the suggested importance of the instinct that seems rather useless for us (our blind spot).

This seems reasonable if it is assumed that the drives are rather fundamental part of our survival strategies. In my opinion, the tinderbox potential in the divergent attitudes is worthy of note if one wishes to avoid irrelevant clashes with others. Challenges are what makes life interesting but it's probably wiser to take the line of least resistance than keep arguing about instinctual variant related issues. People are different and will always be.


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.
Is that really true, is it really non-negotiable? I've understood that an unhealthy form of the dominant instinct is distorted and that one can even neglect it. I can see how a healthy form of it would be natural to fulfill its needs but based on the literature, the unhealthy form seems different. It does not always seem compulsive but ignored. One (and the only I can think of) way these might fit into the same picture is that due to stress, the dominant instinct first becomes more compulsive in fulfilling its needs. Then, if the stress continues further than the coping mechanisms can compensate, the dominant instinct becomes neglected. Perhaps part of its energy is directed elsewhere saving resources to fix the underlying problem.



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.
So-dom: You are so anti-social! You will never accomplish anything in your life! You should talk with others more, get to know people, have more friends and the right kind of friends! People will think you're weird, is that what you want?
So-last: I couldn't care less what those people think, I don't need them and I sure don't find them a bit interesting! I will socialize when I want and with the people I want. I do not even want the popularity among most, their opinions mean nothing to me.


Another time, another place, another so-dom.
So-dom II: Sometimes I'm really worried about you, you spend so much time alone and don't socialize much. You should go out and meet people more.
So-last: I'm happy, I don't want to socialize more. My solitude and my personal interests are what makes me happy. And that includes meeting someone every now and then. I have friends.
So-dom: You should have more friends, few friends is not much.
So-last: It's enough for me. I'm not really interested in others. The friends I have are enough, they are the ones I actually like.
So-dom: You could have so many other friends too, not just those ones. And why do you always pick other outsiders and never the more sociable, and well popular, ones? Are you afraid that more sociable people would not accept you? You identify with the least popular ones, your friends make me feel sad.
So-last: Why can't you accept me as who I am? I am happy with my life.


Frankly, the occasions people attack me with their 'better' knowledge and suggestions for me to socialize more are exhausting. I'm tired of explaining my behavior, tired of asking a permission to exist as who I am. In general, I am satisfied with my life. But I do admit that social skills have been my weakness in some ways. I am not very interested but I also know that even if I was, I would never have the smooth and wonderful socializing skills certain people have and sometimes I feel very inferior because of that.

Nowadays I'm aware that I'm missing something because of my attitude. If I cared more, I might actually do something about that. That's the real problem of the blind spot, not necessarily lack of attention but lack of motivation.
 

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Do you happen to know if the instincts are considered innate or not, according to theorists? Do they change over the course of our lives, depending on our experiences?
I don't know where they come from, but I remember reading a long time ago (don't know where) that instincts are considered more flexible than any other part of the theory. It's not really that they change, but life circumstances can cause you to "use" or not use certain instincts. An easy example is an sp-last having to suddenly care about bills and stuff in order not to get thrown out.
 

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Anyone wanna take a shot at this? :3 I wonder if this is true.

I have an INTJ 9w8 so/sp friend who's extremely cynical about anything related to relationships, sex, intimacy & women in general. He's very openly chauvinist, but it's obvious he doesn't really mean what he says but it's just a coping mechanism to deal with this discomfort. We always teased him about it ^.^
I'm pretty sure I'm soc last, and this is true for me. I can recognize that social drives and behavior is a good thing for the species, as long as other people are doing it and not me. I can be really cynical about it if I'm forced to be around groups of other teenagers chatting for too long without any other stimulation. My thoughts tend to cycle through things like, "It's all just a stupid, empty and pointless game, so IS THIS ALL THAT THESE PEOPLE EVER DO??? Kill me now before I have to spend another few days/week/three years/the rest of my life around this..." (the time is proportional to just how bored and pessimistic I am at that exact moment. xD)
 

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I don't know where they come from, but I remember reading a long time ago (don't know where) that instincts are considered more flexible than any other part of the theory. It's not really that they change, but life circumstances can cause you to "use" or not use certain instincts. An easy example is an sp-last having to suddenly care about bills and stuff in order not to get thrown out.
Interesting. But using that instinct because you *have* to doesn't mean that it becomes your secondary or even primary instinct right?
 
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social- large family or enmeshed in social network must learn to navigate.
This makes a lot of sense. Just like the counter phobic 6 who is counter fear because he is preoccupied with fear. I am a social anti-social 8 because I thought a lot about social situations growing up. I had a lot of sibblings who always banded together ( may be because I beat them up all the time, lol) my attitude was like f-them. But I just realized that caused me to pay attention to their dynamics. I became anti social because of this but forever aware of social dynamics.
 

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This makes a lot of sense. Just like the counter phobic 6 who is counter fear because he is preoccupied with fear. I am a social anti-social 8 because I thought a lot about social situations growing up. I had a lot of sibblings who always banded together ( may be because I beat them up all the time, lol) my attitude was like f-them. But I just realized that caused me to pay attention to their dynamics. I became anti social because of this but forever aware of social dynamics.
I'm the youngest by a number of years of a big family. I always felt separate, but I spent a lot of time watching what went on. I think that's why a lot of social fours are considered critics/become novelists. We tend to sit along the sidelines watching how people interact and thinking about it/ focusing on our feelings/tragedy of being separate.

As far as instincts as a whole go, I just read this advice and considered it fabulous, from The Enneagram Institute Discussion Board - 4w5 SO/SP, 4w5 SO/SX or 4w5 SP/SX????

I've struggled with my variant stacking to a significant degree; enough to realize that descriptions tend to be subjective, but this doesn't mean there aren't three distinct energies, with a total of six possible configurations. If you commit yourself to accepting that one of these orientations will offer the best approximation from which you can begin to track your instinctual habits, the pieces should somehow assemble to give you a strong sense of one likely stacking. For the sake of simplicity, I would avoid the descriptions on oceanmoonshine, and only use single-variant profiles as basic guidelines. It sounds like you have the search narrowed to three, with the common factor in all three of not being SX-first. SP/SO is mysteriously missing from your list, so I'm curious why you could see yourself as so/sp or sp/sx but not as sp/so.

Keep in mind also that each energy can be given any value in any individual; you could have an so/sp with the Social variant strongly defined, and the other two nearly equal, but still fit into the so/sp category; you could have an sp/sx with self-preservation and sexual almost equal, but still of the sp/sx variety.

The pattern that emerges between all three is usually a strong sense of tension and reciprocity seen in the relationship between the first two; the second is often seen as feeding into the first, giving the subvariant an infusion of energy from the middle instinct. The first is insatiable, so tries to suck as much energy as possible from the second. The third is malnourished and undeveloped, and usually marks the area of greatest clumsiness and cynicism. The personality doesn't care about the most deficient because it is weak, and it is weak due to a lack of attention. What I have noticed is that the first and last are both easy to see as imbalanced, whereas the second often becomes assimilated into the first, and is more difficult to detect distinctly.

Confusing first and last is usually the result of mistaking blind spot for focal point,

Confusing first and second due to failing to see which variant is really feeding off the other,

Confusing second and third from confusing area of balance with blind spot (pretty easy to do in the case of thinking the blind spot is balanced, as the natural sense of indifference towards it can seem to easily fit into the middle slot; but this won't help its development).

I would try to disregard descriptions that are more superficial, instead distilling the instincts into three defined energies. Remember that both SO and SX are directly concerned with relating; with SO the energy is diffused over a wider range of people, with SX it is sharply channeled towards one other person. SP is about independence and survival. Whichever of those is dominant will be colored by the second, and the third will drain the personality of a certain color. Hope this helps somehow.
[HR][/HR]Edited by - awakening on 14 Aug 2009 11:05:11 AM
 

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I'm the youngest by a number of years of a big family. I always felt separate, but I spent a lot of time watching what went on. I think that's why a lot of social fours are considered critics/become novelists. We tend to sit along the sidelines watching how people interact and thinking about it/ focusing on our feelings/tragedy of being separate.
good stuff, same with me but I guess with my 8 passion, I focused on owning them, all of them: society, lol.
 

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Interesting. But using that instinct because you *have* to doesn't mean that it becomes your secondary or even primary instinct right?
Yeah, exactly. It'd probably be really draining, too, if you had to rely on your last instinct for a while, but I'm sure some people would become proficient at it. I had a thought earlier today that perhaps instincts could be thought of as similar to cognitive functions: our first is our dominant, the second is auxiliary, and third is inferior. Mind you, I don't recommend this sort of thinking to most people since most people have issues separating theories, but... Well :p
 
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