Enneagram Subtypes

enneagram subtypes diagramAfter several years of study, I feel fairly knowledgeable on the Enneagram types, wings, and arrows/direction of integration/disintegration, but don’t really know that much about the instinctual subtypes, so that’s my exploration topic for this week.

The subtypes relate to survival behaviors—the issues that we devote the majority of our time to. Although we have all three subtypes, in general, one will be dominant, one secondary, and one tertiary in our preference of usage. The dominant type is the one that drives us the most, the one we obsess about, the most desired, and the one that causes us the most pain when we do not achieve it. The secondary subtype is the most balanced and easiest for us, and the tertiary subtype is our most neglected and difficult for us.

The three subtypes are:

  • Self-preservation — Focus: Self/one; Theme: Physical and material security (food, safety, health, money, home)
  • Sexual — Focus: Other/two; Theme: Intimate relationships, partnerships, and friendships
  • Social — Focus: Society/many; Theme: Belonging, community, group membership

Here are a few good references for learning more about the subtypes and determining yours:

What is your subtype stacking?


One thought on “Enneagram Subtypes

  1. I think my subtype is self-preservation/social. Self-preservation because I’m always very aware of surroundings (it’s too hot/cold, wrong lighting, perfectly cozy) and focused on food/drink more than many people. Social as secondary because of my strong need to contribute something important to society.

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