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Thread: Enneagram Type 6 Instinctual Subtypes

  1. #1
    Administrator Array highlander's Avatar
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    6w5 sx/sp
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    Default Enneagram Type 6 Instinctual Subtypes

    Posted with permission from Ocean Moonshine.

    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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  2. #2


    Hah. That Sx/Sp description is so appealing.

    Here's more sexual six info:

    Sexual Sixes get their sense of security primarily from their emotional bond with a significant other. But they also have many doubts, both about their own ability to have a suitable mate and about the mate's ability or willingness to really be there for them. Sexual Sixes often manifest a tension between their gender roles: they are both masculine and feminine, "macho" and coquettish. Moreover, Sexual Six women have a tough, tomboy side to them but still come across as feminine. Similarly, the men of this Variant display a sensitivity and vulnerability while being essentially masculine. Sexual Sixes also tend to be emotionally intense, like Eights and Fours. Part of this comes from anxiety about their ability to keep a strong, capable partner. Thus, Sexual Sixes try to cultivate their masculine or feminine attributes in order to find a good partner and, later, to remain appealing to this person. Often, they feel most comfortable relating to members of the opposite sex and may feel competitive with the same sex. They also tend to test their significant others to see if they are strong enough and to make sure that they are really committed to the relationship. When more stressed, Sexual Sixes can be emotionally volatile, with their feelings about people changing strongly and suddenly. They fall into suspiciousness about their partner and can be quite jealous, while at the same time feeling a strong need to "prove" their desirability.

    Sixes with this subtype tend to act strong or seductive when insecure. They are much more likely to be counterphobic, especially the men. May seem like Eights, take risks, talk tough. Act powerful and in control at the times when they feel most frightened. Worry about looking weak, having their fears show. May act arrogant but aren't really. Some study martial arts or seek a way of life that makes them strong. Beauty is another focus; trying to seem attractive so as to contain fear, get approval, and distract others. May consciously hide behind a seductive mask. Unlike Threes, Sixes know they are hiding. Can act cool and patrician or be flirty. Some have a focus on aesthetics. This subtype often has a stronger connection to the vanity of 3.

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