User Tag List

Results 1 to 8 of 8

  1. #1
    Senior Member "?"'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    MBTI
    TiSe
    Posts
    1,167

    Default Can Variant Determine Enneagram Type?

    Anyone versed well enough to understand variant stackings. I studied the enneagram long before becoming knowledgeable of MBTI. One reason that I started to revisit the subject years later, was due to realizing that I did not take variant stacking into consideration.

    For the past week I have been studying the concept in more detail and realize that I may have mistyped myself as 6w5 because I resonate with sp/so. Anyone aware whether that should be considered and if so, the importance of variant stacking?

  2. #2
    Permabanned
    Join Date
    May 2007
    MBTI
    INTJ
    Enneagram
    5w6 sp/sx
    Socionics
    ILE
    Posts
    11,925

    Default

    As far as I can tell, Enneagram types 6w5 and 8w9 are often very similar.

    E-types 6 and 9 are supposedly the most likely to mistype. E6 often mistypes as 1, 4, or 8. E9 often mistypes as 4 and 5, especially if they come from an artistic and/or intellectual background. Female 9s also frequently mistype as 2s.

    6 often mistypes as 5, but 6s tend to have more practical smarts where 5s (and particularly 5w6) are more cerebral.

  3. #3
    Senior Member "?"'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    MBTI
    TiSe
    Posts
    1,167

    Default

    However, my question is the importance of variant stacking (sp/so/sx) when considering one's best fit type? I have heard/read that one should determine their variant stacking, then their type. I have also read books on the subject that never raise the subject of variant stacking. I have always followed the readings of the latter, however I beginning to appreciate that it becomes similar to basing one's MBTI type on dichotomies instead of type functions. Therefore, if it is correct to determining variants then type, it's understandable why people mistype in the enneagram.

    Here is an example of what I am saying Uber. You show 5w4 in your signature, however do not show your variant stacking. As an E5, you could be a five with a Sp/So instinct:
    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.
    A five with Sp/Sx instinct:
    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.
    A five with a So/Sp instinct:
    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.
    A five with So/Sx instinct:
    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.
    Five with Sx/Sp instinct:
    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.
    Five with Sx/So instinct:
    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.

  4. #4
    Senior Member "?"'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    MBTI
    TiSe
    Posts
    1,167

    Default

    Put another way, I had come to a conclusion that I was 3w4, 5w6 or 6w5. In reading the variant stackings, the wing seems to become less of importance since there are so many variants of the basic type. So, knowing that most likely my variant stacking is sp/so, then reading the 5 sp/so can be considered, instead of 5w6. As well, instead of saying that I am 6w5, I must consider 6sp/so
    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.
    And instead of limiting myself to 3w4, I must consider the 3 sp/so:
    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.

  5. #5
    Permabanned
    Join Date
    May 2007
    MBTI
    INTJ
    Enneagram
    5w6 sp/sx
    Socionics
    ILE
    Posts
    11,925

    Default

    I'm not really as concerned with the variants. Although I read all options, I'd say I'm mostly of the SX/SP variant.

  6. #6
    Senior Member "?"'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    MBTI
    TiSe
    Posts
    1,167

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Uberfuhrer View Post
    I'm not really as concerned with the variants. Although I read all options, I'd say I'm mostly of the SX/SP variant.
    I was like you Uber, but as I stated earlier, going by type and wing alone may be as generic as considering your type based solely on dichotomies. I know that it is a bit more challenging, but the originators of the system considered the variants, which like MBTI type functions became less popular because they were too troublesome for people to study.

  7. #7
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    MBTI
    INFJ
    Enneagram
    4w5
    Posts
    8,828

    Default

    AFAIK, you need both the wings and the variant, at the same time. Any Enneagram type can have any instinctual stacking. But the variant may help determine the wing, although I'm not sure how, but I think it's explained on this site here:

    What do you think?

    I'm a 4w5, SO/SP

    My variant does seem to fit particularly well with my 5 wing, if you look at 4 stacks on that site.

  8. #8
    Mamma said knock you out Mempy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    2,226

    Default

    I wonder this myself. I wonder if your variant stacking determines your type, or if being a certain type means you have to have a certain stacking, or if you can have any stacking no matter what type you are. It's always made me curious. Some types seem to embody certain variants. The six seems to embody the social variant, the two the sexual, and so on. And some variants seem to conflict with certain types.

    The first time I studied the enneagram I didn't think much about variants, but I did later, like you. I knew my type right away without any knowledge of the variants and haven't questioned my type yet because my description is still so bang-on, a year and a half later.

    My type and my variant stacking seem to reflect one another. I'm a type two with a sexual/social/self-preservation stacking. Since the sexual and type two descriptions sound so similar, it made me wonder if type determines variant stacking.

    I used to think that sixes, because of their need for security, could only lead with social or self-preservation variants, but I can actually see a six finding security through intimates (sx), through friends and social connections (so), or through looking out for themselves (sp). So perhaps there's no correlation between variants and types. In other words, they may not be dependent on each other, nor do they necessarily indicate each other.

    Edit: Thank you for that link, Athenian. I looked at the two's stackings and it confirmed that I'm a sexual/social.

Similar Threads

  1. Would like help with determining Enneagram type
    By AnnexInTheSky in forum What's my Type?
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-13-2016, 07:07 PM
  2. [Inst] What's my possible enneagram type/instinctual variant for a possible INTP?
    By louiesgonnadie in forum Instinctual Subtypes
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 01-26-2013, 07:56 AM
  3. I can't determine my Enneagram type.
    By Athenian200 in forum Enneagram
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 02-13-2011, 01:05 PM
  4. Can anyone help me with my Enneagram type?
    By faultyideal in forum What's my Type?
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 11-16-2009, 08:32 PM
  5. What's your ENNEAGRAM Type and Variant?
    By sakuraba in forum The NT Rationale (ENTP, INTP, ENTJ, INTJ)
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 10-21-2008, 11:13 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO