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  1. #1
    my floof is luxury Wind Up Rex's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Rex's Pet Theory on Instinctual Variants

    I've been kicking around a pet theory on the relationship between instinctual variant and enneagram type for a while now, and am seeking some feedback on it.

    Basically, the idea is this: start with the assumption that everyone's enneagram type is dual winged. We might have a stronger preference for one wing or the other, but to some degree exhibit traits of either. I believe that how we exhibit our instinctual variant is tied to this idea. The arena in which we express our dominant variant is dictated by our core enneagram type, the auxiliary type by the stronger wing, and the third instinct in our stack by the less expressed wing.

    For example, in my own case, I am an 8w9 sx/sp/so. 8-sx would suggest that the primary fixation of my sx energies is not so much relationship, but power. It makes sense as I have a very instinctual understanding of power that resonates with the sx-dominants attunement to energetic relationships. 9-sp would bring the comfort-seeking aspect of sp into focus, but also suggests an element of self-forgetting--a minimalist approach to one's needs.

    I get a bit murky when I get to the third instinct in the stacking. My belief is that 7-so would suggest something energetically akin to dominant extroverted intuition. The diffuse So energy being cast in the mental plane, heightening the need for intellectual variety at the expense of intellectual depth, and perhaps emphasizing interest in subjects pertaining to culture or other social subjects. I think that the tertiary instinct is not so much suppressed as it is unconscious. I agree there is a sort of ambivalence regarding the expression of the tertiary instinct, but in a way I think that it's the least complexed of all the instincts. It doesn't carry the same baggage nor hold the same connotations as the first two. We relate to the energy in some combination of the ways that we approach the relief and inferior functions in MBTI.

    Anyways. I've played with this concept for a while now, and am now wanting to see how it fares among minds more knowledgeable than my own. If anyone's interested, I'd love to be able to try the model out on them to see if it holds up.
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  2. #2
    my floof is luxury Wind Up Rex's Avatar
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    P.S. - My spider senses tell me that summoning @skylights and @DJ Arendee could be particularly helpful on this.
    And so long as you haven’t experienced this: to die and so to grow,
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  3. #3
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    I don't have anything really helpful to contribute -- I just wanted to say that the theory definitely holds up for me. I've seen it discussed a little here, but I seem to remember a bunch of people completely rejecting it.

    I agree there is a sort of ambivalence regarding the expression of the tertiary instinct, but in a way I think that it's the least complexed of all the instincts. It doesn't carry the same baggage nor hold the same connotations as the first two.
    I agree with this. I display a fair amount of social 2 behavior, but no, there's no baggage there. Real social 2s are much more sensitive to group dysfunction, social discomfort and rejection, but I don't take those issues nearly as much to heart.

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    Hmm, interesting idea.

    I thought of myself as an 8w9 for a while because a lot of descriptoins say 8w9's are more peaceful and don't like to hurt people, and 8w7's don't give a shit.

    I certainly do care about hurting others... except when I hurt people by being my natural self. In that instance I don't care anymore. I used to... but now I've learned my lesson that everyone is wrong.

    Anyway I've had people tell me I'm not grounded. I also don't really like the feeling of being grounded either. I love the feeling of being in a fighter jet 24/7 and then passing out at night from exhaustion because my cocaine brain just flushes all its neurotransmitters all day long. PEANUT BUTTER ICE CREAM SANDWICHES!

    I think the only time I feel grounded is when I'm in love.

    With that being said, one of the articles I read said that the Sp instinct is very grounded. The more Sp you have, the more grounded you are. From what I understand, 8w7's are more neurotic and wirey than 8w9's are, so it certainly fits my instinct. Though I always felt the Sp last was actually my E9 neglect, and my suggestibility and desire to join my friends when they have great ideas, I've always attributed to E9 as well. Though at the same time, E7's get excited over new novel ideas and possibilities and will impulsively follow these ideas.

    To me, the Sx just makes me a rather in-your-face personality. Supposedly E9's are the ones who are able to mind merge with others... but I've heard it mentioned that Sx can do that too? Unfortunately 90% of people whose faces I get into respond as if I'm a horrible person, so I just don't engage anyone in public anymore.

    ugh. Its like my instinctual variant is counteracting my wings. Maybe I don't have a wing.

    As far as I can tell, all my "So" does is push "Sp" out of the picture, haha... and possibly is the reason why I watch ron paul videos.

  5. #5
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    Haha, well, flattering, but I don't think I have more knowledge than you in this realm

    So according to the theory, I would express Social in 6 - desiring to protect and watch out for the group. I would express Sexual in 7 - seeking stimulation, novelty, intense focus and connection. And I would express Self-Pres in 5 - hoarding resources and withdrawing from the world.

    To add a couple more applications, my 2w1 sp/so mom would express Self Pres in 2 - taking care of others' preservational needs - Social in 1 - getting involved with the community to fight for social justice - and Sexual in 3 - focusing on how to be attractive to others.

    My 3w4 so/sp friend would express Social in 3 - seeking success and recognition from the community - Self Pres in 4 - attempting to gear her environment towards luxury, comfort, and beauty - and Sexual in 2 - lavishing attention on the object of their affection.

    As much as I would really love to totally back this - maybe part of why I avoided the thread for a while - I'm not really sure I can see it playing out for myself or those I know. My 3w4 friend would be the closest of my 3 examples, where I can definitely see it playing out with 3/So and 4/Sp but I don't really see it with Sexual - she tends to give those she loves the gift of space, and even in her close relationships, she seems to exhibit ambivalence. It doesn't really play out for me, though - I'd almost see myself more going 6/So 2/Sx 9/Sp. With my mom... I think she ends up applying the 1 to the 2 and then pushing into the Social realm, if that makes sense. Like if she can't help someone because they're being marginalized because of social issues, then she'll apply the 1 and move into the social realm. Or if she's not getting what she wants when she's trying to fix something socially, she'll tactically adjust to be appealing to particular individuals - sounds like 3/Sx.

    Actually I wonder if you're not on to something, but maybe it's not exactly a clean correlation as much as it is the nature of depletion of resources and utilization of secondary tactics. So our wing supports our main type, just as our second variant supports our first variant - my 7 entertainment-seeking suppots my 6 security-seeking, and my Sx connection-seeking supports my So unity-seeking. If security-seeking isn't getting me what I want, then perhaps I switch tactics to 7 entertainment-seeking, and the same with So to Sx. It would make sense that we would do the same moving to our third wing and third instinct. For example if I can't obtain security of place because I don't get along well with a certain authority, I might just move into trying to lose myself in stimulation.

    Like I said, I'm not sure I can see them always moving together like that, but I could definitely see a sequence of depletions and cognitive readjustments that may well progress down that line. I just wonder how tritype may figure into that - the sequence of tactics we use to face a problem may shift depending on the nature of the issue. I wonder what would make a 6w7-2w3-9w1 move 6 -> 7 versus 6 -> 2. Or is 7 more of support and always attached to 6 while 2 can work independently of 6 once it's determined that the issue is not 6-applicable?

    Hm...

  6. #6
    my floof is luxury Wind Up Rex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    Actually I wonder if you're not on to something, but maybe it's not exactly a clean correlation as much as it is the nature of depletion of resources and utilization of secondary tactics. So our wing supports our main type, just as our second variant supports our first variant - my 7 entertainment-seeking suppots my 6 security-seeking, and my Sx connection-seeking supports my So unity-seeking. If security-seeking isn't getting me what I want, then perhaps I switch tactics to 7 entertainment-seeking, and the same with So to Sx. It would make sense that we would do the same moving to our third wing and third instinct. For example if I can't obtain security of place because I don't get along well with a certain authority, I might just move into trying to lose myself in stimulation.
    I don't know if I agree with this. I'm pretty certain about the idea that we express all variants to some degree. I don't exactly attach a positive connotation to the dominant instinctual variant. I can't remember who it was, but someone posted an article about how the dominant instinct is where we are most wounded, and thus where we are most fixated. Theoretically, the same holds true of our main enneagram type. Each type reflects the pathology of some kind of wounding. The idea that these two wouldn't bear at least some correspondence is implausible to me. It may be possible that one doesn't see the influence of the second variant/primary wing as clearly because the first variant/dominant type is so pervasive.

    I guess in order for this to work I'd have to have more thoughts on how the wing and dominant enneagram type actually relate. I don't think that this idea of "depletion" is the right direction, though. I feel that we express our dominant and auxiliary instinct together, much like we do our enneagram type and wing. As someone who's sx/sp, my attunement to sx-ness will always have a conscious, sp bent to it.
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  7. #7
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Ive had the same thought about linking e instinctual variants in with our tritype tbh
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  8. #8
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wind-Up Rex View Post
    Anyways. I've played with this concept for a while now, and am now wanting to see how it fares among minds more knowledgeable than my own. If anyone's interested, I'd love to be able to try the model out on them to see if it holds up.
    So what does your theory yield for 5w6 sp/sx/so?
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  9. #9
    Paranoid Android Video's Avatar
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    so in four is pretty intuitive to me: a focus on what I don't have in common with people and groups and on dealing with that for good or ill. sx in three is less easy to put to words, with the type's problems getting in the way of connection and holding off intensity. sp in five, if I think of it as diffuse and very basic, could speak of a unsubtle reliance on reducing activities and contacts when security is at stake. Sound about right?
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  10. #10
    my floof is luxury Wind Up Rex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amargith View Post
    Ive had the same thought about linking e instinctual variants in with our tritype tbh
    What had your thoughts been? I have very mixed feelings about the whole notion of tritypes. I don't not subscribe to them, but I've argued many times that the whole concept guts some of the elegance of the original enneagram theory, especially as a tool for spiritual development.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    So what does your theory yield for 5w6 sp/sx/so?
    I'm gonna give this a shot knowing that my perspective is tainted a bit by having interacted with you.

    5-sp - At average levels, this combo would suggest to me that the individual might address the 5s wounding around feeling at ease in the physical world through a sort of strict asceticism. 5-sp suggests an economical mindset that perhaps borders on miserliness that contrasts sharply with the voracious appetite for knowledge. The characteristic e5 trait of utilizing information to exert control over the subject's environment would be strongly emphasized here, making 5-sp something of a "data hoarder". Direct tie between security, self-worth and possession of information. When unhealthy, finding the logically "correct" answer can feel like it's a matter of life and death, driving the subject to self-destructive lengths in their search for truth. When integrated the subject become great teachers. Moving towards others, the 5-sp utilizes same economical mindset to know how to discern how to allocate their considerable wealth of knowledge to the greatest utility of those around them.

    6-sx - As I mentioned in my response to skylights, I feel that the second variant carries less "baggage" than the dom instinct. It's energies are of concern without their being a complex around them, so in many ways are expressed more consciously. With 6-sx in the auxiliary position, the native will have a keen--even if unspoken--awareness of the loss of self that is a consequence of true intimacy, and will feel ambivalence around romantic relationships. The ambivalence that the 6-sx feels will manifest as both a high degree of selectivity about their mates, and the stereotypical "testing" to whom 6s frequently subject intimates. In spite of their anxiety, the sx-instinct still fuels the desire for connection, which may cause the subject to test even those who are not of immediate romantic interest as they seek out connection.

    4-so - The 4-so blindspot suggests a maverick quality to the individual with no intention on their part to be necessarily defined as such. Finds relief in self-expression, but compartmentalizes artistic identity. Unique without the awareness of what makes them such. Uncomfortable with the notion of fitting in, but as likely to rail against those who conform as those who go out of their way to be viewed as "special". I'd say your pet interest in gender identity probably relates to being 4-so. 4s have a fascinating, intrinsic awareness of the identity as concept. They fool around constantly with the signs to amplify or divert from the signified to express a sort of heightened reality of their own internal state. 4-so would suggest that kind of play would be broaden to a societal scale. Your social experiments at times strike me as much as the workings of a social scientist as a performance artists. Don't mean to get too personal, but I felt it was a pretty on the nose example of what I'm trying to describe here.

    Anyways. How'd I do?
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