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  1. #1
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Default Subtypes/instinctual variants

    It seems to me that when it comes to enneagram everyone talks about their type and wing but not much about subtypes/instinctual variants (ie. self-preservation/social/sexual). Basically I want to know a little more about subtypes in enneagram and possibly facillitate a little discussion. The questions might seem a little obvious but I'm pretty ignorant about them and it would really help to clear up a murky area for me.

    Questions for enneagram aficionados
    - What is the definition of each subtype? How broadly are the terms meant? How literal are they?
    - What drives and determines your subtype? And is it a set, discrete world-view or a degree of inclination and based on percentage?
    - How does your subtype work in relation to your type and your wings? Is it the most defining part of your enneagram?
    - How do different subtypes interelate within a type? For example, how would a two people that are both type 1s but have differing subtypes interact?)
    - Do the subtypes have commonalities across differing types and how do they corrospond to one another? For example, would a 1 SP feel an affinity for a 6 SP?
    - How on earth can a 5 have a social subtype?

    Questions for everyone
    - What is your type, wing and subtype?
    - How much does your subtype factor in the way you think of your type and others'?
    - Does your subtype provide real insight into your behaviour beyond what your type provides?
    - How do you think your subtype affects your approach to different aspects of life?

    Basically the reason for all this is I read this today and it freaked me out with how (brutally) true it is for me

    Social Fours: "Shame"
    Shame, as we use it here, means embarrassment, humiliation, and lack of self-respect.

    I feel ashamed of not measuring up to my vision of the ideal: not being bright or creative enough, not contributing to humanity, or not having a fulfilling relationship.
    I die over each mistake or faux pas I make.
    I often feel inadequate socially and either try to pour on charm and confidence or blend into the woodwork.
    I'm always analyzing myself: Did I make myself understood? Did I sound stupid? Was I too aggressive? Was I too conciliatory?
    I have dreams of achieving tremendous status and recognition in order to get revenge on those who have put me down or laughed at me.
    I am very sensitive to being shamed or slighted. It devastates me to be excluded from a gathering or event that acquaintances or friends are attending.
    Sometimes I say things against myself to try to deflect envy.
    I feel less awkward when I fill a definite position in the group by demonstrating that I'm an authority on something or by making a strong statement about who I am by the way I dress.
    Link

  2. #2
    Senior Member Rebe's Avatar
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    ^ I wish there were more about instinct variants, though I haven't studied enneagram at all. I much prefer mbti and second, socionics. I have read through many an awkwardly translated texts from russian (?). I haven't found a good site with really good variant information, how did they create this?

    The social four really hit the nail for me too! It explains a lot about my current self, different from when I was just a four without a really coherent wing or instinct. When I first tested and came out social first, it was really surprising, the word has many implications that are at odds with me, the staunch individualist. I can also relate to the other two, but not as completely. I wonder if that will change in the future; I know I haven't always been 'social'. I am wondering when people actually discover their instinct variants and even, wings. At our least developed state, we are just a number...?

  3. #3
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebe View Post
    ^ I wish there were more about instinct variants, though I haven't studied enneagram at all. I much prefer mbti and second, socionics. I have read through many an awkwardly translated texts from russian (?). I haven't found a good site with really good variant information, how did they create this?

    The social four really hit the nail for me too! It explains a lot about my current self, different from when I was just a four without a really coherent wing or instinct. When I first tested and came out social first, it was really surprising, the word has many implications that are at odds with me, the staunch individualist. I can also relate to the other two, but not as completely. I wonder if that will change in the future; I know I haven't always been 'social'. I am wondering when people actually discover their instinct variants and even, wings. At our least developed state, we are just a number...?
    Reading that description lead me to wonder about the same things you've mentioned. I wasn't really interested in the subtypes before because I didn't really read anything that I connected with. That description makes me think that there's something to them and makes me want to better understand it all.

  4. #4
    Diabolical Kasper's Avatar
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    How to Get Along with Me
    • Don't tell me what to do.
    love it!


    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    - What is the definition of each subtype? How broadly are the terms meant? How literal are they?
    I like the information here as it shows how the stackings fit by enneagram type.

    - What is your type, wing and subtype?
    ENTP 7w8, I struggle to figure out my stackings though, I believe I'm sp first then I'm not so sure but I'm leaning towards sp/so.

    - How much does your subtype factor in the way you think of your type and others'?
    I love people but I'm crappy-mccrap at maintaining relationships, the explanation of sevens covers me pretty well but the differences in stackings narrows it down.

    - Does your subtype provide real insight into your behaviour beyond what your type provides?
    Fo' sure, although I can relate pretty well to sp/so and sp/sx, so not that clearly.

    - How do you think your subtype affects your approach to different aspects of life?
    If I am sp/so then it can help explain why despite loving people as a race I can be so totally unmotivated to maintain any relationships that I have, due to sx being my least developed instinct. The sp part can explain why I'm so highly motivated by gaining comforts and positive experiences.

  5. #5
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trinity View Post
    [/LIST]I like the information here as it shows how the stackings fit by enneagram type.
    I didn't realize there was stackings. It gets more complicated...

    Interesting site - I will go and read up. Thanks for the link.

    EDIT: I thinking I'm likely a so/sp
    The Instinctual Stackings of Enneatype Four

    Social/Self-pres


    This subtype can mimic type One when it comes to social values. They can be harsh critics of the current mores. They have romantic ideals of what the world should be like; reality always falls short. Ironically, this type can be the most withdrawn of the Fours. Social anxiety combines with the Four's shame issues to make this type feel that the pressure associated with "fitting in" is just not worth it. They are also the most likely of the Fours to intellectualize their emotions and in this way resemble type Five.

    The social instinct tends to give the personality a focus on being included, fitting in, or finding a way to make a valued contribution. This agenda conflicts with the Four's sense of being "different from" or "other than." The Four's need to establish a separate identity conflicts with the social instinct's drive towards inclusion. The social Four often deals with this dilemma by defining themselves as being outside the social system. By defining themselves always in terms of the system, even if it is to establish distance, this Four stays essentially tied to it. Fours with the social/self-pres stacking tend to acutely feel a sense of social shame at not quite belonging.

    When this subtype is reasonably healthy, they are often gifted critics of the prevailing culture. They develop true insight into social dynamics and have an eye for the nuances and subtleties of social interactions. Many Four writers are soc/self.


    Does this appeal to you too Rebe?

  6. #6
    Uniqueorn William K's Avatar
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    Self-pres/Social

    This subtype is the least volatile and fiery of the type Four stackings. They can resemble type One in terms of their efficiency and practicality. Although their focus will be more on the emotional aesthetic, these Fours do have a considerable practical side. Less flashy than some of the subtypes of Four, they nevertheless have a quiet charm and developed sense of style. They are likely to value their possessions, to perhaps collect items of personal emotional significance. They may, for instance, have shelves and shelves of books and have a place for each book. This subtype can also resemble type Six in terms of having a great deal of anxiety. This anxiety often revolves around self-pres concerns such as those surrounding health issues and mortality. Their strong self-pres instinct also lends a degree of independence to this subtype. As the sexual instinct is least pronounced, this subtype of Four is prone to romanticize intimacy without actually pursuing real relationships. When healthy, these Fours can be very productive; when less healthy they might suffer from boughts of melancholy or self pity. The strong self-pres instinct however often helps these individuals to recognize how their state of mind is impacting their health and well being. This enables them to become action oriented.
    The bolded are too true... Confirmed 4 sp/so
    4w5, Fi>Ne>Ti>Si>Ni>Fe>Te>Se, sp > so > sx

    appreciates being appreciated, conflicted over conflicts, afraid of being afraid, bad at being bad, predictably unpredictable, consistently inconsistent, remarkably unremarkable...

    I may not agree with what you are feeling, but I will defend to death your right to have a good cry over it

    The whole problem with the world is that fools & fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts. ~ Bertrand Russell

  7. #7
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    - What is your type, wing and subtype?

    INFJ, 4w5 sp/so.

    - How much does your subtype factor in the way you think of your type and others'?

    I agree with what Trinity said, the stackings narrow it down for me as well.

    - Does your subtype provide real insight into your behaviour beyond what your type provides?

    With other people there are noticeable differences in behaviour that I couldn't really explain before I found out about the Enneagram and the instinctual variants have been really helpful in pinpointing what they actually are. I'm definitely not skilled in applying them with ease quite yet but it's yet another system that gives those subtle nuances that can be helpful in figuring people out.

    This description is spot on for me, I might even say word for word. *cough*Forer*cough* But I don't mind, it certainly fits.

    Self-pres/Social

    This subtype is the least volatile and fiery of the type Four stackings. They can resemble type One in terms of their efficiency and practicality. Although their focus will be more on the emotional aesthetic, these Fours do have a considerable practical side. Less flashy than some of the subtypes of Four, they nevertheless have a quiet charm and developed sense of style. They are likely to value their possessions, to perhaps collect items of personal emotional significance. They may, for instance, have shelves and shelves of books and have a place for each book. This subtype can also resemble type Six in terms of having a great deal of anxiety. This anxiety often revolves around self-pres concerns such as those surrounding health issues and mortality. Their strong self-pres instinct also lends a degree of independence to this subtype. As the sexual instinct is least pronounced, this subtype of Four is prone to romanticize intimacy without actually pursuing real relationships. When healthy, these Fours can be very productive; when less healthy they might suffer from boughts of melancholy or self pity. The strong self-pres instinct however often helps these individuals to recognize how their state of mind is impacting their health and well being. This enables them to become action oriented.
    - How do you think your subtype affects your approach to different aspects of life?

    I guess I could blame my self-preservation drive for wanting to keep things in order, under control and practical. I am definitely action oriented most of the time. And unfortunately it can be a source of frustration when I'm under stress as well because it takes even more energy to try to balance things according to my sp drive. But the positive side is that, as the quote says, I can indeed be very productive when I'm in my "healthy" state.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Rebe's Avatar
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    The Instinctual Stackings of Enneatype Four

    Social/Self-pres

    This subtype can mimic type One when it comes to social values. They can be harsh critics of the current mores. They have romantic ideals of what the world should be like; reality always falls short. Ironically, this type can be the most withdrawn of the Fours. Social anxiety combines with the Four's shame issues to make this type feel that the pressure associated with "fitting in" is just not worth it. They are also the most likely of the Fours to intellectualize their emotions and in this way resemble type Five.

    The social instinct tends to give the personality a focus on being included, fitting in, or finding a way to make a valued contribution. This agenda conflicts with the Four's sense of being "different from" or "other than." The Four's need to establish a separate identity conflicts with the social instinct's drive towards inclusion. The social Four often deals with this dilemma by defining themselves as being outside the social system. By defining themselves always in terms of the system, even if it is to establish distance, this Four stays essentially tied to it. Fours with the social/self-pres stacking tend to acutely feel a sense of social shame at not quite belonging.

    When this subtype is reasonably healthy, they are often gifted critics of the prevailing culture. They develop true insight into social dynamics and have an eye for the nuances and subtleties of social interactions. Many Four writers are soc/self.
    I want more!

    It's funny, very recently I have started using the word 'system', to want to change the system, you have to understand it, but that doesn't mean you need to be rubbing elbows with a bunch of doofs. I don't see myself as unique, I am not, but I feel part of the outside-the-system group. I will never be interested in wanting what everyone else wants, not because I am unique or want to be, but because I have my own mind and I like that certain pragmatic sense and I like the less traveled paths. I don't like the word unique though, it sounds self grandiose.

  9. #9
    Senior Member the state i am in's Avatar
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    infj 5w4 sx/sp.

    i find the instinctual subtypes to be enormously helpful. i usually see them before mbti or enneagram ego. the triangulation of all three helps provide better results.

  10. #10
    mod love baby... Lady_X's Avatar
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    i'm a 7w6 sx/so


    Sexual/Social

    This subtype has a lot of energy, crazy, intense energy and this energy is going to find a way to manifest. This subtype of Seven can have the biggest extremes in behavior and with material success in life. With the self-pres instinct last in the stacking they aren’t afraid of taking risks, so they sometimes become very successful, as in the case of rock stars, but they typically also take too many risks, look for too many easy ways out. With the self-pres least developed, they can become dependent on others to add a much needed stabilizing element to their busy hedonistic lives. They have many of the same issues and share many of the same problems as the other sexual first subtype with regards to relationship addiction and have even more dependency issues then the sexual/self-pres. They can lose focus and drift similar to the social/sexual subtype and their high energy can likewise be draining for others.


    With this subtype, you have drama mixed with mental energy. What separates them from Fours who they might resemble superficially is their planning and future orientation. Their drama and intensity is focused on what they are going to do, not on what has happened. They are usually blind to their past, moving forward and not looking back.
    There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
    -Jim Morrison

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