Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Introduction to Enneagram Instinctual Subtypes (A-Z blog challenge 2013)

What are Enneagram Instinctual Subtypes?

The Instinctual Subtypes are the drivers beneath our personality style that further refine our focus of attention--what we think, how we feel, and how we react to a stimulus. There are three overarching instincts, centers of intelligence, or drivers. 

The drivers are known as Self-Preservation, Social, and Intimate (otherwise known as One-to-One or Sexual in Enneagram literature). We have a distinct preference for one of the primary drives, which exerts significant influence on how we express our type. 

If the Self-Preservation instinct is your primary drive, your focus is on material security, which includes food, shelter, warmth and family. If you attended a party, you'd probably spend your time near the food table. You'd be very aware of the temperature of the room, its smells, its sounds, and things like that.  

If the Intimate (or otherwise known as One-to-One or Sexual) instinct is your primary drive, you seek to bond with one person, your mate, or one or two close friends. If you attended a party, you'd be looking for either your spouse, or if you're unattached, that one special person who could add sizzle to your life. Or at least to your experiences at the party. 

If the Social instinct is our primary drive, you feel the need to belong, and to be a member of groups that extend beyond family into the community. If you attended a party, you'd key into what's happening socially--who's talking with whom; who's the most powerful person in the room--things like that. 

It's said that people of the same instinctual subtype often have more in common with other Enneagram styles of the same subtype than they do the other subtypes within their own style. This sounds true to me. If I'm at a party, I'm likely to be chowing down at the food table, along with all the other Self Preservation Subtypes, rather than talking with someone who might be of the same Enneagram style as me, but who's attention is on seeking out someone to bond with . . . unless, maybe, they're attempting to bond with me!   
Since there are NINE Enneagram Styles, each with three Instinctual Subtypes, that makes a total of 27 Instinctual Subtypes, each one different from the others. 

Last year, I wrote about the subtypes individually. I took my information from the following sources. (Need to credit my sources!)

Clarence Thompson, Enneagram Central
David Daniels, Enneagram Worldwide
Peter O'Hanrahan EnneagramWork
Beatrice Chestnut, guest blogger at The Enneagram in Business

Tomorrow, I'll put up a chart of the names I've given each of the Enneagram Types, along with their Instinctual Subtypes. If you want to read last year's posts, that's a good place to start for a basic knowledge of each Subtype before we get into the super fun part--matching them up! 

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