Enneagram | MBTI | Jungian Cognitive Functions | Socionics | Others

What Each Myers-Briggs Type Is Like During Childhood

(Written by: Jhoon of Astroligion)

In the Myers-Briggs type theory, the dominant function is believed to be the first function to develop in the function stack of each personality type. This supposedly occurs around the age of 6 as part of the process known as differentiation where the cognitive preferences begin taking shape. Here is a look at what each MBTI personality is like during childhood growing up. 


ISFJ children are observant and ever busy gathering facts and storing them away for future reference. They are shy and modest in temperament and often do not call attention to what they do although they do desire praise and recognition for their efforts. They are very generous and kind to others and share freely with them. ISFJ kids remember what they are told and are very good with following step by step instructions. They like having a clear set of directions to follow and a defined role to play or list of tasks to complete which they will perform dutifully. ISFJ children are very obedient but they may get into arguments with siblings. They are highly sensitive to criticism especially when they’ve tried very hard to do their best. They may exhibit a lot of perfectionist behavior and can be quite hard on themselves. They are reluctant to change their routines or try new things. Their parent may have to encourage them to venture outside their comfort zones and be more exploratory and broaden their horizons.


As a child, INFJs are likely to be unassuming and quiet yet able to acquire many friendships and interact with various types of people. INFJs are bound to be relatively well behaved and mature for their age and their parents may entrust them with responsibilities early on. As introverts, they probably spend much of their time reading or writing in a journal. They may have casual creative outlets such as writing short stories and poems, sketching and design work. Even though they maintain a very private world, they also make time for family and friends to bond and spend quality time with them. They cherish their friendships and are likely to have a special besty with whom they can really be their true selves. INFJs tend to project an image that changes according to who they’re engaging with. They may appear like chameleons due to their ability to mirror people.


ESFJ children are generally friendly and happy in temperament. They enjoy school because it satisfies their need for social interaction and engagement. They are likely to be active in class in also in extracurricular activities and after school clubs. They are usually very responsible and often the first to volunteer wherever needed. ESFJ kids love to talk and their mouths may sometimes get them in trouble but they otherwise keep themselves out of hot water. They hate being alone and prefer to work in groups or with others around to keep them company. They work best as part of a team and are more productive that way. They have a strong need to be liked and they may ingratiate themselves with their teachers and earn the status of teacher’s pet. ESFJ kids try to make others happy and seek positive feedback and affirmation from others in return. Criticism can be a difficult pill for them to swallow and so care should be taken so as not to crush their spirits when critiquing their performance.


ENFJ children desire lots of love and positive reinforcement from their parents. They need encouragement and constant reminders from the people whose opinions they value most. They can be deeply affected by criticism and they strive to be above reproach so as to avoid receiving it. In their youth, ENFJs may create a lofty ideal or standard in their minds that they desire to live up to. They may hold a very naive outlook and sometimes unrealistic expectations of people. They themselves are very kind and open-minded and so they may have great difficulty understanding the heartlessness and cruelty that exists in the world. ENFJ children are deeply empathetic and they are very receptive and responsive to the feelings of others. They bask in other people’s joy and commiserate with their suffering. They hate being judged and they try to refrain from judging others. They have a special capacity for seeing the humanity in even the worst people.


ISFP kids are likely to be very shy and sensitive. They very dreamy and imaginative and may have trouble focusing in school or on tasks that are time consuming. Their feelings are easily hurt and may not take criticism well. If the ISFP feels unconditional love and acceptance, they are more likely to feel self-confident, and will be able to handle some criticism. At a young age, their use of logic may be very underdeveloped and they may have a tough time seeing things outside of their own perspective. The ISFP child is bound to be very easygoing and kind but can at times become moody and depressed without warning. They procrastinate and may be unreliable about completing tasks assigned to them in a timely manner. They are often fearful of making decisions because they think that they are final and unalterable, and they’re afraid of making the wrong choice.


INFPs as children may be very shy and reserved with strangers. They spend much of their time in their own world because their sensitive natures are easily overwhelmed by the energy of those around them both good and bad. They have trouble with criticism and tend to get defensive and sulk when they feel rejected or unloved. They have a tendency to internalize their pain and channel it into some creative outlet where they can escape to their imagination. They have trouble asserting themselves sometimes and they often have difficulty seeing things from other people’s perspective. They need lots of love and affection but they also want to reciprocate and they love to dote on animals and small babies. INFP children tend to move at their own pace and have little concept of time and schedules. They can be very messy and procrastinate about picking up after themselves.


During their youth, ESFPs are very lively and dramatic. They are very energetic going from one thing to the next in an ongoing series of distractions. They are likely to be loud and fun and super friendly. They may be naively open-minded and willing to talk to anybody willing to listen to them. They like hands on activities and they learn best through experience and trying out out for themselves rather than just reading about it. ESFP children are likely to be very honest and forthright but well meaning. They have a short attention span but they are good at getting things done quickly and skillfully. When it comes to discipline, ESFP children learn best by example. They are great mimics, and are very likely to pick up on the behaviors of their parents and other important adults in their lives.


In their youth, ENFPs pick up very easily on other’s vibe and attitude and they use this to side step conflicts or befriend people. This allows them to also manipulate parents and coax them into seeing things their way or get them to do what ENFP wants without realizing it. They have trouble accepting being told they can’t do something or the idea that they can’t have what they want.  Even as a child, ENFPs push boundaries believing anything is possible if they try hard enough. They derive self esteem from their abilities and will strive to do things for themselves. ENFPs want freedom to explore what really interests them and trying to restrict this will only stunt and disillusion them. They crave positive feedback for their ideas and with the emotional support of family and friends, can go on to realize many of their wild aspirations.


Growing up, INTJs might be described as being bright, quiet and independent. They are highly observant and curious and may spend a vast amount of time on their own reading or engaging in their hobbies. They often get lost in thought and become inattentive and unaware of their surroundings and of people speaking to them. INTJ children are very reserved around people and get intimidated by group situations. In school, they can be excellent students but they dislike receiving too much direction or doing redundant work. They like being given an objective and just enough information to get started and they’ll go figure out the rest. Certain topics may be of special interest to them and INTJ kids are compelled to read and learn all they can about those things above and beyond what is required for class. INTJ children tend not to share what they feel but are very candid when asked.


ISTJ children are learn best from experience and they exhibit very practical sensibilities. They plan and follow through and they will take their time and be very meticulous about their work. They need specific instructions on what to do and don’t fare well when left to do their own thing or be creative. In school they are very diligent students who complete their assignments on time and they typically have great respect for their teachers and people who occupy positions of authority. ISTJs kids have excellent memories and they have a great capacity for rote learning and absorbing facts. They are most happy when they have a consistent and stable routine that allows them to stay busy and productive. The ISTJ child may have a narrow field of interests and prefer to develop extensive proficiency in a particular area rather than spread their focus across a variety of topics. They like to show off their knowledge and spout off statistics and data like a savant. They are also good with schedules and can be relied upon to fulfill their obligations and carry their responsibilities like a mature adult.


ESTJ children appreciate order and structure. They respect and look up to people they perceive as authority figures and desire to learn from them. Even in their youth, ESTJs are goal oriented. They plan and think things through, but they do so relatively quickly and decisively. They make up their minds fast because they rely mostly on facts and rarely change their minds afterwards. They are honest and fair and typically have a keen sense of justice even at a young age. They may even feel obliged to help enforce the rules. ESTJs are very studious and seek to acquire solid understanding of the facts surrounding an issue or topic of relevance. They want answers and they can devote a substantial amount of their time to find them. ESTJs children are direct and assertive in how they communicate and may sometimes say insensitive and inappropriate things and engage in physical aggression. Their tempers can flare up but the situation can be deescalated by speaking to them calmly and logically explaining the problem with their behavior.


As children, ENTJs exhibit strong reasoning skills and critical thinking ability. They think logically and are not receptive of things they deem insensible. They plan things out and they show initiative in recognizing things that need to be done. Their minds are often thinking ahead anticipating and planning for things not on other people’s radar. Their parents may not always understand the significance of what ENTJs spend their time on but odds are that it is something ambitious. ENTJ children are goal oriented. In school they are often active participants who may blurt out answers without thinking them through much. They are very intuitive and can seem like mind readers the way their fast minds work. Although they are not very detail-oriented, they can be very thorough when mastering a topic for which they are deeply interested in.


During childhood, INTPs are bound to be very inquisitive but struggle with shyness and may experience sometimes severe anxiety when entering new situations and meeting new people. Usually, friendships are initiated by others and INTPs may spend a lot of time fantasizing about the romantic crush they will never ask out. Their temperament is generally reserved when in groups but in one-on-one settings their unorthodox wit flows more freely. During their formative years, INTPs may be very cagey, selfish, hypersensitive to rejection and territorial about what they consider theirs. They may have immature outbursts and likely get into trouble for back-talk and questioning what adults tell them. They take issue with being coerced to do anything for which they don’t understand the reason. Many adults are bound to take the INTP’s questions as an affront to their authority and may feel they owe no explanation to the INTP child. “Because I said so” is one of the last things INTPs want to hear as an answer.


In their youth, ISTPs are very quiet and shy. They may be very curious about their environment and interesting objects and devices. They probably take an interest in tactile activities like card games, model building and sports. They are likely to become very handy around the house due to their ability to fix and figure how things work. They may show less interest in abstract concepts and theories that produce nothing tangible for them. They may be aficionados of certain things and likely collect things like art and memorabilia that signify their special interests. ISTPs children do not care as much for gratuitous and glib praise but desire specific, sincere and meaningful feedback about what they do and what is good about it. ISTP children follow the rules but do not like being told explicitly what to do. They will do best with assignments in which they are told what the desired goal is and any rules that must be followed, and left to their own devices to achieve the goal. They work best alone and may have problems with groups assignments, and may reject these kinds of projects by not participating much.


As a youth, ESTPs are likely to be unruly and rambunctious. They’re full of energy and their parents may have their work cut out for them when trying to rein them in. ESTP children are bound to be athletic and attracted to the world of sports. In school, they may struggle because of boredom and their lack of interest in abstract subject matter. ESTPs may have discipline issues and a tendency to be disruptive and act impulsively without thinking about the consequences. They push the limits and bend rules but at the same time, may also be very humorous and popular for their attention grabbing antics. Their persuasive abilities have probably allowed them to weasel themselves out of many a predicament and avoid or mitigate punishment.


ENTP children are probably very talkative and hyperactive. They are never at a loss for words and they are often very amusing. They need explicitly defined rules and boundaries otherwise they will push and bend them at will. ENTPs can be argumentative and clash with their parents over many issues and may often appear like arrogant know-it-alls. In their early years, ENTPs are likely to be very inquisitive and ask countless questions at the risk of annoying their parents. They have hyperactive imaginations and they love to spitball ideas and talk about endless “what if” questions with their friends. They are humorous and likely crack up people up with their unorthodox stream of consciousness. In school, they are probably known for being outspoken with a tendency for saying brazen or inappropriate things.

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Enneagram and Communication Styles

(Written by:  Sterlin Mosley & Aaron Addonizio from Insightful Innovations)


Image Statement: I am right; I am good; I know best; I want perfection. One’s want to communicate to the world that they have it together, and are competent, right, and good moral people even though internally they may feel the opposite.

Energy: Rigid, upright, stiff, contained, solid, stoic, elegant, polished, assured.

Communication Style: Proselytizing, teaching, preaching, informing, telling, educating and elevating. 

Conflict Style: Faultfinding, nitpicking, condescending, poker-faced, unemotional (or explosive if pushed too far), moralizing, admonishing. One’s are triggered by being told they are wrong and will go on the offensive if their character is attacked. They may become moralizing or scolding. Some One’s may retreat for fear of emotional display or may seem cold and distant. 

Conflict Resolution Tips with Type 1: Do not tell them they are wrong, but rather find a way you can validate their opinion while holding your ground. Try to avoid the words wrong, incorrect, or bad all together while in an argument lest you escalate it. Help them see the ways in which they are being angry or hurtful (in a gentle way, as 1s have a fear of their own anger).


Image Statement: I am helpful; I am nice; I am giving; My will be done; I have what you need. Two’s want to be seen as helpful and kind people because this supports their self image. Two’s will present themselves as someone who has whatever you need whether it is resources or attention.

Energy: Soft on the outside, hard on the inside, seductive, sticky, clingy, flirtatious, nurturing/motherly.

Communication Style: Effusive, relational, heartfelt, emotional, helpful, complimentary and managerial. 

Conflict Style: Dramatic, wet, emotionally explosive, entitled, sulking, martyring, or blustery anger. Two’s are triggered by the message that they are not kind or helpful or by the implication that their efforts to help are not well received. 

Conflict Resolution Tips with Type 2: Assure the 2 that you appreciate their efforts and that they are not in vain but remind them that they choose to do whatever it is they are doing. Remind the 2 that you want them to take care of themselves because typically their anger stems from the misdirected feeling of having to care for others. Acknowledge their emotional displays but do not pay too much attention to their histrionics.


Image Statement: I am successful; I am a winner, I am impressive, I go for the goal. Three’s want to be seen as someone who is successful and attractive. They will present themselves as popular and accomplished even if internally they feel lacking.

Energy: Tough exterior, hollow, steely, energetic, high powered, glossy, chameleon like.

Communication Style: Expedient, professional, polished, peacocking, bragging, smooth, trendy, competent or mentoring. 

Conflict Style: Evasive, arrogant, superior, dismissive, sly, undermining, narcissistic and condescending. Threes are triggered when they feel undervalued or dismissed. They may become angry when their success and driveness are misunderstood or undermined. 

Conflict Resolution Tips with Type 3: Try to set aside a predetermined amount of time to discuss problems. Don’t allow them to smooth things over with promises or apologies if they don’t understand the situation. If in an interpersonal relationship with them try to appreciate the hard work they put in but emphasis the important of relationships. Help them feel comfortable with expressing feelings rather than “just the facts” as this is a method they utilize to prevent feeling too much.


Image Statement: I am intuitive; I am deep; I am creative; I am different; I am correct. Fours want to be seen as special and creative and will exaggerate their differences to cover over feelings of being ordinary or mundane.

Energy: Fluid, flowing, poised, sensitive, intense, emotionally charged, melancholy.

Communication Style: Breathy, lamenting, metaphorical, haughty, symbolic, specializing, discriminating.

Conflict Style: Haughty, condescending, emotionally explosive, detached or cold, hatefully articulate. Fours are triggered when they feel misunderstood or the sense anger or abandonment from the other person. Fours can become pointedly articulate and hateful when provoked. 

Conflict Resolution Tips with Type 4: Don’t try to have a completely rational discussion devoid of emotional content, it won’t engage them. Try to recognize their intuitive insight while still maintaining your own personal truth (4s like to tell other people what they are feeling, and they are usually onto something). Don’t let their histrionics or emotional outbursts drive you away. Take a time out if necessary so that emotions can calm down. Let them know if you’ve been hurt too and that your feelings are just as important as theirs.


Image Statement: I am knowledgeable; I need more time; I am intelligent; I think; I am different. Fives want to be seen as intelligent, rational and idiosyncratic. They may cultivate intelligence to cover over feelings of insecurity.

Energy: Prickly, detached, disembodied, contained, cerebral, removed and remote.

Communication StyleTechnical, knowledgeable, unemotional, detached, high strung, know it all, idiosyncratic. 

Conflict Style: Detached, cold, cutting, dispassionate, childlike, passive aggressive, arrogant, overly logical. Fives are triggered by the presence of expectations (particularly emotional expectations) and emotional displays. Fives may become distant or blisteringly angry when faced with an emotional expectation. 

Conflict Resolution Tips with Type 5: Try to maintain some emotional stability while arguing. 5s like to keep to the facts of a situation and will detach when emotions get too heated. Walk away from the argument if you are to emotional as you will be unlikely to get a response. Tell them that your feelings are hurt without expecting them to do something about it (they become angry when there are emotional expectations). Don’t let them use knowledge or arrogance as a weapon and remind them you are a person not a robot or computer.


Image Statement: I am clever; I must be safe; I am loyal; I am harmless; I am “real”. Sixes want to be seen as responsible, clever and loyal. They may cover feelings of insecurity with ingratiating niceness or sweetness or rebellious provocativeness.

Energy: Mentally active, hyper-vigilant, anxious, contained, suspicious, penetrating, punchy and high strung.

Communication Style: Tentative, funny, friendly, warm (or prickly), engaging, rebellious, provocative.

Conflict Style: Vacillating, blaming, victimizing, distrusting, cross-examining, quick and relentless. Sixes are triggered by feeling mistrustful or feeling blamed. They may become terrier-like and questioning when feelings of insecurity or abandonment are brought up.

Conflict Resolution Tips with Type 6: Admit any ulterior motives. Try to stay calm but don’t dismiss them, Find common ground and allay their fears of abandonment or anger. Do not get lost in their arguing circle, if it feels like a marathon walk away. Hold your opinion but don’t be stubborn about seeing their point of view. Do not insult their intelligence or flatter or appease them. Don’t try to win, this will only escalate the argument. Don’t tell a 6 to calm down.



Image Statement: I am free; I am exciting; I am entertaining; I want it all; I am positive. Sevens want to be seen as interesting, entertaining and fun. They may cover over feelings of inferiority or fear of boredom with big plans and interesting stories.

Energy: Amped up, restless, airy and light, quick, spritely, mischievous, fast.

Communication Style: High energy, fun loving, entertaining, storytelling, enthusiastic, evasive, exaggerating. 

Conflict Style: Fleeing, disinterested, condescending, arrogant, unaffected, mocking, explosive tantrums. Sevens are triggered by feeling trapped or limited and may try to flee the conflict or may react explosively to break free of negativity. 

Conflict Resolution Tips with Type 7: Try to allow them their space but hold them to a time when the conflict can be resolved, 7s will flee at difficulty and let them know how this affects your relationship. If they try to leave ask them to set aside time for you to discuss it (5s like this too). Don’t harp too much on what they are doing wrong or they’ll shut down. Don’t sugar coat things but try to reframe things so they can take in the information without feeling too threatened.


Image Statement: I am strong; I am a survivor, I am in charge; I protect. Eights see themselves as strong and in charge. They want others to recognize their strength and to the extent they feel vulnerable they will project more power.

Energy: Strong, solid, powerful, intimidating, big, overpowering, irreverent, laconic.

Communication Style: Bold, direct, unemotional, matter of fact, brash, impactful, empowering, offensive or limit pushing. 

Conflict Style: Blustery, domineering, violent, unemotional, dismissive, uncaring, rageful, vengeful. Eights are triggered by feeling controlled or dominated or by feelings of abandonment or disloyalty. Eights may become domineering, aggressive or incredibly cold when triggered. 

Conflict Resolution Tips with Type 8: Stand your ground and do not waiver in your opinion. They want someone who can hold their own against them. 8s will spar with people they love to test their strength. Try and set ground rules in an argument with an 8 and don’t be afraid to let them know if they hurt your feelings (this often surprises them). Try not to react to their intimidation tactics but don’t egg them on either.


Image Statement: I am peaceful; I am calm; I am easy; I am drama free; I am uncomplicated. Nines want to be seen as easygoing and peaceful and may deny problems or negative emotions to cover over secret feelings of anxiety or anger.

Energy: Peaceful, grounded yet spacey, detached, open, sleepy, slow, vacant, doormat.

Communication Style: Peacemaking, agreeable, complacent, stubborn, saga-telling, passive (aggressive), noncommittal, receptive.

Conflict Style: Passive aggressive, stubborn, pacifying, occasionally explosive, sleepy, unaffected, clueless. Nines are triggered by feeling internal chaos or being unable to escape negative feelings or emotions. They may go to sleep to the problem or suddenly become angry and belligerent like Eights or scolding like Ones only to calm down soon after. 

Conflict Resolution Tips with Type 9: : Don’t attack aggressively or take a blaming tone, they will tune you out. Try to acknowledge that they want to find a point of agreement between the two of you. 9s will be afraid of your anger and may become stubborn or withdraw when you begin to show your anger. Assure them that your anger doesn’t mean that you don’t like/love them anymore (unless of course you don’t) but that it’s important to resolve this issue.

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How Each Myers-Briggs Personality Type Would Behave If They Were Narcissists

(Written by Katerina Lolitta)

Anyone of any personality type can be a narcissist (someone who lacks empathy and exploits others). And certainly, one’s Myers-Briggs personality type is not the end-all be-all of someone’s personality, though it can give some accurate insights into one’s behavior and motives. There are many factors that play a role in how personality is manifested in an individual.

But how would each specific MBTI type behave if they were void of empathy? Let’s have a look:

INTJs and INTPs as narcissists would take their rational side way too far. They would be the epitome of what we call the “cerebral narcissist,” using twisted logic to rationalize any mess or situation they’ve created. They would be prone to dehumanizing others all in the name of reason. Their logical side would be so overblown that they would fail to have any empathy for victims of unfortunate circumstances or crimes – including the crimes they themselves committed!

INFJs and INFPs as narcissists would abuse their power as changemakers and would be ‘covert’ narcissists – wolves in sheep’s clothing. They would take their perfectionism and ability to cut off relationships to the extreme by frequently ghosting people and criticizing them to the nth degree. Rather than using their platforms to help support the populations they serve, they might attempt to use them to feed their grandiosity.

ENFJs are natural born influencers and ‘teachers’ that would demand that their ‘students’ worship them. As narcissists, they may become predatory and cross boundaries with those they’re ‘educating.’

ENFPs as narcissists would always be seeking validation and attention from others. These would probably be the more ‘vulnerable’ narcissists of the group, using their relationships with others to hide their core sense of shame.

ENTJs and ESTJs are known for their bluntness, business acumen and ability to lead. As narcissists, however, their leadership would become a dictatorship. They would micromanage people and overpower them – not for the purpose of organizational efficiency, but for the purpose of feeling superior.

ENTPs and ESTPs are natural-born devil’s advocates, so as narcissists, this trait would be exaggerated in their ability to provoke and demean others. They would argue in favor of horrific crimes or blatant inequalities just to get a rise out of the people they’re debating with. They would be hypercritical and abrasive, as well as emotionally abusive. Their cruel bluntness would be disguised as, “That’s just the way I am.”

ESFJs as narcissists would create enmeshed relationships and have no problem violating the boundaries of others. As healthy individuals, they are empathic and giving. But as narcissists, they would ‘give’ only to get back. They may give the bare minimum to people and demand the maximum in return.

ESFPs are socialites who tend to be the life of the party. As narcissists, they would create harems of adoring fans that cater to their every need and ‘get off’ on all of the attention they’re receiving. They love to be the center of attention and would be perpetual spotlight-hoggers. They are also very into aesthetics, so they may present as a more ‘somatic’ narcissist – someone overly obsessed with their looks and appearance.

ISTJs as narcissists would stonewall their partners, shutting down arguments even before they’ve had a chance to begin. They would be extremely traditional in the way they view things and use moralistic thinking to control others, all while engaging in hypocritical behavior behind closed doors. In the realm of work, they would gravitate towards careers in power – such as that of law enforcement – just to abuse their power and get away with it.

ISFPs and ISTPs are gentle as non-narcissists, but as narcissists would present as pessimistic misanthropes. They would be the ones constantly griping about how unfair the world is, how they’re always the victim and how they never get their fair share. They would work to underhandedly sabotage anyone who has what they covet.

ISFJs are generous to a fault as non-narcissists. However, as narcissists, they would present as the quintessential covert, shy and introverted helper with a hidden entitled streak. Although they will appear humble at the onset, make no mistake, they will be taking note of everything they do for you and any time they feel they’re not getting the attention or appreciation they deserve. They will lash out in a terrifying display of narcissistic rage if they don’t get what they want.

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Enneatypes’ Idealized Aspect

From “Spiritual Dimensions of Enneagram” by Sandra Maitri

A way to begin pinpointing your type is to identify which of the idealized Aspects is the one you most try to emulate, as well as the one that seems to you to be the answer to your problems. Below is a brief description of each of the Aspects and some of the ways each of the eneatypes tries to embody them.

Enneatype One: Brilliancy
The state of Brilliancy is one of completeness, wholeness, perfection, and purity. Ones attempt to embody these qualities and to impose them on others and the world around them. Ones have a very clear sense of what they consider right and wrong and believe that if others behaved correctly in accordance with these standards, all would be well. So the dominant quality of Ones is an eye for imperfection, frequently accompanied by criticality and faultfinding, and trying to make things conform to what they consider to be right and good. Like Nines, their focus is outward, but here it is with resentment that things are not perfect and with the agenda of making them so. Ones are firmly identified with their superegos and have difficulty understanding that whatever is happening is right. Chaos and disorder are difficult for Ones to tolerate, so they often are fastidious and tidy both in their personal appearance and in how they keep their various environments. They try to be what they consider good and push out of consciousness what isn’t. Energetically they feel sharp and crisp and often have a pristine and clean quality.

Enneatype Two: Merging Gold
The state of Merging Gold is one of blissful, ecstatic union. It is a dissolving of the separating boundaries of the personality, resulting in a sense of oneness with another of Being Itself. It is the state of being in love, merging and melting into oneness with one’s beloved. Twos long for this kind of union, believing intimate contact, either physical or emotional, is the thing that they most need. Being loved and connected to that special other is a Two’s deepest desire. Twos emulate the characteristics of Merging Gold by attempting to be someone others will love and consider special. They are sensitive to the emotional states and needs of others and try to be there for them so that they will be loved in return. Twos are acutely attuned to any sense of rejection by others and will go to great lengths to be loved and accepted. While it is difficult for them to ask for attention directly, they become quite demanding and prideful if they feel that they are being ignored or overlooked. Twos often feel to others sticky, clingy, and needy, as well as filled with their own self-importance.

Enneatype Three: The Pearl
The Pearl, or Personal Essence, is the state of being a person whose consciousness, life, and interactions are informed by Being. It is the state of being truly autonomous, free of all object relations and mental constructs defining who you are, and so it is the state of being a real person - an individuated embodiment of True Nature. Threes want to fulfill their potential and fully realize themselves, but this gets translated by the personality into cultural, material, and sometimes spiritual success rather than into actual unfoldment. They imitate the characteristics of the Personal Essence by believing they are functioning independently, while they are actually being shaped by and conforming to prevailing cultural images. They transform themselves into the image others want to see, and focus on their activities and accomplishments. Their sense of value is determined by how successful their performance is, and so they have difficulty not being active. Getting the job done is the most important thing to them, and so they overexert and subordinate physical needs, feelings, and inner experience in that pursuit. Focusing on their presentation, they deceive themselves and others to fulfill the image they are trying to present. Threes often seem slick and polished, as well as slippery, disingenuous, and sometimes just plain fake.

Enneatype Four: The Point
The experience of the Point is self-realization - it is the recognition that who you are Essence. The actual experience is sometimes of being a shining star emerging out of the vast blackness of space, luminous and radiant, with a sense of meaning, value, importance, and appreciation for our individual uniqueness. Fours want to be seen as unique, original, and authentic, since they lack this sense of identity with Being. Because of their estrangement from Being, they often feel lonely and disconnected, and long for a sense of relatedness with others. They are acutely sensitive to being abandoned and neglected, and tend to dramatize their emotions and often feel dissatisfied and melancholic. Others seem to Fours to have what they lack, and what they have and who they are never seems quite enough. They seem to suffer more than others, and their longing for authenticity makes them controlling of themselves and of others. Fours may seem sad or depressed, but this is not always the case. Some seem happy enough although somewhat dissatisfied, with an air of vacancy despite the apparent strength of their emotions.

Enneatype Five: Diamond Guidance
The experience of Diamond Guidance is that of understanding and knowing in a deeply embodied and experiential way. It is the capacity to analyze and synthesize information from the present and the past instantaneously and to grasp something in an all-inclusive manner. Fives feel that what they need is knowledge, and they imitate this intuitive understanding through trying to make sense of life by observing it from a distance. They substitute detachment for objectivity, mental knowledge for active engagement in life, and tend to be loners who spend a lot of time by themselves and resent intrusions by others into their solitude. They live in their own bubble, feeling and maintaining a sense of isolation, which protects them from the impingements and demands that they fear. Dogged by an inner sense of impoverishment and insubstantiality, Fives seem empty, dry, and weak. They often seem withdrawn, pulled into themselves, withholding their vitality and engagement with others and with life in general. They tend to live simply and frugally, rarely wasting energy on resources.

Enneatype Six: Will
Essential Will is the experience of inner support, which gives us a sense of confidence in our ability to persevere and bounce back when faced with difficulties. Will infuses us with a sense of steadfastness, definiteness, groundedness, solidity, commitment, persistence, and indestructibility. Out of touch with Will, Sixes lack faith in their capacity to defend and protect themselves, so they are frightened, unconsciously feeling always at risk of not surviving. Plagued by self-doubt, uncertainty, indecisiveness, and insecurity, Sixes think that their fear will be resolved if they can find something or someone who will give them confidence and who can dispel their doubt. To resolve their fear, phobic Sixes want a person or a cause they can believe in and become blindly loyal to, and counter-phobic Sixes try to become that for others. Subordinating their will or, conversely, imposing their will on others, becomes the personality’s imitation of real Will. Likewise, being suspicious of authority and either covertly or overtly being defiant of it become a Six’s way of having his own will. Energetically Sixes feel to others frightened and suspicious.

Enneatype Seven: The Yellow
The Essential Aspect of the Yellow is the experience of joy, delight, appreciation, and simple happiness. It is a warmth in the heart, which might be ebullient and bubbly or calm and deep. Sevens want to feel this gentle happiness rather than their parched and dry inner emptiness. So they look for stimulating ideas and things to get excited about, and their style is one of appearing optimistic, enlivened, enthusiastic, and above all, okay. They try to plot their course toward whatever holds the promise of joy, and so mapping and planning are central to their process. Lacking trust in their natural unfoldment, they try to make their inner process conform to their mental map, which they hope will lead them to the treasure that will finally bring them happiness. Driven by fear of how things will unfold, they always have backup maps and plans. They usually have many different things they are interested in and can get excited about, and lose their motivation when things get repetitive and difficult. Sevens often seem wired and mental, charming and talkative, but sometimes leaving you wondering where the substance is.

Enneatype 8: The Red
The Essential Aspect of the Red gives us a sense of aliveness, vitality, vibrancy, strength, and capacity. It gives us initiative and forcefulness, boldness and daring. Eights believe that strength is the answer, and so they attempt to control and dominate, to bully and overwhelm to gain a sense of it. They have little tolerance for what they consider weakness or deficiency, and so have difficulty with “soft” feelings, especially pain and fear, both in themselves and others. Imitating the Red, they engage life with gusto and passion, forcefully and aggressively going after what they want. With the need to be in charge and take the lead, they have difficulty not being the boss and going along with someone else’s wishes. They are fighters for what they believe in, and just as the Red is the power to defend what is real, Eights are fierce defenders of what they consider to be the truth. They seem to others large in energy, with a strong and powerful presence even when they aren’t saying a word. Some Eights seem to have a perpetual chip on their shoulders, meeting life with belligerence and bluster. They have difficulty being vulnerable and receptive, tend to stay very much in control and in charge, and often feel energetically hard.

Enneatype Nine: Living Daylight
Living Daylight is the experience of everything in the universe being made of love. It is the recognition of Being as what sustains and supports all of manifestation, and that our nature is inseparable from It. It gives us the sense of being held by a warm and benevolent presence and connects us with the goodness of life and of ourselves. Nines believe that these qualities are missing and are what they need. So they want to be included, noticed, loved, and appreciated by others, and want to contact the goodness of life and feel that they are included in its bounty. They fade into the background, harmonizing with others and rarely asserting themselves. They avoid conflict and try to keep things pleasant and comfortable both for themselves and others. Their focus is outward, on others and on the events in their lives. They are sensitive and open to the perspectives and points of view of others, and so mediate well. At the same time, they have difficulty determining what they think, feel, and believe. They tend to have a fuzzy, amorphous, or slightly out-of-focus feeling about them.

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Enneagram Instinctual Variant & Pair Bonding: Interrelationship of Instinctual Drives

© 1996 Katherine Chernick-Fauvre

A noteworthy point of interest with respect to the Enneagram Instinctual Subtypes is that the dominant instinctual drive (self-preserving, social or sexual) will shift to the other two subtypes as needed to ensure its influential role in this trialectic instinctual system. The way in which the dominant subtype employs the other two appears to be very specific and predictable. The dominant drive maintains the role of the commander in chief and the other two are channeled through its lens. Generally, this is very primal and often unconscious.

This is especially apparent with respect to the human drive to seek a mate and pair bonding, but applies to all areas of life. If a relationship displays conflicting instinctual needs the dominant drive perceives it as a threat to security and acts accordingly. Confusion about the manner in which the instinctual drives manifest to create and maintain a sense of security is often the root of misunderstandings. Such disturbances in the instinctual drive are often the catalyst for seeking counsel or therapy.

Self-preserving moves to Sexual
For example, the self preserving subtype considers a mate as an essential need to maintain and insure security. Therefore, when in search of a mate the self-preserving subtype will feel anxiety and suspense until a mate is secured. In order to attract a mate, the self-preserving subtype will shift to their respective sexual instinctual drive to accommodate this fear. Outwardly the self-preserving subtype will behave like the sexual subtype, pay more attention to their desirability and will be sensual or flirtatious. At first, the self-preserving subtype will spend more time one on more with the possible mate. Once the mate is secured, the self-preserving subtype will return to basic routines that ideally would include the mate. An area of pain and disappointment for this subtype is when they have a mate that is unwilling to pay attention to issues of security and disrupt their need for inner calm.

Social moves to Self-Preserving
The social subtype will think in terms more indicative of the self-preserving subtype when selecting a mate. This is very important to insure the desired security that rank and social status can provide. The social subtype seeks a mate with a shared social vision and similar values. This is necessary to fulfill the desire for a mate that will join them in their activities. Therefore, a secure social position is essential. Much attention is paid to the potential mate’s connections, rank and ability to provide financial security. This subtype enjoys bringing others together, feeling that ‘the more the merrier’. They are often adept at creating the center stage and often use their home for social events, gatherings and causes. At first the social subtype will spend more time one on one with the potential mate. Once the mate is in place, the social subtype will return to outside interests, groups and/or activities, ideally, this is with their mate. An area of pain and disappointment for this subtype is when they have a mate that is unwilling to pay attention to their need for people, activities, causes and unwilling to share their interest in others.

Sexual moves to Social
The sexual subtype (one on one) will seek the greater world or social arena to find a desired mate. The sexual subtype is normally happy tucked away in a secluded setting with one significant other. However, when alone or in search of a mate, this subtype will behave much more like the social subtype. One must be with others to find 'the other’. Once the mate is selected, the social activity will be replaced by the dominant drive for time spent in union with the other one on one. At first the sexual subtype may spend time with the potential mate in the company of others. They become a pair even in groups. Then when the passion for deeper connection is ignited the sexual subtype will want to bond totally with their desired other. When the mate is determined, the sexual subtype will return to one on one style of relating. Ideally, this is intense time spent with the desired other or mate. An area of pain and disappointment for this subtype is when they have a mate that is unwilling to pay attention to their degree of connection and intimately share their deepest and innermost thoughts.“

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Master Post: Enneagram’s Fine Distinctions

Excerpted from The Dynamic Enneagram by Tom Condon
Copyright 2009, 2013 by Thomas Condon

Enneatype One

Enneatype Two

Enneatype Three

Enneatype Four  

Enneatype Five 

Enneatype Six 

Enneatype Seven 

Enneatype Eight

Enneatype Nine   

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Fine Distinctions / Enneagram Type Nine

Excerpted from ”The Dynamic Enneagram” by Tom Condon
Copyright 2009, 2013 by Thomas Condon

Self Preservation Nines

• Often preoccupied with physical comfort, maintaining routines and satisfying appetites.
• Exceptionally good receivers and appreciators; the best things in life are free
• Grateful for what they have and treasure it
• Can be reliable, dependable and consistent
• Specialize in a defense of small horizons
• Self Preservation Nines are especially prone to diminish their own expectations, to not quite hope for much out of life-a defense against disappointment
• Could be financially well-off but have a self-image of someone poor or destitute
• Distract themselves with pleasant domestic activities. Live conservatively
• Consume food and drink for anesthesia. Tend towards addiction, especially to numbing substances, smoking pot, overeating to the point of stupor
• Can have a love of the minimal and enjoy the repetition of known routines
Live a life of small horizons with few expectations
• Sleepy; may be slow moving, lack energy and be physically lazy
• The cliche of the couch potato goes with the low side of this subtype
Avoid the difficult by focusing on the immediate
• Can be extremely neglectful and messy
• A spaced out, unfocused mentality; lack of rigor
• No enthusiasm for anything; life is purgatorial, just killing time

Intimate Nines
• Loyal in love; patient and enduring; able to stay steady in long term relationships
• Realistically see their partners limits but accept them
• Good listeners; supportive non-judgmental friends
• Often focused on an unconscious ideal of romantic union
• Nines with this subtype are sometimes mistaken for Fours because of the way they can melancholically yearn for what they don’t have
• May have high expectations of romantic partners and be prone to jealousy
• Often this dynamic represents a yearning for a distant parent
• The ideal of romantic union blocks out the real relationship. It is a way of staying disengaged from your priorities, a distracting obsession
• Find their attractiveness and self-worth in how others see them
• May idealize people while deleting their flaws; could tolerate being mistreated or abused
• Can be fickle in love. After committing to a relationship they can grow critical of their partner and develop a wandering eye
• Indiscriminate; might have multiple serial relationships, searching from one person to the next, obsessing about whether their current partner is “the right one”
• Some Intimate Nines get involved with two partners and can’t decide between them, a pattern of triangulation
• Can be romantic on the one hand, callous on the other
• Sometimes feel driven by lust, especially when the have an Eight wing

Social Nines
• Nine with this subtype enjoy group process and will work hard to facilitate a group purpose or mission
• Don’t seek the limelight but could be a group’s leader
• Could feel like the group’s emissary; no better or worse than those they represent
• Especially able to mediate, to speak to all sides in a conflict and find common ground between warring parties
• Gravitate toward groups but feel conflicted about fully joining them
• Enjoy a group’s energy and interests but are aware of the group‘s expectations
Can lose themselves, immersing themselves in a group, trying to become all things to all people
• May play the role expected of them but stubbornly resent it
• Could also use the group as a barrier to keep the Nine from facing her own priorities
• Can get caught up in hyperactivity – a stronger connection to Three goes with this subtype. Often more extraverted and image conscious
• Rarely physically lazy. They can be very busy and active but asleep to their deeper priorities and needs
Generally more cheerful and extroverted and may be mistyped as Sevens
• Can act spoiled and broadcast an implicit attitude of privilege, although this is otherwise inconsistent with Nine temperament
• An odd combination of self-importance and egolessness. Internally they struggle with feeling unseen, but outwardly they seek attention
• Beneath the adulation they received as children, they felt ignored for who they actually were

Nine with an Eight Wing
• Healthy Nines with an Eight wing have a modest, steady, receptive quality
• Charged by the dynamism of Eight; can have great energy and force of will
• Get things done, make good leaders and have a personal magnetism of which they are only partly aware
• This wing brings a stronger internal sense of direction; when they decide on a path of action they may be impossible to influence
• Relatively fearless and highly intuitive; take their work seriously but not themselves
• Good friend to others, offers a protective quality. Sympathize with underdogs
• Not very visual but the connection to Three can modify this somewhat
• May seem laconic and laid-back on the surface but that belies a deeper intensity
• Can be surprisingly tactless, rude or gauche and be oblivious to the fact
• Some Nines with an Eight wing aren’t conscious of being afraid of their connection to Six. Pave over their fears with aggression and numb callousness
• Might surround themselves with fearful people, say, a nervous dependent Six whom the Nine then rescues. Can have savior complexes
• May displace their anger; pick a fight about something peripheral-not what’s really bothering them; Sometimes behind the anger is a tearful vulnerability
• Could be amiable, kindly and supportive one minute and then blunt, opinionated or nasty the next. A Jekyll/Hyde quality
• Prone to blame and to mishandling their anger; while not exactly vengeful they can be
vindictive. An anti-authoritarian streak is also possible

Nine with a One Wing
• Nines with a One wing tend to have been “model children.” They instinctively worked to please their parents by being virtuous, orderly, and low maintenance
• Idealistic; a quiet moral authority plus good-hearted peacemaking tendencies
• Often have a sense of mission, public or private; work hard for the welfare of whomever they are committed to. Good with detail
• Unpretentious yet dignified; generally empathetic, have the “common touch;” An elegant simplicity of manner and speech
• Can be well-liked, modest, endearing; gentle yet firm. Some have a striking quality of grace and composure punctuated by bursts of spontaneity and sweetness
• Sincere, practice what they preach; effective, good natured and idealistic.
• Rule-bound, obedient/compliant; perfectionistic and self-critical
• Can be compulsively orderly, overly controlled, unemotional and disassociated
• Can act on weird principles that don’t make sense; A dubious, fractured morality
• May be visibly successful but don’t really feel connected to their achievements
• Passive tolerance of absurd or damaging situations; so normal they’re strange
• Exceptionally conservative in their habits of living and around making changes
• May go passively self-neglectful. Dutiful to what they shouldn’t be
• Minimize, tell themselves they had a great childhood, everything’s fine
• Placid numbness can creep over them. exceptionally out of touch with feelings.
Intolerant of their own emotions; gradually deaden their souls

Nine’s Connection to Six
• This connection brings Nines courage. Where healthy Sixes develop the courage todo, Nines find the courage to be.
• The connection can usefully shake up a Nine’s complacency. It helps Nines challenge their fears and take risks, exposes the inner self that they usually disguise and efface
• The connection to Six brings tenacity and stamina – a willingness to see things through, to work faithfully away at tasks and commitments with a committed perseverance.
• Brings an idealism, sense of responsibility that stirs the Nine to action.
• Realistic, more able to acknowledge what can go wrong. If Nines tend to minimize andSixes exaggerate. unable to ignore being upset, useful self- doubt
• Sixish Nines can have a nervous, scatterbrained quality. They can over anticipate events, start to doubt themselves and think in anxious, obsessive loops
• Distract themselves from seeing the obvious or taking useful action.
• Can seem agitated and frightened in a beside-the-point way
• The Nine’s laziness about personal priorities is reinforced by the Six tendency to procrastinate. Sixes postpone taking any action, while Nines put off taking right action
• Sixish Nines can go in nervous busy circles. thinking about a problem or a decision extra hard while getting more and more confused and obsessive
• Can be risk-aversive, afraid of making mistakes that might provoke conflict.
• Obedient to authority and a sense of tradition
• Might hand over responsibility for decisions to others and then blame the others if the decisions don’t turn out well
• Can be cowardly and may run away from conflict or be undependable under stress or duress
• Anti-authoritarian attitudes especially with an Eight wing
• An episodic experience of fear-a Nine could have anxiety attacks followed by months
when the Nine is not conscious of feeling fear at all

Nine’s Connection to Three
• Brings Nines a kind of clarity of the heart
• They can suddenly see and prioritize on their own behalf. They take decisive deliberate steps towards personal goals. brings energy, industry, action and purpose
• This connection supports a steady persistence. Focused Nines are unstoppable
• A stepwise strategy for taking action and completing tasks in the real world
• This connection also helps Nines with appropriate social presentation. They are more willing to dress up and voluntarily play roles in the service of goals. They can also have a sense of propriety, be well-groomed and have good manners
• Healthy Threeish Nines can find freedom in role playing and the connection to Three can bring acting abilities as well as a talent for mimicry
• Distinct tendencies towards role-playing and hyperactivity as a distraction from their basic sense of non-being. A busy form of self- neglect, an active laziness
• Threeish Nines can go false and be defined by a milieu, playing roles based on the expectations of others
• May be vain, enjoy being mistaken for an image or indulge in episodic show-off behavior
• Nines can be fascinated by or obsessed with Three-like falseness in others; may want to root out fraudulence in others and tear it down
• In Threeish cultures (America) or subcultures (corporations) Nines can feel extra pressure to succeed and achieve-which they may then accommodate or sabotage
• They may be ambitious although often they are acting out someone else’s ambition.Can be chosen to fulfill the family’s unfulfilled wished and dreams.
• This connection supports a prince or princess-like quality and Threeish Nines can act entitled.
• Can fluctuate between high and low self-esteem; underneath their image, a Nine may feel indefinite, insignificant and depressingly unworthy.

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Fine Distinctions / Enneagram Type Eight

Excerpted from ”The Dynamic Enneagram” by Tom Condon
Copyright 2009, 2013 by Thomas Condon

Self Preservation Eights
• Strongly focused on physical security; very hard workers.
• When healthy they are exceptionally self-reliant, independent and responsible.
• Self-preservation Eights can be implacably determined to prosper.
• Momma Bear or Poppa Bear - fiercely protective and tenderly nurturing.
• Eights with this subtype can be homebodies who are focused on comfortable survival.
• Often see the world as a place where they have to fight for what they want.
• Grow up poor or struggling or feel responsible for the material well-being of their family of origin.
• Eights with this subtype can have a stronger connection to Five and maybe collectors or have prized treasured objects.
• May value possessions and objects over people.
• Possessions symbolize security, proving that they have overcome past deprivations.
• Eights with this subtype can grow preoccupied with controlling their immediate environment, including their home.
• The people who endanger the Eight’s possessions may be the same people the Eighties pledged to take care of.
• Can bully their children to “toughen them up” for life in the hard world outside.
• Bully their own vulnerabilities in order to feel safe.
• Prone to survivalist thinking. Might openly advocate selfishness and believe that civilized behavior is just a veneer concealing our true animal nature.
• This subtype is active in the behavior of tycoons, self-made people who create business empires out of nothing.
• Some are notoriously aggressive, bosses-from-hell.

Intimate Eights
• Considerate protective friends; loyal, dependable and there when you need them.
• Healthy Intimate Eights can be thoughtful and philosophical about matters of the heart, the vagaries, and complexities of relationships.
• Sensitive and compassionate, they often have a stronger connection to Two.
• Boxer-poets; people who have a paradoxical combination of aggression and sensitivity.
• This subtype can bring artistic tendencies: the desire to create, express, write.
• Many female Eights have this subtype.
• A nuanced ironic intelligence, especially about relationships.
• Intimate Eights are sometimes mistaken for Fours and occasionally have a Four parent.
• More easily able to switch places with their beloved, to sympathetically enter into the worldview and feelings of the other person.
• When intimate Eights are less healthy, they are wary of betrayal and prone to suspicion.
• They can freight up their relationships with expectations, often worrying about the other person’s capacity to handle their aggression and vulnerabilities.
• Want stable, loyal predictable partners and may be sensitive to signs of faltering commitment.
• Can see a close relationship as a mutual pact of protection in a dangerous world.
• Test their partner’s motives and fortitude by being paradoxically tough and aggressive. If the partner can handle being emotionally roughed up then the Eight can be unguarded.
• Similar to the practice of “hazing” new members in an American fraternity.
• Intimate Eights can express love so implicitly that their partner doesn’t know it.
• Could casually give a gift that they have poured their heart into.
• Set themselves up to be ignored and overlooked and then react angrily.
• Can be possessive and try to dominate and control an intimate partner.
• They can be exceptionally jealous, hooked into the other, overreacting to their partner’s every move.
• Might seek out pliant or passive people - Twos, Sixes or Nines - so that the Eight can feel in charge.
• The dark extreme of this subtype can be seen in the behavior of male stalkers and spousal abusers.
• May want revenge for being rejected and carry the sense that the other person is my possession and they aren’t going to get away from me.
• Connected to the low side of Two, prideful codependence and emotionalism.
• Focus all their attention on a partner while neglecting themselves.

Social Eights
• Healthy Social Eights are often loyal to a chosen group and conceive of themselves as that group’s protector, provider or leader.
• The group’s welfare and cohesion are important to them. To this end, they are often cooperative, solution-focused and open to feedback.
• Social Eights are genuinely interested in how others feel and are willing to listen and to negotiate.
• Honest about their faults and hold themselves accountable to others.
• More likely to apologize when they’ve been unfair.
• This subtype has a stronger connection to Two and can emotionally switch places with others in their chosen group.
• As friends they want to protect what’s soft or young in you and appreciate the same treatment in return.
• Can be bold, audacious or progressive in the service of changing a system, especially to make it more socially just.
• Some suffer from “eldest child syndrome,” feeling responsible for younger siblings while compensating for inadequate or distant parents.
• The group the Eight protects could be family, friends, coworkers. Or stray animals,abused children, misfit teenagers; or the small and inarticulate – those who can’t advocate on their own behalf.
• Members of the group symbolize the Eight’s vulnerabilities.
• Less healthy Social Eights put themselves in a one-up position; consider themselves more adult than other group members.
• Alone in the middle of a group, the friendless protector of others.
• They can’t receive well, and don’t expect to be given to or believe anyone can care for them.
• See their group as pitted against the world or another group; persecutory justice for a cause.
• The mentality of unhealthy Social Eightness is always present in wars.
• Hang onto power for its own sake.
• Gangsters, street and prison gangs; cultures prone to retributive feuding and cycles of revenge.

Eight With a Seven Wing
• Expansive, extraverted and overtly powerful.
• Gregarious and generous; can display a cheerful, sunny bravado.
• May be forceful but with a light touch.
• Often funny and have a sense of humor about themselves.
• May talk loud and be sociable partygoers, although this can be modified by their subtypes.
• Generally ambitious and materialistic.
• Can be visionary, idealistic and enterprising.
• Sometimes driven to bring the new into being and willing to take risks to make that happen.
• The realm of tycoons or high-profile social reformers who overhaul a system to make it more just.
• Can be good at seeing options, being flexible and strategic in how they use power and achieve goals.
• This wing brings Eights more intellectual capacity.
• Eights with a Seven-wing are usually more visual and see clearer imagery in their mind’s eye.
• Use their imaginations to dream up projects and plans; have trouble seeing themselves.
• A busy, fast-moving tempo to how they think, talk and move.
• Some Eights with this wing can speak in hyperbole using words like always, never, the greatest. Reflects their grandiosity as well as either/or, black-and-white thinking.
• The appetite of Seven and Eightish lust combine to form a stronger tendency towards addiction.
• Reactionary, prone to temperamental ups and downs; moody, egocentric, quick to anger.
• May court or create chaos as well as inflate themselves narcissistically.
• Some are ruthlessly materialistic. Driven by plans or big dreams.
• Can use people up, suck them dry, roll past them.
• May be explosive or violent, prone to distorted overreaction.
• Activity addicts; some Eights with this wing are chronically restless and stay in
continual motion to avoid the shadows of boredom and depression.

Eight with a Nine Wing
Healthy Eights with a Nine wing can have an aura of supernatural calm.
• Have a strong implicit belief in their own abilities and take their authority for granted.
• The outward manner of someone who hasn’t had a self-doubt in decades.
• The queen or king of all they survey. A quality of not needing to display their strength.
• A grounded, rock-like quality, as if their feet are anchored to the center of the earth.
• Healthy Eights with this wing have a receptive Nine-like quality and a modest, mild-mannered social presentation.
• Can be gentle, kind-hearted and soft-spoken. Sensitive in a non-emotional way.
• Tender, nurturing parents as well as steady, supportive friends.
• Informal and unpretentious, patient and laconic, often more introverted.
• May have a dry or ironic sense of humor.
• More disposed to reflexively pleasing others. Can seem like Nines.
• Eights with this wing are often more auditory and kinesthetic and less visual.
• A slower tempo of thought, physical movement and speech.
• Some have flat or even voices, which they modulate only slightly.
• More oriented to the present than Eights with a Seven-wing.
• Many have a high physical pain tolerance.
• Can be oblivious to the force of their anger until after they’ve hurt someone.
• Can be calmly dominating, emotionally cold and blind to softer emotions.
• An aura of implicit, simmering anger, like a sleeping volcano; slow to erupt but when they do it’s sudden and explosive.
• Some Eights with this wing act jaded and present the world with a tough, deadpan, poker-face.
• Some broadcast an implicitly challenging, go-to-hell attitude.
• Prone to boredom and tend towards depression.
• Go numb, have trouble showing affection, act dead.
• Can be cruel, especially in the service of ill-conceived goals.
• May be highly intelligent but their aggression makes them stupid.
• Prone to paranoid plotting, muddled thinking and warped acts of revenge.
• Blindly destructive behavior, abusive towards those they love, don’t know when to quit.
• Might passively accommodate other people’s expectations and then get angry when they have done too much.
• Can turn violent when they get close to their own vulnerabilities.

Eight’s Connection to Two
• Connection helps Eights sympathetically identify with others.
• They extend themselves, become better communicators, admit their interdependence.
• More compassionate, thoughtful, open and vulnerable.
• Peacemakers. Some have a conscious ethos of love.
• More in touch with the child within themselves.
• Healthy Twoish Eights can have “therapeutic” personalities in that they want to heal others and make things better. A healing touch.
• They see people 3-dimensionally instead of as 2-dimensional caricatures.
• This connection brings codependence.
• Some Eights can become overidentified with their partner and are unable to disengage.
• Could compensate for and defend a partner’s weaknesses, even those that injure theEight.
• Compulsively over-protective of others.
• They may also overreact, displaying a kind of hair-trigger emotionality based on anger.
• Can hang onto slights and injustices, take the whole world personally.
• Act entitled, episodes of megalomania. The Two’s self-inflation reinforces the Eight’snarcissism.
• Possessively demanding; could become obsessed with their partner. This connection sometimes brings jealousy and reinforces the unhealthy tendencies of the Intimatesubtype.
• Try to dominate people on whom they are dependent.
• The Eight defense of denial and Two habit of repression reinforce each other.
• It is not unusual for Eights to express this connection by marrying it.

Eight’s Connection to Five
• Healthy connection brings mental clarity.
• Able to be strategic and think things through.
• Less driven by power or aggression.
• Can see better in their mind’s eye, their visual field is enhanced.
• The connection brings a subtle, nuanced quality to an Eight’s responses.
• Can detach, stand back from circumstances and pause before they react.
• May have an intellectual streak, especially with a Seven-wing.
• They can be bookish, could have technical or philosophical interests; a love of learning.
• Loners. May recharge and replenish themselves by withdrawing into solitary pursuits.
• This connection takes the edge off Eight’s addictive tendencies and helps moderate their behavior.
• A calming influence; helps them see the big picture, remember long-term goals and avoid (over) reacting to immediate circumstances.
• Fiveish Eights can isolate themselves and lapse into inaction and depression.
• Collectors, hoarders, might be stingy with money.
• Distrustful and suspicious; start seeing friends as enemies.
• Guilty brooding about past actions, sink into morbid regret.
• Self-punishing; in extreme cases a risk of suicide.
• Feel powerless; heightened fear of betrayal by others.
• Anti-social, try to manipulate people from a distance.
• Can be fond of malformed, unfounded conspiracy theories.
• Dissociated, lose touch with reality, paranoid-schitzophrenic.

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Fine Distinctions / Enneagram Type Seven

Excerpted from ”The Dynamic Enneagram” by Tom Condon
Copyright 2009, 2013 by Thomas Condon

Self Preservation Sevens
• Self-Preservation Sevens are confusing since they tend to be highly sociable and gravitate toward groups like Social Subtypes do. Specialize
in “chosen family” in that they tend to create a network of people around them.
• They enjoy sharing on a circuit of interesting or like-minded people. Other people are a source of information and stimulation; interested in the latest gossip and everyone’s news.
• To the Seven, the group is a comforting barricade against the dangers of the outside world, a bulwark against an infringing universe.
• Can be loyal, if slightly detached, friends; protective towards those within their inner circle and good about staying in touch.
• Canny and practical, they look for the deals and the loopholes; can enjoy bargains,sales or getting something for nothing.
• Equally well-versed in and fascinated by a large variety of subjects. May lack depth but have a breadth of knowledge.
• Tend to depersonalize, talk in abstract or intellectual terms and don’t explicitly toot their own horn.
• This subtype is associated with the cliche of the “party animal,” compulsive socializers who want to enjoy perpetual good times.
• In NLP terms, Self-Preservation Sevens are “activity-oriented.” Sharing activity with others is a way to make contact or to avoid personal intimacy.
 • Can use people for stimulation and drop them when they stop being exciting.
• Some fear being alone and will use others as a protection against solitude.
• More likely to have an unconscious self-image of being abandoned, uncared for or left to their own devices. Abandon others out of fear of being abandoned.
• Can live beyond their means and be chronically in debt; self-induced cycles of bounty and scarcity.
• Could equate being disciplined and financially successful with being dull and stodgy. The Seven rebels by staying “free” (i.e. irresponsible and broke).

Intimate Sevens
• Intimate Sevens tend to have rich imaginations and are exceptionally creative.
• They embellish reality with fantasy; see daily life through a veil of imagination.
• Often think and communicate in stories.
• Can see intimate relationships as shared experimental adventures.
• Avid learners who are open to adventure and new experience.
• Dreamers in the best and worst sense of the word.
• Intimate Sevens tend to be suggestible and can be swayed in their positions and opinions.
• Trend spotters who seek the new with the enthusiasm of a faddist; they filter reality through fantasy and the fantasy is what they purchase.
• Sevens with this subtype are often more explicitly narcissistic. They tend to personalize their experiences, talk more about themselves and use the word “I” more than other subtypes.
• Can be tentative about commitments and have a wandering eye.
• May romanticize people outside their primary relationship as a way to avoid the limits and boredom of mundane life with the same old someone. • Can be more involved with their fantasy of their partner than with the real person.
• Intimate Sevens can easily move from relationship to relationship searching for the right person or an “all time high.”
• Sexual freebooters; Don Juan and Don Juaness patterns are possible.
• Some report having high expectations of their fantasized partner and being easily disillusioned.
• aware of putting too much pressure on the relationship.
• Some intimate Sevens do stay in long term relationships. They may be interested in the mysteries and vagaries of love as well as genuinely love their partner.

Social Sevens
• Healthy Social Sevens are notably steady, practical and accountable to others.
• This subtype brings Sevens more conscience and follow-through.
• When extraverted, they can enjoy social celebrations, fine wine and good food,storytelling, jokes, and travel, all with an obvious gusto.
• They can be unusually grounded and faithful in their responsibilities. They are relatively at ease with their commitments and are often stable and generous.
• They are sometimes motivated by idealism, serving something beyond themselves.This subtype can have a stronger connection to One.
• Protective of group members; want every member to have a good time. If someone causes trouble for the group, a Social Seven may react with a flash of temper against the interloper or troublemaker.
• Can be generous, protective friends.
• Feel torn between their duty to others and a desire to escape.
• Tend to feel codependently responsible for people close to them but experience that as a confining burden.
• Can be highly irresponsible, over promise and under deliver.
• A number of Social Sevens are firstborns or come from a large family where they were given a lot of responsibility and little guidance.
• Others recall having to compensate for codependent or unstable parents.
• Social Sevens sometimes resemble Sixes, because of their dutiful quality and their propensity for feeling guilty.
• Social Sevens with an Eight wing tend to rebel against their sense of burden and can sometimes act terse and angry toward those they feel burdened by.

Seven with a Six Wing
• Healthy Sevens with a Six wing are responsible, faithful, endearing, and funny.
• More accountable to others, oriented to relationships; loyal friends.
• Steady in their commitments as the Six wing brings a longer sense of time and more continuity to their perceptions.
• They often have more conscience, are hardworking and idealistic.
• Often funny or enjoy a good laugh. An amazing number of comedians are Sevens with this wing. The humor can have a playful, subversive quality.
• Can be openly vulnerable and have an unguarded, tender sweetness.
• Able to empathize with a wide range of people and experiences.
• Often late bloomers. Some stall at the gate of adulthood, avoiding expressions of their power or competence because they unconsciously doubt themselves.
• Some have trouble expressing anger even when they have been wronged.
• Might exhibit some of the doubting, ambivalent qualities of a Six. Can have surprise episodes of anxious insecurity.
• Aware of authority figures but tend to evade or finesse them. Can be unduly respectful towards traditions and authority structures.
• They can feel (neurotically) guilty more easily than Sevens with an Eight wing
• Can have distinct paranoid streaks that they are blind to; their self-image is of someone who is positive, forward-looking and adventuresome.
• Project their conscience onto others and then act irresponsibly; can display a frantic-all-over-the-place mentality.
• Prone to codependence even to the point of enduring physical or mental abuse.

Seven with an Eight Wing
• Healthy Sevens with an Eight wing are often gregarious and expansive.
• Self-confident in worldly matters and have few qualms about getting what they want.
• Often talented at creating something out of nothing – perhaps by inventing a successful persona for themselves or by creating a thriving career by accident after spontaneously seizing upon an opportunity.
• Exceptionally materialistic. “Living well is the best revenge” is one possible motto for this wing. In a hasty, rapacious hurry to get what they want.
• Loyal to their friends and can leap aggressively to their defense.
• Generous, often sharing what they have; want everyone in their orbit to enjoy their sense of bounty and range of interests.
• Sevens with an Eight wing are generally more kinesthetic and auditory and less consciously visual than Sevens with a Six wing.
• Can be demanding, impatient and self-centered.
• Thin-skinned; may require that the people in their lives candy-coat the truth, telling theSeven only what he wants to hear.
• Can be hypocritical – moralizing to others about behavior that they practice
• Some have hair-trigger tempers and can suddenly erupt. Their anger may pass just as quickly and the Seven then returns to a baseline of good cheer.
• Some tend to age-regress, sometimes to a very young age. Can have the quality of a small child stuck in the “terrible twos,” behaving like a demanding toddler who wants instant gratification.
• They unconsciously anticipate being frustrated and deprived and preemptively strike against the possibility.
• Can grow delusional and grandiose; may love to hear themselves talk about big schemes that never come to pass.

Seven’s Connection to Five
• The connection to Five brings Sevens sobriety, perspective and the power to integrate and internalize their experience – to digest what they have eaten.
• Helps Sevens become calm and detached, to see the Big Picture.
• More willing to accept the painful aspects of their experience; more likely to seek and find their own depths.
• An introverted need to spend time alone; may do this ritually or periodically.
• Sevens can also be bookish; may have distinct intellectual interests or embark on a search for philosophical wisdom.
• Some Fiveish Sevens have an almost aesthetic distaste for excess. They could, for instance, be offended by how much something costs.
• While Sevens tend to be naturally expansive and generous, they can have an incongruous cheap streak. Could be frugal and then go on spending sprees.
• The connection to Five supports escapism, stinginess and depressive tendencies.
• Unhealthy Sevens will check themselves out of difficult situations, withdrawing into their minds like a Five. Intellectualize their feelings out of existence.
• May detach from people and commitments with alarming speed.
• Defensive vanishing acts; can skate away when things get tough.
• Prone to withdrawn depressions, especially as part of a cycle of highs and lows.
• May have trouble handling and expressing their emotions or be emotionally drybeneath their high spirits.
• More likely to have mental addictions – to information, ideas, fantasies. Defensively retreat into abstraction.

Seven’s Connection to One
• Helps Sevens make appropriate, worthwhile, comfortable commitments.
• Brings discipline and follow-through; Sevens do things well and work hard.
• Oneish Sevens are often idealistic and can sacrifice for a cause or principle.
• Solution focused; search for “win/win” outcomes to problems.
• Oneish discipline helps Sevens give their lives a stable form.
• Helps with appetite, brings restraint and self-control.
• Oneish Sevens are good at sober, balanced critical evaluation; while they’re generous and sort for the positive they have a discerning, critical eye.
• Can begin to confuse discipline with repression, build a jail that they need to escape from, meanwhile blaming their confinement on outside sources.
• Some can be critical and dogmatic with a perfectionistic streak.
• Might start to think in black and white; may become obsessive about detail.
• The connection to One can also bring self-criticism and an overactive conscience.
• Sevens who project their Oneness can see Ones as oppressive symbols or foils.“They don’t want me to have fun.” May provoke judgmental reactions in others.
• Can latch on to a Big Idea, a future possibility or principle that the Seven is certain will resolve their present discomfort. The deluded, obsessed mentality of a compulsive gambler; excuse themselves from present responsibilities.
• Can be libertine in their youth and then adopt a pious, conservative lifestyle as they age. Try to rein in their appetites with rules and morality.
• Might be drawn to religious or ideological fundamentalism. Could be preachy and self-righteous.
• “Do as I say not as I do.” Hypocritical.

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Fine Distinctions / Enneagram Type Six

Excerpted from ”The Dynamic Enneagram” by Tom Condon
Copyright 2009, 2013 by Thomas Condon

Self Preservation Sixes
• Self-preservation Sixes can be warm and ingratiating; have a graceful, diplomatic sociability.
• Try to bring out the best in others and speak well of most people.
• Good communication skills; can tell people hard truths in a skillful or funny way.
• Generally more phobic than counter-phobic.
• Sensitive to using power fairly and constructively – not at someone else’s expense.
• Could be tough in negotiations but basically have a win-win attitude. Consider everyone an equal.
• Their home environment is especially important, home could feel like a feathered nest sheltering the Six from the world’s dangers and drubbings.
• Good at practical tasks and managing the material details of living.
• Often habit-bound and want the elements in their world to be known and predictable.
• When less healthy, the Self-preservation Sixes’ personal warmth is more like a tactic, a kind of charm offensive meant to de-fang the imagined hostility of others.
• May actively worry about their ability to materially survive; catastrophic fantasies about material loss.
• If they sense aggression or disapproval, they counterphobically zero in on it. Then they use humor, charm, self- depreciation to make friends out of possible enemies.
• Might act ingratiating and vulnerable in a way that invites rescue.
• More nervously dependent than other Six subtypes.
• Less in touch with their own hostility, since that is the opposite of the weak, warm person they present themselves to be. Victimizing victim.
• Can take a “one down” position in relationships, non-verbally placating and beseeching, casting you into the role of the responsible, powerful adult.

Intimate Sixes
• Lead disciplined lives that bring them strength – physical, emotional or spiritual.
• Being strong calms their fears.
• Creative; need to transform a harsh world into a beautiful one; often confused with Self preservation Fours.
• This subtype brings an artist’s eye and an aesthetic perspective, a love of nature and landscape.
• Sixes with this subtype tend to act strong or alluring when insecure.
• More likely to be counterphobic; they take chances, talk tough,
• May try to seem attractive to contain fear, get approval and distract others.
• Some need to create and make things, to transform what they see and feel into something tangible.
• Can be image conscious; their preoccupation with beauty can mutate into personal vanity; a stronger connection to Three.
• May hide and contain their fears behind an attractive mask; a sense of protective distance and once-removed control.
• A defiant/aggressive life stance is possible, an imitation of strength.
• Anti-authoritarian and knee-jerk rebellious.
• Intimate Sixes may project their power onto a sexual partner or sexuality itself; some report feeling addicted to sex.
• Project power onto authorities and then fight with them.
• Can be reckless, impulsive and prone to bad judgment.
• Worry about looking weak, having their fears show.
• Whatever the question the answer is no; can seem like Eights.
• This subtype can conflict with the Self preservation impulse in Sixes. Being creatively daring, open and unguarded is at odds with surviving and staying safe.
• If Self-preservation Sixes are addicted to security, Intimate Sixes are addicted to insecurity.

Social Sixes
• Steadiness and stamina. Willing to work hard in a dedicated way; a sense of mission.
• Diplomatic; can say things and not say them at the same time.
• Social Sixes tend to be dutiful and especially dependent upon authority.
• They are usually more often phobic than counter phobic.
• Idealistic; want to be of service to a group or a tradition.
• Take on responsibility for the cause and, to that end, do things willingly and well.
• When acting independently they will still refer to others in their mind for safety and agreement.
• Imagine that they can’t live without the group’s support.
• May think of themselves as a soldier in someone else’s army; a mentality of dutifulness that is akin to being a slave.
• Might romanticize the boss and then later tear him/her down.
• Passive/aggressive. The connection to Nine is stronger with this subtype.
• May become joiners, hiding within a group norm, concealing their sense of deviance by attacking those outside the group who are different.
• Their natural diplomacy devolves into a hesitant cowardice about stating their own position and taking independent stands.
• Catastrophic fantasy is of being banished from the group and being unable to survive.

Six with a Five Wing
• Generally introverted and often intellectual.
• Can have many interests and a surprising range of competencies and skills.
• May be bookish; some are interested in history or feel rooted in the past or related to along tradition.
• Can test potential friends for a long time but once you’re in, you‘re in – a friend for life.
• May use the strength of their minds to contain, distance or understand their fears.Afraid of the intensity of their emotions.
• They are often kinesthetic and auditory, especially auditory tonal – aware of and sensitive to tones of voice and the implications they carry.
• Intellectually curious and make take to psychotherapy and self- knowledge because it is interesting.
• They can be difficult to read and have a “tip of the iceberg” quality – revealing little but hinting at hidden dimensions and inner intensity.
• Can feel torn between needing to be seen and wanting to withdraw for protection.
• Can have a wary standoffish quality and project a willed remoteness. When afraid they can act arrogant, cryptic or cynical and aloof.
• Some are argumentative and litigious, even tending towards violence.
• Can be thin-skinned, sensitive to insults and slights and petty about keeping score:entertain conspiracy theories behind closed doors.
• May stand back and scrutinize events suspiciously. Sometimes their arrogance covers a sense of social shame.
• Can hide their affections and loyalties to be safe. Underneath they are romantic and idealistic.
• An ongoing tension between wanting to be dependent versus being independent.
• Might spend time alone worrying or plotting against their enemies, a kind of private paranoia.
• May also like secretive behind-the-scenes group activity. The realm of spies and espionage.
• Sneaky vengeance, passive/aggressive toward others, self-attacking and self-destructive at home.
• Can be passive aggressive as well as depressive, dour and humorless.

Six with a Seven Wing
• Generally outgoing, with a nervous quality.
• Can be charming, sociable, ingratiating.
• Have a cheerful, forward-looking drive are curious about life and idealistic.
• Comedic gifts and a good sense of humor.
• Usually are more visual and talk faster than Sixes with a Five wing.
• Have an optimistic sunny outlook and focus on the positive.
• Some struggle with appetite and addiction.
• Can be self-contradicting, either simultaneously – by seeming to want two things at once – or sequentially – by asserting one thing and then taking the opposite position a moment later.
• When defensive they can become obviously unhappy but impossible to please.
• Counterphobic Sixes with this wing can be noticeably accusative or argumentative.
• Can become insecure, irritable, petty, irrational and chaotic.
• Subject to mood swings, inferiority complexes and runaway fears.
• Can falsely accuse others and not seem to realize it.
• Focus on positive futures as a way to avoid present anxieties.
• Can be grandiose; create big plans that they secretly fear and may later sabotage.
• Overtly paranoid Sixes usually have this wing.

Six’s Connection to Nine
• Brings faith, patience and a capacity to trust life.
• Sixes find their place in the larger order of existence, feel aligned with the Big Flow,part of the larger order of nature.
• Develop a friendlier, safer image of the universe; feel like they belong to life.
• Connection can support a Six’s sense of mission and provide the personal power necessary to fulfill it.
The Six finds her courage as well as values worth being courageous for.
Healthy Nineish Sixes experience faith, not as a concept but as a body feeling.
• Have a more mystical sense of spirituality; less dependent on the authority structure of an organized religion.
• May respond more strongly to nature and a sense of place or land.
• Search for their own true feelings instead of relying on outside authorities to tell them what to do.
• More likely to live in the present.
• Can become numb, spaced-out and lazy.
• Fractured, chaotic thinking; can go in circles to avoid taking independent action.
• Merge with their environment, more passive towards authority, may be non committal or ambivalent in relationships
• Nine-like Sixes can get habit-bound, rut-prone, cautious and stuck. They take comfort in making things predictable, embracing little rituals and habits, to avoid taking risks.
• Sixes can also procrastinate like Nines, obsessing about everything except the most obvious step to take.
• May procrastinate, forgetting about things that have tangible consequence. Then wakeup and hyperactively save the day.

Six’s Connection to Three
• Brings Sixes self-confidence, productivity and skillfulness.
• The will and focus to finish what they start.
• Able to make decisions and take action, sometimes exhibiting leadership qualities.
• Brings an optimistic sense of possibility.
• This connection also supports a striking professionalism.
• Highly capable, if not always completely confident.
• Many have good organizational and administrative talents.
• Strong on quality control, do things well. Feel affirmed by what they produce.
• Threeish Sixes can have a con artist streak.
• May want to appear different than they are; hide their deviance with charm.
• Can mock and revile success but secretly envy it in others.
• Might immerse themselves in activity as a way to manage anxiety, especially when counterphobic.
• Sixes are also prone to Three-like hyperactivity, especially when stressed.
• Can stab you in the back, while believing they are the victim. Or present a meek front while conspiring behind the scenes.
• Some are competitive and want to best others but hide such motives to appear likable.
• Can become the unfair authority whom they would ordinarily fear.
• Perform well mainly to avoid criticism, especially from authorities.
• Ambitious for what they should want – based on the expectations and opinions of others – but out of touch with what they do want.
• Very unhealthy Sixes have more conscience than very unhealthy Threes, but they still can be manipulative, calculating and vengeful.

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Fine Distinctions / Enneagram Type Five

Excerpted from ”The Dynamic Enneagram” by Tom Condon
Copyright 2009, 2013 by Thomas Condon

Self Preservation Fives
• Often exceptionally knowledgeable, possibly about obscure subjects
• Use their knowledge to contribute to the world
• Sensitive to being saturated, feel overwhelmed by people’s expectations
• Lose their sense of privacy more easily and can quickly feel overstimulated
• Chief defensive tendency is to physically or emotionally withdraw.
• May be more explicitly alienated than the other subtypes
• Can close themselves off, burrow into their hobbies and interests; become expert at subjects so specialized or obscure that others leave them alone
• Try to take little from people; fear what the interaction will cost them
• Have a thin ectomorphic body type although they may gain weight due to a sedentary lifestyle
• Especially cost conscious around money, penny-wise and pound foolish
• Think of millionaire paupers who die in hovels but have mattresses stuffed with money

Intimate Fives
• Trust only a few selected people but then do so totally.
• Friendship is based on the sharing of confidences. Intimacy is equivalent to exchanging secrets.
• A Five’s bond with a close friend or partner is experienced as away from the outside world, in a bubble, with an all or nothing quality.
• Can go from enigmatic, deliberate distance to intense, unguarded openness
• Intuitive, sensitive and non-judgmental of friends
• A streak of voyeurism; think of internet sex
• Can obsessively love from afar and then go cold when their love is physically present
• Compartmentalize their relationships; might have friends who never meet each other
• Could especially fear having their separate friends meet
• Savor fantasies of being invisible, being close to others and yet unseen
• Could be a bigamist if they had the energy
• Sneaky and devious; can betray others by keeping secrets, telling white lies

Social Fives
• A contradiction in terms. can be gregarious, generous friends
• Self declarative and socially courageous; more likely extraverted
• Could be dedicated to promoting a social or group cause, willing to take principledpolitical and social stands even if it means being uncomfortably exposed
• Connect with groups of like-minded people sharing knowledge and affiliations
• Prefer specialized or esoteric realms of knowledge that exclude the uninitiated
• Can be snobs; value knowing the “right” people, belonging to the best clubs orconcerned with titles, degrees, credentials
• Good listeners and behind-the-scenes facilitators who avoid the limelight
• Can have an odd combination of presence and distance, like they are fully involved and yet holding something back,
• Indiscreet; may share information with their chosen group and be quite gossipy.
• Can be more Sevenish as in flighty, glib and insincere
• May suffer from Social Affective Disorder, which is essentially stage fright
• A talent for predictions

Five with a Four Wing
• Brings Fives an abstract, intuitive cast of thought
• Like Fours they may be artistically talented and moody
• Combine intellectual imagination with emotional intelligence• Marriage of mental perspective with aesthetics
• Generally more kinesthetic (conscious of feelings)
• Use their logical mind to temper their visions, daydreams
• Use their logical mind to subdue their feelings
• Can have a sense of being alien although it is not pivotal to their identity andsomething they may enjoy; may be nostalgic like Fours
• May be eccentric and have an abstracted “absentminded professor” quality
• Some seem distracted, preoccupied and disorganized
• Can fluctuate between impersonal withdrawal and bursts of friendly caring
• Some have an air of implicit superiority
• Can be whiners, especially complaining about how much a job or a relationship orother responsibilities that drain them; could bemoan the difficulty of going beyond theirlimits
• Some have quiet voices and the non-verbal affect of ghosts
• Environmentally sensitive; may feel defenseless against the world’s imput
• Recover slowly from traumatic events
• Can tend to depression where they the world as a gray void

Five with a Six Wing
• The difference between the Four wing and the Six wing in Fives is like the differencebetween art and science
• Fives with a Six wing are generally more intellectual and analytical
• Good with detail and technical knowledge; tend to think in logical sequences, in alinear way that is information-based; prone to “information addiction”
• More likely to think in words and images and are generally less kinesthetic
• Their tempo of speech and may be faster
• Can be loyal friends, offering strong background support
• Can be kind, patient teachers as well as skillful experts
• Many have a sense of mission and work hard
• Can see both the big picture and its small details and shuttle back and forth betweenthe two
• Can project an aura of sensitive nerdiness
• May have clumsy social skills; socially nervous if not playing the role of someone knowledgeable
• Prone to feeling guilty; readily give other people their power
• More likely to have an authoritarian parent and fear criticism or hostile attack
• May have a push/pull or even hostile relationship to authority
• Can be cold, skeptical, ironic, and disassociated

Five’s Connection to Eight
• Brings Fives access to their raw instinctual energy
• Become more physically kinesthetic; out of their heads and into their bodies
• Enhances sexuality and physicality; a lusty, pushy quality
• Moral and social courage; they take risks, become initiators instead of observers
• The connection to Eight helps Fives translate book-knowledge into action
• Take charge of situations that would otherwise overwhelm them.
• State their needs,initiate contact with others and get things done
• May have leadership qualities and bepassionate in a way that is antithetical to the Five defensive dissociated stance
• Can be explicitly antisocial and more angry than they ordinarily seem
• Could have asnappish, standoffish quality or even a nasty edge
• Can get punitive and severe with others; out of touch with their own anger so that itcomes out in dissociated ways or as a mean streak
• May fear their own Eight-like anger, project their own Eightness onto others or be intension to angry, aggressive people
• Turn their anger against themselves, by being self-critical and self- bullying
• Could exercise a cold, calculated behind-the-scenes control

Five’s Connection to Seven
• Brings Fives enhanced imagination
• seek adventure, whether intellectual, physical or social. The connection brings curiosity that gives them the nerve to explore the world.
• Often less self-conscious; they can be funny, engaging and enthusiastic
• Life longlearners; stay interested in life and mentally alive into old age
• This connection brings a streak of generosity as well as optimism
• Sense of humor about themselves
• Big picture thinkers; the eclecticism of the Seven combines with the Five’s ability to organize information
• Systems thinkers and model builders
• Reinforces a Five’s tendency to become abstract, schizoid and compartmentalized.
• Can become addicted to information, lose themselves in activity and defensivelyscatter their attention into a range of empty interests.
• May play mental games for diversion, using humor to disassociate or trivialize.
• Could be flighty, elusively jumping around in their thoughts or even physically fidgety
• Might take actions in a fitful sporadic way and for strange reasons
• Can rationalize and reframe their behavior to duck consequences
• May be socially undependable and noncommittal; can tell lies and rationalize the practice

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Fine Distinctions / Enneagram Type Four

Excerpted from ”The Dynamic Enneagram” by Tom Condon
Copyright 2009, 2013 by Thomas Condon

Self-Preservation Fours
• Self-Preservation Fours are often risk takers
• They take chances to stir up emotional intensity, collect new experiences, play outinner dramas or learn about themselves
• Open advocates of the passionate life
• Social and artistic courage; the high side of this subtype brings daring
• Healthy Fours with this subtype often feel driven to express an inner vision and findthe courage and skill to bring it into the world
• Often exceedingly practical in ways that support their creative enterprises
• For some their home is an aesthetically soothing refuge, for others home is dank and depressing, prompting fantasies of beautiful places, a stimulant to envy
• May have possessions they keep for a long time that are charged with symbolism and meaning
• Environmentally sensitive react strongly to their surroundings; fussy and hard to please about new purchases
• When less healthy, they take self-destructive risks or punish other by hurting themselves
• Some can be reckless and openly court disaster while others merely flirt with loss
• Sometimes the connection to One is extra strong. Fours with this subtype can harangue themselves in a Oneish way and then rebel with reckless behavior
• Some resist the need to make a living; may hobble themselves with mystery ailments that prevent them from having a “straight job”
• Self-Preservation Fours can be mistaken for counterphobic Sixes
• Some Fours with this subtype struggle with their weight and body image as they relate to identity. Anorexia, overeating or obsessions about food are possible

Intimate Fours
• Intimate Fours love others in a deep way, and possess a sensitive, complex, poetic intelligence about matters of the heart
• This is a highly romantic subtype, visible in the realms of romantic poetry, the troubadour tradition and popular music about love, especially in the lyrics of confessional singers
• Often stay friends with ex-lovers
• A focus on aesthetics; some Intimate Fours are tasteful, flashy dressers
• Can harbor afantasy of perfect union, a redemptive love that will heal the wound of being an unwanted outsider
• Prone to jealousy and may be competitive in close relationships as well as generally; can feel like there is only so much love to go around
• Want to be Number One in their beloved’s heart or the only person their partner has ever loved; could be jealous of their partner’s past relationships
• A stronger connection to Two
• May be surprised to discover that their beloved has different needs; they assume mutuality of purpose and are unprepared to negotiate
• Also prone to professional envy and try to best others at work
• May be unable to enjoy their successes without demeaning the achievements ofothers
• Intimate Fours can resemble Eights just as romantic Intimate Eights can resemble Fours
• Can believe that without someone to love they are nothing and life is not worth living
• When in love, images of their partner fill the Four’s awareness and attention. The beloved is a muse, necessary to connect Fours to their own life force
• May take no responsibility for their life until Mr. or Ms. Right comes along
• There can be a willful immaturity to this stance, a stubborn refusal to face facts no matter what the practical costs
• Can be love addicts who lack the memory of being loved and believe they are condemned to search the world for something or someone to fill them up
• Some Intimate Fours act markedly seductive to stave off being rejected
• May engineer rejection by picking unavailable or inappropriate people to become infatuated with
• A few have ambiguous, confused or exaggerated sexual identities or a chronic identity
crisis around their sexuality

Social Fours
• Healthy Social Fours are unusually independent, self-affirming and socially courageous
• Willing to take unpopular stands, initiate innovative projects or create institutions thathave humanistic or artistic purposes
• They make good teachers especially of art, poetry, spirituality, realms of the heart andthe inner life
• Can be idealistic, drawn to social causes, with a keen sense of justice. The connection to One is especially strong with this subtype
• May play the role of the critical outsider, dissatisfied with the norm
• Prone to shame because they compare themselves with the “normal” world around them, for deviating from imagined group norms
• Highly self-critical although their critical voice often belongs to someone else
• To refute the voice’s criticisms, a Social Four may romanticize her defects or snobbishly counter-criticize the group
• May seek status or feel driven to achieve to get revenge against those who once laughed at them
• Cover their shame with charm
• Social Fours with a Five wing can grow antisocial and depressed, bearing their shame
in solitude, in tension to a group that they keep at a distance

Four with a Three Wing
• Fours with a Three wing can seem like Sevens. Can be cheerful, outgoing, with asense of humor and style
• May be “counter depressive,” in that they stay busy and on-task to avoid getting bogged down in melancholy
• Healthy Fours with this wing marry art and commerce; they are both creative and effective, intuitive and ambitious
• Generally more visual and kinesthetic and have a faster tempo of thought, speech and reaction
• Often materialistic, can have elegant or expensive taste; could prize the rare
• Might dress flashy – albeit in a color coordinated way – in contrast to Fours with a Five wing, who try to be socially invisible
• Can be conscious of wearing a mask to hide their “true” deformed identity
• Some are Three “wannabes”; they imitate Threes to pass in the “normal” world as high-functioning and well-adjusted citizens; underneath they feel like ETs
• Can be exceptionally competitive, sometimes more so than Threes
• Their pleasure in their own achievements may be tainted by jealousy or motivated by revenge
• When recognized for what they accomplish, they may feel celebrated for the wrong reasons or dismiss the recognition as not enough
• Fours with this wing can tend towards melodrama and flamboyance
• Get lost in fraudulence, play the role of the artist or the authentic, unique one
• Generally more conventional and less original than Fours with a Five wing
• May have bad taste but not know it

Four with a Five Wing
• Fours with a Five wing are generally more introverted
• When healthy they have a rich, complex creativity
• Although somewhat intellectual, they have exceptional depth of feeling and insight
• May be multi-talented in ways that they take for granted
• Fours with this wing are often more original and idiosyncratic, unique to the point of eccentric
• Use thinking to suppress or dissociate from their feelings
• Often they are more auditory and kinesthetic and less consciously visual
• They have a spiritual and aesthetic openness and may also have a marked need to pour themselves into creative or artistic pursuits
• Try to use the strength of their minds to manage their emotional intensity
• Some are loners who can seem enigmatic or hard to read
• Externally reserved and internally resonant; when absorbed in a mood they can sit still and expressionless for long periods of time (hypnotic catalepsy)
• An “open or closed” quality; after suddenly breaking hours of silence, the Four won’t stop talking
• Fours with this wing will sometimes polarize against their own Three wing, making Threeness a shadow that they indict in others
• Could see the world as dominated by trashy, materialistic values and pointless hyperactivity – things the Four secretly envies
• Some are nondescript and try to be invisible. Consciously decide to venture into the world
• Some are sedentary and, if not overweight, have no muscle tone
• Especially prone to feeling alienated and depressed; could isolate themselves
• More likely to argue for their limitations or prove they can’t function in the normal world
• Might ignore practical matters or unpleasant but necessary chores, citing the strength of their feelings as an excuse
• Can be whiny or have an air of sullen, withdrawn disappointment
• Prone to sulking and stubborn, passive-aggressive sadness; unusually humorless
• Can inhabit a private world of pain and loss or be morbidly in love with death
• Might have a well-developed eye for the grotesque and the gothic
• Like Sixes they can fear taking action; some complain of having little energy

Four’s Connection to One
• A healthy connection to One helps Fours locate and connect to the objective, factual world, independent of their inner feelings
• Helps Fours balance the intensity of their feelings. They think more rationally and keep things in perspective
• The connection to One brings discipline and diminishes a Four’s self- indulgence
• Brings problem-solving skills and an unexpected practical streak: Fours can betalented at managing money and handling realistic details
• Oneish Fours tend to be idealistic and work hard for what they believe in; morally courageous expressions of principle
• Contributors rather than complainers, committed to living in and improving an imperfect world
• When Fours are less healthy the connection to One devolves into being critical, fault finding and nit-picky
• After the perfect union of falling in love the Four can turn critical and disapproving, focusing only on what is missing in his partner’s behavior
• May have idealized, romantic dreams for which there are no partners or expect somuch of partners that they drive them away
• Self-critical; may criticize themselves in a Oneish voice that speaks only of their Four’s flaws, reinforcing their sense of alienated difference
• Oneish Fours can block themselves creatively or set themselves up to fail because nothing they produce is up to their own impossibly high standards
• May criticize and tear down others, mainly out of jealousy
• Sometimes latch onto a grandiose, obsessive Big Idea or believe they are attuned to Absolute Truth
• Idealistic and artistic pretentiousness are possible; could feel they inhabit a lofty plane where their endeavors and aspirations can not be understood by mortals – The Great Artist Blues
• Black and white thinking with a moral cast
• Self-punitive and pleasure hating, fanaticism and religiosity are possible

Four’s Connection to Two
• Fours have a built-in connection to Two. When healthy it brings interpersonal skills and the ability to voluntarily empathize with others
• Like Twos, Fours can float over and switch places with others and intuitively sensehow they feel. The Four will then filter and interpret other people’s feelings through the Four’s own subjectivity
• Twoish Fours can be supportive, generous “foul weather” friends who understand and accept the pain of others
• May volunteer their services to ease suffering
• Act upon ideals, want to make the world a better place
• The connection to Two brings the ability to teach or mentor, especially about subjective matters. Can accurately read the nonverbal behavior of others
• When this connection is less healthy, a Four may compulsively merge with others, especially their pain, as it unconsciously reminds the Four of their own
• May flatter, charm and placate, hoping to mask their sense of defect
• Twoish Fours are prone to moody instability; by turns needy and then aggressive
• Can put great demands on their relationships and be easily disappointed
• Twoish Fours may flee themselves through codependent service to others
• The Four sense of specialness is intensified by Twoish pride
• Loud arguments and histrionic dramas are possible
• Psychosomatic illness and age regression (becoming younger than your years) are stronger tendencies

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Fine Distinctions / Enneagram Type Three

Excerpted from ”The Dynamic Enneagram” by Tom Condon
Copyright 2009, 2013 by Thomas Condon

Self Preservation Threes
• Self Preservation Threes are unusually capable, organized and efficient.
• Especially good at discovering the best strategy for getting a job done; get from point A to point B as quickly and effectively as possible.
• Think of Olympic athletes who are utterly focused on goals and make themselves into achievement machines.
• This is subtype and personality style of uber athletes like Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong.
• Often have a prodigious work ethic.
• Don’t have to have a massive amount of money, just enough according to how they have defined security.
• Taking material care of their immediate family is high on their list of priorities and they may do a better job at this than they realize.
• Tend to compete with themselves, try to break their own record rather than trying to out do their next door neighbor.
• Preoccupied with acquiring material security as a way to calm their anxieties about survival.
• May have a poverty model; could have grown up poor and insecure; could amass a fortune and yet harbor a morbid fear of dying broke.
• This subtype has a stronger connection to Six; worry that their success is shaky.
• May see the world as a harsh, dog-eat-dog place.
• Can’t stop working, addicted to activity, continuously create new challenges.
• Might use drugs and alcohol to take edge off their fears; prone to mid-life health crises.

Intimate Threes
• Healthy Intimate Threes are deft at wearing masks, choosing the roles they play either for the benefit of others or in the service of getting things done.
• Know the difference between who they really are and who they seem to be.
• Tuned to this difference in others and have a sensitive sympathy for the human frailties that we hide behind roles and posturing.
• Charming, have a sense of humor about themselves; exceptionally good mentors.
• Especially prone to persona – playing a role of one’s self.
• Mask themselves with an image of an appealing man or woman.
• Their image is based on community or cultural ideals of masculinity or femininity or matching a partner’s definition of an ideal mate.
• Can be sexual imposters, faking intimacy; even when they are naked they are not naked.
• Sometimes an Intimate Three’s persona is not based on overt sexual desirability but some other criteria, ie being interesting or smart.
• They may be drawn to plastic surgery; keep their bodies fit and attractive.
• Intimate Threes who need to be seen as desirable are hiding an exact opposite part of themselves, a self who feels anything but attractive.
• His or her relationships could be short; might cycle through many partners, jettisoning each when they get too close to the truth.
• Can be distinctly exhibitionistic.

Social Threes
• Healthy Social Threes are often status-conscious but clear-eyed about the true value of life’s prizes and awards.
• Especially aware of the emptiness of success for its own sake and start to want more out of life.
• Skilled networkers who use their reputations and social contacts for humanitarian ends, for example, using their power and prestige to benefit a charity.
• Brings the leadership qualities; good at teaching groups of people or being the head coach of a team effort.
• Reward and inspire those they lead; generous about giving credit.
• Recognize that their own accomplishments partly rest on the efforts of others.
• Unself-conscious examples of what they preach and teach.
• Can display a seamless graceful merging of self and role and can be at their most authentic when wearing a mask.
• Often invent themselves by consciously modeling others of a desired social or economic standing.
• When less healthy, may directly confuse their inner self with the outer world’s badges,honors and totems.
• Measure themselves by money, position, awards or results; strive to match group standards and have the right credentials.
• Exceptionally worried about what other people think of them.
• Materialistic, want to own the best brands and be identified with those products; the right possessions give the Three rub-off status.
• Prone to hypocrisy; deny qualities or behaviors that contradict their self-image.
• Some lead reckless double lives, implicitly daring the world to discover their secrets.
• Can be self-sabotaging. If they were born poor and became rich they might bring themselves back down; for example, going bankrupt or getting caught with false credentials in a way that ruins their status and reputation.

Three with a Two Wing
• Often highly gregarious and good communicators.
• This wing brings a measure of extraversion, an unforced charm and leadership qualities.
• Honorable and sincere, try to do well by others.
• Go out of their way to be honest and transparent.
• Often genuinely nice people, warm-hearted, with a positive outlook and an uncomplicated, affectionate nature.
• If they have achieved some measure of worldly success, they are generous in their support and mentoring of others.
• Canny negotiators and efficient administrators.
• Preoccupied with seeming ideal to others. This can extend to friendships, family, as well as at work.
• Have a stronger social focus because they need so much external validation.
• Stronger connection to Six; less likely to question authority and convention.
• Capable of preening, boastful behavior and shameless self-promotion.
• Some are openly competitive, revel in winning and believe that they are better than others.
• Can develop messiah complexes, becoming convinced that they are exemplars of the right way to live.
• May believe they are farther along a path than they really are; begin teaching others what they have not yet truly learned.
• Easily slip into impersonation, falsifying their sentiments and intentionally lying to gain advantage; the behavior of con-artists and sociopaths.
• Can be exceptionally hostile; see other people as two-dimensional objects to be manipulated.

Three with a Four Wing
• Have the motivation and ability to work on themselves.
• Some accomplish everything they set out to do materially and then embark on a path of self-analysis, artistic exploration or teaching.
• They like challenges, but are more thoughtful, intuitive and idealistic.
• Generally more introverted; a little cooler and distant in their social presentation.
• May have a strong romantic streak.
• More ironic than Threes with a Two wing who tend to be enthusiastic and possibly naive.
• Can lack a sense of humor about themselves and accuse their critics of being too plebeian to appreciate them.
• Less obviously image conscious, but can still project a vague, implicit superiority;mistake their ambitions for principles.
• Implicitly competitive but tend to compete with themselves first.
• In some Threes the expression of their Four wing is chronic - a depressive quality or a running sense of dissatisfaction with what they have.
• In others, the Fourness is episodic: listening to sad music for emotional release, being a scientist with a secret interest in the occult.
• Self-pitying; may see themselves as victims when they fail.
• Tend to be jealous in relationships.
• Can overrate their accomplishments and uniqueness; could believe they are more talented than they are.

Three’s Connection to Six
• A healthy connection helps Threes drop their masks, admit their flaws and risk being seen for who they are.
• A Three’s true feelings generally have a fearful quality; fear is a door to their other emotions.
• They commit to ideals beyond just winning and succeeding.
• Develop personal loyalties to family and friends; increased spirituality.
• Ethical concerns become more important, moral courage emerges.
• Stay faithful and keep their agreements, even at the risk of losing face.
• Idealistic; work for social change.
• Fear of revealing what is behind their image, their Achilles heel, the young insecure self the Three otherwise tries to conceal.
• Connection brings anxiety that fuels the Three’s desire to mask; run from the “awful truth” about themselves. Imposter syndrome.
• Can be nervously ambivalent about relationships, unable to decide or commit.
• Want to choose the “right” person based on society’s criteria; underneath they fear that their unlovable “true” self will be unmasked.
• Can over identify with hierarchies and traditions; give their power to authority and play good child roles that get them approval.
• Sometimes the connection to Six is counter-phobic and takes the form of seeking constant challenge to overcome inner fears.
• Can be afraid to stop because they sense an exhausted laziness beneath their hyperactivity – the shadow of the low side of Nine.
• Prone to co-dependence and addiction.

Three’s Connection to Nine
• Brings a capacity to self-observe as well as a slower tempo of thought and action.
• More receptive to the people in their lives; appreciate their idle time, especially when spent with family and friends.
• Connection helps Threes emerge from their roles and relax into being themselves.
• The modest, unpretentious quality of Nines is latent in Threes.
• Winning becomes less important; success may be seen as an illusion; take “timeouts”from the world’s races.
• New projects are entered because they look interesting, will benefit others or for intuitive reasons that the Three can’t explain.
• A capacity for amiable peacemaking and a well-intended desire to make friends and family happy.
• Prefer equal relationships, instead of competing with others.
• Can bring a Nine-like confusion especially about action; may lose sight of their goals and start going in circles at high speeds, doing the wrong thing.
• Neurotic habit of altering themselves for their environment can get worse.
• May flip from hyperactivity to paralysis; become indolent and procrastinating like an unhealthy Nine.
• Lack motivation and direction; become passively depressed, use drugs or alcohol to further deaden their feelings.
• Nihilistic “what’s the use?” attitudes; numb, Nine-like apathy is possible.
• Can feel depressed and futile about attempting anything.
• This connection is especially evident when Threes have midlife crises.
• The Nine’s emotional numbness reinforces the Three’s emotional absence.

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Fine Distinctions / Enneagram Type Two

Excerpted from ”The Dynamic Enneagram” by Tom Condon
Copyright 2009, 2013 by Thomas Condon

Self Preservation Twos
• Healthy Self-preservation Twos are often more in touch with how they feel and what they want.
• Have the courage and social skills to express their preferences.
• Appropriately “self-referenced” – know what they want and yet include the wishes of others.
• Can be unusually materialistic.
• Highly effective; in touch with the forceful high side of Eight.
• Take good care of themselves but are equally concerned about friends and family.
• Can begin to feel burdened with the needs of others and want recognition and pampering in return.
• Can actively worry about the health of others while neglecting their own.
• Believe: “Ido so much for everyone – I deserve to be treated as someone special.” Over estimate their contribution and what they are due for it.
• Can display a striking sense of entitlement as if the shame button has been removed from their brains. Self-important, diva-like behavior possible.
• Can drop more easily to the aggressive low side of Eight and are sometimes mistaken for Eights.
• More prone to melancholy martyrdom and psychosomatic illness than the other Two subtypes.
• Illness gets them attention and gives them permission to self-care and may also be away to indirectly express anger by making those who care about them suffer.
• Hidden agendas; may set events in motion involving other people which ultimately lead to the Two getting what he/she wants.

Intimate Twos
• Highly emotionally intelligent and capable of deep personal intimacy.
• Have superb social skills; able to make direct, empathetic contact with others on a one-to-one basis.
• Can be excellent biographers, therapists, counselors; excel in occupations that depend on effectively entering another individual’s subjective reality.
• Generous, sensitive and thoughtful towards their beloved.
• Especially good at reading and responding to nonverbal behavior.
• Can see beyond roles and contexts to identify someone’s essential humanity.
• Tend to act seductive and aggressive by turns.
• Generally confuse being sexually desirable with being loved.
• Can seem receptively interested in others, offering inviting touches while oozing a combination of charm and sexuality.
• May harbor a melancholy desire for total enmeshed connection with another person;related to the low side of Four.
• Like Fours, Intimate Twos may be attracted to distant or unavailable partners; this replicates a distant relationship with a parent.
• Offer their beloved an intensely focused interest, an interest they secretly want to have returned.
• If someone resists an Intimate Two’s drive to intimacy the Two may then push and challenge, trying to find a way around their beloved’s objection to becoming fully united.If this fails, the Two may grow angry or even physically violent.
• Intimate Twos can be “processing queens” and “processing kings,” people who are so focused on their relationships that they need to talk about, analyze and understand any barriers to intimacy.
• Sometimes proud of their seductive powers and the status of those they seduce.Some get hooked on the challenge of seduction and on winning people over.
• Once a catch is secured they may lose interest; can feel closer to people they don’t know well.
• Some Intimate Twos are highly sexual, Others are not but still role-play an image of sexuality that they are disconnected from.

Social Twos
• Have a strong sense of mission about helping others and will work assiduously to that end.
• Attempt the ambitious and the difficult and succeed at it.
• Can be exceptionally persuasive and unstoppable.
• Especially good at moving through various stratas of society; able to switch communication styles and social modes in the service of getting things done.
• Will take stands on unpopular issues even if those positions contradict their own beliefs or politics.
• Might function at the center of a group, be the lynch-pin person upon whom everyone depends, drawing around them “a we of me.”
• Other Social Twos act out their ambition through their affiliations with accomplished or powerful people.
• Might marry someone influential and concentrate their energies on fulfilling the spouse’s ambitions. Or groom their children to become achievers.
• Stage mothers and political spouses are possible roles.
• Generally confuse being recognized with being loved.
• Especially prone to conflicts between fulfilling the group’s needs versus taking care of themselves.
• Can also be martyrs, blaming others for their unhappy sacrifices or for not living up to the Two’s expectations.
• Twos with this subtype are easy to confuse with Threes especially when they have aThree wing.
• Their ambition becomes grandiose and stems from feeling unworthy and unfulfilled.
• Unlike Intimate Twos who send their needs over to live in one specific person, SocialTwos send a sliver of themselves over to live in each individual member of their chosen group.

Two with a One Wing
• Brings Twos conscience and emotional containment.
• Their ethics come before their pride and they hold themselves to high standards.
• Have conscious, philosophical principles about the value of serving others: “We are put on this earth to help one another.” Also believe in taking care of themselves.
• Idealistic, hopeful for change; can have a strong sense of mission especially on behalf of others.
• More discreet and intuitively respectful of other people’s boundaries.
• Less likely to dramatize their feelings.
• When upset, they tend to go quiet and experience strong swirling emotions internally.
• More melancholy than Twos with a Three wing and usually more introverted.
• Can confuse their sense of mission with more self-centered needs.
• May invade and dominate others, believing their actions are justified by their ethic of helping.
• Repress their personal desires and focus on others as a way to avoid the guilty dilemma they feel between obeying rules versus satisfying their inner needs.
• Can warp their ethics to justify personal selfishness and prideful hostility.
• The anger of both One and Eight can support a nasty self-serving forcefulness.
• Prone to depression; often self-critical especially about being selfish.

Two with a Three Wing
• Brings Twos more interpersonal warmth, sociability and the capacity to initiate.
• Can be charming, good-natured and heartfelt.
• Dynamic and highly effective, especially at projects or enterprises that support the well-being of others.
• Thrive on group process and are generally good communicators.
• May enjoy multitasking, keeping several threads or projects going at once.
• Supremely adaptable, able to match the external environment and blend with new circumstances. Often driven and ambitious as well as disciplined.
• Could excel in a corporate context and then work with homeless people on weekends.
• Less acutely moral and more worldly than Twos with a One wing; identify with status and power like a Three. Can also be unapologetically materialistic.
• This wing brings a double dose of vanity as their Twoish pride combines with Threeish image-consciousness. Could act competitive or superior towards others.
• Often less auditory and more visual; have a faster tempo.
• Manipulative; can create instant intimacy with people and then drop them.
• May be hypocritical; a gap between their private behavior and their public face.
• Can be hard-hearted and emotionally controlling.
• May be deluded, preferring glamorous, self-important fantasies over reality.
• Extraverted; might dramatize their feelings through histrionic tantrums.

Two’s Connection to Four
• This connection helps Twos get in touch with their true emotions and inner life.
• Develop an independent, possibly artistic point of view.
• Search within for themselves; express themselves creatively.
• Become emotionally honest; more readily in touch with the authentic emotions in their own body, boundary of self emerges, and own personal feelings.
• Recognize their own tangled motives for giving so much to others. They admit to their personal needs and take better care of themselves.
• Melancholy is a portal feeling for Twos as well. Through the door of sadness they find their other emotions.
• Brings tendencies towards self-pity and depression.
• Can haunted by melancholy. They can have a trapped prince or princess quality.
• Fear abandonment and may disown their capacity to be alone.
• Can act out unrequited love scenarios or develop romantic obsessions; yearn for Mr.or Ms. Right but seek unlikely, unavailable choices instead.
• May have a morbid streak.
• Some Fourish Twos have medical scripts or can be interested in the illnesses of others because it makes the Two feel needed.
• Can be “walking guilt trips,” acting like martyrs or looking at you with an aura of sad disappointment, sighing heavily from time to time.
• Like Fours, Twos can internalize ones and feel connected to people who are not present or, say, talk constantly about a spouse who died years ago.

Two’s Connection to Eight
• Strengthens a Two’s personal boundaries and helps them assert their own needs.
• Get in touch with an appropriate, honest selfishness. Say “no” and take care of their own needs.
• Brings self-confidence and a direct, occasionally blunt communication style.
• Drive for getting things done, especially to fulfill their inner sense of mission.
• Decisive, care less about other people’s opinions; do well in leadership positions.
• Strongly protective towards friends and family.
• Get in touch with their power to initiate as well as be forceful.
• Can forcefully cleave their way through obstacles to achieving their goals.
• If a Two’s pride is insulted or they feel under-appreciated they can act out vengefully like an unhealthy Eight.
• The pride of a Two and the narcissism of an Eight can fuse into a sense of angry entitlement. Can also be rebellious.
• Since Twos are acutely sensitive to other people’s feelings and inner workings, they know just how to hurt them, which soft spot to stab to inflict the most pain.
• Block out the evidence of their own hostility or have amnesia for what they just said while angry.
• Can be sharp-tongued, domineering and pushy.
• Go from being victim to oppressor. Could hold grudges.
• Give themselves to you and then demand themselves back.
• Can throw tantrums, be aggressive or violent when they are not given what their pride says they are due.
• Feel like they have to be strong for others but unconsciously resent the burden.

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Fine Distinctions / Enneagram Type One

Excerpted from ”The Dynamic Enneagram” by Tom Condon
Copyright 2009, 2013 by Thomas Condon

Self Preservation Ones
• Talented at getting things done and attending to practical detail.
• Ultra-reliable; do what they say they will on time.
• Tend towards worry and negative anticipation about material well being.
• Can worry about money; “penny-wise and pound- foolish.”
• A petty, finicky quality; may magnify small tasks into large problems.
• Prone to a mild form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
• Distorted sense of responsibility; feel like they have to make the sun come up in the morning.
• Can seem like anxious Sixes but they lack a Six’s underlying core of helpless fear.Ones don’t doubt their capacity to take action.
• Could believe that everything has to be just right to avert disaster.
• May have a sense of being undeserving or inadequate; compensate with worry.
• If something goes wrong it will painfully confirm their lack of worth.

Intimate Ones
• Able to bring out the best in people.
• Personable, with good social skills.
• Motivated by a desire to improve for a mate.
• Can feel like relationships are exercises in mutual improvement.
• More vain, especially with a Two wing; aware of how they look.
• Idealize their beloved and have high expectations in close relationships.
• Grow up in atmospheres of criticism and high standards.
• Sensitive to the possibility of being rejected by intimates.
• If a beloved is even slightly critical the One hears the criticism as though through a megaphone.
• Distinct capacity for possessive jealousy.
• May have conflicts around sexuality; might feel inhibited and yet be attracted to wild sin.

Social Ones
• Genuinely self-sacrificing, can work tirelessly for the good of others and enjoy putting their ideals into action.
• Forgive the world for being flawed but still try to improve it.
• Believe they are representatives of a larger social order or tradition.
• Preoccupied with rules and how they apply to (other) people’s behavior.
• Can apply the same rigid standards to each new situation; unconsciously ask themselves, “What is the rule?” rather than “What is necessary or sensible?”
• Can become preachy, won’t change their mind and won’t change the subject.
• Escape themselves by focusing on things that are essentially none of their business i.e. What others are doing wrong, issues of public morality.
• Especially prone to black and white thinking; can cling to wrong-headed certainty to avoid the unknown.
• Can be hypocritical; “Do as I say not as I do.”
• May resist modernity and fail “on principle” to adapt to new trends or realities.
• Consider being rigid, inflexible and closed a virtue, proof that they are living by an infallible moral or religious code.
• Can value structures, systems, and rules; can be impersonal and dictatorial in positions of power.
• Most schools of religious and political fundamentalism are ruled by Social Oneness.

One with a Nine Wing
• Brings Ones a tolerant, receptive, mellow quality.
• Objective and balanced; moderate in their evaluations.
• Good at making difficult or unpopular decisions based solely on the facts.
• A cooler quality to the emotions; Ones with a Two wing burn hotter.
• A dryness of spirit, tending towards emotional constriction.
• Modest and unpretentious in their personal demeanor.
• Often appear a little colorless, prefer functional clothing that is possibly drab.
• Practicality is highly valued, nothing is ostentatious.
• Have an aura of Nine-like calm although eruptions of temper are possible.
• They tend to be slow burns, get angry gradually.
• Have a detached quality and can be mistaken for Fives.
• Austere, resistant to modernism. Think of the Luddites or Amish.
• Can take stubborn inflexible positions that are pointless or malformed.
• May have perfectionistic expectations that are not humanly possible to meet.
• They can hold simplistic opinions that are superficially logical but ultimately heartless.

One with a Two Wing
• This wing brings more interpersonal warmth and awareness of emotions.
• Generally more passionate and intense.
• More interpersonal; temper their high standards with humanistic sympathy.
• Able to empathize with the motives underneath behavior rather than simply judging surfaces.
• Sacrifice time and energy for good works that help people.
• May elect themselves to play parental or big sister/big brother supervisory roles towards others.
• Can be bossy, self-righteous, severe and eruptive; could give scolding lectures or display a touchy emotionalism.
• Hot shots; can be haughty or even overtly arrogant; may overrate themselves
• Hypocrisy and moral vanity are more likely.
• Convinced their motives are pure their pride can override their principles.
• Overlook or rationalize the inevitable inconsistencies in their own behavior.
• Can have more trouble admitting mistakes due to Twoish pride.
• “Do as I say, not as Ido” attitudes are possible.
• Can also be dependent in relationships.

One’s Connection to Seven
• This connection brings Ones qualities like playfulness, flexibility and good cheer.• Helps them loosen the rules, enjoy life and see what’s going right.
• They embrace paradox and see multiple options and choices.
• Sensuality can emerge along with an improved sense of humor.
• May have more of a positive motivation strategy, motivating themselves through a system of rewards. Use carrots rather than the stick of judgment.
• Focus on the inherent opportunities in new situations; More likely to ask, “What do I want?” or “How can I make the most of this?”
• This connection also brings Ones an exploratory sense of adventure and a wide range of interests.
• May fight their Sevenish feelings, especially their “illicit” impulses; squelch them in the service of being good.
• See their own Sevenish qualities in others; indict the others for being libertine and irresponsible.
• Tendencies to addiction; can live secret lives or episodically escape, breaking completely free of the rules to have illicit adventures.
• Can be narcissistic, hypocritical and undependable.
• Slippery about facing the consequences of their actions.
• May start things they don’t finish.
• Might demand good behavior from others and blame them for failings the One shares.
• Can be more intellectual, theoretical and scatterbrained.

One’s Connection to Four
• Their Four streak gets them into their feelings and inner life.
• They discover how they really feel in contrast to how they “should” feel.
• The connection enhances a One’s creative, artistic imagination.
• They are attracted to art and nature, the aesthetic and the spiritual.
• Ones are prone to melancholy, it is a portal feeling; they pass through it on their way to other feelings.
• Dissatisfied with reality; could feel sadly alone in a world that doesn’t appreciate their efforts to reform it, surrounded by incompetents.
• May compare the present with a romanticized version of the past.
• Can be self-pitying like an unhealthy Four, bemoaning their lot in life and implicitly asking others to support or rescue them.
• Could yearn to live in a finer, more ideal world, a quality of wistful nostalgia.
• Have sentimental streaks and can occasionally be maudlin.
• Can idealize their parents and romanticize their early family life in a way that blinds them to the family’s darker undertones and less healthy patterns.
• Can over-react emotionally; may tend towards morose depression.
• Self-critical and depressive; they can harbor an inner sense of defect; turn their high standards against themselves.
• They may remorsefully vow to suppress their flaws, which then sets up the next episode of “bad” behavior.
• A few are morbidly interested in death and disease.
• A self-indulgent Fourish sense of being exempt from normal consequence.
• May project and then indicating their own sensitivities in others.
• Can become anti-subjective and anti-intuitive to defensively protect the primacy of reason.

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Enneatypes in a nutshell

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Enneagram 4: The Romantic


Healthy Fours are deep on many different emotional levels, but also know not to speak or act on every feeling they experience. They know they do not have to be special to win others’ love, and have overcome their shame and insecurities. They are deeply creative, honest, and attuned to beauty.

Four Traits

  • Fours love the unconventional, dramatic, and refined
  • Fours feel they never truly belong anywhere
  • Fours have many intense feelings in a day
  • Fours pride themselves on their uniqueness
  • Fours tend toward melancholy and melodrama
  • Fours are extremely sensitive to criticism
  • Fours sometimes do the opposite of what they are told
  • Fours feel they lack something essential within themselves
  • Fours pursue an ‘ideal’ soul mate and find it hard to settle
  • Fours tend to be self-conscious
  • Fours can overwhelm others with their intense feelings
  • Fours are often a fountain of internal creativity
  • Fours feel misunderstood by most people
  • Fours pull people in, get nervous, and push them away
  • Fours fear abandonment

Enneagram Wings

4w3: want to be both unique and the best at everything they do, and channel their energy into competitiveness. 3 makes them more aware than other 4’s of the need to dial back their emotions and eccentricities to be more socially acceptable. Prone toward extroversion, melodrama (and theatrics), mood swings, and toward making their dreams a reality.

4w5: are more introverted and unconventional than the 4w3, highly concerned with their uniqueness but less interested in being noticed. They are quietly different and often eccentric, seek more solitude, and find it easier to allow their emotions to happen without acting on them, or talking about them.

Under stress: Fours act like unhealthy Twos, by repressing their own needs and becoming dependent on others, craving attention, requiring tons of reassurance and affirmation from loved ones. They are prone to intense jealousy.

When feeling secure: Fours move to the positive side of One, where they cease discussion of their creative ideas and pursue self-discipline so as to actualize them. They are more aware of present concerns, centered, and calm. Their relationships improve since they have learned not to act on or discuss every emotion.

Advice for the 4: be careful not to drown in self-absorption, or think you are the only person who experiences extreme pain. Do not instigate drama when your emotions feel boring to you. Focus on and express love for what’s unique in your loved ones, rather than focusing on their negative traits. Remember, you do not have to be enslaved to your feelings of shame and inferiority. Never give up on yourself! Rather than wallowing in your suffering, figure out the cause and try to heal it. Do not compare yourself negatively to other people. Stop fantasizing about the ‘ideal’ and work hard for what is possible. Do not look into the past; it has nothing new to tell you. Do not exaggerate or drown in your feelings; they can change.

Influences on MBTI Types:

ISTJ: more unconventional, rebellious, and emotional than other ISTJs; may experience a daily struggle between Te-objectivity and Fi intensity, but also more able to see through their artistic / creative endeavors to completion, may withdraw from / ignore others who have hurt them or failed to see ‘their true self.’ 4 may enhance inferior Ne development, and manifest it in creative ways to seem unique (different tastes, interests, or ideas from other people, and the ISTJ taking pride in these things).

ESTJ: may struggle to find the right pursuit, since too many things that come easily to ESTJs may seem too mundane and/or ordinary, but has strong tert-Ne creativity, and puts their heart and soul into their projects; 4 stokes inferior Fi fears about relationship failures, not knowing how to connect to others, and may make them more dramatic / childish when young, when dealing with others who cannot accept them for themselves.

ISFJ: an extremely creative and emotional ISFJ, who favors strong inferior Ne development (but also fears their Ne isn’t as ‘good’ as a high Ne user / their ideas are not smart / unique / eccentric enough); will often compare to others through Fe, and may try to make others acknowledge their uniqueness as a form of self-assurance; 4 + Fe means this ISFJ is much more open about their feelings and in discussing them as things happen, and fearful they will not be loved for themselves. May mistype as and relate to a Fi-dom (due to emphasis on ‘authenticity’).

ESFJ: intense emotions that run their lives, and spill onto others in the immediate area, prone to over-reacting and feeling isolated; the desire to connect to others but also remain different from them; may believe there is something ‘wrong’ with them. Inferior Ti makes them reluctant to step away from, or admit their emotions may be too intense for the situation. Often prides themselves on being an ‘artist’ and going against the grain; may involve themselves in various good causes, and then drop them when they become ‘too mainstream.’

INTJ: far more emotional and aware of their internal deep melancholy than other INTJs; prone to Ni/Fi loops in that they want to experience each exquisite drop of their pain, and extrapolate some higher meaning from it; may set unrealistic romantic expectations, and place much emphasis on their artistic pursuits, be more easily hurt than they care to admit, and feel isolated from peers while not wanting to fit in.

ENTJ: may struggle to find the right pursuit and want to craft the ideal ‘vision’ (sometimes unrealistic) to pursue; places much emphasis on their unique approach to problem-solving and has the soul of an artist; 4 stokes inferior Fi fears about relationship failures, not knowing how to connect to others, and may make them more dramatic / childish when young, when dealing with others who cannot accept them for themselves.

INFJ: often mistype as INFPs due to intense emphasis on individuality, but may fail to realize their comparison method is through Fe; more independent and less inclined to connect to or mirror others, because this feels inauthentic and insincere; 4 places intense emphasis on Ni-dom creativity which might stoke inferior Se problems of inertia (dreaming of the ‘perfect’ relationship/project rather than starting it); 4 + Fe means this INFJ is much more open about their feelings and in discussing them as things happen, and fearful they will not be loved for themselves.

ENFJ: charismatic and eccentric, may be a natural trend-setter… and annoyed by it, prone to a melancholic view of the world, with much emphasis on their NiSe sense of fashion, design, taste, or ideas; the desire to connect to others but also remain different from them; may believe there is something ‘wrong’ with them. Inferior Ti makes them reluctant to step away from, or admit their emotions may be too intense for the situation.

ESTP: May seek out expensive or bold items designed to make them stand out, prone to Se/Fe loops and intense feelings not entirely understood by the ESTP (since they tend to analyze emotion and struggle to understand or feel comfortable with it); it may cause them to see no real need to improve Fe, since doing so would make them too ‘common’ but also have frequent emotional outbursts and tantrums. Prone to flattery and charm, then abandonment of people whenever their fears of intimacy arise.

ISTP: a more creative, melancholic, and emotional ISTP, usually more interested in creative pursuits (art, music, dance, etc) than in mechanics or computers, sensitive about their performance, and somewhat proud of being different from their peers. Less hurt by criticism, more inclined to outbursts.

ESFP: will express a dramatic sense of self through fashion and/or sensory hobbies and pursuits, with Fi working with 4 to exaggerate a sense of uniqueness / being true to oneself; due to extroversion, wants to be noticed and appreciated but also feels different from other people, and may drive them away with intense emotional outbursts (Te being prone to bluntness). Good at finishing their creative projects (tert Te) but may be more idealistic with inferior Ni than is usual for ESFPs.

ISFP: sensitive, passionate, emotional (though they may not say it, they will act on it) and with a sense of never belonging; often drawn to other creative / unique people (called “weird” by society); usually channels their creativity into art, dance, music, etc., as a method of self-expression. Prone to intense, melancholic Ni loops, where they fixate on a dark vision for the future.

ENTP: has eccentric or eclectic tastes, wants their pursuits to be unique from everyone else’s ideas and stand out for their sheer creativity; more emotional and sensitive to criticisms than other ENTPs, which will soften their response to others, but also cause intense melodramatic outbursts; 4 stokes inferior Si-related fears of being too mundane / unoriginal.

INTP: eccentric and eclectic in their taste, but may place their greatest ‘difference’ from people in their Ti-dom analytical skills; will be more emotional and artistic-inclined than other INTPs, more sensitive to how others respond to their ideas (inferior Fe) and prone to outbursts, which later make them feel awkward / embarrassed. Often dwells on past mistakes and worries about not being unique enough in their ideas.

ENFP: more sensitive, melodramatic, and melancholy than other ENFPs, but also more driven to implement their idealizations into reality through tert-Te; often dramatic and attention-seeking, receives a thrill from being ‘different’ and will go out of their way to be different; has more trouble with inferior Si, in that the ENFP-4 who falls into the grip may become HIGHLY depressed / full of guilt and shame over past mistakes and relationship failures; prone to self-doubt and an intense need to have all their ideas and projects be unique from their peers. Only happy when able to express emotions through their art, often hot-tempered and prone to blasting people with Te.

INFP: melodramatic, easily insulted, and highly individual, the 4 enhances all the natural traits of the INFP to hyper-levels: intense, melodramatic emotions (and more openness in expressing them than other INFPs), high levels of creativity (and extreme sensitivity toward criticism of their hobbies, crafts, writing, costuming, taste in books, etc), a tendency to wax melancholic about the past and fixate on former mistakes, and idealize (while inferior Te struggles to keep momentum going in any project that does not ‘emotionally resonate’ with Fi).

- ENFP Mod

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The Three Instincts: Self-Preservation, Sexual, Social


In course of our evolution as human beings, we developed a set of three core instincts referred to in the Enneagram as the basic survival instincts, instinctual energies, “drives” or “subtypes”. These instincts are part of our body-based intelligence and key to our biological imperatives. They are built deep into our unconscious nature and aid in our survival as individuals and as a species. Instincts are thus more fundamental than enneagram type; they relate to our ‘animal soul’. From the perspective of the enneagram, we want to know how these drives manifest and function both as defined by each instinct alone and in terms of their alignment, known as “stacking”.

Self-preservation instinct

is the first instinct to have evolved. This is an orientation towards survival, health, and comfort. SP drive checks in with the body: “Is this not enough or too much?” and orients by what the body reports on its needs. Of the three instincts, this is the oldest one; it dictates: “I must survive.” Animals are highly attuned to their self-preservation needs. Modern humans, however, are somewhat more distant from basic survival needs. That is, we have more sophistication in the sphere of physical needs and more complex regulation—once survival is taken care of, we aim for comfort and pleasure.

The SP energy manifests as “conserved”, “grounded”, “tightly coiled”, “planted”, “immovable”. The energy is usually heavy in its nature, as if the person is carrying some great weight on his or her shoulders and conserving energy for later personal use. This subtype will “sacrifice for self” to insure survival, rather than look to their group or mate to resolve their problems and challenges. Self-preservation types may forgo social standing or intensity of experience for physical comfort, security, and other factors that ensure their own survival. For example, a sp-first person may have “princess and the pea” syndrome, refusing to sleep on most mattresses because they simply don’t feel right. These people “look inward” based upon an inherent recognition that “I’m on my own” and “I have to take care of myself.”

Self-preservation instinct responds to practical concerns of everyday life. SP types express concern centering around issues of security, food and health, employment, sustainability. At times this may make them look like enneagram head types, because they be in habit of planning to predict unforeseen mishaps or possible breaches in their security. In addition, the comfort seeking element to SP types can cause them to appear like gut types because of their desire to avoid too much complication or “fuss”.

In relationships, sp-first people focus on nesting, building a cozy home with someone, or may fantasize about such scenarios. Key words: self-maintenance, domesticity, practical know-how, finances, work, establishing practical foundation in life, back-up plans, fear of scarcity.

In neurotic SP types, there is fear of not having enough resources, food, shelter. This fear can distort the natural use of the instinct and turn into eating disorders, compulsive buying, or hoarding. There is a tendency to shore up resources and possibly a strong sense of being frugal or sometimes even downright cheap. This is because resources must be properly maintained to ensure survival for themselves and those within their sphere.

Self-preservation drive is fundamental to virtually all life forms. In threatening conditions all of us are become dominated by survival instincts. However, in circumstances where our health, life or security are not in any immediate danger, this instinct will take a back seat in individuals dominated by the sexual or social instincts.

Topics SP types might bring up in conversation: food, dining out, dieting, nutrition, health, fitness, appearance and looks, money, savings and sales, shopping, quality or durability of objects, clothing, design, home decor, employment, benefits, insurance, comfort, strength, vitality, sickness, death, discomfort, noise, safety, security, environment, resource management, physical sciences, engineering, architecture.

Summary of SP instinct:

  • primary concerns - physical safety, comfort, and well-being; securing an orderly and aesthetically pleasing way of life (food, clothing, money, housing, and physical health)
  • primary focus - security, comfort, and well-being of the environment (lighting, temperature, comfortable furniture, aesthetics, food quality)
  • primary ambition - using practicality and financial sense to create a secure environment in the home and workplace (paying bills, acquiring skills to ensure the orderly flow of life)
  • primary stresses - money, sustenance (how they will get food, when it will come, if they will like it, if it fits their diet)
  • coping methods (unhealthy) - over-stocking, overbuying, overeating, overpurging, oversleeping, undersleeping, overindulging in aesthetics or comfort foods, mistreatment of comfort and security as is skewed by the secondary instinct

Sexual instinct

can be called the instinct of attraction. It’s aggressive, competitive, single-minded, “all-or-nothing”. Use of this energy is intensely fiery and affirmative, go-get-it approach, a life-and-death matter e.g. salmon swimming upstream to mate and die. With this instincts you are either turned on or you’re not - it is what it is; you cannot fight mother nature. With this instinct one’s attention is wholly captivated energetically by someone or something.

The SX energy is described as “high energy” and is often experienced as “intense”, “assertive”, “laser-like”, “intently focused”, “playful yet penetrating” in nature. The feeling of SX-first is sometimes compared to being on a roller-coaster ride even though you aren’t on one. This subtype will “sacrifice for the relationship” to insure intensity connection. This intensity does not have to be met by another person—it can be satisfied by a project, hobby, or special interest. Rather than looking inward or to the group to resolve their problems and challenges, these types tend to look to close relations and activities that can guarantee them an experience of liveliness and intensity.

SX-first people enjoy feeling invigorated. They may fantasize about scenarios that make them feel alive and that are emotionally stimulating. Key words: activation, immersion, charisma, broadcasting displays, fusion, inspiration, volatility.

Sexual subtypes are not to be confused with having a healthy sex drive or being sexy, which is a common reason for many people misidentifying themselves as SX-primaries. The name of this instinct is misleading as, in the end, all instincts play into sexuality. SP is the body-to-body part - cuddling, sensuality, autonomic regulation. SX is riding the waves of energy, the invisible forces of attraction between the people, but it doesn’t need to be actively physical. In a union, all three instincts combine—warmth (self-pres), energy (sexual), affection (social). One can have the sexual instinct operating in a group of friends—being in the heat, stimulated, energized, engaged. In relationships, there is a desire for endless engagement and fascination.

Topics SX types might bring up in conversation: their personal experiences, personal attractions, personal likes and dislikes, innermost wants and wishes, relationships, their family, children, and friends, friendship, closeness, intimacy, sex, mating, beauty, attractiveness, personal feelings and mental states, excitement, intensity, desire, obsession, liveliness, rebelliousness, action sports, gender and gender roles, femininity/masculinity. (sx-first people often report having strong personal preferences)

Summary of SX instinct

  • primary concern - intense experiences, connections, and contacts, wide-ranging and exploratory, in order to find something to “complete” them inside (sky diving, deep conversations, exciting movies)
  • primary focus - people and attractions promising intense energy and charge
  • primary ambition - looking outside themselves for the person or situation that will complete them, and then obsessing over that completing element
  • primary stresses - lack of intense mental or emotional stimulation, lack of an intense connection or experience
  • coping methods (unhealthy) - scattered attention, lack of focus, sexual promiscuity, intensely avoiding intense experiences and connections with a fearful and dysfunctional attitude toward sex, intimacy, and other intense “completing” experiences, as is skewed by the secondary instinct

Social instinct

is not the same as socializing. This instinct is aimed towards species survival as a whole. It acts in species where families and groups exist to protect the vulnerability of mother and child. The social instinct provides a holding environment. It needs group viability for a sense of well-being.

Emphasis on cooperation, reciprocity, roles aimed at mutual survival. There is a need to be involved and contribute, a desire to be wanted and accepted by the group. It can sense when a behavior is damaging to group survival. It forms a sort of unconscious clusters where mutual support is an issue. This instinct is also attuned to hierarchy and possesses political awareness. It has a good sense and understanding of group boundaries and what groups can accomplish.

The SO energy is often described as “split energy” experienced as “scattered” and projected outward, appearing personable, superficial, and cursory in nature. This subtype will “sacrifice for the group” to insure status. These types tend to “look outward,” based upon a belief that “my value is dependent upon how I am perceived by the group.” The survival strategy is an emphasis on sociability or unsociability. There is a noticeable inclination to categorize oneself in terms of others. The question “who am I?” is defined by “how comfortably and successfully I experience my group”. Focus is on the issues dealing with how the person is being perceived by the group.

Topics SO types might bring up in conversation: cultural and political movements and developments, social activism, social values, societal standards, rules, guidelines, social power structures, appropriateness/inappropriateness, friendship, family, inclusion/exclusion, popularity, popular songs books movies memes, manners, fashion, glamour, fame, notoriety, organizations, clubs, group divisions pertaining to nationality religion race, etc., patriotism, civic engagement, influence (so-first people sometimes refer to themselves using pronouns “we” or “us” or “our” as if they


the group)

Summary of SO instinct

  • primary concern - building their sense of personal value, accomplishment, and a security of place with others via interaction with people in a broader sense (through family, group, subculture, mainstream culture, community, nation, world)
  • primary focus - the status, approval, and admirability of themselves and of others in the minds of any number of different groups; “subtle” power structures and politics; knowing what is going on in the world; a contextual intelligence that allows them to see both their efforts and their broader context in the world
  • primary ambition - interacting with people in ways that will build their personal value, their sense of accomplishment, and their security of place with others; to touch base with others to feel safe, alive, and energized; may include pursuit of attention, success, fame, recognition, honor, leadership, appreciation, and the security of being a part of something bigger than themselves
  • primary stresses - being able to adjust to others and be acceptable; others’ reactions to them, whether they are being accepted or not; may include intimacy, which is tended to be avoided
  • coping methods (unhealthy) - antisocial behavior, detesting or resenting society at large, displaying poorly developed social skills, fear and distrust of society, resentfulness at having had to change to gain approval causes a stubbornness against doing what is necessary to get along with people, social resentment and avoidance as is skewed by the secondary instinct

Instincts in Stacking


dominant variant

is the one given top priority, since this is the instinct that the person is most attuned to. It represents an overarching preoccupation, and may even remain overarching in situations where a reasonable person would at least temporarily rearrange his priorities. There is certain rigidity to this instinct—it is non-negotiable; its needs must be satisfied. We are highly attuned to the needs of this instinct in ourselves and in others, however, as one moves down the health levels, the priorities of this instinct may become overly compulsive. Dominant instinct will grip your attention, cause sleepless nights, it is where your buttons get pushed, where you may start compensating. One may conceal the needs of this instinct and instead put the secondary instinct on display, since primary instinct serves as a greater source of anxiety than the secondary instinct. It may be said that a person comes to embody his or her primary instinct.


secondary variant

provides support to the first instinct. It is much less self-conscious than the dominant instinct. There is more flexibility to it—people generally does not stress as much about this area. They may experiment more in the realm of their second instinct, or just ignore it and put it off for a while.

The application of secondary instinct is creative and even more exhibitionistic than that of the primary instinct. While primary instinct is constantly monitored and held in check, the secondary instinct is allowed to roam freely. Often, one has an exploratory attitude towards secondary instinct and may be inclined to start experimenting in this area—turn it into a hobby or use it to supplement their main occupation. It can be said that while people come to embody their primary instinct, the secondary instinct is akin to a creative field that envelops them.

Secondary instinct gets summoned in aid of primary instinct. In situations where people are not sure that their primary instinct will be welcomed, they often extend and offer ‘products’ of their secondary instinct by conversing on related topics. Sx/sp and so/sp types may talk about health, monetary, domestic, or culinary topics. Sp/sx and so/sx—about their family, friendships, personal experiences and preferences. Sx/so and sp/so—about cultural, social, and political events.


third (last or bottom) variant

in the stack is can be called one’s “blind spot”—it is akin to an unused muscle that on occasion feels sore. One believes that this area is uninteresting and unimportant, that one can do without it. At the same time, there is shame associated with the ‘blind spot’ variant - a sense of deficiency. One constantly feels like one is lacking skills and refinement in the areas pertaining to your last instinct.

Often a negative reaction develops in response to seeing your last instinct operate in others. For example, SP-last people might grow impatient with those who devote a lot of time and effort into making themselves well fed and comfortable - fiddling with the room temperature, checking seat cushions, arranging their bottled water, etc. SP-last people can grow bored if they find themselves trapped in a conversation about food, home decorations or furniture, local deals, home prices, salaries. SX-last people might feel uneasy when they see people openly demonstrating their sexuality, gender orientation or sexual preferences, engaging in PDA, discussing private feelings and experiences, etc. SO-last people might get impatient with ‘shallow’ socialite chit-chat, get frustrated when required to network, and wonder how others can keep up with so many acquaintances. One takes the dominant instinct as a given and believes that everyone should be this way, hence people become surprised and even frustrated when they meet others who show no concern for their primary area of preoccupation.


Concerns of the ‘blindspot’ instinct counterweight those of dominant one. When one is feeling anxious, depressed, or frustrated due to inability to satisfy the needs of the primary instinct, temporarily devoting one’s attention and efforts to the third instinct may alleviate anxiety and compulsive behaviors prompted by fixation on the primary instinct.

Instincts operate at a deeper level than enneagram type and should be properly understood in their own right—without reference to Enneagram type. The Passion of person’s main enneagram type plays itself out in the realm of the dominant instinct. Your dominant instinct will also be dominant in your enneagram type’s wing as well as integration and disintegration points.

Alternative way of looking at instinct stackings:

Primary - The instinct taken in its most literal, concrete sense.

Secondary - The instinct taken in an abstract, creative sense.

Tertiary - This instinct remains dormant, little attention and time are devoted to this area.

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From this forum, LONG POST incoming

“What is Synflow & Contraflow”

Syn-flow: sp → so → sx → sp

Stackings involved: sp/so → so/sx → sx/sp → sp/so

Direction: Compelled toward people. Acting upon and with others as a born insider i.e.- deeply human.

Contra-flow: sp → sx → so → sp

Stackings involved: sp/sx → sx/so → so/sp → sp/sx

Direction: Compelled against people. Seething belligerent outsiders; ‘antisocial’, provoking, reverse-flow change catalysts. In some profound sense, rejecting the human condition, their own and/or that of others.

The two flows move in the opposite directions. This antithesis can be seen if the instinctual stackings are compared in pairs:

so/sx - including, associating, affiliating, networking, incorporating, interconnecting, introducing, unifying, linking, bonding, annexing, cooperating, receiving

sx/so - excluding, eliminating, dividing, separating, contradicting, subverting, confronting, rebuffing, ridiculing, challenging, interrupting, reforming, rupturing

sx/sp - intensifying, escalating, rising, surging, enlivening, invigorating, accelerating, stimulating, energizing, vitalizing, reviving, animating, inspiriting

sp/sx - dulling, calming, quieting, grounding, descending, lowering, dampening, numbing, desensitizing, exhausting, deadening, extinguishing, making still

sp/so - conserving, protecting, maintaining, preserving, supplying, repairing, sustaining, stewarding

so/sp - utilizing, employing, implementing, expending, exercising, spending, capitalizing, expropriating


Here’s a trend that I see: what essentially differentiates the contraflow stackings from the synflow stackings is their relationship to their tertiary instincts. The contraflow stackings have a more negativistic or combative relationship with their last instinct than those of the synflow stackings. All three instincts are necessary for our survival and fulfillment. When you reject one of the instincts (namely the last instinct), you’re closing yourself off from a fundamental aspect of the human experience, and this rejection is more pronounced in the contraflow instincts (hence why they’re considered antisocial or ‘rejecting of the human condition’). On the other hand, I think the the synflow stackings use their first instinct as a way to reach, feed, merge with, or (over-)compensate for their last instinct. Beware, a lot of these are generalizations, so each person is not necessarily going to connect with the descriptions of their corresponding instinctual variant. 

Sx/So - This stacking is often nominated as the “revolutionary stacking” in that people of this stacking are characterized by a disruptive attitude towards the status quo, or more generally, have a disruptive and destabilizing presence in the environment. There’s a predilection towards pushing social and political boundaries, with a total disregard, if not a downright disdain, for physical, material, emotional, and social limitations, some of which are there to help stabilize and maintain the environment the sx/sos affect. 

So/Sx - People of this stacking seek to network, create, and maintain relations (rather than cause fissures like the sx/so). They adapt to and mirror others (and their environment) in order to connect. Since the sp instinct is weak in this stacking, there is still that obliviousness and disregard for sp matters, however, they compensate this deficiency through their relations. Connecting and relating to others serve as a source of security and comfort.

Sp/Sx- “Sp/sx always feels like there’s a membrane around them. it takes a bit for what you said to sink into them, and when they ‘give’ you something, it’s like that bit has hit their membrane and bounced back at them back and fourth for a while, stewing in itself, before reaching you” (Source: sp/sx). In average to unhealthy levels, sp/sxs can regard matters pertaining to the social instinct with indifference to downright belligerence. The so-realm can be viewed as invasive, needlessly complicated/artificial/arbitrary, stringently hierarchical, and restrictive, and therefore taxing on their internal and external reserves. Because of their disregard in connecting and contextualizing others (and themselves) through the social instinct, there is a tendency to be more sympathetic, less judgmental, or even fascinated with, people, ideas, or practices that are located in the social fringes. With self-preservation being their primary instinct, their attention is mainly geared towards sustaining themselves and maintaining their well-being. With the sexual instinct being of secondary importance, there isn’t an overt fixation on merging and intensity. Here, the sx instinct is primarily directed inward with the occasional external focus when their sp needs are met or in the service of the sp instinct. This is partly why this stacking can be seen as self-absorbed, even selfish, but at the same time, very independent.

Sx/Sp - Sx/Sps can, and often do, have a similar attitude towards the social instinct as their sp/sx siblings. However with the sexual instinct taking primacy, there’s a stronger motivation to connect with others not unlike that of the So/Sx, but with a narrower and more energized focus. The ultimate goal of sx-doms is to reach the sublime (which I think is a more accurate descriptor than ‘merging’ and ‘intensity’). While the sx/so seeks the sublime through transcending the quotidian and stifling nature of the sp-instinct (and ultimately subverting and destroying the foundational elements of the environment they impact), the sx/sp seeks the sublime through merging (I was trying to avoid this word, but it’s appropriate here). With their alienation from the so-instinct in combination with their need to connect, lies a latent frustration underlying this instinctual variant. Once they are able to find something or someone to latch onto, they’re able to reach some semblance of unity or peace with the world around them. Their connection to that something or someone is their connection to the greater whole (or at the very least a substitute for it).

So/Sp - Like the sx/so, so/sps are geared towards sociopolitical change/power and ideological conflict. While the program of the sx/so is the dissolution of boundaries, the program of the so/sp is the sublimation of baser human instincts (the sx-instinct in their case) in order to achieve the highest human potential (the Enlightenment is a good example of the high side of so/sp). In this regard, this stacking can very Apollonian or Promethean. Of course, not all So/Sps are this lofty or benevolent. The darker side of this stacking can manifest in using and objectifying others for social power and influence or in the service of political or ideological positions. Their relationships can be a means to an end or a show of their status/position. Elitism is probably not uncommon for people of this stacking.

Sp/So - I consider this the “salt of the earth” stacking. The sp/so keeps everything running smoothly. With the sx-instinct being the least emphasized, there’s a preference towards a more stable and consistent lifestyle (which confers on them a sense of control over their environment and of themselves). This also extends towards their relationships. They’re attracted to groups that share their interests, however, they generally don’t exhibit the elitist and exclusionary attitude that so/sps can at times posses. Like their synflow mates, they’re motivated to connect with others. But unlike their synflow mates who connect with people on a more energetic level, sp/sos connect with others through a sense of solidarity that’s sustained through contribution, cooperation, sacrifice, and concerted effort. In a way, they imprint themselves onto the environment through these means.

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The One Thing That Your Partner Needs In Order To Feel Loved, Based On Their Personality Type

written by Heidi Priebe

INTJs and INFJs Need To Be Understood

INFJs and INTJs are used to feeling like strange, analytical aliens in a world full of present-focused people. These types possess incredibly complex minds and their way of thinking is often wildly misunderstood by the people around them.

To love an INxJ, take the time and patience to understand them as fully as possible. Their mind functions much like a web of thoughts, observations and insights – take the time to root through it! Ask them deep questions, encourage them to share their opinions and never stop trying to learn more about what makes them tick. INxJs are not used to being deeply understood by others – so in order to love them in the way that they need to be loved, strive to do exactly that.

ENFPs and ENTPs Need To Be Believed In

ENFPs and ENTPs are on a mission to create change – whether it’s through their newest business endeavor, a cause they’ve devoted their life to advocating for or a new project they’ve invested their spare time in. These types are used to being underestimated by the people around them and having their big ideas written off as ‘unrealistic.’

To love an ENxP, show them that you believe in their visions and plans. Support them as they take on new challenges and encourage their big-picture ideas. These types are used to being underestimated, so to love them in the way that they need to be loved, take their ideas seriously and have faith in the future they’re envisioning .

ESFPs and ESTPs Need To Be Admired

ESFPs and ESTPs are born entertainers. These types lives to delight, inspire and captivate the people around them – and there’s no one they wish to entertain more than the people they love.

To show an ESxP that you love them, let them know how impressed you are with everything they do for you. These types will go above and beyond to make you happy, and they need to know that what they are doing is working. If you love an ESxP, never stop letting them know how much they impress and inspire you. These types live to entertain and they want to know that they’re making an impression on you!

ESFJs and ENFJs Need To Be Appreciated

ESFJs and ENFJs devote their lives to helping others – and there’s nobody they want to help more than the people they love. These types are almost compulsively caring, but they’re used to having their efforts go unappreciated.

To show an ExFJ that you love them, tell them how much you appreciate everything they do for you. Give them verbal reminders of how different your life would be without them in it – because if you’re loved by an ExFJ, your life definitely would not be the same without them. And it never hurts these ceaselessly giving types to be reminded of exactly that.

ISFPs and INFPs Need To Be Accepted

ISFPs and INFPs are used to feeling everything a thousand times more intensely than the people around them. They’ve grown up in a world that misunderstands and underestimates them all too often – which means they need a partner who accepts them for exactly who they are – because these types are not interested in compromising any part of their identity.

To love an IxFP, show them that you accept them (and love them all the more for) their quirks, their passion and their incredibly unique personality. These types know that they’re different from the people around them – and they want to be appreciated, rather than judged, for that. To show an IxFP that you care about them, see them for who they truly are – and then love them for it.

ISFJs and ISTJs Need To Be Valued

For ISFJs and ISTJs, loving someone means prioritizing them. It means rearranging their plans, devoting their time and focusing their efforts on improving your life, by any means possible. And in order to feel loved, the ISxJ needs to know that you deeply value what they’re bringing to the table.

They need to know that their devotion has a meaningful impact on your life. That you appreciate all that they do for you. And that you show them, through concrete efforts of your own, how much they mean to you in return.

ENTJs and ESTJs Need To Be Respected

For ENTJs and ESTJs, love is not just a matter of acceptance, but of respect. These highly autonomous types show their love for the people in their lives by supporting and enabling their independence – and they want to be loved in the exact same way.

To love an ExTJ, respect that they are their own person with their own set of goals and objectives. Rather than trying to get them to change who they are to accommodate you, appreciate the differences between the two of you and give them the space and independence that they need to pursue goals outside of the relationship. To this type, love means encouraging one another to succeed. So to show them the kind of love they need, respect their strength and independence.

ISTPs and INTPs Need To Be Engaged

ISTPs and INTPs get a lot of flack for being ‘robots’ – that is, living predominantly in their heads, analyzing and trying to make sense of the world around them. In reality, these types often direly wish they had someone to share their thoughts and speculations with. Which is why they need a partner who will be proactive about engaging them in conversations and activities.

To show an IxTP that you love them, go out of your way to initiate plans with them, devote attention to them and get to know what’s going on inside their minds. These types crave meaningful interaction with others but they don’t always know how to initiate them. So if you want to show an IxTP that you care about them, make a point to engage them in conversation or invite them along on your plans. The effort goes a long way with these introverted types!

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