What are enneagram subtypes?

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In this article we will discuss what enneagram subtypes are for each of the 9 types.

What are enneagram subtypes?

Enneagram subtypes also known as instinctual subtypes refer to the three basic life forces that influence their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. 

It is a result of a combination between their core type of motivation and their instinctual drive to survive. 

There are twenty seven subtypes according to the model created by Claudio Naranjo which highlights how the three instincts manifest in each individual. 

What are the three instincts?

According to the model of Enneagram subtypes created by Claudio Naranjo, there are three instincts that ensure the survival of each individual. These include:


This instinct makes sure that what is needed to survive and feel safe and secure is available and fulfilled. 

People with dominant self preservation instinct prioritises food, shelter, family, and tending to well-being and because they prioritise this, they avoid conflicts and other issues that could cause them discomfort and anxiety.

One-to-one or sexual 

This instinct focuses on one to one relationship- either romantic or otherwise- in the life of the individual. 

People who have dominant sexual instict value intimacy, passion, and excitement in their reaitonships and life experiences,

They actively seek out ways in which they can build deep, intimate relationships with people. 


This instinct is occupied with the need to establish a sense of belongingness and bring an impact to the community they are part of. 

People with this instinct tend to be aware of their position, how they are perceived, and who they need to engage with for the greater good. 

They enjoy working with others towards a shared purpose.

When it comes to these subtypes, the dominant subtype collides with their type to produce their subtype such that they become overly aware of their dominant instinct while their second instinct is usually neutral, and their third instinct is repressed. 

What is an Enneagram?

The Enneagram is a categorization system of personality types. This system is based on how individuals interpret the world and manage their emotions, as well as how they behave as a response. 

The Enneagram, describes 9 different enneagram of personality types and these types are plotted on a map or diagram that illustrates how each personality type interacts and responds to each other. 

The exact origin of the Enneagram is unknown but it is assumed to have roots in ancient Babylon and also has traces of it in Greek philosophy 2500 years ago. 

This particular model of personality has been attributed to the Jewish Kabbalah, Christian mysticism and a mystical form of Islam, Sufism. However, the modern Enneagram system is the work of contemporary authors. Georg Ivanovich Gurdjieff who introduced the model in the 1930s as a spiritual symbol. 

According to the Enneagram, these types are defined by a core belief about how their world works and it is these beliefs that influence their world view, their motivation, and their perspectives about themselves, the world, and other people. 

These core beliefs are personal and individual to each type and while it can help us understand how each type reacts and responds to the world, it can also be limiting.

These beliefs motivate them to take particular actions and guide their decisions making. It also can help people understand how each type reacts to stress, how they adapt and respond to various situations. 

These core beliefs tend to be enforced by how each individual grows into adulthood, and each type is influenced by biological factors as well as impacted by environmental influences-such as family dynamics or parental relationships.

No one number or type is better than another as it is a horizontal system in spite of numbers being used and each individual may relate to more than one type and resonate with different traits depending on their station and experiences of life and overall levels of health.

Type One subtypes

Self-Preservation One : WORRY

When the dominant subtype of one is self-preservation, they are driven by worry which makes them driven and motivated to gain control. 

They tend to be their own critics and often have a sense of responsibility to be perfect down to the smallest detail. 


Thisy subtype of one tends to be driven to set an example of perfect integrity and conduct by focusing on what is right and what is good. 

They have high standards and are motivated by the desire to “make things right” and seek to establish fairness.


This type of one tends to make other people within the one to one relationships also perfect, 

They feel they have a right to change others and often become frustrated and angry when they cannot do that. 

They are the counter type of Ones and are more open to express anger and behave based on that.

Type Two subtypes

Self-Preservation two: PRIVILEGE (COUNTERTYPE)

This countertype Two are child-like and want to be taken care of and struggle with the fear of rejection by others.  

However they are hesitant to depend on others and are highly self-protective when it comes to long term commitments.

Social Two: AMBITION

This Two often takes up leadership roles and enjoy being influential and a key player in groups, 

They use their intellect to build connections and become internal players of the group with high ambition to become seen as highly competent. 


This Two focuses on attracting and building strong, intimate relationships through seduction. 

Within intimate realtonships they are strogiwlled and are able to assert themselves more clearly and often find it hard to accept “no” as an answer. 

Type Three subtypes

Self-Preservation Three: Security

The self-preservation Three is a countertype where they want to be acknowledged and recognized for  their hard work; however, they do not like to be advertised for it overtly. 

You tend to be reliable, productive, and want to do the right thing in all situations and believe that they will be secure only through hard work.

Social Three: PRESTIGE

The Social Three is highly competitive and enjoys being in the limelight and often desires to be influential. 

For them looking good is important and because of this they might cover up mistakes as long as they look good on paper. 

Sexual three:CHARISMA

The sexual Three focuses n helping others become successful because they believe that if the people around them are successful then so are they.

So they become competitive in the interest of gaining the attention of those closest to them and even suppress their own needs for that of others. 

Type Four subtypes

Self-Preservation Four:TENACITY (COUNTERTYPE)

This Four countertype tends to choose solitude and internalise negative feelings because they want to be seen as tough.

However, they are quite sensitive and choose to disconnect from their own feelings and instead empathise with others. 

Social Four: SHAME

These four subtypes tend to find comfort in suffering and are vocal about it- this makes them admirable to others. 

They have a deep desire to be understood by others however, they struggle with feelings of inferiority which leads to strong feelings of shame and doubt. 


This Four subtype is very vocal about their needs and tends to be more shameless about getting and demanding for what they want. 

This allows them to escape from how they really feel which can impact their relationships since they tend to avoid revealing meaningful and deep issues regarding themselves and instead demand appreciation from others. 

Type Five subtypes

Self-Preservation Five:CASTLE

This particular subtype of five tend to be very preoccupied with privacy, and space,

They have very clear boundaries and rather not participate socially. They tend to be reclusive and private about their inner workings because they fear losing their security. 

Social Five:TOTEM

These five tend to seek out the answer to big questions and are always in purito of meaning and knowledge. 

They connect with people who share their ideas and others enjoy sharing their values and ideals however, because of this they tend to be disconnected with the here and now of their social life. 


This type of five tend to enjoy strong chemistry, and deep meaningful connections with their partner or significant people in their lives- very few in number- and enjoy connecting personally and emotionally. 

However, they tend to test their partners often and be a little possessive and dependent.

Type Six subtypes

Self-Preservation Six: WARMTH

This particular subtype of six often strives to maintain security and safety by building strong relationships with other people. 

They tend to repress their feelings and their opinions to maintain their relationships and support rather than risk it and are often cautious with everything they do or say. 

Social Six: DUTY

These Six subtypes are often careful and lie to follow rules and are highly dutiful and want other people in their social groups to do the same. 

They want to do what is required of them and usually connect to social ideals, and prefer to be working for a cause.


This countertype Six tends to be highly offensive and tend to run straight towards the problem or their fears. 

They are seen as rebellious, bold, and assertive and rather than being cautious, they tend to take risks. 

Type Seven subtypes

Self-Preservation Seven: NETWORK

They seek out to preserve themselves by networking. They are motivated by rallying for close supporters and often are self interested and love the good things in life. 

They are sully good at getting what they want and what they need to feel safe. 


This countertype of seven tends to be generous and have a strong desire to be of service to others in hopes to create a better world. 

This subtype tends to sacrifice their own needs for the good of others and their social circle that they belong to. 


When it comes to one to one relationships, they are usually dreamers and often view their relationships through rose tinted glasses. 

They become naive and unrealistic and because of this they do not like relationships that are dull. 

Type Eight subtypes

Self-Preservation Eight SATISFACTION

This subtype of eight tends to strive for power and influence to be able to become secure and feel safe. 

This makes them highly driven to satisfy their own needs and they take on the role of the leader, parent, and other figures of power and authority. 

When their wants and needs are not satisfied they become very frustrated and nonsensical. 


This subtype tends to use their indleuce to support others rather than lead the cause to fulfil their own agendas. 

They become sensitive to others, are proactive of people they trust and stand by and often appreciate feedback from people they trust. 

Sexual Eight: POSSESSION

This subtype often seeks to  break rules and be rebellious to create change.

In the pursuit of change they might disrupt others to achieve influence and often seek to attain leadership roles to lead and serve a worthy cause. 

Type Nine subtypes

Self-Preservation Nine: APPETITE

They are highly focused on meeting their physical needs as a way to preserve themselves and maintain their sense of safety. 

They are people who’s alone time is important to them so that they can focus on their own needs which makes them distressed when thai is disrupted. 


This subtype tends to be fully participatory in their social groups as the mediation. 

They are highly attuned to make sacrifices for the group and work to keep people happy which makes them kind of burned out if their efforts are not acknowledged. 

Sexual Nine FUSION

In one to one relationships, this subtype fuses deeply with significant others to feed their sense of self which makes it challenging for them to be on their own. T

They tend to be hyper focused on the other individual which makes them overlook their own needs and wants. 


In this article we have discussed what enneagram subtypes are for each of the 9 types.

FAQ related to Enneagram subtypes

How many Enneagram subtypes are there?

There are twenty seven subtypes according to the model created by Claudio Naranjo which highlights how the three instincts manifest in each individual. 

What are the three Enneagram subtypes?

The three subtypes are:

  • Self-preservation: This instinct makes sure that what is needed to survive and feel safe and secure is available and fulfilled. 
  • One-to-one or sexual : This instinct focuses on one to one relationship- either romantic or otherwise- in the life of the individual. 
  • Social: This instinct is occupied with the need to establish a sense of belongingness and bring an impact to the community they are part of. 

Is there a rare Enneagram type?

Type 5 is the rarest enneagram type followed closely by Type 8 and Type 2.


Ishler.J. Understanding Enneagram Subtypes: How to Find Yours & Use It for Self-Development (Part 1). Truity. 04 AUGUST 2021. Retrieved on 20th January 2022. https://www.truity.com/blog/understanding-enneagram-subtypes-how-find-yours-use-it-self-development-part-1

Owens.M. What is the Enneagram of Personality. Truity. Retrieved on 20th January 2022. https://www.truity.com/enneagram/what-is-enneagram

27 Subtypes | The Three Instincts Of The Enneagram Types. Integrative9. Retrieved on 20th January 2022. https://www.integrative9.com/enneagram/27-subtypes/?gclid=Cj0KCQiAraSPBhDuARIsAM3Js4pvlIMV5KQ1tGL0KRy7aSlf_WNx9ByU2M0l7LG8NoZhgao-REXgMtEaAhoGEALw_wcB

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