Subtype Development Activity |: Type 9:

There are three variations of each Enneagram type, called subtypes: the self-preservation subtype, the social subtype, and the one-to-one subtype. Subtypes are formed when our type’s emotional patterns or habits, also called type passions or vices, intersect and combine with one of the three basic human instincts, the instinct that is most active in us: self-preservation instinct, social instinct, or individuality. one instinct. We can have more than one activated instinct, so we can relate to two or even all three subtypes of our type.

Each instinct has specific focus areas. Individuals with that activated instinct, when combined with the emotional pattern of our species, may move toward that instinctual area, away from that arena, or be ambivalent about that area. The way to understand this is that instincts themselves are simply human and natural. However, when the activated instinct(s) is combined with our species-based emotional pattern, the instinct then becomes distorted and therefore less able to meet our natural needs in that instinctual area.

Here you can read about this type of passion or emotional habit, the name and description of that subtype, as it combines the emotional habit with that instinct, followed by one specific development idea that is particularly useful for people of that subtype. Please remember that we can have more than one active subtype, so additional subtype development work is also good for your development.


An emotional pattern of laziness

Avoiding conflict by numbing themselves and not paying attention to their own internal reactions, thus preventing them from knowing what they think, want and taking the right actions.

Self-preservation Nine subspecies

Self-preservation Nine subtypes (“appetites”) use the comfort of routine, rhythmic, and pleasurable activities to avoid drawing attention to themselves.

Self-preservation Nine subtypes of development

Pay attention to subtle signs of your deep anger, energy, and vitality, especially physical and somatic signs; let go of your need for comfort and move into action

One way to let go of your need for comfort and take action.

Identify physical behaviors you regularly engage in that comfort you, such as physically rocking back and forth, regular head nodding, comfort eating, and sleeping when you are sad. Once you know what they are, every time you’re about to do one of them, instead ask yourself how you feel and take the time to explore your feelings.

Social Nine subtypes

Society Nine subtypes (“participation”) go to extreme lengths on behalf of a group, organization, or cause as a means of belonging and as a means of not focusing on themselves.

Development of the Social Nine subtypes

Notice how you immerse yourself in work or activities as a way to belong to groups; slow down and honor your feelings, needs and desires.

One way to slow down and honor your feelings, needs, and desires is to:

Notice that when you work so hard on behalf of the group, you actually merge with the group and the activity and lose your sense of inner self. While acting on behalf of the group, try to maintain a clear boundary around how you feel. One thing that helps to do this is: every time you breathe in, come back to your sense of self as a whole and embodied human being. Breathe yourself, don’t just breathe so you can continue to integrate with the group or activity.

One at a time Nine subtypes

Nine subtypes one by one (“fusion/combination”) to join, merge, or merge with significant individuals as a way of ignoring one’s own thoughts, feelings, needs, and deep desires.

Development of the One-to-One Nine subtype

Notice how you free yourself, lose your sense of self by merging with special others; focus on who you are and express yourself.

One way to focus on who you are and express yourself.

Here is a question to consider. When we love someone, there are moments when we merge with them and they merge with us. But true love also allows both parties to separate or be autonomous, so that fusion is a temporary experience between two whole people. Create a firm understanding of your physical boundary, where you end and another begins.

These activities are excerpts from new additions to the soon-to-be-available 3rd edition of The Enneagram Development Guide, with over 60 development activities for each Enneagram type.

Ginger Lapid-Bogda PhD, author of nine Enneagram books, is a speaker, consultant, trainer and coach. He provides certification programs and training tools for business professionals worldwide who want to bring the Enneagram to organizations with high-impact business applications. |:

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