finer distinctions



Each personality type has an inherent connection to the types on either side of it, known as wings. Usually, though not always, one or both of the wings influence the core personality. For example, an EIGHT with a SEVEN wing will be much more outgoing (a SEVEN characteristic) than an EIGHT with a NINE wing. But the core motivation and characteristics of the EIGHT stay the same. The habit of mind does not change, but here we can see that it may be expressed in a variety of ways. This begins to account for variations in personality.



The dynamic quality of the Enneagram is in its anticipation of personality shifts that will naturally occur at times when we are under stress or when we feel secure. Each type moves in the direction of the arrow when under stress, and begins to take on those charcteristics (for example, a ONE will take on the characteristics of FOUR when facing great stress). When we are feeling secure, the shift will be against the arrow where we tend to take on the characteristics of that type (ONE would look more like SEVEN when feeling really secure). It is another way of demonstrating what happens when a person no longer needs their automatic defense (security), or when it no longer works (stress). The core type does not change, but we get to see variations under stress and in security.



We express the energy of our type through our instinctual sub-type. These are the three major drives with which we are involved on a daily basis. One of these is usually more of a preoccupation than the others and gets a lot of our attention. Once again, the ultimate goal is balance, in this case among the three drives.

The three instinctual subtypes are:

Self-preservation -This is the instinctual drive concerned with food, shelter, comfort, security and other survival issues.

Social - This instinctual drive is concerned with the fact that we live in groups and we depend on social structure. Our sense of belonging, status and affiliation are a part of this.

Intimate - This is the drive concerned with one-to-one relationships, attractiveness, intimacy, and sexuality.