What are subtypes?
Our evolution as human beings has required three basic survival strategies, known as the basic instincts:
- Self-preservation – responding to perceived threats and needs
- Social – creating social structures within communities
- One-to-one – primary relationships or coupling; also known as the Sexual subtype
In Enneagram terms, the word “subtype” describes how the three basic instincts are expressed in everyday life, influenced by an Enneagram type’s driving emotional energy or passion. While we each embody all of the basic instincts, one tends to dominate. This explains much of the variation among people of the same type, as all of the nine Enneagram types have three instinctual variations, totaling 27 subtypes – each with a distinct flavor.