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Enneagram Type 3 Subtypes: SP 3, SX 3, and SO 3

Type 3 Instinctual Subtypes

The instincts of the Enneagram types are self-preservation (sp), sexual (sx), and social (so). They are traditionally used to define three instinctual subtypes or variations of a basic type (e.g., SP 3, SX 3, and SO 3). One of these three subtypes is called the counter-type because it can look different from the basic type. Below are brief descriptions of the three type 3 instinctual subtypes.

SP 3 - Security, Company Man/Woman (counter-type): security through hard work, material success, and accomplishments; seeks recognition from others through effort not overt self-promotion; can overidentify with work role and career.

SX 3 - Masculine/Feminine, Charisma: presents attractive and pleasing image to others; promotes and supports important others more so than promoting oneself; success of significant others becomes one’s own success.

SO 3 - Prestige, Achievement: adopts the persona and image that garners respect, approval, admiration, etc.; can confuse persona and image with who they truly are; enjoys the spotlight and achieving success, reputation, status, influence as they climb the social ladder.

While an individual may be identified with type 3 in general, that same individual may be more specifically identified with one of the three instinctual subtypes as well. 

A more recent approach to using the instincts is instinctual variant stacking which can be used independent of Enneagram type.

If you'd like to take a test to find your instinctual subtype or instinctual variant stacking then click here.


Enneagram Guide

This page is part of the Enneagram Guide available on this website. For more information about any particular Enneagram type or the many concepts and origins/history of the Enneagram types visit the Enneagram Guide main page.