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Enneagram Type 5 Subtypes: SP 5, SX 5, and SO 5

Type 5 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 5, SX 5, and SO 5). 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 5 instinctual subtypes.

SP 5 - Castle, Castle Defender: hides within “castle walls” to protect against intrusion and maintain privacy; hoards resources and minimizes needs to avoid dependency on others; observes life from a distance instead of participating in it.

SX 5 - Confidence, Confidant (counter-type): searches for someone they can trust to share their secrets with; emotionally sensitive with romantic streak; may connect to inner emotional world through artistic expression.

SO 5 - Totems, Symbols: relates to people through ideas, values, and ideals; searches for ultimate knowledge, truth, and meaning to avoid experiencing life as meaningless; obsession with ideas and the extraordinary which disconnects them from everyday issues and concerns.

While an individual may be identified with type 5 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.