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Enneagram Type 6 Subtypes: SP 6, SX 6, and SO 6

Type 6 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 6, SX 6, and SO 6). 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 6 instinctual subtypes.

SP 6 - Warmth, Affection/Rejection: is warm and friendly as a way to show one is not a threat; cultivates protective and trusting alliances with others; resolves doubt through constant assurance and cautious around potential dangers and risks.

SX 6 - Strength/Beauty (counter-type): uses strength or beauty to be empowered within the world; stands against fear but more “bark” than “bite”; runs toward fear or danger with attitude of the best defense is a good offense.

SO 6 - Duty, Fellowship: knows and follows the rules to relieve anxiety; relies on ideologies or other systems of reference; can be precise, intolerant, and adhere to guidelines of authority to avoid ambiguity.

While an individual may be identified with type 6 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.