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Enneagram Type 8 Subtypes: SP 8, SX 8, and SO 8

Type 8 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 8, SX 8, and SO 8). 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 8 instinctual subtypes.

SP 8 - Satisfactory Survival, Satisfaction: takes a direct approach in getting what they want; gets frustrated and intolerant of obstacles that get in the way; accumulates territory and material resources to assure satisfactory survival.

SX 8 - Surrender, Possession: rebelliously asserts their “truth” or “way” in place of the rules or norms; wants others to surrender control, wants to dominate others and surroundings; can have difficulty letting go of what’s been “possessed” or taken under their control.

SO 8 - Friendship, Solidarity (counter-type): seeks advantage and influence through associations and alliances; defends those under their protection from injustice, unfairness, and harm; appears more friendly, generous, and less aggressive than other type 8 subtypes.

While an individual may be identified with type 8 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.