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Enneagram Type 9 Subtypes: SP 9, SX 9, and SO 9

Type 9 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 9, SX 9, and SO 9). 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 9 instinctual subtypes.

SP 9 - Appetite, Collector: numbs oneself through eating, physical comfort, and routine activities; collects things and may have trouble deciding what to throw away; substitutes essential needs and wants with non-essentials.

SX 9 - Union, Fusion: sense of being comes from merging with significant others; can have difficulty individuating and standing on their own without reference to other; tendency to lose sight of own needs and desires in favor of other.

SO 9 - Participation (counter-type): participates in order to feel a part of the group; prioritizes group needs above their own and works hard toward those needs; fun-loving, sociable, congenial, doesn’t weigh others down with own woes.

While an individual may be identified with type 9 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.