If you are at all familiar with the Enneagram of Personality Types you’ve probably heard it said that there is great variability within Type. Not all Ones, for example, behave exactly the same way even though they have at the core of their being the desire to be good and correct. One of the reasons Type is quite varied in how it shows up is due to something called subtype. So, what is subtype?
All mammals have in common instinctual drives for survival, for intimacy in one-one bonding, and for social belonging. During the human socialization process that helps form our personality type, typically one of these three drives becomes most important to the individual. Then a set of behaviors develops to satisfy that drive. In the Enneagram these behaviors have come to be known as subtypes. (Note: Riso-Hudson works use the term “Dominant Instinctual Energy” instead of “Subtype”.)
The three subtypes are:
Self- Preservation – concerned primarily with matters of personal safety and survival (food, clothing, shelter, comfort)
Sexual – also known as One to One – concerned primarily with connection with another
Social – focus is on the group – how to show up in community
The Enneagram recognizes the existence to nine Types each of which have 3 subtypes. That makes for 27 subtypes which refine and nuance the understanding of our type structure. Subtype behavior is always colored by our Type but get a group of self-pres of different types together, for example, and they will find much in common as they share their focus on stocking their pantries, taking plenty of luggage with them when they travel and assuring an ample supply of money or whatever else is deemed necessary for survival.
Subtype can play as big a role in relationships as Type. Imagine the potential conflict when a one-one subtype is seeking intense connection with another individual whose main focus is not on that individual but outward on to the group or community.
Knowing the subtype can help those having trouble identifying their Type by highlighting the wired-in, biological drives in human behavior and distinguish between what are known as behavioral “look-alikes” within the 9 types.
Using teaching, exercises and brief panel interviews with class participants, students can expect to identify their subtype and begin working on how the instinctual drives affect their Type. The benefits of this work are a clearer, deeper understanding of your Type and its attendant triggers and blind spots. This leads to better self-management resulting in greater presence and ease in life, work and relationships.
The Enneagram System’s 27 Personality Subtypes by Beatrice Chestnut is used to help participants identify and understand their subtype behavior. The class is taught in a one day format. Recommended preparation for this class is: The Development and Structure of the Enneagram Personality Types or the equivalent.
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$80 per person which includes class workbook and lunch.
$45 per person if you have attended this class before, and are not bringing a friend(bring your class materials and lunch is included)
$10 per person if you have attended this class before, and are bringing a friend(bring your class materials and lunch is included)
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