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Subtype Development Activities | Type 4

There are three versions of each Enneagram type called subtypes: self-preserving subtype, social subtype and one-to-one subtype. Subtypes are formed when the emotional patterns or habits of our type, also called the type’s passion or vice, intersect and combine with one of the three basic human instincts, the instinct that is most activated within us: self-preservation instinct, social instinct or one-to-one instinct. We may have more than one activated instinct, so we could relate to two or even all three subtypes for our type.

Each instinct has specific focal areas. Individuals with that activated instinct, once it combines with the emotional pattern of our type, may move toward that instinctual area, away from that arena, or have ambivalence about that area. A way of understanding this is that the instincts by themselves are simply human and natural. However, when the activated instinct(s) combines with our type-based emotional pattern, the instinct then becomes distorted and, thus, less able to satisfy our natural needs in that instinctual area.

Here you can read about the passion or emotional habit of the type, a name for and a description of that subtype as it combines the emotional habit with that instinct, followed by one specific development idea that is particularly useful to people of that subtype. Please remember that we may have more than one active subtype, so the development activities for the additional subtype are also good for your development.


Emotional pattern of ENVY

Consciously and unconsciously comparing yourself to others to determine how you measure up and why you don’t feel good enough, then feeling deficient, superior, or both and also suffering from these comparisons

Self-preservation Four subtypes

Self-Preservation Four subtypes (“reckless/dauntless”) bear their suffering in silence to prove that they are good enough by virtue of enduring pain and also engage in nonstop activity or even reckless behavior as a way to feel excited and energized.

Self-preservation Four subtype development

Notice how you feel you have to go through life and suffer on your own; embrace more fun and let more people in.

One way to embrace more fun and let more people in:

Share more of your feelings, particularly those that are painful. The less stoical you are, the more people can see and feel you.

Social Four subtypes

Social Four subtypes (“shame”) focus on their deficiencies and on earning understanding and appreciation for their suffering, particularly from the groups to which they belong.

Social Four subtype development

Notice how and when you feel inadequate and inferior; relax your negative self-judgments and take action.

One way to relax your negative self-judgments and take action:

Can you give up your continuous suffering? Ask yourself these questions and answer them: What if I could give up suffering or at least minimize it? How would I feel without the suffering? Who would I be?

One-to-One Four subtypes

One-to-One Four subtypes (“competition”) express their needs and feelings outwardly and are highly competitive in order to gain attention, to be heard, to be acknowledged, and to feel understood.

One-to One Four subtype development

Notice your competitiveness and the “transporting” of your suffering to others; pursue what’s underneath your feelings, particularly when you feel competitive.

One way to pursue what’s underneath your feelings, particularly when you feel competitive:

Do you dress or act in a way that calls attention to yourself? Be honest about this. Then explore what lies underneath your need for attention. Why the need or craving for attention? Explore your feelings about this.

These activities are excerpts from the new additions to the soon-available 3rd edition of The Enneagram Development Guide, with over 60 development activities for each Enneagram type.

Ginger Lapid-Bogda PhD, author of nine Enneagram books, is a speaker, consultant, trainer, and coach. She provides certification programs and training tools for business professionals around the world who want to bring the Enneagram into organizations with high-impact business applications. TheEnneagramInBusiness.com | ginger@theenneagraminbusiness.com

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