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Subtype Development Activities | Type 9

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 LAZINESS

Avoiding conflict by numbing themselves and not paying attention to their own inner responses, thus disabling them from knowing what they think, want and the right action to take

Self-preservation Nine subtypes

Self-Preservation Nine subtypes (“appetite”) use the comfort of routine, rhythmic, and pleasant activities to not pay attention to themselves.

Self-preservation Nine subtype development

Notice the subtle clues, particularly the physical and somatic ones, to your deep anger, energy and vitality; relax your need for comfort and move toward action.

One way to relax your need for comfort and move toward action:

Identify the physical behaviors that you engage in regularly that you find comforting, such as rocking back and forth physically, nodding your head on a regular basis, eating for comfort, and sleeping when you are distressed. Once you know what these are, every time you are just about to do one of them, ask yourself instead what you are feeling and spend time exploring you emotions.

Social Nine subtypes

Social Nine subtypes (“participation”) work extremely hard on behalf of a group, organization, or cause as a way to belong and as a way of not focusing on themselves.

Social Nine subtype development

Notice how you dive into work or activities as a way of belonging to groups; slow down and honor your feelings, needs and desires.

One way to slow down and honor your feelings, needs and desires:

Notice that when you work so hard on behalf of a group, that you actually merge with the group and activity and lose your inner sense of self. Practice keeping a clear boundary around your sense of self at the same time as you engage in activities on behalf of the group. One thing that helps is to do this: every time you take a breath, come back to your sense of self as a whole and embodied person. Breathe into yourself, don’t just breathe so you can continue merging with the group or activity.

One-to-One Nine subtypes

One-to-One Nine subtypes (“fusion/union”) join, merge or fuse with important individuals as a way of not paying attention to their own thoughts, feelings, needs, and deep desires.

One-to-One Nine subtype development

Notice how you vacate yourself  – lose your sense of self – by merging with special others; focus on who you are and express yourself.

One way to focus on who you are and express yourself:

Here’s a question to consider: Are you confusing merging with love? When we love someone, there are times when we merge with them and they merge with us. But real love also allows both parties to separate or be autonomous so that merging is a temporary experience between two whole human beings. Create a solid sense of your physical boundary, where you end and where another person starts.

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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