There are 9 types of enneagrams and each of them has three enneagram subtypes that describe different personality types. You can figure out what a person is like by matching their traits to the standard descriptions. Here they are.
Each of the nine types describes a certain personality. But they all have three subtypes (not to be confused with wings) or basic instincts: self-preservation, social and sexual. Look at these subtypes in combination with the emotional energy of the enneagram type.
If you can understand them both without forcefully fitting people into these boxes, who knows – maybe you can develop empathy and avoid conflict after all. There are 27 types (three each for all nine types) that can tell you a lot about a person.
Self-preservation is how we perceive threats and react or respond to them.
Type 1s are anxious and a bit controlling. They like to plan everything and use their survival instincts to do good and be secure. They also carry latent anger and despite their best efforts, it comes out when plans fail.
Type 2s are warm and personable. They can get along with different types of people since they are nurturing and supporting. But they also feel entitled and want others to meet their needs. This type may have shown a lot of pride or put others first, which leaves them with false modesty.
Type 3s are hard workers and care about their reputation as long as it leads to material success. They are driven and good with their finances. But they can lose touch with reality and let their work define them instead of the other way around.
Type 4s like to move around, enter new scenarios and take risks. Some label them careless, but they are sought when you need creative and unorthodox solutions. They struggle between material comforts and leaving all that behind to live an authentic life.
Type 5s consider their home a safe haven. They might be hoarders because they want their homes to be fully stocked at all times. But it could also go the other way and they could keep moving all the time.
You could say that FOMO makes type 6s connect with others. But security is important to them probably because it was threatened when they were younger. This is why they may also be uncomfortable with risks. They like to define boundaries and color within the lines.
Type 7s like a luxurious life surrounded by friends and family. They like eating out, good conversations and having fun in general. As a result, they may talk or eat too much. Overall, you might find them a bit overstimulated.
Type 8s are aggressive and they focus on physical and material safety. They are protective of their loved ones and are not afraid of going down fighting. Type 8s are also territorial and hoard supplies more than others which sometimes makes it hard for them to relax and have fun.
Type 9s are good at creating infrastructure on a daily basis driven by their instincts. They don’t pay much attention to their own needs and can drown themselves in material comforts like food and ignore spiritual growth.
The social enneagram subtype claims to explain how a person deals with the existing social structures inside their own community.
They are driven by the will to be an example to others. But since they like having control, they can look rigid and distant. They try to be the teacher of the group, but it can make them look like know-it-alls. It’s also hard to convince them that someone else is right.
Type 2s are important to the organizations and causes they are associated with. Their self-esteem is built on their achievements and the corresponding social validation. But they have empathy which is why it’s more important to connect with the right people and understand the needs of others than be in the spotlight.
They are driven towards success by building the right network, gaining power and getting social validation. They could be good leaders or just people who use propaganda to look good.
Social situations may make type 4s feel inadequate. They envy people who have a social status, which is why they want it. They want to be truth tellers in their circles but also want to meet expectations and struggle with that conflict.
Type 5s are hungry for knowledge which makes them want to be a teacher or become an observer. They overinterpret or analyze, which makes it hard for them to participate with others.
Type 6s focus on knowing the rules so that they can be clear and in agreement with the people around them. They struggle with a sense of belonging and being dutiful can be their goal but also a burden.
Type 7s want friend groups so that they can express themselves. They are drawn to the idea of being the moral compass of a group. That’s why getting along with others can feel limiting to personal growth and future plans.
Type 8s like being a part of a group as a leader because it helps them cope with injustices. The needs of the many help them control their anger and it’s more important to be loyal than to acknowledge their personal feelings.
Type 9s blend in well with different friend groups. They can contribute selflessly and be leaders, but it can make them neglect their own needs as long as they are happy with their role in the group.
This enneagram subtype is about the one-on-one relationships a person has with others.
Type 1s try to make others perfect even if it means they have to neglect themselves. These are passionate people, but they can end up being demanding. They are intense, which makes them look angry and over-excited.
Making a connection with others, even for a short time, for validation is important to type 2s. They can be seductive in their expression but it’s not always sexual. They can also be a bit aggressive to get attention.
For type 3s, gender identity is an important part of their image. They put a premium on charisma to decide on a person’s attractiveness. They might be confused about their own sexuality, but they can perform well, in public and private.
Type 4s have a competitive streak which helps them get over their own inadequacies. They use the power of other people to challenge themselves and winning or losing helps them define their own worth.
Type 5s share their inner self only in confidence. This makes them a bit secretive and they struggle to balance being with everyone and saving their own autonomy.
Type 6s use physical strength and willpower to overcome fear. They have a fierce personal ideology and use idealism to overcome self-doubt and achieve stability.
Type 7s can be influenced by new people and ideas. But they can also make new suggestions and be charming in the process, which works in relationships.
Type 8s are assertive and forceful and use them to control their partners. They have trouble letting go, but a longing for the perfect partner can help them get there.
Type 9s really want to be one with a partner, and that can help them achieve transcendence. But this is also why they might have trouble establishing boundaries in everyday life.
What is life but a bunch of questions we’re always trying to answer! There are plenty of phenomena in the universe that we can’t explain…yet. Some of them are like Stonehenge and some are buried deep within us. For all that we know about it, much of the human mind is still an enigma. Perhaps enneagram subtypes are a doorway.