Do this instinct test here and then read on. It will only take a couple of minutes.
Okay. So you've done the test? Got your results? Good. Now you can read about it. All of this next section I lifted from this site here.
Enneagram Instinctual Variants
In addition to the Enneagram type, people are also considered to be one of three instinctual variants (also called subtypes). The self-preservation instinct (dealing with oneself), the sexual (dealing with another person) and the social instinct (dealing with a group) can be most pronounced.
We strongly identify with one primary drive and with some secondary traits in another drive. On the occasion when two of the instinctual drives are equally dominant, it is noteworthy that the third drive is usually omitted. This perhaps still demonstrates the imbalanced use of the three very essential instinctual drives. The teaching of Instinctual Subtypes suggests that these fundamental instinctual drives need to be equally cared for and in balance in order to harness the energy needed to move toward transformation. The concept is that the energy expended in dealing with the instinctual drives' imbalance diminishes one's access to the energy necessary to move against fixation and toward transformation.
Self Preservation (SP) InstinctPeople who have this as their dominant instinct are preoccupied with the safety, comfort, health, energy, and well-being of the physical body. In a word, they are concerned with having enough resources to meet life's demands. Identification with the body is a fundamental focus for all humans, and we need our body to function well in order to be alive and active in the world. Most people in contemporary cultures are not faced life or death "survival" in the strictest sense; thus, Self-Preservation types tend to be concerned with food, money, housing, medical matters, and physical comfort. Moreover, those primarily focused on self-preservation, by extension, are usually interested in maintaining these resources for others as well. Their focus of attention naturally goes towards things related to these areas such as clothes, temperature, shopping, decorating, and the like, particularly if they are not satisfied in these areas or have a feeling of deficiency due to their childhoods. Self-Pres types tend to be more grounded, practical, serious, and introverted than the other two instinctual types. They might have active social lives and a satisfying intimate relationship, but if they feel that their self-preservation needs are not being met, still tend not to be happy or at ease. In their primary relationships, these people are "nesters"—they seek domestic tranquility and security with a stable, reliable partner.
Sexual (aka "Attraction") (SX) InstinctMany people originally identify themselves as this type because they have learned that the Sexual types are interested in "one-on-one relationships." But all three instinctual types are interested in one-on-one relationships for different reasons, so this does not distinguish them. The key element in Sexual types is an intense drive for intimacy and a constant awareness of the "chemistry" between themselves and others. Sexual types are immediately aware of the attraction, or lack thereof, between themselves and other people. Further, while the basis of this instinct is related to sexuality, it is not necessarily about people engaging in the sexual act. There are many people that we are excited to be around for reasons of personal chemistry that we have no intention of "getting involved with." Nonetheless, we might be aware that we feel stimulated in certain people's company and less so in others. The sexual type is constantly moving toward that sense of intense stimulation and intimacy in their relationships and in their activities. They are the most "energized" of the three instinctual types, and tend to be more aggressive, competitive, charged, and emotionally intense than the Self-Pres or Social types. Sexual types need to have deep intimacy in their primary relationships or else they remain unsatisfied. They enjoy being intensely involved—even merged—with others, and can become disenchanted with partners who are unable to meet their need for intense energetic union. Losing yourself in a "fusion" of being is the ideal here, and Sexual types are always looking for this state with others and with stimulating objects in their world.
Social (aka "Adaptive") (SO) InstinctJust as many people tend to misidentify themselves as Sexual types because they want one-on-one relationships, many people fail to recognize themselves as Social types because they get the (false) idea that this means always being involved in groups, meetings, and parties. If Self-Preservation types are interested in adjusting the environment to make themselves more secure and comfortable, Social types adapt themselves to serve the needs of the social situation they find themselves in. Thus, Social types are highly aware of other people, whether they are in intimate situations or in groups. They are also aware of how their actions and attitudes are affecting those around them. Moreover, Sexual types seek intimacy, Social types seek personal connection: they want to stay in long-term contact with people and to be involved in their world. Social types are the most concerned with doing things that will have some impact on their community, or even broader domains. They tend to be warmer, more open, engaging, and socially responsible than the other two types. In their primary relationships, they seek partners with whom they can share social activities, wanting their intimates to get involved in projects and events with them. Paradoxically, they actually tend to avoid long periods of exclusive intimacy and quiet solitude, seeing both as potentially limiting. Social types lose their sense of identity and meaning when they are not involved with others in activities that transcend their individual interests.
Then the next step is to think about how your top two instincts work together. Look for a brief description on this site.
Then leave a comment. Tell me - was it a good reflection of what you're like?