In the Enneagram system, each type corresponds to one of the three instinctual drives: self-preservation (SP), sexual (SX – also called one-to-one or intimate), and social (SO).
Here are the three instincts in each of the Enneagram types:
Self-Preservation (also known as the Self-Preservation Instinct): People with a dominant self-preservation instinct tend to focus on meeting their basic needs for safety, security, and comfort. They are often concerned with practical matters and maintaining a sense of order and control. Their fear is typically centred around their well-being and survival.
Sexual (also known as the Sexual/One-to-One Instinct): Individuals with a dominant sexual instinct have a strong drive for intensity, connection, and assertiveness. They often seek intense experiences, passionate relationships, and a sense of personal power. Their fear usually revolves around being controlled or manipulated by others.
Social (also known as the Social Instinct): Those with a dominant social instinct are driven by a need for belonging, connection, and community. They tend to focus on social dynamics, building relationships, and maintaining harmony within groups. Their fear typically involves being excluded or feeling disconnected from others.
It’s important to note that while everyone has all three instincts, one instinctual drive usually dominates in each person. However, the Enneagram system recognizes that individuals are complex, and it is common for people to have a blend of instincts or variations within a particular type.