* Enneagram Intro
* What People Say
NLP + Enneagram
Milton Erickson
Famous Examples
Style Specific Quotes
Tom Condon Interview
* Enneagram Exercises

* Bill Clinton's E-Style
* Death of Catastrophe

The Enneagram's Fine Distinctions


    Each Enneagram style has three further suborientations called subtypes, related to three realms of life – survival or how we take care of ourselves, the realm of close relationships, and how we relate socially to the larger world.
    Your primary subtype is determined by whether you are unconsciously preoccupied with personal survival (self-preservation), whether you incline towards one-to-one relationships (intimate), or whether your style of relating is focused on groups of people (social).
    We all have portions of our attention and energy focused on each of these three realms, but we may habitually favor one more than the others. If your primary desire is for material security you might be continuously, if subtly, focused on the essentials of life – food, shelter, physical safety and your home.
    If your primary desire is for intimacy in one-to-one relationships you might be especially focused on whether you are desirable to others, or be interested in finding or being with your mate, or relate to your friends one at a time in a tightly focused way.
    If your primary desire is for community, you might seek safety and security in numbers. You could gravitate towards groups of people and be interested in outer recognition, popularity, status and social acceptance. Your inner thoughts will tend to be filled with groups of people.
    As with wings and resource points below, your subtype can be either a resource or a limitation depending on how healthy or defensive you are within it.

    Your dominant Enneagram style also has a relationship to its neighboring styles, called wings. If Four is your core style, you will have an intuitive built-in connection to both Three and Five. Your sensitive, subjective Fourish orientation would be modified by a preoccupation with action and image (Three wing) or a less social, intellectual drive (Five wing). If you know your core style and think about it further, you can usually identify your primary wing. You will usually find you have favored one over the other in your history and character.
    As with stress and security points, the healthy qualities of your wings are available to you like talents, while the unhealthy qualities exist as potential pitfalls. Depending on your focus, you can tap the high-side resources of your wings or unconsciously fall into their traps.
Connecting Points
(Stress and Security)
     Your core style has a built-in connection to two other Enneagram styles, usually referred to as stress and security points. In Enneagram literature the words “stress” and “security” are used descriptively. When facing a stressful deadline at work, for example, you might temporarily access the attitudes and motivations of your stress point and seem like someone with a different Enneagram style. Under stress a withdrawn, frightened Five might begin to act like a hyperactive, distractible Seven.
    Later, after the Five meets the deadline and goes on vacation, she might temporarily manifest the attitudes of her security point, the confident, forceful high side of Eight. This dynamic is similar to the way that different sides of your character come out in different contexts.
    In my experience, these connections are not just contextual but constant. A shy Five might act forcefully Eightish at moments when they feel secure but some Fives are consistently Eightish. Scrooge, the nasty, punitive miser in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol would be an example of a generally Eightish Five. Other Fives can be consistently Seven-like in their outward manner and inner style of thinking.
    Many Enneagram writers take stress and security points to mean more than what I’ve described. They portray the stress point as an inherently unhealthy connection while the security point is deemed the general path to psychological health. The stress point is called the direction of decline, disintegration, breakdown while the security point is called the direction of growth, integration, redemption, etc. The two points are presented as directions to cultivate or avoid when working on the dilemmas of your core Enneagram style.
    While I respect the writers who propose this theory, reality has proven far more complicated. Sixes – and all the other styles – have connections to both the high and low sides of their stress and security points.


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