People who are dominant in the Enneagram SELF PRESERVATION instinct are focused on our human need for comfort, material/financial security, health and wellness, hearth, home and family.

Here are the names for the Self-pres version of each of the Enneagram patterns: ⁣

Type 1: Anxiety/worry⁣
Type 2: Me first/privilege⁣
Type 3: Material security⁣
Type 4: Tenacity
Type 5: Home/castle ⁣
Type 6: Warmth/affection⁣
Type 7: Like minded defenders/family⁣
Type 8: Satisfaction/ material needs⁣
Type 9: Comfort/Appetite

You can reflect on your type and then reflect on “How does the passion of your type get channeled in this domain? Find your type above. Does the name of the instinct resonate with you?”

The passions of the types are:

1: Anger
2: Pride
3: Deceit
4: Envy/Longing
5: Avarice
6: Fear
7: Gluttony
8: Lust/Excess
9: Sloth/Self-Forgetting


My husband leads with the self-preservation instinct and I lead with the social instinct. These are two very different energies! His focus is on the order of each day along with physical and material security and well being of one’s self and the circle of family and friends (for my husband, this includes our 4 furry friends). The self preservation instinct is foundational to our survival. It is about shelter and comfort.

So if he were sitting on a 9 Narrative panel, I’d ask, “So how does the passion of “self-forgetting’ show up in the self preservation instinct? How does it impact your relationships?” Self preservation 9s are called “Appetite:” It’s about physical comforts, routines, practicalities, the comfort of our family and friends.

Then you have me who is dominant in the Social instinct which has to do with the feeling of belonging/not belonging in a social group. This is the instinct that knows we need groups for our survival. Who is the tribe? Who can be trusted? Who has your back in the group? Who has standing in the community? Do I matter in the community?

From an adult development perspective, this tribe could be a small group in a high school, it could expand to a community in your town or church or workplace or it could expand even more to larger world concerns or future generations.

This Social 7 is called “Sacrifice:” it is the “countertype” of 7 where we go against the passion of “gluttony” (too muchness) through conscientious service to others in order to be seen as good for our sacrifice. It’s like we know we want to be first in line to get the goodies, but act against it.

So when I’m sitting on a Social 7 panel, I share how this pattern has impacted my relationships, my level of trust in different people and how this attention to social standing and social belonging impacts me and others.


This April in Cincinnati, Ohio, the IEA is hosting 4 major teachers who have done a deep dive into the instincts (Beatrice Chestnut, Russ Hudson, Peter O’Hanrahan and Mario Sikora). I will be co-facilitating this panel with former president of the IEA, Curt Micka.


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