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Self-Awareness Self-Assessments


Enneagram Subtype Self-Assessment

An explanation of "Subtypes" can be found here, which opens in a new window.

If you don't know your Enneagram type yet it would be most helpful to take the Enneagram Type Self- Assessment before taking this self-assessment. Once you've taken the self-assessment AND verified your Enneagram type by reading one or more of the descriptions, come back here.

There are 3 subtypes within each Enneagram type that are extremely helpful to know and understand, especially for relationships. This self-assessment will help you determine your dominant subtype.

Directions: Read each of the three subtype descriptions below and choose the ONE that you feel sounds the most like you by clicking on the check box.

Self-Preservation Subtype

Everyone has self-preservation needs but self-preservation subtypes are preoccupied with having the resources they need to survive. If they have a partner and/or kids they are also preoccupied with providing resources for their survival too. Self-preservation subtypes tend to be concerned with: physical comfort, food, money, room temperature, health, housing/shelter, and all around well-being of their body. They tend to think about their health, well-being and physical condition. They want to make sure that their body is fed and warm, that their career brings in enough money to look after themselves (and others if the case may be), that they have a roof over their head to provide shelter, that they can provide resources for their family, etc. Even if self-preservation subtypes don't take care of themselves properly they are acutely aware of their physical condition and financial position. They are not preoccupied with having closeness to a mate (or best friend) nor are they preoccupied with social acceptance/belonging so much as financial and physical well- being, for themselves and for loved ones. Self-preservation subtypes tend to worry about not being able to take care of themselves, with not being able to cope in the world. They tend to be more grounded, cautious, serious, practical and reserved than the other subtypes. They tend to be more concerned about being secure than being popular or desirable. The other subtypes might complain that self-preservation subtypes are too conservative and overly concerned about their own needs. It would be worse for a self-preservation subtype to be broke and dependent on others than to be socially excluded or to lose their power to charm and attract others. A self- preservation subtype is more concerned with taking care of the essential necessities of life and putting their time/effort to good use than with spending intimate time with their partner/best friend or making social connections. Self-preservation subtypes might well have a fulfilling intimate relationship and be active socially but if their self-preservation needs are not being met they will feel ill at ease and uncomfortable.

Sexual (aka One-to-One or Relational) Subtype

Everyone has a need for one-to-one relationships but sexual subtypes have a preoccupation with one-to-one connection with people, especially intimate connection with their partner. If they are not in a relationship they are preoccupied with being in one. If they are in a relationship they frequently think of ways to get closer to their partner. Sexual subtypes instantly sense their attraction or repulsion to someone and are acutely aware of the chemistry and degree of stimulation between themselves and others. This subtype tends to be more energized and feels more intense and passionate inside than the other two subtypes. If self-preservation subtypes are like a solid mountain and social subtypes are like a flitting butterfly, then sexual subtypes are like a fiery volcano. Positively, they are the subtype most highly charged, fully engaged in whatever they're doing and intensely involved with others. Negatively, they are the subtype that can be the most aggressive, volatile, competitive, seductive, jealous, possessive and flirtatious. It is not uncommon for sexual subtypes to get into such a deep conversation with someone that they don't even notice other people around them. At a party, for example, self-preservation subtypes are likely to stand by the refreshments and notice whether they are comfortable in the environment, social subtypes are likely to "mix and mingle" around the room to meet different people, but sexual subtypes are likely to zero-in on one or two people who really intrigue and attract them and have an intense conversation. They can't understand people who are closed off and unaffected by life as well as those who lack depth and curiosity about others. Sexual subtypes like to feel merged with their partner and are the subtype most in danger of losing themselves in a relationship. They feel most out of sorts when their primary relationships are off-track and not working. Sexual subtypes can sometimes feel frustrated or even disenchanted when in relationship with someone of a different subtype because their need for union, fusion and intimacy is sometimes not met to their satisfaction. The other subtypes might complain that sexual subtypes are too intense and often too much to take. Just as self-preservation subtypes are preoccupied with their physical well-being and survival needs, and social subtypes are preoccupied with belonging and fitting in to their community, sexual subtypes are preoccupied with their need for deep intimacy in their primary relationships and they feel ill at ease and emotionally unsatisfied without it.

Note: Many people who have a preference for "Introversion" in the Jungian-Keirsey system erroneously type themselves as having a preference for "Extraversion" because they are sexual subtypes in the Enneagram system who are deeply interested in and enjoy relationships. In the Jungian-Keirsey system, extraversion does not measure how relationship-oriented we are or how much time we spend with other people rather than by ourselves. Likewise, many sexual subtypes who are "Thinkers" in the Jungian-Keirsey system erroneously type themselves as "Feelers" because they are passionate and emotionally intense, like "Feelers." Please keep this in mind if you take the Jungian-Keirsey Type Self-Assessment.

Social Subtype

Everyone has a need to belong but social subtypes are preoccupied with their sense of connectedness (or disconnectedness, as the case may be) to their community and what other people think of them. In prehistoric times it was safer to flock together. Social subtypes understand this. They have an instinctive desire to be part of the culture they identify with (which could be a subculture or counterculture group) and this drives them to adapt themselves to serve the needs of the culture so that they will be accepted, and thus protected from harm. Being a social subtype does not necessarily mean that someone always loves being involved with groups and going to social gatherings, although many do. But, social subtypes are extremely alert to how they are being viewed and perceived by others. They are all too aware of how their behavior and attitudes affect those around them. They tend to notice who is popular, has status, has prestige and are concerned with how and where they fit into the group. Social subtypes want to contribute something meaningful to the groups in which they belong. They want to have some impact on their community, or even larger domains. Many are involved in causes, but many aren't. Self- preservation subtypes are solid with grounded energy, and sexual subtypes are intense with penetrating energy, but social subtypes are engaging with considerate energy. Positively, social subtypes are open, accepting, gracious, compassionate and aware of others' feelings. Negatively, they can be overly concerned with status, prestige and social position. They like networking and communicating (unless they feel estranged from their community, in which case they can feel extremely isolated and lonely and even shameful of what others might think of them). Feeling the need to be accepted by their community, they tend to be the most socially responsible of the three subtypes. The other subtypes might complain that social subtypes are too socially involved and spread themselves too thin. When choosing clothes to go out socially for the evening a self- preservation subtype might be most concerned with choosing comfortable clothing, a sexual subtype might be most concerned with choosing clothing that makes a statement about them or is attractive to others, while a social subtype might be most concerned about what is most appropriate for the occasion or event they're going to. Ideally, social subtypes would like a partner who will join them in social activities and get involved in their projects and/or causes. While self- preservation subtypes like their alone time and sexual subtypes like their exclusive intimacy, social subtypes like to be involved with people, and feel ill at ease and out of sorts without it.

Note: Just as for the sexual subtype, it is quite possible for social subtypes to have a preference for "Introversion" in the Jungian-Keirsey system yet believe they have a preference for "Extraversion." Most social subtypes believe that they are extraverts because they do like spending time with others and identify strongly with their groups. But that is not the definition of Extraversion in the Jungian-Keirsey system. Please keep this in mind if you take the Jungian-Keirsey Type Self-Assessment.


Enneagram Subtype =

Please make a note of your Subtype for reference later.

What would you like to do now?

  • Take another Self-Assessment?
  • Click here to learn how influences from the other systems can affect your choices on this Enneagram Subtype Self-Assessment?
  • Go to the Enneagram System page to learn more about other Enneagram subtypes for each Enneagram type, the practical value of the Enneagram System, or how the system works?
  • Learn more about Famous People with different Enneagram subtypes?
  • Look for upcoming Workshops and Classes I'm giving on the Enneagram System?
  • Schedule a personal Consultation to discuss deeper issues going on in your life?
  • Learn about some great References (books, tapes, DVDs, etc.) or Products available on the Enneagram System and subtypes in particular?
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