What Are Sub Types

In describing the full range of each of the personality types, one needs to take into consideration the context in which the personality is operating. Each personality operates with the same motivation, but with a set of more appropriate behaviours in one-to-one or romantic situations, social situations, or in a state of self-preservation.

In describing how the personality type operates in these 3 areas, one is able to gauge the full extent of the personality type. These 3 sub-types of the personality, while describing the same personality type, describe it in more contextual detail. Some writers call the sub-types ‘instinctual variants’.

While the sub-types provide a convenient contextual compartmentalization of the personality types, they are not rigid divisions, but general descriptions of how the personality may adapt according to the environment or context. In other words, a person's is not a single subtype, but combinations of all 3 and may move through all 3 at various stages of their life.

Wings and sub-types are often used to justify differences in a persons pattern of behaviour after they have incorrectly assessed their personality type. Correctly assessing personality type is a major problem for the modern Enneagram movement leading to a significant erosion of its credibility with both business and therapeutic professionals. Assessing your personality type correctly is the start of the spiritual journey and the management of personality type.

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