Social Subtype

Learning why the Social Subtype is motivated by the ongoing search for group or community is key to growth.


Social  instinctual subtype profile image

All instinctual subtypes have their specific orientation, and the Social is based on the relationship of three or more. The Social Subtype is motivated by the ongoing search for group or community. A sense of value or esteem is derived from the collective gatherings and participation, akin to the herd instinct in animals, where there is safety and security in numbers.

The Social Subtype focuses attention on the group and the larger world. The primary desire is for the group, which is manifested by a perceived need for people, recognition, popularity, honor, status, and/or social acceptance. Social types like to know what is going on around them, and want to make some kind of contribution to the human enterprise. There is often an interest in the events and activities of one's own culture. In general, Social types enjoy interacting with people, but they avoid intimacy. They are keenly aware of the hierarchical social structure as they are focused on interactions with people that will enhance their personal value with others. These arenas include work, family, hobbies, clubs or anywhere there is a shared purpose.

Safety for the Social Instinctual Subtype


Socail  instinctual subtype Crowd of people

The Social Subtype experiences safety through interacting with people, which includes ways that will build their personal value, their sense of accomplishment, and their security of "place with others. 


The Concerns & Questions Involve Issues of Relating


  • "To relate or not to relate?"
  • "How to relate?"
  • "Who am I?"
  • "How popular am I?"

  • The energy projected is described as "split energy" and is often experienced as "scattered" and projected outward, appearing personable, superficial, and cursory in nature. It is imperative that "a good impression is made" and that "nothing important is missed." The social Instinctual Subtypes will "sacrifice for the group" to insure status. Rather than looking inward or to a mate for security and to "solve problems."

    The Social Subtype tend to "look outward," based upon a belief that "my value is dependent upon how I am perceived by the group." These behaviors are sometimes referred to as friendship, companionship, or affiliation functions. In an unhealthy state, these types can become very antisocial, detesting people and resenting their society with poorly developed social skills.

    The Social Subtype Words for Each Enneagram Point


  • Point 1 Rigid Non-adaptable
  • Point 2 Ambition, Aspiration
  • Point 3 Prestige, Achievement
  • Point 4 Shame, Honor
  • Point 5 Totem, Identity
  • Point 6 Dutiful, Fellowship
  • Point 7 Sacrifice, Group, Martyr
  • Point 8 Comradeship, Friends
  • Point 9 Peripheral Participation