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In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk about how our Enneagram instincts (self-preservation – social – sexual) influence our romantic relationships.

In this podcast you’ll find:

  • Enneagram Roadmap
  • Enneagram type blended with instinctual drive creates our subtypes
  • If there are nine positions on the enneagram and three instinctual drives we have 27 different subtypes.
  • Subtypes/instinctual drives: self-preservation/social/sexual (one-to-one).
  • All three drives have a different element of relationship that they focus on.
  • Self-preservation is about a person’s relationship with themselves.
  • Sexual is a person’s relationship with one other person.
  • Social is a person’s relationship to the group.
  • We each lead with one subtype. Then we have an auxiliary and inferior.
  • Joel is social primarily, sexual auxiliary, and self-preservation inferior.
  • Antonia is a sexual primary, self-preservation auxiliary, social inferior.
  • Sexual shows up for Antonia by putting her relationship with Joel as her top priority.
  • Self-preservation is a direct survival tactic. Thinking of yourself and focusing on safety.
  • Sexual (one-to-one) focuses on a bond with one person to create safety.
  • Social sees safety in numbers.
  • Triune brain theory: lizard brain (base needs), mammalian brain (connection to other humans), cerebral brain (neocortex)
  • Lizard – self-preservation
  • Mammalian – sexual
  • Cerebral – social
  • All based on survival strategies.
  • Social: about being liked, having resource, safety net of people. Being kicked out of the tribe is terrifying.
  • Sexual: survival is based upon important one-to-one bonds. Being kicked out of the tribe isn’t so bad as long as there is at least one bond.
  • All of these strategies are deeply unconscious.
  • They emerge from survival strategies that are so instinctual they are part of our wiring.
  • One-to-One: Soul spelunking – get to see self through another person’s eyes.
  • Social: learns about self in the midst of the group.
  • Fuse relationships – deeply spiritual bonds with one other person.
  • Self-preservation probably experiences a spiritual fulfillment from knowing how to protect self.
  • If we have a different survival tactic from our partner, they will be looking for different things to meet their needs.
  • Sexual: a romantic relationship where she can fuse with another human being is the single most important thing in Antonia’s life.
  • If you are a sexual subtype dominant and your partner is not, you may need to take the lead in the soul spelunking.
  • Joel takes the lead in social dynamics like the podcast and meetups.
  • Relationships introduce us to new perspectives on the world that broaden our viewpoints.
  • Self-preservation is higher in Antonia’s stack, so she made sure her daughter was signed up for karate classes.
  • Antonia doesn’t think in terms of social broadcasting since social is her blindspot.
  • Joel being a social subtype has given her a platform to share her life’s work.
  • Being able to have a convo around your blind spots and how your partner can step up and fill your weaknesses can be powerful.
  • Be willing to let go of expectations of spouse if they don’t have the same survival wiring as you do, but be grateful for what they do bring.
  • Social subtypes like to get social credit for the things they do.
  • Sexual subtypes like to be attractive to other people.
  • Self-preservation exhibits in weird ways for Joel as his inferior – worried about germs and where the exits are.
  • Can come up as a childlike false read. The fears aren’t legit.
  • Self-preservation: tied into safety, protective of everyone and everything, worried about resource reliability.
  • Sexual subtypes can fuse with people other than their spouse. It can be a parent, close friend, or sibling.
  • Sexual subtypes want to be there for their fuse partners, especially in survival scenarios.
  • An introvert that is social may think of themselves as an extravert because they crave the group dynamic.
  • Whereas an extravert that is a sexual (one-to-one) may try to escape the group to create intimacy.
  • This would explain why some introverts look like extraverts and vice versa.
  • A sexual subtype may need to let their social subtype partner have a wider circle of friends.
  • Self-preservation people may feel oppressive at times by being overly concerned with safety.
  • Give your self-preservation partner the thing they need to feel safe. Don’t dismiss their concerns.
  • Make a list of you and your partner’s subtypes.
  • How do they show up?
  • Where are the crossovers?
  • Where is the conflict?
  • Where are the opportunities for amazingness?

In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk about how our Enneagram instincts (self preservation - social - sexual) influence our romantic relationships. #podcast #enneagram #relationships

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  • Catherine
    • Catherine
    • February 9, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    Yes me too. I think I’m the same- self preservation, sexual, social in that order. I am constantly looking for exits are, or weapons I could use if I was attacked, making sure all doors are safely locked etc. This doesn’t sound like much fun does it and it’s not. How can we make this instinct better?

  • Lisa
    • Lisa
    • February 8, 2018 at 7:24 pm

    I’d love some more insight on people who lead with self-preservation as well! Since that is my dominant. I believe my secondary is 1:1 as well as I do MUCH MUCH better getting to know people on a one on one situation, but FIRST i have to have my self preservation needs met, I have to feel safe and secure to be able to dive into it with the other person. Sometimes this is being in a familiar environment or having other familiar friends around or maybe it’s even doing an activity I love or enjoy. Even in group settings of all close friends, I sometimes leave feeling empty or sad because I didn’t get to catch up with everyone one one one.

  • Catherine
    • Catherine
    • February 9, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    I am definitely a self preservation dominant person probably followed by sexual then social. So I’m basically a lizard!

  • Ash
    • Ash
    • February 8, 2018 at 7:18 pm

    There’s actually a cartoon (Steven Universe, you can find clips on YouTube) in which one of the coping/fighting strategies of this alien culture is to actually fuse 2-3 people together (fusions) into a new entity temporarily to accomplish different goals. :) I thought of it when Antonia mentioned the whole fusing Sx connection, and thought other Sx’s might appreciate it.

  • Fleur
    • Fleur
    • February 6, 2018 at 2:35 pm


    I have a problem accessing the mp3 file. First of all the link from the podcast page does not lead to this site, but to an error page. Then, the mp3 file I download weighs only 2 kb and I can’t play it.
    I’m really excited to listen to this podcast, though, so I’ll be patient.

    Have a nice day,

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