When talking about instincts, it’s important to realize how the same instinct can look different from core type to core type. The general descriptions of the instincts (above) are much less specific than when those instincts are applied to a specific Enneagram type.
The planning tendencies, security seeking and anxious nature of type 6 manifest with each instinct in a unique way.
Though different, it’s easy to see how the first (general descriptions) factor into the type specific ones. As aforementioned, all 6’s will probably relate somewhat to all three above descriptions, but more strongly with one or two. This brings us to the concept of Instinctual Stack, which denotes the order of an individual’s instinctual need. For instance, Sp/So tells us that Self Preservation is preferred/needed most, So is auxiliary and Sx is the “blind spot”. I do also think looking into the instincts of your wing (especially if it is heavy) is important to behold the whole picture.
Other great sources for more detailed reading on the instincts, are The Complete Enneagram by Beatrice Chestnut, these descriptions originally from (the now inactive) Ocean Moonshine, and the work of early Enneagram scholar, Claudio Naranjo (notes on his work on the instincts).
Have any questions about instincts, Enneagram or typing? Leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you! Be on the lookout for my next post on the basics of type 7.