Enneagram Type Nine’s Subtype Description

Which subtype are you?

Type #9 Self-Preservation Subtype

Tend to be the most indolent of the three type 9 subtypes


• Warm, friendly, pleasant, easy-going and considerate yet also dynamic and alive to
• Pay attention to themselves and “put first things first,” aligning their behaviors and choices
with what’s really important to them, their deepest values and convictions
• Know what they want out of life and don’t get pulled off course by other people’s agendas
and desires
• Set personal goals regularly and don’t sweep problems under the rug
• Are willing to confront people who take advantage of their kindness and charity
• Stand up for themselves and speak up when they are being discounted or ignored


• Inner tension between wanting to comply with others’ wishes vs. wanting to defy/assert
• Neglect primary needs (spiritual). Go for secondary gratifications (material) as
compensation for not pursuing their real desires, but not without some repressed
underlying anxiety and anger
• Substitute nonessential satisfactions (such as eating, watching TV, sleeping a lot,
shopping, playing on the computer, daydreaming, collecting things, reading, puttering
about the house) for essential satisfactions (aligning choices/behaviors with core values,
inner sense of meaning/purpose, etc.)
• Can become preoccupied with taking the path of least resistance – maintaining comforting
habits and repetitious routines as a way to zone out, expend minimal energy and keep
their peace of mind
• Self-preservation 9s can be so out of touch with their true self that they don’t even know
what they want
• They get anxious when anything interferes with or disturbs their enjoyable rituals
• Their goal is to keep their peace of mind and keep life comfortable – at all costs!
• They don’t even realize they’ve got no burning commitment to their own goals and
personal needs
• They develop a keen “appetite” for secondary sources of gratification as a substitute for
true self-love
• Tend to collect things they never use “just in case they ever need it” and because they’re
chronically indecisive about what they should throw away and what they shouldn’t so they
keep everything
• Can be the classic lazy couch potato who asks as little of life as possible
• Can sometimes use food for emotional consolation or to mindlessly numb out
• Can be neglectful of important responsibilities and obligations

• At worst, become apathetic, lifeless, spaced out zombies trudging through life, often with