The three instinctual variants in the Enneagram are self preservation, social and sexual, you can watch a brief description of all three here. The focus today is on the self preservation subtype, which is most interested in meeting physical needs related to survival, comfort and safety. This variant is most often strongly associated with styles 1, 5 and 6 but any style can have self preservation as their strongest variant. It is unusual however for either a style 4 or style 7 to have self preservation variant as their primary.
Self preservation variant asks the question, “am I comfortable?” and wants consistency, sustainability and safety. For this reason, they are often evaluating situations, people and things regarding their safety and ability to contribute to their rhythms.
Self preservation variant is the part of all of us that wants to physically thrive and make our way in the world. They want to create a life that is free from want, secure, and comfortable. You might identify the self preservation variants in your life by their desire to be fed on time (and with the particular kind of food they like), concern about comfort when selecting clothes or shoes, and commitment to routine. They add to our world by reminding us about what we need to survive, what the basics are of life and how to get them in a way that will support our health and longevity.
How do you notice self preservation variant at play in your life, or the lives of others?