* Tre Istinti

The three instincts

The Enneagram describes in a surprisingly precise way three forces in our Gut Center, three areas of survival that concern our relationship with the environment.


Instincts are a force within the organism that aims to satisfy primary needs and pushes towards automatic behaviors. They are part of our nature and biological development and allow us to be alive and sustain life. They produce value systems in response to complex environmental factors that occur without involving reason and that we unconsciously manage in an unbalanced way.


Because of their irrational nature, instincts are the first barrier to change and it is impossible to be more balanced without recognizing these non-negotiable animal forces and without actively engaging with them.


The Enneagram describes three specific areas of survival: Self-Preservation, Sexual or Attraction, and Social or Adaptation.
Types and Instincts are two different and independent interpretations. However, once we understand how the cognitive distortion and emotional reactivity of each type influence the survival drives, we realize that it is no longer possible to work with a type with precision without considering this dynamic. Keeping in mind that each type has a preference for one of these drives which becomes dominant and neglects another which becomes a blind spot, we have 27 different Instinctual Variants.


Instinctual Variants have the added value of clearly describing which area of life motivates our judgments, choices and efforts. They indicate in a very practical way what we can actually do for ourselves to improve our life and our internal and relational balance. They also facilitate the typing process because they are the first thing we notice when we meet someone, although they are the last thing we see in ourselves.


Everyone has the ability to move from an automatic survival mode to a conscious presence mode, to identify and pay attention to the functioning of our instincts, to recognize the imbalance and actively commit to restoring it.