Secondary values

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While I have found that there are core values that resonate with who we are and what we really want, I have also found multiple secondary values, that have more to do with what we think we need to be. 

The Enneagram is a great tool for investigating what we think we need. Here, there are so called head types, that seek to know, to be right, to understand, and to impose a certain rationale to the world. 

There are also heart types, that are concerned with image, how they are seen, what they are to other people. A secondary value is something we do not because it gives us any inherent value, but because it is a means to an end, a hope, that if we do this, we will be given our core values in turn. 


The Gut Types

Enneagram 8, 9, and 1 are often described as gut types. The gut describes secondary value such as wanting power or influence, balance and harmony, success and perfection. These are secondary values, because they don’t describe what we want to be successful in. Or what we personally find to be perfect, or what we want to do with power, or what good balance for the sake of balance will bring.

They are not necessarily bad, and can often bring positive things, but they are not necessarily good either, just merely paths we follow. Gut types have strong desires and wants, and are driven by urges, cravings, things they want. They may want for everyone to get along, for everyone to have a say, to win an argument, to be important, to have influence. This feeling can come from a childhood where the person felt deprived of something, or denied something. 

The Heart Types

Enneagram 2, 3, and 4 are typically listed as heart types. Heart types are driven by secondary values such as wanting to be unique, wanting to be good, or wanting to be popular. We may want these things because we grew up feeling a lack of identity, people didn’t see us, didn’t like us, or didn’t respect us. 

They may have tried to shape us to their image. Now, you might be pursuing these values with a degree of stubbornness. Your pursuit of popularity, of being seen, may be somewhat vain and shallow. And may get you to pretend to be something you are not. 

Your desire to be unique can equally cause you to reject chances to grow or to be close to others. And your desires to be good can cause you to become a martyr, who neglects their own needs for the sake of everyone else.

Head types

The Head types are Enneagram 5s, 6s, and 7s. These types are concerned with what is true or false, what is right and wrong. Issues such as optimism and pessimism, and how to see the world. What is rational and irrational, who we can believe, and who we can’t believe. What can we trust that we know, and what should we question? If you grew up feeling as if people forced their truth on you. If you grew up in families where people had strong beliefs, and you weren’t allowed to form your own opinions, you may be a head type.


Beyond this, there are three instincts that never get the importance they deserve. The self-preserving, social, and sexual instincts reflect how we feel about our life. If we feel safe, at peace, if we feel loved, or if we feel accepted. People who grew up feeling rejected, disapproved of, unwanted. They may all have strong instinctual drives. 

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