I have been kind of obsessed with Enneagram lately. I was a psychology major in college, and have always been super interested in why people do the things they do and say the things they say all based on their personality. Of course, as soon as I caught wind of this new trend, I had to take a free online test. I had already read through the basics of each number and had a pretty good idea where I would fall, the test was just conformation.
I am most definitely a type 3, and knowing this has helped me in so many ways.
-It helps other people relate to me
-It helps me to know why I am motivated to do and say the things I do
-Knowing the weaknesses of a 3 helps to keep me in check and make sure I am not being a jerk to my friends and family.
Ok so what is a 3? A pastor I watched an online sermon on said it best when he said “if you closely know a 3, then you know you have to love them with a helmet on.” (If you are a 3 you are laughing and nodding along right now!)
Ok, so let’s dive in. Type 3 is known as “the achiever.” There are two “wings” that further break it down, but for the purposes of this post, I am not going to dive into that one right now. 3’s are very competitive. They like to succeed and be the best. This makes them great leaders, coaches, athletes, CEO’s, and more.
Often when reading up on the enneagram, you will see that each type is talked about in an “at best” and “at worst” sense. What this means is that when a 3 is functioning at their most healthy levels and using their gifts and traits for good, they are “at best” so of course “at worst” would be someone with no self control over their actions and showing the “worst” side of their tendencies and personality.
At best, a 3 can be hard working, encouraging, inspirational, and someone who gets things done. At worst, or in an unhealthy state, we can be workaholics, insensitive to feelings, bossy, and have feelings that we are only as important as our latest successes.
The type 3 often feel that they have to earn love, that their friends only stick around because the 3 can offer them something. They have a hard time understanding they can be loved just for being themselves. They can feel they always have something to prove, and can, unfortunately, hurt people’s feelings for the sake of getting a job done.
3’s also tend to be very aware of the “vibe” of a room. They tend to have a gift of being able to manipulate circumstances based off of who they are talking to and can “morph” their personality to get what they “want” or a desired reaction or outcome out of a situation, job, friendship, etc.
Three’s are goal-oriented, task-oriented, efficient, and good at being a “doer” instead of just a talker. Were you always the leader on group projects? Do you have a hard time relaxing? Are you sometimes told to “chill out” in competitions? There is a good chance you may be a 3.
This personality type tends to detach easily from emotions because they honestly don’t usually know how they really feel. They care a lot about what people think of them, so will take on different personas to be liked. They can be impatient and dismissive, and defensive especially when it comes to their work or character.
I see the majority of the characteristics in myself, and it has been very insightful to see my own blind spots so that I am more aware when I am “acting like a three” in a negative way. Knowing my type has helped me to take a step back, consider the feelings of others, and I have even tried to relax a bit more. 🙂
I hope you enjoyed this quick overview of the enneagram type 3, and I do tend to do a follow-up post in how this relates to Christians and how 3’s are most useful in the world to help spread the gospel. Stay tuned!
Related: 5 signs of a great leader