I wanted to illustrate the notion of tritype movement because I personally think this is the hardest concept to accurately understand because of the lack of information in the enneagram community and the relative opacity of how tritypes actually work.
According to its creator Katherine Fauvre, the three fixes of someone’s tritype are usually activated in quick successions over and over again, which can make, in my opinion, the three energies can become muddled and quite difficult to take apart individually. As a quick reminder, tritype theory is based on the idea that each individual has three enneatypes found in each center (gut, heart and head) respectively. The three enneatypes, also called fixes, when united together, merge into an archetype based on their common qualities and growing edges. For example, the 136 tritype is called the TaskMaster because of the shared traits of efficiency and productivity of the 1, 3 and 6 enneatypes. Back to the tritype movement though, the order in which you activate those three enneatypes determine their importance and way of conduct. Your core type will always be the first to manifest and will usually be quickly followed by its dominant wing, then the lines of stress and security linked to your core type. If I’m a core 1 wing 2, then I’ll unconsciously always use 1 energy first, then my 2 wing, then one or both of my lines. Keep in mind that this is all within a very short amount of time and therefore very difficult to assess objectively.
I personally think that there is two main ways a cycle can operate. First is the normal and mostly unconscious cycle of the three fixes. This movement is usually lightning fast, organic and very hard to consciously observe in its entirety. This is the basic and most common cycle we all experience over and over again as Fauvre explains in its video called “Enneagram Tritype-You have 3 Types! Show #3” I’ll give me as an example : as a 4 with a 5 wing and with 479 as my tritype, I use all those type energies in this cycling order : 4, 5, 1 and/or 2, 7 then 9. I thing to note is that you don’t always go to your last fix, and this is much more prevalent in the second kind of cycle.
Ok, back to me. Again, keep in mind that this cycle is extremely fast and may not be entirely accurate. I’ll pick a very familiar setting in order to remember it correctly, something that I do daily. I browse over Youtube in order to look at a particularly interesting video to watch.
• My 4 activate first, needing something unique, original and that can appeal to my own feelings;
• Then comes my 5 wing, who wants to learn as much as possible about the video : its creators, the comment section, length of the video, linked videos, etc.
• By the time I use my 1 or 2 lines, I may become frustrated by the lack of conformity of the video content/quality to my own standards (1) or want to relate and know the Youtuber in a personal way (2);
• Then, my 7 fix takes the lead and decides that I had enough of the same rehash content and try to look at something else. This is when I become frenetically anxious about finding entertaining videos and where I can start multiple video at the same time, look at something else while listening to a podcast, clicking repeatedly through recommendations, etc.
• If all of this is still unsatisfactory, then I enter my resigned stance of 9 fix. I slow down, accept that I won’t find something that I like perfectly and try to listen mindlessly to same video styles without complaining;
• Then my 4 energy start kicking back wanting more intensity and uniqueness and the cycle starts again.
See how all that can translate into a 2 or 3 minutes span? Again, this is largely unconscious and may I don’t go all the way to 9 each and every time. I may skip my 5 wing and/or my lines to go to my 7 fix, then return to my 4 energy immediately. Furthermore, I may dedicate more time to my 5 wing in some instances then my 7 fix or vice versa. You see where I’m getting at?
On the other hand, there’s the second way of experiencing our own tritype movement. This one is activated when we are forced to experience frustration, problem-solving and/or delayed gratification. In this mode, we may feel our different energies more consciously than when they are on autopilot. Each enneatype is usually dealt with much more longer and thus will be put into consciousness more easily. I’ll take myself again as an example :
• There was a time in my career life when I accepted a 2-month contract new office job not really knowing all the efforts I was about to take on in the midst of action. When I first entered my cubicle and walked around meeting all the new faces that I would have to deal with in next two months, I was experiencing a prolonged 4 sentiment of inferiority and imposter syndrome. I felt terrible and estranged for almost two weeks. I wanted to quit, breach my contract and go far away from that place.
• Very soon after, I had to familiarize myself to the computer system and all the tools available to me. My 5 wing jumped on the action as I gathered tons of information about this office job, albeit still feeling incompetent and out of place. I tried to hide in my cubicle, fearing intrusion and answering questions I didn’t know about beforehand;
• Then, I realized I was being overdramatic and tried to man up a bit. I used my 1 line to get in touch with my Superego in order to straighten myself up and act more confident, getting things done the right way. I also got in touch with another intern who was very kind and inviting. In used my 2 line to relate to her and share my feelings, letting out some steam. I also used both lines in order to familiarize with my teammates and assess their individual needs in order to reconfigure their file trees as required my job description;
• After almost a month, I was getting quite tired of all that people-pleasing and stress-inducing work pileup in a field that wasn’t very much to my liking. My 7 fix started emerging progressively when no one was watching. I was delaying my work, faffing around, browsing around the Web and escaping my intended duties by talking to my sweet intern as much as I could. While I was still operating and producing my work in the end, I was getting exhausted and anxious about feeling trapped in a boring and painful environment without distractions;
• Then, finally, after a month and a half of hopping between duty-mode and omgletmebreath-stance, I finally let go of my expectations and theirs in order to find inner peace. You guessed it, I was tapping into my 9 fix. I looked at my job with a more realistic and relaxed gaze and I allowed myself to accept any criticism without feeling personally hurt. I finally ended my contract leaving a very good impression to my coworkers and getting a reference letter.
So that’s my story. I hoped this will guide you into assessing your own tritype and uncover its numerous inner mechanisms.
I would lastly add that enneagram movement can vary depending on your personal configuration. I you are 4w5 with a 459 tritype, you will naturally spend more time in you 5 energy since you got a double dose of it. If you are a 6 with a 693 tritype, you will almost always spend your time hovering between those three numbers and less with your natural wing according to Katherine Fauvre. They are countless other combinations that might be in need of a separate case study, but I’m literally out of juice right now and I feel my 7 fix kicking in!