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Discussion Starter #1
Since I discovered the enneagram I always considered myself as a 3(w4 Sx/So, when I learned a bit more about it), it was almost obvious, since I think my instrinsic motivations and biggest fears in life are much more in line with the type 3 than any other type.

But in another thread (that I can't post since I don't have 15 posts yet, but you can find it on the "What's my personality type" subforum, the tittle is "ESTP or ENTJ ?") a member said that I look more like a 7. And I sure have strong 7 leanings and I would say that many of my friends are 7's, so I'm willing to reconsider it.

I'm still not sure about my MBTI type either but where I am now I think ESTP is more likely.

So what do you see as the main differences between the types 3 and 7 ?

PS : English isn't my first language but I hope you understood everything I said ;)
 

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You can read this https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/misidentifying-3-and-7/

Here are my thoughts as a 3.

- 3s are other-referencing, 7s are self-referencing. I tried to find the link to the article I read about this, but unfortunately, I can't.

When I think of some goal I want to pursue (no matter how serious or frivolous), it comes from within. But then I subconsciously ask myself: (3) "how is it done by others? What part of that is outstanding? How will it make me look?" (w4) "What is too overdone? What will make me too common? How do I use my creativity to change the process+outcome significantly so that I am (and appear as) special and unique?"

At that point my creativity takes off and goes in new and unexplored directions. If those directions make others uncomfortable in the interim, I'm ok with that, because I know that I'm bringing something worthwhile to the table (or that I will eventually be able to do so after I master the necessary skills). When enough people buy in or the right people buy into the idea, the rest of the uncomfortable masses will follow. However, even in those push-the-boundaries situations, I often still subconsciously ask myself, "how will they react? What will they think? how should I respond (or not respond) to that hypothetical situation so my image is upheld?"

As you can see, my thinking process checks in with a hypothetical or real "other" as a reference point. 7s don't do that. I can't describe their thought process that easily, but it's much more "I" focused.


- I am a 3w4 who was mistyped as 7 by someone. I believed it for a while until I went in deeper into enneagram theory. Then things didn't add up anymore. Some of my sources of confusion were:

  • (A) happiness (7) vs hope (3). I realized that although it took me years to learn how to be happy, I never struggled with hope. Hope is my fuel. I can survive on that no matter how difficult the circumstances are. (B) Because 3 = hope, hope is such a positive thing and 7 is a positive type, it was easy to be confused as a positive type (2, 7, 9).
  • Mental escapism is a part of me. The description of 7 seemed to fit that better than 3.
  • Although I am very ambitious, I wasn't all that invested in traditional schooling. The stereotypical 3 is. The description of 7 SP is also ambitious. So I assumed 7 SP made more sense.
Maybe you have other sources of confusion. If so, please feel free to expand on them and I'll try to respond to that.

- According to theory, 3s believe they must adapt to their problems (like 6, 9). 7s believe they're smaller than their problems (like 1 and 4). 2/5/8 believe they're bigger than their problems.



- 3 is a competency type. I feel comfortable when I know that I can perform properly at my objective and in life. But I don't care to perform well at anything else. If someone says I am completely uncoordinated in sports, I'll agree and move right on without feeling a thing. It's not a dent on my image because it's not even a part of my image. On the other hand, if people start gossiping that I can't do something that I am actually good at, then I feel compelled to correct them overtly or subtly.

So it's not like I need to be competent at everything. Just the stuff I care about. However, the descriptions make it seem like 3s want to compete at everything. So I felt uncomfortable typing as a 3.

In the triads:

- 3 is a competency, assertive (action-oriented), heart type (but out of touch with its feelings).
- 7 is a positive, frustrated (something feels missing), thinking type (but keeps trying to find distractions).

 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks for this very complete answer !

What can be confusing is that I'm Sx-dom and probably ESTP (Se-dom), so it does make sense that, like 7's, stimulation and sensing exprience are very important to me, which I think doesn't contradict with the fact that my motives are clearly closer to the type 3.

Where I can be similar to 7's is also the fact that I'm a very anxious person, and my anxiety is totally calmed by stimulative and intense situations, moments and experiences that deeply make me feel alive. I'm an incredibly intense person, when I feel good I feel REALLY good and I when I feel bad I feel REALLY bad, there's no middle ground.

Regarding the article, I guess that what's also confusing is that, again, like 7's, I like stimulation and sensing experience a lot. But when it comes to the motives I clearly diverge from 7's, especially in the following parts :

For example, taking a first-class cruise on an ocean liner is a source of pleasure for Sevens, whether or not anyone else knows that they are doing so. By contrast, unless everyone knows that they are going on an expensive trip and are made to feel envious about it, the experience has far less value for average Threes.
That can also be because I'm an extroverted but when I do something pleasurable, whatever pleasant it may be, it just sounds totally tasteless if nobody knows that I did it and if there's nobody with whom I can enjoy that moment. When I do something that's a source of pleasure or an important achievement my first instinct is to say it to as many people as possible and spread it around.


However, average Sevens are not really narcissistic; they may be selfish, self-centered, greedy, insensitive, and so forth, but they do not have an inflated sense of self-worth. Instead, Sevens inflate their desires, appetites, plans, and the glut of their possessions.
I'll admit it, my sense of self-worth is genuinely GIGANTIC, from there comes my ambition. Not that I believe that I'm entitled to this thing or the other for the mere fact of existing, but, quite to the contrary, rather that I believe that I have the work ethic, determination, and intelligence required to achieve big goals.

However, that doesn't mean that my self-confidence doesn't vary a lot. It can be extremely high as well as extremely low (but in those situations I always keep hope that it's just temporary).

Funnily enough, I have some respect for people who are genuinely humble and content themselves with little. But, as far as I'm concerned, that's just not me. I would be faking if I played the humble guy, and false humility is probably one of the things that irritates me the most in other people.


Average Threes are cool, in control, projecting the impression that they are perfectly together, with no emotional or personal problems. So convinced of their superiority, they become shameless braggarts and show-offs, arrogantly looking down on others. By contrast, Sevens have many more rough edges, rarely seeming as perfect or as coolly self-contained as Threes.
I'm definitely closer to the behavior of a type 3. I always do my best to seem cool and happy, even when that's not the case AT ALL. And being constantly hidding my emotional and personal problems to others (in order to preserve my image) is probably one of the biggest struggles of my life. My dark and emotional side is constantly hidden to others, who generally only see my cool and happy side.


1) However, even in those push-the-boundaries situations, I often still subconsciously ask myself, "how will they react? What will they think? how should I respond (or not respond) to that hypothetical situation so my image is upheld?"


2) happiness (7) vs hope (3). I realized that although it took me years to learn how to be happy, I never struggled with hope. Hope is my fuel. I can survive on that no matter how difficult the circumstances are. (B) Because 3 = hope, hope is such a positive thing and 7 is a positive type, it was easy to be confused as a positive type (2, 7, 9).

3) Maybe you have other sources of confusion. If so, please feel free to expand on them and I'll try to respond to that.

4) 3 is a competency type. I feel comfortable when I know that I can perform properly at my objective and in life. But I don't care to perform well at anything else. If someone says I am completely uncoordinated in sports, I'll agree and move right on without feeling a thing. It's not a dent on my image because it's not even a part of my image. On the other hand, if people start gossiping that I can't do something that I am actually good at, then I feel compelled to correct them overtly or subtly.

So it's not like I need to be competent at everything. Just the stuff I care about. However, the descriptions make it seem like 3s want to compete at everything. So I felt uncomfortable typing as a 3.
1) I too spend many time thinking about how people will see me in a wide variety of hypothetical situation, it's completely obsessional sometimes. And part of the reason I think I'm 3w4 over 3w2 is because of this constant clash between my focus on image (3) and my need for authenticity (w4), it's sometimes hard to find the balance as they can be two very opposite goals.

2) This part could as well have been written by me, that's exactly how I feel about hope and hapiness. I see hapiness as the destination of a long-road that I will probably take a very long time to finish and reach the destination. But hope is constantly alive, and I would say that that's what keeps me alive, no matter how hard or how desperate the situation seems I ALWAYS keep hope that ultimately I'm gonna reverse the situation or (if I'm not in control of it) that things will get better.

3) I mentioned some earlier in this message ;)

4) Again, I feel the same way, I don't give a damn if people say I suck at something that I don't consider myself good at, but if it's on something that I'm good at I would immediately prove them wrong.
And, I don't know if that's more of a 3 or a 7 thing, but I would go even further in saying that, as awesome as I think I am, I'm perfectly fine with the fact of not being perfect and having my flaws. I think that having flaws is what distinguinshes us humans from machines. I constantly seek self-improvement (especially in the areas I give value) but never perfection, insofar as "perfection" would imply the loss of uniqueness and personality.
 
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