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Discussion Starter #1
I'm questioning my 9w1 identification. I don't feel I merge as much as I play roles. Shame feels way stronger in me than anger. I've considered 3 before (probably SX, and probably with a 4 wing), but discounted it because I'm not a workaholic in my career and I'm not particularly ambitious about rising up through the ranks (although I had more ambitions in my 20s than now in my 40s). I do relate to the SX version, with needing validation from others mostly in the area of my desirability. That to me is success, among other things. And I want to be admired, but from afar. Not too close!

I believe my long-term partner is a 9, and I think I've just been trying to be what he wants (feminine, desirable, smart, low maintenance, not making waves and disrupting him, etc...). Often when he compliments me on how little "work" I am to be with, I get a twinge of "yeah... but that's not really me...and you probably wouldn't like me if you knew how much "work" I feel like being!!"

I don't know if I'm just giving "success" a limited interpretation, as that's mostly what I read about when I research 3. I'm curious about examples of what success means to you as a 3.

Thanks!
 

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I've mistyped myself as a variety of types, most notably 1 and 9. 9 makes sense as a mistype for a 3 because of the disintegration line. To me 1 makes sense as a mistype because the outside can look similar. If I want to look moral and right to others, that can appear 1ish, even if my motivation is for others to see me that way. I've recently recognized that my motivation isn't to be right or perfect like a 1, but that I want to be seen as these things by others and I work to embody those traits as well.

I never wanted to see myself as a 3. I didn't want others to see me that way either. I hid my motivations from myself and others. If I want others to see me as good, then I have to be good (and for me that means not being too ambitious, too competitive and too money driven).

So for me success is a never ending race to be comfortable in life. I want to feel comfortable and I want others to admire what I've accomplished. Some of that involves flashy things, like an expensive car, and some of that involves having people think that I'm competent and successful professionally.

I'm sp first, so a main drive for me is being comfortable and secure, but the 3 comes in because I always want more. My achievements aren't ever enough for me. Once I hit a milestone, I'm already off aiming for the next one, and the next one. Success isn't just being near the top of the company, though that's part of it. For me, it's about what others perceive as successful (family, nice house, nice car, vacations). If they see me doing those things, they will admire me. If I share my good fortune with them, they will like me.
 

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To be honest, I went back and forth with most of the enneagram numbers except for maybe 4 and 5. Ultimately, I realized I am a 3w2 Sx/Sp. People who don't really know me don't think I chase success like other 3s. Those who are close to me know that I do, in fact, want to achieve so much in life and I don't let life's troubles or traumas get in the way of my goals. I may have bumps in the road from time to time, but I realize my long term goals are more important and try to get over things fast. Reminds me of how proud my mother was that I was able to graduate with my bachelors on time and continue on to a graduate program with straight A’s while working a full-time job and making time for the gym, even though I went through a lot of personal traumas during that time. I just didn’t give up.

The part that sucks about being a 3w2 Sx/Sp is that I really crave admiration and external validation from others. With my 3 craving that success but the 2 wing craving the love from others because of that success. I end up feeling worthless when people don’t notice what and how much I do. It also explains why I care so much about my external appearance. So many of my friends call me vain (they don’t really mean it in a bad way, just that I care a lot about the way I look and I’m confident) because I love to dress to impress and make sure I look good before I go anywhere. So success according to me is more like getting the positive attention from others instead of climbing all the way to the top of the corporate ladder for the power or prestige of it. Besides, the career path I chose (School Psychology) is not necessarily something I will have to climb up a ladder or fight others for to achieve success. It’s the kind of career that will be pretty much set for me once I achieve my degree and get placed somewhere.

I wish I was more like my dad (8w9 Sp/Sx) and brother (9w8 So/Sx) because they really don’t care what people think about them. They just do what they want and are super chill about everything. I’m a bit more like my mom (2w1 So/Sp) because we care way too much about what people think of us…
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you so much for responding! This is helpful. I think I've played so many roles that I'm having a hard time pinning down my type. If I'm honest with myself, although it's embarrassing to admit, I've been chasing approval (sometimes discretely, sometimes not so subtly!) from my parents, teachers, lovers, my children, mentors, you name it. I have a touch of perfectionism, but it's not about being perfect, it's about avoiding the shame of other people discovering that I'm incompetent or flawed. Cringe!!!
 

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@YellowCat You are quite welcome! I understand the cringe too. Sometimes it makes me feel pathetic, but I try not to view it like that. I can relate to the perfectionism as well, which is why I thought I might be a type 1 at one point. I realized, just like you, that it wasn't about being perfect. Now, I would classify myself as more of an achiever than a perfectionist. I feel like I don't obsess as much as perfectionists, it's more about getting things done!

It is definitely shame driven--chasing that approval that never seems to satisfy so we just crave it even more. Ugh, why are we like this?! I just wish other people could understand exactly how hard we work for the things we want to achieve (and most of the time actually being able to achieve them) while balancing so many other things in our life. We work very hard. We are not all superficial or narcissistic!
 
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Dr. Peter Attia is a type 3 SX-first, IMO. I came across him after listening to a discussion on meditation and the therapeutic potential of psychedelics such as psilocybin and ayahuasca (DMT) to treat addiction, depression, anxiety, etc. Very interesting to hear from a physician's take on the matter as there has been a surge of research in recent decades, most notably from Johns Hopkins and Imperial College London. The most interesting study I came across was conducted in NYU using psilocybin to treat anxiety and depression in terminal cancer patients in a guided session with therapists; results were fascinating, 80% reported significant relief from distress that endured for more than 6 months (fear of death was gone), positive emotions of love and gratitude, ego dissolution, connection to nature, etc. Anyway I'm completely digressing right now (...my SX gets carried away sometimes) so I'll end this tangent here.

I would say Attia's definition of success is to further his focus on the applied science of longevity and well-being and optimize and increase cognitive, physical, and emotional health (from his website). Oprah Winfrey is another example of a 3 and I would say her version of success is to help and uplift or inspire people as she's mostly focused on self-improvement and spirituality. Success means different things to different people, an individual's interpretation of success is definitely subjective and it's not always synonymous with status or prestige or power or wealth. I'm not a 3 but a healthy 3 is one of my favorite types. Contrary to a lot of the negative stereotypes or descriptions I've met some who are really caring, motivational, and self-sacrificing.
 

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Dr. Peter Attia is a type 3 SX-first, IMO. I came across him after listening to a discussion on meditation and the therapeutic potential of psychedelics such as psilocybin and ayahuasca (DMT) to treat addiction, depression, anxiety, etc. Very interesting to hear from a physician's take on the matter as there has been a surge of research in recent decades, most notably from Johns Hopkins and Imperial College London. The most interesting study I came across was conducted in NYU using psilocybin to treat anxiety and depression in terminal cancer patients in a guided session with therapists; results were fascinating, 80% reported significant relief from distress that endured for more than 6 months (fear of death was gone), positive emotions of love and gratitude, ego dissolution, connection to nature, etc. Anyway I'm completely digressing right now (...my SX gets carried away sometimes) so I'll end this tangent here.

I would say Attia's definition of success is to further his focus on the applied science of longevity and well-being and optimize and increase cognitive, physical, and emotional health (from his website).
What makes him sx first, in your opinion?
(I don't know him, just curious, not quite clear to me from the post)
 

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What makes him sx first, in your opinion?
(I don't know him, just curious, not quite clear to me from the post)
Well no I didn't elaborate on it because the OP was asking for different examples of success. TBH though, I can just sort of intuitively tell if someone's SX-first or not fairly quickly. There's a degree of externalized energy or presence or focused attention that's quite visible and my SX picks up on this right away. I'm very aware of people's energy (I'm SX/SP); it's like subconsciously the nature of my attention is directed externally. After briefly watching a few of his talks it was obvious to me. Anyway, hope that makes sense.

For SX-firsts, fulfillment is found outside of themselves - there's a strong attachment to the thing or interest or person that gives them this sense of fulfillment, a merging quality to it or a sense of oneness. Just briefly researching him it's clear to me he's very attached to his obsessions, almost like fulfillment is derived from an external source. His twitter page literally says "obsessed with JMA, OMA, RFA, AVA, watches, cars, archery, DFW, RPF, Secretariat, Senna, self-exp, CGM, fasting, rapamycin, mTOR, PI3K, AMPK, autophagy, & more" etc.
 

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I thought I was a 9 and am strongly starting to think I'm a 3 as well. Main reason, I worked so hard on my recently-released novel that I damaged my hand tendons, now does that sound like a thing a 9 would do? For me success was writing the best novel I could possibly write. I thought that was enough, but then I did think it would sell better it turns out the fact that it didn't definitely feels like failure...

Other aspects of success for me, my husband and I undertook to live off the land & I've learned to garden well & cook cheaply & well from the garden, and I like to invite people over and cook something fancy on a low budget. It doesn't feel worth doing the fancy cooking without people to be impressed so I'm afraid that's my motive for having people over. But they like it, so...

Another thing, I worked on a struggling organic farm and no, it was never going to be wildly successful, but I remember the year I worked 11-hour days on a supposedly part-time schedule to make sure the latest insane crisis (farm manager quit midseason when his addictions became unmanageable!!!) wouldn't drag it under... Success was preventing failure even when it should've been impossible.

But like, overall, I'm NOT a "successful" person. I'm a nobody living cheaply on a farm owned by someone else, with a novel that sells very modestly. I've tried to succeed only on my own terms and according to my own beliefs, really. (I think I know, for instance, how to write a novel that will sell better, but since it involves pandering--writing tricks that reinforce people's prejudices, make them feel superior to everyone around them, etc--I won't.) I think I'm a 3w4--do I sound like one? I'm pretty new to this. (And I don't know what the SX means.)
 

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I thought I was a 9 and am strongly starting to think I'm a 3 as well. Main reason, I worked so hard on my recently-released novel that I damaged my hand tendons, now does that sound like a thing a 9 would do? For me success was writing the best novel I could possibly write. I thought that was enough, but then I did think it would sell better it turns out the fact that it didn't definitely feels like failure...

Other aspects of success for me, my husband and I undertook to live off the land & I've learned to garden well & cook cheaply & well from the garden, and I like to invite people over and cook something fancy on a low budget. It doesn't feel worth doing the fancy cooking without people to be impressed so I'm afraid that's my motive for having people over. But they like it, so...


Another thing, I worked on a struggling organic farm and no, it was never going to be wildly successful, but I remember the year I worked 11-hour days on a supposedly part-time schedule to make sure the latest insane crisis (farm manager quit midseason when his addictions became unmanageable!!!) wouldn't drag it under... Success was preventing failure even when it should've been impossible.

But like, overall, I'm NOT a "successful" person. I'm a nobody living cheaply on a farm owned by someone else, with a novel that sells very modestly. I've tried to succeed only on my own terms and according to my own beliefs, really. (I think I know, for instance, how to write a novel that will sell better, but since it involves pandering--writing tricks that reinforce people's prejudices, make them feel superior to everyone around them, etc--I won't.) I think I'm a 3w4--do I sound like one? I'm pretty new to this. (And I don't know what the SX means.)
I've colored all the parts that I think very much say you are an Enneagram 3.
 

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@SwallowFeather This could help. Here's Ichazo's version on 3: https://www.personalitycafe.com/type-3-forum-achiever/144290-ichazo-type-3-a.html

Pushing yourself so hard that you damaged your hand tendons sounds like 3 and similar to what Icazo calls Ego-go: Hyperactivity, motivation and drive is the primary message of this ego. This is an ego that wills one to be in perpetual motion and to always be moving in order to be active towards whatever it is that we need to be efficient in.

SX is an instinct. SX = sexual, intimate, one-to-one, transmitting
SP = self-preservation
SO = social, navigating

More information on instincts:
http://www.awarenesstoaction.com/enneagram-learning-international/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Instinctual-biases.final_.pdf
http://www.awarenesstoaction.com/enneagram-learning-international/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Coaching-and-the-Instincts.pdf
 

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I identify as a 3w4 sx, a queer woman, a mother, a psychotherapist and a massage therapist, a wounded healer, an intimacy and self-improvement junky. I do my roles well, because I am a 3, but even though parts of my roles are caregiving, I have little need to be needed, like a 2. I don’t like people to rely on me. It stresses me out. My motives are different. I haven’t enjoyed motherhood. I enjoy knowing my children, but DOING motherhood — it gives me little to no pleasure actually. But not performing that role well gives me so much shame. I consider motherhood part of my personal ‘work’. I ‘do’ romantic relationship, and when I am in one, they take aIl my attention, and I feel like I lose myself and sacrifice myself to the relationship. Success is often gauged by how well I ‘do’ relationships. Or if I am not in one, how well I am measuring up to some internalized standards of who I need to be to find a partner. Who is the ideal person!? Ha! I experience feelings of success in moments of connecting with another person or a group. I monitor energetic connection vigilantly, and if I’m feeling that connection (which I take so much responsibility for) then I am successful.

I became a massage therapist purely for practical reasons. I needed a job that payed the bills and that offered flexible scheduling. I wanted to start my own business. After a few people told me massage could be a good path, I looked into it. My own path and healing journey has always been so important to me. To me massage school ended up being an opportunity to heal trauma, my relationship with my body, and to start recognizing how prominent the prostitute archetype (the ultimate ‘professional’!) has been in my life. I hate enneagram 3. Being accommodating, flexible, losing myself to roles and ideas about who I am, objectifying myself, picking myself up off the floor and pushing myself to succeed... Success isn’t wealth, though money makes finding stimulation for SX needs easier. Success is being an impressive woman. If I am not impressive, no one will love me.

I’m 41 and going through my skin changing texture, noticing wrinkles, and facing one more strike against my worthiness and facing my own ageism. I’ve never been the most beautiful, but my looks have made my life easy. Other people get to be human and they are loveable. But my trap is believing that I am so broken that I need to be superhuman, however I am defining that this week. I get stuck in performing ideas of myself. And when I get stuck for long in some idea of myself, I start to get depressed because I am no longer BEING me, I’m DOING me. And it is exhausting. Trying to be a better version of myself is self-aggressive. Self-improvement junky. That is what I have been since I was a teenager. That’s a 3. The 4 part of me is sensitive, introspective part of me who needs to self-express and has felt compelled to write since I can remember. I have been trying to find a way to express myself in a way that people can receive me. The 4 is the part of me who rejects and hates others for not loving me. Who hates to be misunderstood. The 4 is the sensitive part I reject when I pick my crying collapsed self off the floor, sewing myself seamlessly into my — personal and professional roles. Because a 4 may wait to be rescued, but a 3 relies on herself. No one is going to save me from my sensitivity and my emotion that threaten to undermine my ability to do the ideal person. My needs to express my authentic self and my needs to be seen as an ideal person are in conflict. Self-expression gets shoved aside when my emotions get in the way of my self-improvement projects or my ideas of who I should be, trying to meet those expectations.

Part of who I should be has always been a cultural revolutionary. Motherhood and cultural revolutionary are hard to reconcile! I know I perform for people. I have often criticized myself for this. And lately, I hold it more lightly. I enjoy performance. You should see me in a group! That is when I really shine. I can say outrageous things. I’m an excellent public speaker. I ride the waves of the room. I set myself on fire in public displays of vulnerability. I LIKE shaking things up like that. I LIKE exploring the edges of things and living life from a place of ‘what will happen if I do this!?’ Sometimes I get burned. Sometimes I make a new friend. Sometimes I end up alone on a greyhound to Montreal with a backpack and a credit card. Sometimes I end up prostituting myself for a pack of cigarettes and a meal at a diner. I was notorious in high school. I ran into someone who I knew from high school and he told me he had heard I was dead, much to my amusement. People told me for years about hearing about when I read a ‘romantic short story’ I had written in front of my 11th grade English class in which I talked explicitly about my own sexual experiences and drug use. I did it to express myself and to start a revolution and for attention! Performing, having the audience hear what I want to say and feel heard and seen matters to me. I’m looking for opportunities to express more often the part of me who needs to perform and be on stage because it feeds me. Taking these risks feels like successes even if I fail these days. Having an audience feeds me. And my revolution is happening from within!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I identify as a 3w4 sx, a queer woman, a mother, a psychotherapist and a massage therapist, a wounded healer, an intimacy and self-improvement junky. I do my roles well, because I am a 3, but even though parts of my roles are caregiving, I have little need to be needed, like a 2. I don’t like people to rely on me. It stresses me out. My motives are different. I haven’t enjoyed motherhood. I enjoy knowing my children, but DOING motherhood — it gives me little to no pleasure actually. But not performing that role well gives me so much shame. I consider motherhood part of my personal ‘work’. I ‘do’ romantic relationship, and when I am in one, they take aIl my attention, and I feel like I lose myself and sacrifice myself to the relationship. Success is often gauged by how well I ‘do’ relationships. Or if I am not in one, how well I am measuring up to some internalized standards of who I need to be to find a partner. Who is the ideal person!? Ha! I experience feelings of success in moments of connecting with another person or a group. I monitor energetic connection vigilantly, and if I’m feeling that connection (which I take so much responsibility for) then I am successful.

I became a massage therapist purely for practical reasons. I needed a job that payed the bills and that offered flexible scheduling. I wanted to start my own business. After a few people told me massage could be a good path, I looked into it. My own path and healing journey has always been so important to me. To me massage school ended up being an opportunity to heal trauma, my relationship with my body, and to start recognizing how prominent the prostitute archetype (the ultimate ‘professional’!) has been in my life. I hate enneagram 3. Being accommodating, flexible, losing myself to roles and ideas about who I am, objectifying myself, picking myself up off the floor and pushing myself to succeed... Success isn’t wealth, though money makes finding stimulation for SX needs easier. Success is being an impressive woman. If I am not impressive, no one will love me.

I’m 41 and going through my skin changing texture, noticing wrinkles, and facing one more strike against my worthiness and facing my own ageism. I’ve never been the most beautiful, but my looks have made my life easy. Other people get to be human and they are loveable. But my trap is believing that I am so broken that I need to be superhuman, however I am defining that this week. I get stuck in performing ideas of myself. And when I get stuck for long in some idea of myself, I start to get depressed because I am no longer BEING me, I’m DOING me. And it is exhausting. Trying to be a better version of myself is self-aggressive. Self-improvement junky. That is what I have been since I was a teenager. That’s a 3. The 4 part of me is sensitive, introspective part of me who needs to self-express and has felt compelled to write since I can remember. I have been trying to find a way to express myself in a way that people can receive me. The 4 is the part of me who rejects and hates others for not loving me. Who hates to be misunderstood. The 4 is the sensitive part I reject when I pick my crying collapsed self off the floor, sewing myself seamlessly into my — personal and professional roles. Because a 4 may wait to be rescued, but a 3 relies on herself. No one is going to save me from my sensitivity and my emotion that threaten to undermine my ability to do the ideal person. My needs to express my authentic self and my needs to be seen as an ideal person are in conflict. Self-expression gets shoved aside when my emotions get in the way of my self-improvement projects or my ideas of who I should be, trying to meet those expectations.

Part of who I should be has always been a cultural revolutionary. Motherhood and cultural revolutionary are hard to reconcile! I know I perform for people. I have often criticized myself for this. And lately, I hold it more lightly. I enjoy performance. You should see me in a group! That is when I really shine. I can say outrageous things. I’m an excellent public speaker. I ride the waves of the room. I set myself on fire in public displays of vulnerability. I LIKE shaking things up like that. I LIKE exploring the edges of things and living life from a place of ‘what will happen if I do this!?’ Sometimes I get burned. Sometimes I make a new friend. Sometimes I end up alone on a greyhound to Montreal with a backpack and a credit card. Sometimes I end up prostituting myself for a pack of cigarettes and a meal at a diner. I was notorious in high school. I ran into someone who I knew from high school and he told me he had heard I was dead, much to my amusement. People told me for years about hearing about when I read a ‘romantic short story’ I had written in front of my 11th grade English class in which I talked explicitly about my own sexual experiences and drug use. I did it to express myself and to start a revolution and for attention! Performing, having the audience hear what I want to say and feel heard and seen matters to me. I’m looking for opportunities to express more often the part of me who needs to perform and be on stage because it feeds me. Taking these risks feels like successes even if I fail these days. Having an audience feeds me. And my revolution is happening from within!
beautifully written, thank you - I relate to a lot of what you said. And totally agree, motherhood can take a toll on 3ness!!!
 

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Strictly answering as a SX 3 (sx/so), for me success deep down was to have who I am attracted to, as in a potential partner, be attracted to me too, be wanted and desired by them (a "contest" I haven't won yet lol) - but I am aware now that this comes from me needing to feel attractive and worhy first in my own skin.

But success can be every little/ mundane thing, not just the 'big things' in life - checking things off my mental "To-Do list" give my Type 3 a boost - being able to get tasks done, no matter how mundane/daily routine stuff or self-care routine (eg. washing hands, showering, eating, doing my hair - to tick off the list such things feel to me like an accomplishment).
 

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I think Wayne Dyer 'The father of motivation" was very likely a 3, highly influenced by 6 integrations during some of his very best creative works. And I think he is a good example of how the '3 success' is just not limited to many of the more materialistic or superficial goals that 3's are so often associated with. A 3, depending on their unique life experiences, could adopt any cause or goal. It would never be the goal itself that defines the 3, it'll be how they approach it and the psychological relationship to it. Also, because 3's often have a 4 wing or can draw from a 4 wing, I don't think it's uncommon at all to find them in self-helpy vocations; whether that involves personal development or family-marriage counseling or even overcoming deeper psychological hurdles.
 
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