Personality Cafe banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
272 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The Self-Preservation Three - "Security" (Countertype)

Following Ichazo, Naranjo calls this subtype "Security" because these Threes work hard to achieve a sense of security, both in terms of material and financial resources and knowing how to do things effectively. Self-Preservation Threes express a concern with security in that they have a need to feel autonomous and self-sufficient–to know how to take care of themselves and others.

People with this subtype often had a childhood in which they didn't have enough protection and resources. In response to those conditions, these Threes learned to be active and efficient doers, oriented to taking care of themselves without help from others. They have developed a special focus on autonomy in the face of a jeopardized sense of security.

This preoccupation with security can also extend out to others. This person emanates a sense of security; they are solid people who you might go to for advice. They seem outwardly calm and organized, like they have it all together, but they are anxious underneath. These are assertive people who specialize in solving problems and getting things done in a high-quality way–and while they work very hard, they don't show their stress. They are usually financially secure, highly productive, and "in control," but they also report feeling an underlying sense of anxiety related to the effort it takes to achieve the sense of security they crave.

Self-Preservation Threes strive to be the ideal model of quality in whatever they do. They want to be the best example of how to be in whatever role they play: the best parent, the best partner, the best worker, the best at whatever they do. They feel a need not only to be seen as good, but also to actually be good. They do this both to achieve a sense of security and to inspire admiration in others without being obvious about their vanity. They want to be admired because they do things well, and they want to do the things they do in the best way possible–not just to have a good image that people will find attractive, but also to live up to that image. Their tendency to adapt to a "model" also motivates them to forget their own feelings.

Following the perfect model of how things should be done means being virtuous, and being virtuous implies a lack of vanity. In this sense, the Self-Preservation Three "has vanity for having no vanity." This means that while this Three wants to look attractive and successful in the eyes of others, they don't want other people to know they want this–they don’t want others to see that they have actively created an image to look good to others. They don't want others to catch them in the act of wanting or working to look good because they have an ethic that say that "good,” or virtuous, people are not vain. Some Self-Preservation Threes are aware (and will admit) that they want people to admire them for their good image–though, generally, they want to keep this a secret–but some Self-Preservation Threes believe so firmly that it is wrong or superficial to want the approval of others that they won't admit this desire even to themselves. These are people who want to be so perfect that it's not in their code of honor to allow for vanity.

In denying the presence of vanity, the Self-Preservation Threes represents the countertype of the three Three subtypes–that is, this Three is the "counter-passional" type, the Three that doesn't necessarily look like a Three. Though these Threes are motivated out of vanity, just like the other Threes, they deny their vanity to some extent, and so their character is shaped more around going against the energetic pull of vanity. And there is a natural opposition between the vain desire to attract attention and a primary instinctual drive toward security and self-preservation. Unlike Social Threes, who will more openly brag about their accomplishments, Self-Preservation Threes avoid talking about their positive characteristics and high-status credentials because they believe it's bad form to advertise their strong points, even if they also want others to see them as successful. They may be either modest or falsely modest.

In terms of the mental habit of deception, this subtype is also anti-deception in that they try to tell the truth. The deception in this Three comes at a more unconscious level; when it comes to knowing their true motivations, Threes often confuse their image-based reasons for doing things with their real feelings and convictions.

Self-Preservation Threes display a strong workaholic tendency and are motivated to work very hard to achieve security. They have a compulsion to be self-reliant and to feel in control of their lives. They also feel responsible for making everything happen, and can even have a sense of omnipotence. Along with their need for control and their underlying anxiety, they may experience a sense of panic when they need help or lose autonomy.

The passion for security in this subtype leads them to oversimplification in life, reducing their focus and interest to what is "practical and useful." These individuals have an imperative need to know they can handle it all and that all will be good for everyone surrounding them. They don't show weakness. They may think things like, "I have to do everything, because I do it better." Situations that feel beyond their control can leave them confused and lost internally, causing them to freeze up, and in an effort to reestablish control, they can become invasive. These are the most rigid of the Threes.

With so much energy focused on work and efficiency and security, there can be little mental and emotional space left for these Threes to be able to engage deeply with others. Though they may work hard to maintain relationships, they may have trouble making deep connections. When Self-Preservation Threes–especially less self-aware Self-Preservation Threes–do make connections, they can be superficial. They can view feeling their emotions as a waste of time, and this inhibits their ability to connect in intimate relationships, since a true relationship comes through each person being in touch with their feelings and their "real self."

It can be hard for a Self-Preservation Three to be recognized as a Three. They may be easily confused with Ones or Sixes. This Three looks like a One in that the type is rigid, responsible, and self-sufficient. These Threes, like Ones, try to be a model of virtue in the things they do. The can be distinguished from Ones in that they move at a faster pace, pay attention to creating an image (even when they don't acknowledge it), and conform to a perfect model of how to be as judged by social consensus, not according to internal standards of right and wrong (as Ones do). They differ from Sixes in that they are fundamentally image-oriented and work harder in response to insecurity, while Sixes find protection in other ways. And while Threes may question their sense of identity, they generally don't allow their productive to get slowed down by too much doubt or questioning.




Virginia, a Self-Preservation Three, speaks:

I've always been an achiever. In preschool I finished tasks so early that I was assigned to help others in order to say engaged. By first grade, the school counselor explained to my proud parents that my insistence on perfect homework and exemplary behavior were early predictors of later anxiety, I have worked incredibly hard throughout my career and am now an officer of a Fortune 500 company. Married and divorced twice, my pattern was three to five years of being the perfect wife, followed by emotional exhaustion and an angry husband. Vulnerability or relying on others makes me uncomfortable. I love being counted on to tackle difficult challenges and strive to be hyper-responsible, fair, and generous. Although I crave admiration for these traits, I avoid seeming to care about superficial appearances. I need to be the good traits. When I first studied the Enneagram, I rejected the idea that I could be an image-conscious Three. I made myself a Six, even "performing" once as a model Six on an Enneagram workshop panel. My goal now is balance: vulnerability (versus fierce autonomy) and stillness (versus overactive doing).


Specific Work For The Self-Preservation Three on the Path from Vice to Virtue

Self-Preservation Threes can travel the path form vanity to hope by slowing down and making room for experiencing more than just what's on their "to-do list." They aim for hope by leaving themselves more space to feel, and to express those feelings, so that they can tap into the rhythm of their own inner experience. As a Self-Preservation Three, it is important to notice when you create rationalizations for not allowing space for deeper emotions and relational needs. Allow yourself to find a security through deep connections with other people, not just by relying on yourself and working hard. Allow yourself to realize that you don't have to be responsible for everything. Create safety through shared feelings of mutual trust, as opposed to going it alone and working so hard to be autonomous. Learn that your anxiety is a sign that you have deeper feelings and needs that aren’t' being addressed, and instead of working harder, take care of yourself by listening to your real self, allowing yourself to rest, and taking refuge in hope, the expectancy of future bliss that you don't have to make happen all by yourself. Allow yourself to be still, such that you can make room to have an experience of vulnerability and more of your true self.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
660 Posts
Really good. The only part I failed to relate to was this:

Following the perfect model of how things should be done means being virtuous, and being virtuous implies a lack of vanity. In this sense, the Self-Preservation Three "has vanity for having no vanity." This means that while this Three wants to look attractive and successful in the eyes of others, they don't want other people to know they want this–they don’t want others to see that they have actively created an image to look good to others. They don't want others to catch them in the act of wanting or working to look good because they have an ethic that say that "good,” or virtuous, people are not vain. Some Self-Preservation Threes are aware (and will admit) that they want people to admire them for their good image–though, generally, they want to keep this a secret–but some Self-Preservation Threes believe so firmly that it is wrong or superficial to want the approval of others that they won't admit this desire even to themselves. These are people who want to be so perfect that it's not in their code of honor to allow for vanity.
I am definitely vain, and I hide that vanity while using indirect methods to gain the admiration I desire. But I do not hide my vanity out of moralistic inclinations. I do so because to break character in a such a way is to directly damage my own image. Most are of the impression that I achieve with little to no effort and that I'm naturally gifted at the things I do. Absolutely not true, I simply hide the effort required, or I've long isolated myself to drive my skills upward beforehand.

For me, it's not about being virtuous at all, granted I'm a moral skeptic (any kind of correspondence between ethical statements and “moral facts” are illusory) but about appearing to be the god I aiming to literally become. If I ever attempt to appear virtuous it is because it will benefit me. Personally my Type 3ism is very...Machiavellian.
 

·
Registered
INTJ
Joined
·
1,416 Posts
Super well done! I'm a 3w4 sp/so and I think it was spot on.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Noodle Dance

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,175 Posts
You've received some compliments, but from what I understand, this is only posted here, you are not the one who wrote this. At any rate, thanks for it.
I relate perfectly to it, though it makes me think about it a little. I am vain, but I am trying to be modest. This is an ugly trait and it makes me feel bad.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Monadnock

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Thank you for posting this! I almost can't believe I doubted being a 3 reading this.

It can be hard for a Self-Preservation Three to be recognized as a Three. They may be easily confused with Ones or Sixes. This Three looks like a One in that the type is rigid, responsible, and self-sufficient. These Threes, like Ones, try to be a model of virtue in the things they do. The can be distinguished from Ones in that they move at a faster pace, pay attention to creating an image (even when they don't acknowledge it), and conform to a perfect model of how to be as judged by social consensus, not according to internal standards of right and wrong (as Ones do). They differ from Sixes in that they are fundamentally image-oriented and work harder in response to insecurity, while Sixes find protection in other ways. And while Threes may question their sense of identity, they generally don't allow their productive to get slowed down by too much doubt or questioning.
Incidentally enough, I also mistyped as a 6 for the longest.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,843 Posts
I definitely like most people with this Subtype. Alot of Enneagram literature I've read went way overboard with the positive descriptions of 3s, basically naming them the Gods of the Enneagram almost, and this description seems much more balanced and realistic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Wow. I have never read a more accurate description of myself. Other have typed me as a 1 for so long and I even identified as 1 because of it until I came the the conclusion that I cover up my “3-ness” with the actions of a 1 because of how striving for achievement can be viewed in society. Then I read this and it validates everything I’ve been thinking. Thank you for your hard work in this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
i’m almost certain what you’re writing about here is not actually a 3, but a counterphobic 6. many, and i mean many, counterphobic 6s are mistyped as either a 1, a 3, or an 8. most information about 6s refers to phobic 6s (which is he stereotypical 6) and as such, many counterphobic 6s don’t identify with it. they are 6s because their focus is security.as with anything else in the enneagram, the fundamental difference between types is related to motivation. self-preservation 3s are motivated by the same thing all 3s are motivated by: they want to be liked, validated, accepted, and admired. sp 3s seek to earn admiration through their skills and talents (but it’s admiration they’re actually looking for, not security). these are the 3s that care a lot less what people think about them, which goes against the typical 3 stereotype (not surprising since sp is the 3 countertype). the 3’s motivation isn’t security, it’s finding value and a place in the worth - though a sp 3 may use security (in their skills and talents) to achieve this goal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
i’m almost certain what you’re writing about here is not actually a 3, but a counterphobic 6. many, and i mean many, counterphobic 6s are mistyped as either a 1, a 3, or an 8. most information about 6s refers to phobic 6s (which is he stereotypical 6) and as such, many counterphobic 6s don’t identify with it. they are 6s because their focus is security.as with anything else in the enneagram, the fundamental difference between types is related to motivation. self-preservation 3s are motivated by the same thing all 3s are motivated by: they want to be liked, validated, accepted, and admired. sp 3s seek to earn admiration through their skills and talents (but it’s admiration they’re actually looking for, not security). these are the 3s that care a lot less what people think about them, which goes against the typical 3 stereotype (not surprising since sp is the 3 countertype). the 3’s motivation isn’t security, it’s finding value and a place in the worth - though a sp 3 may use security (in their skills and talents) to achieve this goal.
Really appreciate the feedback! Since reading this I’ve done quite a bit more research and am now 100% I’m an sp 3.

I understand where you’re coming from because I reread what I wrote and it is a bit confusing. I was only saying that this part really spoke to me because it is EXACTLY me: “They may be easily confused with Ones or Sixes. This Three looks like a One in that the type is rigid, responsible, and self-sufficient. These Threes, like Ones, try to be a model of virtue in the things they do.

The can be distinguished from Ones in that they move at a faster pace, pay attention to creating an image (even when they don't acknowledge it), and conform to a perfect model of how to be as judged by social consensus, not according to internal standards of right and wrong (as Ones do).”

Thanks again!!
 

·
Registered
ENFP 9
Joined
·
57 Posts
i’m almost certain what you’re writing about here is not actually a 3, but a counterphobic 6. many, and i mean many, counterphobic 6s are mistyped as either a 1, a 3, or an 8. most information about 6s refers to phobic 6s (which is he stereotypical 6) and as such, many counterphobic 6s don’t identify with it. they are 6s because their focus is security.as with anything else in the enneagram, the fundamental difference between types is related to motivation. self-preservation 3s are motivated by the same thing all 3s are motivated by: they want to be liked, validated, accepted, and admired. sp 3s seek to earn admiration through their skills and talents (but it’s admiration they’re actually looking for, not security). these are the 3s that care a lot less what people think about them, which goes against the typical 3 stereotype (not surprising since sp is the 3 countertype). the 3’s motivation isn’t security, it’s finding value and a place in the worth - though a sp 3 may use security (in their skills and talents) to achieve this goal.
I think the stuff about security is coming from the sp variant. All sp subtypes care about security to some degree- that's literally what self preservation is.

To me what makes this description fit 3 is the strong reaction against "appearing" vain. It still revolves around image. Sp 3's think that being outwardly vain is a bad "look" and so we actively cultivate an image of "humble", "modest" instead. It's still all about appearance- it's ironically a reaction against "seeming to care about appearance" due to image and identity concerns.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top