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MOTM Nov 2009
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Discussion Starter #1
  • Type Three-Type One
Enneagram Ones and Threes are both competent, serious minded, and idealistic. This is a highly task-oriented relationship, with both partners driven to hard work and to be intensely aware when, individually and collectively, they are not measuring up to their own expectations and high standards. Both parties can bring selflessness, self-discipline, good work habits, and the ability to put aside their personal feelings for the sake of the objective good that needs to be done. Both types are used to working so hard that they often succeed, garnering admiration from those around them and attaining places of leadership and responsibility. The One and Three combination can be dazzlingly accomplished, high energy, extraordinarily competent and impressive both individually and collectively. They both strive after excellence, both as an ideal and as something to personally embody. Sometimes they succeed so well that this pairing virtually glows with self-confidence and the thrill of their own talents. They strive to make each other proud of them, someone the other can look up to and show off to his or her friends and family. They enjoy planning and organizing their lives, dividing up responsibilities after seeing who is objectively better at which tasks. Both thrive on respect and give each other personal space.
There are only two other equally goal-oriented pairings, a One with One combination and a Three with Three pairing, although since these both are same type pairings, they typically have blind spots that these combinations will need to be aware of. Because the One/Three is a mixed pair, this produces a powerful coalition that is capable of dealing both with ideals and with practical matters. They will try to solve problems in the relationship by discussing the issues involved since neither likes emotionally charged bickering or unresolved issues. Ones help Threes to be more grounded and realistic; Threes help Ones stretch themselves and not be so perfectionistic. They are both industrious and persistent, efficient and concerned with excellence and with making a real difference in the world.

Potential Trouble Spots or Issues

If this relationship gets into trouble, it is often over time commitments, lack of emotional attachment to each other, and a creeping sense of competition. Further, Ones tend to find Threes too workaholic, pragmatic, and too concerned with image and with their reputations rather than with principle. Ones can see Threes as tending to cut corners in ethical matters, willing to exaggerate or fudge the truth in order to achieve whatever they are after. They can also become critical of Threes if they change their goals pragmatically, dropping efforts or switching positions when something does not work for them. Ones may also have issues with Threes attempting to reinterpret ethical questions and with not owning up to their personal behavior, including their behavior regarding fidelity in the relationship itself.
On the other hand, Threes tend to find Ones too rigid and judgmental in their attitudes and inflexible in various areas. While Threes generally value Ones' organizational ability and ability get things done, Threes can also feel that Ones are too narrow-minded and methodical, too perfectionistic and focused on details rather than results. Threes may have issues with Ones about feeling they are being stifled or judged both for their attitudes and for their actions. Threes thrive on praise, but stressed Ones are unable to give any credit to themselves, much less to anyone else. Threes see Ones' critiques of them as nitpicking and time wasting. Eventually, Threes start avoiding Ones, triggering Ones' abandonment issues—and more anger and criticism. Both gradually lose respect for the other: Ones losing respect for the Three's integrity, and Threes losing respect for Ones effectiveness. An open break can occur, but if both find the relationship useful, it can endure as a professional marriage without much passion but because it is useful to both parties for their continued professional success and personal status.

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MOTM Nov 2009
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Discussion Starter #2
  • Type Three-Type Two
Both Enneagram Twos and Threes are driven by their feelings and emotional needs-although this is not always apparent in the case of Threes. Both are also driven by their need for attention and the desire to be loved-although this is not always apparent in the case of Twos. But for these reasons, both are oriented toward people and toward activities that will place them in the spotlight. This makes the Two/Three couple one of the most interpersonally attractive and impactful pairings possible. Individually and collectively, they are outgoing, sociable, high-spirited, charming, and often physically attractive. Both know how to make a favorable impression on people and to win them over. Each type brings energy, personal and social ambition, the ability to communicate with people and to make others feel like they are the center of attention. Both know how to get people to like them and to rally support to achieve their goals. Twos in particular bring a more personal, individual focus to their interactions with others. They are thoughtful and follow up exchanges with genuine kindness and compassion. Threes bring flexibility, charm, practicality, and a goal-oriented vision for ways the couple can improve. Twos like to feel proud of their loved ones, and Threes want to make their partner proud.
There is also a particular way that this pairing works as a team: Twos like to put the spotlight on others, and Threes like to be in the spotlight. Twos like to be the power behind the throne, and Threes can be happy being the point person for the couple. As long as healthy Threes appreciate the lavish attention of the Two, this arrangement can work well. In a sense, this is almost an ideal political couple—socially adept, energetic, virtually radiating charm and self-confidence, inviting others (by their manner and attractiveness) to join them in some way. Twos and Threes can be dazzling—a couple so widely admired and socially gifted that they become icons for their social sphere and time.

Potential Trouble Spots or Issues

A couple with such conscious star power also tends to be self-conscious—and even more conscious of each other. Twos get jealous and possessive of Threes. They can fall into a "I made you—you owe me" syndrome, feeling used and unappreciated. For all of their apparent willingness to take second place, Twos want to be recognized privately by their partners and to be made to feel that they are important. But Threes typically find it difficult to thank others for their success or to share the glory. Moreover, Threes may feel that Twos overestimate their contributions: they take credit for too much, sometimes, embarrassingly, in public. As a result, Twos can start to undermine the Three's confidence to get the Three to feel that he or she depends on the Two. Threes react quickly and strongly to perceived criticism and potential humiliation by distancing themselves—inevitably creating more anxiety and manipulation in the Two, a vicious cycle.
Part of the problem is that both have underlying feelings of shame and vulnerability and they know each other's weak spots and can play on them when they have to. Furthermore, potential conflicts can arise because neither Twos nor Threes are particularly introspective nor are they very interested in their own underlying motives. They simply assume that they are traveling in the same direction—toward increasing success and social validation-only to realize that they have drifted apart and may actually be at loggerheads with each other. Twos fundamentally feel that Threes put work and career before them, their children and home life, primary values for Twos. They feel that Threes are too focused on success and that they are missing the really valuable things in life. Threes, on the other hand, can feel stifled by the Two's insistence on the need to spend time together. Threes feel Twos are smothering and emotionally manipulative, making them feel guilty for working hard and making the most of themselves. Intimacy deteriorates into bickering, and what it means to have a successful relationship becomes a real question. Disdain for each other can erupt into open hostilities.

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MOTM Nov 2009
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Discussion Starter #3
  • Type Three-Type Three
As with all double-type relationships, two Enneagram Threes generally bring the same qualities to each other. Therein lies both a main source of the attraction as well as one of the main pitfalls. Thus, the Level of health of each person is especially important for these types of relationships as are their dominant instincts. Two Threes bring to each other a concern for achievement and excellence, for making something of themselves and their opportunities, and for being a credit to the relationship. They are both hard workers, always looking for a way to improve their station in life and to share these benefits with their loved ones and friends. Threes also tend to be sociable and to enjoy the company of others. They have the ability to charm others and present themselves in a favorable, attractive light—even to their spouse or close friends. Some Threes are less sociable and more concerned with business matters and with gaining financial security, but they too, want both themselves and their relationship to be admirable and outstanding in some way. They may be known for their closeness or personal devotion, or the longevity of the relationship itself.
Both Threes can form an extremely effective team that is likely to be successful in virtually any endeavor they might pursue. They are able to coordinate tasks at home or in the office, becoming a working team supporting each other. They each want the other to be proud of them and to be admired by the other as a worthy partner. They both try to avoid drama in the relationship and they give each other space to pursue their own interests and self-development. Double Three couples are usually excellent motivators of each other, urging the other to higher achievement and to attaining their goals, whether in child-rearing, education, or sports and physical fitness. They can act as the coach of the other, helping the partner to improve their technique and hone their professional and personal skills. What they demand of each other is respect for their achievements and for their hard work. Thus, in many ways, two Threes can make an impression on others of being virtually an ideal couple,—attractive, energetic, ambitious, focused, and often outstanding members of their social group.

Potential Trouble Spots or Issues

As long as a Three couple is healthy, they both tend to be highly supportive of each other and the other's interests and career. They are glad for the success and prestige that their spouse may garner. Problems may arise in average to lower-functioning Three couples if they begin to compare themselves with each other. An unhealthy spirit of competition and one-upmanship can infect the relationship and undermine the pride and generosity they have felt toward each other. Even if they have different careers, two Threes may begin to compare their relative success, their incomes, how well each is regarded professionally—and what their relative chances for advancement are. One partner being elected to a committee or board of directors puts pressure on the other to do something similar or even more prestigious.
Further, one or both of the Threes may begin to feel that the relationship is taking time away from their own career and their own pursuit of success. One may feel that they are sacrificing their career potential for the sake of keeping the relationship together while the other is getting ahead at their expense. Children, pets, family members, and friends may also suffer varying degrees of neglect as the double Three couple puts energy into their professional advancement, putting ever longer hours in at the office or on the road. One of the biggest issues for double Three couples is that neither is particularly aware of their real feelings or their own heart's desire. They also typically do not know how to talk about their deepest feelings, and so they most often do not. They often experience feelings as distractions from their professional work, as well as potential sources of shame and humiliation. Thus, they tend to become more isolated in the relationship as intimacy wanes. They can still be trophies for each other, but double Three pairings come to not know how to talk with each other about what is really going on for them. Eventually, isolation leads to alienation and depression which can lead to drifting apart or to affairs that end the relationship.

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MOTM Nov 2009
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Discussion Starter #4
  • Type Three-Type Four
These two types can form something of a complementary relationship, with each bringing important qualities to the relationship that the other generally lacks. Enneagram Fours can teach Threes how to talk about themselves on a deeper level and help acknowledge and process their feelings. They can also bring Threes more sensitivity, a feeling for beauty and for the non-practical but fulfilling aspects of life. Finding the Three's heart's desire is an extremely important area of self-awareness in which Fours can play a helpful role to Threes. Fours can bring a sense of style and presentation, rich communication, and sense of refinement. Threes model many of the qualities that Fours would like to develop in themselves, and Threes are well-suited to helping Fours gain new skills. Threes can bring a good deal of tact and diplomacy to handling Fours' emotional reactions and their sometimes too-sensitive feelings and self-doubts. Knowing what to say and when to say it-and what not to say—to a Four can be crucial for building trust in the relationship and avoiding inadvertent episodes when either feels humiliated or embarrassed. Threes can bring a sense of hope and ambition to the relationship, practical goal-setting, coaching and behavior management techniques that help Fours get out of a slump or a period of low energy. Threes can coach Fours on how to get on with practical matters and to act professionally despite the shifts in their feelings and self-doubts.
Since both types are driven by (often unconscious) feelings and reactions, this can be an intense and passionate coupling. Both are aware of "image" issues and about how others perceive them, and so this couple will be noteworthy for its energy, flair, sense of style, and enjoyment of the finer things of life. They may both feel a connection with the other that goes beyond words or reason into another realm as if they had known each other from a previous existence or that the other is some kind of soul mate.

Potential Trouble Spots or Issues

Both Threes and Fours have issues with self-esteem and with needing attention and validation from others. They both suffer from questions about their own identity and have hidden feelings of shame and worthlessness. These two types secretly compare themselves with others and have more or less openly competitive tendencies. Much will depend on how narcissistically wounded each person is—and therefore how much they will be vying for approval, attention, and recognition. Both Threes and Fours need attention and to feel appreciated, although Threes will be more able to openly seek these things. Fours can feel overshadowed or shut out of the limelight by the more energetic Three. This can trigger feelings in Fours of being defective and deficient, which Threes may play on. Threes will tend to give less attention than Fours to the relationship itself, although both will tend to see the other as essential for their welfare. Fours will typically want far more emotional involvement and intimacy than Threes are comfortable with (or even capable of providing).
A related problem is that neither type really sees the other as they are: both see the other through projections of what they need and expect the other to be. Fours may see Threes as a rescuer and as embodiment of everything they lack, whereas Threes may see Fours as an exotic, mysterious sexual or artistic trophy that enhances their desirability. Both types, however, can get into hostile rages if their emotional needs are not fulfilled. Perhaps worst for this pairing is that they inadvertently keep reminding each other of their own particular brand of self-concealment and phoniness—a constant source of irritation to each other. They can become snippy and sarcastic, gossiping and complaining about the shortcomings of the other to their own friends. Both can also be covert and indirect about sabotaging the other out of revenge, if their relationship should end. Once the respect and admiration they have had for each other ends, dismissiveness, contempt, and undermining begin—and the relationship itself is surely about to end.

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MOTM Nov 2009
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Discussion Starter #5
  • Type Three-Type Five
This is a frequently seen combination, although one that might not be expected. Enneagram Fives often give Threes depth, new areas of expertise and credibility, while sparking creativity. Threes give Fives confidence, presentation skills, and awareness of the importance of communicating effectively with others. Both Threes and Fives are primarily focused on their work and on objective issues and concerns. Both types are preoccupied with competency and effectiveness, especially in their professional areas, and this is where they support each other in an outstanding way. Although both have deep feelings, both tend not to focus on them for the sake of getting on with their work. They tend to understand each other's need to balance closeness with their need for personal space: they do not crowd each other. Threes contribute social skills, the ability to communicate and to sell ideas and projects, charm, energy, and a strong sense of practicality to the relationship. They can often see what is needed in the relationship or in the world and help to marshal the Five's skills toward that goal. Fives bring depth of understanding, expertise in one or more areas, perseverance with details until the goal is accomplished, an objective dispassion, and lack of attachment to outcomes.
This can be a "brilliant" couple—sharp, successful, deeply competent, and well respected. If they are attractive, Threes can be a trophy for Fives who are usually less concerned with appearance; Fives, on the other hand, can also be a trophy for Threes who are proud of the Five's expertise and who are glad to learn from them whenever they can. Both regard the other as a catch who enhances their own self-esteem and social standing. Their deep, often unspoken, feelings for each other frequently deepen even more over time, gradually allowing this couple to discover not just passion but quiet affection and pride in each other.

Potential Trouble Spots or Issues

This couple's emphasis on work and competency can also lead them into conflicts and tensions with each other. A great deal of their self-esteem is also derived from their work and how it is regarded by others. Threes and Fives can get into more or less open contentiousness over who was the original source of ideas and work. There can be elements of comparing one's work and contributions, claims about who is responsible for which ideas or breakthroughs, and other forms of competitiveness coming not only from Threes but from Fives. Threes also tend to want to get on with the project or with whatever they feel needs to be done, while Fives tend to take a long time fine tuning and tinkering until they feel that they are adequately complete. Conflicts can erupt over use of time, resources, and priorities as the more practical minded Three becomes increasingly impatient with the Five's lengthy preparations but lack of action. Fives may also begin to lose respect for the ethical standards of Threes who they feel are ready to cut corners or exaggerate claims in order to accomplish goals or to stay ahead professionally.
Both types also tend to not speak directly about their feelings or misgivings about the relationship until it is too late: then they both can become sarcastic and hostile, icy and distant from each other. Fives can be too blunt and argumentative for Threes who can retaliate with sarcastic zingers and put-downs while pretending not to be hostile or irritated. Both types can be arrogant and impatient with the other, and as a couple they begin to find little to admire in the other. Threes can seem shallow and dishonest to Fives, while Fives can seem weird and repulsive to Threes. Turning a negative situation around will depend on how much each needs the other, as well as the depth and breadth of other shared values, such as children and spiritual beliefs. If these are few, it will be difficult to salvage the relationship once their connection has been broken since both types tend to be suspicious and cynical about people.

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MOTM Nov 2009
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Discussion Starter #6
  • Type Three-Type Six
Surprisingly, this is not a common pairing, although these two types can work very well as a team. On the positive side, Threes bring hard work, optimism, energy, a desire to communicate to and connect with people, and a feeling of unlimited potential both personally and in the relationship itself. Threes can bring an enormous sense of self-confidence and the hope of success that is assured—that this relationship is a winning team or that this couple is the best ever! Common goals bring them together—they are both practical and want to achieve tangible things in the world. Sixes bring grounding, industrious hard work, perseverance in difficult times and personal loyalty to the Three. Sixes provide warmth, support, and a great deal of practical good sense. Sixes can also bring a compassion for the downtrodden or the less fortunate in life. Threes can pick up on this compassionate quality in Sixes and learn to open their own hearts more deeply to the underprivileged and the unfortunate.
Both believe in applying elbow grease toward goals, whether toward financial security or developing personal talents. In short, they are both doers. They foster equality and mutual respect for the different talents each brings and the shared interests they invest in. Threes help bolster the Six's confidence and develop their self-esteem. Sixes offer support to Threes without Threes feeling smothered. Sixes also help Threes to become part of something bigger than themselves-a church, a service organization, a political or spiritual group. Both become stronger individually and as a team by "finding themselves" through service and humble hard work. Respect for each other can grow as each continues to discover the other's good qualities. This can be a very enduring and successful couple as long as heart-centered values and deeper principles keeps them both grounded.

Potential Trouble Spots or Issues

Ultimately, each has what the other needs, but unless their relationship is healthy and well stabilized, they can tend to bring out the worst characteristics in themselves and in each other. These two types have similar negative qualities in common: both can be competitive and become workaholics, both are looking externally for reassurance to make up for secret inferiority feelings and insecurity, both want to be socially accepted. Both can be conformists of various kinds, doing what is expected of them, and both avoid looking at their deeper feelings or discussing their emotions. Both Sixes and Threes have feelings, but they tend to put them aside in order to get the job done whatever it is. Their different coping styles can get on each other's nerves by reminding them of their own weak spots. Threes seem to be inflated and grandiose to Sixes; Sixes seem to be nervous and reactive loose cannons to Threes. Sixes err on the side of caution, Threes on the side of too much ambition.
At their worst, both can become dishonest, evasive, and covert about their own actions and feelings. They can deteriorate into a relationship of robotic functioning in which real feelings are not discussed and both develop social lives away from the other. Threes will try to keep up appearances and are often embarrassed by Sixes (intentionally or inadvertently) revealing that the pair is in trouble. Eventually, there is a quiet, deadening down of any real enthusiasm or interest from both in the other. Instead of healthy skepticism and questioning of the Six, or the playful teasing and challenging competitiveness of the Three, both sides present an increasingly bland mask of normalcy to themselves and to the world until something comes along to expose the situation.

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MOTM Nov 2009
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Discussion Starter #7
  • Type Three-Type Seven
This is a highly complementary pair: both types are self-assertive, have high energy, and are outgoing and capable of being around people with relative ease. Both types bring optimism, a future orientation, the sense of possibility and renewal to their relationships and to enterprises they become involved with. Threes can work alone more easily than Sevens, although both are stimulated by interacting with people and both can be excellent communicators of their ideas and values. Both are persuasive and articulate, often lively and attractive, making them sought after company. Both have a youthful orientation such that they feed off of each other's energy: no other couple is as vivacious or gregarious as the Three/Seven couple. This is probably the highest energy combination of types and they wholeheartedly engage in lots of activities, plans and projects, with the emphasis on attaining the good life. The focus is on sociability, going out, having adventures together and on realizing possibilities and on finding personal fulfillment.
To this mix, Threes bring sensitivity to people and how to communicate with them, a sense of propriety, appropriateness, and social conventions, as well as the ability to focus on goals and get them accomplished. Sevens bring a sense of fun and adventure, resilience, and not being overly concerned with failure. Sevens can be spontaneous in ways that are helpful to more self-conscious Threes. Sevens bring breadth of knowledge and experience, boundless enthusiasm and good spirits. Threes bring a focus on goals, on staying practical and grounded, and on observing healthy limits. This can be a fun, articulate, generous pair, virtually sparkling with vitality and the joy of life. This can sometimes seem to others to be an almost magical couple.

Potential Trouble Spots or Issues

This is also an extremely volatile couple: there is almost too much electricity under one roof. A Three/Seven pair always looks like a great couple, but this can also mean having to live up their own hype. They can be exhausting to keep up with and their mutual qualities make it difficult to admit to or look at problems. They both feel the pressure to be "fabulous" and perfect all of the time. Both types seem light-hearted, and unconcerned; yet, in their high-energy routines they often hurt each others without realizing it. Often this results in a backlog of past hurts that have been suppressed until it is too late and too much damage has been done.
Depending on their Level of health, Threes can become workaholics, completely focused on achieving success, building more prestige, and planning career moves with the care of a general, so much so that relationship and family life takes a distinct second place, if that. By contrast, Sevens tend not to take their career as seriously as Threes, always feeling that if things do not go well in one job they can move to something better. On the surface, Threes seem to have as much self-confidence as Sevens; in reality, they do not, which is why they feel they need to promote themselves and their accomplishments. Threes may be envious of the easy success of Sevens, while Sevens may feel that too much fun and enjoyment is being sacrificed for the Three's focus on career. Sevens may get the feeling that they only exist to prop up the Three in various ways. Neither type wants to talk about their shortcomings, failures, or negative feelings and so these topics tend to be avoided for as long as possible. Often either a health or career crisis will bring things to the surface: Sevens do not want to be trapped in a relationship that is no longer enjoyable, Threes do not want to be in a relationship that has failed. Once they doubt that the other is there for them, they turn toward self-centered attitudes which further erode the relationship. A break can come abruptly and be permanent.

[Source]
 

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MOTM Nov 2009
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Discussion Starter #8
  • Type Three-Type Eight
These two types can form powerful and highly effective affiliations and can also have passionate and stimulating personal relationships. Both are assertive: both Threes and Eights go after what they want in life. Both can be larger-than-life figures who are outstanding in some way and because both stand out in their social circle. They cannot help but notice each other and come to terms with each other. Either an alliance forms that will enhance both parties or a competition develops that will keep them apart. Surprisingly, Eight's strength and solidity gives Threes permission to be more heartfelt: the Eight feels reliable and Threes seek safety to reveal their hearts. Eights also like seeing Threes use the opportunities and rise to the challenges they offer. On the other side, it helps Eights to relax once they see that the Three is competent and can do things on their own. Moreover, both Threes and Eights are action oriented, pragmatic, care about getting the job done and are willing to take the lead to achieve their goals.
They both have a marked degree of self-confidence (at least outwardly), they can be persuasive, and they can cut their losses and change goals when things are not working for them. To this mix, Threes bring more awareness of others, a feeling for public relations and for how to please people. They are more diplomatic and adaptable, both in their relationship with Eights and with others. Eights bring forthrightness in expression, fearlessness, physical vigor, and determination to achieve their personal vision. They bring solidity, decisiveness, and a kind of strength that the more flexible Three gains confidence from. They want to be proud of each other and to support each other's potentials and accomplishments. They tend not to compete with each other—surprising because both tend, in general, to be competitive with others.

Potential Trouble Spots or Issues

Threes and Eights can be effective in the business world and in their professional careers where energy, determination to succeed, and personal drive are necessary. But both types tend to be workaholics, putting themselves under tremendous stress in order to achieve their goals and to hang onto to whatever success they have. Under sufficient stress, they may stop supporting each other and compete to top the other's achievements. Of the two types, Eights are more openly controlling than Threes, although Threes will attempt to control situations covertly—which can arouse the Eight's suspicions and lack of trust. Once trust is compromised, Eights can become jealous and possessive, ordering the Three to do things to prove their personal loyalty to the Eight. Threes may easily feel used and belittled, not adequately appreciated for their contributions or for their support of the Eight. Eights begin to expect and demand loyalty—even obedience—for their patronage and guidance. Threes begin to feel that they are losing their ability to pursue their own goals, that they are becoming an appendage of the Eight.
In response to deteriorating conditions, both types can become manipulative to get what they want. Once they begin to do this with each other, trust and openness cannot be maintained. Moreover, neither Threes nor Eights are very skilled at talking about their real feelings or needs, nor do they feel comfortable being vulnerable. For both, isolation and suspicion becomes the norm and can become difficult to break through. Eights may see the Three as deceitful and untrustworthy; Threes may see the Eight as willful and vengeful, and they can fear being humiliated and co-opted for life. Eights ultimately want support for themselves and their vision. Threes want to be developing themselves and to be admired for their qualities. Battles over who is supporting whom result. Whose agenda will prevail? A nasty, very personal, breakup may follow.

[Source]
 

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MOTM Nov 2009
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Discussion Starter #9
  • Type Three-Type Nine
This is a fairly common pairing. Nines bring enormous support, encouragement, and a sense of pride in the Three's accomplishments. Threes can feel that with the Nine behind them, they are able to be themselves, explore their potential, and become the best mate, friend, or professional that they can be. Threes can help Nines to properly value themselves, to have more self-respect, and to invest in their own development. Nines can help Threes relax and find enjoyment in simple things—Nines give them permission to not drive themselves so much. Both types also want to avoid conflicts and to put a positive spin on things—Nines are genuinely optimistic and look on the bright side, while Threes focus on being positive and hopeful, and are careful to not let people see them being down or depressed. Both types are sociable, idealistic, caring for children, animals, and the underdog. Both are usually hard working and want to achieve a degree of material success that will enable them to take care of others in a kind of extended family where everyone would be safe, comfortable, and thriving. They both want a pleasant, aesthetically pleasing home.
To this mix, Threes bring energy, personal ambition, flexibility, the ability to set and achieve long term goals, and efficiency. Threes energize Nines and bring change and excitement to the relationship. Nines bring a feeling of safety and steadiness, the assurance that the Three is loved for themselves and not just for their achievements, and the feeling of not being judged or evaluated at every moment. Threes feel that they can let down their hair and really be themselves with Nines who accept them just as they are. The sensuality of the Nine and the attractiveness of the Three can meet in a couple highly attracted to each other and attached by physical passion. In other Three-and-Nine couples, the need for comfort and security may be the main source of attachment and the pleasure they get from each other.

Potential Trouble Spots or Issues

The Three/Nine couple can almost be a case of "too much of a good thing." Because both types are attracted to keeping the positive values in their lives alive—and there can be so much attachment to comfort and stability in their world—that it becomes difficult to question the status quo and the routines that they get into. Neither wants to bring up conflicts that they have with the other. Nines are more likely not to want to talk about whatever is bothering them for fear of further endangering the relationship. But Threes also do not want to express their complaints because doing so will risk rejection and may also expose the fragility or even the falseness of their relationship. Nines feel that it is better not to say anything and to let things work out on their own, if that is at all possible. If Threes are heavily invested in having a "perfect marriage" to the outside world, it will be difficult to talk about their unhappiness in the relationship or the frustrations they are feeling.
Often the relationship will continue for a while as if nothing is wrong-even if it is essentially over. Eventually, however, Threes begin to feel unseen and unappreciated, and that the Nine is not really there for them—not really present to the relationship. The Nine may be an excellent provider in a material sense, but under stress, may begin to become emotionally absent. Feeling abandoned or rejected usually makes Threes become depressed, although often they do not realize this since they can get quite out of touch with their emotions. Threes can feel that Nines are stifling them, whereas Nines can feel that Threes are too demanding and are "spoiled." Sometimes a crisis, an affair, or some other major life challenge brings the deterioration of the relationship into awareness. They may go through cycles of breaking up and getting back together, although if the underlying problems are not resolved, the real feelings and frustrations continue and will eventually undermine the relationship.

[Source]

That's it for Type Three.
 

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  • Type Three-Type Four
These two types can form something of a complementary relationship, with each bringing important qualities to the relationship that the other generally lacks. Enneagram Fours can teach Threes how to talk about themselves on a deeper level and help acknowledge and process their feelings. They can also bring Threes more sensitivity, a feeling for beauty and for the non-practical but fulfilling aspects of life. Finding the Three's heart's desire is an extremely important area of self-awareness in which Fours can play a helpful role to Threes. Fours can bring a sense of style and presentation, rich communication, and sense of refinement. Threes model many of the qualities that Fours would like to develop in themselves, and Threes are well-suited to helping Fours gain new skills. Threes can bring a good deal of tact and diplomacy to handling Fours' emotional reactions and their sometimes too-sensitive feelings and self-doubts. Knowing what to say and when to say it-and what not to say&#8212to a Four can be crucial for building trust in the relationship and avoiding inadvertent episodes when either feels humiliated or embarrassed. Threes can bring a sense of hope and ambition to the relationship, practical goal-setting, coaching and behavior management techniques that help Fours get out of a slump or a period of low energy. Threes can coach Fours on how to get on with practical matters and to act professionally despite the shifts in their feelings and self-doubts.
Since both types are driven by (often unconscious) feelings and reactions, this can be an intense and passionate coupling. Both are aware of "image" issues and about how others perceive them, and so this couple will be noteworthy for its energy, flair, sense of style, and enjoyment of the finer things of life. They may both feel a connection with the other that goes beyond words or reason into another realm as if they had known each other from a previous existence or that the other is some kind of soul mate.

Potential Trouble Spots or Issues

Both Threes and Fours have issues with self-esteem and with needing attention and validation from others. They both suffer from questions about their own identity and have hidden feelings of shame and worthlessness. These two types secretly compare themselves with others and have more or less openly competitive tendencies. Much will depend on how narcissistically wounded each person is&#8212and therefore how much they will be vying for approval, attention, and recognition. Both Threes and Fours need attention and to feel appreciated, although Threes will be more able to openly seek these things. Fours can feel overshadowed or shut out of the limelight by the more energetic Three. This can trigger feelings in Fours of being defective and deficient, which Threes may play on. Threes will tend to give less attention than Fours to the relationship itself, although both will tend to see the other as essential for their welfare. Fours will typically want far more emotional involvement and intimacy than Threes are comfortable with (or even capable of providing).
A related problem is that neither type really sees the other as they are: both see the other through projections of what they need and expect the other to be. Fours may see Threes as a rescuer and as embodiment of everything they lack, whereas Threes may see Fours as an exotic, mysterious sexual or artistic trophy that enhances their desirability. Both types, however, can get into hostile rages if their emotional needs are not fulfilled. Perhaps worst for this pairing is that they inadvertently keep reminding each other of their own particular brand of self-concealment and phoniness&#8212a constant source of irritation to each other. They can become snippy and sarcastic, gossiping and complaining about the shortcomings of the other to their own friends. Both can also be covert and indirect about sabotaging the other out of revenge, if their relationship should end. Once the respect and admiration they have had for each other ends, dismissiveness, contempt, and undermining begin&#8212and the relationship itself is surely about to end.

[Source]
Is one more likely than the other to end the relationship or is it usually mutual. Also is the ending dry or big and dramatic? Is there a way to appeal to the other after he is dismissive or has the decision been set in stone? Thanks.
 

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1-3 relationships

Hello, I would have posted the quote I'm referring to for greater clarity, but forum rules so I can't. Grey's posting on the 1-3 relationship is nice and all, but I was hoping we would find more than just a consolidation of what can be found on the Enneagram Institute's website. The problem is that no matter what book I run across, website whatever, I'm getting these same couple of paragraphs of information. I wish there was something more helpful in this regard. What I can tell you that I have noticed in practical reality is that in a 1-3 combination, in the average range at least, there is a very real problem, which simply put is this: 3's need validation, approval, etc from intimates. They need the intimate people in their lives to make them feel loved and approved of. But 1's, who have difficulty even in finding satisfaction within themselves, let alone anyone else, can never give it. Nothing is ever good enough for 1's, in the average range at least. No matter who or what it is, they tend to say: it would be good, or he would be good, etc BUT..... That "but" is devastating for 3's.
 
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