[Enneagram Type 3] 3's and Deception

3's and Deception

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This is a discussion on 3's and Deception within the Type 3 Forum - The Achiever forums, part of the Heart Triad - Types 2,3,4 category; Originally Posted by Rena Unhealthy 3's are deceptive- that's a critical difference. And even in that case, with a less ...

  1. #1

    3's and Deception

    Quote Originally Posted by Rena View Post
    Unhealthy 3's are deceptive- that's a critical difference. And even in that case, with a less healthy 3 who is so bent on impressing people that they fall into deception, it's still not self-deception- they know exactly what their doing and why their doing it. Now, they may repress and lose touch with their feelings, but they still know that they exist- they just push them to the back for a while. It's a common myth about 3's and it kinda gets on my nerves. (me being a 3 and all. )
    Repression in psychological terms means that there is an unconscious exclusion of undesirable thoughts and feelings from the mind. How do you reconcile repression to not being self-deception?

    What you described however, sounds like maybe you meant compartmentalization. While one may be aware of what they are doing when they are doing this, how is it not a deception to ones self that the emotions they are compartmentalizing are not as valuable to their decisions?

    Even average threes are fixated on their image and how they are perceived by others, although certainly not to the degree of an unhealthy three. When a person is fixated on their image however, they will continue to push undesirable parts of them to the side in order to present the proper image. How is this authentic?



    I'll probably have more questions later...in addition to any questions that might come up from your answers.

    EDIT: Another question: How on earth does a 3 mistype them self if they have not engaged in some kind of self-deception?
    susurration, njchick and iMaven thanked this post.



  2. #2
    Type 3w4

    Naturally, everyone wants to be hyper aware. Even when your negative traits are showing and acting out, you must be in control of them? Perhaps you aren't the most self-aware 3, yes, even you have negative traits.

    Personally during the past few months, I've popped from being high-unhealthy to low/mid-average in health levels. Only now do I feel that I am making some headway. There have been points where I fucked some people over quite bad, and only realized I did it, after. There's no way in hell I'm going to claim I know what I am doing 24/7, it's like taking pride in being a doucher. If you realize why you are doing something, and can't stop doing it, you are quite unhealthy. How inefficient.

    Also, I've been overly-zealous in my ascension to greatness that I have actually forgotten my emotions on more than one occasion. The busy mind is a forgetful mind.

    The fear of flaws is at a palpable level in your original post.


    When a person is fixated on their image however, they will continue to push undesirable parts of them to the side in order to present the proper image. How is this authentic?
    An easy defense to this (but it would be ridiculous), would be to say: Image is so important to the 3, in a sense 3s are never authentic. Maybe the image 3s give is totally farcical, and they know it, yet they know they are authentic in the sense that it is their own will.

    Of course, that defense is just cowering. I tried to answer it like an unhealthy 3. A truly authentic 3 is rare, but let us see it happen.

  3. #3
    Type 3

    Quote Originally Posted by screamofconscious View Post
    Repression in psychological terms means that there is an unconscious exclusion of undesirable thoughts and feelings from the mind. How do you reconcile repression to not being self-deception?

    What you described however, sounds like maybe you meant compartmentalization. While one may be aware of what they are doing when they are doing this, how is it not a deception to ones self that the emotions they are compartmentalizing are not as valuable to their decisions?
    That depends. When a Three is Average, say level 3-5ish, it is compartmentalization- putting their feelings and desires aside to deal with later in order to get things done. At this level a Three is aware of doing this- this process is more conscious and deliberate. And they do feel those feelings at some point. I know for me I have found that postponing them can weaken them a little, take the edge off of them because some time has passed since they first came up. And I have to be in a place I feel safe to do that, maybe talking it out with someone I completely trust.

    It's important to remember that Three's are in the Feeling triad- so it's not that we don't feel- it's just not as visible to others. In fact, unless you've ever been extremely close to a Three, you would probably have no idea they go thru that process because most Threes I know have only one or two people they feel close enough to... they don't like to show that weaker, vulnerable side (in their opinion anyway) to many.

    Of course, as they get more unhealthy, this postponing can turn into repressing, and they can get very out of touch with their feelings to the point where they aren't fully aware of them. And that would definitely include self-deception to a very high degree.


    Even average threes are fixated on their image and how they are perceived by others, although certainly not to the degree of an unhealthy three. When a person is fixated on their image however, they will continue to push undesirable parts of them to the side in order to present the proper image. How is this authentic?
    It's not. Not even close to authentic. It's something all Threes struggle with. And it's more apparent to some more than others. Some types seems to have a radar for fake-ness and see thru it quick. The ironic thing is, us Threes see thru it very quick- I can't stand being around another three that is in full "I must impress you" mode... it puts my hackles up. It's like seeing all the worst possibilities of myself embodied in front of me. But on the up side, it makes me more determined to keep myself healthy and my head on straight so I don't become that.


    I'll probably have more questions later...in addition to any questions that might come up from your answers.

    EDIT: Another question: How on earth does a 3 mistype them self if they have not engaged in some kind of self-deception?

    They mistype the same way everyone else does- I didn't mean to say that Threes don't have any self-deception- just that they may have less than others. Also, that a Three adapting themselves by changing to fit their environment isn't neccessarily deceiving themselves as some may think. That they are more aware than it might appear. Know what I mean?

    As far as mistyping, here's a couple thoughts: A Three who has become very unhealthy will eventually not be able to pull off whatever it is their trying to do, and will fail. Failure can send them into a major depression, and if they type themselves at that point, they will mistype- usually as a Four or a Nine. Also, when stressed, especially for an ongoing period of time, Threes mentally "check out" and become more like a Nine, and can score very high as a Nine then. A very strong wing can of course lead to mistype as a two or Four... I find in particular that a strong Four wing can really screw up typing. That happened to me. Some tests I took came back a Four and some a Three.

    And hey- where's the candy?
    screamofconscious, susurration and Sina thanked this post.

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  5. #4

    Quote Originally Posted by Rena View Post
    That depends. When a Three is Average, say level 3-5ish, it is compartmentalization- putting their feelings and desires aside to deal with later in order to get things done. At this level a Three is aware of doing this- this process is more conscious and deliberate. And they do feel those feelings at some point. I know for me I have found that postponing them can weaken them a little, take the edge off of them because some time has passed since they first came up. And I have to be in a place I feel safe to do that, maybe talking it out with someone I completely trust.
    The way I see the levels of health are a little different. (I would apply this to all types) At average to unhealthy levels, the individual is still ego fixated. The behaviors that fixation cause are practiced over the course of a lifetime to the point that they become like second nature. These behaviors are comparable to breathing in that you do it, without even thinking about it until it stops working. Suddenly the individual finds that they're gasping for breath with the function stops working and grasping for anything familiar that might save them. Which direction they move in is entirely up to them but the first place they reach is likely to be one they know. An average level person may see more options than the unhealthy individual but their scope is still limited by the strength of their ego. At a healthy level, they are self-aware enough to have complete control over how they react. They may choose to use a familiar approach but it is a conscious choice within a realm of options that would not have been in sight to them in a fixated state.

    The cluster of issues surrounding each type will cause the individual to lie to themselves in various different ways. For a three, the core issue of three is vanity. This leads directly to a specific self-deception of emotions and perceptions of ones self. The image is not truth in that it focused on the external and cut off (to varying degrees) from the internal experience. Threes are often great at what they do because they are so adaptable to the external environment, in spite of what's really going on internally...something that comes from a lifetime of reading others so that they may promote their image of greatness.

    Do you disagree with this assessment? I'd appreciate any other 3's input as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rena View Post
    It's important to remember that Three's are in the Feeling triad- so it's not that we don't feel- it's just not as visible to others. In fact, unless you've ever been extremely close to a Three, you would probably have no idea they go thru that process because most Threes I know have only one or two people they feel close enough to... they don't like to show that weaker, vulnerable side (in their opinion anyway) to many.
    I'd never assume that anybody was devoid of emotion...even the most stoic of individuals have feelings.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rena View Post
    They mistype the same way everyone else does- I didn't mean to say that Threes don't have any self-deception- just that they may have less than others. Also, that a Three adapting themselves by changing to fit their environment isn't neccessarily deceiving themselves as some may think. That they are more aware than it might appear. Know what I mean?
    I agree that a 3's construction of an image does not necessarily mean they're not aware of it. It's their ability to turn it "on" or "off" that indicates their level of awareness.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rena View Post
    As far as mistyping, here's a couple thoughts: A Three who has become very unhealthy will eventually not be able to pull off whatever it is their trying to do, and will fail. Failure can send them into a major depression, and if they type themselves at that point, they will mistype- usually as a Four or a Nine. Also, when stressed, especially for an ongoing period of time, Threes mentally "check out" and become more like a Nine, and can score very high as a Nine then. A very strong wing can of course lead to mistype as a two or Four... I find in particular that a strong Four wing can really screw up typing. That happened to me. Some tests I took came back a Four and some a Three.
    I've seen them mistype as 7 and 8 as well. I wonder what your take on tritype theory is and if you think it may also be related to mistyping issues.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rena View Post
    And hey- where's the candy?
    Check your inventory.
    susurration and Rena thanked this post.

  6. #5
    Type 3

    The way I see the levels of health are a little different. (I would apply this to all types) At average to unhealthy levels, the individual is still ego fixated. The behaviors that fixation cause are practiced over the course of a lifetime to the point that they become like second nature. These behaviors are comparable to breathing in that you do it, without even thinking about it until it stops working. Suddenly the individual finds that they're gasping for breath with the function stops working and grasping for anything familiar that might save them. Which direction they move in is entirely up to them but the first place they reach is likely to be one they know. An average level person may see more options than the unhealthy individual but their scope is still limited by the strength of their ego. At a healthy level, they are self-aware enough to have complete control over how they react. They may choose to use a familiar approach but it is a conscious choice within a realm of options that would not have been in sight to them in a fixated state.
    Very well put.

    For a three, the core issue of three is vanity. This leads directly to a specific self-deception of emotions and perceptions of ones self. The image is not truth in that it focused on the external and cut off (to varying degrees) from the internal experience. Threes are often great at what they do because they are so adaptable to the external environment, in spite of what's really going on internally...something that comes from a lifetime of reading others so that they may promote their image of greatness.
    Do you disagree with this assessment?
    Yes. And no. I agree that we are adaptable, and can use it to self-promote. However, I don't think the core issue of Threes is vanity, all though they (we) can be vain. But I think that the vanity is a symptom of the their true fear which is being worthless- completely without value. This fear makes them do anything to feel accepted, and the end result can be vanity, among other things. Not all threes are neccessarily vain, depending on their environment and what those around them consider to be ideal. A Three brought up in the Amish community for instance, would be taught vanity is a sin and would do anything to not stand out from the others by their appearance.

    By the way Scream, what's your Enneagram type? I'm just curious.
    screamofconscious, susurration and Sina thanked this post.

  7. #6

    Quote Originally Posted by Rena View Post
    Very well put.



    Yes. And no. I agree that we are adaptable, and can use it to self-promote. However, I don't think the core issue of Threes is vanity, all though they (we) can be vain. But I think that the vanity is a symptom of the their true fear which is being worthless- completely without value. This fear makes them do anything to feel accepted, and the end result can be vanity, among other things. Not all threes are neccessarily vain, depending on their environment and what those around them consider to be ideal. A Three brought up in the Amish community for instance, would be taught vanity is a sin and would do anything to not stand out from the others by their appearance.
    It seems to me that the counter your offering could be described as a counter shame 3. They will talk themselves down as a means to appear less vain as it is expected by others. It may also be connected to a desire to look that much better when they achieve far beyond the expectations of their audience. It doesn't really change what's going on beneath the surface however. A 3 fears being worthless but they also know they can achieve greatness. Either style of presentation that they choose to affect will accomplish the same goal, whether it be superficially or authentically. A fixation on the worth of the individual implies vanity by the very nature of what worth is. I don't see an alternative here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rena View Post
    By the way Scream, what's your Enneagram type? I'm just curious.
    I'm a 6w5 - 9w1 - 3w4, sx/so. I hesitate a little on the ordering of the second and third fixes. I think 9w1 has been dominant over 3w4 through my life but I've done a lot of self work on overcoming my 6 and 9 issues...3 has been coming to the surface a lot more as of late.

    You never said what you thought of tritype theory...I'm curious.
    susurration and Rena thanked this post.

  8. #7
    Type 3

    I get what you're saying about vanity. I think for me personally, my Four wing helps counter the vanity a lot.

    Oh yeah- I forgot about the tri-type... you know, I haven't done a lot of research on it, but I'm a little skeptical about it. I mean, I guess the general idea is of having a head/heart/gut type in each person, is that right? Maybe you can tell me a little more about it. My initial thoughts are that everyone uses all centers, just that one is usally more dominant. And I think the directions of growth and stress, the lines of the Enneagram, they would explain it without having to need another theory. I mean, with yours- if you're a 6-9-3, well those are the types you are connected to- that makes sense. I wonder if the tri-type is really just re-stating that? What do you think?
    screamofconscious thanked this post.

  9. #8

    Quote Originally Posted by Rena View Post
    I get what you're saying about vanity. I think for me personally, my Four wing helps counter the vanity a lot.

    Oh yeah- I forgot about the tri-type... you know, I haven't done a lot of research on it, but I'm a little skeptical about it. I mean, I guess the general idea is of having a head/heart/gut type in each person, is that right? Maybe you can tell me a little more about it. My initial thoughts are that everyone uses all centers, just that one is usally more dominant. And I think the directions of growth and stress, the lines of the Enneagram, they would explain it without having to need another theory. I mean, with yours- if you're a 6-9-3, well those are the types you are connected to- that makes sense. I wonder if the tri-type is really just re-stating that? What do you think?

    I agree with your initial thoughts on the centers. My own tritype example might be a little misleading though. I know had issues with the theory at first mainly because I can elements of all three types within my personality, so it seemed to me that growth/stress would be a simpler answer. Cynical ideas about an excuse to just take in the whole spectrum played in my mind as well. In observing others however, this is not usually the case. Since I've seen in others how tritype can display types that are not connected by growth/stress points, I've come to accept the theory, although in a form different from Ichazo's initial explanation. He presented it as a complete compartmentalization of personality. While I agree that this can happen, the elements of lesser fixations in our tritype generally appear to be more merged and dampened by the core fixation.

    Another theory I've come across and have generally accepted is that growth/stress points don't necessarily indicate growth and stress. As a 6, I can disintegrate like a 9, rather than grow. This has been the case for me. My lowest points in life are marked by distinctive 9 behavior as opposed to 3. Either tritype or merged growth/stress point theories could explain this.

  10. #9
    Type 3

    He presented it as a complete compartmentalization of personality. While I agree that this can happen, the elements of lesser fixations in our tritype generally appear to be more merged and dampened by the core fixation.
    That makes sense to me too- I think all the talk of wings, directions, tri-types, etc... can distract people from the fact that we are one basic type. And that is the one that shows us our core fixations, issues and fears. All the rest is just tweaks and additonal specifics. I will have to read up on the tri-types more. It's on my (very long) reading list. Any good references you can reccommend?

  11. #10

    Quote Originally Posted by Rena View Post
    That makes sense to me too- I think all the talk of wings, directions, tri-types, etc... can distract people from the fact that we are one basic type. And that is the one that shows us our core fixations, issues and fears. All the rest is just tweaks and additonal specifics. I will have to read up on the tri-types more. It's on my (very long) reading list. Any good references you can reccommend?

    I read a wide variety of books on Enneagram. None of them have done much to explain in depth how it all works. What I did was to examine the information presented in each book and began studying others to see how it all fit. Some of the theories I find to be complete bullshit. One book I read on Enneagram and it's application to parenting said that type can change in adulthood. I'm not going to argue on the validity of that idea here but I will say that I think that's complete bullshit. My best advice is to read as much as you can and start observing. Focusing too much on some of the more popular authors will likely stifle your scope too. Variety is good but my favorite authors are the ones who go deep. Riso & Hudson, Palmer...they're good primers but if you want depth to your insights branch out. You won't gain it from focusing on the easier to read stuff. I posted a list of books I like best here: https://personalitycafe.com/enneagram...ding-list.html Although none of them are focused specifically on any of the variety of theories available. Branch out and you'll see them though.
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