Type Three Misidentifications

Type Three Misidentifications

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This is a discussion on Type Three Misidentifications within the Type 3 Forum - The Achiever forums, part of the Heart Triad - Types 2,3,4 category; ...

  1. #1
    Type 8

    Type Three Misidentifications

    • Type Three-Type One

    Average Ones and average Threes are sometimes mistaken because both types are efficient and highly organized. If an isolated behavior is the only thing being considered (chairing a business meeting or planning a vacation, for instance), their organizational abilities are similar–hence the confusion between them. Both are highly task-oriented and tend to put their feelings on the back burner to get things done. Also, both share a desire to improve themselves and to meet high standards, although the basis of their standards and their key motivations are quite different in nature.
    Average Ones are idealists, striving for perfection and order in every area of their lives, especially their emotional lives, in an effort to control both themselves and their environment so that errors and failures of all sorts will not be introduced. Inner-motivated by strong consciences, they are organized and efficient so as not to waste time and other resources or allow themselves to be in a position for their consciences to rebuke them for being imperfect, for not trying hard enough, or for being guilty of some form of selfishness.
    Average Threes, by contrast, are efficient pragmatists, not idealists. Threes are driven more by their goals than by standards–they care more about getting the job done than about the particulars of how it gets done. Ones tend to be attached to particular methods or procedures ("This is the best way to do this.") Threes are more adaptable, and will change tactics quickly if they feel they are not getting the desired result. Average Threes are primarily interested in success, prestige, and advancing their careers, and the efficiency we see in them is a way of attaining those goals.
    While both types tend to put their feelings aside for the sake of efficiency, average Threes are more able to mask whatever is bothering them. On the surface, they rarely appear emotionally disturbed for long by anything (although they may become momentarily discouraged or even depressed by setbacks), nor are they generally ever distracted by their feelings. They are able to invest most of their energy into achieving their goals and in staying focused on them single-mindedly. Ones are far less able to conceal their irritations and disappointments. Others are almost immediately aware of their agitation.
    Both types can be cool and impersonal, although they are usually polite and well mannered. With average Ones, we get the impression of deeper feelings being held in check or sublimated elsewhere, say into organizing and maintaining their office space, or giving time to a local ecological organization. Even though Ones do not ordinarily allow their passions to be expressed, their emotions remain potentially available should the self-control Ones typically exercise be lifted. (Their most prevalent negative emotions are righteous anger, indignation, irritation, and guilt.) In average Threes, however, the impression of aloofness and of emotional coolness comes more from a detachment from their feelings rather than a suppression of them. At the same time, average Threes tend to present whatever emotion seems appropriate at the time. If seriousness is called for, they tend to project seriousness. If levity is required, they will "do levity," smiling and being chatty, even if inside they are feeling frightened, overwhelmed, or even sad. For better or worse, Threes are more skilled at projecting charm and "personality" than Ones. However, we can discern the underlying detachment from deeper feelings when Threes are "performing" by the abruptness and ease with which they can adjust their affect from situation to situation and from person to person. (In contrast to Ones, their most prevalent negative emotions are hostility, arrogance, and underlying feelings of shame and humiliation.)
    In addition, Ones are trying to be perfect to fend off their own superegos, while Threes are trying to excel to overcome feelings of family shame. In effect, Ones say, "Listen to me–I know the right way to do things," whereas Threes say, "Be like me–I have got it together." Ones offer themselves as examples of those who are striving for perfection, particularly moral perfection, they see themselves as those who can meet the highest standards; Threes offer themselves as exemplars of individual perfection, particularly personal desirability, and as those who can accomplish and be the best.
    These two types are similar because both types are "thinking" types–the One corresponds to Jung's extroverted thinking type (PT, 381), who attempts to be objective and impersonal, while the Three's thinking is goal-oriented and pragmatic, similar in orientation to the extroverted thinking of the average One, although technically, there is no direct Jungian correlation. Both types have in mind some sort of goal that they want to achieve. The difference is that Ones attempt to discover which objective means will best lead to the desired ideal, whereas Threes are pragmatists who work backward to find the most efficient means to achieve their goal. The differences between these types can be seen by comparing Al Gore (a One) with Bill Clinton (a Three) or between Emma Thompson (a One) and Jane Pauley (a Three).
    Hinastarr, Inky, Nymma and 1 others thanked this post.

  2. #2
    Type 8

    • Type Three-Type Two

    Here again, confusion about wing versus dominant type is likely to be the problem. A Two with a One-wing is unlikely to be mistyped as a Three, and a Three with a Four-wing is unlikely to be mistaken for a Two. With the 2w3 and the 3w2, however, personal charm and the desire to be liked and to please others can make these types more difficult to distinguish. Confusion sometimes arises, for instance, because the word "seductive" has often been applied to type Two. But clearly, all types can be seductive in their own way, and Threes can be very seductive indeed. Therefore, it is important to distinguish how these two types "seduce" attention from others. Basically, Twos attempt to get others to like them by doing good things for them–by focusing on the other person. ("How are you feeling this afternoon? You look sad.") Twos give the other person lots of appreciative attention in the hopes of being valued as a friend or intimate by the other. Twos are primarily motivated by the desire to please the other as a way of creating closeness or intimacy–to enhance relationship.
    Threes get others to like them by developing the excellence of their own "package." Threes seldom lavish attention on the other; rather, they are trying to be so outstanding and irresistible that the other will want to focus attention on them. And while Threes enjoy the attention, and want relationships, they actually fear intimacy, becoming more uneasy as the relationship becomes closer.
    Twos and Threes are different in several other key areas. While Twos can be ambitious, they feel uncomfortable going after their goals directly, feeling that to do so would be too selfish. Threes are extremely goal-driven, and feel they are not living up to their potential if they are not the best at what they do. Twos are openly sentimental and emote easily. Threes tend to be more composed, and to have difficulty accessing their feelings. Twos keep trying to do nice things for others until they lose their patience and blow up when they go to Eight. Threes keep driving themselves to excel until they burn themselves out and become more detached and passive when they go to Nine.

  3. #3
    Type 8

    • Type Three-Type Four

    Here also, misidentifications are probably the result of confusion over wing versus dominant type: 3w4 and 4w3. The primary difference between these types can be seen in their relationship with their emotional life. Threes tend to focus on task, on efficiency, on performance. Of course, Threes have feelings, but as much as possible, they put them on the backburner whenever there are things to get done—and with many Threes, that is most of the time. As Threes become less healthy, they increasingly see their own feelings as "speed bumps"–annoyances that must be dealt with but which interfere with their effectiveness. Threes want to get their goals accomplished, and then, time permitting, process their feelings.
    Fours are almost the exact opposite. Naturally, Fours want to accomplish things too, but when difficult feelings arise, Fours want to stop what they are doing and process them before returning to their tasks. The less healthy the Four, the more he or she will need lots of time to sort through troubling feelings and reactions. Threes can see the Four's preoccupation with sorting feelings as unprofessional and immature. Fours can see the Three's obsession with performance as inauthentic and shallow.
    It is far more common for Threes to mistype as Fours than vice versa. This is especially true for Threes who grew up in families in which artistic self-expression was particularly valued. They may mistakenly believe that only Fours are creative, while failing to recognize that there have been many noted artists who are Threes.
    Stable Genius, Alaiyo Sakuri, Invidia and 4 others thanked this post.

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  5. #4
    Type 8

    • Type Three-Type Five

    The principal reason these two very different types are confused is that some average Threes (especially if they are intelligent) would like to see themselves as "thinkers." Since Fives are most stereotypically seen as the "intelligent, thinking type," average Threes may choose it rather than the type they actually are. This misidentification is made almost exclusively by Threes since Fives are not likely to think that they are Threes. Average Threes are set up to fulfil the hidden expectations of their parents; so in a family that values intelligence, originality, and intellectual brilliance, it is quite natural for Threes to grow up thinking that they must be those things in order to be worthwhile. Thus, narrow conceptions of the types, or unflattering and unfair presentations of type Three in some Enneagram literature may cause some average Threes to want to be Fives.
    Some Threes may well be thinkers and have original ideas; they may excel academically and be brilliant students. But these traits alone are not sufficient to be a Five. Once again, the root of the misidentification lies in focusing on one or two traits rather than considering the type as a whole, including its central motivations.
    There are many significant dissimilarities between these two types. The kind of thinking they engage in is very different: Fives are very process-oriented: they do not care about final goals and can be extraordinarily involved in abstract ideas for the sake of acquiring knowledge, virtually as an end in itself. The pursuit and possession of knowledge enthralls Fives, and not only do their interests need have no practical results for them to be satisfying, average Fives are just as likely never to seek fame or fortune for their discoveries or creations. Fives follow their ideas wherever they take them, with no particular end in view. Their ideas need not even be related to making discoveries. Creating their own private inner realities can be reward enough. In any case, average Fives will stay with a project for years until they exhaust their subject or themselves, or both.
    Threes, by contrast, are not usually involved in subjects for their own sake: they change their interests and careers rapidly if the success and recognition they seek elude them. Moreover, average Threes pursue their intellectual work with personal goals in mind (either consciously or unconsciously): to impress others, to be famous, to be known as best in their field, to be acclaimed as a genius, to beat a rival at a discovery, to win a prestigious prize or grant, and so forth. The essential consideration is that their intellectual work is frequently undertaken to achieve goals and garner recognition rather than for the love of knowledge and the excitement of intellectual discovery. In Threes, self-promotion and status-seeking elements can enter the picture. Average Threes tend to promote themselves and to talk about their brilliant achievements, whereas average Fives tend to be secretive and reticent about their work and discoveries. Furthermore, the pragmatic thinking of average Threes calculates how to achieve goals in the most efficient manner, something completely alien to impractical, curiosity-driven Fives.
    In addition, Threes are highly sociable and well groomed: they know how to present themselves favorably. Fives are usually loners and often put little to no effort into their personal appearance: their appearance means less to them than pursuing their interests until the problems are solved and the work is done. Average Threes are highly aware of what others think about them, whereas average Fives care little about anyone else's good opinion. Average Threes want to be considered as sexually and socially desirable and will conform to and set social standards. Fives are often strange, eccentric, and isolated from others–not at all concerned about conforming to social standards. Contrast the personalities of Threes such as Michael Tilson Thomas and Carl Sagan with those of Fives such as Glenn Gould and Stanley Kubrick.
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  6. #5
    Type 8

    • Type Three-Type Six

    These types are not often mistyped, but do have some similarities. Both can be very focused on work and performance, but can play very different roles in the workplace. Threes see themselves as soloists: they cooperate with others, but want to excel, to be the best at what they do. They need recognition and acknowledgment for their accomplishments, and as long as those are forthcoming, can be tireless workers. Sixes are hard workers, too, but unless they are moving to Three in stress, tend to feel awkward about taking the spotlight. ("Everyone takes pot shots at the guy out front.") Sixes work hard to ingratiate themselves with their superiors, to build up security, and because they want to convince others of their dependability. Threes tend to be smooth and composed: Sixes tend to be more nervous and awkward, although sometimes endearingly so.
    Another common source of mistyping here comes from the sexual instinctual variant of type Six (see PT, 426-430). In short, some Sixes focus on cultivating personal magnetism and attractiveness like Threes, but their insecurities about their desirability matters is far more visible. Further, Threes tend to project a cool, emotional reserve, while Sixes project more volatile and intense feelings. Compare Threes Tom Cruise and Whitney Houston with Sixes Tom Hanks and Bonnie Raitt.
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  7. #6
    Type 8

    • Type Three-Type Seven

    Both Threes and Sevens are aggressive or assertive types (PT, 433-36) and both are interested in enjoying different aspects of success. Both types may pursue the acquisition of wealth and status symbols, but with significant differences: Sevens because their sense of self is maintained by possessing things, Threes because status symbols reinforce their feeling of superiority and hence their sense of self.
    Sevens love the material world and want to acquire a variety of exciting experiences because having a steady stream of sensations makes them feel alive. They are sensation seekers, whose sense of self is maintained and reinforced by heightening their experience of the world, irrespective of anyone else's knowledge of their acquisitions. For them what is important is the stimulation that the pursuit and acquisition of experiences and things gives them, whether or not anyone else is part of the picture. For example, taking a first-class cruise on an ocean liner is a source of pleasure for Sevens, whether or not anyone else knows that they are doing so. By contrast, unless everyone knows that they are going on an expensive trip and are made to feel envious about it, the experience has far less value for average Threes.
    The similarity between Threes and Sevens can be most confusing in the average Levels when Sevens become faddish trendsetters who want to experience whatever is new and exciting right away. (Average Sevens want the excitement of being the first at the hottest place, whereas average Threes are trendy in that they create new status symbols of various kinds for the exclusivity of being one of the "in crowd.") Thus, both types become snobs, with Sevens looking down on others because of the expensive things they have that others do not, and Threes looking down on people because they are able to exclude others from associating with them while still tantalizing them to want to do so.
    The differences, however, are very great. The underlying motive for average Sevens is to provide themselves with a continuous stream of stimulation from the environment, particularly from material things. By contrast, the principal underlying motive for average Threes is to rise above others competitively in whatever ways they can—socially, sexually, in status symbols and careers, or simply in their own minds. For Threes, expensive possessions advertise to others that they have arrived socially and that they are desirable–someone others must pay attention to. For example, money allows Threes to hire a governess for their children so they can pursue their careers and so that they can let everyone know that they are successful enough to afford a governess. By contrast, Sevens may engage a governess so that they can travel and not be tied down by having to raise their children themselves.
    One of the fundamental reasons why Sevens and Threes are confused in the traditional Enneagram teaching is that unhealthy Sevens in a manic phase have grandiose delusions similar to the grandiose feelings of self-esteem we find in narcissistic Threes. The difference is that Sevens are grandiose about their ability to achieve things: they have great expectations about their activities and plans for the future. When they become manic, everything seems possible for them. By contrast, average Threes are grandiose about their self-worth: narcissistic, exhibitionist, arrogant and contemptuous of others.
    It is likely that these two very different types have been confused because both seem to be narcissistic–that is, inflated with self-love or self-regard. However, average Sevens are not really narcissistic; they may be selfish, self-centered, greedy, insensitive, and so forth, but they do not have an inflated sense of self-worth. Instead, Sevens inflate their desires, appetites, plans, and the glut of their possessions.
    Furthermore, by the time that Sevens become grandiose, they are neurotic (at Level 8) and delusionally trying to escape from reality, whereas grandiose Threes are still within the average Levels of Development (at Level 6) and are overcompensating for their fear of failure. The crucial difference is that, beneath their grandiose plans, manic Sevens are intensely insecure and in a flight from anxiety, whereas narcissistically grandiose Threes are not insecure and are fleeing from failure or from being humiliated in any way.
    Last, one of the simplest ways to distinguish these two types is by marking the difference in their overall emotional tone and style. Average Threes are cool, in control, projecting the impression that they are perfectly together, with no emotional or personal problems. So convinced of their superiority, they become shameless braggarts and show-offs, arrogantly looking down on others. By contrast, Sevens have many more rough edges, rarely seeming as perfect or as coolly self-contained as Threes. For better or worse, Sevens do not censor themselves and can be funny, outspoken, vulgar, ill mannered, and outrageous–allowing far less polished behavior and attitudes to be displayed for public view. Contrast Sevens such as Bette Midler and Howard Stern with Threes such as Shania Twain and Bryant Gumbel.
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  8. #7
    Type 8

    • Type Three-Type Eight

    Threes and Eights are both assertive (PT, 433-36), although the confusion between them centers on the competition found in average Threes and a similar competitiveness in average Eights.
    In general terms, both Eights and Threes are ambitious and competitive: both types want to rise above others. The difference is that average Eights are self-assertive and want others to give them their way immediately so they do not have to waste time and energy fighting with people–not that they are afraid to do so. Eights compete for material and sexual dominance, less over purely social or status issues. For instance, Eights usually do not spend a lot of time comparing themselves with others, and certainly never to the degree that Threes do. For the same reason that Threes confuse themselves with Sevens and Fives (because they are looking for a flattering identity), it is far more likely that Threes identify themselves as Eights rather than vice versa.
    Despite some superficial similarities, the differences are profound: Eights are leaders, deal makers, and power brokers who want to make the world conform to their personal vision. They want to have a large impact, to build and accomplish great things, possibly something that will live as a testament to the greatness of their audacity and will. Strong and implacable, they can be ruthless when something or someone gets in their way. They have large egos, and achieving some form of glory is important to them. Money is both a form of power and a means to amass more of it. Achieving personal power is the dominating drive in Eights, and there is nothing ambiguous, much less furtive or duplicitous, about them.
    By contrast, power is not the key motive of Threes; achieving success and prestige and basking in the admiring attention of others is. (By contrast, Eights do not care about popularity; they do not care about the goodwill of others, so long as they get their way.) If Eights are natural leaders, Threes are natural managers and technicians. If Eights do not fear failure as such, Threes fear failure deeply because they see it as a personal humiliation, a potential occasion for being rejected, their deepest fear. By contrast, Eights see failure as an opportunity to learn something and come back stronger. If Eights are too busy achieving their purposes to worry about public opinion, Threes live and die on the opinions of others and desperately want to be in demand socially. If average Eights are combative and intimidating and can "take the heat", despite a certain bravado, average Threes will back down or be driven to deviousness: they cannot take pressure for long or exposure for a moment. In short, even average Eights are the "genuine article," whereas average Threes are an imitation of it. Contrast Eights such as Telly Savalas and John Wayne with Threes such as Sylvester Stallone and Burt Reynolds.
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  9. #8
    Type 8

    • Type Three-Type Nine

    Threes and Nines can be mistaken for each other in that both are highly adaptable and both can be interested in gaining acceptance from others. Although it is not always obvious in the case of Threes, both can also have trouble recognizing who they are or what they really want. Threes can also resemble Nines when they move to Nine in their Direction of Disintegration, becoming more disengaged and unmotivated by their usual goals.
    Their differences between these types can be quite pronounced. Threes are highly motivated self-starters who launch into projects with a sense that they can and will succeed. They are determined to meet goals and have trouble slowing down and relaxing. Nines can be highly accomplished in life and hugely successful, but many such Nines have friends or spouses who keep them motivated and on track with their goals. Generally speaking, Nines have trouble doing good things for themselves, and have a much easier time taking it easy than Threes do. Threes try to garner attention from people who they believe are important to them. Nines are reluctant to ask for attention, and discount themselves easily. Threes get excited about their projects, Nines about their free time and comforts. Compare Nines Ronald Reagan and George Lucas with Threes Bill Clinton and Tony Robbins.


    That's it for Type Three.
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  10. #9
    Type 7w6



  11. #10

    I'm a 3/4 and have never been mistaken for a 2


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