Monday, November 02, 2009

Enneagram Type 3

Well, while I don't want to limit people by typing them, the enneagram does do a good job at categorizing people. My friend Dustin is suspicious of such things, and I'd tend to agree with him in this: If you can develop a system with types/categories, then you can prejudge people unfairly. It also can be unhelpful in that it can cause you to dismiss people based on a few unshared interests/tendancies. We confuse Reality with our categories for understanding reality.

Still, I find the enneagram to be quite helpful. I don't trust it as How the Universe Works, but rather (as Wilber would say), a map to the Kosmos.

Anyway, I am a 3 with a 4 wing. Holly is a 2. Reading up on types and how they interact really has helped us in several ways. Here's a little rundown of how 2s and 3s work together.

There is 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. More...

We learned of the enneagram several years ago from some friends in Minneapolis, MN. At that time, I wondered if I was an 8...but all these years later, I realize it was my 3-self wanting to be an 8 (like many of my mentors).

I have found the enneagram to be very helpful and would suggest you take a look at it. There is a test (which sometimes can work), but what I find most helpful is to read through each type's basic desire and fear and place yourself. Enneagram Institute and 9types both seem to be good resources for this such thing.

I think this sort of thing is fun if not taken too seriously. In so many ways, I am all of the types. And in so many ways, the enneagram has my number (really). Enjoy!

PS - Here's a table below that's worth checking'll need to click on it.


Brooke Gonzales said...

I was a 3 also when I took it about 6 months ago.

Mark Van Steenwyk said...

Interesting stuff. I have been suspicious of the Enneagram for years (probably because Scientologists use it). But recently, I've come to appreciate it as one of the better tools out there. I'm a three wing four as well. :)

Ryan Lee Sharp said...

3s! My peeps!

Mark, you crack me up. The Scientologists use the ENGRAM machine, but not so much the ENNEAGRAM. Sure, they're connected in a very, very loose sense, but it's much, much older than Scientology. :)

Mark Van Steenwyk said...

That's what THEY want you to believe.