Enneagram Type 3w2 Childhood (A complete guide)

In this article, we will discuss Enneagram Type 3w2 i.e. type three wing two ‘The Star’ and the role of their childhood in their personality development. We will do that by initially giving an introduction to enneagrams, their structure, and wings. This will follow up by describing the dominant type Two personality and its triad. We will move on to giving an overview of its subtype i.e. type 3w2. Finally, we will discuss the detailed role of childhood in their development.  

Enneagram Type 3w2: Childhood

Enneagram type 3w2 has the primary characteristics of type 3 and secondary characteristics of type 2 personality. These people are ambitious, charming, passionate, and driven to achieve. They make good speakers due to their excellent communication skills and can easily adapt/change according to the environment’s demands. Their core childhood conflict that makes them the way they are is ‘Self-rejection’. This means that their sense of worth is based on how much they achieve success. In other words, they hide their insecurities through their accomplishments.

Introduction to Enneagrams

Enneagrams are a map or typology of human personalities. It has its roots in spirituality, philosophy, and psychology. Multiple people contributed to its development among which George Ivanovich Gurdjieff, Oscar Ichazo, and Claudio Naranjo are the most prominent. 

It is divided into nine personality types that are spread across 3 triads i.e. Feeling triad, Thinking Triad, or Instinctive Triad. It describes a person’s fundamental psychological orientation in the form of good or bad traits and sees which triad quality i.e. emotion, intellect or instincts is most characteristic of his or her personality. 

An enneagram gives a personality type that is fluid and explains its change across time i.e. personality integration (during health, self-actualization) or disintegration (during ill health, neurosis). In other words,  a personality can become more healthy or unhealthy as it moves in different directions from its basic type. Enneagram also links one personality type with other personality types.

The structure of Enneagram

Enneagram symbol is a circle that has 9 points (each point is a personality type) present on the circumference. Each type is related to another as represented by the connected lines. Points 3,6, 9 forms a triangle. They are primary personality types that are blocked in some way from feelings, thoughts, or instincts. Whereas 4,2,8,5,7,1 form an irregular hexagram and are secondary personality types since they are mixed and not blocked from feelings, thoughts, or instincts. Each type is the result of a dialectic. In every triad, one type over-expresses its characteristic quality, another under-expresses it, and the third is mostly out of touch with it. 

Wings in Enneagrams 

The Basic Personality Type is the most characteristic of a person. Whereas wings add elements to the overall personality i.e. it is the second side of it. 

Example: If you are a personality type 3, you can have wing2 or wing4. So, such a personality can be understood by knowing the traits of the basic or main type and the secondary types. Usually, each personality has two wings, and both influence a person. However, at times people have one dominant wing along with their basic personality type.

The Feeling Triad: Personality Types Two, Three, Four

• The positive and negative traits of these personalities are dominated by feelings.

• When these types are healthy, their feelings make them distinct and admirable for their interpersonal qualities.

• When they are unhealthy, they are out of balance with respect to their emotions and are difficult to interact with at an interpersonal level.

• All three personality types have common problems linked with identity and hostility.

Enneagram Type 3: The Motivator

Key traits: ambitious, adaptable, self-conscious, hostile. They are mostly out of touch with their feelings. They mostly suppress their emotions to make a good impression on others. It has two subtypes:

• The three with wing 2 (Type 3w2)

• The three with wing 4 (Type 3w4)

Type 3w2: ‘The Star’

Type 3w2 has basic traits of type 3 and secondary traits of type 2 personality. Both types 3 and 2 reinforce each other to make type 3w2 to be social, popular, charming, and the center of attention.  They take pride in their humor,  charm,  and attractiveness as it adds to their desirability.  Social image and self-presentation matter to them a lot. 

This subtype can be friendly, emotional, and warm towards people even though they are close to only a few people in their life.  They can be encouraging and supportive of others as well. People perceive them to be talkative,  helpful, and genuine but with a degree of self-control.  They usually want validation and affirmation from other people and to get that, they are more attentive and responsive to their needs.

Average versions of this personality are concerned about convincing others of their desirability. Due to this,  they make effort to reach out to others, can project their feelings, and know how to turn on their charm to impress others.  They also make good actors,  models, and singers.

They are preoccupied with what others think of them.  So, they spend most of their time comparing themselves with others and their success.  This makes them competitive and envious. At times,  they can be narcissistic,  seductive, and exhibitionistic as well.  Yet,  their excessive effort to charm others can backfire. They can even resort to negative publicity to get attention.  Since they are externally oriented,  they are unaware of internal anger and resentment they feel towards others.

Unhealthy versions of this type can deceive themselves about what they want from others.  They can resort to manipulation and getting revenge for not getting attention from others. Also, they have a problem with being entitled and aggressive which means that they can become hostile and violent if they are not at the top of social status. In other words, they can be charming psychopaths who suddenly turn violent when frustrated for not being appraised, loved or given attention. 

Examples of Type 3w2: Bill Clinton, Elvis Presley, Paul McCartney, Whitney Houston, Sylvester Stallone, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Strengths of Type 3w2

  • Professional and efficient workers
  • Self-confident and self-aware
  • Easily connect with others
  • Care about their community
  • Goal-oriented

Weaknesses of Type 3w2

  • Concerned about social image
  • Struggle to accept failure
  • Can be manipulative (unintentionally)
  • Over-competitive

If you’re facing this, it may be a good idea to seek the help of a therapist or other mental health professional. You can find a therapist at BetterHelp who can help you learn how to cope and address it.

Workplace and job 

Type 3w2 are warm, adventurous, driven, and good leaders. They prefer to work in jobs that allow them to execute their dreams into action e.g. pilot, lawyer, surgeon, entrepreneur, etc.

Source of Stress for type 3w2

  • Balancing personal and professional life
  • Concerned about bad image
  • Failure
  • Disappointing others
  • Having to entertain others

Basic fear 

Type 3w2 fear failure, and not being loved. To avoid this, they work hard to achieve goals so that their success validates their being worthy of love

Basic desire 

Type 3w2 desire to be accepted and admired by others for their accomplishments. So, they act according to their audience in order to be liked, rather than being their real self.

Type 3w2 Childhood/development

We become any personality depending on how we have learned to respond to the world growing up. Our early childhood particularly our relationship with our parents governs how we unconsciously adapt to our family and the world. Genetics and temperament have their role as well. A person remains one personality type throughout life but may change and grow to develop healthy or unhealthy traits.  

During childhood, threes have a close connection with the parent having a nurturing role ( mostly it is the mother but not always).  They can adapt and respond to the emotional needs of others and their expectations. This leads them to fulfill unsaid expectations, anything that would please others,  gain their approval, and get them warm looks and smiles.  This is natural and can lead to a well-balanced personality with good self-esteem in such children.  

However, if the nurturing figure has unresolved narcissistic needs,  it makes the situation of such a child difficult. They try hard to please this person to prevent being abandoned. Incase the nurturer is needy and dependent, they can have very high unrealistic expectations,  that the child cannot fulfill no matter how hard he or she is trying. As a result,  search children turn out to be  desperate individuals with an underlying hostility for having to abandon their own needs to please others. 

This pattern continues in their adulthood. They seek out people to get validation and admiration especially from those who are successful.  Doing this leaves them fearful of rejection and being seen as a loser. Without validation,  they feel empty and hostile for not being valued.

Average versions of this subtype are valued for their accomplishments and performance as children.  As adults,  they try to perform effectively.  However, such individuals can be fearful of intimacy and leave relationships when they get personal.  This is because they have a very fragile self-image and believe they are not worthy of love unless they are not successful.  Thus,  they are highly vigilant for signs of rejection and cannot believe anyone would ever love them for who they are.  

It is hard for them to expose their real self to others because of prior experience of having their authentic self being rejected in the past.  This makes them fearful of it happening again. So, they continue to hide their self.  Such people can have anxiety,  depression,.and emptiness that continues even f they achieve great success in their lives. 

FAQs: Type 3w2-Childhood

What is the Type 3 personality?

Type 3 personality is ambitious, social, and altruistic. They fear being unwanted by loved ones. So, they try really hard to be successful and accomplished individuals to prevent that from happening. It is one of the types from the nine enneagrams.

What is Type 3w2?

Type 3w2 or Type 3 wing 2 is an enneagram personality subtype. It has core characteristics of type three personality and complementary characteristics of type two personality. 

Is Enneagram valid?

Yes. Studies conducted on The Enneagram Institute’s Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator (RHETI) is 72 percent accurate, reliable and valid,

Can your Enneagram number change?

No. Enneagram type or number remains the same as we have the same personality patterns ingrained in us. However, a person’s traits may change over time.


In this article, we discussed enneagram type 3w2 in detail and the role of childhood in their development. We found that enneagram type 3w2 has the primary characteristics of type 3 and secondary characteristics of type 2 personality. These people are ambitious, charming, passionate, and driven to achieve. They make good speakers due to their excellent communication skills and can easily adapt/change according to the environment’s demands. Their core childhood conflict that makes them the way they are is ‘Self-rejection’. This means that their sense of worth is based on how much they achieve. In other words, they hide their insecurities through their accomplishments.

 I hope you found this article interesting. If you have any queries or comments, please state them in the comment section 😊




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