What It Means To Be A 3 On The Enneagram?

This article will not only describe what the enneagram typology is but also explain what it means to be a 3 on the enneagram system by introducing the type 3 enneagram and highlighting how it behaves in some important areas of life.

What It Means To Be A 3 On The Enneagram – The Achiever

When you are a 3 on the enneagram it means you have the personality of an ‘Achiever’ or type 3 enneagram. This means you are someone who wants to achieve the big things in life and hence you will put in the hard work and time required to do so!

These individuals are known to be very confident and have high levels of self efficacy, determination and the will to compete with others. However, they are also concerned about how others think of them and their image in the public which is sometimes very stressful.

However, there is a dark side to these enneagrams as well! When their personality integrates, usually because their fear has taken over or they are experiencing failure at multiple fronts, the type 3 enneagram’s darker traits come to life.

If they are insecure and feel humiliated, they will try to ensure that others do not succeed either so that others feel it was the situation that caused the failure and not the person themself. If it gets serious, they can become obsessive with ruining things for others especially if it reminds them of what they could not achieve. If they can’t have happiness then no one should!

These individuals are extremely conscious of how they appear to others and if they feel under-recognized they will make desperate attempts to grab the attention of others. They will develop a habit of exhibitionisn and arrogant talk that is centered around their strengths and successes.

Basic Desire.

The basic desire of an Achiever is to feel valuable and worthy of attention. They want others to know about their achievements and appreciate them or show them recognition in some way. People with this type usually define the term success according to others views and opinions and they work towards this so called success to gain respect and status in the society. At their best, fulfilling their desire of being the top performer, type 3s are well known and regarded amongst their peers and they are considered sources of inspiration. This is exactly what the achiever desires. At this point, they encourage others and help them move towards their dreams.

Basic Fear.

The basic fear of type 3 enneagrams arises from not achieving what they desire deeply. They want to be worthy of the love and recognition of others; they want to achieve great things that benefit or impress people and hence be celebrated by them. However, deep down, they have this fear that they may fail and not achieve their dreams or successes and this scares and depresses them especially when others are excelling in their life and the eyes of others. This inculcates a sense of jealousy in type 3 enneagrams.

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.

What Are Enneagrams? 

The enneagram is a typology system which describes human behaviour as a set of interrelated parts with each part having unique characteristics and behaviours or a set of defining traits that distinguish it from other parts in the system. This typology has a total of 9 parts of enneagrams that have different personalities and hence titles. For example, there is the enneagram type 1 which is also known as the Reformer and they have unique traits such as strong moral values, strive for integrity and may at times be judgemental.

At the same time, this personality system assumes and believes that no one person is of a single type – that is they cannot be a type 1 or type 9 purely but will be influenced by other adjacent types that are also known as wings. These wings influence but do not change the overall personality type.

Are Enneagrams Real?

Enneagrams are not backed by any scientific evidence nor has extensive research been done on them. Despite this, they have been gaining widespread popularity and people use them everyday to study their own selves and others too. The popularity this personality system has gained shows that it accurately defines people and their traits and behaviours.

Not much is known about its history and it is rumoured to pull its roots from a number of traditions. A philosopher as well as mystic known by the name of George Ivanovich Gurdjieff has been identified and given recognition for bringing the Enneagram figure to the attention of the world, although he did not use it to categorize personality types. Oscar Ichazo, the founder of a school for human potential and self-development, assigned different personality types to each of the nine positions in the Enneagram diagram.

Later, psychiatrist Claudio Naranjo expanded the theory to expand the nine types in psychological terms.

Despite the clouded mystery of where this personality system came from, it has gained much worldwide popularity to the extent that it is used frequently by people all over the world!

How Do Enneagram 3s Behave?

In this section, we will describe how enneagram 3s behave at work and what traits they possess when they are an intimate partner to someone.

Workplace Practices: Good Vs Bad Ones

In this section, we will look at workplace practices that create healthy or unhealthy environments for the type 3 enneagram

Good Workplace Practices

Here are workplace practices or behaviours that help make the type 3 enneagram more productive in their work!

Meeting New People – The Influencers

These people love when they have to meet new people and win over them! They are the ideal influencers you want on your team and this is because they are not only self aware but very ambitious to achieve what they have set out for! These people possess the traits that are necessary to be someone who is persuasive and compelling.

Hence, when employers know they have such people on the team, they need to find opportunities for them to meet new people and throw some business proposals at them!

Supportive Peers

The type 3 enneagram does not need jealous peers! They need peers who are supportive and admire their accomplishments. This is important because this is what makes the type 3 enneagram happy and feel desired by others. They love it when people understand the effort they put in and want to be looked up to!

Workplace cultures should encourage coworkers to applaud each other! It is one of the things that helps keep the type 3 enneagram motivated!

Others Listen

This is very important for the type 3 enneagram – others should listen to them! They are people who want to be seen in society. They are self conscious about their social image and want to look good and important. Hence, it is important that people actually listen to them when they are giving their opinion!

New Opportunities

The type 3 enneagram loves new opportunities because it is the chance that allows them to prove themselves once again to others and hence show off their competence!

Bad Workplace Practices

Here are some behaviours at work which make the type 3 enneagram feel drained!


Like many other people, criticism puts the type 3 enneagram down. Why? Well they wanted to appear successful in front of others who knew what they were doing. However, criticism puts them down and proves or at least communicates to others that this guy does not know how to do his job.

Thus, it is important that supervisors or managers do not criticize these enneagrams especially in front of others. The best thing to do is give constructive feedback too in private!

No Appreciation

The type 3 enneagram becomes very upset if their boss does not give them appreciation for the work they do. They want to be recognized and appreciated by others. In the workplace, this is only possible if your boss accepts or approves of your work! This actually means you have done a good job!

Peers Dislike Them

Type 3 enneagrams want to be liked by others. They thrive on approval and recognition. Hence, if they do not get along with their peers then it can put them down because they want their coworkers to look up to them.

Enneagram Type 3 & Romantic Relationships

Here is a list of the good traits this enneagram brings to relationships where they are involved intimately:

  • Optimism
  • Adaptability
  • Enthusiasm
  • Effective Communication Skills

Here are some bad traits or behaviours the type 3 enneagram brings along to a romantic relationship they are in:

  • Difficulty Acknowledging Their Role
  • Emotionally Vulnerable


This article truly looked at what it means to be a type 3 enneagram by not only giving a deep overview of the type 3 enneagram but by also looking at what enneagrams basically are.



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