Enneagram Type 3 - The Performer
Threes are feeling-based types, but they channel their emotional energy into getting things done. They take the initiative and work hard to accomplish their goals. They are highly adaptable, and they excel at "feeling out" and meeting the expectations of others when that will lead them to success. They like to stay active and on the go, so it's hard to stop or slow down. Their focus on keeping up their image and achieving results can get in the way of personal needs and health.
American business is a particularly strong Three culture where performers get a lot of positive reinforcement for being productive and efficient. A danger for Threes is concentrating on external praise or material rewards while losing contact with who they are inside. It's difficult for them to step out of their roles, feel their own feelings, and decide for themselves what is important.
Strengths: Successful, energetic, high achiever
Problems: Over worked, impatient, competitive
Speaking style: Enthusiastic, motivating themselves and others for success
Lower emotional habit: Vanity, based on keeping up a good image and always being successful
Higher emotion: Truthfulness, which is the willingness to go beyond appearances and develop personal authenticity
Archetypal challenge: To let go of image and social persona and find one's inner essence
Psychological defenses: Threes use the defense mechanism of identification to avoid failure and maintain a self image of being "successful." (Identification is a kind of pervasive role-playing and losing oneself in image).
Somatic patterns: As feeling types who put everything into productivity and results, Threes can accrue a lot of tension around their chest and heart. They are the original "Type A's" and need to watch out for early heart attacks or a weakened immune system. Underneath a strong layer of chest tension there is usually deep sadness from loss of contact with the inner self.
Tips for Relating
To create rapport: Appreciate their work; speed up in talking to them.
Try to avoid: Getting in the way of their forward momentum or taking too much of their time.
Join them: Being active, getting results, earning recognition
To handle conflict: Allow for aggressive exchanges while staying on track with goals. Remind them that successful results can come with many different styles, and that people are important. Challenge their rhetoric or propaganda while allowing them to save face.
To support their growth: Help them look inside and tell the truth about who they really are; support them in having feelings, especially about their failures; encourage them to slow down and pay attention to their health. Value them for who they are, not only for what they accomplish.