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15 Personality Traits of Enneagram 3

15 Personality Traits of Enneagram 3

Updated on Jan 10, 2023 | Published on Jan 03, 2023

Reviewed by Dr. Nereida Gonzalez-Berrios, MD , Certified Psychiatrist

15 Personality Traits of Enneagram 3 - ThePleasantPersonality

Personality traits of enneagram 3 show their confident and industrious nature. Types three are assertive, bold, and goal-oriented. They never dwell on setbacks and prefer to leave aside their failures and move on for a fresh start. 

Enneagram 3s are resourceful and energetic. They are the action-oriented types who never want to lead the life of a common man. Instead, they will strive for excellence and success in all aspects of their life. 

These individuals are conscious of their image. They prefer an energetic and fast-paced life that is interesting and allows them to learn something new every now and then.

Type Ones are ambitious, socially present, and impressive. Their polished outlook is so attractive that people feel great about their outward behavior. Socially, they are liked and praised for who they are.

Enneagram Ones are the performers and doers. They will never leave a stone unturned until they have achieved the desired success. They are hardworking and dedicated people however their impatient and critical nature can backfire at times. These individuals appear haughty to others because of their insensitive nature.

In this article, we will discuss some common characteristic traits of the Enneagram type 3 personalities.


Personality Traits of Enneagram 3

One of the most common personality tests available today is the Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator or RHETI. This test divides human personalities into nine different types. People often call these as the Enneagram personality types.

The word Enneagram comes from two Greek terms. The term “Ennea” means nine and “Gramma means to draw” or something that is drawn on a paper. 

The nine Enneagram personality types are connected to each other. This connection can be shown through an illustration or drawing, much like a map. This is how the name Enneagram makes sense.

People often refer to Enneagram 3s as “the achievers”. They tend to be highly achievement-focused and goal-oriented individuals.

All Enneagram personality types have a basic desire and a basic fear. For Enneagram 3s, this basic desire is the desire to get validation from others. They always want others to appreciate or praise them for their work. An Enneagram 3’s basic fear is the fear of not being good enough, or a fear of failure.

We can classify Enneagram 3 individuals into three categories or levels – healthy levels, unhealthy levels, and average levels. So, we should remember that some of these personality traits may be exaggerated in some Enneagram 3s. Again, some other traits can be less represented in them. We will explain this in detail later when we talk about each personality trait.

Let us now take a look at some of the common personality traits of Enneagram type 3s.

1. Goals-oriented

As we said before, Enneagram 3s tend to be very much goal oriented. They set goals at every little stage of their lives, and then strive to achieve their goals. These goals can be simple goals in their daily lives. For example, one Enneagram 3 individual can set a personal goal to meditate for 30 minutes a day. 

An Enneagram type 3 who is a student, may set a goal to solve ten math problems each day. On the other hand, these goals can be long term life goals for some other Enneagram 3s – for example, becoming a CEO of a multinational company.

Enneagram 3s believe that having goals in life is crucial to succeed. But unhealthy Enneagram 3s may set unrealistic goals for themselves. For example, someone may set a goal of becoming a multimillionaire by the age of 30. Later, when they cannot achieve these goals, they become frustrated and angry at themselves.

2. Sociable 

People of the Enneagram 3 type tend to be quite sociable by nature. They are very skilled at responding to the audience in an appropriate manner. They have an innate ability to befriend others in a short time. This also helps them in maintaining social relationships.

Others often refer to Enneagram 3s as “social butterflies” because of their innate ability to understand their audience well. They are great at reading other people. They can also judge any social scenario in an apt manner. 

3. Future-focused

Enneagram 3s are very much driven towards the future. They have a futuristic outlook in every aspect of their life. They are optimistic about their future. They also believe in their ability to achieve their goals in the best possible way. In short, they consider themselves to be the best at whatever they do. 

Their future-oriented nature also helps them to become good leaders. They often visualize a successful life ahead of themselves. They can thus work hard to achieve it. 

Although most people consider this trait to be a good one, it has a negative aspect as well. Enneagram 3s can often become too much engrossed in their path to success. As a result, they neglect their personal life. 

This results in dysfunctional relationships. For this reason, Enneagram 3s can often be said to have tunnel vision. They may be so focused on achieving success that they may neglect the people around them.

4. Self-deceptive

Enneagram 3s often deceive themselves as well as others by hiding their true feelings. They often choose to lose touch with their inner feelings and emotions on purpose. They like to showcase a strong personality to the external world. But in reality, they often worry a lot and feel insecure. 

They strive for social recognition and appreciation from others. But as a result, they ignore their deepest emotions and fail to acknowledge those emotions as genuine. This, in turn, leads to a vicious cycle of fear as well as insecurity.

For Enneagram 3s, the longing for appreciation and validation from other people is often a deception to fulfill the emptiness inside them. They also deceive themselves by thinking that they are happy from inside. But in reality, this is a lie.

This is especially true for unhealthy Enneagram 3s.

5. Adaptable

Enneagram 3s are adaptable by nature. They are very flexible and can easily adjust in difficult situations. This also acts as a catalyst in their path towards achieving goals. 

Their adaptability also involves the need to please other people. We have said before that Enneagram 3s are great at social awareness. They use this awareness to mold themselves into a desirable person for any group or situation.

But this can also have a negative side. Enneagram 3s of the healthy type can become too flexible in some cases. They may exhibit too much of a tendency to please others. For this reason, other people may take advantage of them.

6. Competitive

Almost all Enneagram 3s have a strong competitive spirit.

Enneagram 3s tend to be suffering from atychiphobia. This means that they have a strong fear of failure. This fear can often be an irrational one. For this reason, Enneagram 3s tend to have a strong sense of competitive spirit so that they do not fail.

Extreme cases of this can be seen in cases of unhealthy Enneagram type 3s. These individuals have an excessive competitive spirit that can be harmful to themselves and the people around them. 

These individuals are so competitive that they are willing to do anything they can to achieve success and get ahead of their peers. They will even sabotage other people’s works on purpose, so that they can get ahead.

7. Motivated

Enneagram 3s often have a strong sense of internal motivation. They are very much determined in whatever task they do. When they set goals for themselves, they often do not want to stop until they achieve those goals. 

For this reason, many Enneagram 3s end up having a poor work-life balance. They give too much emphasis on their professional lives and ignore their personal ones. This is more common in case of unhealthy Enneagram type 3s.

But healthy Enneagram 3s use this motivation to their advantage. They set high standards for themselves and often strive to meet those standards. They desire to be role models who inspire other people around them.

8. Image conscious

Getting the validation of others is crucial to an Enneagram 3. For this reason, they tend to be very image conscious. They tend to build an image of success that represents themselves and portray this image to the rest of the world. They want others to value and appreciate them for everything that they do.

Unhealthy Enneagram 3s are often willing to go to any lengths to maintain this image. They will be even willing to stab others in the back behind the scenes, in order to make sure that their image is not tarnished.

9. Energetic

Most Enneagram type 3s tend to be quite proactive. They have a reserve of high energy which they put to use in their daily activities. As a matter of fact, many Enneagram type 3 individuals can be mistakenly diagnosed as being hyperactive.

In reality, Enneagram 3s always want to keep themselves engaged in some task or activity. Even when they are not working, they will keep making plans for future activities inside their head.

This proactive nature can be a problem for unhealthy Enneagram 3s. They may lose track of time while being too much engrossed in their work.

10. Not basking in success

Enneagram 3s are often focused on completing their tasks and achievements. They often seem to have a checklist of things they need to do. So, they keep on checking one task after the other on that list. 

For this reason, they never seem to stop and reflect. Even when they achieve success in a difficult task, they never stop enjoying that. Celebration of any achievement seems like a waste to an Enneagram 3. Instead, they prefer to use that time to plan ahead for their next task.

11. Intuitive

Almost all Enneagram 3s have a very strong sense of intuition. They are also good at observing small details. For this reason, they can pick up small cues in any social scenario. This makes them naturally skilled at social interactions.

But unhealthy Enneagram 3s do not prefer to have these social interactions. Even if they are in a social situation, they would pretend to have fun. But in secret, they would be planning to carve their own path to success, even if that comes at the expense of others.

12. Unemotional

Other people often perceive Enneagram 3s to be cold and unemotional. In reality, Enneagram 3s keep their emotions buried inside. They do not give importance to their emotions. They think that emotions can be an obstacle to achieving success. For this reason, others think that they are emotionally blunt and insensitive.

13. Dominating

Oftentimes, Enneagram 3s tend to have a very dominating personality. This is true in their personal relationships as well as professional fields. In the office environment, Enneagrams 3s as bosses have a tendency to overrule their subordinates. Similarly, in a romantic relationship, Enneagram 3s often impose their opinions on their partners.

14. Impatient

Because of their proactive nature, Enneagram 3s are often impatient. They do not want to sit and wait. If they have free time on their hands, an Enneagram 3 would plan their next course of action.

Unhealthy Enneagram 3s are often more impatient as compared to healthy or average types. They are more rude and can even misbehave with others if they have to wait.

15. Altruistic

Many Enneagram 3s have an altruistic side. They are caring and often want to help others. This is especially true for healthy Enneagram 3s.

They have a strong desire to become role models for others. They are also very good people’s persons. Because of their sociability and amiability, they become good leaders and mentors.

We said before that Enneagram 3s often have tunnel vision. They may get so focused on achieving their goals, that they ignore their loved ones. But by helping others without any incentive, Enneagram 3s can learn to break out of this tunnel vision.


To Sum Up 

In this article, we have discussed some common traits of the Enneagram type 3 personality. Enneagram 3s always want the validation of others. They are also motivated by a strong fear of failure. 

This desire and fear together mold their personality traits. For this reason, Enneagram 3s are often achievement-focused, goal-oriented, image conscious, and highly motivated individuals.

We must also remember that Enneagram 3s can be of healthy, unhealthy, or average types. While some characteristics are more prominent in the unhealthy types, these individuals are willing to go to any lengths to achieve success in life. 

On the other hand, healthy Enneagram 3s tend to be more altruistic and helpful towards others. They want to achieve success, but at the same time, be an inspiration for others.