EN02: The Feeling Triad

Last week I introduced this series which is all about the Enneagram: a system for describing nine personality types.

Like I said, I see this as just one more way of learning about yourself, and it’s a fun tool to geek out on.

Today we’re going to be looking at three of the nine types, which all fall under the Feeling triad.

The two, also known as the helper, the three, also known as the Achiever and the Four, also known as the Romantic.

When these three types are at their best, they’re in touch with their feelings, their emotions, they’re compassionate and considerate of others – they’re basically the nurturing ones we need in our life.

But when they’re at their worst, they can get out of touch with their feelings, suppressing them in order to conform or be liked by others, rejecting their own identity in the belief that they’ll be more lovable if they act in another way: creating a false self image.

The Feeling Triad
The Helper (the Two)

Helpers are warm, concerned, nurturing, and sensitive to other people’s needs.

Twos are incredibly loving and generous, but if they become disappointed or disillusioned in someone and start to feel isolated or alone: they increasingly suppress their feelings in order to maintain their image of themselves.

The problem is that Two’s tend to look outside of themselves for validation. When they don’t get these positive responses, they tend to repress their disappointment and wear themselves out trying to win people over.

This would suggest that Two’s tend to be extroverts, but that’s just my theory.

Next up, The Achiever (the Three)

Threes are in the middle of the triad, and have some of the traits of both Twos and Fours. They tend to look outside themselves to determine what activities or qualities are valued by the people who matter to them, and they try to become the kind of person who has those qualities. At the same time, they engage in a lot of inner dialogue and imagination about the kind of person they would like to become.

I see Three’s as your classic self development junkie. The problem with that, at it’s most extreme, is that it will lead the Three to reject their authentic self, and that none of their accomplishments no matter how great, can really affect or satisfy them.

Achivers are energetic, optimistic, self-assured, and goal oriented.

 

Finally, the Romantic (the Four)

Unlike twos who look outwards for support, you have Fours which do not identify so much with other people, and tend to look inside themselves, constructing their view of themselves from their feelings and imagination. More like an introverted feeling type if you’re comparing the Enneagram types to Myers Briggs.

Fours have sensitive feelings and are warm and perceptive. In addition, fours get their sense of self from feeling different from others or special in some way. This can be both a gift and a curse – a gift, because it sets them apart from those they perceive as being somehow “common,” or ordinary and a curse, as it can seem to separate them from the joy that others seem to share. I guess it’s like being on the outside looking in; which can feel isolating.

 


 

So there you have it: the helper, the achiever and the individualist. Or the 2,3 and 4.

As you can see there’s a lot of juicy stuff in each type description, and I’ll be going through the next triad, the thinking triad next week.

Where it gets really interesting is when you look at the different stages of each type: and the variations within them. That’s all still to come!

 

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Links mentioned:

The Myers Briggs Typology

Personality Types by Don Richard Riso

The Enneagram Made Easy by Renee Baron and Elizabeth Wagele

The Enneagram Test

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