Type 3 – Symbol



Caring for Threes

“[Threes] keep performing, producing, and building like machines, without realizing that their striving to achieve more and feel worthwhile is compensating for deep, hidden feelings of inadequacy, inferiority, and shame. That’s why every mountain peak they climb ends up being a false peak with still higher ground to take. This quest for success is never satisfied” (Healthy Feelings, Thriving Faith, p. 110).

Key Traits





Driven to succeed

Show ideal self

Personality Dynamics

These three factors may contribute to someone becoming a Three:

  1. Family formation role: Hero
  2. Root sin: Vainglory (putting up an ideal image to be admired)
  3. Defense mechanism: Identifying with important people they admire


The Three personality is expressed and related to largely through emotions like these:

Felt need: Feel successful

Heart type: Looking to other people for feeling connected

Core emotion: Shame from not feeling they’ve achieved enough

Stress emotion: Anger that’s usually internalized

Underlying sadness: From not being known and loved for their true self

Emotional alarm: Striving to achieve more to feel worthwhile

How Threes Become Like Jesus

“Threes can relate to Jesus’ work ethic and unflagging love. . . Yet, with all the important demands on our Savior’s time, [the Gospels] show us that Jesus’ first priority was his love relationship with his Father, which he then brought into his work” (Healthy Feelings, Thriving Faith, p. 116).

Key Scripture

Quote - Type 3

“You are God’s special treasure . . . so that you can give him praise. God brought you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9 NIRV).

Christlike Virtue to Cultivate


Key Soul Care Practice

Emotional honesty

Subsidiary Types

Wing Type(s): Two and/or Four

Stress Type: Nine

Growth Type: Six

* Learn more and dive deeper into your wings, growth, and stress types with our resource, "Your Enneagram Map: Guides for Each Type to grow Emotionally & Spiritually."