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Enneagram Type 3 Center of Intelligence: Heart or Shame Triad

Heart/Heart-Based Center

Type 3 Heart Center

Type 3 is located in the 234 triad which is often described as the heart center. The heart types are focused on interpreting, expressing, and reacting to one’s own emotions or the emotions of others.

Type 3 often puts aside personal feelings that might get in the way of pursuing goals. Yet, they may also seek emotional affirmation or validation through recognition from others. Although accomplishments and the overcoming of challenges on their own can increase a sense of self-esteem, it can be hard to know how well they are performing without some external indicator, such as awards or recognition, to affirm their effort and value.

Type 3 Shame

Types 2, 3, and 4 may also be referred to as shame types, where shame can be thought of as a feeling of deficiency for not living up to a more idealized sense of self.

Type 3 shame can come from a sense of failure in achieving a goal or gaining recognition. Although failures can sometimes be spun as simply lessons to be learned or simply a speedbump along the way to success, there can also be an avoidance of pursuing endeavors that risk failure in favor of those with less risk.

Type 3 Emotional Center

The core focus approach labels the 234 triad as the Emotional Center and more clearly differentiates how types 2, 3, and 4 use that center.

  • Type 2: Emotional Attentiveness - connects to others through emotional empathy.
  • Type 3: Emotional Affirmation - finds validation through achievement and recognition.
  • Type 4: Emotional Authenticity - expresses what feels true and real for oneself.


You can take a test comparing the three heart types here.


Enneagram Guide

This page is part of the Enneagram Guide available on this website. For more information about any particular Enneagram type or the many concepts and origins/history of the Enneagram types visit the Enneagram Guide main page.