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Enneagram Type 3 Wings: 3w2 and 3w4

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The core focus of Enneagram type 3

Enneagram type 3
The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.
- Vince Lombardi

Early in life we develop an initial belief about ourselves and a compensation for that self-belief.

  • Type 3 Initial Self-Belief: “I am not valued as I am.”

    Type 3 Compensation: "I must become accomplished and prove myself to gain value and regard in the eyes of others."

Over time this gets generalized beyond the self into a core focus that also shapes how we perceive and interact with the world at large.

  • Type 3 Core Focus: Esteem comes from being valued and having the positive regard of others. This requires that I not only package myself and perform in ways that will garner that recognition and positive regard but also find ways of measuring my success toward those ends.

    Personality characteristics that might arise from the type 3 core focus include:

    • Looks to external indicators for how well they're performing.
    • Packages and markets self-image that's admired by intended audience.
    • Pushes aside feelings that get in the way of achieving goals.
    • Sense of self-value comes from what they produce or accomplish.
    • Competes in arenas where there is someone to beat and someone to notice.
    • Chamelon-like shifts of image occur to match situational expectations.
    • Confuses self-presentation with who they truly are.
    • Avoids failure by avoiding pursuits where failure is a possibility.
    • Gives priority to goals and achieving them over other things.

The wings of Enneagram type 3

Type 3 Wings

The wings are represented by the numbers on either side of a given type as seen on the Enneagram symbol or diagram. These types are said to have an additional influence upon the type being looked at. The wing types for type 3 are type 2 and type 4.

Although type 3 is influenced by both wings, an individual will generally be influenced more by one of the wings than the other. The wing with more influence is said to be the preferred or dominant wing.

  • 3 wing 2 (3w2) - preferred 2 wing
    Common Name: The Charmer

    • more emotional and helpful
    • more desirous of popularity and admiration
    • more able to shift image as needed
  • 3 wing 4 (3w4) - preferred 4 wing
    Common Name: The Professional

    • more serious and task-oriented
    • more about producing and being competent
    • more driven to attain or embody perfection

What Enneagram authors say about 3w2 and 3w4

Enneagram 3w2 Enneagram 3w4

Below are samplings from some popular or well-known Enneagram authors. Click on the sources after the descriptions to further explore these interpretations.

  • The Three with a Two-Wing: The Charmer
    They want to be loved and have a drive to be close with people, but they sometimes substitute public life and the recognition they obtain there for a more satisfying private life and domestic stability. They may resort to multiple images to satisfy their social relations and to perform in intimate situations.1

    The Three with a Four-Wing: The Professional
    While diplomatic and charming, they are more generally serious and task-oriented and therefore resemble Ones. They often project competence and poise but can be rather private socially (in contrast to the more outgoing and affable expressions of the other subtype).1

  • Three with a Two Wing (3w2): More outgoing and affable, Threes with a Two Wing enjoy motivating and inspiring others. They are skilled at being “the face” of things.2

    Three with a Four Wing (3w4): More reserved and polished, Threes with a Four Wing enjoy presenting themselves in a distinctive way. They often have a professional edge.2

  • Threes with a Two wing may be more empathic and pursue work and activities that help others.3

    Threes with a Four wing may be more emotional and have stronger aesthetic interests, such as writing, painting, or photography.3

  • Enneagram Type 3w2 by Ian Morgan Cron

    Enneagram Type 3w4 by Ian Morgan Cron

    Threes with a Two wing (3w2) actually embody some of the characteristics they have employed in an effort to be seen as more loving, generous and kind. Charming and intimate, 3w2s make great entertainers, politicians, salespeople and pastors.4

    Threes with a Four wing (3w4) are more introspective and in touch with their shame and other feelings than 3w2s. They’re sensitive, artistic, emotionally intense, and they work more carefully on “crafting” the right image.4

  • Threes with a more developed Two wing tend to be warmer, more encouraging, sociable, popular, and seductive.5

    Threes with a more developed Four wing tend to be more introspective, sensitive, artistic, imaginative, and pretentious.5

  • Three With a 2 Wing
    Threes with this wing are often highly gregarious. They have a tendency towards persona — playing a role of themselves in real life. Social perception, prestige and recognition important.6

    Three With a 4 Wing
    May be slightly less image-conscious or project an image that is more implicit and subtle. 4 wing brings a degree of introversion. May measure themselves more by their creations, artistic or social.6

To learn more about the basic type 3 or one of the wing types click on a link below.

Enneagram Tests to Help Determine Wing

Enneagram wings

The wing types of an Enneagram type are the types on either side of a type as seen on the Enneagram symbol.

Although both the wing types have an influence on the type between them, one wing type is often preferred over the other.

This preferred wing type has a stronger influence than the non-preferred wing type and creates a variation of the type (e.g., 9w8 vs. 9w1).

Click here for the Complete Guide to the Enneagram.

This free guide explains
  • the nine Enneagram personality types
  • the many type variations within type
  • where the types came from (origins and history)
  • how the types use the Enneagram symbol

Click here for Enneagram tests.

These free tests help you find your
  • primary type
  • candidate types
  • preferred wing
  • intinctual subtype
  • instinctual variant stacking
  • center types (gut, heart, and head)
  • tri-center with wings

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