Difficult People Decoded: The Achiever
My friend who is a Three likes to remind me that Threes are the stars of the Enneagram! They are high-achievers, hard-working, and professional.
Threes are extremely charming. They put themselves out there and have no problem selling themselves. They exude enough confidence to sell you water from the tap.
They do not need to be the leader of a team as long as the team is succeeding. But they cannot tolerate failure and will step up if necessary.
When they were young, they were given a taste of success and affirmed before they knew what they wanted. As a result, their true desires get buried by the success deemed (demanded?) by other people: parents, teachers, coaches, etc. Soon, their lives became centered on winning at all costs for fear of a deep sense of worthlessness.
“Threes are often generous and likable, but are difficult to really know. When unhealthy, their narcissism takes an ugly turn and they can become cold blooded and ruthless in the pursuit of their goals.”
Their shadow is deception. This may not mean outright lying, but embellishing the truth or dressing up appearances are all within bounds to them. They feed off positive validation to offset an insecurity about their true self. When success fades, they are unsure of what to do next which can lead to a deep depression.
This type finds healing through the virtue of honesty about themselves and their feelings. Take breaks regularly to meditate. Release the shame in checking in with yourself. It’s also important to define and honor your core values that withstand the ups and downs of success.
- “We need to look successful.”
- “Fake it before you make it.”
- “Why doesn’t everyone work as hard as me?”
- “I can do it better.”
- Previously Class President or Homecoming Queen
- Prominently positioned luxury labels
Examples: “Richard Corey”, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Condoleeza Rice, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Andy Warhol, Oprah Winfrey, Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins, Bernie Madoff, O.J. Simpson, Tiger Woods, Lance Armstrong, Madonna, Whitney Houston, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Cindy Crawford, Tom Cruise, Barbra Streisand, Will Smith, Courteney Cox, Anne Hathaway, Dick Clark, Ryan Seacrest, Cat Deeley, Glee’s “Rachel Berry”
How To Work With A Three:
- Say you like working with them – win or lose
- Minimize negative emotions around them
- Keep a tidy work space
- Leave them alone when intensely working
- Encourage them to talk about their feelings
- Join them in their pursuit of success