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Thread: Enneagram types 3 vs. 4

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    Default Enneagram types 3 vs. 4

    I can't decide whether I'm a 3 or a 4. I feel like the image-seeking aspect of being a 3 and the identity-seeking aspect of 4s overlap a lot, at least in me. Any ideas on how to differentiate between the two types?

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    I noticed you got no responses. I'm not super-duper into Enneagram, so I guess this is a bump.

    I'm a 4w3--maybe you should look for some descriptions of type + wings for clarification. But you know, to me, 4 and 3 are not all that much alike. I guess I see 3 as much more dynamic and outward, and a 4 as much more dreamy and inward.

    Here's a question--does 5 wing describe you at all? Or how about 2? If you're a 4w3, you probably still would go toward 5 somewhat. If you're a 3w4, you probably would be able to use 2 as a part-time wing. IMO, ha.

    What about the directions of integration and disintegration for each type? Do those clarify things?

    I dunno. You give me a more 3 vibe, but take it with a chunk of road salt.

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    Or what about the following, from http://www.ocean-moonshine.net/e1428...osition=27:27:

    "Threes can mistype as Fours, again, especially if the wing is strong, but Fours are much more introspective and emotionally aware, even emotionally self-indulgent when unhealthy. As Threes become unhealthy, they increasingly detach from their inner states and become less emotionally aware. Both types can suffer from depression, but Threes much less so than Fours, and when they are feeling low, they tend to consider it a sign of weakness and try to work it off. Jackie Kennedy Onassis is a good example of a Three who is sometimes mistyped as a Four, because of her elegance and sometimes even mistyped as a Five, because of her detachment. Both traits can be accounted for by recognizing the fact that she was a Three."

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    Golden, thanks!!

    (Yeah, I was getting a little sad that I hadn't gotten any responses. )

    That helps, and I've decided I'm a 3w4, not 4w3. Also, I did some more reading on instinctual variants, and I'm sx/sp, which can apparently accentuate some of the 4-ish qualities in 3s.

    The thing you posted about 4s being more caught up in their emotions is interesting -- I wouldn't call myself emotionally unaware by a long shot, and I have a strong need to find avenues of emotional expression, but I'm also very good at channeling my emotions into something "productive" in a way that seems more 3ish. (That's one of the reasons I love music and art.) This is in contrast to some 4s I know who often need to totally cut themselves off from reality and fade inward into their emotions before they can get up and go on with their lives.

    Fuck, in some ways I don't want to be a 3, though. 4s seem so much deeper and more authentic. 3s seem like so much energy being put into crafting a facade that will eventually just topple to show there is nothing underneath.

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    Quote Originally Posted by limNol View Post
    Golden, thanks!!

    (Yeah, I was getting a little sad that I hadn't gotten any responses. )

    That helps, and I've decided I'm a 3w4, not 4w3. Also, I did some more reading on instinctual variants, and I'm sx/sp, which can apparently accentuate some of the 4-ish qualities in 3s.

    The thing you posted about 4s being more caught up in their emotions is interesting -- I wouldn't call myself emotionally unaware by a long shot, and I have a strong need to find avenues of emotional expression, but I'm also very good at channeling my emotions into something "productive" in a way that seems more 3ish. (That's one of the reasons I love music and art.) This is in contrast to some 4s I know who often need to totally cut themselves off from reality and fade inward into their emotions before they can get up and go on with their lives.

    Fuck, in some ways I don't want to be a 3, though. 4s seem so much deeper and more authentic. 3s seem like so much energy being put into crafting a facade that will eventually just topple to show there is nothing underneath.
    Right. I have a tendency to curl up into myself, at my worst. I also express myself through music, but I tend to lose the capacity to express and create if I'm not doing well. Just had a bad year and have to rebuild myself from the inside before I can take effective action again.

    I watched some guy on YouTube who says that each type is striving in a way for the next higher number in the wheel. I don't know if that's universally true, but I do feel like I need some 5 qualities. I feel that 5 has something I lack. Maybe you feel that way about 4's?

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    The image-focused thing could just be being a part of middle-class culture, which does focus on outside appearances like that.

    (That's one of the reasons I love music and art.) This is in contrast to some 4s I know who often need to totally cut themselves off from reality and fade inward into their emotions before they can get up and go on with their lives.
    But dude, you're not getting on with anything -- you are posting about yourself on internet message boards, not that I'm criticizing this because I'm the same way, but how exactly are you 'moving on with anything' in the way that 3s would? 3s are very celebrity-orientated types that live in the here and now, that are very well preppy and Miley Cyrus-ish. I just can't see you doing this at all. Most 3s probably wouldn't be caught dead posting on something like this, btw. They'd find it much too dorky.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BulletsAndDoves View Post
    But dude, you're not getting on with anything -- you are posting about yourself on internet message boards, not that I'm criticizing this because I'm the same way, but how exactly are you 'moving on with anything' in the way that 3s would? 3s are very celebrity-orientated types that live in the here and now, that are very well preppy and Miley Cyrus-ish. I just can't see you doing this at all. Most 3s probably wouldn't be caught dead posting on something like this, btw. They'd find it much too dorky.
    Actually I can see 3's flocking to the internet in the era of social networking sites, but they are typically the ones who do a lot of PR/Image fluffing on their facebook pages, when they get a job they tidy up their pages to look professional, when they are in college they make it look like they are fun easygoing nice to know person... etc. 3's and the internet always try to put their best foot forward, they would be very cautious about showing their bad side in something they consider public like a "forum" or "social networking site".

    Quote Originally Posted by limNol View Post
    I can't decide whether I'm a 3 or a 4. I feel like the image-seeking aspect of being a 3 and the identity-seeking aspect of 4s overlap a lot, at least in me. Any ideas on how to differentiate between the two types?
    Read my topic on the Feeling Triad... you seem to favor the 4 side of 3... your probably 4w3 or 3w4 in the feeling triad. Are you feeling triad first? or is a head/instinct triad the top.... also are you socially extroverted.... 3's are extremely socially extroverted, as well as 7's.... probably the two biggest social extroverts of the enneagram.

    4's are not highly withdrawn loners though, at least when they are healthy.... conceptualizing the 4 as a withdrawn loner and a 3 as an outgoing friendly extrovert is a bad way of looking at it.... because your comparing an unhealthy 4 to a healthy 3.... something like comparing a raging narcisstic image fixated douchebag to a withdrawn emo loner is a good comparison. Every enneatype has three planes of behavior like a three story building... one is healthy, one is unhealthy, and one is at their best. unhealthy 4's are withdrawn emo losers, healthy 4's are more reserved but are social, at their best 4's a very original and creative personality emerges. 4's are identity building personalities, so you can think of unhealthy withdrawn 4's as going back to "the workshop" and falling into introspection to work on their personality through their emotions, a healthy four as a having a prototype model of identity that's out their but being a little cautious and reserved, and a 4 at their best as having a fully functioning model shipped out to production. Also I don't mean to imply the 4's personality is a plastic product designed and produced... usually the 4's search for something authentic, if they start feeling phony thats what usually lands them back into the workshop where they withdrawl.
    Last edited by male; 12-26-2010 at 04:58 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Golden
    Just had a bad year and have to rebuild myself from the inside before I can take effective action again.
    I'm sorry to hear this -- best of luck, Golden!

    Quote Originally Posted by Golden
    I watched some guy on YouTube who says that each type is striving in a way for the next higher number in the wheel. I don't know if that's universally true, but I do feel like I need some 5 qualities. I feel that 5 has something I lack. Maybe you feel that way about 4's?
    That's quite possible. Although the way this is going, I might still get to be a 4 after all. :wink:

    Quote Originally Posted by BulletsAndDoves
    The image-focused thing could just be being a part of middle-class culture, which does focus on outside appearances like that.
    I see where you're coming from here, but I don't think this is true in my case. People who embody middle-class culture come across as image-conscious because they've internalized a certain set of values and more-or-less unconsciously reproduce these (image-focused) values in their behavior. I'm talking about a more conscious awareness of how I project a certain image in my day-to-day life. But being image-conscious doesn't mean that I have to live my life within the framework of middle-class values. Middle-class values can go fuck themselves in suburbia.

    Quote Originally Posted by BulletsAndDoves
    But dude, you're not getting on with anything -- you are posting about yourself on internet message boards, not that I'm criticizing this because I'm the same way, but how exactly are you 'moving on with anything' in the way that 3s would?
    Couldn't resist, could you?

    In the thing you quoted, I was referring to how different types deal with strong emotional turmoil. And posting on the internet isn't how I deal with my emotions.

    Quote Originally Posted by BulletsAndDoves
    3s are very celebrity-orientated types that live in the here and now, that are very well preppy and Miley Cyrus-ish. I just can't see you doing this at all.
    You're right, and if being a 3 means I have to identify with Miley Cyrus, then I'm not a 3. But the impression I got from reading about 3w4 vs. 3w2 and the way the different instinctual variants come into play was that 3's aren't this homogeneous at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by BulletsAndDoves
    Most 3s probably wouldn't be caught dead posting on something like this, btw. They'd find it much too dorky.
    There are a lot of things I wouldn't be caught dead doing, but I still do them -- I just make sure I won't get caught. Honestly, I would die of embarrassment if anyone I know IRL found my posts here, but I bet that's true of a lot of people who post here, regardless of type.

    Quote Originally Posted by HaveLucidDreamz
    Read my topic on the Feeling Triad... you seem to favor the 4 side of 3... your probably 4w3 or 3w4 in the feeling triad.
    I looked for it, but I don't see it -- got a link?

    Quote Originally Posted by HaveLucidDreamz
    also are you socially extroverted.... 3's are extremely socially extroverted, as well as 7's.... probably the two biggest social extroverts of the enneagram.
    I'm not extremely socially extroverted. The impression I'd gotten from the reading I've done was that while all 3s have a focus on external reality and other people, levels of extroversion vary across wings, instinctual variants, and individuals. But if 3s as a rule are extreme social extroverts I might have to reconsider: although interacting with people energizes me and I'm dependent on feedback from other people, I also come across as an introvert in many situations. I actually used to be very withdrawn, but that was also a pretty unhealthy and insecure time in my life, so I don't know how much to factor that in.

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    You consciously project an image? That's really weird to me. If I'm hiding something, then I'm just hiding something but I don't consider it 'projecting an image.'

    Can you elaborate more on this please? lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by BulletsAndDoves View Post
    You consciously project an image? That's really weird to me. If I'm hiding something, then I'm just hiding something but I don't consider it 'projecting an image.'

    Can you elaborate more on this please? lol
    It's sort of a Fe-oriented constant awareness of how the way I present myself effects other people -- like, all my actions, words, accomplishments, failures, and so on are small pieces of a puzzle, and in the back of my head there's always an awareness of how these pieces and the reactions they provoke coalesce into a particular image that I project to a person or group of people or whatever.

    How can you be "just hiding something"? To me, hiding something implies some sort of activity -- like if I'm hiding something, I'm not just hiding something, I'm actively projecting a certain image that I think will veil whatever I'm hiding as well as the fact that I'm hiding something. I think a lot of people do that, which is why it's sometimes so easy to tell that someone is hiding something.

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    I don't know what happened to link but its all about how to make sense of the feeling triad....

    basically the key thing to notice is this....

    the feeling triad is about issues of self-worth, essentially its about feeling valued and worthy and cultivating a positive inner state

    3 is the center, with 2 and 4 being fringe types

    2 accomplishes feelings of self-worth via participation in society, helping others, they derive their self worth from others

    4 accomplishes feelings of self-worth via internal processes, feeling unique/special, they derive their self worth from within

    3 is the balance between these, they attempt to balance their external social values of worth with their internal personal values of worth, that's why 3's constantly fight a battle with narcissism. They want to outwardly appear valuable and worthy, but they want to feel that inward also. That's why 3's are always telling people that business american stuff like "Do what you love"... etc. There act is in balancing both extremes.

    Once you see how 2 3 and 4 relate to each other now you can understand the triad less like three discrete points but more like continuous gradient or spectrum, and its a lot easier to pinpoint yourself on it. Its exceedingly rare to find a pure 3.... usually someone leans one way or the other.... you sound 3w4 or 4w3.... to me selecting one of the other is rather arbitrary, the point is your in between a 3 and 4 somewhere... from the fact your not a raving extrovert, your probably a 4w3.

    Simply put.....

    2's are helpers
    3's are image builders
    4's are identity builders

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    Quote Originally Posted by HaveLucidDreamz View Post
    I don't know what happened to link but its all about how to make sense of the feeling triad....

    basically the key thing to notice is this....

    the feeling triad is about issues of self-worth, essentially its about feeling valued and worthy and cultivating a positive inner state

    3 is the center, with 2 and 4 being fringe types

    2 accomplishes feelings of self-worth via participation in society, helping others, they derive their self worth from others

    4 accomplishes feelings of self-worth via internal processes, feeling unique/special, they derive their self worth from within

    3 is the balance between these, they attempt to balance their external social values of worth with their internal personal values of worth, that's why 3's constantly fight a battle with narcissism. They want to outwardly appear valuable and worthy, but they want to feel that inward also. That's why 3's are always telling people that business american stuff like "Do what you love"... etc. There act is in balancing both extremes.

    Once you see how 2 3 and 4 relate to each other now you can understand the triad less like three discrete points but more like continuous gradient or spectrum, and its a lot easier to pinpoint yourself on it. Its exceedingly rare to find a pure 3.... usually someone leans one way or the other.... you sound 3w4 or 4w3.... to me selecting one of the other is rather arbitrary, the point is your in between a 3 and 4 somewhere... from the fact your not a raving extrovert, your probably a 4w3.

    Simply put.....

    2's are helpers
    3's are image builders
    4's are identity builders
    Thanks, that really cut through a lot of the bullshit that seems to encircle the enneagram. However, if anything, it makes me more certain that I lean slightly more towards 3 than 4, even if I'm "not a raving extrovert." :wink: Also, I really relate to the balancing thing, and I hate to admit it, but I say a lot of stuff like that to people I know although they rarely listen.

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