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Thread: Enneagram Tritypes: Do they exist?

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    Default Enneagram Tritypes: Do they exist?

    There seems to be a lack of consensus on whether tritypes exist or not. The reasons for being against the existence of such seems to be that it seems ludicrous to think that one can have three very distinct motivations occurring simultaneously. However the reasons for the existence of tritypes is that we all have head, heart and gut issues, so it's natural to assume that people will have three different kinds of Enneagram. Evidence that could go against the existence of tritypes is the already growing complexity of having instinctual stackings plus subwings of one's main Enneagram type. However, evidence that could go for the existence of tritypes are tritype archetypes, which provide adequate descriptions of having the combination of three specific enneagram types regardless of their order. Enneagram archetype descriptions can be found here: http://personalitycafe.com/enneagram...criptions.html. I'd like to hear your thoughts on whether you find tritypes to be useful and accurate or simply nonsense?
    "Nothing happens until the pain of staying the same outweighs the pain of change."

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    If I'm correct, tritypes are based on having one type for the gut, head and heart centers of the enneagram. You'll notice in anyones tritype that you can't have more than one type belonging to the same centre. i.e an "2w1, 3w4, 4w3" doesn't exist, they are all from the heart centre. You can't have three different heart energies, with no guts or brains . Tritypes explain a whole lot more than just your main type...which doesn't cover all the different aspects. They're worth looking in to.

    I like this description, it would be better with wings. It's short and simple but I relate to it a ton!!

    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe View Post
    1-4-7 : perfectionistic, whimsical and rather picky, these Ones tend to be quite expressive and passionate. They want things to be a certain way and tend to reject whatever doesn’t precisely fit their desires. However when they appreciate something (an idea, a person, an activity), this tritype can over-indulge in it in an excessive, obsessional manner. They’re not as self-disciplined as other Ones and they’re prone to giving in to their fantasies and desires more, believing they are somewhat special and deserve special treatment.
    usual subtypes: sexual, self-preserving.
    similar tritypes: 1-7-4, 4-1-7
    flavours: fastidious, expressive, impatient and original

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    Definitely.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    Definitely.
    Whats yours? if you don't mind, I know an EIE 3w4.

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    Why shouldn't there be a tritype? I mean, our motivations throughout life aren't always going to relate to that one dominant type. I mean, for one, think about all of the emotions we go through on a regular basis that can change our outlook on things, thus change how we are motivated to respond to those things. I don't know, I like the idea of the tritype - more to work with that way.


    I am most likely 649, but my gut fix is kind of up in the air right now.

    649 The Seeker. Accepting and intuitive 6. This is the most emotional and accommodating 6. This 6 has the most self-doubt and uncertainty and often seeks multiple sources of confirmation before making a decision. This 6 is very sensitive, and can be mistaken for a 4 or 2.

    The 649 ponders...thinks and rethinks. They are introspective like the 459...just more people oriented. Their shame is in making a mistake...they must get it right like the 461 but do not feel that they can easily say their opinion our loud due to a fear that they might make a mistake.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diam0nd View Post
    Whats yours? if you don't mind, I know an EIE 3w4.
    3w4-8w7-6w7 sx/so
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aerorobyn View Post
    Why shouldn't there be a tritype? I mean, our motivations throughout life aren't always going to relate to that one dominant type. I mean, for one, think about all of the emotions we go through on a regular basis that can change our outlook on things, thus change how we are motivated to respond to those things. I don't know, I like the idea of the tritype - more to work with that way.


    I am most likely 649, but my gut fix is kind of up in the air right now.



    I think 649 (The Seeker) seems to fit me as well, but 614 (The Philosopher) is also possible.
    "Nothing happens until the pain of staying the same outweighs the pain of change."

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    The suggestion of multi-type theories are hated among majority of the typology community. The prevalent idea is that a person is one and only one type, which is inherent at birth. Tritype mildly threatens this idea hence why their is a bad reaction to it.


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    Tritype has grown on me. I certainly like the idea, if for nothing else the delineation of variation within the same type. I don't know if it has much practical application aside from just decoration though, but I'm keeping my mind open to it. Attaching wings to each type seems a bit superfluous too.

    I'm probably 649. The only other possibility is 648, but the more I read about it the less I connect. The more 649 descriptions I read the more embarrassed about myself I get, haha.
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    Sure, tritypes exist. More than wings do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ritella View Post
    Over here, we'll put up with (almost) all of your crap. You just have to use the secret phrase: "I don't value it. It's related to <insert random element here>, which is not in my quadra."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Galen View Post
    The more 649 descriptions I read the more embarrassed about myself I get, haha.
    Lol I find that's a good way of gauging enneagram type.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    I think it leaves you with too many subtypes and can be thus be overly complicated, though I do relate to 4-6-8, the truth teller.

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    A preferred method of interaction and cognition along with innate unconscious drives and aversions, for each the head, image, and gut center? I don't see why this wouldn't make sense/"exist". It's just an extension of the main enneagram type, really.

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    My Methodology to Tritype and Wings and all that isn't to pick among a large sea of options, but first to choose a single type that fits best (surely not perfectly) then use all these extra subtype and multitype theories to add a more robust characterization of that type to help distinguish you from other people of the same type. It's too overwhelming if you have to choose among all possible tritypes,wings, and instinctual variants.

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    Does anyone have any good links to tritype descriptions?
    Quote Originally Posted by Agee The Great View Post
    Nobody here...besides me, seems to know what SLE is except for maybe Maritsa.

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    Quote Originally Posted by octo View Post
    Does anyone have any good links to tritype descriptions?
    The link I provided at the beginning was pretty good imo, it's right here: http://personalitycafe.com/enneagram...criptions.html
    "Nothing happens until the pain of staying the same outweighs the pain of change."

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    Traveller thx 4 digging that up , the extended description is so fucking true... bookmarked

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diam0nd View Post
    Traveller thx 4 digging that up , the extended description is so fucking true... bookmarked
    You're welcome Diamond.
    "Nothing happens until the pain of staying the same outweighs the pain of change."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    Tritypes are fucking stupid. They are the DCNH of the Enneagram.

    To put it in perspective: Basic Enneagram yields 18 possible types (or 108 w/ IV stacks). Adding Tritypes explodes that to 540 possible types (or 3,240 w/ IV stacks). That kind of particularization is absurd.
    What are your thoughts on the 27 tritype archetypes? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tritype#Archetypes
    "Nothing happens until the pain of staying the same outweighs the pain of change."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    Tritypes are fucking stupid. They are the DCNH of the Enneagram.

    To put it in perspective: Basic Enneagram yields 18 possible types (or 108 w/ IV stacks). Adding Tritypes explodes that to 540 possible types (or 3,240 w/ IV stacks). That degree of particularization is absurd.
    You're wrong in my case. Yeah so what if there are a lot of possibilities, does that make tritypes less valid? The tritype has simplified things for me enneagram wise, whereas the dcnh doesn't make much sense to me at the end of the day.

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    Can someone explain to me how a binary-logic based system like the brain produces traits in multiples of 3, rather than powers of two?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tcaudilllg View Post
    Can someone explain to me how a binary-logic based system like the brain produces traits in multiples of 3, rather than powers of two?
    3's the magic number unless you're in a relationship

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    hmm, I'm not sure what to think about with Enneagram Tritype.

    I mean, with "vanilla" Enneagram, you've got your types which come with their base fears and desires. From which they have their particular goals, focus, stressors, challenges, and coping strategies with its blindspots and shortcomings. This is a working model, I would think, to think through to become more self-aware and gain a better understanding of other people. Now obviously people aligned with a certain type will have other concerns, worries, and behaviorism that aren't quite related to the type.

    And... that's all that tritype seems to be about? I haven't look too too deep into it. But, all it seems to do is take the sorta general behaviorism of 3 types and kinda mesh them together to form this new thing that seems like it could make sense if you could blend the types together. To sorta kinda explain the variation. What seems to get lost in this mixing mess, however, is the core working mechanism of each type.

    6-9-2

    From the Enneagram Institute, 6s have the basic fear "of being without support and guidance." So... when that fear is alleviated they move onto the 9s basic fear? What about the desires? How do the coping strategies develop from this? Then there is still 2 to take into account...

    It just doesn't seem to me to be a functional model to really "get" other people or for self-awareness. It just... seems to describe a certain behaviorism. And that's really it. No real regard to the foundation of the types it is tri-forcing together.

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    From what I glean, the nature of tritype goes as follows:


    Each type is a manifestation of some particular fixation/neurosis within a specific center (heart, head, gut). These neuroses come in the form of either over-association (2/5/8 with their identity/cognitive abilities/instincts), nebulousness (3/6/9 with heart/head/gut), and rejection (4/7/1 you get the picture). The tritype theory then asks the question: if each person only has one type, made up of a distinct combination of these two trichotomies, then does that mean the other two centers have no primary fixation whatsoever? If we are to believe that all people have the capability to simultaneously possess an identity/feelings, cognitive abilities, and gut instincts, then why would only one of these three centers have a primary neurosis while the other two are fine? I don't see why this would be the case.

    If we accept that people have all three capabilities, then it should be fair to say that these faculties are prioritized, much like how instinct stackings are prioritized one above another. So instead of sx>so>sp, one can be head>gut>heart, with the head fixation taking primary importance and flavors of the other two imparted onto the individual according to prioritization. Azeroffs made an extended blog about this here, but with each specific combination of types comes an inevitable compounding of two or more types upon one or more main trichotomy of three: Harmonics, Social Styles, and Object Relations (info on them here). For example if we look at a 468 tritype, all three of these types share the Reactive harmonic triad, and as such the 468/648/etc will be heavily flavored by the reactive triad. As another example, a 271 has both the secondary and tertiary centers as Rejection social styles. So even though the 2 itself is not in that triad, it will be colored by those secondary characteristics. And so on and so forth with any other combination out there.
    Last edited by Galen; 01-12-2012 at 07:53 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcaudilllg View Post
    Can someone explain to me how a binary-logic based system like the brain produces traits in multiples of 3, rather than powers of two?
    because binary logic presupposes a unity that can only be expressed via a trinity. hence the three centers of the enneagram, and thus the relevance of tritypes as composite pictures of human motivation.

    it's pretty much intuitive, given that one's e-type only exists in relation to the rest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    To put it in perspective: Basic Enneagram yields 18 possible types (or 108 w/ IV stacks). Adding Tritypes explodes that to 540 possible types (or 3,240 w/ IV stacks). That degree of particularization is absurd.
    That makes sense if you think of it as a typology. If you think of it as a trait-based system, where everyone has varying degrees of each of the 9 enneagram tendencies, then the base "type" is the main concentration, and the tritype describes the highest-scoring trait in each of the fix groups. I don't see a problem with this interpretation, and in fact I think it might reflect reality more accurately, since enneatypes aren't (afaik) logically defined to be mutually exclusive, unlike sociotype.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agee The Great View Post
    Nobody here...besides me, seems to know what SLE is except for maybe Maritsa.

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    You're all ignoring that the Enneagram is filled with bogus behavioural and spiritual prescriptions. It's a spiritual doctrine, you either accept, reject, or casually toy with it in a superficialised form.

    Do tritypes exist? Define existence. Are they compatible with the conventional enneagram? Yes, but in order to fit in with the system they turn into prescriptions, which are wrong; failing that they turn into yet another Enneagram reinterpretation, by yet another group of people whose psychological literacy is severely questionable.
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    lol define existence.

    it's a dynamic model of human fixations, with which the notion of tritypes happens to meld fluidly. sorry if that doesn't satisfy binary fetishes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    Which I do—i.e., where enneatype emerges from a core fixation, etc.

    I don't see Enneagram as a trait theory where people have quantitative concentrations in each of the 9 types.
    Well, they certainly present it as a typology... but I think it's more likely that it's more accurate as a trait theory. But that's never going to be widely accepted, people like being able to label themselves easily, as seen from the popularity of MBTI, and how people insist on treating Big Five as a typology. Oh well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agee The Great View Post
    Nobody here...besides me, seems to know what SLE is except for maybe Maritsa.

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    Quote Originally Posted by strrrng View Post
    because binary logic presupposes a unity that can only be expressed via a trinity. hence the three centers of the enneagram, and thus the relevance of tritypes as composite pictures of human motivation.

    it's pretty much intuitive, given that one's e-type only exists in relation to the rest.
    The problem with that is that every third has a fourth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tcaudilllg View Post
    The problem with that is that every third has a fourth.
    oh okay
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcaudilllg View Post
    The problem with that is that every third has a fourth.
    yeah, triangles lead to cubes. but what's the simplest shape formed by lines?

    the 1-9 scale is objective finitude (...in the lord of the rings 'nine rings were gifted to the race of men'; the stages of terrestrial progression). within these parameters trinities are the most basic expression of unity.

    as for the basis, two plus two is always four. the proof is in the recursion of forms. it's 'circular' b/c 0 contains it all.

    and the enneagram just happens to be a wheel with nine types.

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    Personally I think its obvious that everyone has each of the centers, so it makes sense that there is a solution for each problem; it's how the brain works...I tend to think that they align with the instincts; for example I believe I am sx 3w4, so 8w7, sp 6w5.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    Personally I think its obvious that everyone has each of the centers, so it makes sense that there is a solution for each problem; it's how the brain works...I tend to think that they align with the instincts; for example I believe I am sx 3w4, so 8w7, sp 6w5.
    Are you attaching an instinct to each type, or are you ordering them in terms of overall priority?

    386 would work for you I think. You do have a sort of reactive-triad flare about you, although that could be mimicked by being assertive-triad. Or both, or something.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Galen View Post
    Are you attaching an instinct to each type, or are you ordering them in terms of overall priority?
    Both.

    386 would work for you I think. You do have a sort of reactive-triad flare about you, although that could be mimicked by being assertive-triad. Or both, or something.
    Well 7w8/8w7 was actually my initial self-typing, 7 and 8 are the types with whose descriptions I identify most easily. It took a bit of work to realize exactly how I am a 3. I do identify with the motives of an 8; my mother happens to be an 8 and from what I've heard the children of 8s are frequently 8s as well.

    IMO the whole concept of tritypes is both intuitively fitting and plays out well in real life, to the point of constructing very coherent archetypes as the author of the article referenced in this thread has fleshed out rather well IMO; not what I would call perfect but he has the right idea IMO. Personally I don't see it so much as a meshing of a types traits as an interweaving of the instincts that can be observed rather than dissected; its more about resulting energies than mixing and matching traits, just like the original idea of Enneagram typing.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
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    Default Enneagram Tritypes make sense

    Since we exist in "consensus reality" nothing can be said to exist on this level because everything is in a state of change. However, for the past 22 years, I have studied the Enneagram and always thought that something was missing. The Tritype system intuitively made sense to me the moment it was introduced. As a counterphobic Six 6w5, my Tritype of 483 describes the counterphobic part very well. The 8 is in your face when it feels threatened, and the 3 wants to prove itself in situations it accepts as a worthwhile challenge. Both of those tendencies apply to this counterphobic Six. Tonight our Enneagram discussion group will discuss the Tritype system as it applies to new people coming to the group. I am interested in other experiences on this topic. - Thanks and Peace - John

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    Quote Originally Posted by joh0369 View Post
    Nothing can be said to exist on this level because everything is in a state of change.
    Well yes, everything is in a perpetual state of transformation, motion, and change but nothing simply surges up out of nothing without having antecedents that existed before. Nothing ever disappears without a trace, in the sense that it gives rise to absolutely nothing existing at later times, as long you're talking philosophy/physics.

    However, for the past 22 years, I have studied the Enneagram and always thought that something was missing. The Tritype system intuitively made sense to me the moment it was introduced. As a counterphobic Six 6w5, my Tritype of 483 describes the counterphobic part very well.
    You haven't studied it long enough. It doesn't make any sense or I misread something somewhere. For example, your main type is 6 as you claim and you, let's say, identify with 3 and 8 a bit - that means your tritype is 6-3-8. Not 6w5-3-8 or 4-8-3. But, like I said, I could misread stuff and blow it out of proportion, so watch out.

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    Tritypes are one of the few things (along with 2012 apocalypse and aliens-building-the-pyramids) that make me rage. If you really study the enneagram, it doesn't make sense. It's like, "Lets take my main type that fits me, and then add two other types that superficially fit me on a stereotypical/behavioral level". Most of the time, if you get someone to describe "why" their tritype fits them, what they list off for their other two types actually fit very well within the defense mechanisms of the main type.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FoxOnStilts View Post
    Tritypes are one of the few things (along with 2012 apocalypse and aliens-building-the-pyramids) that make me rage. If you really study the enneagram, it doesn't make sense. It's like, "Lets take my main type that fits me, and then add two other types that superficially fit me on a stereotypical/behavioral level". Most of the time, if you get someone to describe "why" their tritype fits them, what they list off for their other two types actually fit very well within the defense mechanisms of the main type.
    I don't mind tritypes, but imo Enneagram is a trinary system which means it's either got something extraneous or it's missing something.

    You could look at Enneagram and see the vague shape of ego/super-ego/id where one of the pieces is simply unexplained(super id).

    Imo, Enneagram is like this, its model serves in a way to describe how one is without giving a explanation for a part that is not very intrinsic to oneself, but where one desires from others.

    Anyways given say my 3-5-8 enneagram tritype you could say 3, 5, 8 would be respectively my

    Id = 3
    Ego = 5
    Super-ego = 8

    All of which aren't that off the description. The super-id is a unconscious desire but it's not really something I produce for others or very adept at so the tritype would more or less explain my strong points as well as my weak points that I consciously control.

    If you approach tritype from a Freudian perspective, it can make sense.

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