The Enneagram and Blogging: Type Two
The Enneagram and Blogging: Type Four

The Enneagram and Blogging: Type Three

The Enneagram and Blogging via Leigh Kramer
To learn more about this series, as well as how the survey was conducted, please read this post.


Type Three

Commonly known as The Achiever, The Performer, The Status Seeker, The Motivator

The Need to Succeed

Basic Fear: Of being worthless

Basic Desire: To feel valuable and worthwhile

Key Motivations: Want to be affirmed, to distinguish themselves from others, to have attention, to be admired, and to impress others.

Threes are efficient go-getters. They focus on being productive, achieving, and avoiding failure. If you need to get something done, ask a Three. Ambitious, competent, and energetic, they can also be status-conscious and highly driven for advancement. They're often attractive and charming but can also be overly concerned with their image and what others think of them. They typically have problems with workaholism and competitiveness.

At their best: self-assured, diplomatic, poised, optimistic, confident, industrious, efficient, self-propelled, energetic, practical

At their worst: deceptive, narcissistic, pretentious, vain, superficial, vindictive, overly competitive

Read this profile for a complete description of Type Three.


Type Three Bloggers*

Dear Abby Leigh, Kim Van Brunt, Briana Meade, Tsh Oxenreider, Emily Miller, Laura Turner, The Tiny Twig, Preston Yancey

*these are bloggers who identify as type three; it does not indicate they have participated in the Enneagram and Blogging survey


Typical Topics:

  • Parenting
  • Adoption
  • Life
  • Worth and belonging
  • Personal struggles
  • Faith and religion
  • The intersection of grace in the "in-between moments" when life is difficult
  • Controversial topics
  • Saints and the supernatural
  • Marriage
  • Fashion
  • Food


Why did you start blogging?

While reasons for starting a blog ranged from building a platform to sharing stories with family, many Type Threes reported starting their blog because they:

  • enjoyed writing and wanted a creative outlet
  • wanted to process life situations via writing
  • needed intellectual stimulation
  • wanted to build their network
  • wanted to connect to other people in similar circumstances

It's worth noting several Threes started their blogs because they felt it was the most efficient way to build a platform and work toward getting published. They had a goal and they did what they needed to do to meet it.


Do you have any goals related to blogging?

Besides building a platform or working toward publication, Threes feel their blogs are a great way to publicize themselves and their endeavors.

The flipside of their goal-orientedness is Threes can struggle with their blog's purpose. If they're not working toward something, do they still post? What are they trying to achieve by blogging? Some Threes expressed feeling it wasn't enough to just publish a post for the sake of publishing something or even posting for themselves. They want their work to affect others, to reach an audience, to matter.


What do you like about blogging?

  • Connecting with people they might not otherwise have met in real life
  • Being able to test ideas- if it falls flat, there aren't huge stakes
  • Knowing their work helps others
  • Great complement to book writing, as blogging stretches different muscles and allows for work to be shared sooner
  • General anonymity of reading audience
  • Being featured on other blogs or asked to guest post
  • Conversations that emerge as a result of their blog post


What do you not like about blogging?

Threes are motivated by the need to succeed. The blog world can be filled with ups and downs. Why do some posts go viral, while others don't? Why do some great writers have small readerships and crappy writers have crazy huge readerships? Sometimes the statistics make sense but often it's a crapshoot. And here are our Threes trying to make sense of it all so they can come up with their Blogging Success Plan. Threes wish the standards of blogging success were more clearly delineated. Since they're not, they may experience anxiety and wrestle with whether they should blog at all. Are people reading them? Do they matter if no one reads what they write?

Threes attach worth and value to their striving so if their efforts don't get the big payoff, they fear they're worthless or they'll be viewed as frauds. Although, they have the same fears when they do succeed. When a Three publishes a new post, they want positive feedback and validation but they're also worried it's only a matter of time before everyone figures out they're a fake or a hack. If the post doesn't get any comments or social media shares, they feel like a failure.

Additionally, Threes expressed having mixed motivations when it comes to blogging. They want the acceptance and admiration of their readers and the blogosphere at large. They can't post something and not care about the results.

Threes also don't like the pressure of social media. They count their success in terms of comments, "likes," and tweets. But they report they can take this too far, as their worth is affected by these numbers. While they feel they can do social media well, in terms of branding themselves to the world, it feeds back in to the fear of being found out as a fraud.


What are your strengths as a blogger?

Most respondents noted their honesty as one of their greatest strengths. They're able to lay it out there and say the things other people are afraid to say. They prize transparency. One respondent said in spite of her desire for validation and acceptance, she strongly feels the urge to be true to herself, even online, even though she could brand herself in such a way as to get the bigger platform she also seeks. This is a sign of a healthy Three!

Other Three strengths include strong writing, coming up with ideas, branding, and implementing projects. Threes often dazzle us with their many talents. They truly are impressive! A Three respondent who is also a journalist reported grammatical excellence and thorough research as two of her greatest strengths- an example of how Threes are able to acquire or nurture the specific skills they need to succeed in their careers.

Several Threes mentioned their vulnerability as a strength. Given what they don't like about blogging and their type-specific struggles, this is to be commended as it does not come without conscientious work and dedication.


What are your greatest struggles/temptations as a blogger?

Threes might substitute validation from strangers (aka the blogosphere) for true intimacy with friends and family. It might be easier to share their truest selves on paper, instead of raising their thoughts and concerns with their inner circle. We can develop very real connections and friendships within the on-line community but a Three must learn to distinguish when they're turning to these connections, instead of the people in their day-to-day life. It's a sign they're hiding from the people who know them best. Why are they hiding? We circle right back to those basic desires and fears. Threes can put on a good show- they're naturals on the stage and this is a true strength. But we can't, or at least shouldn't, put on a show for our loved ones. Thus, the test for Threes is to bring their honesty and vulnerability off the screen and in to their daily relationships.

Threes place a lot of weight on how people respond to them, on-line and off. They attach their worth to the outcome of their efforts. Because blogging offers an inconsistent payoff, Threes waver between how to balance blogging and social media while maintaining a strong sense of self.

Threes can turn in to workaholics. There's always more to do when it comes to blogging. They come with great ideas and they want to do them all. Threes can be tempted to spend more time on-line in their quest to succeed and less time with their families and other commitments.


Resources: The Enneagram Institute, The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective (Rohr), Enneagram Made Easy (Baron and Wagele), The Wisdom of the Enneagram (Riso and Hudson)