Enneagram 3 dating

A cycle of ever-increasing conflict can occur as the Epicure, feeling smothered and limited, can respond with escapism and rationalization and the Giver with angry outbursts and emotionality, possibly resulting in alienation and deterioration and even destruction of the relationship. In turn, the Protector often resists the influence and may react to feeling contained or manipulated with more confrontation and anger.

Potential Trouble Spots or Issues

Feeling rejected and devalued, the Giver may withdraw or burst out in anger and emotion. This all can result in a deep rift in the relationship and repeated cycles of uncontained reactivity leading to destruction of the relationship. Givers and Mediators get along well together because they both are sensitive, pleasing, helpful, and accommodating.

But conflict arises when Givers become overly helpful and intrusive in an effort to get Mediators to set priorities, take initiatives, and say what they need even though Givers have great difficulty themselves with experiencing what they need. When this pattern persists, the relationship can deteriorate and even dissolve.

They can live parallel yet supportive lives with each taking on the tasks necessary to function and attain goals. They may even become competitive, experience one another as obstacles in the path of attainment and success, and feel insufficiently recognized. A cycle of ever-increasing conflict can result when this occurs. Then each can get frustrated, impatient, angry, and distance himself or herself from each other, leading to alienation and distant co-existence or dissolution of the relationship.

Performers wanting approval try harder, yet often still disappoint the Romantic who pursues the ideal relationship. This pattern can result in a sustained gulf between them and even lead to dissolution of the relationship.

Type 3: The Achiever - Leslie Hershberger

Performers and Observers support each other in work projects and shared activities. As neither type habitually attends to feelings, they are unlikely to resolve the situation through dialogue and expression of personal feelings. They may become alienated and lonely leading eventually to termination the relationship.

When sharing a common purpose or goal, Performers and Loyal Skeptics can complement each other well with an action orientation balanced by thoughtful downside analysis. When Performers push ahead, somewhat blind to potential hazards and what can go wrong, Loyal Skeptics can react with caution and contrary thinking about pitfalls and worst case scenarios.

A cycle of escalating conflict can take place with the Performer seeing this as putting up obstacles to progress and success, which evokes impatience and a push forward into action. The Loyal Skeptic then can feel unheard and discounted, which increases his or her doubt and mistrust.

This can spiral into a web of angry allegations and eventually estrangement. Since both types avoid painful feelings and negatives, difficulties can reach crisis proportions before they are faced. This cycle of blame creates pain and anger in both. If the difficulties are not faced, alienation can take place and the relationship can dissolve.

Type Three: The Performer

Performers and Protectors can join together in pursuit of shared goals with vigor and determination. However, control and competition struggles can emerge unbuffered by softer feelings. A cycle of escalating conflict can ensue with the Protector picking up on the changes of position on the part of the shape-shifting Performer, leading to more provocation of the all-or-nothing style of confrontation.

Hurtful fights, withdrawal, and disruption of the relationship may ensue leading to termination the relationship. In turn, Performers help to mobilize Mediators into action. Getting frustrated and impatient, the Performer may pressure the Mediator to make decisions.

Feeling discounted and controlled, the Mediator can become anxious, stubborn and resistive. This then may escalate into angry exchanges and debilitating, prolonged stand-offs that threaten or may even dissolve the relationship. Then, they may feel disappointed in each other or themselves and feel that something important is lacking. A push-pull can take place between them when what is absent and longed for seems better or more ideal than what is present and fulfilling. A cycle of escalating conflict can arise in, which they compete for understanding, acknowledgement, support, and attention. Moodiness, anger over disappointments, and loss of steadiness may ensue.

When this push-pull cycle repeats often enough the relationship can destabilizes and dissolve. In general, however, Romantics want more and Observers want less in relationship. Romantics can experience Observers as emotionally unavailable, overly intellectual, withholding, and controlling of time and energy, while Observers can experience Romantics as too emotional, demanding, intrusive, and difficult to satisfy. A cycle of escalating conflict can occur with the Romantic becoming more demanding and self-focused and the Observer more retracted and detached from feeling.

At worst, this can devolve into paralysis of action, disengagement, and ultimately alienation. Loyal Skeptics appreciate the creative flair, authenticity or genuineness, and depth of heartfelt feeling of Romantics. But conflict arises when the Romantic seem insatiable in wanting what is lacking and when their feelings change dramatically.

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This, in turn, can generate a cycle of escalating conflict, which leads to further disappointment, hurt, and demands for attention by the Romantic accompanied by the push-pull pattern of alternatingly spurning and embracing the Loyal Skeptic, which tends to magnify or heighten his or her doubts and mistrust of the relationship. Angry outbursts, accusations, and withdrawal may be the result disrupting the relationship.

The Romantic then can push for more attention and authenticity and expresses further disappointment. The Epicure gets impatient and wants to escape seeming limitations and create a positive future, which can further polarize the relationship. The gulf between them can become larger and larger culminating in a vast sea of hurt, anger, withdrawal, and even dissolution of the relationship.

Romantics may experience Protectors as overpowering, insensitive to their impact and to tender feelings, dominating with all-or-nothing declaratives, and even crude. Protectors may experience Romantics as overly dramatic and emotional, falling into inaction, self-focused, and demanding. Both compound this by insisting on their own points view. Polarization with entrenched fighting, intense anger, and withdrawal may follow endangering the relationship and even leading to dissolution of the relationship. A cycle of escalating conflict can ensue if the Mediator responds by feeling deficient and digs in, becoming stubborn and resistive.

Both types can resist influence, become angry, and blame the other for their difficulties. Both can then withdraw and fall into inaction and manifest feelings of deficiency and sometimes depression. In time, this cycle can threaten or even result in termination of the relationship. Observers bond through shared intellectual interests and participation in meaningful projects and activities. Observers can relax with each other in this non-demanding climate. The same stance and qualities, however, can lead to loss of contact, emotional distance, and disconnection.

Both can feel ignored and even deprived, experience each other as miserly and unavailable, and ultimately feel lonely and impoverished. A cycle of increasing conflict may result characterized by frustration, cryptic sharp comments, short angry outbursts, and finally retraction and withdrawal. In the end there may not be enough contact and nurturance to sustain the relationship. Observers and Loyal Skeptics appreciate their shared characteristics of thoughtful intellectual analysis, respect for boundaries, sensitivity, and non-demandingness.

A cycle of escalating conflict can result with the Observer experiencing the Loyal Skeptic as making too many demands. This cycle can spiral downward disrupting the relationship as the Loyal Skeptic expresses intensified fears and allegations and the Observer responds with bursts of anger and further retreat, eventually ending the relationship. A cycle of escalating conflict can take place, however, when the Observer experiences the Epicure as violating personal boundaries and as wanting too much contact, sociability, variety, and energy.

The Epicure then can experience the Observer as dampening his or her enthusiasm, retracting, and becoming unavailable. As a result, over time there may not be enough contact or commitment to sustain the relationship. In addition, both types value autonomy and independence. Both may end up angry, hurt and detached from each other.

This cycle can ultimately threaten the viability of the relationship. The Observers-Mediators relationship can be a comfortable, supportive one because both types can be steady and non-demanding, and both types want to get along and avoid conflict. A cycle of increasing conflict can unfold with the Mediator, wanting more connection and involvement, complaining, and getting stubborn or dug in and the Observer retracting further and withholding. Both can escalate the conflict by trying to avoid conflict. And both can fall into angry withdrawal and inaction.

Ultimately, this may result in not enough contact to sustain the relationship. Hence, they often are uniquely suited to support and protect each other because they share this worldview. Conflict arises, however, around differing doubts, fears, and concerns.

Making It Work With Enneagram Type 7

When it occurs each Loyal Skeptic can become contrary, oppositional, and mistrusting of the other. If this escalates into a cycle of increasing conflict, difficulties can get magnified, resulting in angry allegations. While the more counterphobic Loyal Skeptic becomes more challenging and confrontive, the more phobic Loyal Skeptic becomes more withdrawing.

This ultimately can disrupt and even end the relationship if neither takes responsibility for what they are projecting onto the other.


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The Epicure, who deplores limits, then tries to escape, providing rationalizations for his or her point of view. Finally, polarization and episodes of angry allegations can disrupt and even dissolve the relationship. Angry confrontations may occur, causing either one to withdraw. Ultimately, the cycle of confrontation and counter-confrontation or withdrawal can lead to alienation and a lasting disruption of the relationship.

The Enneagram Type Combinations

Loyal Skeptics and Mediators often harmonize through their efforts to create a predictable, supportive, and secure relationship. The Mediator may dig in, getting stubborn and oppositional, and not do what he or she seemingly agreed upon especially when the Loyal Skeptic becomes provocative and even questioning to the point of becoming bitingly critical. This can end in stalemates, angry blaming, and withdrawal that threaten the viability of the relationship. Epicures enjoy each other, matching one another well as free spirited companions and visionaries.

They also may avoid or rationalize away difficulties. Eventually they both may feel that their claims are unheeded, their connection missing, and their pain unacknowledged. A cycle of increasing conflict may take place with claims and criticism being expressed about unfulfilled ideals and plans, self-centeredness, and a lack of time for feelings and serious matters. Blame may result characterized by angry outburst and withdrawal that can lead to one or the other escaping the distress by leaving the relationship.

Epicures and Protectors join together in pleasureful pursuits and activities as well as in social causes and innovative ideas. They readily express their opinions and ideas and not wanting to be controlled generally want to be their own authority. This pattern can devolve further into angry fighting, flight on the part of the Epicure, and disdain on the part of the Protector, which may disrupt and even end the relationship. Epicures and Mediators complement each other in their relationship. In addition, both types like keeping life pleasant and free of conflict.

The Epicure, in turn, experiences the Mediator as indecisive and distracted by little things.


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If the Epicure pushes for more action, attention, and interest, the Mediator can get stubborn and oppositional. Since both types are conflict-avoidant, gradual disengagement and withdrawal can take place interrupted periodically by angry outbursts associated with unaddressed conflict. Ultimately, there may not be enough connection to sustain the relationship.

Since Protectors have little internal counterforce to their tendency to engage in direct expression, this battle of wills can escalate and polarize into control struggles, angry hurtful encounters, alienation cutting each other off , and eventually withdrawal, all of which can damage and even destroy the relationship. A cycle of increasing conflict may occur when the Mediator, feeling intimidated, pressured, and discounted, digs in and gets oppositional and stubborn.

This pattern may ultimately lead to alienation. Mediators have the potential for a comfortable, mutually supportive, and caring relationship with each other, but their mutual desire for harmony may lead to an unhealthy avoidance of conflict and a deadening of the relationship. In addition, their mutual tendency to defer to others and avoid focusing on their own priorities can lead to procrastination and indecision.

These patterns can then lead to complaining, subtle blaming, and passive resistance. With neither being comfortable with taking the lead in the relationship, they may have a difficult time finding a direction and moving forward in order to deal with the accompanying distress. A cycle of increasing conflict can ensue as neither one tends to view himself or herself as causing the distress.

So both may gradually find substitute interests aside from the relationship. Ultimately the relationship can fall apart when both individuals not feeling fulfilled withdraw in anger. There just may not be enough shared energy left to sustain the relationship. What to expect if you are in a relationship with a Three: Threes expect recognition for a winning image and style. Reinforce regard for the person, separate from what they do.

Hold fast and be fully present when their genuine feelings emerge. Expect them to speed up during difficulty. Slowing down feels like failure. Remember, while Threes avoid their feelings, they still are heart types and are looking for connection. Time spent doing things together, laughing, driving or high energy activities are a way to connect. Share how you feel when they are moving so fast perhaps doing something productive as you try to have a conversation.

Share if you feel unimportant or worthy of some down time. Learn to listen without an agenda. Really slow and be curious about what is underneath what others may be saying. Practice self-compassion and self-forgiveness when you feel you have failed. This is helpful when working with the Enneagram because gratitude automatically shifts focus away from those things which habitually grab attention to perhaps more productive or nourishing things.

Intentionally cultivating a gratitude practice is an excellent way to broaden our focus of attention.

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