Best 3w2 Personality Traits (+3 Main Weaknesses)

In this article we will discuss 3w2 Personality. Enneagram is a system of typology which describes the personality of an individual as a number of interconnected personality types. This has become popular in the spiritual and business domain but it is not widely accepted in evidence based psychology as it lacks empirical research. 

Enneagram personality theory:

Enneagram personality is defined with the help of enneagram structure. It consists of a circle with nine distinct personalities. The outer circle has an equilateral triangle inside which connects three of the nine points of the circle. Rest of the points in the circle are connected through irregular hexagons. 

In simplest form, enneagram represents 9 distinct personality types and it grows complex when these 9 personalities give rise to 27 different personality subtypes. Enneagram personalities are clustered in 3 X 3 arrangement giving rise to three centers. These three centers are instinctive, feeling and thinking. The three personalities in each center have common characteristics of their center. For example characteristics of personality type four has its relationship with feelings. 

The arrangement of personality to its center is not arbitrary rather it is the emotional response to the loss of contact with the core self. This emotional response is largely unconscious and powerful. It should be noted that emotions of three centers are common among all personality type but personalities of a center are affected by those emotion. 

According to researchers in enneagram institute, individuals can find part of themselves in all personality types but one of the types constitutes the dominant aspect of their personality. According to them individuals are born with that dominant personality but it can further be shaped by environment and experiences. These two factors tend to interact and influence each other. The personality type a person is born in defines how a person responds to the experiences and these experiences in return shape how a personality is shaped. 

Enneagram suggests that people do not usually go from one personality type to another. But it is important to understand that not all aspects of personality are expressed at a particular time. People tend to fluctuate among healthy and unhealthy traits of their personality depending on their circumstances. A person can relate to each of the personality types but according to enneagram institute it is the dominant personality which is important. 

It should be noted here that no one personality type is considered better than others by researchers at enneagram institute. The characteristics of one personality type can be seen as hindrance or helpful for an individual depending on the individual and the culture they belong to. For example the trait of being self reliant might help individuals living in individualistic society but might become trouble for one in collectivist society. 

The basic personality types:

The basic personality types described through enneagram are as follow:

  1. Reformer
  2. Helper
  3. Achiever
  4. Individualistic
  5. Investigator
  6. Loyalist
  7. Enthusiast
  8. Challenger 
  9. Peacemaker

The Wings:

Enneagram researcher suggests that no one person has only one pure personality rather the dominant personality type is influenced by either one or both of its adjacent personality type. These adjacent personality types are known as wings.

 These wings or adjacent personality types add up complementary or sometimes contradictory elements to individuals personality type. It is important to take into account these wings in addition to dominant personality types as they are often known as the second side of one’s personality. For example individuals with personality type eight will be influenced either by nice or seven which are adjacent to it. 

There is a contradiction in enneagram tradition that either there are one or two wings influencing the dominant personality type of individual.  Some say only one wing is dominant in basic personality type while others say that both wings are equally operative or equally influence basic personality type. Research needs to be done in this area to justify one of the two propositions. 

Enneagram personality test:

Enneagram personality test is based on enneagram personality theory. Enneagram personality type can be determined by using Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator (RHETI version 2.5). This test categorizes individuals according to nine different personality types. It consists of 105 items and it usually takes 10 minutes to complete the test. 

Function of Enneagram Personality Type:

Each personality type is characterized by a particular set of behavior, emotion and fear. The main objective of an enneagram personality test is to understand your strength as well as your weakness so that a person can utilize his strength in a better way and work on his weakness to achieve a wholesome self. It is considered as a tool for self awareness and self analysis. By becoming self aware a person can move towards self improvement thus achieving self actualization. 

By understanding personality type individuals are better able to communicate and work through their lives. It has also been used in organization to enhance employee productivity and motivation. Understanding of one self and other leads to the better group dynamics and interpersonal communication, making it easier to achieve the desired goal. 

3w2 personality type:

Individuals having 3w2 personality type have basic personality type 3 with dominant wing 2. 3w2 are known as ‘The enchanter’ 

Personality type 3:

Individuals having personality type 3 are more success oriented. They have extremely effective communication skills and are very sociable. They take pride in what they wear and how they look. They are motivated by the need to be productive and be successful but if they fluctuate towards unhealthy traits, they become narcissistic, overly competitive and vindictive. 

Their basic desire is to seek validation and acceptance. They fulfill this desire by setting high goals for themselves and doing whatever it takes to fulfill them. They try to seek admiration for this. They also tend to adapt naturally to the different environmental situations, which might include playing a certain role rather than being themselves. 

The worst fear of personality type 3 is fear of failure or being worthless. They have this unconscious belief that to become worthy they need to be successful or at least perceived as successful. 

Personality type 2:

Individuals having basic personality type 2 are considerate, affectionate and caring. They are good at knowing what others want and helping others to reach their full potential. They are likely to be engaged in activities that bring out their innate goodness. They like to compliment others and generally know what to say to them or how to flatter others. They are good at interpersonal relationships and close relationships are really important to them. They are generally thoughtful, warm and sociable. Following are behavioral, motivational and fear patterns of 2s. 

Being an altruistic personality, 2s try at their best to hide their own needs and their emotions. They will try at all cost to give something than to receive as they are more comfortable that way. They feel obliged not to disappoint and would try never to break down after the feeling of not being loved. 

These basic elements of personality type three, when influenced by elements of personality type 2, give rise to 3w2 personality type. 

3w2 personality traits:

3w2 personality types are also known as ‘The helper’. They are often likely to play their own role in real life. Prestige, perception and recognition is important for 3w2. Healthy side of their personality brings them interpersonal warmth and leadership qualities. In their unhealthy side, they are usually concerned with how they are perceived by others and keep on struggling to be perceived as ideal. This can reach to family, friends and at the workplace. They are usually devoid of emotional recognition. 

Elements of 3 and 2 reinforce each other. They enjoy being the center of attention. They are also physically attractive the most which adds up to their social desirability and stimulates their influence on others. Depending on the influence of 2 on 3, 3w2 are warm and affectionate towards others. They care for their feelings and nurture people around them. Due to influence of 2 they want to be loved by others which makes them more considerate about others needs. 

3w2 strengths:

According to enneagram institute every personality type has certain strengths which become apparent in professional settings where they meet individuals from diverse backgrounds. 

3w2 strengths include:

  1. They enjoy setting ambitious goals and work hard to achieve them
  2. They care deeply for community and work for its betterment
  3. They are goal oriented and seek accomplishment and success
  4. They fear rejection and being unworthy of love, thus to avoid it they put in all of their effort to be accepted and loved.
  5. They are able to easily connect with people around them 

3w2 weaknesses:

3w2 weakness include following:

  1. They take their social image quite serious and devote their major cognitive resources towards it which can affect their other tasks 
  2. They can become overly competitive and obsessive over one thing resulting in negative effects on their psychological well being 
  3. Because of their tendency to influence others as defined by their social desirability, they can be manipulative although this manipulation in unintentional 

Dealing with 3w2:

To develop a strong and effective relationship with 3w2, it is suggested to follow following patterns:

  1. While communicating with 3w2, a person needs to be expressive and communicate their needs and expectations clearly 
  2. To connect with 3w2, a person engage in constructive discussions and help them set specific goals
  3. While connecting with 3w2 online, a person should be contacted infrequently and objectively. He should clearly state the purpose of communication
  4. 3w2 accepts constructive feedback but they also like to be appreciated for their accomplishments 
  5. To resolve a conflict with 3w2, a person should allow room for discussion and move towards consensus with mutual understanding  

3w2 Motivations:

Behavior of 3w2 is motivated by following:

  1. As dictated by their personality type they are motivated when they are center of attention 
  2. They are highly motivated with when their achieve their desired goals 
  3. They are motivated when they serve other 
  4. They are motivated when they build new friendships

3w2 stress:

3w2 are stressed when:

  1. They fail or disappoint their loved ones 
  2. Their social image gets disrupted
  3. They feel like they have to put in constant effort
  4. When they have to struggle to maintain a balance between professional and personal life


3w2 personality type has basic personality type 3 and is influenced by personality type 2. They are really competitive and goal oriented but also deeply cares about their social image. As of influence of 2 they want acceptance and love and get stressed out when they fail to please their loved ones. 

FAQs about 3w2 Enneagram

What is 3w2 enneagram?

This is enneagram personality type 3 influenced by wing 2. They are sensitive to the needs of the other and strive to work for the betterment of community. The social image is deeply important for them.

Which enneagram is rarest?

Rarest enneagram is type 4 that is individualistic personality type. It is hard to find type 4 because they tend to be with themselves and hardly meet others. 

What is W in enneagram?

According to researchers in Enneagram, no personality type is pure and is influenced by other adjacent personality types which are known as wings. Thus personality type is represented as [core personality type] w [wing number], for example 2w3 which is read as ‘two wing 3’. This demonstrates that the basic personality type is 2 which is influenced by personality type 3 known as its wing.


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