What are Enneagram Tritypes? How do I find my Tritype?
What is the Enneagram Tritype? Originally from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 2011:
The term Tritype refers to a theory regarding the Enneagram of Personality and was coined by Enneagram researcher and coach Katherine Chernick Fauvre. The word Tritype was formed from Latin, with the prefix tri meaning three, and the word type added referring to the Enneagram types. The theory was initially inspired and developed as the result of research studies Katherine conducted in 1994-1995 on the internal experience and personal image of the 9 Enneagram types. Her interviews with study participants revealed that the participants identified with the core fears, defense strategies and idealized images of three, not just one Enneagram Type. One Enneagram Type was dominant, however, the other two Enneagram Types could be seen in the participant's word choices, needs and concerns. As such, these strategies were very active and influential in the lives of the study participants. This finding was true with those that were well acquainted with the Enneagram as well as those that were not.
Later, in 1996, Katherine Fauvre met a teacher from Arica that referenced Oscar Ichazo's teachings in a workshop. What was of interest, is that the teacher mentioned that Ichazo had added the concept of "tri-fix" a similar theory to Tritype,. Because Ichazo added "tri-fix" circa 1996, it was not a part of the original dissemination of the Enneagram in 1969, nor was not a part of Dr. Claudio Naranjo's Enneagram teachings in his Seekers After Truth groups (SAT) from 1971-1973. Ichazo's "tri-fix" suggested that people use 3 Enneagram fixations, one from each center. This is what Katherine's typing interviews had revealed as well. As such, it confirmed that the patterns Katherine's research findings suggested were significant as they had also been discovered by Ichazo, the originator of the Enneagram of Personality.
At that point in time, nothing was published on Oscar Ichazo's "tri-fix" work. Finally, in December 1996 and January 1997, Enneagram Monthly published interviews with Oscar Ichazo that included a paragraph on the concept of tri-fix. This further validated Fauvre's findings that individuals have not just one, but 3 Enneagram Type. The difference was that Fauvre found that rather than only the "fixations" of the three types, people utilized the full defense strategy of their three types including: the mental fixations, the emotional passions and the visceral sensations of each type. The nuances of type produced by this study inspired Katherine to continue her studies to learn more about the internal experience of EnneagramTypes and the deeper meaning of the intersection of the three Enneagram Types. You may at times see the term ‘Tritype’ listed as tri-type, Tri-type. Katherine coined the term as Tritype and Tritypes.
In 2008, Katherine Fauvre coined the term "Tritype" in order to distinguish her vast body of research and resulting theory from Ichazo’s teachings, and the teachings of Arica. All published material to date is from Katherine's work as Ichazo never published more than the initial paragraph about Tritype in the Enneagram Monthly.
What is Tritype? How do I find my Tritype?
Tritype Theory | Katherine Fauvre | Creator of Tritype
Tritype theory suggests that while individuals primarily utilize one of the main Enneagram Types as their ‘core type,’ everyone actually employs three central Enneagram Types - the one that is the most dominant within each center of intelligence (the Head (567), Heart (234) and Gut (891) centers respectively).
According to Katherine Fauvre, individuals use their main Enneagram Type along with two other types in a consistent, cascading, and repetitive manner, to produce a kind of ego intersection among all three types. Therefore, while each type within the Tritype is employed separately, the combination of all three types coming together gives each Tritype a unique defense strategy (or way of defending against reality) and a specific focus of attention. In effect, each Tritype creates a type unto itself. This is because each type has a specific focus of attention that when combined with two other Enneagram types creates a new focus of attention that is a result of uniting the types within the Enneagram Tritype Archetype.
It is important to note that just combining the 3 preferred types, one within each center, is not enough to explain the attentional patterns of each Tritype Archetype. This is because the type characteristics are modified by the type characteristics of the two other types in the Tritype. As a result the three types together will amplify some qualities they share in common and minimized other qualities they don’t share or amplify only some of the qualities from two of the types within the Tritype Archetype. Some characteristics are amplified and other characteristics are negated by the characteristics of the two other types within the Tritype.
Tritype is used to explain the distinctive ways in which each individual manages life using various combinations of ego strategies and coping mechanisms from each center, yet Tritype (like the Enneagram) still remains a theory of motivation and not one of behavior.
Fauvre frequently refers to the "high side" and "low side" of these Tritype interactions and distinguishes each as having a separate purpose. The high side of the Tritype intersection is that it gives direction, focus and purpose to the individual ego. The low side of this Tritype intersection is that it creates a blind spot which can narrow a person's ability to accurately self-assess and may even prevent a person from achieving a higher level of self-awareness by keeping them stuck in habitual and self-defeating patterns.
The head center or the "mental triad" consists of Enneagram types 5, 6, and 7.
The heart center or the "emotional triad" consists of Enneagram types 2, 3, and 4.
The gut center or the "instinctive triad" consists of Enneagram types 8, 9, and 1.
Katherine Fauvre’s major body of work on the Enneagram and Tritype began in 1994-1995. At that time, she had initiated her research study on Enneastyle: The 9 Languages of Enneagram Type, which examined the internal experience and self-image of the nine Enneagram types. This research began with the words the 9 types used on the Enneastyle Questionnaire to describe their internal and external experience of the 9 Types and immediately expanded to include the Instinctual Types. Tritype theory emerged as a result of this first study.
Initially this questionnaire was sent to 400 participants that were already familiar with the Enneagram, so that Fauvre could examine whether or not individuals with the same Enneagram types described themselves using similar language and symbology. Although Fauvre suspected some questionnaire similarities among those with the same type, what she discovered was the likelihood that Enneagram type was possibly determinable by simply examining word choice in self-description categories. In order to test this hypothesis, Fauvre then gave the questionnaire to 100 participants that were unfamiliar with the Enneagram, and subsequently and successfully determined their Enneagram Types based on typing interviews and the language similarities that she had observed in the first set of questionnaires. Participants were followed for one year to verify the validity of Fauvre's original typings.
Tritype theory was born of the results of the research gathered from Katherine Fauvre's initial explorations into instinctual subtype, core fears, self-image, language, spirituality, and intimacy, and pair bonding from 1994-1998. After her analysis of the Enneastyle Questionnaire responses from her first research study on Enneastyle – then later in conjunction with the Enneacards Enneagram test– Fauvre consistently noticed that individuals with the same Enneagram types described themselves similarly. These individuals also used the same or similar lexicon to communicate their internal states, self-image and motivation strategies.
Once Fauvre became familiar with the communication styles and word usage of each type, she also began to notice another pattern emerging in her research. Fauvre states that each individual expresses himself or herself using the language combinations that are distinct for the three different types that come together to form the Tritype. Analysis revealed through the use of the Enneastyle Questionnaire, Enneacards test results (measuring one’s dominant personality type, and Tritype), and follow up interviews, that Enneagram Tritype is an integral part of Enneagram Theory, as the two supporting types are illustrated and evident in the questionnaires through participants’ language and self-conception descriptions.
In 2003, using Katherine Fauvre’s initial research findings, Katherine Chernick Fauvre and David Fauvre developed the Enneacards Enneagram Testing Instrument.
In 2004, David Fauvre commissioned the creation of an algorithm to code software that would detect the complex patterns of language use found in the Enneastyle Questionnaires. Since that time, both David and Katherine Fauvre have tested the Language Classifier to determine Type and Tritype using a variety of forms of written communication. The Language Classifier has been used to statistically validate that the language responses in the Enneastyle Questionnaire not only demonstrate that each Enneagram Type speaks in its own lexicon, regardless of age, sex, race, education or culture, but also that individuals use the lexicon of all three dominant types in their Tritype and instinctual subtype.
Katherine Fauvre has published her research in Enneastyle: The 9 Languages of Enneagram Type, The Enneagram Instinctual Subtypes, and in The 27 Tritypes Revealed: Discover Your Life Purpose and Blind Spot and, to date, over 100,000 people have taken Fauvre’s Enneastyle Questionnaire, Instinctual Subtypes Test, and the Enneacards Test. In addition, Fauvre has written articles for the "Enneagram Monthly", including one Reflections on Type that documents her experiences and understanding of the types as described in an intensive workshop she attended with Dr. Claudio Naranjo in 1996.
Both Katherine and David Fauvre have presented and published their research on Tritype at the International Enneagram Association and in the International Enneagram Association's Enneagram Journal in 2012. Their article is titled Exploring Enneagram Tritype : Theory and practice.
The diverse aspects of the Tritype theory have been presented at the International Enneagram Association's (IEA) conferences from 2008-2017. In July 2011 at the IEA conference, Katherine Fauvre presented on the Tritype archetypes she has observed as well as how they relate to the Instinctual Type (subtypes) and Subtype Stackings.
Katherine Fauvre states that the Tritype may or may not consist of the types in the lines of connection, or next to the dominant type on the Enneagram, however when speaking on one's own Tritype, the first number listed in the Tritype is always the dominant type, followed by the next preferred types in the other two non-dominant centers of intelligence. Therefore, having a "Tritype" means having one dominant Enneagram type in each center of intelligence. such as 8-5-3, 6-2-1, etc. When a Tritype is discussed in general it is listed from the lowest number to the highest such as: 125, 126, 127, etc.
For example: the 548 or "The Scholar" Tritype leads with the dominant Type 5 (in the mental center) and then utilizes Type 4 (in the heart center) and Type 8 (in the gut center) in that order. A Type 5 may or may not have Type 4 in their Tritype, despite it being a possible wing for the Type 5. Tritype types are employed to support the dominant type.
Katherine Fauvre states that research shows that the other types in the Tritype are omnipresent but more specifically employed for use whenever the dominant patterns of the lead Type's defenses, wing types, and lines of connection have been exhausted and ineffective. The Tritype acts as a spiral and is in constant motion. It is engaged in all decision making processes. When the strategies of one of types in the Tritype is at odds with another type, decisions are harder to make. When all three types in the Tritype share a similar worldview, it is much easier for the Tritype to find solutions to their problems.
Another example: a person could be the 927 or "The Peacemaker" Tritype, and after utilizing the dominant Type 9 strategies the person may move to their lines of connection (Type 3 and Type 6) as well as to their possible wings (Type 1 and Type 8). However, if these connections are not effective for the person, they may move to Type 2 and become more helpful, effusive and relational, and then move subsequently to Type 7 to utilize positive reframing, escapism or future planning in order to achieve desirable results.
Another 9 may have the 935 Tritype or "The Thinker" Tritype, and this Tritype will present very differently from another 9 Tritype. The 935 will utilize the Type 9 strategy as dominant, but after exhausting wings and lines of connection, will move to Type 3 and become more expedient, professional or image focused, and then to Type 5 and become more cerebral, remote and concealed. This Tritype combination will seem significantly different from the 927.
Katherine Fauvre also states that aside from the employment of the other types in the Tritype, an archetype (see below) is created that illustrates why types of the same type, instinctual stacking, and wing can present differently.
Katherine Fauvre believes that there are two main ways to work with the Tritype material. The first is to study the differences within type by looking at the Tritype relationship to those sharing the same dominant Enneagram type. The other is to compare the similarities between people with the same Tritype across different core Enneagram types. This is referencing the Tritype archetype.
For example: Type 1 has nine different possible combinations (125, 126, 127, 135, 136, 137, 145, 146, 147). Through observation of how these different combinations of the Type 1 conceptualize and navigate the social world, distinctions may be noticed depending upon the types in the Tritype. The other method is to recognize the archetype of each Tritype combination. Fauvre posits that each of the 27 Tritype combinations illustrate a particular and individual archetype. These archetypes were observed out of the recognition of the similar core triggers, core fears, life purposes, blind spots and “growing edges” that seemed to personify how each Tritype navigated the world.
Example: the 468 (486, 684, 648, 864, 846) has been deemed “The Truth Teller” by Fauvre. Most research participants who identified this as their Tritype combination reported similar archetypal patterns that, according to Fauvre, warranted this title, such as the desire to track inconsistencies and call off hidden agendas and ulterior motives. According to Fauvre, each of the 27 Tritypes have a corresponding archetype that gives a "snapshot" into the archetypal life path of that particular Tritype combination.
27 Tritype Archetypes by originator of the Enneagram Tritype®, Katherine Chernick Fauvre
Enneagram Tritype Descriptions
125, 152, 215, 251, 512, 521-The Mentor
If you are a 125, you are very diligent, caring, and knowledgeable. You want to be ethical, helpful and wise. You are very idealistic and see what needs to be done and the simple and effective ways to do it. You are intensely private but care about people. You seek practical systems and procedures to measure results and effectiveness.
126, 162, 216, 261, 612, 621-The Supporter
If you are a 126, you are diligent, caring and inquisitive. You want to be ethical, helpful and supportive. Highly responsible and cooperative, you are most comfortable when you do things ‘by the book’ and know what to expect. Focused on the needs and concerns of others, you seek ways to be of service. You enjoy being the power behind the throne.
127, 172, 217, 271, 712, 721-The Teacher
If you are a 127, you are diligent, caring and innovative. You want to be ethical, empathetic and inspired. Engaging, fun loving and outgoing, you want to be with people. You seek fun with a purpose, needing goals as well time to play and celebrate and enjoy life. You love discovering new things. You have a gift of being able to squeeze the boredom out of anything tedious.
135, 153, 315, 351, 513, 531-The Technical Expert
If you are a 135, you are diligent, focused and knowledgeable. You want to be ethical, efficient and wise. Highly rational, you seek systems and procedures. Detail oriented, you like mathematical concepts and finding ways to breakdown and understand complex material. You are very precise and good with exacting details that others find difficult to manage.
136, 163, 316, 361, 613, 631-The Taskmaster
If you are a 136, you are diligent, ambitious and inquisitive. You want to be ethical, efficient and dutiful. Highly industrious and responsible, you are focused on achievement. You feel obligated to be orderly and create a successful image as dictated by society. Most importantly, you focus on your duty and finding certainty.
137, 173, 317, 371, 713, 731-The Systems Builder
If you are a 137, you are diligent, ambitious and innovative. You want to be ethical, efficient and upbeat. You are self-motivated and want to achieve your goals in a positive and effective way. You want to do your best and want look good doing it. You focus on success and seek ways to measure it.
145, 154, 415, 451, 514, 541-The Researcher
If you are a 145, you are diligent, intuitive, and knowledgeable. You want to be ethical, original and wise. Highly intellectual, you are focused on what you perceive is correct and above reproach. Motivated to be informed, you are research oriented. You seek and quote the opinions of experts to avoid being uncertain and seen as ignorant.
146, 164, 416, 461, 614, 641-The Philosopher
If you are a 146, you are diligent, intuitive, and inquisitive. You want to be ethical, original and certain. Morally focused, you have strong emotions and are inclined to voice your feelings and intuitions. You care deeply and want to help others improve their lives and the expectations they have of themselves.
147, 174, 417, 471, 714, 741-The Visionary
If you are a 147, you are diligent, intuitive and innovative. You want to be ethical, expressive and positive. You are passionate and idealistic. You want to make a difference in the world and see the many possible approaches to different situations. Perfectionistic, you seek standards that improve lives.
258, 285, 528, 582, 825, 852-The Strategist
If you are a 258, you are caring, knowledgeable and protective. You want to be helpful, wise and straight- forward. Highly sensitive, you are an empathetic, intellectual ‘people’ person. You are both introverted and extroverted. At times you can be direct and easily move towards others and can ‘over' give or pull away to recharge.
259, 295, 529, 592, 925, 952-The Problem Solver
If you are a 259, you are caring, knowledgeable and accepting. You want to be helpful, wise and peaceful. You have a very shy, gentle and reserved nature and tend to focus on what is harmonious. You need companionship and avoid feelings of loneliness by focusing on the needs and concerns of others. You can struggle with inaction when you feel overwhelmed.
268, 286, 628, 682, 826, 862-The Rescuer
If you are a 268, you are caring, supportive and protective. You want to be helpful, engaging, and straightforward. By nature, you want to be in charge of your world and are attracted to the noble cause. You wish to shield others from harm and will challenge what is unjust. You want to know what the rules are in order to feel safe and to know when you can break them.
269, 296, 629, 692, 926, 962-The Good Samaritan
If you are a 269, you are caring, inquisitive and accepting. You want to be helpful, supportive and peaceful. You like people and want to find ways to engage with them. Your sense of pride comes from getting along with others and being of assistance. You are known for your easygoing, and friendly disposition. You hate conflict and may struggle with being too passive.
278, 287, 728, 782, 827, 872-The Free Spirit
If you are a 278, you are caring, innovative and protective. You want to be helpful, loving and straightforward. You are assertive, funny and outgoing. You like to use your charming and sunny disposition to create an upbeat, positive and action-packed environment. You are also very nurturing to those in your circle of care.
279, 297, 729, 792, 927, 972-The Peacemaker
If you are a 279, you are caring, innovative and accepting. You want to be helpful, upbeat and peaceful. You are very kind and tend to see the best in others. You focus on easy and comfortable ways of relating. Very optimistic and positive, you hate any form of conflict or strife, and use your sense of humor to smooth out difficulties.
358, 385, 538, 583, 835, 853-The Solution Master
If you are a 358, you are ambitious, knowledgeable and protective. You want to be efficient, wise and straightforward. Tough-minded, you are good at studying a problem and finding both original and practical solutions others often miss. Highly tenacious, you work tirelessly until you find effective solutions and can prevail against adversity.
359, 395, 539, 593, 935, 953-The Thinker
If you are a 359, you are ambitious, knowledgeable and accepting. You want to be efficient, wise and peaceful. Intellectual and clever, you find amenable and pleasant ways to manage difficult situations and relationships. Often shy, you are very private and are slow to trust others. You need time to more fully reveal yourself. You are ambitious but seek admiration in a subtle manner.
368, 386, 638, 683, 836, 863-The Justice Fighter
If you are a 368, you are ambitious, inquisitive and protective. You want to be accomplished, loyal and straightforward. Verbally adept and a good reader of people and situations, you have the ability to identify unjust authority, rebel against tyranny and verbally spar against it. You want to get along with others but can struggle with being too direct and outspoken.
369, 396, 639, 693, 936, 963-The Mediator
If you are a 369, you are ambitious, inquisitive and accepting. You want to be successful, engaged and peaceful. You seek peace, balance and harmony. You want to know what is expected of you and will adjust your behavior to succeed. You need affirmation, reassurance and a sense of wellbeing to feel connected to yourself and others.
378, 387, 738, 783, 837, 873-The Mover Shaker
If you are a 378, you are ambitious, innovative and protective. You want to be efficient, happy and straightforward. You are a dynamic go-getter, focused on the prize. An expansive powerhouse, you see the big picture and have the will to make it happen. You are a true entrepreneur and empire builder. Obstacles are seen as competitive challenges.
379, 397, 739, 793, 937, 973-The Ambassador
If you are a 379, you are ambitious, innovative and accepting. You want to be focused, upbeat and peaceful. You like people and are outgoing even if you are shy. You are easygoing and seek comfort but strive for success and a feeling of personal importance. You are identified with what you do and achieve but are diplomatic, friendly and kind in your approach.
458, 485, 548, 584, 845, 854-The Scholar
If you are a 458, you are intuitive, knowledgeable and protective. You want to be original, wise and straightforward. You study what makes people tick and form strong opinions about what you learn. Somewhat introverted, you are identified with being an intuitive, strategic thinker. You see and focus on the interconnections that others often miss.
459, 495, 549, 594, 945, 954-The Contemplative
If you are a 459, you are intuitive, knowledgeable and accepting. You want to be original, wise and peaceful. Highly self-aware and reflective, you are very shy, reserved and self-conscious. You need regular quiet time to reflect on your thoughts and emotions. Easily flooded with emotion, it is difficult for you to voice your ideas and feelings.
468, 486, 648, 684, 846, 864-The Truth Teller
If you are a 468, you are intuitive, inquisitive and protective. You want to be original, certain and straightforward. You are highly sensitive and emotional. You track inconsistencies and are like the ‘canary in the coal mine,’ calling off hidden agendas, deception and ulterior motives. You are very intense and can at times be overly emotional and reactive.
469, 496, 649, 694, 946, 964-The Seeker
If you are a 469, you are intuitive, inquisitive and accepting. You want to be original, certain and peaceful. You are very sensitive and can easily feel reserved and inhibited. You struggle with intense feelings of self-doubt and uncertainty. As a result you need multiple sources of confirmation. You want to be individualistic but can fear being separate from others so avoid confrontation.
478, 487, 748, 784, 847, 874-The Messenger
If you are a 478, you are intuitive, innovative and protective. You want to be original, creative and straightforward. A cutting-edge tracker of both your internal and external worlds, you are an unconventional, passionate and self-possessed master of solutions. Outwardly, you are confident with a sense of panache but inwardly you are emotionally vulnerable.
479, 497, 749, 794, 947, 974-The Gentle Spirit
If you are a 479, you are intuitive, innovative and accepting. You want to be original, positive and peaceful. You are identified with the defense of optimism and tend to hide your painful feelings and pessimism for fear of being rejected. You see the wonder in beauty and are tenderhearted, lyrical and idealistic. You are attracted to the healing arts.
- "Insightful Innovations: Enneagram Tritype".
- Dictionary.com. 2011
- "Dave's Enneagram: Tritype".
- "PSTypes: Enneagram Tritype".
- Labanauskas, Jack and Isaacs, Andrea. Oscar Ichazo Interview. Enneagram Monthly. December 1996 and January 1997.
- "Fauvre, Katherine. 'Exploring Enneagram Tritype™: Theory and Practice.' The Enneagram Journal. 5.1 (2012): Print."
- "Fauvre, Katherine. 2010. The 27 Tritypes Revealed. p. 15.".
- "Fauvre, Katherine. 2010. The 27 Tritypes Revealed. p. 15.".
- Fauvre, Katherine Chernick, July 1996, "Reflections on Enneagram Type: A Workshop with Dr. Claudio Naranjo", Enneagram Monthly, p. 13. 
- "Past IEA Conference Programs."
- Fauvre , Katherine. Tritype 2008-2017 , IEA International Enneagram Conferences
- "Fauvre, Katherine. 2010. The 27 Tritypes Revealed. p. 12.".
- "Fauvre, Katherine. 2010. The 27 Tritypes Revealed." p. 13.”
- "Fauvre, Katherine. 2010. The 27 Tritypes Revealed. p. 7."
- Fauvre, Katherine, David, Tritype "Midpeninsula Media Community Center Program List.".
- "Fauvre, Katherine. 2010. The 27 Tritypes Revealed. p. 14".
- "Fauvre, Katherine. 2010. The 27 Tritypes Revealed. p. 66".
- De Clercq, Sandra. 2018. Der Kracht van het Enneagram. p. 22.
- Roef, Jochen. 2013. Het Salesboek: Voor Elk Type Verkoper. p. 31.
Working with Tritype | Creator of Tritype, Katherine Chernick Fauvre
Non-profit Television show
In 2011, a grant was provided to create the TV show Types: Your Personality Revealed by the Mid-peninsula Media Community Center of Palo Alto, California. All 5 shows are available on Youtube.
“Katherine’s work on the Tritype is fresh, innovative and illuminating. Even those well acquainted with the Enneagram will be surprised at the precision of this approach in identifying key features of the personality. Highly recommended!”
-Russ Hudson, Sexual 548, coauthor, ‘The Wisdom of the Enneagram’
How the Tritype works
Although one of these three Types is dominant, or your primary Type, the other two Types play a large role in your life. What was surprising and as such noteworthy, is that these other two Types are not always the Types along the lines of connection (the lines connected to your primary Type). For example, if you are a Type 9 you may or may not have Type 3 and/or Type 6 as part of your Tritype. You could have a Tritype of 9-2-6 or 9-3-6 or 9-4-6 or 9-2-5, 9-2-7 and so on.
Each Tritype combination creates a different expression of Enneagram Type. If you are an Enneagram Type 4 you might have a Tritype of 4-6-8. This would mean you predominantly use Type 4, however, if the 4 strategies don?t work you will next use the strategies of Type 6 and then Type 8. Your Enneagram Type 4 would still be in charge. However, when the 4 strategies fails to produce results and all permutations (wings and lines of connections) of Type 4 have been exhausted, you will then shift to use the dominant Type in each of the other two centers to manage problems and create solutions. If your primary Type is 8, you might have a Tritype configuration of 8-7-4. The primary Enneagram Type for you would be Type 8, however, this Tritype combination indicates that you would most likely be a strong, positive person who seeks solutions (8), options (7) and meaning (4). What is fascinating is that if the strategy of Type 8 fails to give you the desired results of overcoming obstacles, you would then employ the strategy of Type 7 and then if needed Type 4.
The Tritype reveals the distinct differences of those sharing the same Enneagram Type. The Tritype also explains how individuals sharing the same three fixations may have more in common than those sharing the same Enneagram Type. For example, if you were an 8-7-4, you would have secondary strategies that are very different than an 8-2-6. The 8-7-4 is a fast paced creative, feelingful and optimistic Type 8 whereas the 8-2-6 is a more cynical, loyal and helpful Type 8. Further, if you are the 8-7-4 Type 8, you may relate more to a 7-4-8 than another Type 8 that has a different Tritype.
Understanding the Tritype in Practice
Just as with your primary Enneagram Type you will experience the other Types in your Tritype in both positive and negative ways. To understand how this works in practice, if someone with a Tritype of 8-7-4, finds that taking charge like an 8 isn’t working, they may try to lighten up or be positive like a 7, and if that doesn’t work, may search for meaning like a 4. The 8 fear of being disempowered is driving the process. If the 8 still feels disempowered and unable to direct their circumstances the 8-7-4 may feel over-extended and scattered (7) and painfully lacking (4). So this person has used the strategies of three Enneagram Types, one from each of the three Enneagram Centers (Head-Heart-Gut), in a preferred order of 8-7-4. Another example would be a 4-6-8. Here we have a more aggressive and reactive Type 4 than say a 4-9-5, who would be more withdrawn, passive (9) and avoidant (5). Another example would be a 9-7-2. This would be the Type 9 with a very rosy and positive outlook desiring easygoing relationships. A 9-5-3 would be the kind of 9 who is more intellectual (5), perfectionistic and focused on efficiency (3) with less of an emphasis on maintaining harmonious relationships than other 9s.
As mentioned, Fauvre's research interview subjects consistently identified with the core fears and idealized self-images of three, not just one Enneagram type. When correlated with other personality typology systems, the Instinctual Types Stacking of three and the Tritype pattern of three appeared to be the two most powerful governing typologies. This was due in part to the fact that these two systems identify the underlying, often unconscious, motivations and defense strategies of the Enneagram Personality Types.
Fauvre suggests that Tritype, when combined with your Instinctual Stacking is like your own Enneagram thumbprint showing the unique way that you manage your life using the strategies available to you. It defines the strategies you employ to negotiate life. It also identifies what motivates you. Further it reveals why you are different from others of the same Enneagram Type
If you struggle with determining your dominant Type and/or Tritype, please consider that you may have type 6 and/or type 9 in your Tritype. Both of these these types struggle with doubt and tend to identify with the other types.
Transformation through Insight
Identifying and confirming your dominant Enneagram Type and your Tritype is an essential part of the transformation process. Do not be discouraged if it takes time, as the process itself will give you many valuable insights.
The 639 Tritype and Instinctual Types and Subtypes
I promised a long time ago to say more about the 6w7 639 Tritype
Ok just this description for now...a very short example...
The 369 Tritype is the primary Tritype and the most amenable and adaptable of the 27. This Tritype includes the core type of each center of intelligence. The core of each center is seeking to balance the opposites within each center to create resolution. The core of each center is usually out of touch with the focus of their respective center and tend to be caught in the dance of opposites created by the opposing defense strategies of the wings in each center. So the 6 as the center of the head triad struggles to trust themselves and their own inner guidance. They oscillate between feeling they need to be an expert about something or feeling they need to know a little about everything to feel safe.
So, the 3 is trying to manage the overall fear of being ignored, the 6 is trying to manage the fear of fear itself and chaos and the 9 is trying to manage the fear of being overlooked and unimportant. Together, the focus is on creating, restoring and maintaining peaceful relating.
If your Tritype is the 369 it reinforces the primary issues. As a result, neutralizing conflict is a primary concern.
The 7 wing gives the 6 a lighter touch and a desire to manage stress with quick witted, often self-deprecating humor. So, the 6w7 with the 639 is the friendly boy or girl next door that wants to engage with others as a means of survival.
This strategy is true even if the person is shy. And, the extroverted 639 still feels cautious and/or has doubts but the extraversion makes it easier to bridge their shyness by saying something funny and/or witty. The introverted 639 uses their shy smile to disarm and engage others.
Self Preserving 639
The self-preserving 639 is preoccupied with their physical needs. They focus on their sense of security and what will keep them feeling safe, nurtured, and comfortable. They tend to worry about everything associated with their essential needs, focusing on the demands of their home, job, pension, and family, etc.
Being disarming and friendly are tools of the trade for the self-preserving 6. And a friendly, and socially acceptable partner may be considered just as important as a good job as both reinforce that they have what they need in times of uncertainty. As such, they monitor their physical needs and resources to gage if they are safe and secure. To maintain a sense of well being they may also track the physical needs of their designated other(s). This can be exhausting and feel difficult to manage so they often keep their world small, letting in only one person or a trusted few.
The Social 639
The social 639 is preoccupied with their place or position within the group(s) of their choosing. Ideally, their group needs to be considered socially acceptable and their partner needs to be considered friendly and successful to insure and maintain the security that comes from status.
They focus on being dutiful and supportive to the people, beliefs, values and/or creeds they have chosen to align with. As such, they monitor who is doing what with whom and whether or not feel included and secure. To maintain their security they seek a role or position within their group(s) and family systems to insure they have others that will come to their aid should they need it. They see themselves as dedicated and loyal to the people in their lives. They instinctively shape shift and become what their others need in order to be deemed worthy of admiration and protection.
The Sexual 639
The sexual 639 is preoccupied with selecting and/or being a desirable and irresistible alpha mate. They are more intense and counter-phobic than the self-preserving and social 6. They seek intensity and chemistry in their intimate relationships and tend to push the edge in whatever they do. They manage their fears and anxiety by jumping into situations that cause distress proving to themselves that they are strong enough to manage whatever feels threatening. They can move from fear to action in nano seconds when they have already projected a worst-case scenario and have prepared for it. As a result they may not identify with having fear.
The sexual 639 focuses on having and being strong enough and/or beautiful enough to attract a desirable mate that will stand beside them and protect them when they feel insecure. Strength may mean physical strength and beauty or can be defined as someone that is extremely smart and competent. Ideally, they want their mate and close friends to be extraordinary in some way they feel they are not. As such, they may choose a mate that they think is smarter than most so that they feel they have all of their bases covered. To that end, they adapt to what their mate or partners want to insure they have their special someone that will stand together with them against an uncertain world.
The 358 Tritype Archetype
The Solution Master, includes the 358, 385, 538, 583, 835 and 853. This Tritype is a dynamic achiever and power broker, but is also often misunderstood.
From the outside, the 358 Tritype may seem like a brash, confident and success driven achiever that does not suffer fools gladly. They can appear to be tough-minded individuals that can easily call a spade a spade but can also come across as stony and insensitive.
This is true in part because the 358s are street-wise and believe in the school of hard knocks. They think that one learns the most by doing, and they think that the best lessons in life are learned by having to do things the hard way.
The 358 is known for being strategically brilliant but also for being blunt and to the point. Their inner drive is to succeed and conqueror. They do this by using a mind over matter approach to life and their innate ability to quickly size up the competition or situation at hand. They begin by setting their sights on something that is of interest to them and then developing and executing the plans needed to acquire it. They achieve their goals by employing foresight, strategic planning and step-by-step analysis.
538’s are known for being impersonal and unemotional. Yet the truth is everything is very personal for them. They see life as one giant chess game that they intend to win through mastery.
But that is only part of the story. They succeed not because they do not have emotions but rather because they are not limited by emotions. The 358 can separate their emotions from any issue at hand, which can at times be confusing to some of the more tender-hearted Tritypes like the 269, 379, or 469, all of whom use their emotions to make decisions. In fact, the 358 Tritype believes that emotions confuse and limit, only serving to slow them down.
358s focus on the long game and have very little use for ignorance. They are demanding of themselves and others. They are natural entrepreneurs and generally achieve whatever they set out to do. They seek and can readily identify the competitive advantage in any area of life, whether in business, sports or love. They will always have or will readily develop a strategy for success.
Their main focus in life is to achieve the realization of their ambitions. They do this by enduring and overcoming adversity. They never give up and do not back down or give in. Setbacks become fuel for future endeavors. Failures pave the way for greater successes.
They are no nonsense people that value experience over titles or degrees. They are extremely hard workers and very self-motivated. They can be seen as work-a-holics, but they truly love whatever they do or they would stop doing it. They are what they achieve.
Another important part of the story is that the 358s are actually thinkers and doers rather than feelers. Underneath their logical solution mastery is a tender-hearted person that manages distress by doing something to fix a problem rather than being trapped in what feels like illogical emotional chaos. The truth is that the 358 is uncomfortable with emotions; both their own emotions and the emotions of others. This is because they value data and information and fail to see the data and information that emotions provide.
358s have a defense strategy that survives by learning from their experiences so that they can succeed the next time they face the same problem. Emotionally charged experiences that result in feelings of shame and humiliation leave the strongest impressions. As a result, these are the areas of life that the 358s wish to conqueror first. And these are the first lessons the 358s want to teach loved ones.
358s do not want anyone they care about to suffer or be disadvantaged because their loved one is mired in an emotional crisis or emotional paralysis. They vividly remember the times they felt debilitated because their own emotions got in the way of affirmative action. As a result, 358s prefer the power that comes from action and mental constructs even at the expense of their emotions. They are naturally more adept using their will center and mental center. They see their ability to go into action and use a mind over matter approach to life as much more reliable than the inconstancy of the heart. They prefer the world of logic, thoughts, actions and willfulness, over the world of feelings and emotions. Instead of offering sympathy, they offer strategies.
They respect those that overcome obstacles and they admire those that develop the confidence that ensues as a result of overcoming adversity. They want their loved ones to learn how to provide for themselves so that they will have the confidence and know-how that comes from succeeding by learning from failures. They show love by teaching them how to provide for themselves and/or by providing resources for those in their circle of care rather than offering sentiment. But more specifically, they demonstrate love by teaching loved ones how to survive and make it on their own not matter what life throws at them.
There are also books and videos on the Enneagram Tritype in www.katherinefauvre.com/products
I decided to work with Katherine without a specific issue or concern in mind, except to advance my self-awareness and understanding my enneagram tritype. In our first meeting Katherine helped me identify and clarify a self-limiting belief and a constellation of defence strategies organized around this belief. I have gained a deeper insight into how this belief system plays out, how to identify it and most importantly actionable steps to notice this previously unconscious mode of operating. I also gained a deeper understanding of how the tritype functions as a part of this pattern. If you are looking to up your game in terms of self-awareness or wondering just how much further you take your knowledge of the enneagram, fasten your seat belt and sign up for session with with Katherine.