Enneagram Pairing Type 2 & 3
2 - The Nurturing Advisor
Helper, Giver, Caretaker Nurturer, Advisor, Altruist, Good Samaratian
3 - The Successful Achiever
Superstar, Producer, Performer, Motivator, Role Model, Ideal Exemplar, Best in Show
Twos and Threes are both in the Heart Center. They are people-oriented and driven by their feelings.
They are known for seeking attention and validation from others. Threes will assertively go after attention and validation by winning and impressing others, while Twos will work hard and give selflessly to others. Twos often want more personal attention than Threes are willing to give because they feel it distracts from their work.
Both Twos and Threes not only love socializing, but they value their social circles deeply. These two work hard to make a good impression—and usually, succeed.
They appreciate high-energy interactions, hard work, and strong communication skills. They are socially adaptable, welcoming, and charming.
How You Complement Each Other
This pairing is one of the most impactful combinations. They are very extroverted, gregarious, charming and often very physically attractive. Both are great at first impressions and know how to influence people.
Both are energetic, have strong communication skills and like to feel like they're the center of attention. While Twos emphasize relational connection, Threes emphasize personal success, attaining their goals and then moving on to the next one. Twos are great at thoughtfully following up with others and are genuinely kind and compassionate.
Threes bring direction, vision, and ambition to the dynamic. Threes like to achieve goals that make them feel admirable, and Twos are ready and willing admirers. There is a natural complementariness here where Threes like being in the spotlight and Twos like supporting their close relationships to succeed in the spotlight.
Twos have a natural affinity for being 'the power behind the throne.' This pairing works well as long as Threes appreciate all the attention Twos send their way. These two make a good pair for politics, community building, and anything that requires high levels of likeability.
Both Twos and Threes are socially skilled and radiate charm and self-confidence. Twos bring a natural warmth and heartfelt presence to the relationship, while Threes bring the drive to reach great heights. Professionally, these two will likely be a supportive, well-balanced match.
How You Can Get Into Trouble
This pairing can get in trouble if Two's become jealous and possessive of Threes. They can feel like the Three isn't appreciating them enough and that they’re being taken advantage of. Twos have a sincere desire to be recognized, acknowledged and reassured of their importance regularly, especially from their close relationships.
Threes can be so focused on their goals and what needs to be done that they neglect to hear Two’s needs, which is compounded by the fact that Twos are usually very quiet about what their needs are. They tend to pretend that everything is all right, even when they feel something crucial is missing.
Threes can have difficulty giving enough praise and affirmation to Twos for a few reasons: they can find it difficult to credit others for their success because they want to believe it came in large part due to their efforts, and they may feel Twos overestimate their contributions. They can see Twos as taking credit too often.
If Twos do this too often publicly, the Three will be quick to distance themselves, because they don't want to feel any tarnish on their perceived self-image. This can trigger a negative spiral where Twos become more anxious and manipulative, probably using leverage and flattery to keep the Three close and needy.
Both of these types struggle with feelings of shame and vulnerability. They can have difficulty getting out of conflict because both types naturally are less self-aware of their motivations. Twos can feel Threes are too focused on achievement and neglect the other important areas of life.
Threes can feel like Twos emotional needs and desire for quality time is a wasteful distraction. Threes can feel like Twos are guilt-tripping them for their hard work and ambition, but Threes are highly competitive and will do what it takes to get ahead, even if it means neglecting their Two counterparts. However, if the Three is not careful, doting, and supportive, then the Two can grow fangs.
What Each Type Needs To Be Aware Of
Twos and Threes are driven by their feelings, emotional needs, and desire for attention, although this shows up for the two of them very differently. Twos are generous and self-sacrificing, and when they are in health, this comes from a genuine place. However, at average or low levels, Twos are so giving because it garners them the attention they so deeply crave.
Threes, conversely, are outwardly attention seeking and use their many accomplishments to win praise and acclaim from others. Twos need to be aware of their tendency to over-give and stretch themselves too thin, especially if their efforts are in support of a Three, as Threes have a hard time acknowledging anyone else for their perceived success. Threes need to be aware of their tendency to use their shiny resume to attract “fans,” as opposed to doing the inner work necessary to build emotional and intellectual bonds with others.
When relating to Twos, Threes should keep in mind that Twos will never ask for acknowledgment, but will feel hurt, overlooked, and rejected if it is not freely given. Twos need to realize that although Threes possess a dazzling charm, and are usually very accomplished, they suffer from very low self-esteem, and thus feel the need to show off all the time.
How You Can Support One Another
These two are a naturally supportive match, as long as Threes can honestly acknowledge Twos for their contributions. Both love attention, but of the two, Threes are the ones who crave the spotlight. As such, twos can support Threes to shine out in the world, while Threes can support Twos on a more personal level, whether through individual attention at work or in special acknowledgments throughout their relationship.
Twos can support Threes by offering them a safe, accepting a place to talk about their feelings—something Threes often overlook—while Threes can support Twos by helping them to focus on the big picture, accomplish their goals, and stay the course.
Twos also possess a keen ability to socialize and make people feel welcome, which can help to soften Threes more brash or braggadocious nature, while Threes have a flexible, visionary quality about them that serves to inspire Twos. Others will well like these two, but also have a high level of admiration for each other. Both need to feel accepted for their individuality and personal contributions, and both do well when they receive the praise they believe they deserve.
In A Romantic Context
This can be a downright dazzling couple, wherein both people feel their gifts, natural predilections, and strengths are not only valued, by highlighting. In short, Twos want to dote on someone they find worthy of their attention and pride, while Threes want to feel doted on and well-attended to by their loved ones, making a genuinely win-win relationship.
Said another way, Twos like to fawn over, and Threes wanted to be fawned upon. As long as Twos feel acknowledged for their unceasing support, it will continue unadulterated.
Moreover, as long as Threes do not become too full of themselves, or break too many rules in their ascent, these two will continue to fit one another nicely. In so doing, they can build a remarkable relationship full of charm, wit, warmth, and success. They are, separately and together, high-spirited, attractive, ambitious people, which gives them almost radiant confidence when they team up.
They both know how to make a good impression, and enjoy the attention that extensive socializing brings them; as such, these two can often be found parading around the public sector. Of course, their shine can make them susceptible to criticism—from one another, and also from admirers—which makes them wary.
What's more is that both of these types are part of the Image Triad, which means they are no stranger to playing chameleon and adapting their image to suit the need. This can result in these two feel like they have no idea who the other is when they get behind closed doors. Additionally, neither type wants to spend much time in introspection, which can mean that while they appear to be moving in tandem in the same direction, they are drifting apart, but blind to it due to the fact they are both focusing solely on appearances.
Conflict will also arise if Threes, wrapped in their ideas of themselves and their heightened awareness of their successes and failures, fail to acknowledge Twos for their unending support. While Twos won’t admit this readily, a significant (and mostly unconscious) part of the reason they give so selflessly is to receive the praise and attention that comes from acknowledgment. When their partners fail to provide them with this, Twos can become emotionally manipulative, reactive, and start to undermine Threes’ confidence to thwart their success.
Threes, to defend against their emotionally needy partners, will throw themselves into their work which only further incites Twos to cling, manipulate, and cause drama. The two can enter a tug-of-war, wherein they are both unconsciously vying for attention, undermining the other by withholding said attention, and laying guilt-filled landmines for the other to trip over. Their shared support and bright persona can deteriorate into bickering, phony interactions, and deceit, eventually erupting into open antagonism.