Enneagram Pairing Type 3 & 9
3 - The Successful Achiever
Superstar, Producer, Performer, Motivator, Role Model, Ideal Exemplar, Best in Show
9 - The Peaceful Mediator
Mediator, Peacekeeper, Diplomat, Pleasant Person, Modest Person, Humble Person, Pacifist
Threes are hardworking, goal-oriented, and ambitious. Nines are easy-going, genuinely caring, and peace-oriented. Threes are continually working to achieve their best results, while Nines are seeking connection, loving bonds, and flow.
Both Threes and Nines are sociable and idealistic. They both maintain family values and are often genuinely caring of children, animals, and the underdog.
Both typically work hard, although Threes tend to place more value on their careers than Nines, and both are happy to maintain their work ethic to achieve some degree of material success, as both value wellbeing, luxury, and having the ability to take care of others. They both value comfort and safety and endeavor to create pleasant, aesthetically pleasing spaces.
How You Complement Each Other
This can be a very complementary pairing. Three’s productivity and efficiency motivate and energize the Nine, while Nine’s supportive, unconditionally accepting nature help Threes feel valued and taken care of. Nines are encouraging, and prideful of all their Three counterpart does, while Threes help Nines to invest in themselves and develop self-respect. With a Nine on their team, Threes feel like they can truly explore their potential as a mate, friend, and professional; they think they can indeed be themselves.
Conversely, by being connected to a Three, Nines learn to value themselves and their work properly. Both parties bring a dedication to hard work and getting down to business, as well as a love of comfort, luxury, and warm aesthetics. From Nines, Threes can learn to relax and find enjoyment in the simple things in life, while Nines can learn how to take action, motivate, and step into their full potential.
How You Can Get Into Trouble
These two can get into trouble when the Nine’s natural tendency to “stop and smell the flowers” starts to inhibit the Three’s ability to accomplish tasks. Nines might read the Three’s drive as pressure to perform, which causes them to (often unconsciously) resist by slowing down and sabotaging.
Nines are incredibly stubborn, although they are often unaware of how they resist, delay, and even downright opposes, all of which are symptoms of their stubborn nature. From here, the Three can start to view the Nine as indecisive or unfocused, which can lead to more pushiness and greater conflict and Nines can dig in their heels, becoming almost oppositional in their attachment to their views.
Additionally, both Nines and Threes avoid discussing problems or conflicts—Threes out of a desire to appear put together and Nines out of a need to keep the peace. This means that if an issue or rift is forming between these two, it’s highly likely that neither party will bring it up or take action to fix the problem. In not bringing up their issues or complains, Nines are attempting to leave the boat un-rocked, so to speak, while Threes are trying to avoid rejection or exposing their fragility.
Both feel their negative feelings are better left unsaid, which can have disastrous consequences in both personal and professional relationships. With these two, it is important to schedule time for deeper check-ins to make sure all feelings and conflicts are aired and dealt with. It will also prove beneficial to slow the pace on occasion to ensure the Nine stays involved.
What Each Type Needs To Be Aware Of
Both Threes and Nines need to be mindful of—even vigilant—their tendency to avoid or gloss over a conflict in favor of more positive falsehoods. Know that both of you are prone to avoiding the truth if the truth is painful, challenging, or ugly in some way. It is essential to make an extra effort to mine your inner world and give voice to any negative feelings you might have, lest they fester. Threes do so out of a need to remain positive and always show the world a bright image of themselves, while Nines abhor conflict and will do everything in their power to avoid it.
Threes, be aware that your Nine counterparts will likely work at a slower pace than you, and require more specialized motivation; Nines, conversely, need be aware of the Three orientation toward efficiency, goal achievement, and actionable plans. There is potential for a clash in your two working styles, so keep your differences in mind and allow plenty of leeway. Threes, also are aware that Nines tend to merge with those around them—romantically, amicably, or professionally—which means they often struggle to find their authentic voice or maintain an accurate sense of their own needs.
Nines can also become quite obstinate under pressure, as they need to move at their own pace, so it is best to avoid using a heavy hand with them. Nines, be aware of the fragility of Threes confidence: while they may appear self-assured, they are often fighting with much low self-esteem. Best to acknowledge, encourage, and appreciate them out loud frequently.
How You Can Support One Another
This is a well-balanced duo, with a cohesive mixture of relaxation and action. Nines tend to struggle with making decisions, standing up for themselves, and honing in on the proper course of action to accomplish their goals: all of which are areas in which Threes excel. Conversely, Threes battle low self-esteem and perfectionism almost invariably; they also tend to get too invested in their work and vision, which can lead to burnout.
Nines are enormously supportive of the people they care about, and have a seemingly endless supply of encouragement and positive reinforcement, which is the lifeblood for the Three. Nines are also practiced at the simple joys in life, like stargazing, enjoying a great coffee on an outdoor patio with no sense of your next agenda item, and walking next to a creek looking at rocks. This kind of down to earth simplicity is incredibly good medicine for the Three.
Around Nines, Threes feel they can relax and be themselves, due to Nines’ unconditionally accepting nature; Nines feel inspired to great heights by Threes, and typically feel energized to take action and be decisive. Both types can support one another by honestly and authentically communicating issues when they arise, as each of these types tends to avoid conflict and negativity. Be a safe space for one another so you can acknowledge the harder aspects of life and grow through them.
In A Romantic Context
The compatibility between Threes and Nines makes this a very common love match. Nines find the Three drive and ability to take action inspiring, and usually have a lot of support and encouragement to offer. On the other side, Threes feel safe, appreciated, and taken care of by Nines, enabling them to relax and get in touch with their oft-ignored hearts.
Physically there is much compatibility as well, as Nines have a deeply sensual nature and Threes tend to be bright and attractive. This couple usually has no problem establishing attraction and intimacy.
Additionally, both parties place a premium on safety and comfort, which means these two not only know how to take care of each other but also know how to make a space feel warm and welcoming, which encourages more closeness between them. Emotionally, Threes feel very nurtured by their Nine mates, while Nines feel motivated to action and decisiveness. From the Three, Nines can learn how to stand up for themselves and speak up when they have a need or desire. From Nines, Threes learn about slowing down and appreciating the simple, easy-going flow of a life lived in appreciation.
There is potential for downslide with these two, however. The Three/Nine couple runs the risk of having too much of a good thing, where because things are usually so excellent and connected and supportive and because neither Threes nor Nines will bring up issues unprompted, if any problems do arise, both parties will continue to pretend things are still great and connected and supportive.
Once the lie takes hold, things can begin to deteriorate quickly, although neither party is likely to do anything about it for a long, long time. Nines will avoid bringing up a conflict or issue out of fear of losing the relationship, while Threes hold their tongue out of fear of rejection or a deep-seated need to have the perfect relationship. As these two continue in their false happiness and real avoidance, Nines can become emotionally absent, leaving the Three feeling abandoned or rejected.
Threes will often channel their repressed feelings into their careers or other projects, which in turn leaves the Nine feeling abandoned as well. Also, because neither type is wont to name their problems or voice their painful feelings, this empty shell of a relationship can continue for a long time before anything changes.
In this situation, the relationship usually needs to take a dramatic turn—some crisis like an affair or major accident—for both parties to become aware of the deterioration that has occurred. Because when things are good between these two, they’re great, there can be repeated cycles of breaking up and coming back together, but if they never address their underlying feelings or the unspoken problems in the relationship, they will continue to be undermined by their avoidance.