Enneagram Type 3 Achievers/Motivators are typically energetic, optimistic, self-assured and goal-oriented. Enneagram Type 9 is called the Peacemaker or the Meditator because of their focus on harmony and their mellow, go-with-the-flow attitude. Here we explore the compatibility of an Enneagram Type 3 with a Type 9 and what the relationship looks like when it is in balance and when it starts to spiral downward.
Enneagram Type 3:9 When In Balance
The Achiever (3) and the Peacemaker (9) can make a very supportive and balancing match bringing each other important personality traits the other generally lacks.
Peacemaker (9)s bring support, acceptance, encouragement and an unflappable sense of calm. Because they are less image-conscious and less concerned about the opinion of others, they offer the Achiever (3) a firm base from which to jump. The Achiever (3) correctly senses the Peacemaker (9) will support them through thick and thin, and this gives the Achiever (3) greater self-confidence to pursue their goals. Peacemaker (9)s enjoy the simple things in life and can help remind their Achiever (3) to slow down and smell the roses. Achiever (3)s like to be admired, and the Peacemaker (9) finds it easy to be proud of their Achiever (3).
In return, Achiever (3)s help the Peacemaker (9) to wake up to all that life has to offer. Achiever (3)s bring a high energy, drive, ambition and a fast-paced, “can do” attitude that helps motivate and focus the Peacemaker (9). With their Achiever (3) at their side, Peacemaker (9)s may stretch themselves to try new things, go places they haven’t been and to break out of their comfortable routine. They sparkle in the face of their new experiences and enjoy a broader worldview.
Energetically, this couple has the potential to be balancing. The Peacemaker (9) gives the Achiever (3) permission to relax, and the Achiever (3) helps the Peacemaker (9) to get going. The easy acceptance of the Peacemaker (9) and the enthusiastic drive of the Achiever (3) can be healing for both partners. When self-aware and in balance, this can be a successful and enduring match.
Enneagram Type 3:9 The Downward Spiral
This couple can run into trouble by being too conflict avoidant. Peacemaker (9)s feel threatened by conflict, and Achiever (3)s feel threatened by a negative image, so both people tend to sweep issues under the rug. With tightening defenses, the Achiever (3) gets more attached to the image of a perfect relationship, and the Peacemaker (9) gets more withdrawn to maintain harmony.
Peacemaker (9)s feel extreme anxiety in the face of conflict and will often stonewall or shut down to avoid the related stress they feel from a loss of harmony. They prefer to wait, hoping that time passing will somehow resolve the issue. Achiever (3)s are very interested in maintaining a positive image. Love is fused with the appearance of wellness, and it is hard for them to separate the two. To feel stable, they want the image of the “perfect marriage” and to honestly deal with an issue might shatter that image.
As both people polarize into their corner of denial the relationship weakens, though to the outside world everything may appear fine. Dinner parties continue, holidays seem bright and happy to outsiders, school functions have both parents in attendance, but behind closed doors, the relationship is cold and distant. Both partners are unhappy but unwilling to face reality. Instead, they craft separate lives for themselves and continue down their path of avoidance.
The downward spiral gains momentum. The Achiever (3) has many unmet needs of being admired and appreciated. They may fall into a depression or go outside of the relationship to get their needs met. The Peacemaker (9) may start to resent the falseness of the Achiever (3) and the mask that is presented to the outside world. They experience the Achiever (3) as attention seeking, self-centered and phony. The lives may continue to drift apart as the couple becomes like distant housemates.
Often, some life crisis such as an affair or a major health challenge brings the deterioration of the relationship into awareness. If the core issues remain unaddressed and unresolved, the relationship may collapse.
Learn more about the Enneagram Compatibility of Type 3s in relationships with Type 9s
Enneagram knowledge can be transformative in improving your relationships and an important tool in cultivating compassion, both towards yourself and others. In my book, “The Nine Keys: A Guide Book to Unlock Your Relationships Using Kundalini Yoga and the Enneagram” I explore intimate relationships through the lens of the Enneagram.
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