Enneagram Tritype® theory is emerging within the world of the enneagram. It is based on Katherine Fauvre’s research and application of the enneagram starting in 1992.
The Enneagram is a popular tool to help people understand their personality, motivations for doing, and why they interact with others the way they do. Even organizations and corporate businesses are using the Enneagrams to help their employees communicate more effectively. But what about questions around tritypes? Keep reading to learn more about Enneagram Tritypes®.
8 Helpful Enneagram Tri Type Tips: How To Find Your Enneagram Tritype
1) Learn About Enneagram Tri Types
What Is Enneagram Tritype®?
Your Enneagram Tritype® is the combination of three enneagram numbers, one from each of the three triads: Mind (Thinking): 5, 6, and 7, Heart (Feeling): 2, 3, and 4, and Gut (Instincts):8, 9, and 1. The Tritype® theory suggests that every individual combines a dominant number from each triad to create a stack of three types or, in other words, one “Triype.”
The possibility of this theory is interesting because it further broadens the vastness of personality and provides a unique explanation of how individuals connect with each center of intelligence, with the mind being analytical, the heart being emotional, and the gut being instinctual.
Katherine Fauvre’s coined Tritype® as a term to explain the combination or “stacking” of three enneagram types from each triad, resulting in 27 possible Archetypes or “Tritypes.”
Each person has one dominant type, one supporting type, and one repressed type. When reading or writing down your triad, you start with the supporting type, write the dominant type in the middle, and write the repressed type last.
Your dominant type represents your primary drive, your supporting type represents how you use your more secondary faculties, and your repressed type is the type you exemplify. Still, for some reason or another, you try actively or passively to hide.
You don’t need to know much about any of the numbers just yet, since, at this point, you just need to know enough to be able to interpret your results if you choose to take a test. Suffice it to say that each of the numbers represents a set of personality aspects.
2) Take An Enneagram TriType Test
The Enneagram Tritype Test utilizes a series of questionnaires, multiple-choice, and even imagery to identify your Enneagram Type, Tritype®, and Instinctual Stacking results.
The test really is very different from other Enneagram Tests, and the results provided are in-depth, helpful, and fascinating. To see what I mean, here’s a link to my results: Enneagram Tritype® Test Results.
Taking a test can give you a basis for understanding what your enneagram tri type could be.
The less you try to steer the results, the more accurate they will be. You can also increase the accuracy of the test by taking more than one of them.
Taking a test is a helpful way to identify your tritype. If the answers that the test gives you are unsatisfying or change wildly between each test you take, don’t worry too much about it. However, if the results are confusing, don’t settle. Learning more about your personality is an exploratory process that takes time.
3) Become Familiar With Katherine Fauvre’s Research
It is worth noting that Katherine Fauvre’s work is controversial to some within the Enneagram community; however, her research is exciting and could be useful to you on your own journey of self-discovery.
Fauvre breaks down each of the Tritype sets into their life purpose, defensive strategy, and focus of attention. She also breaks down the personal strengths and weaknesses that tend to be found in each Tritype and how they can be worked around.
Why the controversy? Fauvre doesn’t account for the order of the numbers in her description of each of the tri types.
Your dominant Enneagram type and second type are actually a lot more important than you might expect, as a 3-7-1 will be significantly different with the 7 as a dominant personality type than a 1-3-7 since their primary motivations and fears will be different.
Because of this, you might fail to see yourself in any of the 27 descriptions in this book. However, she is the most recognized teacher concerning tri types. Katherine also defends her position about this concern:
To more fully understand Tritype®, one needs to look beyond the three types. Recognizing that each type uses three types is still the starting point, but to identify one’s Tritype®, one needs to evaluate what happens when those three types merge to create a new type unto itself.
It is important to note that just combining the three preferred types, one from each of the three centers, is not enough to explain the attentional patterns of each of the 27 Tritype® Archetypes or to confirm which Tritype® is dominant. We can theorize about which type we identify with most in each triad, but the focus of attention of the Tritype® emerges as a result of what happens when these three types merge and, in effect, become one type, which is the Tritype®.
The point is not to focus on one primary type but rather how the three types merge to produce how an individual employs each aspect in an entirely new way as a Tritype.
4) Identify Which Enneagram Type You Most Associate With
People are complex, and no book or personality test could ever really encompass everything about you in-depth. Ultimately, the only person who can ever really know how to categorize you best is you!
If you are still unsure about your type, check out the post: How to Find Your Enneagram With 4 Helpful Tips.
Don’t worry too much about their triad right now; you can sort that out later.
Understanding your primary enneagram number is an important first step in exploring the possibility of your enneagram tritype. It’s absolutely worth it to put some time and effort into singling it out if you haven’t done so already.
Do you want to take an Enneagram Test?
The Truity Enneagram Test is the test I recommend the most.
5) Attend An Enneagram Workshop
There are many Enneagram workshops that you can do online or in person to help you narrow down your type.
Look for workshops that focus on either discovering your primary personality type (an essential step in the process) or exploring the triads in-depth to help you understand your relationship with them.
Workshops often come with a cost; however, they can be super helpful if you have financial room or can budget to attend.
6) Work With An Enneagram Coach
Because the theory of Enneagram Tritpye® is less popular within the enneagram community, you may need to be selective when looking for a coach to work with if you specifically want to explore your tritype.
When looking at coaches, make sure that they’re trained specifically to help you find your tritype. Not all Enneagram coaches do Tritype work, so this is important to check if you’re trying to find your tritype.
Of course, coaching and workshops cost money, but they can be beneficial when pairing with the right coach. Working with a coach to explore your personality and do intentional growth work is highly valuable.
7) Perform A Personal Inventory
What is a personal inventory? It’s actually fairly simple. All you’ll need is a blank piece of paper, a pencil, and some quiet time.
Make space for each of the three triads; the Head, Heart, and Gut, on the blank page.
If you are unfamiliar with what each triad represents and why they are important, check out the post: The 3 Enneagram Triads + Advice For Responding To Emotions For Each Type.
Next, write statements about your personal relationship to each triad, attempting to describe how you interact within each triad. These can be short, bulleted, one-word answers or longer descriptions about your life experiences.
After that, start writing down the attributes that seem to come naturally to you. Don’t be shy or hold back; nobody is going to see this but you.
Now, write down your own fears and motivations. This step will be difficult, and you will feel exposed. You can write these anywhere on the page; they don’t need to be associated with one of the triads. However, keep in mind, you are not obligated to share these with others, so be as honest and open as you possibly can be.
Keep going until everything that you know for sure about yourself is written on the page.
Your fears and motivations may be able to help you pinpoint which type within each triad is the closest to your own personality. Take your notes and review the motivations of each type within each triad to confirm your assumptions.
You may still struggle to find your tritype. This exercise is helpful for a lot of people, but nothing is foolproof. There’s no need to worry too much about it. If you are still unsure, it’s ok. This doesn’t mean that you’re deficient in some way. Just move on to the final step.
8) Practice Patience As You Explore Enneagram Tritypes
For some people, it doesn’t take a lot of work to identify their tritype. Some people already know themselves pretty confidently, and finding their tritype is more like describing what they already know than discovering something brand new. However, for others, it can be a process of discovery that lasts weeks or even years.
If this is you, there are a few things that you can do to help enjoy the process. The first is to accept that this might take a while. Ironically, letting go of that pressure to find the exact answer will make it a lot easier to be yourself and relax since you’ll have all the time in the world to be perfectly honest with yourself.
The second thing that you’ll want to do is to keep looking for more information. You can acquire this information by practicing awareness, be mindful of how you interact, noting most why you chose to respond in that manner. You can also utilize the many enneagram resources available.
It is also helpful to find people you trust and can open conversations with. Invite close friends and mentors to share feedback and perspective concerning your blindspots.
Remember, there are no deadlines on this journey, and you can take it at whatever pace you need to.