Introduction: Understanding the Enneagram
Type Three, "The Achiever"
So, the Enneagram is a pretty complicated system of classifying personalities. Basically, everyone has a core type, expressed as a number of One through Nine. This is the most straightforward description of someone’s personality.
Here’s a basic rundown of each type:
1: perfectionistic, rational, idealistic
2: generous, warm-hearted, nurturing
3: ambitious, image-conscious, charming
4: sensitive, dreamy, moody
5: cerebral, perceptive, analytical
6: trustworthy, loyal, brave
7: fun-loving, enthusiastic, lively
8: assertive, strong, self-confident
9: peace-making, nonjudgmental, serene
From there, it gets a bit more complex. Most people also display traits of the numbers immediately adjacent to theirs (I'll refer to these as "wings"). Let’s say you’re an easygoing Nine, for example. If you’re assertive when push comes to shove, then you probably have a wing of Eight, written as 9w8. But if you’re more perfectionistic, you’re probably a 9w1 instead. The only possible wings for any given type are the numbers on either side of it.
Then there’s the Tritype Theory, that everyone is actually three different Enneatypes
to varying degrees. It’s all very confusing at first, but the numbers are broken into groups:
Heart Types (2, 3, 4): deal with how you experience emotions
Head Types (5, 6, 7): deal with how you experience fear
Gut Types (8, 9, 1): deal with how you experience anger
To get your Tritype, you figure out which number you are from each category and rank them according to how much they fit you. For example, I’m a 4-7-9, the moody, fun-loving, yet easygoing type nicknamed the “Gentle Spirit”. Each type in your Tritype also has a wing, which can be difficult for many people to figure out. (I’m specifically a 4w3-7w6-9w8.)
There is yet another classification beyond that, which focuses on whether a person is socially oriented ("so" or social), self-oriented ("sp" or self-preservation), or one-on-one oriented ("sx" or sexual).
Now, onto the scheduled program!
Enneagram Type: 3w4, “The Professional”
When I first began pondering Cinderella’s personality, I was convinced that she had to be either a Two or a Four. She’s sweet and helpful like a Two, combined with the dreaminess and occasional moodiness of a Four. But which one could it be?
It was then that I began to really scrutinize her actions to get a better grasp of her personality. A slightly different picture emerged… Cinderella is sweet and dreamy, yes, but she’s also a hard worker with an ambitious streak who seems to inspire everyone around her, just through the force of her natural charm. Even more, she has a latent critical streak that comes out in private, when she has plenty of sarcastic things to say about her stepfamily. It occurred to me: Cinderella is a total Three.
The Enneagram Institute has this to say of Twos: “Threes are self-assured, attractive, and charming. Ambitious, competent, and energetic, they can also be status-conscious and highly driven for advancement. They are diplomatic and poised, but can also be overly concerned with their image and what others think of them. They typically have problems with workaholism and competitiveness. At Their Best: self-accepting, authentic, everything they seem to be—role models who inspire others.”
Her “wing” is that of a Four, which reflects her dreaminess and aesthetic sensibilities. Nevertheless, her “Four-ness” is filtered through the lens of Three, the Achiever, so it manifests as a strong desire to really shine and be appreciated for once. Thus, she is the 3w4, nicknamed “The Professional”. 3w4s are ambitious, self-conscious, and genuinely admirable.
This is demonstrated perfectly in Cinderella’s dream to go to the ball. She has suffered in silence for years at the hands of her stepfamily, contenting herself with hard work, but she also wants one night to get dressed up, have fun, and attend the royal ball where she would undoubtedly make a splash. 3w4s are known for ‘reaching for the stars’ with their dreams (and actually following through with them!), and Cinderella is no different.
Tritype: 3-9-6, “The Mediator”
Cinderella’s heart fix is the Three, as I just discussed. But what about situations where she can’t rely upon her emotions? That’s where her two lesser types, Nine and Six, come into play. Three, as her primary type, is the most present, but her secondary and tertiary types also coexist in her personality.
Her first instinct is clearly to work hard and succeed, but Cinderella also maintains a sense of serenity about her and is loyal and responsible—attributes that are characteristic of the Nine and Six.
Nine serves as the gut fix, or how someone acts. Cinderella remains calm under most circumstances and has still preserved her inner peace, even after years of being forced to work as a servant. Six, meanwhile, as the head fix, is expressed in her dutiful side.
Together, they form the 396 archetype known as “The Mediator”:
“The 396 is ambitious, but coupled with the need to be aligned with expectations. A need for peace and harmony influences behavior. This type is highly adaptable and focused on being in comfortable alignment with others.”
Instinctual variant: sp
She would probably be an sp subtype, because her dreams are centered around herself. Not in a selfish way, necessarily, but in a self-conscious
way: she understands her predicament, and knows that going to the ball will improve her mental well-being.
Full type: 3w4-9w1-6w5 so