Words of Affirmation for Enneagram 3s

If you’re an Enneagram Three, more likely than not, you thrive off words of affirmation. 

The Three’s biggest fears in life are failure and worthlessness, and that means you’re motivated both to succeed and to be perceived as successful by others. You want to be admired by those who love you and who are around you often. 

If you’re not an Enneagram Three but your friends or family members are, you might notice that they can seem a bit braggadocious about their accomplishments. They are quick to explain the many important tasks they’ve taken on in the day or how many people complimented them at their workplace for a job well done. 

While this might seem annoying or concerning at first glance, people who are close to an Enneagram Three might notice that they are not saying these things out of pride. Instead, Threes will often peacock their accomplishments in front of their loved ones because they desperately want validation from others around them. 

If this is truly the case, how do you show an Enneagram Three that you love them and you’re proud of them?

One of the reasons why we always suggest that individuals take personality tests like the Enneagram and the 7 Love Styles is because every individual receives and gives love differently. 

In this case, Enneagram Threes love to be told that what they’re doing matters to their partners and loved ones. While Words of Affirmation or Appreciation are not the only way to show love to your Enneagram Three partner, there are several ways that you can use this love style to let your partner know that you care about them and meet them on their level. Here are a few statements that you should say to your Enneagram Three partner or friend every chance you get. 

“I see how hard you’re working and I am so proud of you”

Enneagram Threes are hard workers. They earn their title as the achievers of the Enneagram. But too often, the hard work and dedication that Enneagram Threes bring to every table at which they’re seated is taken for granted.

If you have a Three in your life or at your job, pay attention to all the things they do and let them know that you see their accomplishments and you’re proud of them. 

As go-getting individuals, Threes don’t want to be told to slow down or to stop working so hard as they usually do things that they love. But they do need to know that you respect their efforts, and can feel underappreciated and taken advantage of if their work isn’t acknowledged. 

“Your work does not define you. You are still valuable with or without your job.”

If you’re a Three, you’ve more than likely fallen into the trap of introducing yourself to people by your job title. While it’s amazing that you love your job and you’re passionate about your work, sometimes an Enneagram Three’s work identity can become so interwoven into their personal identity that they cannot separate themselves or their value from their work.

As a direct result of this, if an Enneagram Three has a tough day at work, receives a correction, or gets fired from their job, they might not know who they are anymore and their mental health might take a tailspin. 

Instead of linking your Enneagram Three with their job or what they do, let your Three know that you value them, not their work. Even though it might seem obvious to you that you love them no matter how well they perform, Threes might get it in their head that they need to achieve a certain goal or do well at a task, just to be worthy of love. 

“You are enough just as you are.”

While this affirmation might seem a bit basic, sometimes we need the simplest words to remind us of a truth that we have long since forgotten. 

Enneagram Threes need to be reminded that they are enough and they don’t need to constantly strive to be more or do more. A Three will run ragged trying to accomplish everything and be the best. And while they usually achieve whatever they set their minds to, their constant need to work more, be more, and do more can come at a cost. 

Remind your Enneagram Three that they don’t need to constantly work themselves to the bone. They are already enough without even having to do or accomplish anything. It might take a bit of time for a Three to accept this statement as the truth, but it’s worth repeating as often as you can.

“You don’t have to do it all on your own.”

Often, Enneagram Threes take up other people’s burdens or workloads because they believe that they are the only ones who can accomplish the task. They don’t do this out of a state of pride or ignorance, but because they truly believe that they are the right person for the job.

If you notice that your Three is taking on too much and putting all the weight of the world on their shoulders, let them know that you’re there for them. Sometimes, an Enneagram Three needs to be reminded that they are not alone and some people can shoulder their burdens alongside them.

A final note for Enneagram Threes

Enneagram Threes are not usually labeled as the brave types, that’s usually Enneagram Eights. We’re also not necessarily labeled as the smart or proficient type, that’s often reserved for Enneagram Fives. We’re not even the perfect, moral types, Enneagram Ones have that in the bag. 

Threes are the type that strives for everything. We’re the hard-working ones whom you want to employ or live with because we get things accomplished quickly and well. So well, that many people take what we bring to the table for granted.

While it is true that Enneagram Threes love to work and do not resent the efforts they’re making, there needs to be a balance in every Enneagram Three’s life. You’re allowed to work hard and accomplish everything that you want to do and gain in life.

But because you love a challenge, Enneagram Three, I’m going to give you one. Before you get to work every morning, before you answer that email or send in that proposal, before you open your mouth and let everyone around you know all of the things that you have done and all of the praise-worthy efforts that you have made for the day – take a moment.

Say any of the above phrases to yourself. Remind yourself that you do matter. Take time to see the work that you’re putting in. Congratulate yourself.

It might seem silly or uncomfortable at the moment, but you have so much power inside of yourself. You don’t need to go to others to seek that validation. It’s there inside of you. 

Markey Battle
Markey is the embodiment of an Enneagram Three. Her secret talents include beating everyone but her husband at Disney Jeopardy. She has two cats, Everest and Pippin, which she rescued from a dumpster where the best pets are found. She once learned the entire alphabet backward in her sleep one night because she didn’t want to waste her time sleeping.