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  1. #1
    Blessed With A Curse Schrödinger's Name's Avatar
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    Default The (ir)relevance of tritypes

    I have been thinking about this from time to time. Yesterday, when I saw that a moderator in an Enneagram on FB group discouraged people to talk about tritypes -because they are (according to them) not helpful and their relevance is questionable- I decided to make this thread.

    Personal findings/observations are welcome though I'd also like to hear more (substantiated) arguments about the theory itself. Since the tritype theory is not a part of the 'original' theory. Why are 'tritypes' relevant? What makes them relevant? Who are the people who made the theory and why are they correct,...?

    Since my current impression of people using tritypes is that it first of all; takes away the focus from their core type. This especially in regard to people who are new to the Enneagram and/or people who aren't sure of their core type. Immediately jumping in and finding a 'tritype' whilst they don't know their core type yet doesn't look helpful at all to me. Secondly, tritypes (or the people using them) seem to be very much focused on behavior. I think we can all conclude that we in some way, posses all of the nine core values (we all want XYZ in a basic way in some aspects of our life) but that one type (the core) plays a bigger role in your life. I regularly see people refer to certain behaviors or thoughts that they have as 'that must be my X-fix', when it could just be the case that we all feel XYZ from time to time, and that it doesn't have anything to do with possible fixes. (Which also makes me think about why we must have a fix in all of the three triads. Who says it's not possible that someone is a triple-heart/gut/mind type? Someone could have their core in the thinking triad and have more motivations relating to other thinking types but that option is dismissed for some vague reason.)

    Now, these are just my current thoughts, nothing fixed (hah). So if anyone would like to discuss this more in depth, it's probably in your best interest not to @ me since I don't know shit- that's why I made this thread to begin with. I am curious to hear what your findings and thoughts on this subject are. (I could of course just Google the possible answers and arguments- but that'd be boring.)
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  2. #2

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    This is a good question to ask of tritype theory.
    You asked many questions, but I meant the validity of it.

    It's appealing to me in many ways, but I am inconclusive on its validity and relevance. I use it mostly for bigger picture impressions of others, and for that, it's been useful.

    It's a system that I scrapped when I decided to go back to basics with more focus, and I just haven't yet contemplated it much since then.

    I agree that it distracts and detracts from the value of knowing one's core type as it often leads people to land on an incorrect core type, which of course is useless.

  3. #3
    Kokoro no Yami Dareyth's Avatar
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    I think tritype helps pinpoint core type. Because a lot is lost in interpretation. If it wasnt for tritype, I would have never settled on a specific one type.
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  4. #4
    ιяяєѕιѕтιвlє Ꮆяαѕρ Luminous's Avatar
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    For the history of it: Tritype(R)

    Tritype theory suggests that while individuals primarily utilize one of the main Enneagram Types as their ‘core type,’ everyone actually employs three central Enneagram Types - the one that is the most dominant within each center of intelligence (the Head (567), Heart (234) and Gut (891) centers respectively). According to Katherine Fauvre, individuals use their main Enneagram Type along with two other types in a consistent, cascading, and repetitive manner, to produce a kind of ego intersection among all three types.[5] Therefore, while each type within the Tritype is employed separately, the combination of all three types coming together gives each Tritype a unique defense strategy (or way of defending against reality) and a specific focus of attention. In effect, each Tritype creates a type unto itself. This is because each type has a specific focus of attention that when combined with two other Enneagram types creates a new focus of attention that is a result of uniting the types within the Enneagram Tritype Archetype.

    It is important to note that just combining the 3 preferred types, one within each center, is not enough to explain the attentional patterns of each Tritype Archetype. This is because the type characteristics are modified by the type characteristics of the two other types in the Tritype. As a result the three types together will amplify some qualities they share in common and minimized other qualities they don’t share or amplify only some of the qualities from two of the types within the Tritype Archetype. Some characteristics are amplified and other characteristics are negated by the characteristics of the two other types within the Tritype.

    Tritype is used to explain the distinctive ways in which each individual manages life using various combinations of ego strategies and coping mechanisms from each center, yet Tritype (like the Enneagram) still remains a theory of motivation and not one of behavior.

    Fauvre frequently refers to the "high side" and "low side" of these Tritype interactions and distinguishes each as having a separate purpose. The high side of the Tritype intersection is that it gives direction, focus and purpose to the individual ego. The low side of this Tritype intersection is that it creates a blind spot which can narrow a person's ability to accurately self-assess and may even prevent a person from achieving a higher level of self-awareness by keeping them stuck in habitual and self-defeating patterns.
    Katherine Fauvre states that research shows that the other types in the Tritype are omnipresent but more specifically employed for use whenever the dominant patterns of the lead Type's defenses, wing types, and lines of connection have been exhausted and ineffective. The Tritype acts as a spiral and is in constant motion. It is engaged in all decision making processes. When the strategies of one of types in the Tritype is at odds with another type, decisions are harder to make. When all three types in the Tritype share a similar worldview, it is much easier for the Tritype to find solutions to their problems.

    Another example: a person could be the 927 or "The Peacemaker" Tritype,[12] and after utilizing the dominant Type 9 strategies the person may move to their lines of connection (Type 3 and Type 6) as well as to their possible wings (Type 1 and Type 8). However, if these connections are not effective for the person, they may move to Type 2 and become more helpful, effusive and relational, and then move subsequently to Type 7 to utilize positive reframing, escapism or future planning in order to achieve desirable results.
    That last paragraph is a good illustration of the limits of tritype (since you would first use your core, then your wings, then your lines and only then the next in your tritype... taking you through 5 types...)

    But the bolded paragraph and the idea of tritype archetypes is what I think is very useful regarding tritype. It very much helps describes the differences among people of the same core type, along with instinctual variants. A 529 will look different from a 583. It's what people mean when they say something like "double rejection" or "double withdrawn" (my tritype 259 is both of those things, meaning I have two types in my tritype that are in those particular triads, conceivably making them greater motivationally for me.)

    One thing I wonder is whether the other parts in one's tritype show up more "purely" than the wings or lines (as the wings and lines are going to only been seen in very close relation through the core type - when you integrate or disintegrate as a 9, the lines are going to only be gone to through the lens of being a 9 - they don't change your type).

    I find it easier to type people by looking at the gut/heart/head triads and thinking of which motivations show up clearest. Perhaps that's been misleading, but I don't think I'm horrible at typing people...
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  5. #5
    Vulnera Sanentur Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThisName View Post
    Since my current impression of people using tritypes is that it first of all; takes away the focus from their core type. This especially in regard to people who are new to the Enneagram and/or people who aren't sure of their core type. Immediately jumping in and finding a 'tritype' whilst they don't know their core type yet doesn't look helpful at all to me. Secondly, tritypes (or the people using them) seem to be very much focused on behavior. I think we can all conclude that we in some way, posses all of the nine core values (we all want XYZ in a basic way in some aspects of our life) but that one type (the core) plays a bigger role in your life. I regularly see people refer to certain behaviors or thoughts that they have as 'that must be my X-fix', when it could just be the case that we all feel XYZ from time to time, and that it doesn't have anything to do with possible fixes. (Which also makes me think about why we must have a fix in all of the three triads. Who says it's not possible that someone is a triple-heart/gut/mind type? Someone could have their core in the thinking triad and have more motivations relating to other thinking types but that option is dismissed for some vague reason.)
    I find the idea of tritype both intuitive and helpful, or at least I came to once I understood Ennagram well enough to know what the fixes were. It's not a stretch to think that, whatever fix (is that the word?) one's core type lies in, one will also use the others. It is only logical that one would identify more with one of the three types in each of these other fixes. I can also see how it might help someone identify their core type, to ask which type in each fix they find is most like them. Then they can order them, strongest to weakest.

    I have read critiques of tritype as lacking basis in enneagram theory. While I don't know enough to argue on that basis, as I wrote above, it seems reasonable to me in practice, as a way to help prioritize the 9 core values in a personality.
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  6. #6
    ヒカラのミコト Earl Grey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThisName View Post
    Personal findings/observations are welcome though I'd also like to hear more (substantiated) arguments about the theory itself. Since the tritype theory is not a part of the 'original' theory. Why are 'tritypes' relevant? What makes them relevant? Who are the people who made the theory and why are they correct,...?
    Fauvre explained tritypes in a way that made sense. Luminous has linked it, so I won't link to it again, but my responses are more or less the same, with an addition: it seems to line up, it works- at least for me and how I understand other people. It does allow for more wiggle room of how a type is expressed, however-


    Since my current impression of people using tritypes is that it first of all; takes away the focus from their core type. This especially in regard to people who are new to the Enneagram and/or people who aren't sure of their core type. Immediately jumping in and finding a 'tritype' whilst they don't know their core type yet doesn't look helpful at all to me. Secondly, tritypes (or the people using them) seem to be very much focused on behavior. I think we can all conclude that we in some way, posses all of the nine core values (we all want XYZ in a basic way in some aspects of our life) but that one type (the core) plays a bigger role in your life.
    I'd bold this entire thing. I agree. I see lots of descriptions on tritypes and they fall short in that they condense not just a whole type into short, few-sentence descriptions, but three. Not to mention, the core will always be relevant. A 1 isn't going to start acting like a 7 just because they have a 7 in their third fix. Think about it- it doesn't make sense. This is an order of priority, and a lot of tritype descriptions basically mash together all the traits of the three types in it as if it were core. 1+ 3 + 7? You're either flamboyant and extroverted, or not! (false in itself, again, because it makes behaviour be a determinant of type, which it is not).


    I regularly see people refer to certain behaviors or thoughts that they have as 'that must be my X-fix', when it could just be the case that we all feel XYZ from time to time, and that it doesn't have anything to do with possible fixes. (Which also makes me think about why we must have a fix in all of the three triads. Who says it's not possible that someone is a triple-heart/gut/mind type? Someone could have their core in the thinking triad and have more motivations relating to other thinking types but that option is dismissed for some vague reason.)
    Again, yes. This is a motivational schema, not a behavioural one. Just because you behaviourally deviate doesn't mean you aren't the type- a 1 that does something spontaneous isn't necessarily exercising their 'hidden internal 7 fix'. Personally, the bolded was also a confusion for me the first time I read about Enneagram. Why 9 types? Why stop at 9? Does it really divide that cleanly into three triads, or is this some arbitrary spiritual nonsense that cares about looking pretty more than it cares about making sense?

    Considering that triads themselves are newer than the Enneagram theory, and there have been more created aside from heart/head/gut, honestly? If someone could explain in a way that made sense why and how triple gut would be possible, hey. But as it stands, if we were to follow the original distribution of heart-head-gut, we cannot- each triad supposedly highlights different aspects of the self to begin with, with each type within it prioritizing and believing in different mechanisms in how they work- it is a prioritization, something that everyone does, the same reason you are likely I or E, N or S, etc in MBTI despite being able to exercise other functions in your stack as well. If I saw someone saying that they are so 9, but they act so 8 sometimes! Or they're so 2, but they relate to 4 too- I'd think they didn't understand the theory, and/or went by very behavioural cues, and/or don't understand themselves well enough to be able to match themselves up to the theory. Most especially the last one.

    Psychology is more in-depth than it seems, it is a subject on its own- here's an analogy: on genealogy (or the like) when asked about where you are from, you may be able to name the countries you hail from, but not name exactly what area, what the culture is like, what the extensive history is like, the genetics of the people in the area, etc. It takes a lot of years to study all these little things to get accurate data, and even so, the naked, untrained eye may not even know how to make sense of the numbers they see. Not many people realize that that's how deep they should go in terms of psychology (or typology, I guess?) when they want to understand how the underlying mechanisms behind their behaviours work. Apply skewed, or lacking data, and you will get skewed, or lacking information. Of course, this also works under the assumption that the theory itself is consistent, solid, testable, etc- which, well, psychology, typology especially, isn't- that's a whole other can of baggage.
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  7. #7
    Amethyst's Queen ♚ Saturnal Snowqueen's Avatar
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    Eh, personally I like the idea of tritypes. Sometimes it seems like a lot of layers, but it make sense to have a type to show how you deal with anger, one to show how you deal with fear, and one to represent what sort of image you want to have. It feels weird to have such a strong relation to 4 even though I'm a 9 without it being in my tri, unless it's from withdrawn types resembling each other. Plus, the triads would explain my personality really well. Being double withdrawn and double attachment just fits my personality so well, and unless it's just my wing I doubt I'm frustration blind with how easily dissatisfied I can be. I am an actual doubt triad meme.

    Some people put wings on their fixes, I'm having mixed feelings on that. I've used that method before, and some peoples fixes do seem to resemble certain wing combos more than the other. Even if I didn't believe in it, I'd probably put it in my signature or something like a zodiac sign. I've never really seen it outside of forums or Facebook groups though, never read it in any sources. How much do influence those tiny wings inside of the tritype really have? Plus, can a triple attachment theoretically be all the types if the fixes have wings and some people having balanced wings?
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  8. #8
    Remember, Humanity. Vendrah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThisName View Post
    Personal findings/observations are welcome though I'd also like to hear more (substantiated) arguments about the theory itself. Since the tritype theory is not a part of the 'original' theory. Why are 'tritypes' relevant? What makes them relevant? Who are the people who made the theory and why are they correct,...?
    These sets of questions should be applied to MBTI and cognitive functions too, since that would lead to a greater awareness that what we call "the stack" is fragile in evidence (it doesnt even show up on the tests) and has problems even inside Jung typology.

    But this is the enneagram section.

    About your questions, these questions should be made by the whole enneagram theory.
    In short, enneagram is older than cognitive functions, MBTI and Big Five, and nobody truly know its creator because some sources say it was bring by tradition and represents some sort of traditional wisdom. There is some evidence for the 9 types, I mean they seem to not internal correlate with each other (in other words, they seem independent from each other in general) and I had read a source on Google Scholar stating that the test-retest rate of the enneagram as a typology is decent. But there is some article I dont remember where that I did read directly that counter-evidence was find about wing theory, and other articles stating that no evidence for wing was found. The largest inconsistency in terms of wings are 8 wing 9 & 9 wing 8, since the worst choice for a wing for the peaceful type is the aggressive type. About tri-type, its too complex to evaluate and no source seem to find any evidence for the gut-head-heart on Google Scholar, and if you pay attention to the study did by @highlander on Enneagram and MBTI, you will see that head-heart have some inconsistencies between MBTI, and on Big Five too. Also, as @Luminous had quoted, "Katherine Fauvre states that research shows", there is no such study on Google Scholar and I couldnt manage to find a single report of any study properly describing methodologies or giving details about how that happened, only some poor resume that barely counts as documentation. Also, as Luminous test and some other few test, you can force enneagram centers to show up by separating questions for each triad - like having a question for the gut, question for the heart, question for the head.
    But it holds true, specially to me that had seem some few test results and read some other sources, that people are not fully one enneagram type, so stating your 2nd and 3rd enneagram types is relevant to a lot of people (specially taking into account that wing theory is definitely broken). So, for example, there are people with aspects of 9 and 5, aspects of 4 and 6, 9 and 4, and goes on. However, that affirmation goes regardless of centers and fix.

    A good read is this source here:
    e-space

    Abstract

    One of the most common questions I am asked when introducing people to the Enneagram goes something along the lines of: “Yes, but is it real? What scientific evidence is there?” It was exactly that question that prompted me to do my PhD research a few years ago. I could see the Enneagram worked for me but I wanted to know if it could stand up to rigorous psychological research. In this article, I have tried to summarise the published research on the Enneagram so that next time someone asks you that question you can answer confidently, “Yes, there is good evidence of its validity, let me tell you about it…”

    And from it we have the Big Five table, Im only posting here to show that Type 8 and 9 forms opposites on Big Five - And on MBTI they sort of form opposites except on Intuition and Sensing.


  9. #9
    Inactive For A Bit RadicalDoubt's Avatar
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    I personally like what tritypes add to the theory, but I agree that the relevance can in some sense take away from the benefits of identifying a core type, especially to those new to the theory. Realistically, diving right into trying to figure out one's tritype can be confusing and almost misleading if one has not yet identified their core. I've often seen a lot of people (especially those new to the theory) justify mistypes of the core by attributing behaviors, fears, or motivations/mechanisms completely contradictory to their core type to their fixes. Even someone like myself, who has studied enneagram for almost 7 years, fell into that trap as well, so it's really not even exclusive to experience. A lot of this sort of thing seems to fall in line with general confusion of the importance of tritype in comparison with core as bias towards or against specific types. In theory, I think your core type should be able to explain or describe (by best ability of any theory of course) your behavior set, important fears, and important methods that you use to tackle those fears and daily life, even outside of what your tritype entails. I think most people agree on this at least.

    However, I do tend to like tritype theory because I believe it adds depth to the enneagram typing. Despite most people falling into a core type, these types can present in a large variety of ways and with emphasis on specific traits or mechanisms of action. I think tritype helps explain that variance, especially since most people tend to relate and feel the fears defined within multiple types, even outside their core. Additionally, I like the added aspect of defining priority to which fixations effect a person (ie. fear > anger > shame, etc) and allowing specification in the different ways people of a single type can experience these fixations. I do agree though that people tend to hyperfocus on tritype though in a way that can cloud the benefit of realizing a core type.

  10. #10
    Da Voodoo Boogie man's Avatar
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    TriFIX has always been part of the original Enneagram.
    TriTYPE is the Fauvre's rebranding of it since Ichazo was being.. difficult. I'm sure he had his reasons. But the idea that you have one fix from each center is basic Enneagram. Even Russ Hudson from enneagraminstitute uses Tritype - he was the one (of several) to teach the Fauvres, after all.

    In short, that FB moderator was wrong.
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