Enneagram 3w4 Personality Type: Key Characteristics

11 May 2023


What happens when you challenge a conformist to reexamine all of their wishes? Do they become more self-aware and less dependent on society’s judgment and ideals? Well, the 3w4 Enneagram type may hold the answer to this question!

In Enneagram 3w4 type, all the core characteristics of Three are there, but with an exciting twist. Thanks to the Four wing, Threes still passionately want to succeed but can never be satisfied unless they succeed in their own unique way.

In this guide, we will reveal what exactly happens in this curios mix, what are 3w4s’ strengths and desires, fears, weaknesses, and much more!

Let’s dive in!

Enneagram 3w4 (3 Wing 4) Personality Type

Enneagram 3w4 Personality Type

If you scored 3w4 on the Enneagram test, it means that you are a Three with many traits of a Four.

Threes are energetic, charismatic types who know what they want and go after it. They can't stand the thought of failure and sometimes will do almost anything just to succeed. On the other hand, Fours are the most original type of Enneagram—their strongest drive is to be unique and authentic and live in line with one's inner values.

When you add the Four's traits to a Three, you get a personality that is ambitious to achieve something utterly unique and exquisite. These people want to show the world that they are special and will work hard to make that happen.

What Does Wing Mean?

The short answer is—a wing is a sidekick to your core Enneagram type.

Every Enneagram type can have a wing that comes from the neighboring Types on the Enneagram diagram. Most of us rarely have the characteristics of only one type—we are usually a mix of two. In other words, if you’re a Three, you may have a Two or Four wing.

The Four wing reinforces the emotional side of the Three, making 3w4s more in touch with their feelings. A typical Three is like the embodiment of the saying "Fake it till you make it," but Threes with a Four wing can't stand to fake anything, as it’s not who they are.

Also, since both Threes and Fours belong to the emotional triad of the Enneagram, a 3w4 person will feel all their deepest fears and desires with a special intensity.

Enneagram 3w4 Strengths & Weaknesses

Enneagram 3w4 Strengths & Weaknesses

3w4 is a fascinating personality because, on the one hand, it exudes so much strength of character, while on the other, it appears to be so sensitive. It's like this type strives to conquer their own depths just as they strive to succeed in the outer world.

3w4 Strengths

The peculiar combination of an eccentric and a conformist provides 3w4s with many unique virtues. These usually come from their emotional awareness and depth.

Therefore, we could say that the greatest strengths of the 3w4 type include:

  • Ability to see through any person and/or situation. They are in touch with their emotions all the time, which makes them very skilled at reading others.
  • Incredible focus and attention to detail. When they are passionate about something, they leave nothing to the case.
  • Profound self-awareness. These people spend a lot of time exploring their inner depths.
  • Talent to recognize others' talents. 3w4s easily see what's unique about others just as they feel what's unique about them.
  • Willingness to improve. These lifelong learners never stop discovering new things about themselves and have an endless well of inspiration.

3w4 Weaknesses

The 3w4 Enneagram type wants to stand out from the crowd at any cost, and all the weaknesses come from their core fear—that they will fail to prove to the world how different and unique they are.

Let’s see what their dark sides are:

  • Sensitivity to criticism. They invest themselves in their work so much that they become hypersensitive to comments or criticism of any kind.
  • Lack of coping mechanisms when faced with failure. If they fail to achieve the desired result, the representatives of this personality type get overwhelmed with shame and feel like nothing makes sense.
  • Obsession with work. This is usually the area where they channel their need to show who they are.
  • Self-loathing tendencies under stress. Shame is the core feeling of both Threes and Fours. Since both types have macho tendencies, they often turn that shame into self-loathing.
  • Tendency to isolate when suffering. They can't stand to be seen as weak by anyone, so they isolate themselves when they don't feel good enough, which only makes them feel worse.

Taking our Coping Styles Test can provide insights into more effective strategies for handling setbacks.

Enneagram 3w4 Fears & Desires

Do something great

Though they may seem like they don't care about conventional values or share the same dreams as the others, 3w4s crave acceptance, love, and attention just like 3w2s. Add this to their urge to express their own uniqueness, and you’ll get a list of all their deepest fears and desires.

3w4 Fears

Here’s what 3w4s fear the most:

  • Not being special. They can occasionally get caught up in their own emotional depths where they doubt everything.
  • Experiencing real closeness and intimacy. 3w4s allow themselves to be intimate only when they have proved exquisite and unique. An Enneagram 3 male often struggles with this balance between success and vulnerability.
  • Being despised for failing. Failure equals losing all the love and respect of people for 3w4s and hurts them deeply.

3w4 Desires

Now that we know what the 3w4 type is afraid of, let’s see what their biggest wishes are:

  • Being recognized for their unique talents and capabilities. They don't just want to be successful—they need to be recognized as indispensable.
  • Understanding themselves and their emotions. 3w4s are forever interested in the depth of their emotional world.
  • Accomplishing something great and proving that they are "one of a kind." These individuals dream that if they succeed at this, they'll finally get all the love and respect they need.

Enneagram 3w4 vs. 3w2 Comparison

Empathy is emphasized in the 3w2 personality type, so these people are more sociable and friendly, while 3w4s are full of self-awareness and more interested in their own emotions than the emotions of others. Both types excel at work, but 3w2s crave the approval of their surrounding, while 3w4s aim to impose their own criteria.

Also, a 3w2 is eager to conform and does not want to stand out and be seen as eccentric. They like success for the sake of success and don't really care what it is they are successful at as long as they are successful. Meanwhile, the 3w4's definition of success is different—they need to be seen as rare, unique, and only exceptional values to them.

What Motivates 3w4 Personality Types?

What Motivates 3w4 Personality Types?

A 3w4's ultimate desire is to achieve success on their own terms.

These individuals are never satisfied with common accomplishments, but they are also not ambitious in a conventional sense. They feel a strong desire to express themselves through their work and choose creative professions where they have the freedom to show what they are made of. Needless to say, recognition of their talents inspires them to work even harder.

This type is also very interested in improving both personally and professionally, so they thrive in environments that nurture self-development. Though they do not value relationships like 3w2s, they are more stable and better adapted when they form a close bond with someone.

Also, the 3w4 type enjoys it when they have the freedom to work on their own terms and in their own way and when others trust them that they'll do a good job. In fact, they are generally ready to move mountains when they feel loved and accepted by someone they admire.

What are 3w4 Personality Types Like Under Stress?

Thanks to their ability to read others, 3w4s may intuitively feel when something in their surroundings is about to change. But sometimes, they may interpret these signs in the wrong way. When that happens, they become anxious and worried and throw themselves into work to try to prevent anything bad from happening.

Logically, due to this, they also tend to experience burnout which surfaces from time to time and can make them moody, defensive, and arrogant.

Also, at times, they get so immersed in their own world that they lose touch with the outer. Prolonged periods of isolation make them hypersensitive, and they become overly self-conscious and self-doubting, too. Additionally, they project their inner friction into the outer world, so they may provoke conflicts just to relish some of the tension they feel.

However, in stressful situations, when they do not feel personally triggered, they can actually react very rationally and calm others in turbulent times. So, when they feel centered and stable, they are not so easily shaken and can support those around them.

What are 3w4 Personality Types Like at Work?

Desk in a brightly lit workspace

The 3w4 Enneagram type representatives are hard-working, dedicated professionals who accumulate a lot of knowledge and skills throughout their careers. These people are not so easily adaptable or interested in the social life at their workplace—they enjoy creative challenges and usually have a very sharp focus when they work.

This type usually is not interested in being a leader—they are interested in being unique and exquisite!—but can still be great managers who can sense others' abilities well. Additionally, their drive and attention to detail make them excellent and respected bosses.

As team members, they may get too competitive, as they will want to prove themselves. Due to this, others may find them a bit eccentric. They are also introverted, which is why working in teams is not an ideal solution for them to give their best.

This implies that the 3w4 Enneagram type is ideally a freelancer who works on their own terms. It’s not that they are not structured—they just like to rely on their inspiration and prefer to work independently. After all, corporate surroundings and hierarchy tend to get the worst of them.

Enneagram 3w4 Best & Worst Career Choices

3w4s have the Three's incredible drive and, therefore, excel in many different professions. With a touch of Four, they want more than success in what they do and achieve the extraordinary.

3w4 Best Career Choices

This type excels at professions that require independence, continuous self-development, and creativity. Their introspectiveness usually makes them interested in psychology and similar fields. Also, as previously mentioned, since they are introverted, they prefer to work alone rather than in teams.

Some of the best career choices for 3w4s include:

  • Creative Writer
  • Artist
  • Research Psychologist
  • Research Politician
  • Lawyer
  • Project Manager
  • Recruiter
  • Talent Manager
  • Training and Development Manager

3w4 Worst Career Choices

Secretary attending to her tasks

Since they want to be unique and aim for high accomplishments, 3w4s will not flourish in repetitive jobs, assistant positions, or those that require socializing and people skills. Therefore, the worst career paths they could choose include:

  • Secretary
  • Paralegal
  • Clerk
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Nurse

Enneagram 3w4 Famous People

Foe 3w4s, fame is a way to distinguish oneself, which is why many of them dream of becoming a celebrity. And, while 3w2s use their personal charm and charisma to prosper, 3w4s always want to earn fame through their work.

Some popular 3w4s that managed to do this and gained worldwide fame include:

  • Jennifer Lopez, a world-famous and acclaimed actress who never settled with acting. She has also worked hard to become a singer and runs her own beauty and cosmetics brand.
  • Angelina Jolie, another well-known actress, who has never been satisfied with being both beautiful and talented. She wanted to make a difference and has also been a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations for a long time. Her personal style has always been original.
  • Hillary Clinton, who started out as a lawyer and became the politician and diplomat she is today.
  • Nicki Minaj, a beloved singer and music artist, who also made a couple of appearances in movies and has always distinguished herself thanks to her unique style and music.

Key Takeaways

All in all, we could say the 3w4 personality type is the more artsy cousin of Three!

Now that you know so much about this type, let’s just review some of their key traits before you leave:

  • 3w4s wants to accomplish something extraordinary. By proving they can achieve exquisite things, they prove to themselves that they are loveable.
  • Their striking ambition, in combination with a deep self-awareness, is a great source of motivation for them.
  • They are natural lifelong learners who often change a lot through life. That's partly due to their introspectiveness and all the skills and knowledge they readily acquire.