Thoughts on Tritype

tritypeAfter some recent conversations I’ve had around accurate typing, I thought I’d address the topic of Tritype, and share some of my personal thoughts.

A couple of years ago, when I first began to consider the concept as an addition to the Enneagram, I was optimistic and curious. I’m a large believer in variety and individuality, that each person is wired in a unique way, and the concept of Tritype supports that belief. Determining my own Tritype was more than simple, as my core and wing make for two of the three fixes. I tried the concept on for a time, even introducing it to friends and others I talked about Enneagram with. It wasn’t long, however, before I ran into conundrums.

Helping a 6 who identified strongly with 3, to determine whether that manifestation was a matter of disintegration, or whether it was a heart fix, was my first “hmm…” moment. I asked myself: could this concept serve as a distraction (or even excuse) from looking at our health patterns honestly? After hearing people speak the reality of that, “That’s not unhealthy for me, I just have a 9 fix.”, or the like, I began talking with dozens of people about what their Tritype might be. Doing so helped me to see how detrimental this new concept could be to the core foundation of the Enneagram– in truth, contradicting it.

I do not doubt at all, that the concept of Tritype was well intended when introduced, but in addition to the above issues, I also find it redundant. Any characteristic that Tritype attempts to explain in an individual, seems easily explained with the original elements of the Enneagram (core, wing, instincts and health).  An Sp-first 1 is already called 6-like (Naranjo) because of their tendency towards anxiety, and security seeking in the form of perfection– in light of this, dubbing a “6 fix” is unnecessary and overly complex.  Likewise, the Sx-first 4 is said to be 8-like (in that their envy becomes “shameless” and demanding) so adding a label of “8 fix” seems silly.

There is such a thing as over-explanation, to the point of convolution– based on my observations in talking with others about tritype, I believe it falls into that category. After exploring it thoroughly, I do not use or teach Tritype because I don’t personally believe it is beneficial (perhaps even the opposite). True understanding of self and others can be had with the original tools of the Enneagram, anything added (thus far) seems merely ornamental.

Clearly, my opinions, observations and thoughts are my own. I only seek to share them to encourage thoughtful conversation on the topic, and to encourage intentional use of the Enneagram.  Thoughts or questions on the subject, or what I’ve written here? Feel free to leave a comment or reach out to me at Thanks for reading!

Thoughts on Tritype

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s