If you have an Enneagram Type Three in your life and you want be more intentional with them, I'm going to share with you 10 of the best ways to love them better and the top ways to honor their unique qualities. Intimately knowing your partner's Enneagram type can revolutionize a relationship.

The Top 10 Ways to Love an Enneagram Type Three

I have to admit, I'm Enneagram Three. So I may or may not be sending this blog post to EVERYONE I KNOW. Hi Mom! 👋 

And maybe you’re thinking, “The Threes in my life don’t seem to need much encouragement! They’re hurrying through their day, checking off their to-do list, and reaching for the stars.” But that’s where you’re wrong: 

Because behind the busy bee exterior is a sensitive and vulnerable person who longs to feel worthy of love.

#1 — Encouragement is Key: "I’m Proud of You!"

Enneagram Type 3 in Relationships | Enneagram with Abbey

Verbal and written encouragement is important to an Enneagram Type 3. The core desire of an Enneagram Three is to be successful, admired, and respected. I'm not super proud that this is a huge desire of my heart, but it's just a part of who I am and why I do the things I do. That said, it always makes me feel really good when my loved ones tell me how proud they are of me. There is nothing better in the world than my dad telling me that he's proud of me and telling me specific reasons why. It makes my insides feel mushy and my eyes feel teary.

  • Intentional, specific reasons are always better than vague platitudes
  • Don’t underestimate the power of a good “I’m proud of you.”
  • Encouragement can come in many forms so include both verbal and written praise when the situation warrants it

    #2 — Affirm Their Worth: "I Love You For YOU." 

     Loving an Enneagram Type Three | Enneagram with Abbey

    An Enneagram Three's core longing is the thing they have been striving to hear their entire life. Somewhere along the way, when they were a child, they received the message that they are only worthy of love based on their achievements. So an amazing way to show true love to your Enneagram Three is to say, "I love you just for being you. I don't love you for your accomplishments. I love you simply for who you are." This speaks to the longings of their heart. They are enough!

      #3 — Keep an Eye Out For When Something Doesn't Seem Right

      Enneagram Type 3 Out of Alignment | Enneagram with Abbey

      There’s a reason there are different levels of health and alignment in the Enneagram of Personality. It’s important to recognize when the people in your life are moving towards an unhealthy spot. When Enneagram 3s are thriving, they are motivated, confident, and inspired. When they are slipping down the slope of deceit and insecurity, they can be impatient and easily frustrated. You can help them by recognizing when they start slipping towards the unhealthy traits of a Type 9.

      From experience, I know that when I’m not doing well, I have difficulty processing and discussing what's going on emotionally. So try to recognize when your Three may be exhibiting symptoms of unhealthiness. If they desire personal growth, I don't think they would mind a gentle directional reminder that they need to check in with what's going on inside.

        #4 — Words of Affirmation

        Enneagram Type 3 Words of Affirmation 

        My main love language is words of affirmation and I wouldn't be surprised if this is similar to other Type Threes as well. When my friends tell me that they love me and enjoy hanging out with me, my heart glows. I feel so loved and affirmed in my relationship with them. Use positive words to encourage and reassure the Type Threes in your life. They will appreciate it.

          #5 — Interruption-Free Zone

          Enneagram Type 3 Needs Dedicated Work Time

          If Enneagram 3s are in a working zone, that is precious. As best as you can, try to provide them with uninterrupted work time. If you both have kids and your Type 3 really needs to work, take the kids to the backyard to play some games. If you don't have children, but you just really want to show them some funny tweets, maybe wait until they've unplugged for the day to do that.

            #6 — Invest in Rest

            Enneagram Type 3 Rest Ideas

            Create an intentional day of rest. If you see that your Enneagram Type Three may be inching towards burnout, invite them to spend an intentional day away from work. Leave the phone and computer at home. Go to the beach with a book that has nothing to do with their job. Go for a hike (but don't talk about goals or plans for the future). Find a way to encourage your Three to let go. Let it goooo, let it gooo...

              via GIPHY

              #7 — Tidy House, Tidy Mind

              Enneagram Type Threes Thrive on Organization

              I don't know if this is just me or if this applies to other Enneagram Type Threes as well, but I operate at my best when my home is clean and organized. I feel most inspired and motivated to go after my goals if I'm in a peaceful, tidy space! So a good way to show love to your Three is to always do your dishes after you cook, put your laundry away after you wash it, and regularly scrub down the shower. If resources allow, hire someone to come and clean your house once a month!

                #8 — Deep Dive Into the Enneagram

                Learn all you can about the Enneagram types. The Enneagram is such a helpful tool for exploring inner motivations and how to love people best. Subscribe to my YouTube channel to learn more about your type and your loved one's type.

                I am an avid reader and if you are too, below is a video of the OG basic books about the Enneagram to get you started and here is a blog post of some books to help you dig deeper in your pursuit of all things Enneagram. 

                #9 — The Gift of Efficiency

                Enneagram 3s and Productivity

                If you love an Enneagram Three, you know that they value productivity. So if you want to get them a really good gift, give them something that will make their days more efficient! I’m talking paper planners, online planners, planning stickers, goal journals... anything that helps them maximize time in style.

                  #10 — Nourishment over Destruction

                  Enneagram Type 3 and Encouragement

                  Be gentle with criticism. As a Three, I encourage feedback on my work, but I'm also extremely sensitive because my work, unfortunately, correlates to a lot of my self-worth. If you have constructive criticism, please be kind and not judgmental. US Congressman Frank A. Clark said, “Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man's growth without destroying his roots.” Learn to nourish your Type Three in a way that encourages them to grow!

                    I hope these tips were helpful for your journey in understanding how to care for Enneagram Threes. Now get out there and love them! They deserve it.