My Life as a Three

One of my favorite beauty bloggers, Cara from maskcara.com, is always filling my Pinterest with crazy interesting beauty tips. She recently wrote a post about the RHETI personality assessment (that, of course, piqued my curiosity). Without high hopes, I read through the short questionnaire and discovered something very important about myself.

The RHETI (Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator)  personality assessment describes itself as “a forced-choice psychological test which requires you to chose one statement in each pair of statements that describes you best.” I took the sampler version (about 10 minutes), while the real assessment has 144 questions. According to their website, [Take the test here!], there are nine personality types:

1 THE REFORMER

The Rational, Idealistic Type: Principled, Purposeful, Self-Controlled, and Perfectionistic

2 THE HELPER

The Caring, Interpersonal Type: Demonstrative, Generous, People-Pleasing, and Possessive

3 THE ACHIEVER

The Success-Oriented, Pragmatic Type: Adaptive, Excelling, Driven, and Image-Conscious

4 THE INDIVIDUALIST

The Sensitive, Withdrawn Type: Expressive, Dramatic, Self-Absorbed, and Temperamental

5 THE INVESTIGATOR

The Intense, Cerebral Type: Perceptive, Innovative, Secretive, and Isolated

6 THE LOYALIST

The Committed, Security-Oriented Type: Engaging, Responsible, Anxious, and Suspicious

7 THE ENTHUSIAST

The Busy, Fun-Loving Type: Spontaneous, Versatile, Distractible, and Scattered

8 THE CHALLENGER

The Powerful, Dominating Type: Self-Confident, Decisive, Willful, and Confrontational

9 THE PEACEMAKER

The Easygoing, Self-Effacing Type: Receptive, Reassuring, Agreeable, and Complacent

Cool, Laura, you learned something about yourself that you probably already knew. Not quite. When I read the short descriptions, I battled with which type I most associated. I like to think I’m a fun-loving type 7, but I’m also incredibly rational, more like a type 1; all of these options had good and bad things about them! It’s no secret to those that know me, that I am a driven individual. I was the valedictorian, the President of the National Honor Society, blah, blah, blah. So it was not to my surprise that I am The Achiever. But what does that mean?

Threes are driven and fear, above all, being worthless. Success, no matter the definition, remains crucial to the self-worth of an achiever. I’ve always been a performer and that’s great. Until it’s not. Threes are at a huge risk for cocaine addictions and exhaustion. Relationships often suffer at the hands of an obsessive three. More importantly, threes are very aware of their self-image.

I’ve NEVER been able to blow off what other people think. I often use my personality to respond to people in a way that will make them feel better, at the expense of myself. That’s not to say I get stepped on or used, but in a confrontation, I always try to save face. When people arbitrarily don’t like me, it drives me CRAZY. I am then on a mission to figure out exactly why it is they feel this way. If this makes any sense: I don’t care so much that this person doesn’t like me, but that they might encourage others to feel that way. Don’t mistake this for insecurity. I am happy with who I am and what I do, but as a three, I put value on reputation.

On the surface, a three has their life figured out. People describe them as “put together”, but often times happiness is elusive. Threes train themselves to perform for praise, however, not from themselves. It’s confusing really, because I always work for a cause and not the applause, but I do like that affirmation. The more in-depth description of The Achiever states that these people lose touch with their own wants and desires. Especially in college, a place where everyone is trying to find themselves, knowing the difference between what I want and what others want for me is difficult.

They say, “follow your heart”, but when I ask what my heart wants, it doesn’t know.

This test also reaffirms that people move between healthy and unhealthy levels of these traits. A healthy three places value on relationships, while an unhealthy three is doing cocaine to pass the Bar exam. It’s a give and a take.


I find myself looking for that inner voice more and more, before it loses its ability to speak.

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