Enneagram COMMUNICATION STYLES (Types 3,4,5)

PREVIOUS : Talk Style (Types 1-2)


Ennea-type 3’s style is persuading or selling. They’re always trying to convince someone of something. And often, what they’re trying to sell is themself. Persuasion comes naturally to them, & find themselves in careers that benefit from this ability.

3s speak confidently & directly, using words that focus on the topic at hand. They know exactly why they’re talking – what they’re trying to accomplish. They’re not interested in side topics or some else’s agenda.

If a 3 is going to break up with their partner, they may say: “I don’t see this relationship going anywhere, & I don’t think we should waste each other’s time anymore. I think we should break up so that we don’t spend our best years on a relationship that’s failing.”

If they don’t see a relationship “going somewhere,” (after all, Existence is a verb to 3s) or positioning them closer to their goals, it’s got to go. Also, anything that smells even faintly of failure has got to go for an Achiever.

IN BIZ : Performer – 3s are tremendously productive, highly & enthusiastic , they quickly move into action to get results. CHALLENGE : take the time to listen to others, & build good relationships, They need to develop more long-term strategies, & watch out for personal burnout due to workaholism.
Ennea-type 4’s style is lamenting or expressing. Since they like to live in & feel comfortable in ‘darker’ feelings, you’ll hear a lot of complaining language, with melodramatic & flowery metaphors. It’s usually very emotion-based.

They may not outwardly seem to be emotional, but their language will let you know of hidden depths. 4s’ talk style tends to be self-focused, being a little too attached to how they react to everything. But they’re also highly creative, so their dramatic imagery will reflect that imagination.

If a 4 is going to initiate a breakup, they may say: “I just don’t know if you’re ready to plumb the depths of reality with me. I’m starting to find this relationship really stifling, & I don’t know that we’re the twin flames I thought we were.
I need to be on my own to really explore my true nature without feeling like I have to be someone else for you.”
Very melodramatic, with lots of visual elements, but ultimately it’s all about the speaker & their emotional needs.

IN BIZ : Romantic – 4s focus on aesthetics, authenticity, & ‘meaning’, valuing excellence in all things They want a personal connection to their work & to the people around them.
CHALLENGE : learn to tolerate the mundane parts of work, reduce their emotional reactions, & not take things too personally.
Ennea-type 5’s style is lecturing or presentational. They know a lot about their area of expertise, & want you to know about it, too. But more importantly, they just really want to go on about it – to better process the info.

They like talking about facts. Their language tends to be highly analytical – lacking small talk entirely – with a certain detachment from the topic they’re focused on. If you want to talk about emotions with a 5, be ready to do it in terms of psychology, not metaphors.

The likeliest way a 5 would break up with someone – is just to ghost them, or so cut them off emotionally, that one day the partner wakes up & thinks, “Oh, I guess I’ll just show myself out.”

They might even realize that in the 5’s mind, they left the relationship a long time ago. But, if your partner were to initiate a breakup, it could probably be in a short text, or something factual, like : “I’m moving to Boston to get my masters, & I would prefer you didn’t come with me. I’ll need time to myself without distractions. I wish you the best of luck.”

IN BIZ : Observer – 5s are excellent thinkers & strategists, looking to develop technical expertise & accumulate knowledge. They need lots of privacy & autonomy.
CHALLENGE : be available to other people when possible, to communicate warmth, & recognize other kinds of human assets besides mental intelligence.

NEXT : Talk styles (7-9)

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