The Enneagram is a system that describes personality types and identifies patterns of behavior in relation to how people view the world and how they manage their own emotions.
Next to each personality type, there are two numbers, and these are referred to as enneagram wings. These wings are extensions of the dominant personality type, and also play a role in defining how a person makes decisions and reacts to situations.
Now let’s discuss the Enneagram system as a whole, as well as provide you with a detailed guide on how you can understand the different wings that are attached to each personality type.
Understanding The Enneagram
Before we try to understand the enneagram wings associated with each personality type, we must first understand the Enneagram symbol. As mentioned above, it is in the form of a nine-pointed geometric symbol.
It is in the form of a circle, and the nine points are evenly spaced around it. There is a triangle inside the circle, that connects points 9, 3, and 6, and there’s also an irregular hexagon that connects the other points together.
Next to each main number (the dominant personality type), there are two numbers on each side of it, and these are known as the wings. These wings represent personality traits that are related to the main type of personality, and people will occasionally dip into the traits that these wings represent, depending on the situation.
Aside from their primary personality type, many people associate strongly with either one or two of their wings, which we will discuss in detail later.
Each main personality type is also connected by two other numbers within the circle. It is said that the first line connects to the personality traits that an individual has left behind, and the second line represents the traits that a person is going to adopt once they are ready to develop further as a person.
How Does It Work?
As we grow up, the way we respond to the world around us and make decisions tends to relate to one of the nine Enneagram personality types.
Which one you relate to most does depend on biological factors, but also the environment in which you grew up, and what you experienced growing up.
In the Enneagram, no number is better than another, and although some people may relate to several different types, it is believed that people do not tend to change from one personality type to another.
For an even more detailed look, check out this video from Frank James:
The 9 Enneagram Types
Before we jump into the enneagram wings, we need to look at the 9 personality types associated with the Enneagram. These personality types are divided into Head Types, Body Types, and Heart Types.
The body types are very in tune with their instinctual intelligence and tend to follow their ‘gut’ feelings in order to make decisions.
The head types refer to their intellectual intelligence when it comes to making sense of the world around them.
The heart types are very emotionally intelligent, and use this to connect with others, and understand their own emotions and reactions to things.
The Heart Types
Types two, three, and four fall under the heart type. They are very empathetic people and connect with others on an emotional level. They make decisions based on how they feel about certain things, and their emotional relationships with others are what guide them through life.
People who associate themselves with this personality type tend to value emotional support, inclusion, and recognition.
Type two is known as ‘The Wingman’ and these individuals tend to try and find ways in which they can help others. Their main fear in life is not being loved.
‘The Pioneer’ is what Type Threes are known as, their goal is to be admired by others, and to become successful. Their fear is failure and not being admired by those around them.
Type fours are known as the ‘Flying Solo’ type and they want to experience deep and authentic emotions. These people fear being too different from other people and worry they are flawed because of this.
The Head Types
The head types are pragmatic and connect with others by the intellect. They tend to understand the world by analyzing the systems and theories around what they observe.
People who resonate with the head types enjoy having control over situations and they do so by maintaining security and stability.
Type fives are known as ‘The Scholar’ and these individuals value knowledge and understanding about the world around them. They don’t tend to value social interactions as much as they value data, and their main fear is being overwhelmed by their own needs or the needs of other people.
Known as ‘The Dependable’, those who resonate with type six, are always prepared for problems, and their biggest fear is not being prepared for the worst, and not being able to defend themselves in a situation revolving around danger.
‘The Aficionado’ is what those who relate to type seven are referred to as. These individuals want to have as much fun in life as humanly possible and try to avoid feeling emotional pain such as sadness by keeping busy.
The Body Types
The body types base their decisions on their gut feeling. They react to the world around them by acknowledging their body’s reaction to their external environments. They connect with other individuals with a physical sense of comfort, and they like to maintain independence by reducing control from outside influences.
These individuals can sometimes be overly passive, overly controlling, or too much of a perfectionist.
Type eights are known as ‘The Rival’, and aren’t afraid to stand up for what they believe in. Their fear is being powerless, so they will make sure to find ways of controlling their environment to the best of their abilities.
The ‘Keeper of the Peace’ is what those who resonate with type nine are known as. They enjoy going with the flow and letting those around them make the decisions. They tend to be passive and are afraid of pushing people away by putting their own needs before everyone else’s.
Type one is known as ‘The Advocate’. They value doing things by the book, and following rules where appropriate. They fear being anything less than perfect and are very strict with themselves, as well as those around them.
The Importance Of Enneagram Wings
Earlier on we touched on the Enneagram wings. These are the two types that fall on each side of your dominant personality type, and there are 18 wings in total.
For example, Type Two (The Wingman) has Type One, and Type Three on either side of it. Therefore, those who fall into the Type Two personality type may also have personality traits that are associated with Type One and Type Three.
It is said that there is usually one dominant wing that has more influence on your personality than the other, but many people can acknowledge both wings in their personalities.
Your dominant Enneagram type, from numbers 1 to 9 sets the main framework for your personality type. Your wings, however, act as a sort of extension, or spin-off from your main roots, and may add a bit of flair to your personality.
Enneagrams Wings Explained
Let’s now look at a brief description of each wing so that you can understand each a little more clearly. If you’re wondering what does the w mean in the enneagram wing it simple stands for the word ‘wing’. So 4w5 means enneagram type 4 with a wing of 5.
An Enneagram 1 with a more dominant 9 wing will be slightly introverted and thinks before they speak. They can sometimes be procrastinators, but they tend to be good at maintaining relationships.
Those with more of a dominant 2 wing have a warmer nature towards others and are more extroverted than those with a dominant 9 wing. They are empathetic and have the urge to help those around them. However, they can be controlling and slightly critical.
Those who resonate with their 1 wing are empathetic and caring and enjoy seeing those around them happy and doing well. They enjoy being dependable but are more critical of themselves than they are of others.
The 2w3 individuals are ambitious and quite conscious of their own image. They are extroverted and like connecting with those around them. They have great leadership skills but can be quite competitive.
These 3w2 individuals are charming and make for great entertainers. They enjoy receiving attention from those around them, but they can get angry easily if they don’t receive it.
This 3w4 Enneagram type values staying true to themselves, and although their dominant personality type is more of a social butterfly, their dominant wing constantly tells them they should be unique.
Most 4w3 people want to be unique but socially accepted. They are very aware of how they are perceived by others, so they know when to dial back their emotional intensity. They are known here as the “Rebel Rockstars“.
Both of these personality types are comfortable being alone, so individuals who resonate with them tend to be introverted.
They have artistic interests that are unique and are very attracted to eccentric people and areas. The 4w5 people know they are different from the rest, and they do not crave being noticed by others.
These 5w4 individuals are rather sensitive, and can sometimes be seen as being rather self-absorbed. However, they are independent people and have creative and eccentric interests.
Those who resonate with the 5w6 personality types are loyal and sociable people. However, they do have anxious tendencies and proceed through life with caution. That earns them the nickname “The Prepper” as they typically like to be prepared for any circumstance.
These people are introverted, self-controlled, and very intellectual. They surround themselves with leaders who share the same beliefs and values as them, and they enjoy their own company and privacy.
People who resonate with this Enneagram are playful and very entertaining (even if they force themselves to be so). They are adventurous and outgoing but tend to experience some anxiety. However, they are smart and always have backup plans.
These 7w6 people have more of a settled mentality and take their time when it comes to finishing projects. They are also very committed in their relationships.
Those who fall under the 8 wing Enneagram are competitive and have a quick pace in life, which can sometimes come across as reckless.
They are assertive, and passionate individuals, who can sometimes become aggressive with those who don’t share the same views as them. Despite this, they value having fun in life above all else.
The Enneagram types with a 7 wing are energetic, fun, and outgoing. They are also ambitious, but can sometimes be reckless in their decision-making.
However, they enjoy living life to the fullest and are very sociable.
These individuals with a 9 wing are organized, easy to work with and make for great mediators. They are very rarely the source of conflict and tend to be grounded individuals.
These 8 leaning people have passive-aggressive tendencies, and can be stubborn. While part of them avoids anger, another part of them allows them to express it openly during times of conflict.
Individuals who resonate more with the type 1 wing, tend to be introverted and critical of themselves. They have a very strong sense of what is right and wrong and are very likely to take part in social justice issues.
In summary, The Enneagram system is a way in which we can understand different personality types, and how individuals perceive the world around them.
Each dominant personality type has two enneagram wings on either side of it, and these wings are said to act as an extension of this personality type, providing individuals with extra traits that determine how they make decisions and react to situations.
Understanding each wing is important because people tend to resonate with one more than the other, and it can help them determine what kind of traits they possess.
We hope this article has provided you with some useful information on the Enneagram system, and the importance of wings.