Every Personality Type Has a “Wing” Because We’re All Unique Snowflakes

Photo: Getty Images/jacoblund
According to the Enneagram inventory, every person has a distinct type among nine available options. Whether you’re a harmonious Nine, or a skeptical Five, you have a constellation of defining qualities. (Don’t know which of the nine Enneagram types fits you best? Check out an outline of the descriptions here.) But since people are highly nuanced, each type also has an Enneagram wing, which points to variability within each type, since we're all highly individualized and unique.

Your Enneagram wing tips the scale in one direction or another, connecting you to another type offering a few qualities of the adjacent type into your own. It's kind of like being on the cusp of two zodiac signs, meaning you possess qualities of both. For example, perhaps you’re a Four on the Enneagram with a little bit of Three (4w3) or a Seven with a little bit of Six (7w6).

Your Enneagram wing tips the scale in one direction or another, connecting you to another type offering a few qualities of the adjacent type into your own.

Sort of like the influence your friends may have on you or the way your upbringing shapes who you become, the significance of your Enneagram wing is often felt without changing the core of who you are. All Twos are not the same, just as no two people are the same—and knowing your wing can provide you with a more textured view of your personality and why you make the choices you do.

Learn about your Enneagram wing with the guide below.

Type 1: Idealism + Acceptance (1w9) or Compassion (1w2)?

Ones are defined by their perfectionism, high standards and idealism. With a Nine wing, you’re less likely to impose those high standards on others and more likely to see the bigger picture while trusting and accepting people for who they are. With a Two wing, you’re more likely to turn your high standards and idealism into genuine action; you may become more vocally critical or visibly frustrated, but you’re also hugely compassionate and more approachable than 1w9.

Type 2: Helpfulness + Values (2w1) or Tenacity (2w3)?

Twos are defined by their drive to help others, desire to be liked, and empathic nature. If you operate with a One wing, you’ll be more reserved, have stricter boundaries for your generosity, and be more driven by your own personal moral compass than by doing what’s right by others. If you have a Three wing, you’ll be more outgoing, aware of how your actions reflect on your social status, apt to go above and beyond, and visibly self-confident.

Type 3: Achievement + Social (3w2) or Self (3w4)?

Threes are characterized by their drive to succeed, competitive nature and boundless energy. If you have a Two wing, you’re likely to be social, a productive team player, and willing to coach others who might benefit from your wisdom. If you’re a Four wing, you’re more likely to feel defined by your personal achievements, focused on your own journey of growth, and affected by emotions.

Type 4: Individuality + Flare (4w3) or Depth (4w5)?

Fours are defined by their uniqueness, depth of insight, creativity, and individualism. If you have a Three wing, you’re likely to be sociable, impressive to others, and able to use your unique gifts to achieve something of greater social value. If you have a Five wing, you’ll combine your deep well of creativity with a wealth of hard logic. They're seemingly contradictory natures that bring about a uniqueness with passionate emotions, but you're able to control and analyze these emotions, too.

Type 5: Intellectualism + Emotions (5w4) or Skepticism (5w6)?

Fives are characterized by their analytical nature, deep sense of understanding, and rigorous intellectualism. If you have a Four wing, you’re more likely to integrate feelings into your mind-set, desire (a few) deep relationships, and appreciate the beauty in science and truth you discover in the universe. If you're more of a Six wing, you’re more strong-willed about your ideas, likely to follow through whenever you give your word, and skeptical about the nature of the world.

Type 6: Stability + Introspection (6w5) or Ease (6w7)?

Sixes are defined by their loyalty, stability, and ability to solve problems quickly and effectively. If you’re a Five wing, you combine loyalty and stability with voracious consumption of information, a few close friendships, and an analytical outlook. Seven wings are more social, witty, fun-loving, and trusting of others—but much more relaxed and easygoing than a typical type Seven. The main pain point for 6w7s is a preference for brushing off problems rather than confronting them directly.

Type 7: Exploratory + Unassuming (7w6) or Assertiveness (7w8)?

Sevens are defined by their optimism, risk-taking, desire to explore a million ideas and options, and “live and let live” mentality. If you are a Six wing, you’re more likely to turn some of your ideas into actionable plans (which you then execute), and choose a few healthy relationships that keep you grounded. If you’re an Eight wing, you’re be more inclined to push buttons, never shy away from a debate, and be less afraid of getting hurt. Eight wings combine the entrepreneurialism qualities of Sevens with leadership qualities found in Eights.

Type 8: Boldness + Insight (8w7) or Patience (8w9)?

Eights are characterized by their leadership abilities, brash tone, drive to get things done, and general fearlessness. Seven wings help you see the bigger picture while you’re executing your plans, bring inspiration to your determination, and highlight a desire for insightfulness that might inform how you approach a problem. More rare than Seven wings, 8w9s bring a sense of calm determination to the table, as well as a desire for thorough planning before acting. With both ambition and perspective, Nine wings make some of the best leaders around.

Type 9: Harmony + Power (9w8) or Principles (9w1)?

Nines are the peacemakers; they're the conscientious, friendly, therapeutic type. If you have an Eight wing, you use your mediation skills as a source of power to influence, speak up for others, and defend yourself. You’re bright and sure of what you think and believe. With a One wing, you’re guided by your principles, and more likely to step in to help instead of letting others figure it out without your involvement. One wings are self-guided, introspective, and more introverted than Eights wings.

Want more Enneagram intel? Here's which type you're most compatible with, and everything you need to know about Milleneagram, the 21st-century update to the ancient model.

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