1w2 vs 8w9 (A 7 Point Guide):

In this guide we will be comparing two Enneagram personality types: 1w2 and 8w9. We will compare them in terms of their basic characteristics, strengths, weaknesses and how they function in their relationships and occupations. 

1w2 vs 8w9:

1w2 and 8w9 are two personality types in the Enneagram personality classification system. 1w2s have a core type 1 with a 2 wing, meaning that they primarily have traits of type 1 with a few characteristics of type 2. Similarly, 8w9s have a core type 8 with a 9 wing, meaning that they primarily have traits of type 8 with a few characteristics of type 9.

A title frequently given to 1w2s is ‘The Activist’ due to their desire to advocate for those who are weaker than themselves. 8w9s receive the title of ‘The Diplomat’ owing to their ability to adopt multiple perspectives and be supportive of other individuals. 

These two personality types are different in some respects. The basic fear of 1w2s is a fear of doing something that is immoral or unethical. On the other hand, the basic fear of 8w9s is a fear of being hurt by others. The basic desire of 1w2s is to advocate for those less privileged than themselves and create a social order based on justice and equality. The basic desire of 8w9s on the other hand, is to exercise control over their lives and avoid being hurt by other people. Due to this desire to avoid hurt, 8w9s appear unemotional and stern. 

Due to their 1 core, 1w2s are highly principled and their lives are guided by a firm set of morals and values. This can make them inflexible and therefore intolerant of views that are different from their own. They often go to great lengths to convince other people that their views are right. Conversely, 8w9s are a lot more tolerant. They are able to view a situation from multiple perspectives and understand that others may have opinions different from their own. 

Additionally, while 8w9s fear emotional vulnerability, whereas 1w2s are open about their emotions. 8w9s place a lot of emphasis on having control in their lives. They can even be aggressive or confrontational to acquire this control. Because of their 2 wing, 1w2s are usually more compassionate and sensitive in their interpersonal relationships than 8w9s. 

On the Enneagram there are arrows that represent whether an individual with a specific personality type is moving in the direction of integration or disintegration. Arrows that move away from a certain type indicate disintegration or stress points whereas arrows that move towards a type signify integration or personal growth. When moving in the direction of disintegration, 1w2s are moving towards unhealthy type 4 and become irrational and temperamental. When moving in the direction of integration (healthy type 7) they become a lot more spontaneous and cheerful than other type 1s. Compared to this, 8w9s headed towards disintegration (unhealthy type 5) become private and fearful. When they are headed towards integration (healthy type 2) they become caring and open. 

While 1w2s and 8w9s have differences, they are also similar in certain crucial areas. Both personality types have qualities that make them good leaders. They are sensitive to the needs of others and protective of those around them. They are action-oriented people and like to take charge of a situation. Both personality types strive to advocate for justice and equality. Additionally, 1w2s and 8w9s value their relationships with other people and desire love and approval from others. 


  • 1w2: 
    • Advocating for the underdog
    • Standing up for what is right even when it is hard
    • Action-oriented
    • Empathetic and sensitive 
    • Participate in their communities 
    • Creative thinking and problem solving 
    • Altruistic; make personal sacrifices for the greater good 
  • 8w9:
    • Able to adopt multiple perspectives 
    • Energetic and confident
    • Protective and supportive of loved ones
    • Offer guidance to others 
    • Attentive to others’ needs
    • Good leadership skills 


  • 1w2:
    • Low frustration tolerance
    • Obsessed with public image
    • Perfectionistic
    • Self-righteous and controlling 
    • Dichotomous thinking 
    • Critical of self and others 

If you’re facing this, it may be a good idea to seek the help of a therapist or other mental health professional. You can find a therapist at BetterHelp who can help you learn how to cope and address it.

  • 8w9:
    • Easily angered
    • Stubborn and inflexible 
    • Difficulty obeying rules and authority figures
    • Overconfident and emotionally distant 

Source of Stress:

  • 1w2:
    • Being perceived negatively 
    • Criticism from respected authority figures 
    • Being unable to meet others’ needs
    • Others not meeting their expectations 
  • 8w9:
    • Emotional intimacy and vulnerability
    • Not being in control of a situation
    • Rejection from others
    • Conflicts or disagreements 

Sources of Motivation:

  • 1w2:
    • Fighting for social reform
    • Volunteering for the underprivileged
    • Finding solutions for difficult problems in society
    • Engaging with others at work
  • 8w9:
    • Leading people
    • Decision making 
    • Spending time with loved ones
    • Empowering the less fortunate 


  • 1w2:

In the workplace, 1w2s desire control and influence and at the same time wish to build deep and intimate connections with people. They gravitate towards jobs that allow them to spend time with people and have a lasting and positive impact on society. They prefer to be specific and clear rather than deal in general terms when it comes to their work.

Jobs that are suitable for 1w2s include: lawyer, judge, politician, social worker, religious worker, doctor, nurse, real estate agent etc.

  • 8w9:

8w9s are confident and autonomous individuals. But at the same time they like engaging and working with others. They are born leaders and are good at gauging and supporting the needs of others. 

Jobs that are suitable for 8w9s include: judge, activist, professor, counsellor, director, business owner etc.


  • 1w2:

Since 1w2s are sensitive to others and willing to make sacrifices on their behalf they do well in their interpersonal relations. They are warm and emotionally available in their relationships and like spending time with others. However, the downfall of 1w2s lies in their tendency to be highly critical and their difficulty dealing with negative feedback and criticism from others. 1w2s hold themselves to high standards and thus have similar lofty expectations from others. These factors can act as barriers in their interpersonal functioning. 

  • 8w9:

8w9s are compassionate and warm in their interpersonal relationships. Their sensitivity to the needs of others goes a long way in ensuring interpersonal success. However, 8w9s fear emotional vulnerability. This can prevent them from being open and expressive in their relationships. As a result, their partners and friends often perceive them as cold and distant. 


1w2s and 8w9s share a desire for social justice and reform. They are motivated to protect those weaker than themselves and willing to make sacrifices to do what’s right. The combination of these two types can be very powerful. Their decisiveness and clear goals can help them accomplish a great number of things together. 

However, 1w2s are a lot more restrained and careful than 8w9s who tend to plunge into situations without much thought. Additionally, 1w2s place a lot more emphasis on moral judgement and caution, something 8w9s may neglect in favour of doing something outrageous to disturb the status quo. Thus, while both may want to accomplish something significant they differ in the approach they use. 

However, these two Enneagram types are often drawn to each other for these very differences and each can have a moderating effect on the other. Often 1w2s and 8w9s are better as colleagues or friends than romantic partners. They are like fire and ice and their conflicts may be frequent in a romantic relationship. Despite differing in their way of doing things, 1w2s and 8w9s can learn a lot from each other. 


In this blog we compared 1w2s and 8w9s; two personality types on the Enneagram. Firstly, we did a general comparison of the two types. We then looked at their strengths, weaknesses, motivations and how the function and cope in their day to day lives. 

If you have any questions or comments, please let us know. 

Other Enneagram type 1  comparisons

1w2 vs 1w9

1w2 vs 2w1

1w2 vs 2w3

1w2 vs 3w2

1w2 vs 3w4

1w2 vs 4w3

1w2 vs 4w5

1w2 vs 5w4

1w2 vs 5w6

1w2 vs 6w5

1w2 vs 6w7

1w2 vs 7w6

1w2 vs 7w8

1w2 vs 8w7

1w2 vs 9w1

1w2 vs 9w8

1w9 vs 1w2

1w9 vs 2w1

1w9 vs 2w3

1w9 vs 3w2

1w9 vs 3w4

1w9 vs 4w3

1w9 vs 4w5

1w9 vs 5w4

1w9 vs 5w6

1w9 vs 6w5

1w9 vs 6w7

1w9 vs 7w6

1w9 vs 7w8

1w9 vs 8w7

1w9 vs 8w9

1w9 vs 9w8

FAQ on ‘1w2 vs 8w9 (A 7 Point Guide):

What is the rarest enneagram type?

The rarest enneagram type is said to be Type 4 or the Individualist. Type 4s are hard to spot because they are usually introverts who like to keep to themselves.

What is the most popular Enneagram?

Type 9 is considered to be the most popular enneagram.

Is it possible to be two Enneagram types?

It is not possible to have two Enneagram types. However, some types share certain characteristics in common. For example, a 1w2 and 2w1 have a lot of traits in common and can sometimes be mistaken for each other. 

What is the most common Enneagram type?

The most common Enneagram type is type 9. 

Who gets along with Enneagram 8?

Enneagram 8s are usually compatible with types 2, 6 and 9. 

Where does an 8 go when under stress?

Type 8s who are under stress tend to become aggressive or withdrawn (or both) and become more domineering and coercive than usual. They engage in maladaptive behaviours such as overeating, workaholism or excessive exercise.





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