1w9 vs 2w1 (A 7 Point Guide)

This is a guide to the 1w9 and 2w1 personality types. We will be focusing on the differences and similarities between these two types. Additionally, we will explore their strengths, weaknesses, compatibility and functioning in different areas of their lives. 

1w9 vs 2w1:

1w9 and 2w1 are part of the Enneagram personality typology. 1w9s have a type 1 core with a 9 wing indicating that they primarily have type 1 traits with some type 9 traits. Conversely, 2w1s have a type 2 core with a 1 wing, indicating that they primarily have type 2 traits with some traits of type 1. Thus, both personality types are influenced by type 1 with 1w9s being influenced to a greater extent. 

1w9s have been bestowed with the title of ‘The Optimist’ owing to their abhorrence for anything that is negative. On the other hand, 2w1s have the title of ‘The Companion’ because they are compassionate and friendly individuals who place a lot of importance on their relationships with people. 

Although 1w9s and 2w1s have some traits in common, owing to their type 1 influence, there are some salient differences between them. The basic fear of doing things that go against moral or ethics. And they have a basic desire to follow their moral compass in every situation. Additionally, due to their 9 wing, 1w9s also have a need for intrapersonal as well as interpersonal balance and harmony. 

In contrast, 2w1s have a basic fear of being unloved or unwanted. They have a strong need for approval. This fear of being unloved manifests as a desire to care for and serve others. Thus, while both 1w9s and 2w1s appear selfless and devoted to their community, for 2w1s this stems from a need for love and acceptance. 

An important difference between 2w1s and 1w9s is that the former are extroverts and the latter are introverts. 2w1s are also a lot more dependent on other people. 1w9s prefer to withdraw from people and often avoid relationships because they feel incapable of dealing with its complexities. 1w9s are not overly concerned with how people perceive them, whereas 2w1s derive a lot of self-worth from the approval of others.

Both 1w9s and 2w1s are highly sensitive to the needs of others. However, due to their 2 wing, 2w1s are usually a lot more warm and caring than 1w9s. They are more self-aware and introspective than 1w9s. 2w1s and 1w9s have the type 1 desire for perfection. In 1w9s this manifests as a desire to have other people follow their standards and principles. In 2w1s it manifests as a tendency to impose their ‘help’ on other people and attempts to control their lives. Additionally, both 2w1s and 1w9s have a tendency to be highly critical of themselves. 

On the Enneagram diagram there are arrows leading to and from the nine personality types. They serve as an indicator of where an individual with a specific type goes when they are in integration or disintegration. Arrows that move away from a certain personality type indicate disintegration or stress points for that type. Conversely, arrows that move towards a type signify integration or personal growth. 

When 1w9s are moving towards disintegration they resemble unhealthy type 4s and become moody and irrational. When moving towards integration they are easygoing and cheerful, like healthy type 7s. In the case of 2w1s, when moving in the direction of disintegration, they become like unhealthy 8s, domineering and aggressive. And when moving in the direction of integration they become more self-aware and self-loving in line with healthy type 4s. 



  • Loyal to their beliefs and principles
  • Detail-oriented
  • Involved in their communities
  • Able to think logically as well as imaginatively 
  • Stand up for those weaker than themselves 


  • Supportive and encouraging 
  • Sensitive to others’ needs
  • Attentive and devoted to tasks 
  • Sensitive to others needs



  • Come across as cold and detached
  • Critical of self and others
  • Obstinate 
  • Avoidance of negative experiences 

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.


  • Self-critical and insecure
  • Dependency on others
  • Sensitive to rejection and criticism 
  • Neglect own needs
  • Crave praise and approval from others 

Sources of Stress:


  • Being ignored or undervalued
  • Feeling as though they’re not making a difference
  • Criticism from others
  • Appearing rigid or weak
  • Corruption or evil in society 


  • Criticism from others
  • Neglecting personal needs
  • Feeling unwanted 
  • Self-induced guilt or shame 

Sources of Motivation:


  • Volunteering for those in need
  • Peaceful advocacy for social issues
  • Creative problem solving 
  • Personal growth and harmony 


  • Solving problems and reaching goals
  • Feeling accepted and wanted
  • Volunteering and serving other people 



Compared to other Type 1s, 1w9s are less likely to be involved in politics or actively work to bring about reform in the community. They prefer to be isolated from others when they work. While they are motivated to work for social reform, they prefer to do so alone. 

Unlike other Type 1s, they prefer being in the backstage rather than in the forefront of a movement. 1w9s want to teach and explain their perspective, but they prefer to do so in a calm and non-argumentative fashion. 

Jobs that would be suitable for 1w9s include: judge, guidance counsellor, lecturer, consultant, social worker, journalist etc.


These personalities love working for a cause and dedicate themselves selflessly to it. They flourish in environments where they can help others while being allowed their own space to re-energise and recuperate. However, while 2w1s go out of their way to help others, they are easily frustrated if their work is not recognised or praised. Because 2w1s are so devoted to other people, they often accept the less glamorous tasks that most other people reject. 

Jobs 2w1s are suited for include: psychologist, nurse, advisor, counsellor, school psychologist, humanitarian etc.



1w9s are introverts and prefer to live a solitary life. They dislike the complexities of interpersonal relationships and tend to avoid them. This detachment enables 1w9s to develop their idealistic ideas and prevent their strongly held beliefs from being challenged. 1w9s are also highly critical of others, which can be irksome. 1w9s often appear impersonal and aloof which further hampers their relationships. 

However, their Type nine-wing also enables them to be understanding and tolerant of differences. And although they avoid expressing their emotions, 1w9s are loyal and care deeply about the handful of people they let into their lives.


Feelings and relationships are the modes through which 2w1s. 2w1s are caring and sensitive to the needs of others which helps them build good relationships. They are willing to go to great lengths for those they love. 

However, their tendency to put others’ needs before their own can lead to a lot of built up tension. They also tend to give a lot of unwelcome advice and can be judgemental at times.


These two Enneagram types complement each other in a relationship. 1w9s bring their integrity and sense of responsibility to the relationship, while 2w1s teach 1w9s how to relax and be gentle. They bring the nurturing and care that 1w9s have a hard time providing. 1w9s are committed in their relationships which gives 2w1s the security that they seek. 1w9s are a lot more reserved than 2w1s, and the latter can use their convivial nature to bring the former out of their shells. 

1w9s follow a ‘work before play’ attitude and tend to trivialise their needs. Similarly 2w1s place more importance on others’ needs than their own. Thus, both personality types find it difficult to express what they want and feel in the relationship. 1w9s may be irked by 2w1s excessive sociability and tendency to give too much of themselves to others. On the other hand, 2w1s may see 1w9s as too detached and impersonal. They often think that 1w9s seem to love humanity in general but are hard put to show compassion for the people who are actually in their lives.


In this blog we covered a comparison between 1w9 and 2w1 personality types on the Enneagram. We also examined their strengths, weaknesses, compatibility and how they cope and function in their day to day life.

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 8w9

1w2 vs 9w1

1w2 vs 9w8

1w9 vs 1w2

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 ‘1w9 vs 2w1 (A 7 Point Guide):

What is the most popular Enneagram?

Type 9 is the most popular enneagram.

Is it possible to be two Enneagram types?

It is not possible to have two Enneagram types, but some types share certain characteristics in common. For example, a 1w9 and 9w1 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 9. 

What is the most difficult Enneagram?

Type 4 is usually considered the hardest Enneagram. This is because 4s are often insecure individuals with a tendency to be moody and anxious. 

What is a Type 1 wing 2?

A Type 1 wing 2 is an enneagram type that primarily has characteristics of type 1, but adopts some features of type 2. Consistent with type 1, they have a need for justice and equality. But they are usually more empathetic and warm than other Type 1s.





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