1w9 vs 3w4 (A 7 Point Guide):

In this guide we will be comparing two personality types on the Enneagram: 1w9 and 3w4. We will also be looking at their respective strengths, weaknesses, compatibility and their functioning in different areas of their lives.

1w9 vs 3w4:

1w9 and 3w4 are two personality types in the Enneagram system of personality. 1w9s have a type 1 core with a 9 wing indicating that they primarily have type 1 traits with some type 9 traits. On the other hand, 3w4s have a 3 core and a 4 wing, meaning that they primarily have traits of type 3 with a few traits of type 4. 

1w9s are provided with the title of ‘The Optimist’ because of their fear of all negative experiences and emotions. 3w4s have received the title of ‘The Expert’ because they are highly career-oriented and constantly work to achieve success in their chosen career path. 

There are some crucial differences to be noted between 1w9s and 3w4s. 1w9s have a basic fear of being immoral or unjust. And their basic desire is to always be morally correct in their actions. On the other hand, the basic fear of 3w4s is a fear of failure. This fear is derived from their basic desire to be successful. 3w4s want to achieve great things and be lauded by others for these achievements.

While 3w4s derive their sense of self-worth from career success and achievements, 1w9s place more emphasis on whether they are making a difference in society. Due to their 4 wing, 3w4s are quite self-aware and introspective. This is not usually the case with 1w9s, who have a tendency to avoid the negative aspects of themselves and their lives. 

Due to their 3 core, 3w4s have a tendency to change their personas to fit the situations they are in. While this helps them adapt to new situations, it also makes them come across as inconsistent and phony. In contrast, 1w9s have a clear set of standards and values that guide them across all situations. In fact, 1w9s can go to the opposite extreme of 3w4s, and become too rigid about these standards. 

3w4s are also highly concerned with their public image, particularly their professional image. 1w9s are less concerned with their public image and more focused on what they are doing to reform society. Thus, both 34ws and 1w9s may serve their community, but the former do this to boost their social standing while the latter do it out of their need for justice and equality. Thus, 3w4s can be a lot more self-absorbed than 1w9s. 

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

When 1w9s are moving towards disintegration they resemble unhealthy type 4s and tend to be moody and irrational. When moving towards integration they become laidback and cheerful, like healthy type 7s. When 3w4s are in integration they are headed in the direction of healthy 6s, who are responsible and cooperative. And when they are in  disintegration, they become detached and apathetic like unhealthy 9s. 

However, despite these differences, there are some similarities between these two Enneagram types. Both 1w9s and 3w4s are introverts, although 3w4s are more motivated to form connections with people. Additionally, both tend to be highly critical of themselves. Both personality types value personal growth and have the potential to change their communities. 



  • Integrity 
  • Focused on details
  • Participate in their communities
  • Logical and imaginative thinkers 
  • Stand up for those in need


  • Focus well on tasks
  • Constantly striving for personal growth 
  • Good at forming interpersonal ties 
  • Efficient and good at solving practical problems



  • Appear aloof or detached 
  • Critical of self and others
  • Stubborn about beliefs
  • Avoid 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.


  • Excessively career-oriented
  • Self-doubt and difficulty coping with failure
  • Overconfident and moody
  • Overly image-conscious 
  • Excessive self-interest which can be hurtful 

Sources of Stress:


  • Overlooked or undervalued 
  • Criticism from others
  • Appearing rigid or weak
  • Corruption and evil in society
  • Feeling like they’re not making a difference 


  • Self-doubt 
  • Self-consciousness
  • Failure or disappointment 
  • Poor image in professional or personal life
  • Feeling disconnected from others

Sources of Motivation:


  • Volunteering 
  • Creative problem solving 
  • Personal growth and peace 
  • Peacefully advocating for social reform


  • Personal and professional success
  • Achievements at work
  • Feeling accepted and validated by others
  • Deep understanding of themselves 



Compared to other Type 1s, 1w9s don’t actively work to change their communities, by involving themselves in politics and other public efforts. They are motivated to work for social reform, but prefer to do it on their own rather than in a group. 

Additionally, unlike other Type 1s, they prefer working in the background rather than in the foreground. 1w9s want to educate people and disseminate their principles and values, but they prefer to do so in a peaceful and non-confrontational fashion. 

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


3w4 is one of the most career-oriented personality types on the Enneagram. Success in their professional lives is a prime source of self-worth for 3w4s. They are introspective and creative while simultaneously being open and charismatic. They flourish in workplaces that encourage success and career growth.

The jobs that 3w4s are well suited for include: architect, politician, marketer, financial analyst, investment banker, lawyer, venture capitalist.



1w9s are introverts and prefer to live solitary lives. They find interpersonal relationships too complex and tend to avoid them. This detachment from the world helps 1w9s form their idealistic principles and prevent them from being challenged. Additionally, 1w9s tend to be critical of others, which can hamper their relationships. They also appear impersonal and aloof to others.

However, their Type nine-wing makes them understanding and tolerant of differences. And although they avoid expressing themselves, 1w9s care deeply about the small circle of people in their lives.


3w4s may neglect their interpersonal relationships because of the emphasis they place on their careers and professional life. However, they tend to be romantic and emotionally sensitive people and are able to form deep and intimate connections with people. Like other Type 3s they have good communication skills which makes it easy for them to get along with others. 


1w9s and 3w4s both have high expectations about their relationship and work hard to meet them. They usually avoid dealing with emotions and instead rely on rationality in their discussions. 1w9s and 3w4s are good at compensating for each others’ deficiencies. 1w9s help 3w4s be more grounded and steady and in turn, 3w4s can help 1w9s loosen up and be less rigid about their beliefs. Both personality types are good at organising and dividing up duties in the relationship.

Problems that arise in a relationship between these two enneagrams are usually due to the absence of a strong emotional bond, competition or time management issues. 1w9s tend to perceive 3w4s as too involved in their professional lives. On the other hand, 3w4s find 1w9s highly rigid and judgemental. Additionally, 1w9s dislike it when 3w4s compromise on their integrity and ethicality, while 3w4s are annoyed by 1w9s’ constant nitpicking. 1w9s people who rarely praise themselves, let alone other individuals. This can be difficult for 3w4s who have a high need for praise and approval.


In this blog we examined 1w9 and 3w4 personality types on the Enneagram. Our focus was on comparing the two types. We also noted their strengths, weaknesses and functioning in different areas of their 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 8w9

1w2 vs 9w1

1w2 vs 9w8

1w9 vs 1w2

1w9 vs 2w1

1w9 vs 2w3

1w9 vs 3w2

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 34w (A 7 Point Guide)’: 

What is an unhealthy 3?

Unhealthy Type 3s are so caught up with making other people like them that they often make up success stories to gain admiration. This often leads to them losing a sense of who they are. They become so conscious of their public image that they are extremely defensive and avoid revealing anything that might tarnish their image.

What does it mean to have balanced wings?

Having balanced wings on the Enneagram means that a specific individual is influenced by two Enneagram types equally. For example, someone with a type 6 core would have balanced wings if they are equally influenced by type 5 and type 7. Butin most cases, one wing is dominant. 

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.

Can you change your enneagram type?

It is possible for enneagram types to change over time. The nine types are not rigid categories and a person’s type may change as they adapt to new situations in their life.

What is a Type 4 personality?

Type 4 personalities are characterised by self-awareness and sensitivity. They are introverted; withdrawing from others due to feelings of vulnerability and inadequacy. However, they also have high levels of emotional honesty and creativity.

What is the most common Enneagram type?





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