1w9 vs 5w6 (A 7 Point Guide):

In this guide we will be exploring two personality types on the Enneagram: 1w9 and 5w6. Our primary focus will be on comparing the two personality types. However, we will also examine certain aspects of their personalities in detail such as their strengths, weaknesses, compatibility, sources of stress and motivation as well as their functioning at work and in relationships. 

1w9 vs 5w6:

1w9 and 5w6 are two personality types found in the Enneagram system of personality. 1w9s have a 1 core and 9 wing, which suggests that they are largely composed of type 1 traits with a few traits from type 9. In contrast, 5w6s have a 5 core and a 6 wing. This means that they primarily have traits of type 5, with a few traits of type 6. 

1w9s often get called ‘The Optimist’ because of their aversion for negativity, even when it is beneficial to them. They desire to focus only on the positive. 5w6s tend to be called ‘The Troubleshooter’ because they are good at solving practical, day to day problems. 

While there are some similarities between 1w9s and 5w6s, they are different in many respects. Both 1w9s and 5w6s have similar cognitive preferences in that they spend time developing their ideas and solving problems. However, basic motivations differ, 1w9s tend to be practical and scrupulous perfectionists whereas 5w6s usually assume the role of the dispassionate and curious researcher. While 1w9s are good at zeroing in on flaws in others’ reasoning and judgements, 5w6s prefer to devote their energy to exploring topics that fascinate them. 

1w9s have a basic desire to do the morally correct thing, whereas 5w6s are more concerned with feeling competent and useful. In line with this, the basic fear of 1w9s is of being immoral or unethical whereas the basic fear of 5w6s is of feeling useless or incapable. 

Both 1w9s and 5w6s are similar in that they tend to withdraw from the world and avoid their emotions. They shift their focus to the outside world. The 5w6s do it to focus on practical problems, whereas the 1w9s do it to focus on improving society.  Both personality types also tend to appear detached and aloof due to their withdrawal from other people.

While 5w6s are driven by solving practical problems, 1w9s are focused on solving social problems. 1w9s think in abstract terms and are a lot more idealistic than 5w6s. 5w6s place a lot more value than 1w9s on learning in their fields of interest. 

Most type 1s tend to be action takers. They rush to make changes in the world without worrying too much about the consequences of their actions. However, 1w9s are an exception to this. Their 9 wing prevents them from rushing headlong into change by considering the risks involved. 

In this respect 1w9s are similar to 5w6s who exhibit a similar tendency. Both personality types thus come across as observers rather than action takers. Due to the similarities between 1w9s and type 5s, they are often confused for each other. 

There are arrows on the Enneagram that lead to and from the nine personality types. These arrows indicate where each type goes when they are moving towards integration or disintegration. Arrows that move away from a certain personality type indicate disintegration or stress points. 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. For 5w6s, moving towards integration leads to healthy type 8 traits like self-confidence and decisiveness. Disintegration involves unhealthy type 7 traits like hyperactivity and scattered thinking. 

Strengths of 1w9:

  • Principled and moral
  • Standing up for the underprivileged 
  • Detail-oriented 
  • Participate in community life
  • Imaginative and logical thinkers 

Weaknesses of 1w9:

  • Withdrawn and aloof
  • Stubborn about their beliefs
  • Avoid negativity 
  • Critical and judgemental 

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.

Sources of Stress for 1w9:

  • Being ignored or undervalued
  • Criticism and negative appraisals
  • Appearing weak or intolerant
  • Corruption and evil 
  • Feeling unable to make a difference 

Sources of Motivation for 1w9:

  • Volunteer work 
  • Personal growth 
  • Peaceful advocacy 
  • Solving societal problems creatively 

1w9 at Work:

1w9s like to involve themselves in social reform, but do so indirectly. They don’t participate actively in politics or social movements, but prefer to disseminate their principles in a calm, non-argumentative manner. Thus, while they are motivated to seek social justice and equality they prefer to do so alone and in a less confrontational manner. 

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

1w9 in Relationships:

1w9s are introverts. They avoid interpersonal relationships because they find them too complex to handle. This withdrawal enables 1w9s to develop and protect their cherished beliefs and ideals. 1w9s have a tendency to be highly critical and detached which can hamper their relationships. 

However, their Type 9 wing makes them more understanding and tolerant of differences than other type 1s. And although they avoid expressing their emotions, 1w9s care deeply about the few people they allow into their lives. 

Strengths of 5w6:

  • Analytical and focused 
  • Organised and hard-working 
  • Solve complex practical problems 
  • Good at managing crisis situations 
  • Cooperative and open to learning and growing 

Weaknesses of 5w6:

  • Defensive 
  • Appear detached and supercilious 
  • Difficulty relating to people and understanding them 
  • Sceptical and anxious 
  • Unable to take action without inspiration

Sources of Stress for 5w6:

  • Too much time around other people 
  • Emotional vulnerability 
  • Self-doubt and insecurity 

Sources of Motivation for 5w6:

  • Problem solving 
  • Alone time to reflect on issues
  • Being useful in society 
  • Learning in their area of interest 

5w6 at Work:

This personality type is organised and practical. They are motivated to solve problems and thereby make a difference in the world. Workspaces that encourage their analytical and logical skills and simultaneously stimulate their intellectual growth and learning are ideal for 5w6s.

Jobs that 5w6s are well suited for include: professor, mathematician, computer programmer, engineer, technician, physicist, biologist, accountant etc.

5w6 in Relationships:

5w6s prefer their own company and avoid forming relationships with others. They feel they lack the emotional resources to cope with a relationship. They prefer to stay focused on their intellectual pursuits and regulate their emotions. 

However, they do develop relationships with people, usually those with similar interests or those who offer intellectual stimulation. Although it is difficult to initiate a relationship with a 5w6, it can progress to a deeper connection once trust has been established.

Compatibility between 1w9 and 5w6:

1w9s and 5w6s have a lot of similarities that makes them compatible with each other. Both identify more with their intellectual rather than their emotional selves. Both are fact-oriented and objective people. They admire each others’ intelligence and enjoy engaging in debates with each other. Both 5w6s and 1w9s have a respect for people’s boundaries and tend to be careful and courteous around one another. 5w6s balance out the rationality and rigidity of 1w9s with their desire for intellectual growth. 

Trouble occurs in the pairing of these two Enneagram types because they differ on one important area. 1w9s believe in an objective truth or single way of viewing reality. On the other hand, 5w6s acknowledge that there are multiple truths or realities. In fact, 5w6s like to debunk traditional beliefs, which is something 1w9s are averse to. This difference in viewpoints can cause arguments between 1w9s and 5w6s. Another issue with 1w9s and 5w6s is their tendency to withdraw in the face of conflict or negative emotions. The result is a build up of resentment and hurt in their relationship. Both personalities end up withdrawing and icing each other out when conflict arises. 


In this guide we examined the differences and similarities between 1w9 and 5w6; two personality types on the Enneagram. We also looked at their strengths, weaknesses, compatibility and some other aspects of their personalities in detail.

If you’ve enjoyed the ”1w9 vs 5w6” mentioned above, I would recommend you to take a look at ”1w9 vs 6w5” too.

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

FAQ on ‘1w9 vs 5w6 (A 7 Point Guide)’:

What is the rarest Enneagram type?

The rarest Enneagram type is said to be Type 4. This is often because Type 4s go unnoticed because they tend to be introverted and withdrawn.

Which Enneagram has the most anxiety?

The Enneagram that is likely to have the most anxiety is Type 6 (The Loyalist).

What is the rarest Enneagram type?

The rarest Enneagram type is said to be Type 4. This is often because Type 4s go unnoticed because they tend to be introverted and withdrawn.

What Enneagram types go well together?

Enneagram pairs that are compatible include: 1 and 3, 4 and 9, 5 and 1, 6 and 8, 6 and 9 among others.

What is the most common Enneagram type?

The most common Enneagram type is 9. 

What do the wings mean in Enneagram?

Wings refer to the type on either side of your basic enneagram personality type, on which you have the highest score. For example, if you test as a 2, your wings will either be 1 or 3, depending on which one has the higher score.






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