Can you have both enneagram wings? (Everything you need to know)

In this article, we will look at – “Can you have two enneagram wings?” in detail. If you are new to this topic or are intrigued to know about it this is a full guide to how enneagram wings influence our personality.

To begin with, Enneagram is a theory that offers an explanation for understanding the human personality in terms of nine different types. It explains the different types of personalities with the help of a geometric figure like that of a regular nine-sided polygon. According to this theory a person’s personality can be identified as one of the nine possible combinations that are inclusive of one’s beliefs, values and motivations.

Can you have two enneagram wings?

Yes, it is possible to have two enneagram wings. Wings are complementary characteristics that are drawn from the adjacent personality types to the dominant type. Depending upon the level of development one operates on, personal life experiences, and individual learning it is possible to have no wing, one wing or two wings. The how and what of this occurrence is discussed further in this article.

People also wonder if you can be two enneagram types at the same time.

What is the Enneagram?

The word enneagram comes from the Greek word “Ennea” which means nine and “Gramma” which means something that is written or drawn. Enneagram consequently literally means nine different types of illustrations. According to this theory a person’s personality can be identified as one of the nine possible combinations that are inclusive of one’s beliefs, values and motivations.

The formal definition of Enneagram is as follows:

“A system of classifying personality types that is based on a nine-pointed starlike figure inscribed within a circle in which each of the nine points represent a personality type and its psychological motivations influencing a person’s emotions, attitudes, and behaviours.

What are enneagram wings?

The types on either side of each core type are called “Wings.” The enneagram personality theorists propound that the wings are representative of related personality styles of whose characteristics one might possess to a certain extent. The basic assumption behind this understanding is that an individual’s basic personality type can be modified.

How do the wings work?

The basic personality type is what characteristics one possesses primarily, but the wings are more like complementary characteristics that add to one’s overall personality. The wings are considered as the “Second-side” of one’s personality as there is a high possibility of presence of such characteristics in varied proportions. As a matter of fact, it is also possible to have one dominant wing or both wings in equity. Debates and discussions have occurred numerous times in the past to determine whether there exist one wings or two – the catch though, is just the possibility of their presence.

The wings are symbolic of a possibility that an individual is likely to manifest characteristics that may not be central to the dominant personality type. They can be looked at as “Helpers” as they indicate areas of potential to explore and discover one’s manifested personality. The knowledge of wings associated with each type gives us the opportunity to unlock our hidden talents and generate a greater understanding of the self.

How many wings can you have?

The enneagram proposes the possibility of the presence of wings such that there is a possibility of having a maximum of two wings at the same time but this number cannot exceed. There can be one or no wings but not more than two at a time.

Possible enneagram wings for each type
Type & WingDescription
1 w 9Realistic & detail-oriented perfectionists
1 w 2Social & ethical
2 w 1Empathetic & caring individuals
2 w 3Social & work-oriented organisers
3 w 2Optimistic go-getters & Socially popular
3 w 4Motivated & organised leaders
4 w 3Artistic & charismatic
4 w 5Passionate creators with a mission
5 w 4Individualistic & loners
5 w 6Free spirited & curious
6 w 5Resourceful & responsible
6 w 7Fun-loving & cheerful
7 w 6Happy-go-lucky & entertaining
7 w 8Innovative & curious
8 w 7Confident & determined
8 w 9Collectivistic leader
9 w 8Independent & wanderer
9 w 1Pragmatic & collected
  • There may be no wings –

It is possible that there may not be any major influence of either of the wings on the dominant personality type. This can be because there has not been enough exposure of opportunities for the individual to explore the alternate traits. The degree of influence of either of the wings in such a case may be negligible to minimal but there is possibility to explore and enhance the wings.

  • There may be one wing –

It is also possible to have one dominant wing out of the possible two. This can be because the beliefs and core values may match more strongly of the dominant wing with the core personality type. As a result, this wing is activated and more relied upon than the latter. Another reason could be that the second wing has not been brought to conscious awareness yet which is why the first has a greater degree of impact.

  • There may be two wings –

The alternative possibility is to have the presence of both wings. In such a case, there may be balance between the two or one might be more influential than the other. The degree of influence depends upon what personality traits have been tapped into, used more often, and explored more.

The presence of wings and their degree of impact/influence highly depends from person to person. This is due to the individual differences in numerous factors such as brought up, life experiences, intelligence quotient, emotional quotient, and so on.

Conclusion 

In this article, we answered the question – “Can you have two enneagram wings?” the answer to which is a yes. It is possible to have no wings, one wing or two wings at the same time.

Wings are like toppings to the ice-cream that add more flavour and texture to the mix. The core type is not modified by the presence or absence of the wings, it may only be influenced to a certain extent. People have these wings in different variations because people are different. The wings are unique to each type in terms of influence. Having the knowledge of one’s enneagram wings can help in understanding personality in a more holistic manner.

FAQ’s 

Which enneagram types go well together?

In terms of compatibility, according to a study done with 457 couples, the following are the most commonly found pairings –

Type
Female Compatibility with Male
Male Compatibility with female
1
9
2
2
8
4
3
1
9
4
9
2
5
1
1
6
9 or 8
2
7
5 or 1
1
8
9
2
9
6
4

How do you know if you have an enneagram wing?

To determine your enneagram wing, the first step is to take an enneagram test. The wing is indicated by the highest scoring personality resemblance on either side of your basic type. For example if your dominant type is 2, the score that is greater on either type 1 or type 3 is your dominant wing.

Which enneagram is the smartest?

Type 5’s are probably the smartest of all on the enneagram list owing to the unique emotional mental capabilities. They fall under the thinking category which naturally makes them problem solvers. They are always intrigued to know more about the things around them and do it in a very subtle manner. They do not show off and understand that their knowledge is their treasure. They are also fairly secretive and like to not engage in small talk much.

Which is the most difficult enneagram type?

It is widely presumed that being a type 4 is the hardest because they are highly sensitive and emotional. They fall under the feeling centre, go to type 1 i.e. is the action centre when flourishing and go to type 2 i.e. the feeling centre when under stress. Therefore, they really have a hard time processing their emotions and on top of that, they are often introverted as well. So 4s are found to be torn between wanting things but feeling guilty for wanting them, being irrational or erratic in their behaviour, and sometimes indecisive.

Which enneagram type is lazy?

The type 9s are known as the sloths of the enneagram which indicates their inherent laziness. They often feel a sense of inertia particularly when they have to do something for themselves. They also have a hard time keeping up with priorities and agendas.

Which is the rarest Enneagram type?

Enneagram 8s are the rarest of all enneagram types. 8s are challengers and are said to have born leadership qualities. They enjoy challenging themselves and have enormous willpower and vitality. Some of the famous 8 personalities include Donald Trump, Pablo Picasso, & Indira Gandhi.

References 

https://www.quora.com/What-are-balanced-wings-in-an-enneagram

https://www.truity.com/blog/guide-enneagram-wings-what-are-they-all-about

http://beatricechestnut.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Wings.pdf

https://callieammons.com/clearing-up-confusion-on-enneagram-wings/

https://www.integrative9.com/enneagram/wings-lines-integration/

Divya is currently a Clinical Psychology Trainee in a Master of Philosophy program and holds a Master’s in clinical psychology. She has a special interest in Personality studies and disorders, having researched the subject before, and Neuropsychology; with an additional interest being Mood disorders. She likes to write about Psychiatric issues, having worked in multiple specialty setups during her time as a clinical psychology student, and in her free time she likes to cook and read.