Does every Enneagram have a wing? (An in-depth analysis)

In this article, we will answer the question – “Does every Enneagram have a Wing?” As an enneagram enthusiast, we are all intrigued to know our type and learn more about ourselves. If you are looking for answers about your wing, this article is just for you.

 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.

Does every enneagram type have a wing?

Yes, each enneagram is assigned with wings that give a more dynamic view of one’s personality. Each one of us has a wing or a pair of wings so associated with the dominant enneagram type. Each type is assigned two wings one to its left and one to its right (eg. type 1 wings are 9 & 2, type 2 wings are 1 &3, and so on). But it is a possibility that the wing characteristics may not be predominantly visible, because they vary in their intensity of influence. Additionally, one wing may be more influential than the other.

The how and why of this phenomenon is further discussed.

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 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 wing 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.

Everyone has enneagram wings. Every personality type is assigned two wings that are directly adjacent to the number. But their level and extent of influence varies from person to person. This is because as a person, everyone goes through different circumstances and life experiences. Some may have had the opportunity to explore their complementary skills and some may have not. So naturally, the extent to which the wings may be functional and/or influential varies.

What are my possible wings?

EnneagramWingDescription
Type 11 w 9Realistic & Detail-Oriented Perfectionists
1 w 2Social & Ethical
Type 22 w 1Empathetic & Caring Individuals
2 w 3Social & Work-Oriented Organisers
Type 33 w 2Optimistic Go-Getters & Socially Popular
3 w 4Motivated & Organised Leaders
Type 44 w 3Artistic & Charismatic
4 w 5Passionate Creators with a Mission
Type 55 w 4Individualistic & Loners
5 w 6Free Spirited & Curious
Type 66 w 5Resourceful & Responsible
6 w 7Fun-Loving & Cheerful
Type 77 w 6Happy-Go-Lucky & Entertaining
7 w 8Innovative & Curious
Type 88 w 7Confident & Determined
8 w 9Collectivistic Leader
Type 99 w 8Independent & Wanderer
9 w 1Pragmatic & Collected

How to identify my 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.

How can I enhance my wings?

  • Self-awareness:
    • In order to be able to understand the presence or absence of the wings, it is first and foremost that one must be self-aware.
    • Being aware of one’s strengths and weaknesses will bring you in tune with your thoughts and actions that you may be able to change once you understand why you do what you do.
  • Understand your personality:
    • To enhance self-awareness, one needs to understand what personality traits one possesses predominantly.
    • Try to take a free online test that may help you better understand your enneagram type.
    • Once identified, read more and more about your enneagram type and understand yourself better.
  • Be non-judgemental:
    • Acceptance is key.
    • You must be open to possibilities and accept yourself as you are.
    • There is no perfect type of personality and there is always room for improvement because personality is not static, it is dynamic.
  • Practice:
    • Once you know yourself inside out, you know areas of weakness or opportunities where you would want to improve.
    • Make conscious efforts to actively practice the trait and imbibe the characteristic.
    • The goal is to make it a reflex action, rather than a forced response. 

Conclusion 

In this article, we answered the question – “Does every enneagram have a wing?”

To summarise, everyone has an enneagram wing. The only factor at play is the fact that the level and intensity of influence may vary owing to individual differences in terms of personal experiences, exposure, environment, etc. It is also possible for one wing to be more dominant than the other because situationally, you have had the opportunity to explore and develop the characteristics associated with that type rather than the latter.

FAQ’s 

Do you have to have a wing on the enneagram?

The answer is No. It is not necessary that each and every individual will have an enneagram wing. The primary reason for this is the fact that wings are complementary characteristics that add more dimension to our personality. They are not what makes up our personality. The dominant type is what the personality is primarily like and it is not a compulsion for a wing to be present.

Which enneagram is the rarest?

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.

Can your enneagram wing change?

No, it is not possible for our enneagram wings to change because personality is a culmination of stable characteristics that we manifest during the course of our life events. This forms the dominant type which then has designated adjacent types assigned as wings. Therefore, wings cannot change but can vary in influence based on our personal learning.

How do you know your enneagram wing?

The enneagram wings are the two personality types adjacent to your dominant personality type. So, for example, your dominant type is 2, your wings will be either 1 or 3. When taking the enneagram test, either of these types that score the second highest after the dominant type, is your dominant wing.

References 

https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/interpreting-your-enneagram-test-results#:~:text=remain%20the%20same.-,Wings,necessarily%20that%20of%20the%20wing.

https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/how-the-enneagram-system-works

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

https://www.truity.com/test/enneagram-personality-test

https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/enneagram-wings

https://theenneagraminbusiness.com/theory/enneagram-theory-enneagram-wings/

https://www.quora.com/Is-it-possible-to-have-an-Enneagram-type-without-a-wing

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

http://enneagramuserguide.com/enneagram-tests/type-wing

https://www.crystalknows.com/enneagram/type-1-wing-9

https://www.crystalknows.com/enneagram/type-1-wing-2

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.