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What are Enneagram wings?

In the Enneagram, each of the nine Types can be influenced by the numbers adjacent to them around the circumference of the circle in the diagram. This influence is referred to as an Enneagram "wing."

Enneagram Wings

Most people have one wing, but others report balanced wings, meaning they see equal parts of both numbers adjacent to their dominant Type as influencers. The wings influence your dominant Enneagram Type and often create additional complexity to your core Type. Wings are one of the facets of the Enneagram that explain the differences we experience between ourselves and others with the same dominant Types as your wings can add additional nuances to your personality.

For example, I lead with Type Eight (the Protector), and so the two numbers adjacent to my dominant Type are Type 7 (the Enthusiast) and Type 9 (the Peacemaker). Specifically, I have a strong Type 9 wing, which greatly influences the manner in which I respond to the world around me. This would be referred to as being an Enneagram 9 wing 8 if I was sharing with someone where I land on the Enneagram diagram.

Although you will not have the underlying motivations of your wing, it adds characteristics to your dominant Enneagram Type. For instance, as a Type Eight with an Nine wing, I tend to be more mild-mannered than an 8 wing 7 would appear. As an 8 wing 9, I exhibit more of a quiet strength that is more in the background than consistently being drawn to lead at the front. Type Eights with a strong Seven wing, however, are usually energetic and gregarious with a lot of forward momentum into work and play/pleasure.

Additional facets of wings to keep in mind:

  • Your wing can only be the two numbers adjacent to your dominant Type around the circumference of the circle. You can not be a 2 with a 7 wing for example as those two numbers are not next to each other.

  • Although your dominant Enneagram Type does not change over time, your wing can change over time. Sometimes people experience having one wing as a strong influencer in the first half of life and the other wing showing up more strongly in the second half of life as roles and settings change.

  • Sometimes your wings come online to adapt to expectations or social norms that your dominant Enneagram Type struggles to adjust to. Often people will describe their Enneagram wing "covering over" their dominant Type at times to adapt to different settings or situations.

  • The easiest way to figure out your Enneagram wing is to consider the two numbers next to your dominant Type and see if you resonate with one's characteristics more than the other. Often times one number "makes sense" in your experience, whereas the other adjacent number doesn't sound like you at all.

Understanding your wing can provide a more nuanced understanding of your personality and offer you more language to explain your experience within the framework of the Enneagram.


Learn more about bringing the Enneagram to your organization by scheduling a FREE consultation call with certified Enneagram Instructor Abbi Rodriguez.

Abbi Rodriguez

International Enneagram Accredited Teacher | (615) 988-0244

Listen to my Podcast on Apple, Spotify, or anywhere Podcasts are available!

IEA Accredited & Narrative Certified Enneagram Practitioner | Abbi Rodriguez


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