Maybe you have seen when someone writes something like “6w7” when asked about their Enneagram Type. You might be wondering what does that little “w” even means. It stands for “Wing”. An Enneagram Wing is the number directly on either side of your primary number. For example, if you have determined that you are a Type 6, then your wings are either a 5 or a 7. Practically that means that if you are a 6, you also sometimes borrow energy or traits from your Wing numbers. Sometimes, you might borrow a Type 5’s curiosity and focus, but at other times you might borrow some of Type 7’s spontaneous and adventuresome spirit.
What is an Enneagram Wing?
When thinking about the purpose of the Wings, look no further than the name. Your wing acts as a support or mechanism to help you fly. They are there to help lift you to your more true and honest self and aid you in times of need. Even though you can toggle between each of your Wings, depending on your life circumstances, most people typically relate to and use one of their wings more often than the other. That’s why you see someone label themself as a 6w7, because that is the wing they more closely associate with.
One Rule about Wings
Often, people will comment that their wing is something like 2w9. But, one hard rule about Wings is that they HAVE TO be on either side of your primary number. That means that 2w9 is not possible. Here’s a list of the possible wings for each Enneagram number:
Type 1: 1w9 or 1w2
Type 2: 2w1 or 2w3
Type 3: 3w2 or 3w4
Type 4: 4w3 or 4w5
Type 5: 5w4 or 5w6
Type 6: 6w5 or 6w7
Type 7: 7w6 or 7w8
Type 8: 8w7 or 8w9
These are the only possible options for Wings. Just remember that a Wing is not the same thing as your second highest number on an Enneagram test, but us instead one of the two numbers on either side of your number.
How to Find Your Wing
- Look at Test Results
On my instagram account, I get weekly questions about the best test for determining your Enneagram Wing. However, just like when determining your primary type, it’s not quite as simple as just taking a test. An Enneagram test can at least be a useful starting point for determining your Wing. If you took a test, you can look which one of the numbers on either side of your primary type scored the highest on the test. For example, if your primary number is Type 2, you can look at the test results to see if you scored higher on a 1 or 3. But, tests are not always accurate or reliable. Only use the test results as a starting point. You still have to dig a little deeper.
2. Research and Read Further
Read a little more about each of the types to see which one you relate to more. Look to the two types that border your primary type and ask yourself which one resonates with you the most. Read about each of those types, look at the core motivations, desires and fears and see which one sounds the closest to you. Self-typing is the best way to determine your wing, just like it is for your primary type. After reading and researching more about the two possibilities, you will likely be able to self-type your Wing.
Another note: People often will say that they feel like they are evenly balanced between their two wings. That is possible, but more rare than identifying with one Wing over the other. But, if you do feel like you are evenly balanced, that’s totally normal and ok, too!
If you want to read more about each type, come back for our next post, which will dive deeper into each enneagram wing type.