Enneagram WINGS – Intro (Part 1)


See All  2014 POSTS : Enneagram Basics, Triads, Strengths & Weaknesses

Within the Enneagram there are two kinds of movements, each with a very different quality.
♥︎ “Dynamic Points“ are the movement inside the diagram toward the two points connected to our own type, by the straight lines. (Arrows)

♦️The “Wing Points” are the movement around the outside of the circle to the points on either side of our personality type.
Our dominant wing (EXP : 6w4 or 6w7) finds its way into our Enneagram type, acting as a sidekick to all of our inner motivations & goals. 

When instinctual variants / SUBTYPES (six possible stackings) are taken into account, this leads to 108 possible combinations  = 18 types with wings x 6 instinctual stackings. (More in future posts)

REMINDER : Everyone has their own unique personality. We’re born with a strong preference for one core type, which gets developed & / or twisted – based on our upbringing.
The description of each is a helpful summary of a person’s True Self, but there will always be variations in how each of us function, even if we share the same basic number with others.  (Free 60 min. class – re shadow side)

Each of the 9 personality types has 2 different possible wings, 18 total.
WINGS are the numbers on each side of your core type. It’s as though they’re our close neighbors, so it doesn’t take much to lean over & adopt their point of view or personal style.
EXP : #5w3 or #5w4 //  #9w8 or #9w1 …. They add nuances to our own style, helping to further understand our complexities.

Wings are like ‘seasoning’ which influences our decision-making, complimenting or contradicting our basic Self. They can affect thinking & behavior – to help or hinder – because we identify with some of their basic qualities. Your ability to monitor how our wings’ motivations impact you is based on how self-aware you are.

A recent study from the American Journal of Psychiatry says that “Individuals are generally more influenced by one wing than the other, although traits from both may emerge in response to different environments.” In that way, wings can be seen as options people can toggle between, depending on their context & health level.

NOTE that whichever wing you usually rely on most can temporarily shift to the other one, based on fluctuating life events.
However, if a person ages or matures, they can gradually move to the opposite wing more permanently – when the earlier number no longer suits their personal development.

EXP : A gentle, insecure 9 who leans too much on a 1 wing – trying to be perfect —> with growth, can drift into using some of the more assertive (not aggressive) qualities of the 8, to a be stronger 9w8.

ALSO –  It’s rare-to-impossible to draw on both sides & be equally balanced, just as it’s hard to find a perfectly balanced ambivert who scores 50/50 on the Introversion–Extraversion scale.

CONFUSION : Wings can make the same Ennea-# seem like a different core type, depending on how much of our wing numbers we pick up, as well as current life circumstances.
Naturally, adding qualities from a wing to our basic Self will affect how we think & act, because the dominant Wing & dominant Type have different motivations. So it’s important to understand them, to maximize or limit the influences coming from each.

EXP: Over time a healthy 4 can use qualities from both the 3 & 5. When in public, they can express the outgoing & entertaining qualities of the 3. And in their own space, they can access the thoughtfulness & focusing qualities of the 5 to get chores done & regenerate.

Enneagram coach Myrna Cervetti suggests that wings can be thought of as using salt & pepper to flavor a dish. The main one doesn’t change, but adding varying degrees of the 2 condiments affects the taste. So too with wings – too much of either number can make even the healthiest type inedible (unbalanced), while the right proportion can significantly enhance our life
Sometimes the dominant wing can have too much influence if:
🌧 you don’t know who you are very well (core #)
🌧 are living mainly in the False Self, or
🌧 don’t YET have internal permission to inhabit & express the person you know you really are & want to be. This will make it hard to be clear about our True Type.

NEXT : Intro #2, + Type 1 Wings

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