If you’re obsessed with personality tests, you’d have noticed this by now. The problem with them is that popular personality tests such as the MBTI views personality as binary – you’re either an introvert or an extrovert, perceptive or judgemental.
But nobody in the world is born to fit in a neat and clean personality type. That’s why we think Enneagram is awesome. The amount of information in ONE single type is robust enough. But it also accounts for variety within EACH type as well? That’s crazy!
In this article, we’re going to talk about wings. What are they? How do you find your wings? What is their relationship with your dominant type? Just read on!
Your Dominant Type
We’re sure you’ve realized by now that you fit a little into every personality type in Enneagram. Enneagram doesn’t claim to type everybody into a type perfectly, because that’s simply not what human beings are about. Instead, your type is determined by the type that you’re most similar to.
Your dominant type typically manifests itself in your childhood. Rather than your sense of self, your dominant type dictates how you perceive and react to situations. It’s also prone to fluctuation. If you were brought up in a healthy family environment, you’re likely to be on the healthy scale of your type as well. But when you’re faced with adversities and you’re not in a healthy state of mind, your behavior changes and you react negatively.
That’s why some people think you can change your Enneagram type. You can’t, but by progressing towards the healthier side of your type, you’ll be able to utilize the strengths of your type and live a fulfilling life.
Sometimes, it seems like other types have it better. In actual fact, every type is capable of achieving greatness and happiness. All you need to do is to use the strengths of your type and wings to grow and be happy.
Wings In Enneagram
Like we’ve mentioned before, Enneagram doesn’t support the idea of a personality type that fits you 100%. Wings are used to explain the variety within your type itself. Wings are types that are adjacent to your type on the Enneagram diagram. For example, if you’re a Type Five, you’d have a Six and/or Seven wing.
Think of wings like hot dogs. The hot dog is definitely the star of the show. But taste changes depending on the type of bun you use or the condiments you put on it. Wings don’t change your dominant type. Instead, they complement or make your dominant type different from others of the same type by blending together traits.
Wings are important because they allow you to understand your personality as a whole. Some wings present themselves as an inner struggle. For example, if you’re struggling with being warm and caring while being a perfectionist, then you’re probably a 1w2. But if you’re struggling with not causing conflict while fuming over failures, then you might be a 1w9. Regardless, understanding your wing helps you gain a completely new understanding of yourself. It’s like going on a quest for the one only key for unlocking all the hidden potential within yourself.
How many wings can you have?
Technically speaking, everyone has access to both their wings. But some people rely heavily on one dominant wing in addition to their dominant personality. That doesn’t mean you’re one-winged either. It just means that your other wing doesn’t have much say in your conscious decisions since you’re more influenced by your dominant type and wing when you put in conscious thought.
Different people experience different things with their wings. Some people seem to favor both their wings and operate them both equally. Some people seem to lean inward and don’t show signs of wings at all. Others go on a journey to understand what they think to be their dominant wing, only to find out that they’ve developed their second wing instead.
There’s no right or wrong dynamic when it comes to wings. All that matters is your relationship with it. Having access to your wings help you explain a lot of inexplicable behavior and emotions within your type. When you understand how your wing/wings interact with your dominant type, you unlock a whole library of resources for you to use in different situations.
How to find your wings in Enneagram?
Take our free assessment
One of the easiest ways to find your wing is to take our free assessment to find out both your dominant type and your wings.
Thoroughly study the Enneagram types
A great way to truly find your wing is to read through the descriptions of the Enneagram types and find one that suits you the best. People change all the time throughout their lives. Since online assessments generally use scores to determine what type you are, it might not reflect who you truly are. Digital assessments can’t pick up nuances as well, so it might be less accurate than you want it to be.
On the contrary, when you embark on the journey of self-discovery through reading, you not only learn about yourself, but you learn about other types as well. When you’re finding your wings in Enneagram, you should consider all factors that make you who you are. How were you brought up? What’s the culture of your community? These factors contribute to your childhood, which subsequently forms who you are as a person now. So, it’s important to keep them in mind when you’re discovering your Enneagram wing.
Observe yourself objectively
Unless you’re a highly logical person (hello Fives!), you’re prone to self-reporting bias when you’re doing personality tests. Self-reporting bias is the subconscious behavior to report yourself as more favorable than in reality. There’s no shame in it; you just need to acknowledge it and reframe your perception of yourself.
Have you ever realized that you can’t unsee what you’ve seen? It’s the same with Enneagram types. Once you read about the types, you’ll catch yourself doing those things instinctively. Observe yourself objectively and see how often you act a certain way. Lurking on Enneagram forums or subreddits is also a great way to establish a common behavior pattern among your type and wing.
Looking for more fun stuff to read? Find out if you’ll survive a zombie apocalypse here. Or if you’re a romantic, here’s why it’s hard for you to find love.