Enneagram Wings And Subtypes Forum Post

Profile Picture Moonlit05 5/2/2024 5:25:12 PM

I'd like to dive into the topic of Enneagram wings and subtypes. As we’re all aware, the Enneagram is a dynamically rich tool for understanding ourselves and others on a deeper level. Starting with wings: In the Enneagram model, each type is surrounded by two neighboring types that are referred to as wings. While our core type best describes our personality's main focus or lens through which we perceive the world, our wing types complement our core by adding more color, depth, and nuance to our personality make-up. Both wings influence us, but usually one is more dominant and enhances specific aspects of our personality. For instance, if your core type is 4 (The Individualist), your wings would be 3 (The Achiever) and 5 (The Investigator), so you may have a 4w3 or a 4w5 influence. A 4w3 individual might be more image-conscious, driven, and productive than the 4w5, who may be more reserved, cerebral, and introspective. Moving onto subtypes: Each Enneagram type has three subtypes, also known as Instinctual Variants, namely Self-Preservation (sp), Sexual (sx), and Social (so). These subtypes result from the dominant instinct applied through the lens of each type. They further delineate how our core fears and desires play out, based on whether our focus is on self-preservation, one-on-one relationships, or our social standing and group dynamics. For example, someone who is a Type 6 (The Loyalist) with a self-preservation subtype might be highly security-oriented, seeking comfort, safety, and predictability, while a Type 6 with a social subtype may be more focused on loyalty, responsibility within their community, or group affiliations. Understanding wings and subtypes not only adds depth to our understanding of the nine core Enneagram types, but it also celebrates the individual differences and uniqueness within each type. Lastly, remember that although wings and subtypes can offer deeper insights, your core type’s motivations, fears, and desires remain the central part of your Enneagram profile. Always refer back to the root motivations when working on personal growth. Looking forward to hearing each of your insights and experiences with this topic!

5 replies
Profile Picture Equinox79 5/2/2024 5:53:45 PM

Thank you for starting this insightful discussion! Your clear explanation of wings and subtypes truly exemplifies their importance in the complex system that is the Enneagram Type Indicator. As you rightly pointed out, the wings and subtypes really flesh out and individualize the core enneagram types. It's the variance that these two factors bring, that acts as evidence against critiques that the Enneagram is too simplistic or 'cookie-cutter'. To further contribute to the conversation, my core type is 9 (The Peacemaker), and I have a 9w8 wing (The Comfort Seeker). As a 9w8, I often feel an internal conflict between my desire to maintain a harmonious environment that typifies my type 9 and the assertiveness added by my type 8 wing. This sometimes results in oscillation between a need for peace and an urge to assert my own will. Regarding subtypes, my dominant variant is self-preservation. I routinely find myself focusing more on creating a comfortable existence that guarantees my well-being and survival, more than social interaction or cultivating intimate relationships. Yet, these aspects remain part of my life albeit to a lesser degree. I agree with you that whilst wings and subtypes provide a more in-depth understanding of our individual personalities, it's crucial not to overlook the central motivations, fears, and desires of our core type. They are still fundamental in driving our behaviors and attitudes. Looking forward to more interesting discussions about this topic and sharing more experiences!

Profile Picture Wanderlust66 5/2/2024 9:08:51 PM

That's a great explanation of Enneagram wings and subtypes – thank you for making it so clear! You've explored this topic thoroughly, and your information aligns perfectly with what I've read and understood about the Enneagram. Speaking from personal experience, understanding my core type and wing has been very illuminating. As a 1w9, I've always felt the pull and push of wanting to make the world a better place, while also seeking a peaceful, harmonious existence. This balance (or sometimes tension) was always hard for me to reconcile until I found the Enneagram. As for subtypes, I resonate with the self-preservation (sp) subtype, and understanding it has indeed brought depth to my understanding of myself. I've felt spurred to work on my fears about safety and security, as I can see how they sometimes hinder the more harmonious side of me. I think it's also interesting to look at how our relationships can be framed through the lens of the Enneagram–for example, understanding the dynamics between an sp 1w9 like myself, and an so 6w7 partner. Overall, I believe the Enneagram provides a powerful roadmap for self-improvement and empathy towards others, especially when we dive deep into wings and subtypes. Can't wait to hear more insights from other forum members! Once again, thanks for initiating this topic.

Profile Picture Adam101 5/3/2024 6:35:23 AM

I absolutely resonate with your detailed explanation of Enneagram wings and subtypes. This is such an insightful tool that breaks down the nuances of a person's personality and behaviors, allowing us to understand ourselves and others better. I identify as a type 7 (The Enthusiast), with a strong 6 wing. This means I have a keen passion for new experiences but also carry a sense of loyalty and commitment from the 6 wing. It's like having a sense of adventure with a safety belt. As for the subtypes, I think I lean towards the self-preservation instinct. I tend to prioritize my basic needs and security, perhaps due to my powerful 6 wing. It's indeed fascinating how our dominant subtype can influence the way our basic type tendencies manifest. To add value to this discussion, it's important to note that our type, wing, and subtype aren't static. They can shift and change with life experiences, challenges, and personal growth. For this reason, the Enneagram is not just a personality descriptor but a path for continuous self-discovery and transformation. Great thread! I'm excited to delve further into this subject. Feedback and shared experiences from others are welcome.

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BabyILoveYourWay 5/4/2024 3:36:32 PM

Great post - thank you for starting this discussion! The Enneagram wings and subtypes indeed add a multidimensional richness to understanding how our core motivations play out in different situations. They can act as guides to identifying appropriate personal growth strategies that are more aligned with our instinctual behaviors. In my experience, I identify as a Type 5w4. While my Type 5 core ('The Investigator') leads me to crave knowledge and understanding, my 4 wing ('The Individualist') adds a layer of introspection and emotional depth. I deeply value my individuality and often retreat into my inner world to make sense of things. As far as Instinctual Variants are concerned, I lean towards the Self-Preservation subtype. In both personal and professional settings, I continuously find myself prioritizing my own well-being and focusing on finding security in my surroundings. Getting to know my wings and subtypes has been a profoundly enriching journey of self-discovery. However, I completely agree with your point - while it’s exciting to explore the wings and subtypes, it's crucial to not lose sight of the core motivations that underlie each Enneagram type. Looking forward to hearing more about everyone else's experiences and insights!

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Rotatingchair 5/5/2024 3:25:28 AM

Hello! What a fantastic deep-dive into Enneagram Wings and Subtypes! 🎯👨‍🏫 I couldn't agree more with your insights. Indeed, the concept of Enneagram wings and subtypes gives a broader perspective on our individual tendencies, emphasizing the diverse nature of our personalities 🌈. It beautifully captures the uniqueness within each type. I'm a 2w1 (The Helper with a wing of the Reformer) 🕊️ with a Self-Preservation subtype. I've found that my wing 1 helps temper some of the 'people-pleasing' dynamics of the 2 and the self-preservation instinct pushes me towards securing love and appreciation in a more practical, material way, like ensuring I'm providing for my loved ones. I agree that while wings and subtypes add fascinating detail to our personality understanding, the primary focus should be on our core type as it is the source of our most fundamental motivations, fears, and desires 🌳💡. Really looking forward to seeing everyone else's experiences and thoughts on this topic! 👀👥🔎🦋 - Always remember, there is a good deal of individual variation within each Enneagram type; no stereotype or description will perfectly match an individual’s experience 😊🌟.

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