If you threw a party where only Enneagram Sevens were invited, not only would you have the ingredients for a seriously epic blowout, but you would also have a room full of very different people. The beauty of the Enneagram is it's not one-size-fits-all. Personalities shift and change depending on your levels of health, life circumstances, and- you guessed it- your wings. Enneagram wings add spice to your main type, and give you a more well-rounded picture of your personality.

So, what are Enneagram wings? They add depth to your main type, though your core motivations remain unchanged. Beth McCord of Your Enneagram Coach equates wings to the “salt and pepper” of your personality recipe. You can also think of them like actual wings, two feathered wings giving you flight.

It's important to know the traits of both your wings are easily accessible to you. Everyone is a unique combination of their main type and sprinklings of their neighbor types. Some people find that they have balanced wings or no wings at all, but most people find themselves relying more heavily on one wing than the other.

So, for example, I am a 3w4. I am still strongly aligned with the Three's inner motivations, but I am also heavily influenced by my Four wing. For me, this manifests through my introverted creativity. I am more withdrawn than a 3w2 while I quietly and passionately work towards personal success. I have the Three's core motivation to be successful, paired with a Four's fear of never being enough. Words of affirmation have a huge impact on my heart, and I think a large part of that is because of my unique recipe as a Three.

This is how understanding your wing can help deepen your understanding of the Enneagram.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when you're trying to find your dominant wing:

Which wing do I use more in my everyday life? How has that wing deepened my understanding of my main Enneagram type? Lastly, ask yourself: How does my wing impact my love life, work life, or daily life?

Overview of Each Type and Their Wings

Let’s do a quick rundown of each Enneagram type and their wings so you can start to get a better idea of where you land. This is not a comprehensive exploration, but rather a quick overview so that you can get a better idea of what your wings are and what that means.

(Note: The names for each wing combination are sourced from The Enneagram Institute, founded in 1997 by the late Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson.) 

1w9, The Idealist: They are practical perfectionists who tend to be more introverted. They excel at objective thinking and can become quite detached and self-neglectful when things in their life get stressful. The 9 brings out a more trusting, relaxed nature in the 1, making them able to hold a more diplomatic stance towards others with different viewpoints.

1w2, The Advocate: They are socially aware activists who work to create a better world for the people around them. They tend to be more helpful and empathetic, and are very action-oriented. This type also longs to control everything and struggles with letting go.

2w1, The Servant: They are very empathetic individuals who long to make others happy. They tend to be reasonable and generous, giving to anyone who has a need, not just people they like. This type is honest with themselves and direct their energy towards fixing the things they believe should improve. They struggle with burnout because they can overwork themselves in an effort to help the underdog.

2w3, The Host: They are outgoing and productive organizers who excel at bringing people together. They tend to be charming and ambitious with a competitive spirit. This wing brings the risk of workaholism because the Two can become more involved with work and less with their inner needs.

3w2, The Star: They are socially-savvy people who are extremely interpersonal and charismatic. They tend to enjoy being the center of attention and thrive when they are popular. These 3s struggle with being true to themselves because they are always outwardly focused on others expectations.

3w4, The Professional: They are driven and organized individuals who always have new ideas and projects in the works. They tend to be more introverted and find quiet satisfaction in efficiency and personal success. Their 4 wing also means they lean more towards the creative and imaginative. This also means that they can withdraw from others, feeling moody and detached.

4w3, The Aristocrat: They are a charismatic artist who values nature and beauty. They tend to be more extroverted, ambitious, and competitive with a large emotional range. A challenge for the 4w3 is that they may try to escape their inner turmoil by performing and valuing form without substance instead of engaging in beneficial inner-work.

4w5, The Bohemian: They are intense creators who use self-expression to explore the world and what it means to be human. They tend to be more introverted and intellectual with a high capacity for thoughtful observation. This type is prone to withdrawing from others, and they can isolate themselves when depressed. The 4 and 5 together are an odd combination because they are able to balance artistic intuition with reason and logic.

5w4, The Iconoclast: They are lone rangers who value being self-taught. They tend to be more creative and humanistic and can take an intense interest in one subject. Like the 4w5, they have the peculiar gift of being able to balance the right and left brain. This type can struggle with feeling misunderstood and may become depressed and self-absorbed.

5w6, The Problem Solver: They are detached researchers who are energized by discovering new things. They tend to be more extroverted, loyal and anxious. Their 6 wing makes it easier for them to connect deeply with other people. They struggle with skepticism and withdrawing when they feel distrustful of others.

6w5, The Defender: They are a resourceful team player who values security and knowledge. They tend to be more introverted and cautious with an ability to make reasonable decisions and sound judgments. This type also tends to have an ample sense of fear and anxiety, and they can back away from confrontation instead of dealing with issues head-on.

6w7, The Buddy: They are optimistic explorers who embrace fun. The 6w7 is a strange dichotomy because while they are spontaneous and playful, they also have a strong need for safety and comfort. They have a 6s fear of pain combined with a 7s avoidance of pain which can create withdrawal from life by diving into trivial distractions.

7w6, The Entertainer: They are a happy-go-lucky fun chaser! They always want new experiences and projects to fill their days. They tend to be loyal, playful, and very interpersonal. A main challenge of the Entertainer is that they may exaggerate underlying fears and struggle with anxiety and self-doubt.

7w8, The Realist: They are innovative entrepreneurs and leaders who love exploring and creating. They tend to be free-spirited and passionate. A challenge with this type is that their assertiveness can become aggressive and they can act superior to others.

8w7, The Maverick: They are confident self-starters who use their enterprising, fearless spirit to conquer the world. They tend to be more extroverted and energetic, with a heavy focus on finding their own power. This type struggles with being reflective on consequences of their actions

8w9, The Bear: They are quietly strong leaders who strive to preserve harmony in a gentle way. They keep other’s best interests in mind and tend to be more people-oriented than 8w7s. This type struggles with withdrawing in stressful times and then judging themselves for doing that

9w8, The Comfort Seeker: They are independent individuals with a calm mission to discover the world. They tend to be outgoing, assertive, and active with the ability to balance diplomacy and individuality. They struggle with the pursuit of pleasure, rather than focusing on the genuine needs of their real self.

9w1, The Dreamer: They are idealistic romantics who are able to balance their mediating nature with pragmatic perspectives. They tend to be introverted and compliant and they value being connected to others in their community. A challenge for this type is that they may be even less expressive of their needs because they don’t want to alienate others.