If you’ve recently discovered that you’re an Enneagram 1 type, you might be wondering what your wing is! Perhaps you’ve been asked about your wing, but you don’t even know what that means. Maybe it seems like some obscure, woo-woo label that you don’t want to associate with. Often it seems like gibberish to newbies. So today we’re going to explore one of the two wings of the 1 Enneatype: the 9 wing. We’ll explain it in a way that makes sense to newbies to the Enneagram.
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Table of contents
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
What is a Wing Anyway?
Your wing is like a second side of your personality. It acts as your supporter or co-pilot and helps you to achieve your motivations, goals, and unconscious needs. You have your core type (in this case, the One) but the wing is an extension or partner to your core type.
1w9 vs 1w2 – What’s the Difference?
Ones with a Nine wing are more reserved and laid-back than the One with Two wings. While they share the same inner sense of idealism that all Ones have, they aren’t as forceful about it. They are more likely to pursue their ideals in the background, not wanting to feel pushy or feel pushed in return. These types are more removed from their environment and are less likely to be extroverted types, preferring to reflect and imagine more than respond and direct. There is often a conflict in these types; one side of them wants to stir up change and improve the world, while another side of them wants to avoid “rocking the boat.” Sometimes they feel conflicted about which direction to go and this can make them less decisive than Ones with a Two wing. Because these types tend to be more introverted and analytical than Ones with a Two wing, they are often mistyped as Fives. The anger of the One is less obvious in this type because Nines try to avoid confrontation or conflict. If they are angry, it’s more likely to show up in stiffness, tension, and sarcasm than in more direct ways. When healthy, these types are gentle, generous, scholarly, and loyal. They often have a deep love of nature, animals, literature, and art. Abstract concepts and ideas are more appealing to this type than they typically are to the 1w2.
Ones with a Two wing are typically more warm and gregarious than Ones with a Nine wing. They are more action-oriented and outwardly passionate, whereas the 1w9 tends to have a more intense inner passion that is less obvious to the outer eye. Ones with a Two wing are eager to get to work to achieve their goals, and care less for reflection and more for action. They encourage others to roll up their sleeves and get moving! They are more decisive and socially involved than 1w9s. Because of this, they are often capable of getting many to join them in pursuit of their ideals. While average 1w9s can seem a bit rigid and detached, 1w2s are often good-humored and outwardly compassionate. They enjoy educating others and can often be found in the worlds of teaching, religion, and activism.
The Root Desire of the Enneagram 1: To be good and to have integrity
The Root Fear of the Enneagram 1: To be bad or corrupt
The Vice of the Enneagram 1: Anger
Signs That You’re a 1w9 Enneatype:
(Several of these will also apply to 1w2, but 1w2s are less likely to relate to all of them)
- You actively work towards your ideals, but you feel pessimistic about whether others will join you
- You enjoy being alone
- When you’re angry, you tend to get sarcastic
- You dislike stirring people up or causing commotion
- You feel like an outside evaluator of the world around you
- You care deeply about nature and animals
- You have a strong and vivid imagination
- You strive to be objective and unbiased
- You try to keep your emotions in check and under control
- You strive to live according to your principles and ethics above all else
- You have a gentle spirit
- You believe in fairness at all costs
- You want to make the world a better place, but you don’t always like directing other
- You’re deeply analytical
Plato, Henry David Thoreau, Al Gore, Sandra Day O’Connor, George Harrison, Noam Chomsky, George F. Will, Martha Stewart, Gandhi
The Childhood Struggle of the 1w9:
As children, Ones felt frustrated and confused by the protective figure in the home (often the father, but not always). They felt that the rules and structure of the home weren’t clear or sensible. Perhaps the parents were too strict or abusive, or in other families the parents were too undependable or wishy-washy. Either way, they felt like they had to create their own unique code of conduct and follow it to the tee. Being blameless and good became their main focus in life. This belief was often encouraged by their parents. Often, Ones report that they felt they weren’t allowed to behave like normal children. They felt a pressure to grow up quickly and that they must rely on themselves for guidance and discipline. I’ve spoken to several Ones who grew up with alcoholic parents and wound up behaving as the parent in the home to their younger, or even older, siblings.
1w9s often felt safer policing themselves than being policed by their own parents. Yet even so, they felt angry that this burden of being perfect was placed on them. Ones often look back and wish that they had been able to enjoy childhood more and experience the playfulness and carefree nature of it that many other types get to experience.
1w9s who grew up in happy, nurturing families often enjoyed their childhoods more, but they still felt a strong pressure to be perfect in thought and deed. Maybe this pressure was encouraged through religious beliefs or through the types of people the parents admired; every case is different. But these children were usually instructed that everyone makes mistake; that nobody can be blameless all the time. As a result, they are able to cope with the rocky nature of life and their own shortcomings more easily.
Growing and Thriving as a One with a Nine Wing
- Give some of your childhood back to yourself. Find a way to “play.” Throw a frisbee with a dog, Watch a comedy. Paint. Jump in a sprinkler. Play a board game. Dance. Let yourself be light, silly, or irresponsible.
- I know it’s cliché, but remember that nobody is perfect. You can’t get rid of all your problems and trying to ignore your faults forever can make them more powerful than they would be otherwise. Get deeply in touch with these parts of yourself and allow yourself to talk about them with someone you trust. Let yourself be vulnerable. Everyone has weaknesses. Don’t ignore yours or run away from them – face them and forgive yourself for them.
- Rather than repress your anger, learn to process it. Being angry is not an inherently bad thing. Pretending it’s not there can cause internal stress, sickness, and passive-aggression. It’s okay to express your anger in healthy ways – confront someone who has hurt you, punch a pillow, or even find a private place where you can scream at the top of your lungs. You can also write out your feelings in a journal to get them out in the open and process them.
- Make a short list each day of the things you want to accomplish. Set definite deadlines, and reward yourself with something you love when you complete a project.
- Talk about your interests with others, and invite people to do things with you that you love. Don’t focus on placating others to the detriment of your own happiness.
- Spend regular time in nature and enjoy all the details around you without worrying about your to-do list or other responsibilities.
What Are Your Thoughts?
Was this article helpful? Do you have any advice or insights for other 1w9 Enneatypes? Let us know in the comments!