“Losing” Your Enneagram Type (Part 3 of 3)
If the Enneagram is a tool for personal growth, is there a “right” or ethical way of using it?
A lot of times, we hear people say, “I’m a Type X; therefore, I’m behaving this way.” The first rule for the ethical use of the Enneagram: Your Enneagram Type is not an excuse to justify your bad behaviour. In fact, what my co-coach rightly said: The aim of knowing your Type is to “loose” and “lose” it.
Now, let’s look at how Types’ 7, 8, and 9 can use their non-dominant wing.
- If you have a 6 Wing
A Type 7 with a 6 wing has superb people skills, funny, and is more open to being vulnerable compared to the Type 7 with an 8 wing. At their best, they’re able to think through quickly, are sensitive to the feelings of others and are very practical. In times of stress, they can become scattered and less focused, and they may turn to relationships or acquiring possessions to distract themselves from their anxiety. The non-dominant 8 wing encourages them to take back control in their lives – to face conflicts head-on and to not be afraid of calling out people when necessary.
- If you have an 8 Wing
A Type 7 with an 8 wing are more assertive, ambitious, confident and more competitive compared to the Type 7 with a 6 wing. At their best, they’re more self-aware, and they make a conscious effort to slow down and evaluate their life. In times of stress, they can be workaholic, demanding and short-tempered. The non-dominant 6 wing inspires them to be cautious, calculate the risk, and work out the (contingency) plan in order to complete tasks.
- If you have a 7 Wing
A Type 8 with a 7 wing are outgoing, ambitious, energetic and impulsive. At their best, they’re able to soften up, be kind and gentle while using their power constructively. In times of stress, they can be workaholic, demanding, short-tempered and have difficulty completing tasks. Their non-dominant 9 wing inspires them to prioritise peace instead of justice (sometimes)- that you should choose your battles wisely.
- If you have a 9 Wing
A Type 8 with a 9 wing have more patience and less confrontational compared to the 8w7, and they can switch their aggressiveness on and off. At their best, they possess a quiet power and wisdom that helps them achieve their goals. In times of stress, they may withdraw, and their moods and reactions tend to be unpredictable. Their non-dominant 7 wing inspires them to look at the positive side of life, and it’s ok to lighten up and not take things seriously all the time.
- If you have an 8 Wing
A Type 9 with an 8 wing combines the strength of Type 8 with the “go-with-the-flow” attitude of Type 9, so they are more independent and assertive compared to the 9w1. At their best, they’re pleasant, agreeable, calm and exudes an innate sense of authority. In times of stress, they experience a strong internal tension but will remain compliant. However, there’s a possibility of them having an explosion. Their non-dominant 1 wing inspires a 9w8 to be aware of what is right from wrong, drawing boundaries, be precise in stating standards, in order to hold the ground to keep the peace in the long run.
- If you have a 1 Wing
A Type 9 with a 1 wing is more reserved and idealistic compared to 9w8 and are pleasant to be around. At their best, they are incredibly principled and structured with their routines. In times of stress, they will repress their emotions and usually suffer in silence. They have the tendency to be rigid and resentful towards others. Their non-dominant 8 wing inspires them to take control of their life, and that it’s important to assert their needs and wants.
The Enneagram is complex – knowing our core type, wing, and subtype provides us with the blueprint of our personality and the path to growth to become the best version of ourselves (the person we’re meant to be).
I hope this series has inspired you to use not only the strengths of your dominant wing but also tap into the wisdom and traits or your non-dominant wing and work on being more balanced and grounded.
Curious about your Enneagram type? Here’s a quick overview of the 9 Types. I know reading through these descriptions can be confusing. So save yourself from second-guessing and figure out your type with the help of our online test.