Enneagram 1w2: The Guide

Written by Tim Branch

If you have ever:

  1. Felt deeply about things that are wrong in the world, while feeling deep compassion for others,
  2. Mistyped or related to much of an Enneagram 6,
  3. Caught yourself doing things exactly right so you cannot be blamed,
  4. Are extremely motivated to get things done and help others,

…you might be a 1w2. But what does that mean?

What is a Wing?

You may have noticed results from an Enneagram test you’ve taken, or seen your friends mention their type, but with two numbers with a little “w” between them. That “w” stands for “Wing”.

Your wing will be the Enneagram type directly on either side of your core type. So wings for a 1 are either 9 or 2.

Your wing is not your next highest score or another type you feel like you may be. For example, you cannot be a 1w3 or 1w6.

Your wing will be like an accent to your core personality.

Beth McCord (Your Enneagram Coach) describes wings as salt and pepper, to your entree. It adds some flavor, and brings out the best taste your steak may have to offer, but doesn’t change the type at its core.

You will see traits of your wings type in your personality, but it does not change the core motivations behind your actions.

The beauty of the Enneagram is it points out the root of your actions, not just preferences of your personality.

Unlike your core Enneagram type, your wings can change. You will likely have a dominant wing while having the ability to access the other when needed.

Your dominant wing can change in different seasons throughout your life, and both wings will look a little bit different as your level of health and awareness increases, or decreases.

What is a 1w2?

Let’s start by looking at what we know about Enneagram 1s and Enneagram 9s.

Enneagram 1’s are often known as Reformers. They see what is wrong with the world and instinctively know how things should be, and they work hard to make them that way.

They have an inner critic that plays like a broken record, over and over, accusing and reminding them of every mistake they make, which unintentionally can overflow to criticizing others.

They long to make the world a better place and they care deeply for the people they love and also want to help improve their lives, even if it doesn’t feel that way to their loved ones.

Enneagram 2’s have a deep love for people. They are often known as Helpers and are efficient, kind, loving, and deeply compassionate.

They often play a huge role in others’ lives as supporters. They are easily trusted, listen well and give wonderful advice, and love to be appreciated.

The 1w2 combination is extremely effective at getting things done, seeing what needs to be done, and figuring out a way to do it that will be the best for everyone involved.

They deeply love others and truly want what’s best for them, even if it doesn’t always come across that way.

The Unique Gifts of a 1w2

Enneagram 1w2s are EXCELLENT at getting things done. They excel at taking care of business.

What differentiates them from a 3 who also likes to get things done, is that they will get things done that they view as the most important, and there will be no shortcuts.

Taking shortcuts, to a 1, can leave room for error, and room for blame if something goes awry.

1’s, especially with a 2 wing, can be sensitive to criticism. But this sensitivity can be a gift to others in that they have a lot of compassion that goes along with their ideas and others.

They have a huge amount of empathy and even with their judgments they can see, understand, and have more grace for error.

The Struggles of a 1w2

In seasons of stress or struggle, a 1w2 may find themselves being rigid and intense with themselves and those around them.

They will also unintentionally cross boundaries with communication and offer advice when others aren’t necessarily looking for it.

When a 1w2 sees a problem and wants to help change or fix it, they may be pushy to those around them to change their situation quickly without hearing and understanding all sides of something.

Others’ feelings of frustration may be confusing to you as a 1w2 because you truly want the best for them, so be careful how you go about giving advice.

How to Grow as a 1w2

One thing I always say to 1’s is that one of the biggest gifts life could give them is things not going their way, which we all know happens at least 690,406 times a day to any given human.

Every time something goes wrong is a new opportunity to practice patience and understand that life isn’t made up of things being done right, and who or what can be done the most correctly.

Life, people, projects, anything, will not be perfect. It will way less often be exactly right and learning to surrender control and trust that God is good and things WILL be right one day, is a necessary process for any 1 to learn and believe.

Make plans, then give them to the Lord. See errors, and say or do what you can to be helpful, and leave the rest.

When you feel anxiety or fear creeping in or overwhelming you, communicate that to a trusted person, THEN lighten up by having fun or doing something you enjoy.

As a 1w2, you want to offer advice to those around you. Remember that many times, people want to be heard. They talk with only needing that one thing.

This can feel confusing, but give grace to others. Work on listening intently, and maybe even ask if they are wanting advice or if they just need a listening ear.

Lastly, spend time in nature. Where things are exactly as they were created to be. Spend time with your Creator in His Creation. Breathe in and out. Thank Him for being the ultimate judge who will make things perfect again, as they were in the beginning.

More Resources

On the other side of One is the 1w9. A one with a nine wing is more gentle, softer, and slower to share opinions and ideas of how things should be done.

To learn more about yourself as a ONE and how your Two wing may present itself, check out my guide to Type One and guide to Type Two.

And lastly—if you want to dive deeper into what it looks like to grow in your Enneagram type, check out The Enneagram Growth Guide, which you can download for free.

This is a guide with a Christian perspective—it’ll show you how to overcome the struggles and temptations of your number, discover the incredible gifts hidden inside you, and use that knowledge to go deeper in your relationship with God. You can grab a free copy by clicking this link.