Enneagram 1w9: The Guide

Written by Tim Branch

If you have ever:

  1. Felt deeply about things that are wrong in the world, but express it in a gentle manner to others,
  2. Withdrawn from others to avoid dealing with the messiness of relationships,
  3. Misidentified as, or related closely with an Enneagram 5,
  4. Felt detached, analytical, and detached from emotions

…you might be a 1w9. 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 1w9?

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 9’s have a deep longing for peace, harmony, and comfort. They typically dislike conflict and confrontation. They can be stubborn and often shy away from change.

When they are struggling they may even hide their true thoughts, feelings, and desires from themselves in order to prevent any disruption in their environment or relationships.

These types making up the 1w9 create a more subtly critical, withdrawn, and efficient personality. They are direct and tender while keeping on track with what needs to be done to make the world a better place.

The Unique Gifts of a 1w9

Enneagram 1w9s are extremely generous. They are ethical, gentle, and calm. They have the ability to communicate clearly with solutions that will work best for everyone involved.

The gentleness they exude with the drivenness to make things better creates a beautiful person with the ability to communicate needs, and even criticisms, in ways that people are able to hear them and receive them without feeling personally attacked, hurt, or offended.

1’s with 9 wings are wonderful with details and catching things that others may not see and articulating them with the best for everyone in mind!

The Struggles of a 1w9

In seasons of stress or struggle, a 1w9 may find themselves more emotionally detached to avoid conflict and messiness in relationships. They can become stiff, subdued and withdrawn, surprisingly impatient, and more distant and transparently judgmental.

Though they may think certain judgments, they typically won’t verbalize them under typical circumstances. They may even find themselves talking down to others in these situations.

How to Grow as a 1w9

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.

The 9 part of you may struggle to communicate something negative, causing it to build up and come out later more harshly than intended, OR seep out sideways sounding resentful instead of your true intent of simply trying to help.

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 1w2. A one with a two wing is a little more fiery, vocal, impatient, and eager to get things done for themselves as well as others.

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

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.