Enneagram 2w1: The Guide

Written by Tim Branch

If you have ever:

  1. Had a hard time differentiating between others’ feelings and your own,
  2. Intuitively knowing what needs to be done to make something better,
  3. Gotten in trouble by overstepping with advice or helping,
  4. Gotten burnt out by lack of appreciation,
  5. Mistyped yourself as a 6,

…you might be a 2w1. 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 2w1?

Let’s start by looking at what we know about Enneagram 2s and Enneagram 1s.

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 and deeply trusted, listen well and give wonderful advice, and love to be appreciated.

Enneagram 2s feel deeply and have a nagging wound, often from childhood, that tells them “if you aren’t needed, you won’t be wanted. This causes them to work hard to earn the love of those around them.

Enneagram 1’s are 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 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.

These tendencies even come out in their living preferences.

The 2w1 combination is extremely effective at getting things done, seeing people for who they are and what they need, and loving unconditionally.

The Unique Gifts of a 2w1

Enneagram 2w1’s are EXCELLENT at seeing what needs to be done and doing it with a smile on their face and joy in their heart.

Two’s with a one wing will offer significant emotional self-control in any situation.

They are able to separate themselves a little bit more and offer objectivity and seriousness to the fun-loving traits of an enneagram 2. They are stable, steady, loving, and kind.

2w1 personality types are extremely loyal to their loved ones. They love hard and are consistent companions in good times and are not afraid to face difficulties or trials in, or for,  any of their relationships.

This personality type is a friend to everyone and loyal to the end.

The Struggles of a 2w1

In seasons of stress or struggle, a 2w1 may find themselves resentful for several reasons, including lack of appreciation for their hard work and dedication, or because they are seeing things not being done correctly and feel that if they don’t do it themselves, it just won’t get done (right).

They may find themselves bitter or holding grudges, and not addressing issues with others.

They don’t like conflict but may carry it with them longer than necessary, even without the other person knowing anything is wrong.

On the flip side of this, the two may have needs that they want others to meet without expressing them, or in some cases even being aware of them themselves.

It can be so hard for them to distinguish their own needs, feelings, or desires from those around them.

Two’s can easily fall back into the trap of believing they are only loved because of the things they do and all they offer. When resentment rolls in, this idea is sure to follow.

How to Grow as a 2w1

Beautiful alignment with Christ and the Gospel is the best thing anyone could ever do for themselves.

Believing He is who He says He is, helps you to believe fully that you are who He says you are.

Son or daughter of the king. Precious child. Irreplaceable. Unique. Special. Fully known, fully seen, and fully loved.

The book Boundaries by Henry Cloud is an incredible resource for anyone, in any season of life, but I think it is especially helpful for enneagram 2s.

Learning these boundaries not just for yourself, but being able to identify them in others is one of the best tools you can give yourself and those you love.

Boundaries with advice, inserting yourself into the lives of others, and being aware of your own boundaries can be life-changing for you.

Mean what you say and say what you mean. Let your yes be yes, and your no be no.

This simple advice will go a long way in avoiding anger, resentment, and burnout in your life!

Lastly, let others love you. When help is offered, accept it. If it isn’t done “right”, be appreciative and maybe ask for them to adjust it.

Let these moments remind you that just because those around you may not have the same capacity or perspective as you does not mean they love you less. 2, you are amazing!

More Resources

On the other side of One is the 2w3. A two with a three wing is more outgoing, hospitable, goal-oriented, and less serious.

To learn more about yourself as a TWO and how your One 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.