Enneagram 2w3: 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 or said to gain respect or appreciation,
  3. Had a hard time “stopping”,
  4. Gotten burnt out by lack of appreciation,

…you might be a 2w3. 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 2w4 or 2w6.

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 2w3?

Let’s start by looking at what we know about Enneagram 2s and Enneagram 3s.

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 3’s are goal-oriented go-getters. They become their successes and achievements and hide their true selves behind their accomplishments.

They are often materialistic and can be showy. They, of course, have deep feelings behind these achieving masks, but can get lost behind them.

The 2w3 combination is extremely effective at getting things done, checking things off their lists, and are extremely personable.

The Unique Gifts of a 2w3

Enneagram 2w3s are EXCELLENT at getting things done and doing it with a smile on their face and joy in their heart.

They are great with people. They are outgoing, adaptable, charming, and great listeners. People love to be friends with them! And 2w3s love that people love to be friends with them because they do care greatly that they are liked and valued.

2w3s are often jacks of all trades. They are so good at many different things and have lots of talents! Not to mention the superpower of knowing what others are feeling before they do!

The Struggles of a 2w3

In seasons of stress or struggle, a 2w3 may go above and beyond to seek attention from others.

Instead of being quietly resentful for lack of appreciation like a 2w1, the wing 3 will make sure their voice is heard and the work they have done is noticed and appreciated.

2w3s long to be impressive to others and want the spotlight. They aren’t afraid of seeking popular friends and they do care greatly about what others think of them and how they are viewed.

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.

The 3 wing can be especially noticeable when 2s are believing this lie.

How to Grow as a 2w3

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.

Know and accept that not everyone will, or should, be your friend. It’s okay to not impress everyone, and it’s actually really healthy to have a few good friends and surrender what you believe others, or yourself, expect you to be.

Lastly, allow others to show up for you, the way you do for them. When help is offered, accept it. 2, you are amazing!

More Resources

On the other side of Two is the 2w1. A two with a one wing is more serious, attentive to detail, and critical.

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

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.