Enneagram 6w5: The Guide

Written by Tim Branch

If you have ever:

  1. Been told you think negatively, but you consider yourself a realist,
  2. Gravitated towards systems and beliefs for guidance and security,
  3. Been mistyped as a type 1 or 8,
  4. Been viewed as confident and knowledgeable but felt indecisive or insecure,

…you might be a 6w5. 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 6 are either 5 or 7.

Your wing is not your next highest score or another type you feel like you may be. For example, you cannot be a 6w4 or 6w1.

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 the 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 an Enneagram 6w5?

Let’s start by looking at what we know about Enneagram 6s and Enneagram 5s.

Enneagram 6’s long for security, support, and guidance. They find comfort in routines, planning ahead, and thinking through and planning for worst-case scenario outcomes.

6’s are extremely loyal, often referred to as Loyalists. They are not only loyal to their friends, but to their systems, faith, beliefs, and political views.

Enneagram 5’s also seek security, support, and guidance, but they find it amidst information. They love learning, and they feel that knowledge is power.

They are able to understand and figure out just about anything they want to and they are able to process and view things differently than most.

5’s are very internal and err on the side of antisocial. They don’t have a large emotional capacity and live mostly in their heads, often, but not always, neglecting their physical and emotional well-being.

The 6w5 personality is filled with knowledge, information, and insight. They are loyal to their core and stick with their people.

The Unique Gifts of a 6w5

Enneagram 6w5’s are loyalists through and through! Though this particular subtype will look and feel more like a defender.

They believe in what they do deeply and they have their reasons to back it up. They don’t make decisions lightly and can be excellent communicators, especially about information that matters deeply to them.

They are drawn to the underdog and will fight for them without second thoughts about what others may be thinking.

6’s with a 5 wing have a longing for justice and want their lives to be meaningful. They know which hills are worth dying on—and they are willing.

6w5’s are controlled, serious, and outspoken about the things that matter most to them. They have dominance and confidence that comes with strong moral beliefs and knowledge and information to back it up.

The Struggles of a 6w5

In seasons of stress or struggle, a 6w5 is often more suspicious, anxious, and certain that “worst case” scenarios will happen. They can be accusatory of those not being cautious and will be on higher alert of what can go wrong, and why it may go wrong.

6w5’s may struggle with big emotions that stem from fear when they are living under stress. They can quickly rage, which we know is really just fear being expressed, and project that fear onto those around them and themselves. But as quickly as they arrive, they can disappear.

How to Grow as a 6w5

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 safe in His hands.

Know that as long as we live in this Genesis 3 world, things will go wrong. People will get hurt. Bad things do happen. But, Romans 8:28 says that “all things work together for the good of those who love Him…” and we serve a good and loving Father who is the ultimate defender, and ultimate physician, and the one who will wipe away every tear and make things as they were created to be, perfect, once again.

Know that knowledge is good, and planning is good, but it is not what will save you. Someone once told me “you’re immortal until God is done with you”, and nothing can change that! That sentence changed so many thought patterns for me, and it was freeing.

When those big emotions come up in you, don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and share with your loved ones that what you are feeling is coming from fear. Be quick to apologize and quick to forgive, yourself included.

More Resources

On the other side of Six is the 6w7. A six with a seven wing is more outgoing, sociable, and less visibly anxious.

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

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.