Enneagram 9w1: The Guide

Written by Tim Branch

If you have ever:

  1. Surpassed emotion to maintain control,
  2. Been absorbed in making sure things are done justly and fairly,
  3. Wanted to preserve things as they are & push against change,
  4. Feared losing connection with someone over disagreements,

…you might be a 9w1. 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 9 are either 8 or 1.

Your wing is not your next highest score or another type you feel like you may be. For example, you cannot be a 9w3 or 9w2.

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 9w1?

Funny enough, most Enneagram 9’s would identify stronger with a 1 wing than an 8 wing. That could be because there are more 9w1, or because these two types have a little more in common than the 9 and the 8.

We know that one of the struggles of a 9 can be that they are asleep to themselves—and the 1 feels a little more familiar, while the 8 and 9 can seem like polar opposites. Here’s what a 9w1 looks like.

We know Enneagram 9’s are tender-hearted mediators who love peace and comfort—and long to be recognized, seen, and know that their presence matters.

1’s, on the other hand, are known as “reformers” because they are exactly that.

They can be critical of themselves and others, they long for justice and rightness, and they truly desire the world to be left better than they found it, which isn’t completely unlike the 9.

When these two types meet as a 9w1, you will find someone who is peaceful, tender, critical, quietly judgmental at times, idealistic, fair, kind, respectful, and truly longs to be good.

What both of these types have in common is they have a LOT of passion—but they suppress it for different reasons.

The 9 because they are asleep to it and often don’t identify with it, and the 1 because passion presents as anger, and anger can look and feel “bad.” And when the goal is to be good, that feeling is unwelcome.

The 9 with an 8 wing is able to hear their gut louder than the 9 with a 1 wing.

Often, as a 9, you will suppress your instincts, emotions, and desires to attach yourself to another person in the name of peace. Those with an 1 wing are more likely to do this and have a harder time finding their honest desires and instincts.

The Unique Gifts of a 9w1

Enneagram 9’s are calm, steady, consistent, and enjoy comfort. They love harmony. A 9 is more quiet and does have anger, but it is hidden deeply within them, even from themselves.

Enneagram 1’s, as we know, are justice driven reformers, who instinctively know how the world should look and feel in its original design, before the fall. They strive for better and feel like their work is never finished.

When these types come together as a healthy 9w1, you find someone who has an indomitable spirit (that stubbornness really comes in handy sometimes eh?), is a peaceful mediator, can and will identify their passion (even if it looks like anger), is spiritual, thinks very principally, and prioritizes justice and rightness.

This subtype is incredibly fair, kind, and respectful. The peace they bring to a relationship is unmatched.

The Struggles of a 9w1

In seasons of stress or struggle, you may find yourself struggling to find your identity in Christ, and leaning more on the opinions (or what you think their opinions are) of you.

This can cause you to merge your beliefs, thoughts, opinions, and ideas with others to avoid disconnect from the relationship.

It’s easy for you to believe that others are more important than you, and you may easily become very discouraged, or even devastated, if you don’t get the affirmation you desire from others.

How to Grow as a 9w1

As a 9, one of your biggest strengths and weaknesses is how sensitive you are to others. Where this can hurt you is when you allow how others view you, or how you think they view you, determine your value.

Hear me say this: With Jesus, you always have a seat at the table. 

Your desires matter. Your opinions matter. Most importantly, your presence matters.

When you believe how He sees you, what He did for you, and how important you are to Him, it will be so much easier for you to not need to see yourself through others eyes.

When it comes to the 1 side of you, lean on Him and trust that He is just, and that the day is coming where everything will be as it was created to be- perfect.

One way to implement growth is to allow and welcome feedback, even if it doesn’t feel cozy.

This can be extra hard for the 9w1 because they work harder to do what they believe is “the right” thing or the “right” way.

Leaving room for error and grace for yourself and others will go such a long way in your spirit.

A few other things to work towards are making goals for yourself, taking a strong stand on your viewpoints, and when disagreements come up, welcome them and bring your honest opinions to the table.

More often than not others genuinely want to know what you have to say. Even though it doesn’t always feel like it, disagreement and disconnection are very different things.

More Resources

On the other side of Nine is the 9w8. A nine with an eight wing is more vocal, independent, sociable, and assertive than someone who identifies more with a 9w1.

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

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.