In the Enneagram system of personality, one of the 9 types is our main one. We also have a special connection to four other types: our two wings and two arrows. Since I’m a 5-Observer, my wings are type 4-Romantic and type 6-Questioner. My arrows are type 7-Adventurer and type 8-Asserter.
Every now and then I rate the order of strengths of all 9 types in my own personality:
5 - I’ve always been quiet, curious, introverted, and shy. I’m an INFP (introverted, intuitive, feeling, perceiving) with almost as strong Thinking as Feeling. My father, an INTJ scientist, a 5 with a strong 6 wing, had a big influence on me. His Feeling function was developed in some ways – he was idealistic and a humanitarian – but weak in others - he didn’t like to read novels or watch plays, and had no tolerance for strong displays of feeling. My life is more influenced by my 4-Romantic wing – I love the arts and psychology.
What I like about being a 5 (from The Enneagram for Teens):
4 – My second type in importance is my 4-wing, the Romantic, especially when it comes to the artistic and compassionate sides of life. I was drawn to the piano early, majored in music at the University, and taught piano for many years. I almost never get depressed, however, and I’m not a dramatic kind of person.
9 – I relate to how type 9-Peace Seekers often appreciate nature and embody spirituality. I also relate to the 9’s distaste for conflict. And I have trouble making up my mind. My mother was probably a 9 or a 2.
1 - I’m idealistic as 1-Perfectionists are, but not a reformer. Like Ones, I can be meticulous about some things. My father was critical of my school-work and tried to teach me to be logical and exacting. My mother tried to teach me to be a neat housekeeper (her One-wing) and only partially succeeded.
6 – I’m not very paranoid but I am sometimes fearful, cautious, and uncertain. I also relate to the anti-authoritarian attitude of some 6’s.
7 – When I feel like a 7-Adventurer all my cares fly away and life is great. I love feeling uninhibited and being in the moment, especially when I’m playing the piano, drawing, or hanging out with friends. This is one of my arrows.
2 - Like many females my age, I was pressured somewhat to act like a Helper but my life isn’t organized around helping others. I’m not as diplomatic or sociable as most 2’s I’ve known.
8 – Going toward my 8-Asserter arrow is growthful for me, but you would never mistake me for an 8. One reason I fell in love with the Enneagram was that I already knew I needed to become more confident, assertive, and outspoken, like many 8’s are.
3 – I’m least of all like the 3-Achiever. Ambition, materialism, obsession with success, and marketing myself scare me. Being intrigued and happy with what I’m doing is much more appealing to me than success or making a splash. I’m still trying to understand the 3 part of me.