With so many factors that affect each individual’s personality, it’s impossible to box them all into a mere 9 entities. While specific traits define people, many characteristics overlap with those of entirely different types of personalities.
However, Enneagram typing breaks those rigid bounds. This is partly due to how the nine-sided circular diagram, on which the Enneagram Personality model is based, connects personalities with others. The most notable connections fall to either side of the dominant Enneagram type. These are called wings.
Wings are just two additions to Enneagram typing that allow for flexibility within the methodology. For example, Sixes can be Enneagram 6 wing 5s and Enneagram 6 wing 7s. This article covers Enneagram type 6 wing 5 (or 6w5).
It may at first seem that Enneagram 5 wing 6 must be the same as Enneagram 6 wing 5, but that isn’t the case. While they may share some characteristics, personalities primarily take on the disposition of their dominant Enneagram type, not their wing.
Listed below are some of the key characteristics of 6w5 Enneagram types. The primary attributes are those taken from the dominant Enneagram type, in this case, Enneagram type 6. The Secondary qualities are derived from their primary wing, which, in this case, is Enneagram type 5.
Primary Personality Traits
- Loyal and engaging
- Not extroverted, perhaps due to a lack of confidence
- Feel unsafe when placed in new situations
- Mistrusting of the world, people, and new relationships
- Able to foresee problems
- Protective of those in their care
- Will either withdraw from things that cause anxiety or challenge them, sometimes aggressively
- Courage and confidence go hand-in-hand for them
Secondary Personality Traits
- Private and introverted
- Have a unique way of thinking
- Can concentrate for extended periods
- Rarely enjoy sudden surprises or interruptions
- Thrive on a sense of predictability
- Do things in a traditional manner
- Accepting of things and people as they are
- Sincerely and globally kind, despite seeming detached
- Not power-seeking or highly competitive
- Don’t feel the need to impress others
- Happy to fade into the background
- Capable and intellectual, though uncertain about their abilities
- Relationship building isn’t a priority for them
Like with all Enneagram types, 6w5 Enneagrams are broken up into specific, identifiable aspects, and extensive research has been conducted on each of these. Motivations, fears, and desires are just some of those.
The greatest fears to affect 6w5 Enneagram types incorporate those of both Sixes and Fives, though the fears of Fives should have less of an impact.
6w5 Enneagram types lean toward having the worries that affect Sixes:
- Uncertainty and a lack of security
- Future dilemmas
6w5 Enneagram types are less affected by the concerns of Fives, namely:
- Insufficient knowledge
To cope with their fears, 6w5 Enneagram types might, internally, raise intellectual questions, or speak openly in an attempt to soothe their insecurities. To avoid emptiness, they might get lost in thoughts of innovation.
6w5 Enneagram types may experience the desires of both Sixes and Fives, though the wants of Fives will have less of an impact on their overall personalities.
6w5 Enneagram types value:
- Trustworthy leaders and peers
- Being reassured
6w5 Enneagram types may, to a lesser extent, value:
6w5 Enneagram types may rebel or become ambivalent when associating with untrustworthy leaders who don’t reassure them or give clear instructions.
The Enneagram 6 wing 5 type has many strengths, including:
- Ability to engage
- Intellectual perceptiveness
Some of the weaknesses an Enneagram 6 wing 5 type has to work on are:
- Self-doubt and insecurity
- Dislike of interruptions
- Emotional detachment
- Social attachments
Direction of Growth and Stress
The direction of growth and stress (or integration and disintegration) determine the best of 6w5 Enneagram types during times of growth or, in the case of stress, the worst characteristics of 6w5 Enneagram types.
In 6w5 Enneagram types, the directions of growth and stress will be a little different from that of a natural Six or 5w6 Enneagram.
Growth Arrow to Nine and Eight
While the growth arrow of Sixes (Nines) will take precedence, some of the growth traits of Fives (Eights) will emerge.
In growth, 6w5 Enneagram types will show the positive aspects of:
Nine (Six integration):
Eight (Five integration):
- Protective of others
- Take control
- Easily overcome obstacles
- Acutely insightful
Stress Arrow to Three and Seven
Like in growth, stress attributes of Fives will trickle into the personality of Sixes.
In stress, 6w5 Enneagram types will exhibit the negative qualities of:
Three (Six disintegration):
- Deceptive in order to gain success
Seven (Five disintegration):
- Avoid confrontation
- Avoid tedious details
- Take the easy road
Healthy vs. Unhealthy Enneagram 6w5s
Many doctors and universities have conducted studies to establish healthy, average, or unhealthy Enneagram types. These reveal the mental well-being of the individual at any given moment. Fluctuations in mood are a universal experience. Therefore, everyone is exposed to times of being healthy, average, and unhealthy, in relation to their dominant Enneagram type.
A Healthy 6w5 Enneagram Type
- Is forward-thinking, so capable of foreseeing and solving problems before they arise
- Is intellectual in their approach to difficulties
- Is committed to family and friends
- Sustains traditional practices
- Is courageous and resilient in the face of their fears
- Is acutely aware and ingenious
- Is capable of working with complex puzzles
An Average 6w5 Enneagram Type
- Is able to engage others in a social environment
- Is reliable to others
- Can have stumbling blocks in the form of their anxiety and their suspicious natures
- Seeks to improve the world
- Is curious and thoughtful
An Unhealthy 6w5 Enneagram Type
- Withdraws from others, even in intimacy, due to their self-doubt
- Can become secretive, while isolating themselves
- Can become crippled by their fears
- Can lash out
- Can withhold information and emotions
- Know your worth. Yearning for the approval of others can be exhausting, especially when it isn’t forthcoming. Reassure yourself that you’re conscientious, reliable, and loyal.
- You should let go of skepticism and mistrust. This can give you a sense of calm, and the feeling that a weight has been lifted off your shoulders.
- Without forcing it, give yourself permission to be brave. Confront your fears and allow them to fall away. This will help you learn to trust others.
- Improve interpersonal relationships. Although the Five side of you will want to avoid too much interaction, trusting others will help strengthen relationships with those outside your inner circle.
Famous People who are Type 6w5
Noteworthy 6w5 Enneagram people include:
- Richard Nixon—President of the United States of America from 1969–1974
- Malcolm X—American human rights activist
- Theresa May—Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and current Minister of Parliament
- Tom Clancy—American novelist
- Mel Gibson—Australian actor
Enneagram 6w5 vs 6w7
Enneagram types 6w5 and 6w7 can be compared in many ways. We’ll explore some of their similarities and differences below.
The similarities between 6w5 Enneagram and 6w7 Enneagram may be found in their Six connection since Fives and Sevens are somewhat dissimilar at their cores.
Both 6w5 Enneagrams and 6w7 Enneagrams might be:
- 6w7—about what excitement lies on the horizon
- 6w5—about what identifies that distant hill as the horizon
- Future thinkers
- 6w7—in planning for large ideas
- 6w5—in examining possible problems and planning solutions
- 6w7—with life’s excitements
- 6w5—with people
- Good with people
- 6w5—loyal and reliable
The differences between 6w5 and 6w7 Enneagrams arise from the varied personalities of Fives and Sevens.
- If they feel threatened, 6w5 Enneagrams may procrastinate over a project, while 6w7 Enneagrams are excellent at summarizing information quickly—failing that, 6w7s will look for the next escape route
- 6w5 Enneagrams are excellent troubleshooters, but 6w7s don’t like to get bogged down with too many details
- 6w5 Enneagrams enjoy structured rules that do not change, while Enneagrams 6w7 dislike limits and boundaries
- While 6w5 Enneagrams lean toward expecting the worst, Enneagrams 6w7 are eternal optimists
What Does 6w5 Mean?
In Enneagram types, when speaking of wings, you’ll see an acronym, for example, 6w5. The ‘w’ is an abbreviation for the word ‘wing’. The number preceding the ‘w’ is the dominant Enneagram type, and the number subsequent is the dominant wing.
To fully understand 6w5 Enneagram types, you must scrutinize and comprehend the inner workings of both Sixes and Fives. In doing so, it will become evident that more factors influence personality types than merely dominant Enneagram types and wings. Namely, the lines of integration and disintegration.
In growth, Sixes integrate to Nines, and Fives to Eights. This results in Enneagram 6 wing 5 taking on the positive attributes of Nines and, to a lesser extent, Eights. In stress, Sixes disintegrate to Threes, and Fives to Sevens. In this case, Enneagram 6 wing 5 will take on most of the negative aspects of Threes, and some of Sevens.
To discover your Enneagram type, complete the Enneagram Personality Test.