We can learn much from the Enneagram Personality model. For one, the nine-sided circular figure on which it was designed, an enneagram, demonstrates how personalities are interconnected. However, all humankind can’t possibly belong to one of only nine personalities. And this is where wings come in.
These are the two numbers neighboring the dominant Enneagram type, and both influence the personality of the individual. One, however, will have a greater impact than the other. This is the dominant wing—for example, a 9w8 Enneagram would have a dominant Enneagram type of Nine and a dominant wing of Eight.
The following article is dedicated to 9w8s, their key characteristics, fears, desires, strengths, weaknesses, and more. Let’s begin.
What does 9w8 mean?
9w8 Enneagram is a personality profile built during an Enneagram Personality Test. The ‘9’ represents the dominant Enneagram type. The ‘w’ refers to a wing—the two personalities adjacent to the dominant type. And the ‘8’ portrays the dominant wing. So an Enneagram 9w8 is an Enneagram Nine with a dominant wing of Eight.
9w8 Enneagram types will bear most attributes common to Nines and many of those present in Eights.
Listed below are some of the key characteristics of Enneagram 9w8 types.
Primary Personality Traits (Enneagram type 9)
- Reliable and loyal to friends and family.
- Non-committal or unbiased in others’ disputes, but good at finding resolutions on their behalf.
- Unlikely to engage in disputes in their own defense.
- Perceptive and internally quizzical of others’ emotions and actions.
- Compassionate and peace-seeking.
- They feel safe when things remain the same.
- Excellent in crises and in mediation.
Secondary Personality Traits (Enneagram type 8)
- Leaders who know what they want.
- Determinedly seek and achieve the desired results.
- Combative, with gentle hearts.
- Will courageously defend those in need.
Unlike many other personality models, Enneagram typing explores the emotions that drive or motivate people. In Enneagram 9 wing 8 types, these would incorporate the fears and desires of both Nine and Eight:
9w8 Enneagram types would lean toward the worries that affect Nines, being:
- Loss, rejection, and feeling unimportant.
9w8 Enneagram types would be less affected by the concerns of Eights, namely:
- Having to cede power and control.
- To suffer injury or anguish.
As a whole:
- This possibly gives rise to 9w8 Enneagrams being afraid to demand too much from others due to the concern of rejection or hiding behind a hard veneer so that the rejection, when it comes, won’t affect them as acutely.
9w8 Enneagram types would face the hopes of Nines, being:
- To feel peaceful and secure knowing that they’re needed.
9w8 Enneagram types may have a diminished amount of the needs of Eights:
- To have the world perceive them as powerful while feeling secure in themselves.
Enneagram 9 wing 8 has many strengths. Here are just a few:
- Vigorously bolstering and inspiring others.
- Warm-hearted and generous with time and energy when helping those in need.
Some weaknesses Enneagram 9 wing 8 should work on:
- Wavering between being overly emphatic or indecisive.
- Showing passive aggression or outright aggression when cornered.
Direction of Growth and Stress
In the Enneagram Personality model, growth and stress, otherwise known as integration and disintegration, show the direction a personality would likely take during periods of hope and confidence or times of despair.
For example, in the good times, a 9w8 Enneagram could take on the best traits of Threes and Twos, their combined growth types. Conversely, the worst characteristics of Nines and Fives would likely surface during difficult moments.
Growth Arrow to Three and Two
While the Nine growth arrow (Three) will take precedence, some of the Eight growth (Two) traits will probably emerge.
In growth, Enneagram 9w8 types will show the positive aspects of:
Three (Nine integration):
- When Nines feel secure and at peace with themselves and the world around them, they would likely grow in confidence, become highly motivated, and even a little prideful
Two (Eight integration):
- When Eights are at their best and feel in control of their world, they may devote themselves to helping others and even take pride in how they’re able to help.
Stress Arrow to Six and Five
While Nine stress arrow (Six) will take precedence, it’s likely that some of the Eight’ stress (Five) traits will emerge.
In stress, Enneagram 9w8 types will exhibit the negative qualities of:
Six (Nine disintegration):
- When Nines feel loss or rejection, as if they’re being kept apart, they may become increasingly concerned about safety, often imagining the worst potential outcome.
Five (Eight disintegration):
- If Eights feel vulnerable, they’ll likely become selfish with time, money, and energy.
Healthy vs. Unhealthy Enneagram 9w8s
In Enneagrams, a state of health or a lack thereof refers to the emotional state at various times. Enneagram 9 wing 8, might experience something different from Enneagram 9 wing 1 or 8 wing 9, for example.
A Healthy 9w8 Enneagram type
- The healthy traits of Nines will prevail, one of them being their ability to remain calm and neutral. This makes them great in emergencies, especially the kind when two parties are conflicting.
- The Eight side, although not as strong as in an Enneagram 8w9, will come through to some extent. This will possibly include their ability to make clear and rational decisions, which will complement the above trait in Nines.
An Average 9w8 Enneagram type
- On average, Enneagram Type 9 wing 8s are loyal to friends, family, and anyone they consider to be ‘their people’.
- They may doubt themselves and harbor fears about their value or about losing control.
- They may feel suspicious of people trying to undermine their authority or have a tendency to procrastinate when uncertain.
- They could fluctuate between the indecisive side of Nines and the decisive and energetic nature of Eights, or they could be fortunate to enjoy the happy medium.
An Unhealthy 9w8 Enneagram type
- When unhealthy, Eights may become vindictive and bitter, bullying and intimidating others in pursuit of their normality. Some of this behavior would likely carry through to 9w8 Enneagrams.
- Combining Nines with Eights, the controlling side may emerge with a tendency to detach emotionally, manipulate others, or become anxious and over-reactive.
Here’s how Enneagram 9w8s can become a better version of themselves:
- Let your natural kindness and compassion shine. With the determination of Eights to lead and protect, and your combined compassion for those less fortunate, your participation in charities and foundations would likely produce astoundingly positive results.
- Use your skills in conflict resolution and inspiration. With Nines inherent lack of bias and Eights ability to motivate and inspire, people will probably look up to you for guidance—something you may easily impart.
- Seize your less dominant One wing to keep you focused. While both Nines and Eights don’t score in the conscientiousness department, Ones show this as one of their major strengths. If you open yourself up and grow within your Enneagram type, you could use this to enhance your already-amazing abilities.
Famous people who are Enneagram Type 9w8
Noteworthy 9w8 Enneagram people:
- Snoop Dogg, American rapper, singer, songwriter, and producer.
- Scarlett Johansson, American actor and singer.
- Epicurus, Ancient Greek philosopher who founded what is now known as Epicureanism.
- Harrison Ford, American actor.
Enneagram 9w8 vs 9w1
Because Nine is the dominant Enneagram type, many traits will be present in both Enneagram 9w8 and 9w1. However, the vast differences between Ones and Nines will show up in this comparison.
The similarities between 9w8 Enneagram and 9w1 Enneagram may be found in their common connection.
Both 9w8 Enneagram and 9w1 Enneagram will probably be:
- They may not be particularly innovative, as neither Nines, Eights, nor Ones score high in this area.
- Since Eights are notoriously confrontational, 9w8 Enneagrams won’t escape this trait, however, the dominance in Nines will mostly suppress it.
- While Ones are not openly disagreeable, they’re not particularly warm and inviting. Again the dominance of Nines will subdue this trait in 9w8 Enneagrams.
Many differences will show up between 9w8 Enneagram and 9w1 Enneagram as Eights and Ones are extremely dissimilar personalities.
- The confidence that Eights bring into 9w8 Enneagrams will probably lack in 9w1 Enneagrams, as neither Nines nor Ones show high levels of self-assurance.
- The serenity, common in Ones, is a sharp contrast to confrontational Eights. These traits will probably be present, to a lesser degree, in 9w8 and 9w1 Enneagrams.
- Oddly, Eights score high in Emotional Stability—probably because they’re direct and face issues head-on—while Ones show a lot more moodiness and negativity.
With a dominant Enneagram type of Nine and a dominant wing of Eight, Enneagram 9 wing 8 personalities would likely show remarkable abilities to solve issues and conflicts between others.
The lack of dominance in Nines, coupled with the leadership skills and confidence of Eights, would probably see 9w8 Enneagrams being structured and resilient while showing great compassion and being willing to fight for those who are less fortunate.
Still, as you will see in this article, this personality type does not prove flawless. This is where studying their Enneagram type can help them grow into the best version of themselves.
To discover your Enneagram type, complete the Enneagram Personality Test.