Can You Be Two Enneagram Types?

Clinically Reviewed by Steven Melendy, PsyD. on July 13, 2022

The Enneagram personality system is made up of nine different types based on how they view the world through core motivations and fears. If you’ve taken the Enneagram Personality Test, you already know which type you are. But one common question that comes up with people who are new to the Enneagram is, "can you be two Enneagram types?" 

Here’s the deal on whether you can have more than one type. 

The Enneagram system at a glance

If you’ve taken an Enneagram test, you know you get one designated type out of nine based on your answers to a questionnaire. But what happens if you read a couple of profiles and discover that you identify with more than one? It isn’t uncommon to connect with two or more Enneagram types, but can you be two at once? 

The Enneagram personality type system is not unlike other personality tests — your answers will amount to one overall type based on your closest match. Although you may feel like more than one type, your primary type is what your Enneagram is.

Can you be two Enneagram types, even if you’ve typed as one?

After taking the Enneagram test, you may identify with more than one type. For instance, I’m an Enneagram Type 4, The Individualist. While I agree that Type 4 is the best match for me, I also feel akin to the Enneagram Type 1, The Perfectionist, and the Enneagram Type 3, The Achiever.

It’s easy for me to surmise that since I've always been an overachiever and a perfectionist, I might be one of these types and a Type 4, right? Unfortunately, no. The Enneagram system gives you one type that you’re most aligned with — and for me, that is Enneagram Type 4. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t things I can find in common with other Enneagram types. In fact, it’s more common than not to connect with different facets of personality. The main thing to remember when it comes to the Enneagram is that your type best describes your worst fear and motivation.

My main traits point to an Individualist's fundamental fear and motivation rather than those of an Enneagram Type 1 or Type 3, so I can say without a doubt that I am a Type 4. 

If you struggle to pinpoint why you received a particular Enneagram type when you identify with another type, you aren’t alone. But you can clear up any doubts by looking at your deepest fear and your "why" for living life — the strongest pull for your goals, actions, and dreams.

How your Enneagram Type explains your fears and motivations

Each Enneagram type is driven by a particular motivation, which is determined by their worst fear. For example, I’m a Type 4 whose primary fear is that I’m inherently flawed and incapable of achieving happiness. Due to this fear, Type 4s strive to be unique and set themselves apart from others to counter this feeling of deficiency. Our desire to be different makes us feel more valuable, especially as we seek to find our strengths over our perceived flaws.

If you feel drawn to a particular Enneagram Type, you can discover your connection to it or distance from it by simply examining your primary motivation and fear. For instance, if you’ve taken a test and received the results for Enneagram Type 3 but feel like you’re also a Type 7, it’s essential to look at the core factors of each type. A Type 7’s main motivation is to avoid being sad, bored, or uninspired, which won’t resonate with you if you’re a Type 3, whose primary motivation is to achieve success and admiration to avoid their deep fear of feeling like a failure. Vice versa, if you’re a true Type 7, you may identify more easily with a 7’s breakdown than that of any other type.

So you can’t be two Enneagram types, but what about wings?

Although you can’t be two Enneagram types, every Enneagram type has wings. You can think of your Enneagram wing as a sidekick to your dominant Enneagram type. For example, if you’re an Enneagram Type 6, you may have a dominant wing of either Type 5 or Type 7. When you complete an Enneagram test, you’ll discover your main type and dominant wing, which influences your personality and how you conduct yourself.

A dominant Enneagram wing serves as a co-pilot, influencing how you behave and live your life, but runs more in the background than your primary Enneagram type.

As an example of how wings affect your behavior, I am an Enneagram Type 4w3. That means my natural identification with an Enneagram Type 3 isn’t for nothing! In fact, my dominant wing is Enneagram 3, which means I am also focused on achieving my goals and striving for success (to a high degree), in addition to prizing my individualistic nature. Combining a 4’s drive to stand out and a wing of 3, I am a go-getter personality who seeks to over-achieve and prove my unique skills.

If you take a look at your own Enneagram wing, you might discover why you feel a deep connection to a particular Enneagram type. Perhaps you’re drawn to your dominant Enneagram wing as well as your main type since they both serve as guiding motivators for you in your life.

Understanding how personality types work

Yes, you might feel connected to more than one personality type — and that’s normal! People have a unique combination of traits that don’t always amount to one "be-all-end-all" answer. The key thing you should ask yourself is, do you feel aligned with your Enneagram type? And if you do, you can sift through the information or traits that don’t sound like you. No one personality test will match you completely, and it isn’t uncommon for you to find a couple of things that you disagree with. 

When it comes to the Enneagram type test, your results should feel authentic, but you may find you identify with other types. The main determining factor for the Enneagram type test is what your core motivation and fear are. Your fear drives your motivation and explains why your focus exists. Your dominant Enneagram wing may also factor into your personality type and how you perceive and interact with the world.

Can you change your Enneagram Type?

You may wonder if your Enneagram type can change over time and if it’s possible to transition to another Enneagram type. Although your main Enneagram type won’t change, you may become a healthier version of yourself as you progress through life. Each Enneagram type has a neutral, healthy, and unhealthy state of personality, so it is likely that you’ll experience a combination of these throughout your lifetime. 

Since the Enneagram highlights how a person can change over time, you may identify more with different types at different points of your life based on your well-being—despite your primary type remaining the same. 

Summing it up

You can’t be two Enneagram types — the type you match the most is your type for good. However, you may experience a shift within your type between the healthy, unhealthy, or general states of being. You might feel connected to more than one Enneagram type in your Enneagram wings, which sit opposite to your primary Enneagram type and may influence your motivations and outlook. If you aren’t sure which Enneagram type you are, try taking Truity’s free Enneagram personality test.

Cianna Garrison

Cianna Garrison holds a B.A. in English from Arizona State University and works as a freelance writer. She fell in love with psychology and personality type theory back in 2011. Since then, she has enjoyed continually learning about the 16 personality types. As an INFJ, she lives for the creative arts, and even when she isn’t working, she’s probably still writing.

More from this author...
About the Clinical Reviewer

Steven Melendy, PsyD., is a Clinical Psychologist who received his doctorate from The Wright Institute in Berkeley, California. He specializes in using evidence-based approaches in his work with individuals and groups. Steve has worked with diverse populations and in variety of a settings, from community clinics to SF General Hospital. He believes strongly in the importance of self-care, good friendships, and humor whenever possible.

Comments

Marshall Æon (not verified) says...

Sorry, this is all wrong. We are not only all 9 types, but we also have a dominant type in each of the three centers, which creates our Enneagram tri-type.

Cianna Garrison says...

Hi Marshall, thanks for your input. We are not diving into the tri-type section of Enneagram. This is an article focused on your dominant Enneagram type. I hope you have a wonderful week!

Skyla Brown (not verified) says...

Doesn't it make sense for a Type 4 to feel some identification with apects of Type 1 as you 'integrate' toward it? 

Cianna Garrison says...

Hi Skyla!

 

If you're talking about when a Type 4 is integrating or disintegrating through health levels, of course you do take on some aspects of those types--but you are still a Type 4!

 

Hope that helps:)

Best,

Cianna

Robert K. (not verified) says...

When I took the test, I got a 98 for Type 5 and 95 for Type 7. Three others were in 70s and the rest much lower. This kinda feels like I'm both since the numbers are SO close. No?

Cianna Garrison says...

Hi Robert!

 

You may possess traits that are in line with a Type 7, but the way these theories work are you are a single type, the one which you score the highest on, so you are a Type 5. As with all these personality theories, people are unique and possess many traits, so you may not fit everything to a 'T'. 

 

Hope that helps!

 

Best,

Cianna

Lillian Golden (not verified) says...

Hi there,

I'd also like to point out that the test is hardly ever truly accurate and that it takes a lot of self work and exploration of the enneagram to truly decide your number. The test gave me several different answers each time I took it, and once I began truly reading and understanding the enneagram, I was a completely different number than the test had given me!

Hope this helps!

Krystyna says...

I adminstered the tests to all 19 people within my department. One of our guys scored 98% for both type 9 and type 4. The results are stating he's a 4. Is this accurate? 

Lillian Golden (not verified) says...

Hi there,

While the test can be helpful to some to get an idea of what type they might be, it takes a lot more to fully understand what your type is - I took the test three different times and received three different answers before going and diving deeper into books about the enneagram and learning that I was none of those three numbers the test had given me! So please keep in mind that while it can be a helpful tool, it is never a good idea to go fully by what the test has told you. 

And to answer your question, he very well could be either of those numbers. We all possess each number on the enneagram, however we draw from one of them the most. His might be a type 4 and he might draw from the type 9 as well, though not as much as the type 4, or vice versa. Hope this helps!

KateNguyen says...

I got number 3 - Achiever for the first try. But it's a bit confusing for me, as I'm myself not coming across as a very ambitious person at work. On the opposite, my colleagues think I'm soft-hearted and cooperative. Also, I've got my mood swing easily. There's a lot of time I'm not so productive, and not a goal-oriented, high achiever as well. I'm constantly seeking new things to study, but lack discipline. However, I do admire people with passion and clear goals in mind. So, this test is the result of what I'm aiming for, or who I am in reality? I'd appreciate your advice. 

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