The Wings of the Heart – Enneagram Two, Three and Four

In the last post, we explored the wings of the Instinctive Center of Intelligence: the Eight, Nine and One. Let’s continue on with the Heart Center types: Two, Three and Four. How do their wings alter how each shows up in the world?

As a reminder, what follows is based on the copyrighted work of Don Riso and Russ Hudson and is adapted from their seminal work, The Wisdom of the Enneagram. If you don’t have that book yet, buy it, read it and read it again.

We start with Type Two, The Helper. Type Twos are the Caring, Interpersonal Type: Generous, Demonstrative, People-Pleasing and Possessive.

Okay, here’s how a Two’s wings provide for two distinct “flavors” of Twoness.

Two with a One wing: The Servant. These Twos feel responsible for others’ welfare and war against their own needs and feelings, which they regard as selfish. They may be extremely self-critical and ignore their health as they work in the background to serve other and thus feel significant.

Two with a Three wing: The Host/Hostess. These Twos are more good-humored and friendly, less self-critical and more ambitious and task-oriented. They are more direct about what they want as they focus on the quality of their relationships; they can be high-handed and arrogant at times.

This summary just scratches the surface, yet still, you get a sense of the differences that the wings create.

Next is Type Three, The Achiever. These folks are The Success-Oriented, Pragmatic Type: Adaptable, Excelling, Driven and Image-Conscious.

Three with a Two wing: The Charmer. Wanting others to like and admire them, Charmers try to hide anything that would interfere with their desirability. They know how to dazzle and impress people, but they may have that slick, artificial manner that repels rather than attracts. They are covertly competitive.

Three with a Four wing: The Professional. These Threes struggle with a mixture of ambition and self-doubt as they strive to embody perfection to avoid the shame of inferiority. They are more private socially than outgoing Charmers and may display both arrogance and self-contempt.

At this point, I feel the need to point out that all of the descriptions I’m using refer to each type in its Average Level of Development, which Riso and Hudson created to help describe and explain the differences of people of the same type. So, while it may sound like this information about Threes is all negative, it’s not. All of us in the Average range are mostly asleep to our true selves and are following our personality’s script. Even so, there are lovely gifts available in this range.

So then, let’s move on and take a look at Type Four, The Individualist. Fours are The Sensitive, Withdrawn Type: Expressive, Dramatic, Self-Absorbed and Temperamental.

Four with a Three wing: The Aristocrat. The Three influence causes Aristocrats to focus on their self-worth and how they appear to others. They usually put a lot of effort into their self-presentation and their work, desiring recognition. They love culture and sophistication (hence “Aristocrat”) and are sometimes competitive, disdainful of others and narcissistic.

Four with a Five wing: The Bohemian. Fours are a withdrawn type (in the Hornevian Groups), and Bohemians are influenced by Five, which is also withdrawn. So, they are more introverted than Aristocrats and dwell mainly in their imaginations. They are drawn to the exotic and the mysterious (hence “Bohemian”), adopt a minimalist lifestyle—again, the Five influence—and often see themselves as rebellious outsiders.

Remember that Twos, Threes and Fours are ruled by the emotion of shame, which caused them to focus on their image. The way each type deals with shame and image is related to which wing is operating in their lives.

Our last installment of this series will examine the wings of the Thinking Center: Five, Six and Seven.

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