Errors in the Transmission of the Enneagram: Wing Types and Lines of Connection

Wing Types and Lines of Connection

The wing types and lines of connection are essential as the enneagram is a dynamic trialectic system.

One of the largest pieces of misinformation on the Enneagram was the teaching that we move to the lines of connection in integration/disintegration or stress/security. The side note here is that Naranjo stated in 1996 that he was misquoted when teaching his hypothesis on the arrows in a early SAT (Seekers After Truth) group in the 1970s. This misquote went around the world. He corrected it in his first Enneagram Intensive in Bolder Colorado in 1996 stating he never meant to suggest that you move to one line positively (integration or security) and the other negatively (disintegrate/stress) but rather that you move to both lines of connection all of the time. He taught about the wings as well...that your type is simply the tension between your two wings.

I researched this with clients and found it to be true. I then met David and he found this pattern in 1996 separate from knowing me or Naranjo's teachings. Together, we developed it further through research with clients and call it Wing Theory.

For example, as a 5 with the 549 tritype, we found as a 5 you are trying to individuate and be a unique individual (4) while simultaneously trying to match and be accepted by your peers (6).... Social situations are times of great uncertainty so the 549 chooses to stand back and observe before attempting to join but always feels that they didn't get the same rule book on social relating that others did. So, the 5 feels trapped and struggles with taking action and initiating conversation.

With Wing Theory, you can break up the this pattern by moving to the high side of your lines of connection. The 5 line to the high side of 7 gives new possibilities, ease and right work and the high side of the 7 line to 8 gives confidence, action and higher truth.

We all have access to all 9 types but the question is when and how, and in what order? When we move to our lines of connection we do not become those types as our dominant type remains in charge... but rather we pick up the qualities of the type in our line of connection manifesting the law of 3.

The key is the "specialty" or focus of attention created by the intersection of the 3 types in the Tritype. With 459 they all concur that it is essential to stand back and be reflective and introspective before engaging with others. The overall desire of the 459 Tritype is for others to move towards them in social situations and make them feel more comfortable sharing as they feel inhibited and do not jump into conversations. The false belief is that others are more at ease with social relating. What is often missed is that many Tritypes move towards others and engage in conversation because they themselves feel so ill at ease if they don't....and sometimes they find they are so nervous they cannot stop talking... especially the extroverted social 6.

Tips on typing the 6 with the 368 Tritype®

I have been asked how to identify the counter-phobic 6 that appears so 8ish and has the 368 Tritype.

Tips on accurately typing the 6 with the 368 Tritype
©2013 Katherine Chernick Fauvre

The 368 Tritype is one of the more complex and misunderstood Tritypes. It is easy to identify this Tritype as the focus of attention is very direct but determining which type is in the lead can be difficult. The 368, in any order, will produce a focused and efficient (3), provocative and questioning (6), confrontational and protective (8) defense strategy. This intersection of 3, 6 and 8 will create a very loyal, driven, strong-willed, and justice-seeking individual. This sounds very much they way the 8 is often described. So, understandably, the 3 and 6 with the 368 Tritype will frequently mistype as the 8. Eventually, the 3 will see that they lead with 3 because of their need to be seen as a successful person. With the 6, it is more difficult as so many of the counter-phobic (cp6) traits and behaviors can appear to be 8-like at first glance.

The cp6s are the mystery, wrapped in a riddle of opposing and contradictory qualities. They can be sensitive, reactive, questioning, opinionated and/or challenging one minute only to back pedal, make nice and concede the next. Because of these diverse qualities, they will often mistype as all of the other types before they recognize that they are the 6. It is a rare 6 that will type as the 6 in testing instruments. Most frequently, they will mistype as the 2, 4, 1, and 8. For example, if they are introverted they will mistype as the 5, if they are emotional they will mistype as the 4, if they are responsible they will mistype as the 1, and if they are rebellious they will mistype as an 8, and so on.

I have found that even though the 6 may mistype as other types initially, they will accurately identify one or two of the actual types in their Tritype. They will simply identify with one of the other types in their Tritype even though it is not their primary type. The softer, more phobic 6 will generally have the 9 in the Tritype and the stronger more reactive counter-phobic (cp6) will usually have the 8 the Tritype.

So, the cp683 or cp638 when combined with the two assertive, results-driven types of 3 and 8 will be very aggressive and naturally mistype as the 8. The reason for this is that the 368 Tritype is the most confrontational and protective Tritype. They are also very focused and fierce. If this Tritype has the social instinct, the focus on fighting for truth and justice in the service of others will be amplified.

Many ‘special forces’ warriors are the 638 Tritype. Special forces, or special operations forces are military units trained to perform unconventional missions that require teamwork. The 368 Tritype is well suited for this type of work as they often possesses the ability to develop mind over matter and work as a part of a cohesive team. They also make great debaters, trial attorneys, emergency services personnel, policemen, firefighters, and social workers.

So, to accurately determine the lead type with the 368 Tritype, it is very important to listen to the language the 368 uses, pay attention to the expressions they make and track their body language.

The 368 or 386 will often use sports metaphors like, “I am a winner” or see themselves as a “lean machine”, or frequently say they or you should “just do it.” They are hard workers. They will focus on achieving their personal best and developing a winning image. They have very little patience for whiners and are able to push their limits to acquire the skills they need to be a star. They will talk about their achievements and successes and may have a somewhat machine-like, robotic efficiency to everything they do. They usually embody the role they wish to possess and become the ideal exemplar. The energy is in the eyes and the chest region. They track you tracking them. They are sensitive to expectations and usually have practiced skills of looking attentive but are often distant and focused on what they need to do to be seen as valuable in your eyes.

The 638 or 683 will want to protect others from being mislead by unsavory characters and/or fear for those they perceive as a target or unprotected. So, they will warn and caution others, cite authorities to prove their point of view and seek “worthy” authorities they can respect. They can speak in a way that sows the seeds of doubt. They will focus on what is fair and just and pay attention to ways they can protect the everyman. They will be authoritarian and challenge authorities they fear will mislead others. The energy is in and around the head. They will have many facial expressions that rapidly change. You can see this along the brow bone and in the eyes. If they have learned mind over matter, they may reduce the rapid change of expression with a mask-like appearance of strength and fierceness.

The 863 or 836 will use war metaphors and will take charge to ensure justice. They are the justice-maker and become their own authority. They are the same in and out of the public eye. They do not try to impress like the 368 or 386. Nor do they do not try to prove anything to anyone, nor do they cite authorities or challenge other authorities like the 638 and 683. They are the authority. They may fact check, but as people of action, they do not like pretenses or care about having a good image like the 368 and 386 or ‘heady’ debates they way the 638 and 683 does. With the 836 and 863 what you see is truly what you get. They are action-oriented people with a strong sense of self-defined justice. They will often exhibit a tender side and use ‘might’ to make right to protect the underdog, the weak, the vulnerable, the downtrodden and/or the underrepresented. They are steady and very consistent in their nonchalant yet intimidating stance of defiance. The energy is the lower region of the belly. If they think something is ‘bull’ they will often turn their nose up in disgust with their lips turned down. Their expression is unwavering and their intimidation is often unspoken.

©Katherine Chernick Fauvre 1995-2019