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Can you have more than one Enneagram Type?

Can you have more than one Enneagram Type? The short answer is no. The Enneagram is a complex system that allows for a lot of range and variation in expressing your Type. However, you can only have ONE set of core motivations: one main fear, one core longing, and one core belief. Let me explain further.

In previous posts, I've explained that a person's ego structure or Core Type is acquired at birth and developed by the surroundings into its current expression. Unlike some other Typology systems that might allow for variation or change throughout life based on preferences, strengths, or Modus Operandi, the Enneagram is rooted in the structure of your Ego and therefore can't be changed or have more than one Type as the basis for the Ego structure.

That being said, many times people may feel unsure about their Type and find themselves torn between two possibilities. If you find yourself in that situation, a couple of things might be contributing to this confusion:

  1. Family and Cultural Overlays: Your family, culture, or workplace can strongly influence the expression of your Type as well as cause you to adopt additional fears and motivations. For instance, the USA is a Type Three Dominant culture, which naturally influences its citizens to value high achievement and fear failure regardless of the individual's Core Type. This overlay of pursuing achievement and avoiding failure does not change the individual's Core Fear from their own Type but subtly changes the expression with adopting these other fears on top of it. So, understanding your Core Type can help you distinguish your true fears from the overlay-induced fears.

  2. Wings: Now, let's talk about wings. Some Enneagram experts have a love/hate relationship with wings. While some believe they play a significant role as secondary or tertiary fears, others view them as only contributing different points of view during problem-solving processes. Regardless, many people sense a strong influence from the Types on either side of their core Type, especially when these neighboring Types connect to an overlay. But remember, you don't actually have two Core Types. Instead, you have one Dominant Type with influences from neighboring Types that manifest as additional fears, longings, and expressions.

  3. Instincts: Beyond your main Type, Instincts are the most influential factor determining "why" you behave in certain ways on the Instinctual Level--or the level of survival. In fact, some Enneagram experts argue that the Core Type actually acts to serve your Dominant Instinct and not the other way around. In terms of determining your Core Type, Instincts can add a layer of complexity to understanding as when these Instincts are highly activated, they can cause individuals to act in highly-varied ways from their Type counterparts.

So, to answer the question "Can you have more than one Enneagram Type," the answer is no. You have one core Enneagram Type that reflects your main motivations, fears, longings, and beliefs. While various influences and factors shape how you express this Core Type, the Core itself remains constant.

For more information about Typing or Enneagram Coaching, contact Kimberly at


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