Enneagram Type 9

Type 9: The Peacemaker / Harmonizer

Nines belong to the Gut / Body Triad. They are motivated to create harmony in their environment, avoid tension and to preserve the flow of things with minimal disruption. They believe that everything is as good as it is. Why fix what is not broken? Nines are most devoted to sustaining inner and outer peace both for themselves and those whom they connect with. They appreciate stability, preferring to avoid conflict, opting to either give in or work towards a peaceful settlement. They seek the company of those just like them so that their feathers are not ruffled and energy is not consumed by other people’s lack of self-control or skewed perceptions.

While the Type Nines are easy-going and calm, there is a side to them that is quite hidden. Since they avoid conflict and suppress anger, it results in building pressure from the inside which manifests itself as frustration. They resort to suppressing their anger which is why the 9s are frequently known to have anger that’s gone to rest. The Nines may be more passive aggressive, choosing to revolt through inaction, silence, avoidance and for many of us, it’s like a silent killer. They also do have strong opinions which can go unexpressed until you ask. With pent up frustration, you might finally witness a continuous rant mixed with a stubbornness to do what feels right. Nines are unwavering when they are clear and have given something much thought.

Early Childhood

The Type 9 child may be able to identify being overlooked, left alone or given a lot of space to be on their own. Some may have felt neglected or unimportant and this could have come in many forms, like divorced parents/caregivers, given freedom, having had busy caregivers, etc. The response of the Nine child was to ignore such feelings and take a ‘whatever will be, will be’ mentality to conceal the pain. Similarly, other Type 9 children might have been rebuked for having needs or trying to get attention from their caregivers. At some point, the child decided that laying low and keeping those thoughts to themselves served its purpose. The numbing of emotional pain worked for the period.

Strengths of the Type Nine

1) Nines are non-judgmental and accepting. They are easy going, calm and peaceful to be with.

2) They bring calm to tense situations by laying out all the possible action steps and making each option worth pondering over. In that sense, they make the best mediators.

3) They are supportive and make you feel heard. You are accepted for who you are and nothing is wrong or right. It feels comforting to be in their presence when you are on the wrong side of a situation.

4) Nines are able to go with the flow. There is seldom argument about right or wrong even though they will have an opinion about it. Their self-control and patience is a lesson for others to sometimes let go and move on.

5) Type 9s are authentic and a great example of “what you see is what you get”. Their laissez-faire style makes for a high level of comfort with them. You just feel you can be yourself without being judged.

Limitations

Any type becomes Unresourceful when they begin to over-do some of the thoughts and behaviours that are typical of the type.

1) Nines may have a preference for delaying decisions (especially uncomfortable ones) to avoid pain. They do this by numbing themselves from discomfort till it seems more comfortable to proceed. It works in some situations but not in many, like in business situations and those that involve quick decision making.

2) They can be misunderstood for being indecisive or using words like ‘go with the flow’, ‘it’s ok’, ‘small matter’, ‘don’t worry about it’ when sometimes, it might be just a way to avoid talking about something that is uncomfortable. 9s tend to avoid confrontation, preferring to keep the peace and maintain stability and calm that does not rock their inner sanctuary that they often choose to stay in.

3) Nines can be sensitive to criticism. They may not retort or seek clarification but choose to ponder over something for long periods. It can have a negative effect on their esteem and self-worth when others see that they retreat when having to stand up for something important.

4) Since the Type 9 can flex their perceptions from one extreme to another, seeing the good in every situation and not taking sides at the same time, others can be confused about what they really think & want. In fact, they can be confused about their own wants as well.

5) Being too agreeable & caring too much about what others think of you makes it seem like you are missing an anchor in your life. Perhaps, getting to the bottom of the pain may push 9s to make tougher decisions versus numbing it till it disappears.

Reflections for the Type Nine

1) Learn the value of ‘No’. Rather than silently acquiescing and retreating. A passive stance is a lot less respected than if you were to state what you think or feel upfront in your gentle way. Learn how to express your thoughts directly yet respectfully, the latter of which you know so well.

2) You might be busy pursuing others’ goals for them and forget about your opinions and needs. Don’t feel uneasy asking or telling what matters in your opinion. Your needs matter and let it be known or face suffering in silence.

3) Notice when you are actually imagining having a relationship with someone vs relating with them. Learn to have deeper connections and take risks in communication with others. It’s the best way develop confidence and self-worth and stimulate interest and passion.

4) Learn to embrace conflict and deal with it directly with the understanding that resolving differences brings people together.

5) Learn to make quicker decisions. A typical defence is to numb the pain and hope that it disappears. Like all problems, it never disappears until the root problem is dealt with. Planting the seed of approaching discomfort zones builds assertiveness and confidence.

Self-Preservation Type Nine

Known as The Collector and their Vulnerabilities / Vices is Appetite. They have routines to create a life of material abundance, food and comfort, but neglect their personal needs, own sense of “being” or spiritual growth.

Sexual or One-to-One Type Nine

Known as The Seeker and their Vulnerabilities / Vices is Union or Fusion. They long to merge with a partner, nature, Spirit, or God, but this focus of fusing causes problems with boundaries and lose themselves in the other.

Social Type Nine

Known as The Community Benefactor and their Vulnerabilities / Vices is Participation. They participate well in social groups or with friends for the service of others but forget their personal priorities through indiscriminate activities.