Enneagram Type Nine
The Easygoing, Self-Effacing Type:
Receptive, Reassuring Agreeable, and Complacent
Basic Fear: Of loss and separation
Basic Desire: To have inner stability "peace of mind"
Enneagram Nine with an Eight-Wing: "The Referee"
Enneagram Nine with a One-Wing: "The Dreamer"
People with Type
Nine personalities really love peace and harmony and they do whatever
they can to keep themselves and other people from conflicts and
confrontation. Their easy-going nature and genuine ability to relate to
other peoples' experiences make them natural peacemakers and mediators. That
does not mean they are extroverts, however. While they may enjoy being part
of a group -- and with longtime friends they are comfortable and relaxed --
many Nines need time to shut down. You may find them in front of a
television or computer screen, happily zoned out for hours. Even in social
situations they may put on a smile and nod in response to conversation, but
their eyes have quietly glazed over as they retreat into their own private
It may seem a contradiction, then, to say
that Nines find their identity by merging with another. They idealize
certain people and life in general, and unconsciously try to solve the
struggle of personal individualization by becoming part of something larger
than themselves: a relationship, a group of friends or co-workers, a sports
team that gets together regularly to play. Early in their lives, little
Nines found a place within the family where they could belong but believed
that place would be jeopardized if they expressed too much individual need
or opinion. They may have been abused or neglected, but often the parents
just didn't recognize that their Nine child needed encouragement to express
her developing personality; after all, "she seemed so content to sit by
herself in her playpen."
Inside every Nine has
an inner child that
craves attention and the spotlight. It is important for them to find their
own style of power, often expansive and inclusive instead of dominating.
Otherwise they express control by withdrawing or being stubborn, a strategy
others call passive-aggressive. Occasionally, Nines may get fed up with
giving themselves away to keep the peace and they may erupt, but only very
briefly. Unfortunately, they are more likely to soothe themselves with food,
alcohol, calming drugs, or mind-numbing games. They are at their best when
they establish a sense of their own identity and learn to stand up for
Ronald Reagan, Whoopi Goldberg, Walter Cronkite, Garrison Keillor, The Dalai
Lama, Audrey Hepburn, Edith Bunker.
for Enneagram Type Nines
- It is worth examining your type's tendency to go along with others,
doing what they want to keep the peace and be nice. Will constantly
acquiescing to the wishes of others provide the kind of relationships
that will really satisfy you? Remember, it is impossible to love others
if you are not truly present to them. This means that you have to be
yourself, that you (paradoxically) have to be independent so that you
can really be there for others when they need you.
- Exert yourself. Force yourself to pay attention to what is going on.
Do not drift off or tune out people, or daydream. Work on focusing your
attention to become an active participant in the world around you. Try
to become more mentally and emotionally engaged.
- Recognize that you also have aggressions, anxieties, and other
feelings that you must deal with. Negative feelings and impulses are a
part of you and they affect you emotionally and physically whether or
not you acknowledge them. Furthermore, your negative emotions are often
expressed inadvertently and get in the way of the peace and harmony you
want in your relationships. It is best to get things out in the open
first, at least by allowing yourself to become aware of your feelings.
- Although this will be very painful for you, if your marriage has ended
in divorce or if you are having problems with your children, you must
honestly examine how you have contributed to these problems. Examining
troubled relationships will be extremely difficult because the people
involved have been close to your heart. The feelings you have for others
endow you with much of your identity and self-esteem. But if you really
love others, you can do no less than examine the role you have played in
whatever conflicts that have arisen. In the last analysis, the choice is
simple: you must sacrifice your peace of mind (in the short run) for the
satisfaction of genuine relationships (in the long run.)
- Exercise frequently to become more aware of your body and emotions.
(Some Nines run around doing errands and think that they are getting
enough exercise.) Regular exercise is a healthy form of self-discipline
and will increase your awareness of your feelings and other sensations.
Developing body-awareness will help teach you to concentrate and focus
your attention in other areas of your life as well. Exercise is also a
good way to get in touch with and express some aggressions.
Disorders & Addictions