Enneagram Type 9 – Adaptive Peacemaker
Enneagram Nines are motivated by a need to be settled and in harmony with the world and, as a result, being accommodating and accepting will be important to them. They strive for a peaceful existence and appreciate stability, preferring to avoid conflict. At their best, Nines are experienced as self-aware and vibrant. They offer the gift of right, sustainable action to themselves and the world around them. Less-healthy Nines may be experienced as procrastinating, stubborn and self-denying. This stems from a pattern of going along to get along with others and the eventual discomfort that arises when this strategy is not satisfying.
“I am okay as long as the people around me are okay too. The world would be a better place if
people could treat each other with respect. I must keep the peace; I must be tolerant and
accepting; Can’t everyone just get along?
The gifts of the Enneagram Nine include:
- Agreeable: Nines are easy to get along with. Others experience them as open, receptive and peaceful.
- Understanding: Nines are able to listen to differences and understand multiple perspectives, with a great skill in synthesis and finding commonalities across differences.
- Patient: Nines do things in a calm, sustainable way, trusting the natural rhythm of projects and processes.
- Supportive: Others feel accepted, heard and understood in the presence of Nines. They accept people for who they are and see their full potential.
- Genuine: What you see is what you get with a Nine and they are unpretentious. Others can be at ease with them.
Typical Action Patterns:
Enneagram 9 is in the action centre of the Enneagram, but it is the conflicted archetype in this centre. Nines control their environment by not allowing others to control them, typically resisting in a passive way. Their actions, and frequently lack of action, will be focused on maintaining harmony and peace. Nines shun conflict. They create familiar rhythms and routines in their lives and draw comfort from this pattern of engagement with their tasks and environment. Nines want to feel connected and close to people, and this often leads to a “blending” of energy with the people closest to them. This may take the form of adopting the habits, hobbies, interests or even emotions of the people in their intimate space.
Typical Thinking Patterns:
Nines like structured processes, clarity and details and will, therefore, create procedures or habits very quickly. They are also likely to be adept at organizing large volumes of information or detail into a coherent structure. A Nine may be more hard-headed and stubborn than people who don’t know them may realise. They will rarely express the thoughts and self-talk that they engage in with others as they do not want to “subject” them to these thoughts lest it weighs them down. Nines may be resigned to being slightly dissatisfied with certain aspects of their life or relationships.
Typical Feeling Patterns:
Even though Nines experience a range of intense feelings, they project an even-tempered and easy-going demeanour. They will keep strong feelings to themselves, allowing others to experience the Nine as very approachable and serene, even though they may not feel this way internally. Because emotions seem really intense to the Nine and they long for harmony, they experience most emotions in the low to moderate frequency of intensity. Despite their ability to mediate in conflict situations, Nines dislike connecting with their own anger. Anger is an emotionally draining experience for Nines, who often take a while to notice that they are upset. They, therefore, don’t allow themselves to experience anger too often or too intensely. Nines “tune in” to the feelings and emotions of the people around them. If they are enthusiastic and energised, the Nine will share in this motivation and positivity. The same may happen when people around them are feeling down.
- Nines avoid being controlled by others in a counter-intuitive way, by being passive, non-assertive and unmoved. This pattern of indirect behaviour may impact on their communication and relationships.
- Nines want to avoid being controversial. Despite disliking it when people pressurise them into something, they also have difficulty saying no to people. While Nines will go out of their way to accommodate others and downplay their own needs, setting themselves up to be overlooked, Nines dislike being ignored.
- Many Enneagram Nines are unaware of their own passive aggressive behaviour patterns and how these affect others around them.
- In pursuing their need to ensure that everyone is being heard, Nines often present multiple viewpoints in conversation with others. This may lead to drawn out, lengthy explanations that cause the listener to lose interest. It can also impact negatively on the Nine’s degree of influence and even credibility.
In being diplomatic and accommodating, Nines may fail to make their true needs, desires and feelings known to the people around them.
The Nine may feel that they are doing so very clearly, but due to their approach, others may miss what they really want and need. It may also be that these
needs and feelings are only being articulated in the Nine’s head and not being shared with others as openly and frequently as they think.