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Type 9

Enneagram Type Nine

Personality Profile - Personal Growth Recommendations


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 world.

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 themselves.

FAMOUS NINES: Ronald Reagan, Whoopi Goldberg, Walter Cronkite, Garrison Keillor, The Dalai Lama, Audrey Hepburn, Edith Bunker.


Personal Growth Recommendations
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.


Eating Disorders & Addictions