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E-SymNinelabeled1The Easygoing, Self-Effacing Type:
Receptive, Reassuring, Agreeable, and Complacent

For more about the meaning of the arrows, see below.

Type Nine in Brief

Nines are accepting, trusting, and stable. They are usually creative, optimistic, and supportive but can also be too willing to go along with others to keep the peace. They want everything to go smoothly and be without conflict, but they can also tend to be complacent, simplifying problems and minimizing anything upsetting. They typically have problems with inertia and stubbornness. At their Best: indomitable and all-embracing, they can bring people together and heal conflicts.

  • Basic Fear: Of loss and separation
  • Basic Desire: To have inner stability and “peace of mind.”
  • Enneagram Nine with an Eight-Wing: “The Referee”
  • Enneagram Nine with a One-Wing: “The Dreamer”

Key Motivations: They want to create harmony in their environment, avoid conflicts and tension, preserve things as they are, to resist whatever would upset or disturb them.

The Meaning of the Arrows (in brief)

When moving in the Direction of Disintegration (stress), complacent Nines suddenly become anxious and worried at Six. However, when moving in their Direction of Integration (growth), lazy, self-neglecting Nines become more self-developing and energetic, like healthy Threes.

Examples: Abraham Lincoln, Joseph Campbell, Carl Jung, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Grace, Walter Cronkite, George Lucas, Walt Disney, John Kennedy, Jr., Sophia Loren, Geena Davis, Lisa Kudrow, Kevin Costner, Keanu Reeves, Woody Harrelson, Ron Howard, Matthew Broderick, Ringo Starr, Whoopi Goldberg, Janet Jackson, Nancy Kerrigan, Jim Hensen, Marc Chagall, Norman Rockwell, “Edith Bunker” (Archie Bunker), and “Marge Simpson” (The Simpsons).

Type Nine Overview

We have called personality type Nine The Peacemaker because no type is more devoted to the quest for internal and external peace for themselves and others. They are typically “spiritual seekers” who have a great yearning for connection with the cosmos and to maintain their peace of mind just as they work to establish peace and harmony in their world. The issues encountered in the Nine are fundamental to all psychological and spiritual work—being awake versus falling asleep to our true nature, presence versus entrancement, openness versus blockage, tension versus relaxation, peace versus pain, and union versus separation.

Ironically, for a type so oriented to the spiritual world, Nine is the center of the Instinctive Center and is the type that is potentially most grounded in the physical world and their bodies. The contradiction is resolved when we realize that Nines are either in touch with their instinctive qualities and have tremendous elemental power and personal magnetism, or they are cut off from their instinctual strengths and can be disengaged and remote, even lightweight.

To compensate for being out of touch with their instinctual energies, Nines also retreat into their minds and their emotional fantasies. (This is why Nines can sometimes misidentify themselves as Fives and Sevens, “head types,” or as Twos and Fours, “feeling types.”) Furthermore, when their instinctive energies are out of balance, Nines use these energies against themselves, damming up their power so that everything in their psyches becomes static and inert. When their point is unused, it stagnates like a spring-fed lake that becomes so full that its weight dams up the springs that feed it. However, when Nines are in balance with their Instinctive Center and their energy, they are like a great river, carrying everything effortlessly.

We have sometimes called the Nine the crown of the Enneagram because it is at the top of the symbol and seems to include the whole of it. Nines can have the strength of Eights, the sense of fun and adventure of Sevens, the dutifulness of Sixes, the intellectualism of Fives, the creativity of Fours, the attractiveness of Threes, the generosity of Twos, and the idealism of Ones. However, they generally do not have a sense of really inhabiting themselves—a strong sense of their own identity.

Ironically, therefore, the only type the Nine is not like is the Nine itself. Being a separate self, an individual who must assert herself against others, terrifies Nines. They would instead melt into someone else or quietly follow their idyllic daydreams.

Red, a nationally known business consultant, comments on this tendency:

“I am aware of focusing on other people, wondering what they are like, how and where they live, etc. In a relationship with others, I often give up my own agenda in favor of the other person’s. I have to be on guard about giving in to other’s demands and discounting my own legitimate needs.”

Nines demonstrate the universal temptation to ignore life’s disturbing aspects and seek some degree of peace and comfort by “numb life’s problematic aspects suffering by attempting to live in a state of premature peacefulness, whether in a state of false spiritual attainment or more gross denial. More than any other type, Nines tend to run away from the paradoxes and tensions of life by attempting to transcend them or seek simple and painless solutions to their problems.

To emphasize the pleasant in life is not bad, of course—it is simply a limited and limiting approach to life. If Nines see the silver lining in every cloud as a way of protecting themselves from the cold and rain, other types have their distorting viewpoints, too. For example, Fours focus on their woundedness and victimization, Ones on what is wrong with how things are, and so forth. By contrast, Nines tend to focus on the “bright side of life” so that their peace of mind will not be shaken. But rather than deny life’s dark side, Nines must understand that all of the perspectives presented by the other types are true, too. Nines must resist the urge to escape into “premature Buddhahood” or the “white light” of the Divine and away from the mundane world. They must remember that “the only way out is through.”

(from The Wisdom of the Enneagram, p. 316-317)

Next Actions

  • Do people comment on the fact that you will do anything to avoid an argument, even leaving if necessary?
  • Do you work on the basis that if you keep your thoughts to yourself, you can’t cause an argument?
  • Do people perceive you as easygoing when you may be in turmoil? inside
  • Do you prefer the simple pleasures in life?

Some tips to help your positive qualities shine through:

  • Try setting some personal goals and imposing deadlines by which they must be achieved.
  • Learn to recognize what you want rather than what others want.
  • Using small steps, try making a point of making a decision.
  • When someone asks you, think about what you want and admit to it rather than keeping quiet.

Stop doubting yourself and learn to accept and love yourself. You can move mountains once you maximize the positive aspects of your personality.