Enneagram Type 9
Mediators believe that to be loved and valued, you must blend in and go with the flow. Consequently, Mediators seek harmony and are inclusive, amiable, easygoing, comfortable and steady; they also can be self-forgetting, conflict-avoidant and stubborn.
Type 9 on the Diagram
- Primary Center: Body
- Wings: 8 and 1
- Security Point: 3
- Resource Point: 6
Focus of Attention
Other people’s agendas and the external environment
To reclaim yourself and wake up to personal priorities
Nines are non-confrontational, friendly, other-focused and inclusive of both feelings and facts. Others may perceive Nines as indecisive, scattered, unclear and overly conciliatory.
Seeking harmony in their environment, Nines excel at seeing all points of view but share a problem with inertia. Whether lazy in the traditional sense or hard workers constantly on the move, Nines are self-forgetful and find it difficult to set priorities, change directions or shift their attention to what is most important.
You gain belonging by merging with others, and comfort by dispersing your energy into objects and activities.
Excellent mediators, caring, supportive, adaptive, steady, receptive, non-judgmental
Stubborn, ambivalent, self-forgetful, indecisive, conflict-avoidant
Narcotization – using food, drink, entertainment or repetitive patterns of thinking and doing to “put oneself to sleep”
Nines use narcotization to avoid conflict, manage their anger and maintain a self-image of being comfortable or harmonious. Even productive activities can keep Nines sedated if they become too habitual. Avoiding conflict with others keeps Nines from being fully present in relationships. Avoiding internal conflict leads to inertia and becoming sidetracked from personal priorities.
Observe your habit of mind or focus of attention with as little judgment as possible. Ask yourself the following questions, while noticing your feelings and how your body responds:
- In what ways do I just go along with others’ agendas?
- How do I get distracted from my real priorities?
- How am I stubborn?
- How do I respond when I feel tension, discomfort or conflict?
- What makes me angry?
Relating to Nines
- Ask them what they want and need, and give them time to discern the answer.
- Avoid coming on too strong, getting impatient or creating pressure.
- If you sense they are reluctant or unsure about something they said “yes” to or agreed to do, let them know that it’s ok to say “no.”
- Encourage them to determine their priorities and support them to take action
- Stay present to them when they are angry.
- Share body-based activities such as walking, exercising, cooking or eating.
Type Nine’s journey is to become awake and alive to themselves, particularly in the face of discomfort. Mediators need to establish their own priorities and timelines instead of falling into secondary pursuits, and to resist becoming overly influenced by others.
Path of Integration
Mental: Self-forgetting > Love
Emotional: Sloth > Right Action
The aspect of awareness called the Inner Observer allows us to witness the internal patterns that drive outer behavior. The practice consists of focusing inwardly and becoming aware of the thoughts, sensations and other objects of attention that arise within us. As we become more fully present, our type patterns begin to relax and we become more receptive.
For Nines, take a moment to reflect on the following principles:
- Right action comes from valuing ourselves as we value others.
- Knowing what we don’t want can help us know what we do want.
- Self-worth is self-defined; it comes from within.
- Every complaint contains a hidden want, wish, need or desire.
- Conflict is an unavoidable part of being human.
Paradoxically, as body-based types, Nines can be out of touch with their bodies. The intuition and common sense of the gut is operating, but they aren’t necessarily paying attention. While they can hold tension in their bodies, they prefer to stay comfortably undercharged and commonly lack muscle tone. Low-energy Nines suffer from inertia and physical laziness, while high-energy Nines stay constantly active.
If you are a Nine…
Your task is to get out of your comfort zone and take action on behalf of your true priorities. Try being more assertive with people or taking on difficult activities or projects. This may bring up distress and anxiety at first, but will get easier with practice. Use conscious breathing to tune into your body, feelings and intuition. You can increase your physical energy and vitality by breathing into your chest. Resist the tendency to lower your energy level by belly breathing or by dispersing your energy through comfortable but non-essential tasks, over-talking, or over-consuming food, TV, etc.