Examples - Quotes - Video - Description - Equivalents - Misidentifications - Variations - Wings - Instinctual Variants - Health - Levels of Development - Levels of Integration and Disintegration - Growth Recommendations
"Not wanting to see, not wanting to be in touch with one's experience is something akin to cognitive laziness, an eclipse of the experiencer or inner witnessing in the person." - Claudio Naranjo, Chilean-born anthropologist and psychiatrist.
- Riso and Hudson's Overview "The Peace-Maker"
The inner landscape of the Nine resembles someone riding a bicycle on a beautiful day, enjoying everything about the flow of the experience. The whole picture, the entire situation, is what is pleasant and identified with rather than any particular part. The inner world of Nines is this experience of effortless oneness: their sense of self comes from being at one with their experience. Naturally, they would like to preserve the quality of oneness with the environment as much as possible.
- Palmer's Description "The Peacekeeper"
Enneagram type 9s are in the center of the Gut, or Instinctive Triad, and as such are the most out of touch with their instinctual energy, particularly anger. Nines have a relaxed, grounded, bodily presence. They are in the Positive Outlook triad, and can range from being quietly optimistic to outright ebullient.
- Ocean-Moonshine.net's Description
People of enneatype Nine are essentially looking to maintain a sense of peace, harmony and balance and to avoid conflict and disruption. Nines tend to see the best in people, to be fundamentally optimistic about the future, and, when reasonably healthy, to have a calming and grounding effect on those around them. As a general rule, Nines are fairly "easy going;" they adopt a strategy of "going with the flow." They intuitively know how to wait for the openings so that they can slip effortlessly into the stream. Nines don't tend to "sweat the small stuff." On the whole, they are self-effacing, tolerant, even-tempered and likable individuals. Nines aspire to be supportive, loving and gentle and more than any other enneatype, are likely to embody these valuable qualities. Given such a portrait, it might seem difficult to understand what is so problematic about the type Nine fixation.
- Myers-Briggs Equivalents
ISFP "The Aesthete" - Avoid disagreements, seeking harmony with people and nature.
INFP "The Dreamer" - Desire their world to be in line with their inner ideal vision.
ISFJ "The Nurturer" - Sympathetic traditionalists quietly self-sacrificing to get a job done.
ENFP "The Visionary" - Love the fluid and changing, expressing creativity and charisma.
9w8 - Seeking Peace and Power
Awakened Nines with an 8 wing have a modest, steady, receptive core. They are charged by the dynamism of 8 - when focused on goals they often have great force of will. Get things done, make good leaders. May have an animal magnetism of which they are only partly aware. Can seem highly centered, take what they do seriously but remain unimpressed with themselves. 8 wing can bring a strong internal sense of direction. Relatively fearless and highly intuitive. Generally not intellectual unless they have it in their background. When more entranced, they manifest the contradictions of the two styles expressing them in sequence. Could be passively amiable like a Nine and then turn horribly blunt like an 8. One moment they are opinionated or nasty, next moment kindly and supportive. Often don't hear their voices when angry. Can have a sharp, grating edge. May be slow to anger and then explode. Or angry but don't know it; may confuse being assertive with being rude. Placidly callous - both styles support numbness. Tactless and indiscriminate and indiscreet. May be unwittingly disloyal, spilling everyone's secrets. Sexual confusion, sometimes they are driven by lust.
Tend to have been "model children." Instinctively worked to please their parents by being virtuous, orderly, and little trouble. When awakened, they have great moral authority plus good-hearted peacemaking tendencies. Often have a sense of mission, public or private, that involves working hard for the welfare of everyone they are committed to. Principled expression of love. Desire to contribute, do little harm. May be well-liked, modest, endearing, gentle yet firm. Some have great grace and composure with bursts of spontaneity and sweetness. Elegant simplicity. When entranced, they tend to be self-neglectful. May go passively dead and operate from a dubious, fractured morality. Dutiful to what they shouldn't be. Play the good child, disappear into contexts, settle for being overlooked or just partly recognized. Passive tolerance of absurd or damaging situations. One-sided relationships where the Nine gives too much. Rationalize, minimize, tell themselves they had a great childhood, everything's fine. Placid numbness creeps over them. Intolerance of their own emotions. Gradually deaden their soul.
- Udit Patel Merging (Ichazo's "Union")
Sexual Nines seek a sense of well-being by finding something or someone to merge with. They want to be at one with the world, with beauty, with nature, but especially with a special, ideal lover. That being said, Sexual Nines have many anxieties about losing themselves by submerging their identity in the other. Thus, they can sometimes appear ambivalent and emotionally conflicted, like Fours or Sixes. They sometimes attempt to "solve" the inner conflict between their desire for merging and their desire for independence by "triangulation." They engage in two separate, simultaneous relationships that serve different needs while never completely showing up in either. Needless to say, this can create the kinds of conflicts that Nines are trying to avoid.
The overall affect of Sexual Nines is one of gentleness, ease, and flow, and they seek these qualities in others and in the environment. They also tend to be highly sensual, enjoying tastes, textures, and sensations. Although they resemble Fours in this regard, being ethereal and dreamy, their sensuality is earthy and embodied, and they are not as self-aware or self-doubting as Fours. Sexual Nines tend to be more imaginative than the other Variants—often with elements of gentle whimsy and heroic fantasy. They see the world in magical terms, investing even ordinary objects with a warm glow. They seem to take in the world with a wide-eyed wonder and have a characteristic child-like aura about them.
Focused on an ideal of romantic union. Get lost in one relationship or in the yearning to have one. High expectations of partner. Sometimes sound melancholy like a Four. Prone to jealousy. May settle on someone and then grow critical and have a wandering eye. Can also deny their partner's flaws and idealize them to stay in union. Another scenario involves multiple relationships, searching from one person to the next. Sometimes the Nine can't decide between two people. Triangulation. Paradoxically, this subtype can be fickle because they are so easily disappointed.
- Udit Patel One Happy Family (Ichazo's "Participation")
Social Nines seek a sense of well being through social connection and friendship. People of this variant may often not seem like Nines because they are usually more outgoing, active, and involved in their world. There is more warmth and affection expressed by Nines of this variant. They tend to be idealistic and are often supportive of causes, acting as the "social glue" in many organizations and groups. But even in the midst of social activity, Social Nines remain strangely unaware of and unaffected by the problems of others. They are drawn to situations in which they feel they can belong, but they also internally hold themselves apart—usually by emotionally distancing themselves from others while maintaining an outward friendliness.
Since Social Nines tend to be affable and cheerful and enjoy having different experiences, they can resemble Sevens. They also tend to be more task-oriented: they enjoy working on projects and being involved in meaningful activities with others, so they can also resemble Threes. Unlike Threes, however, Social Nines have difficulty sustaining efforts on their own behalf. They do not easily pursue their own goals and tend to get sidetracked by social interactions and others' needs and agendas.
Social Nines tend to gravitate toward groups and then have conflicts about joining or staying apart. Can enjoy group energy and interests but may be also aware of the group's expectations. These the Nine will both play along with and resist. When immersed in a group, social Nines can lose themselves, trying to become all things to all people. Gregarious but may start to resist being too heavily influenced, to compensate for their sense of lost identity. Can sometimes resent how the group doesn't really see them. May fixate on what others think of them. Or resent the group and make fun of it. Some social Nines stay basically uninvolved but hang out at the group's edge. Frequently there's lots of activity. May get caught up in roles - a stronger connection to 3 goes with this subtype.
- Udit Patel The Comfort Seeker (Ichazo's "Appetite")
Self-Preservation Nines are perhaps the most easygoing Nines, but they are also the most likely to need time alone, untroubled by other people's influence and requirements. They seek a sense of well-being through comfort: familiar routines, "comfort foods," and a supportive, uncomplicated environment are all highly valued. Self-Pres Nines have their own way of doing things, their own pace, and their own philosophy of life, and they will stubbornly resist any effort to change any of these things. Self-Pres Nines are also people of few words, preferring to communicate in nonverbal ways. They often pretend to be less savvy and aware than they actually are, as if tempting other people to underestimate them—so that they will be left alone. Positively, they are grounded and patient, possessing a great deal of common sense. They tend to have problems with overindulging themselves in food and drink, or conversely with rigorously controlling their diets—this is especially true of Self-Pres Nines with the One wing. They may also lack physical exercise. In any case, having their routine and lifestyle change is very challenging for them.
Preoccupied with physical comfort, maintaining habits and satisfying appetites. The image of the lazy couch potato goes with this subtype. Strategy for getting along is to ask as little of life as possible. Can have a love of the minimal and enjoy the repetition of known routines. Distract themselves with pleasant domestic activities. Live conservatively. Consume food and drink for anaesthesia. May have large appetites, drug addictions, be physically slow moving.
Levels of Development
- Riso & Hudson's Levels of Development
Level 1 (Most Healthy - The Level of Liberation): Become self-possessed, feeling autonomous and fulfilled: have great equanimity and contentment because they are present to themselves. Paradoxically, at one with self, and thus able to form more profound relationships. Intensely alive, fully connected to self and others.
Level 5 (Average - The Level of Interpersonal Control): Active, but disengaged, unreflective, and inattentive. Do not want to be affected, so become unresponsive and complacent, walking away from problems, and "sweeping them under the rug." Thinking becomes hazy and ruminative, mostly comforting fantasies, as they begin to "tune out" reality, becoming oblivious. Emotionally indolent, unwillingness to exert self or to focus on problems: indifference.
Level 9 (Most Unhealthy - The Level of Pathological Destructiveness): They finally become severely disoriented and catatonic, abandoning themselves, turning into shattered shells. Multiple personalities possible. Generally corresponds to the Schizoid and Dependent personality disorders.
- Riso & Hudson's Levels of Development In-Depth
- Healthy and Unhealthy "Loops"
Healthy loop: controlled by Basic Desire: Need to find union -> accept others -> do the right thing -> Need to find union. In the healthy state, the need to find union induces Type Nines to genuinely open up to others and accept them as they are. Others often find their acceptance welcoming and build up a strong bond or union. This way, Nines' need are satisfied and a balance is reached.
Average state: when Nines' are less accepting of others or the world, which means the union begins to weaken. This causes the the need to find union to increase, which helps Nines to again become more accepting of others. Thus the balancing loop can help Nines to recover.
Unhealthy loop: controlled by Basic Fear: Fear of separation -> illusions of union -> accommodating -> union -> Fear of separation. In the unhealthy state, the basic fear of separation can cause Type Nines to delude themselves with illusions of union, which they sustain by ignoring reality and blindly accommodating others or the world. Unfortunately, this means they won't achieve true union, which further increases Nines' basic fear. The cycle continues to build up.
Insight: We can see from the diagram that a way to help break the control of the basic fear is to weaken the unhealthy loop. Nines can stop indulging in illusions of union, and start to really accept others. This will build real union, and reduce the fear of separation.
Integration (Nine Goes to Healthy Three)
- Udit Patel
As Nines work through their belief that they are invisible and unimportant, they begin to recognize their true value. They see that others really do want them to show up and share themselves fully. Healthy Nines begin to understand that their very existence makes them valuable—God did not make a mistake in creating them. Their experience is much like the adventures of the Jimmy Stewart character in It's a Wonderful Life. They see that the world would be poorer without them and that they have much to contribute to their fellow human beings. They understand that the peace of mind they seek comes from fully sharing their talents, intelligence, and heart with the world. Thus, integrating Nines begin to invest time and energy in themselves, to develop their talents, and to feel a healthy degree of self-esteem. In short, they learn to take pleasure in their own value and goodness.
- Wake-Up Call
Awareness of the tendency to accommodate themselves outwardly to others—so that they can rise to a genuine remembering of themselves and their own strength, value, and dignity.
Security (Nine Goes to Average Three)
- Udit Patel
Nines usually feel unimportant and may feel that their own needs and viewpoints are not worth mentioning. With trusted others, however, they may attempt to demonstrate their value, desirability, or even superiority, in the manner of average Threes. In secure situations, Nines will deal with stress also by working more and by being productive—even if their productivity is really "busy work" designed to keep awareness of more crucial problems out of awareness. This busyness is the Nine's way of trying to build a sense of confidence and value. Nines may also try to impress intimates with their accomplishments, status, or attractiveness—although, ironically, they are usually completely unaware of how they are coming across to others.
Disintegration (Nine Goes to Average Six)
- Udit Patel
Nines attempt to avoid anxiety and conflict by detaching emotionally from active participation and by not talking about their real concerns and issues. But they can only use this defense up to a point, beyond which they can no longer contain their anxiety, frustration, and fear. At such times, they will begin to exhibit many of the characteristics and behaviors of average-to-unhealthy Sixes. The usually stable, easygoing Nine becomes worried, testy, and defensive. They begin to see others as the source of their unease, complaining to anyone who will listen, and blaming everyone else for their distress. They may also have issues with authority, feeling put upon or controlled by those they see as having power over them. Under prolonged stress, Nines completely lose their placid demeanor and become more and more reactive and nervous. They may seek help and reassurance from others but may just as quickly disparage them for "dominating" or "overwhelming" them.
- Riso & Hudson's Personal Growth Recommendations
- Udit Patel
Nines grow by recognizing that the more they seek peace of mind by turning away from conflicts and problems, the greater is the likelihood that they will bring about disturbances in their lives and relationships. Their avoidance of conflicts causes others to have conflicts with them. Growing Nines must also remember that they will never have union with anyone else unless and until they have union with themselves. If they are accommodating to a fault, they will eventually lose the other person because they have never possessed themselves. When they learn that self-assertion is not an aggressive act but a positive thing, Nines are in a position to truly bring peace and harmony to everyone in their environment.
- Palmer's Exercises
Look around you and notice what is here. Is there something that needs to be done? Is there someone who needs to be attended to? What is important in this moment, in this place? Ask yourself what is keeping your from taking care of what needs to be taken care of.