Enneagram Type 9: The Peacemaker
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The Enneagram of Personality, or just the Enneagram, is a representation of personalities using a geometric figure, also called an enneagram (little e), to express nine interconnected personality types. While each type is unique it is related to other types through the circle connecting the type to each of it’s wings and the lines or arrows in the center connecting the type to the ones it imitates in times of stress or growth. The Enneagram is used in business management training to better understand interpersonal dynamics in the workplace.
Types eight, nine, and one constitute the gut triad. This triad is primarily motivated by anger. Those in the gut triad tend to filter life at a “gut level” or by instinct. Because of that, they tend to be motivated by a desire to be independent and stay in control of their own life. Of the three, Nines avoid their anger, preferring to forget they have anger than to address it.
At their best, Nines are natural mediators able to see both sides of any disagreement. They are able to see themselves as independent but in relation to others and bring a calming influence where ever they go. They are supporting and inclusive, bringing people together.
At their worst, Nines will avoid problems and try to remove themselves from any conflict. They dissociate to the point of becoming numb and depersonalized. They are not able to make decisions for themselves becoming overly dependent on others in their lives.
Nines bring a certain type of peace and tranquility to the world around them. They are able to see both sides in a conflict and guide the opposing views into a compromise where both come away with something they wanted. Peacemakers can have trouble with personal growth because it means messing with the status quo and that could lead to conflict. If you are a Nine, remember that your thoughts, feelings, and opinions do matter. You can stand up for yourself and disagree without causing conflict. Friends of Peacemakers can help them by actively seeking their opinion on things and respecting when they disagree without turning it into an argument or conflict. Help them to see that their opinions do matter, even if they aren’t the same as those around them.
The Enneagram Type 9 is “The Peacemaker”
Their devotion to peace, both within themselves and between others, is why the Nine is called the Peacemaker. They are trusting, accepting, supportive, and creative. The Peacemaker’s downfall is that they can become too willing to keep the peace and go along with others when they know that it is wrong. They avoid conflict, even when it is necessary.
Nines are often very spiritual, considered “spiritual seekers”. Their desire for harmony and connection extends beyond just connecting with other people but to connecting with a higher power. This spirituality can be harmful for the Peacemaker who doesn’t have a firm grasp of who they are. Since Nines tend to forget themselves they can turn positive spiritual experience into escapism trying to avoid the tensions and conflicts in life.
As a member of the Gut or Anger Triad, Nines can become very grounded and in touch with their instincts. However, when they are not in grounded they will retreat into a fantasy world of their mind or emotions.
Peacemakers have the uncanny ability to see every view point at the same time. They are even able to integrate those views into a workable solution that will satisfy everyone involved. If they aren’t careful, though, Nines can become disconnected from who they really are. They lose themselves in their ability to see the world from all different view points.
As children, many Nines grew up in homes where they didn’t feel that their needs were important.
At some point growing up they received the wounding message that their needs don’t matter much. As such they see themselves as overlooked or less important than others. Nine children are easygoing and willing to play whatever games the others want to play. They have an amazing ability for sensing the needs of others and putting them at ease.
As children, Peacemakers become very uncomfortable around conflict between family members, especially parents. They will become the mediator in family squabbles. Unfortunately for the Nine not everyone is willing to compromise. When this occurs they will feel angry, but since they think they will be ignored they hold it in. Instead the Nine will escape into lethargy or a fantasy world.
Peacemakers tend to bottle up and deny anger and frustration and keep it hidden, preferring to behave as if they are not upset or angry. Then when they do release it they unload months to years worth of pent up frustrations that can take others by surprise or it seeps out slowly as passive-aggressive behavior. While Nine’s don’t want to be the center of attention, they do crave someone to notice them and show they are important. They are looking for a place where they feel they belong.
Desires and Fears
The basic desire for the Peacemaker is to have a sense of peace and stability. They need this not only for themselves but for those whom they are around. Nines will go out of their way to keep the peace in stressful situations. Often times they will sacrifice their wants and desires just to avoid conflict and keep peace in a group.
The basic fear of the Peacemaker is loss and separation, they fear that if they don’t keep the peace then others will leave them. This fear of loss and separation combined with the desire to avoid conflict leads the Nine to stay in relationships long after they should have ended.
Examples (Healthy, Average, Unhealthy)
The healthy Nine is autonomous and fulfilled. They are able to see all sides of an argument and even find compromise between drastically opposing opinions. Peacemakers tend naturally toward mediation. They are accepting, emotionally stable, and able to trust both themselves and others. They are at ease with life with a harmonizing influence on groups.
The average Nine may appear easygoing, but their fear of conflict causes them to become overly accommodating to the point of losing themselves. They may be active, but are not engaged in what they are doing. They are willing to stand up for others but not themselves. However unimportant they feel, every now and then the mediocre Nine will realize they need to work on themselves.
Unhealthy Peacemakers become so dependent on others that they are unable to make decisions on their own. They feel unable to face problems but try to hide this so they flip between always agreeing and actually expressing anger. At their worst, Nines can become so disengaged with live that they are catatonic. They completely lose themselves in a disoriented fugue.
Sloth is the Nine’s deadly sin.
Nines have a tendency to shut down and disconnect from the world when they are not healthy. They separate themselves from their internal motivation. A lot of times the term Sloth is related to laziness or physical inaction. However, with the Peacemaker it is a form of personal or internal lack of drive that leads to slothfulness.
The Nine doesn’t want to be upset by what is going on in their life, so if things aren’t going well they tend to shut down. This means they disengage from themselves and figuring out what it is that they want in life or addressing their own needs.
Peacemakers live in fear that if they express themselves, their needs, that the important relationships in their life will fall apart. They prioritize comfort and tranquility so high that they can become lost in what others want instead of going after what they desire. Nines can lack self-awareness, especially around their anger, which causes them to run the risk of over or under eating. They may abuse depressants such as alcohol to hide from feelings of loneliness or to self-medicate to relieve anxiety around conflict or stressful situations.
Wings and Things (Arrows)
The Nine with an Eight Wing is called “The Referee”.
More stubborn, energetic, and outgoing than other Nines, the Eight or Challenger brings a complicated combination to the Nine’s natural need to avoid conflict.
They are called the Referee because they will step into a situation and challenge both sides. They confidently will express themselves, though it should be noted that their extra confidence is in relation to other Nines.
The 9w8 is better able to be direct and clearly state what is important to them than other Nines. They are much more confrontational that the other Nines. Being a Nine, they still see themselves and their needs as lesser, but the Eight wing will drive them to stand up for others in need.
The Nine with a One Wing is called “The Dreamer”.
More orderly and critical the One or Perfectionist brings and ability to stay focused to the otherwise easily distracted Nine. This allows them to accomplish more than other Nines.
They are called the Dreamer because of their strong sense of right and wrong leading them to be involved in social causes or larger peacemaking efforts. This combined with the focus brought by the One wing they are able to see their dreams come to a reality. The 9w1, however, can be more critical of themselves than even other Nines and tend to fall upon passive-aggressive behavior when they are upset but don’t address their anger.
These Nines make great leaders, they have the ability to see all the perspectives of the members of their teams while the drive and integrity brought by the One wing makes people want to follow them.
Direction of Integration or health for the Nine points to the Three or the Performer.
When moving from unhealthy self-forgetting and slothfulness, the Nine becomes more energetic focusing on self-development like the Three. They are able to recognize their own wants and needs as well as being able to achieve them. They become goal-oriented and have less trouble making decisions on their own.
Peacemakers moving toward the healthy Performer will not have as much issue with getting things started. While they will want to do a lot they find that their focus is improved and they are able to stick with one thing to completion. They start to believe that their thoughts and opinions matter in the world around them and are able to really find the peace they so desperately seek.
Direction of Disintegration or stress for the Nine points to the Six or the Loyalist.
When under stress, the normally disengaged, overly dependent Nine becomes anxious and wary of others like an unhealthy Six. They can over-commit themselves, become rigid in their thinking, and worry about things without really understanding why they feel this way.
Their ability to make decisions is hindered by the anxiety feeding into their already existing self-doubt. This makes them even more dependent on others. Under a lot of stress, especially when unhealthy, the normally thoughtful, slow to respond Nine will become reactive which goes against their very nature.
Interacting With Others
Interactions with Nines
The key to interacting with a Nine is the understanding that as much as they want to be heard, they do not think their opinions matter as much as not upsetting the status quo. They are so concerned with not upsetting the delicate peace and avoiding conflict that they will forget they have needs and wants or they will put them aside to keep the peace.
When they have reached a tipping point they will boil over and then feel bad about it, often times sending an apology after standing up for themselves. Be patient when they reach this place because it takes a lot out of them to gather the courage to speak up. Many times they will not just talk about the current issue but will unload everything they’ve been ignoring for a while.
Peacemakers are harmonizers, though, and bring with them a sense of community, especially when they are healthy and able to express their own needs.
Working with Nines
Nines in the workplace create a supportive and inclusive environment that brings people together in cooperation. They like structure and routine in their workplace, typically avoiding more chaotic professions.
The Peacemaker’s lack of ambition may prevent them from going out for promotion, especially if it is a highly sought after position or there may be office politics or conflict involved. They are great problem solvers due to their ability to see multiple points of view or avenues simultaneously. This allows them to put together solutions where everyone comes out with something they want.
Nines can be too accommodating and if they are not at their healthiest may find themselves being taken advantage of by others at work. They also tend to downplay their own accomplishments. Peacemakers are great counselors, teachers, or spiritual leaders. Their ability to create peace in themselves and others draws them to professions where they are helping others.
Friendships with Nines
Groups and community are very important to the Nine. They find their identity in the groups they associate with and the communities in which they are involved. The Peacemaker will not be the center of attention in a group of friends, but they will be the one who every seeks for advice or a friendly ear. They will find compromise when friends argue or don’t get along.
Nines have the ability to reconnect with people they have not communicated with in a long time. They are able to pick up as if they saw the person yesterday and make it feel natural and comfortable. Peacemakers will seem always willing to go along with whatever the group or other person decides, even if they don’t want to do it. If not careful this can lead to resentment.
Nines will not be the one to initiate activities nor to invite people to go out, but they enjoy being invited and included when others make the plans and initiate.
Relationships with Nines
Peacemakers will go out of their way to support those they love. They don’t complain and put their partner’s needs above their own. Due to their abhorrence of conflict Nines refuse to address issues in relationships. Their partners have to almost force them to deal with them when they come up.
Most Peacemakers are introverted and tend to prefer staying in over getting dressed up and going out. They prefer the close intimacy of time together at home. Peacemakers don’t want to address anything that will upset their peace so they will ignore signs that a relationship is failing or over and push through or try a simple solution so as not to upset the status quo.
Tricks of the Trade
Conflict drives growth.