Enneagram 9 Infographic by celestehillarydesign
It’s 6ish (sorry, I don’t know what day it is anymore, #pandemicprobs), and my fiancé is prepping the ingredients for Instant Pot chili, as the attic fan is whirring in the background. As I mention that I’d like to ask him some questions, he’s made sure to tell me that everyone on the receiving end should know that he was in the middle of food prep. He is unaware that my questions are being asked to see how someone of his type would respond, and how closely his responses would match the generic descriptions. An experiment of sorts.
I have been following the Enneagram for probably about a year now. I had heard about it months before that, but hadn’t looked into it. I thought “well the Myers-Briggs test gives me four letters to look at, that has to be more revealing and detailed than a number…” I have grown increasingly intrigued as I’ve learned more about what motivates each type. I’ll save my own number for a later time.
As always, my perspective on the Enneagram is that it’s a tool. It’s not meant to excuse behaviors that aren’t helpful, or healthy. When you are aware of your tendencies, you know how to better set yourself up to have successful relationships with others, and accept love given to you. I am a child of God before I am a number. When we are aware of where we are beginning, and how we are motivated, we can know what to work on, and pray over, and how to use our unique gifts to serve others. That’s my little disclaimer. This isn’t the end-all, be-all.
A Little About Type Nine
Type 9 is often called “The Peacemaker”. They are receptive of others, non-judgemental, patient, optimistic, idealistic, and reassuring. They are good at mediating, and communicating with others. They are inclusive and stabilizing in group settings. They are often able to see both sides, and are very balanced and approachable people. They are generally very polite and kind-hearted.
Type 9s can also become complacent, or go along with others’ ideas, in order to keep the peace. They tend to downplay issues, and minimize potential conflict. They can also be passive and stubborn. They can absorb a lot of the negativity given to them, and tend to escape, rather than fight.
In postive upbringings, nines feel secure, and have a good extended family dynamic, remembering family memories as joyous and comforting. In other cases, nines may dissociate with others that may have caused trauma, or pain.
At their best, they are able to bring people together, and solve problems among people in conflict. Nines can most often be found with a friendly smile, and something good to say about everyone. They always want to believe the best about other people.
“Would you consider yourself an introvert or extrovert?”
“Well, it depends on the crowd, but more often than not, an introvert. With new people, an introvert, but with friends, more of an extrovert.”
“What is something you can’t go a day without doing?”
*thinks for 20 seconds* “Having human connection?”
“Biggest pet peeve?”
“…probably just rude people.”
“Umm..what’s your favorite hobby to do alone?”
“…watching a movie I guess”
“What is something that overwhelms you?”
“Umm..the end result of my procrastination.”
I laugh. “But does that keep you from procrastinating?”
“Sometimes. Depends on what we’re talking about”
“Do you work better under pressure?”
“Sometimes. It depends on the pressure I guess”
“I’m not a good interviewee, I’m sorry”
“No that’s fine! How do you recharge?”
“Is there an activity that calms you? A place, or a thing?”
*points to me*
“Aww…” *heart eyes* “sometimes I make you more stressed..”
“The question was recharge me? Prayer helps a lot. Finding something comfortable like a tv show that’s familiar, or just laying on the couch.”
“Have your priorities changed over time?”
“…I’ve kinda swung the pendulum on work-home ratio. When I first started teaching I was way…*swings arm to the right*…not doing anything outside of school for school, and then when I realized that was awful, I went too far the other way *swings arm to the right* for a long time, and spent too much time doing school work. And then I’ve swung back, not as far as I used to be, and then swung back to doing more work than not, and I’m trying to find the medium ground right now.”
“Have you found the medium ground?”
“Ish? I still find that when I start working I stay working too long, or I’m the other way where I don’t want to work and that catches up with me. When I’m in the groove, I want to keep doin what I’m doin.”
“Is that a change in your adult life?”
“Umm…no. Probably always.”
“What’s the most memorable lesson you’ve learned from your parents?”
“Well, as you know, my mom has a really kind heart, and I think I learned a lot of that from her.”
“From both of them, just being able to work hard to provide for yourself, because if you don’t, you’re going to get fired. Not that they got fired. But because of the opposite. My dad always worked long nights and some weekends, and my mom would do that too. Just to be kind to other people. My dad, when I went to Camp the first time, he’d come out extra during the day to come check on me, and we’d walk on the trail, and he would show me to say hi to people as we walked by. I know that’s still a thing I do, whether at school, or out walking. I always try to smile at people, or wave.”
“This is a harder one: tell me about the facts or harsh truths you choose to ignore, but know you shouldn’t.”
“…I feel like procrastination is becoming a thing, are you doing this on purpose?”
“I don’t know if I have any harsh truths that I choose to ignore..chores? I have harsh chores that I choose to ignore…I don’t know, I tend to be realistic with a lot of things.”
“Which is a perfectly acceptable answer! Uhh..which part of your culture are you most proud of, and then least proud of?”
“Most proud? Probably that my family is a big deal, both sides. My dad’s family gets together all the time, and my mom’s extended family gets together a few times a year. And that church is a big deal, for both sides too. And the least proud of?….I don’t know.”
“I don’t know that I’m ashamed of much of my culture.”
“What is one thing you wish you knew how to do?”
“I wish I was a better handyman. With cars, and building things”
“What would your best friend say is your best quality?”
“My personality. That’s kinda bad..”
“Probably just how I treat other people. I try to be polite, especially with people I don’t know well.”
“Yeah! What’s your day-to-day mantra?”
“I dont know. I kinda like the Golden Rule. Treat others how you want to be treated.”
“Do you think about that every day?”
“I don’t know that I need to think about it. It’s more ingrained in me.”
“Good on ya. What are things you value most about a person?”
“Again, how they treat other people. I think that’s a big deal. Not being rude. Umm..sense of humor. And trust.”
“And kind of a follow-up to that question- last one! What values do you think are critical to communicate to younger men?”
“I would say just being true to your word.”
“Yes. Have integrity, and always follow through with what you say you’re gonna do.”
“That’s good! That’s good babe, thanks!”
Man. I love my 9. Like all people, we are not perfect, nor will we ever be. We still have hang-ups that keep us continually dependent on the Lord, and continually in need of others in our lives. My precious nine has been so beautifully equipped to both calm kids who have suffered ugly instrument mishaps, and be the steady and consistent presence in my own life. Daniel most definitely conforms to the kind-hearted stereotype. This nine has a steadfast kind of love, full of patience and compassion, that so beautifully mimics that of my Savior.
Hug a nine in your life (when this whole quarantine thing is over). They are the people we need.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” [Matthew 5:9]
For more info on the enneagram check out these resources: My Enneagram Coach (my favorite), The Enneagram Institute, EnneagramAshton (Instagram)