Nonjudgmental and imaginative, Nines are the quintessential “peacemakers” of the Enneagram. These types often feel a sense of unity with people, animals, and nature. They crave harmony, both internally and externally, and will go to great lengths to maintain that sense of harmony. Sometimes this means helping people sort out their problems, and at other times it may mean numbing themselves to their own problems or voice.
Not sure what your enneagram type is? Take our new personality questionnaire here!
Enneagram Nine Struggles
#1 – Struggling to Decide
In situations where multiple people will be affected by something, Nines can find it nearly impossible to decide. A simple question like “Where do you want to go for dinner?” can become a restless musing over the needs and likes/dislikes of everyone who will be going to the restaurant. It can be difficult for them to voice exactly what they want because they are so tuned in to the desires and cravings of others. On top of that, because Nine’s at unhealthy levels can be so out of touch with their true desires, they may not even know what they like or don’t like on a personal level.
#2 – Looking Calm On the Outside. Feeling Irritable On the Inside.
On the outside, Nines often look content, calm, and even complacent. But on the inside, they may feel a lot of anger, fear, or stress. Their outer demeanor of accommodation is only a veil for an inner stubbornness and resistance. Nines don’t want to be affected by the people outside themselves, and they can have a silent resistance to others. They worry that if they express their anger, their relationships and well-being will be destroyed. They are terrified about losing their temper because it might make them lose their inner peace of mind and their connections with others.
Nines don’t have to stay in this state, however. As they grow and mature, they learn to voice their anger before it turns into rage. They give voice to their true desires and feelings and learn to accept themselves.
#3 – Putting Things Off Until the Last Minute
Nines like life to move at a calm pace. Rapid-paced, high-pressure environments create a lot of stress and frustration for them. They don’t want to upset the peace in their lives by rushing around, imposing deadlines, or overwhelming themselves with high-stakes goals. That said, as Nines mature and grow they learn to follow their passions and drives rather than repress them. Still, procrastination tends to be an ongoing struggle for this type.
#4 – Burying Their Voice Under Politeness
Nines want to be authentic and understood, but they also deeply crave inner and outer peace. “Rocking the boat” often feels overwhelming to them. This is why many Nines keep their true voice and desire hidden, opting for politeness over directness.
They may not speak up when someone offends them. They may not state what they want when asked. Or they may deny that they are angry when someone asks them what’s wrong. Over time this can lead to resentment, loneliness, and pent-up anger that shows up in rare but intense outbursts.
#5 – Feeling Pressured to Give Into Others
Because Nines so frequently downplay their own choices, “friends” may assume that they never have any preferences. Manipulators and fair-weather comrades may take advantage of their gentle, generous nature and pressure them to accommodate them. Nines frequently attest to feeling like they aren’t loved for their true selves – and this is largely because they don’t feel safe enough to reveal their inner self and core desires.
#6 – High Sensitivity
While Nines might seem calm and unflappable at times, they are actually deeply sensitive. They often find the noise, competition, and cruelness of others overwhelming. Many Nines report feeling beaten down on the daily by news of corruption or by the high demands of their spouses or bosses. Compassionate and gentle, the world can seem like a tough, unforgiving place. Because Nines are so sensitive they tend to withdraw. However, their form of withdrawal is not as overt as that of the Five or even the Four in many cases. They may seem outwardly present, but inwardly they have to retreat to their imagination or an “inner sanctum” to protect their psyche from the onslaught of pain and brutality in the world.
#7 – Beating Myself Up for Lacking Initiative
Nines have lush imaginations and often enjoy thinking of all their goals, dreams, and initiatives. However, when it comes to taking action, they easily become distracted, unsure of themselves, or pulled away by the needs of others. They often get mad at themselves for putting off their own dreams or even failing to speak up for themselves instead of going along with others. Beating themselves up over their inertia, especially at unhealthy levels, can lead to increased dependency on dissociation and denial.
5 Ways For Nines to Get Help With Their Struggles:
- When you’re in a relationship that isn’t right, be the first one to take a stand. It will feel extremely uncomfortable if you’re not used to it. But remember that standing up for yourself, making the first move, and setting healthy boundaries is crucial for your long-term well-being.
- Talk about your interests with others, and invite people to do things with you that you love. Don’t focus on placating others to the detriment of your own happiness.
- Refuse to say “I don’t know,” or “Whatever you want” for a week. Instead, if you’re feeling indecisive, say, “I need some time to think it over.” Practice being assertive and direct.
- Learn to become aware of your anger. Notice when you feel judgmental, irritable, or tense. What underlying issues are at play? Try to voice them sooner rather than later when they can lead to an outburst you’ll regret.
- Make a short list each day of the things you want to accomplish. Set definite deadlines, and reward yourself with something you love when you complete a project.
What Are Your Thoughts?
Did you enjoy this article? Do you have any other suggestions or insights to share? Let us know in the comments! You might also like The Enneagram 9 Child
Find out more about your personality type in our eBooks, Discovering You: Unlocking the Power of Personality Type, The INFJ – Understanding the Mystic, and The INFP – Understanding the Dreamer. You can also connect with me via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!
Latest posts by Susan Storm (see all)
- Why INFJs Feel “Weird” - October 26, 2021
- The Unhealthy ENTP - October 25, 2021
- Why Each Myers-Briggs® Personality Type is Skeptical of Marriage - October 23, 2021