Often called “The Peacemaker,” the Nine Enneatype is a complex one. While people often write them off as “the easy going” types, there’s more to their calm demeanor than meets the eye. Underneath their good-natured, warm presence is a deeply imaginative, insightful soul.
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An Overview of the Nine Enneatype
- Part of the body/gut triad along with Enneatypes 8 and 1
- Can have an 8 wing or a 1 wing
- Vice: Sloth
- Virtue: Action
- Integrates to Three under growth
- Disintegrates to Six under stress
- Basic Fear: Of loss and separation
- Basic Desire: To have inner stability and peace of mind
Signs Your Child Might Be a Nine Enneatype:
- They avoid conflict or discord
- It is difficult for them to make decisions or assert themselves
- They need a lot of transition time to move from one project or activity to another
- They have a stubborn streak
- They speak in a fairly slow, careful way
- They tend to go along with others, even when they have something else they’re interested in doing
- They crave solitary, laid-back activities like watching television, reading books, taking naps, playing on the computer, or other low-pressure activities
- They are usually calm and contained, but have occasional strong eruptions of temper
- They want everything to be pleasant and calm
- They may act distracted or disappear when other people in the family are having a conflict
The Strengths of the Enneagram Nine Child
Nines have a remarkable ability to see many different sides to a situation. They’re less focused on being “right” than actually understanding something. Their rich imagination enables them to easily put themselves in other people’s shoes and see where they’re coming from. Their accepting, tolerant personality can make them an excellent confidante to friends. That said, it’s crucial that parents keep an eye out for friends who are “users.” Many Nines are so compliant, good-natured, and accepting that other children take advantage of them. Role-playing situations where a Nine child should say “No” to something is extremely helpful.
Nines are usually improvement oriented. Unless they’re unhealthy or coping with a great deal of trauma, Nine children want to improve the world around them. They are often connected to nature and protective of animals and the environment itself. It might cause them a great deal of distress when someone chops down a tree in their yard, for example. They might stubbornly stand in front of the tree, arms crossed, in an uncharacteristic stance of defiance. Nines crave a peaceful, harmonious world and have the power to make an incredible difference if they’re allowed to embrace their true voice.
The calming, steady nature of the Nine can be a tremendous gift in a world that is increasingly chaotic. Nines are famous for creating “safe spaces” for their siblings and friends. These judgment-free zones allow others to be truly themselves and feel accepted for who they truly are. It’s crucial for the Nines themselves to also have these safe-places to express themselves. Sadly, many times what they provide for others isn’t provided for them.
The Struggles of the Enneagram Nine Child
Nine children often struggle to find their voice, especially in homes where there is a lot of turmoil or conflict. Conflicts on the outside can feel like inner conflict to the Nine. If parents are fighting between themselves, the Nine can feel all that turmoil and chaos inside their own heart. But it might not be evident from the outside. They may disappear into the background, numb themselves out, or simply make quiet, helpful gestures to try to diffuse the conflict.
It is very difficult for Nines to voice their real desires, fears, and concerns unless they are in an unusually healthy family environment. They often worry that if they show their “real” selves that they will be rejected or ignored. It’s crucial for parents or caregivers to take time to get alone with them and remind them that it’s safe to speak their true feelings – even the dark, angry, turbulent ones.
Friendships for Nines can be dissatisfying if they never get comfortable speaking their mind. They may go along with their friends or the people around them, even when they don’t want to do what everyone else is doing. Their friends want to watch a Marvel superhero movie and they’re more interested in watching Star Wars? They’ll probably go along with the Marvel movie. There are times for compliance and selflessness, but for Nines, this tends to be the norm. They internalize the message that their needs don’t matter or that their presence doesn’t matter. They can easily develop a mindset of, “Nothing really matters” but only apply that to the things inside themselves. They focus so much on keeping outer harmony that their inner world becomes more convoluted and frustrated.
Tips for Parenting an Enneagram Nine Child:
- Give them a voice. Make regular time to get alone with them and ask them how they’re doing. And really ask and mean it. Don’t accept “Fine,” unless they don’t even know how to voice their feelings. Ask open-ended questions like, “What was the best and worst part of your day today?” Make sure that they know this is a judgment-free zone.
- When they get angry, don’t get angry back. It takes a lot for a Nine to actually let their true feelings erupt. When this does happen, realize there are probably a whole list of things that led to this point. Try to get them alone so that they can process their feelings without overstimulation or interruptions from others.
- Praise the things that make them unique. Nines often merge with other people and often feel like there’s nothing “special” about them. Point out the things that they excel at in a unique way. Realize that they might feel embarrassed from the attention.
- Routines help these children stay on track. If your schedule is constantly changing and disordered, they tend to lose track of things like homework and chores. Making healthy habits and daily routines is vital.
- Keep conflict behind closed doors. If you have a problem with your spouse or another adult, don’t fight in front of the Nine. This can create an enormous amount of inner turmoil from them. If conflicts do happen, help them to realize that conflict is part of life but also make sure they know that it’s not their fault and they’re not responsible for other people’s feelings.
- Give them outlets for their imagination. Read to them, watch movies with them, listen to music with them (and give them opportunities to do this alone!) The imagination is a rich and fertile haven for the Nine Enneatype.
- Get them in touch with nature. Nines experience an unusual sense of peace and awe when they can get in touch with the natural world around them. Take them for hikes, let them splash in the beach, teach them about animals and plants and let them plant a garden if possible!
What Are Your Thoughts?
Do you have any insights or ideas to share? Let us know in the comments!
Find out more about your personality type in our eBooks, Discovering You: Unlocking the Power of Personality Type, The INFJ – Understanding the Mystic, The INFP – Understanding the Dreamer, and The INTJ – Understanding the Strategist. You can also connect with me via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!