Discover some of the unique struggles of the Enneagram Nine type. #Enneagram #Enneatype #Personality

Seven Struggles of the Enneagram Nine Type

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.

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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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Get an in-depth look at the unique struggles of the Enneagram Nine personality type. #Enneagram #Personality

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

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Get an in-depth look at the unique struggles of the Enneagram Nine type. #Enneagram #Personality


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  1. Such perfect timing! I have been in a muddled state for the past several (COVID-19) months and have been trying to process the “whys” and “how comes”. Well, so many of your examples are spot on, helping to explain a lot. There ARE reasons for it–as well as opportunities to grow into a healthy mine. Thank you!

  2. I took the enneagram test and came to a 6. But reading over some of these other numbers I can relate to a 9. And also parts of other numbers.

  3. Wow that made me almost cry, it triggered so many uncomfortable feelings. It totally nailed all the difficulties I face everyday with other human beings. I’m trying to be more assertive, but I if my outspoken preference don’t meet others’ expectations I immediately withdraw. It’s a real struggle, considering that both my spouse and son have very assertive and straightforward personalities. My partner is trying to help me out of my “corner” but sometimes their attempts, which are very gentle on their part, feel like more pressure’s put on me shoulders.

  4. Wow! You described me perfectly. I’ve become much more assertive in my senior years but everything else is spot on. You gave me a lot to work on, especially procrastination.

  5. (I took the test and I was tested as a nine various times throughout my life, I have even doubted it at times.) I want to say that for me, number 5 is not true. I have always been deeply sensitive and aware, and for that reason, I never made friends who I had considered as mean, or not mature (Toxic people). I was aware enough when I was young, that I didn’t like feeling pain. So I didn’t want them to disturb me in that way. Maybe because of the shock of seeing my father choke my brother when I was three, I became very aware. Aware of my actions. Aware of others actions, and the impact it had on others, and of myself. Though I had found it hard to find such good people, and even though I felt very lonely, I didn’t succumb to making friends for the moment of pleasure (because once I let them in, I knew that I would be impacted emotionally.) I was aware that we had different paths in life, and they communicated vastly different from the manner in which I interpret things, therefore, any interaction would not have been beneficial. (I do remember having at times though, trying to help guide them away from sadness, I was only a listening ear of comfort passing by). Maybe that is why my will grew so strong, because I gradually grew my will over the years. So much that number seven was also tested. By that I mean that I don’t easily succumb to others, though I have beat myself up. I have a strong will, and though I don’t succumb to others because of the care and love I have for myself, I make sure it doesn’t affect them negatively. I make sure to comment with care, this to me, was very very important. And anyone who didn’t comment with care, would be someone I would make sure to stay away from. This is to say I have never allowed myself to mingle with a community that would acclimate me to feel unloved or unwanted, to not support my dreams, to have friends in which I can’t be myself with. I have never allowed myself to have that experience. Though I may dwadle for a bit, I will get there. I’m getting there. This a number nine, 22 year old speaking, I hope this has been helpful.

    Note: (I think I may have been in the unhealthy phase when I was young, it described my actions to a T)

  6. I think a valuable addition to the ” Struggles of a 9″ page would be something such as: spend time reflecting on what you actually feel or desire so you can communicate this to others. Not sharing is your way of avoiding intimacy. When you hide your true thoughts or feelings, you’re really protecting yourself, not others.

  7. As a female child back in the ’50’s, my ideas and opinions were laughed at or dismissed. I learned that it was just better to keep my thoughts to myself. My confidence and self-esteem suffered because as a nine I would just keep the peace at all costs. I never learned how to disagree or say no in acceptable ways or even to express my negative feelings. As a result I avoided a lot of situations, mainly social, to avoid dealing with the angst. It was not acceptable to be an introvert. I am now 70+ yrs old and have gained much confidence in myself and my abilities. I still struggle to say no: to friends, colleagues, clients, family, and to lovers before my frustration and my reactions build to an unacceptable level! As an ISFJ, a nine, and a Capricorn, I am still learning to be confident in myself and to express my ideas and feelings in calm, neutral language.

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