“The planet does not need more successful people. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of all kinds.” – Dalai Lama
Do you know you’re an INFP, but you feel like certain facets of your type description aren’t quite relatable? If you’re an INFP Nine, you may be more focused on peacemaking and getting along with others than probing internal analysis. You may be less willing to dig in your heels publicly than other INFPs, and you may be more laid-back than some. Today we’re going to explore some of the things that make the INFP Nine unique. Let’s get started!
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The INFP Nine – When Myers-Briggs® and Enneagram Combine
In the enneagram system, each number, or type, has a core fear and desire. As a Nine, your core fear is fragmentation, loss, or separation. You crave harmony in the inner world and outer world. As a result, you often suppress your anger in hopes that you will avoid fragmentation. You see anger as “bad” and “dangerous,” something that could ruin your relationships and your sense of inner peace. You try to see things from other people’s perspectives so that you can get along with them and not make any waves.
Laid back and open-minded, you have a whimsical imagination and are drawn to all the beauty and experiences of life. When times get hard, you can escape into your imaginative world and find a respite from the chaos of the outside. You’re also deeply in touch with your intuition, seeing positive ways to reframe situations and looking for the silver lining during any tough time.
One of your struggles as a Nine is that you tend to be relatively out of touch with their own desires and needs. You may go with the flow in order to keep the peace, only to resent it later. This could mean saying yes to something you don’t want to do, or not asserting your wishes when someone asks you a question, like, “Are you comfortable with this?” or even “Where would you like to eat?”
In the midst of tense situations, you may “numb out” in order to keep a sense of inner calm and stability. As an example, you might have experienced something traumatic in your childhood only to disassociate with what was happening and think of something more mentally calming. Maybe you turned on a song you loved, watched a movie, or escaped into your imaginary world.
In childhood, Nines learned to cope with pain by dissociating from threatening and traumatic events in their environment. This doesn’t mean that you necessarily had a traumatic childhood (although you might have), but regardless of what happened, you internalized the belief that if you were undemanding and low-maintenance you would be safe and keep everything calm and harmonious. You worried that if you asserted yourself and made your inner feelings visible that you would only create more problems. You believed that by staying in the background and repressing your anger and desires you were evading conflict and inner turmoil.
If you’re a Nine, you are in the Gut/Anger triad of the Enneagram. This means that you have underlying issues with your instincts – primarily anger. You repress your anger, as we’ve discussed. Anger, and other instinctual urges, feel dangerous. You might have adopted proverbs, platitudes, and happy thoughts and fantasies to distract you when you start to feel mad. If you’re stressed, you might manage it by downplaying your own will and choices, opting many times to do what other people want in order to maintain peace. However, underneath your pleasant demeanor, you may have a storm brewing – anger that has been suppressed and suffocated for days, weeks, or even years.
As an INFP, you are introverted. You enjoy the inner world and gather many of your observations internally before looking to the outside world for inspiration.
You’re also an intuitive. The world outside you inspires a plethora of possibilities inside your mind. You want to chase after these possibilities, and may have many half-finished projects scattered around your room. You read between the lines, see random connections, and are drawn to abstract ideas and philosophies.
You’re a feeling type. The inner world of your values, ethics, and feelings is pivotal to your decisions. You analyze the nuances of your emotions and try to stay true to yourself.
You’re a perceiver. You prefer your life relaxed and flexible. Having a tight structure makes you feel stifled and drained. You enjoy taking life as it comes rather than mapping it all out.
As a Nine, you are in tune with the spiritual world and can be deeply intuitive and insightful. The goal for you is to learn to get in touch with yourself and your instincts rather than repressing them. Your core fear is fragmentation and your core desire is inner peace.
I made this infographic below to help you identify some of the characteristic INFP Nine traits:
Unhealthy Nines Can Be: Withdrawn, Unrealistic, Dissociated, Disoriented, Numb, Helpless, Repressed, Neglectful, Lazy, Ineffectual, Depressed, and/or Listless.
Average Nines Can Be: Agreeable, Kind, Routine-Oriented, Amicable, Deflecting, Resigned, Appeasing, Complacent, Disengaged, Compassionate, Dismissive of Pain.
Healthy Nines Can Be: Patient, Level-Headed, Imaginative, Inspiring, Self-Possessed, Serene, Present, Dynamic, Easy-Going, Kind, Patient, Peaceful, Comforting, and/or Spiritual.
5 Tips for Growing to Maturity and Emotional Health as an INFP Nine:
- When something isn’t right in your relationship, take initiative to change it. Don’t ignore it, repress your fears, or hope that change will happen organically.
- Practice expressing your feelings, desires, and even your anger. Learn through experience that “rocking the boat” can be a good thing and catalyze you towards growth and an improved life.
- Learn to become aware of your anger. When you start to feel mad, don’t hurriedly try to bury the feeling. When you ignore it, it tends to seep out anyway through passive-aggressive means. Write down your feelings or confront the issue (or instigator) in a healthy way.
- Set goals with definite deadlines. Reward yourself when you complete a task.
- Exercise! Staying in touch with your body and being healthy helps you to be happier and more in tune with your feelings. Practice Tai chi, go jogging, ride your bicycle, dance!
Want to find out more about Nines? Check out our in-depth profile here.
Want to find out more about INFPs? Check out your INFP profile here.
What Are Your Thoughts?
Do you identify with this enneagram and personality type? Do you have any insight or experience to share with other readers? 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, and The INFP – Understanding the Dreamer. You can also connect with me via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!