At Best: Nines exude a peaceful presence while taking Right Action (living out one's deepest calling), bringing themselves forward more & embodying the Higher Quality of Holy Love (life's unconditional embrace). Nines can be gentle in spirit, receptive & harmonious. They often spin imaginative stories -- mythic in quality -- and especially love nature.
Habits: When driven by Sloth (resistance to finding true calling & participating), Nines start Diffusing: spreading energy around to side-projects or blending with the needs and priorities of others. Focus of Attention: environmental distractions & others' agendas.
Nines Forget: Reality is all-accepting, all-inclusive, unconditionally loving. Nines strive to acquire love and be included by dispersing their vitality into an even-keelness. Nines ignore their deepest calling (will) and blend in with others’ agendas or the mechanics of routines. Nines Believe: I must not make a big deal about myself to be loved; love is sameness, a unity without any difference. Nines resist disturbances of their comfort zones. Because preferences can create conflict, Nines avoid decisions & endlessly ruminate over all points of view. Nines numb anger, expressing it passively by stubbornly refusing to respond or venting at traffic, politics, sports, etc. Nines can be The (Too) Accepting One—giving self over in unhealthy relationships or stoically detaching. Nines Excel: at mediation and peacemaking. Nines tend to be balanced, accepting, & harmonious and offer a steady, healing presence to others.
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. . . . As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will become simpler. Solitude will not be solitude; poverty will not be poverty; nor weakness, weakness.
- Henry David Thoreau
Type Nine Personality Reflections
A Type Nine friend sends the above Thoreau quote as the signature of all of his emails. It's the perfect Type Nine mantra.
The Type Nine is called to overcome the passion of sloth, or acedia. Acedia is resistance to waking up. It’s a bit like repeatedly hitting the ‘snooze’ button on the morning alarm of life, except that even hitting the snooze button is too much effort! The resistance of acedia is primarily passive. It’s more like letting the alarm go on and on, while simply incorporating into the dream state. So much easier to muffle down the alarm’s edgy sounds into a distant, puffy dream cloud than to wake up even just enough to hit snooze . . . and risk having trouble getting back to sleep!
Some Nines remain asleep through automaticity – structuring life into routines and ruts so it can be lived on autopilot. Repetitive creature comforts, like video games, serial TV and novels, puzzles, and the like, distract the Nine from life’s essential duties. One Nine cleverly combines these patterns. For days at a time, he plays a video game called Civilization, in which he systemizes all of his citizen and military units into an impressively organized bureaucracy that practically runs itself.
Other Nines remain asleep by living vicariously through intimates. The partner’s agenda becomes the Nine’s agenda; the children’s lives become the Nine’s life. One Nine reported a rude awakening when she discovered, “Ever since we began dating 35 years ago, I’ve been quietly riding in the passenger seat of my husband’s life!”
In the social arena, Nines remain asleep, somewhat ironically, through lots of activity. Carried along by a group’s energy, goals, and needs, the Nine need not bother discovering a personal agenda. The yearning for belonging inspires an outpouring of excess generosity. One Nine, a firefighter, realized he was too involved in his fire station when he spent an entire weekend volunteering to install a new alarm system.
Nines gift our collective consciousness with the healing power of peace. The Nine’s gut-level wisdom of calming energetic friction allows any situation to find a natural equilibrium. The unified field of Presence, it turns out, integrates and heals. The ignorance of the Nine in all of us ultimately transforms into the awakening we all seek. Such awakening does not come at the expense of dampening our differences but, rather, includes and celebrates them.
Type Nine Interview
This clip is from an interview with a representative Type Nine. For the full set of interviews with all 9 types (about 20 minutes each), along with downloadable charts, check out this online course: Enneagram Interviews.