Enneagram Pairing Type 4 & 9
4 - The Romantic Individualist
Individualist, Tragic-Romantic, Connoisseur, Humanitarian, Aesthetic Person, One-of-a-kind, Dramatic King or Queen
9 - The Peaceful Mediator
Mediator, Peacekeeper, Diplomat, Pleasant Person, Modest Person, Humble Person, Pacifist
Four’s are a part of the Heart triad. They feel the pain and joy of the world and their own story profoundly and have a high capacity to create and appreciate beauty. They tend to be dramatic and often feel misunderstood by the world around them.
Nines are part of the Gut triad. They are easy-going, peaceable, and very accepting of others. They strive to maintain balance and equanimity and rarely rock the boat. They often struggle with identifying a clear sense of themselves, voicing their needs, or naming their desires.
Nines and Fours have the most overlap in how they value and treat others. Both are compassionate, accepting, and emotionally connected, preferring to open themselves up to others than to wall off or disconnect.
These are people who go out of their way to demonstrate their care for the people they love. Both value closeness, communication, and vulnerability. Both are also highly encouraging of others’ self-expression, and will likely provide an accepting, non-judgmental presence to those around them. They both value kindness, caring, and creativity.
How You Complement Each Other
This is a complementary pair with excellent potential for bonding and care. As both Nines and Fours are intuitive, heartfelt characters, these two have an easy time relating to one another and often feel very accepted and understood by the other. To the relationship Nines bring a relaxed, non-confrontational acceptance and Fours bring vital creativity and authentic expression.
Nines typically struggle to express their feelings and priorities, due to their tendency of self-forgetting or self-negating, and the raw, genuine speech continually pouring out of their Four compatriots is both inspiring and admirable.
Conversely, the gentle, even-keeled demeanor characteristic of most Nines balances the Fours’ stormier emotionality and sets a standard for lightness and ease that Fours typically don’t aim for. Fours are highly skilled at all things felt, including the naming and discussing their emotions. This helps Nines to learn their inner landscape and gives them an opportunity to practice their skills with a like-minded friend.
Nines are gifted in the art of understanding and possess a near superhuman ability to see all sides of a situation. This bird’s eye perspective can prove invaluable to the Four, who often becomes mired in their own melancholic believes or negative views.
Fours encourage Nines to become more self-expressed, self-aware, and vocal about their needs and desires—aspects of the Nine’s world that typically get swallowed by their people-pleasing and attending to others—while Nines encourage Fours to take life more lightly and attach less weight to their drama. Professionally, these two will make a dynamic and creative team, as they possess symbiotic needs: generally, Fours require a lot of creative freedom and a position that affords them ample attention, while Nines like routine and clear direction, with very little notice, cast their way.
How You Can Get Into Trouble
The trouble for these two lies in their different relationships to the drama: namely, Nines avoid it while Fours delight in it. Early on, this will likely not be an issue in this pairing, as the Four rollercoasters can feel exhilarating to the routine life of the Nine, but after a while, Nines will start to view Fours as disturbing the peace, and Fours will start to see Nines as humdrum bores.
Additionally, Fours are often very demanding of accolades and individual attention, but Nines tend to be egalitarian in their treatment of others, which produces a discordant conflict that might prove challenging to overcome. When Fours feel their Nine buddy (coworker, romantic partner, comrade) refusing to side with them or “staying out” of an argument where they want to support, the Four can feel shunned, misunderstood, and isolated.
Conversely, when Nines become stressed by Fours’ demands and constant mood swings, they can become passive-aggressive, withdrawn, and enormously stubborn, often unconsciously sabotaging projects, communications, and plans to get their needs met.
There is a high chance the Nine will become resentful of Fours, who are continually putting their lives and feelings on display for all, as Nines are locked in a deep, eternal struggle to recognize and express their authentic feelings. Fours can become a trigger and reminder of Nines’ perceived inadequacies. Reversely, Fours might find Nine’s extensive understanding tedious, uninteresting, or insincere, prompting them to break ties in favor of something more their speed.
What Each Type Needs To Be Aware Of
Nine’s greatest struggle is with self-forgetting, where they lose track of themselves in the din of everyone else’s competing needs and beliefs. Nines often have a hard time identifying their priorities, needs, and desires, and thus default to the most robust held stance of the people around them. Their self-forgetting can also manifest as an inability to engage in spontaneous or revitalizing activities, as routine provides comfort and doesn’t require much originality (if you don’t have a strong connection to a sense of self, there’s likely not a strong need to find original expressions of said self).
Nines also run the risk of becoming unconsciously passive aggressive when their needs have not been met. As Nines rarely vocalize their needs unprompted, there’s a high likelihood their needs don’t get met, at which point their passive aggression will manifest as forgetfulness, disorganization, ignored communications, slower and slower production, and mindlessness.
They can become withdrawn and numb. The best way to ensure this does not happen is to schedule regular meetings wherein the Nine has ample space to “think out loud” and come to a sense of themselves.
In personal connections, make sure the Nine’s voice is heard and valued as much as anyone else’s, even if it means paying them special attention. Alternatively, Fours rarely suffer from a lack of awareness of themselves; indeed, their struggles are much the opposite. Fours are burdened with an overdeveloped self-consciousness, wherein their life, and it’s myriad ups and downs becomes an all-consuming subject.
Plagued by trouble, melancholy, drama, and an unparalleled ability to feel the world around them, they often suffer from taking an objective or rational perspective of a given situation. Fours thrive on exploring their creative juices, communicating their insights, triumphs, and sorrows with the world, and delving deep into the hearts of others. They do not do well in situations wherein they are not afforded the attention they believe their specialness warrants.
This trait makes them exceptional artists, storytellers, dramatists, feelers, and healers, but it can also make them insufferable, especially to a drama-phob like a Nine. Be aware, too, of Four’s tendency to test the devotion of the people around them, usually through escalating risk-taking stunts.
In a relationship, Fours need to be hypersensitive to the Nine tendency to lose themselves, considering they will likely have much more skill in verbalizing their needs and desires. Nines need to be aware they are not being subsumed or taken on a ride on the Four rollercoasters. Both will do well to maintain proper boundaries, clear (read: rational) communication, and always come from a place of love when relating.
How You Can Support One Another
These two will be most supportive of one another in their capacity for acceptance, ability to appreciate beauty, and joy in connecting. Both Fours and Nines are incredibly related types and receive many benefits from the relationships they develop with those around them. At the same time, both have a strong need for privacy, solitude, and personal time for reflection, a need they can acknowledge and support in one another, and therefore grant.
Nines are most supportive of Fours when offering vocal, enthusiastic encouragement of their creative dreams and passions, while also providing a grounded, safe space for emotional expression. Fours are best suited to support Nines in discovering their authentic voice, identifying their innermost feelings, and shamelessly expressing themselves through their art. Nines can provide a steady anchor, and Fours can provide spontaneous weather that makes the journey interesting.
From Fours, Nines can learn how to pinpoint and name their own and others’ emotional states with subtlety, as well as how to deal with the more challenging or painful feelings that humans encounter. From Nines, Fours can learn to hold their experiences lightly, and always examine a story from multiple perspectives. They can also discover the joy and ease in conformity to a set standard or routine, the freedom in discipline.
In A Romantic Context
This is an exciting, but also very comfortable, romantic pairing. Both Fours and Nines tend to be sensitive, withdrawn beings with a deep sense of the needs of those around them. This can result in a strong bond supported by intuitive and emotional channels of communication. They will likely share similarly tenderhearted feelings about the world around them and will have endless supplies of empathy and compassion for one another’s heartbreaks.
These two develop an incredibly sympathetic, almost psychic connection based on acceptance, nurturing, and mutual support. Nine’s focus is often on their partner, and they endeavor to merge deeply with those around them, while Four’s focus is typically honed in on the heart space—their own and other’s—offering great potential for strong attachment between these two. At the same time, both Nines and Fours tend to be private, autonomous beings who require much space for their process and appreciate independence from others.
These two will likely be able to strike a healthy balance between togetherness and sovereignty. There is also a high likelihood this will be a deeply creative pairing, as both Nines and Fours tend toward the arts as a means of discovering and expressing themselves in the world.
When searching for a partner, Nines and Fours both tend to be idealistic, and believe their perfect mate is out there, which makes their reunion potentially fraught, but also wonderfully joyful (at least initially). There will be genuine physical attraction, deep sensuality, and open-hearted contact.
This pair will also likely agree on the aesthetic of their relationship, as well as things like where to vacation, what level of comfort and coziness to create in their shared spaces, and what their standard for luxury might be. It will be easy for them to lounge around in bed together, languishing in their simple, bonded connection. Of course, the danger here is that these two loose sight of their other priorities in life, such as their friendships, careers, or children.
When (if) things get rocky for these two, it will be due to the very opposing ways they deal with increasing stress. As things heat up and life becomes more difficult, Fours become more volatile and demanding while Nines tend to disengage and put up emotional walls. Fours lean in and light a fire while Nines numb out and become inert.
To the Nines, their Four partners can seem too unstable and unpredictable, while the Nine seems uncommunicative and insurmountably distant to the Four. Four’s demands for more and more attention will anger the Nine, resulting in increasingly more resistant displays of stubbornness, while Nine’s inability to take responsibility for their own needs and actions can infuriate the Four, causing them to stir up more drama.
In a significant conflict, Nines will shut down, which communicates to the Four that no one wants to deal with their feelings. Arguments can begin to feel one-sided as if the Four is lobbing balls at a concrete wall, as the Nine retreats further and further away to avoid conflict. The relationship can halt suddenly when both parties realize how extreme their emotional responses to the world are.