Enneagram Type 9 - The Peaceful Mediator

Mediator, Peacekeeper, Diplomat, Pleasant Person, Modest Person, Humble Person, Pacifist


Worldview of the Type 9


Overview

You are an easy-going, kind, and accepting person who strives to be in harmony by accommodating and supporting what is essential to others. Your gift for seeing many sides of an issue enables you to mediate differences and bring peace to people around you.

On the other hand, your desire to remain comfortable and “ok” can cause complacency, inactivity, and difficulty making and voicing personal decisions. Your keys to growth include seeing that your opinions, needs and desires are just as valid as anyone else’s, and taking a stand for your own preferences in the present moment.


What You Are Great At

  • Coming forward to mediate when people are in conflict.

  • Being accepting, trusting, all-embracing, and receptive.

  • Being creative, fanciful, and entertaining.

  • Being optimistic, unflappable, adaptable and steady.

  • Good listener, making everyone feel honored.

  • Seeing and supporting others’ perspectives and points of view.

  • Bringing about harmony, wholeness, and connection.

  • Finding points of agreement and achieving unity with others.

  • Being supremely unselfish and working hard for a good cause and to keep peace.

  • Being good-natured, kind, friendly, sweet, innocent.

  • Bringing a healing and calming influence to others.

  • Being humble, unpretentious, genuine, trusting, simple, likable.


Core Wiring

Driven by core fears of loss and separation from others, you seek to achieve feelings of wholeness, union, inner stability, and peace of mind. You are highly motivated by what you don’t want-- which is conflict, tension, disharmony, disagreement, pressure, discomfort or complications with others. Striving to create a harmonious, stable, peaceful and comfortable environment, you minimize your own needs and try to create and maintain trouble-free relationships.


What Drives You

Your core fears are related to loss, separation, and being overlooked which can lead to a fear of being “loveless”- both because your feel others might ignore or neglect you, and because you might shut yourself off to such a degree that you can no longer feel love or let it in. You might start to feel unimportant, or less valuable relative to others-- especially if others around you are strong, dramatic, needy, or demanding.

This leads to your conflict avoidance. You also fear complication because when things are complicated, more things can go wrong which can cause discord and disharmony, which is uncomfortable.


Inner World of the Type 9


Core Fears

Your core fears are related to loss, separation and being overlooked which can lead to a fear of being “loveless”- both because your feel others might ignore or neglect you, and because you might shut yourself off to such a degree that you can no longer feel love or let it in. You might start to feel unimportant, or less valuable relative to others-- especially if others around you are strong, dramatic, needy, or demanding.

This leads to your conflict avoidance. You also fear complication because when things are complicated, more things can go wrong which can cause discord and disharmony, which is uncomfortable.


Core Desires

To be comfortable, harmonious, peaceful, whole, complete, and feeling at-ease with others.


Core Needs

You need simplicity, harmony, and the appreciation of others. Because you are highly empathetic, you need to know that the people around you are relaxed to relax, yourself. To truly be at-ease, you need your creature comforts and are likely unwilling go without them. Publicly, you may go along to get along, but when in private you make sure that you have what makes you feel happy and comfortable.


Core Beliefs

The world, people and situations can be demanding and divisive. In most situations, it is best to avoid conflict and look for middle ground rather than to take a solid stance: that might create problems and disrupt my peace. Everything will work out if I stay calm, amiable, and connected.


Likes

  • Agreement, peace and harmony.

  • Unity, merger, and togetherness.

  • Comfort and ease.

  • Being in intimate relationship.

  • Distractions (e.g., romance novels, college football, social media).

  • Connection.

  • Feeling included, loved and accepted as you are.

  • Familiar routines and activities with clear structure.

  • Holding many sides of an issue open.

  • Reflecting, musing, and considering things.

  • Having your position acknowledged.

  • Satisfaction in accomplishments and jobs well done.


Dislikes

  • Conflict, confrontation, and disagreement.

  • Anger and disturbance.

  • Change, making personal decisions, saying “no”.

  • Separation.

  • Independence.

  • Feeling discounted or overlooked.

  • Being forced to take sides on an issue.

  • Unknown, unfamiliar, or unpredictable situations.

  • Emotional intensity, controversy, drama, chaos.

  • Having your opinion or position opposed.

  • Loneliness, ending a relationship.

  • Discomfort, looming deadlines.


Outer World of the Type 9


Strategies

You seek to avoid conflict, asserting yourself, or taking a stand. You "go along to get along," sublimating your own needs and preferences to create a sense of peace and harmony.


Impact of Strategies

When there is no pressure, conflict or discomfort, you have neither deadlines nor demands. For you, it's just peace and harmony.


What's Great About You

You are warm, gentle, humble, agreeable, kind, pleasant and enduring. You are the calm in the storm.


Attention goes to...

Your attention goes to identifying with and merging with others. You look for what others want and need in an effort to keep the peace. Your soft, pillowy energy tends to spread outwards and become diffuse.

Because you sense and champion the needs and feelings of whatever group you are in, you are a natural group anchor. To avoid feeling tension and conflict, you may reach for substitutes for love by eating, focusing on the minutia or getting lost in unimportant tasks.


Operating System of the Type 9


At Your Best

You are a humble, patient, allowing and permissive diplomat who focuses on keeping the peace in any given situation. Because you strongly value connection, agreement, and unity with others, you like to keep things harmonious, stable and comfortable. When you are tuned in to what others want, you easily set aside your own needs to accommodate, appease or satisfy them.

You have a natural gift for patiently listening to all points of view and building consensus before making decisions. Most people feel heard, understood, accepted, included, nurtured, and valued in your presence.

You can be a wonderful mediator, naturally bringing people together by genuinely seeing, acknowledging, and honoring each person’s perspective. This makes you an asset to any team in the areas of listening, shared vision, consensus, healthy conflict, trust, appreciation, collaboration and support.


Under Stress

When your focus is so resolutely set on taking the path of least resistance, you may feel the need to avoid conflict, abandon yourself, devalue your position or compromise your true values to appease others. Even when you’re clear on your own position, you may not want to voice it, if doing so will cause difficulties or separation from others. You prefer to “not rock the boat” and have a tendency to “go along to get along”.

You struggle with feelings of resignation and indecision and might say “yes” to something, but then passive-aggressively resist doing it or commit “crimes of omission”. (To you, “yes” means “maybe” and “maybe” means “absolutely not”). You might not realize that no decision is a actually a decision.

You may ignore or devalue problems-- assuming that they will eventually work themselves out or go away. To keep your mind off of negative things, you might “numb out” or distract yourself with unimportant activities.

Unfortunately, in the process you may become completely cut off from yourself, resentful of others, and hopeless about ever feeling heard or valued. If you push aside your own needs and wants long enough, you can become apathetic.


What Holds You Back

Avoiding conflicts and potential backlash of your own self-assertions. Wanting “peace at any price”. Going along with others to get along and losing your own voice.

Oversimplifying problems to minimize what is upsetting. Becoming stubborn and slow-moving when in disagreement. Being neglectful, passive and self-effacing.

Shutting down and imploding when threatened/ afraid. Merging with others and losing touch with who you are. Numbing out and being a creature of habit or ritual – repeating familiar solutions.

Escaping into comfort and ease; going on “autopilot”. Becoming disengaged, inattentive, and unreflective. Being indecisive; saying “yes” when you want to say “no”.


Coping Strategy

In order to cope with underlying fears of being disconnected from others, you may minimize your own needs and focus on others. This can take many forms: “forgetting yourself;” distracting yourself with routines and mindless activities; accommodating others; and putting your own needs aside to be accepted and comfortable in relationship with others.

You may keep fears at bay by seeking to maintain peace at any price and being seen as the easy-going, “nice guy or gal”. You may also avoid conflict or loss by suppressing your own opinions, “going along to get along,” or being pleasant and agreeable. You use patience, persistence and resistance to handle problems and might “check out” or become unresponsive if you fear it will cause separation from another.


Defense Strategy

Your primary defense mechanism is a form of “dissociation” which can be any strategy that cuts you off from feelings that seems overwhelming and intolerable. This may be as subtle as escaping into seemingly safe or pleasant feelings, or in more obvious ways such as using comforts and distractions to “wind down” or relax. A secondary strategy is “diversion”.

When something important feels overwhelming, you may distract your attention with something easier and less stressful. You may also “numb out” by throwing yourself into work or projects or escaping into unproductive or unimportant activities-- anything that distracts you from negative feelings and needs. You don’t like being direct and tend to obfuscate to avoid naming any differences or preferences that can cause conflict or dispute.


Hot Buttons & Triggers

  • Feeling overlooked, not seen, or irrelevant.

  • Others being recognized or validated in ways you crave but would never want to draw attention to for yourself.

  • People being treated unkindly or unfairly.

  • Feeling pressured to make a decision without knowing the whole landscape, different options, or all of the key details.

  • Being pushed to reveal your own feelings or desires when you are unsure or don’t feel safe with the other person.

  • Being in a tense, highly emotional, or volatile atmosphere.

  • Feeling under-appreciated or undervalued.

  • Being in an unfamiliar, new, or uncomfortable environment.

  • Having to choose sides between important people in your life who are not in agreement (e.g., your mother and your spouse, your children, or valued people on your work team).

  • Others seeming to move away or withdraw in relationship.

  • Others demanding your attention or response and not being able to zone out or numb out in comfortable/typical ways.

  • Not being validated, supported, or backed up when you take the risk to voice your own perspective, feeling, or opinion.


Blind Spots

By shutting yourself off from your preferences, you can lose sight of yourself in many important ways. You may negate or be unaware of your own preferences, positions, needs and desires, and not realize that you’ve “gone to sleep to your true yourself.” You may identify with being agreeable and easy to get along with, so you may not recognize when you are withholding or being passive-aggressive or stubborn.

You may also see yourself as humble and disown your desire for attention. You enjoy your habits and routines and may not see when change is called for in relationships or work. You prefer to maintain the status quo to keep things feeling stable and comfortable.


Mistaken Beliefs / Trap

It is a cognitive mistake to believe that if you avoid conflict, you won’t have any or that you won’t be disconnected from others. Ultimately, ignoring conflict will cause additional conflict and greater disconnection. It’s also a mistake to believe that if you convince yourself that you don’t matter, that others don’t matter, or that actually nothing really matters, you will avoid emotional pain.

Seeking a sense of ease and comfort can be a trap because your own truth and your own needs will not be suppressed forever and you’ll eventually become angry and irritable. Another mistake is believing that not taking action isn’t an action and not making a decision isn’t a decision.

In reality, taking no action is an action and making no decision is a decision. And finally, maintaining “peace at any price” is a trap because it can never bring real, lasting peace.


Growth Journey of the Type 9


Transformation Journey

Your transformation journey involves:

  1. Realizing that you are important and that you matter.

  2. Letting go of the fear of conflict, speaking your truth, and experiencing your sense of being.

  3. Taking the time to tune into your heart, discovering your preferences, deciding what you really want and actually going for it!


Under Stress

When you feel separate from others, you may go to sleep to your own needs and focus on the needs of others. You may feel the need to maintain a sense of connection, peace, comfort, and stability at all costs but in so doing may undermine your own value and worth. Your need for “okness” can at times cause you to minimize problems which can be interpreted as calloused, insensitive or indifferent.

You may numb yourself to the realities of your situation at home or work and fall into inertia rather than focus on what is important. In an attempt to have “peace at any price,” you may actually become resentful, stubborn, and resigned, feeling powerless to change anything.

You may resort to appeasing others on the surface but objecting in passive-aggressive ways that leave others frustrated, neglected and angry. You may appear disengaged, inattentive, unresponsive and complacent. You may lose focus and initiative, escape into a mental world of fantasy, or zone out with any number of numbing, mindless activities.


An Average Day

Seeing through the false beliefs that numbness brings connection and that your own humanity can possibly be less valuable or important than others’, you are now deeply attuned to yourself and come into an even greater harmony with others. Spontaneous and present in each moment, you are truly accommodating and flexible to life as a whole, rather than to the whims of others. You become a powerful force for others with your immense acceptance, compassion, stability and serenity.

You now trust all of life, and see your own feelings, intuitions, and intentions as keys to establishing deeper connection with others. You no longer take yourself out of the equation but put yourself in the middle of the flow of life.

Others feel at ease with your innocence, simplicity, patience, sincerity, and kindness. You are self-accountable, autonomous and content with yourself and relationships. You become a great healing presence in the world, able to be profoundly present, validate divergent perspectives, and resolve conflict in a spirit of real peace.


In The Zone

Seeing through the false beliefs that numbness brings connection and that your own humanity can possibly be less valuable or important than others’, you are now deeply attuned to yourself and come into an even greater harmony with others. Spontaneous and present in each moment, you are truly accommodating and flexible to life as a whole, rather than to the whims of others. You become a powerful force for others with your immense acceptance, compassion, stability and serenity.

You now trust all of life, and see your own feelings, intuitions, and intentions as keys to establishing deeper connection with others. You no longer take yourself out of the equation but put yourself in the middle of the flow of life.

Others feel at ease with your innocence, simplicity, patience, sincerity, and kindness. You are self-accountable, autonomous and content with yourself and relationships. You become a great healing presence in the world, able to be profoundly present, validate divergent perspectives, and resolve conflict in a spirit of real peace.


Keys to Growth

  • Pay more attention to yourself and develop greater attunement to what you actually feel, want, think, and need.

  • Practice expressing your feelings, needs, and ideas even when they may be in opposition to others; take risks and notice how authenticity (not self-forgetting) brings connection.

  • When tempted to zone out, consciously become more dynamic, active and assertive rather than escaping into numbing activities or being passive with others.

  • Notice yourself not agreeing with others and how you handle this uncomfortable energy internally before speaking/acting.

  • Practice saying “maybe” before making commitments you may regret later, and become more comfortable saying “no”.

  • Become more aware of your fears around conflict and disagreement and tune into your own energy when facing tense people or situations; breathe and let it move through.

  • Use your natural abilities to mediate and validate divergent views to appreciate conflict and deal with it directly, seeing that embracing differences actually brings people together.

  • Become more aware of and comfortable with the natural movement of “negative” emotions and energies, such as aggression and conflict; open and allow them to pass through.

  • Ground yourself in your body and become more active physically in whatever way feels natural (exercise, walking); more rigorous activity can help fear and conflict move through.

  • Practice “radical self-care” and place your needs before others (perhaps in ways that seem extravagant to you at first).

  • Watch the tendency to deflect praise or attention and try to take it in positive regard, even if uncomfortable at first.

  • Notice wanting to merge with others and any dependencies, resentments, or tendencies to blame that arise.


Type 9 In the Workplace


Working with Others

You can be dedicated, hard-working, and very productive in a supportive environment with clear expectations and the flexibility to work at your own pace. You tend to “go along to get along” and avoid making waves. You are very approachable and enjoy camaraderie and pleasant exchanges with coworkers.

You help your team to stay positive and to consider or embrace diverse opinions and alternative viewpoints and you are able to add a meaningful perspective. On the other hand, you tend to hesitate in making decisions. Your ability to listen and understand people’s positions can often lead them to believe that you agree with them and will back them up.

They are then surprised and disappointed when they discover you were just listening, not actively agreeing. You are good at mediating and helping to mend fences when others disagree, but have a harder time mending your own. You might secretly want recognition, but you avoid bringing attention to yourself and may appear uncomfortable and become self-effacing when it comes.


Ideal Environment

Your ideal work environment is calm, predictable, and harmonious. You relax and work well when the team is getting along and things are running smoothly. You thrive with familiar routines, regularly scheduled meetings, and clear deadlines that give you plenty of time to work steadily at your own pace.

Not wanting to ask for validation, you expect rewards and promotions to be fairly given and clearly contingent upon merit and productivity. In the flow of a project, you readily put your own needs aside to work for the greater good of the team or organization. It is particularly important for you to feel good about your job and the work you do.


Typical Challenges

Because you like the familiar, you may get thrown off course if things change rapidly and unpredictably with no time to adjust. You may not like having to make decisions yourself, but you don’t want decisions or changes forced upon you either--especially if they feel arbitrary. You may procrastinate and struggle with inaction when you need to make a decision that impacts others or might trigger a reaction in them.

You would rather wait for agreement and consensus. Feeling overlooked or discounted at work may trigger your fear of being unimportant, and cause you to act as if the opinions, ideas, and agendas of others are more important than yours. When upset at work, you are unlikely to voice your concerns, but may instead slow your pace in silent and stubborn objection that can frustrate others.


Taking Guidance

You appreciate a collaborative mentoring relationship and work well under well-defined lines of leadership because you tend not to like the pressure of decision-making. You may be particularly responsive to, and work well with, a dynamic and charismatic boss who values your contributions. You also appreciate a manager that is congenial and brings a sense of connection and synergy to the team.

Carried by the energy and enthusiasm of a strong supervisor, you will work tirelessly with little consideration of your own needs. At times you may feel ambivalent about authority.

You may have trouble self-starting or staying on task and resent feeling pressured to make a decision or take an action before you feel comfortable doing so. You may become inactive or stubborn and become resistant to authority.


Leadership Style

As a leader, you have the ability to see all points of view and are adept at mediating differences and settling disputes when there are difficulties between team members. You also engender a naturally kind, accepting, and inclusive atmosphere on the team. You are careful, thoughtful, thorough, and able to weigh many sides of any issue presented, but you can get stuck in needing extensive data and wanting to think too broadly before making a decision.

To avoid conflict, you may announce major decisions without warning or sufficient discussion, which can evoke confusion and resentment. You may have difficulty managing distractions and might be prone to get caught up in unimportant tasks, which can make setting priorities and deciding what is most essential difficult. Other challenges you may face in leadership include not wanting to take sides, having “peace at any cost,” being vague or obfuscating in strategic planning, wanting to stay in the comfort zone or the familiar, and avoiding taking risks.


Famous Type 9 Peaceful Mediators

Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Beyoncé, Loni Anderson, Annette Bening, Tony Bennett, Matthew Broderick, Sandra Bullock, George Burns, Kate Bush, Art Carney, Julia Child, Gary Cooper, Kevin Costner, The Dalai Lama, Jeff Daniels, Clint Eastwood, Dwight Eisenhower, Queen Elizabeth II, Gerald Ford, Mahatma Gandhi, John Goodman, Tipper Gore, Elliott Gould, Charles Grodin, Woody Harrelson, Mariel Hemingway, Audrey Hepburn, Anjelica Huston, C.G. Jung, Grace Kelly, Nancy Kerrigan, Lisa Kudrow, Abraham Lincoln, Andie MacDowell, Mr. Magoo, Dean Martin, Jerry Mathers, Dan Quayle, James Earl Ray, Ronald Reagan, Ralph Richardson, Carl Rogers, Roy Rogers, Martin Sheen, Ringo Starr, Mary Steenburgen, Daniel Stern, James Stewart, Billy Bob Thornton, Andy Williams, Renee Zellweger, Joe DiMaggio,George Lucas.


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