The Need for Harmony
Brief Overview: NINEs want to be peaceful, relaxed, comfortable, and natural. Most importantly, they want to be agreeable and, if at all possible, to avoid conflict. Under stress, they may be passive-aggressive, neglectful, or indifferent. At their best, they are centered, accepting, and able to mediate differences.
Balanced at the top of the Enneagram, NINEs are the most basic and most numerous personality type. They are the “salt of the earth” and the “glue” that holds the community together. People of this type come in all shapes and sizes, but they share a common problem with inertia (or momentum). Whether they are lazy in the traditional sense or hard workers continually on the move, they have a problem finding and staying with their own priorities. It’s hard to change directions or shift attention to what is most important. They “forget” themselves. They excel at seeing all points of view. This can make it difficult for them to make personal decisions, but at the same time, they can be excellent mediators and peacemakers for others. They seek harmony in their environment and will go to great lengths to avoid conflict (although at times championing others). They are action-based types, with a strong gut sense of knowing, although they can also be out of touch with their bodies.
Directional Descriptor: Withdrawn approval-seeker
Strengths: Balanced, accepting, harmonious
Problems: Stubborn, ambivalent, conflict avoidant
Speaking Style: Inclusive and welcoming at their best, NINEs may have trouble getting to the point; they can be linear and over-controlled, or they can be quite dispersed
Disintegration: Laziness of attention, accompanied by stubbornness, makes it hard for them to face priorities or necessary conflict
Integration: Right action, which is the willingness to do what needs to be done and use oneself well in the process
Psychological Defenses: NINEs use the defense mechanism of narcotization to avoid conflict (from within or without) and to maintain a self-image of being “comfortable/harmonious” (narcotization is using food and drink, reading, TV, or simply repetitive patterns of thinking and doing to put oneself in a state of reduced awareness and feeling)
Somatic Patterns: NINEs tend to stay comfortably undercharged. Good at belly breathing, they can avoid breathing into the chest. Low energy NINEs suffer from inertia and physical laziness, while high energy NINEs tend to constantly discharge in order to keep a safe equilibrium. The lower back is a particularly vulnerable area. Since NINEs so easily blend or “merge” with other people or the environment from their belly center, they have difficulty establishing good personal boundaries.
Detailed Description: NINES are peacemakers. Their gift of accepting others without prejudice makes people feel understood and accepted, nines can be unbiased arbitrators, because they can see and appreciate the positive aspects of both sides. Their sense of fairness may make them committed fighters for peace and justice. They express harsh truths calmly and so matter-latter-of-factly that it’s easy for others to “swallow” these truths. In the presence of a NINE many people find it easy to come to rest themselves. In radical contrast to this, nines often feel inwardly lashed by fears and restlessness, even when no one notices.